Civil Suit Filed By Maid Against DSK Will Weaken DA’s Case.

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The maid in the Dominique Strauss Kahn case has filed a civil suit against him yesterday.  The Wall Street Journal reports that this development comes on the heels of her decision to speak publicly.  Her public performances are almost unprecedented and will ultimately damage the slim chance that the New York County District Attorney’s Office will proceed with this case.   Her decision to bring this civil action will not only lock her into sworn statements, but will potentially provide more discovery to the defense than would be available in the criminal case.  When the Wall Street Journal asked me about this development this is what I told them;

Ms. Diallo’s decision to file a civil suit while criminal charges are pending is “completely out of the ordinary,” said Charles A. Ross, a criminal defense lawyer in Manhattan. He said a sworn statement she makes in the civil case “locks her in and provides the defense with tremendous amounts of grist for cross-examination.”

“I think that it will continue to substantially damage the district attorney’s chances of prevailing,” Mr. Ross said. He said a civil suit can be used in a criminal case to portray her testimony as financially motivated.

He added that Ms. Diallo will face “significant limitations” in trying to get evidence involving other women admitted. Such evidence is allowable only in certain circumstances, when a judge determines it is relevant to the current allegations and outweighs the risk that the material would unfairly sway a jury against the defendant, Mr. Ross said.

The tremendous amount of discovery and sworn testimony in a civil case give the defense an advantage.  Any sex crime attorney will exploit inconsistencies among testimony, statements to the prosecution, interviews with the media, and now sworn statements in a civil filing.  A rape defense lawyer will make use of this sort of filing to the great benefit of his or her client.

Strauss-Kahn Sued By New York Maid.

The maid in the Dominique Strauss Kahn case has filed a civil suit against him yesterday.  The Wall Street Journal reports that this development comes on the heels of her decision to speak publicly.  Her public performances are almost unprecedented and will ultimately damage the slim chance that the New York County District Attorney's Office will proceed with this case.   Her decision to bring this civil action will not only lock her into sworn statements, but will potentially provide more discovery to the defense than would be available in the criminal case.  When the Wall Street Journal asked me about this development this is what I told them;

Ms. Diallo's decision to file a civil suit while criminal charges are pending is "completely out of the ordinary," said Charles A. Ross, a criminal defense lawyer in Manhattan. He said a sworn statement she makes in the civil case "locks her in and provides the defense with tremendous amounts of grist for cross-examination."

"I think that it will continue to substantially damage the district attorney's chances of prevailing," Mr. Ross said. He said a civil suit can be used in a criminal case to portray her testimony as financially motivated.

He added that Ms. Diallo will face "significant limitations" in trying to get evidence involving other women admitted. Such evidence is allowable only in certain circumstances, when a judge determines it is relevant to the current allegations and outweighs the risk that the material would unfairly sway a jury against the defendant, Mr. Ross said.

The tremendous amount of discovery and sworn testimony in a civil case give the defense an advantage.  Any sex crime attorney will exploit inconsistencies among testimony, statements to the prosecution, interviews with the media, and now sworn statements in a civil filing.  A rape defense lawyer will make use of this sort of filing to the great benefit of his or her client.