By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
L.A. WEEKLY:How were you first ordered to testify?
SARA CAPLAN: I received a faxed subpoena. But I thought it was for a defense discovery motion. [At the evidentiary hearing] I was waiting in the hall and hadn’t heard what was going on inside the court. I had no idea I was about to be asked the kind of questions I was. Afterward, Phil Spector invoked his right of attorney-client confidentiality.
Why did you eventually testify before the jury?
I am obligated to follow the order — I would face disbarment. I worked so hard to put myself through law school and I’ve always loved being a criminal-defense lawyer —it’s what I care about.
Some legal experts said you would not have had to serve much time, if any, had you refused to testify.
That’s all very nice for people to think that, but [Judge Fidler] was going to keep me in jail until the end of the trial — he made no bones about it.
What were the worst moments for you during this time?
This terrified the hell out of me. I’m a single mother, and every day I’d come home and my son, who was finishing fifth grade, would ask, “Are you going to jail?” After it was all over I became very ill.
How was your role perceived?
I was so disappointed by the commentators and so-called experts on TV — all they did was trash the personalities involved. Nobody understood or even cared about the issues.
Why are you speaking out about your experience with the trial still on?
I’m very concerned the way the prosecutor’s office handled this matter, with how government overreaching has become the norm. I don’t want people to become complacent and accept it. It’s beyond Big Brother.
What could be the long-term fallout from your having to testify?
When you ask an attorney to testify for the prosecution for a former client, you’re not only lightening the prosecution’s burden of proof, you’re creating an irreparable taint against the defense — a jury could think there’s something wrong with the accused and his case.
I’m proud of what I did. I’ve always been a rebel — I fight, I don’t just roll over.
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