How does that old saying go? "A man who represents himself in court has a fashion designer for a client." Something like that - we're posting from the Criminal Courts Building and left our Bartlett's at home. We're in Department 102 this morning to cover a hearing on Anand Jon's request to dismiss his attorneys and defend himself. At 9:15 a.m. Superior Court Judge David Wesley takes the bench. Jon has just arrived, attired in an orange County Jail jumpsuit and white sleeves. Addressing the judge, Jon speaks in a strong voice that sounds somewhat agitated when referring to prosecutors. Defense lawyer Ronald Richards is present, along with prosecutors Frances Young and Mara McIlvain.
Wesley advises Jon he has the right to represent himself and tries to discourage him from dismissing his lawyers. The judge is stressing that once Jon takes over the task of representing himself, Wesley will not allow his counsel back in, should Jon decide, at the last moment, to change his mind before the August 31 sentencing hearing.
Wesley: One of the downsides is that you're not a lawyer. You will be moved to another module that you may not like as much as where you are now.
Jon: How would you like me to address you?
Wesley (smiling): "Judge," "Your Honor"? I'm not very particular.
Jon: over the next six weeks I plan to do a substantial amount of legal work. if I come up with credible and substantial evidence, would you consider changing the calendar? It wouldn't be anything frivolous.
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Wesley: Well, if it's compelling . . . I'm not making any promises.
Jon: If I have witnesses who are coming forward --
Wesley: We have a timetable set, and if you can convince me that you have new evidence, it will be changed
Judge Wesley has sent Jon away for 10 minutes to read through a waiver form. In the meantime, Dana Cole has risen to announce he is now representing Jon's sister, Sanajana Alexander, in the civil contempt of court proceedings she is facing. Cole, of the Century City firm Cole & Loeterman, replaces Harland Braun as Sanjana's attorney.