Friday, April 02, 2010

Judge Declares Mistrial in Case of Stranded Scuba Diver

Thanks to those of you who weighed in on our question as to who is ultimately responsible for divers in the water.

The latest legal development in the case came earlier this week when the judge presiding over the suit declared a mistrial.

Over the objections of lawyers on both sides, a judge today declared a mistrial in the case of a scuba diver left stranded in the ocean off Newport Beach during a charter boat trip, saying the case was taking far longer than anticipated.

"It's too taxing for the jurors and too taxing for the (court's) calendar," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Soussan G. Brugera said of the trial of Daniel Carlock's lawsuit.

Testimony began March 9. Although Brugera had told the jury she thought the case would be completed by the end of this month, attorneys told her today that there were about 13 additional witnesses still to testify and that the trial could extend to mid-April.

The judge said the case should be reassigned to a courtroom that is more capable of handling long trials because the judges have a shorter law-and- motion calendar. Brugera, after some discussion with the lawyers, allowed them to talk with the departing jurors to ascertain how the case could be handled better in a retrial. She said the trial had "evolved into Alice in Wonderland," with arguments taking far longer than necessary on too many issues.

The lawyers said they hoped to continue with the case because it had taken so long just to reach trial. Carlock filed the suit in January 2005.

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Austin said...

hmmmm... I never thought of that before. This is a good post. You really seem to know a lot about legal matters in diving. Keep it up!

John K. said...

I think it's a great shame that the diver wasn't able to get the justice that he deserved.