EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

More Drama at Cristina Gutierrez's Law Firm in 1999/2000

In my last two posts (here and here), I noted how at least two associates and a named partner departed from Cristina Gutierrez's law firm back in 1999. It turns out that there was additional drama occurring at Gutierrez's law firm during her representation of Adnan.

This is from a brief filed on September 20, 2000:

This matter arises from the claim of Appellee, Redmond, Burgin & Cruz, P.A., (“RBC”) that it is entitled to collect fees and expenses from Alexander, Bearden, Hairston & Marks, L.L.P, (“ABHM”) for services RBC alleges it rendered to ABHM in the case of Board of School Commissioners et al. v. Maryland State Board of Education, et al., No. 99528055 (filed Sept. 15, 1994, Baltimore City Circuit Court) (“the education litigation”) (E1, 5-6)....


Count II seeks an order declaring that an employer-employee relationship existed between RBC and Appellee [redacted] through May 31, 1996, and that RBC is entitled to collect $116,809.62 from ABHM for services RBC alleges it rendered to ABHM in the education litigation from April 19, 1996, through July 9, 1996, some of which allegedly is for [redacted]'s fees through May 31, 1996. (E7-8).

According to the brief,

On March 28, 2000, the trial court held RBC had shorted [redacted] $5,419.31 of her $45,587.50 fees for March through April 19, 1996, that RBC had obtained from ABHM in the $61,000 check. (E53-53) The Court held that "the proper way to allocate the $61,000 payment should have been to apply the payment to the statement for which it was paid." (E52).

Thereafter, on October 19, 2000, RBC filed its response and own appeal from the trial court's ruling.

I don't know how the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland ultimately ruled, and I don't know whether the claims by either side had any merit. What I do know is that there was "conflicting testimony" by members of the firm that was given before the trial court's ruling on March 28, 2000. I also know that Gutierrez testified in the matter. What I don't know is exactly how much time Gutierrez spent on briefing, preparing to testify, and testifying in the matter in 1999 and early 2000.



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I have more pity than scorn or her, she was obviously extremely ill and maybe even mentally ill. Too bad her colleagues did not have the power to act to save her from herself and her clients from her , probably medically induced, negligence. Her medical records would be interesting as part of a claim for her incompetence thus benefitting Adnan, what a mess! what a mess!

Posted by: Shannon | Oct 27, 2015 6:53:21 PM

Is there any way her medical records could be subpoenaed to see how far her disease had progressed at the time she was representing Adnan?

Posted by: Laura Hurst | Oct 28, 2015 3:17:05 AM

I'm still a bit stunned to learn that Rabia's brother (as well as Bilal) was a client prior to Adnan hiring her. How did that not come out in "conversation" before, either on Serial or Undisclosed? Or, did I just miss it (like the other stunner (tome at least) that Adnan got married while in prison)?

Posted by: SEO | Oct 28, 2015 9:36:34 AM

Shannon: Agreed.

Laura: I don’t think so.

SEO: I feel like it’s been mentioned before, whether on an episode or one of Rabia’s blog posts. As for the marriage, here’s her post:


Posted by: Colin | Oct 28, 2015 11:30:51 AM

I fully understand some people's reaction to be pity for her, but it seems with all the drama at her firm, breaking records with complaints filed, "misappropriating" money, & I'm going to speculate Dr's advice, she HAD to have known what she was doing was NOT okay. Especially after losing a case like Adnan's?!! She had a duty to these people. I'm curious out of the rest of the muder cases she was handling at the time (what? are we up to 8 now?!"), how many of these she lost? That right there should have told her something if any of her colleagues didn't (which I'd find hard to believe). Terribly sad.

Posted by: CareBear | Oct 29, 2015 6:22:26 AM

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