Friday, October 23, 2015
I've started preparing a draft for the "Cristina Gutierrez" episode of the Undisclosed Podcast. In doing so, I stumbled upon something interesting but not important enough to include in the episode (I think). Here's a discovery letter, sent by Gutierrez on September 7, 1999. As you can see, the name of the law firm at the time is Redmond, Burgin & Gutierrez, P.A., indicating the three named partners at the firm. Next, here's Adnan's alibi notice, submitted less than a month later, on October 4, 1999. Now, the name of the law firm is Redmond & Gutierrez, P.A. Burgin is still listed as an attorney, but he's no longer a named partner.
Finally, here's the top of a letter dated November 24, 1999, in which Gutierrez is sending Mr. S's polygraph results to an expert:
So, now, about a month and a half later, Burgin is no longer working at the law firm, and a new attorney has been hired.
I don't think that this has any huge bearing on Adnan's case, but I'm always interested in getting as much context as possible. Burgin was a named partner when Gutierrez joined the law firm in 1995 and one of only six attorneys at the firm. It's not an insignificant thing for a named partner to leave a firm, especially a firm this small. I have little doubt that Gutierrez was spending a good deal of time in the fall of 1999 on the departure of Burgin* and the hiring of his replacement. What I don't know is whether Burgin had any role in Adnan's case and whether his departure might have had any direct or indirect effect on its outcome.
*For example, the departure could have meant that Gutierrez was picking up new clients/work from Burgin. It also could have meant that Gutierrez was working hard to keep clients who had a good working relationship with Burgin.