Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has directed attorney Janet H. King, counsel for murder suspect Joseph A. Crisostomo, to explain why she should not be sanctioned for filing a motion that contained text that was allegedly copied without attribution to the source.
In an order to show cause yesterday, Camacho directed King to appear in court on Oct. 25 and explain a section of Crisostomo’s motion to exclude evidence of prior acts.
“The purpose of this hearing is for the court to determine whether sanctions are necessary to ensure that Ms. King cease the practice of submitting filings composed of text that has been copied verbatim without attribution to the original source,” the judge said.
Saipan Tribune emailed King for comments but she had yet to reply as of press time.
Camacho noted that paragraphs three through five of Crisostomo’s motion were copied from the case in People vs. Ewoldt, 7 Cal. 4th 380 (1994). However, the judge said, King did not cite the California Supreme Court opinion as the source of that material.
Camacho said the standard articulated in the motion did not accurately represent the analysis employed by the California Supreme Court.
Camacho said that for the court to fulfill its duties, attorneys appearing before it must perform with competence, diligence, candor, and honesty.
The judge pointed out that the Model Rules of Professional Conduct require attorneys to represent their clients “with legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, preparation, diligence and promptness.”
King filed the motion last Aug. 30, three days after assistant attorney general James McAllister notified the court that he intends to introduce evidence at trial of Crisostomo’s other “crimes, wrongs, or acts.”
In that notice, McAllister said that Crisostomo, who is facing charges in the kidnapping and murder of bartender Emerita Romero, is also a suspect in the killing of Bao Ying Chen, a Chinese woman who was killed at Laulau Beach in November 2006.
King had opposed this, saying the government is attempting to identify the defendant as the culprit in this case by proof of his being an alleged suspect in a different murder of a woman in 2006.