Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has vacated his show-cause order that 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.
Camacho vacated his show-cause order after King filed a response on Friday in which she apologized to the court for not citing the opinion of a case law.
In a one-paragraph order, Camacho said he is satisfied with King’s response and that no further action is necessary.
“The court extends its appreciation to attorney Janet King for her prompt written response,” the judge said.
In her reply, King said she reviewed the court’s show-cause order and has since reread the subject case law and reviewed the Commonwealth Rules of Evidence, the motion in limine, and the Commonwealth’s opposition. She said she also consulted with colleagues in an effort to address the court’s concern.
King also informed Camacho that she has sent a letter of apology to chief prosecutor Shelli Neal and assistant attorneys general Brian Flaherty and James B. McAllister, for the omitted citation in her motion.
King said it was not her intention to claim the analysis in People vs. Ewoldt as her own; rather, it was a failure to provide legal authority in support of the argument.
“Citation errors and omissions waste the court’s time, the opposing counsels’ time, and weakens the credibility of the proponent of the argument. For all of these failures, counsel apologizes,” King said.
In his order to show cause, Camacho had directed King to explain in court 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,” Camacho said.
Camacho noted that paragraphs three through five of Crisostomo’s motion were copied from the case in People vs. Ewoldt. However, the judge said, King did not cite the California Supreme Court opinion as the source of that material.
Camacho said that for the court to fulfill its duties, attorneys appearing before it must perform with competence, diligence, candor, and honesty.
King filed the motion last Aug. 30, three days after assistant attorney general 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 a Chinese woman in November 2006.