Author Topic: L.A. Judge Says B.I.G.'s Family Attorney Lied, Knew About Informant Comments  (Read 56 times)


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L.A. Judge Says B.I.G.'s Family Attorney Lied, Knew About Informant Comments
Wednesday - May 24, 2006 by Dick Johnson
The federal judge who called a mistrial in the Wallace family's wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles recently said a lawyer for the Wallaces "absolutely deceived" the court.

U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper made the comments after a lawyer for the city accused the Wallace family's legal team of lying when claiming that the city purposely withheld evidence. Judge Cooper called a mistrial in the suit after discovering that statements by a police informant connecting The Notorious B.I.G.'s murder with two crooked cops, David Mack and Rafael Perez, were being hidden.

The judge also ordered the city to pay $1.1 million in legal fees to the Wallace family as sanctions for intentionally withholding the aforementioned evidence.

In a status conference held yesterday (May 23) for a retrial, city attorney Vincent Marella showed Judge Cooper a report prepared for the plaintiffs that shows the city had knowledge of the informant's comments as early as 2002. Judge Cooper said she was "outraged" after examining the report. She reportedly told Perry Sanders, the Wallace family's attorney, of her disapproval over the phone.

"I believe you have absolutely deceived this court into believing that you knew nothing about this," Cooper said.

Sanders answered that he realized that his defense team had been "previously contacted" by the informant shortly after telling the court he knew nothing about the informant. Sanders then said he "made it clear" to the court that he knew of the informant. Sanders offered that the city's lawyers took a document submitted by his defense team and "used it against us."

"It's inappropriate and we plan to thoroughly address these allegations in the course of the next seven days," Sanders told the Associated Press.

A spokesman for the city attorney's office declined to comment on the case since he didn't attend the status conference. Judge Cooper stopped the sharing of information between the two parties and added that she is not likely to allow the Wallace family to file a revised version of their lawsuit, as they previously requested. The judge also mentioned that the two parties have been trying to settle the case without success. A month after Judge Cooper called a mistrial; the Los Angeles City Council rejected the family's offer to settle the case for $18 million.

"This might be the time to settle this case," Cooper revealed.