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IN TRYING TO ESCAPE GAG, ALLRED MAY HAVE SAID TOO MUCH Prominent Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred may have said too much in her attempt to lift a gag order during the recently concluded Contra Costa County murder trial of Scott Dyleski. When she petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review back in May, the generally outspoken Allred pointed out that Judge David Flinn’s gag order marked the first time she had ever been prevented from speaking to the press about a high-profile criminal case. On Monday, the Supreme Court declined(.pdf) to take up Allred’s petition. While it’s unclear why the justices wouldn’t take the case � they’ve accepted only 38 out of thousands so far this term � California Deputy Attorney General Violet Lee used a crafty argument against Allred. By Monday, jurors had already convicted Dyleski in late August for murdering his neighbor Pamela Vitale, the wife of East Bay lawyer and legal commentator Daniel Horowitz, and the trial court had already lifted its gag order. Allred, who had signed on to represent Dyleski girlfriend and eventual trial witness Jena Reddy, had to show that a situation like hers might come up again, and with too little time to allow for a full appellate review. Lee, using Allred’s point about not being gagged before against her, argued that the circumstances were so unusual they likely wouldn’t occur again. Attorney general spokesman Nathan Barankin emphasized that last week, saying Allred’s petition conceded she had never been gagged in a high-profile criminal case before, “thus strongly [and] logically suggesting there’s no reasonable likelihood it will happen again.” Reached Friday, Allred acknowledged the odds of being granted Supreme Court review were slim. In a written statement, she added the gag order “interferes with my attorney/client relationship and is a significant interference with my ability to properly represent my client as an advocate.”

Matthew Hirsch

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