Legally Speaking: Jodi Arias prosecutor Juan Martinez should have plenty to say in book on trial

Nov 10, 2015, 9:27 AM | Updated: 1:38 pm
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

Mr. Juanderful is now on

A blurb at the retail site states that Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez will be releasing his book about the sensational murder trial of Jodi Arias on Jan. 26, 2016.

Martinez is not the first to release a book on Arias, but I suggest that his will be the most successful. His popularity grew exponentially with his unwavering and relentless prosecutorial style and it only makes sense that releasing a book would be his next step.

You might be asking “How he can do this?” And “How he can make money off prosecuting someone?” Maybe you are wondering if there are any rules that would keep a book like this from being published.

These are great questions that other prosecutors have faced and overcome. The lead prosecutor in the Casey Anthony case, Jeff Ashton, published his tell-all book after Anthony was found not guilty.

And don’t forget that Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, the prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, each published their own books as well. Where there is a will there is a way, or at least when there is good money to be made.

Attorneys are bound by not only the rules of the court but also by ethical rules.

For example, Ethical Rule 1.6-Confidentiality of Information, states that a lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent. In other words, an attorney owes their client a duty of confidentiality that lasts forever, yes, forever.

This means that Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott cannot disclose, to anyone, information about Arias without her consent.

Arias was not Martinez’s client, so he doesn’t owe a duty to her and doesn’t need her consent to write a book.

However, he did have a client. That client was the State of Arizona, and he needs permission from Arizona to disclose the information learned during the prosecution of Arias and to publish his book.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is the most probable authority to give, or withhold, permission. Martinez also needs permission from his boss, County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

The office referred questions about the book to the publisher.

If Martinez is able to obtain permission from each party, he still needs to make sure there are no court orders from Judge Sherry Stephens that prevent him from disclosing information.

If you remember, much to the frustration of every trial follower and commentator, during much of the trial and all of the retrial, the players were under orders from Stephens to not speak to the media.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, if an appeal is pending, Martinez must be careful because prosecutors are subject to extra special ethical rules.

Under those extra special rules, prosecutors have to watch what they say to the public so as not to create unwarranted ridicule of the defendant or taint the jury pool.

Considering there is no jury involved at this point, Martinez is probably OK, but he still needs to tread carefully. Martinez is smart and I highly doubt he would do or say anything at this point to impact the conviction he worked so hard to get.

Then there is the question of proceeds. Who gets the money from Martinez’s book? Does he? Does the State of Arizona? Does the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office get it since Martinez obtained all the information as part of his job as a prosecutor?

There is a rule, commonly referred to as the Son of Sam Law, that forbids Arias from benefiting from the murder of Travis Alexander, but there isn’t one that stops Martinez.

You might be of the opinion that there shouldn’t be since he was the one who worked tirelessly to put a murderess behind bars for the rest of her life and for that he deserves millions.

As I stated above, Martinez is smart and I find it highly likely he has covered all his bases.

I predict his book will do very well since the Arias murder trial was the most sensationalized and most followed trial of the century so far.

Martinez, as the sole prosecutor, was viewed by the national and international audiences as a hero and a fighter of evil.

Those audiences wanted, and still want, to know more, not only about the trial, but also about Martinez. His book will likely give them exactly what they have been craving.

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Legally Speaking: Jodi Arias prosecutor Juan Martinez should have plenty to say in book on trial