Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hue-Inside the Hearing Room

I was able to get into the hearing room this morning and can probably do so throughout the hearing from now on.

The hearing room is small, consisting of a large elevated bench for the three person Panel. Mr Brunet sits in the middle and Mr Campbell is to his right and Mr McLaren to his left. Behind them are some 30 3 inch volumes of the record.


The lawyers sit at tables in the "well" and there are at least 4 lawyers at each table. Behind Landis's table in front of the bar sit, Will Geoghegan, Michael Hensen, Dr Kay, Arnie Baker, Floyd's Mom and Dad and at various points, Landis' wife Amber.

Behind the USADA table sit their witnesses and the lawyers' paralegals.

The seats for the audience elevate behind the bar into 5 rows of 16 seats divided in half by a single row. the first two rows behind Landis are reserved for his guests and they are filled. USADA has two rows and about 7 people sit there. Those seats are largly empty. The next complete row is for Pepperdine students and the general public. Those seats are mostly filled. The next complete row is for the Press and about half the seats are filled. the last row is miscelanious, Mr Campbell's wife and daughter were sitting there today along with former FCC Chair Michael Powell and another person.

The witnesses testify from the jury box. Two men sit behind the witnesses,. One of them is the Panel's Independant Expert from the Rome Lab and the other is a helper for the Panel. there is a court Reporter taking the proceedings

There are 4 or 5 huge still cameras and two video cameras. The seating area has two 52 inch plasma screens and there are 3 17 inch plasmas at the witness box and the lawyer's podium. there is a 100 inch projected screen directly across from the witness that everyone at the bar looks at during the proceedings. The lawyers have all the latest technology at a huge podium; a vcr/cd player, an "Elmo" projector which is an overhead projector with a video camera instead of a still projector and comperter, keyboard and mouse. In addition, each side has a technician to the side with multiple laptops controlling the projection of additional evidence with the ability to highlight, enlarge, "box" and isolate documents. Oddly, the sound is bad, something that might be resolved ny the use of wireless microphones.

There is no traditional "All Rise" as the Panel enters and everyone is getting used to greater formality today as they address one another in contrast to yesterday where they all referred to one another on a first name basis.


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one wondering how the head of WADA's Rome lab can be considered the panel's "independent expert?" I sure as heck would want to know of ANY communications he had with the panel and with WADA and demand the right to cross-examine and present rebuttal to anything he has conveyed to the panel. Independent? Goes along with the description of Brunet as "neutral", I suppose.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing when I read that yesterday. How can a WADA official be impartial? Then again, all the arbs have been chosen by USADA if you consider they make the list you can choose from. In effect, they chose them all, not just one.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see others are concerned. The "independent expert" just has too many ties to the structure to be considered able to pass the test of "no apperance of impropriety." His lab is certified by WADA and gets work from it. He is a member of the fraternity of certified lab directors and his willingness to call a strike on LNDD is questionable. He also is part of a system in which each lab makes up its own standard for determining a positive. He is going to be protective of that power. All that aside, presumably his comments, advice, and evaluations given as an "independent expert" are not going to be subject to either the light of day or cross examination. This really has aspects of the inquisition, a step beyond the Star Chamber.

We'll know more when Landis tries to put his case on. That's when the panel will start making limiting rulings.