Friday, September 15, 2006


August 29, 1996
Lauren Sarene Key-Marer born

April, 1997
Sarah Key-Marer files for child support in Orange County, California

May, 1998
Cameron John Brown requests paternity test

February 11, 1999
Cameron John Brown ordered to pay child support

July 22, 1999
Cameron John Brown files for a reduction in child support and requests 32% (approx 117 days) visitation and joint legal custody of Lauren.

Cameron John Brown has still never met Lauren Key-Marer

November 1999-May 2000:

November, 1999
Supervised visitation begins. One hour, then one and a half hours, then two hours, etc.

Lauren is 3 years, 3 months old.

December, 1999
Cameron throws Lauren in the swimming pool at his apartment building during a supervised visitation. Sarah tells him Lauren cannot swim.

February, 2000
Sarah discusses adoption by husband Greg with Cameron and, according to her testimony, he immediately agrees. She tells him to discuss with Patty (his fiance, then wife) and let her know in a week.

Unsupervised visits begin; not overnight.

March, 2000
Judge denies CB’s reduction of child support and joint legal custody.

Sometime after March, 2000, Cameron files another request for reduction of child support and claims he has 50% custody. He actually has her less than 2 ½ days per month.

June 2000-November 8, 2000:
(5 months, 8 days)

June, 2000
Unsupervised overnight visits begin.

Every other week Tuesday 4:30pm to Wednesday 4:30pm in addition to every other Wednesday 12:30pm to 7pm. (48 + 15=63 Hrs/Mo)

October 31-November 01, 2000
Halloween overnight visit.

Cameron picks Lauren up and tells her to get in the front seat of the car. She doesn’t want to ride in the front and eventually gets in the back seat. As they are pulling away in the car, Cameron’s wife, Patty, leaned out the window and shouted to Sarah, “What else is it you do when you’re not smacking your kid around” and chuckled and drove away.

The next day when Cameron returned Lauren, he put her suitcase on the side of the car in the road and told her to come back and get it. He said he wasn’t going to do it for her. He told her twice.

He wasn’t parked next to the curb so it was almost in the middle of the road. Lauren bolted towards the road and Sarah screamed for her to stop and she ran back crying. Cameron drove away laughing.

Seven days later Lauren Sarene Key-Marer was dead.

November 8, 2000
Lauren Sarene Key-Marer dies

Lauren was 4 years, 3 months old.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Trial is a Sales Presentation

Having been in some form of sales or sales support most of my career, I can see the parallels between presenting a case in court and a sales presentation. Think about it: it’s an adversarial competition that plays on all the same things that selling to you does: your heart, your pain, and your common sense. Each side attempts to make you feel good about deciding (“buying”) that their “product” is better.

The People want to sell you the story that the defendant is guilty. They may try to dazzle you with science, baffle you with psychology, bore you with detritus and sway you with emotion. The defense tries to “sell” you that its client should walk free because either the People’s case ("product") is weak, or because its client is (ahem) “factually innocent”, whatever that means.

So it is with the case of California v. Brown. Craig Hum and his team did its best to portray Brown in the most unflattering way possible. They vilified him. They treated him like ersatz coffee. It was as if they posted a picture of him with a bandito mustache and “Wanted: Dead or Alive!” in town square. We know that perception is everything. Even if the allegations were false, based on the “sales presentation” we perceive this man as being capable of murdering his child because we can now perceive him as being a very bad man.

This is how it works.

So, what did the defense do to erase or modify this perception? Put his mother on the stand! Put his brother on the stand! Seriously, that’s like getting a product endorsement from the salesman's mom – “Buy this from my little Johnny. He’s a good boy.” Would you insult your potential customers that way? I hope not, because you would starve as a salesperson.

If the defense wants to change the jurors’ (and public) perception of Cam Brown, they had better come up with something convincing. Their current sales presentation stinks.