Jumping Off Bridges

by Grace4Ayla on July 3, 2013

Whenever I wanted to do something as a kid because “everyone else was doing it,” my mom would ask me, “If everyone was jumping off a bridge into a dry riverbed would you do it too?” Recently, on another blog, a poster suggested that Trista Reynolds, mother of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds, should sue the DiPietro family as a way to provoke them or obtain information about her daughter’s whereabouts.

This idea was immediately pooh-poohed by many readers of the blog, but I, for one, believe the idea has merit. Let’s discuss the Pros and the Cons of this strategy, shall we?

Money, So They Say…

Most of the negative comments had to do with money. It seems there is a commonly held belief that attorneys would only take Trista’s case if:

  1. they are paid up-front, and
  2. the defendant has money to obtain

These are reasonable objections, but I feel there are many ways around them.

First of all, an action like this could be extremely costly. Not only for Trista, but for the DiPietros as well. If Trista wins, she stands a good chance of getting attorney fees and costs reimbursed by the DiPietros. That is, if she or her lawyer could collect. Still, she would have to come up with at least the out-of-pocket expenses.

Could Trista raise enough money? I believe, with all the publicity and support she has garnered, she could do exactly that. The Anthonys not only received $250,000 for pictures of Caylee Anthony, but also received $400,000 for appearing on the Dr. Phil program. I would be willing to bet that, if Trista appeared on his program, the good Dr. would be more than obliged to donate towards a legal action. Many blog readers have offered funds in the past as well. Trista will never know unless she tries.

No lawyer would take this case on contingency for a percentage of the award due to the first objection, too many out-of-pocket costs. So, if Trista could afford to pay, that negates the second objection.

Thinking Outside the Box

Also, who says Trista has to go after Justin DiPietro anyway? She could very well have a very powerful case against the Tudela family for withholding information or aiding, or any number of things. The family of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spirier is doing precisely that – and her body has not been found, nor is there any physical evidence of foul play.

Let’s consider this seriously. What are the pros of a civil suit? First and foremost, Trista could finally get the answers she has been so desperately seeking. Civil rules for things such as discovery and admissibility are more lenient than in criminal trials. If any of the DiPietros or their associates tried to plead the Fifth Amendment, like DeeDee Spicher did during the Kyron Horman civil suit, a judge could force them to answer. I think this alone would be worth it. So much so, in fact, I don’t think it necessary to list any other pros.

If a civil suit against the DiPietros seems too risky, how about suing DHHS like Jhessye Shockley’s family is doing? I think Trista could make just as good a case as Jhessye’s family, and $10 million dollars would certainly be enough to sue Justin DiPietro, wouldn’t you think?

So what is Trista Reynolds doing? Oh that’s right, she is pregnant yet again and is trying to “move on.” Sort of like what the DiPietros are doing, isn’t it?

Not to worry, though. Justice for Ayla is coming. Maybe sooner than we know.

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