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Autistic Boy’s Family Hires Casey Anthony Lawyer in School Bus Slapping Case

The lead lawyer in Casey Anthony's 2011 murder trial has been hired by the family of a 10-year-old autistic boy from New Port Richey.

Jose Baez has agreed to represent the family of an autistic boy who was slapped by a Pasco County school bus aide.
Jose Baez has agreed to represent the family of an autistic boy who was slapped by a Pasco County school bus aide.

The lawyer who successfully represented Casey Anthony in 2011 on charges related to her daughter Caylee’s death has taken on another high profile case.

This time Jose Baez won’t appear in criminal court. Instead, he’s representing the family of a 10-year-old autistic boy from New Port Richey. The boy, Jeffrey Lamb, is shown in a video released by the Pasco County School District on Monday, June 9, being yelled at and slapped by school bus aide James Lambert.

The school district’s bus surveillance video captured Lambert smacking the boy hard enough to hear. Lambert then walked away and returned 15 minutes later to slap the child again. He also walked through the bus singing, “Hush little Jeffery, don’t say a word …”

Lambert, 57, of Hudson was arrested June 6 and faces two counts of child abuse, according to Pasco County Sheriff’s records.

Baez was hired by Jeffrey’s mother, Lori Lamb, to advocate change in how school districts monitor buses transporting special needs children, Bay News 9 is reporting.

"I think that will be the ultimate goal here to create some type of change," Baez told Bay News 9.  "I know the Lamb family is very interested in that and if that is their goal, it's certainly going to be our mission." 

Baez suggested legislative changes might be possible, but even a policy change at the school district level would be a step in the right direction. Daily monitoring of bus surveillance could, for example, suffice, Bay News 9 reports.

Lambert was released from the Pasco County Jail after posting bond. He has since resigned from his post with the school district.

The New Port Richey case is not the first of its kind in the Tampa Bay area in recent years. A similar incident occurred in Tampa in 2012 when a bus driver was arrested after video captured her kicking an 8-year-old girl with autism. In that case, the Tampa Bay Times, says the girl fell down the steps and fractured her ankle. The driver plead guilty to child abuse and was placed on probation.

Baez was the lead attorney for Casey Anthony on murder charges related to the 2008 death of Caylee. Anthony was acquitted by an Orlando jury in 2011.

It is unclear at this time if the Lambs will file a lawsuit against the school district or Lambert.

How do you think school districts should monitor buses transporting special needs students? Tell us by commenting below!

Rob June 13, 2014 at 01:19 PM
As a school Nurse assigned to a cluster school with high population of autistic and ESE children, I do think monitors need to be in place. These children are very fragile people and while I will never excuse nor condone striking a child, I understand how it can happen. I think a thorough background check needs to be done during the employment process.
Sherri Lonon June 13, 2014 at 05:46 PM
Thanks for the insights, Rob!

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