The longer the Marshal Brian Pope public records battle goes on, the stranger it gets. The Independent’s scheduled video deposition of political consultant Hilary “Joe” Castille was refused in April by his attorney, Clayton Burgess, who plopped himself into the witness chair and insisted the camera roll while he spoke. His client, the reclusive sycophant who conspired with City Marshal Brian Pope late last year to plan and execute an elaborate political attack disguised as a press conference, was out of the frame the entire time, nodding his head affirmatively while his attorney did all of the talking. Burgess argued ad nauseum that his client had not had ample time to prepare for the deposition, as he had only retained an attorney days earlier. Burgess’ decision to warm his client’s seat and instruct the video recording to proceed is unheard of, according to local attorneys with decades of legal experience. “Judge [Jules] Edwards won’t be happy,” says one criminal defense attorney who asked not to be identified. But here’s where the day got even wackier: In his video-taped statements, Burgess said he had not had sufficient time to “find out what this suit’s about,” suggesting he had only been called into the case in the past few days, but once Burgess had had his say, IND attorney Gary McGoffin produced to a Feb. 23 letter from Pope’s original attorney, Charles Middleton, to Burgess that referenced the lawsuit and had been (inadvertently, it seems) filed into the public record. Burgess, it was clear from his reaction at the deposition, had no idea the letter had been put into the public record in support of the pleading he himself had filed. It certainly appears that Clayton Burgess, who is now Joe Castille’s attorney, been representing Pope’s interests, which would make him very familiar with the case. And even if both clients have signed off on the potential conflict, will that fly with Judge Edwards?