1.) GOLD WATCH TIME - make sure to drop by the North Wing 7th Floor conference room FRIDAY, February 28th, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, to say bon voyage to Denise Goodsmith. After more than eleven years working with Andy Siegel, and a couple more decades JA'ing before that, Denise is calling it quits. A hearty well done, but not without a bit of sadness. As any lawyer or staffer will tell you, it was always a pleasure dealing with a team player like Denise. Congrats!; 2.) Coming Soon - senior judge Fred Berman?; 3.) Who knew? A young Buddy Nevins with a circa 1966 Keith Richards. Before BrowardBeat.com, and before the Sun Sentinel, there was Teen Life Magazine, and a largely unseen stash of photos of Buddy with leaders of the 1960's cultural renaissance; 4.) Mitch Polay and accused Dunkin' Donuts killer James Herard. This was shortly after Kevin Kulik pulled rank. Herard is pushing Polay to continue voir dire with a new penalty phase lawyer, while Mitch knows better ...
Coming Soon - Randy Tundidor v. Imperato update; Dear Mr. Pettis & Chief Adderley; Lowly judges not invited to Topping Ceremony ...
SS: Tonya Alanez goes to Pakistan
Herald: Tampa lawmaker tackles issue of DL Drug suspensions
PB Post - Marni Bryson's tough talk
SS: 4th DCA in the house
Gainesville Sun - JQC opens up on Andy Decker
JQC Decker documents
Bob Norman video starring Norm Kent
Bob Norman video starring Eric Rudenberg & Mike Glasser
Grimm - Broward PDO v. DJJ
The Fourth DCA is in the house TODAY, February 27th, starting at 1:30 PM in Room 416. The schedule is here.
Come root for the home team, and don't forget to bring a copy of your favorite opinion for autographing afterwards.
Good from Bad - maybe the Florida Bar isn't so bad after all. Today Bar President Eugene Pettis hosted a meeting concerning selective enforcement of the drug laws over at his place, with Howard Finkelstein appearing by phone.
It came about after a chance encounter at the West Palm Beach courthouse a few weeks back. Pettis good naturedly took our ribbing over not returning calls during Bar v. Blog concerning the failed Drug War, and then quickly agreed to set today's meeting. It wasn't stated, but considering the persecution was over, and the incredible importance of the subject matter, saying yes must have been easy. A quick call to the Public Defender confirmed his participation, and it was off to the races.
The meeting was premised on trying to find a role for the Bar, whose logo proudly boasts "Protecting Rights, Pursuing Justice ... ", in equaling the lop-sided scales of criminal justice. Drug use and sales are as prevalent in affluent America as in low-income America, but minorities are wildly over-represented in courthouses, jails and prisons everywhere. It's a national and statewide problem, and as Finkelstein pointed out, even the Feds are doing something about it. Why, we asked, can't the Bar?
The answer was a qualified we can. Pettis patiently explained that because the Florida Bar is a unified bar with compulsory membership and dues, neither the president nor anyone else can push the organization anywhere near the line which might cross into ideological territory. Everything must fall under "the Keller umbrella". Employing an example Pettis definitely didn't use, a bunch of us may hate what's going on in the criminal courts, while others like things just the way they are. And if that's the case, the Bar can't be directed to get involved. Got that?
But there is a middle ground. Pettis is eager to "initiate and raise the dialogue" by asking the Bar's Criminal Law Section ("CJ Section") to discuss the elephant in the room. He's asked for a request in writing from Finkelstein, who has agreed to provide the data he's assembled concerning Walking While Black, Biking While Black, and of course Driving While Black. The CJ Section can then be queried whether Florida is answering Attorney General Eric Holder's call to address important issues of fairness in the state's criminal courts, and to do all that is possible within the rules and guidelines of the Bar to suggest improvements.
"I was present in San Francisco last August when Attorney General Holder rolled out his guidelines," Pettis said.
"We all move around as if these and other problems don't exist, like graduation rates. We go about our lives as if everything is well. But I would like to pull together a dialogue on a community and statewide basis to collectively do a better job."
So there you have it. A great start, considering this is possibly the first time a state Bar president has agreed to get involved with such hot button issues. Expect things to move quickly, since everyone is aware Pettis' term ends in June. And in the meantime, we'll be sure to follow-up with Greg Coleman, the president-elect. This is one ball that definitely needs to keep rolling ...
Not a law firm ...
Gold, Spechler & Sweetapple - everyone is talking about Friday's Sun Sentinel article detailing the battle for the beach, pitting the Ticket Clinic's Mark Gold, former judge Jay Spechler, and Laura Watson's other go-to-guy Robert Sweetapple against the city of Deerfield Beach.
Apparently it all started many years ago, but the trio isn't letting city hall get them down. They're hosting private parties and generally making the most of their unique situation, while city officials are not so quietly trying to figure out what to do.
"It's nice to be able to fight for your rights and have fun at the same time," Spechler says, although it was hard to hear exactly what he was saying, given the whooping and hollering in the background, and what sounded like the thwak of a beach ball being launched into orbit. Unfortunately, signal was lost before we could get confirmation regarding the Beach Boys being booked for July 4th festivities, so stay tuned for all further developments ...
a teenage symphony to God ...
2014 Gulkin Award Winner Hilly Moldof
with daughters/presenters Kelsey and Meeghan
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19th @ 5:30 PM
BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
BACDL Feb Newsletter - Moldof Interview
Thanks, Buddy - it seems everyone around the courthouse really enjoyed BrowardBeat's take on Cohen v. Blog, at least from the feedback we got. And while critics are correct that the high road wasn't taken by either party before things spun out of control, absolutely everyone is wondering what could have prompted the other guy to cross into the creep zone. That being said, we're satisfied this is over,* even if some of you still persist in spreading wholesale lies regarding a certain somebody being called "a derogatory name for a gay that starts with an F". It never happened, of course, and while Mr.Cohen's distant relationship with the truth in this area may be infuriating, it goes with the territory of being a self-appointed cyber finger-pointer. Besides, it hasn't been of any concern to friends, while others we've never met need only look back over the years of blogging to see that JAABLOG's core message of equality and justice for all has never wavered. And so, without further ado, on with the show! ...
* Although JAABLOG's polygraph challenge to Cohen remains open ad infinitum.
Gardiner Reply Brief - here is the Amended Answer Brief of Respondent, filed by Dave Bogenschutz on January 23rd. It's a 52 page unmitigated Mitigation-Fest, with plenty of cites to the trial transcript. In other words, it's a complete bore, since so many of Gardiner's celebrity witnesses were left unmolested by Bar prosecutors. Whatever. Hopefully the Supreme Court rules soon, considering everything is filed. Check out the docket here, and read all the documents filed in SC11-2311 here.
DBR: Judge Watson's Attorney Warns JQC That It's Reminiscent Of KGB
Recently, lawyers have been asking, where's Laura Watson? She hasn't been handling a docket for a few days, but her well earned hiatus hasn't been spent idling by the pool. Watson's been busy indeed, with her JQC trial set to start this Monday, February 10th at 10:00 AM, in Room 347.
But trial prep wasn't the only order of the day. The ever plucky Watson filed suit in Federal Court today, against the JQC as a body, its Director and individual members (except the laypeople), and her prosecutors. That's right, a whole bunch of judges just got sued. Click the links for the VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT,INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, AND DAMAGES, the corresponding exhibits, and MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION.
Courageous stuff, and hot off the presses. Take some time to scroll through, and check out the other pugnacious filings in the case so far here. It's hard to say what will be happening to Monday's trial date in light of today's action, or the outcome of the entire affair, but it seems today's developments are unprecedented, even for bonkers Broward County.
Stay tuned ...
Peter Weinstein has sent an email detailing the full recovery of Mary Robinson. She's alert, hanging with her family, and raring to go. The coma was apparently induced, to reduce swelling in the brain.
Great news, for a change ...
Coming Soon - Go, Laura, Go!
SS: Broward judge recovering after seizure on bench
SS: Judge Mary Robinson stricken on bench, hospitalized
Is everybody having fun so far?
We're not. That sickening feeling just won't go away.
Walk into any Broward felony courtroom, and it'll grip you too, if you've got half a heart. Damn near everyone in custody is Black, same as the folks in the pews waiting for their cases to be called. The Drug War and other traditional factors directly linked to the proliferation of poverty in minority communities continue to take a heavy toll. Jim Crow never died, he just learned table manners.
So keep the boo hoo hoos to yourself concerning this nasty old JAABLOG. Nobody around here gives a wet noodle. Those in Broward who control absolutely everything couldn't care less about changing anything, so don't expect things to be different from us either. If you like to tell other people what to do, we'll continue to hold you to the same impossibly high standards demanded of poor people who can't even drive a car without being harassed by the cops.
Sure, you've got a job to do. And some of you do it well. But it was your choice to climb up that flag pole, where one carelessly misplaced adjudication can fall and crush an individual and his entire family's future. Call us old fashioned, and certainly Old Testament, since collective punishment is still the order of the day. All of you are interchangeable, just like the case numbers that shield burned out eyes from the humanity underneath. From Tallahassee to Key West, rest assured. If we hear about your foible, you'll get a star turn, guaranteed.
Your idea of the legal profession may be a bordello inspired clubhouse filled with pots of gold, guided by delightful double standards of behavior, and led by powerful apologists. But it was never ours, and never will be. Courage is in short supply in the face of glaring racism, seen everyday in Broward courts, and unlikely to change anytime soon. So until that certain dream comes true, don't be foolish enough to expect any changes around here either.
It's the least we can do ...
Coming Soon - Hey Supreme Court: What's Holding Up The Gardiner Opinion?; Why does Satz hire ASA's who admit to prior illegal drug use?
SS: Broward-led spike in prison population
JAABLOG: How To Win The Drug War (2011)
Incredible shrinking story - the Sun Sentinel published an update on the Randy Tundidor death penalty case online earlier today. Unfortunately, you can only read the truncated story now, because all references to Alexander Imperato's recent DUI arrest have been deleted.
Originally there was some detail concerning the allegations of the younger Imperato's case (PC says he blew .000/.000, but refused to provide a urine sample), and a quote from Richard Rosenbaum as to whether or not a second DUI defendant named Imperato would have any bearing on his ongoing efforts to get Tundidor a new judge. But if you blinked, you missed it, because the full story was scuttled soon after publication.
It's all very curious. As has been pointed out in the Comments Section, the Sentinel had no problem running stories concerning the DUI arrest of the daughter of Mary and Mike Robinson, both Broward judges. Of course, a death penalty conviction wasn't on the line, and neither of the Robinsons' careers were in jeopardy, like Imperato's is at the moment. In any event, since news of Alexander Imperato's DUI broke on Tuesday, the Sentinel still hasn't run the story, unless you count today's embarrassing take-back.
In an effort to find out what happened, we contacted the article's author Rafael Olmeda, who declined to comment (surprise). And having learned back in November when battling over a credit beef that it's next to impossible to get an editor on the phone to explain anything, we quit trying.
There you have it. Imperato stays on Tundidor unless a higher court intervenes, and the Sentinel gets added to the list of those who apparently haven't learned anything from the Gardiner/Loureiro fiasco ...
Brannon v. Finkelstein appeal update - "Forensic psychologist Michael P. Brannon appeared to have an uphill climb convincing the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday that a lower court wrongly rejected his claims that a Florida public defender had retaliated against him over testimony he gave on behalf of a judge ..." (from Law360 (register for free trial subscription)
Florida Bar Website Problems - still clicking over to a Network Solutions This Page Is Under Construction - Coming Soon! site featuring ads for restaurant equipment as of the time of this post. Did someone forget to pay their bills?
Hitler spotted in Broward County
DBR: Weinstein lobbies for "ceremonial hall" courtroom in new courthouse
Rumpole/Captain on Judge DavidKW (excellent comments)
Above The Law on Judge DavidKW
"We checked to see if Audlin could be found on any other social networking sites, and lo and behold, he’s apparently on Facebook, wearing the same shirt seen in the Manhunt profile picture featured above ..."
What else should I say, Everyone is gay ...