Judge Aleman's new (illegal) "One-week to prepare" policy

Recently, in an attempt to make defendants waive their rights to a speedy trial, Judge Cheryl Aleman has decided to set trials about 1-2 weeks after arraignment, hoping that defendants will move for a continuance, thereby waiving their right to a natural speedy trial.

Today, Oct. 30th, I along with several other attorneys, had to endure her ugly, condescending attitude as one-by-one we all went up to the podium and noted that our respective clients had just been arraigned on Oct. 18th as she forced us to decide between saying ready for trial - or need a continuance.  Clearly she is doing this to get defendants to continue and, thereby, waive speedy.  Every atty tried their best to bring reason to that ctroom, but, as anyone who has been in there knows, she is clearly unfit for her position and knows not what it means to be a neutral arbiter.

In my case, I filed a written plea of NG, waiving my def's presence from the 10/18 arraignment.  The notice setting trial for the 30th wasn't mailed out until the 24th - and I got it on the 25th (I saved the envelope for any upcoming motion for discharge under the speedy trial rule).  As my case was on recall for 2 hours, I watched this seemingly mentally ill judge condescend each previous attorney.  I had my argument ready.  Prior to being placed on recall, I first approached the podium and noted that her question to me: "trial or continuance" placed my client in a position of having to decide b/t his rt to a speedy trial & his right to explore discovery.  Nonetheless, almost 2 hours later, my was was finally recalled:
ME:  "Judge (not your honor b/c there's nothing honorable about that malcontent) ... there seems to be a mistake in this case."

EVIL, UNFAIR WITCH ("hereinafter "EUW"):  "and what is that?"

ME:  "well my client was just arraigned on Oct. 18th, and the notice setting this for trial today was mailed out on the 24th.  I got it on the 25th, giving me basically 3 business days to prepare for trial.  In these situations I like to refer to the 'Good Book' for direction and rule 3.160 (d), entitled Arraignment, clearly states that after a plea of not guilty is entered, the defense shall be given a reasonable amt of time to prepare for trial."

EUW:  [after retrieving her copy of what I just referred to as the 'Good Book'] responds:  "How can you say you've only had 3 days?  You were appointed back in mid-September?  The Discovery exhibit was furnished around that same time?"

ME:  "I have the envelope here saying it was postmarked on the 24th, meaning I got it on the 25th.  And the rule says after a plea of not guilty.  Only b/c I cannot say in good faith that I am ready to try this case today, I am reluctantly moving for a continuance as it is the only option you're leaving me.  I would like to suggest that you delete his case from today's trial docket and reset it for a trial date a few weeks from now."

She, of course, didn't consider my suggestion and proceeded to question the def on waiving his speedy trial right.

My suggestion to anyone in this situation with her is to object based on Rule 3.160(d), remind her that the Rule clearly says "after entering a plea of not guilty" - NOT after counsel is appointed and NOT after discovery is received (shit, in my case, the Info wasn't even filed when I was appt'd.).  Then, after covering yourself, be sure your case is ready the next time up, say ready each time it is up and then file for relief under 3.190 after natural speedy runs.  Let her deny it, go to trial and win on appeal?

Or (hey cannarozzi !!)  -  Do I seek a writ now?

Sean Conway


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  • 10/31/2006 8:40 AM tmoons wrote:
    Here is a remedy. After arraignment, but before the trial calendar file a motion requiring a several hour evidentiary hearing (suppression/production--whatyever) Obviously the motion would be case specific and not frivolous. Aso file a motion for production, again case specific. Remember, Judge Aleman requires the state to respond to everything in writing - usually thirty days - AND their production probably won't occur until after the trial time. make the state/court continue the case.
  • 10/31/2006 3:11 PM Don Cannarozzi wrote:
    Although Terry gives a solution, it does not shut her down on this ridiculous practice. You need to do a writ of certiorari now. The only way you can get this litigated on direct appeal is go to trial unprepared, lose, and argue you were forced to trial in contravention of the rule you cite.

    I will be glad to send anyone a copy of a writ of cert you can use as a format to take this to the 4th. I have never done a writ on this particular issue but the requirment for a writ is departure from the essential requirements of law with no remedy on direct appeal. I think what she is doing fits this requirment.

    I will talk with the PDs in her division to see how she is treating our clients.

    Also, rumor amongst appellate attorneys who practice in the 4th is that the district court does not think much of Aleman. Writs are hard to win, but I think you have a chance on this one.
  • 11/1/2006 8:10 PM sconway wrote:
    it appears Aleman is giving normal trial dates again. Today, at arraignment, a different client I was representin' was given a January trial date (i.e., a 'reasonable' amt of time to prepare).
    However, taxpayers beware, if speedy expires on the case where she gave me 3 business days to prepare for trial, I WILL appeal/seek a writ and I WILL bill hourly on it as well. Hate to do it - but Aleman shouldn't waste taxpayer money like that.
  • 11/3/2006 1:11 AM Roman Maroni, Esq. wrote:
    To the distinguished members of this website:

    I, Roman Maroni, must be serious and walk the tightrope between that and politcal satire. A fargon difficult task.

    Substanitevely, why is the writ not waived? Sean has a solid argument, but, it seems waived in one of two ways:

    1)Was the objection properly preserved for that purpose specifically on the record?

    2)Was a continuance taken by the upstanding society member, I mean, Defendant, (satire) thereby waiving speedy?

    Assuming waiver by defendant, but no waiver of issue, co the facts, as applied rise to the level of cert.?

    Assuming no waiver across the board...It would seem writ appropriate. Extrodinary. Mail and eveything. Plus, just reasonablity. C'mon, at least you need 3 days to prepare Sean!

    It is good to see that a shift in philosophy seems to be happening.

    On a sidenote...(drum roll)
    Roman think Aleman nice to him but not Roman's client's. Roman also like Aleman's hair. Also, I'm pretty sure she can do a windmill dunk on me. Roman respect that in a judge.

    A good question is how would one play the Publc Defender for Judge Aleman, since, she can't really respond?

    OK. Since The Hon. Aleman choses not defend herself, Roman Maroni will take on her case pro bono. Allthough, any donations to this cause would be appreciated. Roman street lawyer.

    The Aleman Defense:
    1)I can construe the rule in a manner consistent with my philosophy and the constitution. The issue is not ripe. Waivers happen left and right, and, until a proper objection is raised, I will rule withing the strict construction of the rules.

    2)Her hair is salon terrific. Have you smelled it? Very niiiiiiice. Silky smooth. Plus, her honor can take any of you in one on one. And debate any attorney if she weren't a judge.

    3)Do you all not understand Strict Construction theory? Scalia has made attorneys cry. Her Honor would never do that. Her Honor appliesw a different viewpoint, one criminal defense attorneys object to, but, they do the same with Scalia, a brilliant jurist.

    4)To resolve this issue, My client suggests a truce (if she really were, this is pure stupidity). Instead, the Law Offices suggest a one on one basketball match. First to 44 points. Winner takes out. A Maroni production. Pay per view. Maroni donate this money to a worthy cause. My pocket.

    Well, those are all the sides I think of and some extra gravy.

    Ya gotta laugh at this place o/w law becomes a robot. I'd much prefer a conservative judge than no judge. When you get lemons, make lemonaid. Or, squirt the lemon back. The choice is Mr. Conways. Maroni like to argue all sides. I'll bet her honor never had pro bono hypothetical defense work done for her. I also would cite, Oliver WEndell Holmes, Critical Legal Realism, Rehnquist (a nice guy btw), Borke, and several others who would probably agree.

    Thank you very much,
    Roman Maroni, Fake pro bono lawyer for Aleman.
  • 11/3/2006 11:39 AM sconway wrote:
    to respond to the queries of "roman maroni", which according to the florida bar isn't his real name (why are so many writers here in fear of using their real names?).
    Moving for a defense continuance isn't an automatic waiver of one's right to speedy trial. For example, if that def. continuance was based on no timely discovery from the state, then at the motion for discharge hrg. under 3.191 a trial court can determine that that def. continuance ought to have been charged to the state (or an appellate court could also make that determination).
    Here, I objected to the court's procedure, cited rule 3.160, and took the only other option the trial court was leaving me other than "ready for trial". I think my objection preserved it for appeal, and the appellate court can review and determine there was no waiver (unfortunately at broward taxpayer expense).
  • 11/3/2006 2:48 PM Don Cannarozzi wrote:
    As early as the late 80's, when there was no "window of recapture, courts have slowly dulled the potential "sting" of the speedy trial rule. Keeping with that trend, recent case law has made the "late discovery - get a continuance and charge it to the state" argument a thing of the past. Let me know if you want the cite.
  • 11/25/2006 9:39 PM BasketBall Jones wrote:
    Looks like the pay pere view basketball match went down and ya won. Swish! Buzzer beater. Just saw these responses. Hmmm... Why do people use fake names! Good objection. I can't believe you actually looked in the Bar Journal for that dude!

    You were and are on tilt. Chill out man. Where is your really good writing? The one where you talk about how Aleman is rich?

    As George Bush would say, "He who uhhhh..........laughs last, huh huh, laughs....ummmm...last?"

    Laugh man. O/W the place will eat you for lunch and spit ya out. You should get some kind of point or something from JABB.

    Good job.
  • 12/4/2007 12:33 PM Anonymous wrote:
    Ahhh, the days when fetus had only two personalities and both wearing little league uniforms.

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