Slippery Slope - is it illegal for a lawyer to post a photograph from The New York Post with a caption inferring a Florida judge is a "Butt Head"? How about a photoshopped picture from the web showing the judge as a football referee? And can a lawyer post an article by a law school professor questioning the judge's ethics? What about another one calling the judge and defendant "Dumb and Dumber"? And does the Attorney General of Florida get a free pass to question the judge's temperament? The ball's in your court, Florida Bar ...
It really is a lousy job - as we mentioned last night, judging is one hell of a grueling taskmaster, as Liz Scherer can probably tell you now ...
Where's the hate? - the Comments Section has been devoid of hate speak and lies concerning yours truly (and innocent family members - shame on you!) ever since the Bar came out against the blog. Coincidence? Your guess is as good as ours ...
STATEWIDE JAABLOG - this whole attack on lawyers' ability to tell the truth about court proceedings and judges is getting interesting. Norm Kent and Russell Cormican sent off the most recent response to Bar questioning Friday, so now we wait for further inquiries or a probable cause finding from the Grievance Committee (GC). The GC has sole discretion whether to invite the target to present their side of the story, as explained in the rules. If you believe in conspiracy theories, politics may make a difference, as then still influential Gardiner got a chance to sob to the GC jury, while free speecher Sean Conway was not allowed to appear.*
We're going to enjoy every minute of this, so long as the Bar hasn't been duped into going forward with some perjury laden piece of shit under The Big (c).** The issues presented are clear cut and primed to make case law in many important areas. For us, of course, it's always been about highlighting racism in the criminal justice system, so we'll grab the big microphone any way they want to hand it to us. Helping to restore integrity to a sacred system desecrated by the failed War on Drugs is the real issue, even if it has to be high-lighted by a bunch of hoo hah concerning judges who needed to be exposed.
There's another possible benefit here too. We've naturally got to wondering who sticks up for lawyers in the crazy upside down world we live in. Judges are protected by Chief Judges (and in many cases, by the ultra-secret agents over at the JQC), and outspoken lawyers are often attacked by the Bar, but what official body sticks up for good attorneys who make a difference? Nobody we can think of, which means JAABLOG, or something like it, might be the answer.
Think about it. A statewide judicial watchdog run by an unburdened *** lawyer who knows the score, funded by advertising and interest groups (remember the Supreme Court merit retention battle?), with the ability to hire reporters, camera operators, and private investigators. Mainstream media, politicians and lawyers would tune in as avidly as the locals already do to this blog, meaning judges would finally be held accountable to the public they serve, instead of the blocks of out-of-touch supervoters who typically control judicial elections. The possibilities are endless, the mission is ultra-important, and it could all be presented in the modern Howard Stern fashion people expect these days, just so everyone stays interested in the important underlying message.
Everybody needs an exit strategy from the doldrums of practicing law, after all ...
* The Bar still hasn't apologized to Conway, despite the fact the JQC ultimately sanctioned Cheryl Aleman for pretty much the same behavior Conway called her out on.
** From The McKay Report:
In Doe v. Supreme Court of Florida, 734 F.Supp 981 (S.D. Fla., 1990), the U.S. District Court held that Florida's complainant gag rule violated the First Amendment. The District Court said:
Imposing an enforced silence on all aspects of Bar disciplinary matters including investigations, probable cause hearings, and final dispositions is more likely, in our view, to engender resentment, suspicion, and contempt for Florida's Bar and its legal institutions than to promote integrity, confidence and respect. Moreover, the regulation misapprehends the character of American public opinion and the fairness of our people. As Justice Brandeis wrote in Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 375 - 76, 47 S.Ct. 641, 648, 74 L.Ed. 1095 (1927) (concurring):
Those who won our independence believed . . . that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; . . . that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of American government. . . . Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law the argument of force in its worst form (footnote omitted).
*** That's supposed to be a burning Bar Card.
Coming Soon - Does Matt Destry treat the indigent differently?; Hey Potential Jurors, Listen Up!
SS: Bail gets tougher for Broward burglary suspects
Administrative Order In Re Convenience Bail Bonds