COME ON, JACK!

There will be no Broward courtroom named for Chief Judge Jack Tuter in the near future.

And there will be no courtroom named for the late Public Defender Al Schreiber

So starts Buddy Nevins’ article from earlier today over at BrowardBeat, titled Courtroom For Late Public Defender?

Buddy continues:

Naming the courtroom for Schreiber at this time could be interpreted as an insult to Chief Judge Tuter, whose honor was stalled, according to (Broward County Mayor Steve) Geller. 

“We don’t want to get into a naming war,” the mayor says. 

So the naming issue seems dead for now.

No Tuter courtroom. No Schreiber courtroom. Just a courtroom. 

(Click the above link to read the full article)

The whole thing started after JAABLOG sent the following email to Tuter on Monday, with the subject line Al Schreiber Ceremonial Courtroom Request:

I am writing to ask if Chief Judge Tuter would support naming the Ceremonial Courtroom for the recently deceased Alan Schreiber.


I am not attempting to be impolite on this issue, given the fact Commissioner Bogen supports naming the courtroom for the chief judge.  However, given the stated, on the record concerns of a large number of Commissioner Bogen’s colleagues about carving out an exemption to the Broward County Administrative Code to allow the facility to be named for a living person, together with the towering presence Mr. Schreiber still exerts over Broward courts, I am hoping the chief judge would support such a measure.  Most assuredly, without Chief Judge Tuter’s blessing, it may be next to impossible to find a commissioner willing to execute the necessary sponsorship to put the item on the agenda for obvious reasons, so it is greatly hoped the chief judge will graciously step aside and support the measure.


If you could please let me know soon, that would be greatly appreciated.  In the meantime, if the chief judge would like to hear from other lawyers in support of naming the courtroom for Mr. Schreiber, I can make arrangements and gather signatures, if requested.

Unfortunately, and predictably, there was no response from Tuter, prompting this follow-up email yesterday:

 … At this point I will assume there will be no further response, and that the chief judge will not be supporting my request to either withdraw his name from consideration or to support naming the Ceremonial Courtroom for Mr. Schreiber. 


If I’m wrong, please let me know.

So there you have it. Buddy’s reporting has verified our concern that the County Commission would be reluctant to replace Tuter’s name with anyone else’s, even someone as accomplished as Big Al. And that’s a shame, since the chief judge could exercise humility and leadership and support the measure, which would most assuredly get it done.

Now, of course, it’s up to everyone Al helped to make their feelings known to both Tuter and the County Commission. We’ve contacted many prominent attorneys already who have promised support, and are waiting to hear back from BACDL. Together, honoring Al Schreiber in the manner he unquestionably deserves should be something that can transcend politics and be accomplished in the near future.

Developing …

RIP, BIG AL

The beloved Bossman, Big Al Schreiber, has died.

The stories and memories are boundless, as are the unprecedented number of successful attorneys in both public and private practice who got their starts because of Al’s generosity and encouragement.

Thoughts and prayers to the Schreiber family.

FELONY JAABWALK

Conducted between 1:39 PM and 1:45 PM, June 29th, 2021.

Out of twelve circuit felony courtrooms checked, there were three in use on a Tuesday afternoon.

Circuit judges have been able to set in-person hearings since Monday of last week, for both in-custody and out of custody hearings.

Morning dockets have been running smoothly since the partial reopening began, although many judges, circuit and county, seem to be concluding early in the morning, or well before noon. Judges have also been sorting out scheduling issues due to the large volume of cases previously noticed for Zoom.

Busy lawyers working in other courtrooms are being called to courtrooms where some judges’ dockets are concluding far too early. In some instances, cases are being reset when lawyers are unavailable, begging the question, how can taxpayer funded judges be less busy than attorneys given the historic case backlog and desperate conditions created by the pandemic?

The full reopening starts after July 6th. Let’s hope fighting to get cases on dockets will be a thing of the past, and that all types of hearings will be heard on both morning and afternoon sessions. Judges with less to do should also be encouraged to assist busier judges and share workloads. In the meantime, we’ll be sure to monitor both county and circuit courtrooms while the Supreme Court continues to actively direct the lower courts to cut through the backlog, to ensure the 17th Circuit is properly managing scarce court resources.

JUNETEENTH UPDATE

From the PDO at 11:48 AM:

We closed early today in honor of Juneteenth. Long time coming for the recognition.

From the Clerk of Courts at 1:14 PM:

We have been advised by Court Administration that the 17th Circuit is open for business on Monday.

From the SAO at 12:10 PM:

State Attorney Harold Pryor says: “I am in support of the circuit recognizing this monumental national holiday. However, if the courts are open we will be here.”

JAABLOG response at 12:19 PM:

The PDO is closing early today in honor of Juneteenth. Is the SAO?Will Mr. Pryor decide to independently close the SAO for a day next week, whether or not the Chief Judge orders a closure?

SAO response at 1:53 PM:

From: ADM1 – Harold Pryor HPryor@sao17.state.fl.us
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2021 1:45 PM

Subject: Happy Juneteenth!

Hello Team:

As you may know, the federal government announced yesterday that Juneteenth – which commemorates June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas – is now a federal holiday. (It is not a state holiday at this point.)

Given the short notice and the fact that Broward courts will remain open on Monday with many hearings already scheduled, we are going to mark the event this year by closing the State Attorney’s Office at 3 p.m. today, Friday.

WHAT ABOUT BROWARD? (RESPECT FOR JUNETEENTH)

Miami Dade courts are closed Monday, following Joe Biden signing into law legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Federal courts are closing too.

Will Broward follow suit?

Jack Tuter’s office told us moments ago there haven’t been any emails or notice thus far regarding closures.

Let’s hope respect is shown by the 17th Circuit for the tragedy of slavery and the emancipation of African-Americans in the United States.

Wait and see …

THURSDAY NOTES

Fresh coffee, pastries, and Jamaican patties …

Hungover young lawyers and older ones needing a caffeine boost no longer have to scramble across SE 6th St for a cup of decent coffee. The rotunda where Napoleon Broward made his final stand is now home to the above-pictured kiosk. Whether it was the County Commission or Jack Tuter who finally ended the coffee drought … Thank You!

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RED BROWARD – Dale Holness Snubbed As Broward State Attorney Hosts Fundraiser For State Rep. Bobby DuBose

“God has truly blessed me with an amazing support system. Last night at Riverside Hotel, Harold Pryor and Michael Satz held a fundraising event in my honor. To everyone who continues to show their support, please know I offer my deepest gratitude. Thank you.”— Bobby DuBose

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FLORIDA BULLDOG – Judge grants Cruz defense team right to film at crime scene as prosecutor Satz’s death penalty record becomes an issue:

Prosecutor Satz’s record at issue

“The Broward State Attorney’s Office is quite familiar with death penalty convictions being reversed by the courts, because Broward County, under the leadership of lead prosecutor Michael Satz, leads the State of Florida in death penalty case reversals. Many times, these reversals are due to prosecutorial misconduct and overreaching,” wrote Melisa McNeill, chief assistant public defender, and Tamara Curtis, assistant public defender in court papers filed last week.

“The defense is hopeful that the newly elected State Attorney, Harold Pryor, will not continue Michael Satz[‘s] legacy of having the most death penalty cases reversed in the State of Florida,” they said.

Assistant State Attorneys Nicole Chiappone and Jeff Marcus labeled those remarks “unprofessional insults.” (emphasis added)

Still, in addition to death penalty reversals the state attorney’s office under Satz was a party to grievous miscarriages of justice in which long-imprisoned defendants were freed after being exonerated by DNA tests or other evidence. In cases where evidence of police misconduct existed, it was not prosecuted.

Daily Pulp – Strike Four for Robert Carney

Center on Wrongful Convictions – Sonia Jacobs

Frontline/PBS – Requiem For Frank Lee Smith

Florida Bulldog – Horrific police frame-ups that Broward State Attorney Michael Satz won’t investigate

Coming SoonShould Harold Pryor correct the prior SAO’s despicable failure to publicly apologize to the known innocent victims’ of the Satz regime?

POSTPONED!

The County Commission looked poised to vote down Mark Bogen’s proposal to name the Ceremonial Courtroom after Jack Tuter, when Tim Ryan kept the item alive by asking for a postponement for Tuter to seek a JEAC opinion as to whether the proposed honor for a sitting judge would run afoul of judicial canons.

Steve Geller took the initiative to remove the item off the Consent Agenda. If it had stayed on Consent, it was a done deal. Geller, however, wanted discussion, and was soon joined by Dale Holness, Mike Udine, and Nan Rich in voicing strong concerns against the precedent of naming something for a relatively young and healthy person.

Geller, referencing Alcee Hastings and others who have received honors while living, stated:

We have made exceptions when people appear to be close to dyingperhaps if he were retiring …

And from Dale Holness:

The entire community knew (Hastings’) health condition …

In response to Mark Bogen’s spurious argument that precedent had also been set via the County Commission dedication plaques that adorn most large public building projects, Nan Rich stated:

The plaque that goes up on a building is not the same … I just have a problem naming parts of buildings for people who are living …

In any event, the whole thing is now set off until the next County Commission meeting in August, pending the aforementioned JEAC opinion. Ryan and the county attorney discussed the possibilities of motions to disqualify Tuter and other legal issues if the naming goes through, echoing concerns we’ve heard regarding Tuter presiding over cases involving Broward County.

Will Tuter seek the opinion, or, recognizing today’s political winds, potential ethical quagmires, and the thoughts raised in Sounds About White and elsewhere, does he withdraw his name from consideration? Does he seek the opinion, and the JEAC puts the issue to bed? Does it still pass, despite today’s on-the-record strong concerns of four commissioners? Does it go down in flames on a vote in August, or does it quietly die on the vine in face-saving fashion before the next meeting, without coming up for a vote?

WAIT AND SEE …

BOGEN APOLOGIZES

*UPDATE*Rapper Kodak Black records public official … and posts it for the world to see (6:02 PM)

_____________________________________________________________________

Mark Bogen began today’s ongoing County Commission meeting by apologizing to Kodak Black moments ago.

Amongst his statements:

I was remiss in speaking too soon … I spoke with (Kodak Black) and his attorney … I regret making statements when I didn’t know all the facts … “

Stay tuned for the Jack Tuter matter