Should judges who have committed ethical violations be permitted to appear via Zoom for their public reprimands?
Should the Supreme Court allow them to hang their heads in shame from the comfort of a location of their choosing, given the ongoing public health emergency?
Or should public reprimands in the age of Covid-19 go forward or be reset to a safer date, so errant judges can appear like all other Judicial Canon violators live and in-person before the full body of Florida’s highest court?
Scott Cupp and Richard Howard, set for reprimands in Tallahassee on September 1st and 2nd, respectively, have both filed motions asking to take their medicine via Zoom.
(click the names above to read the motions)
Will the Supreme Court dispense with years of tradition, and the added punishment component of a public reprimand actually occurring in public on humbling, unfriendly terrain, by allowing an electronic appearance? Or should the motions be denied, given the sheer number of everyday ordinary people/litigants/jurors and staff compelled to come to court daily during the pandemic for things like misdemeanor jury trials with out of custody defendants?
Attorney Joe Titone took a trip from the courthouse scanner to jail today, after being accused of forgetting to take a gun out of his bag before hitting courthouse property. Titone is, of course, Adam Sandler‘s father-in-law, but any stay in jail, even the remarkably short one (by Broward standards) of a few hours suffered by Titone, is no laughing matter.
Read all about Titone’s colorful history over at BrowardBeat.com, and, we’re sure, later this evening in the mainstream media …
COMING SOON – FlipFlop! 9-0 for Tuter (or “77 more to go” … ); New Websites coming: 17thcircuit.com, Browardjudge.com, Browardjudges.com, 4thdca.com.
Will the judges, particularly Andy Siegel in Circuit Criminal Court, and most of the County Criminal judges, continue to push jury trials, as Broward County takes the tragic lead of being the hardest hit county in the hardest hit state?
Wait and see …
“Broward ranks first in the country for new hospital admissions over the last seven days through Aug. 10, with 1,800 confirmed COVID patients, a new U.S. Health Data report shows. The county with the next highest number of new admissions is Harris County, Texas, with 1,713 new admissions, followed by Miami-Dade County with 1,434 admissions.”
Gold Watch Time! – Long time ASA and Satz confidante John Countryman is retiring yet again. His resignation letter is below. If the signature looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it on loads and loads of aggressively charged Informations since Harold Pryor took office. In any event, we’ll wish John congratulations! on his second retirement from the SAO, and look forward to Pryor’s continuing criminal justice reforms in the Case Filing Unit and elsewhere …
As you must be aware, the courthouse community was informed today that a bailiff died. It is believed he may have passed from Covid-19, although it cannot be said with any certainty.
As you must be aware, there are many others who work at the courthouse who have been exposed, and many are out sick or in quarantine. People who are vaccinated are getting sick too, and many of them have unvaccinated children.
There have been many known exposures, and courtrooms have been cleared and sanitized. Still, the 17th Circuit Covid-19 Advisory webpage is wildly incomplete, reflecting only a single courtroom exposure on July 22nd, and no closures to date. Members of the public and lawyers not connected to any of the stakeholders’ offices are being kept completely in the dark.
Keeping the courts running safely is a major responsibility. Can you work to ensure that when any member of the judiciary or court administration is informed of a possible exposure in a courtroom, or elsewhere in the courthouse complex, including offices of the Clerk, BSO, the SAO, and the PDO, that it is immediately posted to the 17th Circuit’s website, Facebook page, and the aforementioned Covid-19 Advisory webpage?