WHO YOU CALLING A CLOWN?

Peter Weinstein sent the following email to all judges Tuesday afternoon.  He seems to have taken great offense at Howard Finkelstein’s comments to the DBR relating to the new AO, although Weinstein attended a meeting with the Public Defender at roughly the same time judges discovered the chief judge’s missive in their inboxes, described by sources as being “conciliatory and cordial” to Finkelstein.  Oh well, it is an election season for the embattled Weinstein, who may be reacting to criticism that he takes too many punches instead of throwing them on behalf of his badly bloodied judiciary.  Oddly enough, most of the judges we’ve spoken to believe the email backfired, making Weinstein appear overly defensive and, as usual, slow to react, and may have ultimately cost him votes come February.  From our perspective, he’s also opened a can of worms, since we’re now obligated to ask Dave Simmons, Jorge Labarga, and others a lot of tough questions to clarify some of the strong assertions Weinstein makes in the email regarding the genesis of the ground-breaking and historic AO that seem to conflict everything we’ve learned thus far.  And the beat goes on …

Email signed by Peter M. Weinstein:

I am writing in response to the article entitled  “Chief Justice’s Order Says Buck Stops at Chief Circuit Judges.”  The article contains statements by Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein wherein he describes Broward judges as “misfits” and the Broward court as a “clown house.”  These comments are not only offensive and highly unprofessional but simply untrue.  Mr. Finkelstein’s statement that the Supreme Court’s recent Administrative Order entitled “Diligent Performance of Judicial Duties” was issued because the Supreme Court is unhappy with Broward judges is a complete misstatement of the facts. The Administrative Order does nothing more than reiterate what is already the law and as spokesman for the Supreme Court Craig Waters states, was issued to simply remind the judges throughout the state of their ethical duties.  As a member of the bar for over forty years and completing my seventeenth year as a judge, I am disturbed by an elected official such as Mr. Finkelstein making such comments.  As a young attorney, I always aspired to become a judge and am proud of the service I and my colleagues are providing to the people of Broward County.  Every single day people appear in our courtrooms to have a multitude of problems adjudicated by our judges.  As I said in the statement I issued in reference to the problems encountered by three of our judges, the judges in Broward County “are hardworking, conscientious, and do not condone in any fashion any sort of impairment or substance abuse that would prevent their handling of each case that comes before them with the utmost care, consideration, and attention that every case deserves.  We recognize that judges make serious decisions affecting people’s lives each day they are in court and that with that weighty responsibility comes a duty to be fully accountable.”  I stand by that statement today as I did then.

Coming SoonGuess who’s running for judge?; Gold confirms he’s going to Probate; Build it and they will come – Catching up with Haydee Oropesa; Cynthia Imperato on Trial December 17th

Bob Weir talks fame, fortune, and carrying Jerry’s stash (p.52)