Zoom gaffes are pretty common these days, but this morning’s from First Appearances Court is a classic, committed by a dedicated, passionate, and mistakenly un-muted public defender against a long-standing, well-liked and fair ASA, Eric Linder. CLICK THE LINK HERE and go to the 1:07:00 mark for defendant Mitchell, unless strong language bothers you …

*UPDATE* – go to just before the 1:07 mark on the link above as the original video link is no longer an in-progress court proceeding. The entire video has been deleted by the 17th Circuit, however it has been preserved by South Florida Corruption, and the F Bomb can still be found starting at the 1:07 mark …

*UPDATE UPDATE* – Miami Herald via JAABLOG


County court judge Jill Levy Zooming along …

Despite glitchy technological issues on top of the difficulty of judging credibility in normal court proceedings, the lack of real-time client interaction, and the potential for unethical witnesses to exploit the shortcomings of remote testifying, at least one Broward judge has started setting Final Violation of Probation evidentiary hearings over objections on Zoom.

Accordingly, on the heels of David Ovalle’s Miami Herald article reporting similar issues in circuit court proceedings in the 11th Circuit, we reached out to FACDL Miami’s Dan Tibbitt, who is handling matters pro bono at the Third DCA following Miguel de la O’s Order Overruling Objection To Zoom Probation Violation Hearing.

Click here for de la O’s order and the attachments currently before the Third DCA, and for the Petition For Writ Of Prohibition, click here. An Amicus Brief filed by FACDL, NACDL and the Florida Public Defender Association is found here.

Tibbitt explained the Miami judges have stayed all Zoom probation violation hearings until the DCA rules, and doesn’t believe any judge across the state has held one to date over objection. In the meantime, FACDL wants to be kept abreast of other judges who may be setting them without agreement of the parties, so be sure to drop Dan a line with your case number and judge if you’ve got a qualifying matter.

In the meantime, all eyes on the Third DCA …



Dennis Bailey and George Odom square off for Circuit Court Group 16 on November 3rd …

With all eyes focused on momentous national elections that will decide the fate of a politically divided nation over the next few years, it’s easy to forget one Broward judgeship is still up for grabs in 2020.

Dennis Bailey lost the three-way primary vote to George Odom by a little more than 11,000 votes, but in the upcoming general election all bets are off, as turnout will be much greater.

Those familiar with the process call this one “a toss-up,” since the strength displayed by minority candidates in the August primary may carry-over to November, with pandemic voting conditions still prevailing.

Will massive mail-in voting and other factors carry Odom to victory? Or will traditional benefits enjoyed by incumbents like Bailey in November once again prove the adage lose the primary/win the general correct?


Coming SoonBryson v. Scherer via Zoom


Zoom-fatigued lawyers and judges can look forward to a JQC trial in December, with Kevin Emas, panel chair for JQC v. Hawkins, recently issuing this order setting the final hearing on December 8th:

Gina Hawkins won’t be a judge, suspended or otherwise, come January, after losing her seat to Linda Alley in the August primary. However, like any accused individual, she is entitled to a trial to clear her name, and possibly get a whole lot of back-pay, if David Bogenschutz can convince the panel the whole hands on neck thing was one big misunderstanding