*UPDATE* – January 2, 2023 – picture posting restored, after a three day blog outage …
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT
Our apologies for the slow pace of blogging, and the following ongoing technical issues:
1. Picture posting on the front (us), and back (the comments section), does not appear to be working at this time.
2. Error message when accessing JAABLOG from WiFi –
Forbidden You don’t have permission to access this resource. Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
TURN OFF WIFI TO ACCESS JAABLOG IF YOU RECEIVE A 403 “FORBIDDEN” MESSAGE.
YOU MAKE THE CALL! (ZOOM 2023 EDITION):
It’s sure getting confusing out there, at least where Zoom is concerned. Every judge seems to have their own idea about how, when, and whether to use videoconferencing. The Florida Supreme Court has set out rules allowing when a judge “may” use Zoom, aka “communication technology,” but beyond that, it’s a crapshoot in Broward criminal courts as to when and how remote appearances may be available.
Some county criminal judges run entire dockets on Zoom, as do juvenile court judges. In felony courtrooms, some have it running on their personal computers during normal court operations, while others have it on the big screens, available for all to see in our very public courtrooms. It’s a bonus for busy lawyers, staff, defendants, and witnesses on non-essential hearings, saving time, money, and docket space, not to mention keeping people off the roads and civilians gainfully employed in their day jobs who would otherwise have to take time off for a quick hearing or reset.
The problem, of course, is the complete lack of uniformity amongst the various criminal divisions, and the often confounding instructions and actions from judicial officers and their secretaries.
For instance, take Ernie Kollra’s assigned courtroom. The normally affable Ernie, previously known to blog readers only through a spat with former APD Gus Martinez and from a JQC Public Reprimand, has his profile picture on the 17th Circuit’s website above the following express information:
ERNEST A. KOLLRA JR.
Judicial Assistant: Teresa Sugar
Phone Number: (954) 831-3575
Zoom Meeting ID: 992-561-398
Take notice of the fourth line: Zoom Meeting ID: 992-561-398. And the actual Zoom link that’s provided, right under the “Biography” link. Lastly, the “Division Procedures” link, which once clicked, shows a variety of information, including the following:
“JUDGE KOLLRA HAS STOPPED LOGGING ONTO ZOOM“
Fair enough. Division instructions are meant to be read, and followed by practitioners, even if the double Zoom information should have been deleted from the front of the 17th Circuit’s official webpage when the division instructions were updated. The problem, however, is that Ernie is still doing Zoom hearings, making for one big, confusing mess, with access to Zoom privileges more akin to hitting a moving target than a steady ship that all courtrooms should mirror.
In fact, just today, we were told via judicial email that “JUDGE KOLLRA NO LONGER CONDUCTS ZOOM HEARINGS,” (sic) dashing hopes of appearing remotely tomorrow, despite having witnessed an Assistant State Attorney being allowed to appear on Zoom just yesterday.**
(** An email to Ernie earlier today requesting clarification of his Zoom policies and procedures was not returned as of posting time.)
So there you have it. Merely one recent example of one Broward judge’s confusing Zoom practices. It must be stressed that Kollra’s courtroom is one of many,*** begging the question for 2023:
SHOULD JACK TUTER REQUIRE UNIFORMITY IN BROWARD JUDGES’ ZOOM PROCEDURES FOR THE SAKE OF EFFICIENCY, FAIRNESS, AND ELIMINATING CONFUSION IN THE PUBLIC EYE?
YOU MAKE THE CALL!
(*** Please post a comment with other examples you may have , especially from the civil domain, where things seem to run smoothly from a remote standpoint)