All posts by Jaaber



Kayo Morgan passed away early Monday morning, succumbing to cancer.  He was surrounded by loved ones in his native Georgia, where he had recently relocated due to his illness.

Barbara Brush had this to say about Kayo, when relaying the sad news:

He was the truest criminal defense attorney I have ever had the honor to know and learn from.  A major loss for the legal community and anyone ever falsely accused of a crime.

Stories about Kayo are legendary.  He was fearless, and an inspiration, refusing to take no for an answer when the truth or justice was being trampled.

Thoughts and prayers to the Morgan family …

Funeral Information



SONY DSC  Life is hard for judges too …

The JQC is in town for a couple of days, starting Thursday, November 13th.  David Bogenschutz will be presenting one of his patented mitigation-fests, this time on behalf of Gisele Pollack.  The fun begins at 9:00 AM, in Room 850.  Check out the panel members, witnesses, affidavits and more here.

Things aren’t looking good for Pollack.  The Supreme Court has shown no quarter when it comes to badly behaving judges recently.  Apparently, even they’ve had enough.  For instance, Bogenschutz’s mitigation-magic on behalf of Gardiner paid dividends at the trial level, only to play to an empty house in Tallahassee.  Similarly, Judy Hawkins recently got the boot from the Supremes, with the JQC only asking for a short suspension.  The difference here, of course, is the disease aspect, so things could work out differently.  Wait and see.

Make sure to stop by, but don’t expect to see Peter Weinstein supporting one of his beleaguered judges.  We’re told he’s on vacation, although it’s not known whether or not the hearing date was already set when the trip was booked …

Coming SoonProud Papa Defenders; CJ election update, or “It’s the Satellites, stupid!”; Senior judge payouts 2011-2015; Mindy Brown said what?; Democrat heavy Broward likes its Blacks in prison, and its homeless hungry; Catching up with Lynn Rosenthal; Playing dress-up with Kiki Zayas …

Miami Herald picks up “dosage probation” story

Sam Fields for Jay Hurley

NYT: Orson Welles’s Last Film May Finally Be Released

LA Times: Gibson to open on Sunset in former Tower Records


Here are the names of the lawyers hoping to replace Gary Cowart on the county court.  The JNC will decide who gets interviews next week:

Adriana Alcalde, Michael Bernstein, Monique Brochu, Phoebee Francois, Doreen Inkeles, Mark Kushner, Chris Narducci, Gabriela Novo, Michele Ricca, Richard Sachs, Madeleine Torres, Steve Zaccor, Betsy Benson, Mari Blumstein, Haccord Curry, Donald Gelin, Ernest Kollra, Stefanie Moon, Andy Newman, Thomas Oates, Abbe Rifkin, Annmarie Sapp, David Weintraub.


4:30 PM FINAL UPDATE – All absentee ballots have been counted, with Robinson ahead of Richards by 431 votes.  The votes will be counted at least one more time before the election is certified.  Pundits close to the action think Robinson is in the clear, although it won’t be official for a few more days …

Don’t count Ian Richards out just yet.  Word is he’s picked up 500 votes so far during the recount, and there are still loads of absentee ballots to count.  Currently the SOE website shows Claudia Robinson’s lead cut to 481 votes, as of 1:05 pm …

UPDATE – Claudia Robinson holds on to a 431 vote lead as of 3:40 pm.  It’s unclear at this time if any votes remain uncounted …


scherer_william Bill Scherer

It looks like Rick Scott is still the Governor.  That’s good news for judge-maker Bill Scherer and his fellow Republicans, and bad news for Peter Weinstein, whose relationship with Charlie Crist is now worth a whole lot of nothing to the Broward judiciary.

Claudia Robinson has defeated incumbent Ian Richards, another blow to the 17th Circuit’s embattled chief judge.  Dennis Bailey has prevailed over Rhoda Sokoloff by a slim margin as well.  Recounts seem likely in both races.

And now on to February …


Coming SoonCould the entire media outcry over lawyers for the homeless have been avoided?

Channel 10: Homeless not provided attorneys at first appearance

SS Editorial: Broward Courts Let Us Down


Judge Claudia Robinson at the Supervisor of Elections Tuesday night, awaiting the recount.  (Photo taken by her campaign manager, Mike Ahearn)

BBeat: How to beat an incumbent with $11,609



Bruce Lyons, the next recipient of BACDL’s Harry Gulkin Award.  Congrats! 

BACDL at war – the proposed letter to Pete Weinstein in protest of Lynn Rosenthal’s possible return to the criminal division has sparked some real internal turmoil over at BACDL.  The emails are flying, and Robert’s Rules of Order may have the final say as to whether or not the letter will be sent out.  Developing …


Seventeen year old Brian Reidy, “Public Defender For A Day“, back in April, 1976, with then PD Warner Olds.  Old-timers will remember Brian’s Dad Jerry Reidy, a well-respected and long serving Bailiff, who couldn’t have been prouder when Brian passed the Bar eight years after this picture was taken.

Coming Not So SoonState Attorney Sarahnell Murphy?


So you want to be a judge? – here are some of the people rumored to be running for judge next time around: Betsy Benson (for Linda Pratt’s seat), Lea Krauss, Deborah Carpenter-Toye, Brad Collins, and Jahra McLawrence.  Keep an eye on the JNC applicant pool for Gary Cowart’s seat too; some of the above may be applying just in case Charlie Crist emerges victorious, while others familiar to those who follow the appointment process may finally be fed up enough to take their case to the voters after multiple failed attempts to get a fat pension the easy way.  The application deadline is November 10th.

No surprise …  Iris Siple, Chief Administrator for the Clerk of Courts, is running for Clerk, and Howard Forman will be publicly supporting her.  Good luck!

Thank you, BACDL – word on the street has BACDL preparing a strongly worded letter to Pete Weinstein, opposing Lynn Rosenthal’s return to the criminal division.  We’ll publish the letter when it becomes available …

Is the wheel broken? – please drop a line if you’ve got any concerns regarding the various court appointment registries.  Rumor has it judges are once again going off the wheel, and have been for a very long time.  No one around here takes court appointments, so it’s hard for us to tell, and your help is needed.  If you feel others are getting more than their fair share, let us know.  The Clerk, official keeper of the wheel, has provided a list of every criminal/juvenile division court appointment over the last four years that they know about, which we’ve begun comparing to JAC payouts out of Tallahassee.  So far there are major discrepancies, but we need to broaden the comparisons and double-check our methodology before calling for Bob Norman.  Any guidance will be greatly appreciated …

Easy Eissey Mark Eissey granted yet another continuance last week to Cindy Imperato, whose PB DUI was continued to December 5th, which is three days and a year from her arraignment date.  Will this one have any bearing on Broward’s February chief judge election?  Wait and see …

Speaking of North of the Border – PB chief judge Jeff Colbath is all over the news wearing a robe, after wrapping up John Goodman’s second DUI manslaughter trial today.  By contrast , Broward’s Pete Weinsten is in the paper wearing a tuxedo, his seemingly favorite form of dress, having a grand old-time schmoozing with the political set at last weekend’s Broward Mayor’s Gala.  Nice work if you can get it …

Lastly, thoughts and prayers Eddie Kay is in hospice, but everyone knows a heavyweight champion of Eddie’s caliber can never be counted out.  Sadly following on the heels of June Johnson’s passing in late September, days before her sister Joan also expired, a long time Clerk’s employee.  Where does the time go?

Coming Soon – RRA SOL DOA; CJ election Update; Weinstein’s Top Secret Traffic Magistrates; Judicial reassignment mania!

Bob Norman WPLG – Finkelstein v. Hurley

Miami Herald – Finkelstein v. Hurley

The Atlantic – Technical Constraints That Made Abbey Road So Good


A reliable source has confirmed Jay Hurley isn’t going anywhere.  Kal Evans may be subbing in the afternoon on occasion, but there won’t be any swapping of divisions.

Additionally, we’re told Hurley couldn’t stop laughing when he first read Finkelstein’s letter.

Is this the end of this one?  Unlikely.

Developing …


Cancelled! – Hollywood Jay Hurley will have to get used to life outside the spotlight.  Rumor has it he’s swapping divisions with Kal Evans, after criticism concerning his handling of an Ebola faking inmate, and after a lengthy and escalating battle with Howard Finkelstein over what the Public Defender deems Hurley’s “continued refusal to appoint counsel to homeless persons arrested for violating municipal ordinances“.  It’s all documented from Howard’s point of view in this letter to Pete Weinstein today, complete with DVD’s from First Appearances.  It’s a shame things have gotten this far, since Jay has done a lot of good as Broward’s inaugural full-time magistrate judge, after Vic Tobin created the position.  Hopefully they’ll patch things up, since Hurley will still be in criminal, while Evans will be the one deciding how busy he’ll be keeping defense lawyers contracted with municipalities to provide legal services in cases which fall outside the elected Public Defender’s purview.  All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up …

Speaking of legal loopholes – can BSO misdemeanor probation officers determine if a Defendant needs to report, after a judge has unambiguously ordered reporting probation?  Ginger Lerner-Wren certainly thinks she knows the answer, as evidenced by this letter to Weinstein on October 20th.  Apparently, Lerner-Wren and other judges weren’t kept in the loop when BSO adopted the burgeoning practice of “dosage probation“, which basically allows probation officers to convert reporting probation to non-reporting administrative supervision without clearing it with Weinstein or the sentencing judges.  Read the blow by blow in Ginger’s letter, and all about dosage probation here.

But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here
Ev’rybody’s gonna wanna dose …

Supa scratch – those hoping to catch a glimpse of Richie Supa, co-author of Aerosmith’s Chip Away the Stone, Lightning Strikes, and Amazing, at Gisele Pollack’s JQC mitigation-fest on November 13th, will be disappointed to learn he’s been scratched from the witness list due to a scheduling conflict.  Let’s hope it’s not another Steven Tyler relapse.  In any event, gawkers can still enjoy baseball great Darryl Strawberry’s presentation, in an event that promises to make the 17th Circuit’s all-time weird list.  And that’s saying an awful lot …

Pass the tincture, Counselor – can a judge or prosecutor use dope in states like Colorado, where it’s legal?  Of course not.  Law enforcers can’t break federal laws.  But can other licensed Florida attorneys?  That was the question posed to the Florida Bar a few weeks ago, and their answer may surprise you.

From TFB:

The Florida Bar does not currently have a position on Florida lawyers using marijuana in states where it’s legal.

Rules 3-4.4 and 4-8.4b address misconduct and could be applied depending on the circumstances of a case …

Sounds like a green light, suggesting TFB decision-making may be affected by virtue of their headquarters being downwind from the dorms at FSU …

LA Times: What California can learn from red states on prison

Prisons are for people we are afraid of, but we have been filling them with many folks we are just mad at … It makes no sense to send nonserious, nonviolent offenders to a place filled with hardened criminals and a poor record of rehabilitation — and still expect them to come out better than they went in. Studies show that placing low-risk offenders in prison makes them more dangerous when they are released …

Dead to get the Scorsese treatment too

Zeppelin loses first court battle in “Stairway to Heaven” lawsuit