JAIL VISITS OFFICIALLY SHUT DOWN

The following email was forwarded to PDO personnel this morning by Howard Finkelstein. BSO Legal confirmed, although an “absolute emergency” jail visit may still qualify. BSO also notes video visitation coupons are still readily available …

For remote video visitation on your phone, enable all recording and access to phone options to allow the Securus App to work, but this banner will pop up for attorneys:

SAO STAFFING UPDATE

The following email was reportedly sent from a remote location by Monica Hofheinz earlier this afternoon throughout the SAO regarding ongoing staffing issues during the crisis. Attorneys are able to work from home with the assistance of staff, so support employees have a ton of concerns going forward, just like in the other stakeholders’ offices.

The email:

Weeks ahead

We know many of you are asking about the weeks ahead due to the Chief Judge Tuter extending his Administrative Order closing the courthouse to the public and jurors through April 17th (for now).

We are formulating an amended plan for our staff and will inform everyone through email, ReadyOp and the office hotline (954-831-6191) as soon as we can.

The administrative leave option is in place through this week. We are reviewing our options under the new Federal legislation regarding paid sick leave.

In addition we are staying in communication with the Governor’s directives which could change everything.

THE BIG DAY

Today is the big day.

The day to worry about the health and safety of your family and friends.

To worry about responsibilities to your clients.

To worry about bringing in enough money from your practice to pay employees and support your family, or likewise stretch your paycheck to make ends meet.

It’s like any other day, and during the pandemic, it’s extra daunting, to say the least.

We’ll get through this together. As Americans and Floridians, we always do.

The election and voting period for Florida Bar Board of Governors and President, which ends today, Monday, March 23rd at 11:59 PM, doesn’t, as they say, amount to a hill of beans in this crazy, scared world right now. But when we do weather the pandemic and corresponding financial crisis, the issues hampering attorneys trying to make an honest living under a system of Bar governance that seems more lacking than ever in these trying times will still be there, getting worse. For this reason, as concerned as we all are with the present, I hope you can take the time to cast a vote for change if you haven’t done so already.

Whether I win or lose, I thank you for participating, and for reading. Long time visitors here know my motto has always been “If you can’t beat them, pressure them.” The underdog is always waging a war of attrition, because it’s the only way to push the needle and make things even a little bit better. I therefore renew my pledge to fight for attorneys’ rights and the ability to tell the unfettered truth without fear of harassment if elected to the Board of Governors, and to continue to do so right here as I have for the last fourteen years if not.

Thank you for your time, attention, and consideration.

Bill Gelin

VOTE HERE FOR BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND FLORIDA BAR PRESIDENT UNTIL MARCH 23RD AT 11:59 PM

(Disclaimer/Unsolicited Mass Communications – anyone subscribed to JAABLOG not wishing to receive blogs regarding Bill Gelin’s candidacy for BOG Seat 17/1 of the Florida Bar should immediately UNSUBSCRIBE to JAABLOG)

APRIL 17!

JAIL FACE TO FACE CLOSURE (FROM BACDL):

Chief Judge Jack Tuter has just released Administrative Order 2020-23-TEMP, Emergency Administrative Order re: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Please note, this order continues all emergency time periods consistent with Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Canady’s order through April 17, 2020.

Administrative Order 2020-23-Temp
EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)

BREAKDOWN FOR ANTONIO BROWN!

Administrative Order 2020-23-Temp
EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)

PRR SENT TO SAO THIS MORNING:

Antonio Brown. Did Chuck Morton or Kelly Hancock speak with Mike Satz or Jeff Marcus directly or through intermediaries, on the phone, or in writing (email or otherwise) on behalf of or regarding Mr. Brown’s case?

Did Mike Satz or Jeff Marcus, whether or not they spoke to Hancock or Morton, issue any type of directive, suggestion or guidance on this case, or suggestion who should handle it for case filing?

Did they speak with Ted Daus or Maria Schneider? Did Morton or Hancock meet with anyone else in the SAO in this matter besides possibly Jeff Marcus or Mike Satz?

Why isn’t it filed?

Is Ted Daus still the assigned case filer? If he isn’t anymore, why? Is it true he recommended a 1st degree felony?

How often is an assigned case filer taken off a case, and how often, if they are involved, do Mike Satz or Jeff Marcus get involved in non-homicide or police officer victim cases?

SAO RESPONSE:

It would be inappropriate to comment on a pending case but formal charges have been filed against Antonio Brown and Glenn Holt.

Brown is charged with:

Burglary conveyance unoccupied, a third-degree felony

Misdemeanor battery, a first-degree misdemeanor

Criminal mischief, a second-degree misdemeanor

Holt is charged with:

Burglary conveyance unoccupied, a third-degree felony.

FEBRUARY 25 TEXT TO CHUCK MORTON:

(i)s Antonio Brown the first time you have represented a Defendant in criminal court?

FEBRUARY 26 CHUCK MORTON TEXT RESPONSE:

Nope. Did it early in my legal career before I began working for the State Attorneys Office.

People commonly assume that my legal career only consisted of my work as a prosecutor. After graduating from law school in March, 1975, I had two jobs before coming to Broward’s SAO in December,1976. My first job was as an attorney with Legal Aid of Broward County where I represented Broward’s low income community, primarily in civil matters as defendants. In my second job, I was an associate attorney in private practice with the law firm of W. George Allen. My work there included representing clients who were accused of crimes, i.e., I represented clients accused of crimes in the state (County/Circuit) courts and also in municipal courts before the municipal courts were abolished in the November, 1976 general election.

CHUCK MORTON FOR THE DEFENSE!

VOTE HERE FOR BOARD OF GOVERNORS UNTIL MARCH 23RD

VISITATION UPDATE

Stakeholders have been apprised of how coupons will be distributed. This information is for PA’s. Remember, the service is available for a low fee anyway, but coupons can be picked up at BSO’s Video Visitation Center for anyone looking to save a few dollars. It’s believed the first thirty minutes is $5.00.

There are 600 coupons reserved for PA’s, to be allotted three per IC client per week, on the theory three jail visits for one client per week is sufficient. Just show the BSO people at pickup how many IC’s you have, and get your tickets. If they run out, more will be distributed soon. Coupons are specific to where an inmate is housed.

MORE GOOD NEWS – this service may be something made available full-time after the crisis passes, for the regular small fee. Obviously the vendor would love it, and so would most lawyers looking to quickly communicate some information or have a question answered, so definitely wait and see …

CLERK’S STAFFING UPDATE

The following PRR concerning staffing was sent earlier today. The Clerk’s response is below.

We also are working on trying to straighten out the 1% pay raise issue discussed in the comments, but the responses to our questions will take some time to digest and analyze.

Additionally, we’ve got an Antonio Brown PRR brewing with the SAO, so stay tuned.

Here is the PRR and answer re Clerk’s staffing, which seems to indicate good news is coming …