*CORRECTION*

*UPDATE*– the jury room manager just confirmed all of the information below is accurate, while adding in no uncertain terms judicial administration’s Jack Tuter and Clerk of Courts Howard Forman deserve the credit for the revised May 28th list, which deleted Rosenthal, Richards, and Feren from the rotation.  Well done!

If only judicial administration would let us know these things in advance …
—————————————————————————————————————

The post entitled Switcheroo! under Sunday Notes, from June 8th, 2014 at 9:30 PM is ALL WRONG.  All apologies for the confusion, which is apparently shared by some judges as well as JAABLOG.

According to the jury room, the first picture of the Sunday Notes post, seen directly below, is the revised, current list of judges who will be handling the jury-room swearing-in ceremonies, starting June 30th.  It supercedes the list underneath it showing Lynn Rosenthal, Ian Richards, and Steve Feren working the jury room from 6/30/14 – 8/20/14.  The challenged three were indeed scheduled (as seen in picture #2), but after Buddy Nevins and JAABLOG blogged about the inherent unfairness of it all, the list was revised May 28th, which is picture #1, showing Jay Hurley from 6/30-7/1,2, followed by Ehrlich, Levenson, Lee, Pole, Diaz, Miranda, and Gates.  The third picture below, directly underneath picture #2 showing Rosenthal, Richards, and Feren, is part of the same old list seen in #2, which was trumped by the revised May 28th list seen in picture #1.

Got that?

The jury room relates they’ve already been assured by some regularly scheduled judges that they definitely will be there for their turn at bat.  And despite Ian Richards working the jury room this week, it seems the practice of challenged judges leading the swearing-in ceremonies should hopefully be kaput starting June 30th. 

There’s still a lot of confusion out there as to which list is in place.  Hopefully this post clarifies things, based on a conversation with the jury room manager a few minutes ago.  While no corrections were called for after the Sunday Notes post, our follow-up today turned up the correct information.

And now for the apology.

Whether it was judicial administration, the individual judges, or Howard Forman that took action to correct the practice of what has been called jury-room campaigning, they are owed a debt of gratitude.  Our comments were wrong, because despite a long litany of recent shortcomings in leadership, this problem appears to have been fixed after public criticism via JAABLOG and Browardbeat.com.  It takes courage to admit and correct a mistake, and although no individual will take responsibility for allowing the practice in the first place, or credit for fixing things in the end, EVERYONE responsible should be thanked for doing the right thing. 

Apologies to everyone for our mistake, and props to all concerned for some solid leadership in a Circuit that really, really needs it …

SUNDAY NOTES

*UPDATE*- the jury room manager just confirmed all of the information below is accurate, while adding in no uncertain terms judicial administration’s Jack Tuter and Clerk of Courts Howard Forman deserve the credit for the revised May 28th list, which deleted Rosenthal, Richards, and Feren from the rotation.  Well done!

If only judicial administration would let us know these things in advance …
——————————————————————————————————-


*CORRECTION* (published June 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM)


The post entitled Switcheroo! under Sunday Notes, from June 8th, 2014 at 9:30 PM is ALL WRONG.  All apologies for the confusion, which is apparently shared by some judges as well as JAABLOG.

According to the jury room, the first picture of the Sunday Notes post, seen directly below, is the revised, current list of judges who will be handling the jury-room swearing-in ceremonies, starting June 30th.  It supercedes the list underneath it showing Lynn Rosenthal, Ian Richards, and Steve Feren working the jury room from 6/30/14 – 8/20/14.  The challenged three were indeed scheduled (as seen in picture #2), but after Buddy Nevins and JAABLOG blogged about the inherent unfairness of it all, the list was revised May 28th, which is picture #1, showing Jay Hurley from 6/30-7/1,2, followed by Ehrlich, Levenson, Lee, Pole, Diaz, Miranda, and Gates.  The third picture below, directly underneath picture #2 showing Rosenthal, Richards, and Feren, is part of the same old list seen in #2, which was trumped by the revised May 28th list seen in picture #1.

Got that?

The jury room relates they’ve already been assured by some regularly scheduled judges that they definitely will be there for their turn at bat.  And despite Ian Richards working the jury room this week, it seems the practice of challenged judges leading the swearing-in ceremonies should hopefully be kaput starting June 30th. 

There’s still a lot of confusion out there as to which list is in place.  Hopefully this post clarifies things, based on a conversation with the jury room manager a few minutes ago.  While no corrections were called for after the Sunday Notes post, our follow-up today turned up the correct information.

And now for the apology.

Whether it was judicial administration, the individual judges, or Howard Forman that took action to correct the practice of what has been called jury-room campaigning, they are owed a debt of gratitude.  Our comments were wrong, because despite a long litany of recent shortcomings in leadership, this problem appears to have been fixed after public criticism via JAABLOG and Browardbeat.com.  It takes courage to admit and correct a mistake, and although no individual will take responsibility for allowing the practice in the first place, or credit for fixing things in the end, EVERYONE responsible should be thanked for doing the right thing. 

Apologies to everyone for our mistake, and props to all concerned for some solid leadership in a Circuit that really, really needs it …

THE ORIGINAL POST: (COMMENTS BASED ON INACCURATE INFORMATION DELETED)


 These guys got bumped,
 so these guys could campaign at the courthouse,
 until the week of the election!

Switcheroo! You didn’t have to attend  last week’s mandatory judges’ meeting to realize JAABLOG is really shaking judicial administration’s cage. 

After speaking with Howard Forman a week or two ago, it became apparent judges decide amongst themselves who will swear-in thousands of prospective jurors on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  It’s basically split up between ten volunteers who can be counted on to be at work by 8:00 AM either by habit or residential proximity (add Fred Horowitz and Raag Singhal to the names above), and scheduled through the end of the year.  The only way for campaigning judges to get in the jury room is to ask permission from one of the scheduled ten.

But not anymore.

As you can see in the three pictures above, the most recent list provided by the jury room (the top picture) has been changed, to add three challenged judges who have been making regular jury room appearances since qualifying ended.  It turns out they had simply been getting permission from one of the regularly scheduled judges to cover, which means those making way could potentially be accused of aiding the judicial reelection campaigns of their colleagues.  In fact, after speaking with two judges on the list concerning this very topic, one of them returned to his regular jury room duties the very same week!

But that’s all over now.  Broward’s beloved 17th Circuit judiciary has once again shown its true colors on a matter of great public importance, namely the appearance of its own political invulnerability and inability to back down in the face of legitimate criticism.  Despite Lynn Rosenthal, Ian Richards, and Steve Feren not being on the list before the election, they are now, thereby relieving the regularly scheduled judges of any Canonical concerns.  As stated in a previous post, it’s really a shame, and transparently unfair to all those hoping for an election on the merits.  But this being Broward, what
else would anyone expect?

Coming SoonIs Rick Scott looking for more minority names, or just Dan Kanner’s?; Got Civility? Mike Usan sends a message … ; Get away from me, Bill!; Dave Aronberg, Scott Israel, & Lynn Rosenthal; My father walked with Dr. King; DISMANTLE CANNABIS COURT (Do it in Division!); Attorney Blogger Haydee Oropesa, Voice of Reason West, already shaking things up

DBR: Governor and Eugene Pettis want JNC to send more names

Tampa Bay Times Editorial: Florida judiciary needs more diversity

Good Morning America (ABC) – “JUDGE DISBARRED FOR DATING PROSECUTOR”

SS: Imperato’s DUI woes add to death penalty sentencing delays

KeysInfoNet – Insult to Injury: Broward ASA Mike Jones wants to replace David Audlin

SS: Supreme Court says “no way” to request for Pollack payday

NBC 6 Video – Jay Hurley’s reputation growing nationally …

Tampa Ch 10 Video – Fl Bar attorney DUI setup case

1941 MBZ 540K for sale …

NYT: RIP Alexander Shulgin, modern day father of MDMA

LA Times: All Aboard for more lawsuits over California high speed rail

LA Times: Malibu phone app tips users to public beach access by stars’ homes

LA Times: Court-imposed fees, costs, and fines fuels race and class inequality

DISBARRED!

 Finally …

BAR v. GARDINER

Justice trumps politics – The Supreme Court has the final word, sending a message of hope to the beleaguered 17th Circuit.  Pray it isn’t lost on all those who aided and abetted her vile ways, or ignored their oaths by turning a blind eye as she made a mockery of all that’s good and decent in the criminal justice system …

Room Full of Mirrors
   -Jimi Hendrix

I used to live in a room full of mirrors,
All I could see was me,
Well I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors,
Now the whole world is here for me to see,
I said the whole world is here for me to see,
Now I’m searchin’ for my love to be,
Hey!!

Broken glass was all in my brain,
Cuttin’ screamin’ crying in my head,
Broken glass was all in my brain,
It used to fall on my dreams and cut me in my bed,
It used to fall on my dreams and cut me in my bed,
I said makin’ love was strange in my bed,
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!!

Coming Soon Rosenthal, Rosenthal, Rosenthal; SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

JAABLOG Hypotheticals  (2008)

Bob Norman – Gardiner disbarred for lying about relationship with prosecutor

SS: Gardiner disbarred

Rumpole on the Rogues Gallery

BBeat: Judges Meeting On Scandal Accomplish Little

TEN QUESTIONS

There are many questions the judges should be asking Peter Weinstein during Wednesday’s mandatory meeting, in addition to the following ten:

1.) Why did you fail to stay ahead of the media crisis, how can we be assured you can handle the next one, and what are your plans to restore public confidence and our image?

2.) Have you been contacted by anyone from a higher court because of the arrests, and what are they saying?

3.) What safeguards will be put into place to ensure we won’t be publicly humiliated or compromised by another colleague struggling with an ethical quandary or drugs and alcohol?

4.) Which judges are your closest advisers, and is there room at the table for additional voices?

5.) Why are you seeking a third term as chief judge, and what do you hope to accomplish?

6.) What have you done to encourage diversity on the bench over the last four years?

7.) Why hasn’t a rotation plan been implemented to ensure a cross-trained judiciary that can efficiently handle a more evenly distributed workload?

8.) Why are lazy judges tolerated, and why aren’t hard working judges rewarded?

9.) Why can’t you handle a division, or at the very least, temporarily take over a vacant one instead of using so many senior, unelected judges?

10.) Who is responsible for the new building design flaws, and did you see the problems coming as the judicial representative on the New Courthouse Task Force  under Vic Tobin?

                BE THERE OR BE SQUARE – ROOM 840 @ 12:15 PM



Coming Soon
– Meet Blog Collaborator #1; Lynn Feig-Rosenthal’s REDACTED jail property receipt …



    
Bob Norman Video – Feig-Rosenthal back at work

COFFEE TALK WITH RICKY POLSTON

  Today’s guest: Chief Justice Polston!

DISCUSS: WHY DON’T CIVILITY PANELS APPLY TO JUDGES AS WELL AS LAWYERS, WHEN THE JUDICIARY ALSO BEARS RESPONSIBILITY FOR TARNISHING THE LEGAL PROFESSION?

Got Civility? 
The relatively new professionalism panels are a good idea.  It’s mediation and dispute resolution before problems rise to the level of formal complaints, or reach the point of no return.  But since they don’t apply to judges, it seems like the judiciary is once again dodging the issues by picking on lawyers and failing to accept even the slightest responsibility for their role in the steep decline of professionalism in the legal world.  Whether fist fighting  staff during court, putting public safety at risk by driving drunk, refusing to comply with sobriety testing, failing to come forward with a man on death row after a deeply tainted trial, or lying throughout official proceedings, Florida’s lawyers certainly don’t always have the best role models when it comes to how to behave.

So how about it?  Should civility panels apply to judges too?  Should the Supreme Court order professionalism training for all judges?  Or is the problem unfixable?

“TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES”

FL Bar News: Professionalism enforcement program in place for S. Florida

17th Circuit Professionalism Panel AO

MEMBERS: Chair: Kenneth J. Joyce, Esq., W. George Allen, Esq., Juan Arias, Esq., Miette Burnstein, Retired Broward Circuit Judge, William R. Clayton, Esq., Benjamin R. Dishowitz, Esq., Andrea Gunderson, Esq., Marissa Kelly, Esq., Edward J. Marko, Esq., Stephanie Moon, Esq., Charles Morehead, III, Esq., Robert Saunooke, Esq., Stacy Schwartz, Esq., Maxine, Streeter, Esq., Bruce Weihe, Esq.

17th Circuit Professionalism Panel Referral Form

11th Circuit AO

Tallahassee Democrat: Chief justice Ricky Polston applies for FSU job

Coming Soon
– Ten questions judges need to ask Peter Weinstein Wednesday, June 4th at 12:15 PM in Room 840

MONDAY NOTES

Gone fishin’ – our little fishing expedition may have hooked a big one.  It’s conjecture at this point, but there’s no denying we’ve got a nibble. 

It has to do with the public records request sent to BSO last week.  The legal department got back to us today, but still couldn’t provide an answer as to whether or not Lynn Feig-Rosenthal’s property receipt from county jail will be released.

It turns out the jail property inventory form may contain information that’s exempt from disclosure.  They’ve consulted with the Attorney’s General’s Office for guidance, and will be conducting further research to see if all items can be released, or if redactions may be necessary to keep certain things confidential.  BSO promised an answer by the close of business Wednesday.

All other questions were politely declined to be answered, including whether or not Feig-Rosenthal was booked in possession of a validly prescribed controlled substance which could cause impaired driving.  So for now it’s wait and see until Wednesday, unless the accused judge agrees to release all property information before things start to get ugly, just like when the mugshot was at issue.  A call to attorney Brian Silber inquiring about a waiver was placed late today, so stay tuned

Swing and a miss!
Peter Weinstein took a turn at bat today for the home town heroes.  He issued a widely covered statement Monday, a full six days after the third Broward judge was arrested for DUI.  It turns out the 17th Circuit is a-ok, although the wisdom of sustaining yet another opportunity so late in the game to rehash credibility-busting judicial mishaps is being questioned by more than a few pundits.  But hey, you can’t knock a guy for trying.  Check out the Sun Sentinel’s coverage here, featuring the heading Trust Us, complete with a nifty montage of three judges’ mugs.

Coming SoonHoward Finkelstein opts out of Broward’s Felony Mental Health Court; Location, Location, Location; How the Jury Room Swearing In System Really Works …

SS: Judges lack judgment, but not chutzpah

BrowardBeat: DUI Judges Have Been Reassigned To Non-Criminal Matters

SFL: Broward Chief Judge…..zzzzzzzzzzz

SS: Broward judge temporarily homeless …

*VIDEO – FIST FIGHT BETWEEN BREVARD JUDGE AND APD*

Judge Murphy
: “If you want to fight, let’s go out back and I’ll just beat your ass … “

“I will catch my breath eventually,” Murphy said. “Man, I’m an old man.”

WHITE PUNKS ON DOPE

BLACKS NEED NOT APPLY

The following six names have been sent to Governor Scott for consideration to replace both Ed Merrigan and Joe Murphy:

Keathan Frink, Thomas Oates, Abbe Rifkin, Richard Sachs, Maxine Streeter, Steve Zaccor.

A surprising and disappointing list.  Dan Kanner, a rumored favorite, was not sent up.  And despite the woeful lack of diversity in the 17th Circuit and the large number of qualified minority applicants this time around, Keathan Frink appears to be the only minority chosen.  Qualified applicants Doug Harrison  and Donald Gelin were outright blanked, despite Harrison having been previously vetted and appointed by the Governor’s office to his current position on the South Broward Hospital District, and Gelin’s years of service with BSO’s legal division.

Developing



Coming Soon – The End Of An Era?

REFUSAL MANIA

SS Editorial: Judges don’t trust system, but we are supposed to?


We want to trust judges.

But something smells bad in Broward County: All three Broward judges arrested on DUI charges over the past six months refused to take either a blood or breath test …

… if (Lynn) Rosenthal took more than one pill, or mixed an Ambien with other pills, we should know that, too. Maybe she has a problem, and if so, needs help. If that is the case, she shouldn’t be on the bench wielding power over people in trouble who have a lot of personal problems, too.

If Rosenthal was done in by a single Ambien, she had a chance to show us. More importantly, the judge had an opportunity to show us the system works.

Don’t we all expect more of judges? …

Certainly, nobody deserves to be sent 
(to jail) by a troubled judge who operates above the law in his or her own life.

If Rosenthal, (Cynthia) Imperato and (Gisele) Pollack had taken those sobriety tests, and showed faith in the justice system, we would all know more about the truth and the punishment that should be meted out.

While none of the judges could operate a car safely, they were capable of making a decision: Hide the truth from the public to protect themselves. And that stinks.

CH 10 – THIS WEEK IN SOUTH FLORIDA (roundtable discussion starts at 27:40)

Michael Putney, Mike Mayo, and others on Rosenthal, Refusal, and Mug Shot Madness

BrowardBeat: Did Supremes Telegraph Penalty For Broward’s DUI Refusal Judges?

SS: Should judges who are substance abusers resign?

SS: Should judges be held to a higher standard?

SS: Howard Finkelstein on the judiciary

“While it may be just a few bad apples, or in the case of Broward judges, a few bad actions, the Broward judiciary must work hard to win back the public’s trust. Three judges have been arrested for DUI, the Judicial Qualifications Committee has determined that another current judge should lose her judgeship, a former Broward judge, who resigned in disgrace, is waiting to see if she can keep her law license, and the courthouse is holding its collective breath to see if other judges will be indicted in the Scott Rothstein scandal. We deserve better from our elected officials.”

SS: Jay Hurley profile – good news for a change

NYT: On Death Row With Low I.Q., and New Hope for a Reprieve

*FLORIDA SUPREME COURT OPINION CONCERNING DISCLOSURE OF INFORMANTS*

MANDATORY JUDGES MEETING

Peter Weinstein has called a mandatory judges meeting Wednesday at 12:15 PM, location to be determined.  We’ll post more details after receiving the email.

It’s anyone’s guess why the chief judge is reacting so slowly to the crisis.  At least two circuit judges addressed packed courtrooms this morning by noting the furor ignited by their three embattled colleagues, by acknowledging jurists are indeed held to a higher standard, and by stressing the fact eighty-seven other Broward judges continue to ably serve the public.  It’s something Weinstein should have done long before the most recent debacle, but at least there are some leaders on the bench no longer content to wait for Weinstein to step up on behalf of the judiciary he represents and community he serves. 

We’re working on the mea culpa transcripts for next week, so stay tuned …

Coming Soon
Lynn Feig-Rosenthal campaigns, others cover …

FRIDAY UPDATE

Lynn Feig-Rosenthal is back in campaign mode.  As Buddy Nevins reported today, she made an appearance last night, and another source has confirmed she’s been calling around seeking support since making bond.  No word yet on whether she’ll be on a bench Monday.

Multiple sources have also confirmed Feig-Rosenthal’s husband was indeed turned away during the time of his wife’s detention/arrest, after attempting to access her office in the Broward County Courthouse.  No further information is available as to why he needed to get in there, or whether it was BSO or a judge telling him to pound sand.

Additionally, we’ve made a public records request to BSO to get Feig-Rosenthal’s property receipt from when she was booked, and to see if anything else was removed from her car besides the box of campaign literature seen in the press.  BSO said they’d get back to us on Monday.

Lastly, one of the lawyers handling Feig-Rosenthal’s case, Carlos Canet, gave a statement this morning concerning the likelihood of JQC problems because of the refusal, following a conversation highlighting his optimism that all criminal charges will be dropped. 

As follows:

My prediction, if she appears before the JQC, they won’t take any action“. (Emphasis requested)

Regarding questions as to why she didn’t provide a urine sample, Canet stated “no comment at this time“.

Developing …

Courthouse security issue – something happened up by Randi Boven’s hearing room Thursday, involving a litigant possessing a gun.  The incident is being downplayed.  A BSO rep said it involved an off-duty officer in plain clothes who was a party to litigation, who forgot to check his gun in with security.  Apparently the gun was spotted, but stories vary wildly as to exactly what happened.  On one extreme it was drawn, and on the other it was simply seen holstered.  In any event, armed deputies had to get involved.  By the time we got there, everyone clammed up, and an un-cuffed man being escorted to the elevator was quickly ushered back inside behind locked doors due to our presence.  Today Boven said she didn’t witness the incident, and referred all other questions to Peter Weinstein.  We left a message with the chief judge, and are awaiting an explanation …

Jury Room – after speaking to Howard Forman, it seems the jury room swear-in rotation of judges is strictly a judicial issue.  But more on that later …