CONTINI v. SILVERSHEIN TRANSCRIPT

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 17TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

IN RE: WRIT OF PROHIBITION FROM FOURTH DCA ON FG CASES. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2015, 10:47, A.M.

THE COURT:  Here comes Mr. Silvershein.  Do you wish to be the recipient of the wonderful news?

MR. GELIN:  The judge was telling everybody that  he believes that these agreed pleas or people (that) are discretionary and I think could be set before Judge Bidwill because the order now states it’s Judge Contini, specifically, not FG.

THE COURT:  Take a look at those orders, Mr. Silvershein, we got a number of them in his hand.  Even though the orders speak to individually-named defendants, I think we are still waiting for one or two more orders.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  There were eight orders that were signed.

THE COURT:  I think the ones that you are holding there that were signed speak to be individually-named defendants, but there’s language in the orders that speak to another circuit court judge having the ability to resolve some of the agreed pleas.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  No, it doesn’t.  It talks about orders.  It doesn’t talk about files.  It talks about orders.

THE COURT:  So, get together all of you because the Fourth DCA is going out of their way in all of these orders to say that the stay does not speak to the circuit court generally.  Only to me as the acting judge, only Contini is precluded from acting on any of the cases in the stay. They further define stay to say it doesn’t speak to the circuit generally, meaning Judge Bidwill can take any of these agreed-upon pleas and that’s the position of the Fourth.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  I unfortunately disagree with the Court.

THE COURT:  It’s okay.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  I have the whole Stamper — we just need the main case, which is the 4D15-370. Actually, this was Regional Counsel’s motion to clarify is my understanding.

THE COURT:  If you look at the language, it says the stay speaks to just the acting judge meaning myself.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  What it says is they are not modifying their June 10th order, which means that those cases are stayed. It’s only granted to the extent that judges other than you can consider from entering orders in the cases. Now, I’m looking at the whole Stamper case.  I understand that you have individual cases.

THE COURT:  I’m looking — if you could — thank you, Mr. Silvershein.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  I’ve given a copy to Ms. Singer. I didn’t mean to interrupt your proceedings.

THE COURT:  I agree, Mr. Silvershein.  I’m looking at what you are looking at. This is what it says, “We decline to modify our prior order but clarify that the stay imposed on the cases “pending sentencing” applies only to the judge at issue, that’s myself, from acting. “The stay does not deprive the circuit court of jurisdiction or prevent other circuit court judges, i.e. Judge Bidwill from entering orders in cases at issue. Having said that — and take up to the Fourth, again, if you like — “Any case in FG division, any case that was previously listed on any AG list, any stay list, now can be resolved by Judge Bidwill or any other circuit judge, notwithstanding anybody’s argument to the contrary.” I’ve talked to Judge Bidwill and he is willing to take those because according to the Fourth, “It is very, very clear, only the acting judge, Contini, is precluded from resolving those cases or acting as a quote “acting judge” from acting, but they go out of their way to say “the stay does not deprive the circuit court of jurisdiction or prevent other circuit court judges from entering orders in the cases at issue.” So, especially all the 50, 60 or 70 agreed-upon pleas that we have right now, that we keep resetting every week or two, where everybody is in agreement that it’s discretionary, that they are not even scoring Florida State Prison, that there’s no downward departure motion filed.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  The problem is judge —

THE COURT:  They were never pending sentencing. They were pending acquittal.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  No, Judge, I disagree.

THE COURT:  I’m going to speak and hold you in contempt if you interrupt me again, Mr. Silvershein.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  You are commenting on what you can’t comment on.

THE COURT:  I’m going to let you speak.  I’m going to let you speak when I’m done. All these cases that were disingenuously listed by the attorney general, not by your office, by the attorney general’s office, listing cases where the people have always maintained their not guilty plea.  They were presumed innocent.  They are pending acquittal as much as they are pending sentencing. And for the AG to have taken and hijacked all those cases where people have plead not guilty, where they never changed their plea from not guilty to guilty, they were never pending sentencing.  They were disingenuously included on a master list of hundreds of cases.That’s what the AG did in misleading and perpetrating and a fraud on the Fourth DCA.Now all those cases that were erroneously put on their list — actually, deliberately, put on the AG’s list and then sent to the Fourth DCA and misrepresenting to the Fourth DCA that those cases were pending sentencing.  They were not pending sentencing. Now, the Fourth DCA last week said “pending sentencing.”  They put quotes around it.  They actually defined what pending sentencing meant. They ordered the state to come up with a real list of those cases that are really pending sentencing.  Those cases for which a downward departure motion has been filed. The AG listed only 28.  Those are the cases pending  sentencing. Now, even as to those, what are they saying today? The Fourth DCA is saying today as to either list, “Any other circuit court judge except for Contini can resolve those,” and if you have a dispute with what I’m saying, take it up to the Fourth, seek a further clarification if you like. But how many times are they supposed to clarify for you that “pending sentencing” means somebody has been convicted by a jury or they decided to plead guilty, we ordered the PSI, their sentencing date is set out a few weeks, they score prison, a downward departure motion has been filed.  A downward departure motion has been filed.That is a person, quote, “pending sentencing.”  That’s the list of 28. Even on those, Mr. Silvershein, even on those, Judge Bidwill can take those pleas.  Any other circuit court judge can take those pleas according to this order that you just handed me. Now, if you dispute what I’m saying, go to the Fourth and seek further clarification.  I don’t know why we would need further clarification when they just clarified it for all of us now. Go ahead, Mr. Silvershein.  I told you I would let you speak.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  I respectfully disagree with you as to your interpretation, number one. Number two, I think it’s improper for you to comment on these cases.  You are essentially ruling on these cases.

THE COURT:  I’m not.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  You are ruling on these cases and giving your opinion when the Fourth says you are not to be handling these cases.

THE COURT:  I’m not giving my opinion at all.  If I give my opinion on the petition of writ of prohibition, you are right.  I’m not giving my opinion on a petition of writ of prohibition at all. I’m telling you about the list itself, the list of cases that, not your office, to the credit of your office, your office did not put together that list?

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  We did.

THE COURT:  Okay.  Are you telling me that you, Joel Silvershein, participated —

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Our office assisted in creating that list.

THE COURT:  Your office is co-complicit with Heide Betancourt of the AG’s office in putting together a list of —

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Are you accusing us of acting disingenuously?

THE COURT:  I am not accusing you of disingenuously misleading the Fourth DCA.  Are you telling me that your office put together —

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  You have used the word disingenuously.

THE COURT: Are you telling me that your office put together a list of hundreds of cases where people have maintained their not guilty plea, they are presumed innocent and you hijacked those cases and those —

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  I think it’s improper —

THE COURT:  — hijack those cases numbers, and hijack those cases numbers, and travel over their bones, and you are actually putting people who were presumed innocent, you are putting their cases on a list of cases pending sentencing?  Is that what you did?

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Judge, I think it’s improper.

THE COURT:  Did you do that, Mr. Silvershein?  Did you put together that list of people pending sentencing?

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Our office —

THE COURT:  — people who have maintained their not guilty plea — did you put those cases, Mr. Silvershein? “Yes” or “no.”  Did you put them on a list of cases pending sentencing?  Answer the question.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  We created a list based on the order of the Fourth DCA and the attorney general.

THE COURT:  You disingenuously mislead —

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  We didn’t disingenuously do anything.  We didn’t disingenuously do anything do one particular thing.

THE COURT:  Mr. Silvershein, you, Mr. Silvershein, you are telling me that you are admitting that you participated with the AG in coming up with a list of people that are presumed innocent, presumed innocent, have maintained their not guilty pleas, have never changed their plea from not guilty, you put them on a list of cases pending sentencing?  Did you do that?  Answer the question.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Judge, it’s improper.

THE COURT:  Leave the courtroom.  If you are not going to answer the question, leave the courtroom.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Fine, Judge.

THE COURT:  Leave the courtroom.  Leave the courtroom.  I’m going to give you one last chance.  Answer the question. Did you put those cases, did you, personally assist Heide Betancourt, the AG, in putting presumed innocent not guilty defendants who maintained their not guilty pleas, did you put their names on that list of cases pending sentencing?  “Yes” or “no.”

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Look, Judge, I’m sorry.

THE COURT:  Are you afraid to answer the question?

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  No, I’m not.

THE COURT:  Answer the question.  Did you do that?

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Why do you keep pushing me on these issues —

THE COURT:  Escort this gentleman out of the courtroom please.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Judge, I’ll walk.

THE COURT:  If you are not going to obey this Court’s order, I’m ordering you to answer the question.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  Judge, you can’t order me to answer the question.  The answer is “yes.”  I assisted.

THE COURT:  Thank you for being honest.  Thank you.  Thank you.  You are excused.

MR. SILVERSHEIN:  However, am I allowed to address the Court?

THE COURT:  You are excused.  You are excused, Mr. Silvershein.

(MR. SILVERSHEIN):  I ask that this transcript be ordered.

THE COURT:  I have no idea what that mumbling was all about.

* * * * * * * * *

kim blog APD Kim Segal

Buddy Nevins’ BrowardBeat.com and JAABLOG aren’t the only courthouse reads.  There’s also Kim Segal’s Life as a Public Defenderblog.  It’s new, but with CBS and Kim’s 39,000 followers in reserve, sure to be a hit …

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Coming Soon : **CERTIFIED QUESTION** – Who bears responsibility for the unnecessarily prolonged & expensive FG Stay?  PAs, PD, CCRC, & BACDL?  The SAO & AG?  The Chief Judge?  The DCA?  Or the Media(s)?  You Make the Call

kareem_kid

Listen, kid! I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA! I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes …

58 thoughts on “CONTINI v. SILVERSHEIN TRANSCRIPT”

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    This is not my expertise-
    Why would they include those who have plead NOT GUILTY?

    If Contini is right, what are the implications to the AG & SA who compiled the list?

    Why can’t another Judge address the matter?

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    I have to agree whole heartedly with Judge Contini.
    I am sure he is also thinking of a simpler time when tooled around in his old Fiat convertible with the Kennedy-Johnson bumper sticker on it.

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    They’re trying to pull the same junk they pulled on Judge Rodriguez. He too was a defense attorney before becoming a judge. Where the hell does justice and the truth come into any of this (GAME) anymore ?

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    A good State Attorney wouldn’t have objected to other Judges handling cases the day after Stay was issued. This one objected when Judge Weinstein personally took tome from his schedule to cover. A good State Attorney would have at least sought clarification sua sponte if they had concerns about other Judges based on the wording of the Stay. This one chose instead to cost a lot of money to BSO by keeping everyone in jail. The human cost as well. This State Attorney has lost it. I hope he has a challenge this year.

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      Weinstien took time from his schedule…too funny. What did he sacrifice diet cokes with babyback? A mai tai with tuti fruiti? Getting to the Thai buffet at Siam House before all the tables were taken and he had to squeeze into a booth?

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    It seems that the more u care, the more ways they find to hurt u for it. When it becomes all about winning, nothing else seems to matter. All are presumed innocent until proven guilty is the law. Life is not an act of consumption. It takes a man of rare courage to stand against it.

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    A most accurate commentary on the corrupt relationship between
    broward persecutors and the AG’s office. If this isn’t a clear demonstration of the denial that the state attorney’s office and their blatant disregard for the law, what is fair and just and can look you in the eye and insist the sky is GREEN without blinking. If I were Satz, this kind of horse shit would not happen ever and Silvershein would be shining my shoes! Contini is spot on and the state is a stranger to the truth and any real sense of justice! Really Joel???????

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    There are people, human beings, of all genders colors, race, nationalities, sexual orientation languishing in the Broward County Jail because of the State Attorney’s Office and there ain’t a one of them over there that gives a sh-t, starting with their fearless leader. Don’t they know they are f-cking with people’s lives?

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    Apparently there’s some difficulty understanding the language of the court’s ruling on behalf of the SA although a first year law student wouldn’t have any problem in its interpretation. And this from the head of the homicide unit? They have bigger problems than they know this being the case.

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    Thank you Judge Contini! We need people like you to shine the light on the SAO’s b.s.! Let’s hope that you get to remain in the criminal division!

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    It’s hard not to become overcome by cynicism when you read this. There is no excuse for this type of misleading behavior.

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    Judge Contini has the formidable Cavalry Chapel vote? I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be fire and brimstone in response to this latest offense to all that is good and decent in the world. JC = JC.

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    How far down the rabbit hole is Satzie willing to go to protect Holden and Silveshein? Contini dares him to go up again for further clarification of what is already painfully obvious to anyone with a GED level reading ability? What will Mikey do? Fold up the tent and admit defeat one more time to people like The Honorable Judge and The Honorable Public Defender, or keep chasing his tail like the numerous DNA wrongful convictions he refuses to acknowledge like the child he is?

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    Hon. Judge and Hon. PD ? Lol. Silvershein did what he had to do. No different from what you or I would do. Your attempt at yellow media reportage is as pathetic as its content.

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    Yes, like the defense at Nuremburg, Silvershein was ordered to keep all those defendants, most African American or Hispanic, in the Broward County Jail. Let them do State Attorney time.

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    Satz may win, but in the end it will be a pyrrhic victory. Right now he looks like a cold-blooded ruthless prosecutor that does not care about the people of Broward County.

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    All I can say to that is Thank God for Michael Satz. Broward County is a lot safer place because of his policy of zero tolerance for crime. Can you imagine what the streets of Broward would be like without him ?

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    You pathetic whiners have blogged about Satz getting opposition before, meanwhile everybody in the state from here to Tallahassee wants the guy to run for another term! Lol. Keep whining because u won’t change a thing.

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    It’s not about judicial activism. It’s about following the court’s ruling. Contini should not have engaged Silvershein in any discussion on the subject and Silvershein was under no real obligation from my reading of this transcript to answer any questions regarding the instant cases wherein Judge Contini has been excluded from hearing. Seems simple. Maybe too simple for Judge Contini. Just my call on it for the sake of any further discussion.

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    He accomplished plenty. He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. He’s out of Criminal now it seems no way around it

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    Contini is way over his head now! Just another criminal judge who couldn’t let it go. If a judge can’t read a court order from a higher court, it’s time to move on .

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    “IMP” has a new anklet… it is called a DUI monitor. Maybe she should wear pants and flat shoes to hide it instead of her bimbo dresses and spike heels under the robe.

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      Contini interpreted the DCA order correctly never commented on Writ and discovered that cases not pending sentences were also added to a list produced by the AG with the assistance of the ASA. Interpreting what was decided by a higher court and proceeding to disagree with the decision and antagonize a Judge to the point of almost being held in contempt for not answering a simple question, in an attempt to frame a man as incompetent and incapable of being impartial. Only in Broward where Mike and the Boys get what they want by holding others accountable for their ineptitude.

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        Mike and the boys?? Are they the ones who only work half-days or not at all? What ever happened to the phrase public servant?

        And Silvershein works how many hours a week? It’s the best kept retirement secret

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    Public Servants is a phrase that is highly respectable and no doubt work hard. However you are not the one who has to explain to family members why their loved ones are still in jail awaiting judgement. Remember Justice delayed is Justice denied. There needs to be accountability on both sides and from what I have witnessed, instead of coming to mutual agreements one side believes in removing a judge from every case because of impartiality. His track records prior reveals otherwise of his impartiality. Two questions need to be asked here, why are there cases not pending sentences on a list before any judgement is made and how come this particular judge and not the handful of judges with questionable pasts not treated to the same scrutiny?

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    I have to admit, I had my doubts about contini as a judge when he was running. Plenty of defense attys become total ass wipes once they become judge. I am pleasantly surprised with him thus far. There is nothing wrong with what he did. Yes, he should have copied the SAO on that email – but that was a rookie mistake. He is absolutely correct in his interpretation of the 4ths Order. He stone cold busted the AG/SAO in their production of a list of defendants who are just as much “pending acquittal” as they are “pending sentencing” as the Judge stated. Not only that, but the court did clarify that it was only referring to cases not only pending sentencing – but also where a motion for downward departure was also filed. This may apply to about 12 cases in total out of that entire list! It is clear that the SAO has set their sights on J. Contini as a target because he is not down with putting non-violent drug offenders in prison. We need more judges like John Contini and we need them in the Criminal Division! Judge Contini has won my support as should be with all defense attorneys and anyone with a sense of fairness, justice and compassion.

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    Both gentlemen look bad after reading. The state comes off as cruel having lost sight of the bigger picture, and the judge as someone unable to control his emotions. Both need to reevaluate.

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