SAO UPDATE

The email below was sent to all Felony ASA’s today titled “Afternoon Dockets and Depositions.”

We’re also working on a public records request regarding jail conditions and access to courts in June, and trying to figure out why Barbara McCarthy doesn’t seem to be listed on the Zoom hearing docket schedule, so please stay tuned.

SAO email:

As you all know by now, judge’s will be handling their own dockets daily in the mornings. Out of custody changes of pleas will be scheduled on these morning dockets. Attached hereto you will find the protocol for setting out of custody change of plea hearings. In addition to these protocols, all SAO requirements regarding changes of plea, i.e. supervisor consultation and approval of any offer that involves a charge reduction, change of charge or below guidelines offer must be obtained and documented.

I expect that most, if not all, bond motions will be scheduled on the morning dockets as well. Al matters will be handled via zoom by the assigned attorney whether it’s a division attorney or a special unit case.

Afternoon emergency bond dockets will be suspended after Monday May 18, 2020. The afternoon time slots – 1:30 to 6:00 p.m., will instead be used for the 16 circuit criminal divisions to hold evidentiary hearings such as Arthur Hearings and VOSC hearings on in custody defendants. There are 16 divisions so each FTU division will hold these types of hearings once every 16 working days. The protocol for these hearings is attached hereto as well. Emergency bond hearings not set before the assigned judge will continue to be calendared on these afternoon dockets regardless of who the assigned judge is.

Matters to be set on these afternoon dockets will be notices in the normal course and we will received dockets listing all cases to be heard the day before. These dockets will be forwarded to the assigned division attorneys and the docket clerk’s who will send out reminders to any attorney with a case on the docket. All attorneys are to appear via zoom and handle their own cases. To be clear, FTU division attorneys will be handling their own cases but all special unit cases or any case assigned to an attorney not in the particular FTU division must appear via zoom and handle their own cases.

We will be sending out the zoom invitation to any attorney with a case listed on the docket but in case we miss one, it is the attorney’s obligation to reach out to me or one of the FTU division attorneys to obtain the zoom link so they can appear.

Depositions will be resuming as well. An AO setting forth the process for taking depositions had been issued just prior to the courthouse closure that stated digital court reports could be used for less serious cases and stenographers have to be used for serious cases. I am attaching a copy of that AO hereto. Depositions will, until further notice, be conducted via video conferencing but the requirement that either a digital court reporter or a stenographer, depending on the type of case involved, participate via video conferencing remains in place.

Division FB has developed a deposition protocol that we anticipate will be followed by all judges. That deposition protocol is also attached hereto for your review.

We recognize that not all civilians will have internet access or access to the required video conferencing app. We also recognize some civilian witnesses ma not be comfortable appearing via video conferencing. We have drafted an internal protocol regarding the deposition process that I am also attaching hereto for your review. This protocol is a work in process and may be amended as necessary.

It has also come to our attention that law enforcement witnesses cannot use any official devices that also have access to confidential criminal justice information. As a result, LEA are working on obtaining terminals or tablets that will not be connected to their servers. Accessibility to these devices will be limited so scheduling and adhering to schedule will be very important. A protocol for setting LEO depositions is being developed and I will share it with you as soon as it is available. I can tell you that we will have to go through the agencies liaisons to schedule LEO depositions.

These processes are all works in progress and may have to be changed or adjusted as we move forward. Please feel free to share comments or suggestions about any aspect of any of these matters.

56 thoughts on “SAO UPDATE”

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    This is what your dialysis center should do to protect you:
    Check and follow all patients, including home dialysis patients, staff, and visitors who may have had contact with the coronavirus, or with people who have symptoms of COVID-19. For example, the center should:
    Check you for fever or any breathing or respiratory (lung) symptoms
    Ask if you live in an area where people have COVID-19
    Ask if you have had contact with someone who is being checked for COVID-19, or if you have recently been in another country where COVID-19 has spread.
    Centers should take patients’ temperatures at check-in.
    Find, triage (give the right type of care based on symptoms), and keep patients who may have the disease away from others who don’t. This means a patient with respiratory symptoms should be dialyzing six feet away in all directions from healthy patients. In some centers, patients with respiratory symptoms may be dialyzed in a separate area.
    Communicate often and openly with patients and their representatives, including family and other care givers, to meet the needs of each patient.
    Call your local or state health department if the dialysis center has a very high number of patients with respiratory illness.

    Dialysis centers should identify patients with signs and symptoms of respiratory infections before they enter and do the following:
    Give a mask to patients with respiratory symptoms. These patients should wear the mask from check-in and until after they leave the center.
    Tell patients to call ahead to report respiratory symptoms.
    Put signs at the entrance to let patients know they should tell the staff if they have respiratory symptoms.
    Give patients and staff information about hand hygiene (how to keep hands clean) and other ways to stay safe. Patients should get this information in the language they know best. Centers should also have tissues, hand sanitizer, and trash bins with foot pedals.
    Don’t allow visitors with signs/symptoms of infection to enter the dialysis center.
    Give sick time to staff with respiratory symptoms or other signs of illness. It’s not safe for them to be around patients.
    Make separate waiting areas for sick patients that are at least six feet from other patients. Healthy patients can wait outside or in their cars until it’s their turn to be seen.
    Separate healthy and sick patients by no less than six feet in all directions. Ideally, sick patients will be dialyzed in a separate room.
    Group multiple dialyzing patients suspected or confirmed for having COVID-19, along with the staff caring for them, in the same unit or on the same shift.
    Use cleaning procedures that kill the coronavirus, along with all routine cleaning and disinfection procedures.
    Transfer any patient too sick to be treated in a dialysis unit. The transport service and receiving facility should be told about the patient’s condition.
    Monitor home dialysis patients monthly.

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      Rumor is that there will be a dialysis clinic at the PD’s office in 2021. I hear the future “Number 2” of the PD’s office is having one installed.

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        No way! Gordan is going to win. He won’t stand for it. Go Gordan Go!! Say no to the dialysis clinic at the PD’s office. Let’s bring back the margarita machine!

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          and he didn’t have a margarita machine either you idiot! Clearly if you worked at the PD’s office is the good ol’ days you would have known it was a daiquiri machine.

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                  Hemodialysis is the most common type of dialysis and the one most people are aware of.

                  During the procedure, a tube is attached to a needle in your arm.

                  Blood passes along the tube and into an external machine that filters it, before it’s passed back into the arm along another tube.

                  At dialysis centres, this is usually carried out 3 days a week, with each session lasting around 4 hours.

                  It can also be done at home. Some examples of a home dialysis schedule include:

                  4 times a week for 4 hours
                  5 times a week for 3 hours
                  6 days a week for 8 hours overnight

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                    Kidneys

                    If you’re carrying some extra pounds, it may be time to slim down to show your kidneys some love. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your overall health – including your kidneys. Being overweight or obese may increase the risk for kidney disease in several different ways.

                    The first reason is based on an old saying: “One thing leads to another.” Being overweight increases the risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. In turn, diabetes and high blood pressure are the two main causes of kidney disease.

                    Being overweight can directly affect your kidneys, too. Extra weight forces the kidneys to work harder and filter wastes above the normal level. Over time, this extra work increases the risk for kidney disease. Just remember, when there’s more of you, your kidneys have to work harder to keep up.

                    So how do you lighten up to protect your kidneys and overall health? Here are ways to reduce your risk for kidney disease if you are overweight or obese:
                    Know your Body Mass Index (BMI): This number gives you a rough idea of your total percent of body fat. Normal BMI is usually between 18 and 25. A BMI between 25 to 30 is considered overweight, and greater than 30 is considered obese. You may have a higher weight compared to other people, but you may have a normal BMI. This happens if you have more body weight coming from muscle than coming from fat. Having more muscle than fat is healthier. Eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies.

                    Make lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise and watching portion sizes.

                    Get your kidneys checked. It just takes two simple tests – blood and urine – at your primary care doctor’s office to check for any signs of kidney disease.

                    Control blood sugar if you have diabetes.

                    Control blood pressure if you have high blood pressure.

                    It’s great if you want to lose weight, but don’t be “The Bad Diet Guru.” Ask for advice from your healthcare team. If you do need to drop some pounds, it’s important to talk over any weight loss program with your healthcare provider, especially if you have any stage of kidney disease.

                    For more on how to “heart your kidneys” and how the National Kidney Foundation is using tattoos to remind people that, in many cases, kidney disease can be prevented, visit heartyourkidneys.com.

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                      The best way to slow or prevent kidney disease from high blood pressure is to take steps to lower your blood pressure. These steps include a combination of medicines and lifestyle changes, such as

                      being physically active
                      maintaining a healthy weight
                      quitting smoking
                      managing stress
                      following a healthy diet, including less sodium (salt) intake

                      No matter what the cause of your kidney disease, high blood pressure can make your kidneys worse. If you have kidney disease, you should talk with your health care professional about your individual blood pressure goals and how often you should have your blood pressure checked.

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    “all SAO requirements regarding changes of plea, i.e. supervisor consultation and approval of any offer that involves a charge reduction, change of charge or below guidelines offer must be obtained and documented.”

    NOT AFTER JANUARY

    BYE BYE

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        With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling. You may have protein in your urine. Also, waste materials will build up in your blood.

        Diabetes also may cause damage to nerves in your body. This can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder. The pressure resulting from your full bladder can back up and injure the kidneys. Also, if urine remains in your bladder for a long time, you can develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in urine that has a high sugar level.

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    Why don’t they just Fire Chukawama and they don’t have to worry about dishonest ASAs and the rest of them can properly handle their cases?

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    Stop complaining. If you’re having a hard time with the SAO, hire Chuck Morton or someone else they like. They had him on Antonio Brown’s case and eventually Daus was taken off the case for an easier prosecutor. It’s a big game over there.

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      So disgusting that you have to hire one of their own to do the right thing. Morton should do the right thing and speak out instead of lining his own pocket. Disgusting

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    I wonder if the successor State Attorney is going to allow a full audit of the Satz years?

    Open all the files up?

    Put all the whispers of dirty deeds to bed once and for all if Satz got a bad rap?

    Or send some people up the road that may deserve it if there’s anything there?

    It’s the right thing to do in either case.

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      ITS ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE
      THE GREASE TRAP IS ABOUT TO GET CLEANED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 40 YEARS

  6. Broward Chief Circuit Judge Jack Tuter is running an experiment intended to create a template for remote jury trials and maybe even a return to courthouse jury trials. says:

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    ‘Most Troublesome’ Issue: Experiment Tests Remote Jury Trial With COVID-19 Around

    Broward Chief Circuit Judge Jack Tuter is running an experiment intended to create a template for remote jury trials and maybe even a return to courthouse jury trials. With COVID-19, the challenges are daunting.

    America is reopening again in the coronavirus era, but the jury trial calendar remains a blank slate.

    Broward Chief Circuit Judge Jack Tuter is leading the jury charge (pun intended), but it’s no easy thing. As he steps into the frontier during a health care pandemic, he has a rapt national audience.

    “This jury trial issue is the most troublesome of the ones we’re dealing with right now,” Tuter said in a telephone interview as the Fort Lauderdale area prepared to begin reopening Monday. “Everything depends on what happens in the real world of COVID.”

    Attorneys are working with him behind the scenes in Broward County to explore concepts like virtual jury trials and a return to in-person civil and criminal jury trials in the COVID-19 era. But the social-distancing logistics—starting with the morning jam at the entry’s X-ray machines and extending to deliberation rooms—are breathtaking.

    Tuter and attorneys with the American Board of Trial Advocates conducted a mock civil jury trial Monday with powerhouse plaintiffs attorney Jack Scarola serving as the jury foreperson to test the new reality.

    Tuter and ABOTA are working with New York University’s Civil Jury Project to create a template for other judges to follow if the coronavirus runs wild for two years as some predict and if remote jury trials get beyond the hypothetical stage.

    “Judge Tuter has taken national leadership,” Scarola said. “I think we are ahead of the curve to move to the experimental stage that we’re in.”

    Plantation civil litigator Mitchell Chester, an ABOTA member who helped organize the remote trial, said, “I’m not aware of any lawyers and judges who have done this up until now anywhere in the country, and the people at NYU say southeast Florida is far ahead.”

    In an obviously condensed form, Tuter ran a 90-minute, start-to-finish trial on Zoom software focused on how to call witnesses and enter exhibits. The jury was mostly plaintiffs lawyers who heard a personal injury case involving a kid on a dirt bike who fell on unfenced property.

    When it came to deliberations, Scarola of Searcy Denney in West Palm Beach said the mock jurors were working under a time limit in a Zoom video conference breakout room overseen by a court technical staffer. The jury was not shooting for a unanimous verdict. It was more a test of emailing a verdict form to the remote foreperson and getting it back to the judge.

    “It is a first step in what I anticipate is going to be a pretty long journey, but one that we need to take,” Scarola said. “It generally went well, but it demonstrated that there is significant additional work that needs to be done before we can start to conduct jury trials remotely.”

    The next stage of the virtual jury trial experiment will be organizing online voir dire with judicial assistants serving as prospective jurors in late May or early June. That’s definitely more problematic.

    The jury summons process went on hiatus in Florida when trials were suspended in March, and the office would have to be revived. A one-third response rate was all that could be expected before the pandemic, so it’s reasonable to expect a lower rate for either an in-person or remote calls.

    “One concern is that the people responding to summonses are going to be self-selecting in a manner that skews the jury pool,” Scarola said, anticipating fewer older jurors and fewer people from the giant pool of 36 million newly unemployed Americans.

    Chester worries about both the digital and technological divide for seating a representative jury. Seniors are the least likely to be sophisticated computer users, and many people of all ages have limited access to high-speed Wi-Fi connections.

    Under the circumstances, Tuter could foresee a jury composed of “middle-class people with good internet access. That seems to be not very due-process-minded.”

    Scarola likes the idea of longer questionnaires for prospective jurors, but he isn’t sold on the remote mechanics, which transfer physical observations to a small window showing only faces.

    “To the degree that remote selection depends on a greater dependence on one-on-one, electronic-face-to-electronic-face communication, it changes the dynamics of the selection process in a way that right now I’m not comfortable with,” Scarola said. “I want to be able to see that panel as a whole, and I want to be able to observe the reaction of other jurors to whom I am not specifically addressing a particular question.”

    More questions abound about criminal jury trials and in-person trials back in the shuttered courthouses, and Tuter is trying to answer those, too. For starters, both sides would have to agree to virtual trials, and stipulations might be needed to address the likelihood of unforeseen problems.

    The jury room in the main Fort Lauderdale courthouse normally holds about 700 people. With social distancing, that drops to about 60, which isn’t enough to seat a murder jury of 12 plus alternates. Elevators would be reduced to one person per ride, which means assembling even a small group could take 15 minutes.

    The well of the court is normally populated with a judge, clerk, bailiff, two sets of attorneys using stationary microphones and possibly a court reporter. The jury would have to be dispersed in the spectator section, which raises another question of how to accommodate spectators.

    For criminal cases, the Broward jail population has been reduced to about 800 high-risk inmates and prisoners with immigration holds.

    “If I’m going to get criticized, it’s because we were slow to open, not that we opened too soon,” Tuter said. “We’re not going to take the risk that a 60-year-old person or an 80-year-old person summoned to court is going to get sick.”

    Thousands of remote hearings have been held since courts closed, but jury trials are off the table by court order in Florida until at least July 6 with an option to extend. The Florida Supreme Court order also encourages thinking about the permanent adoption of remote proceedings.

    Tuter expects to begin reopening courthouses, most likely starting with the clerk’s office, in June. If he can work out remote voir dire issues, he guessed the first virtual trial could be scheduled in late September or early October, but he’s uncertain whether a juror will step back into the courthouse before the end of the year.

    “I think that we are going to be compelled to move into some type of remote procedure,” Scarola said. “If the alternative is you’re going to try your case remotely or you’re not going to try it for at least the next six months, there will be some who will elect to try it remotely.”

    The attorneys agreed simple business disputes and personal injury cases with few documents are the most likely to elect remote jury trials.

    “It may be that we don’t call juries for several weeks or months depending on the medical situation at the time,” Tuter said. “I just feel if we’re ordering people for jury service, we have to be dadgum certain that they’re not exposed.”

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    In this unique time you need to find the leadership you want in 2021.

    Murphy and Rossman have continually misrepresented to the voting public that your office and your jobs offer exceeding amounts of discretion. This memo directly refutes their misrepresentations over the past months (for Murphy since day last August). There will NOT be any change in either administration. Be aware of this and vote accordingly. Also neither of these candidates have any creative ideas and how to run a office in this trying and unique times. Murphy has not attended ANY of the joint meetings held with the Cheif judge. This fact alone states volumes.

    We need real effective leadership in post pandemic times. Someone that will fight to keep us safe, understands the modern age of governing and will be allowed at the adult table for thanksgiving,

    Please consider anyone but Murphy or Rossman.

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      Rossman has no chance. He is a Republican in an overwhelmingly democratic county- in a year with a very hated and divisive president. I don’t know what he was thinking.

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      I like what Mccormack said at debate about pleas. About dropping charges in exchange for pleas.
      Like an actual plea bargain.

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    The old Satz gang can’t let go of anything easy. They’re going to get crushed in August but damned if they’ll let it go so easily without going until Nov. I wonder if the Republicans that have had all the influence there all these years will step up and spend a fortune on Rossman and Tony in the longshot hope they can win and still control things? It’s a thought.

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      ABSOLUTION IS SUCH AND INTERESTING CONCEPT
      GET THE SKIP ON THINGS
      GO BACK TO SELLING INDULGENCES
      JUST DONT EVER SUPPORT THIS CLOWN

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    I remember how full of hope I was back in the 1980’s when Mike implemented Yoga and EST training for any Prosecutor that wanted to take advantage of it. There was real hope that some of the animalistic excesses of the Office culture could be tempered by progressive training geared toward a more healthy mind/body/spiritual unification and/or awareness to the greater connectivity all humans share to help make the office compassionate and inevitably more efficient and effective. When only a junior Receptionist in the Public Records Division signed up it was agreed it was a hopeless mission and ultimately the money for those programs went towards that year’s Christmas Party that ended in infamy and eternal Office lore when one of the employees let his subconscious guilt and self loathing at some of the things he’d been required to do that year got so loaded he was found in Liberty City five days later turning tricks for crack. Luckily cell phones weren’t a thing yet and the deposits from the returned party kegs were utilized to hush everything up. I don’t know what will happen in August but I can’t imagine some sort of improvement or at least a new State Attorney who will feel confident enough to at a minimum reinstate the annual Christmas Party.

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      The only implausible element of this fable is the part about them wanting to curb the office’s prosecutorial excesses.

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      NOTHIN LIKE THE TASTE OF A BIG FRESH CANNOLI EITHER ON OR OFF THE BENCH

      BROWARD JUDGES – A BREED ALL THEIR OWN

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    Mappers of a County lost in a bygone era need to get it together or the ultimate consequences are too terrible to contemplate

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