Sam I am wrote:
One may argue against a court-room dedication for Judge Crespo WITHOUT insulting Judge Crespo. As has been pointed out, we have lost many judges while they served. Why are we to honor Crespo but not Levine, Dakis, et al? Why are we to honor Crespo over those judges who served, retired and then died? Judge Crespo was a fine and honorable man, but so are a great many other judges who sit and have sat in Miami-Dade County over the past 100 years.
Judge Roberto M. Pineiro said...
Judge Lenny Glick has posted that Judge Scott Silverman, our official historian, has opined that it is the within the purview of our county commission to name a courtroom. If Judge Scotty says it, it must be right. As such, I have take the liberty of preparing a petition to be circulated in our community and sent to the commission.
I do this fully mindful of and obedient to Canon 4 of our Code of Judicial Conduct encouraging judges to Engage in Activities to Improve the Law, the Legal System, and the Aministration of Justice.
I do not, in any way, mean to denigrate fine jusrists and good friends such as Judges Henry Leyte-Vidal, Linda Dakis, Steve Levine or any of the other fine judges mentioned in the blog as deserving of recognition. I do this to celebrate and remember the life of one of us who was truly unique. I am the first to say: Though I've kidded you and berated you, by the living God that made you, you're a better man than I am, Manny Crespo.
The following petition can be signed in my chambers at the REGJB--602. Copies will be provided to all who wish to get others to sign. All signed petitions should be sent to my office for collection and forwarding to the commission:
Whereas: Judge Manny Crespo was a consummate public servant.
Whereas: Judge Manny Crespo strove on a daily basis to provide our community with fair and equal justice for all.
Whereas: Judge Manny Crespo has raised the bar of public service by devoting so much of his “work” time and his “free” time to assure our community that equality, fairness and justice are not simply cherished, nebulous concepts, but a reality to which we can aspire.
Whereas: Judge Manny Crespo should serve as an example to us all, but especially to those of us who labor in our courts.
We the undersigned, most respectfully, request the Miami-Dade County Commission name a courtroom in the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building the Judge Manny Crespo Memorial Courtroom.
The courtroom to be so named shall be designated by the Chief Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida.
Judge Pineiro's heart may be in the right place, but his petition drive certainly violates Canon 5, which prohibits using the office of judge to conduct solicitations, whether for funds, membership, or any other purpose. Every lawyer who appears before the good judge will wonder if failure to enter chambers to sign the petition will have adverse consequences for the lawyer or client. This is precisely the type of judicial coercion that Canon 5 prohibits. If the name-a-courtroom-for-Crespo idea has merit, it will have community support without lobbying by judges. And if it does not have that kind of community support, it is not entitled to impermissible lobbying by the judiciary. At the very least, Judge P should seek an Advisory Opinion before undertaking such questionable activity.
Judge Roberto M. Pineiro said...
In response to 3:17:36 PM. You are absolutely right. It never occured to me that someone might be concerned that failing to sign the petition would incur my animosity--for the simple reason that it never would as this has nothing to do with any case. What is personal should always stay personal.
However, I should always shy away from the appearance of impropriety so I thank-you for you advice and will follow it. However much I would like to assume an active role in the promotion of a memorial, I will simply sign the petition and turn it over to anyone who wishes to be responsible for distribution, collection and forwarding to the Miami Dade Commission.
The petition, sadly, will no longer be available in chambers, but I am sure someone will be able to run with it. Again thank-you for pointing out a stumbling block which should have, quite frankly, been obvious to me.
If Rumpole may interject as a mediator (a role we are otherwise wholly unsuited for) in this matter, it seems to us that honoring the memory of Judge Crespo does not demean the memory of Judges Dakis, Levine, Leyte-Vidal and others. Judge Crespo has friends who wish to extend this honor in his memory. We support the naming of courtrooms after all of these Judges, and probably others as well. But since Judge Crespo volunteered for weekend bond duty frequently, and volunteered every Monday to address and swear in prospective jurors, it is all together fitting and proper (to steal a line from President Lincoln) that we remember him by naming either the Jury Room or the bond hearing courtroom after him.
To answer Sam I Am, it seems illogical to argue against honoring Judge Crespo because others are equally deserving of the same honor. Why not honor all departed Judges? Judge Crespo has his close friends and supporters and it is up to the friends of the other Judges to do the same.
To address Judge Pinero's concerns the Petition should be given to your friendly neighborhood FACDL Justice Building Rep, who can post it in the attorneys' room on two, the coffee shop on seven, and Au Bon Pain.
Sorry for the slow posts, but this thing is spinning out of control. Judge Phil Knight would have had this thing over with in two days.