THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
As many of you know, in November, we elected several new judges to the County and Circuit Court bench. New faces you may see hiding behind those black (and sometimes) blue robes include: Judges Patricia Marino-Pedraza, Robin Faber, Victoria del Pino, Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer, Don Cohn, Jose Fernandez, Valerie Manno Schurr, Antonio Marin and Marisa Tinkler Mendez.
All this week, they, along with 110 other newly elected and appointed judges, went to Orlando for Florida's Judicial College. The faculty of sitting and retired judges included Judges Stanford Blake, Kevin Emas and Sam Slom, among others from Miami-Dade County. During the week of schooling, the new judges were reminded of others who donned the robes who got caught in compromising situations, such as DUI arrests, romantic relationships, pornographic emails, and the recent removal of Judge Sloop from the bench for ordering 11 people jailed for mistakenly going to the wrong courtroom; (they had been directed by court personnel to the wrong courtroom).
Also, during the week, each new judge presided over a mock trial where a host of scenarios was thrown at them to see how they would rule and react. In one mock trial, presided over by one of the new female judges from Miami, (I'll let you guess which one), the case was about a lying, cheating husband who had been stabbed by his wife. During the trial, the attorneys asked to go sidebar, and while they were there, the defendant grabbed the knife and snuck it back to the defense table before the judge noticed. They also threw a few more curve balls at her honor, including a sleeping juror, a gum chewing defendant and a name calling lawyer, not to mention the knife incident.
After the mock trial was over, one of the teachers reminded the new jurist that she must make herself aware of everything that happens in the courtroom, not just the legal arguments.
The BLOG looks forward to critiquing the new judges as they begin presiding over calendars, hearings and trials here in Miami and hopes that the judges remember that most of the attorneys practicing in the REGJB are hard working, dedicated barristers just trying to do their best for their clients while at the same time attempting to manage a law practice and keep their heads above water.
CAPTAIN OUT ................