Judicial Conference Nonsense.
OK, here I am at a Judicial Conference at the same Hotel in Orlando. Its either Orlando, Tallahassee, or Jacksonville for these things. Sometimes Naples, which can be nice.
The same old Judges, with the same old jokes.
Here we go…calling the 11th Circuit the Republic of Miami….hahaha..nope…another cracker is calling us the 11th Judicial Circus…haven’t heard that one but 100 times at these affairs. Yup, we’re the Judges of Miami…we don’t put people in jail for 10 years for possession of cocaine for a first offense. Yeah we grant a motion to suppress every now and then….umm…the fourteenth amendment makes the US Constitution’s guarantees applicable to the State of Florida. Might be nice if that was ever discussed at a conference.
It’s true we don’t have too many Judges here named Robert E Lee or John Wilkes Booth, and we probably have more Jewish and Hispanic Judges than the rest of the state combined, but we seem to manage just fine thank you.
Here’s a dilemma- the bar tonight with the same old coots …or room service with the same rubbery steak. They wouldn’t know picadillo from a Ruben Sandwich in these parts.
That’s kind of the nice thing about my colleagues in Miami. A group of Hispanic Judges will get together for lunch at Jerry’s Deli, while a group of Jewish Judges will driver over to Isle De Canarias.
I remember when Judge Kahn used to hold cooking contests in the Justice Building. One month it would be best Lasagna, the next month best Cheesecake. We don’t have that kind of congeniality any more. It’s more cliquish, which is inevitable with the larger number of Judges. We have Judges now who I remember as CLI’s at the State or PD’s office. Kind of scary. They seem nice, but how much experience can they really have?
In every generation there is great…good and mediocre. I guess I have no right to complain. We had Judge Scott and Judge Cowart…. But we also had a bunch of hacks who couldn’t make it in private practice…so the more things change the more they remain the same.
[I have obviously incorporated some older diary notes about a Judicial Conference with more current events].
We have this major murder trial from Orange County. Jessica Lundsford. The trouble with this job is that sometimes we see the absolute worst of human nature. That poor girl. Her poor family.
I remember when Cowart had the Bundy case. That was a big deal. He was some Judge. I used to love to watch him handle difficult lawyers. “Why bless your soul” he’d say when an attorney objected, and the case went right on. Those records on appeal were a scream. But he was patient, and smart, and wise. And there is a difference between being smart and wise. Many of my colleagues are plenty smart. Less of them are wise.
I pray every day for the wisdom to do the right thing, and the humility to remember that I am only human and so long as I do my best, sometimes that’s good enough. The real problem with this job- the real agony that no one can ever know until they have sat in my seat, is when you try your best and fail. So many things can go wrong when I’m wrong. That’s why I have trouble sleeping at night.
Anyway Rumpole, that’s enough for this week.
And I hope you feel better. Try green tea. Anti-oxidants and all that.