Rumpole, I leave my diary for the moment to comment on the issues of the day.
Court Appointments. The system seems destined to fail. I was impressed by statistics by JAC that indicated that fraud or over billing was a concern in less than one percent of the bills. It also seems that the second PD office for Dade and Monroe, in which the lawyers will also have to cover juvenile cases, is woefully underfunded.
Forget for the moment the issue of capital cases. You have written in the past about the cases just below the level of death penalty cases: those serious cases which upon conviction merit a long prison sentence, but because they are not death penalty cases, they do not get the money or publicity. You are 100% correct about that. That is the area where a tragedy is most likely to occur. Is it really less of a tragedy if we lock an innocent man in prison for the rest of life? For every death penalty case, there are hundreds of cases where people face long or life prison sentences. If we're going to spend money to give people a fair trial, this is where the majority of money should go.
I read Judge Carney's (a judge from Broward) letter to the Herald the other day and it was right on point. I know you do not care for my colleagues "North Of the Border" but they do not have a problem up there. Florida has a great system for educating and training judges, and Broward is just like the client who never speeds and then gets three speeding tickets in three months. It is not indicative of a problem.
Final point. We are thankfully past the swearing in season. All the new Judges have been sworn in. Here is an open secret- many of my colleagues do not attend the ceremony for a new judge who won an election against a sitting judge. It is popular these days to call our seats "the peoples' seat" and yet when some lawyer tests that theory and wins an election, many judges do not attend their swearing in ceremony. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this. I do know that when a new judge looks out and sees 10-15 open seats where the Judges sit, it hurts them, and this is not good.
Anyway, thanks as always for the space. By the way, I like the moderation. I don't know how you have the time to get the comments up so quick (if you are just one person, and I have my suspicions) but I think moderation adds value to the blog and makes the reading of it more enjoyable. Those stupid and nasty comments have no place in something that you obviously work hard on. And I can tell you that many of my colleagues enjoy your blog as well, although I will not spill any secrets as to whether they read it during voire dire . Keep up the good work.
Rumpole says: Thanks for the kind words and the post. You are our favourite anonymous Judge (if in fact you are a judge) and many lawyers have emailed me to tell me how much they like your posts.
See You In Court Monday.
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