Unfortunately, the more things change, the more they stay the same- which you can see by reading the end of this post.
KEN HASSLETT - former FACDL Miami chapter president, ace criminal defense attorney, and all around nice guy is putting his head into the lion- he is going into the belly of the beast (add whatever other hackneyed metaphors you think apply here); Ken is going North of the Border to meet with Judge Ana Gardnier to discuss....dare we say it..CHANGES North of the Border.
Here is part of the email he sent out:
As The FACDL-Miami Liaison to the BACDL I am making the following report:
On May 29, I attended the BACDL Board meeting organized by their President, Eric Schwartzreich. Also in attendance was the new Administrative Judge for the Criminal Division, Ana Gardiner. I am pleased to report that it was a very informative and productive meeting....
Judge Gardiner has opened the lines of communication with the criminal Defense
bar. It is no secret that change is necessary in Broward. Now is the time for us to bring important issues to the table, that can be resolved by the chief and/or administrative Judge.
I am forwarding this message to all of the members of FACDL-Miami so that they can forward any suggestions to me. On your behalf, I will present our suggestions to the BACDL at their meeting. .. I will be attending the meetings of both organizations in order to keep the lines of communication open.
Kenneth P. HassettAttorney at Law
Rumpole says: You can email Ken here: email: defenderno1 @ aol.com
Our advice is that we rarely venture North of the Border without local counsel, a bondsman on standby, and plenty of antibiotics. But that's just us. We wish Ken luck, and if things don't turn out so well, we will post his jail number at the Broward County Jail so you can drop him a line ala- Pais Hilton.
Word also reaches us from North of the Border via the Broward Blog (link on the left) that long time County Court Judge Robert Zach has been caught with his hand- not in the till- but in the pocket of a criminal defense attorney who appeared before him, to the sum of an unpaid personal loan of $2,500.00
Can you say former Judge Ralph Person?
For those of you newer to the REGJB, the saga of Judge Person reads like a Shakespearean tragedy. Judge Ralph Person was the Chief Administrative Judge for the criminal courts. A true Judge. Admired and well respected by all, we often said he had the best poker face of any Judge we ever appeared before. He gave you a fair hearing and you never had any idea which way he was going to rule.
Judge Person was so well respected that when the Feds needed an expert witness to testify to the Jury in the Miami Court Broom Judicial Corruption case as to what a Judge could and could not do, they turned to Judge Ralph Person.
Just one problem: Judge Person had solicited and received loans from attorneys who had appeared before him. This came out on cross examination and it was not pretty to say the least.
The testimony marked the swift beginning of the end of the Judicial and legal career of Judge Person. He resigned from the bench. The bar was relentless in their pursuit of him. He eventually resigned from the bar, remarking something to the effect that he never wanted anything to do with the law or lawyers again. It was a sad if not tragic ending to his career.
It is often said that those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. Apparently Judge Zack in Broward County is many things, but a historian he is not. We do not know how this mess is going to end, but we predict it will not be pretty.
See You In Court, where in case any of our robed readers are wondering, we cannot loan you any money.
PS. You have to check out the comments on the Broward Blog about Zack.
We're thinking of starting a Broward Judicial body count for each month. This month is what, one Judge to TV, one Judge resigned, Ross to probate of all places (on the theory that he can't offend the clients there as much). Just when you think you have heard it all, another Judge in Broward steps up to the plate and does something stupid, unethical, illegal, or all three. This is an epidemic and obviously some of those Judges have something else under their robes besides skivvies.
What is happening in Broward is a continuing erosion in the public's confidence in the judiciary. We will be soon taking bets on what scandal emerges from the voting for the new chief Judge. The way things are going up there, you just know they are bound to screw it up.