Well, those fine folks North Of the Border have done it again.
This time it is Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Levenson, who put his robed foot in his mouth by making an inappropriate joke about the Defendant in a sexual battery case during the charge conference.
To his everlasting credit, Judge Levenson IMMEDIATELY realized his faux pas, and apologized to all present including the defendant.
To summarize, apparently the Defendant is a high school football player, and the case involved the allegation of illegal sexual contact with another male. Judge Levenson asked what position the defendant played. He was told "linebacker" and another person in the courtroom said "Tight End" at which point Judge Levenson said "Wide Receiver?"
Not the type of commentary which will get you on the 4th DCA.
Actually, we've heard good things about Judge Levenson. He's a former Federal Prosecutor and not a member of the Broward Old Boys Network.
Everyone is entitled to make a mistake, and this is Judge Levenson's mistake. We think people should accept his apology and move on.
However, it might be a good lesson for the Judge to learn: Sometimes even the best and brightest people do and say stupid things, and many times second chances are just what they need.
Based on the alarming rate Broward Judges send first offenders to state prison (the highest in the state of Florida) second chances are not something the Broward Judiciary is known for.
This is one Dade lawyer who is ready to give Judge Levenson a second chance. Hopefully, that feeling will spread to Broward and they can stop sending so many people to state prison. (And hopefully the Dolphins will win the rest of their games and make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl! There's about the same chance for either event occurring. )
The whole sordid mess including the transcript is on the Broward Blog, and if you scroll back you will find the post on Broward Judges sending people to state prison, along with the infamous Dale Ross memo to the judiciary recommending that the judges send as many people to state prison as possible as a way of reducing the over crowding at the Broward County Jail.
See You In Court, where we rarely joke, and never during a charge conference.