Tuesday, June 10, 2008



Rumpole, would you please post the following for me? Dear Fromer Students of Swan,
As a fromer student and long time friend of Alan Swan, I will be speaking at his memorial service on Saturday (Plymouth Congregational Church in the Grove, 11:30am). If you have a good Professor Swan story, I would love to hear from you today or tomorrow.
Please feel free to respond to mbarzee(AT)jud11.flcourts.org
Thank you.
Mary Barzee Flores

Rumpole notes that (at) needs to be @ but we have to type it that way for complicated blogger reasons.

UPDATE: Broward Attorney Sean Conway and the Florida Bar (motto:"Speak your mind-lose your job") have agreed to resolve the bar complaint against Conway in which Conway wrote on the Broward Blog that Judge Aleman was "an evil unfair witch" (hereinafter "EUW"). Conway will accept a public reprimand.
The Sun Sentinel article is HERE

Wicken Society which is also upset with Conway for sullying their members by alleging that Aleman was an "EUW", has not yet commented on the resolution.

Sean Conway is one of the attorneys who founded the Broward Blog. It was a courageous act to pry open those dusty locked doors behind which the Broward County courthouse was run. Judges have lost their jobs because of the light shined on them by the Broward Blog. We support Mr. Conway and if he feels this settlement is in his best interest, then we wish him well.

Below is the link to the coverage of the JQC trial of 1st DCA Judge Michael Allen who finds himself the defendant because he wrote an appellate opinion criticising fellow 1st DCA Judge Charles Kahn. Khan did not disqualify himself from a case involving the appeal of the felony convictions of former Florida Senate President W.D Childers, and Allen wrote an opinion critical of Kahn's actions.

It seems clear that Khan, who had close political and personal ties to Childers should never have sat on the case. And somehow, although it was Khan who should have recused himself, and although it was Khan who had extra martial affairs with court personnel and lashed out at judges and court employees, it is Judge Allen who finds himself before the JQC.

Very odd. The coverage is

And to add insult to injury, it is none other than North of the Border Judge Paul Backman who is the chief judge of the JQC panel. This is admittedly a personal opinion, but we have never had a judge in Broward be more rude, condescending, and downright nasty to us and our clients than Judge Backman. And he's on the JQC!!!!

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

article has been on our minds:
American corn, soybean, and rice farmers are struggling against a weather pattern that has the crops on the verge of failure. Australian wheat farmers are in the middle of their third year of a drought.

After three years of difficult harvests and a world food crisis that is beginning to take shape, things look bad as there is no more room for error: “If we have bad crops, it’s going to be a wild ride,” said the Agriculture Department’s chief economist, Joseph Glauber. “There’s just no cushion."

So now we have a food crisis and failing farms, piled on top of an economy in the tank with fuel prices approaching $4.50 a gallon. Things seem grim. The real possibility of a depression looms on the horizon. The real estate bubble has popped; tax revenues are down; government and private sectors are cutting jobs and the average American is finding it harder to afford fuel to commute to work. Now add a food shortage and a spike in food prices because of poor crops and the cost of fuel to get the food to the store and things start to look ugly. This is a downward spiral and we need real leadership to get us out of it.

As Sy Gaer used to say, "now you know why I drink."

See you in court, frowning with worry.


Anonymous said...

I ditto your remarks about Judge Backman. I handled a case before him when he first became a circuit court judge and he, for reasons unknown other than the fact that I was from Miami-Dade, called my case last even if I was the first there to sign in. Rude and arrogant. I spoke to a Broward lawyer acquaintance who was tight with Backman and she suggested that I hire her as local counsel. Backman running the JQC is like the fox guarding the hen house.

Anonymous said...

Your version of the events involving Judge Kahn are less than complete and some cases inaccurate. The matter of Judge Kahn's indiscretion with the clerk was old news and had ended years before when she moved to a job Awith the State Court dministrator's Office. In addition no government funds were used to facilitate the affair. Judge Kahn has apologized for his indiscretion and it has nothing to do with the situation with Judge Allen. This is the second time you have posted about this matter and have seen fit both times to include gratuitous references to a marital indiscretion.

As to the Allen matter, Judge Kahn was not that “close" to Mr. Childers. No more so than other judges who know political office holders or allies. Judge Allen used an opinion of the court to mount an unwarranted and unnecessary attack on Judge Kahn rather than deal with the situation in a manner which did not bring ill-repute upon the court. That opinion came down as part of a coup d' eta in which Judge Allen and others unhappy about the proposed opinion ordered a sua sponte rehearing en banc before the opinion had even been published. Also forgotten is that Judge Kahn was only one of two who voted for reversal of the conviction.

Before you further sully the reputation of an outstanding jurist in favor of a self-righteous blowhard, get your facts straight. In addition to everything else Allen deserves what happens to him for lying to the JQC about what he did and why he did it.

Anonymous said...

I like JOA Joe!

Anonymous said...

Rumpola- I just read that a Tallahasse/Pensacola lawyer who had offices in both places, had a website that tongue in cheek said something like the legal service he provided was 100% certified "trans-fat" free. He was at a Florida Bar function and a member of the Bar told him to take it down. He told them to go pound salt, and now finds himself in a Bar hearing.

This is outrageous! Can't our own Jay White, new president of the Bar do something? This is just the type of outrageous behavior Jay promised he would end.

divorced and loving it until now said...

Oh Rumpole. Your readers may remember that I am a great believer that more experienced lawyers have an obligation to mentor young lawyers and law students. In my case I prefer blondes from Nova or the new SF law school, as they tend to be a bit less self assured. However, I will make the appropriate sacrifice for a promising, hardworking Brunette.

Just such a young law student crossed my path last Friday at a Bar function. Short black hair, about 6 feet tall, a former Miss Toronto, with the cutest belly ring you ever saw. We have been studying domestic relations all weekend Rump, and I gotta tell ya, she has me thinking about the M word again.

Rumpole, can I have your opinon: can a 46 year old guy in great shape with a great condo and contender keep a 22 year old agressive law student satisified for the long haul?

Anonymous said...


Is reference to "marital indiscretion" ever really gratuitous?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree but, I had two trials with Backman and he was nice to everyone.

Anonymous said...

TO: divorced and loving it ...

You asked "can a 46 year old guy in great shape with a great condo and contender keep a 22 year old agressive law student satisified for the long haul?"

My answer: It all depends on what is in your briefs!

Thank you very much. I'll be performing here all week!

Anonymous said...

From the Miami Herald comments:

Remember these names, Judge Israel Reyes, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle and anyone else involved in this farce. This SOB steals almost a million dollars(that we know about) from money set aside for poor black people housing. He gets arrested only after the Herald exposes the whole mess not the police or State. Reyes and Fernandez_Rundle than allow Reinaldo Diaz to plea to probation as his only punishment. Read that any way you want but I don't think it's hard to put two and two together. How many favors were or will be exchanged? It's obvious that in Dade County it's standard for all politicians and persons with public contracts to steal the money if it's set aside for black people. It's unfortunate but even the represenatives from the black districts choose to steal the money also instead of fight for it and use it for the welfare of poor persons. This is the second person to plea guilty in this multi million dollar theft and no one has gone to jail. Judge Reyes, for a fairly new judge who up until now has had a good reputation in the community for doing good, SHAME ON YOU! You didn't have to accept this plea and if pressured should have refused the case. If you feel you have to pander to the Miami building (Cuban)community for money in re-election campaigns, maybe you have already sold yourself out along with all the citizens of Miami-Dade. Ms. Rundle well, nothing ever changes in your office when it comes to corruption. Big news splash , long investigations then probation with no jail and cooperation from defendants that never goes anywhere. Did Janet Reno teach you that? Never mess with the politics in this town, there always is a crackhead robbing someone for $20 to focus your life sentences on.

Anonymous said...

The problem in Broward county are the Judicial Assistants are the rudest people on the planet!!! The judges let them get away with it too~~~~~

Anonymous said...

Dear Divorced & Loving It: while your situation may make your buddies horny & envious, do you have any idea how ridiculous you look? If you do get married, I hope Ms. Toronto gets the condo and the boat after the inevitable divorce (she earned them).

Anonymous said...

It's scary that Conway agreed to a public reprimand. Very scary. I believe his word choice was poor and tasteless, and his words were unprofessional. Yet unprofessional does not equal unethical. Conway did not deserve to be disciplined by the Bar over what he said.

Handling criticism, even if it is tasteless, is part of the job of being a judge. A good judge realizes that.

Anonymous said...

"No Iced tea for Shumie" The musical, has started casting, with Alan Arkin, as Shumie, and John Malkovic as the obsessed waiter who will stop at nothing to charge shumie for every iced tea he orders. Opening in Chicago, with an anticipated Browardway debut fall 2009.

Anonymous said...

11:44...........what case are you referring to?

Eye on Shumie said...

To "No Iced Tea for Shumie":

Your casting of Alan Arkin as Shumie is inspired as is John Malkovic as The Waiter.

I suggest Howie Mandel as Kenny W.,
Joe Pesci as Chris P., Steve Landesberg as Phil R. and Ken Osmond as JB.

the trialmaster said...

the trialmaster had a dui case when backman was in county court. I recall that he had his then young son sitting in the jury box and would berate attorneys who appearred in front of him showing off for his son. a very small man indeed with a big ego. He couldnt make 2 nickles in private practice.

Anonymous said...

Paul Giamatti and Joel Denaro?

Anonymous said...

Funny thing Freedom of Speech, it goes hand in glove with the intemperate behavior, and always involves the four P's - persecution, prosecution, pass, and protection. It all depends on who the orator or act is, and boils down to whether the "establishment" and those with delusions of power decide to persecute you or protect you. For example, compare Former Judge Ivan Hernandez and still Judge Jeri Beth Cohen, the former had a pompous judicial assistant, the latter made a pompous statement herself to the effect that the problem our community has is we cannot send the Cubans back to Cuba cause if we could our jails would not be so crowded. In my humble opinion, a pompous JA is less dangerous than an intemperate Judge, and we deal with pompous JA’s often. Consider the recent case handled by Judge Cohen, and her failure to address the blatant conduct by the Attorneys and the witnesses, who admittedly fabricated evidence. You tell me, again, what warranted the tribal assault against Ivan Hernandez, and the cloak of protection afforded Cohn. We all recall the “establishment” going after Hernandez, while circling the wagons around Cohen? Many of us know the temperament of both Hernandez and Cohn, so no need to editorialize, suffice it to say we all have faults - the cosmic baker took us out of the oven too soon - but on the balance I can live with slow, but not with a loose brainless tongue. So why the differential treatment accorded these two members of the bench, Perhaps the pièce de résistance was the allegation that Hernandez’ JA was fielding a candidate against Judge Liefman? I know, there are some who will comment that it was because Hernandez was derelict in his supervision of his JA. Well, I offer the following: lawyer goes to Judge Farina with a documented pattern of abusive conduct by a JA, and less than judicial conduct by the judge; lawyers staff caught JA engaging in the equivalent of ex-parte communication, disparaging lawyers’ office, and expressing admiration for opposing counsel; the particular judge’s mood swings are well known in the legal community (civil). End result, Judge and JA are both still employed, happily ever after. So put that in your pipe and smoke it next time you think “who” you are doe not matter!!

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, your readers should know that as an open and avowed cruciverbalist, Shumie would not take part in a musical, although I'm not sure if he's a reformed or conservative cruciverbalist.

Additionally, as such, they shun caffine which as we know, is found in iced tea.

He deserves an apology senator. This committee owes shumie an apology.

Anonymous said...

The Dade County Bar Association has sent out a Judicial Bar Poll ballot to every lawyer in Miami-Dade County. It comes in a brown manilla envelope and only requires that you fill in the bubbles,sign the card acknowledging your bar status and a stamp.
Public lawyers and private lawyers have a responsibility and an obligation to the community to fill out truthfully and objectively that bar poll and send it back by June 20th, 2008.
It is one of the few ways we, as lawyers and judges, get to rate the judges and candidates for judicial office and make a difference in who may be elected
The bar poll has the names of judges that were up for re-election even though they may not have been opposed on qualifing day as well as those judges that are being reviewed for merit retention.
Two incumbent judges, with opposition, are on the ballot and need your input about their qualifications.
Candidates for judicial office, who may be unknown by most attorneys, need your input so that they can be considered by the voting public in their quest for public office.

These bar polls are important and every vote submitted counts.

The public has no idea who the people are.They depend on these bar results, which are published in the newspapers, in helping them make a decision who to vote for.
Candidates for judicial office use these results in their advertising to tell the voting public what lawyers think of them and the work that they do.

Every vote counts.

The Dade County Bar sends out about 15,00 ballots. Usually 5,000(maybe) are returned and are legally counted. Generally,an Assistant State Attorney,Jorge Cueto, Stacy Glick, Manny Segarra etc.,
Public Defender,
Criminal defensse attorneys, Lisa Lesperance, Steve Millan,
Judges in the Criminal /County court, Bernie Shapiro, Norma Lindsey, are unknown by the vast majority of attorneys in the County.

You can see that every vote counts, especially if the person works in the areas of law and the buildings where they may not be known by a broad spectrum of lawyers in Miami-Dade County.

We owe it to our community to voice our opinion in order to assist them in making an informed choice about the Judges they will elect.
If you, as attorneys, have or had up an close and personal interaction with the Judge or Candidate and can objectively comment on their qualifications to be a Judge,you need to voice your opinion.

Do not forget or fail to return your ballot

If you fail to vote you have no right to complain.

You have a say in the Judges who are about to serve your community.

Thanks for Listening