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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

SAY IT AIN'T SO JOE (CARLOS & BENNETT)

Various media outlets are reporting that the Miami Dade Public Defenders Office has stopped accepting appointments for certain cases.

Rumpole wonders....Can they do that?

Here's the DBR article on State Court layoffs. DBR

For instance, the West Palm Beachers (motto "you don't belong here") have had to cut back on the dog sitters, and have reduced the number of magazine subscriptions to The Robb Report. In the number of court house masseuse's have been reduced by two.

Here's the DBR story on our new PD
To summarize: He's Cuban, gay, and a democrat, so he's not welcome almost anywhere. We applaud Mr. Martinez's courage for coming out of the closet- it's not easy to be a Cuban and an avowed Democrat in this town. For those of you getting ready to send us vicious emails, Mr. Martinez discusses his sexual orientation in the article, which is why we mention it here.

And here is Oh Susannah's article on the PD's saying NO to new cases: NO

See You In Court, very much not interested in having the PD's clients hire us.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carlos has never kept it a secret that he has a boyfriend of over 10 years.

Carlos has guts but, remember, Bennett is still in charge for many more months.

I applaud them for their guts in simply saying no to too many cases.

Take that, you cheap bastard Republican lawmakers.

Anonymous said...

Why do the media (including this site) obsess or care about whether or not the public defender is gay? I wonder how many of his decisions as a public official will be affected by his sexual orientation. I would guess somewhere between zero and zero. So why bring attention to it?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bennett, but section 27.5303(1)(d) sez: "In no case shall the court approve a withdrawal by the public defender or criminal conflict and civil regional counsel based solely upon inadequacy of funding or excess workload of the public defender or regional counsel."

quit your bitching said...

The PDs are overworked. Wow, what suprising news. Here's my thoughts:

1. There is a lot of fat that can be trimmed from the PDs staff. I won't mention any names, but there are more than a few lawyers in that office making 100K or more and not doing much of anything. Make these people work or send them packing. Let's not forget the photo of Brummer taking a nap in his car...........

2. By PD standards, the Miami-Dade office has it far better than most. Their pay is equal to or greater than comparable ASAs. Their support staff is better than that of the SAO. Their facilities are reasonably nice. There a plenty of jurisdictions, both in Florida and outside, where PDs are paid far less than prosecutors, have little or no support staff, and work in facilities that make a Motel 6 look like a five-star resort.

I don't dispute that the idiots in the Florida Legislature have decided to overcriminalize much behavior, including making a lot of crimes which should be misdemeanors into third-degree felonies. And they have given the state court system an "unfunded mandate," to use an old GOP term we don't hear much of anymore. But the Miami PDs have it good by PD standards. Things could be far worse.

Anonymous said...

I went to law school with Carlos. He is and remains a truly decent man. He will bring an integrity to the office that it sorely needs. I wish him nothing but the best.

PS----While I'm sure Carlos appreciates the kind words, the fact is that he doesn't need anyone's validation. Carlos will do what he believes is right regardless of consequences. And, THAT is worthy of respect.

Frankie Say said...

If your grandmother should die whilst in the shelter, put her outside but remember to tag her first for identification purposes.

Anonymous said...

when i was a pd i was always ready and seldom prepared. get the point brummer is attempting to make but at the end of the day it is bullshit. how about getting rid of ALL the dead wood over there? bill s, dic weed, rory, warren and his wife,b. cox, the list goes on and on and on- it is pathetic.

then hire good young aggressive lawyers at half the price. stop with the bullshit and get rid of your cronies-if you really care for the poor that is... and by the way, good that you finally woke from the slumber

Anonymous said...

To 6:50 p.m.:

They aren't withdrawing from cases. They are just not accepting new appointments.

Anonymous said...

There's a PD named Maggie Arias who writes to the Miami Herald Blog complaining about how it's not fair that her poor poor clients have to suffer due to lack of funding for the PD's office, and she has DUTIES and OBLIGATIONS to them. Yet she writes in to the Herald's blog at around 10:30 am on a Monday morning when she ought to be representing her downtrodden clients. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

I dont think the media or this site is obsessed with the sexual orientation of this public official (poster #2). It is merely something that is different that the norm, not something bad and actually has a very positive effect against those who spread homophobioa or want to relegate gays to certain stereotypical categories and proves the haters are wrong, not to mention the extremely positive influence on younger people, lawyers and non lawyers alike who need good role models and can see positive, productive and accepeted gays in society if they might be struggling with their sexual identity due to fear of oppression, real or imagined.

Its sort of like Jewish or black pride, or Italian pride e.g. Justice Scalia, when a member of your group gains public approval and recognition for their achievement--and the corresponding cringing when a member does something awful, like David Berkowitz "Son of Sam" sent shudders through Jewish spines when he was caught. Hope this helps you poster #2.

Anonymous said...

I guess some folks don't realize we're all working for our clients, their causes, etc., when we actively choose to promote ideas for the right result. I will continue to represent clients at 7am, 10pm, 10:30am, etc., and will continue to post my personal opinion on topics which ultimately help to foster the changes in due process which I believe we desperately need! Maggie Arias

Anonymous said...

Ms. Arias - did you post your "personal opinion" on a computer paid for with public funds?

South Florida Lawyers said...

I can't think of anyone more committed to justice and better suited to running the PD's office than Carlos. I wish him great success in trying times.

Anonymous said...

Maggie,

Does your job description actually state that it is your function to "foster changes in due process?"

Pick your profession: Lawyer or lobbyist. Note the latter are NOT employed under Chapter 27.

Careful how you allot your time. I hear they're firing people over there.

Anonymous said...

Maggie, I respect what you're trying to do. BUT, one of the biggest problems is that the Bennett has allowed your office to slide dramatically. It's a fact that MANY of your lawyers are working part time (40 hours is nothing for a lawyer and I bet half of your colleagues don't go over 35 a week). The sad part is that their laziness tarnishes the good work being done by the others and emboldens the legislature to cut funds.

Anonymous said...

Collect PD fees. So many of the PD's office clients do NOT pay their fees. I think we should require them to pay the $250 or $300 to the PD's office immediately on EVERY case, including county court.

This is not a substantial amount of money. It is not like we are asking for a $5000 retainer.

This should help a lot!

PS, dont tell me they dont have it. Even wearing fake Rolex watches and Prada bags (which cost money), they have a few bucks in their pockets.

Anonymous said...

Wow another post from the PD's office (Maggie Arias) in the early afternoon of a work day. Honestly, how do the PD's find the time to represent their clients, what with all the blogging going on over there?

Anonymous said...

To 11:14 pm:

You clearly don't practice criminal law. When a defendant qualifies for PD services, the court immediately appoints the office of the PD to represent the defendant. To get out of the appointment, the PD must file a motion to withdraw. The statute prohibits withdrawal for financial reasons.

Anonymous said...

5:03, you're completely out of touch. You don't know a thing about our clients. And your thinking is the type that allows money wasters like marijuana possession prosecutions and Advocate's "values" course to continue to suck community resources dry. The answer to the budget crisis? End the prosecution of every damn thing that happens to be written down on an A-form, revamp the Advocate program into something useful and efficient, and trim the fat on the SAO and PDO.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Arias
Not sure what the hell you are talking about in your post but I have seen you often down in the cafeteria hanging out with those old men who still work for the public defender. Maybe if one of them could find the time to advance a cause like say,,, trying a case-that would advance due process...? It seems there is a whole lot of nothin going on from much of the old timber there yonder...

Anonymous said...

I don't know who 2:19 is, but obviously an ill educated prosecutor, or worse angry PD. Maggie- you GO!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree.. Maggie is one of the best attorneys I was able to work with (including inheriting her caseload at one point). She is organized, hard working, and extremely intelligent. She could get a job anywhere, yet she has stayed at the PDs office. She was one of the lawyers that was heavily involved in the Muldowny litigation. Her cases were always well managed, motions were timely filed and well researched, as opposed to the "form motions" that so many lazy PDs file. She is strong to make public comments, which I am sure only took a few seconds out of her day. Keep up the great work Maggie and ignore the vicious comments left by people on this website. Signed, a former PD.

Anonymous said...

Please! Stop the Mag-Fest. She was wrong. A minute. An hour. Wrong is wrong.

Anonymous said...

I'm a prosecutor. I often work with/against Maggie. She is dedicated and hard-working. Budget cuts negatively affect all of us--PDO, SAO, AOC. And more importantly, they hurt the entire community by diminishing the quality of the justice system. So leave Maggie alone! She's right!

Anonymous said...

I for one agree with Ms. Arias 100% and I find it utterly absurd that so much of this “bashing” is unleashed by people that I am sure aren’t half the attorney that she is. Disagreeing with her view is one thing, but putting her down for expressing her opinion is utterly ignorant and completely depressing. Is it wrong to nobly believe in one’s cause to provide nothing but the best legal representation for the poor and often wrongfully accused? Is it wrong to be so passionate about the constitutional rights of the unfortunate citizens of this community to publically voice one’s opinion in an effort to change the system? Is it wrong to be so dedicated to the cause as to not hide behind an “anonymous” alias like the rest of you day-time trading blog bashers? My answer is no, times 3.
This is the Justice Building Blog correct? Key word being JUSTICE, so let’s not forget what it is that we do. Many of us are blessed with the opportunity of representing people who are unfortunately not able to represent themselves, or to pay for most of you “anonymous” attorneys who also find the time in their days to post on the blog during business hours. Many of us are in the position to protect the rights of those people who cannot protect themselves in a world where they are perpetually at a disadvantage. That is what we do. That’s the oath we took and that is what binds us to our clients as attorneys. When an outside force such as the State budgetary commission actively prevents us from effectively fulfilling this task, not only does it serve as an injustice to our clients, it serves as an injustice to ourselves. It is incumbent upon us, as we are in the position to spawn change and to stand up for what is just, to speak up and let our voices be heard. More importantly, it is incumbent upon us, as attorneys, as protectors of the constitution and as ambassadors of due process, to do everything in our power to make sure that not one of our indigent accused shall lose their liberty at the hands of budgetary constraints. The world needs more people like Maggie Arias, period.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:55 pm: any way you can have the america the beautiful play while we suffer through reading your email?
no one said Arias was a bad person, lawyer or pd. It was merely pointed out that before one complains about how overworked one is, perhaps one should not be blogging while one should be working. there is a time and place for everything. blogging to complain about how overworked your office is, during business hours, on a computer funded by the tax payers, seems self-aggrandizing and candidly, a little childish.

Anonymous said...

Is this what you want?

Minneapolis Star Tribune (Minnesota) – Minn. to lose 72 public defenders to budget cuts – (Thursday, June 5, 2008) –
ST. PAUL (AP): Those accused of crimes in Minnesota will likely face longer waits for their day in court and parents trying to hang onto their children will stop getting free legal representation after the state Board of Public Defense voted Thursday to cut more than 15 percent of its lawyers.
That translates into the equivalent of 72 full-time positions. The board said in a release that it faces a $3.8 million deficit after the Legislature cut $1.5 million from its budget to address a state shortfall.
Public defenders represent the majority of defendants in Minnesota, including 85 percent of those accused of felonies and half of those accused of misdemeanors. The average public defender handles 714 cases a year, a number expected to top 800 after the job cuts take effect next month.

Anonymous said...

. . . faced with a caseload of 800, Minnesota public defenders have stopped blogging during work hours, rolled up their sleeves, and are getting to work. They are doing so without whining about it or threatening to illegally refuse to accept appointments.

Anonymous said...

8:23
Nope- not so much. They are mounting attacks on their fronts with caseload challenges... if you ever left your mansion in the Gables and did an honest day work with poor people, then you might read nationwide news around PD issues! But I am sure you are too busy smoking cuband and sleeping with hot chicks with diseases to care...

Anonymous said...

Whoever Mami Arias is, if that is the face of the "new" pd, woe is us. Let's hear it for infantiles, whiners and sycophants. While you're at it, Mami, show us your tatto that reads "brownnoser".

Anonymous said...

11:27 am:

Yet another fanatical post by one of Miami's own "anonymous" attorneys. And this one was sophisticated enough to grab his thesaurus. But while you're at it Mr. 11:27, why not grab the dictionary as well, for the word tattoo has to o's. Do you have one that reads “dumbass”?

Anonymous said...

hello - 1:07? are you there? you're the one that wants to correct what is obviously a typo by 11:27 ("tatto")? Well, the word TATTOO does not have "to" o's... it has TWO O's. Your grammar gaffe seems to illustrate a bit more ignorance than 11:27's mistake. so shut up and get on with your life.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this blog! First of all leave Maggie Arias alone. The legislature is very short sighted and has no appreciation for our justice system. Secondly, as a former prosecutor and an attorney who has spent most of his career in a jurisdiction outside of South Florida I am disgusted at the kinds of personal attacks and kindergarten comments other "attorneys" are leaving on here. You lawyers in Miami should hear what the lawyers in other parts of the state say about you: unethical, unprofessional...etc. Apparently based on the gossip column that is being run on this blog...it is true!