A Robed reader wrote:Rumps,
Here is a topic deserving discussion: automatic withholds for first time offenders. Herald took Judge Thomas to task today in the Dennis Stackhouse case. Should withholds be essentially automatic in Dade County for first time offenders? It isn't that way on other Florida counties.
A reader wonders:
How late into the evening should trials go? Should there be a "rule" preventing judges from keeping jurors, lawyers, clerks, etc. late into the night?
What's your opinion?
Rumpole replies: 5:30-6:00 PM. People have lives. They have to get home to their families for dinner. And beyond that, there is only a certain amount of time individuals can devote to serious matters. Nobody wins when jurors are exhausted and still listening to evidence late into the night.
We all have horror stories about working past midnight. And for the most part the syndrome is the same: some civil lawyer nobody knows gets elected or appointed judge, and decides they're going to make a name for themselves by working until midnight. All it shows is that the person lacks the temperament, judgment, and ability to be a judge. There's some case law out there now from the 4th DCA that prohibits Judges from doing this. Just make a record.
We do have to say that this problem is less frequent than it used to be and that is a direct result of better training of judges and better supervision by Chief Judges.
One very notable exception was our dear departed friend Judge Manny Crespo. He loved to work and he loved his work. But even Judge Crespo would back down if you explained why you could not work late. He is missed and remembered.
See You In Court, not working past 6 if we can help it.