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Monday, July 06, 2009

TRAFFIC TURMOIL

Judge Sheldon (Shelly) Schwartz saw fit to write in about a long standing situation involving the nefarious underworld of traffic attorneys.

You can find his full comments under the July 1st posting. We have edited his comments here (not in the comments section) to include the full gist of his feelings:

(Tomorrow: a traffic lawyer responds- we invite additional responses for consideration of a front page post. This is, as surprising as it may seem, one area of the Miami (quasi-criminal) legal community we know little about.)

Judge Schwartz said:

Times have truly changed in the practice of law. Once upon a time a client retaining an attorney actually met the attorney. Once upon a time an attorney or a member of the attorneys' law firm actually appeared before a court with a file. Once upon a time attorneys represented clients. Unfortunately those time have changed because of a few attorneys who merely believe their staff,non attorney may speak with the client, collect the money for the client and the attorney must never meet the client. Even the day of trial they have another attorney appear before the court having nothing to do with him/her or their respective law firm. The attorneys appearing do not even know the attorney in court if such "substitute"attorney appears and even then have no documents showing compliance.

They care not for their clients and do not make any attempt to properly represent the client.'knowing nothing of the persons past criminal history or traffic history.

These attorneys are a blight on most attorneys who provide proper representation to their clients.These attorneys are a blight on the judicial system.These attorneys,and they know who they are had better shape up,or be prepared to be called out.
...

[I] questioned the guarantees and promised many attorneys made to their clients:promising no points and no school.It is my belief the Florida Bar is the culprit here having forwarded a letter that such statements are not considered guarantees...
I have always questioned the propriety of "stand-in counsel,albeit in civil infractions.



28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Judge Schwartz,

No need to call them out, as it is obvious who the "meet em and plead em" lawyers are. They usually start out with "Judge, I have nine cases on your calendar today." Then they jump to the other courtrooms and do the same. They take cases by the dozens from bail bondsmen and after factoring in the kickback, only have time to hand over the plea authority and sell out their clients. No depos, no investigations, no client consult, no nothing. I wont do misdemeanor cases anymore because I dont have the time or the patience to negotiate against a fellow lawyer that quotes 500 bucks for a DUI or 299 bucks for a traffic misdemeanor. Pretty sad.

Friday, July 03, 2009 1:35:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
i cant wait to hear the federal prosecutors bellyaching when they sick mary barzee on them.

Sunday, July 05, 2009 11:03:00 AM

Isn't this the same person who recently testified as to her own incompetence as a lawyer - in the very same building she is now trying to be seated as a judge?

Oh, and Bill - the mustache looks absolutely ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

I take misdemeanors and always get at least 5k to handle them. 1:35, send them over to the ultimates office and he will teach you how to negotiate.
Shelly is an emotional basket case but you gotta luv him.

Anonymous said...

if she were selected, mary barzee will be fair to both sides. she might even be a little bent to the right. but all all i want is 60% reductions for my cooperators.

el abogado del sapos

Anonymous said...

Schwartz is a rude,crass, arrogant judge. However, he is right on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Dear, (insert name here), Florida Legislature State of Florida:

We are in desperate need of emergency mental health funding.

The justice system is falling apart. Judicial office holders are throwing fax machines at each other. Some have started to ramble on, and, on, and, on, without any self control. We need a State mandated intervention? Help us!

Anonymous said...

There is something fundamentally wrong when a lawyer covering for counsel of record can't answer the following questions when asked by a judge:

“Is the defendant here?”
“Are there any outstanding discovery issues?”
“Are there any pre-trial motions?”
“Why does she need another continuance?”

It usually goes like this:

Attorney: Judge I’m here for Attorney Jones. The case is State v Jean Smith.

Court: Is the defendant here?

Attorney: Uh, I don’t know. (Turning to gallery) Mr. Smith? (A woman stands up)

Court: Okay, Ms. Smith come on up, please. Is the State ready?

ASA: Yes, judge and our offer is adjudication and court costs.

Court: Is the defense ready?

Attorney: No, Judge. Mr. Jones is requesting his first continuance.

Court: Well, Mr. Jones took a continuance last time and he was given 60 days.

Attorney: Okay, Judge then he’s ready.

Court: Last time Mr. Jones said he was going to list a witness and I see in the court file he hasn’t done that. Do you know if he will?

Attorney: Uh, (turning to Ms. Smith) have you talked to your lawyer about a witness?

Ms. Smith: I’ve never met my lawyer. I paid at his office and he has never called me. They told me he’d be here today.

Attorney: Judge, just set it for a plea. And Mr. Jones will close it out then.

Court: How do you know that if Ms. Smith is saying she has never spoken to her lawyer?

Attorney: Okay, Judge set it for trial.

Court: Are there any pre-trial motions?

Attorney: Judge, why are you picking on me? They only require us to do our jobs in other counties not Dade. You guys are a joke and we should continue to do whatever we want to make money and have it as easy as possible here in Dade.

If it’s frustrating for us when we are standing in line and have taken the time to come to court to represent our clients, imagine how the Judges who are trying to do their jobs must feel. Judges are not supposed to give you a break or make it easy on you because it’s Dade or because you knew them before they were judges. We all have a duty to our clients whether they have paid us $10,000 or $49.95.

I remain anonymous so as to not be accused of being a suck up to the judges.

eyeonNDJC said...

Shelly- enter the DROP program. Take some shumie time. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE HELP ME FIND AN ATTORNEY THAT ACTUALLY WORK.

Anonymous said...

Hey Judge Schwartz,
You said in one of your prior ramblings that the Defendant would have been able to get her license in 2- 3 weeks but that the attorney pled the case out. How do you know the Def.'s license was eligible for reinstatement? Perhaps there was an immigration issue preventing the reinstatement. That wouldn't show up on your printout. There might have been factors you didn't know about that led to deciding a plea was in the defendant's best interest. What type of setting was this? If the defendant was present, it probably wasn't just an arraignment. The SAO won't dismiss for having a valid license anymore unless case is set onto report calendar. Simply because you're the judge, doesn't mean you know all of the facts.

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait to hear Macey comment on the evidence in the Weinman case when the DNA comes back positive.

"This DNA mumbo jumbo will be proven faulty and Tyler will have his day in Court"

Rumpole said...

For- the first time in this blog I have edited a comment. I have done so because but for some very uncalled for inappropriate comments, the other 98% of the comment is very appropriate. Rather then just not publish it, I have done this and announced it.


11:11,

Actually if you speak with other judges, such as Judges Smith, you'll find that they hold actually hold the traffic attorneys in high regard. Not only that, the traffic attorneys typically do a better job in traffic court, as they're familiar with the judges, the system, the charges, the officers, etc., they typically get a better result for their clients.

If another attorney doesn't send a coverage lawyer notes, documents or a client to court (in a criminal case), who's fault is it? The traffic lawyer or the attorney who filed the NOA?

Everyone wants the $69 lawyer. If someone is willing to pay me for my time and personal representation, I'm there. The truth of the matter is that it's usually related to ECONOMICS. When someone wants to meet me to discuss their traffic infraction and is quoted $350 (a fair fee considering a consultation, pre-trial and trial) and subsequently decides to pay the $70, is that MY fault?

Frankly, Shelly is (edited out) crotchety, (edited out) who's losing his marbles at the rate of several a day. Have you ever appeared in court before him? (edited out) [The way he] treats people is an absolute disgrace to the bench and the JQC should be all over him. In all my years, I've never heard another Judge at an arraignment tell someone after they have pleaded not guilty that they, the judge, was going to pay for the defendant to take a polygraph and if it came back that they had misrepresented themselves before the Court, was going to sentence them to 6 months and have to pay back the Honorable Shelly Schwartz for the cost of the polygraph! Talk about coercing a plea! How many of those would be overturned on appeal?

Be careful Shelly, those who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones!

Anonymous said...

What bothers me about Schwartz's comments are that even though he qualifies his statement by saying that most attorneys "provide proper representation," his postings seem to degrade all 'ticket' lawyers. If he knows the names of the attorneys involved, why does he need to post long rambling diatribes here? Is it improper, (I don't know the rules) for him to call the attorney in question? The one who filed the notice of appearance? I know, anytime my secretary tells me there's a judge holding for me, my stomach sinks a little bit, even if I know I haven't done anything wrong.
Pull the appearing attorney aside and talk to him/her. It'll get back to the office. Don't do it in front of a whole crowded courtroom, though.
I know, a few bad apples spoil the bushel, but I don't think it's fair of him to use these posts as a way to vent his frustatration about individuals while making it seem like the bushel is totally rotten.

Anonymous said...

Has the ghost of Judge Baxter reared his ugly head?

Anonymous said...

To 5:11 and 5:30p.m.
tHE CASES WHEREIN i GIVE PEOPLE TWO WEEKS TO GET A D.L.ARE ARRAIGNMENTS AND OR TRIALS.i GIVE THEM ONE OR TWO WEEKS,ON OCCASION THREE WEEKS AND THE COURT HAS BETTER THAN 60%PLUS SUCCESS RATE.cHECK WITH THE OFFICE OF THE STATE ATTORNEY.
wHEN PEOPLE MCOME BACK i ASK"wHY DO i HAVE TO DO IT THIS WAY"THE RESPONSE IS ALWAYS "THANKYOU:YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO"ETC.
i AM SYPATHEIC WITH IMMIGRATION CASES AND IF IT IS A FIRST FOR AN EXPIRED D.L.I DO NOT IMPOSE FINES.
i EXPLAIN FULLY IMMIGRATION PROBLEMS ETC.i FEEL FOR MOST OF THE PEOPLE,BUT NOT HOSE CAONSTANTLY VIOLATING THE LAS PLACING YOUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS IN TROUBLE.
tHE DEFENDANTS APPEARING IN COURT ARE WELL AWARE OF THE LAW AND CLEARLY SUGGESTS THEY KNOW IN OTHER COUNTIES THEY WOULD BE FACING JAIL,BUT NOT HERE IN MIAMI DADE COUNTY.
PEOPLE COMING TO COURT MUST LEARN TO RESPECT THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM,WHER PUNISHMENT MAY BE RESULT.
i EXPLAIN THE LAW TO DEFENDANTS.tHE PERSON OF WHOM i SPOKE ,THE LADY RESET FOR THREE WEEKS CAN GET HER D.L. ACCORDING TO EVEN STAND-IN ATTORNEY,ALBEIT SHE WAS NOT AWARE OF SAME BECAUSE SHE HAD NEVER MET,SPOKEN HER RETAINED ATTORNEY.sTAND-IN COUNSEL HAD ONLY BEEN CALLED THE HIGHT BEFORE AND RECEIVED NO PAPERWORK AND TRIAL WAS SET FOR 9:00a.m.WHEN THIS COURT STARTS PUNCTUALLY.sKEPTICS AS TO WHAT i AM SAYING NEED ONLY LISTEN TO THE C.D.DISC WHICH YOU MAY HERE IN MY CHAMBERS.
wHEN PEOPLE SAY THEY HAVE NOT DRIVEN FOR YEARS,AND i LOOK AT A RECORD i ADVISE i DO NOT APPRECIATE FIBS BEING TOLD IN COURT.yES,i WILL PAY FOR A POLYGRAPH AND DISMISS OVER STATE OBJECTION IF TELLING THE TRUTH AND THEY WIL NOT HAVE TO PAYME BACK,BUT MAJOR PUNISHMENT WILL OCCUR SHOULD THEY FAIL,INCLUDING JAIL.nOT ONE PERSON HAS OPTED FOR THIS IS ELEVEN YEARS WITH ALL ACKNOWLEDING THEY LIED.pEOPLE SAY THEY HAVE TAKEN A LOVED ONE TO THE HOSPITAL THAT VERY DAY AND i SAY i WILL REST FOR ONE WEEK FOR A DOCUMENT FROM THE HOSPITAL OR DOCTOR SHOWING SUCH AND PERHAPS FIVE PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN UP ON THE OFFER.
WHY DOES THE ABOVE OCCURWE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE IN OUR COURTS.
I AM DEMANDING IN COURT ON BOTH THE STATE AND DEFENSE.i GO SO FAR TO HELP DEFENDANTS SO AS TO ADVISE IN ACCIDENT CASES WHERE THE STATE WILL NOT NOLLE PROSEQUI,AND THEY HAVE VALID D.L.AT ARRAIGNMENT THGAT THEY SHOULD GO TO TRIAL AND SEE IF THE WITNESSES APPEAR:BECAUSE THEY NOW HAVE VALID LICENSES.
tALK TO NTHE DEFENDANTS IN MY COURT,AND i INVITE YOU.cOME LISTEN TO THE DISC.tALK TO THE ATTORNEYS,COMPETENT ATTORNEYS WHO DO HELP THEIR CLIENTS AND THE STATE AND ASK ABOUT THE N.D.J.C.i WILL STAND ON MY RECORD NOW AND IN THE FUTURE(ALBEIT i ALWAYS ASK THE STATE,P.D.WHEN THEY APPEAR AT r.e.g.AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS AS WELL AS LAW ENFORCEMENT TO SPEAK WITH ME PERSONALLY SHOULD THEY FEEL i CAN DO THING DIFFERENTLY TO RUN THE COURT MORE EFFICIENTLY.)
i SHOW NO FAVORITEISM TO ANYONE.
lASTLY,i TELL ALL PEOPLE IN THE COURT SHOULD THEY FEEL i AM PICKING ON ANY ONE PERSON OR SEGMNENT OF THE COMMUNITY TO PLEASE SPEAK UP.tHEY ARE ALSO INVITED UP TO GIVE THEIR OPINIONS ON MANY PERSONS DRIVER RECORD WITH THE USUAL RESPONSE BEING "THE PERSON SHOULD BE IN JAIL"ALBEIN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CASES HAVE NOT AS YET BEEN CALLED.
HAVE A GOOD DAY AND PLEASE ACCEPT MY INVITATIONS!!!!!
jUDGE sHELLY sCHWARTZ

Anonymous said...

bY THE WAY i HAVE NEVER COERCED A PLEA.i TELL PEOPLE TO GO TO TRIAL
BUT SAY THEY SHOULD HAVE ATTORNEYS.i TELL EVERY DEFENDANT WHO WILL BE H.T.O.TO GO TO TRIAL UNLESS FAACING JAIL.i WARN DEFENDANTS OF PROBATION.
i NEVER TELL PEOPLE TO TAKE A PLEA OR A POLYGRAPH.i JUST DO NOT LET PEOLE PRESENT LIES TO THE COURT.
sORRY FOR THIS P.S.
SHELLY

Anonymous said...

If you do some reading regarding the ineffective assistance situation in which she was involved, you will be hard pressed to find an attorney, let alone a sitting judge, with the courage and integrity exhibited by Mary Barzee. How many among us would be willing to fall on the sword when our slip-up, or that of a colleague, caused an unfortunate result for a client. Before disparaging Judge Barzee for "testif(ying) as to her own incompetence as a lawyer" let us remember the real reason we should all do the same if unfortunate enough to be found in a similar situation - not to selfishly save face or preserve our own individual reputations or ego, but to uphold the tenets of our system and maintain justice for all involved, even the accused and most downtrodden. Our hats should be tipped to Judge Barzee for her conduct, which, quite frankly, is a crystalline example of why she deserves a seat on the Federal bench. If this honorable act is the reason we don't want Judge Barzee on the Federal bench, then shame on us all.

Anonymous said...

In driver license cases, most judges in the building impose the standard $358 court costs. Shelly adds $525 for a total of $883, plus $250-$500 fines plus court costs plus high risk 30-hour traffic school in companion infractions even when they are non-moving such as no license plate or license not carriend or exhibited. That's unconscionable and hurts mainly the poor pro se defendants because the represented defendants will not plead guilty at arraignment as the unrepresented usually do. Those defendants could pay outstanding tickets and reinstate their licenses with far less money than it takes to pay Shelly's fines.

Anonymous said...

716 you are a complete moron. her actions in that case are a complete disgrace and reveal her to be a true believer ideologue the scariest thing possible for a federal judge who can do whatever they want for the rest of thier life and never be removed.

the fact is Barzee and her co-counsel claim that they had no idea that their client was facing life despite the fact that throughout the pleadings and transcripts numerous statements are made by her co counsel in which he states that his client is facing a life sentence. Didnt happen 1-2 times but numerous times. And does anyone really think that she never discussed that the defendant was facing a life sentence. If you do you must believe in the easter bunny.

And all this talk about how corageous she is is bullshit. All true believer types of defense attorneys are willing to take one for the team. there is nothing heroic about this.

wont matter though her brother raised a shitload of cash for barak and that will override the fact that people like bob scola and jerald bagley are ten times more qualified than she is.

Anonymous said...

OK - I am officially concerned for Shelly! What in gods name is he doing? Will some other robed reader at the NDJC please stop him from using his keyboard?

Rumpole, do us robed readers a favor, please take down Shelly's comments. A very sad turn of events to watch a fellow jurist in total melt-down.

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson Update:

There is a "no-contest" clause in the trust, that distributes Jackson's money. As reported, 40% goes to the kids, 40% goes to Katherine (his mom) and 20% goes to children's charities.

A no-contest clause means if someone challenges the will or trust they automatically inherit nothing.

THE TRIALMASTER said...

For Mary to "fall on the sword" for a former client is the highest calling for a defense attorney. She should be praised for this act. The Trialmaster has offered to do the same but the judge saw through it and discounted the trialmaster's testimony in the one case the trialmaster has lost in the last 10 years.

Traffic Ticket Attorney said...

Dear Judge Schwartz:

In the immortal words of Dr. Charles Emmerson Winchester III
"I do one thing. I do it exceedingly well. And then I move on."

A Traffic Ticket Attorney.

Anonymous said...

shelly schwartz is an irrelevant abomination, bucking for a tv gig.

he has no judicial demeanor, and treats all who appear before him poorly

he stares at teh courtroom occupants to see who appreciates his mouth

and what's with his hideous blazers?

Anonymous said...

who gives a crap about traffic tuickets? is that why you went to law school?

you all deserve each other/

state hacks.

Anonymous said...

shelley: you are a hack who could not make a living as an attorney, and ran for judge on your name. you will never leave the county bench. you should have never been elected. you lack judicial demeanor. by posting on the blog, you open yourself up to these criticisms, and affirm that you lack judicial wisdom and comon sense.

Anonymous said...

7:16 is obviously david o markus. shame on him for being such a nit wit.

shumie-time-for-the-princess said...

Shumie Time 3:30

Hey chica wanna hang out in my crib?
I got a king size bed-- wanna fool around?