REPORT FROM THE COLONEL OF COUNTY COURT.
Gather round and take a knee soldiers.
The great war has ground to a halt. We have a trench war stalemate. Casualties are high.
First a little background: The County Court Judges (Motto: Reemberto Diaz ) decided to do away with soundings for all traffic crime cases except DUI cases.
The reason was to ostensibly reduce calendars and court appearances and move cases quicker.
Defense attorneys often have new clients sign rights waiver forms and authorizations to proceed in absentia.
The reasonable Judges (ie., Judges Krieger-Martin and Ortiz) allow this reasonable solution- on trial day if the attorney has a valid rights waiver form and authorization to proceed in absentia, and if the state is not ready for trial, the case will be dismissed. If the state is ready for trial, the attorney enters a plea. In the unusual circumstance where the attorney actually intends to conduct a trial in absentia, prior approval is needed.
The unreasonable Judges have not adopted this solution and will force a defense attorney with a waiver and authorization to plea in absentia to take a plea or get a bench warrant on trial day EVEN WHEN THE STATE IS NOT READY.
SHAME ON JUDGES BLOOM, NEWMAN, AND FERNANDEZ. (It's not clear yet on Seff and Miranda's position.)
The unreasonable response of those unreasonable judges is that prior to proceeding in absentia the lawyer must calendar a motion to proceed in absentia- or to put it another way- a busy traffic lawyer with 30-40 traffic cases on any Monday must create and schedule their own sounding calendars before being able to do in those courtrooms what Judges Krieger-Martin and Ortiz reasonably allow.
The practical effect of the decision of these unreasonable judges is that they are forcing pleas on cases the prosecution is not ready on.
Where is Judge Slom to restore order and reason and help move cases and calendars?
On this issue- nobody knows.
So the stalemate continues and our side continues to suffer heavy losses from the artillery fired by the State in the courtrooms of Judges Newman, Bloom, and Fernandez.
Clearly a new strategy is required.
Dismissed. And remember.... there's gold in them there misdemeanors.
Rumpole says: Thank you Colonel. A real problem is brewing in County Court. Can anyone explain why the solution allowed by Judges Krieger-Martin and Ortiz is not followed by the other judges?