Tuesday, March 27, 2012


UPDATE: Dresnick signed the disqualification order. Can someone explain to us why he signed an order for a motion that was so clearly untimely as per the rules of Judicial Administration? 

Will arguments today at the U.S. Supreme Court  may just well herald the beginning of the end of judicial activism via the Commerce Clause? We will be listening to the arguments this afternoon and tonight. 

Who wants to be the next lawyer to argue a stand your ground motion to a court or jury? Not us. 

When will a real criminal defense attorney step forward and start defending George Zimmerman? While we have our concerns about his actions and the non-action of the Sanford police department, there is beginning to be the drum beats of a lynching of Zimmerman before the man is even arraigned.
Can Zimmerman get a fair trial in Florida or anywhere? 

It's been nothing but one headache after another for top tough-guy lawyers Michael Tein and Guy Lewis in their multi-million dollar defense of two members of the Miccosukee tribe in a fatal car accident case. At issue is who paid the former feds? The family or the tribe? The lawyers testified that the family paid them 2-3 million dollars and the family says that was the last of their money and they cannot pay the judgment. 

"Horse-hockey!" (or words to that effect)  replied Judge Dresnick who found that the lawyers committed perjury (a fancy word for "liar liar pants on fire"). There are depositions and a hearing on sanctions set for  May and wouldn't you know but that Tein and Lewis have just decided that kindly old Uncle Ronnie Dresnick can't be fair. 

Dresnick was alleged to have said "I can say 'pass the peace pipe' " during a hearing in August. And although the Rules Of Judicial Administration require that motions for judicial disqualification be filed within thirty days, Tein and Lewis decided now was the time to act. What's seven months between friends? The Herald recounts the kerfuffle here. 

Cowboys and Aliens (which was a better movie than the critics gave it credit for) anyone? 

See You In Court. 


DS sez: said...

I have been in front of Ron Dresnick two different tours of duty. Spent a few years in his court in 3-1. Ron may be a lot of things but prejudice or anti-Indian he aint. This is all BS from guys tring to cover their asses and cover their clients / and the Attys lies over the $$$

Anonymous said...

If the incompetent Sanford police department would have arrested Zimmerman as they should have, he would have had a real defense attorney by now.

Anonymous said...

I agree with DS. Dresnick is one of the most even-handed and honest judges on the bench. I hope the Bar nails them for making specious claims of prejudice against Dresnick.


CAPTAIN said...



The Anti-Injunction Act says that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person.” In other words, people who object to taxes must pay first and litigate later.

The Anti-Injunction Act got first billing yesterday, but by all appearances, the 9 robed judges were not biting. Is it a tax or is it a penalty that Congress included in the Affordable Health Care Act aka Obama-Care?

If it's a tax - then Anti-Injunction lovers will have their way and the Court will defer their decision for three years. If it's a penalty, then the Act does not apply and we can move on to more juicier issues like the Commerce Clause.

Today, it's Solicitor General
Verrilli VS. Paul Clement, representing the 26 states challenging the law and Michael Carvin, representing the private challengers.

Big day today.

Cap Out .....

Kenneth Weisman said...

Tein and Lewis commit perjury and then attempt to sully Judge Dresnick. I also agree with DS. Dresnick is a very fair minded Harvard Law Grad

Seeking the Truth said...

For more than 15 years, I have been trying cases before Judge Dresnick. I have represented both the government and the defense in Court before him. I have observed that even with some of the most vexatious litigation and irrationally vocal defendants, Judge Dresnick has always been extremely fair, open minded, courteous and professional. Perhaps, Michael Tein and Guy Lewis just missed the day in Ethics Class on Candor to the Tribunal?

John Eddy Morrison said...

Sorry to nitpik, but young lawyers read this blog and might be mislead. There is only ten days, not thirty, to file a motion for disqualification. "A motion to disqualify shall be filed within a reasonable time not to exceed 10 days after discovery of the facts constituting the grounds for the motion . . ." Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.330(e).

Anonymous said...

It was obvious from the beginning that there was a media lynching going on against George Zimmerman. With Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson showing off in front of the cameras and the left-wing media trying to use this incident against the Stand Your Ground Law, the agendas of all the players obscured Trayvon Martin and his death.

CAPTAIN said...


Florida Supreme Court

State need not prove driver knew license was suspended

To prosecute those who drive without a license, the state only has to show it mailed a notice to the individual, not that the individual actually knew of the suspension.

The state issued a warrant for Candie Anderson's arrest after she failed to pay the restitution required by her probation conditions and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles suspended her driver's license by mailing a written notice to her residence.

After driving to a meeting with her probation officer, she was charged with driving with a suspended license. Anderson contended that the court should not find a violation of probation because the state did not prove she did not have actual knowledge of her suspended license.

The trial court and the 5th DCA rejected this argument. The 5th DCA's holding directly conflicts with decisions from the 1st and 4th DCAs. These courts require the state to prove the individual actually received notice to establish knowledge of the suspension.

The Florida Supreme Court found the 5th DCA was correct holding that, if the DHSMV personally delivers or mails the requisite notice, a driver is presumed to have knowledge that his or her license is canceled, suspended or revoked.

That presumption is rebuttable, except when a driver fails to pay a traffic fine or commits a financial responsibility violation — such as not paying restitution.

Writing for the panel, Justice R. Fred Lewis explained the Legislature "did not contemplate such an exacting burden of proving actual knowledge for the State, even in instances when the rebuttable presumption in section 322.34(2) does not apply."

The state proved the knowledge element by showing the suspension order was entered in Anderson's driving record and that Anderson received it because the DHSMV mailed the notice to her current residence.

Case: Anderson v. State

Case no.: SC11-3

the trialmaster said...

I hope Tein and his band of warriors get scalped because of their comments on Ron.

Anonymous said...

Travon's parents are filing papers to trademark his name.

Now please tell me who the chump is and who is sullying the dead child's reputation.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

ron recused himself. he has never been a guy who likes to be at a party where he's not wanted. big mistake by tien

Anonymous said...

She got stopped after meeting with probation officer? Did he turn her in for driving to meeting?

Anonymous said...

Tein and Lewis forgot that they are no longer federal prosecutors and had a rude awakening.

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

WE'RE NUMBER FIVE .....!!!!!

To think, we, the Unites State of America, with all our exceptionalism, is only fifth.

America's 43 executions in 2011 ranked it fifth in the world in capital punishment. U.S. executions were down from 46 a year earlier.

"If you look at the company we're in globally, it's not the company we want to be in: China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq," Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The Associated Press".

Maybe we can try harder in 2012 to be number one.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Amnesty International's numbers and analysis are ridiculous. They only count official state sanctioned executions. We all know that people are being killed (not executed according to law) at far higher rates than 43 per 300+ million people a year in many, many more countries.

Regardless, I see no shame in executing 43 people in a year. In fact, I'd argue that we're executing only a tiny percentage of the folks who commit horrible, heinous crimes that warrant such treatment. Think of the serial killers, the in prison killings by inmates already doing life who have nothing to lose, child sex batt homicides we see, the tortures, the executions, the murders committed by career criminals with mile long records, etc. 43 seems rather low in that context.


Anonymous said...

Why is Greer Elaine Wallace running against De La O ?? Someone else needs to hop into that race.

Anonymous said...

I think that we should execut all of the career criminal in state prison and let BTDT stick the needle in, since he seems to have such a bloodlust.

CAPTAIN said...

5:08 - you asked the same question last week.

I gave the same answer. Why not?

Do you find one or both of these candidates unqualified? Do you know something about either of their backgrounds that makes them unqualified that you wish to share with our readers?

Cap Out .....

CAPTAIN said...


Tell us how you really feel!

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

11:13 am - YES

Before a meeting between Anderson and her probation officer, an arrest warrant had been issued for Anderson based on an alleged violation of her probation resulting from a failure to pay restitution. Due to Anderson’s failure to pay restitution, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
(DHSMV) had also suspended her driver’s license. One of the victims of Anderson’s crimes informed the probation officer she had seen Anderson driving
while her license was suspended. Based on this tip, the probation officer checked the driving record of Anderson and confirmed Anderson’s license suspension.

Upon Anderson’s arrival at the meeting, the probation officer arrested her for violation of her probation due to her failure to pay restitution. As the probation
officer patted down Anderson, she discovered that Anderson had possession of automobile keys. Anderson admitted to the probation officer that the keys belonged to her and that she had driven a vehicle to the meeting. At the time
Anderson drove the vehicle to the meeting, she allegedly did not have actual knowledge that her license was suspended, and she contended that she had not
received a written notice of the suspension. She was charged with driving with a suspended license pursuant to section 322.34, Florida Statutes (2011). After her arrest, Anderson paid the required restitution, and the DHSMV reinstated her license. However, Anderson still faced a charge of violation of probation based upon the charge of driving with a suspended license.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...



The FCRA is pleased to announce that our advocacy team, The Fiorentino
Group (TFG), working closely with FCRA leadership and our members,
achieved marked success during the 2012 legislative session.

Our goal for the session was to remove egregious budget proviso language
implemented in 2010 that reduced criminal court reporter fees, which had been in force in many circuits in Florida.

The mission was clear, and we were prepared for an uphill battle.

In the months prior to the start of the 2012 legislative session, TFG advocates worked to educate legislative leadership and members of the Florida House and Senate about the negative impact the fee changes had on court reporting businesses throughout the state, particularly the loss of jobs and, in some cases, the closing of businesses in Florida's court reporting industry.

Once the session began, the TFG team began negotiations with House and Senate Appropriations chairs and their top legislative staff to advocate for removal of the proviso language and the return to a "free market" competitive approach to the fee structure.

As discussions and negotiations progressed, it became apparent that the Senate and House
were divided in their view of how to address our fee structure issue.

Our team worked throughout the session and the budget conference process. In the
final hours of the budget negotiation process, a compromise was reached that resulted in considerable improvements to the current proviso fee

We were also successful in our efforts to insert clarifying
language associated with payment of several of the fees.

There is still work to be done over the interim regarding the JAC and other issues of concern to FCRA. Our advocacy team has been assured that House and Senate staff will work with us in the coming months to discuss
our concerns.

The Fiorentino Group has expressed their appreciation to the FCRA leadership and members for their support during this effort.

At this time, Governor Scott has not yet signed the 2012 State Budget.

The Governor has fifteen days from the date he receives the budget to
sign it, or veto portions he is opposed to. The TFG team has met with the Governor's office on our issue and has been advised that a veto is not likely.



Anonymous said...

I always find it amusing when the anti-death penalty crowd personally attacks those of us who believe in the death penalty.

The fact is that if "bloodlust" was an issue, we'd be executing people by the thousands (not something I'd ever support) instead of the 10's. But, of course, 5:31 and others like him would rather make personal attacks and make rhetorical points rather than actually discuss issues for what they really are.

The reality is that there are good reasons to eliminate the death penalty and good reasons to keep it (obviously, I believe in the death penalty, albiet in the rarest of circumstances.........and think that executing what amounts to less than one person per state per year is not abusive). I just wish we could discuss it (and frankly any other real issue) without misusing statistics, looking for soundbites, or personally attacking one another.


Anonymous said...

Good luck to the FCRA........I'd take a court reporter over a machine any day of the week.


Anonymous said...

I wish I could say that I never have that same feeling as BTDT has expressed. I am not a supporter of capital punishment (only Capitol Punnishment) but I would be lying if I said that some of the people I have encountered in this line of work didn't push the envelope of "deserving it."

Now, after agreeing with BTDT, I need a shower.

fake Banya said...

I want to help Dresnick feel better. I will suggest I take him out to dinner at Mendys. But I will be insulted if he just orders soup.

Is soup a meal?

Anonymous said...

My guess is he signed the order so he could watch the bug squashing instead of being the one to do it, He also signed the order so there could be no "issues" when Messers. Lewis and Tein get hammered.

the trialmaster. said...

Ron probably signed the order because he did not want to delay the case any longer if they took an appeal and he did not want to deal with these A-holes any longer. He is another former PD who has become a fair and great judge.

Anonymous said...

It's the old adage: be careful what you wish for, you might get it. I have been in front of Dresnick in civil many times. The man goes out of his way to be fair. Lewis and Tein could and probably will do a lot worse than having Dresnick be the arbiter of their bullshit. There are a few judges who will recuse themselves because they personally know these two lawyers. That leaves a group of judges who most likely don't share the seemingly prevalent sentiment across (or down) the street that former and, of course, "distinguished" federal prosecutors are somehow above the rules that the rest of us must live by. So they get a new judge? Big deal. I have a feeling they will rue the day they ever filed that nonsense motion.

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is that these two are twisting in the wind flying solo. You think they would hire a decent lawyer to represent them instead of compounding their lies every time they open their mouths. And why isn't the tribe stepping to the plate to solve the problem with a check. Maybe they feel they were snookered by these two as well and decided to jump ship. What is $3 million to them? A few hours of bingo on Sunday afternoon?

Anonymous said...

So probation officer tells you to come in, knowing you have suspended license. You drive there, not knowing your license is suspended, and you end up with a probation vioaltion.
That sucks.

James Smith said...

In your question "Can Zimmerman get a fair trial in Florida or anywhere?" I think that he can only get a fair trial if given the right Criminal Defense Attorney and hopefully, a fair judge. It's hard to be faced with a crime such as Zimmerman's especially if it reaches the national television.

Anonymous said...

Tein and Lewis are 2 unethical assholes who already have been castigated by the courts for their handling of the Nevin Shapiro matter. Only one thing matters to these two, $$$$, and I hope a judge and the Florida Bar come down hard on them.

Anonymous said...

You should update this post. Judge Dresnick denied the motion to disqualify.