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Sorry to step on the Captain's toes, but this is breaking......
DADE BAILIFF OLGA DURAND ARRESTED.
Time was when a young ASA or PD, upon leaving their office, needed a few things to set up shop and get into business:
An office ( ✔); an easy to remember phone number ( ✔);
a beeper (and later a cell phone) ( ✔); a receptionist ( ✔);
a bondsman, a bailiff and a few corrections officers to feed you cases ( ✔).
With the advent of the internet we thought things had changed. We were wrong.
Olga Durand, who was last seen in the REGJB as the bailiff for Judge Reemberto Diaz, was arrested Wednesday for taking money from a defendant to assist him with his traffic cases.
Ace Herald reporter David Ovalle broke the story here. The Herald also has 4 surveillance videos, mostly of the individual who was cooperating handing envelopes to the bailiff outside of family court.
Rumpole says: Bailiffs (and bondsmen and corrections officers) steering cases to defense attorneys is the second oldest profession in Dade County (Ok, third behind selling tickets to the cockfights). There are two attorneys named in the arrest warrant as being the recipient of the cases that the bailiff was hustling. We refrain from mentioning their names at this time, because they have not been charged to our knowledge. However, until the Dade SAO gets of their ass and takes down the attorneys kicking back fees to bailiffs, bondsmen and corrections officers, this kind of crap - which takes money away from all the honest lawyers in Dade County (insert your punchline here) - will never go away.
Update: We've carefully read the arrest warrant affidavit and we do not see that the attorneys mentioned committed a crime. That's the best we can say about them. Since when did continually shaking a client down for money become the sole focus of a law practice? Because that is a fair assessment of what occurred here. Sure the lawyer showed up for court. But it does not appear the lawyer met with the client and carefully prepared a defense strategy. We feel pretty comfortable guessing that no detailed motions were filed. That a meeting with the client reviewing the prosecution's discovery never occurred. All that happened was the client was hustled to a lawyer and continually shaken down for more fees as the lawyers coasted on gaming the system and hoping the police would not show up. There is no crime in those facts (assuming the lawyers were not involved in the procurement of the fake certificate of completion of traffic school). But that is an awful way to practice law. In fact it is not practicing law. It is taking money under the color of a law license. It's embarrassing and demeans the rest of the defense bar.
SeeYou In Court.