By now the new ASAs and PDs have learned the ins and outs of life in Miami while working at the REGJB. They've seen courtrooms, read an A-form or 50, poured over discovery, found the best and cheapest happy hours, and generally taken the first steps to fulfilling their career dreams.
This can be a great life mirable dictu. Some small percentage of you- perhaps 2 or 3 in your ASA or PD class of 30 or so might stay 10-20 years. Or you might leave your respective office and build a private practice, like we did.
So what is this blog business?
Tough to say really.
When we first got to the REGJB, many times we felt as a young lawyer that there was no where to turn. One judge was, to put it bluntly, drunk most afternoons. Another dozen or so were cranky and cantankerous and more judges than not enjoyed being mean and difficult to young lawyers because they could. We once saw a Judge refuse to sign an order, which the lawyer had prepared because the judge ruled against them and wanted to take an appeal. The lawyer showed it to the judge to sign: "Its wrong, I won't sign it." "Can you tell me what to change?" "No." The lawyer went through a dozen drafts. The judge refused each one. The lawyer would not give up. S/he brought the problem to the chief judge of the criminal division. A week later the order came back signed, with the title "The Honorable" stricken out. The chief judge told the lawyer the judge didn't think it appropriate to sign an order calling themselves honorable. Of course this was just a face saving excuse by an old, cranky judge who had done something wrong and didn't want to sign the order allowing them to be appealed.
The practice of law used to be like that in Miami. There was a time when water fountains and bathrooms in the courthouses said "No Jews or Blacks". Up through the 1980's there were plenty of older male judges who preyed on young female lawyers. And worst of all, some judges, defense attorneys, and bail bondsmen entered into alliances where justice was for sale.
There's not a lot of blatant wrongs being perpetrated these days. No overt signs of racism or sexism. Bribes (hopefully) are a thing of the past. But that does not mean we don't have our problems. If a prosecutor or a judge threatens your client with a stiff sentence if s/he elects to go to trial and loses (what we commonly call the "trial tax") or if a defense attorney tells a prosecutor one thing and then does another, we want to know about it.
This blog, in its highest sense of purpose, is here to give those who have legitimate complaints a place to air them without fear of retribution. And, when a tragedy strikes our close knit community; when we lose a judge or a lawyer who has touched our lives, this is a place to gather and shed some tears, and reminisce. So, young lawyer or old lawyer, please pitch in. The blog is not a place to call people names- ugly and hurtful comments are something we do our best not to air. But if you want to contribute, with tips, information, or witty comments, were are here, listening, grateful for your continued support.
That is who we are.
See You In Court.