Faigns v State:
However, we note that comments on the credibility of counsel, such as those
at issue in this case, are recurring in closing arguments at an alarming rate. We caution counsel for both the prosecution and defense to uphold their professional and ethical obligations and to be mindful of the line clearly established by the courts of this State. See, e.g., Jackson v. State, 421 So. 2d 15 (Fla. 3d DCA 1982); Del Rio v. State, 732 So. 2d 1100 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999). We also entreat the trial courts to be mindful of such misconduct and to respond accordingly with appropriate curative instructions and firm admonishment of counsel.
As we say in England, "Forewarned is forearmed."
SCHEINBERG SUSPENDED TWO YEARS
When we last left Broward ASA Howard Scheinberg, he was on the losing end of a Bar Referee's report recommending a one year suspension for his canoodling, incessant texting*, and all around bad conduct with then circuit Judge Ana Gardiner during the time he was prosecuting Omar Loureiro in a first degree murder case before Judge Gardiner. But then, it's Broward, and if you don't have the judge in your back pocket, don't bother showing up for court.
The Florida Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of the referee, upholding a violation of Bar Rule 4-8.4(d) (A lawyer prosecuting a capital case shall not engage in canoodling, texting, sexting, and /or phone calls with the presiding judge) but upped the suspension from one year to two. The decision is here.
While the 3rd DCA reminded us to play nice, the Florida Supreme Court has reminded us not to play too nice.
And this thought just occurred to us: A prosecutor gets suspended for two years for (more than likely) having sexual relations with a judge. Alex Michaels gets two days jail for telling a prosecutor (allegedly) to have sex with himself. If the prosecutor in Broward had listened to Alex.....everybody wins!!!
Meanwhile, Alex Michaels did what he does best this week: A NOT GUILTY in a case before Judge Murphy.
See you in court.
* 949 cell phone calls and 471 text messages. When did this guy find the time to prepare for trial????