This will be a short post, as pending trials and brief deadlines are all breaking with alarming frequency.
We've been pondering the 3rd DCA's recent announcement that they will not be liberally granting oral argument. And here's what we've concluded: it's a dangerous trend because it undermines the public's confidence in the judiciary.
When you attend and participate in oral argument, even when it goes poorly, litigants see that the panel has read the briefs and is well versed in the facts of the case. Now an increasing number of litigants will just receive a decision in the (e)mail which will invariably lead to grumbling that the court didn't really read the briefs and relied upon clerks in reaching their decision. Appellate courts are dependent in part upon the respect the public has for the institution. Less oral arguments will lead to more criticism, which will lead to less respect. The 3rd DCA is walking down a road full of potholes. In our opinion, they would be well advised to reconsider. Not because we believe the dedicated judges will not fulfill their responsibility, but because we are one lone voice in a wilderness that can become very cold and wild quickly. Just a thought.
Last week came the news via a DBR article that REGJB semi-regular Jeff Feiler is hatching a scheme to sell medical marijuana franchises. Hmm....having a residence in Colorado does not an expert in medical marijuana make. Nor does having a grill and chop-meat at home qualify a person to compete with McDonalds. IF medical marijuana is approved in Florida, and IF Florida travels down the path to legalizing marijuana, then the field MAY become lucrative. And if it does, then first in does not equate to the inside path to economic success. Just ask AOL and CompuServe and see where their profits rank vis a vis Google for instance.
Medical Marijuana outlets are a BIG gamble. We don't see the upside as large enough to erase the risk of losing your entire investment. The bankruptcy courts are full of lawyers who thought they could compete in other businesses. Doctors don't know beans about running restaurants. Pilots don't know how to drill for oil. Google doesn't run a hedge fund.
Stick to what you know, otherwise the "highs" won't ever outweigh the lows.
See You In Court, doing what we know, and doing it very very well.
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