WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
JUDGE ALTFIELD HAS AN OPPONENT
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
Judicial Elections 2014 .....
Incumbent Judge William "Bill" Altfield now has an opponent. As many of our loyal readers know, Judge Altfield was a career prosecutor, serving for 24 years as an ASA here in Miami Dade County. For several years, Judge Altfield applied, repeatedly, for an open seat with the JNC. Finally, in August of 2011, Governor Scott chose Bill and appointed him to the County Court bench. This is his first election to maintain that seat.
Filing in Group 13 of the County court this week is Assistant City Attorney Veronica Diaz. We can tell you the following about Ms. Diaz: She has been a member of The Florida Bar for 11 years. Prior to working for the City of Miami City Attorney’s Office, she was in private practice with two law firms where she specialized in commercial and real estate litigation.
Ms. Diaz joined the Office of the City Attorney in March 2007. Presently, she practices in the Transactional Division where she handles complex commercial transactions for the City, including construction and development, public-private partnerships and other general business matters. She also serves as counsel to various City boards.
We reached out to Ms. Diaz and asked her to respond to several questions we had, and our readers had; (emails that we have received). If and when we hear back from Ms. Diaz, we will share her responses with our readers.
Florida Legislature 2014 .....
For those of you that keep up with what’s going on in Tallahassee, you know that the 60 day annual legislative session began two weeks ago. The 160 elected representatives include our State House Representatives (120) and our State Senators (40). They have filed hundreds and hundreds of bills for consideration. Many of those bills directly affect the criminal justice system. Two in particular were discussed in Rumpole’s post yesterday.
Other bills that may be of interest to our readers include the following:
SB 94 (and companion HB 39) Relating to Jury Composition; Requiring a 12-member jury for life felony cases.
HB 99 (and companion SB 0360) Relating to Controlled Substances; Provides that person who engages in certain acts involving specified quantities of hydrocodone or oxycodone commit specified offenses; amends the quantity figures and minimum mandatory times thereby providing for some leniency as compared with the current numbers.
HB 101 (and companion SB 0652) Relating to Habitual Traffic Offender Designations; Provides for removal of habitual traffic offender designation upon proof of compliance with specified statutory provisions. This bill would put a big dent in the filing of HTO cases. Finally.
SB 102 (and companion HB 0055) Relating to Drivers Leaving the Scene of a Crash; one of many bills that would provide for harsher sanctions against those convicted in LSA/SBI cases.
HB 1093 (and companion SB 1004) Relating to Eyewitness Identification; requires state, county, municipal, & other law enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specified procedures.
HB 1095 (and companion SB 0986) Relating to Custodial Interrogations; Requires that statements made during covered custodial interrogations be recorded; requires that electronic recordings be preserved for specified period; provides that failure to electronically record interrogation shall be factor for trial court & jury to consider when making certain decisions. Once again, the criminal defense bar tries to get law enforcement to do the right thing; something law enforcement has opposed for years.
Here is the link to read the entire list of HBs and SBs filed in 2014: (once you are at the link below, you can click on any bill to find out the current status of the bill and you can also read the exact language of the bill.
CAPTAIN OUT .....