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Monday, May 05, 2014

THE LIMITED REGISTRY IS DEAD



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

"Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that."  John Donne (1572-1631), Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions.

OR, SAID ANOTHER WAY: "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead".

Which old witch you ask?

Well, none other than the Limited Registry.***

The 2012 Florida Legislature passed SB 1960 which created the infamous LR.  And for the past two years, the Private Court Appointed Counsel (PCAC) program was in limbo while the new law was under attack from all sides.  Litigation abounded throughout the State, most particularly in South Florida.  The train was driven by the local Miami Chapter of FACDL, and they deserve much credit for derailing the LR train.

Finally, after 24 months, on July 1, 2014, the LR will be no more.  And, amazingly, the 2014 Florida Legislature went several steps further.

***Before 2012, there was only a General Registry of PCAC attorneys.  LR attorneys contractually agreed to take all court appointments with the understanding that they could not, under any circumstances, file a Motion with the Court, (under Makemson), requesting they be paid above the cap, when they handled extraordinary cases.  Only LR attorneys received court appointments during the past two years; General Registry attorneys were, for the most part, left out of the appointments process; (except in capital cases).

For years, FACDL has been lobbying the issue of the statutory fees and the caps on those fees.  Those caps were last increased the year Ronald Wilson Reagan was sworn into office. (That's 1981 for those of you under the age of 33).

Under the Appropriations bill passed by both chambers late Friday night, the Maximum Fees on criminal cases will look like this:

CASE TYPE     CURRENT MAX FEE    NEW MAX FEE

Noncapital nonlife felonies
                            $2,500                                             $6,000

Life felony cases                         
                            $3,000                                             $9,000

Capital cases                           
                           $15,000                                           $25,000

Appeals cases                   
                           $2,000                                             $9,000

There are other changes that the bill addresses, but those other changes do not have any effect here in South Florida; YET.  In the Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Thirteenth Judicial Circuits, they have created a "cross-circuit conflict representation pilot project".

Currently, when the PD conflicts, the case goes to the Regional Counsel's office.  When the RC conflicts, the case then goes to the PCAC Registry.  Under the pilot project, in the above Circuits, when the PD and RC conflict in the 6th Circuit, the case will go to the PD in the 13th Circuit.  When the same thing happens in the 10th Circuit, the PD's office in the 9th will be assigned the case.  And vice versa.

If this pilot project works, you will see an eventual phase out of nearly all PCAC cases in those Circuits.  Only when four different offices conflict would there then need to be a PCAC attorney ready to take the case.

If we look at history, pre-RC, in the 11th Circuit, the PD was conflicting on about 3,000 cases each year.  That's 3,000 cases that were then being assigned to PCAC attorneys.  Since the inception of the RC, about 75% of the PD conflicts now end up with the Office of the RC.  That leaves about 750 cases annually that are handled by the attorneys that are on the PCAC Registry.

If the legislature likes what they see with the pilot project, will Miami-Dade and Broward be next in cross-circuit representation?  If that happens, the 750 case figure would likely drop by 90% or more.

So, there you have it.  The new law is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2014, absent a veto by the Governor.

CAPTAIN OUT .....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I woke up ready to re-read Rumpole's excellent review of the Goldfinch that he posted Sunday only to have my week ruined by this....amalgamation of garbage strewn tribe...the font is screwy, the words worse, the writing puerile, the quotes amateurish.

Rumpole, for all that is good and holy, please please remove this exceedingly offensive garbage-post.

Anonymous said...

Tribe=tripe

stupid auto-correct

Anonymous said...


6:53. Can you scroll down an inch. Think your brain can handle that.

I am a former PD who left the office in the past couple of years. And there are a lot more like me who hoped to get court appointments to help the bottom line. Tallahassee screwed up that plan until now.

This limited registry sucked and I'm glad its gone.

Anonymous said...


It only took them 33 years to raise the caps. Thank you governor Scott. How much did you pay your attorneys when you took the fifth.

Anonymous said...

When you think the Legislature has come to its senses, they go ahead and do this. I'd love to see how they think a bunch of PDs getting paid at $42k are gonna trek up to Broward each week, or deal with cases in Broward and Dade on the same day.

Anonymous said...


Rumpole. Can somone tell me how we sign up for the wheel now. I heard about this registry controversy and never did sign up because of it. Do we contact Regional Counsel or the PD office?

Anonymous said...

No extra pay for state workers? Adjusting personal output. Looks like I just gave myself a 3% raise in hourly wages!

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


My understanding is that no state workers were given raises this year, except for those that work in criminal justice system. They are getting 3%.

I'm sure a PD or ASA will correct me if I got that wrong.

Cap

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with 6:53. Some of the worst drivel that has ever graced the internet. Also put a crimp in my Monday.

007DUI said...

Post. Epic fail.

Anonymous said...

The Captain is all ballyhoo.

Anonymous said...

12:56. Props for using the word Ballyhoo which in one word showed more imagination then the otherwise whole mess of a post.

Anonymous said...

HEY. ITS CINCO DE SHUMIE!!! Woo hoo!

Anonymous said...


The wheel has been an utter disaster ever since the JAC took it over from the County a few years ago. Too much BS to deal with the State people on every single issue., whether its costs, or expert witnesses,etc.

Wish they would pass a law letting local counties run the thing again. At least they upped the fees. They got something right.

Anonymous said...

Where the Captain lacks in style, he ably delivers in substance.

Anonymous said...

The real money on the wheel is from murder 1.

You should see how a few smart lawyers have dominated the money game by picking each other to be second chair and keeping others from becoming qualified to do cap murder cases.

Someone needs to look into this.

Signed... a Judge.

Anonymous said...

Not kidding, I got a friend request from Richard Sharpstein on Facebook. Page has his pic. Is this a sick fkn joke?

Anonymous said...


Check your public records. Terry Lenamon tops the list. Over a period of three years he was paid over seven figures doing capital appointments. There are four others on the list making staggering amounts of money.

Everyone is entitled to make a fair fee but shouldn't they be spreading it around more. Who is looking into that issue.

The Ren said...

Tonight at The Ren,

CINCO DE SHUMIE.

Come and enjoy amigos y amigas.