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Monday, June 01, 2015

FACDL AWARD WINNERS

Herb Smith, retiring after a stellar career as an Assistant Public Defender won the Miami FACDL's lifetime achievement award. Well done Herb; well done indeed. 

Manny Alvarez won the Against All Odds award for his amazing defense of former FBI agent John Connolly. Perfect award for this case and Manny's work. 

Federal Judge Marcia Cooke won the Gerald Kogan Judicial Distinction Award. Love Gerald Kogan. A Miami guy who made it to the Florida Supreme Court and never forgot his roots. And of course who doesn't breathe a sigh of relief when their federal case ends up in Cooke's division? 

And  two PDs- one state and one federal won the Gregg Wenzel Young Lawyer's Award- 
Damaris del Valle from the state PDs office and Christy O'Connor from the feds.  Can't say that we know them….but what an honor to win an award named after Gregg Wenzel. 

Congrats all. 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Trialmaster won no awards.

Anonymous said...

I've been practicing more than 20 years doing defense work.

Please tell me folks, am I the only one that gets a call from a client from 17 years ago on my voice mail saying they absolutely must have an answer about their old case RIGHT NOW and of course, the call is made when I am on vacation?

Am I the only one?

BTW: Client was found not guilty at jury trial.

Anonymous said...

6:03,
Of course you're not the only one.
You remember his case and his trial and outcome after 17 years and who knows how many cases you've tried since then. And this was probably the only time your idiot client was ever arrested and he doesn't remember it.
Did he tell you that it came up in a background check for a new job that he starts on Monday next week and so he needs to have it expunged by then?

Anonymous said...

6:03 -

I got a felony no actioned once. When I told the client that no charges would be filed, he replied - quite agitated - "What did I hire a lawyer for?"

Fake Maggie Arias said...

Well deserved! Great Job! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Me too Mr./Ms. 6:03 pm.

I think I know why lawyers become judges. It's to get away from all the former clients who think that since they paid you 20 years ago, they own you for the rest of your life.

My fav is the client who never sends in the stuff to seal their case and after you bug them a few times you give up and close out the file. Then, 10 years later, they call you bitching that they need that file sealed in the next two days or else they won't get a new job and of course it's your fault.

Anonymous said...

This is where Bijan chimes in and asks the entire FACDL list if anyone knows where he put his old files.......and Nancy Wear explains exactly where they SHOULD be. Then 200 lawyers send Nancy congratulations to the entire list clogging up everyone's in box. I'm just saying......

Anonymous said...

There are many priceless moments that we share with the people who trust us to fight for their freedom. But if client appreciation is why you are a criminal defense attorney you are going to be disappointed more often than not. We serve our country,our community,our fellow human beings, ourselves and god. Ours is the noblest of professions, it carries its own rewards.

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful to enjoy any event that some one is recognized. The question is why do people just hate? Why do people talk all the crap? Is it FACDL? For my 75 bucks, I like the free monthly CLEs I go to. I know that if I don't agree to on the winners, well I can elect to go to their awards dinner or not. The sad thing is that people will always talk crap. Like in any organizations there are good people and bad people. There are people that work and there are people are in it for the recognition. I feel bad that I don't get involved but I do recognize some of the items they have gotten for us. The cool fast pass id. I know that the Statewide does lobbying work. I pay for that membership too. I am going to the Statewide Annual and hope that its worth the money, but the cost was more than the $75.00. I think that if you don't like something then instead of talking about it be the change. Either way I know that there is a lot of you that just like to get involved and are nice people and just want to help. So I thank you even if the jerks talk. I see your work and my 75 bucks are paying off.

Anonymous said...

6:03---You are 100% wrong on why lawyers become judges. Most judges have NEVER been in private practice and have never made a payroll on Fridays. They are judges because they are life long SAOs and cannot make a living in private practice. One of our Circuit Court judges sold Amway products out of her husbands office and never even set her foot into a courtroom or handled a motion much less tried a case. More astounding is that they have her participating in "Legends of the Courtroom" seminar. Other participating include a former SAO gang prosecutor never having tried a civil case other Ladies (not LGs) lacking courtroom and life experience. This is the worst bench I have ever seen in my decades of practice. In fact, it is disgraceful. BEAM ME UP, SCOTTIE...................

Anonymous said...

For several years I have enjoyed watching this open hostility and debate surrounding the quality of our bench and the personalities that have come to it. However you are all "Johnny come lately".

13 years ago I spoke out on this issue, though I was misquoted in what I said. I warned that this was coming and that certain forces were at work with a total disregard for the quality of those being supported and, in many cases, recruited to run against quality judges and judicial candidates in the name of "diversity". I was berated, vilified as bigot, anti-hispanic, anti-woman and generally a bad guy.

I was not then, nor am I now, any of those things, including not being a "bad guy". My positions was born out a deep and abiding faith in the integrity of our justice system and the quality of those who administer it. But, you all have made being a judge a popularity contest, not one of competence and qualifications You are as guilty of racial and ethnic bias as those you criticize. You want the system to work? Then start thinking of the greater good and less about your own interests.

It is interesting that those who promoted this "change" and created this crisis (make no mistake about it, it is a crisis) now are trying to rewrite history and rehabilitate their own images. Stop complaining. Stop listening to the "powerful" within our profession. Stand up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

10:39 -

You are 100% correct.

Anonymous said...

7:08 pm is so on the money.

Look, if you manage to slide onto the government pay wagon at 32 or 33, after six years of having your hand held at the SAO, avoiding a life of trying to make a living, never having seen much of the world, without a clue about what 90% of lawyers do, enjoying the monetary benefits and basking in everyine calling you "judge," then when you are five years into your term on the bench, AT LEAST, in the name of decency AT LEAST, say no when someone calls and asks if you want to be a panel called Legends of Courtroom. Please. Show that you have AT LEAST that much sense of self. Even if you have no actual humility, AT LEAST pretend and have a clue how that looks to others.

The Trialmaster said...

6:03 and 10:39-----------Both of your are on fours. Worst bench I have seen in all my years. In civil you have to wait 3-4 months to obtain a trial date that will be 9 months away. Use to be one to two weeks after a notice for trial you would receive a trial date within 90 days or so. Another example of new judges having no idea how to run a division and being lazy.

Anonymous said...

Who is running against Ed Newman?

Paul Petruzzi said...

What's wrong with Amway?

Anonymous said...

Damaris Del Valle is an awesome, hardworking and trustworthy attorney. It was always my honor to share a courtroom with her, when I was a new felony prosecutor.