TGK (and only TGK as far as we know) has a new/old policy: If you are not attorney of record, you cannot see the client in person, you must see him/her under glass. We have been seeing clients at TGK since it opened, but as you will see in the email below, TGK officials (and only TGK) have the audacity to look attorneys in the eye and tell them "this has always been the policy." HA.
We received this email:
"Rumpole, this week I was hired to represent a defendant. An hour later I went to see him in TGK. I knew something was up when the officer at the desk was staring intently at my ID, the computer screen, back to my ID, then back to a computer screen. Then she called over a supervisor who did the same. 'You can't see the defendant. You are not his lawyer.'
Me: 'Then why did I just run his father's credit card an hour ago for fifteen thousand dollars if I am not his lawyer?'
Highly Trained Front Desk Officer (HTFDO): 'Sir, you ain't his lawyer. If you wuz, it would say so on the computer.'
Me: "Perhaps the computer is mistaken.'
Supervisor of HTFDO: 'You need to file papers wit de court."
Me: 'So if the defendant was just arrested and wanted to interview lawyers, no one could interview him until they first filed papers?'
Supervisor HTFDO: 'No. Den you see him under glass.'
Me: 'How do give him my card or read his arrest form.?
Me: 'When did the new policy come into effect.'
Supervisor HTFDO: "It's always been dat way.'
Me: 'Then why in twenty-two years is this the first time this has ever happened? And why when I was at DCJ yesterday seeing a new client I didn't have to see him under glass?'
Supervisor HTFDO: 'It's always been dis way sir.'
Rumpole, let me tell you what seeing a client under glass at TGK means. Not only is there a thick glass between you making communication nearly impossible, but at the bottom of the sitting area is a thick metal plate with three rows of seven small holes. To speak to your client, you both need to bend down and yell through the holes. When doing this, you and your client are bending over and can't see each other. It is ridiculous and demeaning and nearly impossible to carry on any kind of meaningful interview with the client. Please help. "
Rumpole says: We are certain FACDL is on the case. We are sure they are at this moment forming an Facdl/AdHoc/TGK/Visitation/New Client/Under Glass/Private Attorney/committee.
We know on good authority this committee is comprised of many of the same people currently working on the Greek/EU crisis. So you can expect the same quick and efficient response to your problem.
Now on to TGK. TGK is an outlier among corrections departments. It pains us to say this, but even the Broward County Jail doesn't do this- although there's nothing to say that TGK hasn't given them a good idea. TGK has drawn a line in the sand. The sixth amendment be damned. The right to counsel? That just means that no lawyer shall be allowed to see or interview a prospective client.
We are sure TGK has a good reason for this new/old policy. How can you interview a client and get them to hire you if you cannot meet them in person, give them your card, and review their arrest report? TGK Brass responds- "No my problem. We are bureaucrats, not deep thinkers."
Hey! How about those twenty bondsmen-runners hanging around the lobby hustling clients and stealing cases and working with dirty lawyers? TGK responds- "As long as those dirty lawyers aren't meeting with the clients in person, we are doing our job."
Whew. For a moment we were worried.
Hey! What about bad corrections officers who abuse inmates?
TGK responds: "Huh? So long as those inmates-beaten and bloody- don't meet with lawyers who haven't yet filed a notice of appearance, no harm -no foul."
Criminal defense attorneys of Miami Unite! You have nothing to lose except seeing clients under glass.
THIS POST DOES NOT COME DOWN UNTIL TGK FIXES THIS RIDICULOUS PROBLEM.
See you next in 2020 when President Trump appoints Miami Traffic Magistrate Gonzalez the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
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