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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

THE PROBATION TRAP

We walked the empty hallways of the REGJB Monday, our Allen Edmonds (rubber soles) echoing off of near empty floors. Our tailor made Sam's Suit (from Hong Kong-tell Manu we sent you) flapping in the empty breeze. Our Judges are at a very important and significant conference. At great personal expense we have obtained the schedule:

Sunday 5pm: Registration and cocktail hour on the veranda. Shrimp Cocktails and Mojitos!
Monday 6am-9am: Breakfast buffet and mimosas. 
Monday 9:15 Opening Address: "Enhancing sentences after trial: the word will get out. And you will get on the golf course earlier."
Monday: 9:30-11:30. "Avoiding judicial vindictive appeals. The EZ way to enhance a sentence after trial. "
Monday: 12:00-3:00. Lunch on the veranda. Rum Runners!!
Monday 3:15-5:00. "Top o' the day- Top o' the guidelines. "
Monday 5:01-6:00. Happy Hour!
Monday: dinner. On your own. 
Tuesday: Breakfast Buffet and mimosas. 
Tuesday: 9:15-11:00. "Willams Rule. Opening the floodgates. "
Tuesday 11:10-2:00 Lunch. Roast Beef carving station and wine tasting. 
Tuesday 2:00-4:00. "Panel Discussion: Broward Judges and DUI. Put down that beer and pick up you gavel."
Tuesday 4:00-5:00 power nap. OR…Downloading games on your computer on your bench. 
Tuesday: 6:00-8:00 pm. Dinner. Lobster fest!
Wednesday. Breakfast Buffet and mimosas. 
Wednesday 9:15 Keynote address: Striking the motion to suppress. "There's more than one way to say denied."
Wednesday 11:00 Special Guest Speaker: "Working 10-3 with two hours for lunch? You need a raise!"
Wednesday 12:15-2:00 Lunch. Taco Bar and cerveza. 
Wednesday: 2:15-5:00 Ethics:  A) Don't reach for that check!; 
B) Bond hearings when attorneys support your opponent; 
C) Broward Judges/Miami Lawyers- the Ying and Yang of law. 

It's going to be a great conference. Expect your judges to return refreshed and ready to punish    preside over defendants who request jury trials. 



The NY Times here has an article on the unseen dangers of probation. 

We all know them. The excessive fees and costs. The surrender of almost all fourth amendment  rights. 
The intransigent probation officers and the endless miles of bureaucratic red tape. 

For the most part actually, to give credit where credit is due, most probation officers and Supervised Release officers we have encountered are fairly reasonable and have given our clients more breaks than required before filing the violation affidavit and heading to court. 

Despite the problems and steep financial penalties heaped upon those who can usually afford it least, if we are going to ride the trend on sentencing reform, probation is going to become more prevalent not less. 

Boy is it hot out. 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once a few years back, I was in trial and the judge just came back from "judge school." I objected to something and the judge said nothing. I asked the judge to rule and still silence. Finally I said, if they taught you at judge school to ignore my objection, it won't work. I said that I would assume you denied my request by your silence.

I found out later that they teach judges how to avoid ruling so we can't argue on appeal that we were right.

Honestly, judges are trained to screw us every chance they get.

Anonymous said...

Excellent itinerary. There ought to be a workshop for the hyphens in excuses for showing up 30 minutes late for calendar.

Anonymous said...

The other judge game goes like this:

You call JA for a hearing date. JA says fax the motion.

You say, why not just give me a date that works for me it's a simple matter to correct a mistake and the Clerk wants it fixed.

JA says, Judge will set the hearing only if you file a motion and fax it.

You say, hey, I would like to participate in the date selection. I have more than one master to please.

JA says, file a motion asking for that.

You say, it's a fucking motion to correct a mistake on the judgment and the Clerk called you and asked you to put it on calendar to fix it.

JA says, doesn't matter. Judge wants a motion.
(If Milton Hirsch, judge also wants a memorandum of law)

You then fax a fucking stupid motion with a cover sheet that says do not set on the following dates:.....

You get notice of hearing for one of the dates you said would not work.

You call JA.

She says, file a motion asking to change the date and fax it to her. Judge will set a hearing.

You tell JA to go fuck herself.

JA says she can only fuck herself on certain days of the week per the judge.

You tell JA that when asshole the judge asks for money for his or her fucking campaign, he or she call call your office and play the same fucking games.

And you wonder why we hate judges.

Anonymous said...

We don't hate Migna cuz Migna loves Miami!

Big-duh's GOIN FEDERAL!

Anonymous said...

Boy have I heard that story before... file a motion and fax it.

Anonymous said...

I watched Jeri Beth Cohen, (drug ct) order family members to do drug tests.

Is she crazy?

David S. Markus said...

Dear Anonymous at 5:28PM:

Drug court is a therapeutic, non adversary, voluntary program. Its goal is to help people who want help with their drug addiction issues. It is a holistic program that tries to address all of the stressors in a person's life that cause him/her to use drugs as a coping mechanism. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of drug addiction knows that an addict who lives with family members who are using drugs has a significantly greater chance of relapse. In order evaluate and address the needs of the addict, Judge Cohen orders family members to undergo drug tests when she suspects that there is drug use in the home of the addict trying to recover and stay clean. This is critical information that must be known to properly determine what help the addict will need to stay clean. Perhaps the addict must be removed from the home where drug use is occurring-sometimes you have to make sacrifices in your life to stay clean.
To answer your question directly, NO, Judge Cohen is not crazy for ordering family members to take drug tests to prove that they are not using and endangering the recovery of the addict. Judge Cohen's motivation in ordering drug tests on family members is to protect the addict she is trying to help. think she would be crazy not to order tests when she suspected drug use among family members. To leave an addict in an atmosphere of drug use at the very beginning of their recovery would be irresponsible-sometimes she must do for the addict what they cannot do themselves.

Legally, I doubt that she could force a family member to take a drug test or hold them in contempt if they refused. Perhaps the refusal alone will give her the answer she is seeking. But I think it myopic to consider the question from a purely legal/jurisdictional perspective. Drug Court is not a conventional court-it is a therapeutic court designed to help people, not punish them.
I think Judge Cohen's approach is forward-thinking and sensible.

David S. Markus

Anonymous said...

Judge Jeri Beth Cohen has thinks the entire world revolves around her.