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Monday, November 09, 2015

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Friday was "Love Your Lawyer Day". We intentionally ignored it. 

Two (Illinois) Judges in an extramarital tryst. Yuck. 

Voire Dire continues today before Judge Colodny ("Lets go Heat") in the Facebook murder case. 

SIGN IN or SIGN OUT
Remember that photo of an offending sign on a few courtrooms threatening to confiscate phones, and to do all sorts of horrible (not to mention illegal) things to people who dare enter a courtroom with a phone and headsets? 

Well it turns out the sign on at least one of the courtrooms was a left over from a previous judge (hint: one who has trouble writing civil motions to dismiss). 

The signs have been replaced by new, 11th Judicial Circuit approved signs that respectfully ask the public to turns their phones off, and to ask permission before taking video and pictures, which is all very proper and correct. Bravo. 

Now that's the right way to do it. 

Meanwhile, lets pretend it's a rainy day. You walk out of the REGJB after a long day of running to courts, dealing with clients and prosecutors and waiting for judges. You get outside. It's raining. Your feet hurt. You want to take a seat for a moment and rest your weary dogs. Uhho. No sitting allowed. 
It's not quite clear who posted this sign, and under what authority they believe they can prohibit an individual from sitting down for a moment. Furthermore, while loitering AND prowling is a crime in Florida, is loitering a crime? And if so, what about Judges at a free buffet? 

You can't sit on the steps, but can you sit on the railings? 

And finally, aren't lawyers solicitors? Isn't that part of our job? If we are walking out of the REGJB and see a prosecutor, are we prohibited, while on the steps from "soliciting" a better plea offer? And if we do solicit a better plea offer, who is supposed to enforce the prohibitions in this sign? 

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?





12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wrong. You don't have to ask permission to take a photo in a courtroom.

A courtroom closed to photos is an exception. Will you judges who read this stop thinking that you own your assigned courtroom. We own it.

Read: Rule 2.450. Technological Coverage of Judicial Proceedings

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand why two judges can't get it on at work.

Anonymous said...

You can put up as many NOTICEs as you want prohibiting all sorts of things. The issue is whether or not those things are prohibited by law and if there was any legal way to enforce them. The sign doesn't state any recourse if you do any of those activities.

I think the Fire department may have actual legal authority to prohibit sitting on the exit stairs to a building but I doubt that they were involved in this sign being posted.

Anonymous said...

Ha, what a small world. I went to undergrad in McLean County, Illinois, and Judge Drazewski presided over my best friend's murderer's case. I went to every status hearing before the defendant plead. Judge was always a real nice, professional guy. It's a shame for everyone involved.

The Professor said...

Wrong 7:14 am - Learn to read an entire rule, not just what you want to see. Here is the preamble to Rule 2.450 Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. It was created and designed to allow media coverage of important proceedings, not for the general public to come in and start snapping pictures or recording proceedings.

"(a) Electronic and Still Photography Allowed. Subject at all times to the authority of the presiding judge to: (i) control the conduct of proceedings before the court; (ii) ensure decorum and prevent distractions; and (iii) ensure the fair administration of justice in the pending cause, electronic media and still photography coverage of public judicial proceedings in the appellate and trial courts of this state shall be allowed in accordance with the following standards of conduct and technology promulgated by the Supreme Court of Florida."

In other words, as I have stated many times before, a courtroom is not an exercise in democracy. There is one person in charge, and that person is the judge. It is all about how the judge wishes to conduct their courtroom. If you do not believe me, I think you should walk into a courtroom in session, turn on the camera in your phone and start recording video in a way that the judge or the bailiff can easily observe. Defy the judge when he/she tells you to stop, and see what happens. I think you should bring your toothbrush with you, though. I look forward to being there.

Rumpole said...

Well said prof

Anonymous said...

What about Arky Vaughn?

Anonymous said...

Rule 2.450 is also written for the media, not average folks' cell phone photos. For that see rule 2.451(c), which also contains similar limiting language re. chief judge's authority to preserve court security . . . .

Anonymous said...

What's worse? The ol huck-a-buck or the shumie-doo.

Anonymous said...

When you go to fed court and get no continuances and then maxed out at sentencing that's the ol huck-a-buck. Can't imagine anything worse.

Anonymous said...

The anti loitering rules are designed to attempt to control the panhandling at the front entrance

Anonymous said...

Forward this to your legislator

http://gawker.com/john-oliver-examines-the-shitty-difficult-reality-of-l-1741472052