The FACDL had their 263rd awards dinner last night at the Last Stop Bar in Florida City. Yes, the tradition dates back to a bunch of Calusta Native Americans sitting on a mound of shells in Florida Bay and handing out fresh lobster and oysters as an award.
Actually, and because we are still in Europe involved in Brexit, we have pieced together events based on the numerous emails we have received in the last 8-10 hours.
Federal assistant Public defender Abby Becker received the Greg Wenzel young lawyers award
Beji Waxman received the "Against All Odds Award" for writing a winning brief in the Florida Supreme Court and his prior decade of litigation for a client in the infamous Casey Nickelodeon murders in Broward. Eventually Waxman was able to convince the Supreme Court that the Broward rule that identity need not "really be proven" in a Broward murder case was, well, not entirely kosher to use some Latin.
Judge Mary Jo Francis deservedly received the Justice Kogan award for her work on the bench, especially in jail court misdemeanor cases, where 99.9% of the cases involve defendants suffering from mental illness.
Edith Georgi won the Sy Gaer founders award for her lifetime of wonderful, dedicated, and top notch advocacy at the Public Defenders office.
Alex Michaels won the Gino Negretti "Courtesy in Court" award, for obvious reasons.
But according to all emails, the highlight of the event was when moderator Milt Hirsch paused in his annual rendition of Federalist Paper #78 (on the judiciary)
But it is not with a view to infractions of the Constitution only, that the independence of the judges may be an essential safeguard against the effects of occasional ill humors in the society. These sometimes extend no farther than to the injury of the private rights of particular classes of citizens, by unjust and partial laws. Here also the firmness of the judicial magistracy is of vast importance in mitigating the severity and confining the operation of such laws. It not only serves to moderate the immediate mischiefs of those which may have been passed, but it operates as a check upon the legislative body in passing them; who, perceiving that obstacles to the success of iniquitous intention are to be expected from the scruples of the courts, are in a manner compelled, by the very motives of the injustice they meditate, to qualify their attempts. This is a circumstance calculated to have more influence upon the character of our governments, than but few may be aware of...
whereupon Judge Hirsch introduced Judge Sayfie, to a rousing standing ovation of attorneys who all then made patting movements on their jackets and rummaged through their purses to mostly discover that, darn, they forgot to bring their check books.
Judge Hirsch then returned to conclude with his rendition of "A Costly Ride" by Guy de Maupassant, reprising his long-ago defense of a case in which he successfully argued the old "wrong place, wrong time defense."
A good time was apparently had by all.
One of these years someone is going to invite us.
Until then.... see you in court.
The Captain Reports:
Rumpole - here is your Errata Sheet:
The last Award is called the Pearson-Prebish Founders Award named after the two FACDL-Miami founders. It is awarded for Lifetime Achievement.
There were two winners, both well deserved:
Edith Georgi and Rory Stein
Congrats to all of the winners last evening.
Cap Out .....