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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

GET OUT THE PEN AND WRITE

The Third DCA released sixteen decisions in criminal cases on Wednesday. Fourteen were PCA Affirmed. Of the two decisions, one was in a pro se post conviction case affirming a denial without prejudice for the petitioner to properly file the motion, and the second was in a first degree murder case where one of the two burglary convictions were vacated, but the murder conviction affirmed.

Query: Shouldn't criminal defendants be entitled to a short opinion? There seems to be a PCA epidemic lately.

NB: PCAs (Per Curiam Affirmed, literally "Feh! Are you kidding me? Affirmed." ) are for all intents and purposes impossible to appeal further.

Check out DOM's blog, where he reports on the 11th circuit and Judge Rosenbaum writing dissents about the moon and green cheese. At least they're getting opinions in federal court.

See you in court.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

PCA's should be abolished. Throw in a little reasoning. I think Brennan should be moved tot the 3rd and do the writing for all the lazy judges who simply PCA opinions. Either that or a federal judgeship. Imagine how pleasant federal court would be with Brennan on the bench. Her talents are clearly wasted in dependency court. ( what exactly is dependency court, anyway ).

Anonymous said...

In the 3d DCA these days, we have the choice of written opinions and (mostly) bad law or PCAs and no law. PCAs don't screw up the law for everyone else. Between the two admittedly bad choices, I'll take no law.

Anonymous said...

The Third's abuse of the PCA is shameful. Case in point, Connolly v. State. PCAed in 2011, on rehearing it turned into a reversal, complete with lengthy opinion and lengthier dissent. Eventually the court en banc rejected the panel decision. This yielded a lengthy opinion, dissent, and an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Clearly the sort of case with no issues of arguable merit, a perfect candidate for a PCA.

Anonymous said...

PCA's are for when the defendant raises a winning point on appeal but the court wants to deny it anyway. They are there strictly to permit unethical fixing of cases.

Anonymous said...

Lurvey gets nod for Hillary's Secretary of Miracles.

Anonymous said...

I understand the thinking of 9:58. But at least bad law can be appealed. And, if you've noticed, the Fla. S. Ct. smacks the crap out of the Third when it ventures out of the bunker (h/t SFL) with written stinkers. So it mostly doesn't venture, issuing PCAs instead of subjecting its 'reasoning' to review. Our clients have a constitutional right to appeal criminal convictions and sentences. We provide zealous representation on meritorious appellate issues. If the issues weren't meritorious, this Court wouldn't hesitate to smack the crap out of us. Our clients' liberty depends on the outcome. I never know how to explain to a client who knows I've labored intensely sometimes for months to produce well-reasoned well-crafted briefs, to anticipate any question opposing counsel or the Court could conceivably raise, that we have lost and don't know why. So now I tell them right up front that a criminal appeal in the Third DCA is overwhelmingly likely to lose, no matter how meritorious and well-presented, and that the Court won't even bother to say why.

Picture a bench-full of langorous chubby bureaucrats wielding rubber PCA stamps. If our clients' liberty weren't at stake, it would make a funny late-night skit.

Anonymous said...

Totally incorrect that a PCA is better than a bad opinion. A bad opinion can be reviewed, a PCA can't. A judge has to be accountable for a bad opinion but not for a PCA. A judge has to at least attempt to justify a bad opinion, but not a PCA. A defendant and his family get some explanation from a bad opinion but not a PCA. Law evolves by being written down and publicly announced. That is what a legal education is fundamentally about. Law that is decided in the dark is not worthy of the name. Anyone who does appeals in a serious way could probably tell you about a half dozen PCAs that could never have been justified if they had been written opinions.

Rude Judge said...

I think you lawyers can take a PCA to the next level because if the 3rd PCA the lower courts orders, my thinking is the appeal would be based on the order and not the 3rd DCA PCA.
I think we need to get those lazy peace of Sh!ts out of our courts.
I have had the opportunity to speak with attorneys that have used PCA in drafting briefs.
Judge Brennan was Mentioned for the 3rd, are you joking?

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