BELOW: Our answer to Broward's plea for help.
Check out David's blog and the excerpt of Judge Posner's review of the 19th edition of the Bluebook. Apparently 20 is the charm.
Big mystery not solved: New Circuit Judge Darrin Gayles to take over the late Judge Pinero's division. Judge Tunis to ROC-n-roll court....but who is taking over for Tunis?
BROWARD'S DADE BLUES
The boyz (n gurlz) in Broward are having trouble with Miami Judges. Boy is that
bass- ackwards. That's like the French army rolling through Germany or the Dolphins whopping the Cheaters at home or Sarah Palin reading a book. You get the idea.
The Broward Blog asked for our help. Apparently, and it's not quite clear, a Broward attorney appeared in Dade, and after being allowed to call his/her case out of turn, and after not being threatened by the courtroom staff, bailiff, court reporter, corrections officer, etc, did in fact have a problem with a recalcitrant Dade Judge who was upset that the attorney's client was not present for some sort of pre-trial proceeding (probably a sounding or calendar call or status conference- which really are all the same, right? ).
Apparently in Broward the Judges are OK with the client not appearing for these hearings if the attorney has notarized waiver. At issue is this rule:
RULE 3.180. PRESENCE OF DEFENDANT
(a) Presence of Defendant. In all prosecutions for crime the defendant shall be present:
(3) at any pretrial conference, unless waived by the defendant in writing;
We were pleased to learn that when the attorney cited the rule to the unknown Dade Judge he/she followed it. Fat chance of that happening the other way around when an out of county attorney contravenes the conventional way the court does things. Can you say warrant, bond revocation and Florid Bar complaint?
And habit is really what this is about. We have a way of doing things in Dade that includes the Defendant showing up for felony pre-trial hearings purely out of habit. But the rule doesn't require it.
So what say you Robed Readers of Dade? Can we all starting getting waivers and moving things along in court and saving tens of thousands gallons of gas and work hours and excuse clients from pre-trial hearings that takes hours of out their days and minutes in actual court time?
Go green, be clean, follow the rules. See you in court (sans client??? We shall see.)
Your client(s) should usually be able to skip any pretrial hearings unless the appearance is ordered by the judge/clerk.. however, skipping a calendar call may not be wise on a "RE: Sounding/Plea" date, any date the case appears "RE: Plea" or any time the judge ordered your client to be in court. Another reason it may not be wise to excuse your client at regular reports is because your client will usually get the best possible plea offers before the day of trial, when all the necessary work has been done. Of course if you're going to trial certain and claiming innocence, just give the prosecutors a heads up and the court should not give you a hard time in excusing your client from such a hearing and exercising his/her right to a trial. Good & friendly communication between defense attorneys and prosecutors will usually foster the best outcome for all parties involved, but some of us are real caught up the in the adversarial process of the adversarial process.. That's my 6-minute increment at least... See you all in trial.
sounds like well reasoned advice from a robed reader- I would add my two cents- kudos to the Dade Judge who recognized that the Broward attorney had a good faith basis (supported by the rules of criminal procedure no less) for telling his/her client not to appear.
Too often we see judges wedded to their own precious procedure to be consistent at the expense of fairness.
"Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"
However, don't whine and plea that your client is not getting pre-trial offers or claim not knowing about trial date enhancements just because he/she waived his/her appearance at pre-trial hearings...LOL
On an unrelated note, this is why people hate lawyers:
Emerson A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
Get it right Rump
Rump, a while ago you blogged about Joe Namath's dog being declared dangerous for biting another animal thanks to a new Palm Beach County ordinance. I informed you that Broward County had implemented an even more onerous ordinance that mandated death to any dog that killed another animal regardless of prior instances, contradicting State law which provides any dog in essence "one free bite." 56 family pets have been killed by Broward County under this new ordinance, which has been challenged on constitutional grounds by family pets that have been on doggie death row for more than 2 years. A ruling is pending by the Fourth DCA, and a newly elected commissioner promised to revist the ordinance as part of his platform. A few days ago, apparently seeing the writing on the wall, the Broward County Commission relented. After acknowledging that the ordinance was morally and legally untenable, the Commission reversed itself and re-amended the ordinance to conform to State law. Broward County's death row will now be for all intense and purposes shut down, since few if any dogs were ever put down under the State standard for biting another animal. While we still await the Fourth DCA ruling which hopefully will give guidance to other County's thinking of deviating from the State standard, this reversal of fortune was a great victory for dogs and their owners, and a sobering reminder to politicians who implement knee jerk legislation without considering or recognizing the adverse consequences of bad legislation.
Oh no. Rumpole is Jonathon Schwartz. "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" is his favoite phrase Shakesperean quote. God help us all.
Get your clients there so cases can be pled out at sounding and trial week can be saved for cases actually going to trial.
A yet I still get called a "Miami lawyer" when I go to Broward ...
Has anyone seen judge Hirsch's memo regarding his motion practice procedures? Can you say ARROGANT?
Hirsch -- arrogant?
Say it ain't so, Milt.
No Rumpole is not Jonathan Schwartz.
Rumpole uses big words and is intellectually honest. Jonathan barely can speak without telling a lie.
Rumpole is interested in justice and making things better. Jonathan only cares about making money and will say just about anything to win.
Rumpose is liberal. Jonathan is conservative.
Rumpole takes time out of his busy day to run this stupid blog. Jonathan would never do a single thing to help anyone.
i"ve seen Hirsh's memo and he is a total prick. what a pontificating jerk. and totally not fesible for the average c or b pd or asa...
Can someone please print the Hirsch memo or at least give it to Rump to publish?
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