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Wednesday, July 25, 2018
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
BROWARD = BROWEIRD ....
ANOTHER JUDGE BITES THE DUST .......
You just can’t make this stuff up folks. Broward Judge John Contini resigned on July 6, 2018. Contini became an attorney in 1983 and he joined the Broward State Attorney’s Office where he spent four years. For the next 27 years he ran a criminal defense practice in Broward. He was elected to a six year term and took the bench in January of 2015. Ten months after he took the bench, Contini was already facing his first JQC investigation.
In November of 2015, the JQC filed charges alleging that Contini provided one-sided assistance to defense lawyers by emailing an assistant public defender with tips on writing motions for reduced sentences. They additionally charged that he acted unprofessionally when prosecutors complained about it.
Contini admitted to the allegations and apologized for his actions toward several attorneys, defendants, investigators and victims. In November of 2016, the Florida Supreme Court decided that Contini should receive a public reprimand and they also required him to deliver in person a written apology to the assistant attorney general whose court filing Contini called a "lie from the pit of hell".
Fast forward to 2018, and without warning, Contini resigned two weeks ago. This week, the JQC filed their newest charges against the now former judge. In their 157 page filing, they charge Judge Contini with, among other things:
1. On numerous occasions, you have instructed your JA to create dockets of fictitious cases or hearings on particular days of the week on which you planned to be absent from the courthouse. Your fabrication of these dockets was designed to create the impression that you were present in the Courthouse, when in fact, you were not.
3. On some days when you were absent from the Courthouse during regular business hours, you instructed your JA to email court business to you ... you also instructed her to lie and say you were in trial or unavailable to conduct hearings.
6. You inappropriately require your JA to perform personal tasks for you before, during, and after regular business hours ... including to: pay your personal bills and manage your personal finances; make personal travel arrangements; proofread and edit a manuscript for you; ....
The list goes on for a total of 11 counts. You can read all 157 pages by clicking on the link here:
Take the time to read some of the fascinating emails between the judge and his JA contained in the exhibits.
Best of luck to our colleague David Rothman who is representing the former judge.
FURTHER NORTH OF THE BORDER .....
So, you’re pregnant, and you are scheduled to give birth during the next trial setting. Your previous pregnancy resulted in you delivering a preemie six weeks early. You file a Motion for Continuance of the Trial Date and opposing counsel objects. That hearing played out in the courtroom of civil court Judge Cymonie Rowe, 15th Judicial Circuit, in Palm Beach County last month.
The contestants: Plaintiff’s attorney Paul Reid of the law firm Shook, Hardy, and Bacon. He apparently represents an injured worker. Defense attorney Christen Luikart of the law firm Murphy Anderson represents defendant Genie Industries.
It was recently in the news that the Florida Supreme Court was considering a proposed rule that, if passed, would require judges to grant motions for continuance for parental leave, barring exceptional circumstances. This hearing may accelerate those plans to decide whether a formal rule is actually needed.
The entire transcript is attached and can be read by going here:
The relevant portion of the arguments for and against the MTC are contained on pages 58-70 of the transcript.
NOTE: After Reid repeatedly objected and argued the same point over and over again, the judge had had enough, and she Granted the Motion.
Have any of our readers experienced a similar situation where opposing counsel was objecting on similar grounds? Anyone have an experience where a judge they were before was maybe reluctant to grant a continuance on similar grounds?
CAPTAIN OUT .......