WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM
Thursday, February 07, 2019
SO, YOU WANT TO BE AN ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY/ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER .....
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
TIME TO DISCUSS A REAL PROBLEM IN THE JUSTICE BUILDING .......
(BREAKING - 3rd DCA Grants Writ of Cert in State v. Wong, 3D19-169; issue is - 6 or 12 person jury for capital murder trial before Judge Blumstein. See the Comments Section for more on this story).
An article in the January 11th edition of THE FLORIDA BAR NEWS addresses a critical problem in our justice system. One in five Assistant State Attorneys and one in five Assistant Public Defenders left their jobs last year.
In Florida, the average starting salary for an ASA or APD is $41,700. By comparison, in neighboring Georgia, the average is $56,286; in North Carolina it’s $53,000; and in California, they start prosecutors and public defenders at a salary of $92,000.
State Attorney Dave Aronberg of the 15th Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach) stated that front line prosecutors and public defenders are leaving government service at such a fast rate that it is becoming an issue of public safety. "Many times, you will have a young prosecutor making $42,000, who is sitting at a table discussing a case with a first-year cop from Boca Raton, who is making $62,000 a year," Aronberg said. "And this is someone with seven years of education and six figures of education debt." The problem is, "once they get to be three- to five-year lawyers, and they’ve had about 50 or more trials, [his ASAs] are very attractive to private law firms who will pay them a lot more."
Buddy Jacobs, from the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, described the situation this way: "There are two kinds of prosecutors in Florida, those leaving . . . and those looking."
Aaronberg suggested that, according to a TaxWatch study, "raising salaries for assistant state attorneys and assistant public defenders would actually save taxpayers money in the long run."
So, what say you, our readers who work in the pits everyday? Is there a problem? What can WE do about it?
IN OTHER NEWS:
SO, YOU WANT TO BE A CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE .....
The 11th Circuit JNC received a total of 22 applications from those wanting to replace Judges Eric Hendon and Bronwyn Miller who both now sit on the 3rd DCA. The Commission narrowed the list to 18 that will be interviewed on February 15th. They include:
9:00 a.m. William I. Altfield
9:10 a.m. Rebecca Valentina Aroca
9:20 a.m. Michelle Alvarez Barakat
9:30 a.m. Jason Bloch
9:40 a.m. Tanya Brinkley
9:50 a.m. Michelle A. Delancy
10:30 a.m. Ivy R. Ginsberg
10:40 a.m. Blanca Torrents Greenwood
10:50 a.m. Peter Heller
11:00 a.m. Scott M. Janowitz
11:10 a.m. Zachary N. James
11:20 a.m. Jeffrey M. Kolokoff
12:00 p.m. Steven Lieberman
12:10 p.m. Joseph J. Mansfield
12:20 p.m. Griska Mena
12:30 p.m. Julie Harris Nelson
12:40 p.m. Kayla A. Riera-Gomez
12:50 p.m. Abbe S. Rifkin
(Those who did not make the cut: Carmen R. Cabarga, Robyn J. Cohen (McCarthy), Tahya Fuenmayor, Gustavo Javier Losa).
SPEAKING OF THE 3RD DCA .....
You still have time to apply to the 3rd DCA JNC if you want to become an appellate court judge. There are two open seats on the 3rd DCA resulting from the elevations of Justice Barbara Lagoa and Justice Robert J. Luck to the Florida Supreme Court.
The deadline to submit your application is Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
CAPTAIN OUT .......