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 .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com




10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its not so much that prosecutors and public defenders should get paid more (and they should), its that education costs too much.

Law school costs aren't only about tuition, but also about the opportunity costs of not having full time employment for three years. Let's say you pay $30k per year for law school, and lets say that during those three years you could be a firefighter making $50k per year (probably more) - law school set you back $240k! Plus interest on the loans if you borrowed.

There's no way to recover from that as against being a firefighter. For example, in 2008, about 181 firefighters in the City of Miami made at least $200k. http://www.biscaynetimes.com/images/stories/art_0509/MiamiSalaries.pdf

Real Fake Former Judge said...

What about Judges being paid too little? I left the bench for a lucrative private probate practice until I was able to save enough money to open my string of chuck-n-chick- hamburger and chicken slider franchises in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

There have been several high-profile Judges who left the bench because they could not afford to stay.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


The Captain Reports:

Our loyal readers will recall Rumpole’s Blog Post from January 30, 2019 concerning Judge “Blumenfeld” and his decision to deny the requests of the State and Defense for a 12 person jury in a first degree capital murder case where the State had waived death.

http://justicebuilding.blogspot.com/2019/01/6-12-18-24.html

The State filed a Writ of Cert to the 3rd DCA on the issue. Today, the 3rd DCA Granted the Writ and Ordered Judge Blumstein (his actual name) to seat a 12 person jury. In their Order, they stated:

“In State v. Griffith, 561 So. 2d 528, 530 (Fla. 1990), the Florida Supreme Court held that “[t]he prosecutor cannot, by electing not to seek the death penalty, change the classification of an offense from capital to noncapital and unilaterally determine whether a defendant is entitled to trial by a twelve-person jury.”

They went on to state that:

“Further, as explained by this Court in Alfonso v. State, 528 So. 2d 383 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988), we further note that the trial court’s pretrial decision not to impose a death penalty did not transform first-degree murder into a noncapital crime. Murder in the first degree is a capital offense. Ortagus v. State, 500 So. 2d 1367 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987). Section 913.10, Florida Statutes (1985), and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.270 provide for a twelve-person jury to try all capital cases. The law is clear, however, that a person can be convicted of a capital crime in
Florida by a jury of fewer than twelve where there is a valid defense waiver of the right to a twelve-member jury.”

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D19-0169.pdf

Cap Out .......

the trialmaster said...

As usual, the TRIALMASTER is right

Judge Alan R Schwartz, 3rd DCA, Retired; yeah that one said...


I have to hand it to the Comment from 1/30/19 at 9:37 PM. Whomever that was knows their appellate law. They nailed the decision and correctly cited to the two cases that the 3rd DCA cited to, and they did it eight days before the 3rd. Here is the Comment:

The Florida Supreme Court and Third District Court of Appeal disagree with you Rumpole — even where the State waives the death penalty, the fact that it IS a possibility retains the statutory right to a 12 person panel in a first degree murder case.

State v. Griffith, 561 So.2d 528 (Fla. 1990)
Alfonso v. State, 528 So.2d 383 (Fla. 3D 1988)

Might want to dial down the smug I-know-everything tone you seem to ooze.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:37:00 PM
=====

Well done 9:37 PM. You are entitled to the smack down you gave to the smug one.

=====

Here is what Rumpole said on 1/31/19:

Rumpole says, nice try but 6 is all youse get. It's all your're entitled to, and it's all you get. If you start letting lawyers choose the number of jurors, you could wind up with 5 or 15. The first rule of Judging is don't let the inmates run the asylum, and by "inmates" our robed readers clearly mean trial lawyers.
Our sympathies are with the lawyers. After all, who knows better on how to handle a case?

But rules are rules, and we are not even sure a writ of cert or prohibition is well founded.
==========

Rumpy, stick to your Hialeah traffic practice.

ARS

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when republicans dominate the government for 25 years. they think Public Servants are the enemy. They think government is a place one works for a short time before cashing in on the skills you learn or worse the connections you make.

truly a shame how little ASA"s and AFPD's make. And that they can go and double their pay litigating PIP claims.

and 953 law school costs way too much but that is a problem that the Fla Legislature cannot fix--the pathetically low salaries is something that they can address

Anonymous said...

About half my practice is appeals. I tell every client that after I file the Initial Brief the AG will seek a half a dozen extensions. Every client thinks it is because the AG believes they are going to lose and they have a strategy to just extend the time they are incarcerated. I tell them that the reason is that the AG's are woefully understaffed and are so far behind on their briefs that it takes them six months to catch up to the brief I filed.

This is the result of two decades of cost cutting. The AG's are under paid and over worked and its a miracle they do they job as well as they do. And I say this as a firm opponent of them on a dozen cases a year.

Anonymous said...

Touche, Alan

Anonymous said...

I am writing to the JNC to not approve Jason Bloch. He was horrible as a county attorney and even more horrible as a judge. No more Jason.

Anonymous said...

I think Jason Bloch was a great judge and a great county attorney Hector- so I am writing to the JNC to strongly support his application. And my letter cancels yours because you are a has-been and I am a very influential Republican up and comer.