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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

GOV. DESANTIS APPOINTS TWO NEW SUPREME COURT JUSTICES .....



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

YOUR TWO NEWEST FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICES ARE .......

JUDGE RENATHA FRANCIS

ATTORNEY JOHN COURIEL

Today, Governor DeSantis appointed Judge Renatha Francis and attorney John Couriel to two seats on the high court that were open when former Justices Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa were appointed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Francis was born in Jamaica. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies and her law degree from Florida Coastal Law.

Francis was first appointed to the Miami-Dade County Court bench by Gov. Scott in August of 2017. Ten months later, in June of 2018, Scott elevated Judge Francis to the Miami-Dade Circuit Court. Just over one year later, in October of 2019, Francis resigned her seat on the Miami-Dade bench only to be appointed as a Circuit Court Judge in Palm Beach County. Prior to joining the bench she worked as a lawyer for the 1st DCA and then as an associate at Shutts & Bowen.

Amazingly, Judge Francis is NOT qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. Francis graduated from Florida Coastal Law in 2010 and became a member of the Florida Bar on September 24th of that year. According to the Florida Constitution, a Supreme Court justice must have been a member of the Florida Bar for 10 years. Therefore, Judge Francis will not be eligible to take her seat on the Florida Supreme Court until after September 24, 2020.

There has been much talk about the need for diversity on the bench, especially the Florida Supreme Court. When Justice Peggy Quince retired in January of 2019, that left the high court without a black justice for the first time in 36 years. Thirty-two people applied for the two open seats on the high court, six of them black. The JNC nominated one, Francis.

Slate, in an article from April 1, 2020, wrote about the controversy surrounding Francis' nomination by the JNC and suggested that Francis’ appointment is unconstitutional. They wrote:

There are two ..... constitutional provisions that are relevant. First, Article V, Subsection 11(c) states that "[t]he governor shall make the appointment within sixty days after the nominations have been certified to the governor." (DeSantis received the nominee list in January and was obligated to make his appointments no later than March 23, 2020.).

Next, Article V, Subsection 11(a) provides that "[w]henever a vacancy occurs in a judicial office to which election for retention applies, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointing for a term." The plain language of the Florida Constitution does not distinguish between appointment and commission. The constitutionally significant event is the appointment, which is what fills the vacancy. How can a vacancy be filled if the appointee does not take office for a few months? It can’t.

John Couriel is a partner at Kobre & Kim, where he handles high-stakes cross-border disputes, with a particular focus on Latin America. A native Spanish speaker, Mr. Couriel conducts internal investigations and represents individuals and corporations in jurisdictions including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

Before joining Kobre & Kim, Couriel served as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice (as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida), where he prosecuted significant wire fraud, money laundering, healthcare fraud, and other conspiracies, including in cases involving cross-border prosecutorial cooperation and extradition matters. 

Couriel has made more than one attempt at elected state office. In 2012, he ran against incumbent State Senator Gwen Margolis, losing badly to her with only 38% of the vote. In 2016, Couriel took a shot at the Florida House when he ran in District 114 as a Republican against Democratic candidate Daisy Baez. Baez defeated Couriel 51% to 49%; (1,336 votes separated the two candidates). Of note, Baez resigned her seat on November 1, 2017, after reaching a deal with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to plead guilty to a perjury charge related to her place of residence.

Couriel attended Harvard as both an undergrad and law school. He has been a member of The Florida Bar since 2004.

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com


29 comments:

Anonymous said...

A graduate of Florida Coastal Law School of less than 10 years experience on the Florida Supreme Court? Further showing the stupidity of Florida.

Anonymous said...

From Florida Costal to the Supreme Court in under ten years. What the hell is going on around here??

the trialmaster said...

The assent of totally unqualified attorneys to courts is disgusting. Francis went to Florida Coastal which is the worst law school in Florida, if not the USA. An undergrad from an offshore university is as impressive as a degree from Trump University. I am for diversity, but she is clearly not the best candidate to go to the Supreme Court of Florida. How about Eugene Pettis, HT Smith, Mike Chivas, Judge Hendon, Judge Trawick come to mind quickly. This Florida Supreme Court bench is the worst since the scandal ridden bench in the early 70s. And only 10 years in practice, I doubt she has ever tried a case to a jury or has much, if any court experience and certainly no appellate experience. Has she ever written a brief or argued before an appeals court?

Jack Thompson said...

You don’t put a non-appellate judge on the Supreme Court and you REALLY don’t put a non-judge there.

Two stupid picks by Gov. Trump Bootlicker.

Anonymous said...

Amazing since Couriel was a "Never Trumper." But, look at the bright side of things. The two of them cannot be worse than Canaday, Lawson, Muniz, and Polston. At least Justice Labarga may have someone he can talk to.
Something has to happen before folks begin to look at our Supreme Court as a bunch of right wing racists.

Anonymous said...

Amazing since Couriel was a "Never Trumper." But, look at the bright side of things. The two of them cannot be worse than Canaday, Lawson, Muniz, and Polston. At least Justice Labarga may have someone he can talk to.
Something has to happen before folks begin to look at our Supreme Court as a bunch of right wing racists.

Anonymous said...

Florida Coastal Law? She'll never be qualified no matter how long we wait.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break Ron. You appointed someone who is not eligible to hold office and we are supposed to think you are a competent governor????

Anonymous said...

That is WONDERFUL.

Justice Renatha Francis is a great choice. She writes brilliant opinions and decisions. She will be a great reflection on the Florida judiciary.

It won’t be long before she leads all of the Judges as Chief Justice.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone appeared before Judge Francis? I am curious to hear your opinion of her.

Anonymous said...

What next? Peter Adrien?

Anonymous said...

You critics all don’t get it. Not enough experience to be on the highest court in one of the largest States in America?

You all are just ignorant. Judge Francis presided over several DUI trials - including one by jury. Further, she served a few months in small claims court and did a fabulous job presiding over a bench trial on a dog bite matter. Incredible from what the lawyer for the dog owner said. Two hours of intrigue, a surprise witness and hospital bills totaling $336.

Matters like interpreting the Uniform Commercial Code, Economic Loss Doctrine, death penalty matters and perhaps even a national Presidential election law dispute will be summarily dealt with on the Florida Supreme Court.

Come on now folks. Your standards are set way too high. Just look at the quality of Trump’s picks for the Federal Courts in States like Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi. It’s all good. The stock market will go up BIG tomorrow on this Justice Renata Francis appointment.

Samuel Danziger said...

Appointment/Commission---No difference, the seat on the bench is vacant until September.
Tell me this appointee is the only competent person out of a diverse pool of over a million.
The Gov knew this and, I prefer, his advisors(the JNC) are incompetent and/or ignorant.

Anonymous said...

I have it on good authority she never tried a case as a lawyer and never presided over a trial as a judge. Bond hearings and probate I believe.

Anonymous said...

And the sage words of late Senator Roman Hruska live on...

"Even if (s)he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."

Seth Sklarey said...

The Supreme Court of Florida had some great justice once upon a time.
Thos days are long gone. The last few appointments are unqualified jokes.
Bring back elected Justices

Anonymous said...

From REGB Courtroom 1-5 to the Florida Supreme Court in 2 years? Wow!

Anonymous said...

302 are u joking with the right wing racist comment on a blog post about an unqualified black woman promoted by a Republican governor? ...u can say a lot of things abt the appt of someone as obviously unqualified as Francis but to say it's a sign of right wing racism....lolol

Anonymous said...

@ trialmaster

The University of the West Indies (UWI) is NOT "an offshore university". It is a university system which derived from the University College London, and is the premier academic institution of the English speaking Caribbean. While there certainly are Medical degree diploma bills in the Caribbean, those schools are set up for Americans who can't make the cut. UWI isn't a diploma mill for rich kid Americans who partied too hard in undergrad to get into med school, but is a very established academic institution for the best students from the Caribbean.

Now Florida Coastal I can't defend, but do not disparage the University of the West Indies.

Anonymous said...

God help us all

Anonymous said...

@ The Cult of Hanzman:

https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/content/download/636521/7231072/file/200688_DC03_05272020_104258_i.pdf

This sort of thing seems to happen to him a lot.

Anonymous said...

If you're looking at her credentials and trying to figure out how she elevated so quickly, then stop. It has nothing to do with credentials. This was a plan to put this judge in the highest possible position in the least amount of time. The Supreme Court used to be something to aspire to. Now it's just an appointed government job. Along the lines of a judge picking his bailiff.

Anonymous said...

Has the University of the West Indies ever won a football game or a national championship? Name a single graduate of the UWI who has accomplish anything of significance. Surely she is the least qualified ever. She was preordained in that she gave up the bench in Miami to be appointed in Palm Beach County. That allowed DeSantis to appoint her as well as the well qualified Courseil, A Harvard graduate and Harvard Law as well. Quite a contrast in picks.

Kissimmee Kid said...

You law school snobs sicken me. Law school is a racist institution. The very purpose of law school is to keep racial groups out of the profession. Jews, and worse, the Irish, used clerking to create more Jewish and Irish lawyers. Once one Jew passed the bar, he’d create dozens more, by putting smart relatives into clerkships. Cf. Jerold S. Auerbach, Unequal Justice: Lawyers and Social Change in Modern America (Oxford University Press 1976).
The academic system is set up to favor white, middle-class, students. Public schools give blacks inferior educations. Then the college entry tests are biased. Once in college, the grading system is biased. So, no blacks get into “prestigious” law schools. The whole college/law school racket is a racist shit-show.
So, a black girl goes to a rigorous college, gets to be a lawyer from a school designed to circumvent the racism baked into the law school system, and you assholes sneer. Deplorable.

Anonymous said...

https://www-media.floridabar.org/uploads/2019/12/Francis_Redacted.pdf

Anonymous said...

OMG, 2 misspellings in question 22 alone. Misspelled supreme court in question 51. She's also a carpetbagger. Moved to Florida to go to law school. 7 years as a law clerk, 8 months as a lawyer. ZERO trials! No publications. In one of her writing samples she misidentifies which parties the lawyers represent, writing that Abigail Price-Williama, THE County Attorney represents the petitioner against Miami-Dade County. This is a joke. She is supposed to replace Lagoa or Luck?! Come on, man!

Anonymous said...

Ideology. That’s all this appointment was about. Right wing ideology. The next time a Republican rails about liberal activist judges, just point to Florida’s Supreme Court as the counterpoint.

Anonymous said...

Right-wing republicans have done an excellent job of reworking state legislatures and judiciaries to accomplish their goals of trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and implement their so-called Christian morals into our government. They've accomplished this thru gerrymandering and ensuring that judicial appointees are young, conservative, and members of the Federalist Society. Unless you have those credentials, you have zero chance of a judicial appointment while a Republican sits in the Governor's mansion.

Anonymous said...

@ Kissimmee Kid.

Give me a break. This is where soon to be Justice Francis went to law school. https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/legal-ed-posts-public-notice-for-schools-out-of-compliance-with-bar-passage-standard