THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
HERE COME THE JUDGE, HERE COME THE JUDGE ......
JUDGE DAVID MILLER AND THE JQC:
Judge David Miller, who has been on the Circuit Court bench for the past 20 years, found himself in the cross hairs of the JQC recently. Today the JQC issued their Findings and reported them to the Florida Supreme Court for their review and determination as to whether they will accept the Recommendations.
From the FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OF DISCIPLINE: (the entire nine page Report can be found here).
“On the afternoon of January 17, 2020, Judge Miller was presiding over a lengthy tobacco-related civil trial. After resumption from an extended lunch break, the trial proceedings were interrupted continuously by loud noise from the public lobby outside of Judge Miller's courtroom. The source of the sound was a result of many people congregating and not promptly disbursing from the public lobby at the conclusion of Judge William Altfield's investiture ceremony, which had occurred in the ceremonial courtroom on the same floor.”
“Judge Miller instructed his court Bailiff to go out and try to quiet the people in the lobby. When that was unsuccessful, Judge Miller sent the Court Clerk and his Bailiff back into the lobby. That too was unsuccessful.” “Judge Miller stepped down from the bench wearing his robe and proceeded into the lobby accompanied by his Bailiff. Several witnesses, including judges and lawyers, observed Judge Miller to be "yelling," and waving his arms at the people in the lobby while trying to get them be quiet.”
“While trying to quiet the groups of people in the lobby, Judge Miller observed one person shaking her head while looking at him. Judge Miller believed she was telling him, "no," indicating that she would not cooperate with his attempt to quiet the crowd. Responding to what he believed was contemptuous behavior, Judge Miller approached the individual and shouted, "Do not shake your head at me." Judge Miller then twice threatened the person with contempt, demanding to know, "Do you want to be held in contempt?" When the person answered that "no" she did not want to be held in contempt, Judge Miller continued to question the individual asking her name and whether she was employed in the Courthouse, before going back into his courtroom.”
“In this Stipulation Judge Miller admits that his conduct as alleged in the Notice of Formal Charges and outlined above was inappropriate, and should not have occurred.” “Because Judge Miller's conduct, including his inappropriate threat of contempt, plainly fell below the high standard of conduct required by the Canons and this Court, the Commission finds and recommends that the interests of justice will be well served by a public reprimand of Judge Miller.”
CAPTAIN OUT .......