Thursday, July 27, 2017

Magistrate Judge Selection Panel

There is a new Magistrate Judge Selection Panel, to make a recommendation as to reappointment of Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman and the upcoming vacancy due to the retirement of Magistrate Judge William Turnoff.  Here is the committee:

Chair: Thomas E. Scott, Jr., Esq.
Members: Jerry Blair (non-attorney)
Raoul Cantero, III, Esq.
Laura Maria González-Marqués, Esq.
Markenzy Lapointe, Esq.
Tiffani Lee, Esq.
Abigail Price-Williams, Esq.
Nikki Lewis Simon, Esq.
H. T. Smith, Esq.
Rodolfo Sorondo, Esq.
Ryan Stumphauzer, Esq.
Dr. Jose Szapocznik (non-attorney)

Two wonderful magistrates.  Judge Turnoff will be missed... more on that to follow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mary Barzee Flores is running for Congress

Mary Barzee Flores is running for Congress. Ileana's seat. Mary is a former federal defender and was nominated by Obama to be a federal district judge. But Marco Rubio blocked her by not signing the blue slip. So she is fighting back. From her email this morning:

After a few years serving clients in private practice, I again answered the call to public service when President Obama nominated me to serve as a Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Although I enjoyed strong support from Democrats and Republicans, Senator Marco Rubio blocked my nomination. He complained about my support of progressive organizations like the ACLU and EMILY’s List.
Marco Rubio disagrees with my political views. I disagree with his.
So I can understand why Marco Rubio would not want me on the federal bench. He won’t want me in Congress either.
Petty partisan politics prevented me -- like Judge Merrick Garland and so many other Obama federal court nominees -- from fulfilling President Obama's call to public service. But I’m persistent and I don’t give up easily. I remain committed to serving this community and this country.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

News & Notes

1. Richard Strafer's memorial service will be held on August 6 at 10am at Kendall Mt. Nebo, 5900 SW 77th Avenue. Miami, FL 33143.

2. We filed an emergency petition in the Supreme Court for former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli. Jay Weaver covers it here:
Attorneys for former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, who is being detained in Miami on an extradition request to his homeland, filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday that asserts his constitutional rights have been violated because his bid for bond was denied.

Martinelli’s legal team argued that federal courts nationwide have “misconstrued” a 114-year-old Supreme Court decision “as having erected a heavy presumption against bail in such [extradition] cases.”

“The belief that [this decision] imposed an unlawful presumption has prevailed [in extradition cases] for so long that it is now binding across the country,” Miami attorneys David O. Markus and Ricardo Bascuas wrote in Martinelli’s emergency petition for a writ of habeas corpus. “Only this court can resolve the confusion at this point.”

Markus and Bascuas, who were added to Martinelli’s legal team led by attorney Marcos Jimenez, said the U.S. Supreme Court was the former president’s only recourse because bond denials cannot be appealed in extradition cases in the federal district or appeals courts.

3. David Lat is blogging about Katherine Magbanua's case. Magbanua is represented by Chris DeCoste and Tara Kawass. Full disclosure, we represent Charlie Adelson.

4.  SCOTUS protestors get a taste of jail.  Via WP:
Five protesters who disrupted a session of the U.S. Supreme Court by shouting disapproval of its rulings on campaign finance law were sentenced to one or two weekends in prison Monday after losing a bid to overturn a 1949 law restricting public protest at the court.

U.S. prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Christopher R. “Casey” Cooper in Washington to order 10-day jail sentences for the defendants, members of an organization called 99Rise. They had stood and spoken one-by-one just after the court was gaveled into session April 1, 2015, about a year after the justices had struck down overall limits on campaign contributions.

Friday, July 21, 2017

RIP Richard Strafer

RIP Richard Strafer.

What a tragedy. Richard was a friend. A really great guy. Brilliant lawyer. He could spot a great issue and crank out a 50-page perfect brief faster than anyone I knew. Here's the DBR obit:

Miami criminal appellate lawyer G. Richard Strafer died Friday after contracting a mystery infection on a European cruise and letting his colleagues know before going into a coma in Britain. He was 66.

Strafer was known for his compelling appellate writing, including a 2012 petition that persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments in the Kaley v. United States on the constitutionality of pretrial asset freezes. The court later found them legal.

Strafer had his own firm for many years and last summer became of counsel at Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf.

"He is one of the finest legal writers in this country," Black Srebnick senior partner Roy Black said while Strafer was hospitalized. "He has a brilliant and incisive mind and understands and resolves thorny legal problems better than anyone I know."

Strafer fell ill last month after contracting an infection on a Viking Cruises trip during a vacation with his husband, Jon Rick. Strafer was quarantined in his cabin, given antibiotics by the ship's doctor and taken to a hospital after the cruise ended.

At the hospital outside London, Strafer suffered cardiac arrest. That night, colleagues said his medical records show the hospital staff removed him from oxygen for nearly 10 minutes, and he lapsed into a vegetative state shortly afterward around June 22.

About a week later, he was flown to Baptist Hospital in Miami, where he was visited by his husband, 26-year-old daughter Jordan, friends, colleagues and his two dogs. Strafer trained the dogs as therapy pets so they could cheer up hospital patients, particularly children. In his final days, the dogs were allowed to climb onto his hospital bed and snuggle in his arms.

Under conditions of his living will, Strafer was removed from life support Monday. The source of the infection has not been determined.

And here is the Herald obit:
Richard Strafer, a brilliant, behind-the-scenes appellate lawyer at the marquee criminal-defense firm in Miami, has been a fanatical runner and bicyclist for years. He competed in two World Championship Duathlons, finishing eighth in his age group in Spain in 2011 and 22nd in Hungary in 2007.

So when he set off on a leisurely European cruise in early June, his colleagues and friends thought it was a tad ironic.

Days after departing from Stockholm, Sweden, on a cruise to Norway, the 66-year-old Strafer caught a chest cold. It soon flared up to a 104-degree fever and pneumonia.

By mid-June, when the ship sailed into Greenwich, England, Strafer had already been under medical supervision for the latter half of the cruise. After being transferred to an English hospital, doctors gave him antibiotics for a worsening lung infection that they could not diagnose, but the medication proved ineffective. As his lungs deteriorated, Strafer went into cardiac arrest that cut off oxygen to his brain. Within a week, he slipped into a coma.

Strafer, considered to possess one of the sharpest legal minds in South Florida, never awoke from it. After being flown in a private air ambulance to Miami in early July, he was taken to Baptist Hospital, where a stream of family and friends visited his bedside. Baptist doctors concluded his coma was irreversible.


“Everyone is heartbroken,” said attorney Scott Kornspan, managing partner of Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf, where Strafer worked for more than 15 years. “How does this happen on a cruise line to a perfectly healthy man? We're all in shock and dumbfounded about what happened.”

Kornspan said he communicated with Strafer on June 17 just after he was transferred from the Viking Cruises ship to the English hospital. Strafer expressed alarm over his prognosis after doctors immediately told him in the hospital’s ICU that if he had arrived three hours later he would have died. They also told him that because of the seriousness of his condition, he should contact next of kin and a spiritual adviser.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

#SeersuckerDay at the USSC meeting

#SeersuckerDay at the USSC meeting in DC. That's Judge Bill Pryor and Judge Charles Breyer.