Monday, March 06, 2006

News and notes

Still chugging along up here in Savannah...

Readers have forwarded me some interesting articles today, so here they are:

One is from the Miami Herald about Jack Abramoff's sentencing. Despite the joint motion to continue the sentencing for at least 90 days, Judge Huck only gave a two week continuance until March 29.

Then there's Julie Kay's article in the DBR today about the feud between Judges Hurley and Zloch regarding the Broward courthouse and splitting the District. Here's the intro: District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley is urging the Broward legal community to forget about establishing a new federal judicial district consisting of Broward and Palm Beach counties and to instead fight hard to keep a federal courthouse in Broward.Hurley, speaking to the Federal Bar Association’s Broward chapter late last month also disclosed for the first time that Southern District of Florida Chief Judge William J. Zloch kept his plan to close the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale secret for a full year.Hurley also said Zloch’s plan was approved by South Florida’s federal judges by a single vote and that Zloch never told judges the results of a second vote on the issue.Zloch, who does not talk to reporters, did not return a call for comment.In a December 2004 letter to the Judicial Conference of the United States first reported by the Daily Business Review on Jan. 12, 2005, Zloch laid out a plan to save more than $100 million by, among other things, consolidating court services now performed in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami. Zloch suggested that a new courthouse long proposed for downtown Fort Lauderdale instead be built in West Palm Beach.Zloch also proposed consolidating budget administration services, procurement, personnel computer services functions, and the intake functions of the district and bankruptcy courts.After Zloch’s plan was disclosed by the Review, it was torpedoed by South Florida members of Congress, local elected officials and community leaders. Instead, plans are under way for a combination state and federal judicial complex in downtown Fort Lauderdale.Last May, Hurley took the unusual step of meeting with newspaper editors to denounce Zloch’s “clandestine” effort to close the courthouse. In doing so, he won the gratitude of Fort Lauderdale lawyers, who would have had to commute to Miami or West Palm Beach to conduct their federal practice.“He is a hero to us,” Fort Lauderdale lawyer Terrence Russell, a partner at Ruden McClosky and former Florida Bar president, said after Hurley’s talk at the Federal Bar’s meeting late last month.

More news to follow later tonight if I can squeeze out a couple minutes...

Thanks for Marc Seitles for his posting.

1 comment:

Ruben Oliva said...

Anybody who has practiced before Judge Huck knows that he's not a fan of continuances. He's our local version of a rocket docket (along with Speedy D).

On another note, registration has started for CM/ECF over at the Southern District Court website. I find this system far superior to the one we now have.