Wednesday, May 21, 2008

News & Notes

1. "Former Miami-Dade teacher gets 7 years for enslaving Haitian girl" via the Sun-Sentinel. From the intro of Vanessa Blum's article:
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a South Florida woman to seven years and three months in prison for keeping a teenage girl from Haiti in servitude for six years.Maude Paulin, 52, a former Miami-Dade County middle school teacher, was convicted in March along with her mother, Evelyn Theodore, of conspiring to enslave the girl, forcing her to work and harboring an illegal immigrant.Before being sentenced, Paulin apologized to U.S. District Judge Jose Gonzalez Jr., saying she had good intentions when she arranged to bring Simone Celestin from Haiti to live with her family."I love Simone with all my heart," Paulin said. "Unfortunately, I can't change what is already done."

2. "26 charged in migrant smuggling crackdown" via the Miami Herald. Jay Weaver reports:
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged 26 South Florida suspects with conspiring to smuggle Cuban migrants in yet another major crackdown on illegal crossings of the Florida Straits.
In the latest 12 indictments, the defendants are accused of trying to bring 225 migrants to South Florida.
Prosecutors also charged two other suspects, Yamil Gonzalez-Rodriguez, 34, and Roberto Boffil-Rivera, 35, with alien smuggling, unlawful possession of a firearm and lying to a federal agent.
After the five Cuban migrants reached U.S. shores on April 21, Rodriguez demanded $25,000 payment, prosecutors said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Miami-Dade police detectives recorded two meetings between one migrant and Rodriguez, investigators said. On May 1, he paid Rodriguez $2,000. Six days later, he paid him an additional $3,000.
But Rodriguez was unsatisfied and threatened to shoot the migrant, police said. Rodriguez and Rivera were later arrested. Investigators found a loaded KAHR PM-40 firearm in one of the suspect's cars and pictures of Rivera holding the weapon.


3. Rumpole reports on trying to navigate state court:
We recently received an email from a prominent federal defense attorney who noted his/her travails on a recent Monday morning outing to our humble building. There was no place to park and after a half an hour of circling they parked in the median on a grass strip several blocks away.They got to the courtroom only to be told the prosecutor they had a meeting with had decided not to show up for work that day.A quick trip to the restroom (a clear rookie mistake) produced a few untimely steps in human liquid waste that was on the floor.And finally, beaten down by the heat, the lines, the smelly and dirty bathrooms not to mention the ridiculous belief that the prosecutor who agreed to meet them in court had any intention of actually showing up, they trudged back to their car, tie askew, bathed in sweat, actually longing for Judge Dimeitrouleas’s rocket docket, or for a quick arraignment and trial before Judge Huck, or a nice friendly sentencing before Judge Zlock.

4. "South Florida law firms hit by real estate slump, shed workers" via National Law Journal." Julie Kay explains:
In another sign of the hard times facing the legal industry, particularly in real-estate heavy South Florida, two local law firms — Holland & Knight and Shutts & Bowen — have laid off non-lawyer staffers. On a day that could be dubbed Black Friday in South Florida legal circles, Tampa-based Holland & Knight, one of Florida's largest and most venerable firms with 1,150 lawyers, laid off 70 staffers Friday, including legal secretaries, IT and accounting staff. No lawyers were laid off. The layoffs of about four employees in each of Holland's 17 offices represented 5% of Holland's non-lawyer workforce. Shutts & Bowen, a 200-lawyer, Miami-based firm, Friday laid off nine people, all entry level file clerks or paralegal clerks. No lawyers or legal secretaries were affected. The news comes on the heels of a decision announced internally Friday by Fort Lauderdale-based Becker & Poliakoff to temporarily and immediately chop all lawyer salaries by 12%. The firm, which is heavy in condo and real estate representation, said it was forced to take the action since clients are delaying payment in this lean economic environment.

1 comment:

princess-on-my-mind said...

.....she had good intentions when she arranged to bring Simone Celestin from Haiti to live with her family.

-IMO I don't believe her intentions were pure to begin with.