Friday, October 23, 2009

Why I love Florida's Sunshine law

If you haven't seen this yet, you gotta read Susannah A. Nesmith's piece in the DBR today about the email clash between the state court judges on seniority:

Cueto, elected last year, fired off a letter Oct. 14 questioning Brown’s authority to take away his short-term seniority rights. In his e-mail, Cueto said he had been advised he might have grounds to sue but decided not to.
“I do not want to bring any negative publicity to our branch of government, which is still held in high regard in the community,” he wrote in the e-mail to all judges in the county.
Hours after Cueto sent his e-mail, County Judge Robin Faber hit “reply all” to voice his support for Brown’s decision, which he said would “right a wrong, to give judges respect for their years of service, regardless of the distinction between circuit and county.” He noted Brown ran for chief judge this year, saying he would change the seniority rules, and merge circuit and county experience to calculate seniority.
Circuit Judge Reemberto Diaz fired off a terse response to Faber’s e-mail.
“Mr. Faber: In the past few weeks, I have received three (3) unsolicited e-mails from you. Let me respond in the order they were received:
1. NO. I don’t know an interior decorator to recommend to you;
2. NO. I don’t want to buy comedy tickets from you;
3. NO. I’m not interested in your misguided opinion about the chief judge’s decision. This is not Craig’s list nor a blog. Have a good day.”
In an interview this week, Diaz found fault high and low. “Quite honestly, I’m not interested in what some county judge has to say about the seniority,” he said.
Veteran Circuit Judge Robert Pineiro may have put an end to the e-mail debate last Friday with a tongue-in-cheek note reminding the Miami-Dade judiciary to mind their manners. “Alright, I think it is definitely time to resolve this discussion and bring it to a dignified conclusion — one which will make us proud,” he wrote. “I suggest pies (preferably apple) at 10 paces.”

This is too good to be true, isn't it? Here are the actual emails... there are lots of other nuggets, including judges questioning whether seniority is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

More fun stuff -- an order from Judge Pat Kinsey of Escambia County was making the rounds yesterday. Above the Law summarizes the lawsuit: "Albert Freed (pictured) won a trip to Hawaii (not pictured). As part of the vacation celebration, Mrs. Freed bought her husband some new Hanes brand briefs. But Mr. Freed is a husky gentleman, and apparently the new trunks couldn’t contain all of his junk. He sued Hanes, claiming they made 'defective' underwear."

Too much fun for a Friday afternoon.

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