Thursday, July 07, 2011

Pacenti exposes Zloch story

Well, I was hoping that this story wouldn't leak until after Kathy was confirmed, which is expected any day now.

For the life of me, I don't see how Kathy's use of a lawyer in her office could upset anyone:

When [attorney] Menendez's first year was up, all Williams had was an opening for a research and writing attorney, but she still needed lawyers in the courtroom, according to a May 12, 2010, letter of explanation to Moreno in response to Zloch's criticism. She has explained herself to Moreno, the 11th Circuit committee and the Judiciary Committee.

Moreno wrote the Judiciary Committee, saying he had been advised Zloch "has forwarded to the Senate Judiciary Committee various documents that he perceives reflect poorly" upon the nominee.

"It is not the role of a judge to opine whether a nominee should be confirmed," Moreno wrote Feb. 15. "However, since Judge Zloch's memorandum to me has been forwarded to your committee, I must respond to your inquiries."

The issue of Menendez's assignment snowballed in a six-week period last year.

Moreno said the use of a research and writing attorney in court presented no ethical problem to any other judge in the Southern District of Florida when the issue was presented at a district judicial conference May 13, 2010. Zloch was absent.

Williams obtained permission from Moreno to allow Menendez to make court appearances and sign pleadings.

Williams said she also went to U.S. District Judges James Cohn and William Dimitrouleas, two of the four district judges serving in Fort Lauderdale. Neither had a problem with Menendez's assignments, she said in the letter to Moreno.

"At this time we do not have the positions available to make him a permanent assistant public defender," she wrote Moreno in July 29, 2009, memo. "I will directly supervise him and assure that his representations are limited."

No one complained -- not the defendant who was represented by the lawyer, not the district judges (other than Zloch), not the 11th Circuit. No one.

Judge Moreno has been a mensch throughout this thing in his support of Kathy:

Moreno wrote the Judiciary Committee in Williams' defense and dismissed Zloch's concern.

"Ms. Williams is an extraordinary administrator, an ethical lawyer and a fine human being," Moreno wrote the Judiciary Committee. "I hope that your committee will likewise dispose of this 'non-issue' quickly as my court presently has three vacancies and Ms. Williams has been nominated to fill one that has been vacant for two years."

Sources say Williams is collateral damage in a long-running feud between Zloch, former chief judge, and his successor, Moreno.

Zloch has refused to attend judicial meetings since Moreno became chief judge, according to one of the letters. He also wrote an unsolicited memo in 2009 urging Moreno to step down to allow U.S. District Judge Donald Graham to become the first black chief judge in the district's history.

The Judiciary Committee had to investigate because Zloch complained, but they have rejected his claim as well. So now it's up to the full Senate. Here's hoping that Kathy gets confirmed quickly and this issue remains dead. In any event, I will let you all comment and give your thoughts about this.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if Zloch would have felt the same way if Williams had graduated from Ave Maria...don't know, just askin'.

Kissimmee Kid said...

What is this? One judge telling another judge how that judge can use her law clerk?

What sort of crappy third-world dictatorship are you running down there in Miami?

If the judges have enough time to complain about each other's staff; THEY HAVE TOO MANY STAFF!!!!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't confront Zloch's anger rage as u have...

Anonymous said...

No, Kissimmee Kid. Kathy Williams is the current Public Defender for the Southern District of Florida. She is currently up for a district judge position, as she was nominated by the current President. Judge Zloch is just being difficult and trying to stifle her appointment. Some suspect it might be because he doesn't like the Chief Judge of his district, Moreno.

Anonymous said...

is there any way to view the daily business review story without a subscription?

Kissimmee Kid said...


You ain’t splaining things bettah. What is a “research and writing attorney?” Are not all lawyers, research and writing attorneys? Is this one of these kids you see at the big firms in Orlando carrying the partner’s briefcase? Does the PD have “research and writing attorney” and “talking attorney” positions.

When did writing become the task of the second string? Anybody can flap their jaw, writing is a skill.

Is your Judge Zlich p.o.’d that a brief-case toten, second stringer, was allowed to try a case in his fancy courtroom? What the heck is his bitch?

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave. Let me know when you're next going to appear before Zloch. I wanna be there with popcorn.