Thursday, February 27, 2014

Robin Rosenberg officially nominated to District Bench (UPDATED w video from Supreme Court)

Congrats to Judge Rosenberg, who will be filling Judge Jordan's seat but likely sitting in Ft. Pierce.  Our previous coverage is here.

In other news:
  • Former Mayor (and probation officer) Michael Pizzi's trial is continued till July.  (via Miami Herald)
  • Rogerio Scotton was convicted of all charges before Judge Rosenbaum in Ft. Lauderdale.  This was the racecar driver representing himself who tried to introduce sex tapes to prove his marriage was not fraudulent.  Problem was: there were no sex tapes.  (via the Sun-Sentinel)
  • Rumpole has an interesting post about the Luis Alvarez trial from 30 years ago.  Check it out. 
  • Did you know it was a crime to "harangue" a Supreme Court Justice in the Supreme Court?  This guy got charged with the crime yesterday.  Via CNN:
Money is not speech," he reportedly said. "Overturn 'Citizens United!'" referring to a 2010 high court decision loosening a century of federal restrictions on corporate spending by "independent" groups like businesses and unions.
He was only able say a few words before police escorted him from the courtroom, and did not resist.
Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg identified the man as Noah Newkirk of Los Angeles.
Newkirk has been charged with violating federal law that makes it a crime to "harangue" or utter "loud threatening or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building."
The justices ignored the incident.
The court's official written transcript of the argument made no mention of the remarks.
Such outbursts are rare.
Court officials say the last time it happened was eight years ago, during an oral argument over a federal law restricting a certain type of later-term abortion procedure.
A similar interruption occurred about two decades ago.
The courtroom has about 330 seats available to the public. Court security instructs spectators before each public session to remain seated, not to speak, or demonstrate.

UPDATE -- Wow, someone snuck in a video recorder and took this video from inside the Supreme Court:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BREAKING -- Supremes decide Kaley this morning

Here is the opinion

The Eleventh Circuit is affirmed. The case is remanded; Justice Kagan writes for the Court. Vote is six to three. Roberts dissents, joined by Sotomayor and Breyer.  Very interesting lineup.

Will write more when I have had a chance to read it, but here is the holding:

When challenging the legality of a §853(e)(1) pre-trial asset seizure, a criminal defendant who has been indicted is not constitutionally entitled to contest a grand jury’s determination of probable causeto believe the defendant committed the crimes charged.

What was found in El Chapo's home? (UPDATED)

UPDATED -- well, thanks to the comments, it looks like the pictures are not from El Chapo's home, but from a variety of cases.  They're still cool though.

A lot of money and gold (even gold-plated guns):


And even tigers and crazy hot tubs:


In other news, friends of the blog, Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben debuted "The Tanning of America" last night on VH1. You should definitely check it out:

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Even though they threw me under the bus … There's a certain sense of unease about acquiring a house in this fashion."

That's Patrick Coulton after moving into his former lawyer's house.  Paula McMahon has the interesting story:

Patrick Coulton's lawyers ripped him off to the tune of $275,000 and left him to rot in prison.
But Coulton is getting payback: He now lives in his former lawyer's home — a three-bedroom house in Miramar that he will eventually own as part of a court-ordered punishment of the two misbehaving attorneys.
"Even though they threw me under the bus … There's a certain sense of unease about acquiring a house in this fashion," Coulton said after moving in last week. "I almost feel sorry for them."
Client gets bad attorney's home

The way Coulton and two federal judges tell it, this is the story of two very bad lawyers — Emmanuel Roy and Peter Mayas — and one very good one, Paul Petruzzi.
"Guys like them are the reason people hate lawyers," Petruzzi said. "They took everything from him and his family … I took it personally because this is what I do for a living. Lawyers are supposed to help people."

In other news, the DOJ is treating its discovery handbook the same way it treats discovery.  Its not turning it over without a fight:

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today sued the U.S. Department of Justice over public access to a criminal discovery "blue book" that was written after the collapse of the case against Ted Stevens.
The Justice Department last year turned down a request from the NACDL for a copy of the Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book. The lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Justice Department officials, according to the complaint, cited the book as an example of why federal legislation was unnecessary to prevent future discovery abuses among prosecutors.
During a hearing on Capitol Hill, in 2012, the Justice Department said the blue book was "distributed to prosecutors nationwide in 2011" and "is now electronically available on the desktop of every federal prosecutor and paralegal," according to the NACDL complaint.
"The due process rights of the American people, and how powerful federal prosecutors have been instructed as relates to the safeguarding of those rights, is a matter of utmost Constitutional concern to the public," NACDL President Jerry Cox said in a written statement. "The 'trust us' approach is simply unacceptable. And it is certainly an insufficient basis upon which to resist bipartisan congressional interest in codifying prosecutors’ duty to disclose."

NACDL is represented by the excellent Kerri Ruttenberg.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday News and Notes

1.  Douglas Bates is going to plead guilty after seeing how the Kitterman trial went.  Paula McMahone covers the development:

Douglas Bates, 55, a Plantation lawyer who lives in Parkland, was indicted in August on the conspiracy charge and three separate wire fraud counts. His trial was scheduled to begin Monday in federal court in West Palm Beach.
But prosecutors filed updated court records on Wednesday charging Bates with the lone conspiracy count and U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks scheduled a change-of-plea hearing for 11 a.m. Thursday, a sign that Bates has reached a plea agreement with the government.
The charge carries a maximum punishment of five years in federal prison and significant fines. A felony conviction would also lead to Bates' disbarment from practicing law.
His decision to plead guilty comes a week after a jury found Christina Kitterman, an attorney who formerly worked for Rothstein, guilty of three counts of wire fraud. She could face nine years or more in prison when she is sentenced later this year, prosecutors said.

2.  Fane Lozman is not a happy camper, even after winning in the Supreme Court (from the DBR):

Fane Lozman won a U.S. Supreme Court decision finding his floating home was a house and not boat, but he said he's still not getting justice after a federal magistrate valued his loss at $7,500.
Lozman offered advertisements of comparable floating homes in the Florida Keys priced from $185,000 to $265,000 in a motion filed Tuesday to vacate U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow's report.
The West Palm Beach judge used a 5-year-old report ordered by a federal judge when Lozman's floating home, which had no engine, was originally seized as a maritime vessel by the U.S. Marshals Service in Riviera Beach.
"Are they pissed off I got them reversed? Now I'm being punished for winning this," Lozman told the Daily Business Review. "This is pathetic."
The 57-foot, two-story structure was towed to the Miami River by the city and set aflame in 2009 in a legal dispute that filled state and federal court files. Riviera Beach and federal authorities contended they had the right to seize the property under maritime law.
U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas in Fort Lauderdale sided with the city, but Lozman appealed. He had retired after making millions of dollars during the tech boom as a stock trader and made his floating home a cause celebre.

3.  Roy Black has an excellent post, explaining how to cross the sympathetic witness.  From the intro to the lengthy post on the SAC insider trading trial:

The government’s star witness and “insider” is Dr. Sidney Gilman, an 81 year old drug researcher who long sought a cure for Alzheimer’s and had published nine books and 240 articles during a highly distinguished career. Gilman testified that he at first “accidentally” passed confidential information to Martoma. He claimed he “slipped” in telling him about the deleterious side effects of an experimental Alzheimer’s drug. He admitted that after his slip he knowingly gave further detailed data on the drug’s failed clinical trial.
Gilman appears grandfatherly, vulnerable and fragile and has been taking anti-cancer drugs. A defense lawyer’s worst nightmare. And the government did their best to elevate Gilman while casting Martoma in an ugly light. Gilman testified that Martoma reminded him of his eldest son who had committed suicide, and suggested that Martoma used this to seduce Gilman, squarely placing most of the blame on their target Martoma. The government’s theme was that Martoma took advantage of a befuddled sick old man.
Despite the government’s efforts to paint him in a good light, Gilman came to the witness stand toting a lot of baggage. The government needed his testimony and gave Gilman a sweet deal. He received a non-prosecution agreement, a settlement with regulators requiring only repaying his consulting fees and retirement from the University of Michigan Medical Center in lieu of being fired. A pretty good global resolution of his myriad problems. All superior benefits the defense lawyer must explore on cross.
There are high stakes in this cross examination for Martoma because a month earlier, another former SAC employee, Michael S. Steinberg, was convicted of insider trading. Matoma’s lawyers are well aware that caution must be abandoned. This cross could go either way and maybe the difference between going home and 20 years in a federal facility.
4.  Rumpole posted about an elderly nun being sentenced to federal prison.  Is this insane or is it me?  From the Chicago Tribune:

A U.S. judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun, Sister Megan Rice, on Tuesday to 35 months in prison for breaking into a Tennessee military facility used to store enriched uranium for nuclear bombs.
Rice asked the judge not to take her age into consideration when handing out the sentence.
"To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest honor," the nun said in court. "I hope that happens."
Rice and the others admitted to spray painting peace slogans and hammering on exterior walls of the facility. When a guard confronted them, they offered him food and began singing.
The three were convicted by a federal jury last May of damaging national defense premises under the sabotage act, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, and of causing more than $1,000 of damage to U.S. government property.
Prosecutors contended the break-in at the primary U.S. site for processing and storage of enriched uranium disrupted operations, endangered U.S. national security and caused physical damage.
Dozens of supporters held a prayer vigil for the group outside the courthouse.
Federal sentencing guidelines called for Rice to receive up to a little more than seven years in prison; Walli, 65, more than nine years; and Boertje-Obed, 58, more than eight years. The defendants have been in custody since their convictions.
5.  And here's your moment of blog zen:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

$1 million vase?

So, I'm sure you've read about the artist breaking the vase at the PAMM over the weekend. According to the press, the vase was worth $1 million. Here's a picture of the display of the vases. You tell me. (By the way, check out the artist in the background, breaking a vase.)

Meantime, it's just an excuse to post this Austin Powers clip:

Here's the video of the guy breaking the vase.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Should there be cameras in the Supreme Court?

Of course there should.  And now there's an ad campaign about it:

A coalition of media, public interest and open-government organizations today launched an unprecedented advertising and petition campaign to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to open its doors to cameras.
The Coalition for Court Transparency was created to generate momentum for a change in the high court's long-standing resistance toward allowing broadcast access to its proceedings, even as the demands of the Information Age have brought greater transparency to other government institutions.
A 30-second television ad urging the court to permit camera access will air in coming weeks on CNN, Fox, MSNBC and CNBC. Its message, in part: “The Supreme Court’s decisions impact the lives of Americans everywhere. But only a privileged few get to witness history and see justice in action … It’s time for a more open judiciary. It’s time for cameras in the Supreme Court.”
For decades, the news media have politely asked the court to change its policy, and bills have been introduced in Congress to require it to do so. But with congressional leaders reluctant to intrude on the justices’ turf and prerogatives, the bills have withered on the way to passage.
The news media in recent years have taken a largely passive approach, waiting for younger, more media-comfortable justices to join the court. But that strategy has failed as new justices, most recently including Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, “go native” and suddenly oppose cameras, even though they favored the idea before.
The court has taken some steps toward transparency over recent years, including quick online posting of its opinions and oral argument transcripts. The audio of arguments is available sooner than decades ago, but not same-day, except in rare circumstances. Televising proceedings, however, have been a bridge too far, with past justices Warren Burger and David Souter famously vowing cameras would roll into the court chamber only over their dead bodies.
The new campaign coalesced out of frustration with the court’s resistance, as well as a feeling that the court would benefit, not suffer, from greater public exposure.
“There’s nothing the government does that’s more impressive than the high-quality debates that take place before the Supreme Court,” said Doug Kendall, founder of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a member of the coalition.

Here's the ad:

Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Day News & Notes (Supreme Court style)

The Southern District of Florida is pretty quiet today, so here's some Supreme Court news for those of you in the office:

1.  Justice Stevens is still active.  Here are some good stories:

In his early days as a justice, Stevens recalled, Brennan persuaded him to attend the exclusive Gridiron Club dinner put on by Washington journalists. Brennan insisted on loaning Stevens his suit with tails for the occasion.
The problem, Stevens said, was that "Brennan was a good deal heavier than I was." As a result, Stevens worried all evening that the suit "would not protect my dignity." But it all turned out well. Stevens was seated next to the famed dancer and actress Ginger Rogers. "It was one of the best evenings I ever had, and I owe that to Bill Brennan."
As on other occasions since retiring in 2010, Stevens was critical of some of the decisions the court has handed down since he left. Both Snyder v. Phelps and United States v. Alvarez, he said, were too protective of false speech. The Snyder case went in favor of virulent protesters at military funerals, and Alvarez struck down a federal law that made it a crime to falsely claim to have won a military Medal of Honor.
The Alvarez ruling, Stevens said, "sends a terrible message to the youth of our nation and to the general public as well" by announcing a constitutional right to lie.
Neither Snyder nor Alvarez were 5-4 decisions, so the fact that Stevens would have voted differently than his successor Elena Kagan would not have made a difference in the outcome.
Still, Stevens' remarks underscored what a difference a single justice can make, even on a nine-member court. He recounted how, in Harte-Hanks Communications v. Connaughton, a libel decision he authored in 1989, he was first assigned to write a propress majority opinion. When he read the record, however, he changed his mind, deciding it was a rare instance when the press should be held liable for defaming a political candidate. The rest of the court followed Stevens' lead.
The behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the court's long line of libel cases is the focus of a powerful new book that was discussed at the conference. Written by court scholar Steve Wermiel and Lee Levine, partner at Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, "The Progeny: Justice William J. Brennan's Fight to Preserve the Legacy of New York Times v. Sullivan" makes it clear that court opinions can be the product of months — and sometimes years — of negotiations and rewrites.

Scalia also displayed his famous sarcastic wit throughout, lastly directing it at Chicago deep dish pizza during questioning after his speech. He said he liked both Chicago and New York style pizza, but Chicago style “shouldn’t be called pizza” he said. “It’s very tasty, but it’s not pizza.”

Friday, February 14, 2014

Judge Seitz's Portrait Hanging

Congratulations to Judge Seitz on her portrait hanging yesterday on the 13th Floor of the Wilkie Ferguson Courthouse.  Although I wasn't able to attend, I heard it was a lovely event and a huge turnout.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

11th Circuit weighs in on Juan Carlos Chavez case

Rumpole has all of the details on the case and execution, which occurred yesterday. 

Chavez tried to get a stay from the 11th Circuit and the Supreme Court, both of which were denied.  The 11th Circuit opinion, written by Carnes, with a concurrence from Martin is here.

This is how Judge Carnes starts the majority opinion:

Juan Carlos Chavez kidnapped a nine-year-old boy at gunpoint, anally raped
him, verbally taunted and terrorized him, shot him to death, dismembered his body,
discarded his body parts in three planters, and then filled those planters with
concrete. See Chavez v. State, 832 So. 2d 730, 738–41 (Fla. 2002). Facing
imminent execution, Chavez has filed a lawsuit claiming that he may experience
unnecessary pain when the State of Florida executes him by lethal injection. After
conducting an evidentiary hearing, the district court denied Chavez’s request for a
temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or stay of execution. This is
his appeal.

That's some powerful writing.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kitterman convicted and juror says that jury believed Rothstein

Paula McMahon interviewed one of the jurors, which is always fascinating.  Here's what she had to say:

Her attorney, Valentin Rodriguez Jr., said Kitterman and he were "deeply disappointed" but had no regrets about their trial strategy.
"We felt he was essential to our defense … the jury needed to see him and how manipulative he was and is," Rodriguez said.
Juror Susan Schweiger, of West Palm Beach, said she thought Rothstein was "pretty much" a credible witness and jurors believed most of what he said.
"I don't understand why he was called by the defense because he did not help her," Schweiger said. "I think he was, for the most part, telling the truth. I think he lied about some stuff because you don't change your nature totally like that but we believed him."
She said jurors did not hold Kitterman's battle with drug and alcohol addiction against her at all, but believed she was guilty of the crimes prosecutors accused her of committing.

Here are the results from the poll taken a few days ago, which the readers got right:

Should the defense have called Scott Rothstein to the stand in the Kitterman trial? (multiple answers allowed)
Selection  No, it's just way too risky 21 votes 
 No, it's better to point the finger at the prosecutor for not calling him 20 votes 
No, it was just a publicity stunt by the defense 4 votes 
Yes, you can dirty up the government by calling him 6 votes 
 Yes, you need to take such risks as the defense 9 votes 
Yes, it will make for a nice comparison when Kitterman testifies 11 votes 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Judge Robin Rosenbaum testifying live before the Senate now

Watch here.

UPDATE -- Judge Rosenbaum was just excused (9:31).  She did great.

Kitterman strikes back

She testified in her own defense yesterday, taking on Scott Rothstein.  From the DBR:

Kitterman testified when she joined the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm in 2003, she immediately had to ward off Rothstein's sexual advances. She said he threatened to fire her numerous times and called her names like "idiot." Rothstein also had a knack for showing up at the same public place as Kitterman, such as restaurants."Mr. Rothstein had a temper. He was one of those people who had two sides," Kitterman said. "He was a very scary person, but he could be a very kind."Kitterman faces three counts of wire fraud conspiracy. Closing statements before Senior U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in West Palm Beach were expected Tuesday.Rothstein's mistreatment of women in his firm has been a key component to Kitterman's defense. The 12-member jury has 11 women on it.Kitterman said she never thought about filing a sexual harassment complaint against Rothstein with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission."I was a new lawyer," she said. "I was scared. I just couldn't do something like that."Kitterman testified Rothstein's harassment of her ended when she went to the firm's only other equity partner, Stuart Rosenfeldt, in 2006 and asked to be reassigned so she didn't work directly with the firm's chairman.

The Sun-Sentinel also covers the case and Judge Hurley's ruling to allow the prosecution to cross Kitterman regarding her recovery from addiction:

But federal prosecutor Paul Schwartz's cross-examination cut directly to what prosecutors say was one of many motives Kitterman had to commit crimes at Rothstein's behest.
"You were addicted to alcohol and cocaine," Schwartz said to Kitterman.
Kitterman acknowledged she is a recovering addict and said that after "partying" on Aug. 7, 2007, she realized she had hit rock bottom and called her mother for help. Her mother called Rothstein, and he helped them find a four-week rehab program called "Challenges," Kitterman said.
When she returned to work a month later, Rothstein agreed to pay her salary for the time she had been absent, she said.
And when she told Rothstein that there was negative talk going around about her stint in rehab, Rothstein dispatched an email to the entire firm telling anyone who judged her poorly to resign by the next day.
Every year after that, she said, she thanked him on the anniversary of her gaining sobriety.
Prosecutors read aloud from an August 2009 email she sent Rothstein — just four months after the conference call and two months before the law firm imploded.
In it, she thanked him for his "friendship, love and support" and wrote that "words cannot express" the debt of gratitude she and her family owed to him.
Kitterman testified that she has remained clean and sober to this day. She said she is proud of her continued sobriety but embarrassed that she was in rehab and didn't raise the issue herself in court because she did not think it was relevant.
Senior U.S. District Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley told jurors he was allowing them to hear about Kitterman's drug and alcohol abuse because prosecutors believe it shows some of the reasons they say she was willing to commit crimes for Rothstein.
Will be interesting to see what the jury does.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Should the Kitterman defense have called Scott Rothstein?

That's the question that John Pacenti asks in today's DBR:

West Palm Beach attorney Valentin Rodriguez looked exhausted after verbally sparring with Scott Rothstein.
The disbarred law firm chairman and the mastermind of Florida's largest Ponzi scheme was called as a defense witness for Rodriguez's client, Boca Raton attorney Christina Kitterman.
"Scott Rothstein is not going to win this battle," Rodriguez said defiantly outside the West Palm Beach federal courthouse after the first day of Rothstein's testimony Wednesday. "But he can absolutely pick up on what you are trying to do."
Rothstein's well-documented arrogance made its inevitable appearance during questioning by Rodriguez, a polite-almost-to-a-fault attorney with a knack for quietly getting under the skin of witnesses.
...West Palm Beach attorney Peter Feldman, Rodriguez's co-counsel in Kitterman's case, said, "We knew the risk of calling him as he is unpredictable. I think that risk was outweighed by the jury being able to see him—live and in color—conducting his rock-star lifestyle."
Rodriguez called Rothstein over prosecution objections, bringing one of South Florida's most notorious figures into the public eye for the first time in four years in the first criminal trial centered on his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

So, I will put the question to you to decide:

Should the defense have called Scott Rothstein to the stand in the Kitterman trial? (multiple answers allowed) free polls 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Rothstein Rothstein Rothstein!

Everyone was a buzz yesterday over Scott Rothstein testifying before Judge Hurley in West Palm Beach.  Paula McMahon covered it well.  Here are some highlights:

  • With a white goatee and closely cut hair that was grayer than the last time he was seen publicly some three-and-a-half years ago, Rothstein, 51, took the witness stand handcuffed and shackled, wearing a bright blue, collared T-shirt and jeans.
    Rothstein — who was subpoenaed by defense attorney Valentin Rodriguez Jr. to testify in the wire fraud trial of Christina Kitterman, a former attorney who worked at the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm — appeared in court much earlier than expected because of security concerns.
  • Additionally, Rothstein testified he had a sexual relationship with Kitterman.
    “We were two friends who fooled around from time to time, Rothstein testified, alleging Kitterman “pulled me into a bathroom stall to make out with me” at Runway 84 in Fort Lauderdale.
    “We were friends, there's no polite way to say this — we were friends with benefits,” he said. “I loved her and cared about her and I believe she loved and cared about me.”
    “I am NOT happy about being here,” Rothstein said, saying he wished he didn't have to testify about someone he cares about.
  • “What ended up happening ... My ego and, at that particular time, my desire for power and money and some of my partners' desire for power and money” led to Rothstein starting his fraud to try to keep his failing law firm afloat, he testified.
    “We grew before we should have grown,” Rothstein told the jury. “I refused to fail and I let this Ponzi scheme explode.”
    “At that time, I had an ego that was out of control,” he continued.
  • “My wife was indicted for things that she did and also things that I told her to do.”
    He said he told her, during a phone conversation after he briefly fled to Morocco in late 2009, to hide some expensive watches from the government.
    “At a later point in time, before the government took everything, I had had conversations with her [Kim] about making certain that we did not end up on the street ... I didn't tell her what to take, other than the watches.”
  • Was Rothstein upset about the length of the sentence imposed by Cohn, Kitterman's lawyer Valentin Rodriguez Jr. asked.
    “That would be an understatement, yes sir,” Rothstein replied.
    Prosecutors filed a court document on June 8, 2011, saying Rothstein should qualify for a sentence reduction for his cooperation. The final decision would lie with Cohn.
    No further action has been taken on the request, Rothstein said, because his cooperation is not complete yet.

  • A second hitch, he testified, is: “I understand there's been an issue pertaining to my failure to tell” the truth to federal authorities about the fact he knew and was involved in Kim Rothstein's efforts to criminally hide some of their assets.
    He still hopes he will get a sentence reduction because he hopes prosecutors and the judge will accept he only lied about hiding jewelry with his wife Kim and that it was a mistake he made under duress, he said.
    He said he hopes prosecutors and the judge will eventually grant him a sentence reduction and agree “that I don't deserve to die in prison for what I've done.”

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

President Obama officially nominates Beth Bloom and Darrin Gayles

Here's the press release:

“Throughout their careers, these distinguished men and women have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to public service,” said President Obama. “I am confident they will serve the American people with distinction from the District Court bench.”
Judge Beth Bloom:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Judge Beth Bloom has served as a Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida since 2010.  From 1995 to 2010, she was a County Judge in the same Circuit and served as the Associate Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division in 2010.  From 1988 to 1995, Judge Bloom worked at Floyd Pearson Richman Greer Weil Brumbaugh & Russomanno, P.A., where she handled a broad range of civil litigation.  While in private practice, she also served as a Traffic Magistrate Judge from 1992 to 1993.  Judge Bloom received her J.D. cum laude in 1988 from the University of Miami School of Law, her B.S. in 1984 from the University of Florida, and her A.A. in 1982 from Broward Community College.
Judge Darrin P. Gayles:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Judge Darrin P. Gayles has served as a Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida since 2011.  From 2004 to 2011, he was a County Judge in the same Circuit.  From 1999 to 2004, Judge Gayles served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and from 1997 to 1999, he served as an Assistant District Counsel at the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Judge Gayles began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 1997.  Judge Gayles received his J.D. in 1993 from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. in 1990 from Howard University. 


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Justice Alito speaks in WPB

Curt Anderson of the AP covered it here:

"It's fine if we are not all that popular," Alito told an audience of more than 1,100 lawyers and business people. "There is a reason why the Constitution gives federal judges life tenure. We are supposed to do our jobs without worrying whether our decisions are pleasing to anybody."
Alito spoke to a joint meeting of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach County Bar Association, drawing the largest audience ever for such an event, organizers said. His staff did not permit the speech to be videotaped or audio recorded, and Alito noted that the justices remain somewhat behind the times in terms of using such common technologies as email.
The court also does not permit oral arguments to be televised. All the arguments are released on audio by the end of the week they occur, and on rare occasions, a recording is released the same day.
"We are an old-fashioned institution, and in my opinion that is a good thing. We are not exactly on the cutting edge of technology," Alito said.
Do the readers out there agree that it's a good thing not to be on the cutting edge of technology?

Here's a picture from a helpful reader:

In other news, Dean Alex Acosta (a former Alito clerk) has made the short list of 3 for the UF Dean slot.  Good luck Alex!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Wrong Rosenbaum

So, Judge Robin Rosenbaum's confirmation hearing for the 11th Circuit is coming up, and John Pacenti has a nice, informative piece covering it. But the DBR has posted a picture of Richard Rosenbaum (unrelated) with the article.

These things happen, and of course it isn't the reporter's fault, but Pacenti (a good reporter) must be apoplectic:

Update-- Judge Martinez has your quote of the day with his comment at the DBR:

Feb 03, 2014
That is not a very good picture of Judge Rosenbaum. She is much more attractive and does not have a mustache.


That's the headline from yesterday's Superbowl.  There were two highlights in my book.  This ad:

And Frank Caliendo's bit was also fantastic.

Better yet, Howard Stern's birthday bash was a blast.