Monday, December 19, 2005

Show me the money

Well, one of my readers and I got into it a little bit in the comment section.

I wonder how [s]he would feel about this comment in the Daily Business Review today about prosecutors leaving the U.S. Attorney's office: "Said Miami criminal defense attorney David O. Markus: “It’s a good attempt to solve the problem. But ultimately, what we need to do is pay these people more money, as we [also need to] do [for] judges and public defenders.”

The article has lots of good gossip about AUSAs -- some, like Harry Shimkat, have agreed to stay an extra two years in economic crimes. Here's the quote about those who have left:
While the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of Florida has experienced turnover in the past, some liken the departures over the last six months as an exodus. Twenty-two assistant U.S. attorney positions are now vacant in an office with 233 total positions, or almost 10 percent of the office. Among those who have left in the last six months: Lilly Ann Sanchez, former deputy chief of the major crimes division, who became a partner with Fowler White Burnett in Miami; Carlos Castillo, former public information officer, who took a job with Seidman Prewitt Dibello & Lopez in Coral Gables; and Jonathan Loo, who moved to the U.S. attorney’s office in Hawaii. Other departures include Jonathan Lopez, who worked in major crimes and took a job with the Department of Justice in Washington; Eddie Sanchez and Willie Ferrer, who both just left for the county attorney’s office in Miami, and Maria Beguiristain, who last month became an associate at White & Case in Miami. . . . Seth Miles said he left to become an associate at Podhurst Orseck in Miami because “for me it was family reasons and it was just time to go. I knew I didn’t want to be a 40-year career prosecutor.”
Finally, one unidentified prosecutor said: “There’s a lack of vision in the office. There’s no excitement, no clear direction on what we should be focusing on. There’s a leadership vacuum.” Yikes.

Also, following up on my post about Michael Caruso being named Chief Assistant Federal Defender for this District, Julie Kay has this to say:
After losing two chief assistants in one year, Federal Public Defender Kathleen Williams said, tongue in cheek, that she’s required her new second-in-command to sign a “noncompete clause.” Williams, the guest speaker at the Miami chapter of the Federal Bar Association’s monthly luncheon, announced that she named Michael Caruso, 39, an eight-year veteran of the office, as her new chief assistant. Caruso will assist Williams in running one of the largest public defender offices in the country and overseeing 45 assistant public defenders. Caruso replaces former chief assistant Martin Bidwill, who was appointed to a Broward Circuit Court judgeship by Gov. Jeb Bush in October. Bidwill was chief assistant for less than a year, taking the place of Reuben C. Cahn, who left in April to head the San Diego federal public defender’s office. “I’d like to address the rumor that I’ve had trouble keeping chief assistants,” Williams quipped, adding that her new top lieutenant “promised he will not go to the bench, he will not leave the office.” Caruso, who serves on the federal court practice committee, said he’s “extremely honored that Kathy chose me to assist her in leading the office” and will stay in the job “as long as she needs me.” Caruso serves on the federal court practice committee of The Florida Bar and the Southern District of Florida’s local rules committee.

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