Friday, January 30, 2009

Back-to-back NGs in Altonaga

The FPD's office has started off the year H-O-T.

We reported earlier on the NG verdict in Judge Altonaga's courtroom this week. Today, AFPDs Helaine Batoff and Sabrina Puglisi get to start their weekend off with a bang -- not guilty on a Friday afternoon, again before Judge Altonaga.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guest Blogger Extraordinaire

I am excited to announce that Julie Kay has agreed to guest-blog for a while here at the Southern District of Florida Blog. Please join me in welcoming Julie.

''If you shoot a child in Liberty City . . . you may have killed the next president of the United States.''

That was Al Sharpton today in Liberty City. The recap is here.

Anyone watching the new season of Lost? I'm digging it. Here's a recap of last night's episode in case you missed it.

South Florida Lawyer has a new look at the top of his blog... Rumpole has music playing in the background of his blog... I guess we need to step it up.....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"A mistrial was declared Monday when a home-invasion robbery suspect smeared human feces on his attorney's face then threw more at the jury."

No, that didn't happen in our courtrooms. It happened in San Diego. But it's hard not to post this story....

In Judge Altonaga's courtroom today, the jury acquitted Brian Stekloff's and Vince Farina's client. I trust that the defendant in that case didn't throw anything at the jury...

In other news, here is the the update on the Coleman prison riot. A snippet:

As for the latest violence, the seven inmates airlifted in separate helicopters to Orlando Regional Medical Center continued to receive treatment Monday under the eyes of armed correctional officers. An eighth with less-serious injuries was being treated at Leesburg Regional Medical Center. For security reasons, the prisoners were listed under fictitious names at the hospitals.The incident started about 2:20 p.m. Sunday, when several inmates began fighting in one of the prison yards for high-security inmates, according to the Bureau of Prisons.When the inmates ignored correctional officers' orders to stop, prison staffers fired several shots.By 3 p.m., emergency medical workers swarmed the facility with nine ambulances, including seven from Lake-Sumter Emergency Medical Services, and one each from Hernando and Marion counties.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Former SDFLA clerk goes to Supreme Court

Congrats to 30-year old Lindsay Harrison, a fifth year associate at Jenner & Block, for arguing before the Supreme Court last week -- her first appellate argument. A bunch of blogs have been covering the argument and Ms. Harrison, who clerked for Judge Gold and Judge Barkett. Here's a bit of an interview from AboveTheLaw:

ATL: First things first. What did you wear? There has been some controversy over how women oral advocates should dress when appearing before the Court.
LCH: I wore a black pantsuit. I was not about to wear a skirt, since they dispensed with that requirement and permitted women to wear pants a few years ago. If women don't take advantage of that opportunity, it sets a bad precedent. And I wore pearls -- my concession to formality.
ATL: You must be one of the youngest people ever to argue before the Court. Have you done any research to figure out where you fall?
LCH: I'm definitely not the youngest. The woman who argued Roe v. Wade,
Sarah Weddington, was 26 at the time. Tom Goldstein was 29 when he argued his first case. I turned 30 on January 5.

The whole interview is a fun read.

UPDATE -- Ms. Harrison writes in:

There are actually a bunch of SDFL connections to the argument. An amicus brief was written by Adam Raviv (Marcus clerk) on behalf of FIAC, where my Barkett co-clerk Tania Galloni works. Cecily Baskir, another Barkett clerk, participated in one of my moots. And the argument was attended by both Adam Raviv and Deb Raviv, a King clerk from 03-04. All in all, a great showing for the SDFL.
I've also received a lot of really nice emails from folks in Miami, and it's been great to hear from the community, which I still feel very strongly a part of.

News and Notes

1. Liberty City 6, part 3, starts today. (via Herald)

2. The Cuban Spies are petitioning for cert and have brought in super Supreme Court lawyer, Tom Goldstein (of ScotusBlog fame). They are also trying to work out a political resolution to the case. (via Herald)

3. John Pacenti at the DBR covers the Mutual Benefits lawyers who were indicted.

4. The Congressional delegation from South Florida is being sworn in at the new courthouse this morning. Here's a picture of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from the proceedings.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Prison riot at Coleman High

Here's the article from CNN. Apparently, 8 inmates were injured, one by gunfire. More info as soon as it's available.

In other news, Vanessa Blum explains that the new U.S. Attorney will likely have different law enforcement priorities:

In the coming months, President Barack Obama will put his own stamp on crime-fighting efforts in South Florida by naming a new U.S. attorney to direct federal investigations and prosecutions.The new president's pick will head an elite office of lawyers and be responsible for translating the priorities of the Obama White House and the Department of Justice into local cases and convictions.The office, now supervised by Republican attorney Alex Acosta, operates largely out of public view, but wields great influence over law enforcement priorities and leads federal, state and local agencies in joint crime-fighting initiatives."A new U.S. attorney could set a different prosecutorial agenda," said attorney Justin Sayfie, who took part in recommending Acosta for the job. "It's an enormous, enormous power."

What do you think the feds should prioritize?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Plea agreements to be available again

We have discussed before (and criticized) the local rule taking plea agreements off-line and hiding them from the public. Here's what we said back then:

This is a silly policy, which is only in place in this District (as far as I know). Hopefully it will be changed soon (the local rules committee is studying it). If there are safety concerns for cooperating witnesses, then those concerns should be addressed in that particular case, but to have a blanket policy making it more difficult to get these documents.... Haven't we learned from the State scandal involving secret docs?

We also noted that Chief Judge Moreno was a judge who believed in courtrooms being open to the public and was generally against things being secret. He said back then in an interview with Julie Kay:

“I’m a very open person,” Moreno said. “My personal feeling is that if something is said in open court, it should be an open record.”

As for plea deals: "Moreno said the court will continue to study another issue that recently has generated controversy — whether plea agreements should be posted online."

Now that they have studied it, the en banc district court has issued administrative order 2009-2, rescinding the old rule making plea agreements secret and ordering:

that as of February 20, 2009, the Southern District of Florida's current policy of providing limited electronic access to plea agreements is rescinded. All plea agreements filed on or after February 20, 2009 will be public documents, with full remote access available to all members of the public and the bar, unless the Court has entered an Order in advance directing the sealing or otherwise restricting a plea agreement.

Well done Chief Judge Moreno and the rest of the court!

UPDATE -- Kathy Williams and AFPD Beatriz Bronis represented the defense on this issue. Congrats to them as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama stuff

Who was right on the oath flub? Most have sided with Obama, but here's Roberts' side of the story (via Althouse).

Is Obama keeping his Blackberry or some other device? (Hat tip: JK)

More of the same from Obama? Here's a funny Jon Stewart clip:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This and that

Whew -- thankfully, I was able to see the inauguration before my Broward hearing this afternoon. Unbelievable! Even the Broward judge and prosecutor seemed to be in good moods today.

In that vein, we will post the positive article about Alex Acosta, by Julie Kay, not the negative one being discussed by commenters and another blog.

Here's the intro:

When he was named U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, one of the largest and busiest districts in the country with 284 assistant U.S. attorneys, in July 2005, the question on many local lawyers' minds was, "Who is Alex Acosta?"A former assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's civil rights division and staunch conservative who clerked for Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and served as president of the Federalist Society at Harvard Law School, Acosta, just 36, had little criminal trial experience and was unknown in Miami legal circles.But the Miami native has earned the respect of many in the South Florida legal community for his hard line on health care fraud, his prosecution of a whopping 13 public officials for corruption — including seven Palm Beach County commissioners and four Hollywood police officers — and his open-door policy with defense lawyers, agents, journalists and members of the community.As a Democratic administration prepares to take office — and he prepares his exit strategy — Acosta, now 40, talked to The National Law Journal about his accomplishments during the last 3 1/2 years, what he has learned on the job and what the future holds.

Some of the questions Julie Kay posed:

NLJ: You've been U.S. attorney of one of the largest, busiest and most prominent districts in the country since 2005. What have been your proudest accomplishments and biggest disappointments?

AA: The job of U.S. attorney is the best job that any attorney can have. The U.S. attorney has the ability to have a direct impact on his or her district. Some of the issues I've chosen to focus on are public corruption, healthcare fraud and more recently mortgage fraud. I believe I have left a lasting impact not only on South Florida but on the issues themselves.Public corruption is of the utmost importance. The fact that the largest law enforcement agency in the state has changed the way business has been done in the region is the most important legacy I'm leaving. Health care fraud is not something I fully understood and was disgusted by when I got here. We have now prosecuted $1.5 billion in health care fraud. This is not victimless crime. That is incredibly significant. To have that kind of impact is gratifying.As far as frustrations, public corruption cases are very important and I'm proud of the fact that we've done them right. In each of the cases, we've brought the charges with overwhelming evidence that resulted in guilty pleas of the officials. This is very important because when a public official gets up and says, "I did this, I broke the law," it sends a message, more than a long, protracted litigation. The flip side of this is [that] public corruption cases take time, and what is most frustrating is seeing and knowing the evidence we have but waiting until our cases are ready. Some people feel these cases are put together in weeks or months, and you can't do that, you have to be thorough. That is frustrating to the community — the fact that you want things to move quickly and they don't. I said in my press conference in Palm Beach, I wish I could say this is the final prosecution, but I fear it is not. There are matters that require additional work.


NLJ: Human rights groups like the Center for Justice and Accountability and Human Rights Watch have issued statements commending federal prosecutors for bringing the case. Have you gotten any other reaction and do you think this case will set a precedent?

AA: Human rights groups support it. We've also gotten reaction from victims in Liberia. They never thought that Chuckie Taylor Jr. could be brought to justice. They thought he was above reproach. They realize now that in fact these types of cases can be brought. I think it will set a precedent around the country and other cases will be brought.

NLJ: That was a successful case. A case that has not been as successful has the Liberty Seven/Liberty Six case. That case — in which seven Miami men were charged with scheming to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago — has been criticized by the press and other groups as far-reaching: that these men were Al Queda wannabes and didn't have the ability to pull anything off. One man was dismissed at trial and the rest were subject to hung juries twice.You're retrying the case for the third time, starting this month. Why, and do you regret bringing this case?

AA: Every case we have brought has been based on the evidence, and as prosecutors we have to review the evidence and if we believe it's worth bringing, we do so. It's a pending trial so I can't comment. There have been matters that have hung twice and been retried in this office. It does happen. But as I've said before, this will be the third and final time.

Wow, no more retrials. Interesting. I think two mistrials are enough and the case shouldn't be tried a third time. But it is noteworthy that he is saying in advance that it won't be tried again. Jury selection starts this week.... Stay tuned.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A New Hope

I am so bummed... Instead of watching the inauguration tomorrow, I will be stuck in state court in Broward. I kid you not. Shouldn't courts be closed tomorrow? Thank goodness for TiVo.
A big shout out to all the FOB (friends of blog) who are in DC. Please send pics and we will post them.
It's a very exciting time, no matter what political party you belong to. Some interesting questions:
1. Who will President Obama appoint to be the next U.S. Attorney? When will that happen? Any chance that it is Alex Acosta?
2. Who will President Obama appoint to fill the first open Southern District judgeship?
3. Who will sit on the federal JNC to help in these selections?
And finally:
4. Will Rumpole reveal himself?

Friday, January 16, 2009

"My innocent client is being dragged along for the ride."

That's Joel Hirschhorn on the Mutual Benefits case after two judges have recused and the U.S. Attorney and his chief have recused from the case. What is going on?

Here's Vanessa Blum's article, which is extremely interesting. The case is now assigned to Judge Jordan and Eric Bustillo is the AUSA who signed off on the indictment. From the intro:

The biggest financial fraud case in Broward County history is proving too hot to handle for several senior federal law enforcement officials and judges, who have removed themselves from having anything to do with it.Federal prosecutors announced new charges this month in the long-running investigation of Mutual Benefits Corp.--a defunct Fort Lauderdale investment firm whose managers are accused of operating a $1-billion Ponzi scheme.This week, two federal judges assigned to hear the case stepped aside in quick succession with no explanation, according to public court records.The back-to-back judicial recusals, unparalleled in recent memory, followed an unusual decision by the two highest-ranking lawyers in the local U.S. Attorney's Office to have no further involvement in matters related to Mutual Benefits.
Judges and prosecutors generally recuse themselves when they have conflicts of interest, for instance a personal relationship with someone involved or a financial stake in the litigation.Because of secrecy surrounding the recusals, it is not clear whether the Justice Department officials and federal judges have the same conflict.

Quick question -- should judges and prosecutors have to disclose why they recuse from a case?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

First federal not guilty of the year?

Bill Matthewman got one yesterday before Judge Marra in a felon in possession case. First not guilty of the year in the District?

UPDATED -- Nope, Matthewman doesn't get the honors. The first NG of the year goes to Tim Day from the Federal Defender's Office before Judge Cohn.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Nice off the bench"

Brian Tannebaum has been doing a bunch of provocative blogging over at his site. I enjoyed reading this post about Judges being "nice off the bench." Here's a snippet:

A standard description of judges is that he or she is "nice off the bench."When you say a judge is "nice off the bench," it naturally means they are not nice on the bench.Anyone in trial practice has seen this in action. See judge on bench, see judge lambaste lawyer. See judge at social event, see judge as a happy friendly person.

C'est la vie

It doesn't look like it was a good day for Gen. Manuel Noriega.

Here's the AP Report:

A skeptical panel of federal appeals judges questioned Wednesday whether former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has any legal right to challenge his proposed extradition to France to face money laundering charges.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges cast doubt at a hearing on claims by Noriega's lawyers that the Geneva Conventions treaties regarding prisoners of war require Noriega be returned to Panama because his sentence for drug racketeering ended in September 2007.
U.S. Circuit Judge Ed Carnes repeatedly asked Noriega attorney Jonathan May whether Congress eliminated the legal underpinnings of Noriega's argument when it passed the 2006 Military Commissions Act. The law created judicial procedures for enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but also could be applied to POWs and anyone else, the judges said.
"Do you disagree with the plain meaning of that language, or what?" Carnes said. "You're using the Geneva Conventions as a source of your client's right ... (the law) says you can't."
May said that was an incorrect interpretation of what Congress sought to do. He insisted the law was meant to apply solely to court proceedings, not an executive branch matter such as extradition.

The Herald article is here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

11th Circuit to hear General Noriega's case

Curt Anderson has this interesting piece about the oral argument before the 11th Circuit regarding whether Gen. Manuel Noriega should be extradited to France or whether he goes back to Panama:

As the only prisoner of war held on U.S. soil, inmate No. 38699-079 gets annual visits from the Red Cross and can wear his military uniform and insignia when he goes to court.
Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega frequently sees his wife and children, who make the trip to his private bungalow at a federal prison near Miami from their home in Panama. The one-time CIA operative is a dedicated news junkie, reads voraciously about history and politics and is working on a memoir.
Whether the vanquished dictator's story ends in prison or freedom, at home or abroad, depends on how courts in three countries on two continents decide to punish him for his drug-running past.
More than a year ago, Noriega completed his sentence for drug racketeering and money laundering and thought he was headed home. Instead, U.S. officials dropped a legal bomb: Noriega would be extradited to France to stand trial on more money laundering charges.
On Jan. 14, a federal appeals court will hear arguments on Noriega's claim that as a POW he should immediately be repatriated, 19 years after the U.S. invaded Panama to remove him from power.
"Gen. Noriega is not a complainer," said Frank Rubino, one of Noriega's attorneys. "As a soldier, he's been schooled in such a way that he was dealt this hand, and he will play this hand."


I've gotten a bunch of emails about the post below on Chris Hansen speaking at the federal bar luncheon. This one is my favorite:

The feds want to hear from an entrapment expert... Perhaps to pick up some tips? What's next -- William Shatner on trial advocacy? Jack Bauer on interrogation techniques? Judge Judy? Stay tuned...

Chris Hansen to speak at Federal Bar Luncheon

This month's guest speaker for the Federal Bar Association's luncheon series is Dateline NBC's Chris Hansen on January 21st at the Banker's Club. Mr. Hansen is a 7- time Emmy winner and renowned correspondent with Dateline NBC. He is perhaps best known for the "To Catch a Predator" series but his investigative reporting includes efforts to expose international identity thieves, child sex rings in Cambodia, counterfeit prescription operations out of China, and international child labor violations. He has also received numerous reporting awards for his coverage of the federal building bombing at Oklahoma City and the mass murders at Columbine, Colorado. Attendance is expected to be high so please RSVP to Celeste Higgins at (305) 530-7000, ext. 109.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"How a mother of two ended up in a plot to smuggle high-tech gear to the enemy."

The Miami New Times covers Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan here. You remember Ms. Gholikhan -- she's the woman who hung a jury before Judge Cohn and then represented herself at the second trial. The New Times has a cover story on her. It's a great read.
That's her in the picture above.

I'll never understand...

...why people don't move their stalled cars out of the center lane of rush hour traffic on US1. ARRRRRGHHHHHH!!!!!!$^!%$(&!%(!*&^%($

Anyway, some interesting stories this morning:

1. Jay Weaver covers the sentencing before Judge Lenard on the Frank Duran Venezuelan suitcase trial. Here's the intro:

A rich businessman convicted of working as an illegal Venezuelan agent in the United States says he should be sent to prison for no more than three years, asserting that the judge in the case said he and his co-defendants had done no harm to this country.
Franklin Duran, who will be sentenced Monday, was the only defendant among five Latin American men indicted in 2007 to fight charges at trial that they had come to South Florida to cover up a hemispheric political scandal.
The men were charged with working on behalf of Venezuela's spy agency to silence a colleague who had been caught with a suitcase stuffed with $800,000. Prosecutors say the money was a gift from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavéz to Argentina's new president.
In November, a federal jury found Duran, 41, guilty of conspiring and operating as an illegal foreign agent who failed to register with the U.S. government -- a pair of offenses that carry up to 15 years in prison.

2. Vanessa Blum discusses the "honest services" statute here in connection with the Palm Beach Commissioner Mary McCarty. Milton Hirsch has this funny quote:

But some defense lawyers complain the law is too vague and public officials have no warning what conduct might land them behind bars."When someone is accused of stealing a box of apples, we know what that is," said Milton Hirsch, a Miami defense attorney. "When someone is accused of stealing the public's right to honest services, what does that even mean?"

3. Speaking of Milton Hirsch, he is running for Circuit Court judge in state court. First fundraiser is February 3 at my office. Email me off-line if you are interested in helping Milt out.

4. And for our out-of-district news, check out this very disturbing NY Times article about a sheriff in Alabama who kept inmates in jail starving so he could make a few extra bucks. And the law may have allowed for it!! Here's the intro:

The prisoners in the Morgan County jail here were always hungry. The sheriff, meanwhile, was getting a little richer. Alabama law allowed it: the chief lawman could go light on prisoners’ meals and pocket the leftover change.
And that is just what the sheriff, Greg Bartlett, did, to the tune of $212,000 over the last three years, despite a state food allowance of only $1.75 per prisoner per day.
In the view of a federal judge, who heard testimony from the hungry inmates, the sheriff was in “blatant” violation of past agreements that his prisoners be properly cared for.
“There was undisputed evidence that most of the inmates had lost significant weight,” the judge, U. W. Clemon of Federal District Court in Birmingham, said Thursday in an interview. “I could not ignore them.”
So this week, Judge Clemon ordered Sheriff Bartlett himself jailed until he came up with a plan to adequately feed prisoners more, anyway, than a few spoonfuls of grits, part of an egg and a piece of toast at breakfast, and bits of undercooked, bloody chicken at supper.

You gotta read the whole article. Crazy.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Today I have a sense of déjà vu. I wish I could say this is the last corruption case, but I fear it is not."

That was Alex Acosta during his press conference re Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty and her husband, Kevin, accusing them of a "wide-ranging and long-running" conspiracy to enrich themselves through the misuse of her political position. Here is Vanessa Blum's article on the case:

Mary McCarty, 54, an influential Republican powerbroker and longtime commissioner, is charged with conspiring to deprive the citizens of Palm Beach County of their "intangible right to her honest services," federal prosecutors said. She faces up to five years in prison.Prosecutors charged Kevin McCarty, 59, with taking part in and failing to report his wife's crime. He faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison.The new details emerged one day after McCarty resigned and said she would plead guilty to honest services fraud, making her the third county commissioner in recent years to leave office under the cloud of federal corruption charges.

McCarty could plead guilty as soon as next week. She is being prosecuted under the same statute that landed former commissioners Tony Masilotti and Warren Newell five year prison terms.

Chuckie Taylor sentenced

The government was asking for 147 years. The over-under was 100 years. So if you took the under, call your bookie -- he was sentenced to 97 years.... With good time, that's about 82 years.

Here's Jay Weaver's coverage.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

“I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry. They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

No, that wasn't one of the recently sentenced white-collar defendants in our district. It was our President-Elect Obama. Gotta love the guy. Here's the ABA Journal article on the BlackBerry dispute.

Speaking of Obama, is it possible that he keeps Alex Acosta as U.S. Attorney? Read Julie Kay's article here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

News and Notes

1. Pharmed sentencing: 9 years, top of the guidelines. From the Herald article:

Saying she was concerned about maintaining community values, U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz Wednesday sentenced Carlos and Jorge de Céspedes to nine years in prison.
Despite testimony that they had given millions to charity, the judge decided the brothers -- who built up and then destroyed the Pharmed medical supply company -- should be sentenced at the top of the recommended guidelines of seven to nine years.
She said the brothers had been ''two-faced for too long'' and noted that the fraud against Kendall Regional Medical Center had gone for 14 years. The brothers had also pleaded guilty to a count of tax evasion. They will serve the sentences concurrently.

2. Helio Castroneves: The already great legal team adds superstar Roy Black to represent Helio along with David Garvin. Roy's partner Howard Srebnick represents sister Kati, and Bob Bennett and Lily Ann Sanchez represent the third defendant, an attorney. AUSA Matt Axelrod represents the government.

Govt appeals order in Ben Kuehne case

Here's the text of the notice:

Notice is hereby given that the United States of America, plaintiff/appellant in the
above-captioned case, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3731 and Fed. R. App. P. 4(b)(1)(B)(i), hereby
appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit from the Order Granting
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Count One of the Third Superseding Indictment (Docket Entry
192) entered in the above entitled matter on December 22, 2008.
DATED this 7th day of January, 2009.
Respectfully submitted,

Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section
Robert Feitel
United States Department of Justice
Criminal Division Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section

I wonder why this was filed so quickly, and why they didn't wait until after President-Elect Obama became President. The case likely will now be placed on hold for a while during the appeal.

Disturbing story from state court

There has been a bunch of news about this Order out of Broward state court, disqualifying the state attorney's office for listening in on attorney-client conversations in a first degree murder prosecution.

The State took a breath-taking position -- because the call originated from jail, the inmate waived the attorney-client privilege. The judge quickly dismissed this position. The defense argued that the case should be dismissed for the egregious violation. The judge didn't go that far, but did disqualify the entire prosecution office from the case.

Two questions for you. Does this happen over here? And if it did ever happen, what would the likely result be. I put two polls for you below:

How frequently do AUSAs listen in on attorney client phone calls from FDC?
Often free polls

If an AUSA did listen in on an attorney client conversation, the likely result in this District would be:
Case dismissed
Disqualification of the AUSA
Disqualification of the entire USA office
Evidence suppressed
Nothing free polls

Monday, January 05, 2009

Judge Cooke has all the fun...

She just got the huge Mutual Benefits indictment (a viatical fraud case alleging over $1 billion in fraud), which includes two local lawyers -- Michael McNerney and Anthony Livoti, Jr.

Here is the indictment.

The government is estimating a whopping 120 days for trial. In this economy, how is it going to be possible to seat a jury for such a case. Does a jury consisting of senior citizens and unemployed citizens help the defense or the prosecution?

Monday news and notes

Ahhhh, Monday morning after a holiday weekend. So much fun. Here's what's happening:

1. Pharmed sentencing today. (via Sun-Sentinel & Herald) Here are the letters in support of leniency, the government's sentencing memo, and the defense sentencing memo. Quick summary: government says the guidelines are appropriate; defense says they are too high.

2. The Chief Justice released his year end report. Quick summary: judges need more money.

3. More on Ben Kuehne. (via DBR). Quick summary: the case against him sucks.

4. Medicare fugitives. (via Herald). Quick summary: every now and then, people flee as they did in this case.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Dead Friday

Anyone working today?

Back to regular blogging on Monday.

2009 should be exciting -- trial #3 of Liberty City 7, trial #2 of Joe Cool, trial (or dismissal) of the Ben Kuehne case, Dolphin playoffs, and possibly 2 new district judges in the SDFLA because of judges taking senior status. What else?

Have a nice long weekend.