Monday, February 20, 2017

Judge William Zloch takes senior status

Thanks to a tipster, I see that Judge William Zloch took senior status on January 31, 2017.  That means that our District now has 3 open seats.  Judge Zloch was the Chief Judge of our District from 2000-2007.  Here's his wiki entry:
William J. "Bill" Zloch (born 1944 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is a Senior United States District Judge, as well as a former American football quarterback and wide receiver for the University of Notre Dame.
Following the departure of Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte in 1965, Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian was faced with a wide-open competition for the quarterback position. He opted to move senior Bill Zloch from wide receiver to quarterback for the 1965 season.[1] Directing a team that was heavily run-oriented, Zloch finished the season completing 36 of 88 passes for 558 yards and three touchdowns.[2] The team finished 7-2-1 and ranked 8th nationally.
After graduation, Zloch spent three years in the United States Navy, achieving the rank of lieutenant, then returned to Notre Dame Law School, completing a Juris Doctor in 1974. He returned to Fort Lauderdale to begin a private law practice.[3]
On October 9, 1985, President Ronald Reagan nominated Zloch to a newly created seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 1, 1985, and received his commission on November 4, 1985. On July 1, 2000, he began a seven-year term as Chief Judge of the district, ending on June 30, 2007. He was succeeded as Chief Judge by Judge Federico A. Moreno.[4] He assumed senior status on January 31, 2017.
Judge Zloch on August 21, 2009 sentenced UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld to 40 months in prison with 3 years probation and a $30,000 fine, a term that was harsher than the prosecutors wanted. "Assistant U.S. attorney Jeffrey A. Neiman recommended that Birkenfeld get 30 months in prison for his conviction on one count of conspiracy to defraud the government -- down from the 60-month maximum sentence he is exposed to -- because of his extensive cooperation," the Miami Herald reported.[5][6]


Anonymous said...

Adios, Not a nice judge to be in front of. Will not miss him.

Anonymous said...

As someone who represented individuals accused of federal crimes before Judge Zloch, I wanted to make a couple of observations (based on my personal experience and having heard many Bill Zloch stories):

1) he treated every defendant as an individual;
2) he listened to the arguments you made as a lawyer (he may not have agreed with you, but he genuinely listened);
3) he genuinely tried to do what he thought was the right thing to do in each case -- he tried to achieve justice in each case

These three observations do not seem exceptional on their face. In fact, one would think that ALL federal judges would do these three basic things -- all the time. But experience teaches us differently.

When you consider that Judge Zloch has done these things. consistently, for so many years, I think he deserves special notice for it. Judge Ferguson was the best judge I ever had the honor to appear before. But since his name is already memorialized in the Miami courthouse, I would hope that whenever a new federal courthouse is built in Fort Lauderdale (and it will not happen before the next rainy season),it will be named in honor of Judge Zloch. He IS Fort Lauderdale.

Anonymous said...

No comment on Judge Pryor's "put me on the SCOTUS" concurrence in docs v. glocks. Why else would he write pages of dicta? G-d help us all if he is ever elevated.

David Markus said...

My comment about Judge Pryor's concurring opinion is that it was extremely well-written and that I generally agree with what he wrote.

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, this makes 3 judicial vacancies and 3 judicial emergencies in the Southern District of Florida, with one of the vacancies dating back to June 2014. Any idea when something might get done about this?

Anonymous said...


Easy, easy. There are innocent people to deport, environmental and financial regulations to destroy, ethics violations to commit, public school systems to wipe out, treaties to break, wars to start . . . you get the idea. All in due time..

Anonymous said...

As a former federal prosecutor who appeared in front of Judge Zloch hundreds of times, I concur with "Anonymous" at 9:36 AM. Judge Zloch is an extremely fine jurist, who always evaluated the facts and circumstances of each defendant when sentencing.

While Judge Zloch has a reputation as being tough to appear in front of, as one who made many mistakes in his courtroom, he never held a grudge. His bark was greater than his bite. On occasion I would apologize for an error, and he would laugh and smile and say "I am sure you will do it again." Judge Zloch was a stickler for details, always ensuring every factual proffer had the jurisdictional element that the crime occurred in the Southern District of Florida, and correcting spelling errors. He never did this to harass, but in my view these were teachable moments. It was his way of saying you are on hallowed ground -- raise your standards.

Judge Zloch had his ear to the street and knew if you were going through hardship, and he and his staff really cared. This is an embodiment of his strong Christian ethos and character, which was embodied in everything he did, from the accouterments in his chambers to the individual attention he gave lawyers and defendants.