Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One More New Year's Resolution.


Hi folks, I hope everyone gave something back yesterday and did a mitzvah of some kind for somebody else.

I'm going to work on one of my New Year's resolutions and go at least a day (part of a day?) and try to only write positive things, like how this Time Magazine story on Scott Rothstein really makes us all look credible as a legal community:
Scott Rothstein is your typical South Florida wannabe. Obnoxiously flamboyant by most accounts, the Bronx-born Fort Lauderdale attorney had to have the flashiest Rolexes (so he bought a local boutique watch shop), the most houses (luxury mansions and condos from Manhattan to Morocco), the hottest cars (Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini) and the coolest yacht (an 87-footer). He had to leave the heftiest tips, usually at the upscale restaurants he co-owned, and schmooze the most powerful politicians — like Florida Governor Charlie Crist, for whom Rothstein bought a $52,000 cake, as a contribution to the state's Republican Party, on Crist's 52nd birthday in 2008.

6 comments:

  1. Lots of work but I feel dead.

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  2. Feeling dead? Put on Bolero, SFL.

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  3. Thank you, excellent idea (usually happens sometime after 3 p.m though).

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  4. YAY Christine!!!!

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  5. Here's my mitzvah. You're welcome, Florida lawyers:

    John B. Thompson, J.D.
    5721 Riviera Drive
    Coral Gables, Florida 33146
    305-666-4366
    amendmentone@comcast.net

    January 21, 2010

    Chief Justice Quince and Associate Justices
    Florida Supreme Court
    500 South Duval Street
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399 Via Mail, Fax, and e-mail

    Jesse Diner, Florida Bar President
    Atkinson Diner Stone
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Via Mail, Fax to 954-920-2711, jhd@atkinson-diner.com

    Re: Dis-Integration of The Florida Bar

    Dear Chief Justices, Associate Justices, and Bar President Diner:

    Recent events, including the disastrous disciplinary whitewash in Florida Bar v. Hank Adorno made possible by The Bar’s outside general counsel and a former Florida Supreme Court Justice testifying against The Bar, make necessary the following:

    A vote by all Florida Bar members to decide whether they wish to continue the requirement of mandatory membership in The Florida Bar. The reasons such a vote to dis-integrate The Florida Bar are legion. Here is only a partial listing:

    1. The Florida Bar became mandatory in 1949 by a vote of Florida lawyers to integrate The Bar. This can be undone by a subsequent vote to dis-integrate it. “Consent of the governed” is the principle that breathed life into this nation in 1776.

    2. The Florida Supreme Court’s ironclad promises in the 1949 Integration Order that “lawyer discipline” by The Bar would be a minimal activity and that The Bar would not be used as a weapon by some lawyers against others have been shattered.

    3. The American Bar Association’s McKay Commission sternly indicted as a fatal flaw any state lawyer disciplinary structure such as The Florida Bar’s which allows Bar Governors to participate in any fashion in discipline, thereby politicizing it.

    4. In 2003 The Florida Bar tasked its Special Commission on Lawyer Regulation to analyze and reform our Bar disciplinary processes. One of the concerns ordered to be addressed was the unequal discipline of lawyers based not upon what they did but whom they knew. Chair Hank Coxe and his Commission refused to address this issue, despite the poll of Florida Bar members conducted by Miles McGrane that found widespread selective prosecution and equal protection problems. US Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas opined in Lathrop v. Donohue that integrated state bars would deteriorate in this fashion, as Lathrop, Keller, and the ABA predicted it would. Even two Florida Supreme Court Justices have now admitted that “The Florida Supreme Court has abdicated its duty to oversee The Florida Bar.” Bar President Hank Coxe and his Special Commission had their chance for reform. They chose to blow it. Other states have assiduously avoided this problem. The Florida Bar chose, corruptly, to embrace it.

    5. Article V, Section 15 of the Florida Constitution states, “Attorneys; admission and discipline.--The supreme court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the admission of persons to the practice of law and the discipline of persons admitted.”

    You, the Supreme Court, cannot outsource an “exclusive” function to a third party, The Bar. “Exclusive” actually means what it says. By virtue of the ceding of exclusive judicial power to a quasi-judicial entity like The Bar, you have created what amounts to a shadow, parallel structure that has now frontally assaulted the bedrock principle of res judicata, as Bar Referee Tuter has rejected of the unanimous findings of the Third District Court of Appeal regarding Hank Adorno’s “orchestration of a scheme to defraud all the taxpayers of Miami” in the fire fee scandal. Bar v. Adorno is just one example.

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  6. 6. Article I, Section 6 of the Florida Constitution declares Florida to be a right to work state and that “work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or non-membership in any labor union or labor organization.” Under Lathrop and Keller The Florida Bar, by virtue of how it is now acting, is at worst a guild and at best a “labor organization” within the meaning of Article I, Section 6. Indeed, you are being sued in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida by Brett Geer, a former Florida Bar prosecutor, because The Bar’s structure and racist antics violate the aforementioned constitutional right to work guarantee. You will lose that suit.

    7. Finally, although not exhaustively, the melding of all three governmental functions into The Florida Bar clearly violates the US Constitution’s Article IV guarantee of “a republican form of government” in all regards within the various states. Your new and unconstitutional Rule 3-7.17 shows the danger of such a centripitalization of all three governmental functions in one state “agency.” Lord Acton got it; most of us get it.

    This Bar was integrated in 1949, upon the vote of Florida lawyers, with promises made by the Florida Supreme Court to the public and to those voting. These promises have been broken. What man has joined, man can also rend asunder.

    Either put the continued compulsory integrated nature of this Bar to a vote of its members, or a federal court will order you to do so.

    Regards, Jack Thompson

    Copy: Media and all Florida Bar members via e-mail

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