Monday, October 25, 2010

A Brilliant Mistake.

Wow this seems like pure unadulterated horse hockey:
A new pro-Bondi political committee has fired back, with a website accusing Gelber of down-playing his past as a criminal defense lawyer ``defending convicted drug dealers, con men and scam artists.'' The site is .

Gelber said his work as a defense lawyer was mostly serving on a legal team at two law firms and filling in for an absent colleague in a court hearing.
Gelber does criminal defense work?

That's not an even remotely fair description.

And even if he did, why is that a bad thing?

Has Pam ever heard of the criminal justice system and the jurisprudential reasons why accused suspects are entitled to competent counsel?

Boy I'm in a fatalistic mood but I don't think this election could get any worse.

Apparently they are even after the Robed Ones up in Tally, according to this email I received from "Citizens for an Independent Judiciary":
This general election, several Florida Supreme Court Justices are on the ballot for “merit retention,” and we urge you to vote to keep them on the bench. All Florida Supreme Court Justices must appear on the ballot every six years—a process that gives the people an opportunity to vote against justices who have acted unethically.

This year, however, the justices on the ballot are being targeted for their legal opinion concerning a SINGLE issue. This is one precedent that should not be established and will lead us down a dangerous road. Don’t allow these esteemed justices to be ousted because of a single legal opinion. The simple truth is removing these justices from the bench would be a gross abuse of the merit-retention process, which is designed to oust members of the judiciary who have proven themselves unfit for office; it is never intended to be a political referendum based on a single opinion.
 Ok, I agree with all that.  There are important institutional purposes behind retaining appointed judges, even the axiomatic ones.

The email continues:
All of these justices are people of great experience, education and integrity, and they have done their best to render justice based on facts and law applicable to each case—not the popular political climate at the moment.

"Great experience, education and integrity"?

Well let's not go overboard.

Still, they are our Robed Ones and certainly deserved to be retained, particularly in the face of an ugly under the radar, highly partisan smear campaign.

You can learn about efforts to protect the independence of our judiciary from these unfair political attacks here.


Godwhacker said...

Don't be too down SFL. The state election is potentially very bad, but if just a few of these Tea Party idiots get elected, it will hang a six ton rock of stupid around the neck of the Republican Party, and hopefully this time they wont be coming back up for air.

Anonymous said...

Gelber chose to show his career as a prosecutor as a big time selling point...'I put bad people away' and all that crap. That makes his work as a defense lawyer fair game to show he is a hypocrite, just like almost every single AUSA I have ever met (maybe a dozen excluded).

Anonymous said...


Defense attorneys also help the innocent go free, right?

Anonymous said...

go to (not a typo) to see the Republican candidate run from office.

She is profitting from the ignorance and apathy of the voter. She is unwilling to dabate her opponent, running on the platform of bringing jobs to florida as the attorney general (how?), and is hiding behind the Tea Party platform.

She doesn't deserve your respect, consideration nor your vote.

Go to and donate something, anything, they need to get some ads out against the bs going on in this race.

Check out the, your next attorney general thinks private lawyers are a shitbag group in general.

Show this chick how wrong she is.

Vote for Dan Gelber #40 for attorney general, tell as many people as you can what is going on in this race.

Donate 10 dollars, donate whatever you can, let's right this situation before it is too late.

Shoot The Lawyers said...

So criminal defense attorney = low life. Off the top of my head, in no particular order, here is a list of Republicans who have retained scum of the earth defense attorneys to protect themselves (many of these, i.e., Karl Rove, doubled down and hired a Democrat!):
HR Haldeman
Sherman Adams (yes I am old)
Sprio Agnew
Karl Rove
Raymond Donovan
Ed Meese
Scooter Libby
John Dean
Bud Krogh
John Erlichman
Caspar Weinberger
John Connally
I am sure there are many more and the list for Dems is just as long. But the point is that one's view of where one stands is often determined by where one sits.

Anonymous said...

From Little Bridge Marina v. Jones Boat Yard, 673 So.2d 77 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996:

MR. MCCORMACK [defense counsel]: Are you an attorney?

WITNESS [Alfred Gustinger, Jr.]: Yes, I am.

*79 MR. MCCORMACK: You told the jury you are retired and you are representing Little Bridge Marina as an attorney up until three days ago?

WITNESS: That's correct.

MR. MCCORMACK: You weren't retired as an attorney?

WITNESS: No. I do not maintain an office and do not have a secretary.

MR. MCCORMACK: In fact, the type of law you did you represented criminals. You got them off.

* * *

the sum and substance of appellee's impeachment was that Gustinger was an attorney. That fact, and that fact alone, was intended to lower the jury's opinion of Gustinger. Surely, someone should not be, in effect, chastised for laboring in an occupation that serves to breathe life and meaning into the Sixth Amendment.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Wasn't Atticus Finch handling a criminal matter?

Gutter Politics said...

More Bondi dirty tricks.

Anonymous said...

SFL, someone at the DCBA must read your blog:

The DCBA does not endorse candidates for judicial office, however, DCBA members should be aware of the following story about how two Florida Supreme Court Justices are being targeted based upon a decision they made. We all have the right to agree or disagree with legal reasoning or a result a justice reaches. We believe it is dangerous, however, to target supreme court justices on the basis of a decision they rendered. Please review this story.


Winter Haven News Chief,, Oct. 22, 2010.

The article is by The Associated Press. No jurist has ever lost a yes-no retention vote in Florida, but this year conservative activists are trying to change that by targeting a pair of Supreme Court justices in a low-key campaign relying on news releases, word-of-mouth and websites. There's little, though, the four justices and 27 appeal court judges who are up for retention on Nov. 2 can do in terms of campaigning due to restrictions in judicial canons unless they file declarations saying they've got opposition and describing it. "We're like sitting ducks," said Supreme Court Justice James Perry, who is being targeted by a Central Florida group called Citizen2Citizen along with Justice Jorge Labarga. The group has singled out Perry and Labarga because they were part of the majority in a 5-2 ruling Aug. 31 that removed a proposed state constitutional amendment on health care from the ballot. Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice Ricky Polston, both also up for retention votes, dissented. So far they haven't drawn organized opposition.


Steven W. Davis, President
Dade County Bar Association