Thursday, February 24, 2011

Carlton Fields Now Working on Red Light Camera Cases.

I love how this article makes it seem like the mere presence of competent lawyers can magically turn a case around:
Instead of letting a police community service aide try to combat legal arguments raised by attorneys hired to beat the tickets, the city dispatched Assistant City Attorney Lisa Conforti.

She got a boost from an attorney from the high-powered law firm of Carlton Fields, who fed Conforti case law and advice. The attorney, Amanda Sansone, is being paid by American Traffic Solutions, which operates cameras in West Palm Beach, Palm Springs and Juno Beach, and has contracts with other Palm Beach County municipalities planning to launch red-light camera programs.

"It's preposterous," attorney Robert Pasch said of the legal muscle being used to collect the $158 tickets. "There's three attorneys in there and they brought a box of case law with them."
What's "preposterous" about this?

It's obviously in the company's best interests for the cities they service to succeed on these things, so they dispatch a qualified associate from Tampa to show them how to win a few.

Big deal.

I'm more interested in how it makes the city look that their legal representatives have to be "fed" cases and advice in order to prevail on a traffic ticket.

Amanda, welcome to South Florida!


Anonymous said...

It's illegal. No 'feeding' will change that.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. I know many people find the camera system illegal, but I haven't been following the arguments (I recently paid a ticket from Sweetwater to avoid the points/headache). Can someone explain the illegality argument or post a URL to a website?

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that it is illegal in so much as the government can't give you a ticket for something they don't have proof that YOU did. Unless the picture shows your face behind the wheel, they have no actual evidence that you were driving. some examples of how this is a problem:

1) I lent my car to a friend and he ran the red. I didn't. I shouldn't be "convicted" of a traffic infraction.

2) Forget about the unlikely event of lending out your car. Instead, you and your wife jointly own a car. But obviously only one can drive at a time. Does the government have ANY evidence which one of you was driving? No. But they will send one of you a ticket anyways.

3) You own a car, but your college age son is the actual driver. He runs a red. You get the ticket. The government can't do that.

The scenarios go on and on. But the point is that the government has to be able to PROVE that YOU were behind the wheel. When they send you the ticket, they haven't proved shit - and usually can't at trial.

Anonymous said...

@9:34. Very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write that.


Anonymous said...

More insurance defense hacks.

Anonymous said...

uh, that's not insurance defense, is it?

Anonymous said...

The city isn't even a party to these cases.
Even thought they are civil infractions, a ticket is issued as State of Florida v. Defendant.
The city has no standing. If the state wants to prosecute these (as going through a red light is a violation of state law), they should get an ASA in the courtroom.

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