Gaze upon Judge Cooke's disqualification order here.
John Pacenti reports:
A Miami federal judge on Thursday disqualified former state appellate Judge Angel Cortiñas from representing the Miccosukee tribe and its attorneys at a sanctions hearing.I may be wrong, but this case doesn't seem to be going all that well.
The sanctions request flows from the tribe's dismissed racketeering lawsuit against its former longtime lawyers Dexter Lehtinen, Guy Lewis and Michael Tein, among others.
They alleged the tribe's current attorney, Bernardo Roman III, filed the lawsuit knowing it contained false allegations.
The attorneys are seeking their attorney fees and costs in the racketeering lawsuit. Lewis and Tein of Lewis Tein are asking the judge to refer Roman and two associates, Yesenia Lara and Yinet Pino, to the Florida Bar for an ethics investigation.
They also want U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke to refer the matter to the U.S. attorney's office for an obstruction of justice investigation.
Separately, Lehtinen asked Cooke to hold Roman and the tribe in contempt for failing to turn over complete audio tapes of tribal council and business meetings where he allegedly gave bad tax advice, a key claim in the racketeering suit. The motions indicate he believes portions of the tapes were purposely deleted.
Lehtinen, Lewis and Tein argued Cortiñas, a Gunster partner, heard related cases as a judge on the Third District Court of Appeal.