3d DCA Watch -- They Write Letters, Judicial Edition

Hi kids, the bunker is stirring because it's mail day, and the Resplendently Robed Ones have received written greetings and salutations from the Judicial Sultan who will soon preside over the alleged 1st DCA "Taj Mahal":
Chief Justice Paul Hawkes of Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals issued a seven-page letter Monday to newspaper editors around the state, responding to the flurry of criticism that has been leveled against the court’s new $48 million home in the state’s capital.
Oh Lord, this can't be good.  Whose idea was this?
The fact that the letter was written on official 1st DCA letterhead, which includes the names of all 15 judges associated with the building, was criticized by fellow judge Peter Webster, who contacted Hawkes directly before the letter was published...
Ok, so far it's going exactly as I would expect it to.

Let's see what the good judge is complaining about:
The courthouse project was not the result of a “backroom deal,” but was the result of an approval process that spanned from 2005 to 2008, and included at least one public committee meeting. Hawkes acknowledges that the bulk of the funding, some $33.5 million in bonds, was approved on the morning of the last day of the 2007 legislative session as a last-minute amendment to a transportation bill, but notes that the decision to bond the construction of the building had been made earlier in the year and as such should not have been a surprise.
"[A]t least one public committee meeting"?

I'm convinced!

What about those 60-inch flat screens in every office:
the televisions are actually monitors for the viewing of court procedures and documents. No cable/satellite connections are included in the construction plans.
Exactly -- I mean, how did judges even view documents before the advent of flat-screen technology?  On their clunky rear-projection TVs?  How mid-80s!

(In fact, our own industrious, inventive judges don't require any high technology --they regularly stage elaborate, fully-costumed re-enactments of key portions of depositions as well as have documents delivered to chambers via a contraption made entirely from bamboo and coconuts).

Also, smart to stay away from basic cable or satellite -- Uverse is the wave of future.

Here's the best part about our letter-writing, new courthouse-defending Chief Judge:
In a recent Florida Bar poll, Hawkes received the lowest rating ever given an appellate court judge up for merit retention.
How the hail did that happen?

Moving on to our own, flat-screen empty coffee-swillers, should we even bother with any cases this week?

Here, the parties’ Arbitration Agreement states that it encompasses all issues “with respect to the allegations in the complaint.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines “respect” with the synonym “regard.” “Regard” is defined as “concerning or with respect to.”
Hmm, I wonder how that dictionary defines "tautology"?

Finally, word on the street (and by that I mean the turnpike directly in front of the courthouse) is that the short list going to the Governor for the next appointment to the 3d DCA includes Kevin Emas, Ivan Fernandez, and a Key West lawyer named -- seriously -- "Scales."

(I'm not sure if that's his first name, last name, or maybe just what everybody calls him down there when he walks in for a beer?)


  1. What a great rallying cry: it may be ostentatious, gaudy, and a grotesque waste of money but, hey folks, cut us some slack. We don't get ESPN!

  2. Sheesh, Justice Hawkes conveniently omits that per the the last minute amendment to the transportation bill, each justice was issued a PlayStation 3 with the entire Halo series.

  3. Glad to see Rodriguez staying put in circuit civil...


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