Friday, May 26, 2017

Trumps' Pick for 11th -- All Corporate All the Time.

I'm starting to get annoyed with judge picks who never had to find and represent a real person in a dispute involving "real person" problems -- someone ripped them off, ran into them, sold them a defective phone, you had to help them with a worker's comp issue, car got repossessed, you know -- that kind of thing.  They also never had to chase clients or figure out how to make a law firm run, just stuff that was never part of their backgrounds.

That doesn't mean -- based on what I've seen so far -- that Newsome is not eminently qualified in terms of legal and professional accomplishments.

He clearly is.

But spending your life helping Pfizer -- a firm client -- escape liability for one of it drugs isn't all that practicing law is or should be.

Happy weekend, yutzos.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

"You Cannot Plead Yourself Around Reality."

I can't count the number of times over the last thirty years I've wanted to say those exact words to every fancy big firm DC or New York lawyer who saunters down South to show us how to litigate my opposing counsel.

I really want to have a beer with this Judge Carnes guy. The dude writes so well and in such an engaging manner often on dry or complicated issues, I'm not sure what excites me more: a new opinion authored by Chief Judge Carnes or bumping into Judge Ungaro at an art exhibit or the theatre and marveling at her sartorial elegance a new opinion upholding Judge Ungaro's ruling below (who the hell am I kidding?)

In this opinion regarding fraudulent transfer issues, I get both.

Chief Judge Carnes again lets it flow from the start, with beautiful alliteration.
For want of good corporate officers, BankUnited Financial Corporation engaged in risky lending practices before November 2008. For want of good lending practices, BankUnited became insolvent. For want of solvency, BankUnited’s transfers of money to its subsidiary were fraudulent. 
Wanting their money back, BankUnited’s creditors sued its officers for authorizing those transfers. Wanting protection from the resulting liability, the officers asked their insurer —U.S. Specialty—to indemnify them. Not wanting to do that, U.S. Specialty refused based in part on a policy exclusion that barred coverage for claims “arising out of” conduct that occurred before November 2008. The question is whether the fraudulent transfers “arose out of” the officers’ pre-November 2008 misconduct.
And this zinger:
Zucker also points out that he would not have had to prove that the officers engaged in misconduct in order to prevail on his fraudulent transfer claim. That does not, however, mean there was no causal connection between the officers’ deeds and the demise of the Parent Bank.

Zucker cannot plead himself around reality.
You know how this one ends.
Zucker contends that the district court erred when it concluded that the fraudulent transfer claims in the bankruptcy complaint fell within the Prior Acts Exclusion in the U.S. Specialty policy. We disagree with him and agree with the district court.
Me too, Judge.

Old Entitled Jerk Off Lawyers Who Lord Around the Courtroom Like Self-Anointed Prince Babies -- Please Read!

This of course has nothing -- I repeat -- nothing to do with you:

The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled to publicly reprimand Fort Lauderdale attorney Anthony Joseph Alfero in light of the disparaging remarks he made to opposing counsel in a divorce proceeding.
Over the course of the proceedings, Alfero sent several pleadings and correspondence to opposing counsel which contained statements meant to “embarrass, belittle and humiliate” her, according to the court’s consent judgement. The document lists examples of the harassment and specified two instances in April 2015 and May 2015 when he allegedly told the woman that she was “ignorant” and advised her to “get a dictionary.” Alfero also criticized her legal abilities and called the attorney “a liar.”
In addition, the attorney’s legal assistant mimicked his behavior without his knowledge, according to court records. The assistant sent correspondence to opposing counsel that began with a salutation of “Dear Stubborn” and later referred to her client as an “idiot,” the consent judgment states. Alfero allegedly failed to admit that the actions of his assistant were inappropriate. 
Ok so I know nothing of this particular lawyer's situation though I wish him and his assistant the best, but folks, please -- try to do this crap like responsible human beings, to the extent possible.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

3d DCA Watch -- All Hail Brenda Vacarro Edition!

Hi kids, I'm so excited to see that Brenda Vacarro won a big big case in the Keys -- congrats, what a voice Brenda (in addition to your legal acumen)!

Oh wait my eyes are not that good -- congrats Branden Vicari of lovely Clearwater, Florida -- seriously, nice win.

Boss Guys -- give Branden his own listing, ok?

But in dissent Judge Rothenberg got heavy man, really really heavy:
Although the majority appears to base its decision to reverse the final judgment upon the premise that DOAH improperly reweighed the evidence, DOAH did not reweigh the evidence.  It simply reviewed the evidence itself after the ALJ refused to do so even after DOAH instructed the ALJ to reach the merits on remand.  A “reweighing” of the evidence infers that the evidence was initially weighed by the ALJ.  Since the ALJ failed to reach the merits after directed to do so on remand, he did not weigh the evidence.
That just blew my mind!

Monday, May 22, 2017

I LOVE Mondays!

See I was going to retire this crap show.

Do something productive, change the world.

At least stop noodling around old Maude videos, that sort of thing.

But then Trump etc. so here we are.

Oh well, I gotta be me.

Yet I'm grateful for this Monday morning gift from God the Universe ok, the Herald -- let me try to outline these alleged allegations alleged alleged alleged (ok?) allegations:

1. Judge Hendon appoints former Judge Perez for a condo receivership.

2. He charged $45k a month for four hours a day, at $525 an hour, with him and his team racking up $2.6 million in fees.

3. Some of the condo folks got mad about this.

4. Former Judge Perez sent an ex parte email -- an email(!) -- to Judge Hendon after midnight (presiding over his case) -- -- after midnight(!) -- saying a bunch of stuff that he probably shouldn't have said.

5. Judge Hendon immediately recuses himself.  KUDOS

6. New Judge Cueto holds hearing on fees, where Perez's lawyer argues that Hendon had already approved the fees because no one objected.

7. In March Perez asked Judge Hendon for a $2 million loan so that the condo owners could borrow money to pay his team's fees.

Is that what that article says, just checking folks.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Judges Don't Like Things Too Complicated Friday!

That's why the Florida Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom (do NOT spit-take!), has decided to clarify that judges now have only one ethics rule to follow.

That makes it a lot easier on those poor judges with all those high-faluting "moral dilemmas" and "laws" and other meddlesome "uncertainties" in life, so now there's only one!

Also -- what Bar event is under $100 nowadays?

Some kind of kid thing?

Happy Friday plebiscites!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Say Hi to Barnaby "Very Poor Example " Min!!

Min offered what he prefaced as a “very poor example” to illustrate the legal issue with allowing pot shops.
“If the city of Miami for some infinite, god-forbidden reason thought having sex with a child was a great way to recover from some issue and so we wrote that into our city code, just because the city says that’s legal doesn’t mean it’s legal,” he said.

Read more here:

Good lord Min you're a good egg but I'd rather get homespun, backporch wisdom like that from my other favorite Barnaby:

Monday, May 15, 2017

This Seems Eminently Reasonable to Me!

Thank you 11th Circuit -- I'd like to live in a world where a deaf person does not have to meet this high burden to prove they got screwed in terms of competent communication services at Baptist:
We reverse the district court on these issues.  Not only do we conclude that Plaintiffs have standing to seek injunctive relief, we also reject the district court’s substantive standard for liability.  For an effective-communication claim brought under the ADA and RA, we do not require a plaintiff to show actual deficient treatment or to recount exactly what the plaintiff did not understand.  Nor is it a sufficient defense for a defendant merely to show that a plaintiff could participate in the most basic elements of a doctor-patient exchange.  Rather, the relevant inquiry is whether the hospitals’ failure to offer an appropriate auxiliary aid impaired the patient’s ability to exchange medically relevant information with hospital staff
I also really like how the Court unpacked the types of technical arguments you see sophisticated corporate defendants make, the sort that makes perfect sense when reading in an air-conditioned, abstract fancy law office:
The district court relied on medical records indicating that hospital staff were able to ascertain Plaintiffs’ primary symptoms, and that Plaintiffs verbalized understanding of treatment and discharge instructions.  We reject this standard for two reasons.  First, limiting the required level of communication to that necessary to convey the primary symptoms, a treatment plan, and discharge instructions may still result in deaf patients receiving an unequal opportunity to participate in healthcare services in comparison to non-disabled patients.  When a hearing (i.e., non-disabled) person goes to the hospital, that person is not limited only to describing symptoms and receiving the treatment plan and discharge instructions.  The patient’s conversation with the doctor could, and sometimes should, include a whole host of other topics, such as any prior medical conditions and history, medications the patient is taking, lifestyle and dietary habits, differential diagnoses, possible follow-up procedures and tests, informed-consent issues, and side effects and costs of potential courses of treatment.
Right, it's not just "did you communicate where the gunshot wound was" -- real people like to talk to their docs about everything, some of which may actually matter to them and be relevant to the medical professional to boot.

Shine on darlings!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Donald Trump Hires Prestigous Law Firm to Pen Certified Letter!

You may have heard about this.
The White House is having a law firm prepare a certified letter that would show that Trump currently has no business links with Russia. The letter would then be delivered to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Tonight, Trump informed Lester Holt that he now has said letter and it’s been given to Graham.

“I just sent a letter from Lindsey Graham from one of the most prestigious law firms in the country that I have nothing to do with Russia,” the President said.

After highlighting some past business dealings he’d had with Russians, such as the Miss Universe Pageant and selling a house to a Russian billionaire, he let Holt know once more he had a letter.

“I have a certified letter, just so you understand,” Trump noted. “I’m not just saying that.” Explaining again that Graham has the letter, he concluded by saying that “it says I’m not involved in Russia.”
Imagine the filthy lucre said prestigious law firm charged Trump to write a letter.

No disrespect to Lindsey Graham but while he's at it, Trump should have the prestigious law firm write a letter on his behalf to God.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

3d DCA Watch -- "Communistic Politics and Negro Blues" Edition!

Dora dispute continues.

So Pam Bondi fought and killed a noble effort by the kids at UM's School of Law Children and Youth Clinic to get educational and training benefits for poor DCF folks in need -- congrats all around!!

Goddamit you're all gonna die! (insert smiley face here)

You can be the change your dog thinks your grandma thinks your late night alien lover hopes you are by clicking here and then donating to those deflated UM kids like a good little mentor lawyer and tell them that whole Rocky thing about getting up -- you guys are good orators it'll work (along with the gelt).