Justice for All: Putting People First

Brooke Deratany Goldfarb

By BROOKE DERATANY GOLDFARB When people go to court, they are naturally nervous, angry, upset or afraid. Much usually hangs in the balance. Cases are almost always complicated and must be resolved as judiciously as possible. Individuals are rarely all good or all bad or all right or all wrong, but the one thing they all have in common is that they want to be treated fairly. The judge’s robe and iconic blind over the eyes of Lady Justice are meant to symbolize the closing off of the judge from bias, prejudice and political influence. Judges should make decisions based solely on the unique facts of the case before them and the applicable law and do so with honor, dignity, wisdom, respect and justice for all. One man’s frivolous case is another man’s dying cause, but what are the facts of the case and what law applies? These are the questions for a judge to consider. A … [Read more...]

Convicted killer of 8 gets a stay of execution

(CNN) -- A flurry of last-minute legal maneuvers Tuesday spared, for now, the life of John Ferguson, a Florida death row inmate who suffers from mental illness and at one point called himself the 'prince of God.' Ferguson, a diagnosed schizophrenic convicted of killing eight people, was scheduled to get the lethal injection Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET at a Florida State Prison. But an appeals court in Atlanta granted an emergency stay of execution Tuesday night. Florida officials then asked the Supreme Court to allow the lethal injection to proceed. Just before midnight the high court denied Florida's request, keeping in place the stay of execution, according to court documents. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/23/justice/florida-ferguson-execution/index.html … [Read more...]

‘Wage theft’ law passes Broward commission

October 23, 2012|By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel A controversial law that would empower workers to easily go after their employers for pay was approved Tuesday after two hours of debate by the Broward County Commission. The law was denounced by the business community, who over the course of months called it hostile, insulting and unnecessary. They won a consolation — the law's terminology was changed from "wage theft'' to "non-payment of earned wages.'' http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-10-23/news/fl-wage-theft-final-vote-20121023_1_wage-theft-law-broward-commission-commissioner-ilene-lieberman … [Read more...]

Miami attorney David Podein triumphs with fellow cancer survivors on Alaskan Mountain Range

David Podein - Alaska

SPECIAL to The Florida Law Journal -- MIAMI -- While some lawyers enjoy relaxing at a beach or resort for their vacations away from the office, David Podein had something different – and much colder – in mind. He’d already had a work-filled summer that included a professional triumph in which he prevailed in a 10-day construction arbitration. But he followed that with a quiet personal victory, when he embarked on a six-day mountaineering expedition on the Coffee Glacier in the Alaskan Mountain Range with five fellow cancer survivors. During his second year at the University of Miami School of Law, Podein was diagnosed with cancer.  He withdrew from class and moved back home to Michigan so his parents could help with his medical care as he underwent three months of rigorous chemotherapy treatment. Now a proud cancer survivor more than five years, Podein lives in Miami and … [Read more...]

Florida Supreme Court retention race unusually stressful, costly this election

By JANE MUSGRAVE -- Palm Beach Post Staff Writer In a typical election year, Florida Supreme Court justices put $500 in their campaign accounts and after the votes are counted, they withdraw the money and settle in for another six years. This year, Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince each have about $330,000 in their campaign war chests. They are touring the state, talking to business groups, visiting newspaper editorial boards, making robo-calls to voters and hoping they survive http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/florida-supreme-court-retention-race-unusually-str/nSb9t/ … [Read more...]