Department of Discipline

When I was growing up, my parents made me sand and stain a paddle, and drill twenty-six holes in it.  Inscribed on the paddle were these words:  “When love and talking doesn’t work, then love and I will.”  While the paddle was made for me, it never touched my butt.  (Got all my brothers and sisters, though.)  I talked myself out of more spankings…maybe that is why I became a lawyer. You do not have to live with your parents.  The Justice System will feed you. What you fail to learn at home you can get in court:  discipline and something to do with your time.  Judges can find a little public service for you to do or some nights locked up away from home. My mom was good at making sure kids had something to do.  She kept us busy to keep us out of trouble.  Her strategy worked for the most part.  Being a lawyer does not keep me out of jail, but it does keep me busy…and, no, I am not an overnight guest at the jail. Happy Mother’s Day!   Read More

Importance of Jury Duty

Jury duty is not always glamorous, but it is an important part of our Justice System, both for the legal process and for the people affected by it. Jury Duty is an opportunity for the Judicial Branch to showcase legal procedure to the public.  It is live, reality courtroom drama, and if you are selected to sit on a jury, then you have a reserved seat up front for the trial. Furthermore, jury duty also lets you help decide the fate of people in your community.  The Sixth Amendment gives us the right to trial by jury, and your voter’s registration puts you on the list of potential jurors.  Registration requirements include:  US citizenship, at least 18 years old, Florida driver’s license or state identification, and a resident of Florida in the respective county. As the Florida Bar points out regarding jury duty:  “Attendance is essential to the fair administration of justice.” If you are not a registered voter in Florida, please visit the Florida Division of Elections at http://doe.dos.state.fl.us/voter-registration/index.shtml, where you can register to vote, check the status of your registration, and learn more about voter registration in Florida.   Read More

Mothers & Law

“When love and talking doesn’t work, then love and I will.”  Those were the words handwritten on the paddle when I was growing up.  What you fail to learn at home you can get in court:  discipline and something to do with your time. You do not have to live with your parents.  The Justice System will feed you. “You may outgrow your responsibility to listen to your parents, but you will never outgrow your responsibility to obey the law.”  That is a quote from Judge Alexander and Judge Wolfe.  They go on to point out that if you fail to obey the law, you may put a stranger “in charge of telling you everything from where you can go and what you can do, all the way down to what you can wear, and what you can eat.” “The best way to remain in charge of your own life is to know the law and obey it.” –Judge Alexander and Judge Wolfe. Happy Mother’s Day!   Read More

Sense of Justice

Sense of Justice According to comedienne, Tina Fey, “Nothing is scarier, by the way, than a bunch of adults being very quiet.”  That is a panel of justices for you, or a jury, or just a judge with a seething silence.  The courtroom tends to be a quiet place:  the serene halls of justice upheld by an armed guy who will shoot you if you get rowdy. You can always represent yourself in court; however, there are many nuances and complexities of law, as well as updates which help keep our justice system an evolutionary part of American government.  These are good reasons to have good representation whether you enter a court of law as a plaintiff or a defendant.  An attorney can help guide you through the legal process, review the possible outcomes, and prepare your case for the best benefit to you. Plus a panel of justices can be a tough audience to play to.   Read More