Florida Supreme Court Says Judges, Lawyers Can Be Facebook ‘Friends’

Chief Justice Charles Canady, writing for the majority in a Miami-Dade County case, drew distinctions between Facebook relationships and other types of friendships. Canady wrote that court precedents establish that “not every relationship characterized as a friendship provides a basis for disqualification. “A Facebook ‘friend’ may or may not be a ‘friend’ in the traditional sense of the word,” Canady wrote for a four-member majority that included justices Ricky Polston, Jorge Labarga and Alan Lawson. But Justice Barbara Pariente, in a dissent joined by justices R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince, said the court should adopt a “strict rule” requiring judges to remove themselves from cases involving lawyers who are their Facebook friends. “The bottom line is that because of their indeterminate nature and the real possibility of impropriety, social media friendships between judges and lawyers who appear in the judge’s courtroom should not be permitted,” Pariente wrote. The ruling stemmed from an appeal filed by the Herssein Law Group, which has been involved in a legal battle with a former client, United States Automobile Association, about attorney fees and alleged fraud and breach of contract.

The law firm sought the disqualification of Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko because she was a Facebook friend with attorney Israel Reyes, who was hired to represent a company official in the case. Butchko refused to step aside, leading the Herssein Law Group to take the issue to the 3rd District Court of Appeal. After losing at the appeals court, the Herssein Law Group went to the Supreme Court, which agreed to consider the issue. “Just don’t be Facebook friends with lawyers who appear in front you,” he said. “It goes back to the word I came up (with) in the beginning (of the arguments) — which is optics. In his 20-page majority opinion Thursday, however, Canady offered a lengthy comparison of Facebook friendships and other types of relationships. “In short, the mere fact that a Facebook ‘friendship’ exists provides no significant information about the nature of any relationship between the Facebook ‘friends,’” Canady wrote. “Therefore, the mere existence of a Facebook ‘friendship’ between a judge and an attorney appearing before the judge, without more, does not reasonably convey to others the impression of an inherently close or intimate relationship. But even though he was part of the majority, Labarga wrote a concurring opinion in which he “strongly” urged judges not to have Facebook accounts. “I recognize that in this day and age, Facebook may be the primary means some judges use to stay in touch with family members, actual friends, or people with whom they have reconnected after many years,” Labarga wrote. ©2018 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Good faith is a term which is not defined anywhere in the Code, but has an established meaning. By adding a definition here, is Congress intending to define good faith elsewhere in the Code or is this a special subset of good faith applicable only to this subsection? Considering whether the debtor rejected a reasonable proposal from the lender and whether the debtor needs to modify the loan in order to be able to pay his debts both make good sense. However, what to make of the provision that the debtor is not acting in good faith if he has been convicted of fraud with respect to the loan? Do we really need to put this in a statute or isn’t it obvious? Wedged inbetween sections 103 and 105, which contain the mortgage modification provisions, is section 104 which establishes a new procedure for establishing the reasonableness of post-petition fees and charges assessed to a debtor. The statute would take effect upon enactment and would apply to cases filed before, on or after that date.

As a result, debtors with pending cases could go back and modify their plans under this legislation. What Are The Lessons Here? What can we learn from this confusing bill? A few lessons for drafting emerge. 1. Don’t add unnecessary definitions to Sec. 101of the Bankruptcy Code. It is too long and confusing as it is. 2. Don’t tie definitions in Title 11 to executive branch documents. While H.R. 1106 does this with the Obama Administration’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s table entitled “Average Primate Offer Rates—Fixed,” BAPCPA made the same mistake when it incorporated the IRS collection standards. There are two problems here, one practical and one substantive. The practical problem is that tying legislation to outside sources requires the reader to consult another document in order to understand the legislation. The substantive problem is that the legislative branch is effectively allowing the executive branch to define the content of a statute. This raises important separation of powers issues. 3. Don’t rely on a complicated solution when a simple one will do because there may be unintended consequences.

In Sec. 101, the bill excludes home mortgages from the chapter 13 eligibility limits. This means that a debtor could file chapter 13 even though he had a million dollar home and a million dollar vacation home. While that may benefit AIG executives who may face financial hardship from not receiving large bonuses anymore, it doesn’t really help the average homeowner. 4. Don’t add feel-good grounds for objecting to claims in Sec. 502(b) if they aren’t necessary. One of the reasons that the Bankruptcy Code is beginning to resemble the Internal Revenue Code (or the Los Angeles phone book) is that Congress keeps adding minutiae to existing statutes. BAPCPA did this to Sec. 362 and 523. Adding a definition of good faith applicable only to home mortgage modifications is confusing and could change the meaning of the term in other situations as well. Stating that value will be determined according to Sec.

506(a)(1) and then setting specific rules for determining value under that section is confusing and contradictory. 5. Keep similar provisions together. HR 1106 tosses rules for eligibility for mortgage modification and determining interest rates around randomly, requiring the reader to go to multiple locations to figure out how the statute works. 6. Don’t come up with a complicated solution when a simple one is available. The Supreme Court provided a standard for calculating interest rates in bankruptcy which was elegant in its simplicity. Rather than using the existing concept, HR 1106 requires the reader to look up a table published somewhere else and then requires the court to apply a “reasonable” risk premium. Why not just use the prime rate plus an appropriate risk premium. The effort to incorporate the Obama Administration’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is confusing at best. This Plan factors into the legislation in at least three places. First, it applies in determining eligibility for mortgage modification depending upon whether the lender made a proposal in compliance with the Obama Administration’s Plan and whether the debtor “considered” it.

If all the debtor has to do is “consider” a proposal from the lender, wouldn’t it be easier to just say that the debtor has to consider any proposal offered by the lender in good faith? Second, the Obama Plan comes into play in determining whether the debtor’s proposal is made in good faith. Wouldn’t it be easier to just say that the debtor can’t modify the mortgage if the debtor rejected a plan which was at least as generous as the debtor could have obtained in bankruptcy? Finally, the Obama Plan is used in deciding whether the debtor should be allowed to propose a plan which reduces the interest rate but doesn’t reduce principal. Wouldn’t it be easier just to say that the debtor cannot reduce principal if an interest rate reduction would be enough to make the plan work? 7. Don’t include meaningless requirements. Requiring the debtor to “consider” an offer from the lender doesn’t impose a meaningful restriction, since the debtor is free to consider the proposal and then reject it. Similarly, does it really help to say that a debtor who has been convicted of fraud in connection with a loan is not acting in good faith? This will exclude very few debtors while potentially protecting fraudulent actors who managed to avoid a criminal conviction. Thus, the “restriction” lets in more people than it keeps out. I haven’t had a chance to review the Senate Bill yet. However, if it is as quirky and complex as the House bill, the likelihood that a conference committee could sort out the difficulties or that the resulting product would make any sense are not cause for optimism.

The U.S. Supreme Court was established by Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution granted the Supreme Court ultimate jurisdiction over all laws, especially those in which their constitutionality was at issue. The high court was also designated to oversee cases concerning treaties of the United States, foreign diplomats, admiralty practice, and maritime jurisdiction. On February 1, 1790, the first session of the U.S. Supreme Court was held in New York City’s Royal Exchange Building. The U.S. Supreme Court grew into the most important judicial body in the world in terms of its central place in the American political order. According to the Constitution, the size of the court is set by Congress, and the number of justices varied during the 19th century before stabilizing in 1869 at nine. In times of constitutional crisis, the nation’s highest court has always played a definitive role in resolving, for better or worse, the great issues of the time.

Mulroy is a Democratic candidate for the Devlin vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit. Upon graduation from Loyola Law School, I was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney and began my career as a courtroom lawyer. As a federal prosecutor I tried many jury cases in federal court and argued numerous matters before the Seventh Circuit. I joined Jenner & Block in 1976 and remained with the firm for twenty-five years. I tried criminal and commercial jury cases throughout the country in the state and federal courts. I was very active in the representation of indigent clients through Catholic Charities, Legal Assistance Foundation and the Federal Defender Program. While at Jenner, I was a member of the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission and was appointed Special Council to the Commission and prosecuted two members of the Commission for misconduct. I was an instructor of trial practice at Northwestern, Loyola and DePaul law schools and published numerous articles on trial practice and procedure. I established “The Mulroy Award for Excellence in Evidence” at Loyola Law School.

I have given many presentations on trial issues and on lawyers’ ethics to practicing attorneys throughout the country. In 2000, I left Jenner to begin my own firm. I represented the retired partners of Arthur Andersen in the wake of the Enron scandal and Andersen’s bankruptcy in order to recover some of their life savings lost as the result of Andersen’s scandal. In 2003, I was recruited by Mcguirewoods to be chairman of its litigation department prior to its merger with Ross Hardies. I could not resist the opportunity of joining a national firm of almost 1000 lawyers in fifteen cities. I was found highly qualified to be a judge by the Chicago Bar, Women’s Bar, Decalogue Society and Chicago Council of Lawyers. I am the endorsed Democratic candidate for the 12th Judicial Sub Circuit. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote that “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” Above all, we need judges who are experienced. Cook County judicial candidates are invited to submit their own personal essays. For more information about the “In Their Own Words” challenge, click here.

We contest criminal cases relating to NRI’s and citizens of other countries in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Our NRI clients and clients who are foreign citizens primarily belong to USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Our clients also include domestic and international corporate houses which have legal issues relating to criminal law in India. We represent individuals, institutions and corporate houses and provide expert advice based on long experience in criminal practice matters including criminal appeals, CRA in High Court, criminal revisions, quashing of fir, anticipatory bails a regular bails. We conduct cases with personal attention, discretion, commitment and unshakeable dedication. They eliminate incertitude from court cases by deeply studying and minutely examining all the relevant facts and circumstances of the cases. Our top Criminal lawyers in Chandigarh distinguish themselves from the pack. We have conducted hundreds of trials in district courts in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula and appeals before all levels of court, including Punjab and Haryana High Court and Supreme Court of India.

2. who feel that police are corrupt and are helping the accused because the accused have bribed the police. And because of these reasons such complainants want that their cases should be transferred to the Central bureau of investigation (CBI) which is a Central government agency for investigating crimes and is beyond approach of corrupt local politicians and police. We also have clients who have criminal cases in which CBI is the prosecuting agency. Such criminal cases are highly complex matters that need attention to each and every detail. Apart from CBI, we also have considerable experience in handling cases relating to narcotics control bureau and state vigilance Department’s under Prevention of Corruption Act. How are top criminal lawyers different from others? We understand that the consequences of conviction in a criminal case are terrible. Not only that, they understand that a person comes under tremendous stress the moment he’s charged with a criminal offence either on the basis of First Information Report or criminal complaint.

In such circumstances a person needs not only an expert and seasoned advice but also a criminal lawyer who can lend his years and here all aspects of the case before he actually starts preparing it. We believe that under these circumstances, choosing only the best criminal lawyers in Chandigarh to defend and represent you in a criminal case is the most important decision you will make life. Can you let just one mistake in life change your entire life? What matters the most to you? Clients are not bothered with the beauty and creativity in legal arguments and the perfect drafting of their criminal cases. The only thing which matters to them is winning. We are famous for winning cases, successfully defending the accused regardless of the seriousness of the charges, the arguments of the government pleader/ Deputy advocate general/ Additional Advocate General or the strength of the prosecution’s case.

The belief in fearless defense against allegations of crime and criminal charges from the simplest to the most complex criminal court cases make them the best. Criminal court cases in India are of many types. Some of these cases are mentioned below. Anticipatory Bails and Regular Bails under sections 438 and 439 respectively – Anticipatory Bail is file before a person is arrested. It is bail “in anticipation of arrest.” Regular Bail is file when a person is already in jail and wants to come out of incarceration. Trial and Evidence under provisions of CrPC – Once First Information Report is registered against the person or a criminal complaint is filed against a person, cases heard in original jurisdiction of a criminal court. This is called trial. Evidence is lead in trial. Suspension of Sentence under section 389 – Once trial is over, a person may file a criminal appeal or criminal revision. If such a person is already in jail, he can file application for suspension of sentence under section 389 along with criminal appeal criminal revision come out of incarceration.

Criminal Writs under Constitution of India – writ of habeas corpus can be filed if a person is in illegal confinement. A person who is illegally confined is therefore set free through this writ of habeas corpus. In a criminal case, allegations are based on substantive provisions of Indian Penal Code. These provisions define the offences and provide punishment for such offences. Your case may be related to these or other penal provisions of Indian Penal Code or even other penal statutes in India. A sample of some penal provisions is given below. Our top-notch senior advocates and lawyers in Chandigarh High Court successfully contest cases where allegations have been made under these offenses. Section 302 Murder – is considered to be one of the most serious offense. Section 304 Culpable homicide not amounting to murder – first part deals with an act by which the death is caused but when that act is not done with intention of causing death. Example – sword attack without intention to cause death; second part deals with case when act is done with knowledge that the act is likely to cause death.