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Honorable James D. Whittemore

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Title:
Honorable James D. Whittemore an oral history
Physical Description:
1 online resource (6 p.) : ill. ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Buck, Morison
Publisher:
Morisosn Buck
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Judges -- Biography -- Florida -- Hillsborough County   ( lcsh )

Notes

Original Version:
Originally published as part of the "Chips off the Old Bench" column: Tampa, Fla. : Hillsborough County, February 1999, Lawyer under title:
General Note:
Title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
usfldc doi - B28-00011
usfldc handle - b28.11
NEW
System ID:
SFS0000056:00001


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PAGE 1

H on or ab l e Jam e s D Wh i t t e m or e A n O r al H i s t or y T he f ol l ow i ng i s a c ont i nuat i on f r om D e c e m be r 1998 of an i nt e r v i e w w i t h C i r c ui t J udge J am e s D W hi t t e m or e r e c i pi e nt of t he Y L S 1998 M os t O ut s t andi ng J udge A w ar d. T hi s pr e s t i gi ous pr i z e c al l e d t he R obe r t W P at t on A w ar d i s a f e at ur e of L aw D ay e ac h y e ar C onduc t i ng t he i nt e r v i e w i s R e t i r e d J udge M or i s on B uc k Q W e a l l know t ha t t he C hi e f J udge ha s t ot a l c ont r ol ove r w ho goe s t o w ha t di vi s i on. S om e of t he C i r c ui t s l i ke t he 6t h ( P i ne l l a s a nd P a s c o) us e d t o h a ve a m a nd a t or y r ot a t i on s ys t e m w he r e you h a d t o go f r om c r i m i na l t o c i vi l t o j uve ni l e t o f a m i l y l a w W ha t do you t hi nk of t ha t pl a n? A T he r e 's a r gum e nt s on bot h s i de s of t ha t I pr a c t i c e d i n P i ne l l a s C ount y a nd i t w a s l i t t l e unne r vi ng t o m e w he n you s t a r t e d a c a s e e s pe c i a l l y a c r i m i na l c a s e w i t h one j udge a nd you f i ni s he d w i t h a not he r j udge I t t ook a l i t t l e bi t a w a y f r om s om e of you e f f o r t be c a us e m a ny t i m e s your c l i e nt w oul d e nd up pl e a di ng gui l t y o r no c ont e s t a nd j us t a bout e ve r yt hi ng you di d i n f r ont o f t ha t j udge m i g ht ha ve a n e f f e c t on di s pos i t i on o f t he c a s e S o i t w a s a b i t unne r vi n g t o s udde nl y w a l k i n a nd s e e a ne w f a c e F r om a j udi c i a l pe r s pe c t i ve w e 'r e l uc ky i n T a m p a O ur C hi e f J udge a nd m a j or i t y of j udge s f e e l t he r e s houl d be s om e di s c r e t i on a nd t ha t he i s be s t s ui t e d t o de t e r m i ne t he s t r e ngt hs a nd w e a kne s s e s of a l l of us A s t he ne e d a r i s e s he c a n r ot a t e a nd r e a s s i gn, a nd i t 's w or ke d out ve r y w e l l I t hi nk f o r t he j udge s l a w ye r s a nd l i t i ga nt s T he ot he r s i de of t he a r gum e nt i f a f t e r s pe a ki ng w i t h ot he r J udge s a r ound t he s t a t e s om e t i m e s i t 's he a l t hy f or c ha nge pa r t i c ul a r l y i f you ha ve a ve r y de m a ndi ng doc ke t S om e t i m e s m ovi ng a r ound he l ps t o a voi d t he bur nout f a c t or W e 've got t h e be s t of bot h t he w or l ds i n t he 13t h C i r c ui t Q I s t he m ot i on c a l e nda r w hi c h c a m e a t a t i m e w he n I ha d s om e i nvol ve m e nt w i t h s t a r t i ng, s t i l l i n pl a c e ? A B y a dm i ni s t r a t i ve or de r w e a l l ha ve i t I c a n r e m e m be r w he n i t w a s e na c t e d. I t w a s a good t hi ng t he n, a nd a good t hi ng now I t a f f or ds a r e gul a r oppor t u ni t y f o r l a w ye r s t o ge t m ot i ons he a r d on a n e xpe di t e d ba s i s I t a l s o f r e e s up a l ot o f t i m e dur i ng t he da y f or m or e s ubs t a nt i ve m a t t e r s a nd l e ngt hi e r pr oc e e di ng s I ha ve a f o r m of t ha t t ha t I ut i l i z e i n t he a f t e r noon f or di s c ove r y pr oc e e di ngs I ha ve m y ow n uni f o r m c a l e nda r f or di s c ove r y. Q H ow o f t e n do you s c he dul e t ha t ? A I do t ha t 4 da ys a w e e k M onda y t hr ough T hu r s da y a t 4: 00, pr e t t y m uc h f i r s t c om e f i r s t s e r ve d. W e us ua l l y c a p i t o f f a t 8 o r 10 c a s e s W ha t i t doe s i s f r e e up m y

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m or ni ng f o r U M C t o de a l w i t h m o r e s ubs t a nt i ve m a t t e r s I t 's w or ke d out w e l l f or m e a nyw a y, a nd w e 've ha d f e w c om pl a i nt s s o hope f ul l y t he l a w ye r s a ppr e c i a t e i t Q C a n you t hi nk of a ny m o t i on c a l e nda r p r oc e e di ngs t ha t m i ght be i m pr ove d or m odi f i e d? A O ne t hi ng I do t ha t he l p s m e f r om a n a dm i ni s t r a t i ve s t a ndpoi nt W e a l w a ys know w ho's goi ng t o be t he r e i n t he m o r ni ng. S om e j udg e s j us t a l l ow t he l a w ye r s t o s how up, on not i c e I 'm not s ur e w hi c h w a y i s be s t but f o r m e i t 's be t t e r m or e or de r l y t o know how m a ny I 've go t c om i ng i n, a nd t ha t w a y w e a vo i d ha vi ng t oo m a ny i n a ny 45 m i nut e pe r i od de vot e d t o t ha t Q H ow m uc h not i c e do you r e qui r e be gi ve n on U M C he a r i ngs ? A Y ou've got t o gi ve r e a s ona bl e not i c e I 'm not s ur e t he A dm i ni s t r a t i ve O r de r a ddr e s s e s e xa c t l y how m a ny da ys I don't t hi nk a n yt hi ng l e s s t ha n f i ve da ys i s r e a s ona bl e unl e s s t he r e 's a n a gr e e m e nt M a ny t i m e s t he r e i s a n a gr e e m e nt G e ne r a l l y, l a w ye r s gi ve 7 t o 10 da ys i f not 2 w e e ks not i c e Q I a m i nt e r e s t e d i n your s pe c i a l s e t t i ng f our da ys a w e e k f or di s c ove r y m a t t e r s W ha t a r e your not i c e r e qui r e m e nt s i n t hos e c a s e s ? A P r e t t y m uc h t he s a m e ; r e a s ona bl e not i c e of a t l e a s t a w e e k. D ur i ng j ur y t r i a l s I don't r un t ha t doc ke t unl e s s t he r e a r e e m e r ge nc i e s S om e t i m e s t ha t w i nds up ha unt i ng m e but m y f e e l i ng i s t ha t onc e a j u r y t r i a l s t a r t s i t s houl dn't be i nt e r r upt e d. W he n w e s t a r t a t 8: 30 or 9 : 00 i n t he m o r ni ng, w e go t hr oughout t he da y a nd I m a y s e t a m ot i on l a t e i n t he w e e k, t hi nki ng t ha t a t r i a l c oul d f i ni s h e a r l y I don' t know t ha t a l l t he j udge s do t ha t but i t 's a l uxur y I c a n a f f or d w he n I do d i s c ove r y he a r i ngs i n t he a f t e r noon. Q W ho i s t he A dm i ni s t r a t i ve J udge i n G e ne r a l C i vi l now ? A G a s pa r F i c a r r o t t a Q T ur ni ng t o a l i t t l e di f f e r e nt a r e a f or a m om e nt W ha t do you t hi nk of t he c ur r e nt l e ve l of p r of e s s i ona l i s m a m ong l a w ye r s i n t he T a m pa a nd H i l l s bor ough C ount y B a r ? A I t hi nk ove r a l l w e 've got a n e xc e l l e nt r e put a t i on f or pr of e s s i ona l i s m I 've ha d m a ny l a w ye r s f r om O r l a ndo, J a c ks onvi l l e F t L a ude r da l e a nd M i a m i c om m e nt f r om t i m e t o t i m e how c om f o r t a bl e t he y f e e l i n T a m pa w he n t h e y c om e t o a r gue m ot i ons a nd t r y c a s e s T he de m a nds a nd pr e s s ur e s of t he p r a c t i c e a r e gr e a t a nd t he y'r e r i s i ng. T t hi nk i t 's not s om e t hi ng t ha t 's got t e n be t t e r or w or s e I t hi nk w e 've a l w a ys ha d a ve r y good a t m os phe r e i n T a m pa I ha ve not i c e d a bi t m o r e a c r i m ony, i f you w i l l a nd I t hi nk t ha t 's not a pr oduc t of l a c k of pr of e s s i ona l i s m a s m uc h a s i t i s t he de m a nds of t he bus i ne s s Q E c onom i c pr e s s ur e s ? A E c onom i c pr e s s ur e s t i m e pr e s s ur e s I do he a r w a r s t or i e s f r om ot he r pa r t s of t he s t a t e but I a l s o he a r j udge s s a y t ha t i t 's g e t t i ng be t t e r ove r a l l pr i m a r i l y be c a us e t he j udge s a r e i nvol ve d, t he t r i a l a s s o c i a t i ons a r e a l s o a c t i ve l y i nvol ve d, t he I nns of C our t a r e i nvol ve d, a nd I t hi nk t he r e i s a n a w a r e ne s s t ha t w e don't ha ve t o be a nyt hi ng but pr of e s s i ona l t o be s uc c e s s f ul a nd ge t t he s e c a s e s r e s ol ve d. S o i t ha s w or ke d out w e l l f o r e ve r yone Q H a ve you ha d a ny e xpe r i e nc e c om pa r a bl e w i t h w ha t D i s t r i c t J udge B uc kl e w t ol d m e a f e w m on t hs a go? S he ha d one c a s e w he r e dur i ng voi r di r e e xa m i na t i o n a pr os pe c t i ve j ur or s a i d t ha t s he di dn't t r us t l a w ye r s a nd w oul dn't be l i e ve a nyt hi ng t he y s a i d, i n ge ne r a l H a ve you ha d a nyt hi ng t ha t bl a t a n t ? A N ot qu i t e t ha t d i r e c t but I ha ve e nc our a ge d j ur o r s on voi r di r e t o a s k que s t i ons A nd I us e a n a na l ogy w he n e xpl a i ni ng t ha t i t 's oka y t o ha ve s t r ong f e e l i ngs on c e r t a i n

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s ubj e c t s i nc l udi ng l a w ye r s a nd l a w s ui t s I a l w a ys ge t a c huc kl e a bout t ha t a nd I s a y t ha t you m i ght not l i ke l a w ye r s but you unde r s t a nd you r r ol e a s j ur or s a nd you s houl d a s k t he l a w ye r s que s t i ons W ha t I ge t i n r e t ur n, a t l e a s t t he i ni t i a l r e a c t i ons i s a l a ugh be c a us e t he y unde r s t a nd t ha t not e ve r yone l ove s l a w ye r s I c a n s a y t ha t by a nd l a r ge by t he c onc l us i on of t he t r i a l t hos e j u r or s a c know l e dge a n d r e c ogni z e t he i m po r t a nc e of l a w ye r s i n our s oc i e t y. I t hi nk i t 's a t ongue i n c he e k ki ddi n g. I ha ve n't ha d a nybody s a y i t di r e c t l y a s di d J udge B uc kl e w Q D ur i ng your s e r vi c e a s C i r c ui t J udge ha ve you e ve r f ound i t ne c e s s a r y t o hol d a l a w ye r i n c ont e m pt f or vi ol a t i ng a ny of t he r u l e s or c a no ns gove r ni ng a t t or ne ys du r i ng a he a r i ng or t r i a l ? A O nc e Q ( C om m e nt ) W i t hout na m i ng na m e s pe r ha ps A ( L a ughs ) I c oul d a l m os t na m e na m e s T he l a w y e r w oul dn't m i n d but I ha ppe n t o know t hi s l a w ye r ve r y w e l l I t w a s a s i t ua t i on w he r e hi s c l i e nt ha d pos s e s s i o n of a n a r t i c l e t ha t w a s t he s ubj e c t o f a l a w s ui t f o r a na l ys i s a nd t e s t i ng a nd t he y w oul dn't r e t u r n i t A f t e r a c oupl e of he a r i ngs I ha d d i r e c t e d t ha t i t be r e t ur ne d. T he l a w ye r ha d s om e c ont r ol ove r t he c l i e nt a nd t he pa r t i c ul a r pi e c e o f m a c hi ne r y. I f i na l l y i m pos e d s a nc t i ons D on't r e c a l l i f I a c t ua l l y he l d h i m i n c ont e m pt o r j u s t us e d t he w or d. Q I t w oul d ha ve ne c e s s a r i l y be e n i ndi r e c t c r i m i na l c ont e m pt w oul d i t not ? A E ve nt ua l l y I s i gne d a n O r de r t ha t i t be r e t ur ne d a nd i t w a s n't T he n i t be c a m e a l i t t l e m or e s e r i ous a nd I i m pos e d a f i ne on a da i l y ba s i s a nd t he m a c hi ne r y w a s qui c kl y r e t ur ne d. I don't know i f t he f i ne w a s e ve r pa i d. W e l a ugh a bout i t now O ppos i ng c ouns e l w a s a good f r i e nd. I t w a s n't a nyt hi ng m o r e t ha n a l i t t l e bi t of a t a c t i c a l m ov e W i t h r e s pe c t t o c onc e pt of c ont e m pt j udge s ha ve r e s pons i bi l i t i e s t o m a i nt a i n or de r T he c a nons s t a r t w i t h t ha t p r e a m bl e T he us e of t he c on t e m pt pow e r i s s om e t hi ng you ne ve r w a nt t o us e I ha ve r a i s e d i t a s a pot e nt i a l c ons e que nc e on a f e w oc c a s i ons F o r t una t e l y I ha ve n't ha d t o e xe r c i s e i t Q E ve r ha d a ny w i t ne s s e s or pa r t i e s i n t he c our s e of a t r i a l or c ha m be r s he a r i ng c r e a t e a ny di s r upt i on o r upr oa r o r ot he r oppr ob r i ou s be ha vi or t ha t you ha d t o c a l l dow n? A N ot t oo of t e n W e ha ve ha d f r om t i m e t o t i m e p r obl e m s w i t h w i t ne s s e s w ho a r e not ha ppy a bout be i ng he r e I do r e c a l l not t oo l on g a go i n a gi ve n t r a i l w e ha d a j ur y t r i a l s pe c t a t or t ha t I obs e r ve d i n m y m i nd a t t e m p t i ng t o i nf l ue nc e ne ga t i ve l y a w i t ne s s t o i nt i m i da t e t he w i t ne s s w ho w a s ve r y unc o m f or t a bl e I t w a s obvi ous t he w a y t he s pe c t a t or pos i t i one d he r s e l f t ha t s he w a s a t t e m pt i ng t o m a ke e ye c ont a c t w i t h t he w i t ne s s A f t e r t a ki ng a br e a k a nd c onf e r r i ng w i t h c ouns e l I ba r r e d he r f r om t he c our t r oom I i ns t r uc t e d t he ba i l i f f t o qui e t l y t e l l t he of f e nde r t o s i t i n t he w a i t i ng r oom I di dn't w a nt t o f oc us on he r or e m ba r r a s s he r a nd t hi s w a s a l l i n t he p r e s e nc e of t he j u r y. I a dvi s e d t he l a w ye r s t ha t w e ne e d e d t o a voi d e ve n t he pot e nt i a l r i s k t ha t a w i t ne s s w oul d be c onc e r ne d a bout t e s t i f yi ng. W h a t I ha ve f ounds a s a j udge a nd I t hi nk m a ny o f t he j udge s he r e f e e l t he s a m e w a y, i s t ha t pe opl e of t e n c om e t o c our t e m ot i ona l l y ups e t or a ng r y, a nd t he y s e ns e t ha t t he j udge i s goi ng t o be f a i r a nd w i l l l i s t e n a nd w i l l t r e a t t he m w i t h r e s pe c t a nd di gni t y, i t m i t i ga t e s a ga i ns t out bur s t s a nd i na ppr opr i a t e c onduc t S o w e don't s e e m uc h of t ha t Y ou t r y t o ni p i t i n t he bud w he n you s e e i t H ow t he ba i l i f f t r e a t s t he pe opl e i s i m por t a nt O ur ba i l i f f s t r e a t pe opl e ve r y r e s pe c t f ul l y a nd w i t h di gni t y. T he w a y t he J A s a ddr e s s t he m i s a not he r f a c t or I t 's c om m uni c a t i on m or e t h a n a nyt hi ng.

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Q W ha t do you e xpe c t f r om a t t or ne y w i t h r e s pe c t t o t he i r c onduc t w i t h oppos i ng c ouns e l i n t r i a l s a nd he a r i ngs ? A I 've got s om e f a i r l y s t r ong f e e l i ngs a bout t ha t A nd I t hi nk m o s t l a w ye r s a gr e e a nd m os t j udge s do. T he y s houl d not a ddr e s s e a c h ot he r dur i ng t he c our s e o f a he a r i ng unl e s s t he j udge i nvi t e s t he m t o T he y s houl dn't a r gue a c r os s t he t a bl e w i t h one a not he r I us e a n a na l ogy s pe a ki ng t o young l a w ye r s W hy do you w a nt t o t a l k t o t he l a w ye r a c r os s t he t a bl e w he n he or s he i s not m a ki ng t he d e c i s i on i n t he c a s e ? Y ou ought t o be a ddr e s s i ng t he de c i s i on m a ke r A nd t ha t s e e m s t o r i ng t r ue w i t h l a w ye r s I t 's unpr of e s s i ona l f or l a w ye r s t o do t ha t a nd I s t op i t I t hi nk l a w ye r s s houl d now t he i r a udi e nc e t o know t he i r j udge i n t e r m s or hi s or he r ba c kgr ound. T he y s houl d unde r s t a nd w ha t pa r t i c ul a r t h i ngs t hi s j udge m a y r e qui r e of t h e m s uc h a s br i e f s o r m e m os w he t he r a j udge l i ke hi ghl i ght i ng of pa r t s of a c our t op i ni on J udge S pi c ol a a nd I f e l t s t r ong l y e nough a bout t he s ubj e c t of m e m or a nda t ha t w e pu t up a s i gn i n ou r he a r i ng r oom s t ha t a l l m e m os or b r i e f s w e r e t o be s ubm i t t e d a t l e a s t t w o da ys pr i or t o he a r i ngs T ha t gi ve s us a c ha nc e t o r e a d t he m i ns t e a d of b r i ng g i ve n t he m d ur i ng t he c our s e of t he he a r i ng w he n t he r e i s not t i m e t o r e a d t he m T ha t 's a w or k a bl e s ol ut i on t o not onl y e nc our a gi ng br i e f i ng, w hi c h I do, but a l s o m a ki ng t he t i m e t o r e a d a nd unde r s t a nd i t a nd be p r e pa r e d f or t he he a r i ngs Q ( C om m e nt ) F or w ha t i t 's w o r t h, m y f e e l i ng i s t h a t w ha t you've done i s a s ound pr a c t i c e I r e c a l l ye a r s a go a c a s e be f or e J udge P a r ks w ho s a t i n t he ve r y pl a c e w he r e you a r e now O ne of t he s e ni or l a w ye r s he r e a ve r y c a pa bl e m a n w i t h a dour pe r s ona l i t y a nd s of t s poke n, w oul d i nva r i a bl y w hi p out a m e m or a n dum w hi c h t he ot he r s i de ha dn't s e e n a nd w a s c ons e que nt l y una bl e t o r e s pond t o Q D o you ha ve a ny s pe c i a l t e c hni que s i n m a i nt a i n i ng de c or um i n your t r i a l s ? A I ha ve gone s o f a r a s t o dr a f t a nd ut i l i z e a w r i t t e n or de r of t r i a l p r oc e dur e s t ha t I s i gn i n e ve r y c a s e t o be t r i e d i n f r ont o f a j ur y I t a ddr e s s e s pr ope r de c or um not m a ki ng s pe a ki ng m ot i ons i n t he j u r y's pr e s e nc e gi vi ng l e g a l r a t he r t ha n nonl e ga l g r ounds f or obj e c t i ons A t pr e t r i a l I a l w a ys di s c us s w i t h t he l a w ye r s t he i m por t a nc e o f pr of e s s i ona l i s m i n t he c our t r oom pa r t i c ul a r l y i n f r ont of a j ur y C i t i z e ns e xpe c t l a w ye r s t o a c t t ha t w a y a nd I t h i nk t ha t i s t he l e a s t w e c a n do. I t hi nk i f br i ngs a bout good r e s ul t s C i t i z e ns c om e a w a y w i t h a good f e e l i ng a bout our s ys t e m Q A r e t he c i vi l t i m e s t a nda r ds pr om ul ga t e d by t he S upr e m e C our t s om e t hi ng l i ke 10 12 ye a r s a go i s m y gue s s s t i l l obs e r ve d? A O h, ye s I n f a c t t he C l e r k's of f i c e a l e r t s us w he n a c a s e ha s a ppr oa c he d or e xc e e de d t he gui de l i ne s S o w e 'r e c ons c i ous of t ha t by a p r i nt out i s s ue d qua r t e r l y. T he gui de l i ne s a r e good. T he y a r e not ha r d a nd f a s t r e q ui r e m e nt s but t he y do t e l l t he l a w ye r s t he j udge a nd l i t i ga nt s t ha t t he c a s e ne e ds t o be m o ve d a l ong. T he r e a r e e xt r a or di na r y c i r c um s t a nc e s s uc h a s m ul t i pl e pa r t i e s c om pl i c a t e d i s s ue s a nd t hi ngs of t ha t na t ur e Q W ha t 's your pol i c y i n a c a s e w he r e pl a i nt i f f 's c a s e i s be yond t he t i m e s t a nda r ds f or t r i a l ye t pl a i nt i f f 's a t t or ne y r e que s t s a c ont i nua nc e a f t e r i t i s s e t f o r t r i a l ? I r e m e m be r one or t w o c a s e s w he r e t he l a w ye r s w e r e ve r y r e s e nt f ul of be i ng f or c e d t o t r i a l s o a s t o c om pl y w i t h t he S upr e m e C our t 's di r e c t i ve A I don't ha ve a f i xe d pol i c y. I n f a c t r a r e l y do t he gui de l i ne s c om e up i n t hos e di s c us s i on s W e 'r e de a l i ng w i t h t he r e a s on f o r t he c ont i nua nc e m or e t ha n t he t i m e s t a nda r ds T i m e s t a nda r ds a r e gui de l i ne s t o ke e p c a s e s f r om ha ngi ng a r ound ga t he r i ng dus t T he p r a c t i c a l s i de of c ont i nua nc e s i s j us t a s i m por t a nt i f not m or e s o. F or e xa m pl e

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i f a gi ve n w i t ne s s i s n't a va i l a bl e or a pl a i nt i f f ha s n't r e a c he d m a xi m um m e di c a l i m pr ove m e nt I f i t 's a good r e a s on a nd a r e a s ona bl e r e que s t I t hi nk l a w ye r s a nd j udge s t r y t o a c c om m oda t e t hos e s e e ki ng c ont i nua nc e s up t o a po i nt T he r e a r e t i m e s i n a gi ve n c a s e w he r e you ha ve t o s a y no. T he w a y our s ys t e m i s s e t up i n t he 13t h C i r c ui t t he gui de l i ne s r a r e l y c om e i nt o pl a y be c a us e w e a r e us ua l l y r i ght on t he m a r k, a bs e nt e xt r a or di na r y c i r c um s t a nc e s a s m e nt i one d e a r l i e r Q A ny t hough t s a bout w a ys t o i m pr ove t he t r i a l s e t t i ng pr oc e s s c ons i s t e nt w i t h t he R C P a nd t he gui de l i ne s or do you t hi nk t he pr e s e nt s ys t e m i s s a t i s f a c t or y? A W e l l w e a l l do i t a l i t t l e di f f e r e nt l y. S om e j udg e s onl y s e t t r i a l s f o r t he ne xt 60 da ys S om e of us s e t t r i a l s up t o s i x a nd e i ght m ont hs i nt o t he f ut ur e I 'm not s ur e w hi c h s ys t e m w or ks be s t L a w ye r s don't c om pl a i n I t hi n k t he r e 's one t ool t ha t i s he l p f ul a nd t ha t 's c a s e m a na ge m e nt I t 's a non a dve r s a r i a l he a r i ng. Y ou c a n c om e i n a nd di s c us s w ha t j ur y da t e s a r e a va i l a bl e w ha t di s c ove r y r e m a i ns t o be a c c om pl i s he d, w ha t p r obl e m s you m a y e nc ount e r i n t r yi ng a c a s e t he l e ngt h of t he c a s e I t 's a ve r y good w a y t o ha ve a n i nf or m a l di s c us s i on a bout s e t t i ng t he c a s e on t he t r i a l doc ke t a nd be i ng c e r t a i n i t w oul d be r e a c he d. F or e xa m pl e you w oul dn't w a nt o put a 1998 c a s e on t he j u r y t r i a l doc ke t t ha t s a m e ye a r I t p r oba bl y w oul dn't be r e a c he d be c a us e t he r e a r e ol de r c a s e s a nd t he y w oul d ha ve pr i or i t y ge ne r a l l y A t t he s a m e t i m e w i t h c a s e m a na ge m e nt i f you've got a pa r t i c ul a r l y pr e s s i ng c a s e t ha t ne e ds t o be t r i e d, yo u c a n l e t t he j udge know a bout i t t he l a w ye r s c a n di s c us s i t a nd now w i t h ou r T r i a l D i vi s i on, c a s e s e xpe c t e d t o l a s t m or e t ha n a w e e k c a n e a s i l y be t r a ns f e r r e d t o T r i a l D i vi s i on a nd s e t f or a da t e c e r t a i n Q I nc i de nt a l l y a r e you now r e qui r i ng m e di a t i on i n a l l c a s e s be f or e be i ng s e t f or t r i a l ? A I do. T he y a r e gi ve n t he c hoi c e of m e di a t i on o r a r bi t r a t i on. M y pol i c y r e qui r e s e ve r y c a s e t o be e i t he r m e di a t e d or a r bi t r a t e d Q I s t he r e a n A dm i ni s t r a t i ve O r de r out on t ha t p r o c e dur a l opt i on? A N ot t ha t I 'm a w a r e of T ha t 's l e f t t o t he i ndi v i d ua l j udge s T he R ul e s of C i vi l P r oc e dur e e m body m e di a t i on M os t j udge s i n T a m pa r e qui r e i t Q do you ha ve a n opi n i ons a bout t he pr opr i e t y of l a w ye r a dve r t i s i ng, e s pe c i a l l y i n pr i m e t i m e t e l e vi s i on? A W e l l I don't know t ha t I ha ve a n op i ni on. I r e c o gni z e t he bus i ne s s i m por t a nc e of a dve r t i s i ng, a nd ha ve s poke n w i t h m a ny l a w ye r s w ho s w e a r by i t s p r oduc t a nd i t s r e s ul t s I t 's pr oba bl y a ne c e s s a r y e vi l Q S om e pe opl e t hi nk i t ha s pe r ha ps c ont r i but e d t o t he publ i c 's di s da i n m a ny t i m e s f or t he l e ga l pr o f e s s i on. H e a r d a nyt hi ng a bout t ha t ? A I 've he a r d t ha t a r gum e nt i n one o f our I nns o f C our t m e e t i ngs W e put on a pr e s e nt a t i on a but a dve r t i s i ng. T ha t 's one o f t he c on c e r ns not onl y o f l a w ye r s but non l a w ye r s O n t he ot he r ha nd, I 've ha d non l a w ye r s s a y t ha t i f you don't know a l a w ye r a nd you ha ve a l e ga l p r obl e m i t 's a n e xc e l l e nt w a y t o be c om e f a m i l i a r w i t h w ha t l a w ye r s a r e out t he r e i n a gi ve n f i e l d. I t hi nk t he pr i n t a dve r t i s i ng i n phone books a nd ot he r m e di a c a n be va l ua bl e t o t he publ i c T e l e vi s i on a dve r t i s i ng s e e m s t o be m os t l y pe r s ona l i nj ur y or w or km e n's c om pe n s a t i on, a nd pe r ha ps t he i n j ur e d pa r t y s i t t i ng a t hom e or i n a hos pi t a l be d w ho m a y f e e l t he y ha ve a c a s e or c a us e of a c t i on i s he l pe d by t he f a c t t ha t t he r e a r e l a w ye r s m a ki ng t he m s e l ve s a va i l a bl e I ne ve r e nga ge d i n a dve r t i s i ng a nd di dn't ha ve t o. B a c k t he n i t j us t di dn't ha ppe n ve r y of t e n. Q S om e m i ght c a l l i t pu f f e r y?

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A ( L a ughs ) W e l l . Q ( C om m e nt ) I unde r s t a nd t he r e a r e m i xe d vi e w s on t he s ubj e c t T he r e 's pr oba bl y l e s s t ha n a ha l f doz e n f i r m s t ha t a r e s e e n on t e l e vi s i on i n t hi s i m m e di a t e a r e a A T he m one y t ha t 's s pe nt i s m i nd boggl i ng I do k now t ha t I 've s e e n t he s t a t i s t i c s of t e l e vi s i on s t a t i ons i n T a m pa a nd I t h i nk m os t l a w y e r s w oul d be a s t oni s he d of how t hous a nds hundr e ds of t hous a nds of do l l a r s a r e s p e nt i n T a m pa by c e r t a i n l a w f i r m s on a dve r t i s i ng on a n a nnua l ba s i s O ne f i r m s pe nds i n e xc e s s of a m i l l i on dol l a r s Q ( C om m e nt ) T he S upr e m e C ou r t ha s a ppa r e nt l y gi ve n t he m a r a t he r f r e e r e i gn t o t a l k a bout W e 've done m or e t r i a l s t ha n a nybo dy e l s e T he r e f o r e you ought t o c om e t o us A T he r e a r e s om e r e gul a t i ons a nd r e s t r i c t i ons a nd t he B a r i s a c t i ve i n t r yi ng not s o m uc h r e s t r i c t a s t o i ns ur e t ha t t he a dve r t i s i ng i s f a i r t r ut hf ul a nd not m i s l e a di ng. Q W i ndi ng dow n a nd i f you ha ve a nyt h i ng e l s e y ou'd l i ke t o s a y? A I do w a nt t o m a ke one c om m e nt be c a us e t hi s w i l l be publ i s he d. Y ou not e d t ha t I w a s r e c e nt l y honor e d ( L a w D a y 1998 ) by r e c e i vi n g a ve r y p r e s t i gi ous a w a r d. I di dn' t ge t a c ha nc e a t t he t i m e t o t ha nk t he Y oung L a w ye r s a nd m e m be r s hi p of t he B a r I do w a nt t o s a y t ha t i t i s a p r i vi l e ge t o s e r ve a s a j udge a nd t ha t a w a r d m e a ns a n a w f ul l ot t o m e a nd m y f a m i l y Q O ne f i na l que s t i on. D o you ha ve a ny a dvi c e t o young l a w ye r s w ho a r e j us t s t a r t i ng t he i r c a r e e r i n t he pr a c t i c e ? A Y e s M y a dvi c e i s t o ge t a c t i ve i n t he B a r A s s oc i a t i on, be c om e i nvol ve d Y ou w i l l br oa de n t he a m ount o f pe opl e you know but w i l l a l s o br oa de n your e xpe r i e nc e Y ou'l l s e e a l ot of di f f e r e nt l a w ye r s a nd l e a r n f r om t he m M y a dvi c e i s t o w a t c h, l i s t e n a nd l e a r n f r o m ot he r l a w ye r s G o t o c our t a nd s i t a nd w a t c h. J us t s i t i n he a r i ng r oom s T a ke a n hour or t w o e a c h w e e k. S i t i n t he ba c k of t he r oom a nd w a t c h w ha t goe s on. I t 's a m a z i ng how m uc h w i l l be l e a r ne d. I t 's a l m os t l i ke be i ng t he r e a nd doi ng i t t he ne xt be s t t h i ng t o e xpe r i e nc e O ne t hi ng, be c a us e of t he pr e s s ur e s of bi l l a bl e hour s a nd ge t t i ng t he w o r k done l a w ye r s l os e s i ght of t he f a c t t ha t you l e a r n b y doi ng i t i n t he c our t r oom a nd w a t c hi ng ot he r l a w ye r s doi ng i t T he r e 's not hi ng w or s e t ha n be i ng up t he r e f o r t he f i r s t t i m e w i t hout ha vi ng t ha t pe r s pe c t i ve F i nd a m e nt o r or m e nt or s a nd l e a r n f r om t he m Y ou a l w a ys l e a r n, a s you know T o t hi s da y, w e 'r e s t i l l l e a r ni ng; e ve n s e ni or l a w ye r s a nd j udge s N ot a da y goe s by w he n you don't l e a r n s om e t hi ng. M or i s on B uc k