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Miami Herald – Opinion: Contempt of Court by Jeff Davis

CONTEMPT OF COURT – Like many who read the Oct. 29 article “Broward assistant public defender curses prosecutor on Zoom,” I was shocked. In 34 years of practice in courts throughout Florida, I have never once heard an attorney speak to a fellow member of the bar in such a manner — especially in open court before a judge and other litigants. It is beyond unacceptable and the attorney should be reported to The Florida Bar and sanctioned by the judge.

As a proud member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national organization composed of civil trial lawyers, our mission is to ensure professionalism in the practice of law. As a trial lawyer, it is a privilege for me to be able to represent clients and appear before judges on their behalf.

Law is a profession that requires rigid adherence to standards of conduct and respect for the court, opposing counsel.and members of the public. We are held to a higher standard and should be! The courtroom, whether real or virtual, is a place where rules matter.

Broward public defender Howard Finkelstein claims, “it is not an uncommon off-the-record exchange between lawyers in a heated moment” when referring to Linder’s profanity. I vehemently disagree.It is always unacceptable and never commonplace to speak that way in a professional setting like a court of law.

~ Jeffrey R. Davis.
Coral Gables

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