Friday, December 28, 2012

More On The Out Of Control Miami Judiciary In Handling Foreclosure Cases

A recent post on the website for Loan Lawyers, LLC, Plantation, Florida foreclosure defense lawyer Matthew Bavaro describes a recent courtroom confrontation he had with an arguably out of control Miami-Dade, Florida Judge Alan Schwartz during a trial while representing a homeowner in foreclosure.

As described by Mr. Bavaro, the judge's conduct was outrageous enough that it drove him (Bavaro) to ask the judge to disqualify himself from the case. Apparently sensing that he (Judge Schwartz) may have inappropriately pushed the wrong foreclosure defense attorney, granted Mr. Bavaro's request to recuse himself from the case.(1)

In concluding his post, Mr Bavaro offers this observation on foreclosure proceedings as they are apparently being conducted in Miami-Dade, Florida:

  • Miami-Dade county is just setting hundreds of foreclosure cases for trial at a time without regard to whether any attorney is available or ready. I think this is a problem and shows that in Miami-Dade county, they are just interested in plowing through foreclosures, not administering justice and due process.
For Mr. Bavaro's post, see Fireworks in open court today. Matthew Bavaro and Judge Alan Schwartz did not see eye-to-eye in today’s Miami-Dade foreclosure trial.

Go here for the Order Granting Motion to Recuse.

Thanks to Deontos for the heads-up on this post.

(1) For more on the problem of bad judges -- judges and magistrates who are incompetent, self-indulgent, abusive or corrupt, see (appropriately named): Bad Judges, by New York University Law Professor Geoffrey P. Miller:
  • In jurisdictions across the country, complaints are heard about judges and magistrates who are incompetent, self-indulgent, abusive, or corrupt.

    These bad judges terrorize courtrooms, impair the functioning of the legal system, and undermine public confidence in the law. They should not be allowed in office. Yet many retain prestigious positions even after their shortcomings are brought to light. The situation, moreover, does not appear to be under control. If recent scandals in New York and other states are a guide, incidents of judicial misconduct may be on the rise.

    The problem of bad judges is embedded in broader considerations about the optimal design of the judiciary in American political culture. The basic tradeoff is between independence, accountability and quality. To preserve independence it is necessary to insulate judges from external controls over their behavior. If judges are protected from external controls, however, they have fewer incentives to provide quality services. To ensure accountability judges must be subject to democratic processes. But influence and patronage, enemies of good judging, are inevitable when judges are chosen by political means. The challenge is to select, retain, supervise and remove judges in such as way as to maintain independence and accountability while not unduly sacrificing quality.

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