Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Even Clearwater Defense Attorneys quake at the thought of law licensing problems emerging during an important murder trial. 

Trial Sketch of defendant in Murder trial in Florida Court with prosecutor who is no longer licensed to practice law in Florida.
Any  Licensed Prosecutors ?
After picking the jury and giving the Opening Statement which provides the jury with the general facts of a case without arguments, a reporter for the Miami Herald asked the Florida Prosector trying the significant Miami murder trial if he knew that his law license was revoked. You have to admire the reporter's drive to get a great story by waiting to ask until after the case began.

Turns out the Florida Bar revoked the prosecutor's license to practice law in Florida because he'd failed to accurately establish that he'd taken his required Continuing Legal Education Classes. Maybe there should be a class on how to take the classes and how to make sure that the Florida Bar has given appropriate credits.

The presiding Florida Circuit Judge refused a defense Motion for a Mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct in allowing the prosecutor with a revoked license to make opening statements. The Judge determined that the problem was a clerical mistake which would not prejudice the Defense, which is a reasonable ruling.
Anyway, as it proceeds that prosecutor is off the case. If it'd been the defense lawyer whose license was revoked a convicted Defendant would still need to make a showing that his attorney was not effective as counsel, being unlicensed could be helpful but not necessarily definitive in making that argument.
Before the emails come flooding into my office with the heated question, Did that prosecutor break the law in Florida for practicing law without a license? 
Assuming the trial judge was factually correct that it was merely a clerical error and that the prosecutor had no knowledge of the suspension, then he didn't break the law so put up the pitchforks... But if he knew of the suspension and ignored it with the Florida Bar having sent him notice of the suspension, then he better call a Clearwater Criminal Lawyer to begin his defense.