The Florida Bar

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April 1, 2023 Letters


Email Bombardment

Attorneys and legal staff are bombarded with emails. Some of those emails are more important than others. Professionals, both in law and beyond, have developed key words and phrases to use when trying to indicate that a particular email is one of those that deserves or requires prompt attention. We rely on these key words to grab our awareness, and we rely on our colleagues in the Bar to use those words appropriately.

For the past few weeks, Florida attorneys have likely received dozens of emails advertising a “View from the Bench & Bar CLE Conference.” These emails are sent from different addresses to avoid spam filters and are headlined with key words specifically designed to grab a litigator’s attention. They are intentionally and maliciously misleading.

Clickbait subject lines like “Fwd: Deadline” or “Notice of Expiration” or “Information and details included hereto regarding today’s deadline” are bad enough, but emails intentionally designed to make litigators think that a court is communicating with them — “Fwd: Judicial Notice” or “Fwd: Memorandum from Judge [redacted]” — are nothing but predatory.

Our profession is stressful enough. We have all felt the bottom of our stomach drop upon realizing that we may have mis-calendared a hearing or missed a deadline. We do not need people tapping into that fear to make a few bucks. Any legal professional associated with things like the “View from the Bench & Bar CLE Conference” should reconsider their involvement in these schemes and decide whether they want to be lawyers or interns at Buzzfeed.

Anthony Tamburro
Richmond, VA

Amending the Constitution

I write in response to the proposal by Rep. Rick Roth requiring “66.67%” approval of future amendments to the Florida Constitution. He appears dissatisfied Republicans control only the three branches of government, and wants to quash any remaining vestige of citizen liberty in the so-called “Free State of Florida.” It is not enough for Florida’s enlightened leaders to almost control the government; they want it all.

Rep. Roth and his colleagues seek to turn government on its head. Rather than government existing for the people (remember that bit from the Declaration about governments being instituted among us to secure our “Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”?), he and his fellow party members want us to exist solely for government. We cannot be trusted to responsibly raise our kids unless we do it their way, so “Don’t Say Gay.” We cannot be trusted to responsibly manage our affairs unless we do it their way, so bye bye local control over local issues best handled locally. We cannot be trusted to responsibly manage our bodies unless we do it their way, so goodbye to our wives’, sisters’ and daughters’ rights to control when and whether to stay pregnant or give birth. We cannot be trusted to exercise our First Amendment rights responsibly unless we do it their way, so toodle-oo to our rights to protest, access public records, peaceably assemble, and air grievances. We cannot be trusted to decide what to read for ourselves unless we do it their way, so sayonara “bad” books in the library. No, they would rather simply tell us what to read, how to think, what to do, when to pay and, when all’s said and done, to just shut up and take it.

And the last step is making it just that much harder to make law ourselves when our elected officials, regardless of party, ignore us until we have no recourse but to do it ourselves by amending our state constitution. And even then they no not follow our decisions or rewrite them to suit themselves, in the process sacrificing the future generations they profess such concern for with so much false piety.

When Florida schools were overcrowded, it was the people who amended the constitution to fix the problem because the Legislature refused to act. When Florida’s natural resources were threatened, it was the people who amended the constitution to fix the problem because the Legislature refused to act. When Floridians’ voting rights were threatened, it was the people who amended the constitution to fix the problem because the Legislature refused to act. The list of legislative nonfeasance goes on and on and on and on.

Time after time, politicians beholden to interests other than us failed to properly handle our business. In those instances, we the people have stepped in to fill that gap. That is what limited direct democracy allows, and that is exactly what the proposal threatens. No, Republicans, as Democrats before, want total, complete and unfettered control to dictate to all of us what we should believe, see, read, think, say, do, and like. To achieve this, they’ll happily deny us the last measure of a free people by making direct democracy just that much more impossible.

Michael Galex
Coral Gables

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