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Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq.
Jon H. Gutmacher, P.A.
2431 Aloma Ave., Ste. 124, Winter Park, FL 32792
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I’ve recently retired so I can give you forty years experience in Florida. As a rule, prosecutors are ethical, and stick to most of the rules. Occasionally, they will make discovery more difficult, but the only thing I’ve noticed over the years is that litigants on both sides try to “surprise” the other side with their case cites for the day of the hearing, even when it’s been scheduled for weeks or months. That’s totally unethical from either side, as far as I’m concerned–and judges rarely say anything no matter who plays that game.

Likewise, some judges have a reputation for “slamming” anyone who takes a case to trial, or insists on doing full discovery depositions and motions. The rest are generally fair, although most will give the “benefit of the doubt” to the State on factual disputes–and the same thing on novel issues, or issues that are controverted on the law.

The Zimmerman case, in my opinion, was an example of prosecutors who had a political agenda, and played games with the defense.

Likewise, it was a good example of a judge who was in a rush to get the trial done before the case was ready. That’s a common problem with many criminal court judges. However, overall, the practice is fair, and so are the attorneys and judges. Of course, some areas of Florida are more political than others, and how your attorney is viewed by judges and the State can be important in how a case is resolved.

John H. Carney
John H. Carney & Associates
5005 Greenville Ave., Ste. 200, Dallas, TX 75206
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I had it happen to me, one of your lawyers...Brady violations characterized as “egregious” by The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Spent thirteen months in a Federal prison waiting for the Fifth Circuit Court to rule. Reversed and remanded, retried in another four week criminal trial and acquitted.

Process took four years of my life and $500,000 in fees and expenses and they took my bank I had spent six years building.

106 F.3d 622 (1997)
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
James R. FISHER and John H. Carney, Defendants-Appellants.
United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
February 13, 1997.

A big “Thank you!” to all the Network Affiliated Attorneys for their fascinating responses to this question! Watch for our Affiliated Attorneys’ opinions about a new topic in the June edition of this journal. We deeply appreciate the contributions all of our Affiliated Attorneys make to this column, as well as their other services to Network members.

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