in a brief written by Robert McDuff, Sibyl Byrd and Jacob Howard.
Judge Weill has barred Alison Kelly, an attorney well-respected for her dedication, and one of the most experienced lawyers in the HCPDO, from his courtroom, not just for a single case or a group of cases, but for all cases, and then has barred the entire HCPDO because the Director will not reassign Ms. Kelly. Judge Weill has claimed that his “good cause” is that Ms. Kelly is “incapable of competently representing indigent criminal defendants on [his] docket,” p. 4 (emphasis added) and “is unqualified per Strickland.” P. 5. Surely, for that sort of far-reaching action, a hearing should be required in order to ascertain if “good cause is shown in the trial court or on appeal” under Section 25-32-1(3). Indeed, in Lewis, this Court afforded the lawyer three separate hearings before suspending him, and pointed out that “Lewis has been given every opportunity to present evidence and disprove, explain, or otherwise justify the neglect appearing from an examination of the various case files and records.” 654 So. 2d at 1384. For purposes of the current situation, the Lewis decision, Section 25-32-1(3), and the due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and Article 3, 8 Section 14, all require that a hearing be held before a judge can implement the extreme measures that Judge Weill has implemented here.
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Under the particular circumstances that now face the Court, this matter can be easily resolved without a hearing by a ruling from this Court (assuming the Court agrees with us) (1) that Judge Weill has completely failed to demonstrate his allegation that Ms. Kelly is “incapable of competently representing criminal defendants” on his docket and that “she is unqualified per Strickland,” (2) that Judge Weill’s refusal to allow Ms. Kelly to participate in cases in his courtroom is unwarranted and must be rescinded, and (3) that the failure of the HCPD to provide (in Judge Weill’s words) “assurance . . . that APD Kelly will not be internally assigned to represent defendants in [his] courtroom,” p. 5, is 9 not “good cause” that justifies prohibiting the HCPDO from taking cases in his courtroom.
In other Weill news, today he was sued by his former court administrator.
Par. 11 refers to the dispute between Judge Weill and Alison Kelly