The Broward County Courthouse has been the subject of many editorials and newspaper
articles dealing with the alleged improprieties of many of the Judges. In addition to those articles
in the mainstream press, there is also a blog that is run by purportedly some lawyers that centers
around the going ons of the courthouse. This blog has recently come under scrutiny by the
Broward County Bar Association. The reason why it has come under scrutiny is that some of the
posts on this blog have been quite derogatory as to the judicial system and many of the Judges.
Quite candidly, many of the blogs posts boarder on defamation and others of the posts are
nothing more than scandalous. Because of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Broward
County Bar Association believing that the blogs and the website is run by lawyers should come
under its scrutiny as to whether it is appropriate.
Before we go any further, we need to point out that one of our associates has been
previously the subject of some of the blogs and as a subject of it what was written about him
certainly has not been flattering. On a personal note, we have found many of the things written
to be offensive, vile, untrue, and given the anonymity of the writers somewhat cowardly. To say
that we are fans of this blog could be nothing further from the truth.
It seems that the purpose of this blog was to reveal the inappropriateness of some of the
relationships between the attorneys within the Broward County practicing area and the Judges
that they come before. Supposedly, this blog was going to unmask and therefore clean up the
court system to the benefit of the public. In reality, what it has done is set up those who maintain
and control the blog to having now their own power base. What they sought to destroy, they
have created in themselves.
This blog, somehow takes the high and mighty attitude that they are above the fray and
that truth will illuminate the dark. Yet, this is the same blog that for no apparent reason took a
young Jewish lawyer’s picture and had it morphed into a picture where he was wearing a Nazi
uniform. How this in anyway is news worthy, is enlightening in the judicial system is beyond
our ability to comprehend. What it was, was a shameful attack on a detractor of those in control.
Again, many of the posts are done anonymously. With anonymity comes power as you
can say what you want to say without repercussions of being accountable for what is said. With
anonymity comes the bravado to say things that one would not have the courage to say if their
names were attached. With anonymity comes the ability to slander and liable without the fear of
being held accountable to such acts.
With these things in mind, the Broward County Bar Association has taken aim at this
blog. Even with all that has been said above, Benjamin & Aaronson, P.A. has let the Broward
County Bar Association know that if it comes after the blog, this blog would have its staunchest
supporters in Benjamin & Aaronson.
Obviously, it is not because of any preference or treatment the blog has given to
Benjamin & Aaronson. As noted above, quite to the contrary, our staff has been attacked
wrongfully. More important than differences whether petty or large with this blog, is the fact that
free speech must be allowed to prevail and the First Amendment protects such poor taste speech.
If one were required to give their name upon everything that is spoken, many things that
need to be said would remain silent. If lawyers do not have the ability to speak for fear of bar
sanctions, then those who are in the know and the most suitable to chastise the judicial system
would be muted. Even though we disagree with this blog and its contents with every fiber of our
beings, we agree on the fact that they have the right to publish, they have the right to speak, and
that it would be wrong to have them silenced.
The First Amendment is too important to allow those who pervent it or abuse it to cause it
to be taken away from all of us. Further, it is more important to champion free speech and press
than it is to silence the few who make a mockery of it. We will remain on the side of this blog.
We remain on the side of those who use the First Amendment for dubious purposes. We remain
on this side for one reason and that is to curtail their First Amendment rights only will lead to the
curtailment of other’s First Amendment rights. First Amendment rights should never be
curtailed. It is the essence of our society.