Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Monday, January 19, 2009

A New Blog for a Better Broward




By Norm Kent

Last month, writing on JAABLOG, I authored a piece stating that ‘The Blog Serves a Public Purpose.’

Here is the link, if it remains up. http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/2008/12/21/this-blog-serves-a-public-purpose-by-norm-kent.aspx

Why then start another blog, a month after defending the other one?

The essence of the piece I wrote was that the Internet has opened up a new electronic frontier for the First Amendment, and bloggers have become the digitalized version of the ladies that stand in front of the courthouse holding up a Bible telling us how Jesus is going to save us all. I politely joked that it is too bad Jesus did not have access to IM, because he could have seen Judas Iscariot coming.

At the same time, I shared how unsavory JAABLOG had become. While communicating my thoughts that bloggers were protected by the first amendment and serving a public purpose, I acknowledged that JAABLOG's commentators and posters had become at times unnecessarily offensive.

I defend pornographers but I do not bathe in pornography. I have defended individuals accused of soliciting children but you will never find me at Annie Beck Park wearing only a raincoat. As an advocate operating within an adversary system, I have represented bad people who did mean things to good people. That does not mean I have to like them or become like them.

As you read the comments on JAABLOG, unmoderated, anonymous, and flowing with venom and vitriol, you get a feeling that everything about our system is unclean, unhealthy and untoward. Quite to the contrary, many of the professionals who make up our courthouse community are dedicated public servants working against all odds to fashion out a life for themselves, personally and professionally, which is honorable and admirable. Some achieve their goals, others get elected :-).

Over thirty years as an attorney, I have managed to disagree without being disrespectful, fight for causes without fighting people, and stand up for rights without beating up my opponents personally. That other blog lost that feel a long time ago. It is at once a home for truth but not trust. Penetrating revelations about a court officer’s misconduct are compromised by libelous missives without any basis in fact. It is Howard Stern on drugs. It has gone from humorous to hostile.

Within our lives, we are called upon to make choices each and every day. While it was my intention to participate in that blog enthusiastically, I have instead elected to exercise that entrepreneurial bent which has made America a land of limitless opportunity. Everyone has a right to build a better mousetrap. I have the right to create a better blog. And so I am starting my own.

There is another reason, too, I find it necessary to disassociate with whomever or whatever is called JAABLOG. The forces that control the publication seem to revel in anonymity and nastiness. They enjoy the hurtful and hostile comments as necessary components of exposing injustices in the system. I do not join in their enthusiasm. I choose to draw a distance between myself and them and their blog.

As a matter of fact, I promised last month to author an article on the rights and responsibilities of bloggers, referencing recent court decisions related thereto. Ironically, right now, in New York, a Vogue model has sued a blog seeking the identity of a blogger for purportedly defaming her. Last Thursday, at 7:59 a.m., that article was posted on JAABLOG. Within six hours, the article was taken down.

I have been told that the article ‘chilled’ the freedom of uncurtailed expression which gives the blog life. So the expression they chose to chill was mine instead.

I cannot and will not associate with agents of censorship, who are willing to curtail free expression to advance a personal agenda, one that sacrifices newsworthiness for possessiveness. I do not even need to know who took the article down. I know whoever it was, is not worthy of being my colleague and partner. I know they are being penny wise and pound foolish. So it goes. Now I have a blog of my own.

The blog I initiate today, though, is truly ours. It invites commentaries, and they may be anonymous, but they require registration. It invites participation, and it carries with it promise. Maybe it won’t be the Weekly World News of Meanness, but it will be viable and voluminous, critical yet conscientious.

Each day I will try to find a little time to sort through your notes and emails, which you can send to publishernormkent@gmail.com. I am looking for news and notes from the courthouse; decisions that are distinguished or downright outrageous.

I am looking for organizations wanting to get their message out, and I hope the blog will become a healthy, helpful, useful resource for everyone working in and about the building, from jurors to judges and judicial assistants to counselors. My effort will only reach its goal with your participation.

This blog, the Broward Law Blog, www.browardlawblog.com will give life to the wealth of organizations that already exist. We have the BACDL, and associations under the moniker of the Broward Bar Association, Trial Lawyers Association, Young Lawyers Association, GLBT Lawyers, Hispanic Lawyers Association, Cuban Lawyers, lawyers in rehab and lawyers in drag. There certainly are enough groups to go around.

Last month, when I got involved with JAABLOG, I also agreed to try to restructure the not for profit corporation, JAAB, Inc, the Justice Advocacy Association of Broward. Many did not realize that the non profit and the blog are now two separate entities. The non profit never could pull its act together. I am going to try, but under a new name, with no ties to the past.

As the new President of that non profit, I am changing its name, recruiting new members and inviting your participation in the new Broward County Courthouse Coalition. Our start at a coalition will be the birth of this new blog.

This blog is designed to give a collective voice to many groups. It will be professional and responsible, and you won’t get your hands and heart dirty reading these pages. I guess maybe it will be like Playboy. You will pick it up more for the articles than the pictures. At least that is what you will tell people.

8 comments:

  1. So, what kind of lawyer is bill gelin and the other lawyers who started jaablog?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What good things happened at broward county courthouse today?

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  3. I completely agree with your assessment about the rag blog jaablog. I'm glad there is a different broward county legal blog. hopefully this one will be more objective and balanced.

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  4. Let this be a lesson to you Norm. The guys that run JAABlog (and JAAB, Inc., prior to you becoming president) are a mafia all their own. They don't want more Chiefs in their tribe, all they want are Indians.

    So long as you support them, they are your best friend. But god forbid you ever disagree with their all-encompassing philosphy. Everyone who has supported them in the past that ever disagreed with them has gotten the shaft and been attacked and abused on that site.

    So now that you aren't "with them" any more....what does this mean for your representation of Bill Gelin in his Bar Complaint from resident P.I.T.A. Jacky T.?

    Also, given that you have no further involvement with the Blog, I wonder whether you will specifically confirm those who have the power to remove posts from the site? We all figure its Gelin, Ivashuk and Marshall.....but are there any others? I'm thinking no.

    Finally, given that JAABlog has given up all pretense of being related to the Not-For-Profit that it was originally intended to be part of, what happens with J.A.A.B., Inc., of which you are president and JAABlog folks are other officers? Are they resigning their officer position?

    ReplyDelete
  5. For my part, I can cope with extreme views, what I cannot cope with are views based on someones' race, religion, sexual orientation etc which seemed to be becoming a larger and larger part of the Jaablog 'experience'.

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  6. Communism is My LifeJanuary 21, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    The Jaabloggsters are scum-and I [still] wanna see Casey Anthony and Ana Gardiner do each other.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 1 comments:
    Anonymous said...
    John B. Thompson, J.D.
    5721 Riviera Drive
    Coral Gables, Florida 33146
    305-666-4366
    amendmentone@comcast.net

    January 24, 2009

    The Honorable Michael Satz
    Broward State Attorney
    600 Broward County Courthouse
    201 SE Sixth Street, Suite 655
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Via Fax to 954-931-6198, sao17@sao17.state.fl.us

    Ken Marvin
    Director of Lawyer Regulation
    The Florida Bar
    651 East Jefferson Street
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399 Via Mail and Fax to 850-561-5827

    Re: Criminal Activity at JAABlog, Run by Florida Bar Members (Formal Bar
    Complaint)

    Dear Mr. Satz and Mr. Marvin:

    I have had quite enough of the scofflaws who run the Broward legal community blog known as JAABlog. Take a look at what this moderated web site, with the knowledge of those who run it, are presently allowing to target me with threats of physical violence:

    http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/2007/09/04/pardon-our-appearance.aspx#comment-1740006

    1/21/2009 10:37 AM Let's Look at the Facts wrote:
    Mr Thompson, do you honestly expect us to beleive you are "working within the boundaries of the law" when [b]YOU[/b] have spent nearly 30 years committing hundreds of acts of slander, stalking, fraud, deceit, perjury, mental abuse and intimidation without once stopping to look up "law" in the dictionary?

    You expect us to believe you are "helping to rescue lives" when [b]YOU[/b] actively set out to ruin the lives of good people and masturbate to their deaths? Come on, fess up, school shootings are wet dreams to you.

    You expect us to believe that you're "protecting children from harmful pornographic content" when [b]YOU[/b] brag about wanting to burn video games which DON'T HAVE PORNOGRAPHIC CONTENT IN THEM TO BEGIN WITH, and wanting to murder - sorry, "legally" execute - millions of civilans simply because they spend some time with video games?

    You expect us to believe that you're "getting your law license back" when anyone with a functioning brain can tell that PERMANENT means FOREVER, WITHOUT QUESTION?

    You self-claimed crusaders are nothing but inbred savages, only ever truly satisfied when everyone around you is either brutally murdered or brainwashed into accepting your pro-child abuse, pro-fascist bull***t as the "word of God" or some retarded gibberish like that. Malign idiots like you need to die. Flat out, shoved in front of a speeding train, DIE.

    ++++

    The above was posted at 10:37 am on January 21, 2009, so it has been up at this site for more than 75 hours. I have had my life threatened repeatedly over the last few years because of Internet threats like this, and I’m not ever going to consider this type of activity harmless. I had to have one person arrested and jailed because of idiocy like this, and the people who run JAABlog know that. They don’t care. They enjoy terrorizing me in this fashion.

    It is unconscionable that The Florida Bar would continue to look the other way at this targeting of a citizen with the assistance of the Florida Bar members who run and oversee this site. The Bar knows full well who these lawyers are.

    Mr. Satz, I would appreciate your office’s opening a criminal investigation of this matter immediately, as nobody deserves to be targeted and threatened with physical violence in this fashion. And by the way, this clown’s assertions as to what I have said and done are utterly false.

    Finally, a Broward criminal defense lawyer known to both of you showed excellent judgment lately in severing his ties with JAABlog and the reckless muckrakers who run it. He calls JAABlog “villainous.” In light of the above threats, that description would appear to be too kind.

    Please proceed. The Bar should proceed against the lawyers running this site, and the State Attorney should open a criminal complaint. Enough already with this Internet terror site.

    I solemnly swear, under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing facts are true, correct, and complete, so help me God.

    Signed, John B. Thompson, January 24, 2009

    Regards, Jack Thompson

    Copy: Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Sloman

    ReplyDelete
  8. John B. Thompson, J.D.
    5721 Riviera Drive
    Coral Gables, Florida 33146
    305-666-4366
    amendmentone@comcast.net

    January 25, 2009

    Alan Anthony Pascal
    Bar Counsel, The Florida Bar
    Cypress Financial Center, Suite 900
    5900 North Andrews Avenue
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33309

    Ken Marvin
    Director of Lawyer Regulation
    The Florida Bar
    651 E. Jefferson St.
    Tallahassee, FL 32399

    Re: Bar Complaint No. 2009-50,626 (17E), The Florida Bar v. William Jay Gelin

    Dear Mr. Pascal and Mr. Marvin:

    Please note the below post at former Gelin lawyer Norm Kent’s new Broward legal community blog. This post points out that indeed JABlog is not an “unmoderated” site as previously claimed. It is fully moderated. The poster, who was not the undersigned, suggests that Bill Gelin is indeed one of the folks that determines the site’s content, just as I previously alleged.

    How convenient for me that the reiteration of this fact appears now at Norm Kent’s own rival site.

    Please proceed against Mr. Gelin. You can’t go ahead Sean Conway without going against those who spread Conway’s assertions far and wide. See Bar Rule 4-8.4(a). Thanks. The post at Kent’s site, http://browardlawblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-blog-for-better-broward.html

    Anonymous said...
    Let this be a lesson to you Norm. The guys that run JAABlog (and JAAB, Inc., prior to you becoming president) are a mafia all their own. They don't want more Chiefs in their tribe, all they want are Indians.

    So long as you support them, they are your best friend. But god forbid you ever disagree with their all-encompassing philosphy. Everyone who has supported them in the past that ever disagreed with them has gotten the shaft and been attacked and abused on that site.

    So now that you aren't "with them" any more....what does this mean for your representation of Bill Gelin in his Bar Complaint from resident P.I.T.A. Jacky T.?

    Also, given that you have no further involvement with the Blog, I wonder whether you will specifically confirm those who have the power to remove posts from the site? We all figure its Gelin, Ivashuk and Marshall.....but are there any others? I'm thinking no.

    Finally, given that JAABlog has given up all pretense of being related to the Not-For-Profit that it was originally intended to be part of, what happens with J.A.A.B., Inc., of which you are president and JAABlog folks are other officers? Are they resigning their officer position?
    January 21, 2009 9:30 AM


    Regards, Jack Thompson

    ReplyDelete