The State of Florida has filed a motion for rehearing in the lawyer eavesdropping case of State vs. Martinez, but attorney John Howes wil not abide by it. He says reports of the 4th amendment's death is premature.
As you may remember, this is the newsworthy case involving misconduct on the part of the State of Florida for violations of the attorney-client privilege when the Assistant State Attorneys sought copies of a defendant’s telephone calls with his attorney.
Judge Susan Lebow threw the entire staff of the state attorney off the case when she discovered that its staff had not only listened to the calls despite specific assertions of the attorney-client privilege, but then shared the contents with other lawyers in the office.
Here are the links to our previous blogitorial and articles about the dispute.
Howes claims in his reply brief opposing a rehearing that the State is trying to simply rehash its rejected arguments on one hand, and not owning up to the gravity of their violation in the other:
“What the State still fails to grasp is the seriousness of its misconduct and the fact that it has been sanctioned for its illegal actions.”
And you do have to wonder where the State is going with this appeal. I think nowhere. Howes note in his argument that in its finding, the DCA concluded that Judge Lebow entered a “thoughtful” and well-founded order,” and that it was “solely the egregious misconduct of the state which brought upon the sanctions.”
As a matter of fact the State Attorney should not be appealing this case. His office should be apologizing for it, and simultaneously issuing a statement that no such further transgressions will ever again occur in the future.