Legal Ethics

Lawyer Agrees to Reprimand for Blog Tirade About Judge

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A Florida lawyer has agreed to a public reprimand and ended a First Amendment fight over his critical blog post calling a judge a witch.

Sean Conway of Fort Lauderdale refused to comment for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on his decision to resolve his case. But his lawyer, Fred Haddad, told the newspaper he would have continued to contest disciplinary action.

“Resolving the case was not my position, and it was not the position that I ever took,” Haddad said. “However, the lawyer does not make all the decisions.”

Writing on JAABlog, Conway had called Judge Cheryl Aleman an “evil, unfair witch,” accused her of having an “ugly, condescending attitude” and questioned her mental stability. He later said he was angry because the judge was giving defense lawyers only one week to prepare for trial.

The Florida Supreme Court still must affirm the settlement.

Aleman herself is on the hot seat. The Judicial Qualifications Commission has recommended the Miami judge receive a public reprimand for setting unreasonable time limits for defense lawyers to prepare court documents and threatening them with contempt for failing to meet the deadline.

In one instance, Aleman gave defense lawyers a 15-minute time limit to draft a motion.

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