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Countdown To Justice

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The count down to justice continues… In the Fourth District Circuit Court of Appeals in south Florida, the judges publish their rulings only once a week, on Wednesday mornings. It has now been 5 weeks since the three member “Merit” panel met and made it’s decision on my case, but I will not know what that decision was until they publish their written decision. And so, it is yet another Tuesday night that I will go to sleep wondering whether the morning will bring news that the legal monkey is finally off my back. Try as I might not to dwell on the negative, the continued burden of this case weighs heavily in my mind and heart. It is a sad situation that never had to be, yet at the same time, it was inevitable. Math was never my strong suit, and perhaps that is at least one reason why I had not been able to see the simple equation that set this nightmare into motion:

+ bitterness + trusting, forgiving nature
+ sense of entitlement + believes no one is “entitled” to anything that they haven’t earned or at the expense of other’s rights
+ law degree, member of Florida Bar: 20 years experience dealing with Florida legal system, connections in clerk’s office, knows system’s weaknesses and how to use them. + no legal education nor relevant experience.
+ forced into early retirement from civil service job + self-made entrepreneur with long history of intellectually satisfying and financially rewarding business.
+ opportunity to obtain assets, status, power and revenge through appointment as fiduciary. + believes revenge is foolish & morally wrong
+ believes fiduciary duty, rules of attorney ethics, and “inconvenient” laws apply only to others. + strong sense of ethics, personal responsibility and that one’s good name & honor must be earned & is only “possession” of true value.
+ lacks willingness to recognize own wrongs or the unfair, harmful effect of those wrongs on others. + Self-Esteem not tied to superficial facades and holds no interest in having power over others’ lives.
+ lives in south Florida, where case is being heard, in relatively good physical health (able to walk, drive, travel, lead a “normal” active life. + lives in Ohio (1500 miles away) and can’t travel due to being confined to bed for last 7 years.
+ lack of ability to feel true empathy. + in a particularly vulnerable position where person “A” had sole possession and control over critical medical information that could be used either to help or hinder “B’s” chance of survival.

Now give judicial oversight of PERSON “A” and determination of what to do when “A” breaches fiduciary duty and willfully engages in a number of serious incidents of misconduct that caused serious harm to PERSON “B” (and “B’s” family) in the hands of the trial court which has for years held position as one of the top five “Judicial Hellholes” in America, and in particular put this case in the hands of one judge who has been fodder for late night talk show hosts as the “Weeping” Judge and for the last two years since he resigned as a judge, has been battling a law suit against him for his own (alleged) breaches of fiduciary duty and fraud in regards to an 82 year old neighbor, and our second judge who was subsequently forced to step down as “Chief Judge” due to political pressure over a number of (alleged) legal and ethical violations (yet still presides over this case at the trial level), and where more than a dozen other judges and prosecutors have been either forced to resign after being found guilty of various legal and ethical misconduct or in an effort to avoid facing trial for such charges or whom are still currently under active investigation for either ethical or even criminal misconduct.

Yet, despite all this, I still believe in our system of justice and I believe that Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals in particular takes their job and their duty to the honest citizens who rely on them to ensure that they’re legal rights are protected, that the “bad guys” are held accountable, and that “justice” is done as well as humanly possible. I pray that THIS time, my faith is well placed.

On a much more positive and fun note, I give you tonight’s freebies: Part 3 of my multi-part series, “Neue Melamine”. Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Countdown To Justice

  1. Hi Leslie!
    I enjoyed very much your visual comparison of Party A and B — reminds me of what I’ve gone through with State Farm Ins. I wish I had thought of this myself. I also wish it was one of your icons so I could use it and put my own words in it. I love your new icons too.
    I hope you are doing okay. I have been unusually tired. Too tired to write and I had to pay to clean my computer. I have paid dearly for not trusting my gut, but I stick to my story about having been conned. There is only so much responsibility I can accept b/c I do believe, with all my heart and my rational mind, that I was a victim of a great con-artist.
    I hope you got my message about the Fence-Sitter. I have thought lately, about how I am not always the Fence Sitter. Sometimes I fly. I still very much love the image. I think it would be a great name for a blog. I tried to start a blog for the dogs but I couldn’t find a voice so I deleted it. So far, my voice remains in “Dogkisses’s Blog.”
    I hope justice serves you. I really do. It most certainly did not me. I was accused of copying and pasting emails that I never once altered, that had signatures and email addresses. But I was without representation against a corporate giant full of people who obviously do not care about their clients.
    My justice, I guess, will be my ability to keep on trying to live my life as fully as I possibly can.
    I know too our situations are much different.
    I hope I will feel like writing more soon. I would say stay strong, but Leslie, your spirit shines so clearly in your blog and in your work, that it feels like you are very strong. Still, I wish you moments of peace, relief and nights of good sleep.

    • I am truly sorry that you had to have been the victim of someone’s malicious accusations and that the legal system did not come to your rescue. It is scary indeed how many people have such experiences to relate. I’ve found that dealing with someone via the legal system is tedious at best, takes 10x longer than reasonably expected, is ripe for a savvy opponent to delay and drag on until the plaintiff runs out of money or drops dead, and requires entry into a secret world of its own with apparent rules that fail to exist in any book or online resource readily available to the public. BUT I’ve also seen enough examples of how, every now and then, you can obtain a result that you can comfortably live with and sometimes, can even achieve “justice”. It is in those examples and the sincere belief that I am on the “right side” of the law that gives me hope that my case will be in this latter group – eventually. It is not a perfect system and there is a lot that can be done to improve it (essentially by interpreting and enforcing the rules consistently and making ALL of the laws and rules (including those formed as a result of “precedent”) easily accessible (via intelligent relational databases and clear language) and FREE to all.

      I love your resolve to “live your life as fully as you possibly can.” and your recognition that this, too, is a way of obtaining justice. I have always believed that the best revenge is to defy your adversary by not allowing them to destroy your spirit, your present, or your future. You don’t need a “win” via the legal system to achieve that and hopefully, you can find a happy medium between being a vulnerable victim and a cynical, paranoid, untouchable. That is where I am now, trying to keep in mind the lessons I’ve learned of what to be wary of and how to protect myself while retaining the ability to be open to those who would not dream of trying to abuse my openness and honesty. It is a delicate balance that is not always clearly marked but even though I will likely make more errors in judgment of whom I can trust, I know better how to recognize such problems earlier and how to disentangle myself before major damage has been done, and most of all I know that my soul can and will survive such “attacks”. You are right in saying that I am strong. What you should know though is that the only reason that I’ve been able to be strong is simply my stubborn, continual mantra to myself that “I am strong”. And by always doing my best to ensure that my actions are never ethically questionable by anyone’s standards nor morally bereft, I have the peace of mind of knowing my strength is honestly earned and deserved, and importantly, does not diminish the honestly earned and deserved strength of others.

      I just discovered your post about the Fence-Sitter late last night. I was too tired then to post a comment but I promise to do so this evening. My energy is limited to short bursts these days so I have to ration out my lucid moments. Fortunately (and unfortunately) I know you understand.

      Thank you so much for your warm thoughts, lovely wishes, and friendship. Hang in there. You’re on the right path and I know, better days are coming.

  2. oh dear, oh dear…
    as much as I try, I have to say:
    if I was in the dark before about what your court case is about, I am now in total confusion with all lights out….
    what is it that you are waiting for a ruling on?

    • Sorry that I’ve been so cryptic about the lawsuit. The reason I’ve been so careful in what I say about it is that I do not wish to either give my opponent more potential ammunition to come after me with (specifically, claims of defamation or causing unfair prejudice against him/her) so I had resolved not to provide more specific details until the appellate court has published their opinion. Perhaps it would’ve been more fair to my readers to not have raised the subject at all until I no longer felt restricted in what I could say, but like many others who maintain blogs, I’ve found this outlet to venting a bit of my frustration too enticing to ignore. I appreciate your interest and curiosity and most of all your patience and continued support. I promise to fill in the blanks the moment the court issues it’s written opinion. I am praying that will be soon. I am praying that it will be this week in time for Mother’s Day, as that would be particularly fitting. All my prior posts on this subject will make sense then…

  3. No worries Leslie, I completely understand.
    Here wishing you all the best,all the luck (because, unfortunately, in this world the justice system sometimes comes down to that: luck) and a ruling in your favor.
    Whatever it is you are fighting for, I am sure that a fair ruling would be one that favors you, I have no doubt about that.
    Lots of love, my friend, I wish one day I can meet you in person and give you the big hug I wish I could give you now 🙂

  4. Hi Leslie,
    It’s good to hear from you again. You are well, very intelligent. I wish my brain would rise to the task of having more words available to me. These days, lately, I’m struggling to communicate.
    Thank you for what you have said. It has helped. I have not given completely up — I do have a bit of work left that I can do, which will give me some peace in my mind that I did all I could. It’s hard dealing with such dishonest and uncaring human beings.
    I am resolved to live fully, as much as I can anyway.
    My son and I enjoyed a wonderful medicine poetry performance on Saturday night. I was inspired. I hope I can write about it soon, before I forget, but fatigue is disabling me most of the time.
    I was moved by the poetry. I hope to get involved in this group next Fall. I’ve always enjoyed movement, such as modern dance and like this group, they tell their stories through poetry, song and movement.
    My son had a nice time too. He was one of only a few men there, but he loved it. He doesn’t always like being in an audience with strangers but we fit right in. We were amongst what my brother might call, “a group of screaming liberals.”
    You know what I like about where I live? (yes I am way off subject) — I like that women don’t wear bras, unless they need one. I like that in the same audience, some people had their best clothes on yet others, came in a t-shirt and jeans. I like it that we can say what we want to say and be who we want to be.
    One woman in the show did a piece on invisible disability. She did not say what disability, but I knew it was fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I could just tell.
    I understand about those spurts of energy and reserving what you have. I understand all too well. I am still trying to get stronger from, I guess, not having eaten enough. Everyday it is a challenge but I am trying. I’ve noticed I haven’t been able to spell correctly ever since the hospital trip. Weird. I am trying to eat protein but I have no appetite.
    I know though that I can heal, at least in my spirit. I saw and felt this while listening to the womens stories at the show.
    Nothing like a room with many strong women together!
    Take good care of yourself.
    I hope you get your resolve soon and that you see justice served.

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