Friday, October 24, 2014

11th Circuit "emergency" over

On October 17, the 11th Circuit, per Chief Judge Carnes, issued an order putting an end to the emergency order that allowed cases to be decided by panels with only one active 11th Circuit judge.  Now we are back to at least 2 11th Circuit judges per panel.

Aly Palmer of the Daily Report has this story:
With his court back to nearly full strength, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has announced the end of a court emergency.
In December, Chief Judge Edward Carnes declared an emergency, saying that cases could be decided by three-judge panels composed of only one of the court's judges plus two visiting judges. At the time, four of the court's 12 slots were vacant.
Since then, three vacancies have been filled. Most recently, Judge Jill Pryor of Atlanta started work two weeks ago. On Friday, Carnes signed a new order declaring the emergency over.
Friday's order suggested that the public will continue to see decisions from panels that include only one member of the court. Carnes explained that panels composed of fewer than two Eleventh Circuit judges that have had any appeals either orally argued or submitted to them for decision before Friday remain authorized to decide the cases.
Federal law says that when federal appeals courts decide cases by three-judge panels, at least two of the judges must be members of that particular appeals court. An exception includes the chief judge's ability to certify an "emergency."
Meantime, the big federal bar shindig tonight is at the JW Marriott.  Who is in?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Judge Gold formally retires

The blog reported back in August the sad news that Judge Gold was formally retiring this month and that he would close his chambers and take inactive status.  John Pacenti of the Daily Business Review covered the story last week and reports that Judge Gold is happy about moving on to the next phase of his life:

But for now, he is focused on his baby granddaughter in New York. His wife, Susan F. Gold, retired last year as an associate professor of pediatrics and education at the University of Miami, and they want to focus on family and travel.
"It's about at this phase in my life, reprioritizing while I'm healthy," he told the Daily Business Review. "We wanted to explore really other interests in our lives together and independently."
Gold was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1997 after serving as a state circuit judge, an attorney with Greenberg Traurig and a Miami-Dade County attorney. He took senior status in 2011.
"This is a tough week because there is a sense of sweet sorrow in retrospect, but also an excitement about living a mindful phase of my life," the 70-year-old judge said. "At this stage, it's time to ask your next question: Who are you now, and what is it you want to do with the time you have left?"
U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno said Gold was one of the hardest-working judges in the district."He always has been one of our more scholarly judges," Moreno said. "We are going to miss him because he was such a hard worker, but I'm delighted he wants to spend more time with his family. He certainly deserves a break." 
Judge Gold was at Judge Bloom's investiture last week and looked great. 

He handled some of the biggest cases in this district -- Exxon, UBS, Shaygan...  But more importantly than the brilliant way he handled those cases was that he was a great person and made everyone feel like they were getting a fair shake.  He'll be missed on the bench.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Akerman lawyer Ryan Roman opens Mignonette

It's a fantastic restaurant. If oysters are your thing, there's no better place.  And it's the best lobster roll in town.  I highly recommend it. 

Plus, for better or worse, you'll likely see a bunch of judges and lawyers.  After all, owner Ryan Roman is a lawyer himself at Akerman:

Ryan Roman is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group. His commercial litigation practice includes a focus on securities litigation matters, including SEC enforcement proceedings and securities class-action defense. He has also represented portfolio companies in private equity litigation matters. In addition, Ryan is also experienced servicing clients in the hospitality industry, having defended restaurant shareholders in various business disputes. He has defended various businesses in consumer class actions, and represented companies in the enforcement of money judgments.

But he has a passion for food, running the popular food blog, MiamiRankings.

Ryan opened the joint with Blue Collar's Danny Serfer.  From the review:
"We're both into oysters and classic raw bar ... and of course prime rib," Roman says. "So we're excited to share all that at Mignonette. Oysters are an aphrodisiac, the more you eat them, the more you love to eat them. We just want to have a place to eat cold seafood that's fun, casual and has curse words on the radio."
PS: Evoking sort of an ethical husband/wife privilege, Roman says that Blue Collar will no longer be eligible for his restaurant rankings.
 The Miami New Times review is great:

The idea for Mignonette came to the pals a year and a half ago over a bowl of ramen at Momi Ramen in Brickell. Roman was at first hesitant. What swayed him to risk pouring his life savings into the business? "I'd rather live in a restaurant than a house," he explains.
So a little more than a month ago, they decided to open Mignonette with a fairly expansive menu of simple, classic preparations. To execute their vision, they plucked Mignonette's chef de cuisine, Bobby Frank, from Blue Collar, where he was Serfer's protégé. Then they decorated the place in an "Old Florida meets New Orleans" style that includes tan leather banquettes, a marble raw bar, and hanging constellations festooned from copper pipes. There's also an intimate back room with original wall art consisting of life-size fish rendered in gold leaf by artist Reed van Brunschot.
I like the story of the two owners on the Mignonette website:
Following the adage that the pen is mightier than the sword, Ryan Roman cuts all of his steaks with a pen.  A Miami native, Roman began writing about food and restaurants in 2009, with the launch of his blog, Miami’s Restaurant Power Rankings.  Roman also contributes as a columnist for Edible South Florida.  When he is not writing about food, he is a practicing attorney with the law firm Akerman LLP.
Roman first met chef Daniel Serfer after becoming a regular at Blue Collar, but perhaps the more compelling story is when the two didn’t meet.  Unbeknownst to Roman, Serfer would read Roman’s blog while laboring away in a kitchen in New York City, during a short absence from the Miami culinary scene.  Operating under the misimpression that the namesake “power rankings” on the blog were the result of some scientific algorithm, as opposed to one person’s arbitrary opinion, Serfer dreamed of opening his own restaurant back in Miami and achieving a spot on the rankings.  When Blue Collar opened, Serfer invited Roman to a media preview, having pushed his public relations company to free up one extra seat.  The stars were aligned for the two to meet and for their friendship to begin.
Roman declined the invitation.  Unaware of the backstory that Serfer had created in his head, and generally preferring to avoid what he perceived as freebie meals, Roman saw the invitation as just another piece of PR material for the circular filing cabinet.
But unlike Sharknado, this story has a happy ending.  Roman discovered Blue Collar in due time, falling for its emphasis on comfort food, its homey vibe, and its friendly staff.
After developing a friendship during which time Roman served as best man at Serfer’s wedding and godfather to Serfer’s firstborn child (who is affectionately referred to as Steak), and during which time Roman’s fear of commitment made it impossible for him to return such favors to Serfer, the two conspired to open Mignonette.