3d DCA Watch — A Canker On Both Your Houses (Miami-Dade and Broward)

I know I know, everyone wants to talk Scott and Kim Rothstein, but there are plenty of other places to get your fix.

Yes, Scott pled guilty and his plea agreement is here.

Yes, Kimmie stood by his side and made a statement outside the Courthouse.

Yes, her “bodyguard” got pushed around and thrown to the ground afterwards by a pencil-neck reporter with a notepad.

Just another day here in sunny South Florida.But alas life goes on, and indeed the coffee must be obsessively swilled, the Resplendent Robes must be adorned and/or worn, the written utterances must be released, and the bunker must be — you guessed it — heavily-fortified.

In today’s 3d DCA Watch, we catch up with Miami native Bobby Gilbert, who has been battling the state over its over-the-top citrus canker eradication program for about 37 years, or before most of you were born.

Back then in South Florida — you know, the good ole’ days — there used to be citrus trees everywhere, in every yard and neighborhood, and you could marinate pork in fresh-picked sour oranges, eat fresh grapefruit as you walked down the block on your way home from school, and help Aunt Bee bake her delicious key lime pie, or something like that.

Now we just have air potatoes and Starbucks.

Anyway, even though there was a full-on trial and an appeal is pending before the 4th DCA, Wes Parsons of Adorno has been defending the State (and merrily billing taxpayers all the way) — by trying to proceed with the Miami-Dade action even though there seems evident benefit in waiting to see what the 4th does first.

Back in 2008 Wes explained his logic to the DBR:

“Even if you were to start counting defense dollars versus tree payments, I don’t think it would work out to be cheaper to give money to plaintiffs counsel and their constituents than it is to pay lawyers to defend you,” Parsons said. “The people who will make money are the class members and the plaintiff counsel. That money is going to presumably come out of general revenue of the state of Florida at a time when it’s suffering budget cuts and doesn’t have enough money for schools or law enforcement.”

Query whether that logic still holds up (assuming it ever did) many many taxpayer-funded billable hours later.Well today the 3d has ruled on Wes’ interlocutory appeal of the stay Judge David Miller entered pending disposition of the 4th DCA appeal.

Guess what — Judge Shepherd upheld the stay:

In this case, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks review of a non-final order granting a stay of an individually filed inverse condemnation action, for the destruction of citrus canker exposed trees, pending a decision of the Fourth District Court of Appeal in a related class action on which it appears the briefing recently has been completed. The Department characterizes the order under review as “in the nature of an injunction” and therefore seeks to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under section 9.130(a)(3)(B) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. We treat the appeal as a petition for certiorari but deny the relief sought.

Sheesh, first Garvin and now Judge Shepherd — we really are living in strange times.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Scott Rothstein yank fest.