3d DCA Watch — The One In Which I Agree With Judge Shepherd

I think one time before oral argument a few years back I mentioned to Judge Shepherd how delicious the coffee was that morning and he agreed.So there’s that.I’m scratching my head to find another time…..oh yeah:

K T Holdings v. Akerman:

This is a convoluted legal malpractice case against two Akerman attorneys in which the trial court granted summary judgment to Akerman.Judge Salter affirms, in an order that to me is uncharacteristic of him.In fact, I was planning on noting a few of the peculiarities in Judge Salter’s approach to the case, but I see Judge Shepherd in a dissent does it for me:

The majority justifies its decision with the comment “[t]here is no justice” in any other result. See Maj. Op. at 11. I would reply that there is no justice in granting appellate summary judgment against a party without notice and due process, which is what this Court is doing today, contrary to the tenets upon which this Court has operated since its formation.

I see Judge Shepherd doesn’t practice much in state court anymore.Anyways, there’s more:

The majority finds the final judgment in the Tampa lawsuit, awarding the aircraft to MSF, so “incomprehensible in light of the undisputed facts and the applicable New York law” that it finds it necessary to float—but, tellingly, falls short of taking ownership of—a post-Tampa Aircraft Final Judgment conspiracy theory to, in its own words, “provide some insight into why the trial court may have ruled as it did.”. . . . A careful reading of the majority opinion reveals the majority improperly reached the merits of the KT entities’ case.

The Judge concludes his dissent with an apodictic flourish:

It may have been, upon a trial of this case, a jury would have exonerated the Akerman Attorneys. It also may be (put me in the doubtful category), that the Akerman Attorneys have a meritorious basis for summary judgment on a ground other than the one on which they erroneously prevailed below. If so, however, it is our duty to require the Akerman Attorneys to accomplish it—as we require of all litigants—the old-fashioned way; they should earn it.

Hear that, Akerman Attorneys?

Go “earn it” the “old-fashioned way,” the way generations of attorneys in South Florida before you have done — by schmoozing the judge, getting on the JNC, acting like a big shot and donating heavily to their reelection campaign.

(I’m joking of course.)