Judge Says Law Is "Dumb." Florida Court of Appeals Says ...?
Attorneys are ethically bound to zealously represent their clients. Clients hire lawyers to do just that. And judges apply the laws as written, except those darned activist judges (which is all of them, depending, of course, on who you ask.)
Down in Florida, William Grisham found himself charged with assault. The State asked that he be committed to a mental hospital. During that time, the 180 days within which a trial is required to take place expired. His attorney told the judge that, according to a recent Florida law, his client must be released because his right to a speedy trial was violated. The attorney pointed out that the law specifically states that people committed to mental hospitals don't lose their right to a speedy trial. So what do you think the judge had to say to that?
That may be the law but ...
... if it is, it's a dumb law and I will deny your motion. I will let you take it up on appeal.
Snap! So much for judges applying the law. Thank goodness for the appellate process. It'll keep those zany trial judges in line. The Court of Appeals ... affirmed the decision! Although it would not provide any consolation to Mr. Grisham, Chief Judge Rawls, in dissent, stated
While the subject statute may well, as characterized by the trial judge, be '. . . a dumb law . . .', nevertheless, it is a law and it is our duty to abide by it as written.
The case is Grisham v. State, 319 So. 2d 130.