Friday, May 30, 2014

Ex-hijacker's fate in hands of "Maximum Mike"

K. Michael Moore
Former fugitive William Potts' case has been reassigned to "Maximum Mike," regarded by some lawyers as one of worst federal judges in Florida.
The Robing Room website gave U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore an average rating of just 4.6 on a 10-point scale. That was based on 27 ratings by lawyers. Wrote one attorney:
To put it very kindly, this judge is not the sharpest tool in the shed. To put it bluntly, he is a nitwit and a judicial wimp when it comes handling complex civil litigation: this probably explains why he 'overcompensates' by being one of the harsher sentencers in criminal cases.
Only one judge in the district, Marcia G. Cooke, scored lower than Moore. Her average score: 4.3.
George W. Bush nominated Cooke on Nov. 25, 2003. George H.W. Bush nominated Moore on Oct. 4, 1991.
An Obama nominee, Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, had been assigned to Potts' case. Barack Obama nominated her to the district court on Nov. 30, 2011, and to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Nov. 7, 2013.
On May 12, the Senate approved Rosenbaum's nomination to the appeals court and her cases were reassigned to other judges.
Potts' sentencing is now set for 10 a.m. July 10 before Moore in Miami.

In 2000, Moore dismissed a lawsuit aimed at keeping Elián González in Florida. That helped clear the way for the boy's return to Cuba where he was reunited with his father.
In 2006, the Robing Room rated Moore as one of America's 10 worst judges. The Robing Room no longer calls him one of the nation's worst, but he is rated as the second worst in the Southern District of Florida.
Below are comments about Moore taken from the Robing Room website:
He's great! If you're a criminal, you don't want to be found guilty in his court!

A bad joke.

By far my favorite judge in the Southern District.

Worst judge in the district.

He conducts his trials in a fair and consistent manner. He is more predictable and consistent than many of the other judges. He has a reputation as one of the harsher sentencers, but you can be sure he provides a fair trial. He does not usually like to continue the trial date, regardless of the excuse.

His daddy was friends with George the First so what can we expect? He seems unhappy, unsatisfied and thoroughly bored by it all. What a shame, given the number of talented young lawyers and jurists who would love to be a federal judge.

Fair, wise, just.

Worst ever. 
Wish we had more like him, FIRM BUT FAIR, does not allow theatrics in the courtroom. He can pick a jury on record time when others take a day or more. Always on time and does not tolerate anyone being late.

He is a great judge with lots of experience, and he's also very smart.

Not only for career criminals, Moore is also a brutal sentencer for first time, nonviolent defendants who plead guilty. He was offended that he was required to commute to Ft. Pierce (before the new courthouse/palace was completed) and took his animus out on everyone who had the misfortune to draw him as a judge. He should have a guaranteed place if anyone ever decides to write another "Benchwarmers".

For sentencing, I call him "Maximum Mike Moore."

A mediocre mentality at best, gruff and abrupt.

A terrible judge in many respects. Sets cases too quickly and will not grant continuances to enable lawyers to prepare. He'll hose the government on this issue as well, but of course, they've generally had months or years to prepare before indicting. He is a brutal sentencer for the most part. On a run of the mill case, where the defendant has pled, he may go with the bottom of the guidelines. He will never, ever give a downward departure or variance. And he will go high end or statutory maximum with some regularity. He gave one guy who scored 0 to 6 the statutory max of 5 years because the defendant in a failure to heave-to case gave the finger to the coasties and then denied that he did it. Moore was clever enough to protect the record from the 11th -- not that they're going to do anything -- but everyone knew why the sentence was imposed. Four and a half years above the guidelines for making an obscene gesture. That's pretty petty and vindictive, which is scary given the power of the position.

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