Business and community leaders recently collaborated with judges from the North Dade Justice Center to present the 57th annual Law Day celebration featuring Judge Adalberto Jordan, U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Judicial Circuit. Judges overseeing Law Day 2016, themed “Miranda – More Than Words” were Associate Administrative Judge Linda Singer Stein, Judge Myriam Lehr, Judge Caryn Canner Schwartz, Judge Betty Capote, Judge Jason Emilos Dimitris, Judge Spencer Multack, and Judge Diana Vizcaino.
Special guests included Chief Judge Bertila Soto, and Michael Higer, Florida Bar president elect, as well as county and circuit court judges, elected officials, law enforcement officials, educators, and students from Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Sr. High Law Academy.
This year’s Law Day marked the 50th anniversary of the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda Warning has since become ingrained in law enforcement, providing procedural protections considered essential to liberty that are safeguarded by the courts, such as the right against self-incrimination and the right to counsel.
Law Day continued with an invocation by Richard Kuper, executive director of the Miami-Dade League of Cities; the North Miami Beach Police Department Honor Guard presentation; the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Bailiffs of the North Dade Justice Center; and an inspiring rendition of “God Bless America” sung by talented Young Star vocalist Emily Kaufman.
During the event, proclamations were presented by area mayors from Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach, North Miami Beach, Bay Harbor Islands, Town of Golden Beach, Indian Creek, Miami Gardens and Surfside lauding Law Day as, “A public acknowledgement of our nation’s and state’s heritage of justice, liberty and quality under the law.”
Taking the podium, Judge Jordan, revered as “a brilliant jurist, said, “What you may not know about Miranda is without its corollary relationship to what happens in a courtroom, the warning that police are required to give you may not be all that effective.” Jordan went on to cite cases pre and post dating the Miranda ruling (Griffin v. California; Doyle v. Ohio). He explained these cases, “Helped solidify the notion that a person’s silence could not be used against them inside of a courtroom, enshrining the right to silence and the inability to draw adverse inferences [from choosing to remaining silent].”
Jordan also discussed how in England, Miranda-related laws have shifted over time from being similar to U.S. rights and privileges to today’s “caution system” adopted via the 1994 Act due in part to rising crime. “This is certainly something to think about as we try to keep in mind how important cases like Miranda are to our criminal justice system and way of life,” he said. “It’s impossible to think, for most of us who have grown up with Miranda as part of our background, that the police could arrest you and interrogate you without giving you some sort of a warning. Some time ago that really wasn’t the case and in England it’s sort of half and half these days because you get the warning, but if you choose to remain silent, there may be a price to pay at the end.”
During Law Day, it was announced the first place winner of the North Dade Bar Association’s Law Day essay contest for students was Charles Calli, an 8th grader at Doctor’s Charter School of Miami Shores. Attorney Russel Lazega of Florida Advocates, one of the first recipients of the first prize Law Day essay contest over 30 years ago, said, “The amazing kids who represent our future put incredible talent, imagination and analysis into their work. I look forward to seeing them sitting out here as dignitaries a few years from now.”
Ruling Law Day 2016 “ highly successful,” North Dade Justice Center judges expressed special thanks to supporters including: Elaine Adler, president of the Aventura Marketing Council/World-Class Chamber of Commerce and AMC Law Day Chair Mark Hurwitz of Crossroads Investigations; the Law Firm of Fenstersheib & Berkowitz, P.A; C1 Bank;, Cuban American Bar Association; Dade League of Prosecutors; Florida Advocates, a Private Law Firm; Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association; Haitian Lawyers Association; Law Offices of Benedict P. Kuehne, PA; North Dade Bar Association; Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza; and just t.
By Bari Auerbach