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Thursday, April 26, 2012

CALLS & TEXTS MAY LEAD TO ONE YEAR SUSPENSION

A one-year suspension has been recommended for Howard Scheinberg, a former homicide prosecutor in Florida, after he sent hundreds of texts and made hundreds of calls to a state judge during a 2007 capital murder trial.  Scheinberg, who is now in private practice, resigned from the Prosecutor's Office after the communications between him and then Judge Gardiner, a Circuit Court Judge, came to light.  Both claim that the texts and calls had nothing to do with the trial. 

However, the referee stated that these conversations should have been disclosed to defense counsel and by failing to do so, their action was prejudicial to the administration of justice.  The defendant in the case was convicted and sentenced to death, but was awarded a new trail as a result of this breach of duty.  He was subsequently convicted again and given a life term. 

Scheinberg plans to appeal the one-year suspension. 

Former Judge Gardiner avoided a judicial ethics complaint by resigning, but still is facing a Florida Bar complaint over her communications with Scheinberg.  She also is now in private practice. 

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