PBCBA BAR BULLETINS pbcba_bulletin_June 2019 - Page 21
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In Gore v. State , 719 So. 2d 1197, 1199 (1998),
the trial judge precluded the State from
introducing certain evidence at trial.
Without first approaching for a ruling on
whether the defense had opened the door
to such evidence, the prosecutor pushed
ahead on cross-examination. Id. Because
of the prosecutor’s blatant disregard for
the trial court’s specific pre-trial ruling,
the conviction was reversed on appeal.
“The foundation of our legal system
depends on fidelity to rules.” Halsell v.
State, 672 So.2d 869, 870 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996).
The consequences for infidelity to the
rules may begin with a verbal warning or
reprimand, but continued violations could
lead to contempt proceedings against the
attorney or even a bar complaint, which
could lead to suspension or disbarment.
S ee The Florida Bar v. Norkin , 132 So.3d
77 (Fla. 2014) (attorney given two-year
suspension and public reprimand for his
relentless unethical and unprofessional
conduct toward judges and opposing
counsel, in large part because he had
significant history for engaging in same
In this moment of great public discourse,
this may seem like an odd time to talk
about professionalism and civility, but it
is imperative that attorneys, now more
than ever, maintain professionalism and
civility in their practice.
For more information, The Palm Beach
County Bar Association’s Standards of
Professional Courtesy and Civility can be
found online at http://www.palmbeachbar.
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