Eric Giunta
Florida governor's former top attorney withdraws judgeship application after liberal smear campaign
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By Eric Giunta
March 25, 2013


Gov. Rick Scott's former top attorney has quietly withdrawn his application for a seat on Florida's 1st District Court of Appeal, but only after two prominent liberal trial lawyers challenged his qualifications in emails to the Judicial Nominating Commission.

Charles Trippe, Scott's general counsel from 2011 to 2012, widely considered within the legal community as a shoe-in for the position, withdrew his candidacy on March 11, just days after the Governor foiled a similar smear campaign against Alan Forst, whom the governor appointed to the 4th District Court.

"As you know, it is very important that the 1st District Court of Appeal recapture credibility after the embarrassment suffered due to some overly political appointments. ... I raise this point because Governor Scott's former General Counsel Mr. Trippe has applied and that sounds oh too much like a movie we have seen," Tallahassee trial lawyer Donald Hinkle wrote in an 8:44 a.m. email to JNC chair Mike Glazer on March 7. "Mr. Trippe not only has no judicial experience (not even a judicial clerkship) but it appears he has little to no meaningful appellate experience as a lawyer. He has no business starting his judicial career at the appellant level."

Just three hours later, Hinkle's email was followed up with one authored by fellow Tallahassee trial lawyer John Mills, who forwarded to JNC member Daryl Parks remarks made by Trippe at a workshop hosted by the James Madison Institute, a limited-government think tank.

"Worth a read to understand why you, my brother, are 'both a direct and indirect threat to our constitutional order,'" Mills wrote, the "you, my brother" referring to Parks, who is also a Tallahassee trial attorney.

In his 2001 remarks before the Institute, Trippe had opined that "[w]hen lawyers organize themselves into a 'fourth branch of government,' they are posing both a direct and an indirect threat to the constitutional order," and accused some trial lawyers of wanting "not to promote the common good but to accumulate power and wealth in the hands of the legal profession". . . .

Catch the rest of the story at Sunshine State News!

© Eric Giunta

 

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