Speaker 1 (00:03):
This is bill Uman ski. I’m a lawyer and the owner of the Umansky law firm thrown out of three schools from a broken home. I felt lost and powerless. And without direction, one day, someone gave me a second chance. I created this podcast to provide you information, to help you find your second chance.
Speaker 2 (00:24):
It’s all about me. No, man. I was purposely ignoring you because I’m always like, Hey, what’s up guys? Hey, what’s up guys? Hey. And it’s just like getting boring. So I figured I’d mix things up a little bit today. Now that we have attorney Rachel Matty on, Hey Rachel, thank God we have someone live to talk to them now boring. Jeff. So Rachel, Rachel is actually let’s before we get there, I just want to bring up to our listeners that the law man has been trying to nickname me else for the longest time. Now, to the point to where he’s like not sit it. Like, no, I’m not getting emails because my email address is now J L he’s like, I’m like, no, that’s not my email. I actually have not even brought up. I have not even brought up the elf. He, you do all the time. I have not purposely stopped doing it because I didn’t want to be like, after you left and digital marketing from my old boss, he made me into a house, which I never did. I respected that. But anyway, let’s go back. Welcome to the show. No man’s lounge and welcome to my cohost. Jeff, the L L Hoffer. You’re welcoming to me or I don’t know what I’m doing. Come on the show.
Speaker 2 (01:39):
Uh, Jeff, Hey, what’s up guys? [inaudible] sounds a lot better. Yeah. She’s a natural at this. I know she doesn’t get depressed about having to be called an elf. I’ve been practicing. So she’s got her own nickname is the last time I was talking to me and we can talk about that. The name on the show. Yeah, we kind of, Oh, we can, we can do whatever we want them to show. That’s right. Did you get a release from her? No, no. We need to get a release. Probably shed. Yeah. She’s very smart that way. Yeah. Yeah. We don’t cut cuss on the show. No, we do keep it clean. We do. And we’re not paternalistic or maternalistic and we don’t refer to gender or anything else in the show. We keep it clean on the show. Can you be clean, real, radical and raw? Sure.
Speaker 2 (02:24):
You just have to modify your behavior to the new world. And speaking of the new normal new world, you’re here to discuss something really stupid virtual pre-trial conferences. And to talk about it is Rachel Maddie, who is an associate that’s handling lots of cases, uh, able to run around corporate used to have to do it all in person, right? Rachel, it was extremely difficult driving and frustrating driving an hour to a certain courthouse to walk in and say like five to 10 words to the judge and then walk back out and have to drive an hour back to the office. I lost a lot of time
Speaker 3 (03:00):
Doing that. It’s normal though. That’s what being a private criminal defense attorney is all about. I practice in seven different counties. So yeah, sometimes I drive right down the street to orange County courthouse. Other times I have to drive an hour to get to Bravard. But lately, because of COVID-19, we’ve been doing these virtual pretrial conferences, which can be done one of two ways and every judge has their different way of doing it. Um, the one is on the day of your court date or a couple of days before, um, you fill out a form and you just tell the judge, Hey, this case is ready to get set for a plea. Hey, this case is ready for trial or, Hey, I want a continuance. Here’s my motion. It’s here’s the email, the state doesn’t object. And you can do that all from the comfort of your own office takes you five minutes to send the email and then you get back to representing your clients or helping people or reviewing discovery.
Speaker 3 (03:42):
And you’re saving that two hours of driving time. You can either do that or you can do them by zoom. I’ve done a couple of pretrial conferences from, from using zoom as well. And you just log on. And when the judge is ready for your case, he, you know, he brings you into the conversation and you handle it that way. And once again, you click out of it and you’re right back in the comfort of your own office representing your other clients. So it’s been awesome. Not only has it saved me time and gas money, but it’s made me a lot more productive my time and actually being at the office, which is great,
Speaker 2 (04:09):
You know, as a business owner, I’m just thinking, wow, those coverage attorneys. Yeah. It’s a little different those coverage attorneys who make money off of getting paid per court date, they may be wanting to look in for some other work. Not a lot of people do that anymore. Well, not for criminal cases, but they do them for some other areas of law. And actually you can handle that virtually not have to leave your office or leave your house. Even you might be able to be put in a whole line of coverage attorneys out of work,
Speaker 3 (04:36):
But why would someone need someone to cover for them virtually
Speaker 2 (04:40):
Exactly. Putting them out of work, putting the coverage attorneys out of work. Gotcha. Well, no, there are some people that don’t want to wear, you know, clothes when they come cover virtual pretrial like that lawyer and they want a coverage attorney we can offer, we can offer that out there for people that just don’t want to get dressed for court. Then we can certainly handle that. What about, uh, so, so virtually it saves you time driving, but what about like, not seeing your buddies, your friends in court that kind of one-on-one interaction with your buddies and lawyers and also the opposite side?
Speaker 3 (05:18):
No, I mean, so there are negatives as well. Uh, it’s been very convenient and it’s, it’s definitely boosted productivity for me being in the office and getting office work done. But the negatives are prosecutors can’t really ignore you and you’re right in front of their face in court, but they can ignore you if you’re emailing them, they can ignore your calls and not all of them, but that’s definitely a problem that, you know, me and some other defense attorneys have noticed is, you know, we’ll have the virtual pretrial coming up in a week and we’ve sent a particular prosecutor, five emails and we haven’t heard back. And sometimes I do look forward to those in-person pretrial conferences where I get to walk in and say, Hey, I’ve emailed you five times, you know, what’s going on because sometimes you can get good deals that way.
Speaker 2 (05:54):
Well, I think you were president of the central Florida defense lawyers association, aren’t you that’s been worthless. Oh, sorry. Then anyway, Ben, if you’re listening to this, no offense. I saw your office in winter park. The other day I was walking my dogs and I was like, wow, that’s a beautiful office and I want to work for Ben, but anyway, you were on the board, right?
Speaker 3 (06:15):
Yeah. I’m on the board and I’m running for secretary right now. So we’ll see
Speaker 2 (06:21):
What I thought was going to be cool is that, um, if what about virtual plea conferences or Ashley, because prosecutors can avoid, and this goes to any area of law. Like if you have a civil issue and you want the lawyers to talk, maybe the judges, maybe that’s a good thing for your organization. Maybe you can talk to the judges about having virtual plea conferences outside of the court presence with prosecutors, because now there’s more office time and you want to get in to get FaceTime. Because as you’re saying, if they don’t, you know, that a lot of times prosecutors and even private lawyers, defense lawyers, they don’t return emails, but seeing someone virtual it’s a lot harder not to ignore them. So you’re not in their face right there, but physically, but you may be in their face virtually.
Speaker 3 (07:03):
Right? I mean, I definitely think that’s better because it’s requiring them to, to be present as well, requiring all parties to be present as opposed to the paper dockets that they’re doing with those types of virtual, because the defense team just sends in a sheet of paper. There’s really no communication. Um, but the, um, the actual ones we all have to appear for sure. You know, definitely I, you know, there’s still going to be something negative though. I mean, some attorneys have that vibe where, you know, you’re a people person and you can be very influential when you’re in person. And that’s a huge part of being a good trial attorney in person in front of a jury.
Speaker 2 (07:35):
That’s so scary because if we got to start picking juries, virtually, which is a very good possibility that could happen. There’s just something that doesn’t transmit over zoom, but there’ll be new skills that will need to be learned. Lawyers will have to evolve.
Speaker 3 (07:50):
Right. And that, that kind of makes me nervous. I think that charisma is a huge positive trait to have as a trial attorney charisma. I would hope to have charisma if I don’t, but I mean, I think, I just think that that’s something that
Speaker 2 (08:05):
As an, as a trough, some music in here make up for the lack of the laugh call, but you do have charisma, Rachel, I know you do. And how do you lose charisma? You just get on the zoom, you pick your jury. Where’s the Christmas still there virtually.
Speaker 3 (08:19):
I know, I’m just saying, it’s not, it’s awkward trying to have this like natural charisma and this natural peace people person by when you’re, you’re looking at people. Sure. But you’re in front of a computer and you’re alone in your office and it’s, it’s just not the same. And
Speaker 2 (08:34):
Absolutely, I was supposed to give a talk in st. Louis in June on resiliency and they had to cancel a conference and then they wanted to, uh, have me do a virtually Jeff. And so the Ashley, I’m probably one of the few people that’s not doing virtually, sorry, Jim and Tyson, but I just couldn’t get up for like a zoom call, like who wants to scream in front of the computer. Right. So, but I mean, but maybe you just got to try it.
Speaker 3 (08:58):
No, sure. I mean, we are, I had a motion to compel. Um, that was no, no, but trying to ha that’s another thing trying to have the, trying to, you know, exhibit the same amount of passion that you have when you’re at a podium, you know, every young lawyer dreams of that moment when you’re in court for the first time you’re out the podium, it’s just, it’s going to be challenging to try and exhibit that same type of passion and that same type of charisma that you would do if you were actually in court.
Speaker 2 (09:25):
Zahra told me my wife, uh, Zari Mansky told me she had just had a court date the other day. It was great. Cause she just did the zoom from neck up. So she put her makeup on and she put, you know, and then, you know, no one could see her and she was doing it from her house and was able to do it. It was a lot easier for her. You know, she didn’t have to go do anything. She didn’t have to leave her room or house. It just was able to do that. So she made her arguments and felt pretty good about, and she felt like it was a no, not like it was the same as physically being there. But I mean, it’s one of those things doesn’t like become maybe a customer thing that did you do that? Any of the zoom happy hours?
Speaker 3 (10:02):
I did a couple. Um, yeah, until everyone loosens up and has a few drinks
Speaker 2 (10:08):
Individually having drinks,
Speaker 3 (10:11):
The awkward part about that is you get sucked into it. And so after like an hour, when you’re a little buzzed and your friends are it’s great. And then when you close the laptop and then you realize that you’re like drunk alone in your house,
Speaker 2 (10:24):
That’s funny. That’s really bizarre drank for those zoom happy hours. I refused to do it. I’ve never done one. I was told I’d never drink alone. So yeah. And I feel like even though you’re out there and you’re just an, it feels odd to me now they have waiting rooms. So did the judges put you in waiting rooms?
Speaker 3 (10:43):
So I did for a couple of them. So I had, I’ve had the virtual video pre-trial conferences with multiple judges and each one likes to use their own, like one uses zoom, one uses Microsoft teams. The other one uses like the night circuit special one that they have set up and are waiting rooms for some of them. Yeah. And then they just pull you in when it’s your turn, which is great because before your case gets called you, couldn’t no one’s looking at you. No, one’s hearing you. And you’re working, you’re doing office work, as opposed to when that happens in person where you’re sitting in a courtroom and you can’t get too much work done, you know, and you can bring your laptop if you want. And you’re waiting another 20, 30 minutes for the judge to call your case.
Speaker 2 (11:17):
Like, so you think with these, uh, with doing it, uh, via zoom, are they more respectful of your time? Because it seems like they’re present, you know, they’re more apt to call you in versus you’re just, you know, at home or at the office in a waiting room on zoom.
Speaker 3 (11:34):
No, I don’t think that they’re more, that the judges were be inclined to be more respectful of our time one way or the other. I just think for us, it’s just makes us much more efficient attorneys, much more productive attorneys. I mean, a normal day for me before COVID-19 was I would get up in the morning and I would drive. Like, let’s say I have to go to Bravard. I would drive an hour there an hour back my entire morning. And then let’s say half court in the afternoon in Seminole. I mean, that’s the large majority of my afternoon. So by the time I even get started on any office work, it’s
Speaker 2 (12:01):
Like four o’clock can’t you just teleport.
Speaker 3 (12:03):
I mean, I wish I’m working on it, but it’s tough. And you know, I mean, we got, we got good at covering for one another, you know, to limit the amount of people that are running around, but
Speaker 2 (12:14):
Let’s use that central Florida attorney coverage thing may actually have less use for it. Now we’ve got to keep up that and maybe become more of a place where you can just talk about things in general, as opposed to Agni coverage, which is actually great because a lot of lawyers in central Florida been terrific covering stuff for us. And we cover for them. I would probably get held because it’s not me covering, but I’m just saying like, I feel like it’s been a great way of having a comradery amongst some attorneys. And now that spirit will be, I’ve really thought that I think Mike Barbara created that, right?
Speaker 3 (12:45):
Yeah. I think he did. And actually as a new lawyer, three years ago, when I first became practice, uh, private, when I first joined private practice, that covering was a huge way that I’ve met a lot of people. I mean, it was great for networking and I didn’t know anybody, nobody knew who I was.
Speaker 2 (12:59):
It was going to be like a platform for Michael Barber to run for governor.
Speaker 3 (13:07):
We got your back
Speaker 2 (13:08):
The opposite party. I’m not even sure what party app, but, but anyway, this is about you, Rachel and Richard, actually, you just made me have a great idea, but can you use in order for your attorneys to get work done, we can have the law Leno start driving the attorneys around in the office to all these
Speaker 3 (13:29):
I’m not objecting to being dropped off. Yeah. That’s a great idea.
Speaker 2 (13:33):
It’s a great idea. We just need to have the finances to do that. And we’re running as most people know who run criminal firms and the larger you are, the lower the margins. However, I love that idea.
Speaker 3 (13:42):
Can we get wifi in the limbo so that I can actually check my emails,
Speaker 2 (13:46):
The $3,600 to add that to it? I think right. It was a 6,030 600. I have no idea. I think he’s been collecting dust and since COVID so yeah, I know we need to, we need to have insurance put back on us and find some drivers don’t can drive you around. Yeah. I wouldn’t mind. I have a cap. I bought myself a cap. Did you know that? Yeah.
Speaker 3 (14:06):
Yeah. So there are clearly pros and cons to doing
Speaker 2 (14:11):
Not only that, but how do you develop a relationship with a prosecutor over, uh, even if he did a zoom call, like it is still different, right? Or they do say that if you do, which is what we’re going to have them do. If you do a video sales consultation, you’re 80% higher chance of closing, which I don’t see any reason why we don’t do, but it has to be the same thing. Like virtually obviously I want to virtually see the prosecutor as opposed to emailing the prosecutor and visually see each other is a human element. But how do you do that? If they’re not going to do that?
Speaker 3 (14:43):
I think something else to consider too, is that part of negotiating as an attorney in any area is, you know, there’s an, there’s an element of pers you have to be persuasive and not necessarily intimidating, but I mean, you attorneys who can be physically persuasive are very successful in negotiating.
Speaker 2 (15:01):
Yeah. But is there, that’s a great question, but how do you do that? If you can’t do a pre-trial anymore. So when you used to go to pretrial prosecutors there, and man, it’s, it’s amazing. Some of them are just great. They’re able to like judge, judge, judge. Yes. Yes.
Speaker 3 (15:15):
Right. Okay. Thank you for telling me the story sidebar with the attorneys, right? Okay.
Speaker 2 (15:19):
This reduced for you right now. We’ll work out a deal. Get your client in here. That’s what I’m talking
Speaker 3 (15:23):
About is we benefit from that. How is that
Speaker 2 (15:25):
Going to happen? Now, if you’re not able to communicate with the prosecutor, it’s hard to get through with them through emails. You only time, sometimes that pre-trial and sometimes that’s the way the prosecutor likes it. Right? Some prosecutors are way, way ahead of the game. And they’re talking to you before pretrial and they get their deals worked out. Those guys and gals are amazing, but how do you do that now? Like, do you do that? What happens at pre-trial? Can you go, judge, can I go in the private zoom waiting room and zoom out so I can talk to the prosecutor
Speaker 3 (15:53):
It’s been, it’s been more difficult. I don’t know if everyone’s having this experience, but for me since COVID-19, it’s been more difficult for me to resolve cases. I mean, there are definitely those cases, every criminal defense attorney knows I’m talking about. There are definitely those cases where your facts are crap, but you’re willing to resolve it early. And you hope to show up at that PTC and just get the prosecutor say, okay. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that. I mean, they have an incentive to get their cases resolved early too. I’ve been trying to do it through email, but I think
Speaker 2 (16:22):
On the zoom call where you just chat the prosecutor, that’d be stupid because how are you going to really communicate your stuff
Speaker 3 (16:28):
And done that many video PTCs a lot of them have been by paper. So it’s, you know, and even with the video ones, there’s a bunch of different people trying to talk. There’s the judge, there’s a clerk. There’s prosecutors defense attorney. There’s the JIA, especially lately. I mean, these judges, their primary concern isn’t to like open it up so that they can hear us have a conversation about the case. They don’t care.
Speaker 2 (16:47):
Actually they prefer not to no interruption. The prosecutor can focus a hundred percent on the case. Well, it’s gotta be another strategy out there. Then maybe that’s something that you can bring up to your board because maybe the judges can actually force the a time where you can sit and talk. One-on-one virtually with the prosecutor and get your stuff done.
Speaker 3 (17:06):
Well, I mean, I will say this on behalf of CFA CDL, um, the organization we’ve been talking about, uh, central Florida association of criminal defense lawyers, our board great organization, and I’m very happy to be on the board and I’m looking forward to this next year beyond the board. And I will say that we’ve been working very closely with the judges and orange County to try to give input on what the concerns are from the private defense bar, because the public defender’s office is meeting with them. And so as the state attorney’s office, but the private defense bar, you know, we’ve got separate issues. We don’t have the technological opportunities that the PDs office does. So I will say this on behalf of our board, our board has been tremendous at getting our, our concerns over to the judges. And then we’ve gotten a lot of responses.
Speaker 2 (17:46):
Yeah. The main concern is criminal defense lawyers, arraignments for defendants to show up and the, like, they don’t even have any skin in the game now there’s not even any fear of going to court and they just show up and they do individual arraignments kind of takes out the whole court thing now. Right. Very interesting. So, okay. Do the crime may or may not even feel the time or do the time you just show up virtually and say, Hey, I’m here. And if you don’t show for that, do you think a warrant should be issued?
Speaker 3 (18:16):
Cool. Think about thinking about this. What if they are virtual and you have a client who doesn’t have internet, doesn’t have a laptop and then they can appear virtually or they can’t like, well, it’s just another way to isolate people who have less opportunities than others.
Speaker 2 (18:29):
Sure. Getting back to the original question, are we pro these gyms? Are we like, is there more negatives outlet?
Speaker 3 (18:38):
So my position is real quick. My position is I’m definitely pro these virtual pretrial conferences when the case isn’t ready to be resolved or anywhere close. Like for example, if I don’t have videos on a DUI case yet, and the prosecutor knows I don’t have the videos because they haven’t sent them. And I know I don’t have the videos, I just don’t see the need for us to both show up to court in person. That’s something that we can agree on. Send a, send a motion to the judge.
Speaker 2 (19:04):
How do you know when those moments arise? Like how do you know that those are just between you and the prosecutor?
Speaker 3 (19:10):
Yeah, I mean, we just know, cause I mean, if we show up in person, if I were to show up in person on a case like that, I would just sit there. Judge would call my case. And I would say, your honor, I’m requesting a continuance either with, or without a waiver of speedy, depending on the situation, because I’m still missing this because I’m still missing this. And if it’s an issue like that, and both parties can agree to what’s being requested, for example, a continuance. I just don’t see the need in us showing up in person. I do think it should always be an option though, because like we’ve highlighted there negatives to that as well. So I do think that we should have the option, you know, if the state says, Oh, we can do this virtually and then me as the defense attorney goes, no, no, no. I’d really rather just show up in person that I think if all parties don’t agree to it being virtually than it should be.
Speaker 2 (19:50):
Gotcha. Okay. Well, I think that about wraps up the show. Thank you for being on the
Speaker 1 (19:55):
Law. Man’s lounge. Thanks for having me for our listeners out there. We’ll see you next week. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Umansky law firm podcast. I’m Billy Umansky. If you’ve got any questions or you just want to reach out and talk, reach us at the Umansky law firm on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, or just give us a call direct (407) 228-3838.
Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney