Law

Court won't remove judge from Miccosukee wrongful death case





A Florida appeals court won't remove a judge from a wrongful death case involving two members of the Miccosukee Tribe.

Attorneys for Tammy Gwen Billie and her father, Jimmie Bert, accused Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ronald Dresnick of being biased. They said the judge made comments about passing the "peace pipe."

The Third District Court of Appeal, however, did not address that issue. Instead, the court said the attorneys sought to remove the judge because they have "acted recklessly and unprofessionally" in their handling of the case.

Bert and Billie are represented by Guy Lewis, a former U.S. Attorney, and Michael Tein, another former federal prosecutor. The attorneys have represented the tribe on other matters and have been accused of overbilling.

Bert and Billie were ordered to pay $3.2 million for the death of a driver. They say they don't have the money to fulfill the judgment.

Get the Story:
Miami lawyers Lewis, Tein acted “recklessly & unprofessionally,’’ court finds (The Miami Herald 6/21)

Florida Third District Court of Appeal Decision:
Bert v. Bermudez (June 20, 2012)

Related Stories:
Attorneys for Miccosukee Tribe facing ethics investigations (04/06)
Miccosukee Tribe accuses another law firm of taking millions (4/3)
Judge accused of bias after making 'peace pipe' comments (03/27)
Miccosukee Tribe puts dollar figure on per capita back taxes (2/13)
Lawyers try to collect $3.2M from Miccosukee defendants (10/28)