Slip-and-Fall Lawyers’ Baseball Tickets Trip up Florida Judge
Just when you thought self-serving plaintiffs’ lawyers couldn’t sink Florida’s civil justice system any further into the swamp of unethical behavior that makes it a regular Judicial Hellhole, at least one Florida judge has joined their drive to the darkest depths.
Manatee County Circuit Judge John Lakin of Bradenton this week was charged with judicial misconduct after asking for Tampa Bay Rays tickets from slip-and-fall lawyers with a case pending before him.
In the slip-and-fall case, the jury returned a verdict in favor of defendant Wal-Mart. But the next day, Judge Lakin asked the plaintiff’s lawyers from Kallins Little & Delgado for tickets to a Rays baseball game — behind home plate — and they obliged.
Those lawyers then filed a Motion to Set Aside the Jury Verdict, which Judge Lakin ultimately granted — after asking for more tickets. It should be noted that this was reportedly the only time the judge had vacated a jury verdict in his tenure on the bench. And it should also be noted that, according to coverage by the Bradenton Herald, he asked for and received baseball tickets two from the plaintiff’s lawyers two more times.