Here is an interesting article. This is an old case, and Judge Holder was found to have done nothing wrong. He is a fine judge, and an honorable man, so I am happy that he was cleared.
Here’s all you need to know about the backstory: the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission accused him of conduct unbecoming of a judge, an accusation that could have cost him his seat on the bench. It was bogus and went nowhere.
After it was all over, Judge Holder wanted to be paid back the money he spent defending himself. He asked for $1.7million in legal FEES (money owed to his attorneys for their time). He apparently also had about $140K in COSTS (money for anything other than fees, such as depositions, copies, FedEx’s legal research, etc etc). According to the rather poorly-written (in my opinion) article, the Florida legislature said in 2006 that it would not pay Judge Holder’s attorneys’ fees or costs. The Florida Supreme Court said that the State could pay COSTS, but the judge only got ended up with $70K. I do not know the whole story there, but at least he got something.
I noted that from some of the on-line comments to the article that some readers are not happy that he recovered anything. Think about it, people: he had to defend himself against some very serious charges that were obviously unfounded. He had to spend his own money – judges don’t get public defenders. So I don’t get why reimbursing him for his costs is a bad thing. In reality, if the State of Florida were to be liable for payment of attorneys’ fees and costs in criminal cases that they bring in bad faith and lose (like the Federal Hyde Amendment, 18 USC 3006A), then we would likely see a drop in non-sense (or as the Hyde Amendment puts it, “vexatious, frivolous, or in bad-faith”) prosecutions.
Congrats to Judge Holder for fighting a long and honorable fight for his rights. Perhaps that it is step toward some restraint on the government’s ability to attack not only citizens, but its own servants.
Again, here’s the link to the TBO article: Tampa judge to be reimbursed $70,000 in plagiarism case