Friday, October 09, 2015


Make no mistake about it we are in the midst of a Constitutional crisis of immense proportions.  Not so much in what the Constitution says or means, but whether it will survive as we know it.  You say, "Oh Professor, you are ranting and raving about nothing."  Am I?

A democratic republic struggling to recover from a recession bordering on depression.  A small party of radical politicians came forward, and decided that using the democratic process was the way to power.  They preached nationalism.  Told the people what the problems were, and who was to blame.  Certain ethnic groups, homosexuals, and non-Christians were responsible.  We have to expel these problem makers and purify our beliefs.  Some engaged in revisionist history to support their positions.

Their leaders were bombastic, passionate, loud, exhibited the anger of the rank and file and spoke of greatness and military superiority to an uneducated electorate.  They claimed they could fix it all (never saying exactly how), and all they needed was to have the power to do it.  After reaching less than 35% of the vote, but enough seats in the legislature to stalemate and paralyze the government, the majority, believing they could control these radicals to do their bidding, gave the party the power it wanted.  Appeasement and hubris.

You think I am talking about Washington today.  You would be wrong.  It happened over 80 years ago.  Not here, but in Europe.  We are not supposed to use the "N" word (not that "N" word), or the "H" word, but the parallels are uncanny.  If you don't believe that Carl Rove and his ilk don't study how this can be accomplished, and have taken stock of the human condition you are wrong.

Wake up America.  History does repeat itself

BTW - Ben Carson you are an imbecile.  The "N's" did not take power because the Jews did not have guns.  (And of course a few handguns and rifles would stop the power of tanks, artillery, machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.  Do you not know of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising?) Read above.  They took power through the democratic process.  You are not Jewish, you don't know what you are talking about, and don't use my people to justify your idiocy.  You are beyond arrogant.  You are a moron.

I am angry.  Can you tell.

Thursday, October 08, 2015


Brevard Judge John C Murphy, who threatened to beat the ass of an assistant public defender, was suspended by the Florida Supreme Court, which has in fact, beaten the ass of a few APDs in their time, just in a more lawyerly fashion.  The story is here. 

Broward Judge Lynn Rosenthal resigned from the bench today in light of her pending JQC hearing on her DUI charge for erratic driving (not erratic judging.) Kudos to our fellow Broward JAA bloggers who broke the story ahead of the "traditional" media. The Sun Sentinel was kind enough to give the blog credit for breaking the story. 

Rosenthal had a sweet-heart deal worked out with the JQC, but the Florida Supreme Court said "just hold your horses there one cotton-pickin-moment…":

We remand for further proceedings to include a full hearing before the Judicial Qualifications Commission in order to fully develop the facts regarding any misconduct that occurred during the criminal investigation and the Judicial Qualifications Commission investigation, including any destruction of evidence and any false and misleading statements made by Judge Rosenthal, so that the Court, in determining the appropriate sanction, will be apprised of all the facts and circumstances bearing on the violations.

 And of course congratulations to Judge Milton Hirsch and his beloved Cubs, who advanced to the playoffs last night. The Cubs will play the Cardinals. The Mets will play the Dodgers, and the winners of those two series will play each other for the right to play in the world series. Baseball in October. You can't beat it. 

See You In Court. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015



CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN .........................

On October 21, 2015, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, (over a team from Miami), according to the movie Back To The Future, Part Deux.

If you were a fan of the BTTF trilogy of movies then you remember Marty McFly traveling into the future, to the year 2015, and seeing a hologram that informed him that the Cubs had just won the World Series by sweeping Miami, with Old Terry wishing he had "put some money on the Cubbies."

For those of you not in the know, the last time the Cubs actually won the World Series was 1908. They did appear in the Fall Classic in 1945, but the "Curse of the Billy Goat" ensured that they would not win that World Series or any thereafter. That happened when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Simms was asked to leave a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at the Cubs' home ballpark of Wrigley Field because his pet goat's odor was bothering other fans. He was outraged and declared, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more". In fact, the Cubs have not won a National League pennant since that incident and they have not won the World Series in 107 years.

In 2003, they did come close to returning to the World Series when the Cubs played our own Florida Marlins in the NLCS. With the Cubs leading 3-2 in the series and 3-0 in the eighth inning of game six, they were only five outs away from returning to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945. That was until Steve Bartman got in the way of left-fielder Moises Alou, preventing him from catching a foul ball, and what would have been the second out of the inning. The Marlins went on to score eight runs in the inning, winning the game 8-3, and then won game seven, eliminating the Cubs once again from appearing in the World Series. (The Marlins went on to defeat the Yankees in six games to capture the title).

Standing in the way of the Cubbies, tonight, is the team from Pittsburgh. The Pirates, affectionately known as the Bucs, have a much more storied history of winning in October. They have won five WS titles, but they have not been back to the World Series since 1979. They did win two titles in the 70s, first in 1971 and then again in 1979. Their most famous WS victory though came in 1960 when they defeated the perennial powerhouse Yankees in seven games when Bill Mazeroski hit a ninth inning home run, winning the game, 10-9, and winning the Bucs their third WS Championship, and first since 1925.

On Thursday morning, if you are walking through the Gerstein Justice Building, and the Cubbies won the game, don't even think of saying hello to the Justice Building's number one Pirates fan, Phil Reizenstein. On the other hand, if the Bucs do win, then do not, under any circumstances, go anywhere near the courtroom of the number one Cubs fan this side of Chicago, Judge Milton Hirsch.

We invited both of them to add a paragraph describing the love they have for their team. Here is what each had to say:


"Being a Pirate fan is something in your blood. My dad was raised in Pittsburgh and I grew up hearing the legend of Mazeroski's home run. (The anniversary of which is next a Tuesday at 336 pm). Then in 1971 I had my own Pirate moment. My team made it to the the world series. My grandfather had tickets and I went to all three home world series games including the first night world series game. This was Roberto Clemente's series where he showed the world that he was among the greats of the game. He hit a home run in game seven and hit safely in all 14 world series games he played it. Then in 1979 we had the year of the city of Champions. The Steelers won their fourth super bowl and Willie Stargell hit a McCuellar hanging curve ball for the winning home run in game seven. The dark years of the 1990's followed when it became impossible for the Bucs to compete financially. Now a resurgence. And with the Pirate's resurgence a middle aged man has found his youth again. Maybe I am being a bit over dramatic. But then, I never fail to cry at the end of Field of Dreams when Kevin Cosner says "wanna have a catch dad?". No matter what happens Wednesday it's been a great season. So as we say in the steel city of Champions "Let's go Bucs!!"

"I am eternally grateful for being a Pirate fan. I'm sure Milt will have a long explanation of how it feels to root for a loser. Unfortunately I predict his misery will continue. Phil."


"It was 1908, and the Cubs were a dynasty, and Bert Spector was ten years old.
(Give me a minute. I’m staring longingly at what I’ve just written.)

It was 1908, and the Cubs were Tinker to Evers to Chance in the infield, and Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown on the mound. Bert Spector, whom I would come to know half a century later as my great-uncle on my mother’s side, was a kid of ten.

Wrigley Field would not be built for another half-a-dozen years, and the Cubs would not play there for two years after that. The 1908 World Series champions played at the old West Side Ballpark on Paulina Street. There were no professional grounds-crews in those days; armies of eager kids would flock to the ballpark early every morning, each to be handed a large garbage bag and a sharp stick. Any kid who filled his bag with refuse from the playing field and the stands could watch the game from the cheap seats.

Thus it was that my Uncle Bert saw the Chicago Cubs win the 1908 World Series. We haven’t won it since.

Decades passed, and our family grew. At dinners and other gatherings, whenever there was a lull in the conversation, someone – me, my dad, my cousin Marty Katz – would fill the void by asking, "Gee Uncle Bert, tell us about the 1908 World Series." And tell us he would. I recall praying silently, "Please, God, just once more before Uncle Bert dies. Let us win just once more before he dies." At Bert’s funeral, Marty told me he used to pray the same prayer.

There’s an old joke about the Cubs fan who dies and finds himself standing before the Pearly Gates. "Where do you come to us from?" asks St. Peter. "I was in Wrigley Field when I died," says the Cubs fan. St. Peter’s face falls a little. "You may be disappointed here," he explains.

I guess Uncle Bert had a lot of disappointment to deal with. But no more. He’s looking down from his box seat in a ballpark almost as good as Wrigley, and he knows that this is the year.

Tonight’s for you, Uncle Bert. GO CUBS!"
Good luck to both the Cubs and the Pirates tonight.


Monday, October 05, 2015


At Rumpole's request I am posting this tribute to Judge Gladstone as written by the Trial Master:

Many years(decades) ago I was retained to represent a lawyers son who got arrested for trafficking in marijuana in a larger amount that was stored in a vacant house near Palmetto High School. The son was accepted at an ivy league school for college. Although standing was a real concern as well as the rest of the motion to suppress Judge Gladstone granted the motion probably because he realized the vast harm a conviction would carry with this otherwise outstanding student. I believe based on his reputation of looking out for the juveniles he did what he thought was best for the child, not withstanding the harsh law. He was a great Judge and his likes will not be seen again for a very long time, if ever. New Judges assigned to Juvenile rotate out as soon as they can for greener pastures. But Judge Gladstone stayed out of devotion and care. 


ESPN and the Miami Herald have announced that Joe Philbin is no longer the Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins.  (That must have been a long plane ride home from London.)  The interim Head Coach is Tight Ends Coach Dan Campbell.  He played for Bill Parsells and Sean Payton, and is real motivator.  It is said that he is the player's favorite coach.  The hope has to be that he can motivate a team in disarray, and uninspired, to play to their capabilities.

If I am Campbell, the first thing I do is tell my Defensive Coordinator that instead of a two gap defense, which the players hate and is reactive not aggressive, to now play a one gap, aggressive, up the field defense, which plays to the strengths of the personnel (Suh and Wade for example).  If he can't or won't, fire him and put the defensive line coach in as the coordinator.  Shake things up.  Give the players something to believe in.  This should be an interesting two weeks.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

NFL 2015 WEEK 4

We had another monster week last week, going 8-1 in our picks. Sitting at week four with a fat bankroll, it's now all about money management. If you have been following us and you have a similarly  large wallet, you now want to get your money in when you have the best of it, and keep it on the sidelines when the odds are not in your favor. 

Remember: "Money won is twice as sweet as money earned." Fast Eddie Felson. 

JETS vs Dolphins, London. Games in our town tend to be field goal fests. There is nothing here we like, but if you made the trip, and a few blog readers have, and want some action,  the London books have the Fins getting 2.5 and the o/u is 42.5. Take the J E T S Jets Jets Jets and go under. The line on the Dolphin's HC surviving another loss is equally dim. There is not enough money is the Western Hemisphere to lure Bill Cower here. 

Riding a winning streak means taking the Raiders, -2 in Chi town over the hapless Bears. 

Chargers at home -7 , over the Browns, who can't get out of their own way.  David Ovalle is happy at the end of the day, especially if he puts a few Herald dollars on his own team. 

Cardinals are another team riding a winning streak. Give the 7 at home in Arizona over the Rams, who are struggling. Take the over 43. The Cards can do that on their own. 


Friday, October 02, 2015




More than a few times on this BLOG, our founder, Horace Rumpole, has written on his feelings about minimum mandatory sentences.  You can read those posts here and here and
here and here and here and here and here and even as far back as July 30, 2010 found here.

On Wednesday, Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet held their quarterly Clemency Meeting in Tallahassee.  The Clemency Board is made up of Governor Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

The Governor and members of the Cabinet collectively are the Clemency Board. Clemency is an act of mercy that absolves the individual upon whom it is bestowed from all or any part of the punishment that the law imposes.

Article IV, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution provides that an executive order granting clemency requires the signature of the Governor and two members of the Florida Cabinet.

So, to be clear, nobody can receive clemency in Florida without the support of the Governor.

For those interested in reading the Rules of Executive Clemency, you can find them here.

On Wednesday, Orville "Lee" Wollard, sought clemency from Rick Scott.  In short order, Gov. Scott denied Wollard's request without the other three members of the Board even having a chance to weigh in on the matter.  Wollard was sentenced to 20 years in prison, under the 10-20-Life law, for committing an Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, (and discharging that Firearm), but hitting nothing more than a wall, in his home.  The case was dubbed the "Warning Shot" case. 

Lee Wollard was a family man who was living with his wife and two teenage daughters in Central Florida.  He worked for Sea World.  He was educated, earning an AA, a BA, and then a Masters degree in Business Management and Organizational Behavior, all the while working full time and attending night school.  On the date of the crime, Wollard's daughter's boyfriend attacked his daughter giving her a black eye.  He then attacked Wollard.  He left the house, only to return and confront Wollard again.  This time Wollard got his gun, and told the boy to leave his home.  The boy punched a hole in the wall and came at Wollard.  At that point Wollard, instead of shooting the boy, fired a warning shot into the wall.  You can read the entire history of the case here.

As for the Clemency case, it was covered by the Tampa Bay Times: "Wollard, 60, of Davenport, a former human resources specialist at Sea World, is almost midway through a 20-year term for firing a warning shot at his teenage daughter's boyfriend at his Polk County home in 2008 after the youth attacked him and tried to tear off his stitches. Under sentencing laws -- since changed by Scott and the Legislature -- the crime of aggravated assault with a firearm carried a minimum mandatory term of 20 years."

The article went on to say: "The Legislature last year cited Wollard's case when it rewrote state law to provide criminal immunity in cases of the threatened use of force. But the law was not retroactive, so it doesn't apply to Wollard's case. Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, said Wednesday that he didn't understand why prosecutor Hill was so adamant about keeping Wollard imprisoned when he had offered him a plea deal of five years felony probation."

Yes, you read that correctly.  The plea offer in the case was Five Years Probation.  But, when Wollard rejected the plea offer and took his chances with the jury, his gamble did not pay off.  They found him Guilty as Charged and the sentencing Judge had no choice - he had to sentence Wollard to the mandatory 20 years in prison.

You can read the entire sad story here. 

Governor Scott had the ability to right a wrong here, but chose instead, the easy way out.  He showed no mercy to Lee Wollard.


As I reported in the Comments section earlier this week, a new candidate has filed to run for Judge in 2016. He is Luis Perez-Medina. He has been a member of the Florida Bar for nine years. He has filed to run for Circuit Court Judge. He has filed in Group 34, a seat being vacated by the retirement of Judge Gill Freeman. Two other candidates have already filed to run in that Group including Renee Gordon and Denise Martinez-Scanziani.

UPDATED: We apologize for getting Mr. Perez-Medina's name wrong.  FYI, Mr. Perez-Medina was a DC in Cueto, Sigler, and Hendon.  He is currently assigned to the Public Corruption Unit.

Who is Luis Perez-Medina?  If you know anything about this veteran of the State Attorney's Office, please chime in.

Currently there are five contested elections including four in Circuit Court and one race in County Court.  There are also four sitting Circuit Court judges up for reelection in 2016 that have not yet filed indicating their intention to run again.  They include Judge Scott Bernstein, Judge Rosa Rodriguez, Judge Nushin Sayfie, and Judge John Schlesinger.  We have communicated with three of the four judges, all but Rosa Rodriguez, and each of the three judges have told us that they intend to file for reelection.  In County Court, incumbent judges up for reelection in 2016 that have not yet filed include Judges Wendell Graham, Judith Rubenstein, and Fred Seraphin.  Only Judge Graham has confirmed to us his intention to run; we have not yet heard back from the other two judges.

And to take you into the weekend, we leave you with a scene from one of our all-time favorite movies, and one of the classic cross-exams of all time: MAGIC GRITS


Thursday, October 01, 2015


Leslie Rothenberg, formerly of the Dade State Attorneys Office, the Circuit Court bench, a putative run at the State Attorney position, and currently on the 3rd DCA, has been elected chief Judge of the 3rd DCA starting Summer, 2017. 

And to think, we knew her when.


The only thing missing from this Miami-Dade State Attorney Office Facebook page is a selfie of the prosecutors.  On the Facebook page on this post is a picture of the defendant, defeated, cuffed, in custody. 

Thank you to prosecutors Kimberly Archila and David Emas for all the hard work in this case under difficult circumstances.

A long time ago, a coach once told us "son, when you score, act like you've been there before." 

We've always tried to follow that philosophy with jury trials. But our SAO doesn't.  Tsk. Tsk. 

Judge Steve Leifman has ruled…. the red light camera system does not comply with state law. You can get your red light camera ticket dismissed. Just call 1-888-rum-ptix, and we will take care of it for you.