WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

LUNCH & LEARN

FREE CLE

LUNCH & LEARN

GO. EAT. LEARN. 


SUMMER DAY ONE

It's the first day of summer, and (male) lawyers in Miami will wear clothes that are more appropriate for a brisk fall day than 90 degree with 95% humidity. 
And still the chief judges in Federal and State court blink in wonderment and ignore this preposterous dress code tradition for those lawyers with the X and Y chromosome (for our circuit court judges, we are talking about men). 

When will this madness stop? 

SONG SUNG BLUE
ATL took the fancy pants at Skaaden in DC to task for their snootiness over the playing of music outside their offices by street performers. One of their solutions? We are not making this up- they are considering hiring a string quartet to get their earlier to prevent the street performers from plying their trade. 
Jeeze We would love to get those lawyers in a real court and clean their clock. A string quartet? Where we grew up, if you didn't like something in the street, you showed up with some friends, maybe a  bat, and settled the matter. These punks want to sing doo-wop. 

The smack down is here. 

Welcome back. Lets try some cases! 



Saturday, May 23, 2015

TOP SUMMER SONGS

From: Somewhere you're not. 

Rumpole traditionally takes a vacation to start the summer season, relaxing in a place far away from the summer crowds and noisy americans wearing loud bathing suits, sipping diet poison, playing obnoxious music on devices, and ordering another cheeseburger and fries. 

Scandinavia, Lake Tahoe, Fiji, The South of France, Patagonia, and of course lovely old London,  these are all places we have frequented in the past.  And this year we prefer to keep our location, as we usually do, bi mat

Speaking of Music, a subject too often neglected in these pages, we invite you to comment about your favourite SUMMER SONGS. We will post the best lists on the front page. And of course, any Beach Boys song makes the list, with Surfin USA topping it,  (Happy Judge Slom?) So lets go a little deeper. 

We will kick it off, with our all time favourite, deep track summer song, from First Class: Beach Baby

Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams, makes the list. As does the 1964 classic Under the Boardwalk by the Drifters. And you can add School's Out for Summer by Alice Cooper if you so desire.

WARNING: And since in a prior discussion the blog vox populi agreed to ban offensive words and ideas, we will not approve any Justin Timberlake comments/songs.   

READER'S SELECTIONS:
First up, and it's a great one: 
Heatwave (Martha Reeves and The Vandellas)

Summer in the City, The Boys of Summer, Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, One Love….
Decent list. 

Have at it and enjoy your long weekend. 




Thursday, May 21, 2015

SUMMER 2015

It's the official start of Summer with the Memorial Day Weekend holiday about to begin. 
Reminder: No court Monday. 

And along with summer comes the summer dress code where the need for gentlemen attorneys to clothe themselves in an overcoat and tie on a sweltering hot day……never mind. 

When is this madness going to stop???

We've had the hottest twelve month on record (source: NASA, that liberal, tax and spend Clinton/Democratic failed bureaucracy), we are going to be entering days in the 90s with 95% humidity and yet a male lawyer has to wear a long sleeve shirt, a tie, and a jacket. It is madness


The Death of The Death Penalty:
Speaking of madness, conservative columnist George Will declared the death of the death penalty in this Washington Post column here. 

The conservative case against capital punishment, which 32 states have, is threefold. First, the power to inflict death cloaks government with a majesty and pretense of infallibility discordant with conservatism. Second, when capital punishment is inflicted, it cannot later be corrected because of new evidence, so a capital punishment regime must be administered with extraordinary competence. It is, however, a government program. Since 1973, more than 140 people sentenced to death have been acquitted of their crimes (sometimes by DNA evidence), had the charges against them dismissed by prosecutors or have been pardoned based on evidence of innocence.

Several people emailed us this blog post, by an REGJB regular, about his recent and somewhat unique experience with the death penalty. 

Enjoy your long weekend. Summer's here. 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

GREGG WENZEL HONORED


(This is an email from Gregg's very good friend Brian Tannebaum who never asks for credit for his tireless efforts in helping keep Gregg's memory alive.

On May 18, 2015 the United States Post Office in Monroe, New York was named after our fallen colleague Gregg David Wenzel. For those that didn’t know Gregg, he was born and raised in Monroe, New York, was a 1994 graduate of the University of Miami Law School, a former assistant public defender, former Florida Bar Counsel, and former CIA Agent, where he was killed in the line of duty on July 9, 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the age of 33.

Gregg was a unique individual, and anyone that had the chance to know him, has a great story about him, and will probably tell you there was no one like him
It took his family 6 years to have his identity uncovered, and his name is now in the book that sits below the wall at the CIA where stars represent the fallen agents. Gregg’s star is number 81.

It took his family another 6 years to have Congress pass a bill naming the post office in Gregg’s hometown after him. President Obama signed the bill in December of 2014.
The ceremony had a full honor guard, and all the local first responders were there, Many retired veterans attended, Gregg’s parents and three sisters were there, and there was a large crowd of family and friends.

Prior to the ceremony, there was a story about it on the local news, and the T.V. and print media were in attendance.

Gregg’s congressman spoke, as well as a local Rabbi, several New York State Assemblymen, the Mayor of Monroe, several representatives from the Postal Service, and of course, very moving statements from Gregg’s parents Mitch and Gladys. As May 18 was also the day of the annual memorial service at the CIA in Langley, Virginia (where Gregg’s parents attend each year) the Director of the CIA sent a message which was read at the ceremony. The ceremony ended with the playing of Taps.


It was mentioned at the ceremony that of over 1500 post offices named after people since 1967, this was the first named after a fallen CIA Agent.
Another interesting note that moved the crowd - the number 18 represents “Chai” in the Jewish religion, or “good luck.” Gregg’s birthday is November 18, the ceremony was on the 18th, and his star number backwards (81) is 18.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PROPERTY RIGHTS

Our friends at the Random Pixels blog have some 1980's "Miami Vice" Miami Police Department  cheesecake recruiting videos. We think. It's not really clear. But it is interesting. 
Here. 

Can you tell a joke? Does the truth not matter a whole lot to you? Wanna carry a gun and smack some people around? Then the City of Miami Beach Police Department may have a job for you. 


Felons can sell their firearms. Property rights and all that. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 and DOM has the story on his blog here. 

"The right to life is the source of all rights — and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible"
"Man's Rights", Any Rand. 

SPORTS:
The Marlins fired their manager and promoted their general manager who has approximately zero hours managing any baseball team at any level. 

The Basketball playoffs continue and your Miami Heat….never mind. 

The Miami Dolphins gave QB Ryan Tannehill a five year 90 or so million dollar extension. 

Did You Know:
Did you know that as constitutional officers, Florida Judges do not have a set amount of vacation or sick time? They just take what they want and are responsible for getting their calendars covered. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

ROGUES GALLERY

From: Katherine Fernandez Rundle > Date: May 15, 2015 at 6:10:50 PM EDT 
Subject: List of Miami Beach Police Officers Involved in Offensive Conduct 
 Attached is the list of the Miami Beach Police Officers involved in offensive conduct referenced in my May 15, 2015 letter. Thank you. 

Katherine Fernandez Rundle State Attorney Office of the State Attorney 1350 NW 12 Avenue Miami, FL 33136 (305) 547-0535



What we have here is a systemic failure. 

This department is diseased. 
Fatally. 

How does one laugh at racist jokes in their spare time, and then act fairly and decently and investigate crimes accurately during their work?

Would  any lawyer accept a juror who in their spare time attended Klu Klux Klan meetings? "I'm a racist in my spare time; it's kind of a hobby. But I can be fair…." 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.









Friday, May 15, 2015

WEEKLY ROUNDUP

It was another week full of ups and downs and in-betweens in the REGJB.

First the good news:

Ringing the bell.













Judge Stan Blake finished his course of radiation and chemotherapy for oral cancer. He celebrated by wearing a Tux and ringing the bell signifying the end of his treatment. 

Hyman Roth: Good health is the most important thing. More than success, more than money, more than power. 

The bad news:
Miami Beach Cop Alex  Carulo was fired for sending racist emails from his official account. 

The Miami Beach Police Department  has a serious problem. 
"Q: How many Beach cops does it take to throw a defendant down a flight of stairs?
A: None. He fell." 

The In-Between:
Judge Veronica Diaz was MIA again this week on Thursday. She didn't show up for court and she didn't arrange for coverage.  Blog commentators wrote and sent us emails describing the scene as the bailiff struggled to maintain order in a courtroom with no judge. Judge Sayfie had to pitch in and do the calendar with court starting an hour later than usual. 

Enjoy your weekend. Long weekend next week. 

See you in court.