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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

HERB KIM HAS PASSED AWAY

This horrible news, about our friend and colleague dying in a tragic accident, was released this morning in an email from the FACDL president: 

Dear members,

It is with a very heavy heart and great sadness that I tell you that our dear friend, colleague, and brother, Herb Kim, passed away unexpectedly yesterday in an accident.
Herb was a friend to many of us, always with a smile, a joke, and always full of kindness and loyalty. 
He was also a true warrior- a fearless advocate from the time he was an Assistant Public Defender to his later work in private practice. He brought skill, zealousness, and even laughter to a trial, every time.
If you had the good fortune to know him, you know that the world was better with him in it. He will be missed, and he will be remembered with love, respect, and admiration. 


Herb is on the left. His dear friend and colleague Marcos Quesada is in the center. 

Herb was simply a great person. He was a superb lawyer and he was always happy, always smiling, always ready to pitch in and help. 

Recently many of you know that a great attorney who does some work for RC3 was struck by a young driver who was texting,  as he was out for a run. He ended up with a broken back, although he could have easily been killed. 

Life is a gift. It is precious. Let us take time from our busy days and remember that life is all too fleeting and we need to enjoy each day for all that it can offer us. 

Rest in Peace Herb, you will be always remembered, and deeply missed. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

SATURDAY NIGHT MASSACRE & ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER STORY ABOUT JUDGE K

Before we begin our history lesson, make sure you scroll down and read about a comparison between the almighty and a member of the judiciary. And yes we recall the quip that goes "what's the difference between a federal judge and the lord? The lord doesn't think he's a judge."  And now, on with the show...

It went down in history as  "The Saturday night massacre" and it is a prime example of presidential power misused. Like a boomerang, what Nixon threw came around and hit him in the back of the head. 

The president believed he was above the law, so he ordered the Attorney General of the United States, Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox (you don't meet many people named Archibald these days). Richardson refused and resigned. Next up in the DOJ was William Ruckelshaus, who also refused. As you will read below, Nixon did not get to an ASA assigned to the Hialeah Branch Court to do his bidding, but almost. 

Nixon refused to turn over the tapes made in the Oval Office, lost in the US Supreme Court in US v. Nixon, (which is now a bane to federal criminal defense attorneys everywhere seeking a rule 17(c) subpoena) and eventually resigned, consigned to history to be opined upon by the likes of the  Honorable Judge Hirsch, who provides us, free of charge, a timely constitutional calendar today:
(Longtime and careful readers know that this isn't our first post on this subject. You can review the other one here)

          “Nixon Forces Firing of Cox; Richardson, Ruckelshaus Quit”

– Washington Post headline, Sunday, Oct. 21, 1973

A former aid to White House insider H. R. Haldeman revealed to a congressional Watergate committee that President Nixon had recorded secret conversations in the Oval Office.  Archibald Cox, the bowtie-wearing Harvard professor who had been appointed the Watergate independent special prosecutor, obtained a court order directing the Nixon White House to produce the tapes.  Nixon, furious and running for his political life, ordered his Attorney General, Eliot Richardson simply to fire Cox.  To the president’s astonishment and outrage, Richardson refused.  In what must have been a scene evocative of a Leoncavallo opera, Nixon responded with something like a curse: “Let it be on your head,” he seethed at Richardson.

Nixon then ordered the next in command at DOJ, Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, to fire Cox.  Ruckelshaus instead submitted his own resignation, writing to the president that, “I am, of course, sorry that my conscience will not permit me to carry out your instruction to discharge Archibald Cox.”  Finally, in Solicitor General Robert Bork Nixon found a man to do his bidding.  “I am, as instructed by the president, discharging you, effective at once, from your position as Special Prosecutor, Watergate Special Prosecution Force,” Bork wrote to Cox.  

Nixon had underestimated the national sense of outrage.  NBC news anchor John Chancellor told his viewers, “The country tonight is in the midst of what may be the most serious constitutional crisis in its history.”  David Broder of the Washington Post coined the phrase “the Saturday night massacre” to refer to what had happened, and the phrase stuck. Professor Cox released a statement which included the dire message, “Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately for the American people.”

As talk of impeachment swirled around him, Nixon backed down.  He appointed the highly-respected Leon Jaworski as special prosecutor, and announced that he would produce the tape recordings


Judge K 
Can't get enough of the Judge K story of the day? Then head over the Mr. Markus's blog where he has a Palm Beach Post story covering the career of the former Dade State and Federal prosecutor. 
Or just click the link here to the story which opines that the Judge may have a G-d complex. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

NFL WEEK 7 G-7 EDITION

Welcome to the NFL week 7 G-7 edition, where this blog, and only this blog effortlessly merges the two big story lines of the day. 

First, after saying farewell to our NY Yankees last night as the Astros walked it off with a two run dinger in the bottom of the 9th, we turn our laser attention to football. 
There are a bunch of interesting games today, but one game we love. One game that is season changing. It's the type of game that allows you to fly NetJets to NYC and have dinner at Le Bernadin where our friend the sommelier Aldo Sohm will suggest the perfect wine, and where we recently enjoyed a delightful Saint Estephe Bordeaux (you cannot go wrong with the 2008, 2009, or 2010). 

Dolphins at Bills will have you living the life of Rumpole. Coming off a bye week, our Fins are poised...POISED we tell you, like a loaded strong-bow. Pulled back. Tense. Rested and ready to be fired. The Bills are giving 17 wings to our Fins, and that's too much for a Buffalo team trying to find an identity on offense. Take Miami and make a bundle $$$.  And when you make a resv at LeB, remember who got you there. 

Arizona at NY Giants. We love these Gints. They have spunk. And they are on a two game losing streak. They revert to the mean and pull out a win against the visiting birds. Giants -3.5. A light rain in New Jersey makes the under 51 the way to go here as well.

Ravens at Seahawks. We like Seattle. Russell Wilson is having an  MVP season and Seattle plays well at home. We have an announced dislike for running QB's and have bet against  Raven rock-thrower Jackson (much to our detriment so far to this season). Once burned, but not twice shy. Lay the 4.5 cups o'Seattle Joe and pick the Hawks at home to slash their fellow ornithological species. 

MNF will be all green as the Cheaters play at the  NY J...E....T....S....Jets Jets Jets ! . But hold off for now. Lets see where the spread settles. 

SURVIVOR POOL 
Eight players continue their lonely trek to stardom, fame, and accolades. Only one shall win. Right now in the second half, three players have not followed our advice and have picked the Bills, who are losing to our Fins. 





Grieco is a late addition with the Seahawks.


G-7. 
Doral is OUT to host the G-7, as per a POTUS tweet Saturday night. But that doesn't mean Miami is out. Exclusive to the REGJB Blog, we know that the President is fond of Miami, and holds no hard feelings about not being able to host the summit at great personal cost at his property. Here are some of the alternative spots he is considering. 


The Shalimar Motel has some nice features

The Sinbad could work

And here's out favourite: The Vagabond Motel. Where else to place a bunch of Euro-trash leaders POTUS hates, then the Vagabond? 



Friday, October 18, 2019

NO QUID PRO QUO

Quid pro Quo is much in the news these days. Even in our own County where our own Dade County State Attorneys Office, in response to the revelation that one of their long-time DUI witnesses is a racist (or opined  that an African-American defendant looked like a monkey),  increased the charges against the Police Sergeant who was arrested to Felony Child Abuse. 

Two alert readers have alerted us to the unfortunate unfolding of events that would make a certain resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC proud: 


Anonymous Anonymous said...
For making the monkey comment public, the SAO did the right thing. They immediately upped the charge to felony child abuse simply because two kids were in the car. Both were properly strapped in with seat belts. If that isn't vindictive, what is? Turns out two cops testified under oath that they were there and the police sergeant was not even slightly impaired. They even said there was no PC for the arrest. The video shows a very sober arrestee. For that, Kathy Rundle upped the charges even though the DUI statute is rather specific that kids in the car is a first degree misdemeanor and the generic child abuse statute is a felony. Nice work SAO!

Friday, October 18, 2019 8:53:00 AM



Anonymous said...

Delete

Why is the SAO filing a child neglect/no great harm felony charge against Sgt. Moore after the racial slur incident came up in the news, specially when the DUI statute in s. 316.193(4) has a sentencing enhancement for DUI with minors in the vehicle:

"Any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) and who has a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.15 or higher, or any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) and who at the time of the offense was accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years, shall be punished:
(a) By a fine of:
1. Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a first conviction.
2. Not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000 for a second conviction.
3. Not less than $4,000 for a third or subsequent conviction.
(b) By imprisonment for:
1. Not more than 9 months for a first conviction.
2. Not more than 12 months for a second conviction."

By filing an unnecessary felony charge for conduct directly addressed by the DUI statute, the SAO is making itself and KFR look petty, vindictive and defensive of their racist witness. Any of the many SAO chiefs care to comment?
Friday, October 18, 2019 12:54:00 PM

Revenge is a dish best served 😰



Thursday, October 17, 2019

H/T SDFLA

Thursday night football....
Bronocs home-dog +3 and over 49.

ALCS....Yanks -130 (lay 130 to win 100) Yanks bats come alive in the Bronx. Look for us...we are at the game! 

It's just one of those Federal-Thursdays, and where better to get all the federal news you need to know then from the earth-shaking, litigating, committee-note quoting, world famous Southern District Of Florida Blog? 

Judge Scola releases an elderly dying inmate over the objection of the feds? DOM has it covered here. 
http://sdfla.blogspot.com/2019/10/will-dems-address-federal-judges-in.html

All aboard the Supreme Court Express! Next stop Atlanta!
Judges Luck and Lagoa (L&L) appeared Wednesday before the senate judiciary committee like a duo of wayward travelers on their way to Washington DC (and the supreme court) via Tallahassee (Fla Supreme Court), Atlanta (11th Cir) and then finally DC? Read all of the details here including a shoutout  to @fedjudges on twitter.  

Want to know how famous and successful federal criminal defense attorneys spend their off-hours? They read the twitter feed of @fedjudges naturally, along with @supremecourtjudgesstarbucksorders, @fedjudgesfavpizzas, @11thcirjudgesattheopera,  @petitionsforcertnotgrantedinthe1990s, and @greatcrimcasesofthe1930s. He reads them all!! 

Coverage of the democratic debate with an eye towards the judiciary? SDFLA has it here. 

Enjoy. 

COMING FRIDAY: Rundle and the Dade SAO teach young lawyers how to hide lying cops and not disclose Brady material? 
Youbetcha! CAUGHTINTHEACT.dadesao

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

RACIAL SLUR SURFACES AND MORE

UPDATE: Mike C responds- see below: 

Here's a Herald article about DUI Maven Michael Catalano going after longtime public service aide Pablo Espinoza who (allegedly) told Catalano that his client, an African American Miami Dade Police Sergeant who had been arrested for DUI "looked like a monkey." 

There are two morals to this story. First, racial slurs have no place in society, public or private. Period. Full stop. That people, much less law enforcement officers (yeah we know he's not a cop, but he works on criminal DUI cases) still think this way is very very disturbing. 

Second, when Michael Catalano texts you about something you did wrong, best you don't reply bro. 

Update: Mr. Catalano, a blog reader, responded in a comment (edited only to correct a typo)

Mike C here

He did this out of the blue. I had no idea it was coming. He popped this on me. How dare he put me into this situation. Folks, most lawyers  are afraid to do anything controversial. Not me. I stand up for clients. They pay us money. They expect us do defend them. I don't care now unpopular it is to defend them. I chose to defend them.


Rumpole says: well said. More importantly, Dr. King said "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that." 
Mike Catalano had the courage to confront a racist, call him out, shed light on his repugnant beliefs, speak truth to power. For that he is to be applauded and lauded. 



GIULIANI FIRE(s) SALE
Rudy Guliani, lawyer, loudmouth, and now a target of an investigation by federal prosecutors in the SDNY, an office he used to lead, has ended his relationship with Jon Sale, a Miami Criminal Defense attorney and law school classmate of Giuliani. 
Could it be Rudy is tapped out$$$? Sale doesn't offer sales, and Rudy recently had to borrow a hundred K to help in a divorce case. 

Rumpole Rule #27: Being under investigation without counsel is not the best position to be in. 

IT WAS A DISASTER 
Item: The president winged it, went off script in a call with the President of Turkey, and the next thing you know the Syrian-Turkish border is in flames, America has abandoned the Kurds- one of its staunchest allies in the fight against ISIS, Russia now has troops patrolling towns US forces were in two weeks ago, and basically things are falling apart. 

Query: Just who was it who said this? 

It was Mr. Trump himself who, during a presidential debate with Hillary Clinton in 2016, blamed President Barack Obama for a similar error. “President Obama and Secretary Clinton created a vacuum the way they got out of Iraq,” he said, referring to the 2011 withdrawal. 
“They shouldn’t have been in, but once they got in, the way they got out was a disaster. And ISIS was formed.”

Nature abhors a vacuum. Most of the  rest of us just really hate our idiot president. 



Monday, October 14, 2019

JUDGE K'S ORDER

Here is Judge Kastrenakes' order in the WPB furor.



Here are the survivor picks from the weekend.