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

Monday, August 31, 2015

REPORT FROM GROUND ZERO

DRAFT UPDATE (yawn) 9pm tonight? 
Let us know. 

Rain storm Erika. 
Ground Zero. 
Wet leaves scattered everywhere. The gardner will be upset. 
Neighbor has a tree branch down. Uhho. Channel seven news van comes screeching up to do live report.

There was water on the ground outside our Starbucks today. Miss those rubber galoshes we used to wear during the winters up north.
Traffic was heavier than normal as brave South Floridians braved the elements and ventured to their vehicles.

 It's going to take more than puddles and wet leaves to stop us from working. We are a strong people and we can take it. We  think of Churchill walking the streets of bombed out London, chomping on a cigar, growling "we can take it" and inspiring a small island nation standing alone against tyranny,  and then we see a South Miami parking enforcement officer this morning  write a mini-van full of kids a ticket as the mother ran into Dunkin Donuts and didn't pay the meter- and our heart swells with pride. 

We can take it. 

THE JURY IS OUT- In the first degree murder case, with Alex Michaels a/k/a "Hurricane Alex" for the defense. David "pollo" Ovalle gave Alex that nickname on a tweet today and later tweeted that Alex liked the nickname. There was an expert rapper called who testified about rap and street cred and some (obvious) legal posturing about the group NWA, because as we all know, the districts are divided about the admissibility of NWA at jury trials. 

But not here: 911 is a Joke. (Always loved that song, and yes we know it was by Public Enemy and Flavor Fav ). 

Ovalle is on verdict watch sitting on a hard bench.  We are home sipping a bloody mary watching TV in an easy chair. All is well. 

See you in court.  





Sunday, August 30, 2015

DRAFT UPDATE

DRAFT UPDATE II- MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE GRANTED. Several players said the draft tonight interfered with their viewing of 60 minutes and prep for their disorderly conduct trials tomorrow. Those of you in the league received an email asking for a time this coming week you cannot draft. We already know the judges are available from 9 am-3pm. 

Just for computer purposes the draft was reset until tomorrow night at 8pm. 

DRAFT UPDATE- WE ARE 14 TEAMS FULL!! THE DRAFT IS ON TONIGHT AT 7PM. 

Good afternoon FF players. We are awaiting confirmation from two players- Miami Boys and No Probable Cause. One of them is Richard Baron we believe so if you know him, give him a poke to email us. 

DOM dropped out, so we sent two invites to two players for his spot. Whomever answers gets the spot. If he wants back in, and he might, then we can open two more spots. 

Bottom line, between trying a case. writing a brief for the 11th, we have been a bit behind in this league so check back around 6pm to see if the draft is on for 7.



TROPICAL DEPRESSION ERIKA…..WE WILL REBUILD. 


Friday, August 28, 2015

BREAKING: IT'S GOING TO RAIN

It's going to start raining in South Florida this weekend. 

Here's what you need to know:

Rumpole's List:

Beer, Wine, Sangria, Rum (from Cuba), a candle, a can of tuna, a box of crackers, a case of tonic, a non-electric cork remover, a can of sardines, vodka, limes, two snicker bars. An apple.  Matches for the candle. Two dozen books. 

That should get you through the storm no problemo (literally "safe and sound" in Croatian). 

Here are a list of events that will be canceled if it starts raining. 

The world famous, earth shaking, viagra taking, point scoring, REGJB fantasy football league draft, previously set for tonight at eight. The draft has been re-set to Sunday night at 7pm. Lets get the draft done before the widespread power outages. For more about the draft, see below. 

West Palm Beach Court. 
The snooty ones were first out of the box today, sending out an email about the impending rain, and how rain ruins seersucker suits, with some pablum thrown in about juror safety. Juror safety? What about defense attorney safety? In any event, WPB said they might, just might, cancel court Monday and repair to that street nearby the courthouse full of bars, and sip a gin and tonic and watch the world float away. 

Federal Court. 
The Southern District followed suit, with detailed instructions about how court will be canceled. Basically, if the storm is a level 2, and there are wind enhancements, (3B1.2)  you multiply that number by the number of hours before storm impact time channel seven cancels all programing and goes into emergency mode. You take off two points for every MPH the wind is estimated to be below 80MPH,  and then you consult a chart-matrix called, ironically enough "the storm cancelation guidelines" , and if you are in zone D, then court will automatically be canceled and South Florida is doomed. If you are in zone C, then court might be canceled and you are directed to find a working computer and check the court's website- www- calculate-your-storms-federal-gudielines-.RBG.com. 
If you are in zone B, then you must go to court in Broward, but not Dade, and if you are in zone A, then you must go to the big, glass enclosed building -the safety of all those windows having been certified by the same team that installed the original mirrors in the Hubble telescope. 
Update: The storm cancelation guidelines were just ruled persuasive and chimerical and  not mandatory. 

Miami-Dade. 
The Miami Dade Courts have a technologically advanced website that you can access only with your 286 chip call in modem. Once on the website the court will provide infrequent updates about Hurricane Andrew. 


Some Storm Observations. 
Channel seven will have you believe the world is ending. This is because WSVN has a partnership with Xanax and several liquor companies. If you do not have 11-teen hundred gallons of water and approximately 60,000 square feet of plywood, then you are doomed. Just take some xany-bars and have a drink. 

People cannot drive in the rain. 
You've seen this. People on I95 suddenly put on their flashers and start driving 15 mph in the left lane when a raindrop hits their windshield. 
Why is this, you may ask? 
The answer is common-sense-simple.
The rain interferes with most people's ability to text and answer emails while driving.

THE DRAFT. 
The main reason for the delay in the draft is we don't have a firm handle on who is playing.  DOM for instance has gone quiet. Nobody has heard from him. He may be doing something frivolous like trying a case or writing another brief on rule 29 and getting another conviction reversed and remanded with directions to discharge the case against his client. If you see him, or even better his lovely partner and wife, let her know he is goofing off in the goofing off department and get his butt in gear. 

We are asking all other players to send us an email with their name and the name of their team. It may shock some of you to know that we aren't entirely sure who runs the team named "Heisenberg" or "fin-tastic" or "brady deflated" (those are actually some good names, other than fin-tastic). 

Once we get a handle on who is actually playing, let the draft begin!

No surprise that certain media-scribes who hold themselves out as FF experts have once again avoided putting their money where their mouth is and signing up for our league.  The next time you see him taking a picture of Alex Michaels and his client, just quietly start clucking like a chicken. 

Stay safe and dry. 










Wednesday, August 26, 2015

OF TEDDY BEARS AND MEN

Before we get to our topic, a few words about the accessibility of courtrooms. 

Every few years with a new crop of judges and bailiffs, we are forced to repeat this. 

The State of Florida FORBIDS closing courtrooms to the public except under certain limited circumstances which involve, among other things, notice to the media. 

Because judges are involved, we will take extra care to explain these simple legal principles. 

A judge/bailiff CANNOT legally bar anyone from a courtroom. All those "no babies" or "no children" signs on your courtroom doors are PATENTLY ILLEGAL. 

Nor can a judge or bailiff bar anyone- any family member, any member of the public from sitting in a courtroom, no matter how busy that courtroom is. Sorry, but you bailiffs who are itching for some power, you have none, when it comes to who may go into a courtroom at any time.

This is not Cuba, or North Korea or Iran or Texas. This is Florida and the United States of America. Courtrooms are open to the public. Period. Deal with it. 

Here's a practice hint: The most enlightened of judges will send their bailiffs to get the name of a person in their courtroom with a young child or baby so they can call that case out of turn. 

Helping the public instead of throwing your weight around. Now there is a novel idea! 

OF TEDDY BEARS AND MEN. 

WARNING: The following may be unbearable:

  1. It's become a yelling match. Judge allowing photo in, with teddy bears (vic is at amusement park) cut out of the top of the photo. Nyo!
  2. Alex Michaels, in a rage about state wanting to show jury pic of murder victim. "The picture shows him surrounded by teddy bears! Really?"

Monday, August 24, 2015

BLACK MONDAY 2015

"Bears make money, Bulls make money, pigs get kicked in the head."
Rumpole, in a speech on October 12, 1987, exactly one week before Black Monday, October 19, 1987, when the stock market lost 22.6% of its value, the largest one day financial  loss in US history. 

Our email in box is flooded with panicky investors seeking our advice. 

It's complicated. 

This correction (it's far from a crash) was bound to happen. 
The market was overvalued under any rational view of stocks. And it was thin, meaning when it rose, it only a few favorite stocks brought up the averages. 

What to do? 

First. Don't panic. 
Second, if you can, be a contrarian. 

If you have stocks, and don't need the money for the next few months, hang on to them. Don't sell into the panic. 

Second, if you had money a few weeks ago and were looking for a stock who had a PE under 15, good luck. 
Now there are many very good stocks at a reasonable value. 

Third. Today was not the end of the panic selling or bad down days. There will be more to come, unless the Fed makes an announcement postponing any rate hike in September. 

There will be more days of whip-saw stock moves, short covering, and panic selling. 
But there are good companies and good values out there. 

There is no systemic risk to the economy, like there was in 2008 when banks were failing, credit dried up, and the economy teetered on an abyss. There is nothing like that out there that we can see. 

But there is danger on the horizon. 

China is worse than we know, because we cannot trust China's numbers on its economy. (For those of you who received my email on YANG-which shorts the Chinese markets, when it was 70 -it closed at 141 today- you're welcome. Take your profits and get out. It's a weird fund, and you never fight the Fed, even the Chinese Fed.) 

Small, regional oil companies will fail as Saudi Arabia refuses to stop pumping oil at record levels, driving prices even further. 

As markets roil, overseas investors seek refuge in the dollar. A strong dollar hurts US companies that do business overseas.

So there is a lot to worry about. 

But companies like Cisco, Clorox, Apple (under 100) Disney, General Mills, Pepsico, Bank of America (a cash machine),CVS, Home Depot,  and others are good companies that will retain their value and will bounce back. 

There are two things you can be certain of: 
first, the market will come back. 
Second, nobody, and we mean nobody can call the bottom of a market, or the top. We often say we can't buy at the bottom or sell at the top but we'll take the middle 80% every time. 

Don't panic. It will be ok. 

HR. 



Saturday, August 22, 2015

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

It's that time of the year again. 

The sky takes on a deep cloudless blue. 

It's getting darker just a little bit earlier. 

Children wake up earlier and bundle up for school. 

All of the reasons you have to continue your cases because of summer vacations have ebbed away, like the slack tide at the summer shore. 

Football season is here. 

If you were in the award winning Fantasy Football league last year, you should have received an email.

If you are a new prosecutor or PD and want in on the action with the big boys (no goils have as yet joined our league, but all are welcome) send us an email and we will consider letting you in. 

If you are a certain herald reporter, then once again you will tuck your San Diego tail between your legs and not publicly embarrass yourself. 

So get ready for some football. 

SURVIVOR LEAGUE. 

You know it, you love it, you can't live without it. 
Our survivor league. 
The rules are deceptively simple. Pick one team, only one team, every week, to win, no spread involved. Once you use that team you cannot pick that team again. 
Ahhh, it seems so simple. And yet, the league is legion for crushing the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of football fanatics, retired judges residing in California, south beach gourmands, angry Romanian lawyers, and general know-it-alls. 

Do you dare take the challenge? 

It's simple to play. Just send an email to fbpool12@gmail.

Then, BEFORE the kickoff (which starts as always on a Thursday this year) send an email with a pick. If you want to pick the deflators  over the Steelers, send a pick before the Thursday kickoff. If you want to pick a Sunday game, send an email before the game starts. 

Here is the complicated part. Some participants, usually those who wear a black robe for work, get confused and send their pick to the email associated with this blog and NOT to fbpool12@gmail.com. That is NOT an official pick. 

We get hundreds of important emails at day at the blog email. There are Nigerian entrepreneurs willing to fund important business projects, Nigerian widows who need help settling their large estates, lonely Nigerian women looking for love and assistance, and we need to keep the Survivor Pool emails completely separate from our important work. 

Which is why, at great personal expense we have opened a  SEPARATE email account for the survivor pool only. It is at fbpool12@gmail.com. This is the one and only acceptable email to send your pick too

Obama@whitehouse,gov will not work. Neither will Hillary@classifiedstateemails.com, or Trump@dofus.com or Ovalle305@chicken.com. 

Not to belabor the point (actually to belabor the point) the only way to successfully enter the survivor pool is to send an email to fbpool12@gmail.com. 

To start this year please include the following subject in your first email "RE: mothers against Broward Judges who drink and drive". 
This will get you registered and enrolled. 

Have fun. The  battle for second place is about to begin. 

See You In Court. 
We are back. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

YOU BLINK! NO, YOU BLINK! OK, WE BOTH LOSE.

In a prior post, I noted that you should keep your eye on the state legislative special session regarding Congressional re-districting.

Today The Sun Sentinel has reported that Florida Legislature has failed again (for the third time) to come up with a congressional redistricting plan.  This time the cause was the State Senate's refusal to adopt the gerry-mandering of the House, and insisting that the House adopt their plan.

No consensus could be met in conference, and the House, after rejecting both the Senate's plan, and refusing to extend the session, adjourned at noon.  With no agreed upon extension of the session the Senate followed suit.  It is unlikely another special session can, or will, be called before the August 25th deadline set by the court.  Thus it will fall upon the Federal court to make the decisions and impose a re-districting plan.  That is not good news for the GOP.

This is more evidence of the sizeable rift in the GOP in Florida, which is truly a microcosm of Republicans nationwide.  Our legislature is no more capable of governing than Congress is.  The problem is that it leaves Governor Scott almost unchecked and "in charge."  Well, I guess we should "get back to work".  That is all of us, except the legislature.