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Thursday, December 18, 2014

BRINGING HOME THE BACON

Over on the South Florida Lawyers Blog,  ("Summary judgment is fun and interesting!" ) they are covering Judge Shephard's massive smack down of Judge David Miller in this opening paragraph of the  opinion on a writ of prohibition: 

It has long been said in the courts of this state that “every litigant is entitled to nothing less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge.” State ex rel. Davis v. Parks, 194 So. 613, 615 (Fla. 1939). Regrettably, the trial judge in this case has
abandoned his post as a neutral overseer of the dispute between the parties, compelling us to grant Great American Insurance Company’s Petition for a Writ of

Prohibition.

But we like the concluding coda to the opinion: 


In the words of the sixteenth century statesman and jurist, Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626):
Judges ought to be more learned than witty; more
reverend (sic) than plausible; and more advised than
confident. *** Patience and gravity of hearing is an
essential part of justice; and an overspeaking judge is no
well tuned cymbal.

“Of Judicature,” Francis Bacon Essays, pub. by J. M. Dent & Sons, 1958, Essay

LVI, pp. 162, 163.

Just so we're clear, Sir Frankie B was talking about judges, not bloggers. 

See You In Court. 

btw- any rumor of an alliance between certain judge, prosecutors, raconteurs and North Korea designed to shut down this blog, is merely that: a rank rumor. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

THE WORST OF THE WORST

Hate is protected speech.
We are publishing, with permission of the recipient, the anonymous hate mail sent to her by a coward.
And make no mistake about it, a coward sent this.
We are publicizing it to shame the coward.
Oh, they might enjoy it at first. But as it lingers, and people view it, and think to themselves about the coward who sent it who didn't have the guts to sign their name to their hate mail, it will begin to make them uncomfortable. Maybe they will get upset. At some point they will want us to take it down. But we won't. Others have tried and failed. This post will be an everlasting monument to their abject cowardice.

Enjoy it coward.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

THE BEST OF THE BEST

In the early morning hours of December 16, 1944, under snow heavy skies and zero temperatures, 30 German Divisions attacked Allied armies in the Ardennes Forrest area of Belgium, Luxembourg and France.  The Allies, caught by surprise, the weather having limited the ability of arial surveillance, and overconfidence, fell back under the onslaught, creating a "bulge" in the Western Front. 

The German plan was the smash the Allied armies, re-seize the port of Antwerp, which would have delayed the end of the war by years. Banking on the war weary British and Americans having little appetite for another three or four years of war, Hitler thought he could sue for peace, and then turn his attention and new war machines, like the jet fighter plane, against the Russians on the eastern front. 

A lot hung in the balance as allied troops fell back across a wide swarth of land. But in a few places, the allies refused to yield.  In Belgium, the battle hardened 28 infantry division held the crossings at the River Our and despite being spread perilously thin, held on. This allowed the 101st Airborne Division, which Eisenhower immediately summoned, to be trucked into Bastogne, before it was surrounded. As the 101st marched in, wearing summer pants and shoes- their winter clothes were being sent in other convoys, they met green allied troops fleeing in a panic, many of them screaming that the Germans had them surrounded.  More than one grizzled paratrooper chuckled that meant the 101st had the Germans just where they wanted them. 

What followed in the following days was some of the most miserable, bloody, freezing, fighting of WWII.  The 101st dug into the freezing ground on the outskirts of Bastogne. They were shelled unmercifully. Fighting subzero temperatures at night, German Panzers by day, the 101st held Bastogne. These men, who grew up in the depression; who volunteered for the airborne and survived the toughest training the army could devise; who jumped at night into Normandy and made their division famous, and who jumped into a disaster in Holland during operation Market Garden and again distinguished themselves- these men- simple American boys- cold- far from home- did what made them the greatest generation. They fought for each other. It was unthinkable to run. They all had trench foot- which entitled them to be relieved and removed to a warm tent at the rear- but that meant leaving a buddy behind, so they stayed, and endured the terror of the shelling, and the freezing nights, and fought and held on and won. 

You can find many battles where Americans distinguished themselves. But you would be hard pressed to find another battle, in such horrific conditions, against all odds and superior forces, where a group of men showed just what American Exceptionalism- whatever that may really be- is. 

We really can't do justice to the heroes of the Battle of the Bulge. Read Stephen Ambrose's excellent Band Of Brothers for the best account of the 101st at Bastogne. 

But when you are warm and safe in your bed tonight, remember that almost seventy years ago- the best of the best our nation ever produced, hung on, fought bravely against all odds, and made being and American something to be damned proud of. 


Monday, December 15, 2014

I CAN'T BREATHE

There massive rallies in NYC and DC over the weekend protesting the way the police treat people, and the way the justice system treats police who kill the people they are paid to serve and protect.

In our view we are half way there. When the protests also start looking at the the way the justice system treats defendants, then we will have all of skeletons out in the open. 

One thing is certain- the grand jury process is broken. 
The old saying is that the prosecution can get a ham sandwich indicted. And that is true, unless the ham sandwich has a badge. The last "no true bill" we can remember in Miami that didn't involve a police officer was a case in the mid-to late eighties involving an inner city store owner who electrified the roof of his store because of repeated burglaries. A burglar wandered into the trap and was electrocuted and died and the grand jury refused to indict. 

Grand juries were not supposed to be rubber stamps for prosecutors. But that is the system we now have. And this system is broken and has no credibility when the system is not impartial. More importantly, the system no longer has the faith of the people, and when you think about it, our entire society rests on the proposition that the people have faith in the government. 

MONDAY DECEMBER 22, 2014 IS HANDS UP MIAMI/ I CAN'T BREATHE DAY. 

We invite and ask all attorneys in the federal, civil, and criminal courts to approach the podium with a "hands up" gesture as a show of support for people who are protesting a broken court system. 

See You In Court, Hands-Up. 

In our survivor pool the contestants stand on the brink of a perfect season, with their choices of the Chiefs and the Seahawks winning yesterday.  Can they duplicate the Miami Dolphin's Perfect Season? Stay tuned. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

NFL WEEK 15

It was fun for a while, but the Dolphins' season ends today, in Foxboro, Massachusetts,  in the land of cheaters, ruled by an evil genius.  The Cheaters are -7.5 at home, and fighting for home field advantage, the Pats take care of business and make all Dolphin fans everywhere say "wait until next year…when Jim Harbaugh becomes the coach." 

The Blog fantasy football playoffs enter the semi-finals today, and of course your faithful blogger is in the mix, rolling our opponent last week with a study 162.5 points. And this week, as we have been saying all year to our opponents, " ask not for whom the (Leveon) Bell tolls, Team-Fi-Man, he tolls for thee." 

The game of the week is the Sunday night game, as the Cowpokes travel to Philadelphia, with the winner in, and the loser probably out. It's hard to lay cheesesteaks on a Mark Sanchez led team, and the Cowpokes are destined to lose on a late INT in the first round of the playoffs- it's just their fate- which means we are taking the visitors, +3.5, because you can trust your car to the man who wears the star. Cowboys +3.5 over Eagles.

Week 15 survivor pool- we will post the picks when we have both. 

Coming soon. It dominated the blog last December, and people in polite society are still talking about it- the Best Novels, and new this year- the Best Fiction, 2014. 


Friday, December 12, 2014

PHOTOS FROM SHARPSTEIN EVENT PLUS THE GRINCH

UPDATE: SCRUGGS LEAVES SAO: From Ovalle's Herald article: “I’m exploring whether to get back and do law enforcement here or in Alaska,” said Scruggs, 63, whose last day was Friday."
Now there's a quote you don't see every day. 

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2014/12/controversial-miami-dade-prosecutor-steps-down.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#storylink=cpy

UPDATE: PRO SE, A-OK. The pro-se defendant who was facing life in prison before Judge Rodriguez-Chomat this week was acquitted of all counts Friday after just slightly less than two hours of deliberation by the jury. The defendant was sentenced to 14 years on the PVH, proving that you can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride. 

Courtesy of David Ovalle's twitter @davidovalle305, here are some pictures from the event unveiling the plaque honoring our dear colleague Richard Sharpstein. 

Also- a few alert readers sent us a picture in which they are sure they have proof of the Grinch, planing to steal christmas. (see below) 


Three curious judges….






Two happy judges….

a packed house, including big-wig ASAs


can you spot the Grinch, albeit a well dressed one, planning on stealing christmas? 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

AND THEN A HERO COMES ALONG

For those of you new(er) to the REGJB, you might not know that Gregg Wenzel, a former Assistant Public Defender, resigned in the wake of 9/11 and joined the CIA Clandestine Services, where he lost his life overseas, on assignment, in a dangerous part of the world, protecting our freedoms. 

In Miami, Gregg Wenzel's memory has been kept alive by his good friend, Brian Tannebaum, who has attended the yearly memorial service at the CIA with Gregg's family, where there is a star in the lobby reflecting Gregg's "last measure of devotion."

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863. 


Brian Tannebaum alerted us to  the Press release from Senator Gillibrand's office in which both houses of congress have passed a law renaming a post office in Gregg's home town in his honor. The Bill await's signature of the President. 






“Called to serve his country following the horrific events of September 11th, Mr. Wenzel paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the freedoms we all know and cherish,” said Senator Schumer. “He is an incredible local hero and a true American. Naming the Monroe Post Office after him would be a truly fitting tribute to his courage, and allow his legacy to live on in an enduring way. I am honored to be able to announce that the bill to rename the post office has now cleared Congress, and I am confident that it will receive a signature from the President upon arriving on his desk.”
“Officer Gregg David Wenzel will forever be remembered by the Monroe community as a true hero,” said Senator Gillibrand. “He bravely answered the call to duty on behalf of our nation and put his life on the line to protect our freedoms. Naming the Monroe Post Office after Officer Wenzel will honor his life and commemorate his legacy. I am pleased this legislation has passed Congress and look forward to the President signing it into law.”
“Gregg Wenzel represents an entire generation who bravely served their country by answering the call to service following the attacks of September 11th. Serving on the frontlines of our intelligence operation, he ultimately sacrificed his life in defense of our freedoms. Our country owes a debt of gratitude to Gregg and his family, and for generations to come his hometown will be reminded of his service and sacrifice. Although no one can ever fully repay his family for their tragic loss, I hope this bill will come as some small comfort and as a tribute to his memory,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.