Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Feeling a little bored, maybe a little blue? Then we have just the thing for you. A little smattering of 3rd DCA justice. 

The ABC's of discovery are on full display in M.H. v. State, and Judge Rothenberg and company reach the conclusion that it is a discovery violation most foul when the State lists a "victim" (which every good defense attorney knows should be called "complaining witness") as category B witness. Category B means you won't B taking their depo, and Rothenberg says that is reversible error. 

easy as 1-23
simple as do-ri-me-
ABC-123-list your victim as an A and you will A-OK"
(c) Rumpole and Motown Records, 2014. 

WHEN COPS ATTACK -warning- the following video contains graphic and nasty language including multiple uses of the F word. Not surprisingly, Officer Friendly is doing all the cursing. 

Miami Beach cops used to have a reputation for being mean, nasty, abusive, violent, thuggish...oh wait...they still do. 

No truth to the rumor the video will be playing on a loop at MIA welcoming visitors to Miami this winter. 

See You In Court. 

Monday, October 27, 2014


UPDATE: Joseph Richer was convicted Monday night of second degree murder for shooting a maintenance worker in the back as he fled after Richer produced a gun when police arrived to convict him. Richer was also convicted of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer. 

The last call at Tobacco Road made the NY Times Monday. Here. 

We went three for three on our picks yesterday. Naturally.

Want a nice, quick, fun, mindless read to relax? 
Try the Parker Novels, by Richard Stark. Start with Book One: The Hunter. Fun and easy. 

Judge Maritza Tinkler-Mendez sentenced Andrew Rolle to life in prison for the murder of Detective James Walker. She called the acts "selfish and senseless." (h/t @davidovalle305)

Also on tap, closing arguments before Judge Tinkler-Mendez (the James Brown of Judges? You know, the hardest working judge in the business? ) in the trial of Joseph Richer, a Wyoming Lawyer who shot and killed a worker on South Beach during an eviction. Tammy Forrest for the prosecution, PD Herb Smith for the defense. 

South Florida Lawyers blog has all the latest on the battle for a new civil courthouse. No word on whether the new digs  will come with a locker room for civil counsel to check their egos. What it won't need is a whole lot of jury boxes. Those chumps can't try their way out of a paper bag. Everything settles. 

If the referendum fails, we can see a Judge Soto/Kickstarter campaign in our future. Maybe.  Or maybe a bunch of robed-readers can take to the streets like those kids with football helmets trying to finance a trip to a big game. They can wear their robes, shake a gavel, and their bailiff can collect proceeds. 
Or maybe someone can start a Ponzi-scheme. 

Fall is definitely here. 

See you in court.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

NFL WEEK 8 2014

Another travel day, so another terse post, foregoing our witty repartee and analysis for just getting something out:

We're not off the Bengals bandwagon, and we can't pass them up with +2 at home, and the Ravens just aren't as good as their record. 

But the Dolphins on the road at JAX -6 means that we think the Fins are going to ride a little wave here. Their win on the road last week against the Bears shows us they have some moxie. 

The Pack is due for a letdown; Saints -2.5 at home. 

Survivor Pool: 
An investigative committee is closely examining the Dustin Tischler issue. Emails will be posted and the issue will be resolved. Stay tuned. 

RESOLVED: A switch in time saves Tischler this time:

> From: Dustin Tischler <dustintischler@yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: Pool
> To: "HORACE RUMPOLE" <fbpool12@gmail.com>
> Date: Sunday, October 5, 2014, 10:41 PM
> Hey
> Rump,
> Was
> reading the blog and just realized that I already took
> Packers this year.  If its not too late, I will switch
> my pick to Seattle for Monday night.  
> Thanks Dustin
> Tischler, Esq.Bruck & Tischler, Attorneys
> at Law
> New World Tower100 N. Biscayne
> Blvd.
> Suite 2301
> Miami, FL

Friday, October 24, 2014


Tobacco Road, Miami's oldest bar, closes its doors for the last time this Saturday. It's had a good great run.

In simpler times, lawyers and judges met after court and had a few cold ones, and maybe ate a cheeseburger before heading home.  It was a place of good food, good drinks, good live music, and after tomorrow it will be gone. More than a few criminal and civil cases were settled there, and more than a few assignations were consummated. 

Goodbye old friend. 

Here's the thing about winning a trial. It's a great feeling (we should know). But most of the time, despite what we as attorneys think, the case was ripe to be won.  The frustrating thing about trials is that  usually your best work goes unrecognized. As you are crossing the cop and s/he is crumbling on the witness stand,  a bored judge, an overworked prosecutor, and an unappreciative client are the only spectators. But that comes with the territory. And we find it unseemly when a lawyer touts their own victories, much less sending out emails with summaries of supposedly amazing cross. War stories years later are one thing, the "look how great I am" emails are something else. 

Back in our high school glory days, an errant football was thrown and landed in our hands  for an interception, and we galloped into the end zone before a few thousand cheering fans during a championship game. Days later we were still recounting the event for bored teammates when our crusty old coach who in fact did wear a houndstooth hat pulled us aside and growled: "Act like you've been there before son". 

It's good advice. 

It's not a new play on Broadway. A doctor who went to Africa to treat patients has tested positive for Ebola. And here's the problem: he was riding the subways for three days before his fever hit. 

That's one of many reasons why we aren't sleeping well these days. 

The weekend is almost here. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Ben Bradlee, the charming yet gruff editor of theWashington Post, who found his paper alone reporting arguably the biggest domestic story in US politics, died today at 93. Bradlee's support of his reporters was legendary. He turned the Washington Post from a sleepy third place newspaper, into the premier journalistic enterprise of its time. 

Our favorite story: The twice divorced Bradlee started dating a post reporter who had been sending him anonymous love notes. When he finally learned the name of the reporter and they started dating and the relationship became public, he was asked if would get married for a third time. "When they elect a Polish Pope" was a flippant reply. A year later the improbable happened, and four days after Pope John Paul II was elected, he was married four days later. 


FACDL issued a call-to-arms for Tuesday's  Miami Commission meeting, and the commission blinked. The proposed hike in court costs of $75.00 will not be going into effect. 

The Judge was (past tense) endorsed by the Herald. 
But such endorsements are ephemeral and once the Herald revoked their endorsement (much like a PVH revocation, but more messy) was the Judge obligated to not send the ad? Or is she within her rights to send the ad, because the Herald did endorse her?

Sorry for the delay in posting this week. A busy travel schedule and a lousy weather in DC has really upended our travel-work schedule. 

See You In Court. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

NFL WEEK 7 2014

With the resurgent Cowboys beating the struggling Seahawks, our survivor pool was considerably thinned, with the loses including both members of the judiciary: Jon Colby (retired) and Miguel De la O (quite active). 

Of more pressing concern is those of you who wish to find some value in todays match-ups. 

It's a tough week. 

We are officially on the Browns bandwagon, although we told you before the season began that the Brownies were the team to watch. Take them (-3) against America's team- the Jacksonville Jaguars and also take the under 45. 

We like the Fish on the road against da Bears +3 and we like the under 48. 

And we like the Giants getting 5 in Dallas because the Cowboys are due to return to mediocrity. 

We will post the survivor pool when everyone's picks are in. But see below about Mr. Tischler's zombie like return from the defeated:

MR. Tischler was not eliminated last week, as he took the Chargers, and not the Seahawks:

Dustin Tischler

Oct 12 (7 days ago)
to me

Friday, October 17, 2014


We normally don't do two blog posts in a day.

But this email from FACDL chieftains was forwarded to us, and we took the initiative of posting it.*

On Tuesday, October 21, the Board of County Commissioners will hear and decide on the attached resolution prepared by Commissioner/former Senator Javier Souto.  This resolution aims to impose an additional $75 of court costs on state clients who take a plea for or are convicted at trial of a felony, misdemeanor, or criminal traffic offense.
This simply cannot pass.
And, of course, we're not talking about $75.  We're talking about an amount added to the hundreds of dollars already imposed on the largely indigent population that are drawn into the court system.
We (and our clients) know that racial and social inequality is embedded in our criminal justice system.  We know that minorities are much more likely to be drawn into the despair of the justice system than whites.  African-American males are six times more likely to be sentenced to prison than white males; Latino males, 2 ½ times more likely. We know that although 95% of cases end in pleas, it's not possible that 95% of defendants are guilty.  We know that many clients would often rather take a plea to CTS than stay in jail. 
Knowing all these things, and knowing that imposition of expensive and overwhelming court costs for indigent clients does nothing more than perpetuate the inequality by continually thrusting them back into the system, suspending their drivers' licenses, and re-incarcerating many -- we cannot remain silent.
The County Commissioners are holding a meeting next Tuesday, October 21 at 9:00 a.m.  If you know one of them, please call, email, or write them to speak against this resolution.  A list of the commissioners is attached.  Or please join me at the meeting.
Thank you.
*Apparently there was a real barn-burner of an FACDL meeting a few weeks ago when this blog and this blogger, we have heard, were personally disparaged (as much as an anonymous blogger can be personally attacked) for posting FACDL list-serv emails which are as secure and sensitive as all NSA emails currently on Wikipedia.
"Loyalty-oaths" were called for. All FACDL members would have to solemnly swear under penalty of perjury that they were loyal Americans, were not now, nor ever have been members of ISIS, have not traveled within the past two months to West Africa, currently do not have a high fever, do not read this blog, are not Rumpole, and in fact despise Rumpole and everything Rumpole stands for, and would not, under penalties yet to be determined, ever forward Rumpole an FACDL list-serv email.
There has not, as of yet, been a final determination on this loyalty oath. But we admit to being scared, shaken, chagrined...but not enough to stop posting emails that FACDL members gleefully send us.
Have a good weekend.


"Sometimes wrong, but never in doubt" was the funny, dismissive comment our wonderful law school property professor would quip when he zeroed in on a first year law student and didn't get the correct answer. 

Perhaps that should be the motto of the Miami Herald as this week they WITHDREW their previous endorsement of embattled County Court Judge Jacqueline Schwartz ("take down that stinkin sign") and endorsed her opponent Frank Bocanegra. 

The Miami Herald withdraws an election recommendation rarely, sometimes reluctantly, when new information leads to reconsideration. And this is the case in the runoff between incumbent Miami-Dade County Judge Jacqueline Schwartz and attorney Frank Bocanegra. In August, the Herald recommended Ms. Schwartz’s re-election because of her experience on the bench. The incumbent drew two opponents for the primary. She and Mr. Bocanegra ended up in a runoff.
Since the primary, the Miami Herald reported an incident at a Coconut Grove convenience store in which the owner said that Ms. Schwartz demanded that he remove an opponent’s oversized campaign sign from the parking lot outside or display hers, too, then cursed at him when he said he could not because he was not the property owner. The story continues that the judge called Miami code enforcement, which made the store owner remove the too-large sign.
This raises sufficient questions about the judge’s demeanor. The individuals interviewed at the convenience store — a cashier corroborated the story in a sworn statement — said they did not know she was a judge when she came in.

Mao said "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."
But Mao never had Miami Code Enforcement as a weapon. 
See you in court. 

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article2835897.html#storylink=cpy