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, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Thursday, December 06, 2018

LOU LESPERANCE HAS PASSED AWAY



Long time Miami Lawyer and Justice Building practitioner Louis Lesperance passed away on December 5th, 2018. 

With Lou being an attorney since 1959, he had a lot of accomplishments at both a professional level and, more importantly, at a personal level. "Sweet Lou" was a wonderful person, a man’s man, a real stand up guy. I had the honor and privilege of sharing office space with him.

Lou took great pride in his service to the country as a United State’s Marine. Although he was in his 80’s, Lou never abandoned his joy of being in the Marines, such was part of the framework of practically everything he did (hence his email address combatlou@aol.com.).  

Lou loved the law and enjoyed going to work. He was the eternal optimist, always having positive things to say, a jovial smile on his face, telling ribald jokes and kibitzing in and around the court house.  Since Lou moved to Miami well before most of us were born, when this area was truly a frontier, and came up the ranks through the local schools and colleges, Lou knew everybody… I mean EVERYBODY. Whereas you may have known judges because you practiced before them, Lou went to school, played sports, broke bread and socialized with many of the old-time pillars of the South Florida legal community.  You may have litigated before them but Lou did shots with them!

Over the years, I watched Lou; he was an awesome father figure and a wonderful and compassionate husband.  I watched him care for his ailing wife and Lou did the amazing work of a team of doctors and nurses. He was pious, loving, humble, compassionate and as classy as could be. Similar to the recent passing of George H. W. Bush, Lou also recently lost his beloved wife of 60 years and suffered from, and may have passed away, as a result of that broken heart. 

Among his three children, Lou was the father of Lisa, also an attorney that regularly practiced in the building (she also ran for judge) as well as Bob, an attorney that has been gracing these halls for over thirty years. When you see Bob around, offer him condolences, he'll be glad to hear from you. 

Louis K. Lesperance’s funeral service will be held on December 15th, 2018 at 11:00 am at Stanfill Funeral Home located at 10545 South Dixie Hwy, Miami Fl 33156 (305) 667-2518 stanfill.com  



Wednesday, December 05, 2018

THE REASON TO GO TO COLLEGE

If you go to federal court in Miami, you need to park unless you use Uber, Lyft, or have your driver drop you off. You can park in the outdoor lot, or in the garage. If you park in the garage then maybe you are going to see Dore Louis, Art Hernandez, Joe Rosenbaum,  Sabrina Pugliese, Bill Barzee, Hector Flores, Margo Moss, or that other guy who is her partner. Maybe they can validate parking?

If you park in the corner lot outside, then you've seen this sign:

One reason to go to college, beyond learning enough not to commit federal crimes that require you to hire the above mentioned legal hot-shots, is so that you learn to spell "community". 


Saturday, December 01, 2018

WHEN CHARACTER COUNTED

The news, not entirely unexpected, came Friday night, that George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States passed away at the age of 94. 

When the current POTUS was inaugurated we posted a piece about President Bush. We run it again, with these added thoughts: 
President Bush goes down in history as the last American to become president who fought in WWII. Having graduated high school after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he postponed college after being accepted to Yale and enlisted in the Navy. 

GHWB was a self-made business man- an oil wildcatter in Texas. He was a congressman who twice lost his bid for the senate. He served his country as first envoy to China, and then Ambassador to China, as well as head of the CIA. His life was based around the principle of service to country and devotion to family. It is not often that one can say they met and worked with a true legend; a real  American hero who risked his life for his country; a man of the highest order of goodness and graciousness. We did, and we cherish our memories of this great man. 

Some additional thoughts: It was during his administration that saw the passing of the American With Disabilities Act and the Clean Water Act. And the man met the moment when President Bush oversaw the fall of the Soviet Union by privately promising Mikhail Gorbachev that he would remain silent and not humiliate the Russians or the Russian leader as the Soviet Union collapsed. It was a telling moment for a man raised by a mother with the strict prohibition against self-aggrandizement.  Bush instinctively knew that the right play was to remain silent and do nothing and let the tide of history carry away a failed communist government. 

Perhaps no other leader since Roosevelt was able to manage foreign policy and other nations and put together the type of collation that allowed the United States to defeat one of the largest armies and air forces in the world with so few causalities and a four day ground war. And having achieved the goal of evicting Iraq from Kuwait, Bush knew when to declare victory. He was a great leader in foreign affairs, perhaps our best and most prepared president. 


FIRST PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 17, 2017:

George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States. He is currently in the hospital. He is the greatest man we have ever known. We worked with Mr. Bush in DC when he was Ronald Wilson Reagan's vice president. Of course we cannot explain the exact details here. But here are a few stories. 

He was and is an inveterate letter writer. He has corresponded on a regular basis with hundreds of regular Americans he met throughout his life. He is a war hero, the youngest bomber pilot in the Pacific in WWII at the time he flew his plane and recipient of the Navy Cross for Valor. 

In the 1950's Bush and his wife lost their daughter Robin to leukemia. There is a letter from GHWB to his mother about his daughter which we highly recommend as a poignant example of his humanity. Here is part of what he wrote:

We need a legitimate Christmas angel, one who doesn't have cuffs beneath her dress. You have to be a father to know this,” he wrote. “We need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. We need a girl. We had one once..... But she is still with us. We need her and yet we have her.”

In 2013, Bush shaved his head in solidarity with 2 year old Patrick, the son of one of the agents on his secret service detail who was being treated for leukemia and had lost all his hair. He is that type of man. 

Many years after the death of Robin, as VP while running for president, Bush was in Poland and found himself visiting a children's hospital. There was a young child who was ill with Leukemia. Bush didn't know that at the time he picked up (the boy as we remember it) and the boy gave him a hug. Bush asked what was the matter and through interpreters he learned the child had leukemia. The incident was being recorded by reporters. Bush kept a smile and played with the boy for a moment, and then put him down and excused himself. He walked off to a small area where he couldn't be seen and he broke down. One reporter witnessed it and later asked him about it. Bush explained about his daughter. The reporter asked him why he walked away? That showing some emotion in front of the press during a presidential election would have been a great thing for the campaign. Bush gave the reporter a sad smile, shook his head and walked away. His emotions were real. Not everything he did was designed to sell himself to the public and to win an election. 

George Herbert Walker Bush is a great American. He is a real man, with real principles. And unlike the way politics is today with the win at all costs campaigns, there were just some things that were more important to George Bush than winning the presidency. 


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

WANNA BE A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE? TAKE OUR ADVICE

Ladies and gentlemen take our advice, if you want to be a supreme court justice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. 

2018 11 27 Notice of Certification (1) by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd


 We can name you several US District Court judges (motto: "You need a continuance?...Wait until I stop laughing before I say 'no'. ") who started wearing robes in county court. We cannot name any on the Florida Supreme Court. Can you? 





Because we do not use quotes without attribution, we give you the originator of our wise piece of advice- Dr. Sidney Freedman:


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

WHO DECIDES IF MULLER LIED? & RED LIGHT CAMERAS TOSSED IN DADE

BREAKING: JUDGE LEIFMAN TOSSES RED LIGHT CAMERAS. TICKET CLINIC PREVAILS! CLICK HERE.
In a procedure that has caught even Rumpole by surprise, Leifman bypassed the circuit court appellate division (Sorry Judge De La O) and sent his decision directly to the 3rd DCA (Motto "The Federalist Society Rocks!"). Who knew there was such a procedure? 

Here's the opening paragraph of an opinion piece in The Hill.

(For those of you who wear robes to work, The Hill is one of the pre-eminent news organizations covering Capitol Hill, which for those of you who wear robes to work, is the metonym used to denote the Senate and Congress in our nation's capitol)

Prosecutors call them cooperating witnesses. The rest of the criminal justice system calls them rats, snitches, chivatos, stool pigeons, informants and sapos, just to name a few of the terms. The federal criminal justice system is built on these witnesses. So long as they tell “the truth,” they receive enormous reductions in their sentences. In some cases, sentences for defendants convicted after trial are 500 percent longer than sentences received by those who plead and cooperate with the government. 
So it’s no surprise that trials have dropped from almost 20 percent of all cases in the 1980s to less than 3 percent today (with most all the rest of the cases resolving in a plea). Like the days of Salem witches, even the innocent are racing to plead guilty and to tell the prosecutors what they want to hear in the hopes of avoiding monstrous sentences.
Who was the author of this learned opinion piece? None other than Miami's own DOM. DOM argues that because prosecutors decide if a defendant has been truthful in a debriefing, defendants naturally tell prosecutors what they think they want to hear, as opposed to the truth. 
DOM doesn't propose an alternative. He just decries the current system. 
So what is the alternative? Judges do not sit in on debriefings. If they are asked to decide if a defendant was truthful then a record would have to be kept of every debriefing and no prosecutor worth their salt that we know would want that. 

Perhaps the system of cooperation should be ended. But then that would put a majority of our brethren who do not know how to do anything other than fold like a cheap suit at the first appearance of the feds out of business. And most of these "fee and plea" lawyers  do not know how to write wills or draft a closing. 

So what is the alternative? 
Have at it. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

LUNCH AND LEARN THIS WEDNESDAY

Have a bite, learn to do what's right. 
CLE and some Brie? 
What ruins a lawyer's day the most? The bounced check for fees on that juicy new case? 
Getting a call on a new case in Broward? 
No, it's probably that letter with the return address from "The Florida Bar" (motto: "Collecting Fees and disciplining lawyers since the 1800's"). 



Wednesday's lunch and learn with a Bar Counsel Jennifer Falcone and Lawyer Brian Tannebaum- defender of the poor, the weak, the gullible lawyers of this great State, will tell you everything you wanted to know about how not to get a Bar Complaint. 

As an addendum to the lecture, here are Rumpole's oft-sought rules for "How Not To Get  A Bar Complaint". 

1. Do not sleep with your client, their spouse or significant other or anyone they know. 
2. Always get a signed retainer. 
3. Send weekly emails updating them on your case. For example: "The prosecution wants 120 years based on their file which says 'victim and police officer want 120 years' for the worthless check case even though it's a first offense. The Judge is newly appointed from a probate firm and thinks the offer sounds fair. I am scheduling depositions. As always, remember to make your payments in cash.
4. Do not  send nasty or threatening emails to opposing counsel. 
5. Do not reveal a client's confidences. For example: Client is a real estate developer who confides in you that he wants to run for president on the platform that global warming is fake,  the news is fake, judges are biased, and the country is about to be  overrun from a caravan of monks and orphans  from Uruguay.  The client asks you to arrange a payoff to a porn star he slept with while married so she doesn't spill the beans during his campaign. You cannot surreptitiously record the client during this discussion. Capiche?
6. Do not split fees with non-lawyers. 
7. Do not pay bondsmen to refer you cases. Or ambulance drivers. Or corrections officers. 
8. Meet all court deadlines. 
9. Do not pay your mortgage from your trust account. Or your mistress's rent. 
10. When in doubt, email Rumpole. We will guide you through your ethical dilemma. 

PS: Play hookey one day this week, sneak out of the office and go to Brickell City Center and see the movie Green Book. It will make your day. Vigo Mortensen is amazing. Should get an Oscar nomination. 

From Occupied America, where the boarder is being stormed by vicious thugs (see below) and there is no such thing as global warming (see below), Fight the Power!


Thugs storming the border 




Firefighter mismanaging the forest and causing fires in California 




Saturday, November 24, 2018

GORT, KLATU BARRATA NICTU

The news is mostly bad. Global warming has reached a tipping point, and the most powerful and influential (and formerly most respected) county on earth is led by a moron who denies science. 

Pilgrims fleeing violence and oppression come to our borders and are met with soldiers who are given orders by their commander in chief to fire upon women and children. The irony that this is occurring during Thanksgiving could not be more surreal. 

The doorbusters at Walmart are all gone, and gloom is descending upon the land. 

So in these times of trouble, we publish a clip from the historically accurate movie The Day The Earth Stood Still, when Patricia Neal saved the world by speaking the most famous words in the history of Mankind. Words that rank right up there with "The Eagle Has Landed"; "One small step for man..." "Ich Ben ein Berliner"; "Mr. Gorbachev Tear Down This Wall"; "We hold these truths to be self-evident...":
"GORT, KLATU BARRATA NICTU". (1) 

For those of you ignorant of history, Klatu arrived on Earth as a representative from an inter-galactic agency that is monitoring the progress of Earth. The agency, comprised of many alien planets, have turned their security over to robots who keep the peace, and allow the planets to focus on the betterment of their worlds. In the words of Klatu "We have given them absolute power over us. This power cannot be revoked.
Gort, one such robot, has accompanied Klatu to earth. But Klatu was shot by ignorant alien-fearing Americans who worried that he was the forerunner of a caravan of migrants seeking illegal entry onto the planet.
Klatu knows that if he dies, Gort will destroy Earth. Klatu was discovered by Patricia Neal's son Bobby who followed "Mr. Carpenter" to the spaceship that has landed on the Mall in DC.Neal and Bobby live at a boarding house Klatu/Mr. Carpenter was staying at. Upon being discovered, Klatu gives Neal the words to speak to Gort, which in turn save the planet: 












(1) Legal and linguistic scholars have long debated the specific words and their spelling and actual meaning. The biggest controversy is over the word "Barrata" which is often spelled and pronounced "Varrata". In a lengthy Note in the Yale Alien Reporter,  Goldstein and Vingh argue that while "Barrata" has over the years gained the most acceptance, the actual term was "Varrata" based on the limited linguistic and lexicographic understanding of the language of Gort. The issue in our opinion remains unresolved.