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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

BENNETT BRUMMER CONFLICT STUNNER?

In all the huff on other matters, we overlooked that our local PD conflicted from the Shenandoah Rapist case.

One thought is that it was just too difficult for the PD’s to try and meet with their client, being that he kept escaping and all. Who among the defense bar has not felt that all too familiar frustration of going to the jail to see your client only to be told “he’s escaped again. Try back tomorrow.” ? It’s a real day killer.

We also note Mr BB is a serious loser to Kathy Williams in best local PD. Maybe the New Times can include that in their Best Of Miami series.

A reader opines on BB and conflicts:

Rumpole it is obvious that Bennett H. Brummer hates unpopular high profile cases . Ceasar Chavez-delay then conflict.The Orlando five case. Keep the juvinile then conflict. Rapalo- delay then conflict a week before jury selection. On Rapalo, why not just try the rapes first- then conflict off of the escape if no other way out? Was the State gonna call that witness in the rape case? No. What's the real conflict?

Another reader left a quick comment:

Every media case is a conflict for B.H.B. Thats how he earned the nickname stealth brummer.


Rumpole sums up: One thing about Mr. Brummer…its very easy to write rhyming headlines when ever he makes news.

On a serious note, his office has had the reputation of conflicting out on a lot of cases. Who among us has not seen the PD’s conflict on a serious and nasty case when one state witness out of dozens was once represented by them on a wh/cts plea at jail bond hearings? Maybe its time for the Judges to examine the PD conflict requests a little more carefully. On the other hand, we pay for our daily repasts at Pommeroy’s wine bar with the PD conflict cheques we get, so why are we even complaining about this? Keep conflicting BB.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

A PD has to defend yucky people while remaining electable. If BB developed a reputation for winning the ugly media cases, his stock among attorneys might rise, but I'd think he'd become a pariah to the electorate.

Doesn't stealth behoove any elected PD?

Anonymous said...

Rumpole you are one funny drunken barrister. Keep those conflicts coming Mr. Brummer!

Anonymous said...

the electorate could care less who the PD is. IF he is conflicting on cases just to avoid bad press he needs to hang up his spurs.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is BB and his early retirement cronies are scared to try the tough cases and get bad press. Everyone knows that especially among the old timers,
as soon as they get a nasty rape
or murder, the first thing they look at is how can I conflict on this dog. While that may be good
for our check books, it is hardly
the right thing to do.

Let me explain a little further,
the PD's have social workers, mitigation specialists, investigators and all sorts of other resources at their immediate disposal, while us PCAC must get orders and find these specialists on our own. The nasty cases, which ultimately need non-lawyer help to prepare, are precisely the ones the PD needs to keep (if possible)because they are better equiped to
provide a proper defense.

Anonymous said...

You Wrote:
..........
The PD's have social workers, mitigation specialists, investigators and all sorts of other resources at their immediate disposal, while us PCAC must get orders and find these specialists on our own. The nasty cases, which ultimately need non-lawyer help to prepare, are precisely the ones the PD needs to keep (if possible)because they are better equiped to provide a proper defense.
..............
I don't dispute this. I think we would agree on what the PD should do. But the reality is that PD's are elected officials. And though few people care about the PD's office, a few headlines in the Herald could change that quickly. A PD who wants to be re-elected needs to stay below the general-electorate's radar screen. Coverage in the Daily Business Review is fine, coverage in the Herald is not.

Simply put, the electorate will not support a PD that wins hard, sensational cases. The consequence is that political PD's bail on sensational cases.

Anonymous said...

where is the proof of that? furthermore, such a position places his political life before the life of the clients he takes an oath to defend....

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous
The correct grammar is- ...which he took an oath to defend. But your point is well taken.

Anonymous said...

All this raises a question: Is BHB (and, by extension, all apd's)primarily an attorney or a politician? Is his office run solely with both eyes towards defense, or with at least one eye on the political? If it is the latter, does he deserve the support of anyone in the defense bar?

Anonymous said...

Of course PD's deserve the respect of the defense bar.

It's simply a fact of life that they're elected. And so it should surprise no one that they behave, to some extent, as political animals. And the fact that they're elected officials seems the best explanation for their arguable reluctance to try sensational cases.

As an aside, I similarly contend that the election of SA's and judges also creates very real political pressures.

I'm not suggesting we do away with elections. I'm not suggesting we should excuse electoral pandering. I'm simply saying that political accountability affects institutional behavior. One consequence, I suggest, is the "stealth" PD.

Anonymous said...

Stop pandering to your old boss!Such 'institutional behavior' is unethical and weak. If you can't do the right thing because your afraid to lose votes you don't deserve the job.

Anonymous said...

Unethical and weak... maybe.

But a reality for EVERY elected official.

Anonymous said...

maybe?

Anonymous said...

Does the SA not grandstand?
Do judges not sweat the police union?

Replace BB with a brighter PD- both motivated and motivating, dedicated to doing the best possible job- and you'll still end up with a "stealth" PD.

It's the inevitable consequence of elections.

Anonymous said...

Imagine diminutive warren schwartz, mikee mellonchuck, rory stein, and the rest of the club trying to find real jobs???????

Anonymous said...

just like philip hubbard right? you might be to young to remember him but he was anything but "stealth".

Anonymous said...

That's why they call them the good ol' days.

Anonymous said...

The Public Defender is a bit different than other elected positions. His sole duty is not to the public, but to his clients. If BHB lacks the courage to do the right thing because of politics, then....

BENNETT H. BRUMMER said...

It has been my esteemed honor and pleasure to be your Public Defender for the last 29 years. I believe the office has made great strides during that time. We introduced an office-wide support system that is the envy of all other PD offices, and indeed, of the private bar itself. I have fought hard for appropriate funding for our employees and programs. Our technological investments have greatly aided our attorneys,staff,and clients. I am proud of these accomplishments.

However, recent events (along with a healthy dose of self-analysis) have forced me to confront problems that it appears are hurting the office's mission.

I suppose there comes a time for every man to realize that new ideas and new energy can sometimes only come from new blood and new leadership. With a heavy heart, but an increasingly clear conscience, I must admit to several mistakes which compromise my ability to continue to lead this office.

The administration has grown bloated, ineffecitve, and very expensive. It makes keeping our top young talent increasingly impossible and hurts the morale and productivity of the entire office. This ultimately hurts our clients.

Politics have also caused problems. It has played too large a role in our decision-making. I have always been a proud civil libertarian and I remain to committed to the defense of constitutional rights and liberties. Our office has accomplished much in this area. Unfortunately, I and my top staff have engaged in actions that I must now admit were shameful. I humbly apologize. Please do not think theses regrettable actions are emblematic of my body or work. They are not.I pledge to renew my vigor in the defense of liberty in whatever manner I can.

We have also engaged in questionable conflicts to avoid bad press. There has never before been anyone with a strong defense orientation who wanted to be the head PD. I felt I had to stay under the radar for fear of a Republican who was really a prosecutor-in-disguise taking my place and ruining the office. Principle, however must come first. I shall now place it there.

You and your readers are absolutely correct to point out these shortcomings of my administration. I concur with much of what has been written (although I do find the tone of some writers a bit harsh and melodramatic).

Therefore, with a profound sense of loss, but a rising and bouyant spirit, I must resign my post as Public Defender of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, effective immedaitely. Warren Schwartz, the president pro tempore of the office, will become Acting Public Defender until a special election is held in accordance with Florida law.

Sincerely,

Bennett H. Brummer

February 2, 2006.

Anonymous said...

oh.

P.S.

I admit that Nushin G. and Lourdes S. are unqualified to hold their current positions. Effective immediately they are back in county court, where they belong.

BHB

Anonymous said...

THE END OF THE DEBATE

Bennett conflicts on local rapists and killers - yawn.

Kathy keeps Padilla. Hello...

Bennett who?

Anonymous said...

SOURCES CONFIRM THAT THE MS. WILLIAMS CHEERLEADER/BEST OF MIAMI ATTY IS AN APPEALS LAWYER AT THE FED PD-
TRY A CASE OLD MAN....

Anonymous said...

the brummer resignation letter is best post yet.

Anonymous said...

So very wrong on the guess. Typical state PD, jumping to unsubstantiated conclusions.

Anonymous said...

im a former ausa not a state pd....

Anonymous said...

I'm not old.

Anonymous said...

On the Rapalo matter, rumor has it that Herb Smith was forced by the brass to conflict and he is not very happy about it.

Anonymous said...

The Brummer letter is like a kick in the head to the old guy. Warren Schwartz head PD? Fantastic!

The Manchurian said...

Will Warren continue to try all those cases now that he's the PD? Clever post, and Thank you. The thing is a cult hit at the PDO.

Anonymous said...

It's about time Warren gets the credit he deserves. Exellent choice Mr. Brummer!

Anonymous said...

Warren can I get a raise?

Anonymous said...

Warren as head PD, he makes over 110 grand a year, has been there for close to 30 years and is still in the pits. I love it.

Seriously though at one time some of the higher ups actually had a spine. At one time old BHB actually wanted to make Warren a
Senior Attorney but the other Senior Attorneys threatened a walk out if Warren got the gig. That's the type of shit I like. Have a spine. Take the old man to task.

Instead in their old age as they near retirement age, the old timers simply sit back now and watch as BHB tramples on the very principles he is supposed to uphold.

Demoting Carol Ferrero because she wouldn't lie like everyone else. Firing Lonnie because he supported
Gabe. Forcing out attorneys who actually try cases after their 3 to 5 years is up by not giving performance based raises (including many african-american and latino attorneys in an office devoid of color at the top), while the old timers do no trials but still get raises on top of there 100K.

Will someone at the top get a spine and stop worrying about retirement. The old man has got to go. You need a trial lawyer who is going to be a leader for the trial
attorneys.

Anonymous said...

word out.

Anonymous said...

you forgot to mention not letting former PD's who supported Gabe take depos at the PD's office. How that hasn't gotten out in the media is pretty amazing.

a bitter apd said...

i'm not a die-hard brummer supporter by any stretch of the imagination, but rumor has it that lonnie richardson was a terrible attorney who rightfully deserved to be fired for his laziness and incompetence. i hear he habitually took 21 hour lunches and didn't know shit about the law. now that clown is walking around with $200,000!?! what a fucking joke!!!

!%!%%^@%&#$@!#

Anonymous said...

He was a very aggressive PD. Just ask Carol f. who was his boss. She was the key witness for him in his federal law suit. He tried over 20 dui jury trials in his first year. He won more then he lost. No darrow put a good young PD.
He was fired because was yelling to a crowd on a bull horn "Brummer must go " at the MLK parade. Brummer witnessed the spectacle and fired him a week later.

Anonymous said...

That's B.S. I witnessed Lonnie's incompetence in Juvenile court many times. As a former PD, I was appalled by his lack of any meaningful representation. He deserved to be fired, and it wasn't because of his behavior at any parade. Plus, ask anyone who worked under Carol's reign in County court, and you'll see why she isn't in charge anymore.

Anonymous said...

All these PDO comments and no one has mentioned rory stein's eating habits. This blog is all growns up now.

Anonymous said...

it is clear that you still work at the public defender's office. probably still in juvi.
that said, Lonny won a lot of jury trials and he was only a one year lawyer. ask judge Krieger Martin who he tried at least 10 case before.
as for carol, she gave you tough love but, if you tried cases, she left you alone and gave props.
you on the other hand probably tried five cases when you were in county court and she lit a fire under your ass. sour grapes....
her husband is "pete the cat" so respeq. and keep up the good work in juvi.

Anonymous said...

One question. Why did Mr. Brummer settle with 200k of our tax dollars if Richardson deserved to be fired? Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Anonymous said...

As to Herb Smith not being happy I pose this question: is Herb Smith ever happy about anything?

Anonymous said...

exellent observation.

Anonymous said...

he was happy when he didnt have to try that shit can of a case.

Lonny R. said...

I am a bit dismayed about all the recent talk on the Blog about me. I supported Brummer's opponent because he was a friend and I thought that he could do a good job as PD. I was a young idealistic lawyer who had just left county court, where i had tried and won more cases then any of the other lawyer in my class. Check my file... As far as me not knowing the law-Brmmer fired me my 1st month in juvi. In county court all I knew was dui law and learned it pretty well at that.
Brummer fired me solely cause of what I said on my own free time and he deserved to get sued and I deserved to get paid. So your right, you whine that I have 200k compliments of ole Brummer. Catch me in my Benzo rollin with Lorenzo, Hater.

JANE DOE said...

brummer paid up because he fired richardson for political reasons and everyone knew it. still, from what i've heard, a case could've be made for firing richardson for his laziness and incompetence alone. trying a handful of shit dui cases doesn't make you a good lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Jane Doe........ever try a DUI? I have. I've also tried a bunch of homicides, attempted homicides, etc. DUI's are just as tough to win.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, I prosecuted in County Court when Lonnie was there. Jane Doe.......You're correct in saying that Lonnie's legal knowledge was weak. However, contrary to some of the above posts (probably from Bennett loving types), he fought hard for his clients and did a damn good job in trial (one can argue that his legal knowledge would have been better if he ducked trial like some of the others). There is no question that he was one of the better APD's in County Court.

Anonymous said...

Please rename this blog the COUNTY COURT SNOOZE BLOG

Anonymous said...

No, just rename this blog the BASH PD's SNOOZE BLOG.

Anonymous said...

no need to bash the hard working pit pd's-just their fearfull leader.

Anonymous said...

Jane Doe's comments are off-base. Lazy? Lonnie Richardson? The kid's probably the most energetic, hyper person I know. HE WAS A ONE YEAR LAWYER. HOW GOOD COULD HE BE? Were you so great 1 year outta law school? He tried and won more cases than anyone else in CC while he was there. He was in juvy about 2 weeks and suddenly, he's a lazy idiot? Yea, right. BHB had to make an example of someone so that the whole office didn't turn on him. He silenced any new dissenters. He couldn't fire the original attorneys who publicly turned on him, b/c they were in felonies for some time, and all were hard-core young trial lawyers, and well-known by judges and other apd's. Firing Lonnie was an easy (or so BHB thought) way to prevent any more people from openly opposing him. I guess on some level it worked. BHB won the election, and after Lonnie got fired, NO new attorneys came out aginst BHB publicly, though many gave $ to Gabe Martin thru other people. The letter from "Brummer" is right--his actions were shameful, and were a direct violation of the 1st Amendment. HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE THE GODDAMN HEAD PD!

Warren S. said...

As your new PD, I pledge 3 things. 1. Pay raises for all the poor attorneys who labor in ERU. 2. More older lawyers in administration to reward them for their sacrifice over the years. 3. Higher caseloads for young lawyers, to really teach them the ropes.

Anonymous said...

I heard when Rapolo escaped, he left in white convertible sports car with a small white man.

Anonymous said...

I meant a black sports car. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Are suggesting that Herb sprung him then conflicted after he was captured?

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Anonymous said...

Herb Smith was told by Brummer to conflict after the escape incident. Herb does as he's told. Al Williams told me this yesterday.

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