Sunday, January 29, 2006


We made a quip about former Judge Ferrer and a few readers responded:

A Ferrer fan writes:

Say what you want about Ferrer, but he was one of the best judges we'll ever have and a hell of a nice guy.

And No Fan Of Ferrer responds as only Rumpole Readers can:

Oh my God! Ferrer was one of the most pompous, arrogant, and nastiest judges in the building. Whoever said he was the best and nicest must be one of the prosecutors that was sleeping with him!

Rumpole notes: Ferrer’s fair-weather friends fete a famous former fact finder.

Try saying that three times fast.

New Judge Bronwyn Miller got caught up in the fray on our humble blog:

A reader rises for the defense:

How did B. Miller get dragged into this? The fact is that she is one of the best young lawyers in the county. She handled (and won) more difficult hearings and trials than any other young lawyer at the Miami SAO (I'd rather have her hearing my case than the vast majority of lawyers who have been practicing 25+ years. She certainly has better experience than many of the other appointees with more years in). She's extremely bright, got great judgment and is reasonable. Hopefully, after a few years of seasoning as a county judge, she can move to circuit and beyond. We need more top young lawyers to pursue this course.PS----with her abilities and incredible work ethic, she easily could leave public service and make a hell of a lot more than she does now. Would that be preferable?

Rumpole responds : Someone made a crack about Judge Miller and we assumed it was David Miller. Then another reader said maybe the Miller crack was about Bronwyn Miller, a newer Governor Bush appointee to the County Court Bench.

Here is the issue with her appointment, which has little to do with her:

There is a brewing resentment among attorneys, mostly older, mostly white, mostly male, about the political clout of younger female attorneys. The older attorneys feel they have put in the time and work and would like to be considered for a judicial appointment. Or those that are Judges decry the fact that they are getting opposition and losing elections despite having done nothing wrong except to being born white and male.

Oh, the unfairness of fickle fate!

As Bob Dylan sung, "The times, they are a changing" . In the not too distant past, the polticial clout club had mostly white males as members, with a few women or an African American thrown in so everyone could look in the mirror and congratulate themselves on how open minded and liberal they were.

Now the pendulum has swung, and the people getting over looked are angry.
It’s the same affirmative action debate wrapped in different clothes.

Rumpole pontificates that the answer is that discrimination of any sort is wrong and leads to problems. People should be promoted on the basis of ability and ability alone. It would also be nice if we won the lottery and on the way to collect our millions, stopped to help Pam Anderson change a flat tire, fell madly in love and lived in Hawaii the rest of our lives.

Neither episode is very likely to occur.

You cannot visit the sins of the fathers upon the sons. That is wrong.
Yet attempts must be made to correct prior injustices.

So now it is harder for older white males to become judges, and easier for other people to become judges.
So be it.

As one of our favorite former Judge's was overheard saying (yes we have sources everywhere) and we paraphrase her rant: "no one was crying very hard when Rudy Sorrondo could not get an appointment and lost an election." Read "no one" as the White Jewish Male contingent.

Now Hispanics, females, and especially female Hispanics have the door wide open to them. More African American attorneys are also winning elections or getting appointments. And the Bench in Dade County doesn't seem to be collapsing. Cases are still getting tried. The courthouse has not crumbled because every Judge in County Court is not an older Male named Klein, Shapiro, Nesbitt, Winton, Oppenborn, Rothenberg (we miss old Arthur hiding in probate) Perry, and the like.

This debate should not taint the reputation of a young and talented attorney/Judge like the Honorable Bronywn Miller. And older white males will just have to work a little harder, now that the door to advancement is, if not wide open, is at least open wider than it was before.

Multiculturalism- ain’t it great?

See You In Court.


Anonymous said...

Ferrer was a good judge, its just that he has that same "I'm smarter than any lawyer in front of me" attitude that Emas has. Call it arrogance or simply call it having a black robe.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Re: the new appointees....What does Rump and others think about the other newer appointed County and Circuit 'robed ones'? By and large, have they passed the 'qualified' test-in addition to 'multiculturalism'?

Anonymous said...

Judges know attorneys don't have the judge's interests at heart. At each turn, the prosecution and defense are trying to convince the judge to rule thusly. And at each turn the judge knows someone, perhaps in good-faith, is trying to pull a fast-one. That's simply how our system of justice works. But it has consequences in that judges have, essentially, an adverse relationship with those practicing in front of them.

The prosecution and the defense view each other as adversaries. The judge looks at both and wonders which one will screw him over for the sake of his/her client.

Is it any surprise that a judge's attitude toward those who practice in front of him would have an edge to it?

Anonymous said...

county court judge. who gives a shit?

Anonymous said...

What kind of comment is that??? Today's County Court judge might be tomorrow's Circuit Court judge. Even if that weren't the case, hasn't this blog spent an enormous amount of time (and space) talking about DUI cases/litigation and the judges that handle those cases...and the lawyers that litigate those cases? Aren't individuals' liberty and rights and the litigation of those cases important ?

Anonymous said...

the governor's recent judicial appointments show that it is not that important who sits on the bench, as long as they fit an ethnic profile or have done a great thing for the republican party. This goes for the elected ones also. The days of an experienced, successful lawyer ascending to the bench after a great career ended with the election of Stan Blake.

Now it's just mediocor lawyers with attractive last names looking for a pay raise.

Anonymous said...

I agree that many of the recent appointees were appointed for political reasons. But disagree that Judge B. Miller fits into this category. She is more than qualified. We need more like her.

It's a shame that when a deserving person obtains a prestigious position, some people will claim it's because he or she was Black/Hispanic/Jewish/Female, etc.

That is totally unfair to the people who deserve what they get and just happen to be minorities. You want to slam the recent appointees----fine. Some deserve it. But don't paint everyone with the same brush.

PS----Dragging religion into this by suggesting that "white Jewish males" (as opposed to "white non-Jewish males") have a problem with recent appointments is inappropriate and ridiculous. You really think all white Jewish males (and only white Jewish males) are concerned about what's happening? Besides, the comment is an insult to the many Jews who have repeatedly supported other minorities.

if you cant beat em join em said...

the judiciary should resemble the population. white non hispanics are the minority in this county and our course is slowly running with regard to election races.
how do you think the minorities felt down here for decades being judged by white men who could not speak their language? it's alright by me.

Tawanya Goldstein-Lopez said...

If the judiciary resembled the populace, the average judge would have an IQ of 100 and a high-school education. But then that's not what you meant? You meant...the judiciary should bear superficial resemblence to the populace? Of course, I've always had a hard time picking out Cubans from a line-up. Better be safe and just vote by surname. It's easier than reflecting on background, and you can do it at the polling place.

Anonymous said...

resemble is the key word.....

Yehudah Estevez-Dupuis said...

Agreed. Resemblence beats competency hands down.

Anonymous said...

Pluralism on the bench is a goal of our populist era state constitution that has been subverted by the politics of the Bar. Almost the whole bench are people who paid their dues and became too accustomed to the realities of the dropsie case. The exception is Judge Newman who the old timers despise because he did not pay his dues and does not flatter them.

But on the other hand if the communities of Miami had their true druthers I’m afraid judges with Newman’s Bill Cosby type attitude toward ‘those other people who can’t raise their kids’ would rule.

Does it take an enlightened despot like Kreiger-Martin to protect the accused?

Anonymous said...

While we think Stan Blake is an absolutely wonderful judge....whoever said: "the Governor's recent judicial appointments show that it is not that important who sits on the bench, as what they have done for the Republican party" is being intelluctually disingenuous. You are also detracting from some of the quality Circuit judges appointed this past year. What about Judge Pereya-Shuminer: years as an APD and six plus years on the County bench; Judge Leban: 20 plus years as an appellate lawyer, nominated countless times, under different Governors and JNCs for Circuit and 3DCA; Judges Prescott and Tunis? He spent his whole career as a respected ASA and AUSA, five years on the County bench; Judge Tunis spent 15 years as an APD-many handling death penalty litigation, five years on the County bench. Have any of them done a "great thing for the Republican Party" that no one knows about? At least keep the facts straight on this blog, at a minimum, otherwise it loses credibility.

Anonymous said...

dont forget lete vidal....

Anonymous said...

great judge and appointed by the evil jeb bush.

Anonymous said...

Leyte-Vidal is a great judge, but BLake is not. Good for pleas, weak on the law. But he kills you with a smile and makes it easy to practice in front of him.