Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Out of trial, we catch up on our mail bag.

Anonymous, ignoring our warning about drinking and blogging, writes:

As the Miami crime rate continues its dramatic rise from the quaint days of the early 80's, it's time to lay blame squarely: butter-soft judges.And why do we have butter-soft judges? Look no further than our touchy-feely governor and Dade's leftist electorate.

Rumpole responds: Butter soft judges? Are you reading this Judge Rothenberg? Touchy feely governor? Leftist Electorate in Dade? Dade? Leftist in the sense they might only chop off Fidel Castro’s right hand given the chance. Take our advice.

One Day At A Time- Easy Does it. Join the friends of Bill. You can leave a comment without drinking heavily before hand.

Judge Sheldon Schwartz Has a Good Day.
Judge Schwartz took the heat and admitted when he had a bad day. A reader writes about a good experience s/he had:

I was in Courtroom 4-9 on Thursday and Judge Sheldon R.Schwartz was the judge. The courtroom was more than packed ,with defendants and attorneys. I was later told, this was the largest docket ever set before a county court judge/over three hundred matters set.the court took attorneys out of turn ,spoke to those present in terms they were able to understand, assisted non-represented defendants(including suggesting they get an attorney and go to trial),made the state follow the law and not merely reset matters but dismiss matters and I could go on and on.Judge Schwartz was the nicest guy as an attorney many years ago, willing to and assisting everyone and he remains the same way today .perhaps he is more demanding today, but such is necessary in order to be a good judge.

Another Fan of Sheldon Schwartz writes:

Those of us who appear in County Court on a continious basis understand the problems of the system;and we commend Judge Sheldon Schwartz.Judge Schwartz is not assigned to the Justice Building yet he a fixture no loess than one day a week.Judge Schwartz is understanding that first offenders should not necessarily be adjudicated guilty.This is the Judge who was assigned to do mitigation of the "clones"and he does an excellent job.On occasion his sentences are severe including monsterous fines,and thirty hours of traffic school but such is selective and on a case by case basis. Judge schwartz handles civil infractions better than any judge and or magistrate. He does not punish for trial, sentences are based upon drivers history. The same goes for traffic misdemeanors and misdemeanors. He judges each case on its own merit.So we suggest that Judge Schwartz order some more colorful robes because they bring a smile to everyone’s face; and this is what is needed in the courts for many years to come.

Those who actually pracrice law in County Court!!!!!!

Rumpole notes: We usually spell check our readers comments because the blog does not have a spell checker and who among us has not spelled “robed” as “robbed” on occasion? But we could not let that last faux pax pass. It was too perfect.

Bennett Brummer Master of Conflicts drew this response:

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 writes:

For whatever reason the sao stuff just isn't as fun to read and blog about as the pd stuff. More pd stuff, Rump. Thanks.

Rumpole replies: That’s because PD’s are sexier. Who can you get drunk and score with easier? A PD of course, despite our comments on partying with THE State Attorney.

A reader no habla ingles:

engles es no necessario para el position de defense el publico solamente balls.

Brummer Resignation Stunner drew these comments:

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

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

About time Warren S. gets some respek. As for Brummer, he might as well quit. We haven't seen his car , still adorned with his giant Brummer stickers (still?), in the pdo lot in about 3 years. What do you do all day, Bennie? Sleepy time?

Quality ASA’s:

A reader opines:

seems to me like their are also some good prosecutors working for rundle. hogue, lasser, denaro, johnson, centerino, levine, waxman etc

Rumpole replies: That’s the all star line-up right there.

Somebody has the hots for a favorite County Court Judge:

Dude, Louise is not an enlightened despot, she is however, pretty hot.

Rumpole replies: 1) She spells her name Luise; 2) Her Dad could cross examine you until you pass out, then clunk your head like Moe did to Curly.

Lord Of the Magistrates Has Opposition drew these comments:

Gonzalez is a cool guy - but why Leifman? Oh, I see, another ethnic race. "Hmmmm, I'm hispanic, what while male judge can I beat just on my name?"

J. Leifman's commitment to justice for people who "don't matter" is precisely why re-electing Leifman does.

And yet, another view also emerges:

Leifman is a complete weenie. He says one thing and does another. He is no friend to the defense bar. Moreover, his finding Alex Michaels guilty of assaulting a Hialeah police (who was 6'1 and 200 lbs) was intellectually dishonest. Now, the million dollar question is, who is running against Slom?

i forgot about him finding alex guilty on that bullshit case. shame!

For the sake of pluralism, I'm going to have to support Juan Gonzalez. His ethnicity will heal the rift between judges and juries in the building. Talk of competency is a red-herring which obscures the need for judges whose surnames reflect the general populace.

Rumpole thanks the alert reader who introduced the term “pluralism” to the Miami Legal Community.

Another reader writes:

Yes ,the Traffic Magistrates are under the control of Judge Leifman, and yes, many of their sentences are unfair and unjust. These "robots aka “Leifman clones” follow his mandates and we are left to request additional hearings before a Judge(i.e.adjudication on first offenses and eight hours driving school; adjudications and a few hundred dollars on seat belt violations).People should not be punished for having their day in court, but few Judges feel that way.

Anonymous is ready to vote for the Lord of the Traffic Magistrates:

Leifman is one of the best judges in the County. Name me another judge who gives so much time and puts so much effort into helping people who cannot possibly vote for him. In a day and age when many judges make politically correct rulings, how valuable is a judge who does what he thinks is right? Leifman is irreplaceable.Re the magistrates: when lawyers can GUARANTEE their clients victory (ie. no points), that's supposed to be a good thing? You don't think anyone should intervene? You really think Leifman is too HARSH when that nonsense continues? GET REAL

“Rodney Brown” (“Can’t we all just get along?”) writes:

Can't we all agree that their are good and bad in every profession? There are great ASA's, APD's (yes, even those that have been around a long time,) Privates and Judges. But there are also some real bad ones. Comes with the territory. Everyone needs to stop complaining, and use the energy to make good things happen.

A reader has a brilliant idea:

If federal court is so bad, and you guys are such principled defenders of the Constitution, then why not band together, refuse all federal cases and grind the corrupt system to a halt.

Rumpole replies: because then famed federal blogger David O Markus with a K would make even more money then he is making now.

Speaking of Super Federal Blogger David O Markus with a K, a reader accuses Mr. Markus of nefarious dark deeds:

Rumpy: how can williams be up 80/20 to brummer in your poll? has markus hacked his way in and played with the numbers?

Rumpole Replies: Markus doesn't have time to hack, battling AUSA's and the Feds the way he does. Truth is that the readers of the this blog have no love for Bennett Brummer, who by the way, has also been accused of stiffling internet access to our humble blog.

See You In Au Bon Pain, buying poor Mr. Brummer a cup-o-Joe, and putting a sympathetic arm around his hunched shoulders.


Anonymous said...

I ain't cutting back on the juice, but perhaps I will ease off the attempts at satire.

As the Miami crime rate continues its dramatic rise from the quaint days of the early 80's, it's time to lay blame squarely: butter-soft judges.And why do we have butter-soft judges? Look no further than our touchy-feely governor and Dade's leftist electorate.

Anonymous said...

Would someone be kind enough to list those judges with opposition?

Is there a web page with that information?

Anonymous said...

I Love Judge Schwartz...really:

When I was starting as an ASA, I was trying a battery case to the bench. The defendant was pro se. So, the judge starts cross examining my victim...agressively. I object, he says "I overrule your objection" and continues. I get back up and do redirect, he says "Objection". I argue with him and he says "I sustain my objection, move on". Gues who did not win that trial.

Anonymous said...

GuesS who can't spell?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Butter-soft actually has some good points.

Dade's Judge Murphy basically forces the state to nolle pros cocaine possession residue cases and make the defendants plea to misdemeanor para charges. Broward's Felony
Court Judge Murphy ain't doing that.

Dade Judges will always give first
and second time up continuances when you don't even have a legit reason for them, while Broward Judges will not always do it especially if you haven't even set depos yet.

Dade Judges will openly negotiate with you and give you an offer on
cases prior to taking a plea, while Broward Judges make you plea open first and then make you argue for either a downward departure or a probation sentence on the non-state prison clients.

I know part of the reasons are the
high case load in Dade, but let's
face it Dade Judges are butter-soft in a lot of respects.

Anonymous said...


CAPTAIN said...

Circuit Court Group 25

Dennis Murphy - $1,625

Josie Velis - 0.00

Circuit Court Group 42

Gina Mendez - $2,600 (all her own $)

Lawrence Schwartz - $217,490 ($100,100 is his own $)


County Court Group 9
(Judge Martin Shapiro seat, but he is age limited)

Victoria del Pino - $37,385 ($20,000 is her $)

she has NO opposition yet - who wants to see the CAPTAIN run against her?!

County Court Group 12

Juan F. Gonzalez - 0.00
Steve Leifman - $48,415 ($25,250 is his $)

County Court Group 27

Migna Sanchez-Llorens - $41,535 ($30,000 is her $)

Sheldon R. Schwartz - $29,200 ($25,000 is his $)

County Court Group 30
(Judge Roger Silver's seat, but he has not filed as of yet)

Stephen Millan - $3,400 ($1,700 is his $)

Robert Twombly - $2,600 ($1,600 is his $)

County Court Group 40

Don Cohn - 0.00

Bonnie Rippingille - $195,425 ($175,000 is her $$$)

So there you have the up to date races.

The Captain...................

Anonymous said...

guess your trial didn't go so well, huh RUMPY?

Anonymous said...

Judge Murphy is one of the best judges in the building. He hammers people when they deserve it, and he gives second chances when he sees fit. He doesn't favor one side over the other, and rules quite even handed. Both sides should be all out supporting him.

Jason Grey said...

Broward Lawyers are generally a bunch of pussies who let the Judges run roughshod over them and their clients.
No one has the balls to run against an incumbent judge ,and if you do,and lose the cabal will blackball you, and in masse will screw the you at every opertunity. since lawyers in broward lay down like the french at invasion time judges tend to be tyrants. Thats why they hate us dade lawyers, we don't put up with their bullshit. The comparrison doesnt hold up.

Anonymous said...

Do not worry about the finances of Judge Sheldon Schwartz!He has the finances available and will receive major help from attorneys because he deserves their support.We mean all attorneys:prosecution,
defense and the list goes on.

Anonymous said...

Residue cases should be misdemeanors! The state shouldn't be filing them as felonies in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone run against Victoria Del Pino? She's a hispanic female who's been a lawyer for 5 years and 1 day and has no trial experience. Is there a soul more qualified in Dade County?

Jane Doe said...

mmmm... residue....

Anonymous said...

it was there when i bought it.

Anonymous said...

i need to clean my pipe

Anonymous said...

CAPTAIN, I don't want you to run.

Anonymous said...

Rumpy, why don't you run the Danish cartoons?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

"Behead those who insult Islam"
(London Banner at protest over cartoons)

Anonymous said...

Each time a man stands up for an ideal,
or acts to improve the lot of others,
or strikes out against injustice,
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."

- Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968, American Attorney General, Senator)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had the opportunity to purchase a perfume from the JA in Leifman's chambers? She sells decent perfumes and other frangrances at a good price. JUDGE, WITH ALL DO RESPECT, WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE, OR IF YOU FORGET TO FRESHEN UP ONE MORNING, OPEN YOUR SECRETARY'S DRAWER AND SEE WHAT SHE IS DOING. GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. YOUR CHAMBERS LOOK LIKE A TURKISH FLEA MARKET. YOU LOOK LIKE A CLOWN.

Anonymous said...

FUNNY POST. But, let me say this in Leifman's defense. This story is long and sure to expose my ID but I got to take up for the man.
two months as a pd in jail div and my insane trial partner and I realize that we have a client who has been in jail for 45 days on a FIRST DUI. PTS was Denied by the judge, motion for ROR denied by the judge. Speedies running we show up on a monday for trial and we pick the jury. But the judge has vacation plans cause it's thanks giving weekend and he tells the jury to come back the following Monday. ror denied again. Guys been in 65 days on a first dui-pre trial. The prosecutor- both great guys by the way- agree that the def. should be RORed but the judge disagrees with them also. Court in recess till the following Monday. did i mention that the guy had no priors?
My partner, older and wiser, who had a bit more expierence then me, sits down with one of the prosecutors after court and starts diagraming on a piece of paper and the next thing i remember is being in Leifman's Chambers with my partner and the Prosecutors. All Leifman wanted to know was why the hell the guy was still in custody pre trial on a 1st dui. the answer was that the guy wanted a trial, couldnt afford to make bond, and the judge would not let him out. So Leifman let him out because it was the right thing to do. he cought a lot of heat for it also. The following Monday our client was there- thank god- and we almost went to jail.

Anonymous said...

GREAT STORY re Leifman. I'm not surprised. He's one of the few judges who ALWAYS does the right thing (no matter how unpopular).

Kudos also to the prosecutors.