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Friday, March 10, 2006

WILL THE HERALD EVER LEARN???

Is it too much to ask for Miami’s only daily newspaper to properly and correctly cover the legal community in Miami? Or should we indulge the Herald in its stupid mistakes, because they make good headlines?

Case in point, the local coverage of the Muldowny Hearings.

The blurb on the bottom of the front page of today's local section states" Judges Act As Jury In DUI Case."


Lets play our current favorite game of count the errors.
1) The Judges aren't acting as jury (as the article on page 3 admits).
2) Its not a DUI case. Its a consolidated motion convering more than 600 defendants.

But why let a little thing like the truth stand between a good headline?

Now, is the Herald really that stupid to believe that all the county court judges will be the jury for a DUI case? Of course not. But rather than report the truth, the Herald resorts to an eye catching headline that panders to public misperception of the legal system.

The article on the Muldowny hearings written by Natalie McNeal correctly states that the Judges are all sitting together to listen to the evidence and that each Judge is free to issue their own separate rulings. So if the Herald knows that, why print a patently false headline?

However, Ms. McNeal is not totally off the hook. The article states "Represented by three defense attorneys- two private and one public defender- are at least 600 defendants charged with DUI in Miami."


WRONG. WRONG WRONG.

Querry: is the reporter that clueless or just unable to properly explain the actual scenario?

As we all know, the attorneys for the 600 DUI defendants all agreed to have the three lawyers handle the motions for the entire group of defendants.


Is that so hard to write?
Why mislead the public into believing three lawyers have 600 clients when nothing could be further from the truth? Of course, why mislead the public into believing Judges are acting as a Jury in a DUI prosecution?

Where is our favorite local scribe Oh Susannah when we need her?



As to the Muldowny Hearings, not one word. Not one brave soul has volunteered to act as our eyes and ears on the scene.

“Where is Task Force Muldowny? The World Awaits.”

(Anyone catch the allusion to Admiral Nimitz’s famous wire to Admiral Halsey in the Battle of Leyte Gulf? “Where is Task Force 38? The World Awaits.”


Students of military tactics know that in the naval battle for Leyte Gulf, the Japanese, knowing about US Admiral "Bull” Halsey’s temperament, created through radio traffic a fake naval force, and falsely conveyed to Halsey the idea he could trap the Japanese. The ploy worked to an extent, drawing Halsey and his Naval Forces away from Leyte Gulf and his assignment to guard the San Bernadino Straits. With the Straits unguarded, Japanese Admiral Kurita's Naval force moved through undetected, threatening and attacking US Admiral Sprague's "baby carriers."
These are the times we fondly think about Judge Manny Crespo.)


See You In Court, reading the Sun Sentinel.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will the Herald ever learn what?

When they stop sending different children reporters every 2 months in to courtrooms to cover complex criminal matters, they will learn. But their job is not to get it right, it is just to get it printed. Who cares if it's wrong? A bunch of lawyers?

Anonymous said...

(Limited) Report From The Muldowny Front:

The defendant's expert witness, a Ph.D in electrical engineering (and also an M.D.) was very impressive in his explanation as to what is going on inside the machines, the changes made by the police to the original machines, and why the source code needs to be reviewed to help explain these changes. It was dry but interesting at the same time.

My question: Why is administrative chief Judge Sam Slom sitting in on the hearings? He doesn't hear any cases anymore; is it so he can try to influence the other judges to deny the defense motions?

Anonymous said...

Richard Hersch did a masterful job of getting the CMI expert to admit that there is no commercial value to the source code and that CMI would not lose anything financially or competitively by divulging same. He had their witness agreeing to discuss divulging the source code with CMI's board of directors!! Great job Muldowny team!

Anonymous said...

Judges sitting in a jury box, while they aren't a jury, they sure look like one.

And while 600 defendants aren't represented by 3 attorneys, they sure look like they are.

Misreporting or not, sensationalism sells - the plain truth seldom does.

Anonymous said...

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"
- Barry Goldwater

Anonymous said...

What is the rebuttal to the oft ridiculed Goldwater?

The defense of liberty cannot justify extremism? Moderation in the pursuit of justice is a virtue?

Hersch said...

Sprague's "baby carriers" or light carriers, (actually Liberty Ships converted to small flattops) acquitted themselves admirably, despite facing a far superior force and suffering significant losses. To mention Team Muldowny in any context with Adm. Sprague's forces and their efforts is flattery indeed.

I can report on Muldowny (in this forum) by saying that the evidence came in as well or better than expected. A full and comprehensive examination of the science, the inherent weaknesses and lack of forensic precision of breath testing, the computer driven nature of the Intoxilyzer, the importance of the software, the multitude of reasons why the software validly should be examined, the lack of legitimacy of a "trade secret" objection, and other issues was had. The judges had the benefit of testimony from the finest experts in the country on these issues.

To everyone who has joined in, helped financially with the astronomical costs associated with expedited depositions, use of experts, etc., and otherwise assisted, many thanks.

More work is yet to be done, but the last two days have provided a very good evidentiary base upon which the judges can reach their conclusions.

Big thanks to Mike and Maggie, they were great.

Oh, and to anonymous out there, when was the last time you fielded this type of case in your felony practice?

Anonymous said...

at or about the same time that you became a glorified ticket atty.

Anonymous said...

"Glorified ticket attorney?" Hey if that's gonna be your attitude stop asking us all those stupid questions when you are in traffic court.

Anonymous said...

LOL. We're very impressed Richard. You found experts who will say what you want in exchange for lucrative careers as "expert witnesses" in DUI cases. Yawn.

And, no, that crap would never fly in front of most circuit judges.

Anonymous said...

Was Thomas Jefferson a moderate or an extremist? How about Washington?Goldwater's "extremism" was pale compared to these guys.

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