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, August 08, 2006

RULES OF ETHICS

Wither Rumpole?

We opened our bar poll the other day, and read the instructions and the Rules of Ethics that were attached, and were given pause to ponder. Perhaps our dear readers who actually open a rule book and read case law (we proudly admit we don't do such foolish things) can answer this legal conundrum.

Here is the rule in question:



RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT4-8 MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION

RULE 4-8.2 JUDICIAL AND LEGAL OFFICIALS
(a) Impugning Qualifications and Integrity of Judges or Other Officers.

A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, mediator, arbitrator, adjudicatory officer, public legal officer, juror or member of the venire, or candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.

Comment
Assessments by lawyers are relied on in evaluating the professional or personal fitness of persons being considered for election or appointment to judicial office and to public legal offices, such as attorney general, prosecuting attorney, and public defender. Expressing honest and candid opinions on such matters contributes to improving the administration of justice.
Conversely, false statements by a lawyer can unfairly undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.
To maintain the fair and independent administration of justice, lawyers are encouraged to continue traditional efforts to defend judges and courts unjustly criticized.



Here is our question:

Can we write and publish a parody that makes fun of Judge Ivan Hernandez and his inability to recognize his wife who is also his campaign treasurer?

The last line of the comment encourages lawyers to defend judges who are unjustly criticized.

Careful readers know we leap to the defense of judges as often as President Bush reads a book. But that is because we usually believe the criticism to be valid.

We think we are on safe ground posting our little parody. However, since we admit to actually reading case law as often as the president cracks a novel, we will take all the advice our learned and dear readers care to offer.

See You In Court NOT reading the FLW’S.


43 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Expressing honest and candid opinions on such matters contributes to improving the administration of justice."

There's your answer.

STUMPTHERUMP said...

IS THE RUMP STUMPED?

Rumpole: It seems to me that your concern is less about whether you can "write and publish a parody that makes fun of Judge Ivan Hernandez" and more about the implications that might flow from the act of publication.

By the express terms of Rule 4-8.2, a lawyer cannot make a statement concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge if the lawyer knows the statement is false or the statement is made with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity.

By placing such a statement into the public domain, the attorney is thus certifying that he believes it to be true and that it is made in good faith. This calls into question the lawyer's credibility, diligence and sources.

Can Rumpole be concerned that his future anonymity might be comprised should the judge (or others) challenge the truthfulness of the statement? Just as anonymous posts to this website generally carry less credibility than posts made by those willing to divulge their identity, so too any statement impugning the qualifications or integrity of a judge are credible only to the extent that the source of information is deemed reliable.

One need only analogize this situation to the "confidential source" used to support an affidavit to a search warrant (or the anonymous tip relied upon to support a detention/arrest) to know that anonymous sources are generally less credible and subject to greater scrutiny.

Rumpole is indeed thinking long-term here, and I would tread lightly before deciding whether to test these deep waters.

Anonymous said...

do it rump

Anonymous said...

read the flw. what kind of lawyer are you?

Anonymous said...

flw, whats that, a porn site?

Rumpole said...

to 8:30- excellent post- 1) sure, we are concerned that for one reason or another our identity would be revealed. 2) as an attorney we do need to follow the rules governing the conduct of attorneys. 3) we can write forever on the silliness of the judiciary, but would that violate the rules? For instance, would a a fictional encounter between Judge Hernandez and his wife, written as a parody, be a violation of the rules we cited?

WE know Brian Tannebaum served on a bar complaint committee, so did several other lawyers. What is the answer? Are we precluded from poking fun at Judges, and relegated to endless jokes at the expense of Bennett Brummer?

Anonymous said...

Judges have no sense of humor so, that is why we do not put are real names on this stupid blog.

Judges are more humble when they get booted out and are back on the street.

Can you imagine Steve Leifman in traffic ticket court saying... is that ticket dismissible?

Of Sam Slom making a motion to suppress on weak facts?

Or Larry Schwartz having to cancel a depo cuz some judge wants him in his or her court RIGHT NOW....

Rumpole said...

Go back to my suggestion: have judges rotate 3 months in the PD's office and 3 months in the SAO and litigate cases to remember what it was like (or more likely, learn what it is like)

But nobody pays any attention to me.

Anonymous said...

How many more ads are you going to be putting on this blog? Next will be the pop-up ads for porn sites I'm sure.

What happened to FREEDOM said...

Here is Rumpole's true problem.

Even if no judge complains about the libel (for lack of better word) any person can still bring a bar complaint for the conduct. My gues is Juan e-mailed you Rump and threaten you with Bar complaint if you proceeded any further with the joke.

Or is it that you plan to endorse Judge Hernandez?

Solution have a third party who you trust post it as "Anonymous said..." you cannot be help liable for third party "Anonymous said..." post. It is impossible out of the millions of visitors to this site for anyone to figure out who posted it.

Solution number 2, sell this blog on ebay to a lay person.

Rumpole said...

1) as to the ADs- no more are intended, but it would be nice if someone used our links to buy office supplies or order books from amazon.

2) as to our problem- we did not lie. No emails from Juan or any political consultant. The real truth is that we opened our bar poll, saw the rule quoted, and were given pause to publish our parody of Judge Hernandez. It is a smiple as that.

Anonymous said...

email it to me I will post it.

Anonymous said...

The title of this section is ETHICS
si it's appropriate to ask this question.
Pinecrest, last night, Jeff Locke telling meeting, poor Gina no time to spend with kids, so she's home with the babys....while a few miles away, Ms. Mendez sits at 745 pm at another forum waiting to speak, and GUESS WHAT, not kids around....Ethic????not in that family

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, you wanted to do a "fictional" piece. The difference between fact and fiction is usually "truth." Therefore, your piece, even if labeled as a parody would be "false" and probably not allowed by the Rules. It seems to me that because the Judge is a public figure under all the Larry Flynt, et al rulings you would be okay under a 1st amendment libel claim. I guess being an attorney means that your freedom of speach is limited.

Anonymous said...

he is limited as judges are limited in the words they speak.

making a statment above and below the post that this is a fiction piece would desolve Rumpole of any ethics violation as he is reminding the reader that this is for entertainment purposes. What would be wrong is to make the post without the claim because any joe could google search "Judge Hernandez" and read the piece and not know that it was fiction.

Conclusion: Simply put above and below the post a claim that this is for entertainment purposes only and is fictional.

Anonymous said...

What is libel is that title "someone forgot to take his medicine" unless Rumpole has proof that he is on lunatic pills or close to it, he has libeled that man and could and should be held liable.

Not taking sides pointing out facts. Had he place a fictional statement with that perhaps no claim.

Anonymous said...

RULE 4-8.2 states, in part, that "A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false."

Accordingly, I retract my earlier assertion that Stan Blake's lifelong struggle with opiate addiction was caused by a viscious splinter inflicted upon him by a drunken Victoria Sigler after a particularly mean-spirited argument concerning the modern day breadth of the economic-loss rule. I regret any inconvenience this may have caused.

Rumpole said...

1:08 about "someone forgot to take his medicine" (and I have no doubt who posted that) I was responding to (your) someone's email, and you are not a Judge and my post was my OPINION which I am allowed to express. Furthermore,by a reading of the post, it is clear that I have no proof (you) take medicine (although I think you should strongly consider seeing a qualified DR) and I was responding to (your) rather outrageous claims. I thought you don't read this blog? Anyway, this discussion involves legals matters weill above your limited ability to understand and properly respond. Stick to your website. I am sure Judge you know who has done something else to make you upset.

Rumpole said...

Nobody can give me a firm opinion: (just like a bunch of useless lawyers) CAN an attorney write a parody about a sitting Judge who does something that the attorney believes is humorous, like deny he knows who his campaign treasurer/wife is?
A Herald or New Times Columinist can. Can an attorney?

Anonymous said...

1:31 you seem a bit thin skinned when someone just points out facts.

Remove your comments or else 12 noon sunday right after the 3rd weekend after christmas in which a full moon is out THIS BLOG SHALL BE SHUT DOWN!

Anonymous said...

my my my Rumpole gets ticked when HWMNBN appears:

"matters weill [I dont think he is weill above anything or did you mean well] above your limited ability to understand and properly respond."

Rumpole said...

LOL/ He does bother me.
I meant "well" not andrew weil. I always make mistakes when I type angry and fast.

Anonymous said...

anger management is available through the Florida Bar discipline procedure.

Rumpole said...

I have excellent anger management procedures. I just blog blog blog. NOW CAN SOMEONE ANSWER MY DAMN QUESTION. AMONG ALL THE HIGH PRICED LEGAL TALENT, NO ONE HAS AN ANSWER TO THIS SIMPLE QUESTION? DO I HAVE TO PLOD DOWN TO THE U OF M LAW LIBRARY AND ACTUALLY DO RESEARCH (OF WHICH THERE IS AMPLE MEDICAL EVIDENCE THAT I AM ALERGIC TO)??? JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION SO I KNOW IF I CAN PUBLISH THE STUPID POST.

See, calm. cool. collected. Thats me, Rumpole.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole what bothers you more:

A. HWMNBN
B. Juan (the famous JA)
C. The Third PCA
D. PD of Miami
E. McDonald's changes its menu every other week.

Anonymous said...

If your clients get the same attention you give this blog, you have to be F. Lee Bailey.

Anonymous said...

If your clients get the same attention you give this blog, you have to be F. Lee Bailey.

Anonymous said...

I'm most angered by McDonald's changing its menu every week. And I'm not Alan!!!

Anonymous said...

Rumpole...it might not be the answer you are looking for and I'm certainly stupid when it comes to the law but if larry flynt can parody that religious guy (I forgot his name...) why can't you parody the judge? Big Dog makes products and calls them "South Bark a parody" and gets away with it...why can't you write: IVAN HERNANDEZ...a parody...a get on with it!!!

Anonymous said...

JUST CHANGE THE NAMES A TAD BIT AND GET OVER IT ALREADY.

IT'S NOT LIKE HE WILL BE A JUDGE AFTER SEPT 5, WHAT JUAN GOING TO DO WHILE ON PROBATION .

POST THE MOVIE AND LETS MOVE ON TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS.

Anonymous said...

WHICH ALAN DO YOU REFER?

Anonymous said...

Alan "McDonalds Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese" Shuminer, that's who!

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is everyone starting to post with an English accent?

Calvo

Rumpole said...

2:15 quiz...hmm... juan does not bother us at all. The Third PCA does not bother us much as we win all our cases that go to trial; we don't frequent McDonalds, as they do not serve alcohol; HWMNBN bothers us a bit, like a fly landing on the edge of our glass in a bar; got to go with He WHo Bans Lawyers. Yup...Bennett Bothers us the most.

As to the F. Lee Bailey comment. I don't get it. I take off a week to try a case and people go nuts, crying that the blog is dead and I have been kidnapped. I spend a few hours making posts and you get upset at that. Goes to show you can please some of the people some of the time, but none of the people who have lives more pathetic than ours.

Real Larry Schwartz be with you said...

All I wanted was a fricken endorsement! Is that too much to ask?

Rumpole said...

very funny real larry.

Anonymous said...

did you all see entourage on sunday?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Gina Mendez comment - it really was more like this - husband saying how hard it has been on "poor Gina" who has so been so busy she has not had any "quality time" with her children (at this point in his lousy speech he gives their names, ages and gender), then goes on to explain that he "volunteered" to go out to speak on her behalf so that she could "take the night off" and spend some "quality time with her family".

So funny though - approximately 5 miles away and 15 minutes later there sits Gina at DIFFERENT political forum - with (gasp - so shocking!) no children or family members in sight.

I can't help but to wonder if the sweet little aunties and mother tell the same lies while handing out her cards at events... This has been so hard on my poor daughter/niece, not spending any quality time with her children [insert names, ages and gender] so I volunteered to come here tonight to give her quality time with her family. Gag me Gina. I know, let's lie and, worse, let's bring the whole family into it. Anything-to-Get-Your-Damn-Vote-Even-if-I-lie-and-Throw-a-Great-Judge-Under-the-Bus-Mendez.

Just tell the truth. My name is Jeff. My wife is at another political event. That is why I am here. Spare us all the lies and drama and sticky sweet "This has been so hard on poor Gina, not spending quality time with her children..." B.S., just tell the truth. I mean we know she has no ethics but does the whole family have to act so sleazy?

Anonymous said...

Wow Larry. Are you that scared that you're gonna lose that you have to resort to dirty campaigning? You better be careful. You just might get what you want.

Anonymous said...

407 Hi Larry....nice try

Anonymous said...

I am 4:07 and I am not Larry - FYI. Larry was not there and I was. I posted the blog.

Anonymous said...

larry posts with his name

Anonymous said...

stupid you.