Thursday, September 14, 2006



An alert reader posted that the trial of the man accused of killing Jessica Lunsford has been moved from Citrus County to our humble courthouse. The reader asked what advice we might have for the Judge, staff, and attorneys.

Rumpole, always ready to oblige, has this simple to advice.

As with all visitors who grace our city, you will be welcomed with the traditional warm Miami Greeting: “Welcome. Now turn over your rental car and empty your pockets.”

Just kidding.

Here are some helpful tips:

OUR COURTHOUSE. Called the Justice Building, it is really the Gerstein Justice Building, named after our most famous fugitive from Justice: Miami Commissioner Joe Gersten. Joe was a friendly fellow. He made the rather close acquaintance of a fetching young woman, who took him to her cozy crack house, and after getting Joe higher than his soon to be calculated sentencing guidelines, she and her friends stole the commissioner’s Mercedes. Joe reported the car stolen from his Coral Gables residence, and when the crack smoke cleared, Joe found himself under arrest for a Rundle/bundle of crimes arising from filing a false police report.

When Commissioner Gersten found himself in the not so unusual position of being a politician in Miami under arrest, he decided that it was time to take a vacation down under.

“Crikey Mates- The Dingo ate my return ticket!” Gersten liked Australia so much, he never returned.

Anyway, with the city in the embarrassing position of having named its criminal courthouse after a fugitive, it was decided to ad an “I” to Gersten, changing the name to Gerstein, who as everyone knows was the long time State Attorney before Janet Reno. Because Miami is commonly referred to as “The City Of Fugitives” there is some talk about returning the building to it’s original name.

JUSTICE BUILDING TIPS: One of the JA's is rumoured to run "an escalator" pool from chambers. One buck buys you the chance to pick the exact moment all six escalators are working for more than one minute in any given week.

Want to avoid games of chance? Then you should use the elevators which only stop on odd numbered floors on Mondays and Thursdays, and even numbered floors on Fridays. You see, what we do in Miami is just turn 60 jurors loose, tell them the courtroom number, and if 6 are actually able to stagger in before closing (which is 1PM for all County Court Judges) then you have your jury. However, remember that most jurors will have a bench warrant for some traffic infraction, (remember, we are "The City of Fugitives") so make sure you select plenty of alternates, as many jurors tend to get arrested during the trial.

CY GAER: If you see an older Gentleman appear before you and suddenly begin talking about a “great tragedy befalling his young and innocent client” that is just Cy Gaer. Give him a trial date in two weeks and he will leave.

FOOD: Miami runs on the “Cuban system.”
Don’t ask for a “cola” as you are liable to be misunderstood and given a colada which is a small, dark, sweet, poisonous concoction of caffeine. Cuban toast is a large long piece of white bread that is stale and crumbles when you bite into it. If it tastes like cardboard, then you have one of the good pieces. All entries in Miami are accompanied by black beans and rice. This includes Carvel Ice Cream Cones and Pizza.

Speaking of Cuban, Miami runs on “Cuban Time.”

Court starts promptly at 9:00 am., which means sometime between 10:30 and 12:00 noon.

MISCELLANEOUS: Be careful what you say in chambers, as the FDLE has a nasty habit of not removing the bugs from it’s last corruption investigation. The FDLE’s position is that it has placed so many listening devices in the REGJB that it has a hard time keeping track of them.

We have a JA that operates a mini-Wal Mart from chambers.

Many visitors to our building will be happy to assist procuring for you whatever you may have left behind at home, including cell phones, luxury vehicles, substances of “medicinal value” and companionship for those long lonely Miami nights. These individuals are recognizable by the “City Commissioner” emblem on their shirt, and they are just trying to make ends meet.

We once had a bailiff convicted of Murder.
Ditto for a Miami Dade Homicide Sergeant.
OJ was acquitted here.
But all other professional athletes do not fair as well. Ask Judge Glick when you see him. He has some sort of steamship outside of his chambers. And he’s one of the more normal and stable Robe wearer in our building.

Any way, as an un-official ambassador for our fair courthouse, let us be the fist to extend to you a warm Miami welcome.

Now your wallet please.


Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm number one. Brummer! Greico! Davidoff! Denaro! Marino-Culpepper! Catalano! Parks!

Stiring up trouble.

Haiku Harry said...

To the New ASA's: Here is the top ten list of DUI lawyers you need to worry about. Everyone else will roll over like a whipped dog:

10. Stuart Miskin.
9. Jonathan Blecher
8. Bobby Reiff
7. Scott Fingerhut
6. Jim Best
5. Warren Lawler
4. Jose Elortigui
3. Patty Culpepper-Marino
2. Chris Lyons
1. Q

Anonymous said...

Defense attorney: Hmmm, Where can I move this trial where I can be guaranteed that none of the potential jurors read the newspaper or watch television news coverage? I got it! Miami-Dade County!! buenas dias acquital!

Anonymous said...

dont forget to advise about the number of corrupt judges here that have been convicted. maybe sepe could come out of retirement and hear the case...

Anonymous said...

Altschuler, Lurvey, Lyons- you guys should come clean and accept thanks for running this blog. Admit what everyone already knows.

Anonymous said...

Blog lite?

Anonymous said...

To the new ASA's:

1. You are in county court. The maximum sentence is a year in jail. No one killed anyone, and if they did, they got a ticket for it. In fact, no one hurt anyone real bad, so dont act like they did.

2. Most people in county court are not criminals, they are idiots, and homeless people, and people who made a mistake. Treat them that way.

3. If you cannot prove a case, do not act like you can just because your supervisor (on their way out of the courtroom) tells you to prove it at trial.

4. If you spend more than 30 seconds arguing over the number of community service hours a defendant should get, you are a failure.

5. If you act like a jerk, no one will forget, ever. You may act like a jerk for a few weeks, then, get over yourself.

6. If a judge orders you to do something, do it. Don't come back a month later and argue that the judge shouldn't have granted the motion.

7. 10 days in jail can ruin someones life.

8. 30 days in jail can ruin someones life.

9. Defense lawyers are not your enemy, realize that as soon as possible.

10. Try as many cases as you can, and stay out of the office politics.

Anonymous said...

words to live by.

Anonymous said...

11. dont object to every request for everything. you will turn into the boy who cried wolf so many times no one listened when he was right.

Anonymous said...

Great survey of the MJB but, are you confusing Richard Gerstein (the bald tall guy who was the State Attorney, then a big shot defense attorney and died before they could indict him) with Joe Gersten... the former county commissioner who fled to Australia?

Anonymous said...

Funny about adding Jose Elortigui to a list of dui attorneys.

The SAO sends him discovery with a plea sheet.

Has he ever done anything other than take a plea?

Ok, maybe his clients get their moneys worth. He probably only gets $500.00 per client and that is all they get in return in services, a plea.

Rumpole said...

Anonymous wrote:

Great survey of the MJB but, are you confusing Richard Gerstein (the bald tall guy who was the State Attorney, then a big shot defense attorney and died before they could indict him) with Joe Gersten... the former county commissioner who fled to Australia?

Rumpole responds: Yes...that was part of the "joke" which I guess failed with you. Plus the part where I wrote (and made up as a completely and I thought obviously false) story about the County adding an I to change it from Gersten to Gerstein.

You didn't get it, and as the author the blame is all mine, so I shall refrain from yelling at you to get the shjt out of your eyes and read the %$#&&* full post before becoming a critic.

Thanks for reading.
Your pal,


the trialmaster..... said...

what current judge was partners with richard gerstein in private practice?

Leonard Glick said...

Hon. Ronald Dresnick

Anonymous said...

rump, one of your funniest posts to date.

Anonymous said...

rump, I got the joke!!!

Rumpole said...

Jidge Glick with the quick trivia answer. Must be a slow day in back-up. (Or a boring trial. I assume you guys can read the blog on your computers on the bench).

Anonymous said...

12. Don't be afraid to give a defense attorney some lovin some time. There is no conflict, unless you are currently in trial (but, stay away from PDs, they are dirty, lying shitbirds (only the guy PDs)).

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. imprtant Private Attorney,

Fuck You.

A dirty lying shitbird PD

Rumpole said...

Language language people. We're officers of the court here.

Fake Blecher said...

At least I made it ahead of Mishkin. He doesn't do DUI's does he?

Anonymous said...

Alan, you didn't make the list either. How come?

Anonymous said...

I don't do DUI's anymore Chris.

Anonymous said...

I send all my DUI'S to Q.

Respect the Q.
Fear the Q.
Close your eyes
Become the Q.

Anonymous said...

i didnt do any duis in july. then business got better.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie Rippengile was also a partner with Richard Gerstein.

F Lee Bailey, Paul Rashkind, Dresnick and Rippengile and maybe one other.

Anonymous said...

F. Lee....won't see him no more.

Anonymous said...

APD for judge will never happen

Fake Mishkin said...


Fake Ted Mastos said...

hmm..unhuh....chomp chomp, chew chew..

Anonymous said...

Air Commander Catalano..checking in on my peons in Miami. Howz it going down there?

F. Lee Bailey said...

I'll be back. Better than ever.

Anonymous said...

January 13, 2007 9:18 AM:
Jim Best: Judge Cohn, I am ready for trial but I am in trial before Judge Marino-Pedrazza.

9:22 AM:
Jim Best: Judge Marino-Pedrazza, I am ready for trial but I am in motions before Judge Cohn.

9:33 AM. Jim Best at breakfast chuckling.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Altschuler, Lurvey, Lyons- you guys should come clean and accept thanks for running this blog. Admit what everyone already knows

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

To the New ASA's:

Don't be afraid of any DUI lawyers. No matter their name, they're all doing the same motion, dancing the same dance. You have the evidence. If you have no fear, you will win EVERY time. Don't let them fool you, not for one second.

P.S. The Jim Best post, about him chuckling at breakfast, made me laugh out loud.

Anonymous said...

Lyons doesn't know how to write as well as Rumpole, and doesn't have the intellect for it.

Lurvey is too goofy to care about this stuff.

Alschuler is a moron.

Although I must admit that one of the first people who told me about the Blog, was Chris Lyons. And as they say in the Godfather, beware of the messenger because he will be the one to betray you.

A man down under ... said...

A fugitive from the "City of Fugitives"; now isn't that nice! Come home, Joe, we miss you!

Anonymous said...

does it really matter to be board certified by the bar?

don't call me a "traffic" lawyer ... said...

13. Unlike most criminal charges, which are rather back & white (either the perp did it or didn't), DUI's are mostly gray as there is often little more than some officer's "opinion" that they had enough to arrest the defendant. That is not enough to obtain a conviction with a half decent lawyer, and it violates your oath as a prosecutor (to only prosecute those who you can PROVE are guilty). Unless you have solid proof, take the 1/2 a loaf, break it to reckless and move on.

14. Just because the cop went to a DUI training course at the police academy doesn't mean that he is an "expert" in handling DUI cases.

15. If the Intoxilyzer is a "scientific" instrument, then why isn't it maintained by a scientist? Let's face it, if it is run by a cop, and maintained by a cop, it is a machine.

16. Saying that the breath machine only cheats 10% of the people who take the breath test (really a higher percentage) due to its 2100 to 1 ratio doesn't mean much if you are in that 10%.

17. Why are breath tests so readily admitted into evidence when polygraphs aren't?

18. If the officer is such a good officer, why is he still in the "traffic" division?

Anonymous said...

A request for your opinion...

The scenario: I stumble across two campaign posters. One is for Katherine Harris, the other Bill Nelson. The posters are side-by-side in the grassy median of US-1. Annoyed with the blighting of public property, I pull up both posters.

Question: Have I committed a crime. What should the law be?

(This is an academic question... not a request for legal advice).

Rumpole said...

We give legal advice for free all the time- just ask our non-paying clients.

In our opinion pulling the Katherine Harris poster is not a crime as pursuant to the common law of England as established in Crown vs. Disraeli, "any person who hinders the election chances of any individual who previously "stole" an election, shall enjoy immunity from the Crown."

Anonymous said...

Listen "TRAFFIC LAWYER" you obviously don't know beans about criminal law. "Most criminal charges are black & white (either the perp did it or didn't)" ????

Have you ever heard of self defense? How about entrapment (objective and subjective)? How about diminshed capacity? Insanity?

Do us all a favor and stick to your reckless driving cases "can we have no points? Pleasseeee?"

Anonymous said...

ah hell I spent two full nights about 10 hours each tearing down those damm hernandez banners. If tearing down campaign banners is a crime i will need rumpole to come out of hiding and represent me asap.

Anonymous said...

hey you said

"Why are breath tests so readily admitted into evidence when polygraphs aren't?"

Polygraphs are admissible with both side agreeing or something like that...

But you do have a good point.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


danlurvey said...

Goofy? Thanks alot.

Rumpole said...

We will discuss that idea with our IT department this weekend. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.Lurvey posted just a few minutes before "Rumpole."
Dan.....is there something you would like to get off your chest now???

Anonymous said...

to the new asa's and not from a defense attorney who is not so subtely telling you things so that you will roll over like a dog when you scratch its belly.

1. dont listen to every defense attorney tell you to "be reasonable". their idea of reasonable is the best deal they can get for thier client. They wont be any nicer to you if you do what they want, if they have a defense or an argument that they can use against you they always will as they should.

2. on the other hand, dont be afraid of all the dui chiefs who try to scare you into thinking that if you mess up a case you will have a bad career at the sao. that is nonsense, as long as you are not lazy and a decent trial lawyer what you did in COunty, like what you did in vegas, stays in county.

3. Dont Fight over crimes cases. 99 percent of them are stupid. maybe a battery or some kind of worthless check case in which someone lost alot of money but for the most part they are nonsense. If you shouldnt get scared by the DUI chief, be even less scared of the Crimes chief.

4. Never ever be afraid to try a case against a really good lawyer. if chris lyons or bobby reiff wont take a plea , go to trial. So what if they kick your ass, at least you will have learned somethig which you wont learn if you try a case against some equally green pd with bobby aaron sitting thier telling them what to do.

5. DOnt give in just to please the judge or the defense attorney. If you always do what they want they will run roughsod over you and have no respect for you.

6. argue and shut up-- say your piece and when the judge rules against you stop. dont say "i obejct for the record". you have already argued your point the record will show that you didnt go along with the judge who gave the 5th dui offender 30 days. its over next case.

7. treat those with respect who treat you with respect. IGNORE THOSE WHO ARE RUDE.

8. these cases are just not that big a deal so dont act like they are rapes and murders, if you stay more than 3 years you will get to handle plenty of real rapes and murders.

9. enojy this is one of the most fun jobs a lawyer can have good luck

Anonymous said...

More Trevia
What famous star, on thw west coast of Fla, did Ron Dresnick represent?
D Sisselman

riddler said...

I need answers.
First, has Jonathan Schwartz, who sort of looks like a combination of young Jerry Lewis and Peter Faulk, recruited an army of ex- retarded prosecutors to complete his diabolical mission to take over REGJB? Spencer "I shot the" Chariff and Yahuda "nipple ring" Bruck are evil underlings trying to build back the bridges they fire bombed as ASA's (asshole state assholes). Have you know shame Mr. Schwartz? You plot your manipulations from your evil lair.
But my, fellow attorney's, have no fear. I am constructing a team of "Super Lawyers and Judges" to stop his quest for REGJB domination. Here are a few members of the "League of Justice":
1. That overweight red haired guy whose pants are falling down almost to the generic high-top sneakers he took off a homeless guy. He pulls around some trial case on a cart that looks like he took it from the scene of an Iraqi roadside bombing.
2. Warren Schwartz. Need I say more?
3. Alex Michaels. Who better to fight Schwartz than a crazed Romanian with a flair for striped suits and confused clients?
4. Maggie Arias. This young PD is deadly with an intoxilizer.
5. "Pepe" Hernandez. His dentist should be prosecuted for criminal mischief, but he is like Chuck Norris with the spiked ball chain.
6. Judge Dava Tunis. Rumor has it she has a wonder woman outfit under her robe. Oh Mighty Isis.
7. Don Cohn. If he can win a judicial election for less than 50K he deserves to be in the "League."
8. Judge David Young. Anyone with that much free time could help out the cause. Or at least show up for the cocktail parties.
9. David Miller. He was special counsel and consultant to the A-Team. He is more prepared for battle than a special forces soldier killing the Taliban in Afghanistan. He has 20 confirmed kills from Grenada. He knows his mission.

Good Luck people. We of the Dade Bar support you in this fight for the hearts and minds of paying clients.

In the words of the immortal Ron Bergundy,
"I am kind of a big deal. I have many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany."

"I am just going to put this out there. I want to be on you."

Anonymous said...

"We will discuss that idea with our IT department this weekend. Stay tuned."

Rumpole lets take a vote for the chat room.

Anonymous said...

Napoleon Bonaparte in 5-7 stop being a jerk.

Anyone that uses the term "perp" is an idiot

Anonymous said...

Haiku Harry, if jonathan blecher is now a top dui attorney, pobrecitos those poor defendant drunks!

Anonymous said...

when I get my hands on the ass who keeps doing the alan/chris post you mine buddy!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Alan Should we be afraid?

Anonymous said...

No little buddy criminal defense lawyers are usually little wimps that never got over having to wear braces at their Bar Mitzvah's

Anonymous said...

I am just curious which who is Alan and Chris (last names please) maybe I can get the joke that continues day by day with the alan and chris post

Anonymous said...

almost 420 time to get high

Rumpole said...

Answer to Sissleman's trivia:

Pee Wee Herman

Anonymous said...

When you make a list of the best DUI attorneys, do you even think about who has actually tried a bunch of DUI manslaughters?

I only know of Bobby Reiff and Mike Catalano.

I have heard they have done good jobs on real big DUI cases.

Anonymous said...

The 9:36 post is right.

Good lawyers know when they are getting BS from the other side.

Good lawyers like new and novel arguments even when they are against them.

Good lawyers win close cases with hard work and a positive attitude.

Good lawyers tell the truth and work hard but, never cross the line.

Good lawyers make mistakes, admit it, apologize and move on to only have a good reputation with everyone.

Good lawyers almost never become judges. They can not live on that money and would be bored doing pleas all day.

Good lawyers probably do not read this damn blog.

Anonymous said...

Jim Best is a good guy and competent lawyer but, he is kinda like Richard Essen. He never shows up in the actual courtroom.

Also, how come Jim Best has hired and fired so many lawyers to work with him?