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

Thursday, October 12, 2006

MORE ADVICE

This reader said it very well.


Anonymous said...
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR NEW ASA's:


1. Talk to your supervisors and ask questions. Trust me, they'd rather spend their time avoiding mistakes than cleaning them up.

2. Talk to the Senior Trial Counsel, especially David Gilbert and Flora Seff. They can help you strategize and, gasp, are willing to try homicide cases with young ASA's (once you get a few felonies under your belt). David is even willing to try your "c" cases with you! Too bad there aren't more like them.

3. You are the only lawyers in the world fighting for truth and justice, rather than a client. Learn the special ethical rules that apply to you (like not making witnesses whom you know are telling the truth look like liars) and follow them. Once you cross the line, you can never go back.

4. Your job is to seek justice fairly and honestly. Don't be afraid to hammer the people who need it OR to cut slack to those who deserve it. Learn the distinction. It took me most of my first 10 years to gain perspective, but it made me a better prosecutor and, more importantly, a better person. Don't sweat the minor stuff; your caseload is too big to worry about every case. Focus on the real cases and dangerous defendants (you'll soon learn how to identify them; on suggestion: focus on your DUIs and cases with victims who have been or are likely to be injured).

5. Talk to the defense attorneys. Yes, many will mislead you. But, some won't. You need to identify who fits in which category. Regardless, it's difficult to determine a fair and appropriate sentence in most cases (cases without minimum mandatories) without learning about the defendant. You really can't do that unless you speak to the defense attorneys.

6. Trial is a blast. But, not every case needs to be tried. Don't take a case to trial just because you can. Remember, it's your job to do the right thing.

7. Love your job. It's the best job any of us will ever have (no, I'm no longer with the office). Don't let the naysayers get you down. No matter what anyone says, you're doing an incredible public service that borders on outright charity. The strong prosecutors can double or triple their incomes for going private. We owe a great deal to those who stay (same goes for the PD's).

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR NEW PD's

1. Not all of your clients are innocent (especially at the felony level). If you constantly tell the prosecutors they are, you'll lose credibility and no one will listen to you.

2. Not all of your clients will stop committing crimes if they get treatment. If you claim otherwise for all of your clients, no one will listen to you. That would be unfortunate because you all have some great social workers who can really make a difference in people's lives.

3. Talk to your supervisors. There are many good ones who can help you. Talk to private defense attorneys; there are many who care enough to give you some tips.

4. Talk to the prosecutors. Not every case should be tried. Remember, you're playing with your clients' liberty.

5. Not all prosecutors play by the rules. Don't be afraid to call them on it if they don't. You (and the judges) are the check on their power.

6. Love your job (see above).

FOR BOTH: Try settling the personal stuff in the hallway, rather than on the record. You'll get a lot further.

GOOD LUCK,Been there, done that, and loved almost every minute.

Rumpole says: Great post.

54 comments:

Rumpole said...

Rumpole: Who would you like most to brag that you beat in trial? The first answer should be the person to show you got props and the second the person you just want the satisfaction of beating.


Someone posted this last night in the last post. Great question! Gives us something to write about over the weekend. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

That was me!

Richard Sharpstein
David O.

And Jason: You never got a better plea from me because of your reputation (not saying you didn't get good deals, it just wasn't the "fear factor")

Anonymous said...

unfortunate news to report: ana, judge miller's JA passed away yesterday after a long fight with cancer. she was an amazing woman. our thoughts and prayers are with her family...

Anonymous said...

looks like some loser is re posting old posts. ernesto is gone, move on.....

Anonymous said...

Help Rump!!! what the hell is going on??? Help!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I've spent less time reading a Shakespeare play than some of these blog entries. Since when did this become a dumping ground for every politico to get their opinions out?

Anonymous said...

ditto!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rumpole said...

If some jerk off is attacking the blog then I just will clamp it down. Keep posting but it will take a few minutes because it goes to my phone, I push a button, and then it goes up. Sorry for the inconvenience but they eventually wither up and dry away. Plus I have spoken with Google and the FDLE about how to handle this. Lets see what happens.

Anonymous said...

FYI, its not me.

He Who Shall Not Be Named

Anonymous said...

ANA was she not Judge Crespos JA before Miller?

RIP

Anonymous said...

we could do a public records request to FDLE and find out who Rumpole is.

I am sending mine out NOW. I will post Rumpoles identity when I have the scoop from FDLE

Anonymous said...

From: THE MIAMI NEW TIMES,

Article Published Jan 5, 2006

Bailey Creams the Courthouse

Miami's criminal justice scene just got saucier thanks to a blog launched in mid-November by an anonymous local defense attorney who has borrowed the name — and the mischievous persona — of fictional British barrister Rumpole of the Bailey. As first reported in the Daily Business Review, the anonablogger — who posts via factory text-farm Blogspot.com, thereby thwarting those who would seek his identity via InterNIC or WhoIs.com — tirelessly lampoons denizens of the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building.

But amid Rumpole's satire lurk nuggets of news. He recently broke the story that Miami-Dade chief public defender Bennett H. Brummer paid $200,000 to settle a suit brought by an employee who claimed he was canned for supporting Gabriel Martin, Brummer's loquacious, combative challenger in the 2004 election. That item unleashed a furor. Current and past employees of the PD's office flocked to the blog to air their own accounts of bullying and coercion. "If you come out openly and oppose [Brummer], you'll be screwed," griped one staffer. "Every single one of Martin's supporters was demoted, fired, or strongly forced out."

A few readers responded that the problem wasn't only Brummer but also his staff of lazy discontents: "They got people who haven't tried twelve cases since Miami Vice was a TV show," wrote one detractor.

Brummer's response, according to some staffers, was to cut off access to the blog from in-house computers. (He didn't respond at all to The Bitch's three requests for comment.)

"I started this blog, and this entire undercurrent of hidden feeling toward Bennett Brummer came rushing out," Rumpole marveled during a phone interview. (To retain his anonymity, Rumpole always phones The Bitch from pay phones and stuff.)

"While I'm sure your motives were pure in creating this blog," opined one poster, "it is clear that it has dissolved into a haven of petty sniping and the opportunity for people to take anonymous potshots at anyone they feel may have wronged them.... I wonder how long it will be before someone makes truly unseemly and unfounded allegations."

Check out the melee for yourself at www.justicebuilding.blogspot.com.

Anonymous said...

No, judge Miller's JA Ana, was not Judge Crespo's JA.

Anonymous said...

"To retain his anonymity, Rumpole always phones The Bitch from pay phones and stuff."

I had no idea Leslie Rothenberg wrote for the New Times.

Anonymous said...

Thia is great advice that you are giving the new ASA's and PD's. As a judge, I find that the best lawyers on both sides are gentlemen and ladies. They are courteous, reasonable and firm all at the same time.
By the way, the best defense lawyer I have ever seen by far is Peter Raben. He is also the biggest gentlemen I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

the person attacking the blog was that idiot from the previous post with 2000 pages of irag war information.

he is a tad bit sensitive because you deleted his rant and rave that can be found nightly on the news channels

Anonymous said...

Ana Fernandez, JA to Judge Firtel, and formerly JA to Judge Crespo is very much alive and well. Hope that resolves any confucion.

Anonymous said...

thanks for clearing that up

Anonymous said...

from the DBR:

Court mutes statute allowing judges to amend verdicts

By: Jordana Mishory

The Florida Supreme Court effectively gutted a state statute allowing judges in personal injury cases to add to or reduce a jury verdict found to be excessive or inadequate.

Rumpole said...

Remember when every newspaper in town was clamering for an interview with us? Well, we were recently requested to give an interview to a local TV station! They offered to interview us behind a curtain and disguise our voice. We declined. Too much hassle and intrigue for a silly little blog.

Wonderful comments by the way by a Judge about Peter Raben. Could not agree more.

Anonymous said...

Alan, you still around?

Anonymous said...

Yes Chris- don't forget to tell everyone to vote for our friend Joe Fernandez on November 8.

Anonymous said...

WOO WOO! The Jose Sanchez Gronlier bandwagon is getting to leave the station. ALL ABOARD.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole do it from a pay phone and have them put a picture of Rumpole the one you have on this Blog.

It would be great!

also I never knew that oh sussana worked for the AP

SUSANNAH NESMITH, Associated Press Writer

Anonymous said...

IN 1994 SHE WAS WITH THE PALM BEACH POST:

Susannah Nesmith can be contacted at: The Palm Beach Post, 2751 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405, telephone 407/747-1888

Anonymous said...

MS. NESMITH, APPEARS TO BE HAVING PROBLEMS HOLDING DOWN A JOB.

Anonymous said...

NOW SHE IS WITH MIAMI HERALD FOR A FEW YEARS NOW.

Anonymous said...

Susannah A. Nesmith
Philadelphia Inquirer

GOSH WERE HAS SHE NOT WORKED.

Anonymous said...

The Philadelphia Inquirer, another Knight Ridder property.

ok she is just moving with in the company.

Sorry

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how some people on this blog can be so nasty all the time. Give Susannah a break.

Anonymous said...

does not look like anyone being nasty .

looks like a compliment places she has worked over the years

Anonymous said...

Plus she's a real hottie. I envied Sy with her following him around for a few weeks. She floats my boat.

Mr. Language Guy said...

Mr. Language guy: please give me the derivation of the word fuckwad.


Mr. Language guy says: WITH PLEASURE:

The Navy back in World War II had a long gun on Destroyers that was made by a company called Foque. When the shell was shot, the "wad" had to ejected before the next shell could be loaded. Because the spent shell wad was so completely destroyed and screwed-up looking due to the pressure of the blast, sailors started calling each other wads. Eventually, calling someone a "Foque wad" was distilled down to fuckwad. To this day, it means a useless, screwed-up thing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sussanah! Would you date a lawyer? Or, having spent time around us, do you hate us all?

A Fan.

Anonymous said...

leave her alone now!

Anonymous said...

everyone says nesmith is a hottie, any links around with her pic?

riddler said...

Where have you gone Ben Daniel? The minister of training used to give some good advice. Such as, "if you see Ms. Reno before she sees you, avoid. Play small and don't draw attention to yourself.

I had a trial against Sy Gaer on a trafficking case. Scott Saul represented the co-def. During a break, Sy walked over to the State's table where I was sitting and going over my notes. He turned his ass to about 5 inches from the side of my face and let one rip. He chuckled as he walked over to the box where his client was. It smelled so bad that the corrections officers took Sy's client in the back so they wouldn't have to stay in the courtroom. He later told me that the tuna salad sandwiches from the pickle barrell gave him bad gas.

even steven said...

All things being equal:

If Quiz Show is on TV, I'm watching it, even if Armageddon is on.

I like the Baseball Playoffs, even though my team is not in it.

There are some new hot PD's and ASAs. I saw a really tall hot blonde on 4 today. PD.

Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial is good. Get it. Now.

Joe Farina does a good job. I don't care what anyone says.

The Feds are a bunch of dofuses. Really.

What happened to all the hot court reporters? I miss the 80's.

Anonymous said...

Susannah Nesmith... maybe she would be a better choice for Governor than Charlie Crist...

Anonymous said...

can we write in her name ? whats do we need 4 million votes

Anonymous said...

wake and bake

Anonymous said...

Sunny Goldin for Governor!
Susannah Nesmith for Lieutenant Governor.

Judge Adrien for dog catcher.

Anonymous said...

Judge Adrien: Mr. Smith has a VOP on this agg stalking. What says the State. (Humming, Girl You Know Its True...)

State: Judge, he beat up his girlfriend again and the arraignment is set for 11-1-06 but she failed to show up for her pre-file....

Mr. Smith's Girlfriend: Here I am Judge.

Judge Adrien: You look like one of my back up singers. What is your name?

Mr Smith's Girlfriend: Laquisha Johnson (with big black eye).

PD: Judge, other then the new case, his failure to seek employment, testing positive and violating the injunction he has been a model probationer.

Judge Adrien: Girl you know it true....

Laquisha Johnson: ooh, ooh, ooh, I Love You.

Mr. Smith: I love you to baby.

State: Judge, since we're not ready please restore to probation with a firm warning not to have contact with the victim.

PD: Judge, I request ET...

Judge Adrien: (Mr Smith and Laquisha walking out of court hand in hand). Blame it on the rain, ain, ain.....

MEANWHILE-NORTH OF THE BORDER

Judge Ross: Mr. White, I find you in violation of your probation and sentence you to 20 years of hard labor.

Mr. White: But I haven't had any contact with the victim.

PD: alleged victim

Judge Ross: Mr. White, it says here that you were viewing old photos of your girlfriend and thats enough for me.

MEANWHILE-BACK IN MIAMI-DADE

Judge Young: I am reviewing this mandate from the 3rd and it indicates that the sentence of five years for the pilots is not harsh enough and has to be doubled. Judge Rothenberg's opinion is very insightful....

Anonymous said...

back at the south dade justice center:

Ivan Hernandez: when do we get that darn computer back?

Anonymous said...

the blog is beginning to get so boring with Nesmith, Rothenberg etc....Why does it matter to all you hysterical people who Rumpole really is...its intriging not knowing and you, who is writing FDLE and will advise of the results...get a life, obviously you have way to much time on your hands.....FDLE will think your a nut bag....so get off your high horse and get a job !

Anonymous said...

SOMEONE IS NOT ADHEARING TO THERE MEDICATION MANDATE.

11:52 BETTER GET SOME CUBAN COFFEE AND PULL THAT POLE OUT OF YA ASS.

A Fish Stinks From The Top To The Bottom .... said...

Rump:

Me thinkest that you need a counterpart North of the Border. They certainly seem to have quite a bit of interesting fodder for their own web blog.

For instance, the Herald, in following up on the "super sealing" of criminal cases discovered that chief pooh-bah Dale ("You're Guilty") Ross responded to Florida Supreme Court Chief R. Fred Lewis' request for an investigation with a terse reply that "no review was needed."

Thankfully, ethics guru and UM (go 'Canes!) professor Anthony Alferi called Dale on it, and was quoted as saying that Dale "doesn't get it", something anyone who has ever experienced his wrath from the bench can fully appreciate.

Inbreeding is a bad thing (i.e., Ross' daughter is now a county judge). And just why are all the judges kids working as prosecutors for the SAO? Isn't that a bit of a conflict of interest? What about a rule that says a judge's kid can't work for the SAO or PD's office while that judge is on the bench in that circuit? Or that only one judge per immediate family may be on the bench? Something stinks up North and it isn't just the rotting fish by the ocean.

Anonymous said...

America is the best country ever. In this country, its not a crime to commit a crime. Its only a crime if you're found guilty.

Therefore, it is my right as a citizen to commit whatever crimes I want provided that I ensure that the prosecution of each case is somehow fouled up, that I either get a nolle prosse, a dismissal, a JOA or the jury finds me not guilty.

That's the beauty of the Constitution, specifically the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth. Because as long as I can beat the system each and every time, no one can ever label me a convict.

Even if for some reason, I should get found guilty, I deserve leniency as a matter of right, because society made me what I am - I did drugs, I grew up in the worst of the worst neighborhoods, I never had an opportunity. I would have been a good person if I had a chance. There are programs out there designed to help my mental problem and drug addictions rather than lock me up.

I love this country and the defense attorneys that are in it. Don't let people like Chief Judge Ross ever ruin it... down with these crooked right wingers...

Chief Judge Ross said...

listen scunbag, stay down in Miami where you belong you trash mouth law breaking crapworm. Come North of the border and I'll shove the Constitution up your.....

Chief Judge Ross said...

That's scumbag!

Anonymous said...

can we ship Rottenberg [Rothenberg] to the 4th DCA so she can pca affirm Ross on a daily basis.

Dont we all like a great couple.

Rumpole said...

Why is there no blog North of the Border: 1) The Water 2) The Judges would hunt the blogger down, strip him/her, and hang them from the top of the courthouse; 3) No one up there has a creative bone in their body. 4) (sealed by order of the court).

Anonymous said...

david gilbert? come on rump. he certainly is not a good trial lawyer. flora? isnt her husband in jail for money laundering?

Anonymous said...

Tips for New asas and apds. You come to your job most likely after the bar exam and are probably in your late 20s and still have notions of doing good and making the world a better place. Good for you. Unfortunately thousands of attorneys have left the sao and pd disappointed if not bitter over their experience. Why? I would submit mainly OFFICE POLITICS. There are mean spirited people in these offices- the ones who demote, hire, fire, transfer, discipline. Let me make a suggestion how to make the most of your sao or pd experience. Avoid office politics and by that I mean the following: Work on your cases and stay away from all the gossip and nonsense over who is dating who, who won their last case, who caused a mistrial or got yelled at by a judge. If you work hard on your cases and become good at your work you will be promoted and if you are very good you will be working on life felony cases in a short period of time. Read the Florida Law Weekly 1 hour per month, become familiar with the Florida Cases notebook by ERLENBACH which is excellent for issue perception especially for defense attorneys, never let one case cause you to do something unethical or illegal such as juror improprieties or witness tampering, and if you work 10 hours per month harder than your coworkers you invariably, with few exceptions for those with superior skills or intellect, you will progress. The author worked on over 10 murder and manslaughter cases before the age of 30. Florida cases book not around at that time and also recommend Ehrhardt's evidence and begin the process of learing about dna, and computer evidence. IN 20 YEARS AND AFFILIATED WITH PREPARING OVER 100 FELONY CASES FOR TRIAL I CAN SAY THAT HARD WORK TRUMPS LUCK, LOOKS, EDUCATION, PEDIGREE, SEX, COLOR, MONEY AND JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE. I CAN'T COUNT HOW MANY CASES I HAVE GOTTEN A GOOD RESULT IN BECAUSE I WORKED HARDER THAN THE OTHER ATTORNEY AND I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT STAYING TO 9PM EITHER BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE A VERY GOOD TRIAL LAWYER IF YOU ONLY WANT TO WORK 40 HOURS PER WEEK. GOOD LUCK.