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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

SIGH

There should be a million of these. Keep them coming.

Judge Rob Pineiro said...

On my very first day of work as an assistant state attorney in June of 1977
I was given a stack of files and rushed into the late, great Judge Dominic Koo's courtroom to try some DUI cases. No training, no "gung ho" speaches--just "knock your socks off, kid".

It was a rather bewildering experience for a 22 year old "newbie".
However, a kindly, older gentleman offered to take me under his wing and teach me the realities of life. He explained how the police had railroaded his client, a sweet little old lady; how they had trampled all over her rights and cruelly slammed her into the drunk tank with no cause whatsover.

Incensed at the injustice, I confronted my witnesses with these serious accusations. Expecting them to quail before my righteous indignation, I was astonished to see them howling in laughter. One of the police officers, having controlled his hysterics, simply said "I guess you just met Sy Gaer." He gave me the other side of the story.

I went back to the person I now knew as Mr. Gaer and politely said:
"Excuse me sir, but it appears you may be full of - - - -."
His response, with a dismissive gesture: "No maybe about it."

A couple of decades later, I'm sitting on the bench itching to start a jury trial--it was already past 10 am. Only one other case left on calendar, Sy's Motion for Mitigation for one of his clients--actually typed out!

Well, I waited but no Sy, so I denied it. The Jury is about to come in when Sy pants through the door. I told him how I had argued to myself that his client had been railroaded and was the victim of a colossal injustice, but I didn't quite convince myself--so I denied it, albeit with tears in my eye.

Without blinking a eye, Sy manages to gasp out "Judge you just weren't eloquent enough." He then proceeds to tell me how I should have argued it to myself, congratulates me on what would have been a great argument and grants his own motion.

Rumpole says: What's great about these memories is that besides the wonderful "Sy stories" they also help to bring into prospective for the new prosecutors and PDs what life was like before all the high-tech training they now get. Ask any lawyer over 40 who spent time in the SAO or PDs office and you will get a similar story:
"I was handed a bunch of files, told where the courtroom was, and sent in with the words "try to not screw things up too much. If you have any legal questions, ask your secretary." Those were the good old days. Not to complain too much, but isn't the SAO overdoing the "I have to ask my supervisor" type of training? Give these lawyers some discretion we say!

To err is human. The best lawyers learn from their mistakes. As our eloquent President said: Fool me once shame on you…fool me again….if you fool me…hmm…you can’t fool me again, but if you try…why….well you get the idea, right?”

We strictly adhere to the Harvard Medical School of training: “LEARN ONE. DO ONE. TEACH ONE.”

See you in Court waiting for a prosecutor to go speak with their supervisor.



49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just today I was in court with Sy and he made everyone laugh.

Mike Catalano

Jane Doe said...

rumpole, still no comment on the gabriel martin situation? why so quiet? don't want to trash one of your buddies ? you've always been more critical of the brummer and his cronies. hmmm... very interesting...

Rumpole said...

Fair comment Ms. Jane: 1) If you read yesterday's post you will see that I have had trouble putting up posts because of a Google issue on the whole blog site, not my site.2) I did post a request to have a link for the complaint so I could review it. I also posted that in my experience an emergency suspension almost always occurs when an attorney does not respond to a bar subpoena, so that is my suspicion as to what occured here.
3) This week is Sy intensive because everyone should turn out and honor him Monday night.

4) When I get the info I plan on doing a post as Mr. Martin did run for PD. It's not a matter of treating him as badly as you seem to think I treat Bennett "Ban em" Brummer. It's just that this probably merits discussion. Not for revenge on Mr. Martin for running and losing- which is what a lot of Bennett supporters seem to want.

Rumpole said...

PS I have personally never met Mr. Martin. He is not a buddy. When I post about someone I know as a friend, I mention it to be fair. For instance, when I supported some Judges, I mentioned when I knew them personally.

Anonymous said...

Great story Mike. Thanks for your meaningful post. ;-)

Anonymous said...

FYI -
If, in fact, Brummer has "banned" anyone from the office of the PD, I would imagine it has something to do with those persons allegedly threatening female employees and / or stealing confidential work product from the office. Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

That Catalano can really spin a yarn . . .

Anonymous said...

I think that Sy is Judge Scott Silverman's step dad. Please let him know of the party as he is in Civil Court now.

Judge Rob Pineiro said...

Rumpole, you had to have been at the SAO during the Gerstein era.
I too was handed a bunch of files and pointed to the courtroom and told, verbatim: "Try not to screw up too much."
I'll be at Sy's party with his favorite cake--whatever flavor but with a bottle of scotch in the middle.

omar said...

My Sy Story:

According to Sy, this young innocent boy, who was on a full scholarship and could lose it with a conviction, was mistakenly charged with battery after he punched someone.

Sy told me that the boy was honorably defending his girlfriend’s reputation at a local club (at this point, Sy glanced at his infamous notepad) called Miami Velvet. Sy said, "The case should be nolle prossed." I chuckled.

I spoke with the victim who was in Court for trial, and he told me that the Defendant was at Miami Velvet with a differnt girl, not the girl in Court.

At that point, I learned that (1) Sy’s client was not defending his girlfriend’s honor and (2) Sy, along with the Defendant’s girlfriend, had no idea about what takes place inside of Miami Velvet.

Once I had enlightened Sy about Miami Velvet, Sy responded, “Kid, I guess you can teach me something after all. And, I thought I knew everything.” He shuffled away and spoke with the kid, alone. I knew I had arrived at the Justice Building.

Amazingly, Sy’s client pled guilty rather than go to trial and let his girlfriend hear about his fun at Miami Velvet.

All in the game, yo. All in the game.

Rumpole said...

To the ass who wrote the negative Sy post: I watched Sy defend a man accused of a horrible crime- choping his wife's arm with an axe. The State wanted Williams Rule of prior violent acts by the defendant against his wife. Sy protested but not a lot. When the wife was on the stand- called by the State (Maggie Rosembaum) Sy took her episode by episode over each violent attack. Then very quietly he asked her if it was not true she stayed with him all these years because she knew he was mentally ill and she knew he didn't really know what he was doing. The wife shed a tear and said yes that was true. Sy had Doctors for his insanity defense, but that witness said it all. I started watching the case because to see Sy do a voire dire with an insanity defense was amazing. Jurors all come to court expecting to see such "loopholes" and they let Sy have it. He turned them all around by the end of his voire dire.

I do not recall if Sy won that case- I think he did. But that ass who called Sy all sorts of names (I removed the post) could not carry Sy's briefcase. I will allow the post to remain up if the coward re-posts it with his or her name.

Rumpole said...

I made a mistake. That ass could not carry Sy's little black book. We all know Sy doesn't even own a briefcase.

Rumpole said...

To Judge Pinero: I'll never tell.

Anonymous said...

Sy, we all love you 4ever. happy birthday, big guy.

Anonymous said...

Herald article

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/editorial/letters/15897787.htm

Anonymous said...

the thing i like about you mr. orj is that your totally nuts. keep up the good work.
ps: come on over to sy's birthday party so we can all meet you.

Anonymous said...

hey rump, i pulled this from your friday posts, from the captain:

CAPTAIN said...
HEY RUMP, BIG NEWS FOR ALL YOU BRUMMER FANS:

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

CASE NO.: SC06-1932

THE FLORIDA BAR vs. GABRIEL I. MARTIN

The Joint Motion to Amend Emergency Suspension is granted. The Petition for Emergency Suspension filed pursuant to Rule 3-5.2 of the Rules Regulating The
Florida Bar is approved and it is hereby ordered that the respondent is suspended from
the practice of law until further order of this Court; however, respondent is permitted
to continue the practice of law solely and exclusively to complete his duties as defense
counsel in Broward County, Florida in case no. 04-6701 CF 10 A through K through verdict. Respondent is further ordered to abide by the conditions of this emergency suspension in all other respects ...

I guess Bennett won't have to worry about GM as an opponent in 2008.

CAPTAIN OUT .................

Anonymous said...

Rump, I'm a huge Sy fan (I've seen him win cases that looked like locks for the State). But, you're removing a post unless the poster puts up his name is ridiculous. You don't require other people to post their names, why that poster? Those of us who know and appreciate Sy will be irritated, but shouldn't the same rules apply to everyone? WWSS (what would Sy say?).

Anonymous said...

Only if Rumpole goes.

Darrin

Ps. Thanks for the compliment I think?

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Thanks for that 7:19.

Gabe Martin is in a jury trial before Judge Siegel in Broward Circuit Court, 04-6701-CF-10-J; State v. Wilson Avellan. Mr. Avellan is one of 11 defendants charged in a RICO chop shop case.

CAPTAIN OUT ..............

Rumpole said...

Anonymous said...
Rump, I'm a huge Sy fan (I've seen him win cases that looked like locks for the State). But, you're removing a post unless the poster puts up his name is ridiculous. You don't require other people to post their names, why that poster? Those of us who know and appreciate Sy will be irritated, but shouldn't the same rules apply to everyone? WWSS (what would Sy say?).

Rumpole says: you're 100% correct. It was just in such poor taste, especially at a time when we are celebrating Sy and his career. It just bothered me. It was a three deacades old rehash of some incident with Sy that really has no bearing on him or his career. I try and be judicious about removing posts, leaving the one's critical of me up if at all possible. But when a friend of mine is attacked for no reason, it hurts. And for that reason, I took it down.

Rumpole said...

Yeah, I'm really gonna reveal myself to someone who has at various times threatend to sue me, file a bar complaint , or have me tarred and feathered.

Anonymous said...

"can't we all just get along"

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, did we not call me "NUT JOB", "Some one forgot to take his medicine", "Disturbing"....Just a few of the kind and gentle words used by you to describe me?

I forgive you for your sins.

Darrin

Ps. Truce

Anonymous said...

Accused me of attacking your blog when I did not.

Anonymous said...

Captian
Do you have to give up your seat in Surf Side if you run for office? And if you run for PD and find yourself up against Carlos Martinez will you chace him down the street and call him a........?

Rumpole said...

The Captain sits in surfside?

CAPTAIN said...

to 8:18, you are not even close; I do not work for BB.

... and to the person you are referring to, he is a dedicated lifelong public servant who has probably given a lot more back to this community than you (anonymous.) as an Assistant Public Defender, Commissioner, not to mention a great father of three boys, etc. One minor incident over a 25 year career does not make the man; rather it is a compilation of the many fine things he has done over the course of his lifetime that we should look to.

CAPTAIN OUT .....

Anonymous said...

calm down captian. your correct, i was wrong to test you but i was hoping that you were not him and i'm happy that you are not. everyone makes mistakes just like your boy steve.

Anonymous said...

Article in The Miami New Times:

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/blogs/?p=108

Anonymous said...

oh the webs we weave:

Investigation
Bar suspends attorney tied to real estate fraud probe

November 02, 2006 By: Forrest Norman and Julie Kay

Attorney Gabriel Martin, who ran unsuccessfully for Miami-Dade public defender promising to clean up the office, has been suspended from practicing law after his firm was caught up in a federal real estate fraud investigation.

Two years ago, Martin was an up-and-coming Miami attorney whose Republican candidacy for public defender was endorsed by Gov. Jeb Bush.

But last month, the Florida Supreme Court suspended Martin’s law license on an emergency basis as the FBI investigated an employee of Martin’s law firm.

According to The Florida Bar’s petition to suspend Martin’s license, the attorney allowed an employee to complete almost 100 fraudulent real estate transactions, bringing millions of dollars into a trust account in Martin’s name.

No criminal charges have been filed against Martin or his employee.

According to an affidavit by Bar auditor Carlos Ruga, Martin employed a man who falsely represented himself as an attorney and directed a “vast conspiracy to defraud lenders and others by conducting fraudulent real estate closings.”

The Supreme Court required Martin to notify all his clients of his suspension, and ordered him to deposit all funds received from practicing law into a trust account to be overseen by the Bar.

Martin, 36, did not return calls for comment, and his Miami attorney, Richard Baron, declined to comment.

Martin established his solo practice, primarily doing criminal defense work, in Miami in 2004. His troubles began after the FBI began investigating one of his employees, former attorney George Louis Garcia, whom Martin hired last year to conduct real estate transactions. Garcia’s Florida Bar license has been suspended since 1999, according to the Bar complaint.

According to Ruga’s affidavit, FBI Special Agent Alice McLaughlin informed the Bar in April that “Garcia, with some cohorts, was now involved in real estate fraud with the assistance of Gabriel Martin.”

FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela declined to comment.

Ruga subpoenaed Martin in May, asking him to appear at the Bar offices with documents related to his real estate practice. Martin was granted two extensions to the subpoena, and finally appeared on July 10.

According to Ruga, Martin only partially complied with the subpoena, producing some canceled checks and bank statements from a trust account at Ocean Bank. According to Ruga’s affidavit, Martin said “he had no idea what Garcia was doing in his office.”

Ruga conducted a review of the records. According to Ruga’s affidavit, he found that “George Garcia and his associates, together with straw buyers, brokers, and others, participated in at least ninety-two (92) closings which netted [a] fortune to him and his cohorts.”

From April 2005 until August of this year, Martin allegedly wrote Garcia 116 checks from two different accounts, possibly commissions on Garcia’s sales, totaling $2 million, according to the affidavit. Martin allowed Garcia to continue closing real estate transactions after receiving the subpoena in mid-May, according to Ruga’s affidavit.

Martin allegedly allowed Garcia to close deals on 13 more properties between the time he received the subpoena and the time he finally appeared before Ruga in July. During that time, Martin’s trust account received about $8.8 million from lenders.

Even if Martin was not aware of all of Garcia’s actions, he still faces legal jeopardy, according to Ruga.

Martin “as title Agent, is required to follow the lender’s closing Instructions, which among other things requires that the final HUD-1 Statement must accurately describe the receipts and disbursements of the closings,” according to Ruga’s affidavit. “This did not happen and was [Martin’s] responsibility.”

The HUD-1 is a form used to itemize all charges imposed on borrowers and sellers for real estate transactions. Also known as a closing statement, federal law requires title agents (such as Martin) to accurately fill out the HUD-1 as the standard real estate settlement form in all U.S. transactions which involve federally regulated mortgage loans.

Forrest Norman can be reached at fnorman@alm.com or at (305) 347-6649.

Julie Kay can be reached at jkay@alm.com or at (954) 468-2622.

Anonymous said...

But last month, the Florida Supreme Court suspended Martin’s law license on an emergency basis as the FBI investigated an employee of Martin’s law firm.
__________________________________

What is the proof that Martin knew the guy was breaking the law. Real Estate law is confussing and Gabe is a criminal defense attorney. That said, what a fucking moron. How could you let someone use your trust account who had previously been suspended from the practice of law. This is going to be an expensive mistake my friend. Keep your head up.

Anonymous said...

The Steve L hating is just wrong....

Steve is an excellent lawyer and all around good guy who "lost it" in the heat of battle and under a ton of stress. He treats all of his clients (and everyone else) the same. He is respectful and kind. When I was a prosecutor, he was one of the few guys I knew I could trust.

Anonymous said...

Catalano, can you please re-tell us that Sy story. It was so good the first time that I just HAD to read it again. Thanks.

;-)

Anonymous said...

1. steve did indeed loose it. one more time and it will cost him his job, just like arza.
2. "one of the few people you could trust?" are you taking medication for that problem or did you generally distrust defense lawyers?

Anonymous said...

That George Garcia is bad news. I was a prosecutor in the court where I saw him enter a plea that caused him to lose his bar license. As a defense atty, I represented an individual involved in real estate fraud cases and george garcia's name was all over a lot of documents. BAD NEWS!!!

Anonymous said...

The real good story about Sy came from others, not me.

I have watched him and smiled at the "show" he puts on for about 20 years +.

Mike Catalano

Judge Andrew Hague said...

In my early days of doing Arthur Hearings, I had a defendant charged with a particularly violent offense, it may even have been a Murder. Sy was on his "A" game and made a vehement argument for his clients release. I really thought Sy was going to have a stroke, he was so emotional during his argument. I weighed the evidence, and after giving it great thought, decided to hold his client without bond. It bothered me and I was really struggling with my decision until I saw Sy in the hallway who said, "Judge, you really had me worried, I actually thought you were were considering bond for my client!" That made me feel much better about my decision and I was ready to give Sy the Academy Award right there on the spot.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I'm not so sure you should be confessing to buying into that crap!

Judge Ron Dresnick said...

We all have Sy stories. One of my favorites was Sy cross examining a witness. I loved the exchange so much I ordered the transcript:

MR. GAER: What were you going to purchase?
THE WITNESS: I was going to get souse. She cooks souse.
MR. GAER: What is souse?
THE WITNESS: Lots of different hog stuff you mix up in a sauce. Different stuff like ears, tails - - you know, like stuff.
MR. GAER: Sounds absolutely appetizing.
THE WITNESS: Well, you know, it is not too favorable for the Jewish palate.

I don’t remember whether Sy won or lost the case, but I do remember that the entire courtroom was in stitches.
I can tell you one other thing about Sy and that is if he ever makes a representation to the court you can take it to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Gabriels Martin is in deep $#!^ ........ He better not answer any subpoenas, on second thought he shouldn't even answer his door. It couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow. Maybe it was the campaign debt that made him do it?

Lenny Glick said...

"Gentleman, it has been a privilage to fly with you"

This sums up my experience in working with Sy Gaer.

You will search long and hard, but you will never find the likes of him again.
As many have said you can take his word to the bank.
As a prosecutor for almost twenty years and a judge for an additional 15, it has been my pleasure to work with this guy.

Did he kick my ass in court..Yes, ore times than I care to tell.
Did I kick him around a time or two....yes.

Did we leave it in the courtroom....yes

Many times the most surprised person in the courtroom when the NOT GUILTY verdict is read is Sy.

He is one of the most effective,albeit,unorthodox criminal defense attorneys in the business.
You always know what you see is what you get.
Loyal to a fault, True to his friends and his word. He is a true original.

I hope to see many of his friends at the Tobbaco Road tribute.
I rarely go to these events , but the chance to poke fun at Sy in a public forum......priceless

The great part about him is

"it's strictly business, this man is taking it personally and it's strictly business.

Please try to show at Tobacco Road to honour this legend, our friend.
Thank for your consideration
Judge Lenny Glick

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just got word that a certain Judge was always drunk and his staff had to carry him out from different events as well as his wife at times. Additionally, said Judge threatened to fire his staff and make their life a living hell if they did not keep it quiet. Who is this infamous drunk judge?

Anonymous said...

Ralph Ferguson was ALWAYS blotto.

Anonymous said...

Judge Glick. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Ralph once took his ASA + PD staff to lunch at a hotel in the Grove. He had six martinis and a soup. We flipped for who would drive his big black Caddy back to work. No hearings that afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Darren. No truce here. Revenge is best served cold.

Anonymous said...

Gabe defintely knew what was going on with George Garcia, Phenix Etienne and their cohorts. Gabe's name is all over the paperwork and George will end up flipping and being a devastating witness against him. What is shocking to me... from what I have seen.. is the brazen disregard for what was and is clearly Mortgage Fraud in its worst form... Goodbye Gabe.

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