Thursday, December 14, 2006


Here is a post which is similar to many we see throughout the day/night:

Anonymous said...
OK -Rumpole. Why is the 8:44 post still up? Bet it would be down if the comment was directed at a race or national/ethnic group (such as the dominant nationality in Miami-Dade). This blog need not be clean or pleasant, but you should remove the really nasty stuff.

Rumpole responds:

As shocking as this may seem, we do not sit and stare at the comments section 24 hours a day. There are times a truly mean or dumb post stays up a while until we see it. The offending post last night was about Jewish people.

Stop looking for some hidden agenda. We do not have one.
We support anyone's right to write the most the vile crap imaginable.
Just not on our blog.

Our desire is to have a fun, witty, informative discussion about our work world.
Most readers agree and participate. When Roy Black and Abe Laeser go at it, this is a great place to spend ten minutes.

When the mentally damaged among us choose to write about a Judge's sexual orientation, an attorney's physical appearance, or the private life of one of our colleagues, we will remove it as soon as we see it.

The alternative is moderation. We've been down that road before, and most people do not like it.

Rest assured, I will remove almost any offending post, usually as soon as I sober up, like I did this morning.

See You In Court.


Rumpole said...

From last night' post anonymous wrote:

Anonymous said...
"But you support the worst in humanity when you require individuals to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others." Many of our fathers fought in Vietnam, was their sacrifice evidence of the "worst in humanity?" To say to our sons and daughthers that they must be prepared to sacrifice does that breed the "worst in humanity?" When Put Something Back calls and we answer because we have to do the hours, does that act of altruism breed the "worst in humanity?"

Rumpole says- the answer is yes. The short answer is that you have confused the deed- which is admirable when truly done on a voluntary basis, with the philosphy of FORCING someone to sacrfice. So when a client has no money, and I value them as a person, and decide to work for free, that is good for me. When the bar MAKES me do it, that is bad for everyone.
So if you volunteer for Save Dade because you believe in it- GREAT. If you volunteer because the bar makes you- very very dangerous. If you need real proof, look at Cuba, Vietnam, the killing fields of Cambodia, China's treatment of Tibet. All done in the name of the public good. An entire society based on the principle the government knows what's best for you, and what's best is to force you to sacrifice yourself for others.

If you really are interested in more about this, send me a private email, and I will respond.

Anonymous said...

That former PD who is working with Allen Iverson's agents on a blockbuster trade is none other than Jonathan Schwartz, the zen master.

Anonymous said...


Even Steven said...

Anyone have a habit of reading the Washington dailys? Still think the Ivan H stuff is bunk?

Anonymous said...






Anonymous said...

O Migna what could have been..
if only you were Cuban
the song remains the same you see
stuck in mud the queen of pleas

Anonymous said...

who was the prosecuter in the zamora trial and who was the father of the proscuter? who was the judge? maybe this will stump even ole abe, but i doubt it.....

abe laeser said...

Since I am still at home, I can answer.

Rick Katz and Tom Headley (now one of our training officers) tried the case. Tom's dad was Walter Headley, Chief of Police for MPD.

Paul Baker tried the case as Judge - perhaps the brightest (I.Q. only) judge I ever practiced before. He had lots of drawbacks, which I will omit since he has long since passed away.

Not to throw mud on Ellis, but he really had a far better offer on the table for Zamora than he ever admitted publicly. He always told people that he saved his life. Zamora was a 15 year kid with no priors who found the gun in the victim's home and probably fired when he was startled by her. Second and a relatively low sentence was our offer. Ellis, unfortunately, got caught up in the being the first televised trial.

P.S. This one was awfully simple - I was senior to the lawyers and we discussed tactics regularly on the case.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 3L and thinking of heading to the SAO. I have two questions for the readers of this blog (which has actually increased my interest x10 in the office):

1) Is it worth it considering the pay?

2) What are career prospects like after year 3? Are they exclusively criminal/litigation?


Anonymous said...

take the job, screw the pay and the office politics, try as many cases as you can, and then leave. YOu can do whatever you want after. Civil firms like you guys because youve tried cases, which they hate to do. You'll hate civil practice though. It's meaningless, other than PI, which can be rewarding, financially, and client wise.

Anonymous said...

I was a prosecutor for 3 years. The pay sucked but I met a great group of people that I still consider good friends today after almost 10 years out. The civil firms down play the fact that you've tried 100 cases because its only criminal cases and not civil but you shouldn't have a problem getting a job. office politics weren't that bad...don't piss off the division chief...win as many cases as possible so when you lose one no one really cares...and don't piss off a judge enough to have him/her call the higher ups. Don't sweat the small cases and not all defense attorneys are trying to screw you and pull the wool over your eyes. You should be okay!!!

E. Garcia

no dumpster diving here said...

I'm sorry, but which moron is out there extolling the virtues of such "dump truck" (sign 'em & plead 'em without doing any work whatsoever) attorneys as "Q", "E" & "J.S."? Please, give us a break already!

Anonymous said...

For some constructive advice:Take the job. You will never get the trial experience that the MD SAO or MD PD offices will give you. I think every attorney would benefit from a stint at either of these offices. The experience will serve as a solid foundation for whatever you do, legally, in the future. It is difficult, if not impossible, to leave a relatively high-paying firm job to do the reverse. I would bet that any firm attorney who did not go that route wished that they had.

The reason I did it: criminal trial attorneys are like the Navy SEALS of the legal profession. Others may turn their noses down at our "pedestrian" practice, but they know, deep down, they do not have the cones to do what we do.

Judge Roberto M. Pineiro said...

Dear Horace,
While awaiting a jury verdict, I take keyboard "in hand" to contribute the following words by C.S. Lewis as fodder for your discussion of government mandating what is best for you:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

It is as eloquent a statement as you could come up with and certainly several notches better than your Ayn Rant's (sic. intentionally) juvenile, facist-tinted paean to the uberman.

On a different note I would like to extend to you and your fellow blogger, the Captain, as well as your more erudite posters, especially those who belong to the "not afraid to sign my name"
sorority (i.e. Judge Glick, Laeser, Grey, Black, zzzzzzzzzzzzzz, etc.), to a holiday luncheon hosted by Judge Shuminer and myself tomorrow at noon in my courtroom--6-2. It won't be as fancy as your "Scales of Justice Ball" but the food will be a lot better.

Judge Rob Pineiro

Anonymous said...

Judge Pineiro, awaiting a verdict on Thursday at 1:59p.m.!!! From my experience in his courtroom, he's probably already tried 2 this week and this is his third. I always said Rick was the hardest working baliff in the courthouse.

Evelio Garcia

Anonymous said...

Dear 3L: Here is my advice for what its worth: Take the job if you can afford it. 1) You will be given the opportunity to learn the skills to be a really good trial lawyer. You will be given responsibilities beyond what any other first, second, or third year lawyer will have.

To answer your question, many of my friends have stayed to make it a career and they all seem very happy by their choice.

2) You will have the opportunity to do great things, help people, affect people in good ways, and help make our city a better place to live.

3) You will meet great people and make life long friends. Some of those friends will become Judges, others will become successful lawyers, and almost all of you will look back on that time period as one of the best times in your working life.

4)There is no better place to learn about being a good lawyer. Not to say that the PD's office has not produced outstanding attorneys, they have. But I have a preference for a lawyer trained as a prosecutor. I think being on that side of the case gives you insight later on in your career as to what your opponents may be doing or want to do.

If you are honest and hard working you will never regret a minute of the time you spend in what hopefully will be your lowest paying job, but which you also will hopefully find will be one of the most fulfilling jobs you ever had

Phil Reizenstein

Anonymous said...

Way to go Phil!!!!

E. Garcia

Anonymous said...

Evelio, take a deep breath.

Judge Roberto M. Pineiro said...

Still waiting for the verdict. Sorry to disappoint you Evelio, but this was my only jury this week. Must be getting slower in my not-so-young age, but in my defense--it was a murder case. Good to "hear" from you. It was always great having you in court.

As to the comments re: public sector work at the Sao or Pd office. It really is great work. There is no better way to learn trial skills and if you don't want to be a trial attorney--why go to law school in the first place?

I was a prosecutor for nine years and I loved the work and the friends I made. Always remember however, a prosecutor's first duty is to protect the innocent and the second to make sure those accused of a crime are charged and prosecuted fairly and,if convicted, sentenced justly. Thirdly,as for the trials--Enjoy! If you follow these rules you'll enjoy tremendous job satisfaction which will more than make up for the low pay. That is, until you end up with a mortgage and a wife and kids and a dog or two--you know-- 'til real life suddenly occurs.

Anonymous said...

Sir Rumpole: We Who Labor Here @ REGJB (the lawyers, not the judges) are aware that in approximately 1 month, 3 new judges (Eig, Butchko and Venzer) will be heading our way. Since your scouting reports on the NFL are so excellent as evidenced by your prognostication prowess, can you please let us know what your scouting reports indicate we can expect from these judges.

Rumpole said...

I am guessing that we will be receving more than those three Judges. For those of you who believe I am an elitiest felony snob, my belief is that there will be some new County Court Judges on the way as well.

I have only appeared before one of these Judges- Judge Venzer. Of the three, she is not new, in the sense she has been a judge more than 10 years, and for much of that time was a County Court Judge in the DUI division. I think Judge Venzer is great and will do her normal great job. I have no idea about Judges Eig or Butchko, but I did hear someone say this:

How can Judge Butchko hear criminal cases when her husband is a detective for Metro Dade POlice Department? Will she be called upon to hear cases with people who are friends and colleagues of her husband?

This is what somone was saying recently and it is a fair point. I do not know Judge Butchko, but the APPEARANCE of impropriety seems to be close here. In no way are we saying she is doing anything wrong. However, in a world where we are king, we would not allow Judges married to cops to serve in criminal court. Just like we probably would not allow Judges married to doctors to hear medical PI cases.

What say the readers?

Of course we're not king, probably for good reason.

Rumpole said...

PS Judge Pinero: Whats for lunch? While we're never one to turn down a free lunch, this one does call for hobnobbing with the robed ones, which is also something we avoid, lest out big mouth end up requring the immediate proceeding to some form of contempt proceedings.

Rumpole said...

Actually tomorrow could be quite a day, with free breakfast being served by Judge Mills Francis, and free lunch via Judges Pinero and Shuminer, all we need to do is to get a client to take us to Joes.

Anonymous said...

Look for Judge Eig to start blessing the defendants in Hebrew from the bench as he did the children in Juvenille. Hmmm something about church and state does not smell right.

Judge Venzer has a short fuse. Don't piss her off. Unforgiving and abusive at times. Tell her she is wonderful, terrific and the smartest thing around and she will love you. (Oh yeah, and ask to see picures of her kids.)

Judge Butchko is smart and will surprise you. It is not unethical for her to sit on cases involving the MDPD as long as she discloses that she socializes or is close friends with any officers involved in the case and gives the defendant an opportunity to file a Motion to Disqualify. Why would this be different than a former PD hearing cases involving the PDs office or the same with the SAO.

Judge Roberto M. Pineiro said...

Lunch catered by Mamma Jennie's. Great lasgna.
Lunch also a free zone. I.E. robed ones will be robeless, though, so as not to have you running for the hills, garmentless. No contempt charges except for "thirds".
As to Judge Buthcko being married to a detective: Rumpole! Get off your sanctimonious throne. So what? Give her a break and let her actions speak for her. I'm sure she will be quite fair. As professionals, both she and her husband know they each have their respective jobs to do to the best of their abilities. Those co-worker "friends" who don't understand or approve--obviously don't understand their jobs too well and/or aren't really friends.
Know whereof I speak--been married to my prosecutor wife for over 18 years--2 more than I've been a judge.
P.S. Still waiting.

Judge Rob Pineiro said...

To correct a typo:
Last post should have read:...robeless, though NOT, so as not to have you running for the hills, garmentless.

Anonymous said...

Big problems coming with Judge EIG.

Rumpole said...

Anonymous said: Why would this be different than a former PD hearing cases involving the PDs office or the same with the SAO?

Rumpole says: because the judge was not "married" to their former job.

Then Judge Pinero yelled at me for being sanctimonious: Which I admit I am. But not in this case. The Judge was probably multi-tasking, and reading an important FLW decision while chastising me, and missed the comment where I said "someone else was asking " about the propriety of Judge being married to a cop. My response was I thought pretty even handed. Since even Judge Pinero would admit some defendants get sentenced to jail, we as defense attorneys are left answering the bereaved family's questions and allegations that the Judge did what he/she did because they are married to a cop.

I ask- isn't that what the "appearance of impropriety" standard is all about? Isn't my additional analogy of a Judge married to a doctor not handling Med Mal cases also correct? If you were suing a thoracic surgeon, and the judge was married to a thoracic surgeon, wouldn't that bother you?

Yes I am santimonious, but not every moment of every day.

PS: Momma Jennies? Judge Kahn used to hold lasagna bake-offs. That was some good home made lasagna, not this commercial noddle stuff.

Rumpole said...

PS. I find it very very unfair to comment on Judge Eig being jewish or knowing Hebrew, as a way of critisizing him. Who cares what religion a Judge is? I only care that they know and apply the law in an even handed manner.

PS: As long as I'm being sanctimonious, who's volunteering to sue the SAO for having a Christmas tree in the lobby? There's got to be some lawyer out there ready to march to the Supreme Court on this one.

Anonymous said...

3l,forget what phil says. proscuters are like sheep, no orginally. "what happened next" is how they question a witness. a PD knows when and how to cross a witness. a skill that a prosecuter simply does not develop because it is rare where the defense puts on a case.plus, if you go to be a asa,you will probably stay when u resign as a "bottom feeder". i say go for the PDO.unless u have a chance to date KFR.

Anonymous said...

To 6:25 p.m.: Mama Jennie's lasagna is kick-ass! As to the Christmas tree comment, I saw Phil in the lobby of the SAO today reading the Herald...My Fingerhut as Horace theory may be evaporating...

Anonymous said...

6:45: You're a lawyer for God's sake, you've had 7 years of higher education. LEARN HOW TO SPELL.

Anonymous said...

I'm no lawyer, just a regular guy, but isn't there a USSC decision that says a Christmas tree is a secular symbol? I mean, there's no manger or anything religious...and I'm sure the menorah goes up tomorrow before 1st night of Hanukkah...they always have it

Anonymous said...

The SAO TOTALLY needs to can that Christmas tree. I work there and am outraged. It's 2006, people!

Anonymous said...

To the very observant individual- I was indeed at the SAO this morning waiting for witnesses. However, I was not reading the Herald. I rarely read the Herald. I was reading a different paper. I have been to the SAO 5X in the last two weeks for depos. Does that mean I am Rumpole? Am I the only defense attorney who has taken depos at the SAO in the last month?

As to the person who said not to listen to me about the SAO- prosecutors are not sheep. It is true I had a lot more discretion in my time then prosecutors have today. That may not always be a bad thing. It is frustrating for defense attorneys. But I am certain that the supervisors would listen to any well reasoned request from a prosecutor as to why a decision needs to be made or changed in a case. My problem is that I can never convince them to do that. Probably because as people wrote about me yesterday, I am so mean and nasty.

Anonymous said...

Oh, one more thing. I am Jewish and I have a christmas tree in my home, because my son likes the pretty lights, and my wife who is not Jewish likes to decorate them. I view Xmas trees as a symbol of the season, not as a religious symbol, although I respect anyone who does view the tree as a religious symbol.
Happy Channukah everyone.
Phil R.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I have one more thing to say. Anyone who thinks a prosecutor's role at trial is to ask "what happened next" has never tried a case as a prosecutor. Go watch the really good asa trial lawyers. Obviously Abe Laeser, but also Laura Adams, David Gilbert, Reid Ruben (who is so very smart and sharp in trial) Gail Levine, and my friends Billy Altfield and Howard Rosen (I am sure I am leaving out a bunch). They could teach you a lot about what a prosecutor does and does not do in trial. Any lawyer who prepares to defend a case by thinking the state will say "what happened next" is just a guilty verdict waiting to happen.

Phil R

Anonymous said...

Phil, is Gladys still your secretary? And I thought it looked like the Herald, sorry...and to the question about the tree, I'm not a lawyer, so I ask again, maybe one of the sages, Laeser or Glick or Pineiro, or Phil, is there a decision that says that a tree or a menorah set apart from a religious setting (no Nativity scene or any overtly religious setting) is permissible?

Anonymous said...

6:55:54, what does this yeat being 2006 have to do with putting up trees and lighting menorahs? A little bit of light is not a bad thing for this world. Light up those candles!!! Plug in that tree!! Happy Hannukkah and Merry Christmas to all!!

Anonymous said...

7:14--Haven't you heard of global warming?! Christmas lights are a colossal waste of energy. In addition to being inappropriately religious for a state agency. Now that the 21st century has finally dawned, we should be at last able to recognize that god has no place in government.

Anonymous said...

you are starting to erk me,,,

Jason Grey said...

The Norse pagans and Celtic Druids revered evergreens as manifestations of deity because they did not "die" from year to year but stayed green and alive when other plants appeared dead and bare. The trees represented everlasting life and hope for the return of spring.

The druids decorated their trees with symbols of prosperity -- a fruitful harvest, coins for wealth and various charms such as those for love or fertility. Scandinavian Pagans are thought to be the first to bring their decorated trees indoors as this provided a warm and welcoming environment for the native fairy folk and tree elementals to join in the festivities. The Saxons, a Germanic pagan tribe, were the first to place lights on the their trees in the form of candles. Ancient Romans decorated their homes with greens at the Festival of Saturnalia, their New Year and exchanged evergreen branches with friends as a sign of good luck. Go figure I'm a Pagan. Now why would any one but a Druid be offended?

Jason Grey said...

Hey Rob, what’s with that sorority crack?

Anonymous said...

7:39:03: Oh, you sad, joyless soul, how I pity you, that you have no happiness at this time of year...your primary concern over Christmas and Hannukkah is how much energy we use on Christmas and Hannukkah lights...My guess: You are a C attorney in a really bad division, fresh out of school, convinced that you know everything about how to save the world, because they told you you could. IT'S A CHRISTMAS TREE!! Get over your self-righteous self.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and another thing 7:39:03, it's NOT "The Holidays." It's Hannukkah, HANNUKKAH. And it's Christmas, CHRISTMAS. That's what they are. Your "tolerance" training smacks of religious intolerance, not a good liberal trait at all.

Anonymous said...

We need to all practice civil law.
Lawyers Scott Leeds and former Judge Jon Colby just got another $400 million verdict and they just collected $91 million last week from the verdict against Cuba! Forget criminal law Phil...or whoever you are!

Anonymous said...

Judge Eig introduces himself (in social settings) as "Judge Eig"...ego problems

Venzer thinks her s*** don't stink. She kisses every cops ass that walks into her courtroom and makes no effort to hide it. All this while defendants are there and hoping to get a fair shake from the Judge.

Betty is awesome. She has surprised me, and many other defense lawyers who expected bad things from her, at juvy. She will continue to be great.

Phil R. is the MAN. No one cooler in the REGJB.

Don't know much about the new county judges. Any predictions?

abe laeser said...

Judge Rob: Thanks for the invite, but I am out for several weeks. Judge Shuminer has some of the details.

6:59 blogger: Sorry, but you got it wrong. The X-mas tree is not secular + it has pretty lights only if you choose to mis-understand its meaning. Your son, by Jewish (Halachic) law is not Jewish, due to his mother's faith. We Jews have a matriachal lineage - made necessary by non-consentual intercourse from the days of the Romans, Cossacks, Nazis [you get the picture]. No reason to deprive the child of his/her faith as a result of rape. Then it becomes the duty of the parent to teach the child about Judaism, so that it can be passed on to the next generation. We have resisted assimilation and attempts at extermination for over 5700 years.

I am not personally troubled by public displays of religion because I am not so naive as to believe that we truly have equality of religions -- we only have the freedom of choice of religions. On the other hand, I did let my supervisors know of my concerns that the SAO office party is scheduled to conflict with the first night of Chanukah. I do not expect the issue to ever re-occur. I am not placated by a Menorah placed in a public venue. That object is a religious icon, and should be used only by Jews to symbolize the true faith of those who defeated the Greeks in the days of the ancient Temple. Putting it in a public place because you are worried that Jews would be upset if you do not is just silly. Next the Wiccans will be upset that there is no Pentagram in the lobby of the SAO. There are no Passover symbols ever placed, and that is a much more important holiday - symbols are not what Judaism is all about. The last very visible symbol of my faith was worn by my parents on their armbands -- no honor which I wish to repeat.

The JOB: There is none better. Your only duty at the SAO is to do justice as you can best discern what that might be. It is a calling above all others in the law if your moral compass points to true North. No chasing clients, no unpalatable deals, be your own man/woman and be proud for all the years you have given. Most go on to private practice -- which is a business. You can make great money. You can make great money if you are a terrific plumber, as well. Once you walk out, it is all a business (too cynical??). Many call up after years of making the big bucks + ask to return. They ALL tell me that they sleep better once they come back. Even if I think that doing Justice is the only reason for the office to exist, you can take the job and know that you will learn - about the courts, the law, the pain of crime, the honor of doing right. You will always have those lessons in your quiver when and where you next go hunting.

Make the choice that is right for you - look into your heart of hearts for the answer.

Anonymous said...

isnt calling it the "sao office party" a bit much? It's sandwiches in the lobby, right?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Phil, it makes me laugh to see you respond to some of these ridiculous posts. I can picture you trying to maintain your composure.

Seriously, you're a great guy and I nothing but respect for you. But, I, like most who know you, still love to give you a hard time because you react so strongly.

I would bet that the vast majority of the posts that frustrate you are posted by friends just trying to whip you up. Laugh and enjoy.....it's in good humor.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole I stand admonished on my post of 5:23. The comment was not on what religon Eig may practice. Just that he imposes it on parties and witnesses in his courtroom. If he wanted to wear a Cardinal's cassock and bless people it would be the same problem. Besides he is a judge not a rabbi.

To be consistent I am one of those who remembers the Pledge of Allegiance before the words "under God" were added. I still say "the Pledge" without those words included. Religon has no place in our judicial system. So says the Supreme Court of the United States (except Pope Scalia, that is).

A Reno Raider said...


Please volunteer to speak to the new prosecutors during their training, if you don't do so already. Unfortunately, they just don't seem to get it.

When I started in the office, Janet greeted us on our first day of work as a prosecutor and informed us of the fact that "you are here to do justice and only justice, and that means that you do not prosecute cases where the person is innocent or the proof is insufficient to obtain a conviction." Those are the type of prosecutorial ideals that need to be driven home by those of you in the office who can see the forest for the trees (and have climbed the mountain a few dozen times).

Anonymous said...

im a rastafarian and i demand a fat spliff next to every x-mas tree and menorah. and my girl is buddhist, and she wants to see a buddha next to the trees, menorahs, and spliffs.

Anonymous said...