WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

DOG PILE ON THE JA

The CAPTAIN reports:Update on Group 9 of the County Court:Victoria del Pino has finally drawn opposition. I am pleased to report that the five year attorney (del Pino) will now face off against an actual veteran of the bar, with 8 years of experience, one Joel S. Jacobi, of North Miami.There have been no other changes to the races reported in County or Circuit Court and fundraising reports are not due for the next reporting quarter until March 31, 2006.Rump:I would like to get a poll going on Election vs. Appointment; what do you think?Of course, I think some of your bloggers would prefer duels by firearm, LSAT score comparison, or just plain fistacuffs to a good ole election.and the Captain has spoken ........


Captain has his detractors:

Dear CaptainYou bug me.


ON JA HIJINKS: Someone had replaced BHB as public enemy number Uno. Not many denizens of the REG Justice Building have any sympathy for JA politico wannabe D’Arces, as this collection of posts demonstrate:


Well, well, well, how the mighty have fallen. Wasn't it Jimmy Durante who said, "Be careful who you step on on the way up, you'll meet those same people on the way down." I know EXACTLY of who you speak, and I can guarantee you, it sounds just like his style. So ready to rat others out while his hands remain dirty. This news will make me smile all day, and for those who know me...that's saying something.

---

You know, I would love to be sympathetic, but I left it in my other suit. I wonder how much KY it's going to take to get him out of THIS one...
---

Anonymous hearkens back to the Senate Watergate hearings, and quotes Senator Howard Baker about D’Arces’s employer:

What did Ivan know and when did he know it?


Anonymous writes:

Hey Rumpy. I can't stand that JA. He's mean, manipulative, and extorts people. Ivan H. should run away from him like the plague. Why don't you tip this to your girlfriend from the Herald and let her investigate it? We need details!!!

Rumpole responds: Girlfriend??? Well, she is kinda tall and slinky in all the right places, but “she who must be obeyed” would not be pleased. We have it on good authority Oh Susannah peruses these pages frequently.


The Empire (Of Ticket Attorneys) Strikes Back:[re our comment calling them nameless and faceless]


Hey, those of us who work on the first floor are not nameless and faceless. you just may never see anything but our backs as we scurry from ct. to ct. because no one in the clerk's office has figured that staggering court times would be beneficial to everyone. (they're not waiting in line at the metal detector at 8:59). We're also the ones that you big felony guys turn to once a year when you're handling your mother-in-law's case and you have no clue whether the officer used the right statute or if the hearing officer will dismiss if they spelled her name wrong. (for the third time, NO.)

Rumpole replies: May the force be with you.


We conclude tonight’s post, pondering about hubris, of which we have written about previously (Brummer Bummer) and Mr. D’Arces. And as is our wont, we return to the great Bard, who provides us with words when our little mind fails us:

“The Fault, Dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Julius Caesar.

See You In Court, quoting the Bard, when the moment is right

JA HI JINKS

Submitted for your consideration, one Mr. Juan D'Arce, Jr., JA to a Judge in South Dade County Court.

Depending on who you talk to, Mr. D'Arce is doing the following:
1) Campaigning against sitting administrative Judge Steve Leifman while on county time;
2) Calling other Judges and candidates and soliciting work for himself as a publicist , while on county time;
3) No accusation yet that he has been selling perfume, while on county time.

Mr. D’Arce, JA, political wanabee, hustling while on county time????
Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

People have confirmed the investigation. Depending on whom we speak to, the exact parameters of the investigation is unknown. Rumors are, even the Daily Business Review will have a small piece on the ever expanding problems of Mr. D'Arce.

Stay Tuned.

Monday, February 27, 2006

JA IMPROPRIETY??

Breaking News: There's a JA To A County Court Judge in South Dade that is rumored to be in more than a bit of hot water for working very hard for Judge Steve Leifman's opponent while on County time. We are getting emails that say this JA is the mean spirited one who spilled the beans on Lefiman's JA selling perfume. Just another day or so, a few more sources, and names will be named.

But this JA, he knows who we're talking about.

See You In Court. But Not South Dade.

BEST JOB ON EARTH????

Our Favorite duplicitously named reader, Gayle Gayle, sends this missive about judges, elections, and Dade County: Due to the length of the post, we employee a favorite technique and respond inside brackets [ ] in the post.

Hi Rumpy- did you catch the latest Florida Bar News-Dade County Judges crying in their beer about people challenging them for their judgeships [you can be sure that any judge crying in their beer didn’t pick up the tab at the bar]

-allegations that they are being targeted based on ethnicity and/or race or the ability to raise money-the arrogance-who are they to say they are the only ones qualified to be a judge [umm… they are the judge, so they're the ones to say it. Everything they say is tinged with the wisdom of Solomon] -who gave them the life estate just because in some time past they either had the political connections to be appointed or were of the right ethnicity to win an election – [if a judge wants a lifetime appointment, move to Broward, where even Judge Aleman gets re-elected.]

how dare they be offended when someone else thinks that they too might be qualified to be a judge and therefore challenges them in an election[Listen Gayle Gayle- we like you, but lets face it. These people running for Judge aren’t necessarily qualified. They just are elect-able. And in truth, isn’t that always the reason someone runs for election? Sheesh, but If our name was Jane Schwartz-Hernandez, we’d probably run for Judge as well.]

yes the demographics of Dade County has changed-and yes an individual with a Hispanic surname has an advantage at the polls-but many of these sitting judges didn’t mind taking advantage of the demographics when they were in their favor years ago-[100% on the money with this zinger]

Judge Lando points out that if she puts in enough money in her account then she can deter someone from running against her-so by that logic money buys you a judgeship-[as Gomer Pyle used to say “surprise surprise surprise!!!]

well maybe ethnicity is the equalizer to money-why shouldn’t someone who doesn’t have the political connections or the money have a equal chance, at what former Judge Sorrondo characterizes as "the best job on earth"- being a judge-the problem could be solved with term limits for judges-two terms-twelve years-that’s enough time for someone to be on the bench-let other qualified people have a chance who as i have said before may not have the political connections to be appointed or the money to essentially buy a judgeship-the present judiciary would like to keep it a closed club -times are a changing rumpy -ta ta

Rumpole responds: It is human nature to try and close the door once you get in. Look, if we ponied up the 200 grand to run for Judge and won, we would be the first to support changing the system to merit retention.


As to Judge Sorrondo, we like him, we respect him, but we firmly believe the person who chooses the Playboy centerfolds each month has the best job on earth. Owning a Las Vegas casino ain’t that bad either.

This topic is always on people’s minds, but how much more can be said?


The fact is that its tough to make an honest buck as an attorney.

[Obligatory list of complaints to follow:]

Chasing clients for cash, swatting bondsmen away from hustling your clients to dirty attorneys is a constant headache; getting yelled at by JA’s (not judges but their assistants) when you try and schedule a hearing is demeaning. Waiting for 2 hours to see your client in the clean and comfy confines of the dade county jail (only to be told that “he’s escaped again” ) is not fun. Throw in support staff that needs constant monitoring, running a business, taxes, accountants, and who has time to read case law and try cases? Don’t forget the bar requires an immediate response to every disgruntled client’s bar complaint. (true story- one client filed a bar complaint, after a NOT GUILTY verdict because we didn’t return a phone call about getting his property back the following week quickly enough) and after 10 or 15 years of this hilarity and fun, sitting on the bench for several grand a month starts to seem attractive.

PLUS once you’re on the bench an amazing transformation occurs.

Amnesia.

History is re-written.

All of the sudden, you, as Judge, used to be the lawyer who tried more cases than Sy Gaer. You had clients beating your doors down. Every case had motions promptly filed, and you were ready for trial on the first trial date-every time. In the rare case that wasn’t tried (and won) within 30 days of being hired (when your large fee was paid in full) your motion for continuance was promptly filed, with copies served on every prosecutor and defense attorney within the 305 and 786 area codes. Plus, every motion had a full five page memorandum on the law in Florida, and cites to cases in the several nearby states, including wise commentary on how the supreme court would decide every case on its pending docket.

Yes, as we see it, the very best thing about becoming a Judge is what is does to your former career as an attorney. Becoming a Judge made you (as an attorney) the smartest, most prepared, hardest working, financially successful, trial lawyer who ever was.

Our concluding advice to our robed readers, is, that maybe Rudy Sorrondo was right. Being a judge is the best job on earth, or at least the best job in Miami’s legal community.


So Dear Robed Readers, buckle up, raise that moolah, and hire those political consultants, because every Tom, Dick, and Marisol is gunning for your job.

But if you do lose, just remember how great an attorney you were. Just recall all those lectures you gave from the bench about how easy it is to schedule motions for continuance on the Thursday before the Tuesday before the Monday following the sounding date. And just remember what it was like to have a Judge start trial at 4PM, and conduct voire dire till 10PM, and have you back in court the next day at 9:30.

See You In Court, doing what we love most.

LBJ, Shelly Schwartz and Left Hook Al.


Query: What do Judge Sheldon Schwartz and the 36th President of the United States have in common?



President Johnson, tired of the “Hey Hey LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?” chants in the park across from the White House, said this:

I shall not seek, and I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president."

Judge Sheldon Schwartz posted this on the blog:

Please; I do not wish to nor would I replace Judge Steve Leifman as the administrative person in charge of the traffic magistrates. I do believe such is a thankless position. Being an administrative judge is difficult and truly a thankless position. It is hoped that when a person becomes a judge or magistrate they have the ability to be independent thinkers and decision makers within the parameters of the law. Judge Leifman can't be blamed for the failures of others. Judge Leifman cannot be in every traffic magistrates court to watch over each of their rulings nor should he be.As a judge I have the opportunity to provide justice in the courts of our community. I listen to the facts and make the decision based upon the facts presented. I want people to understand what happens in a court ,whether represented or unrepresented. I wish for people to leave the court believing I was fair albeit not everyone leaves happy. I at least attempt to explain the reasons for my decision be it in civil infractions, criminal traffic violations, domestic violence matters and even uncontested dissolution of marriage matters.But as the song title goes,"I did it my way” providing what I believe to be justice.

So no thanks.
Judge Shelly Schwartzp.s.
Yes, I do view the log periodically.


Rumpole responds 1: The Lord of the Traffic Magistrates has yet to address the criticism and invectives hurled his way by the denizens of the traffic ticket world. You know who we mean. Those nameless, faceless attorneys who scurry between courtrooms starting with "1" which are seldom seen outside of the eyes of the motorcycle cop and the hapless 78 year old grandmother he stopped for speeding away from the bingo hall on her way to the 4:30 early bird. You, Judge Schwartz, may read and occasionally post on this humble blog, but the Lord Of Traffic Magistrates does not deign to bend down and post a response to his critics.

2: Not only do you- Judge Schwartz -“occasionally” read the blog, but you have replaced Judge Young as the most prolific poster among the robed readers. [However, Judge Young may be the first Robed Reader to leave a post in his own name, and for that we applaud his courage.] However, this business of getting ringers- attorneys to write in and extol your virtues, has to stop. You already have our support.


A reader “North Of the Boarder” (Broward) has a say:

I have been reading the website for the past several weeks and I have noted our dysfunctional family’s ever more virulent attacks on Bennett Brummer. While I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Public Defender’s Office, these attacks on BHB strike me as somewhat shortsighted. I practice extensively in Broward County and it has always struck me that the difference between practice in Miami, where “justice” is not just a word hidden in Webster’s, but an actual concept followed by all of the players (prosecutors, defense bar and judges) involved, at least most of the time, and Broward, where justice is rarely found, was because of the strong philosophical lead provided by Janet Reno, Bennett Brummer and a strong and vigorous defense bar. I guess you all would rather have the lead being provided by Michael “You May Not Have Committed This Offense, But You Must Be Guilty of Something” Satz and Alan “Let’s Spend the P.D.’s Money on Margarita Parties” Schreiber, not to mention Chief-fascist Dale Ross.Sorry, folks, but from where I sit, BHB’s lawyers are the ones that help the system run as fairly to those “accused” of committing crimes as it does. Look at the people who work for him; for the most part, they are dedicated, experienced and talented lawyers. If you don’t believe that the system is more fairly applied in our little courthouse, try a few weeks sitting in courtroom north of our border.Oh, and by the way, does anybody find it ironic (read, funny) that Al “I’ll Punch The Lights Out of Any Defense Attorney Who Crosses Me/ Or Any Lobotomized Juror Who Doesn’t Vote Guilty” Milian was busy calling the prosecutor’s case in the Broward’s Sheriff officer’s fake statistics matter a “prosecution looking for a case”? Sorry, but that cat is not changing his spots!

Rumpole Responds: Welcome dear reader from North of the boarder. You are welcome to pause here during your difficult days and find succor and drink from the well of Dade County. Your neck of the woods is reserved for the brave and foolhardy. You practice in a world where Judges (Aleman) do not let terminally ill defendants out of county jail to die at home with some peace and dignity (although the margarita soirĂ©es at the PD’s office sound kinda nice).

Currently you have let Left Hook Al Milian loose on us and he has set his sights on the judiciary in Dade. Do you think he will take a swing at Judge Farina if he doesn’t get the judicial assignment he wants? Or are his fist-a-cuffs confined to defense attorneys? "Motion to supress huh? First you have to fight me."


See You In Court. Not Traffic Ticket Court. We haven’t been to a courtroom that started with a “1” since Arthur Rothenberg was doing DUI’s.

Friday, February 24, 2006

OF RACISM, VOTING AND SPIES

Jason Grey is in his usual mood, and has a simple question:


why does everything in this stupid, backwater, cultureless banana republic come down to race? It's idiotic to vote for someone because of their race. It is insulting to group people by color. As if, all black people feel the same about all Issues, or all Jewish people would do the same thing under a particular set of circumstances, and don’t even try to group Hispanics, A label that includes at least 30 subcultures. The founding fathers had it right. voting is too important to be left to the masses, That's how we ended up with our current Idiot in chief.Voters should have to pass an exam on the issues before being allowed to cast a ballot. Other wise you get morons in office because their name sounded right.


Rumpole responds: Just what Florida needs, another layer between a citizen and the ballot box. Can you just see the headlines now? People rioting as the same people who administer the FCAT grade tests to see who votes, with county court judges grading the essay portion of the test.


And a reader responds:


or we could just start a poll tax jason. you think bush won because of the uneducated? no way. the rich people voted for him because they thought they could have more money/less taxes. we want everyone to be able to vote. but we want informed elections. our judge elections are not informed at all. that's the problem -- not that dumbies are allowed to vote.

Rumpole admits: We try and help our readers by spell checking their posts, but misspelling “dummy”? Well, not to rhyme, but that was too funny.

Blog hint: Write your post on Word, spell check, cut and paste.


And another reader writes:

Natalie Holloway WAS pretty good-looking. Also, on Jason Grey's point, I'm glad to see somebody coming around to my view that the vote must be restricted. I believe only property owners ought to be afforded the vote. When you allow the vote to extend to folks you have little to no stake in society (other than to take from it), it's predictable what type of governance you'll get.



The Lord Of The Traffic Magistrates has spies in his midst’s:

A spy reports:

Another Judge Is Required To Clean Up The Mess Made By The Supervisor Of The Traffic Magistrates. The Magistrates Have Been Directed To Penalize Persons Who Wish To Proceed To Trial Or Even Set Their Matters For Trial.Magistrates Adjudicate On Many First Offenses; Yes Even Seat Belt Violations And Impose Fines In Excess Of 350 Dollars. This Is As A Result Of Judge Leifman’s Direction. Are People Not Entitled To A Trial, Non-Jury Trial Taking Probably Less Than Ten Minutes Without Being Punished Severely?
Especially When Having A Good Record? We Submit, The Law Requires Justice And Not Severe Sanctions For Going To Or Electing To Set A Matter For Trial.
We Do Thank The System For Placing A Fair Judge To Doing The Mitigations Of The Mess.T.B.



Rumpole responds: Sounds like someone wants Shelly Schwartz to replace the Lord Of the Traffic Magistrates. Judge Leifman probably has a thankless job. But it would be nice if he responded to these allegations that he directs traffic magistrates to rule a particular way. We are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that there is another side to this story. How about it Judge L? Want to respond. Judge Shelly Schwartz can email you the link, as readers all know Judge Schwartz reads and responds to this blog, eloquently at times.

Judge David Young writes with breaking news:

BIG NEWS....BREAKING NEWS....Sy Gear asked for discovery! Yes it is true. I was honored to participate in such a historic event.


Rumpole responds: We tend to post any drivel a Judge sends us, because it's a Judge and we can't resist taking a cheap shot.
OK, to get in the spirit of Judge Young's email, Sy is great isn't he? A one of a kind Justice Building Original.
In reality though, Sy often asks for disco- he just doesn't take depos. But as legions of young ASA's have learned, he is dangerous with a police report, a few notes, and a worn out pencil. And juries love him.


See You In Court studying for the voting test and avoiding Judge Young because we were so grouchy towards him.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

12 STEPS TO REOVERY FROM ADDICTION TO THIS BLOG.

Several readers have a problem. Admitting they have a problem is the first step to recovery.
Anonymous confessed:

i think i have justice building blog addiction.

And another reader also confessed:

I'm addicted too. Is there some type of support group we should join

Rumpole helps out:


THE 12 STEPS TO RECOVERY FROM BEING ADDICTED TO THIS BLOG

1. We admitted we were powerless over the BLOG. That our lives had become unmanageable, our caseloads exploded, as we spent more and more time on the blog
instead of work.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves [Bennett H Brummer] could restore us to sanity by restricting our daytime access to the blog.


3. We made a decision to turn our careers over to the care of Stein and Brummer as we understood them.

4. We made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves and why we could not get through the day without a bit of wisdom from Jason Grey, or reading about the latest attack on Bobby Reiff.

5. We admitted to Bennett Brummer all the posts we made on the blog about him.

6. We were entirely ready to have Bennett Brummer remove the Justice Building link to the Blog from our “Favorites” on our web browser.

7. We humbly asked Him [BHB] to remove our negative posts about him.

8. We made a list of all persons we had slammed on the blog , and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or cause Bobby Reiff to sue us.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong on a blog post, we promptly admitted it.

11. We Sought through prayer and meditation to stay away from the blog, improve our opinion of Bennett Brummer, praying only for knowledge and the power to stay away from the blog, or at least spell check our posts before posting them.

12. We, having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, tried to carry this message to others addicted to the blog, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Good Luck with the addiction. See You In Court.

No truth to the rumor Judge Rosinek will be conducting a "blog court" for those attorneys caught and prosecuted for posting on the blog.

PSS: We received a very nice email from a REGJB Judge who told us that s/he reads the blog often and so do many civil court Judges. So what does that mean? Well, among other things, we have to stop using words with more than three syllables .

Why is it that even when a robed reader goes out of their way to be nice to us, we have to take a cheap shot? Probably years of resentment spilling out. Maybe we need a 12 step program. "Judge Jabbers Annonymous" Anyway, in all seriousness, thanks for the compliment Judge.




THESE POLLS ARE DOWN AND DONE

THE BLOG STAYS AS IS:


"SHOULD THE BLOG BE CHANGED?"
LEAVE IT AS IT IS
27 votes
ONLY POST READER COMMENTS WITH WITTY REPLIES
3 votes
JUST POST TOPICS AND STOP RE-POSTING READERS COMMENTS
6 votes
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
5 votes
I'M BENNET BRUMMER AND YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED ANYWAY
14 votes
MORE BOBBY REIFF AND BRIAN TANNEBAUM STUFF
5 votes
CHANGE BLOG TO "JASON GREY'S THOUGHT OF THE DAY"
7 votes
WHEN YOUR IDENTITY IS REVEALED YOU ARE FINISHED IN THIS TOWN.
8 votes


BENNETT NEEDS SOME GOOD PR PEOPLE:

"WHO IS BEST MIAMI PD?"
BENNETT BRUMMER
19%
28 votes
KATHY WILLIAMS
81%
121 votes


BENNETT GETS EX-XFL’ER JERSEY “HE HATE ME” AS THE PRIZE.

"BENNETT BRUMMER:"
LOVE HIM (current PD employee)
21 votes
LOVE HIM (not employed with PDs)
15 votes
OK FOR A POLITICIAN
19 votes
GOT CAUGHT PULLING A FAST ONE
49 votes
HATE HIM (current PD employee)
56 votes
HATE HIM (not employed by PDs)
70 votes


SY IS THE MAN


"WHO DOES A BETTER JOB IN COURT?"
PD
27%
44 votes

COURT APPOINTNED ATTORNEY
19%
31 votes


SY GAER

90 votes
55%


Post any ideas for new polls.

See You In Court




Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oogle

Anonymous quoted Ike:

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."--President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952


Doubleya responded:











You talking to me?


HORNETS NEST: OGLE MANIA: Rumpole says, lets get off racism and back to sexism, which is more....sexy.


Talk about opening a can of worms:

Anonymous responded to a comment about an attractive young PD:

Complementary comments regarding women lawyers should be controlled with the same rigor as disparaging comments. This blog cannot be a mask from behind which to anonymously ogle.

Let the fun begin.

See You In Court not oogling anyone. We Google, but don't oogle.

PS: Final poll tallys for polls removed will be posted this week. Stay tuned.



Sunday, February 19, 2006

MARTIN LEE ANDERSON AND RACISM

We were gratified to see conversation and comment on our post on the murder of 14 year old Martin Lee Anderson. The issue quickly devolved into a discussion of racism.

As this post shows:

Come off it with the racism crap.I'm lily white and I'm sickened.I'm not denying that racism is pervasive and institutional. But here, in this situation, arguing that Martin Anderson is dead because of racism amounts to paranoid incitement. Representatives Barreiro and Gelber, among the first to see the tape, described the beating as "brutal," "disturbing" and "heinous." Neither are black.


We think this post by Captain hits the nail right on the head:


Rump has stirred the emotions of several bloggers with his first shot about the Martin Lee Anderson death.Here is the "racism" that some of you seem to be missing:On May 30, 2005, a beautiful blonde haired blue eyed teenager disappeared from a foreign country. Only a few days later, the entire country - and the world - new about the disappearance. And for the next several months, every single evening on TV, we watched. We watched Larry King on CNN, and that fat mouthed ugly bitch former prosecutor (sorry but I just can't stand Nancy Grace) on CNN/Headline News, and Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's Scarborough Country and, worst of all, Greta Van Susteren - on Fox's On The Record, cover this story every single day - month after month after month. The only thing that finally stopped the coverage was Hurricane Katrina.Now, we have a young black teenager, beaten to death in our own country, on video, by the police; the medical examiner from another county does the autopsy, and he makes ridiculous findings, and I have to ask the following question:Where is Larry, where is Nancy, Where is Joe, and where is Greta - why - because, guess what fellow bloggers, Martin Lee Anderson did not die in the last few days. For those of you who did not realize it, Martin Lee Anderson died on January 6, 2006 - THAT IS 43 DAYS AGO - and we are now finally hearing about the story.I look forward to the news shows this week to see if any of them even give minimal coverage to the story - or whether Greta will be back this week interviewing the mother or father Holloway on the new lawsuit that they filed last week against the wienersnautchen family. I guess it will take another Katrina to get that story off the air again.There's your racism people ....and the Captain has spoken.....

Rumpole says, well written Captain. Racism was not behind the brutal murder of Martin Lee Anderson. As another post notes, the video shows black and white guards beating Anderson. But racism may well be behind the investigation and prosecution. Martin Lee Anderson was not blond, blue eyed, and sexy like Natalee Holloway, and yet by virtue of the media coverage, you would think she was the only person murdered last year.


Anonymous makes an excellent point on institutional racism:

Black officers are often times the ones most effected by institutionalracism. You don't have to be whiteto be racist. Blacks are often times just as racist towards otherblacks as whites.So to say that because both white and black officers beat Martin, does not mean that they were noteffected by racism.The racism crap you refer to is real. Either way, if you actually read my comments, I never saidMartin was dead because of racism.I said that the pathetic response by Bush and the Government is another example of institutionalized racism at work.Don't be so simple minded.

Anonymous clears up a point in our post:

In saying this kid was in for "grand theft auto", the reader might mistakenly come to the conclusion that the perpetrator was a young thug. Here, the kid was joyriding in his Grandmother's car.

This post gets honorable mention as it made us laugh:

The reason no one commented on the Rosa Parks post is because most of the people reading this blog checked CJIS for her name and found nothing, and then figured she got tranferred to civil in the last judicial rotation.


Rumpole praises “Oh” Susannah the Herald’s courthouse scribe for a nice article on the capital murder case before Judge Blake. But Rumpole notes, almost anyone can memorize a jury chart, and we think the time and energy spent in doing that takes a lawyer away from more important tasks during voire dire. But give ASA Gayle Levine her due, she knows what she’s doing.

More importantly, we wonder did Herald Scribe “Oh” Susannah miss, leave out, or did she just not know about the taped phone calls of the defendant in the DCJ in which he calls his previous attorneys the N word and makes disparaging remarks about Jewish lawyers? Oh well, maybe she should consult us more often about her stories to see if we have any hot tips.


See You In Court. Happy President’s Day.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

OUR ERROR: In Teddy KGB the well written post was in support of Steve Levine not Steve Lefiman. We corrected the error.


PRESIDENT’S WEEKEND.

On December 1, 2005 we wrote a thoughtful piece on the death of Rosa Parks, ending with the line "Some days just cry out for the reverent, not the irreverent." We received not one comment on the post.


Mention Bobby Reiff or Brian Tannebaum and the blog explodes.
We surmise the people at C-span feel the same way about Fox News.
Still, we’re going to give it another try.

MEDICAL EXAMINER MONKEY BUSINESS

For 20 minutes five men beat a fourteen year boy –Martin Lee Anderson- to death. Five prison guards employed by the State Of Florida executed Martin Lee Anderson at the Bay County’s Bay Boot Camp. Anderson was sentenced to boot camp for violating probation for a grand theft auto conviction that arose out of a joy ridding episode.

After the Guards beat Anderson into unconsciousness, State Officials moseyed Martin Anderson over to a Hospital in Escambia County, where he died.

What did the Escambia County ME’s office autopsy show?
Not one dammed thing- as the autopsy was done by the Bay County ME. Something tells us that Bay County officials hustled the body of Anderson out of Escambia County a lot quicker than they drove the dying Anderson to the hospital in the first place.

Now, here’s where the culture of Karl Rove can been seen pervading all aspects of Government: The autopsy blames the victim- Martin Lee Anderson- all of 14 years old- for his death.


As the Miami “no credit” Herald reported, the autopsy found a “hemorrhage” behind Anderson’s kidney. The bleeding from the hemorrhage sent Anderson into shock and killed him.

But here’s where it gets fun: Anderson had Sickle Cell TRAIT not the disease Sickle Cell Anemia. Under certain conditions (like being beaten to death) a person with Sickle Cell Trait will produce sickle shaped blood cells which can be deadly. However, as the Herald quoted UM Pathologist Dr. Norenberg, “where does the blood come from? Because bleeding is not a problem [with people who have] sickle cell trait.”

Without ever addressing the issue of where the bleeding came from in the first place, the ME of Bay County called the death of a 14 year old boy- who was beaten by five Bay County Guards, NATURAL.

Maybe it is natural to be beaten to death in a Florida State Prison in Bay County, especially when you are an African American teenager serving time for grand theft auto. But for the rest of the civilized world (outside of Guantanamo Bay and it’s Washington DC prison wardens) being beaten to death in prison is a highly unnatural death, especially for a 14 year old boy.

How soon until Florida State Prisons make Amnesty International Watch List?


We close with another Dostoevsky quote:

"The Soul is healed by being with Children."




See You In Court.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Bobby Reiff [responding to our comment that he had retired] said...

Retired? I'm still playing twice a week (or were you referring to my "legal" career?).It would take many more cheap shots than dished out here for me to retire (I may not skate too fast anymore but I still know where I should be skating to) ... but it did teach me a pointed lesson about the power of anonymous and unfounded (and unwarranted?) posts to stain one's hard-earned reputation. Bobby Reiff

Rumpole sez: we meant retired from blogging because of what morons post about you, like the one in the comment section which we didn’t delete, but was written by a coward.
We live in a free market society (supposedly). Mr. Reiff is free to charge a nickel or a million dollars a case. His client will make the decision to hire Mr. Reiff and Mr. Reiff will or will not get new clients based on his performance. That’s the legal business in a nutshell (minus the scumbag bondsman runners who steer cases) and it is nobody’s business what Mr. Reiff charges. The bottom line is that if he cannot live up to what he tells his clients he will do for them, he will not get referrals on new cases. Apparently, Mr. Reiff lives up to what he promises. If we have learned anything from our years in practice it is this: the best source of new clients are happy former clients. People who disparage Mr. Reiff without any logical basis to do so, are clearly 1) jealous 2) not as good as Mr. Reiff.


Guidelines:
Curious wrote:


Rumps, Is it fair to say that calling someone out as a Brown Noser is a personal attack under your guidelines?

Rumpole says: no- that’s allowed. But the more important issue is if someone calls lawyer “X” a brown noser anonymously, it really stinks to high hell. If you want to comment on a poor aspect of a person’s character, why not stand up and say who you are?


Anonymous, unaware of the first amendment, wrote:

Not to change the subject, but Brownwyn Miller's JA just sent the most beautiful email to all judges and staff of the 11th Circuit. I post it so you too can revel in the glory of Christ...

Rumpole responds: the full version of the post, including the religious message, is on the blog comments section. If JA’s shouldn’t be selling perfume, should they be proselytizing Christianity on the internal email system used by Judges and JA’s? Are Muslims and Jews entitled to equal time to spread the word about their religion on the Judge’s email system? And has any of these legal eagles read the establishment clause of the first amendment? Quite frankly we are more disturbed about JA’s using publicly funded email networks to promote their religious ideals, than JA’s selling a knockoff bottle of Channel #5.

A critic writes:

Rump this censorship is pathetic and you are taking this blog too seriously. On another note, I cant believe you would stoop so low as to accuse one of your posters of being an anti-semite merely because they make the rather obvious point that in the past A Jewish surname was often helpful in a judicial election in much the same way a hispanic surname might prove helpful in 2006. What exactly is anti-semitic about this? As a Jew I am truly offended when anyone throws out a baseless charge of antisemitism becuase it makes people think we Jews are always crying wolf. Rump I love the blog but think you are way way out of line on this one.


Rumpole replies: your points are valid and we posted them. But, we think we have done a fairly good job in not taking ourselves too seriously at all. Certainly we do this blog merely because we have fun doing it. But we are mindful of people’s reputations and try and discourage nasty, mean, and possibly offensive stuff. Discourage- but not censor-unless they violate the two golden rules- no dissemination of private information, and no ad hominem attacks like calling a particular lawyer fat (why does that bother us so much?)

Phil Maniaty- pro that he is- steps up and talks about a loss:

Regarding Steve Levine having beat me in a trial:

1. I did not cry.

2. Steve did a great job tearing my case apart. This was a case in which ALL of the courtroom personnel(maybe even Steve?) were expecting a fast guilty verdict.

3. I have the utmost respect for Steve as a professional. This is an opinion I have held since long before the above-mentioned trial took place.


Spiderman writes in (nice to hear from you again Spidey)

TGK, DCJ, MIA...the questions are the same:Did you pack your bags yourself? Have your bags been in your possession the entire time?

Rumpole sneers: yeah, those questions did a lot of good on the morning of September 11, 2001.


See You In Court- praying for a not guilty- but keeping our prayers to ourselves.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

TEDDY KGB

Anonymous wants to be the next Raymond Chandler:

Rumpole sets the stage: A black and white film noir- the door to the chambers is frosted glass. The lawyer, wearing a wide brimmed fedora and a double breasted suit walks in. A frosted blond wearing too much liupstick and running a nail file across her nails looks up:

The JA's low growl left no doubt... "Buy my Thin-Mints® or the perp walks..."I set down a ten. "Keep the change, doll."Still burning, I tucked away the Girl Scout cookies and headed back to the court. I walked in to find a smirking judge. The defense attorney's grin confirmed my fears.., that and a half-dozen boxes of Samoas® stacked high to his right. I'd been played the fool. Licked, I accepted victim compensation and dropped everything.That afternoon I went back and bought a case of Tagalongs®. Sometimes the price of justice ain't cheap.


Someone wrote...


"JAs selling various items from within the chambers of a judge sniffs of other things being for sale..."Oooooooh, whatever could you be implying? Perhaps a covert girl-scout cookie operation! I smell a courtwide scandal

Anonymous has opened their copy of the Constitution:

I know law school was many moons ago but I thought the 1st Amendment dealt with government censorship. As a private citizen, Rump, is allowed to censor what he wants on his blog. Although, is the blog his property? Does the public need protecting from it? and...is it possible that this whole blog is part of some government conspiracy..... rump, are you sitting on the grassy knoll?


Prophet Mohammed cartoons here:

Anonymous wrote in with the link:

http://www.cagle.com/ from political catoonist Daryl Cagle has the Danish cartoons as well as lots of other great ones.


A lawyer who reads, writes:

Ayn Rand takes me straight back to high school! Fun writer. Philospher? Not so much.

Rumpole replies: put down your copy of The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged and go buy "Philosophy, who needs it?" or "An Introduction to Objectivism" by Ms. Rand and do some serious reading.

Lawyer arrested: We presume her innocent:

Anonymous wrote:

Before people start disparaging Robin Blake. She was going in to see a client. The clients family was also in the waiting area. Per the corrections officers in my courtroom, the clients family handed her a few envelopes and asked her if she could take them up to the client. She was stopped no less than 10 feet from there. Please, lets give her the presumption of innocence that she deserves, and not use this to gossip about one.

And Anonymous writes:

Robin's a great person and I highly doubt that she would knowingly jeopardize herself over something like this. Hopefully, what the CO'sare saying will come to light andthe State will no action.



SY GAER STEPS UP: and wrote this:

can we move on now that I have revealed that I am the blogger?

Rumpole responds: Now we know what he is writing in that little black book of his. One of our favorite Sy stories is that as jury selection started, he leaned over and took our legal pad and ripped off a few sheets and said “now I’m ready.”
And if we recall, he won. [don’t read too much in to this- no way to tell if we were co-counsel or the other side].


The following is a paid political advertisement for Committee to elect Steve Levine:

I think they call County Court - the "People's Court" and I can think of no-one better than Steve Levine to sit on the bench as a County Court Judge. He has dedicated his life to the criminal justice system, he has been in government service for the last 22 years, he has tremendous experience in the courtroom, and he is exactly the type of person we deserve to have on the County Court bench; someone who cares about those who are less fortunate, down on their luck, who barely have a leg to stand on. I am sure that in a few more years, Ms. del Pino can gain that experience needed to become a more well-rounded person capable of sitting on the bench. For now, I will vote for experience, wisdom, compassion - I will vote for Steve Levine!!!

A trouble maker writes:

Great! Being the author of both the original comment of the JAPS problem and later the deleted comment, I hope the issue has come to a head and the JAPS problem is no longer. Stay tuned, other regretable realities at the Gerstein Building are forthcoming


Rumpole sez: There- you have a nickname: “Trouble maker” with a capital T that rhymes with P and stands for pissing us off. Use it when you post if you wish. See, we don’t remove all your stuff. However, we think you are [ the following comments were removed because they constituted a shocking personal attack]. There, how do you like them apples hot shot?

Trouble Maker waives the white flag in a subsequent post:

Being the author of the JAPS matter, I agree. I authored the comment about her looks as a cheap shot. It added nothing to the analysis. Sorry. I hope she and Leifman get the point. Basta. His honor should not be spoken and written about in this manner due to someone else's indiscretion. I have moved on. Personally, I hate the service and lines at Perfumania, but what can I do. See Ya there.

Rumpole grumbles: we’ll see how long you can control yourself. But thanks for stepping up and admitting the personal attack was out of line.

Riddle: What has 4 legs and chases Cats?
Mrs. Katz and her lawyer. (bad dom rel joke that doesn’t translate well when written).

Anonymous supports Judge Aleman:
Re Katz: GOOD! I wish some of our judges punished the many attorneys who get their "continuances" by ignoring judges' orders and not showing up (I remember a case many years ago where an attorney was denied his 8th continuance. Miraculously, we was unable to appear for trial because he was sick. Oh, and that was the 3rd setting in a row he was ill [yes, he was healthy for many settings in between]).


ON Getting a new Blog:

Anonymous writes:

I guess if we do not get our own blog your next move is to out us. No more anonimity will surely achieve your intended result. What is going on here? Is the KGB running this blog?

Rumpole responds: Teddy KGB is running the blog while holding up Oero cookies and twisting them.

Reminder- we can’t out you. When you post anonymously we cannot trace the post. Even if it could be done, noting our technical expertise, we couldn’t do it. Otherwise we could out Judge Rosinek for organizing a campaign against all those people who voted for Judge Blake as the Judge they would like to have. Ever see those two together? Its like Abbott and Costello. Former teacher and student- former law partners- judicial brethren. All around good guys.

See You In Court.

Ps. If you think about it, the JAPS thing could turn out to be an idea ahead of its time. Sort of like Walmart. Go to court, do your work, stop in Judge A’s chambers and buy perfume; go to Judge” B’s chambers, who is running a special on the latest videos, pick up two for the weekend, go to Judge C’s chambers, and buy q-tips and shampoo and some dog food.


CENSORSHIP II


Here are four comments we received on our “Censorship” problem:
Anonymous wrote:
Rumpy: Wake up. From nearly the start, your blog has repeatedly featured attacks against judges, lawyers in the SAO, PD and the private bar. I'm sure that posts which attack a person's job performance and professionalism are, in many instances, taken personally by the person attacked. Worse yet, the attacks are almost always anonymously written. Seems like you only give a damn when the comment affects someone you care about.

Rumpole replies: 1) When you say the blog has featured attacks, we assume you mean from readers. We have criticiszed Judges, but not attacked any. Not to say we won’t when it’s appropriate, but we have not attacked anyone in the manner of which one could interpret our first post on Brummer settling the lawsuit- “Brummer Bummer” an attack on Mr. Brummer. 2) We don’t care about Judge Lefiman’s JA. Hell, we would have trouble picking her out of a lineup. People want to criticize her for selling perfume? Have at it. However, calling her a name based on her appearance is out of line. What can’t you understand about that? As the reader

below who gets it noted, we rarely remove posts. Out of probably close to 700 or a thousand posts so far, we have removed about 5.

Anonymous doesn’t like us either:


I agree with Wake up. Deleting stuff from the blog is a cop out.Isn't all this stuff personal to somebody? Are the insults really ever out of bounds? We're freakin criminal defense lawyers. If a person can't take something being said about him/her, they need togo work civil and sit behind a desk all day. Some of the stuff you've deleted has been the god honest truth. It'sjust that you think it went to far. Leave the BLOG AS iT IS and STOPdeleting comments.

Runmpole tries again to explain it: Listen closely: Call a Judge bad- no problem. Call a Judge ugly – problem. Get it? Call a lawyer incompetent- no problem. Call a lawyer fat (that is hitting a little to close to home for us) problem. Get it? We challenge anyone to point to a post we have deleted that does not meet that guideline. Plus, and this may surprise some people, but we are not professionals about this. We struggle to do the best we can. But we categorically deny any accusation that we have removed posts that were the truth but did it to protect a friend. For Christ sake- we are related to Bennett Brummer and that didn’t stop us (just a joke).

Anonymous gets it:

The last comment Rumpole deleted was purely vindictive personal opinion. I hope he will always delete that crap.I should also add that, the percentage of deleted comments is so low as to be essentially irrelevant to reasonable discourse. I mean...he's deleted FIVE! Still, if you think Rumpole has crossed the line, all is not lost. Blogger.com will be happy to give you your own blog. It's free, it's easy to do. Just click the link at the top right of the Blog which says "GET YOUR OWN BLOG."

Runmpole says: Can’t we all just get along? Seriously, why go through all the trouble to write about Judge Leifman’s JA’s actions, which is a perfectly acceptable subject for the blog, and then top the comment off with calling her a name? It undermines the whole post. Truth be known, personally, we like Judge Leifman-although the Marlins have won the world series more times than we have personally appeared before him. He was a good PD. He tries to do good things as a Judge. We hope, if our identity is ever revealed that he would take our calling him Lord Of the Traffic Magistrates in good spirits.

But if you think about it, if our identity was known, and Leifman called us on the phone and said: “listen, I’ve got an election to deal with, can you lay off the blog crap?” It would put us in a difficult situation. So that is why we remain anonymous.

As to another Justice Building Blog, we honestly don’t want other blogs. We think this blog does a great job and we like having readers.

Readers should monitor this issue. We pledge to notify everyone when we remove a post, and if we remove a post- to re-post it, with the offensive parts removed.

PS: none of the above rules apply to anyone who knows anything about PD Rory Stein’s mid-morning snack habits.

Anonymous writes:
THE POINT ISN'T ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT OR NOT. THIS EVEN ISN'T HIS BLOG. THE IDEA OF A FORUM FOR SPEECH IS THAT IT IS NOT CENSORED. BASTA. RUMP, THIS TIME YOU GOT CAUGHT WITH YOUR HEAVY HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR.

Rumpole replies: Heavy hands? See what we mean about personal attacks? Seriously, wouldn't you, reader, agree that we should remove a post that publishes the school that a child of a Judge goes to? Or a prosecutor's home address (which also happens to be a crime?) Free speech? Sure. Call Judge X a moron? No problem. Post their children's names and schools? No way. Call it censorship. We call it common sense. Other than those few rules, anything goes. Ask Bobby Reiff. He took a beating and retired.



See You In Court- Just Not Judge Lefiman’s court. Does he even have a calendar? No wonder he has opposition, it’s a great job.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

SOMETHING SMELLS FUNNY

Much ado about scents has erupted on the blog as lawyers allege Lord Of The Traffic Magistrates Judge Steve Leifman’s JA sells perfume from chambers. Really, people, calm down. JA’s and secretaries have sold this kind of stuff for years. Who cares? What about attorneys who bring their rug rat’s school candy sale into the office and make everyone buy a candy bar?

CENSORSHIP???

On to a second, related, but much more important issue. As the furor erupted over the JA Perfume Scandal (JAPS) someone posted a comment containing a personal derogatory comment about the JA. So we erased it.


Post what you want here, folks. But we don’t allow personal mean spirited attacks on people. In this case, people are arguing back and forth on whether the JA should sell perfume, what role Leifman has in JAPS, and in true lawerly form, the arguments denigrated to the “Asshole” “don’t call me an asshole, asshole” etc.

OK. Not nice or learned, but acceptable.

But to name a person, and criticize something personal about them- their appearance, they have a big nose, their clothes are cheap, etc., is not what the blog is about and violates about the only rule we have other than trying to publish personal information (like a home address) about anyone.

The comment on the JA and Judge Leifman is fair game. Calling her a derogatory name and criticizing her appearance is not fair game on this blog and therefore the comment was deleted. As we have said before, you can call Bobby Reiff a bad lawyer, but when you call him a bad hockey player, that is a personal attack that constitutes hitting below the belt.

In the history of this blog, we have deleted 5 comments so far. And we hate to say this, because we love readers, we love controversy, we love being at the center of attention: but if you don’t like the fact that we will remove a personal derogatory comment that is not related to any aspect of the Justice Building, then don’t read the blog any more.

KUDOS TO A STUDENT OF HISTORY- THE HONORABLE HENRY LEYTE VIDAL.
He is not just a learned and respected Judge, but he was first with the Aaron Burr answer to the trivia question of what other VP shot someone while in office. As careful students of history, and Judge Leyte-Vidal will tell you, Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a scandal relating to Hamilton’s wife not paying for some perfume she was forced to buy from Burr'S girlfriend when they all attended the Continental Congress’s first AVON party.

See You In Court- hint as to our identity: we wear Aramis, and it smells great!

Monday, February 13, 2006

WHO IS JOHN GAULT/ LINKS

A reader tests our bravery:

Rumpole, are you going to stand up for liberty and run the Danish cartoons?

Rumpole replies: 1) it’s off topic; 2) sure- we’re anonymous anyway. What’s the worst that could happen, al queda crashes the web site? 3) anyone have the link to the cartoons?

John Gault writes:

Where the state begins, liberty ends. Don't talk about liberty if you favor welfare, social security, medicare, etc. Are you really for liberty over security, or does it just sound good in your little blog?


Rumpole roars 1) Who is John Gault?
2) don’t even start getting Ayn Rand with us. You do not want to go there. Trust us. We will flambĂ© your altruist/collectivist butt with non-stop objectivist philosophy. But that is not what this blog is about. This blog is about the Justice Building and we will not bore our readers with philosophical arguments that belong elsewhere.


Steve Levine fan club has more members: The groundswell continues: Steve Levine for Judge

Anonymous writes:

Steve Levine tries cases all the time. Most recently, he sent Phil Maniaty crying back to the office with an acquittal.

Rumpole responds: No cheap shots at Bow-tie Phil. He’s an old timer and OK in our book.

However, legal minds may differ:

Anonymous is no fan of Steve Levine:

Apd Steve Levine for judge? Is that a joke? The guy hasn't tried 5 jury trials in the past 10 years. What are you his brother or something?

Another reader notes:

Why give Victoria DelPino a hard time because of only 5 years experience? If I remember correctly, wasn't Beth Bloom at only 5 1/2 years when she filed? And Newman was at 4 yrs, 364 days.At least Delpino had the courage to put her name in an empty seat where she could get credible competition. According to this blog, she would have an easier time had she just picked a white male Jewish sitting judge to run against.

Rumpole notes: Judge Newman ran and had to withdraw when he jumped offsides and was penalized for running for judge a bit too early. However his second campaign scored a TD.

A reader writes about blogs and links:

Yes. That one [Rumpole notes that the post began with an answer to another post]. Start your own, say something interesting, and maybe we can get Rumpole to link to you.In event Markus links to Rumpole, his blog is pertinent, and I believe he's given Rumpole blog assistance in the past. I think he deserves to be cross-linked. Moreover, and in all seriousness, Markus' blog is topical and informative. I see no self promotion. He studiously avoids discussing his cases. (It's not like his average client is going to be swayed to hire him by a blog!) True, Markus did reprint a story from the DBR that involved him and his clients, but that was only after people, like myslef, referenced it in the comment section. The issue in the article was near and dear to lots and lots of attorneys... avoiding tainted money. Just ask Roy Black.

Rumpole notes: We have not linked to David Markus with a K’s blog for only one reason: technical incompetence. We note that Mr. Markus gave us publicity early and often and stepped in with technical assistance when the blog went kablooey

( a technical computer term). As of this post we are trying to post a permanent link with Mr. Markus. The initial results were that his blog was listed in 5 separate areas. If you checked in on line around 5PM Monday, you saw the carnage. Keep posted to see how many defense attorneys it takes to post a simple link.

Off topic: we heard this: the Olympic biathlon event should be renamed the “psycho killer event. First you ski 50 miles through the woods. Then you start shooting. "

VICE PRESIDENT TRIVIA

With his distinguished acts and poor aim this weekend, VP Dick Cheney becomes the second sitting vice president in history to shoot someone.

Name the first.
Hint: think cold weather.

See You In Court.

60 DAYS FOR LAWYER NORTH OF THE BORDER;FERRER FINI;LEFT HOOK AL

JUDGE JAILS DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Judge Aleman jailed defense attorney Adam Katz for 60 days (!!!!!!!) for missing a second trial date in two months. See the story here:http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-ccontempt11feb11,0,5424909.story?coll=sfla-news-broward


Late breaking news: lawyer to be released tonight:

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13862530.htm


Rumpole notes: North of the border. Sheesh. They’re crazy up there. We have had our run -ins with Judge Aleman, and because we can’t find anything nice to say about her, we will remain silent. Her actions speak louder than our words ever could. Nice appointment Governor Bush. (what would we she give us for this blog and our comments? 10/20/life?)


FERRER FOLLIES FINI ?

He hit the Miami airwaves with a publicity campaign calling him “tall, dark, and judgmental.”

Now he’s “tall, dark, and unemployed.”
Or try “tall, dark, and canceled.”
Anyway you cut it, we have it on rumor and innuendo that the television career of former Dade Circuit Judge Alex Ferrer has been JOA’d.
The people have voted, the jury has spoken: boring television? GUILTY.

Judge Marilyn wannabee? GUILTY.
No Ratings = no TV calendar.
However, all is not lost. We did hear a juicy tidbit: Judge Alex is a finalist to host “Hunting with Dick Cheney” on OLN.
PS: This rumor is rumor and has not been confirmed. Not that we are the harbinger of the televsision industry or anything.

Captain My Captain: ALL HANDS ON DECK as the Captain requests this blog sponsor a judicial candidate:

It is time for this BLOG to show its true strength - we need to draft a candidate to run against Victoria del Pino. A lawyer with barely five years of experience does not deserve to be sitting on the bench.I know of an Assistant Public Defender who has been practicing law for more than 20 years. He was in the civil arena before becoming an APD. He is an experienced and fantastic trial attorney, he cares about all of his clients, he participates in many community activities and he is a great father to his three children. This is someone who deserves to be considered for a judgeship in Dade County. This is what the citizens of Dade County deserve - an experienced courtroom attorney - in both the civil and criminal arenas, and someone who is a well-rounded individual on top of that.If we are really serious in promoting well qualified candidates, and this BLOG is serious about promoting the quality of justice, then we owe it to ourselves, to draft this candidate - for County Court Judge.I say we get APD Steven Levine to run for the seat!!!

Another reader jumps on the Levine bandwagon:

As a former ASA who faced many fine defense lawyers, Steve Levine was one of the finest opponents I had to go up against in all my years at the office. He was more prepared and more professional and did more for his clients than any other defense atty. He always did the best he could for his client - and isn't that the bottom line!!!

Rumpole wonders: if we endorse a candidate do we have to give equal time to the other candidates?
If we were to endorse a candidate it would be lawyer and Traffic Magistrate Tom Cobitz for County Court. Have you ever watched Tom in court? He is always cheerful, polite, and puts unrepresented defendants at ease with a bit of humor. Even when he adjudicates a person and sends them to traffic school, they usually leave smiling. Good job Tom, keep it up, and run for Judge will ya?

A reader votes early and often:

Levine over del Pino - he's got my vote!!!

Did We Surrender when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!
Anonymous writes:


The public defender's office doesn't need some trial lawyer leading them into battle. It doesn't need a cheerleader. It's not like Animal House with Blutarsky saying "Let's Do It!" It needs a person who can go toe to toe with the legislature, and get the resources needed for those APD's to do their job representing their indigent clients. Bennett Brummer has done just that quite well.


LEFT HOOK AL: DUI maven Mike Catalano has an Al Milian story:

When I was new defense attorney, I had a case against Al Milian. It was a DUI. (I think this was 1988)Although I never met him before, for simply filing a good motion to suppress he called me all kinds of names and made a nonsense bar complaint. He then stalked me for over 15 years.If he goes to rubber chicken campaign dinners, I will go too and remind people not to vote for whacko nut jobs like him.... the guy who simply beats up his opponents in the hallway.Hey, remember when he lost a agg bat case and told the press the jury was "lobotomized zombies and morons... I guess he does not believe in the jury system!!!He is a very dangerous person and should really think about doing something else for a living.If he becomes a judge, we will really have our hands full.Mike CatalanoMiami, FL

Rumpole Notes: When does stalking for 15 years become a serious problem? Plus, to stalk Catalano do you also need an airplane?

A cantankerous reader grumbles:


I can hear it now all you defense attorneys who have had it so good with the softer than butter Judges bellyaching about Al Milian. Come on you guys have Ex-pd's on the bench who conduct cross examination for the witless defense attorneys who appear in front of them. You have Judges who cry when they sentence Gort armed robbers to life. Do you hear ASA's writing in to this site whining like spoiled children? Grow up and live with the fact that there might actually be a new Judge who has trial experience and is State oriented.

Rumpole notes: Most ASA’s don’t have internet access at work, so they can’t write in.


Another reader notes:

Al Milian isn't state oriented. Al Milian is Al Milian oriented.

Another reader ponders the obvious:

Could the fine citizens of Miami-Dade County be stupid enough to vote for Al Milian, the ticking bomb of the bar? Unfortunately, the answer is probably "yes", unless we step up to the plate and force ourselves to write that check. I for one will be writing it even though I have never dealt with Judge Langer personally. I have dealt with former-persecutor Milian and he is everything people say about him and more

Rumpole quotes PT Barnum: no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average American.

Judge Langer has fans:

Les Langer is a tremendous asset to the juvenile justice system and he would be an irreplaceable loss. He devotes an unbelievable amount of attention to the technocracy of complex juvenile issues. There is no way Milan could replace him. While Langer could improve in the area of holding the state to their burden and taking evidentiary issues seriously his loss would deprive the most vulnerable of Miami’s citizens (accused and troubled youth) of a hard working and experienced advocate.

Quote of the Day:

“Watchit!!!”
Dick Cheney.

Second quote of the day supplied by a reader:

"The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right..." -
Judge Learned Hand

Third Quote of the Day supplied by a reader:

Each time a man stands up for an ideal,or acts to improve the lot of others,or strikes out against injustice,he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."- Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968, American Attorney General, Senator)

Rumpole thinks the readers are getting a mite too serious.

A reader requests:

you should ask your readers a question. if they were killed who would they want as lead detective asa and judge? who would they dread as defending their killer?

Rumpole grouches: Who do we look like, Michael Dukakis? No, we will not ask that question. But thanks for thinking of us. Try a more uplifting web experience. Go here: http://www.deadbodiesinc.com/


A reader who’s been riffling in the archives, has a comment about Bar Complaints:

Re: Brian Tannenbaum's 1/12/06 comment: Brian's comment points out one of the greatest flaws in The Florida Bar's grievance and disciplinary process. Too much anonymity and too little documentation to support grievance committee decisions. Written records are not ordinarily kept of grievance committee proceedings. The discussions are typically oral and not, routinely, recorded. This fosters cronyism characterized by a lack of meaningful investigations and nod-nod, wink-wink decisions when well-connected lawyers are involved. Many law firms are political juggernauts that enjoy a unique shield against consequences for violating The Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

Rumole responds: Our initial response to bar complaints is the same as Tony Montoya’s:
“meeeeet my littllllle friend.”

On the NO BABIES AND BEEPERS post we received this reply:

Re: No kids no cells & beepers:I clerked in Circuit court and it was pretty sad to see kids exposed to the less attractive sides of their caregivers lives played out in front them. I mean do they really need to hear the charges against them, see the disappointment and fear in adults eyes and sit through trials where evidence is presented against the people they trust to take care of them? When they take Mom or Dad away in handcuffs it's a pretty upsetting sight!! They are not on a class trip where they are prepared for what they are about to see and supervised by a responsible adult sensitive to what is going on. They are brought to court by someone who is not respectful of the proceeding or the kid! Can't we make a rule? If the entre is priced over $25 or the person running the show is in a black robe, get a sitter!!!!!

Rumpole notes that the gentle reader misses the point. Yes, people should not bring their children to court to watch them led away in handcuffs. But many people come to court for different reasons, including cases in County Court where jail is unlikely. Our comment was directed to the Judges to treat people with kids like citizens and not outlaws. But, yes, if you want to raise a slam dunk topic, people should not bring children to court to get sympathy. Then again, the people in court facing serious charges have already demonstrated a serious lack of judgment on many other issues.

If you want sympathy, hire an incompetent defense attorney and maybe the judge will feel bad for you.

See You In Court not missing any trial dates with Judge "60 Days to repent" Aleman.




Friday, February 10, 2006

JUDICIAL RACES AND LIBERTY

Rumor has it two time failed State Attorney Candidate, former Broward Assistant State Attorney, and a trial lawyer with a swift left hook, Al Milian will announce to run for Judge, probably against Judge Lester Langer. Judge Langer does not deserve this. And Dade does not deserve Al Milian. A trial lawyer who cannot keep his temper, an angry prosecutor who was chastised, if not disciplined, more than once by the Florida Bar, Milian should stick to his radio show. How could a Judge who as a lawyer lost his temper and fought with opposing counsel ever sit in judgment of a Defendant charged with battery or aggravated battery? While people change, some people just don’t deserve to be a judge.
That’s our opinion.

Anonymous frets:

Would someone be kind enough to list those judges with opposition?Is there a web page with that information?


Rumpole replies: try www-Miamimalejudgescantsleep-.com


Judge Sheldon Schwartz stories continue:

Anonymous recalls:

I Love Judge Schwartz...really:When I was starting as an ASA, I was trying a battery case to the bench. The defendant was pro se. So, the judge starts cross examining my victim...aggressively. I object, he says "I overrule your objection" and continues. I get back up and do redirect, he says "Objection". I argue with him and he says "I sustain my objection, move on". Guess who did not win that trial.

Rumpole replies: Gotta love a Judge who sustains an objection to his own question.
We hope this out-pouring of support translates to financial backing for Judge Schwartz. Prosecutors, if you don’t have the bucks, you can donate time-stuff envelopes, hold signs at polls on voting day, vote two or three times, (but don’t tell Joe Centarino) etc.


Like Buttahh…..

Dade’s Judges, labeled by an anonymous reader as “butter soft” are getting some discussion:

Anonymous spreads the oleo:

Butter-soft actually has some good points. Dade's Judge Murphy basically forces the state to nolle pros cocaine possession residue cases and make the defendants plea to misdemeanor para charges. Broward's FelonyCourt Judge Murphy ain't doing that.Dade Judges will always give firstand second time up continuances when you don't even have a legit reason for them, while Broward Judges will not always do it especially if you haven't even set depos yet.Dade Judges will openly negotiate with you and give you an offer oncases prior to taking a plea, while Broward Judges make you plea open first and then make you argue for either a downward departure or a probation sentence on the non-state prison clients.I know part of the reasons are thehigh case load in Dade, but let's face it Dade Judges are butter-soft in a lot of respects.


Rumpole replies: Broward County Court Judges automatically grant misdemeanor motions for depositions on DUI cases. Just submit a motion and an order. Broward County Court Judges like Zack automatically grant motions for continuances-just submit a motion and order prior to sounding. Dade Judges don’t do that. You basically need to prove that the prosecution believes your client may have been the second gunman in Dallas in November, 1963, on the grassy knoll, before you get a depo in a DUI. Each county and their Judges have their own particular way of doing things. But Dade Judges are not butter soft. Rory Stein may like butter on his mid-morning bagel, but that’s old news.


A Rumole Blogger by the name of Captain has a Dade Judicial Race update: follow the money:

Circuit Court Group 25

Dennis Murphy - $1,625
Josie Velis - 0.00
Circuit Court Group 42
Gina Mendez - $2,600 (all her own $)
Lawrence Schwartz - $217,490 ($100,100 is his own $)
County Court Group 9(Judge Martin Shapiro seat, but he is age limited)
Victoria del Pino - $37,385 ($20,000 is her $)she has NO opposition yet - who wants to see the CAPTAIN run against her?!
County Court Group 12Juan F. Gonzalez - 0.00
Steve Leifman - $48,415 ($25,250 is his $)
County Court Group 27
Migna Sanchez-Llorens - $41,535 ($30,000 is her $)
Sheldon R. Schwartz - $29,200 ($25,000 is his $)
County Court Group 30(Judge Roger Silver's seat, but he has not filed as of yet)Stephen Millan - $3,400 ($1,700 is his $)
Robert Twombly - $2,600 ($1,600 is his $)
County Court Group 40Don Cohn - 0.00
Bonnie Rippingille - $195,425 ($175,000 is her $$$)
So there you have the up to date races.The Captain.

Rumpole replies: gotta love Larry Schwartz throwing down the gauntlet and steppin up with a hundred G’s of his own- and then-with super Judicial Maven Rudy Sorrondo in his corner- raising an additional hundred G’s.

The man stepped up when called out.
“You talkin to me? You Talkin to me?”

Meanwhile, we think ol Judge Murphy is playing the rope a dope. No money? We think not.

Anonymous taunts:

guess your trial didn't go so well, huh RUMPY?

Rumpole huffs: we don’t gloat. When we win, we act like its happened many many times before. We just flip the ball to the ref and trot off the field.

Judge Dennis Murphy has his fans:

Judge Murphy is one of the best judges in the building. He hammers people when they deserve it, and he gives second chances when he sees fit. He doesn't favor one side over the other, and rules quite even handed. Both sides should be all out supporting him.


Jason Grey, back in form, has a message for the lawyers north of the border:

Broward Lawyers are generally a bunch of pussies who let the Judges run roughshod over them and their clients.No one has the balls to run against an incumbent judge ,and if you do, and lose the cabal will blackball you, and in masse will screw the you at every opportunity. since lawyers in broward lay down like the french at invasion time judges tend to be tyrants. That’s why they hate us dade lawyers, we don't put up with their bullshit. The comparison doesn’t hold up.

Rumpole notes: Jason Grey- the only lawyer who uses the pejorative term for the female anatomy and the term “cabal” correctly in a post.

Judicial candidate Vicki Del Pino has her critics:

Why would anyone run against Victoria Del Pino? She's a hispanic female who's been a lawyer for 5 years and 1 day and has no trial experience. Is there a soul more qualified in Dade County?

Rumpole notes: res ipsa loquitor.

Anonymous, probably replying to a Bennett Brummer post (these Pd’s have their own private war running on our humble blog), writes:

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. (Orwell)"

Behead those who insult Islam"(London Banner at protest over cartoons)

Rumpole replies: hear hear!. Like when we plead a client “not guilty” in federal court, and the case agent starts pulling our IRS files- telling people what they don’t want to hear is fun, but not that profitable.


See You In Court telling Judges what they don’t want to hear.

Liberty is the soul's right to breath, and when it cannot take a long breath, laws are girdled too tight. —Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

MAIL BAG

Out of trial, we catch up on our mail bag.

Anonymous, ignoring our warning about drinking and blogging, writes:

As the Miami crime rate continues its dramatic rise from the quaint days of the early 80's, it's time to lay blame squarely: butter-soft judges.And why do we have butter-soft judges? Look no further than our touchy-feely governor and Dade's leftist electorate.

Rumpole responds: Butter soft judges? Are you reading this Judge Rothenberg? Touchy feely governor? Leftist Electorate in Dade? Dade? Leftist in the sense they might only chop off Fidel Castro’s right hand given the chance. Take our advice.

One Day At A Time- Easy Does it. Join the friends of Bill. You can leave a comment without drinking heavily before hand.

Judge Sheldon Schwartz Has a Good Day.
Judge Schwartz took the heat and admitted when he had a bad day. A reader writes about a good experience s/he had:


I was in Courtroom 4-9 on Thursday and Judge Sheldon R.Schwartz was the judge. The courtroom was more than packed ,with defendants and attorneys. I was later told, this was the largest docket ever set before a county court judge/over three hundred matters set.the court took attorneys out of turn ,spoke to those present in terms they were able to understand, assisted non-represented defendants(including suggesting they get an attorney and go to trial),made the state follow the law and not merely reset matters but dismiss matters and I could go on and on.Judge Schwartz was the nicest guy as an attorney many years ago, willing to and assisting everyone and he remains the same way today .perhaps he is more demanding today, but such is necessary in order to be a good judge.

Another Fan of Sheldon Schwartz writes:

Those of us who appear in County Court on a continious basis understand the problems of the system;and we commend Judge Sheldon Schwartz.Judge Schwartz is not assigned to the Justice Building yet he a fixture no loess than one day a week.Judge Schwartz is understanding that first offenders should not necessarily be adjudicated guilty.This is the Judge who was assigned to do mitigation of the "clones"and he does an excellent job.On occasion his sentences are severe including monsterous fines,and thirty hours of traffic school but such is selective and on a case by case basis. Judge schwartz handles civil infractions better than any judge and or magistrate. He does not punish for trial, sentences are based upon drivers history. The same goes for traffic misdemeanors and misdemeanors. He judges each case on its own merit.So we suggest that Judge Schwartz order some more colorful robes because they bring a smile to everyone’s face; and this is what is needed in the courts for many years to come.

Those who actually pracrice law in County Court!!!!!!

Rumpole notes: We usually spell check our readers comments because the blog does not have a spell checker and who among us has not spelled “robed” as “robbed” on occasion? But we could not let that last faux pax pass. It was too perfect.

Bennett Brummer Master of Conflicts drew this response:

On the Rapalo matter, rumor has it that Herb Smith was forced by the brass to conflict and he is not very happy about it.

Anonymous writes:

For whatever reason the sao stuff just isn't as fun to read and blog about as the pd stuff. More pd stuff, Rump. Thanks.

Rumpole replies: That’s because PD’s are sexier. Who can you get drunk and score with easier? A PD of course, despite our comments on partying with THE State Attorney.

A reader no habla ingles:

engles es no necessario para el position de defense el publico solamente balls.



Brummer Resignation Stunner drew these comments:

The Brummer letter is like a kick in the head to the old guy. Warren Schwartz head PD? Fantastic!

It's about time Warren gets the credit he deserves. Exellent choice Mr. Brummer!

About time Warren S. gets some respek. As for Brummer, he might as well quit. We haven't seen his car , still adorned with his giant Brummer stickers (still?), in the pdo lot in about 3 years. What do you do all day, Bennie? Sleepy time?

Quality ASA’s:


A reader opines:

seems to me like their are also some good prosecutors working for rundle. hogue, lasser, denaro, johnson, centerino, levine, waxman etc

Rumpole replies: That’s the all star line-up right there.

Somebody has the hots for a favorite County Court Judge:

Dude, Louise is not an enlightened despot, she is however, pretty hot.

Rumpole replies: 1) She spells her name Luise; 2) Her Dad could cross examine you until you pass out, then clunk your head like Moe did to Curly.

Lord Of the Magistrates Has Opposition drew these comments:

Gonzalez is a cool guy - but why Leifman? Oh, I see, another ethnic race. "Hmmmm, I'm hispanic, what while male judge can I beat just on my name?"


J. Leifman's commitment to justice for people who "don't matter" is precisely why re-electing Leifman does.

And yet, another view also emerges:

Leifman is a complete weenie. He says one thing and does another. He is no friend to the defense bar. Moreover, his finding Alex Michaels guilty of assaulting a Hialeah police (who was 6'1 and 200 lbs) was intellectually dishonest. Now, the million dollar question is, who is running against Slom?

i forgot about him finding alex guilty on that bullshit case. shame!

For the sake of pluralism, I'm going to have to support Juan Gonzalez. His ethnicity will heal the rift between judges and juries in the building. Talk of competency is a red-herring which obscures the need for judges whose surnames reflect the general populace.

Rumpole thanks the alert reader who introduced the term “pluralism” to the Miami Legal Community.

Another reader writes:

Yes ,the Traffic Magistrates are under the control of Judge Leifman, and yes, many of their sentences are unfair and unjust. These "robots aka “Leifman clones” follow his mandates and we are left to request additional hearings before a Judge(i.e.adjudication on first offenses and eight hours driving school; adjudications and a few hundred dollars on seat belt violations).People should not be punished for having their day in court, but few Judges feel that way.


Anonymous is ready to vote for the Lord of the Traffic Magistrates:

Leifman is one of the best judges in the County. Name me another judge who gives so much time and puts so much effort into helping people who cannot possibly vote for him. In a day and age when many judges make politically correct rulings, how valuable is a judge who does what he thinks is right? Leifman is irreplaceable.Re the magistrates: when lawyers can GUARANTEE their clients victory (ie. no points), that's supposed to be a good thing? You don't think anyone should intervene? You really think Leifman is too HARSH when that nonsense continues? GET REAL



“Rodney Brown” (“Can’t we all just get along?”) writes:

Can't we all agree that their are good and bad in every profession? There are great ASA's, APD's (yes, even those that have been around a long time,) Privates and Judges. But there are also some real bad ones. Comes with the territory. Everyone needs to stop complaining, and use the energy to make good things happen.

A reader has a brilliant idea:

If federal court is so bad, and you guys are such principled defenders of the Constitution, then why not band together, refuse all federal cases and grind the corrupt system to a halt.

Rumpole replies: because then famed federal blogger David O Markus with a K would make even more money then he is making now.


Speaking of Super Federal Blogger David O Markus with a K, a reader accuses Mr. Markus of nefarious dark deeds:

Rumpy: how can williams be up 80/20 to brummer in your poll? has markus hacked his way in and played with the numbers?

Rumpole Replies: Markus doesn't have time to hack, battling AUSA's and the Feds the way he does. Truth is that the readers of the this blog have no love for Bennett Brummer, who by the way, has also been accused of stiffling internet access to our humble blog.


See You In Au Bon Pain, buying poor Mr. Brummer a cup-o-Joe, and putting a sympathetic arm around his hunched shoulders.