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

Thursday, June 29, 2006

CANDIDATE SPANKED

[check out the new update at the end of the post]

SUBMITTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: ONE JUAN GONZALEZ, putative traffic magistrate, attorney, candidate to replace Administrative Judge Steve Leifman.

In his effort to be elected Mr. Gonzalez has decided that certain things are more important than others. For instance, Mr. Gonzalez has decided that winning is more important than the truth.

Each person who runs for Judge must follow this Cannon:

Canon 7A(3)(d)(iii) of the Florida Code Of Judicial Conduct states that a candidate for judicial office “shall not knowingly misrepresent the identity, qualification, present position or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent.”

The Dade County Bar found, in a blockbuster letter released last night, found that Gonzalez violated both parts of the Cannon of Judicial Conduct- he misrepresented his own qualifications and those of Judge Liefman as well.

2 for 2 Mr. Gonzalez. You' re batting 1000% in your ability not to follow the rules you may have to interpret as a judge.

The full letter is on the Herald web site and an article was written by our favorite Herald Scribe Oh Susannah Nesmith which appears in the Herald today.

The Bar found that Mr. Gonzalez misrepresented his qualifications to a political audience in Aventura (motto: “You’re in Aventura…If you don’t have a million bucks leave now”).

During the Aventura speech Mr. Gonzalez apparently made a BIG DEAL of the fact that he was an SAPD and got court appointments, insinuating that he was an integral part of the Dade County Public Defender’s Office.

OK-stop laughing. Most people who are not a lawyers in out little neck of the of the woods do not realize how pathetic it is for an attorney to brag about getting court appointments.


[Note to all ex-pds who are about to send us angry emails- we are not denigrating PD’s or the public spirit of giving back to the community for which court appointments are designed. We applaud those people who do that. However, we are talking about a candidate who has done so little to distinguish himself that rather than mention he donates some time on indigent cases, he was trying to convince voters that his “appointment” as a special assistant public defender was a rare and special legal accomplishment.]


HERE IS WHAT THE DADE BAR DECIDED:


The commission unanimously determined that Mr. Gonzalez violated Cannon 7 and his pledge to the Commission. Likewise, the Commission unanimously determined that Mr. Gonzalez committed similar violations through his comments about his own credential and about his experience as a special assistant public defender.

The other “ faux pas” (French for “foot in mouth”) committed by candidate Gonzalez was to attack Judge Leifman and try and convince voters that Judge Leifman was not a “full time” Judge because he didn’t have a daily calendar.

Memo to Juan Gonzalez: you blew it buddy. If that was the ticket to getting elected then you should have run against Judge Farina, because Farina is a circuit court judge and his position as Chief Judge does not allow him to have a full time calendar either.

If you have spent any significant time in REGJB then you know the easiest piece of cake job is being a county court judge with a daily calendar. 10-2 and you’re through. A few DUI trials now and then, but nothing that requires 14-16 hour days.

However, the position of Administrative Judge has many more responsibilities beyond what the average Judge has. Mr. Gonzalez should hang his head in shame for trying to convince voters (in a desperate attempt to get elected at any cost) that Judge Leifman is taking the easy road, rather than acknowledge the fact that being an Administrative Judge is an honor and recognition by other Judges of Leifman’s experience and ability.


JUAN GONZALEZ-WELCOME TO THE TWILIGHT ZONE, WHERE IT IS HARD TO RUN FOR OFFICE WITH LITTLE PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF YOUR OWN, AND AGAINST A JUDGE AND FORMER PUBLIC DEFENDER WHOSE CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS CAST A SHADOW EVEN YOU CAN’T IGNORE.


We are so disgusted with this mess, we may just stay home today and mope, so we probably won’t see you in court today.



PS. After pondering todays events, we decided to go to work after all.

We also thought of this:

What happened to Mr. Gonzalez is what happens when someone runs for office based on a campaign of hate, vengeance and intimidation.

Mr. Gonzalez’s campaign against Judge Leifman was born of Gonzalez’s desire for retribution because Judge Leifman in his role as “Lord Of The Traffic Magistrates” beheaded Gonzalez for his poor performance as a magistrate.


Gonzalez, who had the disturbing propensity to refer to himself when he was on the bench as the “holy trinity” should know as a proponent of religion that the almighty has reserved vengeance as the sole providence of the lord (much the way Congress limits the jurisdiction of the federal courts).

Mr. Gonzalez then sought as his campaign guru, none other than everyone’s favorite former JA, Juan D’Arce, who had his own cross to bear (what's with the religious stuff today???) against Leifman because Leifman had the temerity (and good sense) not to give Mr. D’Arce any money as a political consultant.

Thus the campaign against Judge Leifman emerged as not one of competence or ideas, but one of vengeance, grudges, and pay-back. The problem Mr. Gonzalez has encountered is that the public doesn’t care about his petty problems, and he has nothing good to say about his own qualifications.

To finish out today's religious theme: "You reap what you sow."

See You In Your favorite place of worship.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

BROWARD ELECTIONS

Everyone's favorite Captain writes in:


NORTH OF THE BORDER CAMPAIGN UPDATE
It's getting even busier on candidates row this year in Broward.The latest count is 18 candidates for 6 new positions.

There are two new Circuit Court seats with 5 candidates and four new County Court seats with 13 candidates.

Circuit: 017 Group: 057 : Samuel Lopez , John C Rayson

Circuit: 017 Group: 058 :Mardi Levy-Cohen, Jim Lewis , Marina Garcia-Wood.

County Court Judge, Grp. 29: Danielle Levin, Jill Levy, Nicholas, "Nick" Lopane

County Court Judge, Grp. 30: Michele Anne Cavallaro, Alan Marks,
Robin Sobo Moselle

County Court Judge, Grp. 31 : Michael "Mike" Doddo, Ellen A. Feld,
Christopher M. "Chris" Neilson, Arlene Joy Simon

County Court Judge, Grp. 32 : Kelly Reynolds Dell , Brenda Lynn Di Ioia,
Terri-Ann Miller
CAPTAIN OUT ..............


Rumpole notes that the Broward County Bar Association will be endorsing candidates. Candidates will be interviewed and will be given a written examination.

We have obtained a portion of that examination:

True or False Portion of the test:

Miami attorneys are a bunch of lying thieves. [t] [f]

The Dade County State Attorneys office is incompetent. [t] [f]

Miami Judges regularly sentence murderers to CTS. [t] [f]

Many trials in Miami are conducted in Spanish. [t] [f]

You can purchase crack at the cafeteria in the Miami Courthouse. [t] [f]


Multiple choice:

4 lawyers are seated in the jury area waiting to be called out of turn. One of them is from Miami.

a) You call the Miami lawyer first as s/he has a long drive and probably has cases pending in Miami.

b) You call the lawyers you know by their first name, then the PD cases, then the un-represented Defendants and then act surprised that the Miami lawyer didn’t ask to be taken out of turn.

c) You instruct your courtroom deputy to menacingly dangle his handcuffs every time the Miami lawyer approaches the podium.

d) You call the Miami attorney last, tell them the clerk didn’t bring the file, and order them to return at 8:00 am the next day.


A Miami lawyer has filed a motion to suppress:

a) you have your judicial assistant schedule the hearing for 4:30 pm. on a Friday afternoon.

b) you have your judicial assistant schedule it for the “first day available” the following year.

c) You set the hearing for 8:45 am. on a Monday morning and pack the courtroom with police officers and sheriff deputies who snicker as the lawyer asks questions.

d) you deny the motion without issuing an order and set the case for your “36 week standby calendar.”

A Miami lawyer calls your chambers to schedule a hearing for a bond and follows the call up with a written motion.

a) you instruct your judicial assistant to give the attorney Fred Haddad’s office number.

b) you get on the phone and ask the lawyer “how high can you count”.

c) You bring the defendant to court without notice, “sigh” out loud how the attorney is not present and you can’t release the defendant without the Miami attorney and inform the defendant that you have no choice but to accommodate his “out of town” lawyer by re-setting the hearing in a month.

d) you bring the motion to lunch with your fellow judges and everyone laughs until one of your colleagues spits up his diet coke.


Rumpole wishes all the candidates the best of luck North of the Border.

See you in court.

PS. We were NOT served today. Day uno.

Monday, June 26, 2006

SOMEONE FORGOT TO TAKE HIS MEDICINE

We received this email from a Mr.McGillis: He is threatening us.

Dear, Sir:
You have 24 hours to remove this post from your UNOFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. If you do not remove or correct or edit the text of this Puerto Rico Case Law. I will file a immediate claim for temporary and permanent injunction against you, your web server & host, etc, etc , etc. On Tuesday we notify the web server and host of intent to file suit.

I, will also be seeking relief for fraudulent postings being made in my name. False allegations made that I have visited and posted on your blog. In addition to any and all other relief available. {Rumpole can’t help but note that the relief that may well do you the most good comes in a bottle of laxatives. Try psyllium husk, it works in 24 hours or so. }

If you would like to telephone me please do (you can block your number) at [number edited by rumpole ]. LET THE GAMES BEGIN.



Rumpole responds: You sir, are a legal bully. You threaten legal action against anyone and everyone.

The right to free speech is not a game, but a right. You have emailed us before and we responded privately by informing you that we would print anything you wished to say.


Remember your previous email? Here it is:

Dear, Sir:I am Darrin McGillis and was just sent a link to your blog.It seems from my review that every single blog you have posted in the site has some sort of libel referance (your misspelling, not Rumpole’s) my name.Would you look into all you most recent post and make a independent review. I think you will agree that the post should be removed.It seems that every blog has been attached with libel against me. Kindly,inform me of the action you have taken if any on this matter.Darrin McGillis

Here was our response:

Dear sir: Your allegation that "every single blog you have posted in the site has some sort of reference to my name." is both incorrect, puzzling, and appears to be nonsense.
1) We don't post blogs...we write posts and people post comments.
2) We have been writing posts since November of 2005 and did not even know your name until last week. Please cite to the specific posts in November, December, January, etc., that you somehow believe has mentioned you.
3) To the extent the people who read this blog have commented on you, there is not much we care to do about that. Your name has been mentioned in a Herald article and is fair game for commentary.

4) We will apply the same rules to you that we apply to everyone on the blog- no one will be permitted to post information about your personal life, address, name of family members, etc. Ad hominem attacks are usually removed. However, to the extent that people who read this blog think your web site is good or bad, they can comment about it and there is not much we care to do about it. Your website is about a Judge, and this blog is about the legal community in Miami. However, if the Herald story is incorrect and you have nothing to do with that website, email us immediately and we promise that your comment will be posted and not edited as long as it follows the above rules.
Good day to you.

The person who received this email did not deign to respond until the above email arrived threatening to sue our web host. Since he has written that "every blog" is "attached with libel against me [sic]" he must be very busy writing letters to "every blog".

Lets take a quick medical test: what is the condition where someone believes everyone in the world is writing about them and libeling them?

We have emailed Mr “sue everyone” to let him know that if the comment that so offends him is false in certain allegations about his private life, we will remove it. But if the comment is correct and he just does not like what is in the opinion, then the comment (which we didn’t write) will stay up.

Hey pal- perhaps you mistake us for our departed country man Neville Chamberlain. Appeasement is not in our nature. Giving in to bullies of any sort is not what we are about.

You do not scare us; you cannot bully us; you can spend all your time day and night trying to use the legal system to scare people. But we have tried more cases than you apparently have brain cells, and what takes hours or days of your time to do, we can easily beat with a few deft legal ju-jitsu maneuvers.


So know this, the more you threaten us, the more we will shine the harsh light of truth upon you.

Every sniveling, threatening, complaining, harassing email will be posted for all to see. (The least you can do is use Word to spell check your missives before sending them off. As everyone who completed Third grade knows, “spelling counts.” )

The irony is that this man, who does not hesitate to put up his own web site of hate and distortion against Judge Hernandez, has a conniption [--technical legal term] anytime he is even mentioned in a post on our blog. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the blog business buddy boy.

Sue us will you? Why our crack legal team of Dewey Cheatum & Howe is standing by ready to leap to our defense. Just bypass the web host, and serve those papers on our legal team. Check any bar, one of them is bound to be in there hustling free drinks.

See YOU in court tough guy.


PS: To summarize through all the mocking above: if the post that is driving you crazy, (that nobody is reading or cares about) is false in the context of the reference to your personal life, prove it and it will come down.

THE FORCE IS WITH US




“Yota” wrote into the blog:

rumpole: you are in need of therapy beyond what authoring the blog alots. you take yourself too serious. which is a path toward ruination. search yourself old man. and may the force be with you.

Rumpole responds:

1) Careful readers of the blog know that the last thing we do is take ourselves seriously at all. This blog is designed to be fun and insignificant.


2) Lots of people are reading this blog. That means that when some moronic idiot with no guts to leave their name posts an allegation that someone is using crack or someone else is engaging in sex with judges, the people subject of the post are hurt to say the least.

3) The last thing we want to do is be a part of hurting someone, especially when our posts are so fun and uplifting (unless you’re Jeff Swartz, and even then it was done in the spirit of fun.)

4) So because of a few jerks, we now have to approve the comments before they are posted. Comments that say “I hate you Rumpole, you are a horrible riter” will be faithfully posted, because like your post, nothing is funnier to us than when someone tries to criticize us but has misspellings in their misbegotten attacks.

5) Judging by the ol’ blog meter on the wall, readership in our fair blog has not dropped off today.

ps Einstein: Its YODA.

REGJB LEGAL/ELECTION TOPIC

Anyone have an explanation for the fact that one county court judicial race has 137 candidates, and two other circuit court races have one candidate?

Rumpole's conclusion: Its much better to be a county court Judge and work from 10-2 then to be a circuit court judge and have to try all those blasted minimum mandatory cases. Any judges or candidates care to comment?

Finally: We will be endorsing candidates. Candidates who want us to consider their qualifications should send us an email.


See You In Court.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

THIS IS MY BLOG

Now I am speaking in the first person because I am serious.

This is my blog.

I created it out of my own time and creativity.

I will not allow it to be used to attack people.

There is a place for anonymous comments. “Judge so and so always shows up late” or the issue of Judges not allowing attorneys to move for continuances at soundings.

But this stupid gratuitous use of the comments section to make dumb and sexist remarks about people will stop. I am going to erase them as soon as they come on the blog. So eventually you Neanderthals will realize that you are wasting your time.

Comments about people’s sexual habits, or rumors of drug use are verboten.

I am the final arbiter.

Don’t like it?

Start your own stupid blog.

I will win.

I always do. (ask any prosecutor).

Rumpole.

FATE

"To punish me for my contempt for authority
fate made me an authority myself."
Albert Einstein


How will we be punished for our contempt for authority?

Maybe Governor Holly Go Lightly will appoint us to the bench.

Maybe the Cubs will win the World Series.

Maybe an idiot from Texas with a DUI will become president.

Stranger things have happened.

Friday, June 23, 2006

KO KO"D

North of The Border Defense Attorney KO Morgan was suspended for 91 days by the Florida Supremes:

An alert reader posted the entire Sun Sentinel Article which you can read in the comments section. We print an excerpt here:


. . . [B]ut it was a small-time felony battery trial in 2004 that got Morgan in trouble with the Florida Bar. The lawyer snapped at Broward Circuit Judge Robert Collins, who curtailed Morgan's questioning of a witness."

I think you're out of line,"
Morgan shot back. "You don't talk to me like that in front of a jury."

In the protracted exchange, Collins threatened to have Morgan arrested.
"Go ahead and have me arrested," the lawyer taunted.
"Take me to jail and let's go with it."
The two parried on.
Collins: "And you are obnoxious."
Morgan: "So what?"
Collins: "You can't be obnoxious in a courtroom to a judge.
"Morgan: "You are obnoxious to me."
The attorney won a mistrial for his client, who later pleaded out to a probation sentence.
Morgan, who has 30 days to close out his one-man practice, accepted his suspension with aplomb. "I'm going to just basically work out, get back in shape, take a three-month vacation without pay," he said. "
I'm more concerned about the people I have to abandon. I'm trying to get good lawyers to step in and take care of these people."
Morgan was reprimanded for making derogatory remarks in 1995 and 1996 about judges, and was suspended for 10 days for making false statements about a judge in 2000. Once this suspension is up, he must apply to the high court for reinstatement to practice, after proving he's been rehabilitated.
"I'll try not to run over any babies and be a sweetheart between now and then," he said.

Rumpole Comments: It takes a special type of defense attorney to practice successfully north of the border. KO Morgan is that type of guy. Tough. Smart. Not afraid of prosecutors or bullying judges, KO is all about his clients.

Regarding Judge Collins’s comments to Mr. Morgan, the fact is that you CAN be obnoxious to a Judge in court. You shouldn’t be overtly obnoxious, but as far as we know there is nothing in the laws of physics that prevents an attorney from being obnoxious. Furthermore, taking Judge Collins's remarks literally, apparently it is ok to be obnoxious to a Judge out of court (which is why we still have our license).

Everybody has their own style. Our own personal style is to be so obsequious and nice to the judge who is being obnoxious to us that it is obvious to everyone with an IQ over 100 that we are really taunting the Judge. (Notice that for obvious reasons, while the clerk, client, and court reporter get what we are up to, the poor dear robed one, does not.)

However, we also fully believe that discretion is the better part of valor, and have successfully avoided telling Judges “go ahead and have me arrested” like Mr. Morgan did.

If there is one firm belief and standard that we have clung too during the good times and bad, it is that arrests are for clients…not attorneys.

The article notes that Morgan was reprimanded for making derogatory remarks about judges twice before.

Jeeze...we do that twice a week. That's why we remain anonymous.

Actually, we like most of the Judges in Dade County. We just like making fun of them more than we like them. (the real truth which we hope is plain to see is that we think most Judges in Dade do a good job. However it would so pain us to publicly admit that that we would rather just give then a good tweaking now and then anonymously. )

See You In Court.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

MULDOWNEY GOBBLEY GOOK

It has been reported to us that Elder Statesman Richard Hersch was in court the other day dealing with recalcitrant Judges on the Muldowney issue.

To recap: Muldowney was arrested for DUI and passed some flatulence at the exact same moment he blew into the Intoxilyzer 5000 machine. Muldowney challenged the admissibility of his breath test citing the well known “eructation doctrine”.


However, an astute Judge, realizing that the State of Florida just entered into a 4 billion dollar contract to replace the 10 Intoxilyzer 5000 machines with the more advanced Intoxilyzer 8000 machines (it comes bundled with an IPOD and an XBOX) declined to enforce the doctrine and instead ordered the State to “open the machine and prove it is not powered by a Gerbil on a wheel.” The State objected as is their wont when they smell a rat (or Gerbil) and a super powered team of DUI hotshots took up the case in Miami.

Sitting en banc (latin for bored but trying to look interested) a panel of hot shot DUI judges headed by Ed Newman took testimony from witnesses who ranged from a disgruntled nuclear engineer who was fired from Turkey Point for drinking on the job, to Ms. Cleo of 1-900 fame.


Lacking the famed Miami comradery for which the Miami Judiciary is well known (*cough cough*) the Judges decided to each issue an individual opinion. To make matters fun, the judges agreed that each opinion would be sufficiently different from every other opinion so that consistency (which Ralph Waldo Emerson called the hobgoblin of little minds) would be non-existent.
[ Rumpole’s note- this remark is intended to be read purely in the context of this post. Any resemblance to a hobgoblin of little minds and the Miami Judiciary is purely coincidental)

As to Mr. Elder-statesman Hersch: in response to the Judges' questions on Muldowney, certificates of appealability, and such, he was reported to have averred this in a clear and concise manner:

有一天我们将失去了我们的真实身份的线索成为这些报价. 们这种智能断和浆糊到谷歌翻译工具是可喜可贺. 但是,今天的日子不Clue.sorry.

So, having done our part to clear up the Muldowney confusion, we can now return to the work of the day.

One Of the Honeymooners wrote in with some positive smack:


Ed Norton said...
Good things you want? How about Judge Blake & F.A.C.D.L.-Miami working to make the REG a free wireless hotspot so you can use your laptops in the building?How about F.A.C.D.L.-Miami working with Judge Gill Freeman to move law books into the attorney's lounge to help with last minute research? How about F.A.C.D.L.'s work to ensure payment of court-appointed attorney's fees?And how about the work of Hersch, Catalano & Arias on the Muldowny issue? Even though some judges did not see the (infrared) light, they worked their butts off!It sounds like some people are doing good things in the building!


Rumpole replies that this is a good post about good things people are doing in our little corner of the legal world. However in regard to Judge Freeman's work, while well intentioned, providing law books to criminal attorneys is akin to providing a thought provoking book to President Bush-both will go un-opened. If she wants to provide something that will be well used, Judge Freeman should work on free internet access so that the criminal defense attorneys can visit their gambling or porn sites.

See You In Court with our Chinese-English dictionary.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

HEAT

FOR ONE DAY: NO REGJB LEGAL STUFF



WORLD CHAMPS!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

THE GODFATHER OF MIAMI

THE GODFATHER OF MIAMI: A RUMPOLE ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY.
[this scene covers the attempt of the Godfather to get Jeffrey Swartz an appointment as a Judge.]

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:

Tom Hagen-Gonzalez (personal attorney for the Godfather of Miami)

Jeff Swartz ( Latin name: “judicious desperatious”)

DON CORLEONE-MIAMI (the legal godfather of Miami).


CUT TO: The Don's office

SWARTZ: (as Tom Hagen-Gonzalez quietly enters the Don's office)
“A month ago he added Izzy Reyes’ name to the list of candidates for the Third DCA. If Izzy is appointed his circuit slot would be open for the next six years. It's perfect for a guy just like me. I uh -- I wouldn't even have to act -- just be myself. Oh, Godfather, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do.

DON CORLEONE-MIAMI
“You can act like a man! “
(then, after slapping Swartz in the face)
“What's the matter with you? Is this how you turned out? A Miami Beach
finocchio that ah cries like a woman? “

[ a county court judge enters the room]
DON CORLEONE-MIAMI (to Swartz, after glancing to see the judge enter)
“You spend time in court hearing cases?”

SWARTZ: “Sure I do.”
VITO CORLEONE-MIAMI :
“Good, cause’ a judge who doesn’t spend time in court can never be a real judge.”
(then, gets up and goes to Swartz)
“Come'ere. “ (holds open arms)
(then)

“You look terrible. I want you to eat. I want you to rest a while. And in a month from now, this – Tallahassee bigshot's gonna give you what you want. “

SWARTZ:
“It's too late, the nomination is in two weeks “

DON CORLEONE –MIAMI:
“I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse.”
(then)
“Now you just go outside and enjoy yourself, and ah, forget about all this nonsense. I want you to leave it all to me. “

VITO CORLEONE-MIAMI: (to Tom Hagen-Gonzalez) “If there’s nothing else, I’d like to go and enjoy my daughter’s wedding. We can discuss the rest when you get back from Tallahassee.

TOM (laughing)
"When am I going to Tallahassee? "

DON CORLEONE-MIAMI
“I want you to go tonight; I want you to talk to this – governor bigshot, and settle this business .”


NEXT SCENE:

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:

Tom Hagen-Gonzalez (personal attorney for the Godfather of Miami)

Governor Jeb “holly go lightly” Bush”


BUSH: “I’m sorry Tom, why didn’t you say you represent Don Corleone-Miami?

HAGEN-GONZALEZ: “I try not to use his name if possible.”

BUSH: let me show you around the governor’s mansion.

[The two men walk the stately grounds and then adjourn to a meal in the dining room.]

HAGEN-GONZALEZ: "Mr. Corleone-Miami is Swartz’s Godfather. To the Italian-Cuban people, that's a very religious, sacred, close relationship. "

BUSH:" I respect that; just tell him he should ask me anything else. But this is one favor I can't give him. "

HAGEN-GONZALEZ:" The Don doesn’t ask for a second favor once’s he’s been refused the first. "

[Gaffe: Waiter fills Hagen-Gonzalez’s wine glass twice, shown in two camera angles]

BUSH: “But this one I cannot do.”

HAGEN-GONZALEZ: Why?

BUSH: “No doubt that Izzy Reyes would be great on the Third DCA, but that Swartz guy does not get the circuit slot. That seat is perfect for him; it'll make him a big star. And I'm gonna run him out of the business, and let me tell you why.

HAGEN-GONZALEZ: Why?

BUSH: “Jeffrey Swartz ruined one of Florida’s most valuable branch courts.
For five years we had her under construction.
Painting, sculpting, carpeting, paneling, I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on that Miami Beach Branch Court.
I was gonna make that court a big star!
And let me be even more frank, just to show you that I'm not a hard-hearted man, and it's not all dollars and cents.

That court was beautiful;
that court was new;
that branch court was the greatest little branch court I ever built,
and I built em all over Florida.
And then Jeffrey Swartz comes along with his lox and bagels, and Opera.
And Swartz goes on NPR and tells the world that Judges in Miami sentence defendants to listen to opera just to make me look ridiculous.

[Bush standing up and shouting] And a man in my position can't afford to be made to look ridiculous!
Now you get the hell outta here! And if that gumbah tries any rough stuff, you tell him I ain't no band leader! Yeah, I heard that story....

HAGEN-GONZALEZ: " Thank you for a wonderful evening. If your driver could take me to the airport, Don Corleone-Miami is a man who insists on hearing bad news immediately."

[Hagen-Gonzalez nods, stands up, finishes wine in glass, places napkin on the table, and exits stage right. Scene fades out.]





Monday, June 19, 2006

REINVENTING REEMBERTO


Congratulations to Reemberto Diaz for his appointment to the Circuit Court. No truth to the rumor that the Governor Jeb “Holly go lightly” Bush bumped his head before calling Mr. Diaz. Some truth to the rumor that Reimberto was somewhere between Miami and Key Largo when his cell phone rang. (More about Rumpole and the Federal Public Defenders, infra. )

Condolences to Circuit Court Judge Israel Reyes. “Schwartzed” in his attempt to join the Third “PCA Affirmed” DCA, (Rothenberg concurs in an opinion in which the fourth amendment is ruled unconstitutional). Izzy could not have been thrilled when the former County Court Judge maneuvered himself into a free six year circuit slot riding the robes of Judge Reyes. More on this in an upcoming post.

RUMPOLE SIGHTINGS:

“Rumpole is in Key Largo”; “Rumpole is in Broward”; “Rumpole is in trial in Dade”; “Where’s Rumpole?

Rumpole never comments on where Rumpole exactly is at any one moment as “Rumpologists are too quick to try and deduce our identity.

As to the Federal Public Defenders and their conference at hoity toity Ocean Reef, lets just say that you probably will never see the Federal Public Defender and Rumpole having “elevenesses” together. There’s a long and sordid tale as to why Rumpole is persona non grata as far as the Federal Public Defenders go, but suffice to say that you would be more likely to find Rumpole welcome at the local bar getting his “buy 11 dozen chicken wings…get the 12th dozen free” card stamped, then mixing it up with a bunch of Feds at some club that wouldn’t have us if we had more money than Bill Gates.

“Muffy…what is that awful man doing in the club house?”
“I don’t know Winthrop…he’s one of those horrid criminal defense attorneys here for the weekend.”
“Well, call security because he’s eating all the cocktail franks.”


We occasionally wander into Federal Court, where despite the frowns our stained outer garments draw from the Judges and the Clerks, (not to mention the guffaws from the prosecutors) we manage to thump a few Feds right where their ego lives. However, our un-orthodox methods do not endear us to the Federal Public Defenders.

Who wants to spend their career arguing for downward departures all week long anyway?

As our famous countryman said: “Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.'' (Winston Churchill in a speech in 1941 to his old school Harrow)

This is a federal criminal system where a defendant can argue for a downward departure for “voluntarily disclosing an offense” where without the disclosure his crime would never have been discovered. See, 36million and something USC 12.blahblahah USSG..E=MC/2.

Voluntarily disclosing a crime gets you less time in Federal Court?

In state court it gets you a well deserved psych eval!

You can take your 36 volume sentencing manual, and your downward departures, and your flips, and snitches, and fancy CLE seminars and clubs that won’t have us and put it where… John Ashcroft would call it a crime against nature.

Give us a good drug case and a lying City of Miami Cop, or a battery on a Miami Beach Officer (query: How many Miami Beach Police Officers does it take to throw a defendant down a flight of stairs? None. “He fell.”) and let us have at it on cross examination without the worry that we will be indicted.

Go to any Magistrate 10:30 hearing downtown:
AUSA: Your honor, the defense has turned down a chance to cooperate and entered a plea of not guilty.
The Court: “Take counsel into custody.”


So, knowing all that, do you really think we were sipping gin and tonics with our friendly federal defenders? We know we’ve probably offended our favorite federal blogger David O Markus, but he’s a big boy, he can take it. And we are already setting aside time to read the long lecturing email from Judge Barzee formerly of the Federal Public Defenders office. So be it.

See you in the REAL courts this week.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

ALBERTO TAKES AIM AT JUDICIAL CONFERENCE!

Notice how quiet and orderly things have been in the REGJB this week?
NO JUDGES!!!


Most of our fair robed readers are at a judicial conference on the west coast of Florida.
Right in the path of hurricane/tropical storm Alberto.

For those of you worrying that the weather will effect the important work being done at the judicial conference, fear not. The bar staff has been outfitted with hand held shakers just in case the electricity goes out and the blenders cannot churn out the pina coladas so crucial to the work being done by our judiciary.

However, a possible Nobel Prize winning scientific theory has presented itself. We know this is a legal blog and science is a bit of an anathema to most of our readers, so we will try and explain this in terms even a circuit court judge could understand after a few hours of judicial training(drinking).


Hurricanes are low pressure systems that obtain energy (feed off of) from hot air and warm water.

With us so far?

What group of people collectively produce more hot air per cubic foot of ego?
JUDGES!!!

Hurricanes are drawn to the hot air that feeds them.
Hurricane Alberto is heading directly for the hot air which is a by-product of whenever you get together two lawyers who have donned the black robes and immediately become infallible.

Rumpole’s purely (un)scientific conclusion= HURRICANES ARE DRAWN TOWARDS GROUPS OF JUDGES!!!

NOBEL PRIZE WINNING SOLUTION:

In order to save civilization (we do important work here on this blog) whenever a hurricane threatens the US coastline, we propose that a group of judges from our eleventh judicial circuit be loaded on to a cruise ship and be asked to speak about their legal abilities. The cruise ship will then slowly lure the hurricane, which will be following the tremendous blasts of hot air, up the east coast into the arctic waters, where the frigid temperatures will overcome the hot air, and kill the hurricane.

Brilliant? Wait…there’s more.

While Governor Bush could declare a state of emergency and just load a bushel full of judges on to the cruise ship, the better (more humane) way to go is to just have the cruise ship put up a sign: “Free Food and Drink for Judges.”

Quicker than you can say “Court adjourned” you will have a sea of black robes lined up as far as the eye can see. Then you just give each one a microphone and ask them to give a spontaneous talk on how great they were as trial attorneys….and voila!!! Enough hot air to lure even the largest and cagiest hurricane up the east coast into frigid waters.

Rumpole (never the altruist) offers this idea not in the noble effort to save humanity, but rather because we are too cheap to buy hurricane shutters and a generator.

Plus….as this week has shown, things go a lot more smoothly when our favorite group of people are busy studying and learning how to say (una margarita por favor) “denied”!; “no more continuances”; “the state is correct”; “bond revoked”; “when I was a lawyer….”.

See you in court enjoying a pleasant and quiet week.

Monday, June 12, 2006

BLOG ATTACK

Anonymous frets:

Rumpole,
I saw the following post from I believe, "Super 'Koo Koo' Glue McGilllis" wrote:"Section 223(a)(1)(3), a federal criminal statute that prohibits anonymously using a telecommunications device to harass someone."

Then I saw this:"Nah. McGilllis is now a public figure. He is out of luck. If he does sue, the Rump will be uncovered.
Let's start a "Save Rumpole from being Sued" defense fund.
What say you?"
I am worried.
Let's protect the Blog.
Where do we send checks to keep Rumpole McGilllis free?
I looked at some of his many suits and I can see the probability of this Blog being sued.


Rumpole replies:

Unlike other super-heroes, we will not lose our powers if our mask is ripped off us. Some of our robed readers may take to denying bond or denying motions to suppress in some of our cases more often than they already do, and some attorneys may key our car in the REGJB parking lot, but other than that, we can handle it.

Of course this just applies to Dade County. Word has it that some Judges North of the Border have a “Wanted: Rumpole. Dead or alive” poster in their chambers. However, that is just one more good reason for us to err on the side of caution and refer our Broward cases elsewhere.

Within two weeks of the blog starting, we did an anonymous interview with Julie Kay of the DBR, and said something to the effect of being “mortified” if our identity was disclosed. We do not feel that way ( and have not for some time) anymore.

We think we have done some great posts, with some good writing. We have made our mistakes, and owned up to them. And we have always given the other side equal space to explain themselves. We are proud of our blog. It is true we would have to refrain from some of the less gentle jibes that we have given the judiciary ( and for which we know that many robed readers peruse this blog looking to see which of their brethren have been justly skewered ). But overall, we believe that Judges, lawyers, and even the odd defendant have been treated fairly and would not hold the blog against us.

On the other hand, there are those “learn to drive 18 wheelers and be your own boss” infomercials on at 3:00 am., that sometimes intrigue us.
Life’s great lesson is that as one door closes, another one opens.
(Either Buddah, or Sergeant Shutlz on Hogan’s Heroes.)

Also, it occurs to us that if we were somehow forced out of business, the Captain and the Riddler would pick up the slack. Maybe even Jason Grey would come out of retirement, lace up, crack his fingers, and begin posting again.

So….much like court costs and cockroaches,, one way or another, the blog would survive. Insidiously slipping like slime through the cracks of the authoritarian wall, the blog and its bloggers would continue to poke those who need poking the most. (robed readers, we are talking about you.)

We do take time to note that the very confident predictions of our favorite federal blogger David O Markus with a K and former FACDL president Brian Tannebaum, that we would be “quickly discovered” (or words to that effect) have been proven incorrect.
Of course, both Markus and Tannebaum predicted that the Heat would win in 4.
So much for their prescient powers.


We do not fear anyone! However, we would not like to have some half-wit pro se legal bull-dog on our butt. It would take away from the valuable time we have set aside for drinking château Miami River and avoiding bill collectors. So to the extent that anyone wants to harass us with subpoenas or threats, we hope they take the time to carefully read our humble blog and see the bit of humor and fun we have brought into the otherwise dull and dreary lives of those who labour in the REGJB.

For the moment, we request all interested contributors send their checks to the John Lipinski defense fund, c/o Sy Gaer, Miami, FL. (Sy is so well known that merely his name will get the post office to deliver the mail to him.)

See You In Court.

A STICKY SITUATION


OPERATION RESTORE JUSTICE UNSTUCK

Our favorite Herald scribe, Oh Susannah Nesmith (who recently promised to go to jail rather than reveal our identity [if we ever confided our identity in her as a source, which we have not] ) has “un stuck” the messy story around the website promoting the candidacy of APD Robin Faber.

The “sticky-wicket” was featured in a recent post on our humble blog. Operation restore justice is a web site with links to anti-Judge Ivan Hernandez and anti-Juan D’Arce stories in the Herald, DBR and other places. The website ends with a picture of Robin Faber and endorses his candidacy.

According to the article, the website is run by an unhappy litigant who appeared before Judge Ivan Hernandez in a “glue related” lawsuit that has wound its way up and down the appellate ladder to the Florida Supreme Court, and back, and may well be on its way back there again.

The website operator actually won his suit, but was a bit ‘un-stuck” when County Court Judge Ivan Hernandez did not award him costs of the litigation.

It appears Ivan Hernandez is “stuck” with this website for the time being.


And who said politics wasn’t all about money?

See you in court, where we always avoid glue-related litigation, with good reason.

Friday, June 09, 2006

ATTORNEY ARRESTED

AS the Herald reported today (and we held off since yesterday because we couldn’t confirm it) appellate specialist, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, Sy Gaer side-kick, and all around WMCA Good Guy (obscure northeastern radio reference) John Lipinsky was arrested Thursday for bringing Marijuana into the Dade County Jail.

It looks like its going to be a knowledge defense, and who better than Super Sy Gaer to come in, sans depos, and save the day?

Go gettem Sy- we like John and want to see him acquitted.


Special kudos for John L for bonding out, and appearing in court for a previously scheduled court hearing this afternoon. Couldn't have been easy.

See You In Court.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

FABER TAKES OFF THE GLOVES

WEB SITE ATTACKS JUDGE HERNANDEZ AND JUAN D'ARCE

JUAN D’ARCE ALLEGED TO HAVE FIRED BACK.

D’ARCE THREATENS LAWSUIT
AGAINST http://WWW.OPERATIONRESTOREJUSTICE.COM

D’ARCE “THREATS” MISSING SUBJECTS, NOUNS, VERBS AND PUNCTUATION . COLLEGE DEGREE QUESTIONED?


DRAMATIS PERSONAE:

Judge Ivan Hernandez. Vietnam Veteran. County Court Judge. Elected to replace a County Court Judge who got into a bit o’ hot water when he stopped to give a fetching young woman a ride home from work. Pit-Bull Janie Weintraub tore up the prosecution at the Judge’s trial for soliciting a prostitute, but the former Judge didn’t have the same luck at the polls.


(Trivia bonus question : Which DUI hot-shot also ran in that race but finished 3rd? )

Suspended JA Juan D’Arce. Needs no introduction to the careful readers of this blog.

APD Robin Faber. Public Defender in the Juvenile Division. Running against Judge Hernandez on the slogan “when honesty matters.”

operationrestorejustice.com: A Pro-Faber, anti-Henandez, anti-Juan D’Arce web site.


This web site has been posted on the comments section of our fair blog previously. One day, when our alcohol levels were sinking to dangerously low levels, we opened a bottle of Chateau Miami River and perused the blog and clicked on the link.

Lo- n- behold , we found a very entertaining web site, making the allegation that one Juan D’Arce had been visiting and sent them a threatening email.

Click here for the email: http://operationrestorejustice.com/Juan%20threatens%20to%20sue%20ORJ%20June%207%202006.pdf


Here is the text sent from a “Juan”: “When I sue you you won’t think it is so funny to slander So you want down and dirty and not nice. Good.”

Rumpole’s first thought was, for goodness sake, somebody give that guy a few punctuation marks. Loan him a period and a question mark, will ya?

Second thought: For all of D’Arce’s self-promoted legal skills, didn’t we all learn in law school that slander is said and libel is written?

Finally, the big kahunna of a question: Is Mr. Faber behind “Operation Restore Justice?”

Just when was this “operation” formed?
Will the “operation” be conducting any incursions into South Dade or Calle Ocho?
Does the "operation" have any operatives?

What “justice” has Judge Hernandez taken away that needs to be restored?

As we have opined repeatedly, the worst that can be said about Judge Hernandez is that his made a bad decision to hire someone and made a worse (but understandable) decision to stand by his JA? Doesn’t loyalty count for anything?

Who will Juan D’Arce be suing? Will long lost former “gun pointing on the bench” Judge Henry Ferro make the trek down from the wilds of Central Florida to file this barn-burner of a lawsuit?

Does anybody know?
Does anybody care?
(See how those question marks are placed Mr. D’Arce?
Try some punctuation. It’s fun.)

Only in Miami folks. That’s why we live and work here.

See You In Court scouting for the operation restore justice operatives.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

TRIVIA

ROUND TWO OF REGJB TRIVIA

1) Name the two Judges who have portraits hanging in courtrooms in the REGJB.
2) Identify the coutrooms.
3) Name the one famous defendant that one of the two judges sentenced to death and was executed.

BONUS: Name one of their bailiffs.

See You In Court.

PS: If you really want to claim a prize, send us an email before posting it. A prize suitable for framing or eating will arrive.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

CROSSES WE BEAR

MILLIAN’S THE NAME….CAMPAIGNING’S THE GAME.

Candidate Stephen Millian, much discussed in the posts, is alleged to have written in and said this (memo to candidates: use your email address to us directly- we can verify your identity and your post will be put up in total).

To the uninformed bloggers 5:18 and 5:40, I have never identified myself as Cuban. In fact, in every conversation, I have said that I am Puerto Rican and Italian. In fact, it is my wife who is Cuban, and thus that makes my children part Puerto Rican, Italian and Cuban. Moreover, since I am half Puerto Rican that makes me hispanic by blood. Under the federal rules dating back to before the civil war and taken from Europe, 1/32 of an ethnicity's blood made you part of that ethnicity. Obviously that was done for reasons of national purity as it related to the rights of inheritance. If you ever want to know just ask. Don't assume anything. In fact, I have always identified myself as hispanic from school to hiring to social activities. I grew up in a bi-cultural house and have that much more of a richer heritage to offer my children. As the subsequent post noted, if you like Mills- Francis and her uninvolved, unprofessional and unqualified judicial tenure then vote for her. I am sure you did when you filled out the bar poll or was that maybe when you saw her at some community event. What I am talking about is the ideal of what it means to be a judge. Anytime you wish to discuss that intelligently, call me,--Stephen Millan. I am in the phone book. or better yet just stop me in the courthouse rather than talking or blogging behind my back. Just for the record, my last name had an accent on the "a" but that was changed at Ellis Island. In Puerto Rico, all of my family has an accent over the "a". I specifically decided to not correct it since this was the name my parents gave me and I am proud of it. It is also the name that I have passed on to my children. I could have changed it but then again you would be complaining that I changed it as a form of racial pandering. Yes, my Spanish is not perfect and perhaps never will be but that does not mean that I will not keep on trying. Unfortunately, my parents and grandparents felt that it was more important to master English since they had been discriminated against for speaking their own native tongues. With my children, I have tried to correct this and my wife and I have taught them both languages from birth. Lastly, I am campaigning in all communities in our county. I have worked in them and volunteered in them before I ran for judge and will do so after. What has Judge Mills-Francis done in any of them. I am not pandering to any one ethnicity or segment of the community. I am campaigning in them all and I will earn their votes.


The recently departed Senator Lloyd Benson, was able to tap out this post before he assumed room temperature:

Rumpole...I knew David Markus, I worked with David Markus, David Markus was a friend of mine...and you sir, are no David Markus.


Rumpole climbs up on his soap box: (imagine speakers corner in Hyde Park in our home town of London)

To the moron(s) who are posting lyrics and lengthy copies of posts from on line encyclopedias: Let the word go forth from this day forward. We will bear any burden…pay any price… to insure the blessings of this blog.

We have more time than you do. We can erase your posts and there is nothing you can do about it. Keep wasting your time cutting and pasting and posting. It takes us about a second to erase it. We just hit one button. You will learn the lesson that dozens of prosecutors have learned before: you don’t want to mess with Rumpole.



Anonymous wrote in:

Rumpole, I saw David Young release a defendant on the special conditions that he attend AA and Weight Watchers. David Young is a true REGJB original and I love him for the way he cares about people. Any thoughts? I’d sign my name, but I don’t want to endure the inevitable posts suggesting that Judge Young sentence me to weight watchers as well.
Chunky.


Dear Chunky: It may not be legal, but we agree that it’s a great REGJB story.



SEEN IN THE REGJB THIS WEEK:

1) Ray Sarmiento. Welcome back Ray. Get right back on your horse and keep on truckin.

2) Former criminal defense attorney Tony Genova. We can’t extend the same warm greetings to Mr. Genova. A Sy Gaer wannabee who had neither the experience or talent of Sy to try cases the way he did. We have no idea if Mr. Genova has re-secured a law license. But if he has, we sincerely hope he amends the way he used to practice and puts in some time and work in any case he is hired on before he goes to trial. In our book (almost) everyone is entitled to a second chance, and we are willing to give Mr. Genova his second chance.


See You In Court.

Friday, June 02, 2006

CONFESSION


Confession: even we get burned out and have to stop reading the blog for a weekend. So we didn’t read our own blog this weekend, and returned to find a 144 comments as of the time of this writing.

To the person posting long comments in Spanish: Stop. You're just being a pest and we are going to delete the comments as soon as they go up once we start reading our own blog regularly again.

To the person re-posting our previous comments. Pretty ingenious. You, like us, must have a lot of time on your hands and no clients bugging you at work. Congratulations on joining the society of poor barristers.

To all the other allegations that we have not responded to, please be advised that silence does not equal acceptance. We actually have a client or two to defend this week and do not have the time to refute all of the scandalous accusations being made against us.


COHEN CONTRETEMPS?

Anonymous writes in about this:

According to the latest evidence from this Blog and I quote “Make no mistake about this: we will seek every opportunity to speak out against any person, Judge, lawyer, politician, whomever, who believes that a person's race, sex, or ethnicity, and not their individual qualifications makes them entitled to any job.” Thus, Rumple will lead or join Slom and Leifman at attacking Judge Cohen for her Anti-Hispanic remarks or go down in history as Anti-Hispanic Hypocrites who target Hispanics and Opposing Candidates when it is convenient. Also, did Slom or Leifman react to Judge Cohens comments in their official capacity as Administrators? They were both there and knew about it, did they call the Herald, DBR or JQC?


Rumpole responds: it appears the last two posts are related and concern remarks attributed to Judge JB Cohen when she was a county court judge. So that means the remarks are several years old. Furthermore, they may be out of context. And finally, several readers posted that the remarks were examined by the Cuban American Bar Association which did not find fault with Judge Cohen. That being said.....

If the remarks attributed to Judge Cohen are correct then we respond as follows:

1) any person is free to live in this country and speak or not speak any language they wish. Indeed the judiciary might be better served if some of them spoke less and listened a bit more. But then, these are Judges we're talking about, so what's the chance of that happening?

Judge Cohen’s remarks (if she said that) are fine for a person to believe in a personal context. The merits of whether a person should speak english in the US are open for debate.

However, as a Judge, she or any Judge should be strongly criticized for expressing such anti-american, anti-individual rights type of beliefs to a person who is in their courtroom appearing before them.

Who did she think she was, a Judge North Of the Border? A person in a criminal case comes to court to admit or challenge the charges, not receive a lecture on language or citizenship.

Maybe the person was dyslexic and could not learn another language. Any Judge who would berate a defendant for not knowing English should hang her head in shame because such conduct is not worthy of the robes they wear and their oath of office.


As to Slom and Leifman’s silence in that matter (if they were indeed silent) we believe that the Rules Of Ethics require an attorney or judge to turn in another attorney if they believe that attorney has violated the rules of ethics. Certainly if we were in court and witnessed such an outburst we would step forward as a witness in any JQC proceeding and inform the defendant’s attorney of our availability.

If the defendant was un-represented, then we would step forward ( as we have done in the past and as we have seen countless other defense attorneys in the REGJB do) and immediately come to the defense of the unrepresented individual.

The question is, if the County Court was not sitting en banc, how can anyone allege Slom and Leifman (who by the way are pictured in the post of December 22, 2005 as the Judicial Odd Couple) witnessed the incident.

See You In Court reading the blog on our phone to keep up with it.

MORE OF THE SAME

Rumpole opens the post for a plea: can some robed reader please follow in the fine traditions of Dade County and do something exceptionally stupid, ( as your kind is wont to do) so we can get off this tiring subject of race ipsa loquitor?

Until that happens, we defer to the Captain:

CAPTAIN RESPONDS:


TO NOT KOSHER - EAT'S PORK

Good question regarding Norma Lindsey. In fact Judge Lindsey was a member of the 3rd DCA JNC and her term ran from 2003-2007. Pork-eater asks then how can she be named a judge in 2006?

Answer is FS 43.291 (2), which reads: "A member of a judicial nominating commission is not eligible for appointment, during his or her term of office and for a period of 2 years thereafter, to any state judicial office for which that commission has the authority to make nominations.Therefore, she could not have been named to the 3rd DCA.TO 7:02 -

VACATION I wish I were on vacation and away from the heat and humidity, but I am committed to staying until the HEAT make the NBA Finals. [Rumpole can't help interjecting: You want to get away from the heat but you are staying because of the heat???]

TO 7:13 - HISPANICS % JUDGES: Wrong. But not by that much. You stated that the bench is comprised of less than 16% Hispanics.

Here are the true numbers on the bench in Miami-Dade County:

In CIRCUIT COURT there are a total of 75 judges:
There are 46 males (61%) and 29 females (39%).
There are 16 Hispanic judges (21%) and 6 black judges (8%).

Of the 5 Divisions, General, Family, Probate, Juvenile and Criminal, the largest concentration of Hispanic judges are in Criminal where 10 of the 25 judges (40%) are Hispanic.

In COUNTY COURT there are a total of 42 Judges:There are 16 males (38%) and 26 females (62%).There are 8 hispanic judges (19%) and 7 black judges (17%).

Of the 3 Divisions, Civil, Criminal, and Domestic Violence, the largest concentration of Hispanic judges are in Criminal where 4 of the 17 judges (24%) are Hispanic.

RUMPOLE:I would like to open the discussion on this issue that has been raised by the gender/race/ethnicity question:The Florida Bar, The Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Legislature, have all addressed the issue in the forming of committees, recommendations, mandates, even legislation, to address the issue as it is reflected on the numbers of judges sitting on the bench.

Question: Should the judiciary reflect the composition of the voters of that community?

Question: Should the judiciary reflect the composition of the lawyers in that community?We all agree that judges should be well qualified, know the law, have experience; nobody will argue those basic principles. But, if the lawyers living in Dade County are 28% Hispanic, for example, should the judiciary in Dade County be 28% Hispanic? Or should the bench reflect the % of Hispanic voters in Dade County, who are more than 50% Hispanic?

In Susannah Nesmith's article on Wednesday, either she or Judge Slom incorrectly states that woman are under represented on the bench. The exact quote was, “Slom suspects that D'Arce recruited Cecilia Armenteros-Chavez to run against him because as a Hispanic woman, she has a perceived advantage in a county where Hispanics and women are still underrepresented on the bench.”

Completely inaccurate, Ms. Nesmith. The County Court numbers are actually quite shocking where 62% of the sitting judges are female. In 1970, females represented 3% of all lawyers. In 2000, they were 27% and in 2006 they are 32% of the members of the Florida Bar. Currently, females make up 44% of all law schools students. At 62%, they are way ahead. This is certainly not to say that those serving are not qualified; but the numbers are the numbers.

And so, I open the discussion to those fellow REGJB bloggers; let’s have some intelligent conversation about the issue of gender/race/ethnicity on the bench..........

AND THE CAPTAIN HAS SPOKEN ......


Rumpole replies: It is the height of altruistic ethics and collectivist politics to insist that the judiciary reflect the make-up of the community. How would anyone feel if the heart surgeon about to operate on them or their spouse or child was selected to perform the operation because of their gender or ethnicity as opposed to their ability?

Let us take you back to March, 1939, the White House.
War is looming. Large and new social issues are about to explode in the courts for the next three decades.
President Roosevelt leans back in his rocking chair and reviews the list of nominees to the Supreme Court Vacancy. His dog Fala wags her tail at his side.

Roosevelt shakes his head sadly and says to Eleanor:
“I know you think this William Douglas chap has all the makings of a fine Justice, but we can’t appoint another white male from Minnesota to the Court. Get me someone else.”


The point is that no rational human would choose a heart surgeon, or an attorney, or a car mechanic based on race or gender. Rational beings choose the best they can find or afford. Why would we ever choose any Judge other than the best qualified attorney available? The inequalities of 200+ years of racism in our country cannot be addressed or overcome by altruistic/collectivist ethics.

Nor would any potential Judge of quality and ability wished to be appointed by any standard other than their ability.

Want to know why the judiciary has the problems we talk about on this blog Ad Infinitem? Just look how they got there.

It’s clear who has the ability to do the job and who doesn’t. You find a judge who spent ten or fifteen years at the SAO or the PD’s office trying cases for low pay, and generally you will find a competent and well respected Judge. You find a Judge who coozied up to Bush through some religious or right-wing political organization, and you will find a judge who can’t get through an arraignment calendar in 4 hours.

See You In Court, the odds being we are stuck in a 4 hour arraignment calendar.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

LIGHTEN UP FRANCIS

In an effort to tone down the rhetoric (which we admittedly stirred up) we close out the day with Rumpole’s new” REGJB TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE DAY:

In honor of the topic of elections, our trivia subject is: REGJB Judicial Elections.

Two Questions. First Post with both right wins valuable prizes.
No purchase necessary.
Void where prohibited by law, good manners, and common sense.

1) A) Name the current judge who won election during which this campaign literature was released: “When the going gets tough…[blank] goes golfing.”
B) Name the current assistant state attorney who got blindsided by this election literature.

2) In honor of Judge Slom’s current victory: A) Name the current sitting Judge who won election (not re-election like Slom) when the other candidate dropped out.
B) Name the candidate who dropped out and what they did instead.

(you thought this was going to be easy? You have to earn your “valuable prizes.”)

The current judges mentioned (who we darn well know read the blog) should refrain from answering out of a judicial respect for fair play and sportsmanship.


See You In Court with all the answers as usual.

Current employees of Rumpole, the blog, or the subjects the trivia questions are not eligible to play.

IN DEFENSE OF D'ARCE

EQUAL TIME:

Several readers wrote in to defend D’Arce, and one post is re-published below. What we find a little strange is that the furor this has caused has apparently affected some people’s ability to read. We were very careful to always refer to the anti-semitic comments as ALLEGATIONS. For those of you new to the field of law, ALLEGATIONS CAN BE REFUTED.


When ALLEGATIONS were made that Judge Slom conspired, combined, and confederated with the State Attorneys Office during the legislative session, Judge Slom promptly responded, defending his actions and citing to the rules of ethics as to what a Judge is allowed to do.

D’Arce’s supporters, ignoring the posts we published strongly critical of the North of the Border Judges who were blatantly anti-hispanic, have seen fit to just label us anti-hispanic.

We have no idea who “Kevin” is who posted the below response. We invite D’Arce and anyone else who has something to say on his behalf to respond. We also STRONGLY ENCOURAGE Judicial Candidate Gonzalez to respond about whether he knows anything about these allegations regarding D’Arce and how he feels having D’Arce run his campaign.




Kevin said...
I have known Juan D'Arce for a few years now. I am a Jewish-American-Hispanic and not once has race or religion ever been an issue. Any one who knows Juan more personally would know right away that this is just an outright lie (Juan Being a Racist). Juan has been to my house several times to celebrate different Holidays (both Jewish and Gentile), and not once have I felt uncomfortable, intimidated, or even demoralized by him. I thought it would be fairly obvious right now that someone in power is trying to get Juan, Judge Hernandez, and many other people in hot water for their own personal gain, and nothing else. Both Juan D'arce and Judge Hernandez are extremely valuable assets to our community and the entire Judicial System. Now we just need to uncover the mystery of why someone, on the internet, who will not reveal his real name, truely hates D'Arce so much.

Rumpole responds: We don't hate D'Arce. We hate the idea that he believes he can intimidate Judges by running hispanic candidates against them. Ask most judges in the REGJB and they will give you a story about this guy. The alleged anti-semitic remark is shocking and disturbing, but fits right in with a person who makes decisions based on race and heritage and not competence.

Make no mistake about this: we will seek every opportunity to speak out against any person, Judge, lawyer, politican, whomever, who believes that a person's race, sex, or ethnicity, and not their individual qualifications makes them entitled to any job.

In Miami, D'Arce is the poster boy for ethnic politics and we find that disgusting. He can disavow these charges, but his current actions speak louder than any words he could utter. Furthermore, his use of ethnicity to influence elections is not based against the dog catcher, or the school board, or even the Mayor's race, but against the judiciary. An independent judiciary is the cornerstone of freedom in this country. Kevin, you claim to be of Jewish heritage. How would you feel if you were living in Berlin in 1935 and the last hope of protecting individual rights was vested in an independent judiciary that was being targeted because some of them were Jewish?This may not be Berlin 1935, but if you look around, its not much fun to be a Muslim in America these days. And the last thing any of us wants is a judiciary that can be intimidated because of race.



A Fan writes:


I am embarrassed that Rumpole claims to be a Defense Attorney. Since you have so much time writing this gossip column, you must have little to no practice. [Rumpole notes: tis true. careful readers of this blog note our common complaints about how little the phone rings, outside of bill collectors. But why should that bother you?]

It is curious that the defense attorneys you rail against seem to be the one's with the most successful practice. [Rail? Us? nah.] Most blogs largely unsubstantiated rumors. [Umm...missing some verb or noun or subject in this last sentence.]
Here, however, you promote bald-faced lies and character assassination. Get a life. [Unfortunately dear reader, you are reading our sad and sorrid little life.]

Perhaps your growth was stunted in high school and you need to attack others to make you and your supposed clique cool. [We have no clique. 1) we are anonymous. 2) no one likes us. 3) we like to pretend we're rugged individualists.]
Sad, because this kind of a blog could have been constructive instead of a forum of invective and bullshit. [Buck up old chap. Life is too short to be sad over this. You're taking this all a bit too seriously.]

Rumpole responds further: dear Mom, we have asked you several times to not interfere with our blog.



A reader opines:

You cannot condemn D'Arce without condemning his employer, Judge Hernandez.In any event, all of this griping about ethnic politics is a red-herring. The real issue is whether a court employee should recieve remuneration for assisting in the unseating of a judge. This is what D'Arce is doing... he is using his insider status to earn money. Whether the actual "work" is on or off the job is irrelevant. If D'Arce quit as a JA, he could push anyone he wanted and criticise anyone he wanted.Again, his politics and ethnicity are irrelevant. His ethics, or lack thereof, certainly matter.

Rumpole notes that for some strange reason ( or actually because he was very fair in trial) we will be voting for Judge Ivan Hernandez. We believe in competence and outside of his hiring practices, he was a very good and competent judge, and in the end, that matters most to us.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Regarding Judge James Adams who was “foolin around” with an attorney who appeared before him, we were reminded of a quote by a favorite comedian known to us as Alan Konigsberg (known to the less literate among us as Woody Allen) which we paraphrase here:

Regarding the attorney who was sleeping with Judge Adams: “At least she got to do to him at night what he was doing to the rest of the world during the day.”

See You In Court.