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, January 02, 2007

PROSECUTOR ARRESTED

It is with sadness that we confirm that ASA George Cholakis was arrested
( F07-0001 ) for DUI serious bodily injury on New Year's Eve. The Herald web site has a copy of the two page arrest report.

Mr. Cholakis is alleged to have driven a motor vehicle that struck and injured

two individuals who were on a scooter.

Mr. Cholakis is alleged have refused roadside field sobriety tests and a request that he provide breath and blood samples.

There are some posts in the comments section that gloat over this arrest.
Those feelings are misplaced.

Lawyers like Mr. Cholakis who spend a good deal of their career as prosecutors are dedicated public servants who have chosen a career without regard to financial remuneration. We may not appreciate the hard line someone like Mr. Cholakis may have taken in the past with a client we have represented, but as citizens of this county, we appreciate his dedication to making our city safer.


Real professionals can separate their personal and professional feelings.

We are however troubled by the allegation that Mr. Cholakis refused roadside sobriety exercises and that he refused to provide a breath test and a blood test.

The quick advice given out by DUI lawyers at cocktail parties is to refuse testing if you believe you are impaired. However, the real issue here, at least as it applies to the breath and blood tests, is that every citizen who accepts the privilege to drive in Florida gives implied consent to have their breath, blood, or urine tested if an officer believes they are impaired.

While we fully support the presumption that Mr. Cholakis is innocent until proven otherwise, we remain troubled by his failure, both as a prosecutor, a lawyer who is an officer of the court, and a citizen of the State Of Florida, to live up to his end of this agreement.


Of course, many people are alleged to have refused to provide a breath sample, only to have the truth reveal otherwise. We hope this is the case here. Certainly, not everything (many times hardly anything) an officer writes in an arrest report has anything to do with the true facts of the case.

However, regardless of how the case turns out-even if Mr. Cholakis is acquitted or even if a prosecutor declines to file charges based on the evidence- we would be troubled if it turns out he did refuse a lawful request to test his breath or blood.



Not a great way to start off the new year.

See You In Court.

121 comments:

thetruth said...

Your comments regarding Mr. Cholakis' alleged failure to give evidence to the government is shocking.

Anonymous said...

One must have frequented Miami Beach to truly appreciate the brazen attitude scateboarders, moped drivers, taxi drivers, bike riders and pedestrians have with their total LACK OF RESPECT for operators of cars. They have NO respect or adherence to traffic laws in general, particularly tourists and especially foreign visitors/residents. So one cannot assume that Chilotis negligently struck this moped- what were the lighting conditions, did they veer into him, why are two people on a moped, were THEY drunk. Even if he was drunk maybe he is guilty of a misdemeanor and not felony. I have to avoid hitting someone on a scateboard, bicycle, moped DAILY on the beach. How would you like to be driving the speed limit on one of the only main roads on the beach and an asshole on a scateboard is coming at you in the middle of the road. one rock, one mistake and he goes straight into the front of your car. None of this is enforced on the beach. I've lost track of how many people race through the streets on rented mopeds down here on vacation, usually in packs of four mopeds or more. So maybe Chilotis has a defense- I say again- what are two people doing on a moped on New Year's eve on a major road in the first place.

Anonymous said...

HEY RUMP; as a self-proclaimed defense attorney I guess you can take yourself off the list of people to defend the asa, why? it seems like a court tv prospect. If you care about chilotis then why not recommend an attorney to him who the SAO FEARS - AN ATTORNEY that when he has a case the sao has 5-10 attorneys line up against him. Now that Rubin is dead that attorney is- dun dun dunah! the one , the only, naptali,no hidnert, no wait a minute, reizenstein. Okay time to get serious: only one attorney can do the job: still da man: ROY BLACK. other nominees?

Anonymous said...

Uhhh.... driving?

Rumpole said...

Truth- listen- as a Lawyer, I would not want my client to give evidence to the government. However, no lawyer can counsel his client to break the law. Failure to provide a breath/blood test is a violation of the law. As far as I know, there is no legal obligation to perform roadside sobriety exercises. Thus, I would tell my client NOT to do those tests.

I distinguish Mr. Cholakis two ways: 1) as my client, I want him to give as little evidence as possible.
2) As a prosecutor and lawyer, I hold him to a higher standard.

For instance: Say the moon turns blue and I am the state attorney. I would not FIRE Mr. Cholakis for getting arrested, but I may well fire him for not blowing.
The distinction seem slight, but to me it makes sense. I would not fire Mr. Cholakis for getting arrested because he may be acquitted. But if he was acquitted because in part he violated the law by not giving breath and blood, then I am firing him. See?

Anonymous said...

It looks like he might win his dmv hearing as the arrest affidavit appears to be unsworn.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
It looks like he might win his dmv hearing as the arrest affidavit appears to be unsworn.


WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER

Anonymous said...

2007 A MIDGET WILL FLY WITH BALOONS

Only on SIRRUS Howard 100 and Howard 101

Anonymous said...

get me bruce fleisher says mr. cholakis.

Anonymous said...

I say if Walter Reynoso is good enough for D-Train Dontrelle Willis, he is good enough for Cholakis.

Reynoso is number 2 on the last DUI Power rankings listed on this blog every Sunday.

Anonymous said...

walter's sister married the d-train. that is why he got the case. lets not get carried away.
nice guy but not a trial lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Q? Reynoso? Q???? Reynoso?????


Fear The Q
Respect the Q


close your eyes.....become the Q.

Anonymous said...

Hey EVEN, who went to Vegas for New Years?

eVEN sTEVEN said...

TWO very happy fellas.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Rumpole, I am surprised at you. When you stated in a post, "Failure to provide a breath/blood test is a violation of the law."; you once again revealed that you have not been studying your law books lately.

F.S. 316.1939: REFUSAL TO SUBMIT

In short, Horace, it is only a violation of the law, and a first degree misdemeanor, if Mr. Cholakis has previously had his license suspended for failure to submit to a lawful test, and then failed to submit to a lawful test in this situation (ie: a second refusal).

A first time refusal is NOT a violation of the law. It may be an administrative violation and he may be subject to an administrative license suspension, after a Formal Hearing before the infamous Hearing Officers at the DHSMV, but it is NOT a violation of the law. (I am assuming that Mr. Cholakis has not previously been suspended for a refusal).

So, Horace, back to the FSA's for you.

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

Anonymous said...

Even
you sniff the jocks of lawyers. not so cool.

Anonymous said...

If he is smart, he will hire, Hersch, Catalano or Reiff.

Catalano just got DMV to pay him $38,000 in attorneys fees.

I feel sorry for the guy. What a sad way to start the new year.

The bad news is that they will appoint the Broward SAO to prosecute and he will get fired.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

It wasn't Hersch, Catlano or Reiff that pointed out the Rumpole flub.

CAPTAIN OUT ....

Anonymous said...

If last blogger is correct Chilotis and his attorney need to watch out for a maggot named John Countryman who does the governor's dirty works on special cases. Don't trust anything this guy does. Unfortunately for Mr. Chilotis is that governor appointed special prosecutors are worse than federal prosecutors and have NO ETHICS OR COMPASSION. So you better hire a heavy hitter with high profile media attention experience which rules out catalano. I wouldn't be surprised if court tv follows this like the drunk pilot case. good luck. you need it.Hopefully he won't let the media attention cause him to do what A.Teele did.

Anonymous said...

Hersh is a joke, he should go fly a kite, or plane or whatever. Catalano...the same. What is up with these guys and airplanes, maybe it is the only way they can reach thier egos. Reiff is good, this may be a great case for him because of his mad skillz with legal issues.

Anonymous said...

I think El Capitan should have a shot at the case. He seems to know his sh-- on DUI's.

Anonymous said...

this just in from the facdl listserve. david o markus responds to someone gloating:

"Given that a member of the bar has been arrested and two people are seriously hurt, I do not think FACDL-Miami should take any pleasure in this circumstance. We are committed to helping people, especially other members of the bar, when they find themselves fighting for their liberty."

well said. and he ain't bitching that the dude refused like reumpy

Anonymous said...

G. Cholakis remains an outstanding lawyer, no matter what the allegations are. Remember, there has not been a pre-file and formal charges have not been filed!
"he who is without sin, throw the first stone..." Cholakis is not the only attorney within our Justice Building that has been arrested for DUI. Does anyone remember that Catalano was arrested and "ran home" and cried "SAFE" in his own driveway? What about Robert Pelier, passed out, drunk at the wheel, with vommit all over his clothes? These two are just to name a few. Cholakis was correct in refusing, he's not an idiot! Too bad that the State Attorneys Office has a dumb line of firing attorneys that have been accused of felonies. Cholakis was a great public servant. The citizens of Miami-Dade county are now at a loss.
I hope George doesnt disappear from our hallways. He would be greatly missed. He always treated attorneys with respect, he investigated his cases along with the police officers/detectives, he gave me plenty of advice as a young prosecutor, and even though I am now on the defense side, he remained a great friend, great instructor and always remembered each and every member of my family and asked about them. He is INNOCENT until proven guilty, but even if he was impaired, people make mistakes and should be forgiven.

Anonymous said...

So EVEN, both married, how'd they get away from their ives for New Years?

Anonymous said...

Captain said:

"F.S. 316.1939: REFUSAL TO SUBMIT

In short, Horace, it is only a violation of the law, and a first degree misdemeanor, if Mr. Cholakis has previously had his license suspended for failure to submit to a lawful test, and then failed to submit to a lawful test in this situation (ie: a second refusal)."

wow and I thought the Captain was nothing but a too bit hack lawyer.

Good work captain!

Anonymous said...

helping people especially members of the bar...? why should we give special attention to a prosecutor who speeds while he drives drunk? prosecutors must be held to account when they brake the law. after all, they rightly put others in prison for doing the same. if he is guilty, and i presume he is not, he should be punished harshly.

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain, "a too bit hack lawyer"; I'll have you know - I passed the bar on my first try.

Actually, 7:08, thanks for the compliment. I do try and keep up on my DUI law.

CAPTAIN OUT ......

Anonymous said...

To 7:08 - "Brake the Law" LOL

Was that supposed to be a pun since we are dealing with a failure to BRAKE for the scooter!

Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the power of friendship. Cholakis is drinking buddies with a lot of MBPD officers. Required to arrest him under the alleged circumstances, yes. Required to notarize the A-Form, no. Required to draw blood involuntarily with reasonable force due to serious bodily injury to another, no. And to 6:35 I say: you may not like their personalities or approaches to handling cases, but both Hersch and Catalano happen to be among the best DUI attorneys

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Cholakis is a serious drinker? Is he known for boozing it up?

Anonymous said...

Was KFR really at the scene?!

Anonymous said...

KFR was NOT on the scene....please! MBPD would have had to arrest KFR herself, if she showed up on scene!
No, another ASA showed up on scene, she did was she was supposed to do.
As for the Arrest Form not being sworn to....a bunch of B.S.! Look at the "filed" A-Form....it was sworn to. Check your facts. By the way, the one in the Herald was not the one filed at the time of booking. George has friends at MBPD, but this arrest has no bearing on his friendship there. It is a sad occasion for all involved.

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting that KFR would have been DUI on NYE?!

Rumpole said...

DUI is not my Mileu. However, regardless of whether a charge can be filed, every Florida driver agrees to implied consent.

Now El Capitan, let me be clear- as a defense lawyer consulted on the case, I want my client to do nothing. As a two bit commentator on REGJB stuff, I believe prosecutors and for that matter lawyers should be held to a higher standard. Especially prosecutors. With great power comes great responsibility. Did Mr. Cholakis every prosecute a DUI or felony DUI? I don't know. But if I was the State Attorney, while I would not fire him for getting arrested, I would fire him, even if he was acquitted, if legally it is determined he was properly asked to provide a breath or blood sample and he refused. Prosecutors must not only uphold the law, but obey the law as well.

Anonymous said...

I just ran Mr. Cholakis' name in google and it looks like years ago he prosecuted a DUI case where a UM law student was killed!

Anonymous said...

6:50 said-He is INNOCENT until proven guilty, but even if he was impaired, people make mistakes and should be forgiven.

I say- what about my 70 year old client without one ticket who ran a light and killed a girl and was impaired and the victims next of kin demanded and demanded top of the guidelines. Why can't he be forgiven for a mistake and be let out of prison?

Guidelines for DUI with serious injury, and I am assuming a loss of leg or close to it is a serious injury, requires prison. Who wants to set the double standard here?

This is a great and horrible tragedy. I feel awful for Mr. Cholakis. But are we not a government of laws and not men?

Personally, I say give the guy a break. The problem is we have legislated breaks away, taken all discretion away from Judges. How many young people are doing time on drug minimum mandatories for first offenses? At some point in time we need to change the way we view punishment. Perhaps Mr. Cholakis's case is a good case to start, because his case shows us we are all human and all able to make momentary serious mistakes in judgment. Is it worth ruining a life over? The answer is that Judges and prosecutors following legislative guidelines do it every day.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone know if Cholakis is a serious drinker? Is he known for boozing it up?"

Thankfully, this blog allows you, and me, to write in anonymously and say anything. Some of you use it as an opportunity to assasinate people at will. None of you who do this would ever have the guts to say any of these things in person. You are miserable people, and as probably all are members of the bar, you are a disgrace to this profession.

Every post on this blog spirals down to the gutter at the mention of any lawyer. The good ones are egomaniacs who make too much money and drive too nice a car, or god forbid, as I just read, have airplanes.

The ones who practice DUI or traffic tickets or take court appointments are bottom feeders.

George, good luck. I hope you come through this with some dignity. I hope that if you lose your job as a prosecutor and/or are held accountable for this arrest, that you go on with your life and remain the gentleman you have always been. I hope the victims are ok, and I know you hope so too, and not just because it may make your plight easier.

The rest of you, grow the f up. Enough already.

abe laeser said...

Rumpole,
Shame on you! You did not get confused about the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and the standard of reasonable doubt, did you?

George may have acted wrongly, but I doubt if a Miami Herald article or an A-form would be enough to convict your clients. Let us not pre-judge.

He is a friend, a mensch, and a fellow prosecutor. In his personal life, there is no higher standard than for the rest of society. He is mortal. Perhaps he needs professional intervention -- or not. Perhaps it is a matter for the Bar Assistance program -- or not. The facts will help me decide.

He does not deserve a lower standard because he has devoted 16 years of his life to a battle in which he believes. If the lowest of the low deserve a break - a second chance after their first transgression; please justify why someone who has tried to lead an exemplary public and private life should be treated more poorly.

If he is found guilty, and the victims injuries are as severe as I have been told, I will stand beside my friend and urge the least onerous punishment possible. We judge both the crime and the defendant. George deserves that consideration in both the courtroom and in your writings.

He does NOT deserve to be chastised for making a legal decision on New Year's Eve concerning his personal life. And you, Rumpole, should never criticize anyone for exercising what they believe to be their rights.

I say again, shame on you!

Anonymous said...

so the rest of the world can refuse but not an asa????...that is so two faced

Anonymous said...

2 Pilots go to prison for attempting to fly while drunk. Chilotis - you are in deep deep shit because how can they justify giving you a slap on the wrist when you hurt 2 people and they put pilots in prison where no one hurt. GET YOURSELF THE BEST LAWYER YOU CAN. This is the type of case COURT TV loves, they love and cover Miami all the time. Shell out the cash and get a GREAT LAWYER, not a misdemeanor dui lawyer, a GREAT TRIAL LAWYER because you are in deep shit.

Anonymous said...

Mr./Ms. 3:39:05PM--

As a Miami Beach resident and avid pedestrian, runner, biker, and rollerblader, I take offense to your post. You should get out of your car and use some zero-CO2 emission method of transportation! It's you drivers, wedded to your gas-guzzling, internal combustion agents of destruction, who need to change your behavior, not us bikers and pedestrians!

Anonymous said...

George is a good man...This whole thing is a terrible disaster.

Anonymous said...

8:58:18 you have some nerve. you are truly arrogant!

Anonymous said...

8:58 here again, you have trouble understanding the post genius?

My comments were referring to what OTHERS think, not me. Read it again. I accept your apology Einstein.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:11 How do you get to work, sporting events, broward on a case etc. Gey your faggedy rollerblading ass out of my street or I will run your ass over.

Rumpole said...

Abe
Piss OFF.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Laeser,
Quite the stirring speech. Do you appear in court often in DUI sentencings to suggest leniency? Funny, I've never seen you do that. For all the genuflecting done in your direction by both defense attorneys and prosecutors on this blog, you're still just a hypocrite that thinks his crony should be treated differently.

You are showing your true colors. "It's a government of laws, and not men, as long as the laws don't negatively impact a friend." Compassionate, but WRONG. If he's guilty, he should get what the typical defendant in a DUI/injury case gets, and not a day less. Leniency is NOT the policy of the SAO...why start now?

Anonymous said...

9:30:13PM--

First, you might perhaps want to learn to spell your homophobic insults before you type them.

Second, I would gladly sacrifice my "faggedy rollerblading ass" to your internal combustion agent of destruction if it meant that you would go to jail for a long time, with the penalties enhanced what with it being a hate crime and all...

Third, it amazes me that seven years of higher education taught you nothing about respecting others, minority groups, and our precious environment.

Fourth, what with all my rollerblading, biking, and running, I'm quite sure that my "faggedy rollerblading ass" could kick your fat, cottage cheese-consistency, out of shape ass, even though I wouldn't want to do it, because it might mean that I would A) ruin my manicure, and B) have to catch an actual glimpse of your ass, covered with hemorroids and besmirched with bed sores from sitting in your CAR all day long.

Fifth, get up and move. And hug a tree. Maybe kiss a man too. You might like it:)

Rumpole said...

Mr. Laeser- I greatly admire and respect you. I would not doubt for one second that you would stand by your friend.

Put aside your friendship. The LAW requires people provide a breath sample when lawfully requested to do so. I am not aware of any authority that says you can follow some laws but not other laws even when everyone else appears to not be following the law.

I would not sentence Mr. Cholakis to more time in prison or any harsher sanction for not blowing. But as I said, if I was the state attorney 1- I would not fire him merely for getting arrested, or charged for that matter.2- I would fire him even if he was acquitted, for not giving a breath sample if he was properly requested to do so.

Mr. Cholakis did NOT exercise a legal right not to provide a breath sample. He merely exercised an option that is not legal- only an option that the courts and laws of Florida have allowed to exist. Namely that they will not hold you down and stick a needle up your ass in every DUI case. However, as I read Schmerber v. California, the Supreme Court has said such laws- obtaining blood samples involuntarily, are legal. Indeed, in serious bodily injury cases, the law does provide for an involuntary blood draw.

I have handled DUI mansalughter cases. Good people, who led almost perfect lives. People who did not have a problem, but made a tragic mistake. And when someone died, your office, time and again, asked for the guidelines- somwhere between 8-10 years, depending on the facts. Good people all- who were not given second chances.

You get your office to dump the political pressure from MADD and agree with John Hogan- who once personally told me that he did not see any difference between a DUI and a DUI manslaughter except for bad circumstances, and that 364 was sufficient for a DUI manslaughter- and I will be the first to agree. Far too many people are in jail because the law, and not the facts or circumstances require it.

I do not remember the name of that young man who killed his child after he was brain injured. A mercy killing. But he received the 25 year min man because that was the law. I know you remmeber that case. You were the prosecutor. Griffin or something like that. The son of a notorious pornographer if I remember. I cannot imagine letting a member of my family that I loved live like that. I may well have done the same thing he did under the same circumstnaces. And neither of us are killers. Yet he didn't get a break, because the law didn't give the Judge the chance to give him one.

As a lawyer and a colleague, not really a friend, I am shocked and saddened at what has happened. You better believe if Mr. Cholakis hired me I would do everything I could legally to win the case, certain that he would take full advantage of any second chance I could get for him.

But as a commentator, for what it's worth, I felt compelled to write about the refusal. And if you carefully read what I wrote, I wrote that ALL lawyers, as officers of the court, should be held to a higher standard. The Feds do. The federal guidelines enhance sentences committed by those who should know better, precisely because they should know better.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Rumpole!

abe laeser said...

Sure, I am the hypocrite because I will stand by a friend in need. What a fool I have been all of these years to think that people in high places should be abandoned by all. Nope, I will be there for him. I know him as a man, and the Court should know that, as well.

Not treated differently, just have those who care say their piece before sentencing. My office will not be handling the case + I would appear only as a friend.

Next, I am absolutely certain that his job is lost. His choices about breath tests / physical tests / and blood tests undoubtedly have sealed his fate - without regard to the lawfulness of those decisions. In fact, if convicted as charged, the most dire of consequences will follow - made even worse by his being a prosecutor. In short, his life would be over. Part of the price he will pay will be because he is held to such a high standard of conduct -- one cannot become an example for others unless the 'others' know that the mighty, too, can fall.

As an aside, as to Charles Griffith, my offer was Manslaughter and 12 years - concerrent with the 10 years he had already received for probation violations for having a firearm. He rejected it + the case went to trial on a charge of 1/D/M. Years later I conceded error on the Rule 3.850 and a new sentence was negotiated by me which resulted in his release from prison.

I am hurting for George, but also understand that others were very seriously injured. They will have their champions in Court. If at all, I can only talk about the George Cholakis who has been a different man for all but a few moments of his life. He will be punished for those moments. I will be there for him, if asked. Friendship is not hypocrisy.

Rumpole said...

We both recognize the distinction between the job of lawyer- prosecutor or defense attorney, and what a friend does for another friend.

I hope and pray that no matter the outcome, that his life is not over. Life has more imagination than we do. As I wrote earlier, these feelings are the special agony of this crime- which finds that more often than not, both the accused and the injured are good and otherwise law abiding people.

thetruth said...

Abe 2 Rumpole 0

Anonymous said...

abe/rumpole
hold hands and repeat after me: i am your friend. i would stand by you if you were in peril. i love you. give me a kiss. nite nite.

Anonymous said...

9:30 You OWE AN APOLOGY to all residents of the state of Wisconsin for your hate crime of denigrating the COTTAGE cheese industry . How dare you criticize a healthy natural product. Isn't your criticism as a health nut environmentalist misplaced by impugning the integrity of all those who labor to produce this healthy food product consumed by millions of americans. Your comments have insulted all dairy product imbibers and you should be ashamed of yourself. To attack a white pure product- you obviously are a hate monger and probably latino and anti-white or an inter-racial mix ashamed of your identity. You want to be pure white and can't be so you attack a product that epitomizes whitehood-cottage cheese. What is next- milk and sour cream. I can out argue anyone anywhere on anything and that is why I was a trial god.

Anonymous said...

Cottage cheese is great in my mouth, just bad on some fat, CO2-spewing defense attorney's ass.

Anonymous said...

If the blog is anonymous how do you know the person is an attorney and has a fat ass? obviously below average analytical skills indicative of a misdemeanor practitioner- are you a dui asa or private plea bargainer who hasn't tried a felony case.

Anonymous said...

947 calling you a retard is an insult to retards everywhere.

laeser was not advocating a particularly lenient sentence for cholakis because of what he did. he is not even saying that the system should give him any special treatment. Abe WAS simply saying that at a sentencing he would stand by his friend and speak on his behalf for a lower sentence. that is not hypocritcal at all. It has nothing to do with whether we "are a government of laws not men".

hey asshole instead of repeating cliches you heard in law school or from pompous pd like ray tasseff why dont you get your head out of your ass and actually think before you write.

Anonymous said...

If Judge David Young parlayed the

Drunk Pilot case covered by Court TV into a multi-million dollar tv show imagine what a circus the Chilotis thing will become. An attorney got life recetnly for attempted murder, rumor has it the victim may have serious injuries or have lost a leg.MBPD won't put their neck on line for any asa, their chief changes every 5 years.Chilotis- I am sorry to say that you are going to discover that you have few true friends- you will be abandoned by most and people who empathize with you- the criminal defense bar- and people like them will become your new friends. the FLA organization has very compassionate people who will help you with your alcohol problem and it seems like Laesar may be one of the only people in that office who is man enough to stick by you in your time of need. Take it one hour at a time, eat -sleep-exercise- and get a damn good lawyer because as it has been stated on this blog today the special prosecutor is going to have instructions to nail your ass to make you an example to other attorneys who party and they love to have the chance every now and then to have a white defendant with money-like the movie Bonfire of the Vanities. One piece of advice- hire an attorney who you don't like and is not your friend-if you hire a friend the case will destroy the friendship- win or lose.

Anonymous said...

nice rump you allowing people to post happily about a prison rape of george.

god forbid anyone comment on a judges trangressions, that you censor from the blog but lubing up for a prison rape.

you and this blog are a class act

Anonymous said...

8:58 admit you are tannenbaum b/c it sure sounds like your snidefulness.

Anonymous said...

mel black, jack denaro, h.t. smith

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:37-

Let me get this straight. You're making a joke about a guy who many of us here like and respect getting prison raped?

I demand that you identify yourself immediately for the public flogging you so richly deserve.

I worked closely with George when I was in the office and he is a stand up guy.

Anonymous said...

TO 11:00:

BT is not Rumpole. He is, however, THE CAPTAIN.

CAPTAIN OUTED .........

Anonymous said...

jayne weintraub, roy black, gene zenobi, david marcus(both), joe rosenbaum, brian tannebaum, sam rabin, steve poltosky, yale galanter, josh weintraub, michael gilfarb.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

to 11:41

While I have a lot of respect for BT, I can assure you that I am not Mr. Tannebaum, and BT is definitely not THE CAPTAIN.

Got It.

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

Anonymous said...

10:54--

You're right...Laeser "was not advocating a particularly lenient sentence for cholakis because of what he did,"

he WAS advocating a lesser sentence because of WHO HE (Cholakis) IS. I suppose that's a worthwhile goal, right?

You and Laeser are both wrong...If you, a prosecutor, argue that Cholakis should get a lesser sentence than John Doe in the same situation because Cholakis is your pal, you ARE being hypocritical.

And Mr. Laeser, hypocrisy and being a friend are not mutually exclusive. In fact, your friendship CAUSES your hypocrisy. Hypocrisy wrappped in friendship is still hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

is ham wrapped in lettuce a sandwich? or do you need bread?

abe laeser said...

Let's get it straight. He gets me speaking out for him because he is my friend. Part of what I may say is that he devoted a lifetime to public service, in spite of this one moment. All of those words are true.

Will a judge care? Is this some judge's chance to prove that he/she can punish the big + small equally? I do not know.

What I do know is that it is no more hypocritical for me to speak as a friend (not as a prosecutor - although I am one) and hope that my words can lessen a harsh sentence for a friend. If that is hypocritical, then let us stop all those moms and dads who want to speak to the judge at sentencing.

I am even willing to assume that you critics have families, and perhaps even true friends. If you got into trouble, would it be hypocritical of them to speak on your behalf? What if one of them was a public figure -- do they lose the right to care, to speak out for you? Your 'logic' defies the very word - LOGIC.

Hate me if you must, but loyalty and friendship are NEVER hypocritical acts.

Please re-adjust your moral compass. Perhaps you might even like to write using your own name.

Or would that be hypocritical?

Anonymous said...

do not judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. dr. vinnie boombatz.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Laeser,

I have no hatred for you; my moral compass works just fine, thanks; and I have my reasons for remaining anonymous.

But speaking of moral compasses, you say

"Is this some judge's chance to prove that he/she can punish the big + small equally? I do not know."

I surely hope you don't mean that if a judge were to treat your friend "equally" it MUST be that the judge has something to prove? Isn't the idea that the big and small SHOULD be punished equally?

When a defense attorney says that a judge slammed his client because the judge was "trying to prove something" perhaps for political gain (perish the thought), most prosecutors will just say "you're just being a defense attorney/true believer/etc.-look at what your guy did..." (And sometimes they'd be correct.)

Your hypocrisy lies in the fact that (if he's found guilty) you believe leniency is appropriate DESPITE what your guy did.

Anonymous said...

Gloating, critiquing, or celebrating an others misfortune or error is the ultimate hypocrisy. Ironically many of those participating in the celebration and hoopla are the same ones who advocate for fairness and presumption of innocence for their clients. Should the standard differ simply because the subject is an ASA, of course not! Everyone regardless of title is entitled to the presumption of innocence. After all, how often do we see police reports or A-Forms which contain all the information about an incident, including mitigating information or information which undermines the probable cause? How often do we see police reports which have the names of all witness, not only those favorable to the police version? Furthermore, have the arm chair quarterbacks considered that criminal responsibility is not the sole implication flowing from a serious accident, which may explain why an experienced attorney may want to decline sobriety testing? Finally, I suggest with the prevailing climate of this community any ASA (public official or public persona for that matter) whose path crosses with the police has a high probability of becoming a defendant, regardless of how dubious the circumstances or proof of wrongdoing. Most officers feel, right or wrong, that cutting a break or exercising their discretion on a close call will only come back to haunt them. While the media has some responsibility for the paranoia, our system must bare the brunt of the responsibility. There are those who because of political expediency yield to the political pressure of such single dimensional groups such as MADD, creating the perception that the right thing to do is err on the side of arrest, conviction, and punitive sentences for those who proceed to trial. If you doubt it, just ask the judge who corresponded with MADD about the reassignment of one of our judges because MADD did not like the way this judge ruled or sentenced DUI defendants. Think and inquire, you may actually improve the process for everyone?

abe laeser said...

I would love to debate this all night.

Judges do punish for the wrong reasons, as well as the right reasons. If this is a surprise, welcome to the world. Even when I prosecute a capital crime, and I am certain that the defendant is deserving of the ultimate punishment, how do I know if the judge is not leaning in my direction because they have a reputation for leniency - which they can rebut with one harsh sentence? Can it happen?

Do I think that judges slam minority defendants who strike a prejudicial chord in a particular jurist? You bet!

Do I think that judges slam the 'big' defendant to prove that they are tough on crime? You bet.

Does that happen more often as the election season appraches. You know the answer.

Treating my friend equally or fairly means that the Court also must look to my friend's prior history. Or do feel that this factor becomes irrelevant at sentencing? I do not.

If I have the opportunity to explain that this is a unique episode - one so out of character as to make it a singular event - should that not be said at sentencing? Is recidivism an issue? Rehabilitation? And, of course punishment for the event.

I certainly do not know enough of the facts to even claim that leniency is appropriate. However, I am certain that the First Amendment gives me the right to petition for leniency, if I choose. That petition does not mean that the Court should disregard the facts, just that I want it to also listen to issues that I want to raise.

You as the lawyer for any defendant would never do less. I as a friend could never do less.

Why do you say that I do not have that right? Does freedom of speech disappear because I choose to prosecute rather than defend?

Anonymous said...

Leniency? People make mistakes? I am a relatively forgiving person, but I would have no leniency for a drunken asshole who caused me to lose a limb. Anyone who claims otherwise is a saint or a fucking liar.

Anonymous said...

To blow or not to blow?

A prosecutor who knowingly chooses to ignore the law in his personal life cannot be tolerated by the state attorney's office.

Holding the lives of others in their hands, the state attorney's office must be beyond reproach at all times. Society makes no real distinction between the "official" and personal lives of prosecutors. Recognizing this, the state attorney's office must hold its employees to a higher standard. It is a consequence of accepting the noble and onerous task of prosecutor. 'Twas always thus.

Rumpole said...

Anonymous said...
nice rump you allowing people to post happily about a prison rape of george.

god forbid anyone comment on a judges trangressions, that you censor from the blog but lubing up for a prison rape.

you and this blog are a class act


Rumpole responds: 1 Thanks for the compliement. I try. 2- I went to sleep and removed the post this morning. 3- How about we address the problems that our prison system is hell, is not properly administered and punishment should not include beatings and rape?

The Profiler said...

what? no more comments on how Rumpole demeans DUI practioners but doesnt know that a first refusal isn't a crime? no more comments on how Rumpole thinks his Cholakis should have submitted to FSTs. or how because he signed his license agreeing to a chemical test that he should have done it. what a joke.

once he got into this mess he was no longer an ASA. he was a private citizen as any other who did exactly as he should have...not tend to incrimiate himself.

braggards who fancy themselves great "trial lawyers" on this blog wouldn't know the difference between hallmark and widmark.

you have your moments of lucidity, horace, but this ain't one of them.

this is no run of the mill DUI case for sure. Cholakis needs a combo of lawyers. One strong face to play point, handle the media and special prosecutor and another to handle the DUI legal issues. the DUI guy has to defer his/her ego to the point lawyer. that may eliminate reiff. mel black and hersch may be a good mix. they are friends and worked together on the monastary/nun murder/sex abuse case.

Anonymous said...

I think everybody just needs to calm down here. The thing that gets me is how lawyers use this blog to solicit cases anonymously by plugging their own names as a possible lawyer (for the first person arrested in Miami-Dade County this year) simply because of the potential CourtTV coverage. Stop it you idiots. If you're really as good as you say you are, the case will come to you and you won't have to go to the case.

Anonymous said...

Nothing more entertaining then people predicting the anonymous commentors. Always wrong, always.

Dont discount the number of judges OBSESSED with this blog.

Anonymous said...

Can anybody name those with the biggest egos frequenting the REGJB?

Anonymous said...

is that a real question, or you just havent seen that discussion on the blog in a few days and cant deal?

Anonymous said...

if you dont have a big ego then you are in the wrong buisness. you sir are a turd.

Anonymous said...

H.T. Smith uses this blog to solicit cases.

Anonymous said...

If the same 12 people who constantly trash people on this blog would reveal themselves, we could all move on with the real business at hand.

PRACTICING LAW (and judging)

Anonymous said...

By the way, 11:23, it's Roy Blck, not Mel Black. Even though Mel Black is a pretty good lawyer too.

Anonymous said...

You can't be so naive as to think H.T. Smith is the only one who solicits cases on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I know that, but H.T. Smith is the only one who puts himself in the same category as Roy Black and Jack Denaro. We all know he's nowhere close to those lawyers because those are true trial lawyers.

Anonymous said...

the person who said HT solicits cases on this blog was JOKING (and no, I am not that person)

some of you need to get a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know which judges read the blog?

Anonymous said...

I know George only as a mere passing acquaintance and I wish him luck. I also hope his victims recover quickly. Mr. Cholakis has always been polite and kind to me even though I wasn't an ASA. Like many have suggested, he needs to get a good lawyer and take some personal time to relax and turn off the tv and throw away the Miami Herald for the next few days. Fortunately no one died as a result of this, and thank God his case is not in front of Macho Camacho. That being said, as a first-time offender, he should be given a chance to rehabilitate as all first-time offenders -- except for muderers -- have been given in the past. I applaud abe laeser who stood up for his friend. The rest of us only wish we had a loyal friend who's not afraid of public opinion and will stand by us in our hour of need.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:47
It's lunch time and sometimes I do read the BLOG, sometimes for information, sometimes for entertainment and sometimes just for the hell of it.My wife never reads it, as she relies on my reporting skills.
These past few days, I been amazed at the display of loyalty, hypocracy and #$%@&^%$ exhibited by people I think I work with on a daily basis. They don't always sign their names, so I'm not really sure. Abe, your comments recently further convience me how committed you are to those things and people you belive in.

Larry Schwartz

Anonymous said...

The letter "e" you put in the word "convince" should have been in the word "believe".

Anonymous said...

Cholakis is a good man.

Anonymous said...

So Larry, if you get pulled over for DUI would you blow? And if you refuse, what are to we to think of you?

(I won't quibble with your calling Abe a hypocrite.)

Anonymous said...

JUDGES read the blog; so are we supposed to tailor our remarks in fear of them. First of all most of them lie in their campaigns, solicit money from people who practice in front of them and hold grudges against those who don't give money and most cannot succeed in private practice. The really irritable ones realize that they made a terrible mistake becoming a judge but love having the black robe, their ass getting kissed, and the salary. Any judge who reads and contributes to this blog denigrates the profession.

Anonymous said...

OK experts.

I am wondering why they did not force a blood draw if the injuries were that serious.

That is the law.

One has to wonder of the Beach cops were trying to help him cuz he's a prosecutor?

Anonymous said...

Putz, they did draw blood. Not eerything is in the papars or tv.

Anonymous said...

You all know the song....

IIIIII DONT WANT TO WORK, I JUST WANT TO WRITE ON THE BLOG ALL DAY.

IIIIII DONT WANT TO PLAY, I JUST WANT TO TALK ABOUT GEORGE CHOLOKIS ALL DAY

Anonymous said...

This is not the big deal people are making it out to be. Remember there is a Dade State Attorney
arrested or humiliated every year.

Dade prosecutors do Ecstasy (Ray), download Porn to the office (Al), smoke weed (countless) and drive drunk (countless) every week out of the year. They just only get caught once a year.

Anonymous said...

In reviewing comments on this and other postings it seems that the anonymous ones simply state their unvarnished views even if their motives may not always be pure-- but that is the world after all.

Those who use their names want to show that they are filled with moral rectitude, are good guys, stand behind their friends, are morally superior to the rest of us jerks, or simply engage in organization ass-kissing of the type we all despise.

Abe Laeser had to continue to make constant postings showing what a loyal friend he is to Cholakis, such that when we see Abe walking through the halls of the temple of justice we are to point: "Ahhh there goes Mr. Laeser, a loyal friend."

I am sure it is all very toucing that Mr. Laeser is a "loyal friend." Other than saying a few good lines at Cholakis's sentencing (should he be convicted), what else will Mr. Laeser do to demonstrate his magnificent loyalty, his heartfelt warmth, his comraderie with Cholakis.

Will he offer Cholakis a few thousand to tide him over in his difficult time of being suspended without pay? Is he that kind of true friend. Or is he using this site for cheap self-aggrandizement at Cholakis' expense.

I do not wish to question Abe's motives but his continual postings on this site suggest that the "Lady prostesteth too much."

Anonymous said...

"Those who use their names want to show that they are filled with moral rectitude, are good guys, stand behind their friends, are morally superior to the rest of us jerks, or simply engage in organization ass-kissing of the type we all despise."

Or maybe we anonymous people are just to weak to admit the name behind our hate and jealousy for good people.

Sir, you speak for no one but your sad, sad self.

Anonymous said...

"Those who use their names want to show that they are filled with moral rectitude, are good guys, stand behind their friends, are morally superior to the rest of us jerks, or simply engage in organization ass-kissing of the type we all despise."

Or maybe we anonymous people are just to weak to admit the name behind our hate and jealousy for good people.

Sir, you speak for no one but your sad, sad self.
===================================
I THINK THE POINT THE GUY WAS MAKING IS THAT WHEN PEOPLE (LIKE ABE) PUT THEMSELVES OUT INTO THE PUBLIC FORUM PROCLAIMING THEIR "GOODNESS" THEY INVITE PUBLIC SCRUTINY. NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. WE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT SELF-PROCLAIMED GOODNESS ON ITS FACE UNLESS YOU ARE A KINDERGARTEN STUDENT WHO HAS JUST HEARD THE TEACHER TALK ABOUT "OFFICER FIRENDLY."

Anonymous said...

While I greatly admire Abe's skills as a trial lawyer, I am no Abe fan. In fact, I've criticized him many times on this blog. But, I've never questioned his integrity (which is beyond reproach as far as I'm concerned).

Those of you questioning the sincerity of his support for George are morons who obviously don't know Abe and George. I admire Abe for having the guts to post something here (anyone who knows him knows that he doesn't pander to ANYONE).

"WE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT SELF-PROCLAIMED GOODNESS ON ITS FACE UNLESS YOU ARE A KINDERGARTEN STUDENT WHO HAS JUST HEARD THE TEACHER TALK ABOUT "OFFICER FIRENDLY."

WTF is that? Do you have any reason to doubt Abe? If so, tell us. If not, stfu. You're a frickin' hypocrite. Trashing a guy without any basis is bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Knovack Jones, a lawyer for 25 years, and a former prosecutor was convicted of grand theft and sentenced to 5 years with respect to the Nigeria scam incident.

It was her first-time conviction, yet her sentece was severe. It is a facile analysis to argue that "first time" convictions should suggest leniency when we are dealing with individuals whose knowledge, experience, and privileged position in society suggest action entirely antithetical to the road they chose.

"It can happen to anybody!!!" --BULLSHIT--

Cholakis chose to drink, he chose to drive and while he did not consciously wish to harm anybody his actions made that likelihood quite probable. It does nothappen to anybody. Some of us (I suspect most of us) refuse to drink and drive.

The point is Cholakis is not an ignoramous, not borderline mentally retarded, not oblivious to laws regarding drinking and driving, not a misfit or borderline member of society who just does not get it.

True enough that this might be a singular event in an otherwise praiseworthy life and a court shoud take such matters into deep consideration.

But also a court should take into consideration his superior knowledge and vast experience that should have established barriers serving to prevent such a stupid act.

It is a tragedy. I feel horrible for Cholakis. But his superior knowledge and experience is every bit as important as his first time offense status.

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY- George chose to drink, he just didn't think he'd be the guy that got pulled over and busted on a DUI.

Could it happen to anyone of us, some of us know better, some of us don't care despite where we work.

The bottom line is we are all smart enough that we'd refuse roadsides and a breathalyizer, so stop pretending otherwise

BottomFeeder said...

of course cholakis had a "blank stare" on his face on the scene. his whole frickin life was passing in front of him. sheesh.

does anyone know if there was a blood draw on scene by paramedics?

mbpd a-form refusal language seems to imply otherwise. most cops wouldnt write up someone for a refusal and then draw blood involuntarily. though i think that they could nail you for a refusal to submit to breath and still take your blood in a serious bod case.

Anonymous said...

Who was the magnificent bastard who downloaded porn at the SAO?

Anonymous said...

who, as in one person? I think you were looking for the list.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. Who was the M.B. who got busted? Did he download "Barnyard Fiesta?"

Anonymous said...

Didn't download but instead forwarded his personal emails containing porn to his office
email address - I forget his last
name but his first name was Al -
and he only lasted at the State
for about a year or less.

Anonymous said...

The last name was "Kennon". "Albert Tolly Kennon" was the one who got in trouble for the porn stuff. By the way, is Bottomfeeder David O. Markus.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity: What are the sentencing guideline range for 2 counts of DUI/Serious Bodily Injury (with no prior criminal record, of course)? What plea offers do the SAO typically extend in DUI/Serious Bodily Injury cases under similar facts (of course, no two cases or defendant are the same)?

Anonymous said...

8:45 p.m.: YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE AND YOU DON'T KNOW ABE LAESER

Anonymous said...

do any of the people who trash others really know them?

Anonymous said...

WTF is that? Do you have any reason to doubt Abe? If so, tell us. If not, stfu. You're a frickin' hypocrite. Trashing a guy without any basis is bullshit.


What is wrong with supporting Cholakis privately instead of making a huges public display out of it?

Anonymous said...

Nothing is wrong with supporting a guy privately. However, it takes a lot more to do so publicly. And, I suspect George GREATLY appreciates Abe's public support. You'd have to be a moron to not understand that.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, you are a super JERK! Assface as well...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea how the injured parties are doing?

Anonymous said...

SENTENCING GUIDELINES: a previous blogger asked about the guidelines for DUI with serious bodily injury. 2 counts of dui and factoring in moderate injury points which would probably be counted in a high profile case with media coverage; I can up with 2level 7 felonies: 74 + 28 + 36 - 28 = 110 months in prison as he recommended sentence. 110 x .75= 82.5 months as the lowest permissible sentence for 2 counts of dui sbi and moderate injury points scored. 6 years 10.5 months in prison. very unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Why are people referring to George Cholakis as Chilotis?

Anonymous said...

ANYTHING NEW?