Monday, January 22, 2007


In the past year we have gained a lot of new readers. And lost some old ones.

Maybe it’s time to review the rules.

1) Mission statement: To provide an outlet for lawyers, Judges, and others who work in the REGJB by creating a place to post comments about our little world. Light hearted rumor, innuendo, and humor are welcome. So is a serious discussion of the issues of the day.

2) You cannot post anything about someone’s personal life. From seeing a judge’s children at a school, to seeing a prosecutor and pd in a bar, the personal stays off the blog.

3) You cannot make fun of a person’s appearance, or the appearance of a loved one of theirs.

4) Don’t be mean. If you don’t like someone, this is not the place for it. If a lawyer blew a closing argument, this is the place for it. If a judge ruled against you, you cannot call him/her an ass. If you get them reversed on appeal, this is the place you can gloat. You can raise the legal issue and have a discussion about it here.

5) Yes, there will be serious moments. When someone we know is arrested, it hurts all of us. But this is not the place to gloat or revel in someone’s pain and misfortune.

6) This blog has soared. Read the posts about the late Judges Crespo, Leyte-Vidal, and others who have passed away. Read the repartee and remembrances between Abe Laeser and Roy Black. Those posts and comments were the best we can be. When I grumble about the new plea colloquy, this is the place for Judge Emas to put me in my place for not reading the new amendments to the Rules Of Procedure (which I am sure he does every Sunday over Coffee).

Very simply, those of you who are so full of anger and rage and jealousy need to get another outlet. I cannot and will not let you turn this blog into a place for you to trash people while you sit, alone in some darkened room eating a bag of Doritos and a half gallon of Hagen Dazs on a Saturday night, writing all sorts of vile things against us (the lawyers and Judges who work in the REGJB). If necessary, I will turn on moderation, and review all comments when I have a chance. Quite frankly, as I have written dozens of times, this blog is for my own selfish enjoyment. I could care less if you (whomever you are) are upset that you cannot spontaneously attack someone.

This blog can, has, and will continue to be a place to discuss things like Judicial demeanor, the efficacy of the death penalty, and the Mushroom bisque at Au Bon Pain (not bad at all).

It will not be a place to call people vile names.
So stop it.
I mean it.
I do.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Third Verse for the Training the Mind:

May I examine my mind in all actions and as soon as a negative state occurs, since it endangers myself and others, may I firmly face and avert it.

(Rumpole is a Buddhist????)

PS. We Called both championship games, but didn't need the teaser. Early favourite has to be the Colts. Will someone please put a wooden stake in Belichick? Otherwise he will rise with the un-dead to walk the South Florida nights and torment us all.
By the way....Tom Terrific threw an interception on the game winning drive last week....and Tom terrific threw an interception on the game winning drive this week. Hmmm...don't really want him QB'ing the team when the chips are on the line.


Rumpole said...

You know, if there is an inappropriate post, you should email me privately, not repeat it here again. I did not see the post in question, if you give me the date and time, I will remove it.

Rumpole said...

One way to resolve some problems is for me to remove all posts one week old. It will cover the issue of me missing posts that then pop up on Google searches. Tell me what you think about that.

Anonymous said...

Can't we still criticize Don Horn for being unable to run the SAO effectively? After all, he is a public figure.

Anonymous said...

Yes, by all means.

Anonymous said...

What about Lorna Soloman? Howard Pohl? George Bush (Jr.)?

Anonymous said...

As long as the criticism is not personal in nature, then why should anyone in public service get a pass on a public review of their professional shortcomings?

Anonymous said...

I think you are approaching, if not stepping over the line drawn by Rumpole re personal attacks, in utlizing the phrase "short comings" during an ongoing discussion related to Howard Pohl.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"why should anyone in public service get a pass on a public review of their professional shortcomings?"

They shouldn't, and youre welcome to start your own blog and talk about it all day, night, and weekend.

Anonymous said...

10:59 - Try spellcheck. Also, better practice not to put the comma between night and weekend. You need to brush up a bit on the MLA. Oh yeah, Rumpole is the only person who gets to decide who has to start their own blog - jackass.

Rumpole said...

Criticizing Don Horn (who I think does a good job) for his public work is fair game. That should be clear.

By the way- I would make an exception for GW Bush say anything you want about him.

Rumpole said...

Anonymous- in the dark- wondered:

"why should anyone in public service get a pass on a public review of their professional shortcomings?"

Rumpole Grumbles:
No one should. You just can't say they have big ears as well.
How hard is this to understand?

Phil is Not Rumpole said...

Tood Michaels post from last night:

This is Todd Michaels. I can not say that Phil is not Rumpole. I can only say that on the evening in question, someone else did post as Rumpole. Could mean it is not Phil. May not.
There was a card game at Frank's house and I went out early. Of course, the card game did not involve gambling in any way, shape or form. (Mr. Ashcroft, if you are monitoring this blog, be sure that we were playing for M&M's only). Therefore, I was not too upset at going out so early. I was a little bored, and Phil was there, and i decided just to see if, after all the chatter, I could determine if he was or was not Rumpole. I took the computer and logged onto the blog, and kept my eye on Phil. The game was not on at Frank's, and Phil did not handle a wireless device at any time, including a blackberry or anything like that. Sure enough Rumpole did post during that time.

Case closed? Not quite. It seemed at this point, pretty clear that at the very least, Phil alone was not Rumpole. However, I went back and read the blog from that day, and the following post appeared:

Anonymous said...
I love Phil and therefore I love Rumpole.

Rumpole will not post tonite.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 5:17:07 PM

This got me thinking that maybe Phil, knowing that he would have an alibi for that night put the post up himself, or, in the alternative, that someone else posted it, and Phil, seeing it realized that he would have an alibi for the night. From there, it would not take much for him to have Jackie or another cohort post during that time when he was covered. If only someone else from the game read the blog, they would then likely jump forward to clear him.

Now, that said...I haven't read the blog in a while, but someone who does called me and asked me to tell what happened that night, so there it is. I like Phil and wish that I could completely exonerate him but I can not.

So, in legal terms here is what I can say.

I can say with absolute certainty that Phil alone is not Rumpole.

I can not say that Phil and someone else together are not Rumpole. He does have a wife who works in the legal system, so it would be easy for him to have a partner and keep things quiet. He is also a big Ayn Rand fan.

Of course, if my testimony is not credible, then we are back to square one.

Sunday, January 21, 2007 9:22:19 PM

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have a legal question. How does this ruling affect Florida sentencing law?

Published: January 22, 2007
Filed at 10:51 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court struck down California's sentencing law Monday, a decision that could mean shorter sentences for thousands of state prisoners.

The 6-3 ruling in Cunningham v. California effectively shaves four years off the 16-year sentence of former police officer John Cunningham, who was convicted of sexually abusing his son.

It's the latest in a series of high court rulings over the past seven years that limits judges' discretion in sentencing defendants. The court has held repeatedly that a judge may not increase a defendant's sentence based on factors that were not determined by a jury.

(don't our sentencing guidelines allow this by allowing consideration of priors?)

''This court has repeatedly held that, under the Sixth Amendment, any fact that exposes a defendant to a greater potential sentence must be found by the jury, not a judge, and established beyond a reasonable doubt, not merely by a preponderance of the evidence,'' Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court.

Several states have changed their sentencing laws to require prosecutors to prove to a jury aggravating factors that could lead to longer sentences.

California had argued that a 2005 state Supreme Court decision interpreting the state's Determinate Sentencing Law effectively brought the state into compliance with the U.S. high court's rulings. The law instructs judges to sentence inmates to the middle of three options, unless factors exist that justify the shorter or longer prison term.

The state warned that its criminal justice system would be burdened by having to re-sentence thousands of inmates.

Rather than prescribing a way to fix the law, Ginsburg said, ''The ball lies in California's court.''

Justice Samuel Alito said in dissent that California's law ''is indistinguishable in any constitutionally significant respect'' from the federal sentencing guidelines that have been approved by the Supreme Court.

There were just under a quarter-million felony convictions in the state in 2005. Data from the 1980s cited by the California Supreme Court suggests that roughly 15 percent of cases involving just one felony count result in sentences in which a judge, not a jury, finds an aggravating factor to justify the additional punishment.

But Peter Gold, Cunningham's lawyer, told the court that in many cases the standard term and longer option differ by just a year. In practical terms, many of those who might be affected by Wednesday's ruling might already have finished serving their time in prison.

Several justices suggested during oral argument in October that the state could tweak the law, rather than overhaul it, to remove constitutional violations.

Nine other states, including Illinois and Texas, urged the court to uphold the California law.

Cunningham, a former Richmond, Calif., police officer, was convicted of sexually abusing his 10-year-old son after the boy moved in with Cunningham and his girlfriend.

The case is Cunningham v. California, 05-6551.

Susannah Nesmith
Miami Herald

Anonymous said...

a legal question?

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Rumpole said...

The answer, dear scribe, will be played out in the court rooms of the justice building for the next several months.

Jabba The Hut said...

I for one applaud Rumpole's ban on personal attacks. Including attacks on a Hut's appearance. Well done old chap.





William Safire said...

There will be a ban on the term "well done" on this blog for the next two days.

The Q said...

Rumpy ol rump de la rump- My vote is NO against removing old posts. The posts about me and my trial abilities are so flattering (true but flattering) that this blog has been a boon for business. Please leave the posts up.

The Q.
Respect me
Don't fear me
no way you can be me.

Anonymous said...

I guess Zenobi is not Rumphole- filing notice of appearance as Chilokis- clerk's webcite has Zenobi and Sharpstein, and writing the "Rules" probably too much work for one day. Your blog states as its purpose rumor, humor etc. How do you do rumor without gossip and character assassination. Maybe you need to change page 1.

Anonymous said...

The "Someone forgot to take his medicine" post was that not a personal attack against McGillis?

Anonymous said...

Please read the law -- someone. The California case has nothing to do with priors. Nor did APPRENDI. It relates only to enhancements like having a firearm or if the victim was a law enforcement officer. Priors are always OK at sentencing.

Anonymous said...

I have a simple legal answer.

The Supreme Court says it and the lower courts spend the next 10 years explaining why they did not really mean what they said.

They call them, "exceptions."

(OK this is only true when the Supreme Court case HELPS the defendant)

Anonymous said...

what about almendendez-torres- i think it deals with this issue almost exactly-keep reading....

Anonymous said...


Jason Wandner said...

Regarding Todd Michael's Phil alibi comment (11:50:24): As I confirmed in a previous comment a while back (under codename "Wanlaw"), Phil R was at Frank's poker game on the night in question, as was I.

Anonymous said...

yeah, but you're a dork....

Anonymous said...

dork. dont hear that word nearly enough these days.


Anonymous said...

I am for the delete all post 12 days old as who cares at that point. Although 30 days is better.

Anonymous said...

Were the L&L twins at the poker game? How 'bout Shuminer & Freedman?

Anonymous said...

Don't yall realize that the who is Rumpole game just feeds his already enormous ego? Lets discuss something more interesting, like Cholakis' hiring of Sharpstein and Zenobi. Thoughts? And anyone know anything about the Broward prosecutrix handling the matter for the State?

Anonymous said...

The corn chowder at Au Bon Pain is very tasty too...

Anonymous said...

I would like to briefly respond to Todd Michaels post: 1) I had no idea I was the subject of a sting.

2) While I have read Any Rand's novels, I am not " a big fan" of hers. some of her ideas are valid, some are not. There is obviously some deep flaws in her ideas as her personal life was a complete disaster for many years.

I have not hid from Todd or anyone my knowledge of her philosphy. I guess if I were Rumpole, I might have choosen the email Kant21, as anyone who knows about Rand's philosophy knows she despised Kant.

I do not read the blog often, and usually read it after someone tells me there is a post I should read.

As a criminal defense attorney, I think Todd's testimony is fairly compelling. Certainly I lost cases as a prosecutor with less compelling defense cases then I apparently have.

Phil R.

Anonymous said...

Oh- Lurvey and Lyons were not at the game. Shuminer has played at Frank's house in the past , but quickly got discouraged at a game I consistently beat him at. So he stopped attending.


Anonymous said...

What about Stu Adelstein as Rump?

Anonymous said...

Is Rumpole Naphti?
D. Sisselman

Anonymous said...

To clarify, I am quite convinced that Phil is not Rumpole, and at the time, I thought that The mid-game posts completely cleared him. It was only after i saw the post from earlier in the day that I thought maybe he was trying to establish an alibi. Also, knowing Phil, part of me didn't want to completely clear him because I know it drives him nuts that everyone thinks he is Rumpole, and it is fun to drive Phil nuts. Regardless of what has been said about Phil on this blog, which I think is often said for the same reason (to drive him nuts), he is way too cool of a guy to sit around blogging about gossip all day. I am relatively sure that he is not Rumpole. i think it is time to find another suspect.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"...he is way too cool of a guy to sit around blogging about gossip all day."

Why take a slap at ole Rumpole?

CAPTAIN said...


Stephanie Newman, ASA from Broward, is the Special Prosecutor that I reported on earlier on this Blog. She is a lifer, has served 15 years at the BRWD SAO. I have had cases against her and she is well prepared and presents well in court.

Having said that, I am looking forward to Sharpstein & Zenobi showing her how we practice here in Dade County.

Mr. Cholakis, you chose well.

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

Anonymous said...

Nothing is better than a courtroom consisting of a newly elected Judge and pd's and asa's fresh out of school!

The Justice System at its best.

abe laeser said...

That perspective on the Criminal Justice System reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about another branch of government, now holding sway over my multi-thousand dollar insurance increase:

"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session."

OOPS - time for a nap before Court. It will not do to meet the new judiciary with a sullen demeanor (as if I had a choice).

Anonymous said...

"...he is way too cool of a guy to sit around blogging about gossip all day."

Why take a slap at ole Rumpole?

Ya forgot to add typing away with a bag of chips a side of oreos large coke and away I go making up lies and stories about all at the REG

Anonymous said...

are you brummer?

Anonymous said...

Anyone read the letter KFR wrote in the Florida bar news?

E. Garcia

Jason Wandner said...

To anonymous 4:31:06: I don't know whether you were referring to me, but regardless, I would rather be a "dork" than a "coward," any day.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the KFR letter, I guess it's better late than never.

DORKLOVER.... said...

you sitting there trying to analyze who rumpole IS by x'ing out who was where and how not only makes you a dork but obviously someone with some time on their hands.....

Anonymous said...

A coward dies a thousand deaths, a dork will die just one.

Anonymous said...

Will the person who just posted the words to the Super Bowl Shuffle please post your name? I just fell in love with you.

(PS I'm a girl.)

(And yes, lots of girls like football.)

Anonymous said...

isnt stephanie newman the asa who lost a dui manslaughter death of a 9 yr old girl who got hit in weston while riding in a golf cart with her mother. the def. was a business man from canada and had a .32 blood draw. after a 2 wk trial the def was not guilty of manslaughter and convicted of only a dui. and that was reversed on appeal. robert rosenblatt was the defense atty. he has the book on ms. newman. see state v. alexander, 4th dca.

fake mike ditka said...

Super Bowl Shufflers:

God do I miss you guys. The NFL has not been the same since.

Anonymous said...

Way to poke a stick in the ASAs eyeball. You guys in Dade have a lot of class -- WOW! And, you really are smart too...in Broward, we would never come up with the idea of taunting the prosecutor on a case. Hey, do you think you jackasses could put on a CLE seminar on how to piss off and dare a prosecutor? Should be able to sign up tons of people for that. Wow, what professionals.

s/ Above you in latitude and class

Da Bears Fan said...

Our Papa
Who art a Bear
hallowed be thy fame,
Thy championship come,
They play be run
At home as it is away.
Give us this day our Sunday win,
And forgive us our turnovers,
Thouh we pounce on those who turnover against us,
And lead us not into 4th and long,
But deliver us from Krenzel.
AS IT WAS IN 1985,

Anonymous said...

To Abe and the blogger directly above him, (from "Two Black Eyes")you guys are my heros!

To the rest of you - I'm annoyed by all of you.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 1:24:46 PM

Anonymous said...

Kathy is right on with her requests for additional funding.

That extra money will help the ASAs swallow and continue to suffer in silence the unbelieveable mismanagement of the day to day affairs of the office. Low pay does not equate to low moral. The Low moral is there becuase the Chief Assistnats, except Jose Arrojo (despite the fact that he justifies what appear to be a violation of the the law by the SAO in re clerks files) who is a boost to moral and is entirely competent, are incapable of relating to thier young prosecutors and don't want to spend the time doing so. If you are a hot young female ASA, HP will spend time with you; if you are a longer term female, CH will spend time with you; if you are...oh wait, never mind, DH never even bothers to walk anywhere in the office other than the 4th floor.

I heard Chet is back, and he is a pretty good guy, maybe they will fire DH and try to reorganize the upper management a bit. CH and HP to C slots, and add legal compliance to JA's job description.

Rumpole said...

I don't allow super bowl shuffles on the blog. Never have..never will.

Jason Wandner said...

To Dorklover: That I decided to confirm a fellow attorney's version of events with my own personal observation, does not make me a dork or someone with too much time on my hands. That you continue to spew invective, hiding behind a veil of anonymity, still makes you a coward.

Jason Wandner said...

To Dorklover: That I decided to confirm a fellow attorney's version of events with my own personal observation, does not make me a dork or someone with too much time on my hands. That you continue to spew invective, hiding behind a veil of anonymity, still makes you a coward.


don't try to spoil it just because you didn't have any one to play with when you were a kid..........

Jason Wandner said...

Dorklover: Actually, I could care less who Rumpy is. I prefer my mind "wandering" off to subjects like the one "special" friend I did have when I was younger. What was your sister's name again?

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, you are full of it. You have personally attacked many in this blog in the past. You should start to apologize so we all know you have learned to act like a mature person and not like a little complaining bitch.

elton john said...

sorry seems to be the hardest word

Anonymous said...

Cholakis picked wisely but it won't matter much Captain, he's going to prison for certain.

Put it down in the books.

Sharpstein is great if you have a nine time convicted felon victim
who has told twenty different stories (but then again who wouldn't be great with those facts).

Let's see how he does with a professional victim who has been
seriously injured. Also let's see
how he does having to cross the
same police officers he normally
represents - will he show the same
fire against them.

Zenobi is great if you want someone who is going to drag a case out so long that the state finally makes a reasonable offer.

Anonymous said...

Since I have not seen this commented on the Blog in about a day, let me just say it: "BENNETT H. BRUMMER SUCKS!"

Thank you!

dorklover said...

she went through many years of therapy for that incident 'till she was finally convinced that it SHOULD get bigger with age.......

Jason Wandner said...

Alas, she was wrong!