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

Monday, April 09, 2007

HOME IS WHERE

....THE CAUSEWAY IS.

The NY Times reported that sex offenders on probation in Miami are living beneath the Julia Tuttle causeway – with approval from their probation officer- because that is the only place they can find to live that doesn’t violate the rules regarding where sex offenders may live.

ARTICLE

Rumpole says: once again Miami is portrayed in the national media as a town of buffoons. When will we ever learn?

Predators of children need to be stopped, monitored, controlled. How is legislating that the only place they can live is under a bridge solving the problem? Wouldn't you rather have them in a home where they can be monitored?

The problem, in 1970's speak is NIMBY (not in my back yard).

We don't know the answer, but surely the current state of the law is not it.

MODERATION.

Long time and careful readers of the blog may have noticed that the blog is on moderation. This is for a lot of reasons. Several long time readers who are frequent contributors have complained about the mean anonymous complaints that pop up after they make a post. Some have suggested making it a members only blog. But we have been insistent that the ability to make a well reasoned anonymous complaint about a Judge is a good thing. If for example, a Judge routinely shows up late, that would be a good subject, and human nature being what it is, no lawyer wants to appear before the Judge having made that complaint on the blog under their name. From time to time, however, people make more mean spirited complaints and comments that are eventually taken down. However, those comments should never see the light of day.

So moderation it is. It does take away the spontaneity of the blog. But most posts get up within a few hours at most. And hopefully, this new policy which will remain in effect permanently, will encourage more Judges and well known lawyers to start posting again. We fondly remember the original members of the 'not afraid to sign my name club" and hopefully they will return. The readership of the blog remains a constant 550 or so a day, and that is a very nice number.

Thanks for reading and start signing your name to comments , secure in the knowledge that we are on the job, dodging bill collectors, and enforcing the rules of the blog.

See You In Court, moitoring the blog between trials.

IN PRAISE OF MODERATION:

No matter what happens... somebody will find a way to take it too seriously. ~ Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"

Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance. ~Epicurus

They are sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing. ~William Shakespeare

42 comments:

Rumpole said...

David Markus sent out this timely email:

President Jeff Harris has asked me to forward the below email to you.
>
> Thanks,
> Kathryn L. Bradley, CAE, Executive Director
> Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
> P.O. Box 1528
> Tallahassee, FL 32302
> PH 850/385-5080
> PH 800/369-9503
> FX 850/385-6715
> kbradley@facdl.org
> www.facdl.org>
>
> I know that many of you are concerned about the status of the bills
> addressing conflict attorneys. The House is likely to pass a bill that will
> direct each respective public defender to administer a particular model for
> their jurisdiction. There are some serious problems with this legislation,
> and we are making our concerns known to the appropriate people. The Senate
> is passing a completely different bill that also has serious drawbacks.
> These two bills will go to Committee for reconciliation if possible. The
> bottom line is that we do not know at this time what the outcome will be.
>
> I can assure you that FACDL is very active in trying to shape this
> legislation through our lobbyist Linda Cox and through individual members
> who are repeatedly traveling to Tallahassee testifying before various
> Committees making our concerns known.
>
> Yesterday I discussed this legislation with Hank Coxe, President of the
> Florida Bar, who is very familiar with the bills and is likewise
> participating in the process.
>
> To repeat an earlier e-mail, an additional $10,000,000 for criminal conflict
> cases and $3,000,000 for dependency cases have been released on March 27,
> 2007.
>
> As the matter progresses, I will keep you advised.
>
> Jeff Harris

Spicoli said...

Not a knock. Play on words. The link is to comedy and the law.

BTW Thanks to FACDL and Dave.

We'll see if Sir Spam A Lot gets us.

You inspired this a long time ago. In a jurisdiction far, far, away (D.C). I hope you enjoy. He's anticipating, a non viagra moment. Failure to launch.

But if ya don't get to the plate and swing, you'll never know if you'll hit a dinger.

Aloha.

Anonymous said...

Shumie a U TUBE star?? Watch Shumie yell, on u-tube- type in Shummie yells in search and laugh.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being branded a fool for even responding, I am compelled to reply to certain anonymous remarks made on the Justice Building Blog this past week about me, my staff and more importantly, my integrity.

It is true that I have hired Ivan Hernandez's former Judicial Assistant. Her name is Erica Duarte and she was a temporary JA assigned in October, 2006, to work for (former) Judge Hernandez after the election in which I defeated him. She had previously worked for other judges on an assignment basis and came highly recommended to me by them. It was their recommendation I relied upon and she has proven to be thoroughly professional and does her job competently and well. I do not regret hiring her in any way.

It is also true that I have hired a former bailiff of Judge Hernandez, Rolando Castellanos. My understanding is he left working for Judge Hernandez soon after Juan D'Arce was hired and was working for Judge Martin Shapiro (who was retiring at the conclusion of his term in December, 2006) when I met him. He too is thoroughly professional and does his job competently and well. I do not regret hiring him in any way either.

I am fortunate to have surrounded myself with people on my staff who are competent and provide a valuable service to me and to this community. You do not hear that they are impeding access to the courts, or abusing attorneys or litigants with their words or actions, because they are not. To criticize them merely because of who they worked for in the past, without more, is wrong. I do not judge books by their covers, nor people. Whatever their predecessors in their respective positions may have done, I am satisfied that they are not now nor ever have done any of those things.

To anyone that thinks that my hiring them reflects poorly on me, or suggests that my integrity is questioned because I have hired these two fine public servants, shame on you. I am proud of them and proud of my record to date on the bench. I am working hard everyday to prove to this community that they made the right choice when I was elected. And I will run on that record in 2012.

Robin Faber
County Court Judge

Anonymous said...

One other thing: I am not Rumpole. I have neither the time nor the imagination to create and continuously post musings or fight anonymous posters who abuse the privilege of the intended purpose of this website. I read it once a week and am sometimes amused, often annoyed and continuously frustrated by the mud slinging and character assasinations that seem to dominate this blog. I for one am in favor of a rule that says you don't get to blog if you aren't willing to post your true name. Kudos to Abe Laeser, Roberto Piniero and others who do. What say you, Rumpole?

Robin Faber
County Court Judge

Rumpole said...

Well Judge Faber, we welcome your posts. We allow anonymous posts, but you can post with your name without fear of unseemly comments, as we moderate the comments now.

Welcome, and thank you.

PS: Your "explanation" on your staff, which you certainly didn't have to do, does clear up matters.

Anonymous said...

Robin
Who cares what you think about the blog? The blog was created to poke fun at people like you. And by the way, "what say you" is a strange expression.

Anonymous said...

I would not be too concerned Miami; Broward is still a town of more baffoons than you guys.

Rumpole said...

Rumpole responds to the comment about Judge Faber (and the title is appropriate for public discussion with a Judge).

1) I greatly care what Judge Faber thinks.
2) The blog was created for many reasons, one of which was to "gently" chide judges who may have gotten too big for their robes. That is hardly the view I have of Judge Faber. As a former Public Defender, word reaches us that he is treating all litgants, attorneys, and litigants without counsel with respect and dignity. He has done nothing to earn the wrath of anyone.

3) "What say you" is just the type of expression we like on the blog. Eh?

Spicoli said...

I so want to quote "Disorder in The Court" here, but, I am glad to see judges writing on blogs. They are a double-edged sword. I'd prefer no "sniping" as a judge here once put it. I myself have said dumb things. But, blogs are here to stay.

I hope to have more of the amusement side of the law/politics side of things. No sniping. Fun. And, there is always more to learn, even in the most unlikely of places. Like I have here.

Ok, I have to break wind.

Rumpole said...

Lets get to the important stuff:

FROM YAHOO:

DNA tests prove it: Larry Birkhead is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's million-dollar baby.

"I told you so!" the late Playboy Playmate's former boyfriend said Tuesday upon emerging from a closed court hearing. He added: "My baby's going to be coming home pretty soon."

Anonymous said...

I don't care about moderation as long as it doesn't affect the Sunday DUI power rankings. That is the most important feature of the blog and what I look forward to all week.

dui guy said...

DUDE! As long as Rumpole lets me, those DUI rankings will be up every Sunday.

haiku harry said...

DUI guys
Shumie blecher lyons best
just like the rest
not my type of guys

Rumpole said...

Judge accused of smoking pot takes leave
BY NIKKI WALLER
nwaller@MiamiHerald.com
Broward Judge Lawrence Korda, cited last month for smoking marijuana in a Hollywood park, will take a leave of absence from the circuit bench beginning Wednesday.

Korda announced the voluntary leave Tuesday morning during a meeting with Dale Ross, the county's chief judge.

Korda did not immediately return The Miami Herald's calls for comment, but Ross said he has been in constant contact with the veteran judge since the March 18 citation.

''I think a little break is appropriate,'' Ross said. ``I think this will allow issues to sort themselves out.''

Ross added that Korda, who recently ruled his court had no jurisdiction in the paternity action concerning Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter, is currently ''in private counseling'' but would not say whether he is undergoing drug treatment.

To avoid a conflict of interest, a prosecutor from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office will handle Korda's case, and Ross has asked the state Supreme Court to appoint a judge from another circuit to preside in the case.


Rumpole says- I'd like to take a leave of absence. Have someone assume my cases....no worries...lazy summer days...but not break the law. How come those dope smoking bad guys get all the breaks?

Spicoli said...

Legalize this stuff already! Seriously.
There are far worse things a judge could do. What in the Wide, Wide, World of Sports is a goin' on here in Florida?

Now I need to stick this issue on "Real Time With Spicoli."

Rump has his river, I have my vice. Ugly shoes. Hope you find that other legal blog in my profile.

Aloha.

Anonymous said...

Dear Robin,

Enjoy the term (judgeship) as long as you can as you will not repeat. Unlike your tactics, your end will be legally obtained. I guarantee it.

Truly yours,
Karma

Anonymous said...

well at least Judge Faber is blogging after work hours. cant say that for Judge P or Abe

Anonymous said...

Faber is Rumpole!

Anonymous said...

what is the origin of the name Spicoli?Is it someones last name or a blog name? if a blog name what does it mean?

Rumpole said...

To the individual who wanted to post the DBR article on first amdendment and web sites. Lets hold off a few hours or days here and see how the blog runs without any more attacks on certain individuals. Its time to move on. If they don't move on, I will post your comment.

Anonymous said...

Criticizing Judge P and Abe for blogging during work hours is the dumbest thing I've seen in a while. Both of those guys are among the hardest working people in the building. We all take breaks during the day, why can't they? We, as taxpayers, are getting far more than our money's worth out of them. If you want to criticize judges and prosecutors for laziness, the least you can do is target the right ones (and, believe me, there are plenty. While most are good, there are dozens that regularly disappear during the day).

Spicoli said...

Dear Rumpole,
Just wanted to thank you for allowing me to launch the blog.

It is difficult and I had a lot of problems with formatting issues and the writing was not very good. It's supposed to be a free for all.

You laid the groundwor here. I personally do not want to move over to moderation. My counterpart has second thoughts.

The First Amendment as well as other Amendments interacting with the internet, in a public forum by public people have different sorts of Constitutional analysis.

Our intent originally was to somewhat stretch the bounds of The First Amendment and determine if there are novel legal issues on this point. It is my belief there are.

I do not encourage slinging mud on people. We may switch to moderation because we choose to. The title of the blog should expain why we think, in this instance, The First Amendment applies en toto.

While it may appear to be a legal blog, read the sub-titles. It is not. A paradox. It is a free for all discussion, in a public forum, where strict scrutiny ought apply to off colour discussion of Americana. There are some reasonable counteragruments to this contention, but I like to treat The Constitution as a shield rather than an AK-47.

I may leave it as Real Time (with Spicoli), but edit that which we deem appropriate. With more conversation comes the ability to help those who cannot help themseves. Without a chilling effect as to free speech comes the needle in the haystack that could be genius. Bullies intimidating with lawsuits is not what I was envision as legal utopia. Satire, humour, free for all discussions - reasons we left England. No disrespect. There is a method to the madness.

People making personal attacks on local attorneys is quite different than satire (a weak attempt at this point granted) about politics and the legal system.

There is plenty to poke fun at in the world.

At any rate. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that I am disturbed by judges blogging, all of them whether, I personally like them or not. I think it is beneath them. I, albeit naively, believe that there is a high level of integrity and respect demanded by the position they hold and "blogging" diminishes that significantly. A judge should be above blogging.

Rumpole said...

I am not sure I appreciate the comment that blogging is beneath judges. I think our robed readers are honored when they appear in the pages of our humble blog. I think the blog has helped resolve some issues in court, namely the issue of continuances at soundings, getting called out of turn, etc.

Judge Rob Pineiro said...

A couple of posts I have just read merit a response. One deserves a thoughtful and considered reply--the other...not.

First as to the latter. Yes, I have been known to blog during the work day and Mr.Laeser, as well. A very "Holmesian" observation by you! However, a closer inspection, my dear Watson, shows both Abe and myself blog during the lunch hour. That fact coupled with the knowledge that we are both public servants and old enough to have been reared in the abacus age {Abe is the older one) should lead one to deduce that neither one of us can afford those high tech notebooks or internet access cell phones--nor would know what to do with one for that matter. As such, hsving eliminated all possible scenarios, we come to the conclusion that we both use our work computer located in our respective offices. Yes, I must confess, "its a fair cop", I, for one, am guilty of BWI--Blogging While Ingesting my sumptous three course meal: yogurt, crackers and a diet soda. Said meal normally takes a chomp or two so that I can get some work done during the lunch hour of the work day thereby allowing me to spend more time with my family.

As to the other comment: Judges should be above blogging--the integrity of the bench commands it. It is certainly a valid and thoughtful concern and deserves to be addressed.

Firstly, please know that I did not decide to post under my own name on a mere whim. I thought long and hard about doing so. The Canons require I should uphold the integrity of the bench at all times--if i don't I will be and well should be in deep doo doo.
Leaving aside the medium used for my comments. My comments have been directed at all times to issues, which I humbly believe, furthered the proper administration of justice--also mandated by the Canons.

Secondly, as to the medium--posting on Rumpole's blog. Where else do you get immediate and varied feedback? Yes, some of it can be quite nasty as my fine colleague Judge Faber today found out (By the way, great job standing up for your people, Robin.)
But, if you don't develop a thick dermis in our jobs you end up with ulcers. On the other hand some of it can be quite informative and thought provoking.
Lastly, believe it or not, judges are people too--when you prick us, do we not bleed? (no infantile comments, please) We should never get too full of ourselves. That lesson was memorably instilled in me by my wife on my first appointment to the bench. Shortly after the Governor's call, while I was pompously marching up and down our house wearing a graduation robe and flinging make believe gavels at attorneys--my wife rather meekly interrupted with "Judge, your honor, your grace take out the garbage!" Some of the comments on the blog serve the same purpose.

As an example of how the blog can be a learning experience I wish to inform some members of the criminal bar that I have decided to emend my practice and follow their and Rumpole's suggestion.
While in the family division, I have decided to allow the litigators free rein to conduct exhaustive and wide ranging jury selection with no interruptions from the bench.

Excuse me while I wipe some yogurt from the government's keyboard.

Anonymous said...

Most people forget that many sexual offenders and predators were once cute little innocent kids themselves...until they were abused. Our total lack of humanity in dealing with this population says so much about this community and the people who control homeless dollars, that it recalls the often repeated truism that you recently published about evil occuring when good people stand back and do nothing.

Anonymous said...

The origin of the name comes from Cameron Crowe.

Rumpole said...

That Judge Pinero! Allowing extensive voire dire in family court. That's a good one. Even I, who rarely grace the halls of the Lawson courthouse can recognize a judicial prank when I see one.

Blogging while at work- it is just plain nonsense to expect in the day and age of the internet that an individual will not take a few moments to clear their head at work and scan a few internet pages. Why, I myself have been known to persue the "girls of Broward traffic court" website a few times.
Let he who has not downloaded a few "images" cast the first "jpeg" I say.

Finally, I like the fact Judge Pinero or Judge Faber can post without me having to worry about the responses being posted before I can see them. And I think the policy of moderation encourages Judges to pause mid-bite of their yogurt- and write a comment or two. Thank you Judge Pinero. From your vantage at family court, a break spent blogging is probably a bit healthier than the grande mocha frappacino at the starbucks around the corner.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the info re the name "Spicoli".This old fart now gets it thanks!

Anonymous said...

Judge P "Excuse me while I wipe some yogurt from the government's keyboard"

Thats just GROSS.

Rumpole said...

No- that was just Judge Pinero.
Judge Gross is also a very fine Judge at the Family Courthouse, but he has not yet graced us with his presence on the blog.


(sometimes I just crack myself up.)

Spicoli said...

Proffesionalism, The First Amendment, and bloggers. Flashback man. A new bar exam hypo. Click on that other legal blog in the profile.

Rumpole said...

OK Mr. S. I visited your blog. I like the Jukebox. If I may have permission to speak freely- it was unreadable. Or at least unreadable to anyone over 40.

Best of luck, and stop setaling my topics on whether judges should blog.

Spicoli said...

Aloha Mr. Hand,
Glad you liked the jukebox. It's easy to put up for a dude under 40. Just click on the stand alone icon and get tunes or not. Project Playlist is cool.

Con todo respecto: Why do you think it's your idea alone to encourage judges to blog? No five finger discount on that.

I think the entire community should blog. Open discourse. With music. And liquor on occassion. I have a most liberal stance on the matter. Perhaps excluding octogenarians. What can I tell ya.

i hapeen 2 no 2 literate 41 people who read it.
sorry for not being elderly.

I must say, thank you for looking. The others too and even the few who commented it sucked or whatever. I was hoping for real time discussion on those issues. I hope people help improve it over time. Blogging is a credit to the profession. Even If my first effort was poorly written. Perhaps my next submission will be better. I'll wait till the weekend. Shout out to those 39 and younger!
Thanks.

Rumpole said...

I've seen Fast Times, and I'm not so sure I take kindly to being called Mr. Hand. On the other hand, I did call your blog unreadable.

Blogging takes time. I cringe at some of the early tripe I wrote. I certainly wish you the best of luck. I find blogging very fulfilling.

MSNBC FIRES IMUS.

Anonymous said...

if you want positive comments do what Rumpole does and post comments your self as anonymous.

WORKS FOR RUMP.

Spicoli said...

Thank you. Very fine of you sir to say as much.

I shall no longer refer to you as Mr. Hand, although, I thought he was a great character. There is only one Rumpole and you do not reflect his persona totally (dude).

But, I'd be bluffing ya if I didn't tell you I've learned much from this site. Especially from the Judges, Bloggers, and you. I've also learned what sucks. Not blogging at all.

Thanks for the encouragement. If you suggest a tune, I will try to stick it up before "We've Got The Beat."

To misquote a line from Annie Hall, "Blogging can sometimes be a notch below child molesting." Yet, all politicians should be heard.

The Legal Beagle said...

Rumpole does not write in annonymity and neither do I.

Anonymous said...

Yep! Karma is a MoFo!

Anonymous said...

Was it the sexual offender article about Miami that sounded like the laughing stock?

Or the one that about another part of the United States with the headline - sexual offender sued for slow home sales?

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