Friday, April 27, 2007


BREAKING NEWS: COURT APPOINTMENTS: DEAD. FLORIDA SENATE HOLDING SMOKING GUN. Read Rick Freedman's comments in the comments section today on who actually fired the weapon. Rumpole thanks Rick for keeping us updated, and the work of FACDL reps Brian T and Old Man Hersch for their valiant efforts to keep the current system viable.

Courts and Judges walk a fine line. They are respected and obeyed because our culture and society require us to do so. If the institution loses the respect of the public, there would be little anyone could do to enforce the orders of the court.

As attorneys we are officers of the court and required to uphold the rules of the court and respect the authority of the court. The court is required to issue lawful orders.

We are serious when we write that Judge Venzer and her staff should immediately remove the sign hanging from the door leading to the courtroom BANNING cellphones and beepers. The order is quite clear that no one may enter the courtroom possessing a cellphone and/or beeper. The order cites to a Judge Farina administative order banning THE USE of cellphones or beepers in the courtroom.

There is a marked difference between possession and use. We who labour in the criminal courts should know that better than anyone. Furthermore, unless there is a box for us to deposit our offending cellphones and beepers before we enter, how can we as officers of the court follow Judge Venzer's order?

What is now happening is that the public and the officers of the court are just brazenly disregarding Judge Venzer's order. Most people probably say to themselves "what she means is we can't use our phones in court."

However, the practical effect of Judge Venzer's order is to breed complete disrespect for the orders of the court. Since a fair amount of defendants leave any criminal court with orders to follow, Judges should take their orders seriously if they want them to be followed.

It may seem like a small matter. but respect is something that is earned. Once you lose it, it is almost impossible to regain.

Respect for the Justice System and the orders of the court is the topic of the day.
We depend on those who make and enforce the rules to respect those rules as well.
Isn't that right Attorney General Gonzales? You know what we are getting at, right?

See You In Court, without a beeper (who even carries one of those these days?) or a cellphone in a certain courtroom on the sixth floor.


Batman said...

Why is anyone surprized that someone as egotistical and self-absorbed as Ellen ("Wyatt Earp - leave your guns at the Sheriff's Office and pick them up on the way out of town") Venzer would put a sign up banning the possession of cell phones in her courtroom. For years those who have known Judge Venzer have known of her temper tantrums, diva like attitudes and nastiness. I have no doubts that Judge Farina will have a heart to heart with her in the near future.

There were signs all over the courthouse on Miami Beach telling those who came in to turn off their phones or they were subject to confiscation. The first time one rang Swartz gave one last warning. After that he took them away and gave them to Kristi House to be reprogramed for 911 only, so battererd women could seek help. If Judge Venzer did something like that we could live with it, but banning their possession is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

As long as Judges are the topic today; AN OPEN LETTER TO JUDGE SLOM

Dear Judge Slom:
Please do something (like traffic infractions only) with Judge Lindsay. She seems like a nice person. I am not saying she is mean or nasty. However, she needs more training. This past week, a young african american man in crutches (I write that so she can remember the exact case) showed up to court late for trial. Obviously, with crutches he is a bit slow getting around. He explained to Judge Lindsay that although he was innocent and his brother had been using his name, he wanted to take a plea to avoid having to come back to court. Judge Lindsay told him that since it was a withhold that would be fine.
Hello McFly!!!

Doesn't she realize that a plea colloquy is so that the Court can determine that the plea is proper? No Judge should ever let an individual who says they are innocent and pleading guilty to protect someone else, plead guilty.

This is different from a person who says they are innocent but the plea is in their best interest. They may have discussed with their attorney that the defenses of entrapment or self defense would be risky. There is no problem with that. But when someone tells the court they are pleading guilty but someone else did the crime- well, even a first year law student can see the problem with that.

Please,send her to Homestead, or Hialeah, and load her up with infractions. She cannot protect the public and she does not have the knowledge and experience to handle even misdemeanor matters. Esepcially in a court where so many people are unrepresented and need the extra protection of the court.

Anonymous said...

Haven't I always said: "respect the Q"???

Rumpole gets it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

As a former prosecutor who still believes in the ideals of the job, I wonder about the ASA who allowed a guy to take a plea after saying his brother was using his name. That shouldn't be happening.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part from this new times article is this quote:

" Don't fret about qualifications: How many respected, big-firm attorneys are running for judge? Not many. If they were eminently qualified, they probably would have been appointed by now. No one sweats a low rating in the Florida Bar poll, either. Everyone knows the poll is a meaningless exercise in lawyerly back-scratching and -biting. Except of course those who score high, who consider the poll to be the only fair gauge of a candidate's judicial abilities."

Is this ever the truth!!!

check it out here:


Anonymous said...

CAPTAIN - who do you think is the most qualified to be the next selection to the 3rd DCA? You said that if you ask around and ask the judges that you will hear the same name as the one who is most qualified. Who would this be and why is he or she the most qualified?

rick freedman said...

Court Appointed Counsel Update:

Not so good news to report.

In case you have not been privy to my previous posts, the House and Senate had passed completely different bills and the two bills ended up in Conference Committee.

FACDL Statewide and FACDL-Miami (Richard Hersch, Brian Tannebaum and many other dedicated members throughout the state) worked their tails off trying their best to save the CAC system, as we know it.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Senate bill has won out and there will be no more CAC system as we know it. Instead, there will be five Regional Counsel Offices (geographically following the five district courts) that will be created. These "second public defender offices" will handle all conflict cases when the PD conflicts.

Only when there is a conflict with the Regional office will there be a need for a private "Registry" attorney. We estimate that about 15% of the cases will require a registry attorney. That comes to about 600 appointments per year, instead of the 4000 that we now hand out.

I will provide you with more details once the final bill is passed.

Sorry that we were not successful -but we really tried.

Rick Freedman

Anonymous said...

re: your comments on Lindsay... Quite sad, but true. She is presently unqualified to sit as a County Court Judge. Perhaps in a few years with a lot of training, we'll see.

Fake Mel Kiper said...

Breaking Draft News: The Dolphns are seeking a trade with the Raiders in the DUI top ten draft. Apparently "character issues" are making the fins nervous about Blecher.

Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Rick, do you have the the senate bill number?

Anonymous said...

Who cares about Linsey. We are going to lose the SAPD cases. It is a sad day. Thanks for trying "rick". Rick, run for the senate. Senator Freedman, I would vote for you.

Anonymous said...

Blecher is dropping because of rumors that his motions are outdated.

Anonymous said...

Plus he's slow out of arraignment and weak in his speedy trial coverage and doesn't play cover two (dade and broward) at all and the dolphins want to switch to a cover 2 defense.

Rumpole said...

Rick Freedman wanted to add this to his comments:


I would like to add a sentence to my post - before you post it.

Chief Judge Farina also worked tirelessly in attempting to keep the CAC system and to make sure it was properly funded. He spoke to me repeatedly about the incredible commitment that our criminal defense bar provides to these cases and the quality work we turn out despite the fees that are paid. He should be commended for his efforts!

Anonymous said...

Both the sine and cosine functions satisfy the differential equation when calulating THE Q

Q= y'' = − y/x-1
That is to say, each is the additive inverse of its own second derivative. Within the 2-dimensional vector space V consisting of all solutions of this equation, the sine function is the unique solution satisfying the initial conditions y(0) = 0 x Q and y′(0) = 1+Q , and the cosine function is the unique solution satisfying the initial conditions y(0) = 1 and y′(0) = 0.
The tangent function is the unique solution of the nonlinear differential equation when calcuating the Q



Anonymous said...

Back to Ellen Venzer..........

She may be crazy but, she is right.

I have been to funerals and weddings where people answered their cell phones.

I have watched lawyers answer cell phones in court and walk out the door while talking on the phone.

Maybe she is right.

I think judges should force a donation to a charity every time a phone goes off.

Anonymous said...

Will you please stop with the fucking "respect the q" stuff.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to David O Marcus and his leadership as president of FACDL for loosing the wheel on his watch.

Anonymous said...

Who will run the conflict PD's office?

Rumpole said...

with all due respect to 4:18, (actually, with very little respect) you should learn to read. Your comment is a non sequitur. The post WAS NOT that Judge Venzer punishes people whose cell phone goes off in court. No Judge allows cell phones to be used in court. Her policy is that you cannot possess a cell phone in court. There is a marked difference,

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The DUI Power ranking website reports that if the dolphins make the trade with the raiders, the Dolphins will grab Bobby Reiff and the Raiders will NOT select Blecher. Blecher will fall out of the top ten. The Raiders will reach for Lefcourt or even rookie Rob Biswas, or even that brother/sister combo.

rick freedman said...

to Rump:

I spoke with Judge Venzer today about her policy of "banning" cell phones and beepers.

She was just as surprised about my phone call as I was when I read Rumpole's post.

She quite honestly never walked through the front door of her courtroom; she has always come through the door provided for her from her chambers. She had never looked at what appears on the front of her courtroom door.

She did not place any of the three signs that appear at the front of her door. They were all there previous to her occupying said courtroom.

Her policy is the same as every other judge in the building, that being - you can certainly maintain possession of your cell phone, beeper, PDA when you enter the courtroom. Just don't use the cell phone or have it ring while you are in the courtroom. If it does ring, you are subject to having the phone confiscated and sent to Tallahasse where the Florida Senate will put it up for auction and use the proceeds to fund their new Regional Counsel Office.

Hope this clears up the cell phone matter in the Venzer courtroom.

Rick Freedman

Rumpole said...

Some of the very best Judges I have ever met made it a point to walk in the hallways and through the front door of their courtroom every now and then.

fake justice douglas said...

Here is an interesting point- what if my cell phone has the home phone number and name of a Judge I am representing, and I refuse to turn it over because it will disclose a client and break a privilege? In this day and age of blackberrys and PDAs cell phones contain more then numbers. The person should have the option of writing a check. A cell phone could have private pictures of a person's family or any number of important information. Before Judge Venzer or any Judge acts so high and mighty they might want to consider their actions. It all goes back to Rumpole's post today and respect for the order's of the court. They need to be lawful.

No respect for a Senate that sux said...

The Florida Senate sux. It's proven itself sucky with the insurance crisis in January, it's proven itself suckier with the property tax crisis, and now it proves itself suckiest with the CAC/SAPD issue.

Anonymous said...

Any news on how they plan to make a regional counsel office work for dependency with conflicts in every case and shelter hearing every day -- oh I'm sorry ma'am THE STATE gets to keep your kids because regional counsel has arrived from the other end of the region!?

Rumpole said...

I cannot post the comment about raising money to save the court appointments because it listed a phone number- I do not know if that number is for real or a joke. You need to email me with your real name from a real email address before I can post a phone number. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that in Miami Dade Court,both County and Circuit people feel it is their privilege to show no respect.That is to both some attorneys and many defendants.
The Juduciary must demand respect.
Now I for one agree the mere possession of a cell phone or beeper which is turned off is appropriate,or in vibrate mode.Most attorneys know that:the defendants do not care and show their disrespect.Some judge confiscate the phone temporaily after warning,some donate to Kristy House of Domestic Violence groups.That is appropriate after warnings.
One or two judges go as far as to tell defndants to go to trial,especially in County Court because i.e.they have d.l.'s but were involved in accident case and they were at fault.The state will not nolle prosequi such cases and seek restitiution.Defendants can do no worse at trial so why not go to trial.Such judge are serving justice since the State Attorney Guidelines in non accident case dictate they nolle prosequi.Why not give the defendant an oppurtunity to be found not guilty or have charges dismissed.The State is wrong in its policy of dismissing 3nd,3rd etc.D.W.L.S.offenses after a first offense.The person violated the law 4-6 weeks earlier and by their action they are promoting such violations of the law.
Judges should advise people not to take pleas whenthey say someone else committed the violation,but cannot require the defendant proceed to trial.This is especially true in the "Peoples Court"County Court where different judges impose vastly different sentences.Perhaps those comments of Judge Lindsey are out of context?
What we in Miami Dade must do,at least those of us who labor in the criminal justice system daily,attorneys and judges is to show proper decorum and respect to each other in and out of court.By doing so,perhaps the public with our help will learn.It is done in other parts of the State!Why not here?

Anonymous said...

Here are some nicknames I like:

Michael Nothing really Matters
I sit and Stu Adelstein
Country Joe Farina
Tam I am Wilson
Go to Ellen Back Venzer
Diane Ward D
Julio My name is Jose Jiminez
Izzy ready or not Reyes
Will he or wont he JOA me Thomas
David Young and Restless
Scott I feel Burnsteined
Let em go Leslie Rothenberg
Richard not so Sharpstein
Sam Green Eggs and Ham Slom
Bennett Its a Brummer Man

Rumpole said...

8:52...a little less coffee at night perhaps. Can you say "decafe"? Slow down buddy.

Rumpole said...


Anonymous said...

"Thanks to David O Marcus and his leadership as president of FACDL for loosing the wheel on his watch."

That comment just needed repeating!

Now would you PLEASE leave Judge Venzer alone. When she was in County Court it was always a pleasure to enter her court. Now that she was elevated to Circuit she is one of the best assets this Court has ever had.

Judge Venzer is a pro and is over qualified for Circuit Court and I hope one day that she seeks a higher office.

Anonymous said...

Blecher will fall out of the top ten because his DMV time is very slow. Biswas does a 4:45 DMV while Blecher was in the 9:10's. No team will go for that.

Anonymous said...

Randy will be in the top 10 this week.

fake mel kiper's hair said...

Blecher is still a crafty veteran, skills honed on the frozen tundra of Essen and Essen.

I dont think that the Dolphins need someone fast at arriagnment, due to their more contemplative style. Blecher's motion finesse and negotiation/persausion technique is Griese-like.

I say the fins stay with this pick at 7.

Anonymous said...

Joe Sit & Wait Your Turn Fernandez

Anonymous said...

Don Ice Cream Cohn

Anonymous said...

Rumpole I know this is for lawyer but would you post this for me?

Short story. after making a purchase at Brandsmart USA, upon exit, employees demanded I show my receipt and allow them to search my bag. I refused, simply as a matter of principle. They were not accusing me of theft, simply, they were adhering to their internal policy of checking all bags and receipts upon exit. Upon my refusal, they closed off the doors and prevented my exit, called their off duty officer, and I was arrested. I was not charged with theft of any type, instead with disorderly conduct for creating a scene when they prevented my free exit from the store. Upon my speaking with state attorneys office a day later, the state dismissed the case days later, they didnt even let it get to arraignment. Police officer also violated department policy, I demanded to see a supervisor, and he claimed to be of rank, therefore, he called off the supervisor who was in route. Filed IA complaint, in progress as we speak. I'm certain, having a customer arrested for refusing to adhere to an internal policy is not something common, or accepted. Using an off duty officer to enforce a store policy, which is NOT state or local law, also a no no. Also, officer arrested me, bypassed having me transported to the substation where I was arrested, and instead had me taken to HIS substation, also incorrect procedure. Upon my arrival at TGK, corrections supervisors there were amazed he had taken me in for this, and THEY released me within the hour without bond, bail, or even without seeing a judge.

dui oower rankings countdown said...

Today is Saturday... Only ONE day till the Sunday DUI Power rankings!

Anonymous said...

One problem some of our Broward judges have with Miami lawyers is that you guys walk into the courtroom and expect a blare of trumpets, everything to stop and the judge to come off the bench and welcome you to Broward then call your case ahead of everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Been hearing that Judge Venzer is going to be working with Judge Rosnick in Drug Court. Does anyone know if this is just a rumor??