Tuesday, April 03, 2007



Boy those Federal Prosecutors. Can’t say enough about them.

Here is one of their newer tricks. They’ve been doing it for awhile, but they are really accelerating the number of cases they are filing in these matters, and as practitioners in the REGJB and State court we need to be aware of this pending problem.

The Feds are scanning the calendars and investigating cases where clients plead guilty to Carrying a Concealed Firearm, many times for Credit Time Served or a withhold and probation. The Feds are then, after the plea in state court, indicting the defendant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, where the penalty is a 15 year (or as they say in Fed land- 180 month) minimum mandatory prison sentence.

It’s kind of hard to defend a client in federal court to a charge he has already pled guilty to in State Court.

What’s the lesson?

If you have a client that has any possibility of being indicted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, think twice or even thrice before entering a plea in State Court. If possible, try and get a provision in the plea allowing your client to withdraw the plea if indicted. We are not giving legal advice here, just pondering some possible ways we can do our job better.

Lets face it- no one wants to have a jury trial when a client is offered CTS or a withhold and a small amount of probation, where an angry state court judge might sentence your client to five years prison if you lose. Before the emails start flooding in from our robed readers, lets just say in a hypothetical sense, there just might exist, in some far off land, a judge not nearly as wise and kind as you, who may just slam someone who turns down what appears to be a reasonable plea offer, and is found guilty at trial.

The Feds could, to use a colloquial yet sexist expression, “be a man about it” and indict the defendant before allowing him to be tricked into pleading guilty in state court. But then again, if we take a close look at just who we are talking about, “honesty” and “integrity”, which as we all agree starts at the top of any organization, are not qualities that immediately spring to mind.

Anyway, this has been a RUMPOLE ALERT.

See you in court, rejecting plea offers on CCF’s.
A tip of Rumpole's Bowler to the Two Time Defending NCAA Men's Basketball Champions. THE FLORIDA GATORS.


Anonymous said...

Will someone alert the Fed PD's to this post and see if they have cases like this? Then they can coordinate with FACDL and State PD's and try and stop this.

Or is that asking too much?

Real Gator Fan said...

OK- I admit over the past few days I have had my fun with Shumie. He is not really a Gator fan. He is a long suffering FSU fan. You see, at the start of the tournament we had a bet. I took the Gators and he took the rest of the field. Seemed a pretty good bet for him. Well, he lost. And now I am inviting everyone to the payoff.

On Thursday at Noon, he will stand on the steps of the Criminal Courthouse in a Gator Cheerleader Uniform and sing "I'm a little teapot."

Bring your video cameras. It's sure to be fun and provide memories for years to come.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Tell them not to carry a gun in the first place and the stupid bastards would not have such a problem.

There is also always the possiblity that you take credit time served to possession of coke and get hit in federal court later.

That is the breaks for stupid idiots who have felony convictions and carry guys.

I am a criminal defense lawyer and I want those guys to go away and make my neighborhood safter.

Sorry. No sympathy from me.

Go gators!

Anonymous said...

To all you liberal bleeding heart lawyers out there: you reap what you sow. This double jeopardy problem is an outrage, a great example of a too powerful federal government infringing on matters that are properly reserved for the states. The US government has no consitutional business interfering with the prosecution of local crimes. Could you imagine the outrage if something like this happened in, say, 1803? It would have been rejected as blatantly unconstitutional and laughed at too. But now that generations of well meaning liberal judges and law professors have made the commerce clause all but meaningless, we are now faced with the logical absurdity of the propostion: some poor schmuck who gets arrested for possessing cocaine in Overtown gets to share a prison cell with an international money launderer like Marc Rich. Oh, wait a minute. That's right. He was pardoned. Make that Scooter Libby! Sorry.

liberal bleeding heart lawyer said...

How long before Libby gets pardoned? My bet is he never does a day in jail (just like his fellow perjurer Elliot Abrams who now has a high position in the administration).

Anonymous said...

Angry Dan?

Anonymous said...

I think that it is interesting that you finally figured this out. The feds have been doing this for a while. They will actually call the "c" prosecutor and ask them what the defendant scores and if we stand a chance at trial. Then see if the defense takes a continuance- thus buying more time. Then at a sounding- lower the plea b/c the fed case is pretty set at that point. the defendant takes a plea that sounds great and the ASA has one less case and the knowledge that the loser will be soon facing federal charges. Howard Pohl does not need to get involved. Anyway they only do this on career criminal or cases where the defendant has either a drug past for selling or possession of a weapon prior. Pretty Cool, huh?

Spicoli said...

11:36:00 AM:

The over/under on Libby's pardon is December 25th, 2008. If appellate avenues are exhausted prior to the end of the monarchy and Libby has to go to the joint, perhaps bet the under. O/W Chirstmas is the line in Vegas.

As to the firearm issue... are you kidding me? I don't care if technically it does not meet the test for double jeopardy, final jeopardy question is: "What is a bunch of Federal baloney."

not the Q said...

I love this blog. I really do.

The Q said...

I hate this blog, I really do.

fake shumie said...

I hate everyone. I really do.

Fake Tuchas said...


Anonymous said...

I hate to bore everyone, especially Mr. zzzzzzzzzzzzz with legal discussion, but I must. (Gator revelers, you've been warned. Congrats anyway.)

To 10:53 Mr. Anonymous:

Okay Mr. States' Rights-blame-the-liberals, have you ever even read any double-jeopardy case law?

If you did, you'd find this, in Heath v. Alabama (SCT 1985):

"It is axiomatic that in America, the powers of sovereignty are divided between the government of the Union, and those of the States. They are each sovereign, with respect to the objects committed to it, and neither sovereign with respect to the objects committed to the other...
'the Constitution leaves in the possession of each State "certain exclusive and very important portions of sovereign power.'"
By the way, the court in that last part is quoting Federalist 9.

So, the "separate soveriegn" doctrine that allows the multiple prosecutions we're talking about has been JUSTIFIED BY, and was BORNE OUT OF your friggin' 'states rights' view of the world.

Thanks a lot!!!

Anonymous said...

Wrong and wrong. No one disputes that there is case law that says the feds can prosecute even if there is a conviction in state court, and vice versa. The point is that this should not be allowed. The federal government has no business policing the streets of Miami

Anonymous said...

Did I see Abe Laeser in trial on Channel 7 news tonite?

spicoli said...

Prosecuting these cases on a Federal level are bogus. Granting out jeopardy arguments, state's rights issues, and all other constitutional arguments, it's just wrong.

I cite the porn case I forgot. The Supreme Court (at one point as I recall) defined obscenity in part as, "I know it, when I see it." So, I cite to that case. (citation and footnotes ommitted). I know such indictments are crap when I see them. Ergot, such prosecutions are obscene.

Also, on a pragmatic level, I really don't feel like writing a 30 page brief arguing all that nonsense for a dude who in all liklihood will stiff me for the back end of the payment.

Aloha--10/20/Life and other min-mans are enough already.

Anonymous said...

I have to say...when I logged on this evening I was taken aback by the title "shooting fish in a barrel." As a prosecutor I tried several cases against a gentleman who ALWAYS used this expression. Could he be rumpole??? I will not reveal the name, but WOW!!!

E. Garcia

Anonymous said...

Hey Evelio, does your shooting fish in the barrel guy fit the info provided by Rumpole about himself? If it does, just put Rumpoles identity on eBay and sell it to the highest bidder. Let's see how much cash people are willing to spend to know who Rumpole is.

Anonymous said...

Million bucks says Rumpole is the last person we thought he would be. Another million bucks says he's a loser.

Anonymous said...

Life is grand when the topic of conversation always switches from an interesting topic into a guess the Rumpole game... Anonymous betters who have never even smelled a million bucks let alone have plenty in the bank. Maybe you focus too much on Rumpole as opposed to the law which can give you the ability to wager such an amount.

At any rate, it's not as if the expression, "Shooting Fish In A Barrel" is never used. It's called a cliche for a reason. Good work Columbo.


Anonymous said...

Let's be honest...do we really want to know who rumpole is? Isn't it fun guessing, pissing Phil off, reading about alan and chris...I believe once we know who he is, this blog would not be as fun and interesting. I mean...think about it. Isn't there someone you have always wanted to meet, and then you meet them and you realize they are just an idiot or a jerk. Sometimes the unknown is more fun...just food for thought!

E. Garcia

Anonymous said...

This thing about restoring the rights of convicted felons: i hope they realize that criminals all get adjudication withheld the first go around....

Anonymous said...

Susanna Nesmith thanks for creating Darrin McGuillis.

Jeff Spicoli (J.S.) said...

Mr. Garcia,
Let's be honest. Yes, it's true, part of the fun of the blog trying to figure out this conundrum, however, as I recall you are an up and coming prosecutor. To prove your case you rely on a really flimsy piece of circumstantial evidence? Need a bit more proof I would think. Now that you've spilled the beans as to your approach, at a minimum, he knows who you are and you'll never get a good answer had you laid in wait. You blew your cover man.

That aside, as to the merits of the posts, don't you think such double prosecution is wholly unfair even if it meets the letter of the law?

Aloha and happy hunting. It's not like shooting fish in a barrel.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

J.S. I'll agree that my bit of evidence is flimsy at best, BUT, in my 3 years as a prosecutor, and 4 years doing criminal defense ( I have since moved into the civil world and can no longer be considered an up and coming prosecutor)I only ever heard one person use the expression "shooting fish in a barrel". I've seen cases won on worse circumstantial evidence. Now as to the "double prosecution". This has been going on a long time, and I really do think the feds play unfair at times but if its the law, then so be it. Cause change in the law so they can't do it anymore!

spicoli said...

7:26:00 AM:
Shootin' Fish In A Barrel is a relatively common expression in my book. So is, "Needle In A Haystack." They are both cliches. Perhaps a piece of the puzzle you've stubled across, although, it's not a rarely used expression. Now, if you heard a fellow use an expression like "Catching Fish In A Stocked Aquarium at Bass Pro Shops," then I'd think a bit more. No biggie.

I'm glad you agree as to the fairness of a double prosecution depite the letter of the law potentially trumping double jeopardy and other constitutional issue. As a prosecutor, it's good to see someone who would exercise his discretion fairly.

Finding Rumpole is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Prosecutions of these sorts are like shooting fish in a barrel. Keep up the hunt... if you have a name, see if the rest of the clues match up at all (outside the box of course).


Rumpole said...

For the record, I would reveal my identity for a lot less than a million bucks. Let the bidding begin.

spicoli said...

I open the bidding at $1,000 and some of the Dade stuff. Money talks. Hogphooey walks. Dude. If this is true, then it will be shooting fish in a barrel.

Anonymous said...

Who gives a shit who Rumpole is !

He is not man enough to handle the responsibility of having people know who he is

Anonymous said...

LOL. I love when a guy who refuses to provide his identity criticizes Rump for remaining anonymous. LOL.

spicoli said...

I give a "shit" man. What's a grand and good time finding out. He'll probably spend the dough on a party. And, you give a "shit" by virture of the fact you not only read here but respond to the question at hand. Either way, it's good "shit."

Rumpole started the auction. The bidding starts at $1,000.

Merits: Flag as to Federal Interference.

Anonymous said...

I bid 10 cents.