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 30, 2007

WHERE IS EVERYONE?

Don’t be surprised this week if you see an abundance of robed readers wandering through the hallways in the late afternoon and early evening looking busy, acting judicial, bellowing out nonsensical orders that nobody listens to anyway (get that cell phone!) . This past weekend the blog was rife with rumors that some media outlets are about to do a story on Judges leaving early. There are alleged surreptitious videos of our judges out on the golf course, picking up kids from school, or otherwise gallivanting about town during normal working hours.

Scene: Civil Family Courthouse. "Joes Cafe".

Chief Judge Joe Farina is on the phone with some colleagues who are on a golf course: "He did what on the ninth? With a five iron? Get outta here!"

A bailiff arrives with a reporter in tow: Bailiff: "Chief, this reporter wants to know where all the Judges are."

Reporter: "It's 2:15 pm on a Friday afternoon, and there is only one judge in the criminal courthouse, and I'm not naming names, but he's still on his arraignment calendar."

Chief Joe: " I am shocked, shocked to find out Judges are leaving early."


Here is the thing: In our opinion, the worst place a judge can be, from the prospective of a lawyer, is working. Keep them on the golf course and out of our hair we say. They will only cause trouble and mess things up if they start working late and paying attention to their cases. Things are just fine the way they are.

First of all, the worst thing a Judge can do is work late and keep jurors and litigants in court all hours of the night. It makes for a very poorly presented case, and jurors end up too tired to devote the time and energy necessary to do their job properly. We have always criticized judges, usually new county court judges, who think they are demonstrating some kind of macho attitude by working to midnight and taking verdicts at 2AM. If this happens as a result of the story, we will all be worse off for it.

There is a fine line between a Judge who works hard and wants to try cases, and if their calendar is clear and there is nothing to do, leave at 3-4pm, and the judge who treats the job as a 10-2 jackpot, and picks up their kids at 4 so they can shop and cook dinner by six. The former judge does not deserve criticism, while the latter does.

Lets face it: there is a prevalent criticism that says some judges sought the bench because they could not make it in private practice. Like any stereotype, it demeans our profession to deal in anything but particulars. Some Judges are great, some are good, and some stink. Just like lawyers or stupid Football general managers who waste a first round draft pick on a wide receiver who is injured and may not even practice before August. Where was I? Oh yeah- Judges.

As much as we have demonstrated a particular glee when any of our robed readers are taken down a notch or two, we truly hope that the upcoming story does not unfairly target a hard working Judge. We all know the Judges who are hardworking, dedicated, and willing to pitch in to try someone else’s case in a pinch. We hope the media has not happened on one of those and caught the rare occasion they took an afternoon off.

As for our robed readers we have a suggestion: if you want to play golf a few times a week at 3 pm, or spend a lazy Friday afternoon fishing, or wake up at 9 am and go to the gym before ambling into work, do what thousands of other likeminded individuals and great Americans have done: run for Congress.

See You In Court, hopefully not working too late.

30 comments:

Fake Judge Ivan Fernandez said...

"OMG! That means that Judge Ivan Fernandez is going to stop playing Golf on Thursdays with his Bailiff? That sucks!"

Thats not true I golf with my JA and its on Wednesdays. Get your facts in order!

Anonymous said...

Just we need, judges working late in the afternoon.

What will they do?

We pay them $140,000.00 a year and they will never give you a hearing at 3:00 pm when YOU WANT ONE.

Anonymous said...

Judges, listen, the story is done, doesn't matter what you do now.

Just stick around till five for a few months and everything will get back to normal.

I honestly could care less what a judge does when they are not on the bench.

For 130 grand a year, I aint sittin around till 5.

Batman said...

Gee - Judges who could not make it as lawyers. You think that includes a judge who never made more than 40K a year as an attorney for Legal Aid and did nothing more than defend eviciton suits against Section 8 housing tenants? (By being elected he now receives 400% of his highest previous salary.) Or maybe you speak of the judge who was selling Amway two years before election to the bench and whose only litigation experience was defending foreclosures against that judge's own investment properties. Or maybe you speak of more than one retired Assistant Public Defender who decided that a part time job as a judge making twice the salary of a PD and taking care of the babies would work. Or maybe you speak of the former attorneys who think of a judgeship as a "comeback job".

But to a great extent this problem is the lawyers' fault as much as the judges in question. The lawyers despise the judge who holds both side's feet to the fire and expects performance. They find judges who follow the rules, insist on professionalism and ethical conduct or deny a 5th continuance as overbearing, unreasonable, unsympathetic and arrogant. That judge is rated low on the "bar polls" and incompetents who don't know the word "no" are liked and rated high. The lawyers encourage lesser individuals to run. They relish in their incompentence and laugh about how they got a weak judge to grant relief to which they were not entitled.

The hardest word for judges to learn is "no". So should we be surprized when they say yes and leave the building?

We need to return to the days when lawyers who were "long in the tooth" became judges after years of practice and life experiences. They wanted to dedicate the remainder of their careers to the cause of justice and the betterment of their community. Being a judge was never supposed to be a "career". It has become that.

As much as "term limits" are a bad thing, maybe its time has come. Then very young and inexperienced people would stop seeking judgeships knowing that 12 years later they will be out there looking for work with no business and no real distinguishing traits that would let them off easy.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Details:

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/General/50AnnivInvitationToBanquet.pdf

Attention Rumpole and members of the Florida bar:

You are cordially invited
to attend a celebration
to commemorate the
50th Anniversary of
the Third District Court of Appeal
50th ANNIVERSARY BANQUET
Friday, June 22, 2007
Reception 7:00 p.m.
Dinner 8:00 p.m.
Treetop Ballroom
Parrot Jungle Island
Miami, Florida 33132
$100 per person • $1,000 for a table of ten
R.S.V.P. and send your check made payable to:
“Third DCA 50th Anniversary Committee, Inc.”
c/o Elizabeth Rodriguez, Ford & Harrison LLP
100 S.E. Second St., Suite 4500
Miami, Florida 33131
305.808.2143 • erodriguez@fordharrison.com
Each guest will receive a complimentary copy of the Court’s published history,
Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, Balancing Justice 1957 - 2007,
and a DVD of the documentary,
Justice Served – The First Half-Century of Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal.
Requests for reservations must be received by June 15, 2007.

Anonymous said...

To: The DUI Guy. J Blecher; D Lurvey; B Reiff were all seen blowing out DUI's today. I hope and trust that will be reflected in the new DUI Power rankings. And was there anything more moving than seeing the old aging pro Jimbo Best huffin and puffin from courtroom to courtroom today? Don't count the old guy out yet. There may be some more life in those legs. Sort of like Ali in Ali- Spinks II.

Anonymous said...

Is that the sound of Taps I hear playing for the wheel guys? Try PIP cases at Coral Gables. Or, there's always the ticket business.

Repeat after me: "we'll take the w/h and reduced fine and 4 hours traffic school magistrate Cobitz. Thanks. "

Batman said...

What makes all of you think that the judges at REGJB are the only ones that will be featured? They have colleagues at the DCC that are never there. Judges who take 12-14 weeks of vacation a year. Judges that spend their afternoons at Logia or shopping or playing golf or on the beach.

The judges at DV have a system worked out so they only work about 3 days a week.

Farina has warned the judges over and over again and they don't listen. He has written memos on vacation time and leave time. The arrogance of most is that they beleive they are invulnerable.

The one thing they are right about is that it will all blow over if the Herald does not do a follow up within a few months.

I agree with 12:05 that the story is done, there is nothing those who will be featured can do now. (Except have their doctor give them a perscription for Ambien so they can sleep.) The show they will make for the next few weeks of being in chambers or walking the halls of courthouses is useless. But they will do it anyway. Some of us don't have to try, we already do.

Before someone says it - yes I am getting a real kick out of this happening. It is long overdue.

See you in the dark alleys of the city or in the hallways of the courthouses doing a bed check.

Anonymous said...

There was a similar expose years and years ago about Judges' hours. They video taped the Justice Building garage. It was virtually vacant.

Fake Drew Rosenhaus said...

Personally, I think the dolphins made two big mistakes in taking Ted Ginn Jr over brady Quinn, and Rob Biswas over Jonathan Blecher. The Dolphins were too impressed and blinded with Biswas's 4:45 time at the DMV. Likewise the Dolphins were overly impressed with Ginns times. Speed isn't everything. The Dolphins wil rue the day they passed on my client Blecher.

Rumpole said...

Can any judge with knowledge of the story on judges leaving early email me, because this might just be a big hoax.

fake jay white said...

The dolphins reached on Ginn and Biswax. I'm a long time season ticket holder, so I know a thing or two.

Anonymous said...

I'm really confused- is Rumpole Adelstein and Matters; or Pete Heller; or Rosen; or Alschuler? Please help me sort this out.

Anonymous said...

Si Si Si for Judge

Anonymous said...

Batman, your time has come. Your arrogance is only overcome by your identity crisis. Riddle me this: What goes around and around, yet never moves a muscle? See you in the shadows too.

The Riddler

Anonymous said...

Scouting Combine:
Rob Biswas: Good out of the arraignment; exceptional DMV time; solid on discovery and speedy trial issues; good movement with the motions; lacks firm trial experience.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole- this DUI stuff has got to end already.

fake Jonathan Schwartz said...

Wouldn't it be a hoot if I was running the blog?

Anonymous said...

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins coach Cam Cameron might want to brace for another round of boos: Top draft pick Ted Ginn Jr. says he's unsure whether he'll be healthy for the start of training camp.

Ginn paid a visit to the Dolphins' complex Sunday and said his sprained left foot will be in a boot for about a month. Rehabilitation will follow, and Ginn said there's no guarantee he'll be ready to practice when camp begins in three months.

"It's whatever the training staff says," the speedy Ohio State receiver-returner said. "I hope that I'm going to be able to be there day one."


Ginn will miss mini-camp May 4-6, but the Dolphins said they expect Ginn to be healthy for the start of training camp.



"We feel good about Ted's foot," general manager Randy Mueller said.



Ginn was hurt in the BCS national championship game Jan. 8 after returning the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown against Florida. The injury happened during an end zone celebration.


Fans jeered Cameron at the Dolphins' draft party Saturday for bypassing Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn in the first round and picking Ginn instead.

Anonymous said...

Judges working half days is hardly a new phenomenon. A media expose was done in the days of Gross, Gelber, Mastos, etc. The result: the judges hung around the courthouses a few hours more each day for a few months. Then it was back to business as usual. They resumed their long lunches, afternoon golf games, shopping, etc. Nothing much will come of this. After all, how big a deal is this in the overall scheme of things when judges have been involved in taking bribes, attempting to have witnesses murdered, having out in the open affairs with other married court personnel or worse yet, defendants/former defendants? Come on, guys, get real. This is Miami Dade County, after all. Isn't this the accepted way of doing business?

Anonymous said...

NEWS FLASH!

"Among those identified in the audit is Al Lorenzo, a former Campaign Manager for Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. He appears to have purchased a condo at The Loft for $137,000 and sold it within a month, realizing a profit approaching 6 figures."

'Lorenzo told CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald that the transaction did not happen as quickly as the auditors say. "I bought it before they even broke ground," Lorenzo said, "I took a risk like anybody else and I paid my deposit and that was it. . . . It wasn't exactly a gift."'

Read complete story: http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_120190145.html


In response to the story, Political Strategist and Guru Bob Levy stated in private that he will call Kathy and defend Al Lorenzo from the clutches of the SAO. This way, he will assure a stable financial income in the next election for himself, Al and re-election for Kathy as she needs Al's political machine. Thus, reviving his (Bob's) relationship with Al Lorenzo.

Kathy was heard saying that she would first help Mayor MaroƱo, then Al as she gets ready to hand over 100K to Bob "The Guru" Levy for her campaign. Regardless of the baggage and dislike he brings to her campaign. "If he writes another bad check, Ulisis will pay him a visit with Don" she said.

Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales was outraged and demanded to be prosecuted by Kathy so he could become Governor of Florida in 2010 and by a Loft next to the Aide of Commissioner Joe Sanchez.

Please stay tuned for more drama and suspense from Al, Bob and Kathy in another episode of "City Wheel of Fortune!" Of course, all of this is always allegedly...

Anonymous said...

Does Judges who go Golfing and such, are they considered par-time Judges or not?

If they are considered full-timers, I can see why Juan Gonzalez was lynched. He was unaware that a 20 hour work week in Judge hours equates to 40 in regular people.

Yes, that was Lesson 69 Folks!

Anonymous said...

"Can any judge with knowledge of the story on judges leaving early email me, because this might just be a big hoax.

Monday, April 30, 2007"

Rumpole its a big hoax I started the lies. I am just laughing at all you guys...

Anonymous said...

I need foodstamps and demand for discovery at the same time!

"In debt, young lawyers struggle to make it
Young prosecutors and assistant public defenders are struggling to pay for even the bare necessities"
BY SUSANNAH A. NESMITH

follow link for story:

http://www.miamiherald.com/460/story/92059.html

Batman said...

Judge Riddler

Two answers come to mind.

1. Hector Lombana

2. Your sizeable derriere

Your day has come!!

Anonymous said...

Caped Crusader, your response is covered with guano. It is a judge that goes around and around and never moves a muscle. Obviously you are not as smart as you think you are.

Now riddle me this: When is it when a judge is not a judge?

The Riddler

Anonymous said...

From: A FLY ON THE WALL: Aide to Governor: Sir, we have a funding problem with providing quality representation for the poor accused of felonies. If they do not get quality legal representation at the trial level it increases the chance of the conviction being overturned on appeal or for ineffective assistance of counsel.Governor: Mr. Attorney General isn't the standard for a conviction being overturned for ineffective counsel that the counsel has to have been so deficient as to amount to the equivalent of no counsel, that you would of been better off without an attorney and represent yourself? Attorney General:That is correct sir. Governor: And isn't it the responsibility of the judge to insure no reversible error and competent counsel. AG: Correct again sir. Governor: So money really isn't the issue- they are not entitled to a great lawyer or perfect trial- they are entitled to a competent attorney. Its like the NBA- you have your 24 all stars, 150 who are in the starting lineups, and the other 210 are still the best in the world give or take a few. So give an attorney with a valid license, criminal trial experience and not an active drug addict. If he wants better he should have saved for a rainy day or been nicer to his family. What have we got to lose- 1 out of 1000 cases overturned 10 years down the road or 1 out of 1000 where the lawyer is deemed ineffective and a new trial is ordered. I'll take those chances, especially since I won't be in office 10 years from now and this way we save 50 Million a year. We need to start building that rail system in central Florida- the people in Orlando and Tampa can't handle traffic the way south Floridians can-their my base anyway. And if the criminal defense attorneys play tough we just call them scum for defending the guilty-90% of the state trusts cops-they aren't aware and don't care about all the corruption in Miami. Where's my lunch dammit.

Batman said...

Judge Riddler

"When is it when..."??? Okay redundancy is not a vice, but bad English is.

That one is easy. The answer is: NEVER.

In addition we are all judges, the question is: are we judgmental?

Are you judgmental, Judge Riddler? Is your conscience clear? Where is your car most afternoons?

Anonymous said...

Go Bob! Go Kathy! Go Al! Go the way of the Miami Heat!

Anonymous said...

Here's the List of Hopeful Candidates for Judge Young's approaching vacancy:

Peter Abraham
Carol Jodie Breece
Abigail Cynamon
Joseph Davis
Miguel De La O
Hon. Darrin P. Gayles
Lynette McGuinness
Shirlyon McWhorter
Rima Y. Mullins
David M. Peckins
Alan Sackrin
Flora Seff
John W. Thorton
Marie Jo Toussaint
Lisa Walsh
Dwayne Edwards Williams

The interviews are set for May 14 and 15, 2007. Location and times TBD.