Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The Broward Blog was the subject of several newspaper articles in he past few days. If you visit the blog by clicking on one of the links we previously posted, you can view the articles.

The main criticism by the Judges quoted in the newspaper articles, other than the comments from everyone's favourite comedian Uncle Dale, was that the anonymous comments tend to be extremely vicious. We have not perused the comments section of the Broward Blog at length, but the criticism gives us time to pause and reflect on our rules.

We favour anonymous comments because it gives attorneys the chance to lodge legitimate comments or complaints without worrying that the Judge may deny their next request for a continuance. However, we firmly believe that the comments need to be screened because of the potential vicious nature that anonymity can bring. We have no problems with someone commenting about a Judge in relation to their judicial demeanor or intellect. We do have a problem with someone taking out a decision or verdict that did not go their way by cursing a judge or attacking their family or other private matters. Therefore, to keep the blog on an even keel, we have adopted the policy of screening and not posting some comments. The comments we do not post are very few indeed. Perhaps one every other day. And when we do not post a comment we usually leave a comment explaining what we did and why.

This blog has been an amazing success. From nothing, we arose to become the place criminal lawyers in Miami turn to discuss a topic or event, or mourn the passing of a friend and colleague. We have had amazing discussions between top attorneys- who can forget Roy Black and Abe Laser discussing the case that made Miami burn in the 1980's?

Anyway, we think things are going well, but there's always room for improvement. What is your idea for making things better? We'd like to know. (Of course having Judge Dale Ross move to Miami to provide us an endless source of entertainment is something we would love, but for a variety of reasons, it is not likely to occur).

So beyond having Uncle Dale regale us with his witty yet witless ruminations on blogging, what else would you like to see on our blog?

See you in court.


Just the facts and the law? said...

Dear, Mr. Rumpole and fellow Bloggers:

The porblem with editing post from bloggers is that you become the editor of the content and legally become liable for the content as a whole. If you read the recent federal opinion from up north that dealt with blogers comments posted by unknown bloggers the Court stated that the owner of the blog in this case "Rumpole" is not liable unless he starts editing the content from the posters to the blog.

In short you place yourself at risk of being sued for libel and having someone prevail if you start editing because you have now become a editor much like the editors at the Herald. But if you just allow a free flow on content your liability is zero, of course the poster could be sought after for libel but now the owner of the Blog.

This is what the Federal court has stated. So why moderation may be the right thing to do it may be the wrong thing in the end if your identity is ever revealed.

Anonymous said...

Lets have a feature every week like:

A form of the week.
Interesting reversal of the week.
Dumb thing a judge did or said of the week.

Anonymous said...

that's what i told rumpole along time ago but he took the path of responsibility,,, no turning back now. the only thing i will say about your new blog moderate formate is this:put the posts up quicker!!!!!

Rumpole said...

Counselor, let me seek your advice on this: What is my liability if I do not have moderation, but later on still remove some comments?

I cannot be part of a blog that allows people to leave terrible nasty comments about my friends and colleagues. By moderating content I am doing my best to avoid hurting anyone. Also, I am fairly well judgment proof. Just ask the bill collectors looking for me.

Rumpole said...

"Dumb judicial comment of the week" How about "dumb judicial comment of the hour"?

Anonymous said...

Dear, Rumpole may I suggest you take off moderation and when you see a nasty comment take it down without telling anyone and let them prove and you can deny that you edited the comment and that it must of been a computer glitch at google that somehow knocked the comment down.

Gotta prove that you actually edit comments and that hard if you dont admit it?

Basically, stop moderation and quitely in your dark closet take down nasty post. I think what most people Judges included is that they dont stay up so that weeks later when grandma googles a name if does not show that so and so is doing drugs, sleeping with this person or not etc etc.

You have to be concerned about your legal liability. If you want to be a editor than you are responsible for all content as a whole. At least thats what the Federal courts say.

Rumpole, good luck and hope you do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole said:

"Counselor, let me seek your advice on this: What is my liability if I do not have moderation, but later on still remove some comments?"

My advice is let the free flow continue unmoderated and a day or two later take down the post that bothered you or someone else and just don't tell anyone and if ever you get questioned on the subject deny you took it down and claim computer malfunction (much like Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction).

While it is unlikely you will ever get questioned on the subject I think this would be the best legal route for you to avoid any liability should you ever get sued.

Remember the comments you make could come back to haunt you but at least you will not be liable for 3rd party comments based on Federal law.

Anonymous said...

How about if we make comments about the bad lawyers that appear before us or the stupid things attorneys sometimes do? How would those lawyers like our anonymous comments about them? I am sure they would hurt them as much as they hurt us as judges. I bet anything that the good lawyers don't take cheap shots at judges, instead they make themselves heard and respected in court.

Anonymous said...

I second the "dumb things Judges say." But, think an even more entertaining topic would be, "Dumb things ASA's say". And a follow up: Dumb plea offers made.

Anonymous said...

Do whaterver you want with moderation as long as it doesn't affect the DUI power rankings. I want to be able to read them every Sunday.

fake john mitchell said...

Leave it to "Fredo" Gonzales to make John Ashcroft look like a champion of civil liberties. How would you like to be working in the Department of Justice now, as it seems to crumbling from the inside and it has become basically a proxy army for Karl Rove? Gonzales is a pathetic disgrace, and every day that he remains in office is a black day for justice in america and a victory for sycophancy and the Peter Principle. G.W. will never get rid of his champion lackey and Fredo knows it, as he continues to lie and bullshit his way through news conferences and Congressional testimonies. I originally thought that impeachment would be a waste of time but I am beginning to believe that it may be the only way to save this country from two more years of corruption and incompetence. Good luck America.

Anonymous said...

Bad bad Philly R caused some serious DUI pain today in Bloom's courtroom. One motion- case dismissed. That's the way to do it.

Anonymous said...

5:27 pm is simply wrong. 47 USC § 230 protects a Blog moderator who selective deletes comments.

fake jimbo best said...

I was in DUI court today watching the Q shucking and jiving and weaving his Q magic. A thing of beauty I tell ya, a thing of beauty.

Anonymous said...

Will Phil R and the Q make it to the top 10 in next Sunday's power rankings? Inquiring minds wanna know!

fake martha stewart said...

Just a thought: who would you rather share a jail cell with--Paris Hilton or Heidi Fleiss?

Anonymous said...

Kill the moderation - that's the only advice I would give you.

And the reason is because of the lack of back and forth dialogue that is caused by you having to literally post up every comment.

It is more useful and more insightful to see the quick exchanges that occur when there is no moderation.

We are all adults and should all have enough belief in our abilities and talents to be able to disregard nasty comments.

Anonymous said...

9:40PM thats not correct since a Federal Judge said so! Once you become the editor and not just a flow of info you become liable for the content as a whole.

In other words if you do as the JAABlog in broward does of allowing anyone to comment without edits the creator of the blog and Google cannot be held liable. Once the JAABlog as Rumpole is doing starts to edit the comments he is now a editor and no longer a provider for a free flow of information.

Now how do get liable taken down? You would have to seek an order from a Court to order the info taken down. You can still go after who ever posted the false info but given that most comments are by Anonymous people thats going to be a problem.

If Rumpole makes post that his libel he can be sued.

Thats what congress enacted in 1996 and a Federal Judge up north said. That case is on appeal and I dont know the results yet.

Publicus said...

If you study American history, you will not find a single example of anonymous authors having anything important to say.

avid power rankings watcher said...

nothing like a little self-promotion for those power rankings, eh "Bad bad Philly R".

APC and your cops were sleazebags, easy call for judge bloom. lets see you argue a reverse noguchi bodden trauth widmark motion, HA!

Batman said...

To Publicus:

Oh, I hate to be contrary, sir, but have you read “Common Sense”. When first published it was done so under a pseudonym. Thomas Paine did not take credit for the authorship until years later. I believe that booklet qualifies as having something “important to say.”

Batman said...

To the anonymous judge at 7:45:

Forest Gump said: "Stupid is as stupid does." The difference between the judge and the lawyer is that the judge is supposed to the smartest person in the room. If you are not then you don't belong there.

The judge is supposed to be the soul of discretion and intellect. When a judge says something stupid it resinates. Most lawyers who say something stupid are the ones we expect to do that, and then we are amused.

Anonymous said...

Another innocent man just released after DNA exonerates him 20 years later!!
Thankfully the jury recommended life and not the death penalty. Who know's if he'd even be alive today to celebrate.

Jump out boy said...

what asa was arrested last night purchasing marijuana? Back in the day our dc used to have a ready supply just to avoid this type of calamity.

Fake Thomas Paine said...

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."

NewsWatch said...

A Miami-Dade prosecutor has been charged with buying marijuana from an undercover Miami officer in Coconut Grove, authorities said Wednesday.

Utpal Dighe, 31, was arrested Tuesday night on one count of purchase of cannabis and one count of possession of the drug.

According to Miami police, he was arrested on Grand Avenue and Hibiscus Street by a detective from the department's Crime Suppression Team. He was booked into Miami-Dade County Jail Wednesday morning and has since posted $6,000 bond.

The state attorney's office was not immediately available for comment.

Anonymous said...

ASA Utpal Dighe arrested for purchas of weed. Check out the Herald for the story.

Anonymous said...

Rump, have you begun bracing for all the "ASA gets busted for pot" comments? How about preempt the discussion with a nice dissertation on making the drug legal, versus castigating judges and lawyers who smoke tree every day just to put up with one another? Start a revolution like its 1969! Peace and love! If all the bloggers smoked a legal fatty the whole site would be much more pleasant and all would be smiling. (And the PD's couldn't complain about prosecutors hogging a blunt while locking up dopes who get caught)

Anonymous said...

NAMES TO THE GOVERNOR for Young's seat:
Alan Sakrin
David Peckins
John Thornton
Joe Davis
Daryn Gales
Shirlon McWhorther

Anonymous said...

Start writing to the Governor NOW.

We need Gayles or Thornton in that seat and NOT Mc Whorter.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Heidi Fleiss...anyday. That would be the most fun incarceration ever.

Anonymous said...

i got 4/6 right on the list to crist.

Anonymous said...

Free Utpal Dighe! Free Paris Hilton! Free Scooter Libby! Free Mary Jane!

Anonymous said...

To treat every defendant the same, Mr. Dighe's felony purchase of marijuana should be no actioned and the possession bound down to county court.

Anonymous said...

batman, you are a complete IDIOT.

The judge should be the most receptive and open-minded person in the courtroom--not necessarily the smartest.

...and it's "resonates", IDIOT.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with 8:27 that batman is a nobody. Probably a 4th year loser attorney that made more as a PD or ASA than he's been able to scrape together as a PA. At least he sounds that way.

"Resinate" is what you did to someone's deck, at your part-time job last weekend to make ends meet, loser!

Spicoli said...

Gotta do things in moderation dude.

Free Scooter Libby, Free The ASA and Judge who smoked the kind. Smoke Bush. By way of impeachment (edit).

Batman said...

To the anonymous judge at 8:27 p.m.:

I agree that I misspelled the word "resonates" but I would hardly concede idiocy. But if a misspelling is your definition then you are not "open-minded" nor "receptive".

I agree that the judge should be the most respected and open-minded person in the room, but I will not back down from the judge being the smartest person in the room. Nor do I think a judge's role is to the be the most receptive. "Idiocy" should not be received. We waste too much time on nonsense and do not spend enough time on what merits our time. Receive what you will in your time. I will make better use of mine.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, batman, not a judge. But your guess that I am a judge only shows your ingrained cynicism.

Will you be resinating the wood deck outside your trailer this weekend, idiot!

Pacificus said...

All of the Federalist Papers were written under psedonyms.

Batman said...

Am I or am I not. Only those who have seem me behind my mask will know. More important is that I know.

Spicoli said...

Not all of the Federalist Papers were written under a nom de plume for the record. Some were, and they all are great. They kind of helped bulid and unify a nation (not too shabby). England loved using prior restraint at the time. Bush tries that with the "Patriot Act." Rumpole does no such thing. Check out any Fox Blog. Quite different. Work in Washington D.C. for a while. What do you think a blog by Tony Snow might look like?

Judge Pineiro said it best when he asked all to stop sniping. Ever been hit with spam? Geez, put yourself in Rumpole's shoes.

He has done a great job with moderation. You may not agree with Batman, TrialMaster, Rumpole, the robed one, me, or whomever. If you have a point to make, make it.

The alternative is a failure of the system. What if Rumpole allowed only for those who agree with him to write after moderation? He doesn't do that. What if he allowed everyone to write whatever they wanted? That is not ideal either I begrudgingly admit. Fair moderation, which is clearly what this is, is the only reasonable alterantive. His numbers don't lie. People do. And when that happens for purposes of political change, personal gains, false motives, or just to attack for attacking's sake, then you've got some real problems. Lies used to change policy in the government. (That never happens... unlesssyou want to count Vietnam or Iraq).

Would you prefer if his blog went completely unmoderated but editing was selectively done for reasons only Rumpole might know and without any explanations from him? He's got it right. At a minimum, he is trying to get it right and his intent is pure.



Anonymous said...

Am I [an idiot]or am I not [an idiot]. [Everyone] seems [to know by now even though I am] behind my mask. More important is that I know [that I am...an idiot].

Pacificus said...


Thanks for the correction. Great comment on the Federalist Papers.
My point was and remains that many important ideas and documents were written by people using psedonyms. It is the personal anonymous attacks and lies that requre editing, and yes, sometimes censorship. Rumpole does a great job keeping the discussions lively, while at the same time above the belt. Keep up the good work Rumpole

Anonymous said...

The following candidates will be interviewed by the Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission on Monday, May 14, and Tuesday, May 15 in the evening. Official Notice and interview times will follow.

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

Anonymous said...

11:28 pm -
Read it yourself (Rumpole, moderate away without fear):

47 USC sec 230

(c) Protection for Good Samaritan blocking and screening of offensive material
(1) Treatment of publisher or speaker
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.
(2) Civil liability
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of
(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or
(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).