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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Friday, May 04, 2007

HE WHO LAUGHS LAST

The Florida Supreme Court says the prosecution should have the last word. If prosecutors need the help because their cases are so weak or their trial skills are lacking, we say give the poor schlumps a fighting chance.

In Federal Court the prosecution has always had the last word at closing argument. The theory behind this is that the prosecution has the burden of proof and therefore should have the last word.

We have often felt that good and solid defense evidence is more than worth losing the rebuttal at closing argument. An experienced defense attorney can handle the prosecution's rebuttal argument in their closing argument by asking questions and challenging the prosecution to answer them. There are other tricks of the trade, so if you are concerned, just ask around.

The real issue here is the Judge (you know- those individuals who leave the courthouse at 2pm lugging a set of golf clubs.)
If the Judge can stop reading the blog during closing argument and pay close attention to the closing argument by the defense attorney, then the Judge can issue (heaven forbid) an intelligent ruling when the defense objects that the prosecution's rebuttal is outside the scope of the Defendant's closing argument.

We have been involved in cases where we have never mentioned one particular piece of evidence, yet over our objections, the Judge has allowed the prosecution to argue the issue during rebuttal. To make this fair, Judges need to be vigilant and keep the prosecution's argument at rebuttal to only issues that the defense argued.

Perhaps this will help our robed readers:

Rebuttal: n 1: the act of refuting by offering a contrary contention or argument.

From: legal-explanations.com : (n) Rebuttal is the negation of a proof, argument, evidence or documents provided in a proceedings by introducing counter evidence.

So as long as our robed readers hold the prosecution to actual rebuttal arguments, we think the prejudice will be negligible.

Do not despair fellow defense attorneys. We win cases all the time in Federal Court and in State Court where we did not have the last word.

Remember: Your goal is to make sure that the very last words uttered by the clerk in reading the jury verdict begins with "NOT".

See You in Court. Sandwiches are fattening anyway. Try salad.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rank the DUI Power ratings- the web site independent from the DUI power rankings is predicting that this will be a very interesting week. L&L, Reiff, Hersch, all had BIG weeks. Blecher also did ok. Jimbo Best was seen huffin and puffin around but his results were nixed. Rookie sensation Biswas also made some waves, while the Q struggled to make a come back, and Shuminer dropped off the board. One bog win a month doesn't get you a top ten rating.

Anyway, sunday will be the big day.

DUI Power Rankings new comer said...

Get ready to rumble.

The DUI power rankings will be taken over by none-other than Attorney Randy Maultasch.

Inside sources close to the DUI power that be have noted that Randy will come in first place this week and making the DUI power rankings list.

Anonymous said...

Get over it.

So what, we don't get the sandwich.

Do you really think who speaks last wins cases? Really?

FORMER JUDGE said...

Forget this DUI power rating - Let Phil Reizenstein write an article on the blog about what it was like representing the Defendant in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. CORADO "JUNIOR" SOPRANO

Anonymous said...

The real DUI power rankings are:

Reiff
Catalano
Hersch
Quirantes
PD

Anonymous said...

Biswas is no Rookie, give it up for the "Bis" he's a sensation to be reckoned with! Fianally the DUI Power Ratings give love in a new (and well deserved) direction. Plus that "Sear Sucker" suit is the BOMB!

Anonymous said...

Just returned from a massive, repeat massive, fundraiser for Judge Norma "what say you state" Lindsay. Right now I say her new nickname is WSYS. Anyway, the political pros were out in force, so were the traffic lawyers and some pretty big named DUI and felony lawyers who have had occassion to spend 2-3 hours watching WSYS do an arraignment or two. Anyway, its good to see that lawyers are not afraid to oppose a Judge who after 20 years in practice still defers to prosecutors three months out of law school.

Anonymous said...

Go Lisa!

Anonymous said...

The real, real, I mean real, DUI power rankings are:

Maultasch
Reiff
Catalano
Hersch
Quirantes
PD
The "Q" fear the "Q" respect the "Q"

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

The BIG question of the day is:

Will Rumpole or The Captain make an appearance at the black tie soiree tomorrow night - the FACDL Installation Dinner/Dance?????

CAPTAIN OUT .............

FORMER JUDGE said...

Didn't Phil Reizenstein also represent the Defendant in BOCA DEL VISTA PHASE II v. DR. TIM WHATLEY, KENNY BANIA, MICKEY "THE DWARF" ABBOTT, DAVID PUDDY, AND DR. VAN NOSTRAND, ET. AL.?

don't be modest PHIL...let us average lawyers know what it is like to be a celebrity lawyer. You would be number one on the "CELEBRITY LAWYER POWER RATING"...

Anonymous said...

When is Judge Cohn's term over? This man needs to go.

Anonymous said...

You got Cohn for SIX!!!! Read that SIX!!! Did I tell you that fool will be on the bench for SIX! Did I tell you it was SIX, READ IT AND WEEP.

Anonymous said...

Rump
I've never decided not to put on a case to get final argument. The concept is stupid. Unfortunetly I dont ussualy have any witnesses/evidence [that are credible] to put on {never did find that twin brother that really sold the drugs}. Just another chance to give the gov't a better chance to convict. Hey why not one closing argument each. The State gets to go first through out the case until the end and then they get the last word. Good thing there are never any inocent people ever convicted.
D Sisselman

Rumpole said...

2 comments didn't make it up- the Sopranos as REGJB people didn't make it because it listed one male as a female and that was an unfair comment on sexual orientation. Redo it without that. The second comment didn't go up had some nasty stuff about the flintstones and you know what we mean. Leave that alone.

Anonymous said...

Biswas should be at the top of the rankings. Forget the "Q"!!!!!!!!!!!