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

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

THEY JUST CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES

Is there anything more satisfying these days than being a journalist or blogger and covering the Court North of the Border?

We couldn’t make this up if we tried.

PROBLEM: The Broward Judges are concerned about recent criticism that they are a judiciary out of control and out of touch with the public. The criticism has included that the Broward Court is comprised of an “old boy network" of Judges and lawyers protecting their interlocking interests, the public be damned.

To combat the perception that Judges are “arrogant” and that the Judiciary operates as a secret and exclusive club that does what it wishes- aided and abetted by a small group of lawyers who put them there and financially benefit from the arrangement, the Broward Judiciary formed a Diversity Panel.

What’s the first thing the panel did?

SOLUTION: Book a private room in a swanky restaurant and meet over dinner and drinks with some Bar leaders….IN SECRET.

We kid you not.

When intrepid Daily Business Review Reporter Jordana Mishory found out about the meeting she was barred from entering, and like an abandoned and homeless mongrel, she was left outside with her nose pressed against the window.

DBR Executive Editor Eddie Dominguez wrote a commentary piece that is a must read.

DBR

Dominguez critiques the faulty logic of the Judiciary that in order for Bar leaders to freely speak their mind to Judges, they have to be able to do it in private.

Here is part of what he wrote, and he hit a home run in our humble opinion:

But how does one counter the public’s perception of an insensitive court with closed door discussions?


More important is that Williams’ [ Judge Elijah Williams, who chairs the commission] justification of the secret meeting would endorse the notion that a climate of intimidation and retribution does exist in Broward’s courts and that people are afraid to speak their minds unless they do so in private.

Most startling: if bar leaders can’t express their honest opinions openly, then no one can. That the judges want to operate in a closed environment is no surprise.

A number of Broward judges have demonstrated a penchant for closed proceedings. It is the insular and parochial nature of the courthouse that has helped bolster the belief by many that judges are out of touch, arrogant and not accountable. The reasoning also begs the question of why bar leaders need anonymity and secrecy to do what they were elected to do?

So, to summarize. Our Robed Readers to the North, to combat the notion that their courthouse is a private and clubby enclave of secret meetings in which no public dissent is tolerated, they…..meet……in……a……private…….room…….of……a…..restaurant…….IN SECRET.


Invitation only and Rumpole need not apply.

Well, we can think of many other individuals we would rather break bread with. And knowing the Judiciary’s penchant for drinking on someone else’s tab, we can think of better things we can do with our money. Still, if Jordana Mishory wanted to share an Apple Martini and scintillating conversation with soon to be former Chief Judge Dale Ross, why shouldn’t she be able to do so?

We repeat our oft heard lament: It’s just not fair that our friends to the North have such easy targets to write about. We publicly call upon our own dear robed readers for one of them to protect the honor of Dade and step up to the plate and do something stupid. Quickly.


See You In Court, where it’s boring these days and none of our Judges has managed to put their foot in their mouth recently. But we have hopes.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Rump, how come no comments about the Judge Seiden story on Channel 7 last night?

Rumpole said...

I don't watch TV in general, and Channel 7 in particular. Tell us about the story.

Anonymous said...

I have a partial transcript from the meeting in broward:

Judge Ross: Listen, do you want to know a secret
Do you promise not to tell,
Closer, let me whisper in your ear

Member of JAABlog: Say the words you long to hear
I'm in love with you

Judge Ross: I've known a secret for a week or two
Nobody knows just we two

Rumpole said...

nope...I know your writing too well. You couldn't slip that one past me. You had your chance to apologize, and you blew it. Just be happy I saved you bus fare on Monday.

fake john mitchell said...

I've had clients prosecuted and convicted of felonies for doing what Monica Goodling testified today that the top law enforcement official in this country did before he testified under oath in front of the U.S. Senate. What a disgrace and embarrasment. How can we expect young lawyers, law students, defendants, or witnesses to have any respect for our courts when it is now clear that the Attorney General of the United States is a perjurer and obstructer of justice?

Anonymous said...

Glen Beck sucks....Rumpole, please do something about this guy.

Also, did anybody catch Olberman's comment tonight??!

Anonymous said...

They followed Seiden around w/o his knowledge. Caught him taking 3 hour lunches and playing tennis. When confronted, he refused to talk to Carmel Cafeiro. When she asked Ross about Seiden's short schedule, Ross said something to the effect that it was his understanding that the reason for the short schedule was that Seiden was somehow ill. That's when they showed him at the tennis club. They also said that they were following other Broward judges but that they got wind of it and straightened themselves out. Worth checking the website to see if it's on there.

Anonymous said...

Here's the link

http://www1.wsvn.com/features/articles/investigations/MI48822

Anonymous said...

I like Glen Beck. Plus, he wears great shirt / tie combos.

Back to Broward now: Ah, just don't get arrested up there. The SAO office is worse than the judges

Anonymous said...

Olbermann's comment, transcript and video, here: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/05/23/special-comment-the-only-things-truly-compromised-are-the-trust-of-the-votersfriends-and-family-in-iraq/

Anonymous said...

GOODLING GOT IMMUNITY. You only need immunity if you know you committed a crime. Hope her State Bar has the guts to pull her license.

Rumpole said...

Broward Judges not working 9-5???? Say it ain't so Joe (Farina).

Anonymous said...

Dade ethics panel may fine lobbyist
BY MATTHEW I. PINZUR
mpinzur@MiamiHerald.com
Miami-Dade's ethics commission said a prominent Florida lobbyist broke local laws in part by slipping a poison-pen letter about his client's competitor to a county judge who was helping pick the winner of a multimillion-dollar contract.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_dade/story/115403.html

Rumpole said...

UP TO 800 PEOPLE A DAY!

Justice Building Blog -- Site Summary ---
Visits

Total ...................... 237,718
Average per Day ................ 800
Average Visit Length .......... 6:22
This Week .................... 5,597

Rumpole said...

There is now a permanent link to the Broward Blog on the left side of the blog under the link to David Markus's federal blog. Go and check out the current post on an attorney's adventures at the Broward DMV. He had the temerity to defend his client and catch the deputy in a lie. The result: he was pulled over in his car as he left the DMV and harrassed by a BSO jack booted thug.

Go read the post. This is the Country we now live in.

Anonymous said...

Rumpy- the scene last night at Privet: 4 hottie PDs and two ticket chicks arrive in two cars about 11pm. The PDs are all crammed into a new Porsche 911 convertable, jet black inside and out. A 6 foot tall blonde with hair down to her butt steps out in a tight and slinky short dress. The valets are going nuts. Traffic is stopped. And on the back of her new Porsche is this bumper sticker:

"I read Rumpole".

Rumpy- just what is the name of your super hot girlfriend???

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

So today is D-Day for Senate Bill 1088. Will the Governor sign the bill?

Maybe Brian T. or Rick F can give us an update and tell all the appointed attorneys what they need to do if and when the bill becomes law.

For now, let's hope that all the lobbying by FACDL changed some minds...???

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

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

While we are anxiously awaiting the governor's decision, we do note the following:

Our infamous Florida Department of Corrections reports that they have crossed a new milestone. As of January 1, 2007, there are 90,411 inmates in our state prison beds. This being the first time we have entered the 90,000 plus area. In June of 2006, there were 88,576 inmates. AND you can go back only four years and find that there were "only" 73,553 inmates incarcerated.

So, in the last 4 1/2 years, we have gone from 73,000 to over 90,000.

I guess that is why, this morning, the governor signed a 71.5 Billion Dollar Budget, that included:

"Prison Beds – To ensure adequate prison capacity so that offenders serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentences and are not subject to early release, $164.4 million is provided to begin the construction of 5,139 state-operated prison beds. An additional 2,880 beds will be made available by private prison contractors, bringing the total number of newly funded prison beds to 8,019."

It won't be long before the Great State Of Florida will have over 100,000 inmates - costing us - oh by the way - $19,002 per year per inmate.

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

Fake Former Judge said...

Can me and Hanzman hire JCQ Rock to privately investigate the character assassination of Michael Lansman...I mean Hanzman?

One of the great things about Hanzman is his public support of PCA affirmed opinions. We need more of those, and less wordy crap from the 3rd DCA.

fake former judge postman said...

What about me? I'm available for the 3rd DCA.

Anonymous said...

"all we are saying
is give Postman a chance"

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to that loser former Judge Jeffrey Swartz? Why did he not apply to replace David Young?

Oh ok maybe he is hoping to apply to replace Emas,Shuminer or Bailey if they get appointed or run in 08.

Anonymous said...

Bob Levy is a crook. He should get indicted for breaking the "Cone of Silence!"

Anonymous said...

If I didn't make it clear the other day, I'm into the whole 1970's retro- law Gerry Klein ring-a ding-ding way of doing things. Its cool.

Anonymous said...

Shuminer, Hanzman, Bailey and the Rest
I think the lawyer for the 3rd DCA should be the BEST

JIMBO BEST for the Third DCA!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Rump, Whats wrong with the initial meetings being in private? Don't you think that this encourages more open discussion from the judges without fear that anything they say would lead to reprisals from the good ol boys? If it may lead to something positive, why the negativity? Give it a chance.

TRIVIA QUESTION said...

TRIVIA:

we all know Jimbo Best is a freak, but the last 3-way he was involved in he lost.

can anyone tell us the names of the other two parties in the three-way?

Jason Wandner said...

Rump: In reference to your 7:58:00 comment, that kind of behavior is not just relegated to Broward, I am afraid.

On or about May 26, 2004, I was at a DHSMV/BDI hearing on 2515 W. Flagler, in which I challenged the conduct of the arresting Officer, Officer L. Molina of the Miami Police Department.

After the hearing, I travelled towards the MJB. Officer Molina followed me, and pulled me over (himself) for a bullshit violation.

Thankfully, Judge (Sheldon) Schwartz blew the case out and to his credit, he castigated Molina for his outrageous conduct, in front of the entire courtroom.

I hope word got around the precincts not to pull that crap around here.

discipline me! said...

In April 1998 Miami-Dade County Court Judge Reginald Richardson was charged with offering $50 to a prostitute at the corner of Biscayne and NE 31st Street. He got a public reprimand from the FLSCt.

Whats in store for Larry (pass the duchy to the left hand side) Korda?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the prison stats Captain. It's great to see that we're sending so many people to the big house. Makes our neighborhoods much safer. Those tax dollars are well spent.

PS---my only concern is that we continue to spend so little on rehabilitation (ie. treatment and re-entry). I'd rather that we prevent future crimes than punish people for committing them, if we can. I wish we were more balanced.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Rumpole
The only answer for the #rd DCA is SI SI SI !!!!

Anonymous said...

As expected, Crist signed the bill.

Here comes PD office number 2.

Fake Sammy Davis Jr. said...

Shumie doobedoo....
3rd DCA Shumie....
Shumie doobedoo.
Badoobeedoobe...
Shumie Doobeedo.

Its hip, its jazzy, its Shumie on the 3rd DCA.

Anonymous said...

Trivia Answer: Jimbo Best lost his bid for a county court slot to Reggie "need a ride"? Richardson. Don't remember the third person. Was it Fake Blecher? Or Andy Kotsin?

rick freedman said...

TO ALL COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL REGISTRY ATTORNEYS:

Sometime this evening, Governor Crist is expected to sign SB 1088. The Court Appointed Counsel system as we have known it for the past three years is over. Here are some of the things you should know:

1. Go to the JAC website, justiceadmin.org and click on the LOGIN page. If you have never opened an account online, do so.

2. Click on the CASES assigned to you and review the list. This list represents those cases where you have notified the JAC of your appointment to a case.

3. If you have been appointed to a case that does not appear on the list, then you should send the JAC the required cover letter with attached appointment Order and a copy of the Information.

4. According to the new law, SB 1088, Section 32, you must send a letter to the JAC before JULY 15, 2007 listing every active court appointment where you expect to receive compensation from the state. My recommendation, is that you send a letter to the JAC, with a list of your cases, even if they are already listed on your caseload with the JAC.

5. According to the new law, SB 1088, you must send in a bill for a closed case within 90 days after the disposition of the case; (or be subjected to a 15% penalty). FACDL believes that this provision of the statute is unenforceable as your present contract that you are operating under does not provide for this penalty. Further, the new law, FS 27.5304 (4), states that this penalty shall be provided for by contract with the attorney for imposition of a penalty of 15% of the allowable attorney's fees, costs and related expenses for a bill that is submitted more than 90 days after the disposition of the case. Regardless of our interpretation, our best advice to you is for you to get your bills in to the JAC as soon as possible for all closed cases. If you have a Long Form bill that you intend on submitting to the Fee Review Committee (FRC), get the bill to them as soon as possible. We also suggest that you send a copy of the proposed bill to the JAC and indicate to them that you are awaiting the necessary response from the FRC.

6. As for any court appointments that you may choose to accept between today and June 30, 2007, we cannot say for sure whether you will be paid pursuant to the Attachment A of your current contract or pursuant to the flat fee rates of the new law. The interesting conflict that the Senate has unintentionally set up is that, while SB 1088 and the flat fee language takes effect today, the flat fee payment schedule is contained in the General Appropriations Act (SB 2800) and that bill does not become law until July 1, 2007.

7. You can expect to receive a new contract shortly from the JAC. You will have to decide whether to sign it. If you do not, you cannot accept any new court appointments. You can finish out all your open cases under your existing contract without signing a new one. You will be paid pursuant to Attachment A of your contract signed and effective from July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2007.

8. Appointments will continue to be supervised by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and you can expect to continue to receive telephone calls from them until September 30, 2007. As of October 1, 2007, the new Regional Counsel Office begins operations and will take all conflict cases. At that point, we expect to experience an 80-85% decrease in private court appointments once the "Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel" (OCCCRC) takes over. The 15-20% leftovers will be those cases where the OCCCRC also conflicts out of the case.

9. If you do continue to take new cases, you should be aware of the new flat fee rates. They are LOW, LOW, Very Very Low. On Juvenile delinquency cases you will be paid between $300 - $700; 3rd degree Felonies - $750; 2nd degree Felonies - $1,000; 1st degree Felonies - $1,500; 1st degree PBL Felonies - $2,000 and Life Felonies - $2,500. The legislature recognizes that, "on rare occasions" an attorney may receive a case that requires extraordinary and unusual effort. You may file a "Makemson Motion", but relief may not be granted if the number of work hours does not exceed 75 or the number of the state's witnesses deposed does not exceed 20. (FS 27.5304(12)(b)(1).

Stay tuned for additional information.

Rick Freedman
FACDL-Miami, Chair, Subcommittee on Court Appointed Counsel

Anonymous said...

The simple answer as of this point on all appointments should be NO! This would presume that we have the fortitude face the fact that the State will heretofore refuse to pay a reasonable rate for services rendered. The time has come for us to hold our ground when we get that inevitable call from the AOTC, which is our only we to force the powers that be to see the flaws in the system during this period of transition to the Conflict Public Defender. We should not be made to unfairly shoulder the burden until the “new system” is in place when we had an agreement with the State to provide services under Article V and THE STATE OF FLORIDA has reneged on the prior agreements. If we have a sort of unofficial (but concerted) Boycott that starts tomorrow, we will send the loudest message that we humble servants of the indigent can send. We are the backbone of indigent defense and we need to remind the folks in Tallahassee of this fact. Let us do this together for our clients, for the citizens of Miami-Dade County, and for ourselves as liberty's last champions. BOYCOTT!! BOYCOTT!! BOYCOTT!!

fake JQC said...

just wait a second. wasnt the third in that judicial menage-a-trois with reggie and jimbo none other than ORJ fave, Ivan "the awful" Hernandez?

Anonymous said...

Trivia Answer: Jimbo Best lost his bid for a county court slot to Reggie "need a ride"? Richardson. Don't remember the third person. Was it Fake Blecher? Or Andy Kotsin?

Answer = Ivan Hernandez, who beat Reggie in the general election. From the frying pan to the fire, Ivan is memorable for his complete failure as a County Court Judge and in his re-election bid being the only hispanic to get burned by an anglo opponent, Robin Faber.

Anonymous said...

Hernandez may have lost, but it was because of his failure to not listen to his wife. Add the fact that Leifman and Slom united with Bob Levy and Farina hung Hernandez out to dry when he (Hernandez) ruled adequately against McGuillis. Lastly, The Herald who provided bias reporting against Hernandez pushed and pushed until he was made to look like a fool. Let's not forget mother nature doing it's part.

Here is the promise. Robin, you will never repeat and I will make sure you go down as a big failure. You are a cheat and opportunist. You went too far and played a game that was filled with illegalities and you know it. Remember this, "revenge is a dish best served cold". I pray for God to give me life until 2003 to show you a good time in a truly Democratic fashion. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same! I will avenge Rippingale. I mean, is not her fault she hung with McWhorter because Pando and Francis did not let her in the mix and stuff. Thus, I pray to Le Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre to let me avenge my dearest Rippingale.