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

Sunday, July 08, 2007

VERY VERY

Very Quietly

Judge Tunis wrapped up a two defendant-two jury first degree murder case last week. Two defendants, at least four lawyers, two twelve member juries. By any account, these cases are difficult and require a firm guiding hand. Judge Tunis has previously been the recipient of criticism on these pages. Therefore, we feel it is only appropriate to give a Rumpolian “well done” for her job in managing the trial.

Very Loudly:

Broward defense attorney Chris Roberts has been very loud recently, with his double barrel allegations about Judicial corruption North of the Border. First Roberts was giving the scoop to Channel 7’s Carmel Cafiero about an unpaid loan of $2,500.00 to Judge Zack. When the dust had barely settled from that mess, there was Roberts talking about Judge Seidlin putting the arm on him for a thousand dollar purse for his missus. From A(nna) Nicole Smith’s Judge to Z(ack) Roberts accusations made an already trying time for the Broward Judiciary seem like Watergate Broward style.

Now comes the
Sun Sentinel Article that reveals that, surprise surprise, Mr. Roberts goes to Tallahassee. It seems that after 23 years as a defense attorney in Broward (talk about doing hard time) Mr. Roberts has decided that his presence at 201 SE 6th Street is no longer desired.

It has been hard to sit by and not speculate about what hidden agenda Mr. Roberts has by all of the sudden coming forward to announced that he is “shocked! Shocked!” to learn that there is corruption in the Broward County Court house. Roberts could have asked Zack for the loan back. Roberts could have immediately said no to Seidlin and reminded him of the several rules of ethics that would prohibit him from giving expensive gifts to a sitting Judge who was appointing him to cases. It is not that we do not wish to see Seidlin and Zack investigated, and punished if necessary, it is just that Mr. Roberts bears some responsibility for the corruption he has been benefiting from for these last 23 years.

Very …..(longly?)

Word also reaches us that after zillions of lawyers and Judges, Judge Lenny Glick is wrapping up voire dire for a man charged with first degree murder who has sat more than seven years waiting for trial.

Nobody is served when a case takes this long to bring to trial. We remember a time when the Florida Supreme Court monitored the age of cases on a Circuit Judge’s calendar. If that is still not going on, perhaps it is time for our chief administrative Judges (when their not busy ignoring our emails and canning Judge Klein) to institute some system of monitoring the age of cases and requiring the parties to report on just what is taking so long. A first degree murder trial takes time to prepare. A year is not unreasonable and neither is two years if the attorney has another big case brewing. But seven years creates an impression of a justice system out of control and it panders to the worst stereotypes the media has about the efficiency of our system.

It's a long hot summer, and but for the fireworks up North, it would be a boring one too.

See You In Court.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

somebody call the Q:

An 11-year-old girl was charged with drunken driving after leading police on a chase at speeds of up to 100 mph that ended when she flipped the car in an Alabama beach town.

A video camera in the police car captured the look of surprise on the officer's face when he approached the wrecked car and got a look at the motorist.

The Mobile Press-Register newspaper said the patrolman saw the Chevrolet Monte Carlo speeding and flashed his lights to signal the driver to stop. Instead, the car sped faster, traveling at up to 100 mph (160 kph) before sideswiping another vehicle and flipping over in the Gulf Coast town of Orange Beach, Alabama, on Tuesday night.

The young driver, who lived nearby in Perdido Key, Florida, was treated at a hospital for scrapes and bruises and released to relatives. Police also charged her with speeding, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless endangerment.

The car belonged to a relative and police were still trying to find out where she got the alcohol. There was none in the vehicle but her blood alcohol level was over the limit for adult motorists, police told the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole how is 2 years for a grand theft trial to start?

Anonymous said...

Rumpole

FIDA party on the 14th @ 8:30.

121 ne 45 st.

Anonymous said...

Someone has already called the Q and he already got the case nolle prossed for the 11-year-old girl who now wants to become the Q too.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, your double standard is sickening. How dare you spit at Mr. Roberts and defend Broward when you have kicked a bunch of innocent people, defend Bob Levy and refuse to actually focus on the truly corrupt as well as dirty Miami-Dade Judges who run this Circuit as North of the Border Country? Why? I truly suggest you come back to reality and focus on the Judges of Miami-Dade and stop this crap. We all know Miami-Dade has the top Mafia and neither you nor Susana Nesmith have the guts to report the truth.

Anonymous said...

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE EVIDENT IN THE GOOD OLD US OF A. 1. Our country considers the poor from inner cities and small towns to be expendable in the wars we instigate to keep the military industrial complex going. 2.Congress is full of self-indulgent people who only care about re-election and the perks of office. 3. The rich run this country-not elected officials. 4. The rich run the top 1000 companies in the country. 5.Our country has never atoned for slavery. 6. Our country lacks leadership . 7. Our country is in an unjust war-admitted by our commander in chief and our military have killed approximately 250000 Iraqis who did not attack us on 9/11. 8. Our politicians are afraid of the rich republicans so now impeachment. 9. 4000 American kids and a few older have died because the FBI wanted to investigate blowjobs rather than people taking flying lessons who don't want to know how to land, just steer. 10. We will be in this at least 2 more years. what a country.

Rumpole said...

Oh it's almost too early for this:
2:57 am- 1) I have never met Bob Levy. I am vaguely aware he is a lobbyist. 2) I do not kick innocent people. I will defend them however, for a fee. 3) I didn't spit at Mr. Roberts. However, I can assure you that the Rules Of Ethics REQUIRE an attorney to report a violation, and PROHIBIT an attorney from both loaning money to a judge s/he practices before, and buying a Judge an expensive gift during the time period a judge is appointing the attorney to cases.

4) I would LOVE to break a story on corrupt Judges in Dade. I think we have good judges, bad judges, and lazy and dumb Judges. But I haven't seen a corrupt Judge in a while down here- alhough sometimes I see ex-Judge Roy Gelber walking the streets of Miami Beach.

So tough guy, privately email me which Judges are corrupt, and the evidence you have, and I will get right on it. Until then, try Ambien, as writing posts at 3am is not usually good for your health over the long run.

Anonymous said...

How are the "three-dollar-bill" references getting through the moderation, Rumpole?

Rumpole said...

Sorry. I wasn't playing close attention. I was prepping for a trial all weekend. Some times our readers can be pretty sly. They are down.

Rumpole said...

I just don't get that last comment that I removed about anal sex. Is it really relevant to anything we are doing here? Please explain.

Anonymous said...

The anal sex comment was only relevant to the worthless existence of the person who wrote it, who is now crying because they couldn't post it on this blog.

That person is probably now knocking on doorbells and running away.

Anonymous said...

politically incorrect?

are you a grouper?

Batman said...

Has anybody considered the possiblity that Mr. Roberts chose now to reveal his "secrets" because he planned on leaving town and thus was free to speak? Does anyone believe that this "corruption" is limited to the two which Roberts revealed?

To be sure Roberts, too, has violated the Code of Porfessional Responsibilty and must face appropriate discipline. There is enough written on the subject of judges accepting gifts and borrowing money that there is no room for interpretation. The judges involved know the rules. If the allegations are true, then they intentionally violated them

Zack has done this before and walked away. (Last time it was a bondsman who had forfeitures and estreatures before him.) One has to wonder how. Maybe because his buddy Lenny Feiner was on the JQC. Maybe not.

Whatever the reasons, corruption in our courts is intolerable. If you can not afford to live on a judge's salary, don't be a judge. If you want to keep up with all your friends and neighbors, then this is not the job for you.

Some judges (based upon their work ethic and abilities) are drastically overpaid, some are drastically underpaid, but no matter, you take the job knowing its restrictions and financial limitations. Accept it or get out.

Rumpole said...

Well said Caped Crusader.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, Rumpole, who is your criticism concerning the 7 year wait for a trial directed at? Over and over again, you see defense attorneys continuing and delaying cases as long as possible. Judges (almost) always grant the continuances because of fear of 3.850 issues. Prosecutors also have to be careful objecting to the continuances for the same reason. Even when a defense continuance is denied, the defendant then ends up filing a Nelson and/or Faretta motion or filing a Bar complaint against he defense attorney delaying the case even further. Defense attorneys (understandably) withdraw from cases because they are no longer getting paid. It has been posted in the past-this type of practice is common in Miami. The purpose is to make people lose their memory, interest, disappear, etc. If an ASA really wants a "speedy" trial, she has to do all the work herself. She has to coordinate all the depositions. She has to make sure all of the discovery is done. She has to ensure that the defendant is colloquied in court about delays and/or decisions that the defense attorney makes. But then again, ASAs have other cases they have to worry about as well. They cannot be both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. Stop delaying cases and start facing the music. Stop arguing that defendants needs to have speedy trial rights and then delaying cases for as long as possible. Make up your mind.

Rumor Mill said...

Daniel Lurvy back to SAO as Deputy Chief.

Anonymous said...

break up the L&L twins? NO WAY!

Rumpole said...

11:08 am. You have no idea whether I personally delay cases for a long time or not. My criticism is directed at the system, and the lack of oversight. Every case needs to be handled on an individual basis. But at some point, there was a time when a Judge could have and should have seen that this case was going nowhere fast. The practice of law is difficult today, and most lawyers cannot afford to just handle one or two big cases, so they try and squeeze them in between the general stuff that pays the bills but takes up most of their time. The system is broke, and taking money away for quality representation isn't going to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Please remove that post about Lurvey leaving Lyons. Not true.

Also, Roberts is NOT moving out of town. Article got it wrong. More on that later.

Get Some Guts said...

Hey dont blame Susana Nesmith she is just going in the direction of the wind. Plus its not a good idea to piss of the high brass at the Herald who are really in the pockets of the corrupt Judges.

A Herald endorsement brings in about 8,000 to 10,000 so in a close race the Herald brass will have the choice of who will be Judge.

Susana Nesmith while a great reporter does have bosses so don't place all the blame on her. The DBR have more independent reporting just ask Julie Kay she has pissed of so many Judges that she can barely get a Judge to talk with her.

If Susana Nesmith wants Judges to talk with her, provide inside scoops she has to keep on the low. The Herald pays her to get the story not become the story.

Kiko said...

Captain Pro Se has put out a record, I only wish I was making this up.

http://www.mcgillismusic.com/Kiko.htm

Sometimes the truth is harder to beleive than fiction.

Anonymous said...

Lurvey's days of collecting that last day of the month "paycheck" are long over. Deputy Chiefs only make about 115-125k.

the trialmaster said...

the trialmaster has appeared only on a limited basis before judge tunis. he has found her to be very [sometimes too much]polite to defense attormeys and extremely professional. she listens to arguments and i have seen her overrule the states postion on her own. i cannot imagine a better judge for defendants to have. she is truly one of our better judges.

Anonymous said...

Rump----you blame the system for the delays, but the truth is that the defense bar is the problem as the previous poster said.

I find it amusing that you seem to be saying that judges are irresponsible for not controlling the defense attorneys dragging the cases out.

Regardless, you should have put in your post that Glick was not responsible for the delays. Someone not familiar with the system (or Glick) may think otherwise. Glick is an extremely efficient and competent judge and deserves better than your leaving that hanging.

Anonymous said...

Reading the comments on the last post, I am skeptical that Dunham wrote the last few. He is usually more polite than that and not foul-mouthed. Although I have yet to see him deny it so maybe he has finally shown his true colors.

I have known that Dunham was a jerk in the "aw-shucks" nice guy clothing for quite some time. Way to go Christian! Now the legal world in Miami knows the real man behind the soft spoken BS.

Rumpole said...

The post started this way:

Word also reaches us that after zillions of lawyers and Judges,...

This blog is not for the casual reader. I'd venture to say more than 99% of the people who read it would understand that Judge Glick was not responsible for the delay here.

4:32- Just what are you amused about? Lets say for the sake of argument, that I delayed all of my big cases for years and years, and by doing so, was able to get very good plea deals or even dismissals after the state lost touch with their witnesses. Does the fact that I use the system to my client's advantage mean that I still cannot feel that the system is not working and needs to be changed? I think I am well within my rights to take full advantage of every legal and ethical tactic, and still comment if some of those tactics are harmful to the administration of justice.

Anonymous said...

4000, 4000. us war dead in iraq and afganistan now over 4000. 50000 more and vermont granite gets ordered for a mall memorial. how bout those dolphins.

Anonymous said...

Here is the real inside Lurvey scoop.
Sony TV is not very happy with Seidlin and is watching the proceedings in broward very carefully before entering production. If and probably when Seidlin gets disciplined or arrested for soliciting bribes, Sony voids the contract...and are you ready for this?

"Lying to Lurvey"
Each week a contestant comes to court before Judge Lurvey with a story. Lurvey questions him and decides if the story is real or fake. If Lurvey guesses the wrong way, the contestant wins 10,000.00 dollars, but Lurvey gets an appeal. In the second round, the story continues, and Lurvey questions some more (this part of the story may be false or true regardless of the first part of the story being true or false). Lurvey then guesses again. If he is wrong- the contestant wins 100,000.00 dollars. If the contestant makes it this far, he can petition to the supreme court. Lurvey becomes the attorney and questions the defendant before a guest panel of three Judges. The Judges debate and vote. If the contestant wins again, he wins one million dollars. If the Judges guess right, the contestant loses all the money.

Lurvey has a personal services contract with Sony and is required to deny all of this- and he will to the media for sure. But watch if Seidlin's deal falls through, for "Lying to Lurvey" this fall on Sony Syndication Networks.

Anonymous said...

The real man at least posts his comments under his real name. Think
what you will but I am not hiding
as you are. The only reason I chose
to get foul is precisely because
you all won't even say your name.
And what by the way did I say that
was false?
Christian Dunham

Anonymous said...

Rump, very fair response. In my prior life when I was a prosecutor, I always respected the guys who ethically took advantage of the rules but still wished that the system would change. That made sense to me (and still does). We all live in and/or have family/friends in the Miami area. I never understood and still don't understand the folks who want to see the system collapse and everyone go free.

Anonymous said...

3:46 you have made my night I am dancin up a storm. Anything for love should be Anything for a lawsuit.

What a night!

Anonymous said...

Bail bondsman shot, in critical condition

By EVAN S. BENN
The Miami Herald

A bail bondsman was shot Monday night at an apartment in Northwest Miami-Dade when he tried to take into custody a man who had failed to pay his bond, according to police.

The bail bondsman, who was not wearing a bulletproof vest, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.

The man was accompanied to the apartment on the 1000 block of Northwest 155th Lane by two other bailbondsmen, who were able to detain the shooter without any more shots being fired. Miami-Dade police took the shooter into custody.

Police did not release the names of the shooter or victim.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, as an officer of the Court, you should not engage in ANY "tactics" that are harmful to the administration of justice.

Anonymous said...

Anyone knows about this?

Bail bondsman killed while on job
A bail bondsmen was shot and killed Monday night at an apartment in Northwest Miami-Dade when he tried to take into custody a man who had failed to pay his bond, according to police.

The bail bondsman, who was not wearing a bulletproof vest, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he died.

The man was accompanied to the apartment on the 1000 block of Northwest 155th Lane by two other bail bondsmen, who were able to detain the shooter without any more shots being fired. Miami-Dade police took the shooter into custody.

Police did not release the names of the shooter or victim.

http://www.miamiherald.com/416/story/165441.html

Anonymous said...

To Rump at 5:49 and Anonymous at 8:51, have either of you read Rule 4-3.2 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar recently? It specifically states that lawyers should expedite litigation. There is no exception concerning criminal defendants. While the end result may be beneficial to your client because witnesses disappear and your client gets a better plea, I definitely would not characterize such an action as "ethical." You are lucky that there are so many defense attorneys involved with the Florida Bar and grievance committees because, unfortunately, I doubt that your conduct will ever be disciplined, especially since almost every defense attorney engages in the same conduct. But just because everyone does it does not mean it is ethical.

Anonymous said...

5:11 here -
Christian,
What you said that was false? I'm not sure what you are referring to regarding my last post. If you want to get technical, everything you say pretty much is false - but I don't think that's what you meant. The reason that I have not posted my name is because I know that people who have posted their names in the past, you have personally attacked for their opinions. Plus, why bother - most of your little friends don't post theirs while attacking my friends. Quite frankly, the main reason is because I'm embarrassed to admit that I still feel compelled to engage in any conversation with any of you. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I can't seem to help but defend the decent people and ideals that you all want to slander. It bothers me that a group of worthless people are able to lie about those who have been good to not only me, but most of YOU too. So there's your reason for my withholding my name...

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

I've been in front of Judge Tunis recently. I have been appalled. What exactly has been the criticism of her here, and what makes you think she did a good job in the double murder trial?

DOCTOR LUCKY said...

200+ lawyers work at the PDO. Some hate Brummer, some dislike him, some don't care, some think he's terrific. To say that all APd's think alike or have some sort of "group" thoughts about anyone is kinda bizzare. As for C. Dunham, he likes trials. That's enough.

Lenny Glick said...

RUMPOLE
F.Y.I.

I would like to provide some information on the reasons that The State of Florida v.Harrell Braddy took 8 1/2 years to get to trial.

The case began in November, 1998.

The defendant had never been to trial on the case until jury selection began two weeks ago on June 25th, 2007.

The defendant has not been confined to a treatment facility during this period. He as been in DCJ since November 1998.
He has had over this period of time 5 sets of court appointed counsel starting with the Public Defenders office.
The State was and is seeking the death penalty.

It appears from the record that after each set of lawyers would be up to speed on the case and ready for trial there would be raised a conflict of interest that would cause the court handling the case to appoint a new team of lawyers.

It does not appear that any of these sets of lawyers initiated those conflicts in order to delay or hinder the start of the trial.
The defendant appears to have created these conflicts with these attorneys in order to delay the inevitable day of reckoning.

After the first team was allowed to withdraw I cannot say why the same thing was allowed to happen four more times.

I came into the case about a year ago when Judge Barzee was transfered downtown.
I was to cover the division until a new Circuit Judge appointment was made and a permanent assignment to Barzee's division was made as well.

The Braddy case came up for trial and I was ready to handle it in the division.
The defendant came up with yet another issue and tried to fire/conflict out the lawyers.
I said no and found for the record this was a series of delaying tactics by the defendant designed to delay the case from going to trial.
The defendant then passed the FARRETTA test and as required I ruled that he could represent himself.
The Governor appointed the Hon. Reemberto Diaz to the Circuit Court. Judge Diaz was assigned to Judge Barzee's division and would have been responsible for handling Mr. Braddy's case from that point on.
As fate would have it Judge Diaz was one of the attorneys who had represented Harrell Braddy. He would have had to recuse himself.
That would have meant a "blind filing" to a new division and a new judge and therefore a new delay.
With the approval of the Administrative Judge we kept State v. Braddy in the back-up division.
I handled the motions, trial settings and monitored the depositions while the defendant was pro-se. The defendant decided to have his attorneys resume handling the case. The"stand by" counsel Jimmy Dela Fera and Terry Lennemon continued to prepare the case for the trial.

I can tell you from my handling of the case that no attorney connected with the case purposly caused this case to be prolonged for any improper reason as has been implied by previous posts.

From what I know, the attorneys were nothing less than professionals and were doing their best to represent this most difficult client.

Jury selection beganon June 25th, 2007. From 243 potential jurors 15 people were seated on July 9th, 2007.
Testimony continues as of this writing.
I hope this information is of some value to your readers.

Lenny Glick

Anonymous said...

I've met Chris Dunham on one occasion. He seems like a decent person to me.

My hat is of to him for speaking his mind.

Anonymous said...

I too have seen Judge Tunis act in a rude and pushy manner too many times.

Anonymous said...

have been before Tunis on several occasions. She leaves a lot to be desired! If she likes you or you are a “favorites,” she will accommodate you, if not you are in for a ride. She is arrogant and rude, but very calculated. She has embarrassed me in the presence of my clients on more than one occasion. As far as following the law - suffice it to say that I handed her an opinion form the 3d upholding the decision of one of our better jurist granting a motion to suppress because the officers were impeached and not credible - the exact procedural posture as the case I was arguing in her courtroom - I not only impeached both officer, both officers were diametrically opposite in their testimony and I had the testimony of their superior contradicting the testimony of both on the PC for the stop and arrest. Her decision, this was a question for the jury - she did not agree with the 3d’s opinion which I handed her, oh well - every one has an opinion. All said, I strongly suspect Tunis will have opposition, and not even Tony S - will save her from that fate.

elizabeth s. katzen said...

The Justice Building Blog serves a good purpose. However, I am dismayed that anonymous postings are allowed. These postings remind me of grand jury proceedings. If you have an issue with a specific judge or lawyer, you should either sign your name or at the very least give detailed information to allow the readers the ability to decide for themselves about the individual.

Additionally, pejorative terms are not acceptable. Those of you who use the letter "B" when referring to a woman, do you have the nerve to use the letter "N" when referring to someone of color or "S" when referring to someone who speaks a spanish language? Prejudice is prejudice.

Elizabeth S. Katzen