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

Friday, September 28, 2007

DBR ROCKS GEORGE

The Daily Business Review got down to business today with an article on the new Regional Counsel Office in general and Mr. George in particular. The article is
HERE.

When you get past the unfortunate picture of our colleague Mr. Denaro, who is leading the FIDA efforts detailed on the blog earlier this week, you come away with a feeling of distaste for the whole mess. This is not about Mr. George personally. But beyond the issue of the whole ROC system, people have raised questions about his qualifications to run the what is the second public defenders office in the largest and busiest circuit of the State.

From the Article:

Some critics note that Crist’s newly appointed director of the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel in Miami hasn’t worked a criminal case since he was a law student 22 years ago and has never tried a case of any kind before a jury. According to the appointment application obtained by the Daily Business Review, newly appointed director Joseph P. George Jr. wrote that none of his cases during his 13-year law career involved jury trials. George said Wednesday that he tried criminal cases as an intern clerk as part of his practice program at Samford University’s law school, and in his career has done some work involving the Baker Act — the civil state law that allows for the involuntary committal of mental patients. ...

Addressing critics who assert he lacks sufficient criminal experience for the Conflict Counsel job, George said: “I don’t think it gives an appropriate context. When people have their civil rights taken away [under the Baker Act], I think it disserves them to think that they’re a second thought.” “All I can do is the best I can do, and that’s going to be trying to hire the best people the most qualified people, and I’ve already taken steps in that direction,” he said. George conceded he initially failed the Florida Bar exam after he graduated law school in 1985. He worked as a legal investigator in the 16th Judicial Circuit in Key West until he passed the bar in 1994, after being told he needed a bar card if he wished to keep his job.


Rumpole responds: Try telling "I did my best" to the parents of an 18 year old boy who gets a life sentence because the lawyers were inexperienced. This is the real game here. The legislature is passing minimum mandatory sentences as fast as they can get out of the bar and vote, and State Attorneys Offices are enforcing the law. Is this really the appropriate place to start learning about voire dire, much less the other parts of a criminal trial? We would tell Mr. George to take his good intentions, get a job with Mr. Brummer's office, get some training under supervision of lawyers who know what they're doing, and then apply in five or ten years. Or in other words- do like the rest of us have done and get the training and experience necessary before saying you are competent to run a criminal defense office where you will be litigating against the very best prosecutors who may very well be trying to have your client executed.

Racism?

In late August, Crist appointed George, who is white, director to the Conflict Counsel Office in Miami. The five Conflict Counsel Offices cover regions based on the state courts of appeal. Crist passed over Tampa attorney Belinda Noah, who holds a doctorate in law, to pick George. Noah, who is black, said she believes she is the victim of racial discrimination. “I feel it was a miscarriage of justice. It’s totally unjust what happened,” she said.

Rumpole says: We've said this before. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. We are tired of hearing about Mr. George's good intentions. In all honesty he would not hire someone like himself to represent a family member who was charged with murder or drug trafficking. Why would he seek to force his inexperience upon the poor of Dade County who don't have a choice in legal representation? The real honorable thing would be to decline the appointment and let someone who knows what they are doing run the office. That would really show his good intentions. We are left to conclude that Mr. George is merely a rank opportunist willing to balance his own personal ambitions upon the backs of clients who will suffer because of his ineptitude.

See You In Court, where the more we think about this, the angrier we get.

PS. When soemone decodes Mr. George's defense of his exprerience as reported int he DBR, please let us know. If that is the best he can do defending himself, prosecutors will be lining up to try cases against him and his office.



40 comments:

Rumpole said...

Im not going to post comments about Mr. Denaro's appearance- his picture is bad enough, so I'm sure he's already suffering.

Anonymous said...

Mr. George, resign now.

Except for your lack of income requiring you to take this job, you are not qualified.

All of us should stand up, defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and ELECTED OFFICIALS and call for him to step down right now. This is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

maybe our former AG Gonzalez should have read the Magna Carta. Maybe he still would have had a job

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the picture. Joel is handsome in real life.

Pacificus said...

Rump,

I think that you missed the point. The Head of the ROC is an administrative position. When was the last time that the elected Public Defender or State Attorney tried a case in Dade? Would you be showing the same level of concern for Marchment Act, Guardianships, Adult Protective Service and Baker Act clients if the appointed ROC had a criminal background but not a probate or civil background?

I am more concerned with the constitionality of 1088 and Mr. George's apparent lack of administrative experience than I am of his lack of actual criminal trials. He can always attempt to hire someone to handle the criminal cases but the administraive responsibilities are his alone.

Anonymous said...

"When you get past the unfortunate picture of our colleague Mr. Denaro ..."

Perhaps, it is the unfortunate Mr. Denaro and the photo is merely representative ... quite frankly, it is a flattering portrait having met the subject in person.

Anonymous said...

Who are the 4 people who have signed on with the conflict office?

Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp?

Sleepy, Dopey, Bashful, and Sneezy?


Reveal yourselves!

Ed Newman said...

I can't read.

Rumpole said...

4:33 - I did not miss the point. This man George comes with NO administrative experience, NO litigation experience, NO criminal law experience.

If he had 5 years in the PDs doing appeals- that would be fine. You don't need to be a trial lawyer- but you do need to have experiernce in the field to run an office. How can he hire someone if he does not know the attributes he is looking for? I could run that office. I could run the SAO. I could not run the Department of Solid Waste Management. I could not run the County Attorneys office, having never been to civil court, and being allergic to civil matters.

The point is he has NO experience- but I guess the fact we are all focusing on his lack of criminal trial experience and not his lack of administrative experience is a valid criticism.

Rumpole said...

Don't bother with these Denaro comments- they are not going to be posted. The guy must feel bad enough, no need to rub it in.

PS: Judge Newman can read- and he can Judge. He is a fine judge and a gentleman and many Judges could learn a thing or two from him on how to treat people.

fake late dolfan denny said...

BREAKING DOLPHIN NEWS

Daunte Culpepper will start against the Fins for the Raiders- promising to make the current Dolphin administration look even stupider than they already look.

Pacificus said...

Rump,

Thanks for your response and concession regarding administrative experience. However you did not answer the questions posed. Please allow me to re-phrase. How many attorney have experience in criminal, dependency, guardianship, adult protective services, marchment act, baker act, TB, STD and other areas of ROC responsibility?

Anonymous said...

George Bush wouldn't know the Magna Carta if it bit him in the ass; and he probably wouldn't know how to pronounce it either.

Fake Golembe said...

Anonymous said...
I am a lawyer from north of the border and I have a tip for all private counsel from Miami.... If you do not want the Judge and for that matter all north of the Border lawyers to know that you are clueless about Broward policies and "calender call" thus insuring that the Broward judges single you out for being from Miami- Do Not Tell the Judge " I am a Miami Lawyer and we do things better and different down there". Got that Mishkin?


Don't playa hate the Mishk- he is a master of psychologicaL warfare. If he said what he said, he said it for a reason and was thinking three steps ahead of everyone else. Just watch- you'll see.

Anonymous said...

Write a check to FIDA if you want to stop Joe "Curious" George.

Send it to FIDA, 777 Brickell Av, Suite 400, Miami, FL 33131

Anonymous said...

"Why would he seek to force his inexperience upon the poor of Dade County who don't have a choice in legal representation?"

What a great line Rumpole..

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:40 PLEASE post your name and if possible attach a photo. In our spare time (yours seems to be during the work day,,, wonder where you work?!), we would all love to critique your photo and by the sound of your nasty email we would have lots to comment on,,, can't wait.

Now back to the real issue at hand THE ROC!

Anonymous said...

First, let me say that I have serious doubts about George's qualifications. That said, the article was a hatchet job and many of the posted comments are inappropriate. If you take even a five minutes to review the man's CV, you'll see that he has dedicated a substantial amount of his time to serving the community and mentally ill. He deserves much better than he's getting.

As for Noah, I find it appalling that she is playing the race card. She ran for Senate and got 1% of the vote. Give me a break. Perhaps if she better understood politics, she would have realized that George's appointment was a political decision (like most appointments). Check out her website "noahforussenate" and tell me you think she would have been a better choice.........I'd be shocked. Her positions are, in some cases, frightenly simplistic, as is her "legal analysis."

She includes such well thought out gems as:

"Gun Control: The constitutional right to bear arms must be defended. Any federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration is a violation of the Second Amendment, and is an invasion of the privacy of honest citizens. "

"Abortion: The unborn child has a fundamental right to life; A human life amendment must be added to the Constitution;"

PLEASE.

And then there's this: "Crime: A Constitutional amendment is needed to protect victims' rights." While I agree with her (depending on what the parameters of the amendment would be), I wonder with she's the right person to lead a public defender's office (as opposed to a prosecutor's office).

The criticism of Crist for choosing George over her is totally unfair. The reality is that the paltry salary greatly limited his options (you think the top notch attorneys who handle complex cases in Miami were going to take the position? Please).

PS-----you really should read Noah's blog. It's a hoot.

"In an effort to enhance the lives of my clients and human beings in general, I will be devoting most of my blog to explaining criminal law issues, in the hope of one day eliminating the need for the criminal justice system as we know it today." LOL. Very realistic. I guess she's going to re-write the Constitution. Yeah, she'd be perfect for the conflicts office.

Anonymous said...

Sorry my picture offended.. Obviously,I do not photograph well. I've been getting ripped all day...

Rumpole, thank you very much for giving the issue top billing.

And to 4:40- you should see me with my shirt off.

JD

Give me a break already... said...

I just don't get the bashing of this guy. He went to school to study law key word here is "LAW". Not criminal, civil, divorce etc just good old "LAW".

My doctor went to school to study to be a doctor, not a brain surgen, etc. He is a general practicioner meaning he can help me as a doctor. Key word here is "Doctor".

The lay man wants a lawyer not a bus driver. George has been a lawyer since 1995, he has been in a court room knows how to research a law book (case law and statutes etc).

Lay off the guy he as I said above a lawyer, who went to law school and has a bar license. Just because some of you guys learned how to take advantage of the wheel for your benefit and not others is the reason George is here. Greed set this path in motion so don't bash the guy who was picked to fix what you broke.

YES he is not a criminal lawyer is probally a good thing because he has not been tainted with the greed, smuck and corruption that bleeds from the halls of the JB.

FYI I dont know George and never have met him or his friends.

Anonymous said...

"If you take even a five minutes to review the man's CV, you'll see that he has dedicated a substantial amount of his time to serving the community and mentally ill. He deserves much better than he's getting."

I guess you don't get the issue. He is running a criminal defense firm for the poor and he has never uttered the words, "judge we pleaad not guilty." It's a joke.

Someone said it before and I endorce the crude refrain- Curious George could do a better job then Joe George at running the conflict office.

Rumpole said...

Give me a break:

I was waiting for someone to say what you said. Let's say you had a child who needed open heart surgery. Lets say you had no health insurance and had to go to Jackson, the public hospital. The analogy would be that Dr. George, who was a podiatrist, was the only one willing to take on the pediatric cardiac surgery unit. So he would be operating on your child. But hey- don't worry, because Dr. George means well, and he has promised to try his best not to kill your kid.

How would you feel if this was the doctor the state told you that you had to use?

Anonymous said...

"FYI I dont know George and never have met him or his friends."

I would bet that you are Mr. George. And by the way, what the hell are you talking about anyway?
You are a moron.

Anonymous said...

thats a good point Rumpole, but just as weed is legal in Denmark and not Florida its that law. Someone had better come up with a better plan and quick or this will be the law of Florida. Just one quick question were was all these people when this bill was being debated in Tallahassee?

What is the real problem? That this new law exist or that George was placed in Charge? Because if its because George is in Charge he is probally in shock just like you that he got picked. NEWS FLASH - He was the only one that applied for the third district position. Gee is I apply to be a Judge and get picked don't blame me I applied and someone picked me and that someone is Gov. Crist. Honestly why don't you guys seek an executive order from the Gov for doing a stupid thing. Bitch at him for picking George.

If any of the so called legal minds visiting this blog have any real legal arguments you would take all the traffic court experience and file a Federal suit on grounds that only a true mastermind of law would know.

Over and out.... David O' might want to chim in on that.

Anonymous said...

"YES he is not a criminal lawyer is probally a good thing because he has not been tainted with the greed, smuck and corruption that bleeds from the halls of the JB."

Who ever you are, you sound like an emotional basket case.

Anonymous said...

What is the official position from the Dade Public Defender's Office re the conflict office??

Anonymous said...

I think Joel looks handsome in the photo.

Anonymous said...

the bottom feeders are restless, and juealous of george. instead of griping, why dont the b feeders build their own practice? and not rely on the wheel which pays peanuts for the bfeeders to sit next to scum bags in court.

Anonymous said...

JD you're so fine
you're so fine you make me whine
JD

Anonymous said...

"Gun Control: The constitutional right to bear arms must be defended. Any federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration is a violation of the Second Amendment, and is an invasion of the privacy of honest citizens. "

"Abortion: The unborn child has a fundamental right to life; A human life amendment must be added to the Constitution;"

Whoever said that is correct on both points!

Anonymous said...

FYI: Tallahassee's first choice to run the RCO was Mariza Cobb--who at least has trial experience in both criminal law (as a prosecutor in Miami-Dade) and dependency/termination of parental rights law (as an assistant attorney general in Broward). She turned down the appointment (smart move). Not much to choose from after that down at the bottom of the barrel.

Univision El Presidente said...

Rumpy- In a very special espisode of Veridicto Finale, Judge Cristina Shuminer sits in judgment of a lawsuit in which Joe George the Plaintiff, sues Country Joe Farina the Defendant. The charge: That the Defendant failed to provide comfort and support to the Plaintiff in opening his ROC office, thus causing the Plaintiff to fail and suffer public ridicule.

Next week, on a very special episode of everyone's favorite new legal show: Verdicto Finale.

IONQ said...

The Q lectured at this past Blood Breath Sweat and Tears DUI seminar. Topic: "Retrograde Extrapolation- What Chip Walls won't tell you and what you need to know." It was a hit.

Anonymous said...

The debate that has been raging on this blog since day one about whether administrators of the SAO and PDO should be trying cases doesnt apply to George, because the issue is - he is starting an office from scratch.

4 people have joined on for the 48 positions he needs? That just shows the respect people have for him.

Look at the USAO, they have a leader who has no criminal experience and the office is running fine, because it's established.

George was the wrong person to establish this office. He will fail, and yes, he was the only applicant.

Anonymous said...

Dolphins will get humiliated by their former QB Culpepper today.
Raiders 24 - Dolphins 17
Rumpole your team sucks and you sir
are just a jealous tool. Go Pats.

Anonymous said...

10:17.......no, I get that he's arguably not qualified. In fact, I said that I have serious doubts about his qualifications. My point was that all of the personal attacks (like yours-----"Curious George would do a better job than Joseph George) are inapporpriate. The man has devoted a lot of time and energy to our community. You want to bash his credentials? Fine. But the personal attacks are despicable.

Anonymous said...

2:52----- I stand by my comments re Noah. The point wasn't whether she was right or wrong on her beliefs. The point was that they are inconsistent with prevailing Supreme Court case law and entirely simplistic.

For example, the gun control issue----does anyone really think that members of the public should be able to buy the latest and greatest assault rifles in bulk? Or that they should have access to specialized cop killer bullets? Come on. Regardless, she goes even further..........she's against ALL federal licensing of guns. No waiting period and no paperwork. You've got to be kidding me.

I own several guns and love 'em, but I don't think I should be able to go out and buy 100 assault rifles (yes, I actually do own two assault rifles, bayonet, banana clip and all). Regardless, as a responsible gun owner, I have no problem with a 3 day waiting period or the need to sign for a gun I buy.

As for the constitutional amendment re a fetus' right to life........what about cases where a mother's life would be unreasonably endangered by continuing the pregnancy? What about cases where the fetus won't survive outside the womb? There are so many issues here that even most pro-life people don't think that abortion should be outlawed in EVERY instance. Again, she is entirely simplisitic in her views (I have serious concerns about our society's use of abortion as a birth control method.......but the issue is far more complex than she would have us believe. And, amending the Constitution is NOT an act that should be taken as lightly as she seems to).

Rumpole said...

929- Don't you want to post your comments in todays (Sunday) post?
And while I have refrained from editing your comments, you mean "Cheaters Rule" don't you?

Anonymous said...

Hey, 10:04 a.m., there are no "latest" assault rifles. The mechanism of those so-caled assault rifles has remained the same since the late 19th century. The only thing that has changed is the cosmetics and size and that their power has been considerably diminished (and survibbility increased) by the use of smaller and less powerful cartridges im modern rifles. The M-16(AR-15) is a design from the late 50's and the AK-47 is a design from, you guess it, 1947!

As to abortion, it should only be permitted when the fetus is truly and imminently endangering the physical life of the mother and the fetus has no possibility of survival.

Anonymous said...

12:45......you make me laugh. You focus on one word (which, by the way, is part of a commonly used expression you apparently are not aware of) in my comment on guns and basically ignore the real issue. Wow. Way to make a meaningless point. First, you ignored the development of guns like the Tavor, SAR-21, etc. Second, and regardless, my point was that it is stupid to allow citizens to buy as many guns, accessories, bullets, etc. with no restrictions of ANY kind (including number of shots a gun can fire per minute, caliber, range, etc.). You want people roaming the streets with AK's legally?

And, your response to my abortion comments MAKES MY POINT. Again, I'm not saying Noah was right or wrong (in fact, I am concerned, as I said before, that so many people seem to use abortion as a birth control method). I'm just saying it's simplistic of her to advocate as she is. No more, no less. I guess you're just looking for an argument.