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

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

CAN THEY DO THAT?

Ethics seems to be the topic of the day. At least we hear it was the topic yesterday as the powerful and the elite gathered in the Public Defender’s Office to hear legendary criminal defense attorney Albert Krieger and soon to be legendary criminal defense attorney (and our very favourite federal blogger) David Markus with a K speak on the topic “Ethics, who needs it?”

Then we received a crudely worded comment about attorneys who file notice of expirations at this time of year, when the Christmas and New Year holidays leave precious few days to try the case within the 15 day speedy trial recapture window under Rule 3.191 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.


Perhaps as we approach the time when New Year’s resolutions are often contemplated, it might be a good time to decide if we need to add ethics to our annual attempt to better ourselves.

Lets start with the speedy trial question. Is it ethical to request a trial or dismissal during the holiday period when many Judges are on vacation and there are few if any jurors in the building?

Absolutely. We don’t read any holiday exception into the speedy rule. If the attorney is ready for trial, the client is available, then either find a judge and a jury or discharge the defendant. We don’t see Judges automatically continuing cases for the Christmas holiday. There are a plethora of Federal trials going on right now and at least one major murder case being tried in the REGJB. Using the calendar to assist a client is nothing but good lawyering. It’s called strategy.

A more difficult question is when zealous representation pushes an attorney to their ethical boundaries.
Just how far is too far?

The simple answer is that anything up to the line but not beyond it is acceptable behavior for a criminal defense attorney. But the more sophisticated answer is that there may be more than one way to skin a cat or prosecution witness.

We’d like to hear your stories from the ethical wilderness. How close have you ever pushed the edge of the envelope, to quote Tom Wolfe quoting those who had the “right stuff”.

And since this is the REGJB blog and not a criminal defense blog, “what say you state?”

In the final analysis; at the end of the day when all is said and done, whom do you (the prosecutor) respect more: The criminal defense attorney who takes the case to edge and secures a victory for his/her client, or the one who plays it safe to protect their reputation? Who would you want defending you or a family member?

See you in court, where thankfully these matters do not arise often in disorderly intoxication cases.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

So full of it.

The REGB is full of corrupt Judges and horrible lawyers.

I mean, worse than being a bad criminal lawyer is being an immigration lawyer.

Give me a break. When we get a real State Attorney in Miami-Dade we will have true justice.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you set up reputation and ethics in opposition to each other. Many believe they compliment each other. I tend to agree with you that they are often mutually exclusive, meaning, actions we take often have reputation consequences that help a particular client greatly today but are gossiped about in the Pickle Barrel(I'm dating myself) for years. A better question for ethics is how we deal with each client on a daily basis. Are we really committed to helping them? Just-ice or Just Us. What considerations are we capable of seeing in helping fashion the right result in any given case? In the end; ethics is helping our client to alter his errant behavior for the future and lighten the blow for today.

Anonymous said...

my comment about NOEs was in response to posts like 4:57s: "I don't think anyone will be picking juries on December 24 or December 31. Can't wait to hear which judges are doing so."

If it's a work day for NOEs, it's a work day for soundings, motions, jail arraignments, etc... Crime doesn't sleep so criminal court houses don't close. (You think the on-call ASAs or Judges get a break on XMas day?) Neither do hospitals, police stations, fire stations,or 7-11s, to name a few(Circle Ks, maybe)

Anonymous said...

From this story in today's Herald:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/v-print/story/349766.html

"Stuck on the Palmetto's shutdown prompted debate about anonymous blogs."

"For the record, I HATE anonymous bloggers. They, in my view, are chickensh-- people who don't stand behind their words,'' Miami New Times editor Chuck Strouse wrote on his paper's blog, Riptide 2.0."

Anonymous said...

Rump......without getting into my answer to the first question, I'd point out that asking what kind of lawyer I'd want to defend a family member is pretty silly. There's a reason we don't allow people faced with serious and painful situations to make decisions.......

What's your real name pal...: said...

Did I miss some-thing?

If "John" is his real name on all Florida bar complaints - why is he signing his name on this blog as "Jack"?

Google search engines would pick up the "Jack" and not the "John" what is the motive here? Did I miss some-thing?

Anonymous said...

Prosecutors and judges seem to take umbrage by the act of filing a demand for speedy trial in open courtshortly before the State announces a nolle prosse. Clearly, the underlying goal is to reduce the time in which the State can re-file the charges against someone. As a defense attorney, I don't see an ethical problem in filing the demand. You were ready for trial that day, and you want a trial sooner than otherwise might be provided. As long as you do it openly and on the record, I don't believe that is an unethical act.

Judge Rob Pineiro said...

Dear Rumpole,
Merry Chanukah, Happy Christmas, Joyous Kwanza—in short Happy Holidays.
Thank-you for the, perhaps, unintentional chuckle elicited by the ironic juxtaposition of yesterday’s “A Christmas Carol revisited” and today’s post. I could ask you to try to reconcile the apparently diametrically opposed positions, but I know you will regale us with a serving of sophisticated sophistry. As such, I will simply say that juries for speedy trial demands cannot be empanelled without a judge setting a trial calendar and selecting one.
Re: selecting Christmas juries.
As a very young prosecutor in the mid 70’s I learned early on to avoid them like the plague. A prosecutor’s response to the suggestion he try one should be an unqualified Bah! Humbug! A fellow colleague had the temerity to try one—he had a great case. Armed robbery of a Publix; the robber was wearing a ski mask and brandishing a shotgun. The defendant was arrested outside of the Publix with the ski mask in hand along with the bag of loot and the shotgun. His testimony: someone ran out of Publix and dumped all the stuff he was carrying—so, wanting to keep our city clean, the defendant picked everything up just in time for the police to get there. How it was that hair samples recovered from the ski mask matched the defendant’s hair, the defendant didn’t know. The jury walked the defendant. Needless to say, he got one heck of a Christmas present!

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with a defense attorney pushing the boundries of ethics.

Ethics is common sense.

I see no reason why we can not file a NOE knowing that the cop is on vacation the next 15 days.

There is alot wrong with us being rude, offensive and abusive.

Anonymous said...

Quick, everyone. Jog your memories! Rumpole had to have been present at the PD's Office yesterday for that speech because he just summarized very accurately David Markus. Think think think! We can find him out yet!

Anonymous said...

Broward does not hold jury trials during that time. I filed an noe today. we will see what happens. I think it is great lawyering. The ASA was not too happy

Anonymous said...

Could it just be Piniero that you sucked as a trial lawyer. 90% of trial lawyers think they are so much better than they actually are. There are maybe 20 truly feared criminal felony trial lawyers in the gerstein building, the rest are just competent and some are above average. A great trial lawyer files motions, does research, files memorandum of law in support of his motions, tries cases, and gets GREAT not average or good plea offers. and his clients still want him after a conviction to do their appeal and he wins some of his appeals. how many can claim all that? very, very, few.

Pickle Barrell said...

If my wife gets arrested, I want "the criminal defense attorney who takes the case to edge and secures a victory for his/her client." That's because I want a victory, and your hype gives me a choice of ethics and "a victory."

Here is the rub, what if the lawyer takes the case, "to the edge" and does not secure a victory? The Judge is hopping mad and the State's Attorney is even madder. Who are they going to take it out on?

Fake James Madison (Or am I?) said...

For the record, I HATE bullship newspaper guys who give up anonymous publication for money. They, in my view, are chickensh-- people who don't stand behind their words,

Publicus

Anonymous said...

Here come da Tuna!

Rumpole said...

Oh I may well have been there. Or I may well have had emails about the event. For the record, I don't think I summarized anyone's presentation. But then again I wasn't...(paying attention...there...interested......awake...listening...) fill in your own conclusion.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Federalist papers were written under the pseudonym "Publius" not "Publicus." Further complicating matters was "Pubicus", publisher of a popular Porn newsletter.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers I want defending my wife?

Anonymous said...

"There are maybe 20 truly feared criminal felony trial lawyers in the gerstein building"

1. The Big O'
2. Phil R.
3. Rumpole
4. John THOMPSON
5. Michael Catalano
6. Brian T.
7. David Markus...

Oh wait - thats the list of the only lawyers who visit this blog - my bad.

shumie's dog said...

Morton's valets...grrrrrrrrrrr

Anonymous said...

8:40, did you just say "my bad?"

Anonymous said...

Tried a case against Dan Lurvey and he kicked my ass. Very smooth and a nice guy.

Anonymous said...

8:40-----why list Phil R twice?

Anonymous said...

ask abe laesar who are the defense attorneys his office fears, who go to him for advice when up against a real atty. he reads this blog. what does he say, or will he refuse bc it could get him in trouble, whatever that is for a career bureaucrat.

Anonymous said...

1020. thanks for the compliment chris, /s/ dan.

Anonymous said...

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The report resulted from a two year investigation allegedly conducted by special prosecutor HWWNBN.

An anonymous source close to the investigation alleged that HWWNBN got his break when Wan D provided tangible evidence linking Reizenstein to the site. The source, now in the witness protection program, refused to comment on how Wan D acquired the evidence.

Dr. Evreybudyhas a. Disordurofsumkind, Ph. Duh, posited that Reizenstein felt compelled to blog in anonymity because of his feelings of inadequacy. He indicated that Reizenstein's feelings were not entirely irrational, noting that Jackie Woodward's name appears first on the firm letterhead. He attributed Reizenstein's repeatedly denials to 'ump rage.

Bennett Brummer, commenting on Reizenstein's behalf, stated, "zzzzzzzzzzzzz."

Anonymous said...

Dear Rump: Respectfully, I do not believe the Bar is faced with an "ethics" problem. No, it's more like an identity crisis. Whether we are the State or Defense, it seems at times that our respected judges are interested more in the "form" then the "substance" of the courtroom activities. I'm referring to the Justice Building turning into the audition stage for our current and future TV judges. First, Marilyn; then Alex, Judge David Young makes three, Shumminer-4, and now it appears that Mills-Francis is the next "Judge Karen"! (Sony seems to love Miami!) The point is: the Defendant wants his/her day in Court AND to GO HOME at the end of that day. We just want to do our jobs--for the Defense--protect the rights of the individual; for the State--uphold and Defend the Laws of the State of Florida. Bottom Line--let's all play by the rules. If we want to be TV stars, great! Best of luck and success to you all. But, please,don't do it off the backs of the Defendants' and their families. The only ratings and q numbers we should care about (win or loss) is whether every body got a fair shake. How about this--open casting for a Miami based justice building courtroom drama--with real attorneys and judges--think of all of the time and money we would save by just letting everybody with the acting bug audition and leave all at once. If you make the cut, so long. If not, you can count on our $500.00 check at the next go-around...

Anonymous said...

Things ruining the legal profession...

1. The counties' failure to maintain decent court-houses.

2. The states failure to pay decent wages to P.D.s, ASAs, the A.G.'s office and the court's staff attorneys.

3. The failure to pay enough money to attract quality judges. (e.g., Chief Justice Lewis makes less than a 2d year attorney at Greenburg.)

4. Outrageous civil awards create a lotto mentality, which embitter poorly paid public servants, and elevate attorneys to prominence who were simply in the right place at the right time.

5. Elected judges who pander for their jobs.