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

Monday, February 04, 2008

Judge Butchko

A controversy of sorts erupted on the blog last week as readers wrote in- pro and con -on relatively new Circuit Court Judge Beatrice Butchko.




We’ve been toying with a top to bottom evaluation of the Judges in our little building. Starting with the sixth floor and working our way down to two, we’ve been thinking of a way to encourage readers to talk about the good, the bad, and the judicial, in the REGJB.

However, while we work on perfecting a method for this, we open the discussion about Judge Butchko with a gentle reminder: there is more to any particular case than the result. Thus when a reader writes in to complain about a sentence judge Butchko gave in a particular case (see below) we must remember that there are more facts to the case then we currently have before us.


While we are immediately suspicious of any Judge who penalizes a defendant for going to trial and losing, there may very well have been good reasons for the sentence in the case discussed below. Because we don’t know the particulars, we merely ask that readers keep an open mind, keep the discussion civil (actually keep it criminal, but within the bounds of decency and blog rules) and for those who may know more, please write in and lets us know.

This comment started it all:
Anonymous said...
Yesterday Butchko sentenced a PD client to 15 years for a strong arm robbery. Prior to trial the offer was CTS. The defendant had no priors, and the facts were that he punched a guy and took off on his bicycle. period. After trial the state attorney asked for 10 years (bad form to offer cts then ask for 10), mostly because he is afraid of Butchko as she routinely refuses to accept their plea offers then calls KFR to complain they are being too lenient. Didn’t matter cause she maxed him anyway. Stan, Joe, Please get her out of the building!

(we edited out the last line which had a gratuitous expletive that didn’t really add anything to the discussion.)


And then this comment arrived:
Anonymous said...
Enough with the Butchko bashing! She's a phenomenal person and a wonderful judge. She's not afraid to do the right thing even if she knows that she may take a hit in the media and/or in the eyes of a demanding victim.Recently, she clearly displayed how extraordinary she is in a case involving a defendant who accidentally shot and killed his best friend right in front of the Miami Beach Police Department. I heard that the victim's family testified at the sentencing hearing and demanded the max, 30 years in prison, after the defendant pled to the manslaughter charge. Judge Butchko carefully listened to everyone, considered the mountains of mitigating evidence presented by the defense, and sentenced the defendant to community control and probation. Most judges wouldn't have had the courage to do that, even though it was the right decision. Any judge can max a defendant out. We don't want judges acting like robots. We need compassionate souls on the bench working diligently to make sure that the specific penalty fits the crime. Thank God we have judges like Judge Butchko! I would suggest that you re-direct your distain towards a few of the others in the courthouse who actually deserve the criticism.

So there you have it. Two cases, two disparate sentences, one Judge. We frown upon the allegation that the Judge calls the State Attorney to complain about prosecutors. If that is true we think there is no place for that among the Judiciary. Judge Rothenberg was said to have kept notes to instruct prosecutors on what they did wrong and how they could do a better job. That bespeaks of a Judge who is not impartial, and Judge Butchko, being a close friend of Judge Rothenberg, is liable to end up being painted with the same brush.


A judge should neither favour the defense nor the prosecution and any Judge who “roots” for one side needs to be removed, post haste.

See You In Court.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about kudos for Judge Silverman?

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/story/404361.html

-A colleague

Rumpole said...

Yes Judge Silverman deserves Kudos for his work restoring the main courtroom.

Anonymous said...

I have known Judge Butchko well before she took the bench. The Judge Butchko I know follows her conscience. Sometimes people will disagree.

Anonymous said...

He does? What about the dump we labour in, The Metro Justice Building!!? A little resoration would be welcome here! Who gives a frog's ass about a building full of second rate trial lawyers...

As for judge Butchko, she photographs very well.

Anonymous said...

actually try the "robingroom.com for comments on local and out of state judges.

Anonymous said...

Silverman is a nice guy who is doing a great job in civil.

He almost always ruled in favor of the State and the only time he did not "launch" a guy after a guilty verdict was when a cop was convicted of rape. We were all shocked but, that is what we expected out of him.

Anonymous said...

Was Scott Saul really a professional wrestler? If so, what was his name? Mask or no mask?

Anonymous said...

Scott WAS a professional bodybuilding but, I am not sure about wrestler.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

REALLY, REALLY "NORTH OF THE BORDER" ....

Can you say Sopchoppy?

It is hard to believe things can be any crazier than they are in Broward, but all you have to do is look to the North and the First District Court Of Appeals, to find, what can only be described as a Saturday morning edition of The Bugs Bunny Show.

The Chief Judge, or should I say former El Jefe, was Judge Charles J. Kahn Jr.

His Court, the 1st DCA, has been described as a place where the judges have accused each other of lying, having affiars with court employees, threats and playing games of "chicken". The former Chief Judge was described as "volatile and schizoid".

As for Sopchoppy, that's where the Chief Judge went to take shooting lessons at a pistol range. The news that the chief had gotten a CWP and purchased a gun, sent the court personnel and chief deputy in a frenzy.

Read all about it here:

http://www.sptimes.com/
2008/02/03/news_pf/State/
Lust__lies_and_disord.shtml

CAPTAIN OUT .....

Anonymous said...

Judge Aleman was found guilty by th JQC.

YEA!!!!

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/summaries/briefs/07/07-198/Filed_02-04-2008_Findings.pdf

Anonymous said...

The Captain also recently reported on the FACDL-Miami listserve that Judge Aleman in Broward was found guilty by the JQC today.

Thanks for the update Captain!

First DCA and Case Law ... LMFAO!!!!! said...

oh my lord Rumpo you have gotta read that sptimes story PRICE LESS!

"The marshal who has provided court security for more than 25 years testified that he arranged to have extra law enforcement officers attend a ceremonial event after they heard that Kahn was getting a concealed weapons permit and a handgun."

Anonymous said...

I just read a comment from "hiding red files in the ceiling" a few posts ago and laughed my ass off!!! I did just that before I split from the SAO... who cares about the vactaion and sick pay if you blow it before you quit!!! I left with zero balances!!! So here is my tip for the newbies... take all of your time before you even hint at quiting...I won't tell you what floor, but the ceiling tiles should be buckling by now!!!!

Bailif with one f said...

Dear Rump,
top to bottom discussion about judges should begin from the 7th floor. did you forget, Areces, Prescott and now Emas?

Anonymous said...

wasnt judge betty married to a homocide detective when she was a pros? so, whatta expect from a cop lover.

Anonymous said...

According to people who are close to the issue, a peace has been brokered between Carlos Martinez and Bill Barzee. The terms if the agreement are not clear. What is clear is the Bill Barzee issued two checks both in the amount of $500 to the campaign to elect Carlos Martinez.

Rory Stein was heard yelling at Carlos not to cash the checks because he feels that, "Barzee must be up to something!!"

This latest development reminds me of that KRS 1 song about the welfare state-- it lives on...

Congrats to Carlos Martinez.

Rumpole said...

I absolutely forgot about the seventh floor!!

Anonymous said...

If attorney Bruce Cease is acting up in trial and a Judge orders him to stop, must the Judge issue a Cease AND desist order?

Thanks for being a great audience and now a big hand for our next comedian, come on give it up, what's with the no clapping? Dis is busheeet!!! Alex Michaels everyone!!!!

Scott Saul said...

I was neither a professional bodybuilder nor a professional wrestler.

I did do powerlifting and competed in a lot of amateur bodybuilding contests.

Met Alex Ferrer when he was a U of M cop. Me and another guy tipped over someone's MG Midget and Ferrer yelled at us saying we better right it back up and never do it again. He had a big, 70's porno star mustache.

When I was in college and law school, I worked security at all the arenas. Because pro wrestling was featured, I became friends with some wrestlers ie. Cpl Kirshner, Randy Savage, Paul Orndorf, Joe Mirto, Big John Studd, Ricky Santana, Jimmy Young etc. I also was friendly with Rusty BRooks who ran a wrestling school in Hollywood. I went to the school, learned some stuff, and practiced with the aforementioned characters. I spent $80 for wrestling boots (out of Texas)

Three times, when there was a no- show, I stepped in...as Saulami, the Jewish wrestler (believe it or not there are a lot of jewish wrestlers!

I was a "jobber" meaning a got the crap kicked out of me. Got paid $150 which was a lot of money to me.

If you thought I was a bad lawyer, now that you know a little of my past, you can see that just wearing a suit is a big accomplishment for me.

Anonymous said...

8:15 Patriots coaches meeting; flight back to Boston.

Bill Belichick (BB) "OK settle down. Just a few things and then you can rest during the flight to Boston. Ahemm.. hmm...just WHO THE FU%k WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT ORDERING DOUBLE COVERAGE ON BURESS WHEN WE G*DDAMN WELL KNEW THAT THEY WOULD BE THROWING TO HIM TO WIN THE FU&KING GAME? WHO ? WHO? WHO? BECAUSE AS SOON AS I FIND OUT THE DUMB FU&K RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS I AM GOING TO CHOP OFF HIS BALLS AND HANG THEM IN MY OFFICE ALL NEXT YEAR?

Ok that about covers it. Have a good flight.

fake dui guy said...

Fake DUI guy here with some surprising news: The Judges in Jacksonville and Tallahassee have resurrected the Kotsin motions and have been granting them with alacrity.

Remember the good old days in Dade when all it took to get a break down was a Kotsin motion and a few soundings? Ahh the good old days.

Anonymous said...

She follows her conscience? Maybe she ought to follow the law. That'd be a new concept for her.

fake ted mastos said...

Now just hold on a minute. The Giants were 12 point underdogs. And six months ago Guiliani had an insurrmountable lead and McCain was all but dead. And now...(chomp) and then Belichick walks off before the game was over (smack smack) and this Obama guy. I mean its all very confusing and tomorrow is super tuesday plus the parade. I think a defense continuance is in order here.

Anonymous said...

OMG not the Kotzin crap again. Plus that Pearl Harbour rumor. Stop it I say! Please stop. I cannot take it anymore.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Gotta love it when a judge is criticized for following her conscience.

Funny thing.........when someone who dumps cases left and right does it, the folks on this blog praise them to high heaven. God forbid a judge use his or discretion and nail someone though..........

Anonymous said...

I always knew scottie would amount to something. I can't wait to hear about his teens. /s/his third grade teacher.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Betty Avgherino (sp?) was an ASA and she married homicide detective John Butchko, alas, Judge Butchko.

Cap Out .....

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

ELECTION UPDATE .....

It's official. We have our second contested race involving an incumbent judge.

In Group 55, incumbent Jeri Beth Cohen is being challenged by attorney Abbie Cuellar.

Ms. Cuellar has been a member of The Florida Bar for the past 11 years. She is a solo practitioner with an office in Miami. She specializes in children and family law and has been a Guardian Ad Litem Staff Attorney.

Judge Cohen joins Group 51 incumbent Douglas Chumbley as the only other incumbent that has drawn opposition. Chumbley is being challenged by attorney Marcia Caballero.

Judge Cohen was elected without opposition in 1996 and again in 2002.

This means that it will be a long, hot summer for Judge Cohen as she trudges her way from one end of the County to the other in search of dollars and votes.

Qualifying ends on May 2, 2008 and the election is set for August 26, 2008. That's 116 days of campaigning.

Speaking of qualifying, it is T-minus exactly three months and our esteemed Judge Orlando Prescott remains as the only incumbent who has still not filed of the 47 seats up for election. Judge Prescott sits in Group 35.

CAPTAIN OUT .....

Anonymous said...

RE: SCOTT SAUL as a wrestling jobber...bet he looked adorable in a singlet or speedo.........

Anonymous said...

WOW!! Will this be a 2006 repeat?

Cohen gets opposition thats a big deal as Cohen has the $$$ this will be a hard fight to win.

Anonymous said...

Judge Cohen gets people upset, but there is TRULY not a person on the bench that is willing to spend more effort trying to protect our children in a system that is for all purposes broken.

I recently had the pleasure of being involved in a trial before Judge Cohen on a dependency case. While I cannot say I always agreed with her rulings, or the ultimate result, I will say without pause that if it were not for Judge Cohen all of the parties in the matter would have been far worse off.

There are productive adults in our community who, but for Judge Cohen, whose lives would not have turned out as well. When children come before her, they are on the edge of an abyss. Placing that power in the hands of someone less capable than Judge Cohen, or uncaring enough to do the job, can only harm our community.

Anonymous said...

Quiz: What does Judge Leslie Rothenberg, former Judge Ivan Hernandez and Judge Jeri Cohen have in common?

Anonymous said...

Abbie Cuellar is also a Democrat and promotes register to vote drives. She has worked with numerous pro-bono cases as a child advocate.

Is a staff attorney for the GAL program and dedicate her time helping others in need.

Abbie Barbara Cuellar wants to be a Judge lets review... said...

Abbie Barbara Cuellar

Member in Good Standing Eligible to practice in Florida

ID Number: - 97756
Address: Law Office of Abbie B Cuellar
645 NE 82nd Ter Ste 2
Miami, Florida 331384109
United States
Phone: 305.7512180
Fax: 305.7512181
E-Mail: abbiejustice@aol.com

County: Miami-Dade
Circuit: 11
Admitted: 10/24/1996

10-Year Discipline History None

Law School:
Rutgers University School of Law - Newark

Graduation Year: 1995

Degree:
Doctor of Jurisprudence/Juris Doctor

Firm:
Law Firm of Abbie B. Cuellar

Firm Size:
One

Occupation:
Private Law Practice

Practice Areas:
Child and Family
Criminal
General Practice

Languages:
Spanish
State Courts:
Florida

Anonymous said...

Let's face it. Butchko is a prosecutor in a robe, along the lines of Lenny Glick.

Doesnt mean it is bad or good. But dont expect to win many Motions To Suppress and dont expect sympathy after a loss at trial.

I rememeber Judge Sigler trying a case in the jail division many moons ago. State offerred an Adj CTS and the defendant declined. Case went to trial and the State won. Sigler gave the guy a WH SES.

Anonymous said...

Only in Miami do we advise our sexual predators to live under the bridge. Can't imagine why some of them split today. See the herald.

batman said...

As Raz Agul said:

"Justice is balance. You burned down my house and left me for dead. Now I return the favor."

Judge Betty (I wanna be like Leslie) Butchko is a prosecutor in robes (big shock) and Rosa (my hero is Joe Durant) Rodriguez is a Public Defender in robes giving away the courthouse.

And your point is???

Anonymous said...

You watch, some wise guy with a name like the commander or the commodore will now post something that hints that Prescott is not running simply because he has not YET filed his papers.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what anyone says...Judge Butchko is HOT!

E. Garcia

Anonymous said...

For a picture of Scott back in the day, go to:

http://www.bodyslamming.com/other/pics/ironsheik.jpg

Jen Lebovich said...

Hi,
I am a reporter with The Miami Herald, looking for people who will be participating in this weekend's auction of Orange Bowl memorabilia. My colleague Susannah Nesmith suggested some people who visit this blog might be interested. If you are planning to bid and willing to talk to me, please send me an e-mail at jlebovich@miamiherald.com.
Thanks,
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

The "robing room" continues to be bogus by any statistical standard. Why do you allow the continual pimping of this nonsense on your blog? It demeans you. Take a look and see how many ratings some of the best and worst judges have. Please get real. Fake Anonymous

the trialmaster said...

another example of an unqualfied baby lawyer who cant make a living in the private sector going to try to be a judge because of her spanish name running against a jew.

Anonymous said...

I have some advice for you having practiced in the REG for over 25 years:
1) Regarding those trays that you put your metal items on prior to going through the metal detector...don't lick them.

2) When you go through the attorney line and all the other folks who have been waiting to get into the building for at least 30 minutes, give you look as if to say, "Why do you get to go in without waiting?" don't passionately laugh, "Ha ha."

3) Don't call Judge Adrien "Camacho." No one else does.

4) Resist the temptation to date one of the ladies who cleans the courthouse bathrooms. Sure their hot, however, you shouldn't date where you crap.

Have a mediocre day,
Joe Dick

Anonymous said...

Every morning I here about Jeff Weiner and Mycki Ratzen on WLRN.

Do they actually have a reputation?

Anonymous said...

yes, a reputation for pleading people out

Anonymous said...

Let's start the evaluation with this:

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 S. Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
amendmentone@comcast.net

February 6, 2008

Chief Judge Joseph Farina
Linda Kelly Kearson, General Counsel
Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida
Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 NW First Avenue, 30th Floor
Miami, Florida 33128 Via Fax to 305-349-7168

Re: Judge Dava Tunis’ Forged Loyalty Oath

Dear Judge Farina and Ms. Kearson:

I am in appreciative receipt of Mr. Kearson’s January 29 letter transmitting Judge Tunis’ Loyalty Oath to me, mandated by Florida law.

Unfortunately, the Oath is a forgery. Please see the attached affidavit in that regard.

We must immediately have a hearing in this regard, given the fraud indicated by the attached. At the hearing we must also address the impropriety of having “Judge” Tunis preside as referee in my Bar matter, to which office you appointed her.

Please advise when we will have a hearing on all this. Please don’t disregard this serious matter, as you have in the past.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Copy: Florida Bar
“Judge” Tunis
Others

Attachment

Anonymous said...

Judge Butchko is sexy!

Anonymous said...

Abbie Cuellar was an ASA from probably 1996-2000 or so. She is good people and would make an excellent judge.

She was an "old school ASA" (you know, the type that had discretion and was reasonable).

Go Abbie. Too bad she isnt running in Broward.

Anonymous said...

Who is Josie V challenginf now?

Anonymous said...

Scott, you forgot to say thank you...............You are ruthless

Anonymous said...

Butchko HAD the BEST bailiff, Shame to see him gone.

I guess he had enough of the butcko bashing ??

Anonymous said...

Butchko is amazing!