UPDATED: A day in the life of the REGJB. Below.
The Scene: A modest courtroom on the fourth floor of our little building.
Judge Reemberto Diaz and a group of hardworking prosecutors (Gayle Levine headlining) and defense lawyers (Dan Lurvey, Ken White, Bruce Fleisher, and ??) are slogging their way through panel after panel of jurors.
Two defendants face the death penalty. Four criminal defense attorneys and two prosecutors pose endless questions to jurors, some of which are being questioned well into the evening hours when Rumpole prefers to be home sipping a glass of Chateau Miami River.
Just how long can this last?
No truth to the rumor Nightline on ABC will be running a "jurors held hostage day__" report every evening.
And while it pains us to do it, (give any of our robed readers credit) lets give Judge Diaz some credit here. He is in an election cycle and Friday at noon is the filing date. While many of his colleagues are out pressing the flesh, glad handling lawyers they would otherwise never give the time of day to, Judge Diaz is working a very difficult case. Judge Diaz came to the bench as a well respected attorney and he has not disappointed either side in his fairness and ability to run his courtroom. We are confident he will be reelected without opposition.
See You In Court, where voir dire past 7PM should be a crime.
And for those of you who practice in federal court, yes the rumors are true. There are actually courts in this country that give you more than "8 minutes 11 seconds" for voir dire. (And we have taken that quote from one of our last federal cases, where we had a rather difficult time suppressing the overwhelming urge to say "you've got to be kidding me.")
UPDATE. A reader sent in this comment to complete the picture of our humble little courthouse today:
Wonderful and true post about Judge Reemberto Diaz. But did you have too much Chateau Miami River to move through REG? In fairness to other floors/judges at REG there's Judge Stan Blake holding a meeting at 5:30 about setting up 'drug court' in the divisions where the judges themselves have not done so, Judge John Schlesinger in a trial with a difficult pro se defendant-where rumor has it Faretta has been repeated every 5 minutes, next door is Judge Dava Tunis doing Arthur Hearings and Frye hearings all afternoon, Judge Glick trying a trafficking case as a back-up judge always ready, willing and able to work, Judge William Thomas who sends out emails to volunteer to try any judges case (just as Judge Julio Jimenez does almost weekly), Judge John Thornton who closes out 150 cases in 4, yes that is 4 days, ( a plea blitz in Leesfield/Tunis that lasted 9 hours with the judges bringing in food), Judge Soto who is ALWAYS working and is awesome as administrative judge when Judge Blake is out donating an organ or 2. Now what's going on in the county north of the border in criminal court? Come on people; we actually have judges at REG that spend time and DO SOMETHING about issues like a separate attorneys line to get into the building and a window at the clerks office (Judge Sam Slom). Can anyone in Dade ever admit that anything is okay and that many judges-while imperfect-actually try and work hard?The post on Judge Diaz is true and well deserved. Finally some positive comments. Those of you whose lives stay at REG have NO idea what judges can and are like in other counties, let alone other states and jurisdictions. Finally Rump, something positive. All the negativity becomes passé, as they say across the pond.
And then this comment from a fan of county court:
Let's also give credit to our County Court judges. Arzola, Krieger-Martin & Ortiz were all in trial and that was just the 5th floor's count.
Rumpole replies: well said. We grudgingly admit we have some hardworking and talented judges. But we just don't like to say it very often.