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, April 30, 2008

VOIR DIRE FROM HELL

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:

Anonymous said...
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.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

REMY's THE man

fake jake thompson said...

To: His Holiness Pope Benedict

From: Fake Jake Thompson
gadfly@comcast.com

RE: GTA IV

Dear Ben:

As it is becoming readily apparent that you and I are the two last sane humans who have not sold their soul to Take Two. I am scheduling a quick hop to Italy so we can put our heads together (I won't be wearing the yarmulke you like to sport) and come up with a quick plan to save the human race. You will be made a saint, and I will be enshrined as a man of courage, conviction, perserverance, and intelligence. The Nobel Peace Prize also sounds good.

Anyway, I suggest you get the Vatican lawyers working on some public records requests. I can walk them through the details. Meanwhile you and I will come up with a kick-ass, err...really good homily and we will start taking back the human race one person at a time. Jesus fed the multitudes with one loaf of bread, we can fight the devil one video game addict at a time.

Roll up your sleeves and get ready for some work. This will be good.

Let the chefs know I like my pasta al dente.

Your Pal,

Fake Jake Thompson. Esq., & Gadfly.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

ELECTION UPDATE ....

T-Minus 3 days and counting:

33 Incumbent Judges stand to be reelected without opposition (28 Circuit and 5 County). Eleven (11) contested races including 9Circuit and 2 County.

Word is that two potential candidates are in the works: one would file in an open seat against two others who have already filed, and the second (picture incumbents collectively tossing their cookies) would run against an incumbent judge.

Deadline is HIGH NOON on Friday.

CAPTAIN OUT ....

Anonymous said...

As a former prosecutor who had numerous battles with Romberto Diaz and now a defense attorney who has appeared a couple of times in front of Judge Diaz, I must admit I am VERY impressed by Judge Diaz.

I agree with Mr. Rumps that Judge Diaz has been VERY fair and has been a pleasure to deal with. Not to say I got or didn't get what I wanted from Judge Diaz, but he was respectful, patient, understanding, and accommodating.

I know, from when I was a prosecutor, that Judge Diaz is very bright and also knows the ins and outs of being a defense attorney. I am very happy with how he has molded into a judge.

If he runs with opposition, I will support judge Diaz and am 100% confident he will win.

Anonymous said...

once again, captain is all talk and inuendo.

Anonymous said...

Uh, there is no "e" on the end of "voir" in "voir dire."

Anonymous said...

bye bye jackie!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

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 we 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 desrerved. 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.

Anonymous said...

Captain:

Any truth to rumors that the candidates in Eig's seat and the open seat Sanchez-Llorens is in will not be able to qualify for Bar reasons?

Anonymous said...

8:09, when did the criminal court judges hire a pr agent for the blog?

Anonymous said...

WOW. Jack Thomson fever has infected the Broward blog. The latest post has dozens of comments, most of them about our wacky jacky.

Blog monitor said...

Breaking blog news: Fake Jake Thompson, taking after his real life counterpart, has fired two deadly shots at fellow blogger Real Fake Blecher. Accusing him of plagerism on the Tallahassee courthouse blog, and the Pensacola Blog, the nastiness is between these two is spreading across the state.

Tallahassee has already suspended Real Fake Blecher and Pensacola is holding blogger hearings on Thursday as Fake Jake Thompson threatens lawsuits against the blogs if they fail to act against Real Fake Blecher.

Talk about a bruhaha.

Anonymous said...

Rump,

Can you believe that the First DCA is getting a $33 Million new courthouse in a budget year that includes massive cuts to the PDs and SAOs. The Governor needs to line veto the outrageous appropriation toward a totally unncessary courthouse. It's simply NOT possible in a yeat that includeds massice cuts to schools, PDs, SAOs, and trial courts. More of Dade dollars going elsewhere. The Herald should expose this "bridge to nowhere."

Anonymous said...

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.

rick freedman said...

My experiences before Judge R. Diaz have been nothing but positive. He handled a very challenging matter a few months back (client in Broward jail on no bond hold from Dade) by listening to my arguments and suggesting a very reasonable resolution.

He listens attentively to both sides and gives a clear decision that is fair and just.

I certainly hope he does not get any opposition.

Rick Freedman

Anonymous said...

Update on the Mario Garcia-Stacy Glick race for a circuit seat.

Garcia has a semi-cheesy YouTube video on his website www.mariogarcia.net

The opening line has Mario himself stating something to the effect of, "In September 2008, I need your vote...."

September? The election is in August, Mario.

That's all from election central and dont forget to come out and vote for John McCain in December 2008.

Anonymous said...

why is "judge jon i. gordon"not on the 2008 ballot?

Anonymous said...

Congrats to our own TV Judges Marilyn Milian and David Young for getting an Emmy nomination! Infortunately we were not 3 for 3, as Alex was snubbed.

Anonymous said...

facdl has a new president-rick freedman. too bad that he is not a criminal defense attorney. he is a pretender!

fake jake thompson said...

TO: Neil Rodgers

From Fake Jake Thompson, Gadfly and Esq.
Gadfly@comcast.com

RE: "Judge" Dava Tunis

Neil old buddy:

We have had our differences over the years, but now in the winter of our discontent perhaps, as the aging warriors we are, we can join forces to defeat a force so sinister, so evil, so insidious, that it might even scare you straight if you were forced to confront this nightmare, as I have been doing.

Would it scare you to know this "Judge" has not signed her loyalty oath? Even worse, would it scare you to know she often crosses in-between and not at the green? She has been known to not yield, to not chew her food slowly, to brush less than 2 minutes, and to go swimming within 30 minutes of eating.

All in all, this is a terror we cannot back down from.

So, old buddy, can we let bygones be bygones and join forces to defeat this scourage to our community and challenge to our way of life?

Lets get together on this. This should be fun.

Your Pal,

Fake Jake Thompson, Gadfly and Esq.

Anonymous said...

Election Update:

Judge Eric Hendon and his opposition Denise Martinez will be having company. The group 17 race will be a three way race.

Juan Mourin said...

The reality is that,as a group, we have an oustanding bunch of judges and prosecutors. Most try to do the right thing and follow the law. Anyone who fails to realize this need only venture a few miles to the north.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

ELECTION UPDATE......

In the County Court, Scanziani is the only announced candidate that has NOT yet Qualified ???

Is she having second thoughts???

Nine of the 10 other HAVE qualified.

CAP OUT ....

CAPTAIN said...

Circuit candidates not yet Qualified:

Ward
Perez Velis
Sanchez-Llorens
Tauler
Kopco
Millan
Prescott
Glick
Zabel
Corona
Cohen
Cuellar
Sampedro-Iglesia
Segarra
Rodriguez

Anonymous said...

Captain why has why is "Judge Jon I. Gordon"not on the 2008 ballot?

Anonymous said...

HEY - You guys forgot the third floor, was up wit dad!!!!!

Anonymous said...

BREAKING BLOG NEWS:

Alfredo Perez of Miami has filed for Clerk of Court:

http://www.precinctfind.com/pdf_fl_dade/doc_632_20080501125240_Filing_Doc.pdf

This makes 4 candidates running for Clerk. 3 democrats and 1 republican.

They are:

John Babun
Darrin McGillis
Harvey Ruvin
Alfredo Perez

Anonymous said...

New Clerk of Court Candidate:

Alfredo Jesus Perez
Member in Good Standing Eligible to practice in Florida

ID Number: - 315310
Address: Alfredo J Perez, P.A.
5805 Blue Lagoon Dr Ste 145
Miami, Florida 331262019
United States
Phone: 305.2650007
Fax: 305.2652001
E-Mail: ajperezlaw@aol.com
County: Miami-Dade
Circuit: 11
Admitted: 09/15/2000

Sections: General Practice Solo and Small Firm

10-Year Discipline History None

Anonymous said...

I was just crunching the numbers and with a third democrat in the race Ruvin is guaranteed to win the primary. Easy math, Ruvin a well known figure in the jewish community will take that vote easy. The new guy Perez will take a big number of the hispanics. McGillis will take a good number of hispanics because of his roots in the music industry working with big latin stars. That leaves the black vote. Even if you split that vote evenly Ruvin takes the win.

The 4th candidate - the only republican will not win against a well known democrat in November. What does this mean? It equals Harvey Ruvin for 4 more years.

Anonymous said...

John Thompson has filed to run for Judge.

Anonymous said...

You listed a big list of really good judges.

Now would someone PLEASE run against Jackie Scola? Please!

She is really pissing off lots of people even though, I personally like her.

Anonymous said...

That loud "Woooffff" you heard at 5pm was 20 plus incumbent Judges. Can you guess which Judges?

Starting at 12 noon Friday the incumbents without opposition will be back to denying motions of the defense before hearing argument or reading the pleadings.

Anonymous said...

It was 1992 or 1991 when Ruvin was elected clerk. Every fours years since he won the seat without opposition by default. Now almost 17 years later a total of three people have filed papers running against him. WHY? What is different this election cycle from the previous?

rick freedman said...

Congrats to Phil Reizenstein for his successful "auction" today. Phil won't mention it, but I will. He was the possessor of 4 tickets to the Boss concert tomorrow evening. He could not attend.

He held an auction today and Joe Rosenbaum was the high bidder. Phil directed that the money would go to Friends of Drug Court and Joe will be writing a check in the amount of $1,400 to them for the tickets. If I understand correctly, Phil also promised to match the money, providing Drug Court with $2,800.

Many of you know that our Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club that I was President of for 4 years has been helping to raise money for Drug Court. We have been extremely successful in the past couple of years with our Annual Kiwanis Auction & Dinner having raised over $250,000, with half of that money going to Friends of Drug Court.

Many of you at the Gerstein Justice Bldg. attend our auction and give us your support.

If you ever would like to get involved in the Kiwanis Club and help support worthy projects for the community, we meet for lunch every Wednesday at 12:15 at the Biscayne Bay Marriott. Judge Rosinek and Judge Blake have been active members for over 30 years. Bruce Reich, Stephen Millan, and I have been involved for more than a decade. Jimmie Elias, Dr. Heather Holmes, Ted Mastos, and Diana Petitto (JA to Judge Pineiro) are also members.

Yesterday, we read to the third graders at Santa Clara Elementary School in our monthly Raising Readers Project. APD Steve Levine and ASA Bill McGee have been joining us for the reading project for several years. In two weeks, we will be holding a carnival at the Hope Center. And in the next month, we will be presenting a 4 year fully paid college Scholarship to a 5th grade student at Santa Clara Elementary School.

We also support the Key Clubs at Booker T. Washington and Miami Springs High School and the K Club at Kenwood K-8.

There is nothing better than to give back to the community. People like Phil are great examples of that giving.

If you have any interest in joining Kiwanis, please contact me.

Congrats Phil.

Rick Freedman

Anonymous said...

GINAGINAGINAGINAGINAGINAGINA

Anonymous said...

Dude I'm confused rick freedman is president of FADL or Kiwanas?

Anonymous said...

I just feel empty without the holy trinity tour and the rest of the clan. The election is just not the same without the stars that made 2006 what it was.

Anonymous said...

Someone please run against Sarah Zabel, Jackie Scola, Leon Firtel and Ivan Fernandez.

Why? They have attitude and act God like.

How did this happen? Power has made them feel as if they are better than those they judge.

What will you get? 800K and other benefits.

Can you win? YES! They have not campaigned in 6 years and are unknown.

Why not run for a County Seat? Not smart. Might as well get the extra 10K and run for Circuit.