Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The signs are up at the Justice Building. 12 Noon on Wednesday we dedicate the memorial to our departed friend and colleague Sy Gaer. Try to be there. In memory of Sy, it promises to be a good time with fun memories. Sy would have wanted people to laugh and remember the good times.


Speaking of signs, those of us who have traversed the hallways and by-ways of our Justice Building (Motto: "The REGJB may be old, but at least it's open." See, In Re: Miami Federal Courthouse Fiasco, 111 Waste Of Money, 666 (2005-2008) ) have noticed this week that once again the escalators are on the fritz. First it was the first floor "Up" escalator, and then yesterday and today it was the second floor "down" escalator.

More disturbing, and you can see this for yourself, is the printed and framed sign, standing in its own metal frame, on the first floor of the REGJB, proclaiming that the escalator is broken and to use the stairs. What this means is that someone realized that the escalators would be broken so often, they went to the time and expense of purchasing and framing a sign for weekly use.

At least our elevators are swanky.

And speaking of both Federal Courts, ("Casa De Moreno" A&B) at least our elevators work.

The Herald reports HERE
on a Whopper of a story. Burger King Corp. has fired two employees for participating in a blog that contained content criticising a migrant farmer advocacy group.


The Scene: Manatee County.
Dramatis Personae: Attorney Joseph Campoli, Manatee County solo practitioner; Johnny Vasquez- defendant in an organized fraud RICO case; The Honorable Lee Haworth, Chief Judge for Manatee County.

Summary of events: Manatee County has the biggest criminal case they've ever seen. RICO charges for 14 defendants and counting . Manatee County has between 5 and 15 lawyers on the Court registry willing to take court appointments. There are no lawyers available to take the appointment to Mr. Vasquez's case.

In an extraordinarily well researched and soundly written opinion, Judge Haworth lays bare all the inequities and problems with JAC. From the low fees, to the blatant attempts to avoid paying bills by rejecting over 95% of them for petty reasons, Judge Haworth resorts to some very sound reasoning as to why he is forced to take extraordinary measures. His critique of the low fees paid to private counsel is well documented and very persuasive.

It is a lengthy order but well worth the investment of time.

See You In Court, avoiding Manate County at all costs. Wander up there and before you can leave you may be ordered to take a defendant in a RICO case that could last years.


Anonymous said...

I do not have a horse in this race but man that Judge has balls.

When we speak of a Judge who is independent minded we will be speaking of this Judge, when we speak of a Judge who seeks true justice for the accused we will be speaking of this Judge...

You get the picture.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rumpole,

There are some people out there who want to declare this race over now, before all the ballots have been counted or even cast. There are some who say they don't know why I'm in this race. So let me tell you why I'm still running.

I'm in this race for everyone who needs a champion. For the hardworking families who are losing sleep over gas prices and grocery costs and mortgage payments and medical bills -- but who never lose that American can-do spirit and optimism.

I'm in this race for the more than 16 million people like you who have supported me -- for the people who have put their hearts into winning this race. You never gave up on me, and I'll never give up on you.

We are in the homestretch. After sixteen months, there are only three weeks left to compete in the final contests. With your help I'm going to keep fighting until every last American has a chance to be heard, and as we learned last night in West Virginia, I know we can win.

Contribute now to keep our campaign going strong.

I'm also in this race because I have the best chance of beating John McCain in November and putting America on the right track.

We proved something in West Virginia last night -- a state every Democratic president has won since 1916. And we proved something in a few other battleground states that have a history of picking presidents. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Arkansas. New Hampshire. New Jersey. New Mexico. Nevada. And, yes, Michigan and Florida.

I am in this race, and so are you, because we both know the stakes in this election are too high to stay on the sidelines.

So let's keep going together, you and me. Let's keep driving our campaign forward, and let's keep winning.

Make a contribution today to help me win.

I want to thank you again for the incredible generosity of spirit you have shown over the course of this campaign. Together, you and I are going to make history.

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

Horrific, totalitarian decision by Hayworth. You could not be more wrong Rumpole! Yes, he breaks it down exactly right, but to ultimately rule that a private attorney who is not even on the wheel and does not wish to be, MUST represent someone against their will is not acceptable ever under any circumstances in a free society. NO MATTER WHAT. WTF are u thinking praising this ugliness. Its not gonna make legislature change a damn thing, it'll just open the door to more and more govt coercion of private citizens.

Anonymous said...

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - For the third consecutive year Miami has been voted the worst American city for road rage, according to a new survey.


1:39 could not be more correct. forced labor. unconstitutional. very scary.

Anonymous said...

LOL. I agree that a judge can't do this. But, I find it just as sickening that no one would take the case voluntarily. What's that say about the defense bar in Monroe when not a single lawyer would take this defendant? PATHETIC.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it's constitutional to force an attorney to take a case he doesn't want to take even with all the provisions for payment that Judge Hayworth put in his order and at a reduced rate to boot. What if the JAC appeals this order? Who's going to defend the appeal and bears its cost? The State? The JAC? Hayworth? It'll probably fall to Campoli who will be stuck with the case and the appeal. If Hayworth wants to force the issue and the litigation over the new indigent defense law, he should do it himself and with his own money and not throw this albatross around Campoli's neck.

Anonymous said...

1:39, attorneys are not private citizens, they are guild members who enjoy a monopoly over and extremely lucrative franchise. In exchange for that monopoly they are bound to various requirement, including the provision of pro bono services. In the unusual situation, where the need of the guild requires it, an attorney can be drafted to assist in an emergency situation. If you want to be a privateer, give up your monopoly privileges, and find a cave in Oregon.

Anonymous said...

Dear Hillary:

I'm a political novice. But I have one piece of advice for you: when you write in to a blog, or sign your name, you may want to consider spelling it correctly. It's Hillary with two ls, right?



Scott Saul said...


The scene is Broward!

I have a client that was arrested, and had charges filed, for a felony and corresponding misdemeanor.

Without ever taking a continuance and 170 days into the case, the State nolle prossed the felony. Because the client did not want to close the misdemeanor, the State had the Judge transfer the misdemeanor to county court.

It took the Clerk's Office 3 days to create a county court case number.

The day after the nolle prosse, but before the creation of the county court case number, I filed a NOE.

I put the citation number on the pleading. The County Clerk's Office refused to take it and mandated that it be filed in circuit court (which was the still existing case number).

After 15 days passed, I filed a motion for discharge and set the motion.

The Broward Judge denied the motion and struck my NOE.

Her reasons were because;

1) She felt that I should have requested a supervisor in County Court and forced them to take the pleading at that level;

2) She felt that it was underhanded to file the NOE before a county case number was created


3) There exists an "administrative order" where all lawyers must cc the Judge on the filing of a NOE. You must give them a courtesy copy.
This order is not posted anywhere but I did not comply with it.

(Can an administrative order expand, clarify or distinguish an enacted Rule of Criminal procedure?)

I feel that her reasons are no good. However, my concern is 3.191 (f).

Under that rule, if a misdemeanor is consolidated with a felony, the applicable speedy trial time is the felony one. Sounds logical!

In my case, if the felony is nolle prossed leaving just the misdemeanor, does the speedy trial time revert to 90 days or does the misdemeanor enjoy the 175 day period since it started out in a felony information? Did my filing of the NOE before the 175 days make it a nullity under 3.191( f)?

Does a misdemeanor always get felony speedy trial treatment if it's point of origin is in Circuit Court?

I want to take a writ on the Judge's ruling yet not if 3.191(f) makes her [seemingly] erroneous ruling immaterial.

Instead of bashing lawyers and spreading gossip, this is what the blog should be for?

What do y'all think?

Anonymous said...

What I think Scott Saul, is that you should wear a tie.

Anonymous said...

You lose Scott.

Anonymous said...

I think under 3.191(f), the misdemeanor was no longer "consolidated for disposition in circuit court" when the State asked the judge to transfer it to county.
As such, the misdemeanor rules should apply. 90 days.

It should have nothing to do with filing your pleading before the clerk 'created' a case number.

And you should go after the lousy Broward clerk's office for refusing to accept your pleading.