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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Friday, August 01, 2008

BLAKE TOSSES SAO OUT OF PD CASE

Judge Stan Blake tossed Rudy Sorondo* and his client- the SAO out of the State Public Defender case in which the PD seeks not to accept any more cases during the budget crisis. However, Judge Blake allowed ASA Don Horn to cross Bennett Brummer. The title to the post links to the DBR Article which has a audio clip from the cross:

"Q: You were late today?
A: Yes. I don't get to court often and forgot where the hearing was."

(* Rick Freedman points out in the comments section that Sorondo was conflicted out prior to the hearing because his firm did work for the Pds. But the sentiment remains the same- The SAO has no standing in this matter. "Just shut up and file your cases", as it were. Anyway, like a good robed reader, why should we let facts stand in the way of a good post? "Sometimes wrong but never in doubt." That's out motto)

David Markus's Federal Fight Blog is frozen!
Longtime and careful readers of this blog will remember when right after our blog was hacked that Google froze the blog as being a spam blog. It took about ten days of negotiating with Google to get it unfrozen. Mr. Markus has sent us an email indicating the same thing has happened to him. He will be back and please be patient.

In this story the Herald joins the fray over our constant complaints over the unreliability of eyewitness identification. Better late than never. Their solution: hire more PDs. 

You can read one of our previous posts on the issue HERE

34 comments:

rick freedman said...

Mr. Rumpole:

I believe that Mr. Sorondo and his firm were conflicted out of the case because the firm represents the Public Defender's office on some matters. Blake did not toss Mr. Sorondo. I was in court on Thursday and was called as a witness to testify for Mr. Brummer's office on his Motion.

Also, thank you for posting the information on the forum. I would like to print it again at the top of the page so more of your readers can see it:

To: Rumpole & Captain
From: Rick Freedman, President, FACDL-Miami
Re: JUDICIAL CANDIDATES FORUM

Could you please pass this information along to your readers. I know that many of them are already members of FACDL-Miami and have received my email, but for those who are not, I would like to invite them to both become members of FACDL-Miami and to attend our Forum on August 6th.

Here is the information:

On Wednesday, August 6, 2008, we are co-sponsoring a Judicial Candidates Forum at 5:30 PM at the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus located at 300 NE 2nd Avenue, in downtown Miami. The Forum will be held in Room 1261 (building one, second floor). We have arranged for free parking.

We have confirmed that all 19 candidates for Judge will be attending the event. They will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and there will be a period of time for questions of the candidates and also some time to meet and greet the candidates. Light food and drinks will be served.

If you would like to attend the Forum you must RSVP to Miguel Amador or Alicia Alers at:

AMADOR@PDMIAMI.COM or AALERS@PDMIAMI.COM.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on August 6th.

Anonymous said...

This law suit is pure politics.

If this is what it takes to get those fucking cheap bastard Republicans to come up with the money to properly run the courthouse... so be it.

EYEONQ said...

Sorondo out?????SOMEBODY CALL THE Q!!!!

Anonymous said...

The legislature ought to hire an investigator and pull the PDs logs.........see when they're arriving for work. And, bring in some of the pit APDs with the integrity to admit that half of the attorneys work no more than 6 hours a day (at least the prosecutors who are lazy work 7 hours a day).

This whole thing infuriates me. I say increase the salaries of all government lawyers to attract competent, hard working folks and get rid of the dead weight. THEN, and only then, will the innocent be protected and the guilty punished. Chew on that.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

"The ultimate safeguard against wrongful prosecutorial conduct and wrongful convictions is the competent and diligent criminal defense lawyer." WOW, THATS A PRETTY FUNNY JOKE. I have seen hundreds of some pretty heinous criminals released back into our society because of Defense Attorneys! For every 1 innocent person that is convicted and incarcerated 1000 hardened criminals
are freed!

Everytime a guilty criminal is set free the rest of us suffer. And that happens WAAAAYYYY more than any "innocent" getting convicted. And what, pray tell, is the leading cause of such? Unethical defense attrorneys getting away with garbage and delay tactics and witness intimidation. Want to know why there aren't more cases discussing these? Give the state the right to appeal a not guilty verdict and watch what happens. The ultimate safeguard against wrongful attorney conduct? Their own greed, because guys like Freedman aren't exactly volunteering to work down at Brummer's office, or better yet, becoming prosecutors so they can make sure there's at least one doing things ethically; they'd rather sit on well-padded bums and try to gain propaganda points.

These are the comments in reply to the Herald article.

To which the true die hard defender of constitutional rights would answer: "I'd rather see 1000 criminals set free, than 1 innocent person lose their liberty..."

Interesting, so very interesting all of it.

attorney-rejected-by-the-princess said...

4:30, I agree with you, pure politics
plain and simple.

Attorney Rejected By The Princess,
proud member since 2008.

Anonymous said...

Friday, August 01, 2008 4:30:00 PM

I could not of said it better!

I would add that when the child rapist, gun violent offender gets out of jail FREE they just might hand over some reasonable cash. But of course some innocent victim has to suffer before the Republican legislators get the picture!

Judge Blake send a clear order for the nutjobs in Tallahassee to read!!

abe laeser said...

Rumpole,
Please do not cite Monroe Freedman's personal editorial comments, which the Herald printed, as evidence that the Herald takes this - or any other position.

Monroe is a noted legal ethicist who teaches at Hofstra Law, a very learned and religious man, + has lectured on Ethics at the SAO when in Miami. His son was a former ASA in Miami.

Factually, he is obviously correct. More good lawyers on both sdes will advance the cause of justice. Everyone knows that to be true.

That is the beauty of the ethicist / philosopher. He can omit the practical problem of paying for justice.

We are all in favor of better teachers, safer roads, better health care, equal justice -- we just refuse to spend the dollars needed to achieve ALL for the common good.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie stop reading Rumpole and the Captain and stick to your nasty campaign tactics Also don't look back something might be gaining on you !

Anonymous said...

between brummer and freedman, im not sure which is liberties worst champion.

take my off the fing email list rick. you are driving us to sanity.

Anonymous said...

RUMP- just saw the greatest movie on DVD.

Rachel Rachel....the story of a young woman's erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.

Rent it when you get the chance.

Anonymous said...

6:55 P.M., there is a document called the United States Constitution. Even though George Bush, especially Dick Cheney and many of their right-wing cohorts seem to think that many of its provisions are no longer applicable, the Constitution is the bedrock of the United States government and its freedoms.

One of the most basic principles of U.S. criminal law is that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. While I agree with you that there are some criminal defense attorneys who are unethical (just as there are certain civil, family, immigration, etc. attorneys who lack ethics), it is not an ethical violation to make the state/government prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. And as any ASA, APD or defense attorney will tell you, there are many times where a case cannot be proven to such a high standard.

Our criminal justice system is far from perfect--in fact, I don't think a perfect system is achievable. But if you want a system where arrest equals automatic guilt, or perhaps summary execution, there are plenty of countries where you would be more than welcome.

Anonymous said...

9:24
are you dumb, or just plain stupid?

MH

Anonymous said...

MARIO GARCIA ALERT!!!!!

Anyone see the lawsuit that Mario Garcia and his organization are involved with. WOW.

If this guy is elected, I do not think he will be permitted to sit on the bench.

Anonymous said...

The following is mostly true:

Scott Saul used to be a professional wrestler. His signature move was the legal lasso. Scott didn't win much.

Andy Rier was the Oscar Mayer kid in the TV commercials in the 1970's

A ticket lawyer was flown to Las Vegas by a grateful Pam Anderson after he won her ticket. What neither planned was that Pam was a bit lonely after another divorce. What followed was a weekend he will never forget.

Roger Elkind knows all the words to the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. HMS Pinafore is his favorite.

Judge Chumbley plays more than a decent game of chess.

Allan Greenstein has left the PDs office. For good.

Anonymous said...

Not only did Sorondo's firm do work for the PDs, they help support the PDs position on their right to withdraw based on overload.

Anonymous said...

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D06-2129.pdf

HERE'S THE QUESTION:

If a "judge" takes a 7 year plea offer and makes it thirty years; and if he get spanked so bad by the third DCA that when they vacate and remand they REMOVE HIM FROM HEARING THE CASE, THEN WHY IS THIS GUY STILL ALLOWED TO BE IN CRIMINAL COURT? CLEARLY HE HAS NO ABILITY TO FAIRLY JUDGE A SENTENCE.

Rumpole said...

Ah Mr. Laeser, you are citing altruism in support of a position. Something I never agree with.

The issue is not whether we need better and better paid lawyers, teachers, doctors, prosecutors, judges, police officers we do.

The issue is that something is terribly wrong with eyewitness identification.

Emotionally the issue makes sense: who couldn't identify someone they just saw do something?
But factually the answer is 'just about anyone'. Try it yourself. Go about your day and randomly ask yourself to just describe the store clerk, customer in line, or other random person you just saw a few minutes ago.

As I have been begging everyone, go to Amazon and order "The Seven Sins Of Memory." I'm not making this up.

We're both on the same side of this: neither of us wants to see an innocent person convicted. A much as I will do my job to my utmost ability, as a citizen of this county, I have an interest in seeing you and your office do your job just as well.

Rumpole said...

Mr. Laeser- BTW, is was Mr. Freedman's son Caleb, who tragically passed away from a heart defect of some kind?

Anonymous said...

6:55 here.

I didn't post any of my opinions except that comment about the 1000 better to go free than 1 innocent's liberty restricted.

As I indicated in the post, I reprinted the "blog" responses to the Herald article. But maybe that wasn't clear, so I'm making it clearer now. Those comments were from two different citizens, probably nonlawyers I think.

I was merely pointing out the interesting legal view versus the "public" view.

Anonymous said...

why is judge peter adrien not removed from the bench by the jqc from the davalos v. state appeal in the 3d dca?

why has phil r. not sent the decision to the jqc and demand his removal from the bench?

it was a brilliant win and a just decision by judge ramirez. it is a travesty that this abuse could actually happen in a civilized society.

phil r. should get the facdl award this year for this work of justice. he saved a life and that is something that is so rare in our line of work.

kudos phil r. you are a real lawyer in the same way as those other great of the justice bldg. whom we admire.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Caleb was a good guy. That is his dad. His dad still feels the pain.

fed fred said...

This just in- FEDERAL BLOG STILL FROZEN.

Judge Gold supposedly beside himself.

eyeonshumie said...

When was the last Shumie-doo and who was there?

Anonymous said...

"For instance, records for the Miami-Dade public defender’s office show that it took on almost 4,000 noncapital felony cases in January 2007. But according to the Office of the State Courts Administrator, only about 2,500 noncapital felony cases — all cases filed that month, including cases taken by private attorneys — were filed."

"Similarly, for the 2006-07 fiscal year, the public defender’s office said a total of 40,651 noncapital felony cases was filed in the county. But according to court administrators, there were only 29,092 noncapital felony defendants in the same year."

Just priceless. You can't make that stuff up. Or can you?

Anonymous said...

9:56--What about the countless other criminal defense attorneys who save clients' lives on a regular basis but whom prefer to do so in anonymity? And, by the way, who was the brilliant defense attorney in the Davalos case who counseled his client--a habitual offender--to plea straight up to Judge Adrian?

Anonymous said...

Phil R, I hate to say it but great job on that appeal. Kudos to the 3rd DCA for standing up for justice.

Chief Judge Farina, a transfer of Judge Adrien out of crminal court is required. Failure to transfer him places your integrity in question.

Very strong words from the 3rd DCA:

"We therefore reverse the trial court’s denial of the motions to withdraw Davalos’ plea. We also remand the case with instructions for a new sentencing hearing before a different judge. Reversed and remanded."

Anonymous said...

Phil R should get an award for the great job he's done running this blog.............

;-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Saturday, August 02, 2008 12:49:00 PM

The PDO reports two different figures regarding non-capital felonies. The 4000 cases represent cases appointed to at bond hearing. A lower figure is reported for cases assigned at arraignment. You should be aware what you are talking about before you post.

Phil R said...

Rumpole, I am surprised to find myself somewhat the subject of a thread in your blog.

I was the lawyer on the appeal in the Davalos case. However please let it be very clear that the negative comments about the trial judge are not my comments and do not reflect my thoughts about this judge.
Indeed, until the Geilin Broward Blogger matter is cleared up by our Supreme Court, I would advise any lawyer that it is a violation of the rules of professional responsibility to criticize
a judge in the manner being done here. All Judges, even the best get reversed on appeal.

This case is not about the trial judge. This client was extraordinarily poorly served by his trial lawyer who routinely failed to show up for court. I am grateful that three Judges on the 3rd were able to see the injustice of what occurred here. However, even Judges with the best of intentions make mistakes that create an injustice. At this point that is the fairest way to view the trial judge here. To view him otherwise would be to say he issued this sentence out of pure meanness or personal hatred. There is only one Judge I have ever run across in 22 years of practice who broke his word to me and sentenced a defendant out of pure mean self interest. It was a horrible thing to do, and thankfully he is no longer a Judge (and the sentence was reversed as well, but not by my work)

Thanks for the opportunity to be heard (and no I am not talking to myself, as I do not engage in electronic onanism)
and so I will now retreat back to the dark, brooding, rude, mean person that your anonymous readers believe me to be.

Anonymous said...

Warning! Warning!

Carlton Fields in Miami is getting rid of the fat because they are not making the money they need.

Thus, if anyone is thinking of working or works there, be careful.

This message comes from the Appellate Division of the Firm.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole:

Judge Blake decided the SAO had no standing. Then he let them cross. That was a decided victory for the SAO. Having declared they had no right, Judge Blake allowed them back in.

Your comment about Don Horn, for whom I have no great love, is also misleading. My understanding is that his crosses were excellent.

Finally, as to the comment about the number of cases carried by the PD, we may never know. The PD has given a number and said, in essence, trust us. Until the PD explains, without vagary, how they came up with their numbers, they open themselves to ridicule.

Anonymous said...

7:10.....I think you're reading into Rump's parody a bit my friend. He wasn't attacking Don's abilities. Everyone knows that Don is a terrific trial lawyer. He was poking fun at the PD.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

To phil r

Here's one person who worked with you as a prosecutor and knows your work work as a defense lawyer. Rude, dark, brooding and mean are adjectives inopposite to your traits. I was thinking of fair, caring (under the tough exterior as an ASA and as a defense lawyer) and excellent to describe you.

Anyone with the ability to look beyond an exterior knows you are a wonderful person, and an excellent lawyer.

Signed......

Not phil r. or jackie... just an old time justice building friend who hasn't forgotten