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

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

JAZZING UP THE BENCH

Didn't our late great Judge Alfred Nesbitt start it all with his blue robes?

The title to the post links to the NY Times articles on the sartorial splendor of Judges. 

The greatest Judge we ever met, and he really is the dean of all trial Judges in the US- a Judge's Judge  if there ever was one,  was Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of NY.  He often didn't  wear  his robe in court. And when he sentenced a defendant, he normally got off the bench and sat down at a desk on the level of the defendant and issued his sentence and looked him right in the eye and explained why he thought the sentence was just. Judge Weinstein is  now  on senior status we believe. And for federal practitioners in NY, his "Weinstein Korn and Miller" on Civil Practice and Weinstein on Evidence with Berger,  was the bible for federal evidence and civil procedure. 




Perhaps it would be a good thing for our Judges to wear their robes a little less and keep their ego in check. You're all one election away from going back to work. 



John Conolly Trial: The former  FBI agent on trial for the murder of the Miami Jai alai executive is slow going before Judge Blake. Probably a good trial to poke your head in on and take a peek. Of course we can't because everyone is looking for us, but if anyone wants to be our in court eyes on the case, we'd love the help. Plus it's a great case. 

6 comments:

David S Markus said...

Your reference to the late Judge Nesbitt brought a smile to my face. He was my first judge and I learned a lot about being a lawyer from him. He had no time for egos and quickly dispatched mine.
My first case was a shoplifting case defended by Bob Josefsburg. The A-form had a NE address instead of a NW address. Bob sat back and asked very few questions. I knew I was on my way to victory in my first case against a respected lawyer. After laughing about those "new kids" who had just started in the SAO and thought they knew it all (surely an apt reference to me), the judge granted a JOA because I had proven that the crime occurred in the middle of Biscayne Bay.
After he dismissed a few more of my cases,I learned how to prepare a case and how to prove each element. He made you actually prove your cases and didn't act like a rubber stamp just trying to move things along. In his courtroom, legal research and county court were not mutually exclusive terms. He enjoyed a good argument and really challenged me to do my best. I rarely won those arguments; not surprising- he was a brilliant man and, I believe, the valedictorian of his law school class.
Most importantly, he taught me to respect the power of my office and the impact I had on the lives of others, lessons I never forgot. Many disliked him because he was intolerant of lawyers who were not prepared and afraid to go to trial, and let them know it. Many thought he was a crusty, cantankerous curmudgeon; I though he was a wise old man who exemplified how a judge should behave.

Rumpole said...

Oh , someone asked for this as well:

38°57′6.5″N, 77°8′44″W

Anonymous said...

what is it with you and kryptos?

Anonymous said...

Sit back my Rumpole, for it is a sad story I have for you:

2 Judge and 3 lawyers friends all, start an investment club. The lawyers have no business before the Judges. They each kick in 20 k and a about 24 months ago they go long on oil. They make some money, then they go long again and make some more money, and then things explode and they're up about 5 million. They take four off the table and sit with a million in their investment account. Now with oil at 135 a barrel they start shorting oil and make some money. And then they roll it over and short oil some more and make a ton of money. Now they're sitting on plus 10 million. Hurricane season is here so they go cash to sit and wait it out.

You guessed it- they have 10 million cash in their Lehman Brothers Brokerage account. Insured for 500K, they can't get access to their money.
I know this- one attorney is my partner. He's been drunk for two days now and I can't get him out of the bar on South Beach.

Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

yea, stop in and watch fleisher loss another one. does he ever have a private case. At least he dresses better than the late SY.

Anonymous said...

Judge Fred Nesbitt (don't you there call him Alfred) was a man of the law and liberty. He always lamentented the legal juggling used by the Florida Supreme Court to uphold the constutionality of the Loitering & Prowling statute. Judge Nesbitt felt, correctly, that the decision upholding it was political and inconsistent with the federal and Florida constitutions.

Judge Nesbitt had a keen understanding of the burdens of production and persuasion in criminal cases and did not hesitate to enter a JOA sua sponte when the State failed to meet its production burden. After entering the JOA, he gave a very educational talk to the attorneys involved as to why he entered it and what the State did wrong to cause the JOA.

Fred Nesbitt was a judge who went by the book and impartially followed the law and the rules of criminal procedure to the t without regard to utilitarian, expediency or policy arguments. That's why he was so respected and why he, and judges like him, are so missed.