Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Wednesday: It's nice and cold again this morning. 

Our Favourite Federal Blogger has attacked us in a scathing front page frothing at the mouth fusillade full throated defense of Brendan Sullivan. Apparently Mr. Markus learned everything you need to know about waving your arms in closing from his former boss. Check out our response in the comments section. 

Mr. Markus needs your help.  Ever since Chief Judge Fred Moreno instituted his "one Judge one Fax Machine" policy upon becoming chief Judge, there is peace and quiet and nothing to blog about in Federal Court. 

Now...The Story Of Joe Farina:

Sometime in  1989, Miami Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farina drew an unenviable task: he was assigned the case of Miami Police Officer William Lozano who was charged with manslaughter of two African American men who Lozano said were speeding at him on a motorcycle.

Riots in Overtown ensued following the killings, and every move in the racially tense trial was watched by the nation. The NY Times had a reporter here, as did the major networks, and many of the side stories focused on the tremendous pressure Judge Farina was under. 

Lozano was convicted (John Hogan for the State, Roy Black and Mark Seiden for the defense) and then the case was reversed by the Third DCA on the issue of Farina's denial of the motion for change of venue. The case was moved to Orlando, where the unfortunate task of prosecuting the case fell to then ASA (and now Judge) Jerald Bagley,  and Lozano was quickly acquitted. 

But what came out of his handling of the Lozano case was a universal respect for Judge Farina, who was on his second go around as a Circuit Judge.  Farina had been a Judge, resigned, and then re-applied and was appointed again. Talk about political pull.

Farina's  tenure has been marked by a mostly peaceful administration of the Judges and Courts of Dade County. (For comparison, just look about twenty five miles north on I-95). We have a new family courthouse, a re-vamped civil courthouse, and extra toilet paper and yellow stickies for criminal court. 

It cannot be an easy job catering to the egos of over 200 lawyers suffering from various stages of "robe-itis" (Clinical diagnosis: Stage 1-exhibited by most newly appointed judges. Symptoms include a sudden professional demeanor, the belief that all your jokes are funny and opinions relevant, and the false memory syndrome in which the Judge suddenly believes they were the successful party in over 100 jury trials. Stage 4- which is invariably fatal, is marked by a demand for a large courtroom, the incurable need to send your bailiff to pick up your dry cleaning, and the inability to pay for a check when eating out. Stages 2-3, which we have recently seen, is marked by irritability with other judges who don't treat you with the same deference you browbeat lawyers into doing.) 

But Farina has done a good job (fax fights not withstanding.) He leaves the Dade Courts much better than he found them, and that says a lot, because he had big shoes to fill with the retirement of his predecessor:  the popular Judge Wetherington.  (although some say Farina replaced Rivkind, and I don't actually recall, the shadow of Wetherington was large. We was well regarded. )

Well Done Judge Farina. And Thank you. 


real fake neil simon said...


Fake Judge David Miller: Blogger wars. Cool.

Fake Judge Maria Dennis Espinosa: About time.

Fake Judge Dave Miller: Shut up twit.

Fake Judge Maria Dennis Espinosa: Jerk. I'm telling Judge Farina.

Fake Judge David Miller (mockingly): I'm telling...I'm telling.

Fake Judge Maria Dennis Espinosa: (pushes panic button)

South Florida Lawyers said...

Nicely done, Rump.

no fan of jack said...

Another thing to remember--Jack Thompson's disbarment was official on Monday, October 27. In deference to David Stern and the many fine postings in his memory, I did not post this then. We can all now celebrate the fact that he is, deservedly so, no longer a member of the Bar. I just wonder how long it will be until he gets popped for unlicenses practice of law.

Anonymous said...

It's Jerald Bagley, not Jerold.

Anonymous said...

Farina has always been a class act.

Anonymous said...

One last word for David Stern. I printed all of your kind comments from the Blog and provided them to his family last night. Five family members gleamed with pride as they read all of your words. It made a significant impact to out of town family to know that he was admired so much by us here in our little town. Thanks.

Dan Lurvey

Rumpole said...

My apologies to Judge Bagley. I corrected the spelling of his first name,


Anonymous said...

by the way rump, farina replaced judge rivkind as chief judge and not judge wetherington....

Sherlock Holmes said...

Rumpole, we will find out who you are. Based upon your exchange with Mr. D.O. Markus, we now know the following:

1) You were present for at least part of the Gotti trial that led to his acquittal. Anyone who was there, do you recall who was there?

2) You have disdain for most D.C. highbrow criminal defense lawyers.

3) Despite your protests to the contrary, you spend a significant amount of your time in federal court.

4) You sometimes pull out chairs to sit on during closing.

Anyone wish to help me out? We are on the verge of finding out who you are, Rumpole.

Anonymous said...

Well, if we're correcting spelling it's Gerald T. Wetherington. No "a". As the finest chief judge ever, in my opinion, he deserves at least that.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rumpole in regards to Markus:

If he bothers you, I'll take care of him. What you've got to do is cut the hamstring on the back of his leg right at the bottom. He'll never play golf again, because his weight displacement goes back, all his weight is on his right foot, and he'll push everything off to the right. He'll never come through on anything. He'll quit the game.

Just a joke--a line from Caddyshack.

Anonymous said...

The co-defendant of Angel Diaz (who was klled in a botched execution in December of 2006) was granted parole today. Talk about inequity. The state never proved which one was the actual shooter during the robbery. Anyone know what happened at today's parole hearing - seems suprising that he got released...

Anonymous said...

Joe is a nice guy but, not perfect.

He is famous for covering up misconduct of his staff and judges.

He fires staff and will not give them the time of day.

He is a good judge but, have you EVER seen his name on a criminal appeal when the defendant won?

Anonymous said...

For chief judge:

joel brown has thrown his hat in the ring.

i expect jose rodriguez, jennifer bailey and ellen leesfield to consider jumping in.

Anonymous said...

4:50, the co-defendant retained the services of none other than The Q.

What else could have happened?

CAPTAIN said...


I never would have thought that I would see the day when the _______ would throw their support to a Democrat!

"Our specific recommendations are:

• Change the rules that make it impossible to send cash aid and allow direct, substantial and unfettered aid to Cuba's dissidents.

• Lift the 2004 restrictions on travel and remittances by Cuban Americans. Removing the handcuffs that have prevented us from becoming active participants in the development of Cuban civil society will make us agents of change.

• Maintain sanctions that diminish the Castro regime's access to hard currency, which it uses to help fund its apparatus of repression.

• Engage democratic and reformist forces in Cuba, including those in the military and in the civilian government. They need to know that they can count on the friendship and support of the United States.

• Rebuild our intelligence capabilities in Cuba; they have been dismantled over the past decade, creating a vulnerability in this nation's security.

Both presidential candidates have made clear that they want to help the Cuban people achieve freedom. But Barack Obama's forward-looking and proactive approach toward empowering the Cuban people is more in line with these proposals than John McCain's vow to continue the Bush administration's policy."

Anyone want to guess who wrote this?


Miami Herald Owner in Danger of Bankruptcy said...

BREAKING NEWS: Miami Herald Owner in Danger of Bankruptcy
Layoffs, partnerships, and the Net conspire to kill South Florida's dailies.

"...McClatchy Co., which bought the Miami newspaper's former parent, Knight Ridder, right at the top of the real estate and credit bubble in 2006. The company's stock hit an all-time high the year before the highly leveraged purchase around $75 a share. Today the company is $2 billion in debt and trading below three bucks.

The company has struck a deal to sell 10 acres of waterfront land next to 1 Herald Plaza for $190 million to help pay down its debt. But even that deal isn't safe in the deteriorating economy. McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt said last week during an earnings call that he can't guarantee the deal will close."


Anonymous said...

We already know who will be the next Chief Judge - it will be JUDGE SCOTT SILVERMAN.

Mark my word. He has the necessary majority of Circuit Judges and most of the County Judges committed already.

South Florida Lawyers said...

That would be the CANF, Captain?

Anonymous said...

Joel Brown has declared his intentions to run for chief judge. He has about 40 co-nominators.

Judges Leesfield, Rodriguez, Bailey and Silverman have said they would not consider running. Do you guys stay up late at night to make these things up?

Still thinking about running are Gisela Cardonne, Fernandez and Blake and one or two more. Should be very interesting.