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, December 26, 2008

LET IT SNOW

JUDICIAL CONUNDRUM:
Before we get to "Snows" submitted for your consideration:
Palm Beach Circuit Judge Elect William Abramson. In an extremely close election that went through a manual recount, Abramson edged his long time nemesis Circuit Judge Richard Wennet. After 24 years on the bench Wennet goes to that hinder land where his jokes are no longer funny, and his legal analysis no longer brilliant.

So Abramson starts work January 5, 2009.

Just one little teensy insy problem: The Florida Supreme Court just suspended Abramson's license to practice law for 91 days. As many people know, that extra day after 90 usually connotes the requirement that the offending lawyer re-take the bar exam. Ouch.

So dear readers, can an attorney who can no longer practice law be a judge?

We all know the opposite is true. (Rumpole cheap shot at judges alert).



SECOND UPDATE: Our learned readers have opined that nothing prevents Abramson from taking the bench and wearing the robes as he has been a member of the Bar for five years. They have pointed out that being suspended does not mean he is not a member of the Bar.
SO...... (and this really is a hanging curve ball that we cannot miss)
The only difference between Abramson and the rest of his colleagues is that once on the bench Abramson REALLY cannot practice law, while .....(add your cheap shot here.)

SNOW'S:

For some strange reason, we find ourselves reading Texas Monthly Magazine (Motto: "Texas! Proud Home State to two Presidents, both of whom screwed up a war.") more often than we would like to admit.

However, perusing articles on Cattle and Dallas sprinkled with words like "y'all" sometimes yields unexpected results. Like when Texas Monthly shocked the Barbeque world by naming a complete unknown as the best BBQ in Texas: Snows. (Click on the Link for the article and on the Title of the post for Snow's website.)

Here's all you need to know about Snows: They're only open on Saturdays in Lexington, TX, population 1100. They get in at about 2-3 AM and cook the meats for about 8 hours. By noon they have sold out (about 800 pounds of chicken, pork, brisket, ribs, and sausage) and they close up.

Good Barbecue is Texas BBQ. (Save the emails you KC fanatics. Texas wins.) You order some meat, you get a few slices of white bread, and you get your bottles of sauce at the table. One BBQ joint proudly announces: "No fork, salads, or plates. "

Oh yeah- the real deal Texas BBQ is served on white butcher paper and you eat it with your hands. Some places make you ask for the sauce just so they can heap scorn upon you.

Anyway, a little break from our "Rice n-beans" Justice Building stuff.

Why are we reading Texas Monthly anyway? Hmmmmm.

Enjoy.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Section 8 of Article 5 specifies that the only requirement to be a circuit judge is five years of continuous membership in the Florida Bar. There is no mention of standing."

Enough said.

That BBQ place not so sure I would eat there, have you seen the pictures on the web site? Look's like something out of a horror flick.

CAPTAIN said...

(reprinted from 12/18/08)

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Really North of the Border ...

Have you been following the ridiculous happenings in Palm Beach County?

In 2005, Judge Wennet sent a complaint to the Florida Bar about attorney William Abramson as the result of Abramson's conduct in court before the Judge.

Fast forward to 2008 and Abrmason runs against Wennet, who had served for 24 years on the bench. The election took almost as long to decide as the Minnesota senate race; (they are still counting there). First they declared Abramson the winner. After a recount, the winner was Wennett. Then they found a bunch of missing ballots and after another recount Abramson was declared the winner.

Now the Florida Supreme Court has suspended Abramson's license to practice law. This is as a result of the aformentioned 2005 complaint filed by Wennet.

This issue is novel: can a suspended attorney serve as a judge? The high court may have to answer that question.

Cap Out ...

Thursday, December 18, 2008 8:05:00 PM

South Florida Lawyers said...

I have no problem with sloppy rich Texas BBQ, but no reason to dump on other regional favorites -- give me a dish of that mustard-based brew they cook up at Maurice's (near Santee, SC), where you can read all about how that bastard Lincoln screwed the South.

Anonymous said...

Loss is a theme that I think a lot about, and it’s something in my work that I dwell on. I think when you experience any kind of loss, especially the kind I did, you have questions about survival: Why do some people thrive in situations that others can’t tolerate? Would I be able to survive and get on in the world on my own?

brian tannebaum said...

"No person is eligible for the office of circuit judge unless he is, and has been for the preceding five years, a member of the bar of Florida." Art. V, s. 8, Fla. Const. (1968, as amended 1972).

"The words. . .'no person shall be eligible for the office of judge. . .unless he is, and for a period of five (5) years has been, a member of the Florida Bar' refer to eligibility at the time of assuming office and not at the time of qualification or election to office." In re Advisory Opinion to the Governor. 192 So.2d 757, 759(Fla. 1966).

A person elected to the office of circuit court judge assumes that office on the Tuesday following the first Monday in January following the general election, s. 100.041, F.S. Therefore, one must have been a member of the Florida bar for at least five years as of the day of taking office.

The eligibility requirement of five years membership in the Florida Bar in order to be a circuit court judge must be satisfied as of the time of assuming office, not when qualifying papers are filed or the person elected.

Abramson, while suspended, is still a member of the Bar. The opinion says nothing about "member in good standing."

Welcome Judge Abramson.

Rumpole said...

"That Bastard Lincoln"????? Now really. Longtime and careful readers of the blog remember our much discussed rankings of former presidents. I believe he was 1 or 2.

Anonymous said...

Couple of comments re Abramson:

1. The rules should be changed so that it's clear that a Judge must be a member of the Bar in good standing.
2. It says something that a person in his situation could be elected. The system for selecting judges needs to be revamped. Suppressing candidates' First Amendment rights for the sake of "preserving their objectivity" doesn't work on every level (anybody who doesn't care enough about what's happening to have an opinion on anything doesn't deserve to be a judge.......so, why preserve a system allegedly designed to protect their ignorance? Or, worse, to hide their views?). Candidates should have a right to share their views. And, they should want to. More importantly, the public has a right to know who it's electing. Under the current system, the public votes on a name, a picture and (at best), a short list of accomplishments (often exaggerated).

BTDT

Anonymous said...

The best barbecue on the face of this earth (bar NONE) can be found in Huntsville, Texas - at the MOUNT ZION MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH(Merely a stone's throw from Texas' notorious Ellis Unit 1)

A painter was commissioned to paint the aforementioned place of worhip some years ago. This painter's wife appeared at lunchtime to prepare some barbecue for her beloved. The meal that afternoon smelled so appealing, so intoxicating, that cars/vehicles/motorcycles/buses stopped in their tracks in mad attempts to find out just where that barbecue aroma was coming from.

The parishoners interpreted all this as a sign from the almighty.

They immediately gutted the church's basement and established the restaurant that sits there to this day.

Many a condemned man has requested his last meal from the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

And the great state of Texas has no shortage of condemned men.....

I distinctly remember the bumper stickers that accompanied the plates of smoked brisket.

IF YOU WERE ON TRIAL FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN, WOULD THERE BE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONVICT YOU? AT THE MOUNT ZION MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, WE PLEAD THE BLOOD.

Damn that was good barbecue.

Anonymous said...

I know I am an outsider but I tried a case before Winnet and he was a pleasure to be in front of.

He took the bench 6o seconds late and actually apologized to the jury for his tardiness.

Was this an abboration?

He made good rulings.

He woudl eb welcomed in the RJGB

Anonymous said...

I had a couple cases in front of Wennett, he was nasty everytime I entered a courtroom, to me, to every other lawyer, to everyone. Not a single palm beach lawyer I asked had anything good to say about him, except that he's gone.

Anonymous said...

What is the very BEST BBQ in South Forida? We don't even have a Sonny's BBQ anymore.

Please help...

Anonymous said...

I appeared before Wennett several times. He was horrible. He was short tempered, rude to both the ASA and me. My client was charged with armed robbery and looking at 15 year min/man...he also only spoke spanish. You should have seen the look on Wennet's face when the jury came back with a misdemeanor...resisting a merchant. You could tell Wennet was pissed he wasn't going to get to launch this guy. Wennet is typical of the judges who sit on the bench WAY too long and forget that they aren't god...just attorneys!!!

E. Garcia

Anonymous said...

County court judges do not need to be members of the bar. I had a case in north Florida. I looked on the bar’s web site for the judges phone number. I could not find him. I called the bar. They said they had no record. Eventually I found Judge Wilde’s number. When I called I told the JA she should contact the bar to straighten out the problem with the records. She told me the don’t need to be a lawyer to be a judge just good sense. I hired local co-consul immediately.

Anonymous said...

It just does not make any sense that the Justices would act so quick to suspend his license to practice law, unless they intended to stop him from being a Judge via an opinion that defines who can and cannot be a Judge. What other reason would they have to make such a drastic move? If they wanted to play it safe and send a message a reprimand as the referree asked for and Justice Lewis and Anstead concurred with would have been the way to go.

Prediction, the Supreme Court says he cannot be a Judge.

Anonymous said...

To:

Sunday, December 28, 2008 12:54:00 AM

In any county were the population is less than 50,000 a county court candidate for Judge does not have to be a member of the Florida bar. Although circuit court judges must always be members of the Florida bar.

In other words in Miami ALL County Court Judges MUST be members of the Florida bar. Although you would think some came from School bus driving to the bench.

Anonymous said...

The best BBQ is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Dreamland BBQ. A can of coke, a paper plate with a slab of ribs and a loaf of bread. No frills!!

Anonymous said...

Not to disagree with those who say that there's no requirement of current membership in the Bar as Art. 5, Sec. 8 is properly read, but if that's so, what sayeth those about the potentially thorny situation of a lawyer under active suspension -- and a 91-day suspension with all the attendant hoops -- from the Bar being under concurrent disciplinary authority of both the Bar and the JQC? There are good reasons that judges, even those who retain active Bar membership, are removed from the disciplinary authority of the Bar. But if Abramson is under active suspension and isn't prepared to turn in his license to practice, he'll still be subject to the Bar's authority once he takes the bench. That's a weird way for the Rules, both Bar and JQC, to work. And suggests that taking the bench under active suspension from the Bar wasn't how the Rules, neither Bar nor JQC, were intented to work.

JsckDon'tKnowJack