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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, September 29, 2008

DEATH AND FUNERALS

Judge Shelly Schwartz writes below about the late Judge Michael Salmon. Herald Reporter Oh Susannah Nesmith writes looking for information about the late Judge Joe Eaton. 


And the Republicans killed the economy and the stock market today.



By Shelly Schwartz Sunday, September 28, 2008 10:36:00 PM

"Judge Michael Salmon was one if not the best judge to serve Miami Dade County in at least the past 40 years.He had the intellect!He had the compassion! He had the wisdom! He had the patience of a Saint.He was a true gentleman and scholar.
His name was submitted for higher judicial office,but
unfortunately for all,that dream was never realized.Wait,better for all in this community that thru his judicial career he remained a trial judge.
Does anyone know of the funeral
arrangements? Please post!
Shelly Schwartz.

(the captain replied that the funeral was this past Sunday.)


Blog faithful,

I'm writing an obituary on a former state circuit and federal judge, Joe Eaton. Anyone know him and want to share stories? Please call me at 305-376-3499.
Thanks
Susannah
Nesmith
Miami Herald


MNF: Let's make some money tonight in view of the Dow tanking 777 points today. Take the over 34.5 and the Steelers -7. 50 each. 


And just because we need some good news on this "black Monday" we publish the link to the Florida Supreme Court order affirming the public reprimand of Judge Aleman of North of the Border fame for her "rude" conduct to attorneys in a capital case.  Thanks to the Broward Blog which has a plethora of interesting legal articles linked to the blog. 

See You in Court Wednesday. Court's closed Tuesday for what they used to call in my home town "Rush-a-home-a". Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish New year and the start of the ten days comprising the high-holy days. It is a time of serious introspection. We will try and not offend anyone, however serious introspection is not our milieu. 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NFL WEEK FOUR

MY GOODNESS I AM GOOD. I mean, calling a 12 point road underdog to win against "the best (achk achk) team in the NFL"- who else does that in print and in public except yours truly? I tried to tell Mr. Markus to switch his pick. He should stick to trying cases before Judge Middlebrooks, and I should stick to picking football games. 

Lost the Bungles bet. -165. Won the Under Sants +100 and WON the Redskins over the Cowpokes- +75. An anemic +10 for the week, but that's what we get for a Bungles bet. (Plus, in our defense, we did not know they were sitting Carson Palmer. ) We finish week 4 +580. 

After a nice Caymus Cabernet 2005 Special Reserve (being up 570 after three weeks helps with the price) , we tender these NFL picks for week four. 

Gotta love the battle of Ohio. McCain vs. Obama. Bungles vs. Brownies. Someone, anyone, is coming out of this game with a win. We were impressed with the Bungles last week. They are at home -4. Marvin Lewis is a much better coach than Romeo Crenel, and the Brownies are in the middle of a QB crisis, after blowing 50 million on a one year wonder.Hahahahaha.  Take the Bengals at home -4 +150.

Redskins at Cowpokes. The pokes are favored -12. We said we don't like Dallas, and we mean it. Skins on the road +12. +75.

San Fran and their (latest) wonder QB travel to the Big Easy and take on the Saints. The over is 48.5. Are you kidding me? Under -100

SUICIDE POOL.

David O Markus picks the Cowpokes, Goodbye David. Skins win on the road. 
(at the half, things not looking good for our federal blogger. Skins 17, Pokes 7)
FINAL: GOODBYE DAVID. Skins 26 Pokes 17. 

Rumpole: Saints. -winner

Rick Freedman: Jags.-overtime winner

Surph- "after further review the ruling is Surph picked the Jags. He is in and safe."

Now we are down to three. 


Working with a client tomorrow at their office, so I may not be able to get the suicide picks up. But your email has to arrive before the game you pick begins. Steelers/Ravens for anyone who misses Sunday for Monday night. 



Saturday, September 27, 2008

NOBODY WAS COOLER


Cool hand Luke. Fast Eddie Felson. Nobody was cooler. A true superstar with a conscience. 
Paul Newman passed away today at age 83. Nominated for 10 academy awards, he won the Oscar for his reprisal of Fast Eddie Felson in the Color Of Money.


Suicide Pool. Get your picks in. Week 4. David "In Trial" Marcus starts things off with the Cowpokes. 

Levey-Cohen Revisited. 

I was up rather late yesterday evening and my mind kept returning to the poetic justice and Twilight Zone like ballot of Broward County. Ms. Levey Cohen ran under the name Levey because she lost a race under the name Cohen. By all accounts, she ran against a new and qualified Judge, Pedro Dijols because of the propensity for candidates with Hispanic sounding last names to lose in Broward. And because of the twists and turns in the election she is left to bear the "burden" of actually being forced to run under Pedro Dijols's name. There is no more time to change the ballot. Voters will be given a hand-out at the polls informing them that a vote for Dijols is actually a vote for Levey. 

So Mardi Levey-Cohen is being forced to run under the name she by all accounts specifically choose to run against because she thought people would be biased against that name. If I were a Judge I could not come up with a better sentence for a person with such crass motives. 

Poetic justice. Karma. Whatever you call it, a candidate by any other name does not smell as sweet, does it Ms. Levey-Cohen? 

NFL Picks tonight/tomorrow. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

JUDGE MICHAEL SALMON HAS PASSED AWAY

I cannot tell you how sad I am to learn of the news that JudgeMichael  Salmon has passed away. He was a lawyer's judge. Extremely smart. Very well read in the law and in other areas. In all of the time I appeared before him, and the several trials I had with him, I don't think I ever saw him lose his temper. 

He was smart. He was fair. He was even tempered.  I missed him these past several years  after he retired. We are all diminished by the loss of this distinguished Judge and citizen of our county. 


ONLY NORTH OF THE BORDER.
They just can't help themselves up there. 

"Mardi Levey-Cohen- McCain- Obama- Dijols" has been told that while she is on the ballot in theory....she is NOT on the ballot actually. 

Judge Dijols who is actually on the ballot....is NOT on the ballot in theory. 

Thus in this Broward Judicial election we see the clear distinction between theory and application. 

Because Broward is out of time and money Judge Dijols will remain on the ballot. The voters will be told that a vote for Dijolis will actually be a vote for "Mardi-Levey Cohen Dijols. "  

The supervisor of Elections stated: "We have complete confidence that the voters of Broward County will be able to follow the simple instructions we hand out." She then broke out laughing. 

Meanwhile, the John McCain campaign has inquired about placing Ronald Reagan on the presidential ballot and voters will be instructed that a vote for Reagan is a vote for McCain. Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has said if that occurs then they will seek to have McCain placed on the ballot so that a vote for McCain will actually be a vote for Obama. 

Welcome to Broward where who you vote for really doesn't matter. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

JACK THOMPSON DISBARRED FOR LIFE

BREAKING BLOG NEWS: FDIC SEIZES WASHINGTON MUTUAL AND SELLS ASSETS TO JP MORGAN. LARGEST BANK FAILURE IN US HISTORY. 
Very strange. FDIC usually seizes banks Friday afternoons so they have all weekend to work on the books. Our sources tell us the WAMU top brass were not even told when the FDIC seizure went into effect. 

I thought long and hard about posting this. I take no joy in this news about Mr. Thompson. The title links to the Florida Supreme Court opinion. I obtained the link from the Broward Blog.

Mr. Thompson found this blog about a year and half ago and was a welcome participant. We didn't agree on much, but he was entertaining, committed to his ideals, and thoughtful.   I welcomed his participation against warnings from others. 

I soon found those warnings correct. He delighted in the indictment of Ben Kuehne and his actions towards  the family of Steve Chaykin shortly after Steve's tragic death were reprehensible. 

Somewhere along the line as Mr. Thompson and I parted ways I began to see his other side. I was subjected to a barrage of nasty and threatening emails that were entirely inappropriate. 

From the Supreme Court's order: 

"Over a very extended period of time involving a number of totally 

unrelated cases and individuals, [r]espondent has demonstrated a 

pattern of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and 

willfully to simply try to bring as much difficulty, distraction and 

anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes.  He does 

not proceed within the guidelines of appropriate professional 

behavior, but rather uses other means available to intimidate, harass, 

or bring public disrepute to those whom he perceives oppose him. 

...

Among the extensive findings of fact presented in the report, the Court takes  particular note of the following which occurred during the three-year period at issue  in five counts in these cases:  ... (4) respondent publicized and sent hundreds of pages of vitriolic and disparaging missives, letters, faxes, and press releases, to the affected individuals;... 

(10) respondent retaliated against attorneys who filed Bar complaints against him  for his unethical conduct by asserting to their clients, government officials, politicians, the media, female lawyers in their law firm, employees, personal friends, acquaintances, and their wives, that the attorneys were criminal pornographers who objectify women. " 


In our experience  the above quoted actions of Mr. Thompson are entirely accurate. Having been on the receiving end of these diatribes, I cannot imagine actually litigating in a civil and decent manner with an individual who acts in the way described in the order.  Mr. Thompson, in our view, holds his beliefs in an absolute manner that allow him to utilize any and all methods to achieve his goals because of his simple belief that he is right. Because he is right, he theorizes, the ends justify the means.  But he fails to recognize that he lives in country in which the the means- democracy and the right to a different opinion- are sacrosanct.   


This is a sad day. Mr. Thompson has a wife who has battled a serious cancer and a teen age son to support and shepherd into adulthood. I take no joy in this order, fully cognizant that because of his hatred for me, he would never ever extend me the same courtesy or compassion. He would have me disbarred and ground into the ground in a second if he could- merely because I disagree with him. I still wish him well and peace. 


See you in court after I withdraw my money from WAMU first thing in the morning.





Wednesday, September 24, 2008

4th ORDERS LEVEY BACK ON BALLOT

DOWN GOES DIJOLS. DOWN GOES DIJOLS. (thanks to Howard Cosell for his "down goes Frazier ...down goes Frazier" call in the historic Frazier/Foreman fight.). 

The title links to the 4th DCA opinion ruling that Mardi Anne Levey Cohen (add favorable name here)  shall be restored to the ballot for the upcoming judicial election.  The Broward  County Elections Department which had produced ballots with Levey's name, and then was ordered by Miami Judge Feder to destroy those ballots and produce a ballot with Dijols's name has now been told to "stop the presses" and make another ballot with Levey's name. 

Broward has spent so much money on the ballot fiasco that they have been forced to print presidential ballots with just John McCain's name, as they do not have enough money to print a Barack Obama ballot. 

Anyway, the 4th held that the voters voted and that is that.  There's some sort of claptrap about the difference between being qualified to be a judge (and don't get us started on that) and using a maiden name. But who reads appellate opinions carefully anyway? The decision ends with a refusal to entertain any motion for re-hearing. 
The only question that remains is whether Dijols seeks redress with the Florida Supreme Court. Why doesn't he just apply to the Supreme Court? They have a vacancy, and then everyone can be happy.  See, if we were Governor things would be so much simpler without all this needless litigation. 

We may now decide to run for Judge in Miami under the name "Don Shula Dan Marino Rumpole"  since the 4th DCA has now given the green light to the name game as it applies to judicial candidates. 

See You In Court. 
Sincerely, 
Thurgood Marshall John Roberts Daniel Marino Donald Shula Rumpole, III, Esq. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME

It seems that Broward Judicial Candidate Mardi Anne Levey a/k/a Mardi Levet Cohen has found much to her chagrin "tis but thy name that is my enemy."
The title links to Judge Dijols's  response to Levey/Cohen's request for an injunction. The response was filed with the 4th DCA and it is a powerful blast against Levey/Cohen's name games. It appears that by virtue of any indicator- driver's license; bar card; w-2 forms from her employment as a prosecutor; her firm's web site;  the candidate was known as "Mardi Levey Cohen." But having run under than name for Judge and having been soundly beaten, once burned-twice shy. 
Thus, despite all the evidence to the contrary, Mardi Levey Cohen became "Mardi Anne Levey" for the purposes of the ballot in Broward.

It's a powerful argument advanced by Judge Dijols and his counsel (Bruce Rogow and William Scherer) and one which makes any reader cringe with the sad knowledge that Judicial campaigns are "name games" and Cohen/Levey  (or is it  Levey/Cohen) was playing this one to win at any price. 

One nice tidbit is that apparently at the hearing before Judge Feder Levey/Cohen admitted she had not decided on what name she would use if she was elected Judge. 

The matter is now in the hands of the 4th DCA, where any good election north of the border belongs.  We provide them with words from our beloved Bard...."Three judicial candidates, all alike in their undignity in fair Broward where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge brings new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these three foes, a trio of star-crossed candidates do damage their professional life. Whole misadventured piteous overthrows doth with their election suits bury the public's choice."


Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
      Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
      What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
      Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
      Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
      What's in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet;
      So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
      Retain that dear perfection which he owes
      Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
      And for that name which is no part of thee
      Take all myself.


TRIALS

Former FBI Agent John Connolly's trial has heated up with the testimony of Southie Hood Stevie "The rifleman" Flemmi, who is serving life in prison for various crimes. The Herald's David Ovallee reported on the trial here. 

Meanwhile in Orlando,  defense experts continued to testify about the delusional world teenage killer Michael Hernandez lived in. Susannah Nesmith covers the trial for the Herald here.

David Markus has the story of the defendant testifying in the Joe Cool case. Former State ASA Karen Gilbert cross examined the defendant who testified he was in the bathroom when his co-defendants killed the crew. The trial is expected to go to the jury today. 

Meanwhile on Wall Street the last two large independent investment banks have become "bank holding companies".  Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will now have large deposits to finance their operations and will be less subject to investor speculation. This means the era of astounding multi-million dollars bonus's has come to an end. The NY Times article is here. 

Anybody wish they went to business school instead of law school?

See You In Court checking out the stock pages. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

MNF

We're -37.50 for the week. We won our Giants over for +100 and lost Steelers (boy did their offense get hammered) and Green Bay for a -125  +10% for a -137.50.   Our week is riding on the over 43 for the JETS/Chargers game. Lets press the 50 to +100 over 43. 

Update: Well that was easy. The over was reached before the first half ended. We're up 62.50 for the week and 570 units for the year. 

Submitted: Blogging and Tequila rarely mix. Discuss. 

If you had any doubt G W Bush is a committed statist and the farthest thing possible from a conservative, his raiding of the treasury for 700 Billion to a Trillion to bail out morons who ran businesses and went belly up should end the argument.  If you want to know the difference between a Statist and a Capitalist, go here.

Really. Tequila can have a negative impact on bloggers. Especially after a rough Monday. 

Bill Belicheck is a jerk. And you can tell him I said so.

J...E....T....S...OVER OVER OVER. 

See Ya tomorrow. Tequila notwithstanding. 

AT SEA


 We've used the Dolphins road trip this week to spend some time on our boat and hop over the Bahamas. The Florida September sky is so deep blue, and the warm sun has just a glint of the coolness that our small fall will bring. 

What we like to do is just turn off the engine and float. The dark blue waters and rich orange Sargasso grass lap up against the hull of the boat. After some time we hear a breath and turn around to see a large weathered loggerhead turtle who is as surprised to see us as we are to see him. Birds dive on bait fish and every now and then there is a large splash as a predator chases some food. 

It's really a world of wonder that we have inherited.  It would be such a tragedy if children born today will only be able to read about turtles and polar bears and other wonders that face extinction  But for yesterday and the weekend it was just a time to forget about motions and trials and pleas and take a deep breath and relax. 

Fall is always our favourite time of year. 

See You In Court, a bit tanned and much more relaxed. 

LEGAL UPDATE. We try to avoid the actual nuts and bolts of the law as much as possible, but with a big tip of the hat to the Broward Blog, we bring you this big Change in YOUTHFUL OFFENDER:

Effective October 1, 2008, section 958.04 is amended so that a YO sentence must be imposed before a defendant turns 21- this is a change from the prior language which required the offense to be committed before age 21.

If you have any clients who qualify for YO but are over 21 – you should think about pleading them before 10/1.  The argument after that date is that the change is substantive and therefore any offense committed before 10/1 is controlled by the prior statute- but you never know what the courts will do. 


RUMPOLE NOTES:  The rule of Lenity requires that statutes be interpreted in the light most favorable to a defendant. The Florida Legislature will be repealing that law shortly (and yes it is actually a law  in the Florida Statutes, and once the Legislature finds it they are sure to repeal it.) Yeah this is great- pile on young people and make things even tougher for them. What a great idea. 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

FOOTBALL WEEK THREE

UPDATE: FINS WIN!!-  The Dolphins put to rest today any comparison between their undefeated team the the cheaters, when the evil genius  proved he cannot win without his precious Quarterback. A few numbers, actually one number jumps out: 21. The Cheaters had won 21 straight regular season games; the Fins were 1-21 in their last 22 regular season games. And number 21 for the 72 Fins? Jim Kiick, as the Dolphins KIICKED the Patriots today but good. 


We're up $507.50 for the year, and now things are tough. 
Some nice games this weekend, including Cowpokes at Green Bay and Steelers at Eagles. 

The Monday night game is the J..E...T...S  at San Diego. Lots of things to worry about in this game, including the health of LT. The over is 43, and Brett Favre on Monday night lights it up. Over +50. 


The Steelers drive down the Pike to Philly, and it won't be many times this year the men in Black and Gold are underdogs. The Eagles are coming off a short week, and a barn burner on Monday night. Can keep up the high level of play? Maybe. But take a flyer on the Steelers for +3.5 and +75.

The Bungles play the Gints in NJ. We blew it last week on the under as the high flying Giant Offense surprised us. No more. The Bengals have a few weapons, the Giants have a lot. Over 43  +100. 

Dallas goes to Green Bay with an awesome performance Monday night. They are a road team on a short week. The Pack loses their starting safety, and that's not good when you have to cover TO. However, we said Dallas is not as good as everyone thought they were, and the Pack would be better.  Home Dogs have bought many a bettor a mansion. The Pack +3 +50. 


Suicide Pool:
David Over Markus: The Bills. 
Rick Freedman: Giants
Steel Curtain: Patriots
Rumpole: Bills- Sunday morning change.
Feiler: Denver
Surph- Seattle (late pick but got it in.)



Stat of the week: For the two weeks after the Republican Convention, Dem VP Candidate Joe Biden gave 54 interviews or press conferences. Sarah Palin in the same time gave....ZERO. What are the Republicans afraid of? Thanks to the New Yorker Magazine for that stat. 

Obama had his first good week since the Republican Convention and he appears to be back on message.  The Good News for McCain is that the Rasmussen poll has McCain taking a slight lead (48-46) in Colorado this week. Colorado has become a battle ground state and both campaigns are spending time and money in the state. A week ago is was Obama 49-47. 

But Colorado aside, right now we have Obama at 263 with the close states Virginia and Michigan in his camp. We have McCain at  246 with Colorado and Florida and Pennsylvania in his camp, and Nevada and Minnesota about to be placed in his column. Ohio is still too close to call but we are watching some polls this weekend which may trend well towards Obama as his message on the economy has gained steam this week. Only 27% of Americans polled agreed with the statement that "John McCain was correct when he said the economy was fundamentally sound." 

If this was a football game this would be the start of the third quarter with McCain kicking off to Obama who is leading 7-3. McCain needs to hold and then score when he gets the ball to get back in the game.  One of this guys is going to have a "Dolphins" week soon, and that won't be pretty. 

SCARY

Just how close was the world wide financial system to a total collapse? 
Closer than anyone knew. The title to the post links to the article. 

From the Article:

“When you listened to him (Treasury Secretary Paulson)  describe it you gulped," said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.

As Senator Christopher J Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning on the ABC program “Good Morning America,” the congressional leaders were told “that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally.”

Mr. Schumer added, “History was sort of hanging over it, like this was a moment.”

When Mr. Schumer described the meeting as “somber,” Mr. Dodd cut in. “Somber doesn’t begin to justify the words,” he said. “We have never heard language like this.”

Pretty scary.

Congratulations to Dan Lurvey and Andrea (Andy)  Cunill for their JOA this week representing a Police Officer before Judge Orlando Prescott. Well done. The officer was charged with the very very serious crime of failure to obtain Worker's Compensation Insurance for his private security company.  My lord. If a rash of these crimes continue the very fabric of society may render. Thank goodness we have a State Attorney sharp enough not to look the other way in these exceptionally serious cases. 


Suicide Pool: Get your picks in Very hard week. We may have to go with that suicide pool killer the Seahawks. Also, tough week for picks. We may just sit on our bankroll and drink tequila this weekend.  Rick Freedman checks in with the Giants over the Bengals. But as we all know, Rick will change his pick just before kick-off, as he has successfully done the past two weeks. His original teams both lost. This week, the Giants seem the play,  but we used them last week. 

See Ya Sunday for our selections. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BLAKE BOFFO IN BEANTOWN

The title of the post links to a Boston Globe article praising Judge Stan Blake for his courtroom humor and how he is running the trial of former FBI agent John Connolly. 

Why doesn't Judge Blake have his own TV show?

We hope he stays right here.

Anyone have updates on the trial?

Meanwhile, here is Bob Norman's Broward  New Times Article on newly elected Judge Ian Richards.  Richards ran against a Mike Satz  sponsored incumbent Judge-Catalina Avalos- appointed by  Jeb Bush. . She had all the right endorsements, all the money, and all the powerful Broward Boyz behind her. And She lost.  Broward being Broward, Richards can look forward to a wonderful assignment doing traffic arraignments in some far flung branch court all day. 

See You In Court. 



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON

More on the Richard Feder ruling on the Broward fiasco.  The title links to the Herald Article. 

To summarize, Judge Feder came out of retirement and  granted Judge Dijols's motion to  throw Candidate Mardi Levey (legal term: "chuck-off") off the Broward Ballot for the upcoming run-off election. Dijols finished third by 1 & 3/4 of a vote (It's a Broward thing) to Levey, who used her married name "Cohen" for her professional life, but ran under "Levey" because she didn't want to use the advantage of her Husband's last name.  Her husband happens to be a Judge in Broward.  

It's like All-In-The Family, and - Feder just called Levy a meathead. 

The best part of the hearing was that Levey managed to testify with a straight face on the issue of not wanting to use her husband's name  as an advantage in the election. We have several clients who could learn a lot about testifying from her.  Levey apparently forgot that she ran for Judge and lost under the name "Cohen"  while "Jill Levy" has recently won a judicial election. Of course we believe Levey. Who wouldn't? 
Well, Judge Feder for one. 

Also not to be missed was the argument by the candidate who finished in first place: Bernie Bober. "Hey, I finished first. These two can't work it out. Let's just call the whole thing off and award me a 650K  plus judicial post for the next 6 years. " 

Bober wins the coveted Rumpole Chutzpah award.  (That's yiddish for "cojones")

Meanwhile the Broward Department of Elections ("Hispanic candidates need not apply") stated that they were going to have trouble complying with the Judge's order. First of all, people in Broward would rather eat sludge than have a Dade Judge tell them what to do. Secondly, apparently the Department decided prior to the election that Dijols would not make a run-off and printed up ballots with Levey and Bober.  The Department said it would be nearly impossible "to turn this horse around" (that's the quote on the Broward Blog from an attorney who was present at the hearing). 

Feder apparently told The Department Of Elections what he thought of them, AND THE HORSE THEY RODE IN ON. (sometimes we even crack ourselves up.)

Oh to have been a fly on the wall during this hearing!!!!!!

KILLERS CAN APPLY:

Meanwhile just to prove that Broward doesn't have all the fun, we have this gem from Dade Federal Court: 

A killer. A thug. A person of such low character that he stands accused of murdering a captain and his wife and two crew members. His name is Guillermo Zarabozo, and while he may be a killer, he's just the type of guy the Miami Dade Police Department is looking to hire. 

The Herald reports that 4 days before killing four people, Zarabozo got a letter stating "Congratulations!!! You've passed the basic ability test!!!!" The letter then invited him to take the next step in becoming a police officer.  

Yeah, he had ability all right. Nice call Miami-Dade. 

As we are often reduced to musing "you just can't make this stuff up." 
 And you can't.

 But don't you sort of hope that the people who want to be a Judge have the character to do what's right and not what's necessary to win?

We have tried to live our life by the simple motto that "character is what you do when no one is looking." 

This business of changing names to win judicial elections is demeaning to the judiciary. And it's not like Broward needed any help in bringing down the reputation of their judiciary. The unspoken problem behind all of this is that Judge Dijols did not merit one challenger much less two. It's clear to us that these two opportunists ran against him because of his name and for no other reason.  It speaks very little about their character. And everybody is watching. 

See you in court. 

THREE TRIALS

UPDATE!!!! JUDGE FEDER Of MIAMI ORDERS CANDIDATE LEVY STRICKEN FROM BROWARD BALLOT IN ELECTION RUN-OFF. JUDGE DIJOLS BACK ON BALLOT. BREAKING NEWS. CHECK THE BROWARD  BLOG FOR THE LATEST.   

We note the irony of a Broward judge having to come to Dade for Justice. 

 "I said for Justice, we need to see Don Corleone!!!!"

Three very important trials are underway involving our humble little courthouse. 

Abe Laeser and Laura Adams continue their relentless pursuit of justice in the horrific case of the abduction on Miami Beach a few years ago of a young couple in which the woman was executed by the side of the road on I-95. The multi-defendant case was severed and up now is David Markus (not the federal blogger) representing the youngest defendant in the case.  Will Thomas is the Judge. 


Meanwhile in the most interesting case of the trio, former Bahstan FBI agent John Connolly is on trial for his complicity in the slaying of Jai Alia executive John Callahan who was found in the trunk of a car at the Miami International Airport with a dime on his chest.  The airport is furious no one has paid the parking tab for the car. 

Connolly is alleged to have been mixed up with the Boston Mob and the Whitey Bulger crew.  Bulger is on the lam from a federal indictment.  Manny Casabielle for the defense, while the recently oft mentioned Michael Von Zamft and some Fed for the State.  Wonder how that Fed prosecutor is going to feel without his case agent sitting next to him holding his hand and whispering little nothings in  his ear during the trial?  Welcome to the real world pal.

And finally,  Judge John Schlessinger has taken his act on the road to Orlando where ace Herald Reporter Oh Susannah Nesmith is covering the Michael Hernandez murder trial. Hernandez brutally killed his 14 year old classmate. The defense is insanity. 

This is the thing about our little courthouse. We get some of the most interesting, and tragically heart rendering cases in the country. 

THE LATE JUDGE FRED NESBITT:

He sat on the 5th floor, back in a time when crimes and traffic/DUI cases were separate in County Court. He glared at you in his bright blue robe, red face, and white hair, and made the new lawyers feel as if there wasn't any other place they would rather be. "This is not what I signed up for" many of them thought. And yet, as David Markus remembers, there was a method to his madness. He trained many lawyers. David wrote this in the comments section based on our post yesterday about Judge Nesbitt's blue robe. It bears repeating here. 

 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 says: Bob Josefsberg representing misdemeanors. Now that was truly the good old days!  See you in court. 






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. 

SUICIDE POOL- IT WASN'T PRETTY

Wow did week two clean house.  So many lawyers went down it looked like a Wall Street firm last Friday. 

Clay Kaiser, last years runner up went down with the J..E..T..S.
Shumie Time met a similar fate with the same team. 
The Q was sunk when the Titans creamed the Bengals, and Iffy and his "iffy" KC Chiefs lost to the Raiders. 

And in the biggest upset of the week, and one in which we barely escaped with our lives in this pool, the surprising San Francisco 49ers gamely fought back and then beat the lowly Seattle Seahawks. Who told you this Seahawks were done this year? Rumpole, thats who.  Lurvey and  Miguel De La Over are gone. See ya. 

So now we have David O Markus, Rick Freedman, who again switched picks Sunday morning, The Steel Curtain, Michael Feiler- who barely survived when the Colts kicked a FG to win the game, and Surf.   14 started. 6 are left. 
 
OUR PICKS: We started the week up 422.50.
We picked the Bills to win outright for +50 although we did not play the money line. We dropped a C-Note on the Jets and another 50 on the Giants under, before The Pack pulled us out with a big win and +200. 
So for the week we are +250-165= +85 and we head into week 3 a very healthy +507.50.  

A reader asked for this:"EMUFPHZLRFAXYUSDJKZLDKRNSHGNFIVJ"

Monday, September 15, 2008

SHE'S NOT READY

To lead. Or even intelligently talk about the problems we face. That is the Op Ed piece of Bob Herbert in the NY Times this past weekend. The title links to the piece. 

Asked about her insight into Russia- Palin responded that she could see Russia from an island in Alaska. 

Palin  sneered about Washington politicians with "decades of experience who have met heads of state". While she was referring to Joe Biden, Mr. McCain could not have been too thrilled by the answer. 

The reality is Palin is Bush-lite. Even less of a thinker. Even less experienced. Even less reflective. Even less intelligent. 

Palin spoke at her son's unit's departure for Iraq- and wished them well in fighting the enemies that attacked us and killed Americans on 9/11. She's so  uninformed and pre-programed with a sound bite that even she doesn't realize how dumb she sounds. 


There were a multitude of articles in the NY Times over the weekend that make this point better than we ever could.


Palin  lives in a world where a person's qualifications and intelligence are much much less important than whether they believe in Jesus Christ.  She is the same side of the coin as the Taliban and the Mullahs in Iran. It's just that she worships a different savior. Same philosophy- different cast of characters. We find that frightening. Palin comes from an extremist wing of the Republican party that would repeal the First Amendment in a heartbeat. And not just the Establishment Clause. 

For those of you too young to remember, when Ronald Wilson Reagan first became Governor of California in 1967, his first major act was to raise taxes to fight a budget deficit. One of his more controversial acts was to sign into law the nations most liberal abortion law. Reagan acted for the good of his state despite his personal opposition to both acts.  Once the budget was balanced, Reagan returned the money to Californians the next year in a tax rebate- the first time that was ever done in California. And as to abortions,  while personally opposed to abortion, Reagan refused to stand by while women died in illegal clinics. Reagan  showed the strength of character which  Palin and Bush  do not have. Character means sometimes doing something you are personally opposed too.  Bush and Palin revel in their pronounced intention never to second guess themselves, despite what science, or facts, or experts may say. 

We'll take intelligence over ignorance any day. 

Making America Stupid is Thomas Friedman's analysis that the McCain campaign has turned every issue into a cultural wedge. Imagine, he writes, the leaders of China, Iran, and Russia sitting in a sky box during the Republican Convention watching Rudy Guiliani lead cheers of "drill baby drill" as they mocked Obama's plan to solve the energy crisis with new ideas and new technology. The leaders would have been high-fiving themselves over America's plan not to end our dependence on oil. 


Mark our words. Our country cannot afford a Palin anywhere near Washington. You think Bush messed up this country? She would complete the downfall.  It's not Palin personally, it's the reverence she holds for the mediocre and the way her followers and the religious right worship ignorance and disdain intelligence that will sink us. Because rest assured, Russia and China are not being led by stupid religious ideologues. 





Sunday, September 14, 2008

NFL SUNDAY WEEK TWO

7-1 last week. Up more than the entire payroll of ROC, (422.50) is it time cash in or let it ride? 
As Sy used to say, we'll rest when we're dead. Rest in peace old friend. 

Buffalo Bills roll into Jag land and play the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Are these surprising Bills for real? The line is Jax -6, so we put  +50 on the Bills to at least keep it close, and possibly downright win the game.

NE Patriots at the J...E...T...S. A rookie QB versus Brett Favre. Really. Why even bother? Jets are home favourities -2.5. Take the JETS  +100.  One thought- all last year the talk radios were inundated with the topic could the 72 Dolphins beat the 2007 Cheaters? Well now we get to see if the evil genius is a genius or a fake. The 72 Fins and Shula went undefeated with a back-up QB (Earl Morral and not Don Strock as any Fins Fan knows) going most of the way. Can the 2008 Patriots do the same thing? Nope. 

Giants on the carpet at St. Louis. Over/Under is 42. We like the Giant D and the Giant way of playing football, which is run, run, run. +100 under 42. 

Dolphins go to the Arizona to play the Cardinals. What did we say at the start of the season? Play the Dolphins under until you can't find a place to store the cash? The Fins game was under last week, and we  will keep riding this gravy-train of offensive futility. Under 40. +50. 

Green Bay rolls into Detroit. These are two teams going different ways. We told you we liked Aaron Rodgers and the Pack, and we think they keep it up and win by more than 4 against the Lions.
Pack -4 +200.

The suicide pool is set. See yesterdays post.

Sunday at 9:01 AM Rumpole changes his pick. Something about a Seahawks team with 4 starting WRS injured makes us nervous. We go on the road with the well rested Super Bowl Champs and take the Giants. 

Rick Freedman with a last minute change to the Bucs, and Surf with a minute to spare, picks the Cardinals with an email at 3:59. 

 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Suicide pool for tomorrow

NFL Cancels Texans-Ravens game, as the roof of Reliant Stadium was damaged by Ike.  Right now we cannot confirm the rumor Judge Blake has volunteered the ROC Lawyers to play against the combined Ravens/Texans- in a practice scrimmage at the Orange Bowl grounds.


SUICIDE PICKS- email them now.We're going with Seahawks over 49'ers.
Clay Kaiser: J...E...T...S.
Miguel De La Over: Seahawks.
RUMPOLE: Seahwaks
David O Markus - Giants
Rick Freedman  Seahawks
Shumie Time-JETS
Steel Curtain- Arizona
Michael Feiler-Colts (?????)
The Q- Bengals
IFFY- with the reach of the week so far, KC over the Raiders. Someone has to win this game I guess. If I had to pick, I'd go with Da Raiders
Dan Lurvey: Seahawks

Friday, September 12, 2008

BEACH COP MACIAS GUILTY

SUICIDE PICKS UPDATED BELOW

The Herald reports that Miami Beach officer Eduardo Macias has pled no contest to battery for groping a female he had arrested for DUI. IA got involved in the case when the female came forward and said Macias gave her his phone number. She called Macias and set up a meeting that was recorded by IA. Macias had a couple of drinks and then tried to kiss her.  What guy can't sympathize with having some liquor to get a little courage before making a move on a woman they are coercing into a relationship? Macias was married at the time and his wife was pregnant. Nice to know the quality of officers the Beach hires. 
The title to the post has the link to the Herald article. 

Update: In the comments section a reader makes a great point- to which we will add our thoughts:  The reader  opines that we finally get evidence on a dirty police officer disgracing their badge- and Rumpole notes that lord knows the odds of this being officer Macias's first time coercing a female he has arrested being slim and none, and - as the reader points out- Macias gets less punishment than his victim would have received if she was convicted of DUI. Something doesn't sit right with that.

JUST HOLD ON JUDGE BLAKE
A reader has reported, and we have not been able to verify whether the 3rd DCA has halted the plan for the ROC to take all 3rd degree felonies filed as of Monday. There is mass confusion, as a few PDs were planning on cutting out early Monday to go fishing, now that they don't have to handle third degree felonies. Stay tuned. 


SUICIDE PICKS- email them now.We're going with Seahawks over 49'ers.
RUMPOLE: Seahwaks
David O Markus - Giants
Rick Freedman - Seahawks
Shumie Time-JETS
Steel Curtain- Arizona
Michael Feiler-Colts (?????)
The Q- Bengals
IFFY- with the reach of the week so far, KC over the Raiders. Someone has to win this game I guess. If I had to pick, I'd go with Da Raiders. 

IKE: It wasn't but a week ago that we were all nervously eyeing Ike. Now this Cat 2 hurricane which is an astounding 500 miles wide is bearing down on the Texas towns of Galveston and Houston.  While Texas owes the nation an apology for sending you know who to Washington, they don't deserve Ike. Our thoughts are with our Texas neighbors and all of us should consider a donation on Monday to an appropriate relief agency. Unfortunately it looks like they're  gonna get slammed. 




ROSENBERGS GUILTY?


BREAKING BLOG NEWS??? WHOA NELLY. A reader reports the 3rd DCA just stayed Judge Blake's order giving all the third degree felony  cases in the United States to the three attorneys and two high school students who Rock-n-Roll for ROC. Say it ain't so Joe!!!

Decades and Decades ago we stumbled across a book on the trial of accused Russian spies Ethel And Julius Rosenberg.  And so began our fascination with the law. 

Guilty or innocent, the treatment and executions of the Rosenbergs marks a low water point in US Criminal Prosecutions. 

Now comes a NY Times interview (the title links to the article) with  91 year old Morton Sobell, who served 19 of 30 years in Alcatraz for his conspiracy conviction for espionage  with the Rosenbergs. ,  Sobell  states that Julius Rosenberg was in fact guilty of espionage, but that his wife Ethel, who was also convicted, took no part in the espionage other than knowing what her husband was doing. 

Sobell also confirms that the sketches of the bomb, made by Ethel Rosenberg's brother-David Greenglass who worked at Los Alamos- and which were turned over by Julius Rosenberg to the Russians, were useless.  

Anyway, the article caught our eye.

Here's some political trivia because we're in the mood:

The 1960 Democratic Convention was held where?

Norman Mailer covered the convention. What was the title of his article on the nomination of Kennedy?

Who was Nixon's running mate in 1960?

What city hosted the 1960 Republican convention?

On what number ballot did Kennedy secure the nomination? 

In 1956, who did Kennedy lose to in the fight to be the democratic vice presidential nominee?

Two other contenders announced their candidacy in the weeks leading up to the convention. One of them challenged Kennedy to a debate which was televised. Who was that other candidate and before what delegations did they debate?


Reminder- suicide pool players, turn in your picks. We're leaning towards the Seahawks at home over the 49'ers. The Seahawks are bad, but not that bad.