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

Friday, March 06, 2009

GOODBYE DEPOS?

There's a move a foot to ban depositions for third degree felonies. The measure passed 5-3 in the Florida Legislature House Sub committee that handles such matters (We think it's the House Sub Committee on Fascism, but we're not entirely sure). 

This is the thin edge of a large wedge. It will start with third degree felonies and we will end up with no depositions unless the state certifies death. 

Here's a rational proposal: put  the teeth back in the guidelines and statutory maximums. How do you explain to a client that the maximum is the maximum unless the guidelines exceed the maximum and then it's not really a maximum?  True story: client with no priors went to trial before Judge Vic Tobin in Broward. He tells my client's family: "I don't know you and I don't know if your lawyer knows what he's doing because if he loses I can put your daughter into prison for five years." After calming my client and her family down I try the case and get a five minute not guilty. Tobin tries to apologize to me and I tell him to stuff it, that there was no excuse for threatening a client with no priors with prison and to trash me to my client to boot. My point is- under the old guidelines he could not have made that threat because she scored NSPS. 

Here's a better idea: take all the BS third degree felonies like car theft, burglary of an unoccupied vehicle, possession of cocaine residue, worthless check charges, grand theft third degree, resisting with violence, and make them misdemeanors. THEN make all the BS misdemeanors like disorderly intoxication, disorderly conduct, petit theft, and  driving without glasses (yes- that is an arrest-able offense folks) and make them civil infractions and send them to magistrates. 

That is a better way to free up the circuit court judges and the felony system rather than depriving the defense of depositions on cases where clients can go to prison for 5 years. Let some legislator or judge do 18 months in Starke and then say prison is no big deal. 

Do you take depositions in third degree felonies? Do you take depositions at all? Take our new poll. 

See you in court reading those depos. 

RESULTS OF LAST POLLS:
EIG: 44% said he was right to scare her straight
22% said he was an insensitive clod.
34% said he was a repeat offender and it was time to go. 

CUETO: 38% said he did the right thing
25% said he lost his temper and should be banned from criminal court.
37% said he lost his temper but it was no big deal


34 comments:

fake alschuler said...

Recession hits blogosphere: layoffs of blog regulars are now being reported daily. Fake Jimbo Thompson of the Tallahassee courthouse blog was laid off and the rumor is real fake aronoson of the Jax courthouse blog is on the chopping block, a victim of downsizing. Rump- our jobs are safe, right? Right?

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

More important news ....

TIGER COMING TO DORAL

"After his second-round loss at last week's WGC-Accenture Match Play, Tiger Woods will play his first stroke-play tournament since his ACL surgery at the WGC-CA Championship starting Thursday."

Cap Out ....

rumpy-likes-the-princess said...

C'mon your highness Rump what's the latest on the colombian? The boys wanna know what she's twittering about.

Anonymous said...

Preliminary Hearings will take the place of depos in third degree felonies. It looks like the judges will have to work in the afternoons doing the prelims instead of golfing and shopping.

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION Judge Vic Tobin in Broward will you please post who the lawyer was that you did that crap too so that we can all finally know who Rumpole is.

SHUMIE TIME RULES-1 said...

It's a whole lotta shumie going on the civil lawyers' blog page! It's steaming up!

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you about Kopko I watched her speak on the Campaign trail this past election and she scares the hell out of me. She told a packed Church that when she gets elected she is giving the max to the defendants that come before her. I almost fell out of the pew.

So before she even has been elected this candidate is mind set before even getting her first case on throwing the book at all defendants. You defense attorney's will love her.

If you want justice you better write a campaign check to Miguel.

Anonymous said...

OMG Rumpole! I know! Let's make murder a misdemeanor and robbery a civil infraction. Then you and other bottom-feeding defense lawyers will go belly-up b/c no one will pay you for cases where the outcome is a mere jail sentence or payment of a ticket. You and other defense attorneys have only yourselves to blame for the destruction of the depo rule b/c you all take up bullshit time deposing witnesses who merely restate that which you already know. Good grief, you are a whiner.

the trialmaster said...

the trialmaster does not take 3rd degee felonies unless there is a fee of 25-50k.

Anonymous said...

Vic Tobin. What a pile of shit.

Anonymous said...

car theft is a misdemeanor? you are wrong wrong wrong on that one. car theft is a serious problem and you cant imagine the impact on a middle class persons life when they lose a car. they cant get to work take kids to school. i am surprised that you are so focused on your role as a defense attorney that you dont see that

the one third degree felony that should be a misdemeanor is cocaine possession. it is a victimless crime and there are thousands of them pending.

Anonymous said...

getting rid of depos on bullshit cases is long over due. absent exceptional circumstances, there is no reason that any third degree felony should be continued more than one time by either side. pd's and worthless defense attorneys use depos as a method to delay cases and waste time good riddance.

and all you whiny fucks spare me the due process handrwringing, almost every other state in the us doesnt have depos

Rumpole said...

2:08 PM- DUI is a serious problem and any DUI attorney defense or prosecutor will tell you they handle them harder in county court then in felony court for a 4th DUI. If car theft was reduced to a misdemeanor and handled as seriously as DUI with possible jail sentences and probation reports, the courts would have more time and attention to handle the matter and I'd bet you that the car theft detectives would find more help and enthusiasm from county court prosecutors than over worked felony prosecutors. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Wait til the police officers here about no more depos. No more overtime. It will be like when they starting the sounding system in DUI court. The cops went crazy when they couldnt nail out three hours of overtime to come in on a Monday morning to see a first time up continuance.

Rumpole said...

You mean "hear" not "here" although it's neither here nor there.

Anonymous said...

Rump, this is my solution--create three degrees of misdemeanors in Florida. First degree--max of 2 years. Secod degree--max of 1 year. Third degree--max of 60 or 90 days.

Move a lot of the BS third-degree felonies to "new" first degree misdemeanor: possession of drugs, felony DWLS, resisting with violence, child abuse with no injury, certain theft, check and forgery offenses, just to name a few.

And Rump, I must respectfully disagree with your car theft analysis. With the value of cars today, many auto thefts could now be 2nd degrees. Also, County Court prosectuors are even more overworked--and far less experienced--than even a rookie "C". The only reason DUI is treated harshly in County Court is because the ASAs there are trained to focus on it. With the exception of domestic violence, I'd bet that 75% of the trials in County Court are DUIs.

Anonymous said...

Most States have preliminary hearings. Prelims are a good way for a new defense attorney to hone their cross examination skills. Judges will also see what cases lack merit and they can then reduce the bond or offer a plea. It is true that Judges will have to preside over the prelims, but they have to do something to earn their salary. It is also a good place for judges to get experience, especially in Miami-Dade where so many Judges lack experience. Prelims in the PM will negatively impact the afternoon office/client time, but the bondsman can always cover the client interview.

Anonymous said...

Cops and overtime go together like cops and donuts. The cops will get paid overtime for attending the preliminary hearings. Cops always get paid. Tell any young person you know. Sign up at your nearest police academy at age 18. Retire at full pay and benefits at 48. Plenty of OT. No student loans. You get to take home a car. No auto insurance. Probably free gas. Your own gun with firearms training. The perks are endless.

Anonymous said...

THe NY Times reports that "Obama eyes reaching out to moderate Taliban." What is a moderate Taliban? One who only stones an adulteress until she is blind and cripple and not dead. Afganistan will end for us as it ended for the Russians, in defeat. We, like the former Soviet Union, will welcome home thousands of bright young men turned into herion addicts who will be doomed to lives of homelessness and dispair. OK Barak, I got it, Moderate Taliban. What else you got? A tax cheat to head up the IRS? Oh, sorry, you have that already.

Anonymous said...

"Rapper Coolio (Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) was arrested yesterday at Los Angeles International Airport on suspicion of possessing crack cocaine, TMZ.com reports." What a shocker! Who would have thought? Somebody call the "Q"! or the "E" or Legalzoom.com.

THE TRIALMASTER said...

the trialmasters calendar for the last week. case in NYC. returned to Miami,monday, drove to the west coast of fl for a "grow house "case , 3 days in trial.drove back to Miami, took my clients private jet to a med atlantic state for a federal ct appearance. drink Opus 1 on the private jet as I kept him out of jail. Upon return flew to a northern state for another federal ct/ appearancd. How are the bottom feeders doing at the justice blgd.

The Crook Escaped to Brazil.. said...

Feds want promoter Jack Utsick in Miami for Ponzi case...The title links to the herald story.

RUMPOLE'S BLOG BROKE THE STORY IN 2007, NOW This guy is in Brazil and a wanted man after being involved in a multi-million dollar ponzi scam in Miami Beach, stayed FREE for years why no one ever arrested him, now guess what he is in Brazil and the FBI can't touch him.

Read the February 4, 2009, Miami Herald Story Here:

http://www.miamiherald.com/103/story/886739.html

Rumpole this story was first reported in your blog back in early 2007 at http://justicebuilding.blogspot.com/2007/02/tabula-rasa.html

Sunday, February 11, 2007 6:17:00 PM ....
In Miami Beach a 400 Million Dollar Scam & No arrest said...
A 400 MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR SCAM ON MIAMI BEACH AND NO ARREST?

The Miami Herald did a small piece back in September 2006, on the 400 million dollar scam and after the crooks attorney wrote the Herald asking for a retraction the Miami Herald went into hiding. The Miami New Times is also in hiding on this fascinating scam that scammed thousands upon thousands of investors all over the United States. Now two of the biggest law firms in Miami, Florida are cashing in on the prize. Yep, billing millions in legal fees to over see the assets while the investors sit back waiting for 50 cents on the dollar. Has the crook behind the scam been arrested? No. The Federal court has actually given him a $10,000.00 per moth allowance (he wanted $15-K).

In one scam the crook out of Miami Beach, sold Barbara Steisand and Elton John concerts to thousands of Missouri investors and pocketed millions of dollars when no concerts ever existed. After the Missouri SEC went after the guy he quickly paid off the investors with money from investors in other states. Pyramid scam. The State of Wisconsin and Michigan also issued injunctions against him from selling illegal securities. Did he stop? NO.

For a quick review of the facts go here:

http://www.entertainmentgroupinfo.com/images/Julyreport1.pdf

In 1998, he incorporated a company in Delaware “Worldwide Entertainment, Inc.”, conspired with a few friends out of Louisiana who opened a phony IRA company for retired Air-Line Pilots. Now that phony company hires agents to sell IRA’s to the pilots and in re-turn WWE issues a worthless promissory note to the phony IRA company WWE pockets the IRA money.

In January 2006 his buddies in Louisiana file suit against him because he is no longer paying them a percentage of the scammed money. About 3-months later the SEC catches wind of the lawsuit and sues everybody and gets the Federal Court to appoint a receiver. Oh read the full story at the links so much more to this.

Why no arrest?

The law firm of Greenberg & Taurig representing the crooks in Louisiana and a former employed lawyer for Greenberg & Taurig representing the main Miami Beach crook. The Akerman law firm was appointed the receiver of the property and cash in the original suit brought by the Louisiana crooks. Now comes the SEC they file suit and appointment of receiver and allowed Akerman to remain the receiver. Was that a wise choice? Millions of dollars in cash and property over 400 million dollars in the treasure chest.

Something just does not pass the smell test. Maybe its just me. Again why no arrest?

Read more here:

http://www.entertainmentgroupinfo.com/courtorders.htm

Comments please. Ms. Nesmith I know you did not do the original story but why has the Herald ran scared from reporting this elaborate scam. The same message to Editor Chuck Strouse of the Miami New Times. Is this because of the Millions of Dollars the crooks have available to file frivolous suits against the papers? Millions stolen from countless investors most of which was retirement money from retired Air-Line pilots.

Again why no arrest?

Sunday, February 11, 2007 6:17:00 PM

Anonymous said...

rumpole said the dow would dip to 6500. it did. did he buy?

Anonymous said...

If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

Fake Trialmaster said...

When The Trialmaster said he did not take third degree felonies for under 25K-30K, the currency he was referring to was the Zimbabwean dollar. And even then his fees are a ripoff.

Rumpole said...

11:27 AM. I've been in cash for a while now BUT I have sold the NASADQ short with the QID which is an ultra short move on the QQQ. I have ridden that as the NASDAQ has fallen and made a tidy profit. I also bought some 15 puts on Citibank (currently a dollar and change so you do the math) and that has paid off nicely.

The problem with the market right now is that there is no traction. What stock looks attractive? What would you want to own when DOW stocks have been decimated? What defines a "Blue chip" now that GM is almost bankrupt along with Citi and the like?

I would suggest looking at mid cap energy companies that don't have debt, the pharmaceutical industry,

Anonymous said...

What's QID and QQQ?

Anonymous said...

That is just great. My client bounces a $450 check and finds himself in the Dade County Jail, some asshole rips off millions and spends years living on a court granted allowence of ten grand monthly. Now after every hot shot lawyer in Miami spends a few years billing hours upon hours of legal time reviewing his scam the court now decides it may be time to arrest this guy.

These poor retired investors who lost there life savings never had a chance. Who is the bigger crook that Miami Beach scam artist or the lawyers the court allowed to drain the recovered money? What a shame on the legal system.

Anonymous said...

cops and overtime go together more like porn stars and money shots to the face actually.

Anonymous said...

miguel de la o running for judge? his name almist perfectly fits as a description of his lawyering skills if you change the o to a 0 as in zero

Anonymous said...

JNJ is a good company Rump. Gold might be where to go before the inevitable inflation all this mindless spending will bring. Pharma: best of breed is Merck of course, or you could look at some of the makers of generics. Just the same. Looks like we are going lower. Probably ride it all the way down to 4,000. Then will have the Mid-Term elections and we can get Pelosi and Reed's hands off the steering wheel and reign Barak's spending spree in.

Shumie Rules said...

Coming soon to DVD:

"How to Dress Like Shumie"

Shumie Got Style

Anonymous said...

What on earth did De la O ever do that makes him qua;ified to be a circus judge?

Anonymous said...

Enough already. Go to his website and find out. www.delaoforjudge.com

Or call him up and ask. Bet he'd love the chance to tell you and hit you up for a donation.

But leave us alone to debate the finer points of Rules 3s and Depos.