Monday, April 27, 2009


Lots of Judge Butchko/Rick Freedman discussion in the comments section. 

Vote in our new poll: Judge Butchko: Champion of the 6th Amendment, or trying not to get reversed on appeal?  We have our thoughts on the matter, including the belief that the politics of the representation of indigent defendants sometimes makes for strange bedfellows. 

This much we are sure of: Rick Freedman was representing defendants before most of you louts that have been anonymously criticizing him were out of high school.  All us who practice criminal defense benefit from the hard work by Rick and many others in the FACDL.   These FACDL lawyers who work for us on countless  legal issues donate their time for free. In the course of any year, the FACDL has attorneys filing lawsuits, writing amicus briefs (literally: "lawyers smarter than you telling the appellate courts what to do") , meeting with judges and prosecutors, and working on matters well after the rest us, especially some of us who write blogs, have long since  left the office.  So back off- and the next time you see Rick, buy him a cup of coffee (although he can apparently afford his own Starbucks)

The Jury is out in the Liberty City Six re-trial number three. Stay tuned to the Federal Blog for breaking news. (I still owe Marcus a hundred bucks.) 

Flu alert: At any one time there are 500,000 people traveling in airplanes.  Thus, a flu outbreak somewhere, is a flu threat everywhere. This may not be the pandemic that runs wild, but one is brewing out there somewhere. The NY Times article is here. 

Living in Miami, we live in the "cross roads of Central and South America". We are especially vulnerable to epidemics. Spain, which is a main entry point to Europe for Mexico, is taking  serious action to stop the spread of the the virus. Meanwhile, in the US, we have our highly trained airport security people asking travelers if they feel OK.  That is as effective as asking the 9/11 terrorists if anyone gave them anything to take with them on the plane. 

We need to take these flu outbreaks more seriously, but we don't, and mark our words, we will pay the price. 

See you in court, wearing a surgical mask. 


Anonymous said...

Noone of us are knocking FADCL. We just think Rick is a mama trunko for backing a bad judge and then bragging about making 7.3 million dollars as a civil lawyer. He needs to go to time out for a while.

Anonymous said...

I love Rick but, that comment about 7.3 million dollars was not nice.

I really don't like Betty and could care less about her. I had too many bad experiences in her court where she treated me like I was not there.

Maybe a judge married to a cop should not be in criminal?

Betty is the kind of judge that belongs in family or civil where they like judges with their noses way up there in the air.

Anonymous said...

Stop the Rick and Betty bashing. The truth is:

1. Rick gives a crap and puts his money where his mouth is, which is more than most of you can say. The fact that he's made millions because of his civil law practice makes his work here even more admirable. He doesn't need to be doing this, unlike most of us.

2. Betty also gives a damn. Those of us who worked with her at the SAO can tell you that she worked long and hard for the victims and the community. Is she hardcore? YOU BET. No question about it. That doesn't make her dishonest or uncaring. When she believes in something, she pushes it like nobody's business. Her decision to get involved in the recent 6th Amendment controversy is the best thing that could happen to us all.


Anonymous said...

We need a little population control anyways.

Anonymous said...


Shocked you didn't talk about this:


Even better, you can look at the DROP payouts:


Anonymous said...

i think it was a great comeback by Rick to the anonymoys writer who called him a legal secretary and not a trial lawyer. Touche!

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile, in the US, we have our highly trained airport security people asking travelers if they feel OK. That is as effective as asking the 9/11 terrorists if anyone gave them anything to take with them on the plane."

Exactly! Like they REALLY expect someone with a flight to catch will say to themselves, "you know what, I feel a bit feverish. I think I'll miss my flight, and spend several days quarantined". Riiiiight. They'll lie and say they feel fine, and pass it on to hundreds of other people in the process.

Fake Marlins Executive said...

We here at the Marlins are not oblivious to this court funding crisis. Therefore, the Florida Marlins are hereby extending an offer to all defendants that have no attorney.

Assuming you are not in prison or under house arrest in 2012, you can all come out to the new Marlins Stadium. 560 million dollars of taxpayer money well spent.

See ya at the park (if you're acquitted) and Let's Go Marlins!!

Anonymous said...

Mama trunko.

That's a new way of saying it.

Anonymous said...

Condescending, pushy, and rude yes. But also "courthouse hot".

Conversion scale: get your courthouse hot rating, subtract 3, then you have your Miami hot rating.

Example, if you are an 8 in tie courthouse, you'd be a five on Lincoln road.

Anonymous said...

Rumuor is Don Horn will be at the FACDL dinner this werekend to try and fire all the former ASA's

Memo to Don - we are our own bosses. You can't fire $hit. But while you're here, please restock the ice and the condiment trays are looking a little low. And get me a drink while you're at, you don't seem too busy sleeping at 1350

Anonymous said...

a mama trunko? did another one slip by the old rumpster

Anonymous said...

Let's ask the chief judge to move Betty to civil and get someone in there who will be nice to us and treat us with RESPECT.

Sorry Betty, you are not the defender of my Constitution. That was all a publicity stunt.

You really just want to more quickly incarcerate 3rd degree felons.

Rumpole said...

OK I'll bite. I Googled "Mama Trunko" and I still can't figure out what it is.

Anonymous said...

Butchko is HOT!!!

Anonymous said...

rump...it should be "mama tranka" and it is suck d***

Ex-felon poses as lawyer and speaks at PD conference said...

Rump here is for for the main post:




The pandemic lasted from March 1918to June 1920, spreading even to the Arctic and remote Pacific islands.

It is estimated that anywhere from 20 to 100 million people were killed worldwide, or the approximate equivalent of one third of the population of Europe, more than double the number killed in World War I.

This extraordinary toll resulted from the extremely high illness rate of up to 50% and the extreme severity of the symptoms, suspected to be caused by cytokine storms.

The pandemic is estimated to have affected up to one billion people: half the world's population at the time.

Anonymous said...


Since when do judges believe in issues and push agendas? Are they not supposed to be neutral and objective arbiters of cases and controversies that appear before them?

CAPTAIN said...


Rumpole, did you happen to catch this news note ...

A Jacksonville blogger filed a lawsuit Monday [April 27] claiming police and state prosecutors violated his constitutional rights to anonymity and free speech in a 2008 criminal case "fabricated" solely to uncover his identity for First Baptist Church. The lawsuit also claims the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and State Attorney's Office violated the First Amendment's establishment clause by disclosing the blogger's name to the downtown megachurch. Doing so amounted to taking sides in a religious dispute between the blogger, Thomas Rich, and the church, according the suit. Rich launched his blog in August 2007. In it, Rich chastised Pastor Mac Brunson and other First Baptist Church leaders on everything from salary and housing to fundraising priorities and ministry objectives. Rich said he wanted to remain anonymous partly to keep the focus on the issues and he feared retribution.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

"Mama trunko" is a compound expression consisting of two words, the second of which is phonetically spelled to assist English speakers in pronouncing it correctly. The first word, "Mama", comes from the verb "mamar" which means to "suck" or "nurse". The second word, "Trunko", is a misspelled version of "tronco" which means "trunk" in Spanish, as in the trunk of a tree. A "mama tronco" is someone who sucks a trunk, or more specifically, something that is as large and thick as tree trunk.

Anonymous said...

"Mama tranka" refers to someone who sucks "tranca" or something of a similar size. A "tranca" is a 2" by 4" piece of lumber commonly available at any lumberyard or home improvement store. Given the measurements of a "tronco" and a "tranca", being called a "mama tronco" o "mama trunko" is a worse insult than being called a "mama tranca" o "mama tranka".

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I've got this right people. Judge Butchko has a hearing because she is upset that a defendant's case has sat around for 90 days, the defendant complains that his defense witnesses need to be spoken to and no one has so far, so the Judge decides to appoint private counsel, and you think what she was doing was a publicity stunt.

If she didn't care about the defendant and what was happening in his case, then why not just let his case linger with the assigned overworked PD until his witnesses disappear and then he has no other choice but to take a plea?

Do you people ever think these things through? Or do you just spurt out nonsensical jibberish because it feels good?

Rather than rant about Butchko or Freedman, why not ask yourselves the following: As criminal defense layers who defend the constitution every day in court, what is the best scenario for this particular defendant in this case?

With all of the personal dumping going on, some of you have seemed to forget that there is a guy out there, arrested (for the first time in his life by the way), charged with a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, and he does not have a lawyer fighting for him. That is what we all are supposed to be doing when we go to court for our clients.

So, shouldn't we be focusing on this guy's rights and what is going to happen to him? Does anyone care about him; because you all seem to be missing the big picture here!

Wake up people!

Anonymous said...

the mama trunko posts are really really funny

Anonymous said...

you are funny

Anonymous said...

have to agree with 12:35; what I find funny is that the defendant is the loser in all of this and we are forgetting about him

Fake Judge Peter Adrien said...

All of this negative blog bashing is only happening to myself and Judge Butchko becuse we're Asian-Americans.

Anonymous said...

The FACDL has grown in numbers and influence under Rick Freedman's leadership. It has also fought for defendants' rights and against the ROC and other changes.

Unfortunately, Mr. Freedman's already bloated ego, even by lawyer standards, has grown even more during his term.

Anonymous said...

I say we tell this guy that is charged with the grand theft that he would do better representing himself.

He certainly isn't getting any help from the regionel counsel or anyone else on this blog

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the dumb asses in tallahassee just cut the salaries of all of pd's and asa's by another 5%. Most of us are already starving and still trying to figure out how to pay off our loans.

Anonymous said...

rick your a joke. i wouldnt hire you to rep me on a slip and fall, or a traffic ticket. youre a frucking clown, like richard hersch

hey hirsch - i think ill tell mr thompson youre true identity


Anonymous said...

12:07..........sure. And that's why nothing changes. Most judges hide behind their mantle of objectivity. Most judges rule on their case and don't worry about the other dozens (or hundreds or thousands) of cases where the same thing is happening. Is that what you want? Or would you rather see a judge who actually tries to get to the bottom of things and force people to acknowledge the need for change? While I don't want judges legislating from the bench, I do want judges who don't ignore what's transpiring before their eyes......

Call me crazy.


Anonymous said...

rumpole to allow sexually offensive ad hominem attacks on a Judge when trying to discuss an issue is indicative that you and your FACDL buddies are all pond scum

line them up and we will sentence them and order them held hold for the mandatory minnimum

Anonymous said...

Anyone know when the wheel application is due?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to FACDL for their pro bono volunteering; that is some groupf of heavy hitters. I think one of them ought to take care of that third degrre felony before Butchko.

Scott Saul said...

Most of you responding on this post are a bunch of wuss/losers (except for the Adrien/Asian comment...that's pretty funny!)

Knocking Rick Freedman because he hit a good PI case? Like any of you does not wish that happened to you! He acts like a snob? Please! He struck it rich and continues to be like the most involved FADCL president I have ever seen. That's a thankless job. Don't you have to really care to be involved? Rick Freedman is just about the most un-snobby guy in the court house. A guy works hard, strikes it rich, gets involved, and tries to better the local legal community and you anonymous nerds knock him?

Who feels that they are qualified to evaluate Betty Butchko on her looks. You must be a real stud sizing up 40 something year old Judges. Look, there are no porno stars in the court house. If you are sizing up female Judges then there is no way you are having any type of healthy social life. You are a loser! I am calling you out!

Butchko is bad because she complained about the current financial crisis? Isn't everybody complaining about it? Isn't her complaints mirroring what see and hear all over the place? She's no hero...all the Judges shoudl be complaining. The view from the bench is different from that of the dais. They are in a better position to see when justice is not served. For them to watch defendants or victims getting wronged and not say anything would be a sin.

If you are an experienced lawyer, then you should know how to deal with all types of judicial temperments. A good advocate knows how to walk through a [perceived] mine field. I have been around a while. Most of the Judges are decent and fair. There are no psychos that are currently presiding (I say that for Miami-Dade County only). A trial lawyer should be a very confident, cunning and fearless advocate. Anybody that cries that a Judge needs to be transfered cannot be an effective advocate. Everybody cannot always get along. Sometimes you just cannot get a good mix going with a Judge. A smart lawyer will pull in somebody that has the Judges ear better. That's called lobbying! That's why you (sometimes) get local counsel

Law is no different from sales. "Winners" in sales, like to deal with a difficult or dejected customer because they recognize that the emotions for being unhappy are similar to the emotions for a customer willing to do a sale. Those tough Judges are also the ones that are tough on the State and tough on victims. Sometimes tough Judges may give, to the lawyer, that is the most effective advocate, the best results.

Anonymous said...

the story in today's herald about the reckless cop who got his friend killed shows bad judgment by the state in not charging the cop. bad job done!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the PD just file a few dozen speedies in each division and watch the caseload go down real quick. Like on the BS drug cases. Does it really take more than an
Hour to prep an F3. I heard this has been usedin the past

Anonymous said...

Don Horn for FACDL president. That way he can bring better sandwiches to the meetings. And keep the water cooler filled.

We respect you, Don. You are the next American Idol.

Anonymous said...

Misdemeanor courts are a waste of time and money. So claims the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which on Tuesday issued a first-of-its-kind national report on the status of misdemeanor courts across the country. The report, which involved 18 months' worth of research at courts in seven states, found that taxpayers are footing the bill for more than 10 million misdemeanor prosecutions per year, paying an average of $60 a day, per inmate, to incarcerate misdemeanor defendants.

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

Interesting report released today by Jose Arrojo of the State Attorney's Office on a Officer Francisco Fernandez.

One of the County's Finest was out partying all night with his close friend Miguel Martinez. Officer Fernandez drank the night away at Nicky Beach, consuming more than a half dozen beers, shots, and possibly marijuana and cocaine. It appears that Fernandez was a regular drug user and hung out with dealers and users.

On this night, he let his friend Martinez hold Fernandez' loaded police issued 9 mm Glock. Martinez, while extremely intoxicated, put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Arrojo found no basis to charge Fernandez with any criminal charges.

Cap Out

Anonymous said...

Jose is the best thing going at the SAO.

Anonymous said...

I am blogging as I stand on lime I'm Judge Seraphin's courtroom. I have been standing here for 30 minutes but he refuses to call attorneys out of turn (so there is a line of attorneys out the door). He is also rude What is wrong with him? He is up for election on 2010. I'll pledge $500 to whoever runs against him.

batman said...

Look, Betty Butchko is a prosecutor in robes and we all know it, but no more so than Rosa Rodriguez is a public defender in robes. Each brings their own, shall we say, uniqueness to the bench.

With that said, despite the harshness that Judge Butchko may exhibit at times, the fact that she would take on such an issue is not something for which we should crticize her. If more judges would show the ability to set aside political considerations (oh, how I hate judicial elections) and asserted themselves in positive ways, we would all be better off.

We lionize those judges who sit in their courtrooms and just do the job, especially when they do it they way we want. Then we take to the pillary those who extend themselves to bring out the debate on issues that are truly important when the opinion they espouse is not in accord with ours. Why not at least applaud them for not hiding behind their robes and bailiffs and allowing the discourse.

We all celebrated former Chief Justice Kogan when, free from retention and on the eve of retirement, he came out and stated "death does not work." We all acclaimed what a great jurist he was. Did it matter that it did not effect any change? It did however encourage the discourse over the death penalty.

Give credit where credit is due. I applaud Judge Butchko for raising our consciousness and bringing forth this issue again.