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

Monday, May 18, 2009

STRANGELY SILENT

(For a guy that clearly knows how to use a phone, Carlos Martinez is strangely silent these days.)


For a lawyer, for a defender, for an advocate for the poor, the weak, the gullible,  Miami Public Defender Carlos Martinez remains strangely silent over the controversy regarding his office.

His employees are not, judging from the response in the comments section of the last post. 

THE ACCUSATION: That facing times of trouble and crisis, the Miami Dade Public Defenders office used money designated by the Florida legislature for 16 new attorney positions for raises- mostly for upper echelon employees.  Someone from the Dade PDs office signed off on a budget request that included positions for 16 attorneys that they never had any intention of hiring. Who did that? Why?  Is it legal?  Do taxpayers have any rights here to find out what's going on in the Dade PDs office? What about the Florida Legislature? Do they care? How about other SAO and PDs offices who submitted legitimate budgets without straw positions? They played by the rules.  Do they have a right to complain?

There are lots of questions. Unfortunately, the person who knows the answers isn't speaking. 

THE RESPONSE BY CARLOS MARTINEZ:

(this space for rent. Inquire 305-545-1600. Ask for Carlos.)




THE FALLOUT: The 3rd DCA just spanked his office. More than 40 private attorneys have agreed to pitch in and help out the PDs office by taking cases for free. Now those attorneys are learning that they are working for free, not because the PDs office has no funds for new attorneys, but because the PDs office chose to use that  money for raises for  long term employees who mostly are not those in court fighting for clients. 


THE LEGAL COMMUNITY AWAITS THE RESPONSE FROM "SILENT CHARLIE." 




35 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it is true that Carlos is paying 40k to Brummer after the man retired, a criminal investigation should be launched.

The Z dies said...

Overlooked in this blog is the passing of long-time lawyer, and perennial judicial candidate Albert Zemlock (known as "the Z" ). The link goes to a 1988 Herald article about judicial election season.

Now Sy has someone to schmooze with.

Anonymous said...

If you read the third's opinion, wasn't it really Brummer that took the cash for the straw positions and not Martinez?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
There has been a morale problem with the pit lawyers at the Dade PDO since we put Gabe up to run against Brummer. It's nothing new Rump

Friday, May 15, 2009 6:25:00 PM

Dear Lonnie, Christian, Anthony, et.al. (whomever took the time out of your busy schedule to write in);

I would like to congratulate you on your foresight in choosing Mr. Martin. Just mere months after he was defeated (although I can't imagine why as he had so much experience for the position he sought), Gabriel Martin was suspended by the Florida Bar and investigated by the Feds for none other than stealing money!

Your choice of candidate was superb. I would follow you anywhere....

By the way, haven't seen you boys around in awhile. Too busy working up cases?

Anonymous said...

If this is true it is clearly a disgrace to leave the people who are in need of legal services the most without adequate representation. Martinez should be fired. The other lazy clowns who go raises who also be fired.

CAPTAIN said...

Rumpole, remember that Bennett H. Brummer was in charge through the 2008 legislative session and all the budget and allocation decisions that followed up until December 31, 2008.

Carlos did not get sworn in until January of 2009. Having said that, Carlos has to decide whether any of the 25-30 employees of his office that are earning over 100k are expendable? Retiring some of those six figure salaries would allow for the ability to hire several new attorneys to fill the gaps his office is complaining about.

Carlos, Kathy and other elected leaders of the community, and the State, also need to look at other ways to make a dent in this much bigger problem. Reducing certain felonies to misdemeanors, decriminazing some misdemeanors, etc. can take some of the burden off of the budget-strapped criminal justice system.

Finally, a bill that has been floated around Tallahassee for a few years now, needs a serious push. Loan forgiveness for some government attorneys. These law students are departing law school with 100,000 plus debt and they are starting their careers at the SAO or PDO for $40k or $42k respectivelly.

If the government would make a serious commitment to paying down some of this debt, they could get a commitment from these young attorneys to stay. This would slow down the ever-rising tide of those abandoning the ship in their second and third year's of service.

Just some thoughful solutions to the problems this BLOG has been discussing!

Anonymous said...

Yes Carlos, respond here, the center of intelligent discussion and debate. No broke hack lawyers here to trash you or bitter losers to criticize your every move. Come, it's warm in here.

Anonymous said...

Free Mary Jane

Anonymous said...

If the blame rests with Brummer, why hire him on as a consultant?

Anonymous said...

You're calling Carlos out for failing to do so isn't really fair. Carlos should respond, but this isn't the venue.

If you really want answers to your questions, then file a public records request with the PDs. I also would like to know what's happening, but can't do something like that. Good luck.

Fake Shumie said...

Bring Back Sleepy B!

Anonymous said...

Federal Loan Forgiveness legislation has passed. CCRAA

Anonymous said...

Experience in either the PD or SAO is way overrated after ten years on the job. Once you hit ten years, you are not going to become a better lawyer than you already are. And the reality is that most lawyers who get to the ten year mark become dead weight, treading water watching the clock. Nothing personal against them, it is just human nature. If you cannot get fired and cannot get a substantial raise even if you perform superbly, you learn to avoid work while getting paid the same salary. Does anyone really think the quality of either office would suffer if you fired 70% of the people who have been there ten years or more, bumped every one else up the ladder without a raise, and used the extra money to hire more starting level attorneys? I think it would be good for morale and all those pompous asses who think they are battle tested trial gurus would find out awful quick what their perceived skills are really worth on the open market.

Anonymous said...

I graduated 11 years ago with more than $100,000 in debt and nobody forgave my loan. My first job, in private practice, was at $27,000. (and I was in the middle of my class) There were no other jobs available. Second year salary was $29K.
Fast forward 11 years and I'm totally debt free, own my house and car. How? I didn't go out after work. I had a roommate for several years. I ate peanut butter sandwiches instead of steaks. I drove an old beater of a car. I learned that just because I was an attorney that didn't give me the right to live beyond my means.
I never consolidated my loans to stretch them out - I paid more than the minimum to pay them off faster.
Guess my point is that people should feel lucky in this economy that they have a job, and not expect anyone other than themselves to pay their debt.

old guy said...

$40k to Brummer to "consult"? You've got the job now, Carlos. No consultation needed.

Take the $40k and buy an attorney. tell Brummer that you cannot afford his silly scheme at the expense of your clients.

anyone and everyone said...

Strange sights this weekend:

Former Judge Alan Postman on south Beach telling anyone and everyone how Birkam Yoga has changed his life.

Brian Tannebaum telling anyone and everyone how his next million dollars in legal fees is coming from Twitter.

Gary Rosenberg teaching competitive Tango Dancing

Alex Michaels telling anyone and everyone how Transcendental Meditation has changed his life.

Super Judge Peter Adrien teaching a seminar "Being the very best judge you can be."

Talk about weird stuff

Anonymous said...

Brian Tannenbaum! He is HILARIOUS! He and Richard Hersch. Go-to guys when in a bind and in need of a tough trial defense.

Anonymous said...

Since when does anyone have a duty to respond to this blog?

Most of us are wondering why you are "dumping" on Carlos.

Do you suggest he stop running the the office and simply do bond hearings and not have anyone on staff that makes more than 50K a year?

The average lawyer can not run an office without a secretary but, you idiots think Carlos should run the PD's office with no staff and no management.

People, get real!

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Hot Off The Press - The List You Have All Been Waiting For:

The following individuals have applied to the Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission for nomination to fill the county court vacancy created by the resignation of County Judge Ada Pozo:

William Ira Altfield
Maria T. Armas
Bart Haskell Armstrong
Tanya J. Brinkley
Veronica P. Clarke
Joseph I. Davis, Jr.
Michael H. Galex
Ivy R. Ginsberg
Diana Elizabeth Gonzalez
Monica Gordo
Tamara Ilene Gray
Jose Ricardo Iglesias
Michael R. Jones
Bonita Jones-Peabody
Kristi F. Kassenbaum
Robert James Kuntz, Jr.
James E. Leano
Barry Marc Mankes
Lynette McGuiness
Gina Mendez
Stephen T. Millan
Barnaby L. Min
Anita Margot Moss
Gordon Charles Murray, Sr.
Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes
Jeffrey Joseph Pardo
Michaelle Gonzalez Paulson
Gladys Perez
Margaret Ann Rosenbaum
Michele Samaroo
Lourdes Simon
Jeffrey D. Swartz
Alan Adrian Taylor
Marie Jo Toussaint
Angelica D. Zayas

Now it's time for the Bloggers to come out from the woodwork(whatever the hell that means) and give us your opinions.

But, if you want to share your thoughts with someone who gives a damn, then do what the Bar and your law license suggests that you do, contact the JNC:

Andrés Rivero (Chair)
Mark Romance (Vice Chair)
Gonzalo Dorta
Philip Freidin
Manny Kadre
John Kozyak
Rayfield McGhee, Jr.
Marlene Quintana
Daniel W. Schwartz

CAPTAIN OUT .....

Anonymous said...

Ok Captain, now print the real list of county court applicants, because that list cant be.....what? it is? Ok, those of you on that list that KNOW you don't belong there, please, stop the joking now and take your name off.

Anonymous said...

Barnaby Barnaby he's our man, if he can't do it no one can.

Anonymous said...

My picks:

William Ira Altfield (Great choice)
Maria T. Armas (Who?)
Bart Haskell Armstrong (Nice guy, needs more experience)
Tanya J. Brinkley
Veronica P. Clarke
Joseph I. Davis, Jr.
Michael H. Galex ((Former ASA not ready yet)
Ivy R. Ginsberg (Tan, rested and ready)
Diana Elizabeth Gonzalez
Monica Gordo
Tamara Ilene Gray
Jose Ricardo Iglesias
Michael R. Jones
Bonita Jones-Peabody
Kristi F. Kassenbaum (Good choice)
Robert James Kuntz, Jr.
James E. Leano
Barry Marc Mankes
Lynette McGuiness
Gina Mendez (Rotten choice, not nice and will be a mean judge)
Stephen T. Millan (Give up, Steve)
Barnaby L. Min (Good choice)
Anita Margot Moss
Gordon Charles Murray, Sr.
Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes
Jeffrey Joseph Pardo
Michaelle Gonzalez Paulson
Gladys Perez
Margaret Ann Rosenbaum (Mean and rude and will be power hungry jerk)
Michele Samaroo
Lourdes Simon
Jeffrey D. Swartz (We got rid of you once, go away, you were a really rotten judge)
Alan Adrian Taylor
Marie Jo Toussaint (Nice lady)
Angelica D. Zayas (Great choice, too smart for county court tho)

Anonymous said...

Carlos is a hard worker and ofcourse he shouldn't have to handle court cases. However, passing the buck to Brummer is ridiculous. Carlos was his right hand man for the past 10 years
and was thus intimately involved in all of the office decisions.

eyeonshumietime said...

I think it's shameful that this blog has forfeited Shumie Time to the civil blog. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

To 9:46 - As someone who continues taking court appointments and is not afraid to admit it, I was actually hoping the PD's won the
3rd DCA argument so I would get an influx of appointments once RCA
conflicted. Thanks for the shout out though.
Christian Dunham

Eric Matheny said...

Hiring additional attorneys would require the PD's office to dedicate more resources to training them. Remember, unlike the SAO, the PD's don't go through an intensive 6-week training program. They are thrown into the fire pretty quickly and learn most of their craft on the job.

And since movement at the PD's office is slower than at the SAO, these 16 hypothetical attorneys would spend a year to a year and a half in county and juvenile courts when the urgency is in felony court.

In almost all divisions, every pit PD is handling a C caseload, from the C all the way to the division chief. Some divisions are even doing double C PDs. Everybody seems to be chipping in during this crisis.

I'm not proposing an alternative solution to the crunch at the PD's office, but it really seems like they are doing everything they can with the limited resources. I don't believe hiring 16 brand new attorneys would do anything to alleviate a problem that needs immediate attention.

Anonymous said...

2:08:00 ..... possibly the dumbest comment ever on this blog (which really says something). MANY of the long timers are extremely dedicated and top notch lawyers. If you think that the 9th year lawyers can handle cases as well as them then you really are clueless.

Anonymous said...

BHB was last seen heading for the REG Building with a box of files. Sources say he is announcing "Ready!"

Anonymous said...

Rump
One author once claimed he learned all he needed to know in kindergarden. Now some yahoo, claims after 10 years a APD should be chucked. With all lack of respect dear fellow, but wisdom comes with expereince. Some of us continue to keep our wits sharp and use our skill to benifit hundreds upon hundreds of clients over the years. Or do you say that all of us pit viajos in PD11 are dead wood. I could name a dozen oldtimers ( 10 yrs + ) who are in the pit and are well respected attorneys.
D. Sisselman

Anonymous said...

Carlos Martinez never has and never will run the PD's office. He is convenient figurehead who,unlike most PD managers, lives in Miami-Dade county and who has Latin voter appeal. The real public defender is Brummer who is handing off to his prince--Rory Stein. Stein runs the office through intimidation of lawyers and manipulation of Martinez, Both Stein and Martinez buy off their circles of friends and supporters by giving them large raises and bonuses.

This farce is an expensive one. Funds have to be taken from actual working lawyers so that Martinez and Stein can keep up the charade. That is where the missing money went.

I am told that morale is worse than ever. I had to leave. I am a minority woman and I found the working conditions to be sexist, not supportive, authoritarian and depressing. It's too bad. Maybe it once was a great office but now it is just mediocre. Good people are leaving and old hacks are sticking around.

Anonymous said...

Anyone knocks Dunham for supporting Gabe is a fool. He tries more cases in a year then most people try in their lives.

Our choice was between Brummer and someone new- and so long as they had a beating heart-that was good enough for us. Brummer and his hardline cronies were afraid also... It was really fun to watch.

A great man said at the time, we have no chance to win but if we do this, it will be like sentencing them to 364. It turned out to be more like a year and a day...

Anonymous said...

"It was fun to watch." I understand if you didn't like Bennett and wanted to shake things up. That could be called youthful indiscretion. As for one of the women that you "boys" liked to try and scare by telling us "you knew where we lived" because we wouldn't sign up for your side, I say you're comment "it was fun to watch" is a sign of just how sick and pathetic you all were. Good riddance and keep on trying to pretend you all aren't the laughing stock the rest of us knw you to be.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone with a beating heart??..." Wow, you guys should pick the next Supreme Court Justice. What responsibility. How did it go, "Stats are what matters. It's just a body count?" BTW, which one of you yahoos ran to Martin's defense when the Federales were sniffing after him? Oh that's right - none of you...

Anonymous said...

Rory Stein is a jerk-off and it is true, he was BHB's little pet. He runs the office now that Weed has been sent to ERU. And if you don't kiss Stein's ass he hates you, no matter your talent level. He is worshiped by Melnick, Bobby Aaron and that zombie Henry Roucher.I bet those guys got some of the missing money.

Anonymous said...

Chris Dunham is a great guy, plain and simple.