Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Former ASA David Ranck had his federal lawsuit  against the SAO dismissed at the summary judgment stage by Judge Gold. David Markus has all the details here, 
including a link to the Herald story.  Those of you wishing to do so can email David at davidrancklaw at aol dot com. ( We have to write the email address that way or it screws up the layout of the blog but you should understand what we mean.)


If you haven't gone to ATL and seen all the sordid details of a client, his wife, and a Case and White associate,  go here   and here. Even for Miami, that's an awful lot of sex going on. 

Moral of the story- we as criminal lawyers are a lot more accustomed to covering our tracks than these dopy civil guys who apparently leave footprints, hand prints, and blackberry email and text messages everywhere so that any aggrieved husband can connect the dots. 

Still lots of chatter on the Donte Stallworth case in the REGJB today. 
Query: does the sentence the SAO agreed to  in one case affect the sentences the SAO should be seeking in similar cases? 

It's an interesting issue. On the one had we decry the guidelines, especially in federal court. On the other hand, when someone gets a good deal (for whatever reason) people start complaining. 

We fall squarely on the side of every case is different; every person is different; and every case should be handled on the specific individual facts associated with that case. 


Anonymous said...

As to David Ranck, I wish nothing but the best for him.

As for Donte Stallworth, 10:18 AM's post hits the nail on the head. Batman, there may have been causation issues, but there is ample caselaw holding that to be convicted of DUI manslaughter, one must have only had a minor degree of fault in the accident. Even if Mr. Reyes was crossing against the light and outside a crosswalk, Donte Stallworth testified that he flashed his lights and honked his horn to warn Mr. Reyes. This then begs the most basic question--why didn't Stallworth try to brake/stop his Bentley? If Stallworth had made an effort to stop but could not have done so, the defense would have a much stronger argument.

This is a case where money talked. As 10:18 A.M. said, had Donte Stallworth been driving a used Hyundai, or if he didn't have several million free George Washingtons to throw around for that matter, he would have been looking at a nice chunk of time in prison. Rumpole is right when he says there are innumerable factors that should go into a plea. While the victim's wishes should be respected, they need not be followed to a "T". A defendant's remorse and responsibility are great, but do not absolve one of criminal sanction. And one's income or financial status should definitely NOT be a factor to consider in plea bargaining.

I don't begrudge--in fact I admire--Chris Lyons for getting such a deal for his client. But as an ex-ASA this plea deal, and Rundle's spirited defense of the same, makes me want to puke.

batman said...

2:43 - Ahh, thus the rub. If in fact Donte saw Reyes before he crossed and attempted to warn him not to and Reyes proceeded anyway, does not Donte have the right to say (and probably would have said) "I thought he saw me and was going to wait. He surprized me when he jumped out in front of me and I could not stop."

Now what do you do Mr. or Ms. ASA with a jury that wants to acquit. There are degrees of culpability. I suggest that in the end Donte ends up with a DUI and a NG on the DUI Manslaughter. Wouldn't that work well for everyone?

Anonymous said...

ranck needs professional psycholgical help along with anger mgmt classes.

don't mean that with any snark. just calling a spade a spade.

Anonymous said...

kudos to the Stallworth defense lawyers who unearthed critical details about the accident (tragic as it may be) that helped turn the tables during plea negotiations. Why isn't anyone saying anything about the good lawyering? Enough with the hypocritical whinos who simultaneously complain that the state is unreasonable w/ plea negotiations and then that the Stallworth deal wasn't harsh enough.

Anonymous said...

And while we are on the subject of buying your way out of prison, let us not forget the "Christmas Massacre" of 2007. Several County Court ASAs were suspended or fired because they did not object to a judge's dismissing minor second-degree misdemeanor cases in exchange for charitable donations.

And KFR now has the chutzpah to say that cash, ducats, Mr. Green, the Benjamins or whatever you want to call it did not play a role in the lenient plea offered to Donte Stallworth. What a load of crap.

KFR and anyone else who was in on this plea, hang your heads in shame. Not so much because Stallworth bought his way out of a much harsher sentence, but because you engaged in the exact same behavior for which you harshly disciplined young, inexperienced ASAs. And to do so on a serious feony--DUI Manslaughter--while the disciplined ASAs did so for the most petty of misdemeanors.

Rump, do you think this would have happened under Janet Reno?

Anonymous said...

Batman, go rub yourself while reading Standard Jury Instruction 7.8 "or contributed to the cause of death of (victim)." Any first year ASA can argue the meaning of "or contributed." Donte is guilty of Manslaughter. This was about grabbing the money NOW! Always is. $$$$$$. The poster in the previous section stated Donte had a 5 million policy plus other attachable assets. In civil the victims would have gotten paid anyway. Had Murphy had balls he would have rejected the plea.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with 4:26. I was an ASA in County Court around the time of Toygate. The SAO's reason for firing/suspending the division prosecutors who failed to object to court dismissals of bullshit misdemeanors in exchange for toys was due to the "appearance of impropriety" in permitting people to "pay their way out of the justice system."

Anonymous said...

Chis Lyons on CNN last night and Dan leBatard 790 ticket today:

"Of course he got a deal. Donte's an athlete and he's special. Special people can hire the best lawyers who get them the best deals. That's the way it is. That's the way we all know it is. That's the way it has been since Ted Kennedy and Mary Joe Kopeckne and that's the way we want it to be. It's pretty much written into the Constitution and no one should be surprised or outraged by this plea. Donte got what he deserved based on who he is, what he does, and who he could hire. End of story."

Way to go Chris, telling it like it is.

batman said...

4:44 - Always nice to have a civil debate with an intellectual and articulate person like yourself.

By the way how are those Anger Management Classes going? About the same as the Professionalism CLE?

Suggest you get yourself a nome de plume so I know with which Joker I am conversing.

Anonymous said...

The comment at 4:26 is completely correct. If a PD client was in the same exact boat, the state would laugh at a counter offer like the kind of deal Stallworth received. And having worked with/against Pat Trese when he was the county chief, its amazing that he has the ability to stand at that podium as that plea was read out loud. How many times did he ride the hard line on simple, basic DUIs, and not offer breakdowns?

Anonymous said...

What does Mike Walsh and his client the alledged cat killer have in common

the anonymouse said...

Huh? What do you think?

Doing crucial government work; gets a murder case dismissed; socks the pizza girl because she speaks Spanish; and (oh by the way) sues his boss..

In the immortal words of Paul Simon: "..would not be convicted by a jury of his peers, still crazy after all these years."

How can KFR trust him tomorrow with another trial, not knowing if he would screw it up?


P.S. The little mice have heard that KFR has asked an outsider to help her justify the future firing. Just pull the trigger KFR - we mice all know it is justified.

Anonymous said...

PD watch- smokn hot spinner before Krieger Martin in 5-7 followed by a wicked sweet blonde in Marin on 2.

Anonymous said...

There were a lot a of pissed off people calling Kathy Rundle yesterday when the Stallworth news broke. The phones at SAO were ringing off the hook!

Anonymous said...

Batman, 2:43 here. As I said in my prior post, there is ample caselaw in Florida holding that to be convicted of DUI manslaughter, a driver/defendant need only have had a minimal role in causing the accident to be convicted. I forget the name of the primary case, but the fact pattern was as follows: Defendant was drunk and properly stopped at a red light. Victim--who was also drunk--rear ends Defendant's car. Victim dies. Supremes say that is not enough for DUI manslaughter, but about any culpability more than that is.

I am sure that Chris Lyons, an extremely capable attorney, could have argued the causation issue before a jury. There is little doubt that by supposedly crossing against a light and outside of a crosswalk, Mr. Reyes was negligent, speaking from a civil sense. Would a jury have bought the argument? Possibly. But you also have the facts that I stated in my previous post. On the whole, a somewhat defensible case, but the SAO had a decent shot at getting a conviction at trial.

I stand by my previous comments.

old guy said...

Listen folks - there is a REAL WORLD out there. Lyons did a GREAT job.

If the client had enough time to flash the lights AND honk his horn - why did he neglect the option to change lanes or ever hit the brakes?

The rich guy in the Bentley who hit the construction worker at the end of his shift was looking at serious prison. He may be very presentable, but I understand that the victim's daughters are nearly catatonic. Want them in the front row at trial?

Superior result. Let's stop talking about the law + try to really figure out what a jury would have done.

batman said...

2:43 - I accept that we will have to agree to disagree. Reasonable minds can differ. It's all good.

Anonymous said...

Batboy: It sounds like you're the one with the tight leotard. Perhaps your panties are giving you a weggie because your bat-utility belt is riding up on you. Anyway, the issue is not causation dear friend, it is the lesser standard of "or contributed to" that makes this an easy case for the State. The fix was in. Donte committed Manslaughter. Now go slide down your pole and give Robin a goodnight kiss.

Anonymous said...

I recently lost a dui, girl had no proprs? Blew .08, nothing bad in driving pattern, typical rubber stamp roadsides, and she didn't testify. Got 21 days. Guess if she killed some she would have whacked with 30!

And by the way, ofcr dionne ( ie mr
Ethical) called for a tow truck before he even spoke to her)

Props to Lyons but trese and ferundle need to go. Trese just needs to go and kfr is probably qualified to be a hostess at la loggia

That family must be devastated that dad is dead, killer got 30 days, and about an hour later a poor guy got 364 for .5 grams of crappy coc.

Shameful day in Miami.

Anonymous said...

A moment of silence please. This news will sadden those North of the Border. The Cheetah, a popular gentleman's establishment, will close, sell its liquor license, and pay a fine. The historic Hallandale Beach landmark was investigated for alleged drug dealing and sex-for-hire (No Freebees!). Shocking! Services have not been finalized. In lieu of flowers, please donate your rolled up dollar bills to The Cheetah Respite Home for Retired Strippers.

Anonymous said...

Trese folded bc Lyons is a far superior attorney. I bet in 100 trials, trese might win one

The question is, will KFR replace trese with an atty with a brain? I hear the scarecrow from wizard of oz is looking for work....

Anonymous said...

Any and every case depends on who your client is, which Judge you get, which prosecutor you get, which defense attorney you get and what kind of victim you get.

Lyons is a good attorney who got
dealt a great hand. Excellent job

Anonymous said...

the result was simply due to money and a nice family on the other side who needed the money

Anonymous said...

Lyons gets Cat Killer PTI!

Lyons reopens Cheetah!

Way to go Chris.

batman said...

10:11 - Gee you make me feel so bad. How is your homophobic self? I suggest a course in civility. With an attitude like that you are probably a very welcome sight in court.

Why don't you channel some of that anger to something constructive, like enlisting in the army and volunteering to go to Afghanistan.

By the way "contriubted to" is an issue of causation you legal midget.

Anonymous said...

Lyons is an OK lawyer and nothing more.

He got that deal because big money was on the table.

He did a good job but, have you ever litigated with or against Lyones? If so, you would know he is only average.

He got that case because he is in bed with the Miami Beach Police union. He is their lawyer.

Anonymous said...

FYI the family received $5M

Anonymous said...

PD clients CAN NOT make the Stallworth offer so they go to prison. I get prison offers (366) for Habitial Traffic Offenders driving without a DL on a DUI suspention. Maybe if he hit someone and paid them off, I mean made up front restitution, my poor clients could get better pleas. They dont need a Private Attorney, onltyMONEY in the bank. Oh yeah, but they is poor.....
D. Sisselman