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, July 27, 2009

A LAWYER RESPONDS

Update: for the umpteenth time: Something smells in Broward and their blog has it. A police officer crashes his car into a civilian. The next thing you know the police are cooking up a DUI arrest for the victim. However, there's a video....with audio. Yup- the police caught lying in Broward (We know- by now it's as surprising as a 'Dog bites Man" headline.) Check out the Broward Blog here.

Not sure if the Broward SAO has enhanced penalties for DUI suspects who catch police officers lying, but we're sure they're not happy about it (the officers being caught, not the actual lie.)

Our Presidential Trivia Game continues below.

Hot on the heels of our putative and punctilious Judge, a lawyer responds:

Your Honor,

May it please the court:

I shall endeavor to respond point for point to your list of complaints:

1) No contest. You are 100% correct. I shall pledge to smack in the head any lawyer I see raise two fingers on both hands to indicate parenthesis. I find it as extremely annoying as you do.

2) Case Law: How about reading it? You admit you don't. We went to the trouble of finding it and copying it for you and the State to help you make a wise and intelligent ruling. How about spending less time in chambers flirting with your JA or the Bailiff or the new PD/UM intern or whomever, and reading what we gave you? If I know you have read the case law, I won't make a gratuitous remark about you reading it.

3) "This is the case where...". Again, I agree it's slightly annoying. However, this usually signifies that the lawyer has discussed the case before you in the past. Is it too much to expect that you can devote some attention and recall some of the facts of a case we spent twenty minutes on three weeks ago?

4) Jokes. Laugh clown laugh. Jokes put people at ease. If the Judge laughs or even smiles the client sees that his/her lawyer got a nice reaction out of the judge. Sure some of what we do is show. But remember our client is our customer. We depend on our customers for referrals (if we're honest and not sleeping with bondsmen). Give us a break and crack a smile. I promise the routine won't go more than a minute.

5) Texting. Here's the deal. I will stop texting if you stop using the computer you have on the bench to send an email to the Judge down the hallway confirming that you're going to Casolas for lunch while I'm arguing to get my client out of custody. Deal?

6) Facebook. You're not my friend and I don't want to be your friend. Remember that when you're up for re-election, because I'm only giving my hard earned money to my friends. Ok?

7) Other cases. I won't announce that I may be unavailable if you'll stop thinking you have the most important case in the history of law. True story: I saw a county court judge a few weeks ago tell a lawyer on a misdemeanor DUI that s/he was going to call the FEDERAL JUDGE to see if the that trial could be moved back two days. First of all- do you have any idea how difficult it is to prepare for one trial, not to mention two? Especially if one is a Federal case? Furthermore, there's a practice order floating around somewhere that lists the order of importance. Here's a bulletin for you: if you're a county court judge, you're last on the list. If you're a circuit court judge, your second to last. Live with it.


OK. Now here's my list short and sweet.

Do a good job. Read what I've taken the time to prepare. Circuit Judge Phil Knight (rest in peace) used to get to court at 7AM and have his clerk pull all the files and then he would read every one of them. When you got to court he knew what you wanted and was way ahead of you. Try preparing. Just because you became a Judge doesn't mean you don't have to prepare for a case anymore.

Show the world that you can be fair. Don't automatically decide to max someone out who goes to trial. You were elected or appointed to be a Judge. That means to make decisions based on the facts of the case and the history of my client. Anybody can be a human calculator and total the scoresheet points and arrive at the maximum. I once saw Judge Moreno after a very difficult manslaughter trial in state court sentence a defendant to several years below the prosecution's pre-trial offer. Because that's what he thought the sentence should be. Is it any wonder he is now Chief Judge of the Southern District? Try to be more like Judge Moreno and less like you heard Judge Morphonious was. Being nicknamed "Maximum" is not a badge of honor for a judge. It's actually a badge of shame- declaring to the whole world that you have no temperament and wisdom to be a Judge.


OK, your honor. Thanks for listening. And as always, Thanks to you Rumpole. You run a great blog.

Rumpole says: Well done ol'chap. Well done indeed.

The Internet demands that we be a little more crafty with our presidential trivia:

According to noted presidential historian and bon vivant, Felix Unger, which two presidents knew the LEAST about ballet/opera?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ever given Judge Venzer something to read and have her show up late, thumb through it and make a knee jerk denial.

That is why we hate judges.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike! Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

Hate those judges who deserve it.Do not hate those who arrive on time,read your motions and caselaw,treat all defendants whether represented or unrepresented fairly,treat all attorneys be they state attorneys,public defenders or private attorneys with the respect they deserve and do not allow any attorney to do anything less than proper representation of their clients.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, that while the bench of late is not what it used to be, I am reading the comments of the lawyers writing in about the judges. How unprofessional and disrespectful can you be. The truly respectful lawyers - state and defense - would never write in with such "complaints". You sound like arrogant primadonnas. And it makes me remember - the grass is not always greener. As shitty as firm life may be, listening to the whiny, self-entitled true believers who've been out of law school for a year telling me to "keep fighting the good fight" is something that I DON'T miss.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here know the difference between parentheses and quotation marks? NO ONE make "air parentheses." You are speaking of "air quotation marks" which are nearly as stupid in their use as is the inability to know what they are properly called. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I will text in court, but only if I'm away from the podium. However, I've gotten dirty looks from judges who think I'm texting while at the podium. Actually, I'm just checking my schedule so that when you give me a date, I can respond back whether I'm available or not. So cut me some slack.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to use "air quotation marks" everytime a "judge" shows up on the "bench" 45 minutes "late."

I have to, because otherwise, the hand "gestures" I would make to the aforementioned "judge" would land me in "contempt" and "jail."

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
So there, "Your Lateness." Show up on time, read the caselaw, be courteous (not a doormat) and write your own damn orders.

You'll find that professionalism has a "trickle down" affect on those in your courtroom.

Anonymous said...

millard filmore was the president who knew the least about ballet according to felix

Anonymous said...

To Judge Anonymous 11:54-True the comments may seem or be disrespectfuly, but the general view from the bench is that you are untouchable and should not be criticized. Few, if any, judges pay any attention to reasonable criticism and correct their actions, while attorneys must do so because the rude judges make us. Not all judges are rude or bad, and you are probably one of the elite few, but way, way too many are. The criticisms in the main post are fair and correct for most judges. Jusges in general take way too much undeserved time off and leave defendants without a resolution, but are very quick to issue the FTA capias without even a care as to why the defendant didn't show. Way too many judges show up late for court, regularly, without reason or excuse or an "I'm sorry I'm late." If you are going to have power, exercise it with wisdom and benevolence, not derision and rudeness.

Rumpole said...

WOW 11:27- I didn't think anyone would get that. Of course the quote was that Rutherford B. Hayes new less about ballet than any US President except, of course, for Milard Fillmore.

Well done.

word of the day guyz said...

RUMP- we're in word heaven!!!!

Putative: commonly accepted or supposed to be.

Punctilious: one concerned with precise accordance with the rules.


Word of the Day Guyz- spanning the web to bring you the constant variety of language.

ted mastos for judge said...

As I wandered around in my post "Milt Hirsch will be Judge daze" fearful of the polysyllabic onslaught of obscure Shakespearean phrases, a sudden distant light began to shine. I saw him ambling down the hallways, and thought "of course- he is our last best hope to avoid the pretentious latin posturing of Mr.' Cogito, ergo Judge' assuming the bench."

He's tan, rested, and ready.

Welcome to the kickoff of

THEODORE G MASTOS FOR JUDGE.

"2010- if not now, when?"

www.tedmastosforjudgethemovie.com coming soon.

Rumpole said...

I have no idea what to make of the last comment except to say it made me laugh on many different levels. We have lawyers in our midst that are way too talented for what they are doing.

Alex Michaels Fan Club said...

Stop Zee Bullsheeeeeeeeet

ALEX MICHAELS FOR JUDGE

www.deeseesbullsheeeeeeeeeet.com

eyeon milt hirsch said...

ROFL tedmastosforjudgethemovie.com.

Fing hilarious.

Cogito, ergo Judge (I think therefore (I) Judge) pretty damn funny too.

eyeon alex michaels said...

Alex Michaels- the man the myth the Roumanian in trial tomorrow- 5-7!!!!

Be there for be out of it.

Anonymous said...

Pracitto

Why Lawyers are Funny said...

Don't forget, Rumpy, criminal lawyers were the guys who got A's in class and D's in conduct.

I often got this comment from my elementary school teachers at PS 150...
"Your child is very bright and his classwork is excellent. However, he lacks self-control and disturbs ourclassroom with jokes"

eyeon Milt Hirsch said...

Watch out for tomorrow's New Times. Milt will be VERY VERY unhappy. His plans of waltzing onto the bench unopposed are about to go up in smoke.

Anonymous said...

Dear 1:07:

Congratulations for being the least attentive to detail person I have ever seen. I imagine you are one of the ones who is a year out yet "fighting the good fight."

Regardless, I am flattered that you think I am a judge; however I have not yet elevated to that level. If you had read the post more carefully, you will see that I am formerly at the REG and am now in private practice.

I said the bench is not what it used to be and, without being so unprofessional as to cite specific names, there are some judges whom I do not respect. However, I ALWAYS respect the office. No matter how many years I am out of school, I will always show professionalism and respect for the process and the institution - regardless of whether I respect the actual person sitting there.

ALthough I'm not a judge, I have often been impressed with the way some judges hold their temper when baby lawyers throw a tantrum about what they think they are entitled to.

Anonymous said...

RUMP 1127 HERE WHO GOT YOUR ODD COUPLE QUOTE TRY TO STUMP ME I KNOW THAT SHOW PRETTY WELL

Anonymous said...

Go Alex Go.

Win Alex Win.

Just don't get held in contempt Alex.

FAKE BLAKE said...

11:12
don't be a playa hata

be a playa

IS EVERYBODY (except Judge Lederman of course) HAPPY????

intern hottie said...

Rumpole- I'm an intern (I don't want to say for PD or SAO or what school) and I think I have a crush on a lawyer named Alen Shuminer. Someone else told me he is married to a Judge. Is that for real? I went on the 11th Circuit website and can't find anyone under that name but I realize women use their maiden names. I wouldn't usually pursue a married man. Do I have the green light here or what?

And yes, trust me, I'm a sold 8 1/2. He won't turn me down, no one has yet.

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:54,

Sorry to surprise you, but I have a few more years out than a few. Thanks for assuming, but I have more than 10, less than 20. Your post made me assume you were a judge. Sorry, but your post wasn't so clear as to dispel that. I've re-read through 4 times. Not a word or mention about REG. As to respect for the office, I certainly understand that, but the office gains respect through its members, not its mere existence. There are so many abuses in the government side-court/state- of the legal system, that my respect even for the system is waning rapidly. I've never been a patriot just for patriot's sake. I do fight the good fight. Have nealy every day of my life and will til I die. I am one who is willing to fall on his sword for every case, misdemeanor to murder, if that's what it takes to save my client. I apologize if my comments seem directed at you personally, they were not meant to be. I find there to be far fewer bad and disrespectful defense attorneys than there are judges and prosecutors. Judges and prosecutors have the ability to fix the system, but refuse to do so.

Anonymous said...

8:14- you wont find Shuminer's wife listed on the circuits website. She retired and is now a TV judge.

Perhaps you've heard of her:
Judge Judy

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:44 -

Don't "fall on the sword" - just do a good job for your clients every time. If you have done everything that you ethically can then you have done your job. To "fall on the sword" is unethical and will tarnish your credibility with judges, prosecutors, and the good defense lawyers out there.

Anonymous said...

Shuminer's wife is Marilyn Milian - not Judge Judy.

Anonymous said...

0 for 2