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

Sunday, December 06, 2009

CHANGES

Ever wonder what that group of stressed out lawyers were doing running from 6 to 5 to 4 to 2 every Wednesday? They were doing County Court soundings.

The soundings were introduced several years ago and touted as a time and money saving system. "Just give it a chance" they said.

Now they have a new time and money saving system. NO SOUNDINGS. "Just give it a chance" Judge Slom says.

Soundings will no longer happen for any case except DUIs. If you want to get a non-DUI case continued or accept a non-enhanced misdemeanor plea, you will need to take these 11 simple steps.

1) Call The Judge's JA.
2) The JA says "fax a motion."
3) Write and fax the motion.
4) Call the Judge's JA.
5) The JA says "fax a motion." You tell her you did.
6) You re-fax the motion.
7) Call the Judge's JA. Out to lunch. Leave a message.
8) Call the Judge's JA. The Bailiff answers. The JA is out sick. You explain what you want. The bailiff says "fax a motion."
9) Go to Best Buy and buy a new phone because you just smashed yours in frustration.
10) Call the Judge's JA. You glance outside and see it's a blue moon, so the JA answers after only 16 times. The JA sets the motion for two weeks after the trial date before which you are trying to close out your blasted traffic case that you have long since cursed the day you ever agreed to do it as a favor for your sister's cute friend. You tell the JA you need the case set before the trial date. The JA scolds you for waiting until the last minute. You glance at your phone and decide you don't want to go back to Best Buy and you take a deep breath. The JA finally sets the matter the Friday before the trial date.

11) You show up and....you guessed it- not only is the case not on calendar but there is no calendar because the Judge is on vacation and will return Monday.

You see? 11 easy steps in Slom's world after soundings. Have fun you County Court lawyers.

SPEAKING OF DUIs:
We have it on very good authority that PTI will be offered for DUIs under certain conditions- the driver must have provided a breath sample and it must be under a certain number, which may be .14. This is all about money folks. Follow the money. Watch how much the SAO agreed would be paid to various groups so they would endorse this program. The DUI cops who make so much in overtime on these cases are one of the big losers. Query: If PIT and a subsequent nolle prosse will be a standard disposition, how will the state ever seek jail after a conviction on a first offense?


BEN KUEHNE SAYS THANKS

BENEDICT P. KUEHNE
In Grateful Appreciation of the
Overwhelming Community Support of his Innocence

Invites the Community to his
APPRECIATION RECEPTION
On the Occasion of his Vindication

Sky lobby
Bank of America tower
100 S.E. 2
nd Street
Miami, Florida 33131
Thursday, December 10, 2009
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
RSVP to: RSVP
@
KUEHNELAW DOT COM.


ASA RICHARD SCRUGGS GRILLED ON CROSS.

Richard Scruggs is an ASA and a former Fed.
Defense Attorney Michael Tein is a former Fed now representing a defendant before Judge Butchko.

Tein got to cross examine Scruggs. Here is the New Times article.

Scruggs looked bad on the stand. For an allegedly sharp trial lawyer, he has a woeful memory and poor command of the facts of his case, often answering "I don't remember" and "I don't know" during his testimony on what has turned into a Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

Most former Feds find life as a State Court Prosecutor too tough to handle. They hate the relatively level playing field and are frustrated by the discovery rules that actually allow a defense attorney to question a State Witness before trial.

Current Assistant US Attorney Richard Gregory made a brief appearance as an ASA in the early 1990s. He lost something like two of his first three cases, and promptly beat a hasty retreat back to Federal Court where he had the safety of a case agent sitting right next to him and holding his hand throughout the trial.

23696310 Gaston Smith Transcript height="500" width="450" > value="http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=23756521&access_key=key-2mehc4tt0e95lqabzvcu&page=1&version=1&viewMode=slideshow">

10 comments:

the trialmaster said...

The Trialmaster took Gregory down in a major federal case many moons ago. Gregory will not talk to the Trialmaster since his ass was kicked. This is one of the Trialmasters greatest victorys.

Anonymous said...

The misdemeanor soundings system was a terrible idea from day one. It accomplishes absolutely nothing. It was much easier when the cops came to court on their cases and the attorneys (prosecutors and defense attorneys) could talk to them. Everyone knew when the state was ready (there was a lot less ambiguity), the cops were happy and cases got worked out. The sounding system saves money for the departments but creates more problems than it solves.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, can you post the actual memo with the new procedures?

Anonymous said...

You are 100% right about the new Slom policy.

You watch. No matter what we do the JA's will simply not answer the phone and when they do, they will insist you be there the day your wife is giving birth to your first child.

This is why we hate judges.

Hey, Sam, did you even consult with the PD or FACDL or the ticket lawyers before you did this?

I bet you met with the prosecutors 12 times.

Maybe it is time that Sam went to Civil.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Rump, once you load it you have to select "embed" to display the doc.

Anonymous said...

9:43........Slom is a good administrative judge. Whatever his failings may be (we all have some), he is not beholden to the State. Look how long it took before Pando finally left the central courthouse. If you were around back then, you must know that the State complained about her non-stop for YEARS before that happened. If you weren't around, just ask anyone who was. She was dumping cases, showing up late, etc. Even other judges thought it was a joke.

BTDT

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

to 8:39 am, who requested a copy of the new policy .....

The Judges of the Criminal Division of County Court have decided that the only cases that will be set for sounding in the future are DUI cases. It is anticipated that the elimination of sounding calendars on non-DUI cases will begin in January. It is hopeful that the elimination of sounding calendars on non-DUI cases will result in the following benefits:

· Attorneys and defendants will not be required to attend those sounding calendars thereby saving them both time and money.

· Fewer people will be summoned to the courthouse on Wednesdays thus reducing the delay in gaining access to the building as well as to the courtroom.

· It is hopeful that fewer continuances will be sought thereby allowing cases to proceed to trial in a timely manner.

· Judges can utilize that two to three hour period, previously reserved for such soundings, to address motions, reports, or trials.

Naturally, as with any systems change, there will be the need to adjust how certain matters are handled. Examples of such are the following:

Continuances: Should a continuance be needed on a non-DUI case, the party seeking such should contact the judge’s judicial assistant to be placed on the motion calendar. Every attempt should be made to calendar the matter no later than ten days before the trial setting. Judges will grant expedited access to their motion calendar so that this time frame can be honored. Continuances sought on the day of trial will be subjected to strict scrutiny.

Discovery issues: In the event that a party needs to address a discovery issue, that matter should also be calendared no later than ten days prior to trial by contacting the judicial assistant. All parties are expected to exercise due diligence by seeking relief as soon as they should have realized that a discovery issue has arisen. Continuances sought on the day of trial for alleged discovery violations will be closely scrutinized.

The nolle prosequi of cases involving driver’s license issues: Many if not all judges will continue to utilize report calendars that enable defendants to produce a valid license with the hope of obtaining a dismissal of the charge by the Assistant State Attorney. Should defense counsel wish for their client to be placed on the report calendar it is recommended that they indicate such at the arraignment setting. Those not wishing to be placed on the report calendar will need to coordinate with the Assistant State Attorney in the relevant division if they wish to obtain a nolle prosse because of a valid license. The State Attorney’s Office has indicated that they are unlikely to nolle prosse at a trial setting if their witnesses have appeared so it is probably prudent for defense counsel to establish the existence of a valid license at least ten days prior to trial.

There are some additional changes that you will likely notice as we head into the new year:

· Judges will have the flexibility to set as many cases as they wish on their calendars and will no longer be constrained by the current setting cap imposed on such cases. It is hopeful that this will eliminate the need for a DWLS blitz in the future.

· Judges will be able to separate their calendar settings so as to set private lawyer cases, public defender cases and pro se cases at separate times and dates. This will reduce the time that lawyers, defendants and witnesses spend in court as they will only be summoned at a time when that particular type of case is set.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

not ALL ja's act like that by not answering the phone.. jeeez give us a break!

Anonymous said...

Now that you mention the Pando thing, think back.

Pando was good for the defense. The state hated her not for her bing late or being a bad person. They had no problems with her on a personal level.

They hated that she found almost everyone not guilty and that she granted motions.

Sam Slom actually plotted with the prosecutors to get rid of her. The emails between Slom and the Chief Judge were made public. Sam treated her like crap.

That is what really happened.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed lately that many judges, (Bloom, Fernandez and Saraphin and others) will not take attorneys out of order?

Boy does that make us late for the next courtroom.