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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

IS JAY KOLSKY MIAMI'S BUSIEST PD?

The 3rd DCA heard argument yesterday on the Miami Public Defender's motion to withdraw from representation of a client. The Assistant Public Defender in question- one Jay Kolsky- was labeled "Miami's Busiest PD", and the court considered the question of whether being busy, by itself, was sufficient to merit withdrawal of the attorney from representation. The Dade PDs got spanked, Judge Schwartz was in fine form, and the title of the article links to the DBR's coverage of the thrashing.

What's really going on here folks? Is it that Jay Kolsky is just so busy, and his compatriots are almost (almost, but not quite) as busy as Kolsky, so that no one could step in and help "Busy Jay" prepare his case?

We think not.

For some reason Quiet Carlos A/K/A Public Defender Carlos Martinez A/K/A Silent Charlie got a bee in his bonnet over the establishment of the Conflict Counsel Office. We have not been a big fan of the Conflict Counsel's office, which we view as the State of Florida's attempt to take the cheapest way out in the State's obligation to provide quality attorneys to indigent individuals. But what is clearly going on here is Martinez's attempt to squeeze the Conflict Counsel's Office by swamping them with cases to the point where they cannot perform their job properly.

Why would Quiet Carlos care? The budget for the Conflict Counsel shouldn't affect his budget, which as we all know, he won't talk about. We think- and this is pure speculation- that Quiet Carlos is carrying the water for his private defense attorney pals who made a living off of the appointment system, and now have seen their income drop precipitously through the creation of the office of the Conflict Counsel. No other explanation seems to fit as to why the mere existence of the Conflict Counsel's office bothers Silent Charlie so much.

Any thoughts?

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's actually a pretty fair take on things Rump. Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

it is a reckless accusation to make that Carlos is only doing this to help out private attorneys on what was once the wheel. I am a APD and after having our ethics training today from the Florida Bar, it is simply impossible for us to provide the representation required by the bar with our caseloads. Essentially, our ethics speaker told us that we need to quit our jobs or work on each case with the same effort. The latter is simply impossible.

Anonymous said...

See the Herald - What a sad case all around

Guilty verdict in murder of Florida police informant

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Martinez has a problem with the RCA office (and I don't know whether he does or not, my understanding of the basis of the offices litigation is that our PD office budget is insufficient to meet our obligation to our clients to provide them as individuals with meaningful, effective representation), but if he has a problem with the RCA office, I have no idea why you would assume it is because he is carrying water for private attys who want the court appt. system back. That conspiratorial theory would seem to have no evidence to support it. I personally absolutely believe that Carlos' motivations in all this are what he says they are--that he believes people accused of a crime by the state and whose liberty is threatened are entitled to a competent and meaningful defense. Speaking for myself and not my office or anyone else, I believe the RCA office as I've seen it operate has at times fallen short of providing even a minimally effective defense. It bothers me that this is the system we've been given by the legislature, I don't think its working. That is my own opinion. I don't know whether Carlos shares it or not, but I seriously doubt he is feigning concern about the rights of indigent defendants to try to line the pockets of private attorneys. I'm surprised you'd make that assertion.

Speaking of Carlos, he deserves credit along with a number of other PDs for leading the effort, now successful after a FL SC decision today, ending the shackling of children accused of crimes in FL.

a line PD

Anonymous said...

It's that time of year kids... Nominations for 2009's:

Best Judge
Worst Judge
Smartest Judge
"Not so smart" Judge
Best Looking Judge (male)
Best Looking Judge (female)
Best ruling
Worst ruling
Best scandal of the year

CAPTAIN said...

You're drinking way too much of the Miami River s/wine.

Anonymous said...

But under the wheel system, were all defendants getting quality representation? Hardly. Wheel attorneys fell into four categories:

1. Attorneys who used the wheel as a steady income stream but had private clients. Some of these were dedicated when SAPDs. Others tried to make a fast few bucks with as little work as possible.

2. Young attorneys just getting established, using the wheel to pay the bills while they established their practices. Many of these were quality attorneys. But there were some boobs.

3. Attorneys who were on the wheel out of a sense of responsibility. Almost all of these were good.

4. Attorneys who would not exist but for the wheel/court appointments. You know who these folks are/were. Four words--quality representation my ass.

Anonymous said...

More likely its C felony attorneys with 120-180 cases and 50-70 clients in custody...comes down to money. Florida is cutting costs and not giving the PD any money. That means attorneys aren't hired to handle the rise in cases, or if attorneys leave, there isn't enough money to hire replacements. So the case load rises. That results ineffective assistance of counsel. And its a pretty important right to have effective assistance of counsel.

Anonymous said...

Rump,

not to distract you from your continuous Scott Rothstein blogs. And maybe I am just a naive young defense attorney, but I read an article that the Orange County jail records Casey Anthony's meetings with her attorneys at the jail. The article was void of any comment on whether these videos contain audio. But in either event, it is reprehensible that this is being conducted in any case.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I agree with one. I guess the status quo is for public defenders to be ready for 20 or 30 cases every trial day, and that since this seems to work, what's the problem? From my view, a lawyer who announces ready for 30 cases can't be as prepared on those cases as one who announces ready for only 10, or only 2. What's wrong with then saying that the appropriate number of cases that an APD should have shouldn't be "as many as we can possibly squeeze in, until the system cracks" but instead base that number on some other, objective criteria?

Anonymous said...

Rump,

Good it be that he is concerned that he has too little money and too many cases?! Or that his lawyers are overworked and underpaid? The reality is that with the Republicans running this state (into the ground), money to represent "those criminals" is the last priority.

Anonymous said...

The party line is that Carlos won in the trial court and the district court. All you have to do is pull all the second c attorneys and take Kolsky's out of custody client files from him so he is handicapped. We hear that the Bars ethics attorney gave the PDO a lecture.

Anonymous said...

I have lots of thoughts. Perhaps we as a group should take a step back and focus on what is most important, the rights given an individual by the Constitution. Reflection is better than reaction.
I have no answers but perhaps Rumpole could volunteer to lead a roundtable discussion on how to fix the system, that is obviously broken.
Bob Pardo

Anonymous said...

The Public Defender's Office had an ethics lecture today? How long did that take - 5 seconds?

Ba-dum-bum. Thanks everyone. Please tip your waitress.

Anonymous said...

The problem is so obvious that of course you had to go hunting for a conspiracy. There's no money because we're in this thing called a recession. No money means that poor people don't get money for their defense. That means that Carlos can't pay for more lawyers to help said poor people and caseloads rise. What's really eating at all the pit lawyers is the loss of autonomy and the feeling that we're all mired in a huge ethical swamp, which could very well result in many of us being suspended or losing our licenses. This environment is born out of the lack of money.

Pit PD

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pardo, an excellent idea. If elected governor, I will establish a blue-ribbon comission to recomment suggestions. It will be chaired by Broward State Attorney Mike Satz and retired Broward Circuit Judge Robert Carney.

Anonymous said...

jay c. busy? give me a break...
think outside the box rumple. u missed this one by a foot. today,the office is run by social workers. the culture has changed from the good old days. to quote sugar ray taseff..." the good old days were not so good!"

rip pdo

Anonymous said...

and ps
bob pardo is a ham

Anonymous said...

Nice. Pardo steps up, makes a reasonable suggestion to address a serious issue and two guys make of him and/or insult him. And people wonder why nothing gets done.

To those of you complaining about the situation: Until you do something about these issues, you're, at best, a whiner, and, more accurately, part of the problem. Instead of bashing Carlos (and this includes you Rump, with all due respect), why don't you sit down with the man and offer some ideas? Carlos is a good guy (always has been). I'm sure he's as frustrated as you all are.

BTDT

PS---personally, I'm not overly sympathetic to the case load complaints. When I was with the SAO years back, case loads were much higher.

Anonymous said...

Aventura under water!!!

Anonymous said...

An ethics seminar at the public defender office?
ROTFLMAO.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Rump, time to give crdit where credit is due ......

Carlos Martinez and his office led the effort to end the shackling of juvenile defendants in our courtrooms around the State.

As many of you read already, the Florida Supreme Court weighed in on the issue this week and by a 6-1 vote, (with Justice Canady dissenting), they agreed that, except in specific instances, children should not be shackled.

You may not agree with all that goes on at the office of CM and the PD, but they do regularly take the lead in efforts to effect change in our criminal justice system.

Congrats to his office.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Memo to PDs: if you have too many cases, take the damn cts to Cocaine cases where the guy scores state prison; take PTI prior to trial date and 10 depos; take a wh to tampering cases instead of pulling a panel; make counter offers (you'd be surprised how willing we are to give you most of what you want). You don't like you case loads of 100+, I don't like mine of 350+, let's work together and close this stuff out. And no I'm not talking about prison for everyone, but give us reasons for your guy to get probation. I dont know your client, don't want to, but if you can give me insight into why probation will work, or maybe just cts, then by all means, talk. Now if you'll excuse me I have to prep a DWLS-HTO trial.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

I have read your blog and I really like your stories. I wanted to write to ask you something. I’ve been told that you are smart and honest, and if you say it, it is true. So here goes: Is there really a Santa Claus?

Carolina
_________

Dear Carolina,

You can’t be serious. Santa Claus? The nest question will be about the Tooth Fairy. I know because I’ve carefully asked and researched this very question for several years. There is far too much pain and trouble in this world to consider the answer to your question. We are a group of beings that do not consider simple manners important, not to mention the harm we cause each other.

Just look at newspapers and read all these bad things you know exist. You are looking through a glass darkly -- although there may be a flicker of hope if you took the time to ask that questions. And I must concede that if you have asked, then you have sense of wonderment -- and that is good. You see, Carolina, the absolute worst is not that you cannot find an answer, but that you have lost the ability to ask the question. And that would be true sadness.

Perhaps, we create by asking, since that is really a wonder about tomorrow -- and isn’t that the definition of hope -- that tomorrow will be better than today?

Carolina, if you believe, then it is so. For all the pestilence this world can throw at us cannot erase a true belief in hope. And this, my dear young lady, is really the meaning of Christmas, the New Year, and of the holiday season. Please forget my previous answer, for when you ask, then it is so. And all the angels in heaven and earth will hold you and bless you. Please believe and kiss each and every loved one. Let a tear of joy come into your eye and know that they and you are special.

Sincerely,
Francis P. Church, III

Anonymous said...

No, not fair.

Carlos has no duty to speak to this blog. Get off his back and get real.

If you really know Carlos Martinez you would know that this post is not true and not fair.

Anonymous said...

http://www.discourse.net/archives/2009/12/running_while_black.html

Anonymous said...

how much money was saved by the creation of RCC? Is it much cheaper than the old SAPD system

Anonymous said...

I don't think any lawyer, PD or private, has a duty to take CTS just because it's offered, or the W/H, or the none guideline sentence. Sure, these are good offers, but any plea is still an admission of guilt, and some of our guys aren't guilty. And the amazing thing is, I usually can't tell who is and who isn't just by looking at the person. (Or just by looking at the rap sheet.) Now, I can spend three hours a day conveying CTS pleas with the caveat "I haven't done anything on your case, but you can take this if you want..." but I don't really see that as being a lawyer, or certainly as being the sort of lawyer you can be proud of. Any monkey can convey a plea, you don't need a law degree. What makes a lawyer helpful isn't the act of conveying, it's the advice that goes with it. And I think, underneath it all, that advice is what disappears as these caseloads get higher and higher.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole is bored.

Anonymous said...

i became a p.d. to fuck with the state and cops, because the justice system is a travesty and i have a problem with authority. i don't have to chase clients for money, schmoozing with a-holes i really can't stand is kept to a minimum, and i don't mind working hard, because ultimately, working hard is how you perfect your craft. most pds would love thier job if they had an extra 10000 a year to pay loans back. its all about the $$. its hard to stay positive when your cards are maxed and cant pay the bills.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:13 ASA,
Here's a counter offer - Why don't you tell your office to stop filing the bullshit tampering cases, etc. Why should any client take cts on a case you can't prove just to make your caseload go down. By the way, defense and state are on opposite sides. We're going to keep pulling panels and kicking your ass. Have fun "prepping" those DWLS case. It's real hard to pull a driver's license record and ask "What happened next?"

Anonymous said...

I certainly understand the criticism of the ASA. BUT, I think some of the criticism misses a valid point. Oftentimes defense attorneys reject offers to get paid (waiting for "Mr. Green") or because that's what they think they're supposed to do (typically young PD's and private lawyers). There's nothing wrong with rejecting offers to prep cases, but, as the ASA so inartfully put it, that's often not the case.

It's easy to criticize prosecutors when you haven't been one. When I was an ASA, I was lied to on a regular basis until I started handling homicides. Then a funny thing happened ...... virtually every defense attorney I worked with (with one exception) played it straight. I often thought about that. I came to the conclusion that when the attorneys understand the seriousness of the cases, the implications for defendants and victims, and take each other seriously, things get done the way they should.

If the young ASAs and defense attorneys would stop jerking each other around and do a better job assessing their cases, a lot of this nonsense (including the high caseloads) would go away.

BTDT

PS---all the nonsense bluster and threats to kick ass in court are just that. Nonsense. We deal with peoples' lives here; there's no place for silly posturing by attorneys on either side. The truth is both sides would find the job a lot easier and more fun if everyone would settle down and be more respectful of one another. Ask an homicide attorney (from either side of the aisle)......they'll tell you I'm right (with some of exceptions on both sides, of course).

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is Carlos Martinez couldn't try a damn dropsy case if he tried. Rory Stein hasn't met a danish he didn't like and hasn't tried a case in years. All while Weed is still making 100g running the bond hearing unit.

Basically nothing at all has changed since the days of sleepy Brummer. A lot of good pit PD's
working there ass off making 40/50k and a lot of waste at the top end.

Anonymous said...

I have asked KFR to arrest Rumpole before the Christmas Holiday.

Criminal Offense: 836.02 Must give name of the party written about.--

(1) No person shall print, write, publish, circulate or distribute within this state any newspaper, magazine, periodical, pamphlet, or other publication of any character, either written or printed, wherein the alleged immoral acts of any person are stated or pretended to be stated, or wherein it is intimated that any person has been guilty of any immorality, unless such written or printed publication shall in such article publish in full the true name of the person intended to be charged with the commission of such acts of immorality.

(2) Any person convicted of any violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who shall aid in any way in the writing or printing of any literature in violation of this section shall be punished in the same manner as the principal might be punished upon conviction; provided, nothing in this section shall apply to mechanical employees in printing offices, or to newsboys.

Anonymous said...

Is Carlos' term up yet? Don't know how much longer us PD's can take of this shit. What will it take for the fat man on the 5th floor to leave office. Where have you gone Bennett?

old guy said...

I really like Jay -- but BUSIEST?

Stop smoking that dope, it kills brain cells.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think its a very difficult job; aint no one gonna be happy.
DS

Pick Em Paulie said...

Yuck- another 2-3 week, which leaves our record at 33-34-3 for the year. Very frustrating, but on we press. Think we see something in SEA/TB, so we took the side and the total.
Dont know who the Suicide pool players took, but good luck to them as well. Quite a run for them.

Each play for $500.00

CLE/KC Under 37
St. Louis +12.5
Seattle -6.5
SEA/TB Under 39.5
Washington +3

2009 Record
33-34-3 49.25% -$2200

Anonymous said...

7:55 Tampering?? How about the BS, Attempted Purchase of Cocaine??? So a defendant starts jonesing, gives a dirty cop $10, and he's now committed a felony? Give me a break, pop the dealer, not the addicted and desperate user.

Anonymous said...

Yo, yo, Sunday, December 20, 2009 9:28:00 AM

I don't have a problem with the arrest if the State and law enforcement are using the charge to get the addicted drug user to flip the dealer. Otherwise whats the point?!?

The law should be amended; That any user who cooperates with Police in gaining the arrest of the dealer, shall have his/her charges dismissed on motion to the court. Failure to cooperate results in prosecution.

Anonymous said...

RUMPOLE
HOW can you do a good job representing a client when all you can devote to their case is 20 minutes a week? 45 hours a week divided by 140 cases = 18.6 minutes a week. 50 hours divided by 160 cases = 18.75 minutes a week per case. That is a depo and phone call on a "C" case
D. Sisselman

Anonymous said...

Come on Sisselman. Your analysis makes no sense. APD's and ASA's spend no more than a minute or two on some of these cases (and, frankly, there's nothing wrong with that). Anyone worth their salt knows which cases need work and which ones don't.

Besides, not every case gets worked every week. When I was a prosecutor, I worked with many APD's who never saw 5 pm in the office (and many ASA's, unfortunately). I don't buy the case load complaints.....the case loads were MUCH higher when we were young attorneys in County Court (remember those old DUI calendars where we had 25 DUI's set for trial every day in County Court, excepting Fridays?) and just as high in Circuit Court (if not higher). Many of these guys just don't want to put in the effort their clients (defendants/victims) deserve. Exacerbating the problem are judges who don't know how to move things (not all judges, but we know who the problem ones are).

BTDT

PS---before anyone misinterprets this as an attack on the PDO, it's not. I like Carlos and believe that the PDO is home to many fine attorneys, as is the SAO. That said..........Unfortunately, both offices have more than their fair share of slackers and always have (though I think it's gotten worse over the years).

Anonymous said...

PS----I also don't want my post to be read as an attack on you Sisselman. I've always had a lot of respect for you. Happy holidays.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

the older lawyers at the sao are way better then the old time slackers at the pdo. it's not even close if we are being honest and you know the players...