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

Friday, July 31, 2009

NOT GUILTY WITH AN ASSIST FROM THE BLOG!!!

There are many ways we have, over the years, snatched innocent clients from the maw of the state. But suffice to say the comment below leads us to believe this is the first time we have ever contributed to a not guilty by virtue of our humble work here:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let the blog know how much I appreciated it the other day in court. Mid-trial, while questioning a state witness on what they said during a hallway interview in order to impeach them, the state vehemently objected to the line of questioning. The judge asks if I have any case law to show that I am allowed to continue down this line of questioning. I knew of the recent 3DCA case that said yes, but couldn't find it in my emails or westlaw and was scrambling. Then almost immediately, co-counsel and I just realized you "briefed" it on the blog when it came out, and a quick search of the blog allowed us to find the case, cite it to the judge, and continue on with our line of impeachment questions of the key state witness. Needless to say, the result was a Not Guilty, and I have to kind of believe the blog had a small hand in that. Thanks again.

Friday, July 31, 2009 7:14:00 PM


This comment certainly merited its own post, the controversy over Milt Hirsch notwithstanding.


And as to the NG, we'll take em anyway we can get em.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ALL MILT ALL THE TIME

(Almost all Milt all the time: Here's the DBR article on Brown/Lederman..et.al.)

The controversy rages on....what did Milt Hirsch say? When did he say it? Are the tapes admissible at any proceeding? Should they be? What about the disparity between Stallworth and Casey? Who is John Galt?

The best of the comments from the last two days:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

rappaport is partners with mike haber's mom. haber and milton share space.
more on this a bit later


Anonymous said...

i decent from rumpole
milt is not an great lawyer and will not be a fair judge to all. i hope he proves me wrong if elected

Rumpole replies: This much we know dear reader- you have not read any legal opinions and you have no hope of becoming a judge, much less a janitor in the courthouse. The word is "dissent".


Anonymous said...

So let me understand. Killing someone while you are driving a car drunk is worth 30 days. But lying about it to the cops, fleeing the scene and then the jurisdiction, not being cooperative and honest is worth 12 year and 4 months? Give me a break. This Stallworth case makes me sick.


intern hottie said...

I wrote in yesterday because I have a crush on an older lawyer. I find out today he is (sigh) married. I will not pursue him. I just have this weakness for older cuddly guys.
Any suggestions?

Rumple says: Anyone know who this "hottie" is? I think I fit the bill. I'm cuddly.


And with friends like these....

abe laeser said...

For what it is worth, I will respond to Rumpole's request to weigh in on the Hirsch quandary.
First of all, in all of the years I have known Milt, my initial duty has been to try to comprehend the intent of his words, while he is busy trying to prove that his GPA was completely earned [Yes, I saw it when the SAO hired him]. How in the world his client thought that he understood that he was being told to commit a crime and flee is beyond the realm of common belief.
Next, I look at the actual words printed in the New Times. Suggesting that the case was so strong against his client that he would have to go to the imaginary planet Vulcan [where Milt probably knows that his descendants lived] cannot be parsed to mean: I cannot defend your case. Go flee the jurisdiction.
In truth, Milt is a bit full of himself [think Graf Zeppelin] and I could not imagine him placing his grand view of himself in jeopardy for ANY client. I do not mean this as a slur, but some people do not care enough about their clients to step one inch over the line. Telling a killer to flee is beyond the pale.
Milt's level of self-assurance has often allowed me to rely upon his word. I cannot conceive of his acting in some way that might permit one to prove that he had fallen from the tower of perfection.
Finally, Milt denied, under oath, any improper advice to his client. The Judge accepted his testimony as truthful. A disgruntled client should not change how we all see Milt - with all his good and bad points [he actually is human], he is no liar.
Judge Glick ruled on admissibility and credibility. Now it is up to the investigators to determine if there is anything else to review. Rappaport's statements and Hirsch's are VERY different.
I see absolutely no reason to think that Milt should not be a Judge. Yes, a potential windbag - but a very bright one. One for whom I will both advocate and vote.


Anonymous said...

Milt is pompous and arrogant and his sense of humor is not what he thinks it is. Nevertheless, I give him the benefit of the doubt because he is a very knowledgeable lawyer. Clients falsely turning on their lawyers to better their own situation (especially in federal court) is nothing new.


And finally, file this under the "more information than we need" file:

Anonymous said...

Rumpole: Let me see if I can explain why a judge might not listen to the tapes before ruling on this motion:

Presumably (though it's not clear from the article) the postconviction motion is premised upon a claim ineffective assistance of counsel. In order to establish a right to relief, the defendant must meet a two-pronged test by showing:
1. Trial counsel's performance was constitutinally "deficient"; that is, his actions fell below an objective standard of reasonableness.
2. As a result of counsel's action (or inaction) the defendant suffered "prejudice." In the context of a plea (as opposed to a trial) this requires the defendant to establish a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's action, the defendant would not have entered a plea, but instead would have insisted on going to trial. (Defendant need not prove he would have prevailed at the trial, only that he would have insisted on going to trial as opposed to entering the plea.)
If a defendant fails to establish either one of the two prongs, his postconviction claim must fail. So, the judge could "assume" for the sake of discussion that Hirsch made the statements which the defendant claims Hirsch made (and which defendant recorded). Even if Hirsch made these statements, however, (and even if such statements are sufficient to establish the first prong of deficient performance), the court could find that the defendant failed to establish the prejudice prong. In this case, for example, the court could conclude that there is no way that Hirsch's statements (assuming they were made)affected the defendant's ultimate decision to enter a plea. After all, the defendant fled the country, was captured and returned to Florida, continued to have Hirsch as his attorney, entered a plea with Hirsch as his attorney, was sentenced, and only then did he raise this issue regarding statements Hirsch allegedly made. The defendant would have to establish that, but for the statements by Hirsch (i.e., encouraging him to flee)there is a reasonable probability that he defendant would not have entered a plea, but rather would have gone to trial. The court could have easily determined that the defendant cannot establish this, and thus rest on the failure to prove the "prejudice" prong, making it unnecessary to determine, as a matter of evidentiary fact, whether Hirsch did or did not make the statements.
As a practical matter, of course, this allows the trial court to avoid opening up the can of worms that would inevitably follow from listening to (and thus making public) the tape-recorded conversations (assuming that they are otherwise admissible).
Very often a trial court will make a decision on post-conviction relief based solely on a finding of no "prejudice" so that the court can avoid the thornier task of having to rule on whether trial counsel's performance was deficient. This saves face for the trial counsel and is a perfectly acceptable way to analyze a motion for postconviction relief when it is clear that the defendant cannnot establish prejudice.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MILT HIRSCH DUST UP


And see the update on the appeal Milt Hirsch defended in this case, below. 

Well, that is the first time this has ever happened: we started working on a post and thought we saved it only to later see it was on the blog. Well now you have an inside look at how we work. 

OK: The New Times story on Milt Hirsch is here: 

Basically a young man drove while impaired and killed an elderly woman. Milt found himself in the position we all find ourselves in- representing a nice person who committed a bad act where the lawyer finds himself or herself in the difficult position of telling the client there is not much they can do for them and that prison awaits. 

The client flees the country and is caught. The client returns and gets 12 years and in a motion for post conviction relief avers that Hirsch and the psychologist Hirsch recommended he see both urged the man to flee. The client and his mother surreptitiously recorded Hirsch and Dr. Rappaport. 
Judge Leonard Glick denied the motion and refused to listen to the tapes that the defense (David S Markus) claimed showed that Hirsch and Rappaport urged the client and his mother to flee the United States.  (There are two excellent lawyers in Miami both named David Markus. Our favourite federal blogger is David O Markus and he is NOT involved in the case with Hirsch. David S Markus is a former ASA who shared an office with Sy Gaer for decades. ) 

A couple of thoughts:

There's a Georgetown graduate sitting in jail facing a 12 year prison sentence for DUI manslaughter. He had no priors and had otherwise led a lawful and productive (albeit no TDs) life. How do you think he and his family felt when they saw a star football player (OK. he played for the Browns who have no stars, but still...) get 30 days for the same offense?

Put another way- Donte Stallworth got 4,353 days LESS than this young man for THE EXACT SAME CRIME. Yeah, those guidelines work real well. And the law is blind. Right.

Second, and to us this is the real issue: Did Judge Leonard Glick do the right thing in refusing to listen to the tapes which are alleged to show that Mr. Hirsch and Dr. Rappaport lied under oath, and conspired to have a defendant flee the jurisdiction?

A man is in prison facing 12 years. Why not at least listen to the tapes? There is no exclusionary rule for citizens. It seems to us Judge Glick was 100% wrong on this one. What are your thoughts?

If this was a death penalty case and the tapes were alleged to show that the defendant was innocent (which is not the issue here) would Judge Glick have acted differently? Would that change your opinion on the issue?

UPDATE: For those of you debating Milt Hirsch's performance in this case, it was brought to our attention that Milt was able to see a novel issue and actually obtain an order of suppression in this case, which was unfortunately reversed on appeal at State v. Casey, 821 So.2d  1187 
(Fla. 3rd DCA 2002).  The point is that the media article makes it appear Milt just took the case, waived a white flag and told the client to flee- which is certainly not the case. Milt litigated the case as hard as we would all expect him to do. 

Finally, and we break character here because this is such a sensitive and difficult issue:

I have had the same feelings Milt Hirsch is alleged to have advocated. (I am NOT saying Milt Hirsch said or did anything wrong).  In our business you meet all kinds of people. The most difficult cases are the ones where good people did a very bad thing- and perhaps in no other area of the law do you see this more than in DUI Manslaughter.  I have unfortunately had the difficult job of more than once  sitting down with a very decent person and explaining to them why I was recommending settling the case with a prison sentence.  In our profession you sometimes spend years meeting with and working with clients and their families. You see their children, their spouses, their elderly parents. And sometime you have to tell them that they need to go to prison. And it really is a painful conversation and I fully admit that on more than one occasion my feelings for my client have led to want to tell them to just flee. That prison is awful and will change them for the worse and better to live a free life as a janitor in a foreign land, then have your children visit you in a prison where it is a daily struggle to just survive.  I have never acted on these feelings, but I would be very surprised if they are not common among those in my profession. 

I have no idea what if anything Milt Hirsch said. He is an excellent lawyer and will, if elected, be an excellent Judge.  It would be wrong and illegal for him or any lawyer to counsel a client to flee.  I am just saying I understand the urge.  I hope this works out for him and his client. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS

UPDATE: North of the Border PD Howard (smile for the camera) Finkelstein's letter to Hollywood Police Department Chief Wagner - here.

DUI...Broward style:

The scene: A traffic accident in Hollywood, Florida.

A Hollywood police officer has apparently rear-ended a car being driven by a young woman.

This being North of the Border, the police are scheming to arrest the young woman and alter the accident report to reflect an accident more to their liking.

All dialogue is actual and taken from the transcript on the Broward Blog in
State v. Alexandra Torres, 09-004086MM10A and 09-14377TC10A:

Q. I ain't worried about the accident shit right now.

Let me get her a blow and get her sample. I know they are on

video. I hung her up to dry on that. She gets to the stop

light I mean she is telling me, well, she abruptly slams on the

brakes, blah, blah, blah.

So l ain' t too worried about that. I mean what i s the

chance of hitting a fucking drunk with a cat jumping out the

window. I think they should hold stars for her and I, that's

funny. (Unintelligible) only motherfucker __




Q. Yes. Just let me space the whole thing out. i will

do the narrative for you. I know how I am going to word this,

the cat gets him off the hook. .

I will write the narrative out for you. I will tell

you exactly how to word it so it can get him off the hook.



Q. i am going to show you something. We are going to

bend this a little bit.

A. Okay.

Q. Because she is drunk so it is what it is.

A. Hey, You are the expert.

Q. Well, I don't want to make things up ever, because

it's wrong, but if I need to bend ita little bit to protect a

cop I'm gonna. You see the angle of her car --

A. Yes.

Q. You see where it's like this?

A. Yes.

Q. As far as I am concerned I am going to word it she, is

in the left hand lane.

A. Okay.



(Rumpole: What happens next is that the officers, having agreed to doctor the accident report to hurt the defendant and help the officer now need to call over the officer who is taking pictures and get him/her on board so that the photographs don't inadvertently reveal the coverup and perjury.)


Q. Andre. (Unintelligible) Andre, come here a minute.

We'll do a little Walt Disney to protect the cop because it

wouldn't have matter because she is drunk anyway. You see the

angle of her car? You see where the collision is?

A. Okay.

Q. You have already taken photographs yes or no?

A. Yes.

Q. Well, is there any way -- this is what I want to

articulate that she was in this lane and cut over to this lane.

It was at the angle what I tried to do with my head on camera is

follow the cat. If the cat were to jump you could get to her

exactly. That's what I want.

A. (Unintelligible) .

Q. You don't have to get any pictures I need or any

whatever, because I don't want Joe to get any (unintelligible).

That's not fair to him. She is freaking hammered anyway.



Rumpole: Well there you have it- a DUI Broward style, with a little Walt Disney productions thrown in to hurt a defendant and help a fellow police officer.
The prosecution will probably want increased penalties for the defendant having the temerity of exposing the office and the officer to ridicule for catching them lying. Can't have defendants in Broward catching police officers lying or the next thing you know the officers will be forced to write the truth on police reports and then where will that leave the Broward SAO?

See you in court, just not up there for obvious reasons.



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?

A JUDGE WRITES IN

Play our Presidential trivia game, below:

Based on the email address, we're pretty sure this is a Judge, but there is no way to be 100% sure.

We received this email.

It's hot. No one wants to be working.
And apparently, tempers are running a bit short:

Dear Rumpole:

Would you print this on the blog? It might help make calendars run a bit smoother.

I don't like:

Attorneys who raise two fingers on each hand to indicate parenthesis when making an argument.

Attorneys who say to me "I'm sure you've read the case law" when they know damn well I haven't.

Attorneys who start by addressing the court with "judge this is the case where... (fill in the blank- "the man wearing a skirt broke into his neighbors house" ) as if I have been waiting all day for your case in which I remember every detail.

Bulletin- every case has their own unique set of facts. I don't remember any of them. Get to the point. The quicker the better.

Attorneys who make jokes. I have a big calendar. Get to it. If you think you can do standup go to an open mike at a comedy club. Don't try your routine with me.

Attorneys who text while I'm addressing their case. Stop multi-tasking for one damn minute.

Getting those stupid facebook emails. I'm not your friend and I don't want to be your friend. Stop adding me to your friend list. I won't respond.

Attorneys who try and impress me by announcing ready and then quickly adding that they may not be available because they're on standby with the US supreme court. If you need a continuance, just say so. I could care less where you have to be and the implication that the case before me is not that important really doesn't matter. I just want to do a decent job and close the case.

Thanks Rumpole. This has been brewing in me for a while. It's nice to blow off steam. Have a good weekend. We all read your blog you know.

Sincerely,

A robed reader.


Rumpole says: Glad to be of service.

If you've been reading the comments section this weekend and last week,
you have seen unfold a tale that appeals to prurient interests to say the least.
Let me make this very easy on all of you writing in: Under no circumstances
will I print any allegation, guess, allusion....whatever, that references the
names of the individuals in question. So let it go and drop it. Whether it's
true or not, subjecting people to embarrassing rumors like this is not productive.
The only way this would make the blog is if there was proof of a violation of
the code of ethical conduct for attorneys or judges, and an aggrieved
opposing party filed a complaint. Then it would be news and blog worthy.

NFL training camps open this week and it's time to start doing the intense
statistical analysis that allows us to be the premier football blog tout.

A little summer time trivia: This President's first name was Hiram.

See You In Court.


Friday, July 24, 2009

THE GATES ARREST

Update: Professor Gates and Sgt Crowley have accepted an invitation to the White House to sit down and have a beer. Politico reports here.

Rumpole notes: This is what makes this President different. He will do things like this.

Lets take a look at the Gates arrest.

What do we know?

1) A neighbor calls the police after she sees Gates on his porch with a backpack trying to open his door. An afro-american driver is assisting him. (With neighbors like these, who needs....)

2) The police arrive to a call of a burglary in progress. A white police officer sees a black man in the house. Gates is agitated and supposedly speaks sharply to the police officer, immediately raising the issue of race as the officer makes appropriate inquiries.

3) The officer does not arrest Gates for burglary or trespass. However Gates continues his verbal assault on the officer. The officer steps out of the house to get better communication with his department. Other officers arrive as Gates continues his disrespectful verbal comments towards the officer.

4) The officer then makes the standard arrest for disorderly conduct, with the ridiculous allegations that individuals, including other officers were stopping to gather and observe Gates as he continued yelling at the officer.

5) Gates committed no crime. But did he cause this, and what role if any did race play in this?

Lets switch the roles here and ask if a white professor, irate and upset at not being able to get into his house would have been arrested if he spoke in a similar manner to a black police officer? The answer is probably, but that does not mean race did not play a role here.

The answer to this contretemps is a complicated one.

Black men are unfairly targeted by police officers. That is a fact and Professor Gates' race did play a role in this incident, either from the neighbor calling or the officer being more on alert when he arrived when he saw Gates.

The real issue is the role of a citizen versus a police officer.
Aren't the police supposed to be trained to do their job and not let their emotions get the best of them? The title of the article links to a NY Times article on this issue.

In theory yes, but you try walking up to a cop and telling him to "go fuck himself" and see what happens. We don't recommend it, especially in most areas of Miami Beach, Hialeah, and the City of Miami.

It appears Professor Gates was having a bad day. He probably regrets over reacting to the police showing up. But isn't his home his castle? If wants to tell an officer to got to hell, can't he do it when he is lawfully in his home? The answer is yes.

Gates was arrested not just because he was black. Race played a role. But so did the lack of training in police officers who are supposed to understand that as regrettable as it is, not only is the possibility of losing their life every day a part of the job, but absorbing the ad hominem attacks of an upset citizen who has committed no crime and is having bad day is also part of the job.

We don't say Gates was right. We just say the officer was wrong.


Many years ago, having done an excellent job on cross examination during a motion to suppress, the lead officer approached us in the hallway of the courthouse. He was not happy the way we had treated him in court. (It's not pleasant we suppose, to have a judge repeatedly laugh at your answers.)

We told him in no uncertain terms that he was liar, not a very good one, and perhaps he should return to writing tickets, although we were not sure he would be very good at that.

The detective reached for his handcuffs. Several lawyers were watching. I reminded the detective, in a rather loud voice that by calling him a liar I was committing no crime, and there were many lawyers watching so he had better be careful what he did next. The detective's supervisor came over and grabbed him and led him away.

What we did was not smart. But the detective was a liar and deserved to be called one.

In the final analysis police officers do an extraordinarily tough job. They wake up every day and go to work to a job that may kill them. We understand that. We advise everyone to help make their jobs a little easier if possible. But all of that does not imbue them with some special status that places them above the constitution.

It's not against the law for a client to curse at his attorney (and we should know).
It is not against the law for a citizen to tell a police officer in no uncertain terms to get the hell out of his house, leave him alone, while hurling a few well chosen adjectives about the officer's ancestors. It's not nice and not advisable, but it's not a crime.

See you in court.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

3rd DCA ROUNDUP

UPDATE JOEL BROWN SWORN IN AS CHIEF JUDGE TODAY!!!
Someone screwed up and we didn't get our invitation. Nevertheless the theme of his speech "We're not Broward" *  was quite a hit we hear.

It's hot out. Nobody wants to work. Seems like a good time for our 3rd DCA round-up:

Echevarria v. State: That sound you hear are the nails being driven into the appellate issues over preemptory strikes by the 3rd DCA in this short, sweet, and decidedly state oriented opinion:

Affirmed. See Knight v. State, 919 So. 2d 628, 632 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006) (“A

trial court’s determination that a peremptory strike is genuine, rather than

pretextual, ‘will be affirmed on appeal unless clearly erroneous.’” (quoting

Melborune v. State, 679 So. 2d 759, 764-65 (Fla. 1996))).



Judge Tony Marin joins the wall of fame for denying a 3.850 motion and attaching relevant portions of the record to refute the allegations of the defendant. Now how hard is that to do?


Well, it was too hard for Judge Reemberto Diaz, who gets into the hall of shame for his failure to do just that in Gonzalez v. State.



*that wasn't really the theme of his speech, but it should have been.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

SEWAGE AND SLUDGE IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE

Who among us hasn't at some time of frustration cursed our little courthouse as a "sewer" and some of its inhabitants as "sludge" ?

Be careful what you ask for....because now comes word courtesy of a DBR article that budget cuts have had the unintended effect of "bumping" workers from their regular jobs into our clerks' office.

So now we have workers from the Department of Water and Sewer transfered into the REGJB because their union contract requires that they be moved rather than laid off.

Court: The clerk will quash the warrant.
Clerk: Wash what?
Court: Estreat the bond.
Clerk: Under the street?
Court: Forget it, I'm taking a bathroom break.
Clerk: Oh, I fixed the leak and cleared the line. Just jiggle the handle after you flush.

Or something like that....

The article details serious problems like the reassignment of Demetrius Hadley- a fifteen year veteran who ran the complex docketing division and essentially insured that the trains ran on time and the cases were timely set on calendar.

Hadley was replaced with a more senior supervisor who has no experience in docketing.

How would you like it if, say, you were in a car accident and after having been rushed to JMH, a podiatrist was assigned to the ER because the trauma surgeon had been bumped by someone with a longer tenure at the hospital?

That in a nutshell (and that's an appropriate word) is what is happening at our clerk's office.

Clerks do a thankless job. We often ignore them when they do everything right (99.9% of the time) and loudly blame them when something is fouled up.

Get ready for the foul ups.

We don't want water and sewer employees handling a calendar any more than we want a calendar clerk working on our sewer line. That would be as nonsensical as say....a lawyer who spent a career in civil court becoming a judge and being assigned to criminal court.

We'd never let something as stupid as that happen. Right?

See you in court.