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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

NfL WEEK EIGHT

For the rest of the NFL it's week 8. In Miami and here in NYC it's Dolphins/JETS...and that's a big deal.

The visiting Dolphins are getting 4 points from gang green. The Dolphins have been our saviour this year, and we're going to ride them for all they are worth. 400 Henne's Dolphins+4. Let's get this out of the way so there is no confusion: we don't like Ny's hotog eating, Brady-like pretty boy QB and his band of green wearing misfits and we look forward to a long and hateful relationship. We feverently hope Joey Porter hits him so hard he wakes up thinking his back in California, where he belongs.

The Broncos are not for real. I don't care what their record is. No team quarterbacked by Kyle Orton is any good. Ravens at home -3 +400 Flacco's.


Giants at Eagles. This is the game of the day, considering the Philly fans have the opportunity to go to an NFL game at one, and a world series game at 8. Fun fact- the last two meetings between these teams had a combined score in each game of 34 (23-11 Eagles and 20-14 Eagles). In 4 out of the last 5 games the combined score has been 34 twice, 29, and 19, with one 67 last year just for fun.

The total here is 45, and we like the under for 300 CC Sabathias. Update: There's a 70% chance of rain in Philly, Giants WR Maningham is questionable. We raise our wager to 600 Sabathias.

Anonymous Pick Em Paulie said...

Okay, another good week last week as we go 3-1-1 to finally get over the .500 mark and back in the black. 7-2-1 last two weeks. Lets keep the streak going. Good luck to Rump, as well.

Each bet for $500.00.

DEN +3.5
CLE/CHI over 40
Indy -11.5
Miami +3.5
NO -10

2009 record
18-16-1 52.94%
+$200.00


SUICIDE POOL
Iftikhar Memon: Colts; Rick Freedman: Chargers; Peter Sautter: Colts; Daniel Tibbitt: Chargers.


Long day ahead in NYC. See ya at the finish line.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN



HAPPY HALLOWEEN


Here is one of our favourite presidential trivia questions that popped up on Final Jeopardy Friday Night:

Name the only president who has the same double letter occurrence in their first and last name : The double letters must be in order- for instance if you answer Theodore Roosevelt you would be wrong because while there are two "O"'s in Theodore, they aren't double in the same way they are in Roosevelt.

Hint: This president is named in an Odd Couple episode. Double bonus- why was this president named by Felix in an Odd Couple episode?



Friday, October 30, 2009

AYN RAND IN THE NEWS

Ayn Rand's revenge? Read Adam Kirsch's review of Anne C Heller's new biography: "Ayn Rand And the World She Made." The title links to the NY Times Book Review.
We have traversed a long journey with Ms. Rand and her ideas. How about you? Who is John Gault?


SAO POLICY.
The comments for the last few days have been rife with opinions on the SAO's policy, for the moment limited to small traffic cases, of informing attorneys of the existence of police reports, and leaving it to the attorneys to go get the reports themselves.

A few thoughts.

1)The State apparently is within their rights to do this.
2)Be careful what you ask for, because you may get it.

The system we have works best when there is cooperation between opposing counsel in moving the discovery process along. At the moment, the prosecutor's office appears to be just shifting the burden for budgetary reasons to the clerk's office, which is equally understaffed with budget issues to handle the increased requests for copies of files.

There must be a better way.

First of all technology should be utilized. Many reports can be scanned and posted for downloading, or the state could accept emails for requests that items be provided via email. If you accept that the prosecutor's office will have to dedicate personnel for monitoring attorneys who want to review and copy files, why not use those employees to scan and email the items instead?

Second- there is a big difference between a traffic print out- which can be shared in court- and a police report that may contain exculpatory material. We have no problem with a traffic print out not being provided, but the reports should be.

Third- the issue should be prioritized. If this first small step is not the thin edge of a larger wedge in which the prosecutor's office is going to incrementally stop providing all reports, then defense attorneys need to draw the line now and defend it.

But if the state is trying to save money on cases that routinely do not go to trial or can be tried without a lot of discovery, then it's probably a good idea.

Fourth: What we did not see was any cooperative effort on the part of the prosecution. Unilateral decisions (even if you have the power to make them) that effect a lot of people and upend a system that has been in place for decades are not the right way to approach the problem. The FACDL has a committee of hot shot county court lawyers who should have been consulted, along with the judges. This would have created the ability to reach a decision in which all parties were a part of. If someone feels part of the solution, they will not cause a problem.

Our sources tell us there is another county court blitz next week. Judge Slom should be hired as the defensive coordinator of the Ravens.

We're in NYC, carbo loading and strapping on the shoes. One last time. Wish us luck.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NEW SAO POLICY?

WE RECEIVED THIS EMAIL:
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a PD in county court, I am getting those discovery notices on all my cases...crimes and traffic...they basically list witnesses who may be called at trial and then say we can go view and copy the rest of discovery at the SAO, thursdays and fridays between certain hours...total bullshit...i never thought the SAO would stoop this low!


OK FACDL- TIME TO STEP UP AND DO YOUR STUFF. YOU GUYS GOING TO ALLOW THIS BS?

PHIL DAVIS IS BACK! SEE BELOW.

Is there some sort of new half baked policy by the State Attorneys Office (motto: give us a minute and we'll have a new policy on that) in which the prosecutors are now refusing to provide police reports with discovery?

We haven't run into it- but several people have mentioned it to us, and we are now receiving emails on this.


IS FORMER JUDGE PHIL DAVIS ON TRIAL?

According to some sources, former and disgraced Circuit Judge Phil Davis is starting trial before Judge and noted judicial conciliator Beatrice Butchko for the white collar fraud case he got pinched on in 2005.

We have a prediction: before this thing ends Davis will be wondering "Alcee Hastings where are you?"

For those of you relatively new to the REGJB, Phil Davis was a defense attorney who ran for circuit judge and won the election. (bonus trivia question: What federal prosecutor did he beat in a run off?)

Once elected, Davis was, to put it mildly acting erratically while on and off the bench. It turns out he had a few problems- he was abusing controlled substances and was caught up in the infamous Courtbroom judicial fraud case.

Judges Davis, Sepe, and Shenberg, went to trial in federal court. Judge Roy T Gelber was the flip. (second trivia question- who represented Sepe and Shenberg ?)

Alcee Hastings, a former federal judge himself who was impeached, represented Davis. He did a hell of a job. Davis was acquitted despite a mountain of evidence against him. Hastings then ran for congress when new district lines were re-drawn and won and has been serving ever since. Life is indeed stranger than fiction.

Harvey Shenberg, a county court judge, was convicted of among other things, selling the name of a confidential informant he was led to believe would be killed. As the FBI cameras rolled, Shenberg stuffed $50,000 in cash down his pants at a park and lamented how hard it was to put a kid through college on a Judge's salary. We heard Shenberg was recently released after serving almost 18 years.

Al Sepe's was not decided at the first trial. We seem to remember there was a hung jury. Eventually Sepe pled out to some federal felony, did a year, and faded into Miami obscurity.

Any updates on the Davis trial will be appreciated.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEDDY



Happy birthday to our 26th President. Writer, outdoors man, environmentalist,  solider,Police Commissioner of NYC, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor,  amateur practitioner of taxidermy, advocate of the strenuous life,  buster of trusts and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. 


Here is an excerpt from my favourite speech that he gave. It is from his speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, France. Given on April 23, 1910, it has come to be famously known as the "Man in the Arena Speech." Every trial lawyer should carry a copy of this with him/her. It helps to read after the losses. 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


Roosevelt is my favourite president and ranks third on Rumpole's list of greatest presidents. (c) 2007 all rights reserved. 

 

Monday, October 26, 2009

MORE FUN WITH OUR JUDGES

David O Markus broke the good news. 11TH Circuit upholds Judge Cooke's dismissal of one count against Ben Keuhene.  The opinion is here. Lets hope this gives the prosecution the cover it needs to dismiss the rest of the charges 

Our Judges at work and play: What exactly has caused this dustup of emails and internecine squabbling and cackling?

Here is part of the Judge Cueto email that started it all:


On Thursday, October 2, 2009, the Chief Judge informed some members of the Criminal Division that he was retroactively putting into effect a merged seniority list of county and circuit judges for purposes of division assignments. (I know that many of you have not heard about this.) The present chief judge related that he was correcting what he felt was a wrong committed by Judge Farina by not implementing the findings of a committee of judges, when Judge Farina did not merge the seniority of the county and circuit judges for purposes of division assignments. This committee met 8 or 9 years ago.

Rumpole notes: Judge Cueto was not happy with Judge Brown's decision. And it all has to do with Judge Brown assigning a coveted (??) spot in the REGJB criminal division to newly minted circuit court Judge Tony Arzola and passing over Judge Cueto. While Cueto has been a CIRCUIT judge longer than Arzola, Arzola has been a Judge (at the county court level before being elevated) longer than Cueto, and there's the rub: does seniority transfer with a promotion?

Yes folks, rather than spending time writing scholarly articles on the application of the exclusionary rule, or new developments in death penalty litigation, or the pros and cons of drug court and treatment versus prison, our Judges are consumed by a much more personal matter: who gets the better courtroom, parking spot and chambers? Sad, isn't it?

Lets examine the legal reasoning of one of our esteemed jurists.
Cueto writes:

1. Seniority rights are rights protected by law and are held personally,not collectively.
I have serious doubts that anyone can have a vote to deprive anyone else of her or his rights.

Rumpole says: kudos to Judge Cueto for identifying the individual versus collective aspect of the contretemps. However, has Judge Cueto read any case law, like Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)? Is he familiar with the concept of eminent domain? In our society the collective can almost always vote to deprive the individual of "rights". Sorry Judge C- while we're with you on this one philosophically (and to bolster your arguments you might want to pick up a copy of Ayn Rand's "Philosophy, Who Needs It?") there are hundreds if not thousands of examples of rights being voted away.

Cueto continues:

2. I believe that Judge Farina’s decision not to implement this revised seniority scheme based on the committee’s finding creates an estoppel of the present chief judge’s action. In fact, Judge Farina specifically decided to apply the merged seniority plan for purposes of chamber and parking assignments, but not division assignments....

3 To retroactively implement rules or laws appears to be anathema to our legal and social tradition. It especially appears so, when the rule to be implemented is based on a stale finding by a committee of people who met years ago and the judges affected were never allowed the opportunity to vote on the issue.

More from "Cueto On Rights": What Judge C is saying in so many words is "precedent sucks when it hurts your argument." Join the club Judge Cueto. Trying arguing a motion to suppress these days with the precedent of the last twenty years.

Cueto:
I believe that the merger of seniority of county and circuit judges is fundamentally flawed. While we are both judges, these positions are distinct constitutional offices subject to a different electoral mechanism, with different jurisdictional matter, duties, responsibilities and pay scales.

This one is easy. What Cueto is saying in so many words is this: "I'm a circuit judge and you're not. I'm more important than you." On this one, Judge Cueto has an important and vocal ally in Judge Reemberto Diaz, who "could care less what a county court judge thinks about seniority", and has said so publicly for attribution.

Cueto closes with this erroneously mixed metaphoric mishmash:

This community has had its faith and trust in its institutions sorely tested, and I do not want to bring any negative publicity to our branch of government (umm..strike ONE!) , which is still held in regard by the community (strike TWO!). It has also been suggested that a letter to Chief Justice Peggy Quince may be appropriate. However, I want to see if we can air our own laundry before we involve anyone outside of our judicial family. (Strike three. Put down the key board. You're out.)

Memo to Judge C: What you meant to write is that you want to see whether you judges can wash your own dirty laundry- instead what has occurred is what you didn't want to happen: You have aired your collectively soiled sheets, and it has been ugly.

Also, you might want to open your eyes: for better or worse that part of the community that works closest with the judiciary (if our comments are to be believed) holds you all collectively with as much esteem as George W Bush at a used car salesman convention.


Rumpole reminisces:

Harold Solomon. Tom Carney. Herb Klein. Tom Scott. Phil Knight. And perhaps the greatest of them all: Ed Cowart. It's hard to imagine those distinguished jurists engaging in this kind of petty behavior. The sad part is that most of these Judges, who couldn't hold a candle to those Judges, don't even know who those Judges were.


We received this email from a robed reader who asked us to print it but keep his/her identity a secret. *

"Rumpole, in the final analysis, this sums it all up: It's a sad day for the 11th Judicial Circuit when the Judges in Broward are laughing at us. And they are. See YOU in court. Your faithful robed reader."


*Put down your public records request Nesmith. They sent it through a personal email account.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NFL WEEK SEVEN

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have not been able to properly analyze this week's games. However, we are prepared. We asked several hard working and well respected jurists to sit in for us this week and make guest picks. We're sure you'll find this to your liking.


Judge Cueto: " I took a week off to assess and digest the impact of the lines in today's games. While there is nothing ad hominem in this monograph, I herewith suggest the following:

Atlanta at Dallas: Several years ago our learned and wise colleague Bob Scola was asked to take a look at this same matchup. While Dallas has been in the league much longer than the Falcons and deserves the respect due seniority, I choose the Falcons, +4 for 500. "

Judge Pinero: "Chicago at Cincinnati seems like a nice matchup. Are the Bengals for real? We'll find out. Bears +2 +300 apple pies."

Judge Adrien: " I'm just happy you asked me. Are the Knicks playing? "

Judges Faber & Diaz. "Hello hello hello! It's your favourite pair of NFL watching, comedy club attending, room redecorating, email sending Judges!!!!!"

Faber: "The Dolphins are wearing orange today. That really clashes".
Diaz: "Oh, like I really care what a County Court Judge says about a team's uniform? Not!"

Judge Butchko: "Remember- we're all friends here. Try and pick the games and get along."
Judge Miller: "F'em. Just give em the max. We can do that, right?
Can I fax my picks? May I just say that in retrospect my decision to favor the use fax machines over emails seems very wise, does it not?"

Judge Adrien: "Ummm....The Cubs? "

Faber: "Have you seen those Denver throw back uniforms? Who is their fashion designer? "
Diaz: "What is it with you wanting to know everyone's fashion designer? Just pick a game and shut up."

Judge Jimenez: "I wrote a letter to the State attorney about picking games."

Judges Faber and Diaz: " Julio- you got screwed worse than Nesmith did at the Herald."

Faber: " I think the Giants in their cute blue uniforms at home over Arizona -7 are worth 200 Coconuts comedy club tickets"

Diaz: " And I think the Saints will shred the Dolphins secondary worse than I shredded you in the DBR. New Orleans -7 +200"



SUICIDE POOL
Daniel Tibbitt: New England; Rick Freedman: Colts; Iftikhar Memon: J...E....T....S; Peter Sauter: New England.

Friday, October 23, 2009

OUR JUDGES AT WORK

SEE THE UPDATE BELOW. AND THERE'S MORE AT THE BOTTOM!

FILE THIS UNDER TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

Our intrepid reporter, late of the Herald, Oh Susannah Nesmith, is at it again, this time with a DBR expose on the emails of the Judges of the Justice Building. The title links to the emails.

Apple Pie at 10 paces to solve a fight? See the email from Judge Rob Pinero.

Law suits over seniority ? See Judge Cueto's email.

But here's the best email- and we reprint it for you in whole:

FROM: Diaz, Reemberto
Sent: Friday October 16, 2009
TO: Faber, Robin, Cueto, ALL JUDGES

Mr. Faber: In the past few weeks I have received three (3) Unsolicited emails from you. Let me respond in the order they were received:

1. NO. I don't know an interior decorator to recommend to you;
2. NO. I don't want to buy comedy tickets from you.
3. NO. I'm not interested in your misguided opinion about the Chief Judge's decision. This is not Craig's list nor a blog. Have a good day.

From Rumpole:
TO: Reemberto Diaz; Robin Faber; All Judges

In RE: Unsolicited emails.

1. I WANT to buy comedy tickets in the form of being able to read the emails you guys send back and forth to each other while on the bench whilst I'm in front of you trying to get you to grant (unsuccessfully, especially you Judge Diaz) a motion to suppress.

2. Just What does Judge Faber think is wrong with Judge Brown. Pleaseeeeeeee?

3. When Judge Diaz sniffed that the email system was "not a blog" was he thinking about any blog in particular perhaps?

4. We thought EVERYBODY went to Reemberto Diaz for recommendations on an interior designer? Isn't he known as the Martha Stewart of Criminal Court?

UPDATE: Just when we thought our readers couldn't be any funnier, comes this quickie website thrown together by some anonymous reader. Lets decorate together!

Boy this stuff is priceless. You just can't make this up.

More highlights: Judge Butchko as a conciliator. Basically writing to her colleagues (under the greeting "Dear Friends") "Why can't we all just get along?"

Judge Cueto- one wonders if his response to the seniority system stems from his mistreatment by the other judges....AND are the other Judges, including the chief judge mistreating him because of his abilities (or lack thereof) he propensity to run off at the mouth and say stupid things, AND is the chief judge giving him crappy assignments and USING the seniority system as an excuse?


Memo to Judge Brown: You can't hide this guy forever. Send him to probate.

INFORMAL POLL: Click on the title to the post and read the emails and then vote for your favourite Judge's email. The winner will receive a certificate from Rumpole suitable for framing. Our vote: The irrepressible Mr. Nice Guy- Reemberto Diaz and his gentle missive to Judge Faber.

I JUST COULDN'T RESIST THIS:




On October thirteenth Robin Faber was asked to remove himself from his chambers. That request came from his chief judge . Deep down he knew he was right. But he also knew that someday he would return. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the chambers of his childhood friend, Reemberto Diaz. Can two judges with huge egos share a chambers without driving each other crazy?"







3rd DCA ROUNDUP

Tunis reversed edition.

The big case that made the paper was Arias v. State, in which Judge Tunis was reversed for refusing to allow the defense to enter evidence from The ME that the deceased had alcohol and cocaine in his system prior to his fateful encounter with the defendant.

Here are the facts: The Defendant is a hard working security guard licensed to carry a firearm. Before the incident the Defendant was planning on taking his disabled daughter and a friend to a relative's house so he could go to work. The deceased, high on alcohol (.21) and cocaine, had illegally parked his car so the defendant could not drive out of his parking space and get to work.

There was a confrontation. The defendant told the deceased he was armed and should walk away. The deceased ripped off his shirt and began walking toward the defendant in a threatening manner. The defendant killed the deceased.

If ever there were facts of a case that would cause me to shed my anonymity and defend someone for free, it is the facts of this case.

Read the opinion to see the prosecutor's cross examination of the defendant. It is horrible. I don't know how that prosecutor can sleep at night. Here is what the 3rd DCA said of the cross:

Further, the State’s parting shot was to make it appear that the

defendant’s testimony that the victim “was acting crazy like on cocaine” was just

an assumption. Of course, the State knew that the toxicology results (excluded on

the State’s motion) confirmed the defendant’s observations. This cross-

examination was totally improper. Because this cross-examination deprived the

defendant of a fair trial, we must reverse for a new trial.



Prior to the trial beginning the state had successfully moved in limine to prohibit the defense from introducing the toxicology results during trial. The 3rd DCA also reversed this ruling:
The next question to be considered is whether the trial court erred in entering

the order in limine. We conclude that, so long as the defendant takes the stand and

testifies to his observation of the intoxication of the victim, the toxicology results

are admissible.



This case stands for the proposition that when a deceased is acting irrationally and it turns out the deceased was intoxicated on alcohol and cocaine, and the defendant testifies to observing the irrational behavior, the toxicology results are admissible.


According to Professor Ehrhardt, “The conduct of the victim is

material under the substantive criminal law only in a few situations. The most

common situation is when the defense asserts that the accused acted in self-

defense.” Charles W. Ehrhardt, Ehrhadt’s Florida Evidence, § 404.6 at 207 (2009)


The defendant was a hard working man. One assumes he has no prior record because he held a security guard license to carry a firearm. It appears he was a dedicated father of a disabled child. The deceased was-at least on this day- an intoxicated lout who cared not one whit for the rights of hard working and law abiding citizens. The prosecution indicted the defendant for first degree murder! First degree murder.

This prosecutor looked at this case and decided this defendant planned to kill this lout and deserved to spend the rest of his life in jail, despite the fact that all the objective evidence showed that on the day of the incident all the Defendant wanted to do that day was take his daughter to a relative and go to work to support his family.

Something is very very wrong with the way this case was handled.


That's all for the 3rd DCA today. This case is enough for one day.

PS: Congrats to Robert Kalter of the PDs office for winning this one. It must be a great feeling to know he used his legal skills to help save the life of a man who deserves saving.






Wednesday, October 21, 2009

JUDGE KASTRENAKES

Former Dade ASA and Former Southern District of Florida AUSA John Kastrenakes was sworn in last week as a Circuit Court Judge in West Palm Beach.

The Palm Beach Blog via Grey Tesh has all the coverage here, including speeches by former Dade Chief Assistant State Attorney C Michael Cornely, and former AUSA and current Federal Magistrate John O'Sullivan.

John's biggest state case? Has to be the prosecution of Joyce Cohen with Kevin Digregory.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

LEGAL SPAM

This lawyer appears to be engaging in spam. This comment keeps arriving in our in box and we have heard through the blogger grapevine that this comment is appearing on other blogs.

Is this type of spam ethical? Should something be done to stop this lawyer? At the very least people should call him and let him know our dander is up:

Great Article and informative. Thanks for sharing. I know its not really relavant, but I have been following your blog for some time and I had an amazing thing happen to me today. I got a speeding ticket two months ago and I gave it to the Traffic Ticket Team, www.trafficticketteam.com, who's main
Lawyer Jason A. Diamond did a speeding traffic ticket for me and he was amazing.
He got my ticket dismissed. I know you are thinking, who cares. But I was so freggin amazed, I feel like I need to tell the world to never pay a traffic ticket again. It's so empowering to have a way to tell the cops, you are not all that. Anyway, enough soap boxing, If you ever get a traffic ticket, call Jason Diamond (954) 967-9888 his office and staff were great.
Sincerely,
Doug Johnson



Tales From The Blitz:

We received this email:

Rumpole: Ola from ground zero, County Court- The Blitz!

Most of the big defense guns are out in force: Randy "the ticket machine" Maultash; Hochman and Goldman; Tony for Hidnert; Vic the Mad Russian; Bob Baker - and all their minions. There is a consortium of sorts- the big ticket guys all got together and each took a courtroom and handled all the cases of the consortium, so they wouldn't have to go running from court to court. This iced out the coverage lawyers but so far everyone is happy.

Things are going fairly well. Lots of cases are getting resolved and the new fad among the cops is to show up in court and then say they don't remember the case. The cops avoid getting into trouble for not showing, but once they check in they can leave and don't have to wait around.

The Judge are pretty ok about this. Some Judges are still a stickler for the damn written rights waiver form and some judges are giving the prosecutors forever to wait until dismissing the case when a witness doesn't appear. But mostly things are running a lot smoother than last year's blitz.

Thanks for the vine.
Traffic lawyer----out!


Monday, October 19, 2009

MIXER THIS WEEK

There's a "Bench/Bar" mixer on October 22 2009 at some "establishment" appropriately named "Delores, But You Can Call Me Lolita." We are not making this name up. This bagnio of sorts is located at 1000 South Miami Drive.

While laws against miscegenation have been mostly (and rightly) removed from the books, we have a policy which we strongly advise many of you to adhere to: while there is absolutely nothing wrong in having social relations (or more) outside your particular ethnic makeup, we urge caution when it comes to mixing intellect. In general, we strongly believe that one should socialize within a general range of one's intelligent quotient.

There is danger in socializing (or more) with those, well, there's no easy way to put this....with idiots. There. We said it. Problems arise. Families clash. There is social scorn whenever you go out in public. People point and whisper.

Eventually you wake up one morning and realize as you read your New York Times and your partner watches Fox News, that you just don't have anything in common. Then marriages fail, people are hurt, and only the divorce lawyers prosper.

We are much older and wiser than many young attorneys reading this blog. Perhaps the opportunity to mix with those below your intelligence seems sexy? Dangerous even. You've spent three years in law school studying law and avoiding miscreants so you could be admitted to the Bar. Now might seem like a good time to let loose. Let your hair down in a dark bar after a few drinks and see how the other half live.

Don't do it. A few minutes of pleasure is not worth throwing your whole life away. We know it sounds wrong. But really, individuals of lower and higher intelligence should not mix.

You have been warned.

However, should you dare to "take a walk on the wild side"
here are a few conversation pointers to help you avoid those embarrassing pauses when your conversation partner doesn't know what you've said or how to reply:

1) Don't use any phrases in latin. Ever. Except "nolle prosequi" That one they know. Usually.

2) Let them take the lead in their courtroom stories. Laugh politely when they mention how they ruled, then say "how about them Dolphins?" Avoid inquiring if the case was appealed. It's a sore subject to most.

3) Don't mention precedent. They don't usually care about mundane things.

4) Use simple words. Two syllables or less.

5) Avoid talking about the old days before they started their current job.
This is where it gets tough because the conversation usually strays into such flights of fancy that no reasonable human being can be expected to hold their tongue.

"You tried 125 jury trials? In one year? Really? How about them Dolphins?

"You gave up a million dollar a year partnership? Really. Plus a new Mercedes every year? Wow! How about them Dolphins?"

"The Governor called you personally to urge you to apply for the open spot on the Third DCA? (Pull out your handkerchief. Pretend to sneeze while laughing. Gather your thoughts about you. Take a deep breath.) How about them Dolphins?"

The best thing you can do Thursday is go to Joes, it's open now! Or Mortons, or stay home and watch Survivor.

Remember what your mother told you: "When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas."

See You In Court, safe in our anonymity.




OPEN FOR BUSINESS



While all attention focuses on our County Court brethren today and "The Blitz" (no one has really offered an explanation of what this blitz is or why Judge Slom is sending his linebackers and corner backs after the quarterback) we say: Welcome Back to the Miami Beach Branch Courthouse!

The Miami Beach Branch Courthouse quietly opened last week and is set to house judges, lawyers, clerks and a full complement of accoutrements needed for the fair and swift administration of justice.

Special this week only: Come to the Miami Beach Branch Courthouse and file a document or pay a ticket and receive one free commemorative bag of official Miami Beach Courthouse asbestos. A real collectors item! Offer good while supplies last. No purchase necessary.

See you in court; one word of advice: keep your backs and tight end in to protect against the blitz.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

NFL 2009 WEEK 6

UPDATE. Titanic edition.

Well today has been an unmitigated disaster. Now I know how Jeff Fisher coach of the Titans feels (the last I checked the Titans were losing to the Cheaters 59-0 in a blizzard.)

The only thing to do is press forward and put 1500 Matt Ryans on the Atlanta Falcons -3.5 for the 8pm game. )

SUICIDE POOL DOWN TO FOUR
On any given Sunday any team in the NFL can beat any other team (excluding apparently the Redskins) and so Miguel De La Over and Michael Feiler exit our suicide pool with ill timed selections of the Eagles over the Raiders. David Marcus should have followed his instincts and picked the Raiders because the Jets just fell to the Bills and the leg of Rian Lindell. Marcus and the Public Pretender are out and we head to week seven with four left: Rick Freedman, Daniel Tibbitt (he sent an email at 10:24 am picking the Steelers today and we neglected to include him in the picks but he sent the email timely), Peter Sautter (who picked the Steelers with an email at 10:56 am today and I also neglected to include him but his pick was timely) and Memon.


Two winning weeks in a row and we're ready to go. The Fins got us here, so why not continue to ride them?
All our money on the Dolphins not losing today! (Woops, off week for Miami.)

Giants at Saints. The game of the day. Two undefeated teams. The Saints are giving 3 at home. The Giants have a terrific Defense, and the numbers show that over the years the Saints are way below 500 coming off a bye week. Also Saints QB Brees has nine TDs this year- but how many has he thrown in the last two weeks? Zero. The same number of guilty verdicts as we've had in our four trials this year.

Brees has semi-inflated numbers from his 6 TD performance in week one over the hapless Lions. Assume for a second Brees threw an average two TDs in week one- then he would have five in four games- pretty average numbers. And Brees was still shut out the last two weeks- including two weeks ago against Buffalo of all teams. The Giants are not Buffalo and are not the team to make any QB healthy.

Giants +3 +500.

Arizona at Seattle: The Seahawks are a totally different team with Matt Hasslebeck at QB. How different? In three games Senaca Wallace had a QB rating of 82.5 with three TDs and two ints. Hasselbeck in two games has thrown 7 TDs, 2 ints, with a QB rating of 103. The Cardinals haven't won on the road this year and Warner is having a very mediocre year ( 6TDs, 4 ints, 89 QB rating).

The Seahawks are -3 at home and we like the number. Seattle -3 +750.

Sunday Night: The Bears play in Hot-lanta and we like the Falcons here -3.5 big. How big? Lets see what we do in the Giants game. We'll post something before 8pm.

Monday Night: The Broncos go to San Diego where the disappointing Chargers take on the surprising Broncos. The Chargers are led (as we often remind you) by one of the worst coaches in the league: Norv "will never ever win a Super Bowl" Turner. But are the Broncos for real? It's one thing to nip a weakened Cheaters team at home, but quite another to take on the Chargers at home where their considerable offensive firepower usually is displayed (overlooking the Ravens game earlier this year.)

We like the Chargers -3.5 because we like QB Rivers much more than Denver's Chicago castoff Kyle Orton. What Orton does well is manage a game. He won't win it for you very often, but he won't lose it for you either. While Bronco D-Coordinator (and last year head coach of the 49'ers) Mike Nolan has done an outstanding job with the Orange Crush defense this year (and we love rollin with Nolan) what this year has shown us is that for the most part a good offense can overcome a good defense. That means we expect a shootout in San Diego and we like Rivers in that type of game. Check back Monday for just how much we like Rivers in this one.


SUICIDE POOL:
Michael Feiler -Eagles; Public Pretender- J..E...T...S.; David Marcus -Jets (reluctantly, he informs us); Miguel De La Over- Eagles; Rick Freedman- Steelers; Iftikhar Memon (boy this name annoys us) Cheaters.


COLD FRONT COMING TONIGHT! Currently its a very pleasant 62 degrees, heading to a high of about 75. It was 62 at 6am today as we ran over the Key Biscayne bridge in the dark and then headed down to Baggs state park before turning around and loping back to our bike on the other side of the bridge before pedaling to Starbucks, and then home. Can't think of a better way to start off a Sunday.