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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON



Someone sent this to us, and it seems appropriate to usher in the New Year:

There is a blue moon tonight (the second full moon of a month) on a New Years Eve which is ushering in a new decade. Last time was in 1819. James Monroe was president. The next time a blue moon will appear on a new decade's New Years Eve won’t be until 2229.


2010 is upon us. Back in say, 1975, didn't it seem that by 2010 we'd all be zipping around in flying cars, and perambulating through cities on moving walkways? 2009 was a difficult year. We lost some people close to us. We got a year older, and hopefully wiser. We won some wars and lost some battles, but we never stopped trying or fighting.


It may be time for a change for us. Time is slipping by and things that we thought we would have done by now remain a distant dream. There is more to life than work. Nobody on their death bed ever said "I wish I had spent more time at the office."


So here's our New Year's resolutions: to stop and smell the ocean breeze; to do even more random acts of kindness; to exercise more and get angry less; less sugar - more fiber; to breathe deeply and to communicate better; and most importantly- to write, to write and to write, for writing is the art that warms our heart and feeds our soul.


Happy New Year dear readers, and may this year bring you unexpected joy and simple pleasures.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

AIRLINE SECURITY

US EMBASSY, Lagos Nigeria.

Embassy Officer: How can I help you?

Applicant: I wish to apply to travel to US.

CIA Officer: For what reason?

Applicant: I wish to see NY Knicks in Superbowl.

EO: The Knicks made it?

CIA Off: I'll have research check it out. I think the Expos made it too. Why are you flying to Minnesota, is that where the Super Bowl is this year?

EO: I thought it was in Buffalo.

Applicant: Frequent Flier miles.

EO: Sounds good. Enjoy the game. You're approved.

Secretary: There's a man on the phone saying his son is trying to get to the US to do a terrorist attack.

CIA Off: Another one? Jeeze, don't these people stop with the Nigerian bank scams and terrorists attacks. Put it in the file and I'll look at it in a few months.

................

Airport Security :
Security Officer: I see you have your approval from the US Embassy in Lagos.
What is the purpose of your trip to the US?

Traveler: To watch Mets in Super Bowl, allah be praised.

SO: The Mets have no chance buddy. Favre is way too old. Ok...name?

Traveler: Abdullah Yoseff Mohammed Khomeni-Bin Laden.

SO: Wait a sec- your passport doesn't have the last part- Khomeni-Bin Laden on it.

AYMKBL: Yes. I added that after I became a muslim to show my support for the Iranian people and Osamma Bin Laden.

SO: Really. Hey Ralph- we got some guy here with a last name of Bin-Laden, how funny is that?
Sorry sir...OK. You're approved. Please proceed to the security check point Mr. Bin Laden.

Airport Screening Area:
Screening Officer: Sir. Please wait a minute. YOU- Lady with the baby. Just where do you think you're going with that kid and the bottle? And what's this - Diaper cream? Oh no no no. Not on this plane you don't. That could be an explosive. What's your name? Ms. Smith? Sure, we're gonna check that out "Ms. Smith." You're being sent to the enhanced security area, now please step aside.
Your name sir?

ADYMKBL: Abdullah Yoseff Mohammed Khomeni-Bin Laden.

SO: Oh yeah. They said a Bin-Laden was heading down. Kind of ironic isn't it?
Right this way through the machine.

OK. You're good to go. Enjoy your flight. .....Hey, what's this powder? Buddy. Hold up. You! Bin-Laden, back here. What is this powder leaking down from your leg? You got a secret compartment in there or what? Look at this. I scratch it and sparks fly. Jeeze pal, this could start a fire. What a mess. Do me a favor? Help me clean this up before my supervisor sees this. He'll go nuts. And do me a favor? This stuff is dangerous. Get it all out before you board the plane, ok? Could start a fire Mr. Bin-Laden, and we can't have that.

Ok. Have a great day.

YOU- Ms. Smith. With the baby. Over here. Just who told you that you could bring a bottle of formula on to a plane? Aren't you aware of the terrorist warnings? We may have to delay you lady while we check out your identity......


Item: President Obama criticizes breaches in US Security. WSJ here.


Monday, December 28, 2009

BIGGEST NEWS STORY

UPDATE: Speaking of big stories, the Herald has the story here of the bomber who created the legend of the "The Cuban Rocket" a/k/a Miami Attorney Gino Negretti.

For you young prosecutors and PDs who can't imagine a world without Starbucks and cellphone cameras, 1989 must seem like 1899 to you. But it wasn't that long ago. Miami was slowly emerging from the wild west cocaine cowboy days of the late 1970's and early 1980s. Although the Herald identifies Gino Negretti as a divorce attorney, he was well known in the REGJB. The bombing of his car was something out of a movie, and more than a few defense attorneys in the REGJB were shaken by the attack. A disgruntled client- immediately suspected of being a drug dealer- was the immediate conclusion many lawyers reached. The actual perpetrator was a nefarious drug smuggler, although his motivation was related to Negretti's representation of his wife in a divorce case.

Throw in famed Miami Defense lawyers Richard Sharpstein and Jack Blumenfeld, and you have one of the thousand "only in Miami" Justice Building stories that infuses our humble courthouse with legend and mystery.

And in a "it's too strange for the movies" ending, the man accused of ordering the bombing? The one who allegedly went after Negretti because of Negretti's vigorous representation of his wife in the divorce case? While not only did Sharpy and Jack win an acquittal- but the stress of the trial re-united the estranged couple.
Which is why we confine out legal adventures to the relative safety of representing murderers, and not husbands and wives.


What's the biggest story of 2009 that has affected our humble little courthouse?

It could be something as large as President Obama being sworn in, to something as small as the escalators being fixed/broken/fixed....


In no particular order, the nominees are:

1) Scott Rothstein steals a few bucks;
2) Judge Adrien gets two challengers;
3) Former Judge Phil Davis finally convicted;
4) Carlos Martinez dummies up;
5) Jay Kolsky: busiest man alive;
6) Conflict Counsel stays alive;
7) Abe Laeser retires;
8) ???

What/who are your nominees?
Remember this is Miami, so vote early and vote often.


Biggest news story today? Temperature should drop to mid 40's in North Miami/Broweird tonight. A veritable heat wave where we are, but still pretty cold for the rest of you who are sticking it out at home in Miami.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

NFL WEEK 16

BREAKING GATOR NEWS: For those of you that care, and we don't, UF Football Coach Urban Meyer has CHANGED HIS MIND AND WILL NOT RETIRE. He will announce this afternoon at a 4:30 press conference that he will instead take an indefinite leave of absence and the D-Coordinator will take over as interim head coach for the foreseeable future (IHCFTFF).

Second to last week of the regular season. Congratulations again to Rick Freeman for his record breaking Suicide pool win.

Denver goes to Philly with the Bronocs playing a win or out of the playoffs game. The Broncos will lose, but we like the over 41 for 700 Geno's Cheesteaks ("wit" of course)

The Texans come to cool Miami with both teams having a playoff appearance on the line. Basically, the Fins need to win out and the House and Senate need to vote for cloture on the final health care bill for the Fins to make the Playoffs. The Fins have been our savior this year and they are 1.5 favourites at home over the inconsistent Texans. One caveat- the Texans have a better road record than a home record. But with that being said we have only a few things to add: RUN RICKY RUN, and THROW CHAD THROW!
Dolphins -1.5 over Texans for a 1000 Ginns.

If the Dolphins win, if the Broncos lose, and if the Steelers beat the visiting Ravens (which is a huge IF) the Dolphins and the Steelers just may meet next week for the final AFC Wild Card spot (if Congress votes for Cloture.)

Pick Em Paulie said...

We're here mourning the resignation of Urban Meyer. But we must press on with our ho-hum football picks. Every time we ask the gambling gods for a 4-1 week, we get 3-2. So now I'm asking for an 0-5 week. Each pick for $500.00
Buffalo +9
Carolina +9
New England -9
Pittsburgh -3
Philadelphia -7
35-37-3 48.61% -$2850



Another reason why we're a happy and satisfied NETJETS customer: avoiding the riff raff and hoi polloi: You won't believe the cretins they let fly in First Class these days. Ivana Trump booted off first class yesterday. Herald Story here.
Trump showed her class by cursing at children as she was escorted off the plane. Good riddance we say.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

CHRISTMAS EVE

Click on the title of the post to watch NORAD track Santa. Dick Cheney once ordered the Air Force to shoot down Santa when he squawked the wrong frequency when approaching Washington, DC. Thankfully the President overrode the order.


POPE IN "INCIDENT". UPDATE: POPE KNOCKED DOWN- woman assailant tried to attack him a year ago. Swiss Guards asleep at the switch. NY Times coverage here.

There was an "incident" at St. Peters today as the Pope began to celebrate mass. The Pope is OK. More on this as it becomes available.





Not a bad place to hike, eh?

MERRY CHRISTMAS


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

HE MAY BE A BIT OF A PAIN.

(at times) but HE 'S OUR PAIN, and we don't take kindly to the Broward Blog putting him through the wringer.

Who are we talking about? What did the Broward Blog do?

It all started with this post on the Broward Blog:

JAABLOG FIELD TRIP - our first stop this morning took us to the North Dade Justice Center, for our first ever hearing before the legendary Judge Sheldon Schwartz. We were warned by a Miami lawyer about his curt, sometimes abrasive demeanor, with the caveat that he always does the right thing in the end. This description turned out to be accurate.

Schwartz came out bedecked in a black trimmed, glaring red robe. Was the sartorial splendor simply a nod to the holiday season, or par for the course? No, we were advised, he often dons flowing, colorful accoutrements worthy of a Roman emperor.

Next, he proceeded to rip an Israeli national, represented by counsel. Schwartz felt the defendant was trying to pull a fast one, by claiming he didn't speak English. He ordered the tapes played from a previous hearing, when the defendant had appeared without benefit of counsel, apparently understanding and speaking the English language. MOTION DENIED.

Counsel for the defendant got into it with Schwartz, but the Judge wouldn't budge. There were some choice berations directed at the defendant, worthy of Broward's finest, along the lines of "
You may be one of the privileged people, but you don't have the privilege of driving in the United States without a license."

Classic north of the border stuff, except very un-Broward-like in the end, since Schwartz stated on multiple occasions that he would recuse himself if the defendant didn't feel he was getting a fair shake. Just like that. No motions to file, no tricky rules and deadlines to navigate, and no convoluted, hide the ball, highly technical bogus rulings to appeal later. In short, it was fair.

Impressed, we asked around after returning to home turf. It turns out Schwartz was also a super hot shot lawyer before he retired, at least according to Fred Haddad and Howard Finkelstein. As far as the red robe is concerned, however, no one could offer a satisfactory explanation.

Rumpole says: If you don't know about Shelly Schwartz's penchant for sartorial statements in the form of colorful ties, robes, shirts and suits.... then you don't know Shelly Schwartz, which puts that last line from the Broward Blog in dispute. How could Haddad or Finkelstein profess to know Shelly Schwartz and not know about his signature choices in haberdashery?

Kudos in the end to the JAABlog for recognizing the world of difference between Miami schtick, and Broward nastiness.

JUDGE TINKLER MENDEZ HAS NO SYMPATHY

for people who kill little children.


"For you sir, I have no sympathy." And with those words, Judge Marissa Tinkler-Mendez sentenced defendant Damon Darling to 50 years for firing a weapon whose stray bullet struck down nine year old Sherdavia Jenkins as she played with her doll in her front yard.

The Herald reported on the sentencing here. From the article:

`It was a selfish, violent act. Nothing I can do to punish you can minimize the pain of the family of the dead child,'' the judge told Darling, adding: ``For you, sir, I have no particular sympathy.''


YOUR COUNTY COURT FINALISTS:
For Judge Arzola's county court seat:

The Captain Reports:
The six finalists have been chosen for our next County Court Judge. They are:

Anita Margot Moss
Steven Lieberman
Tanya Brinkley
Tamara Ilene Gray
Andrea Ricker Wolfson
Lourdes Simon

Gov. Crist has sixty days. The Captain invites all comments and will personally forward them to Gov Charlie.

Captain Out.

Rumpole notes: Just one guy.

ARE THE PDS KEEPING CASES FROM THE REGIONAL COUNSEL'S OFFICE?
A reader writes in:

Anonymous said...

Pit PD's do there best to keep cases out of RCA's hands - but only because we see how those cases are handled after they leave ours.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:23:00 PM



Soon it will be harder to get a DL than a motion to suppress granted.

The Herald has the bureaucratic details here.


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas from our vantage point high in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MORE ON SILENT CHARLIE'S PD OFFICE

The Dade Public Defender's office and all Public Defender offices across the state feel they are under direct attack from the Florida Senate led by Senator Victor Crist. Crist sees the Regional Counsel's office as the answer for the State's quest to provide affordable representation to indigent defendants in Florida while reducing expenses. Ever since the lawsuit challenging the creation of the Regional Counsels Office, Crist has put the Public Defenders offices budgets directly in his target sightline. Crist didn't like what the PDs did, and he intends to get even.

In Dade County the Public Defender's office has gone to the 3rd DCA in their much ballyhooed attempt to be able to withdraw from representation based solely on high existing caseloads. But as we wrote last week, Silent Charlie's real game plan is not to swamp the Regional Counsel's Office, but to starve it, by keeping as many cases within his own office as possible. High caseloads=high budgets. Give Silent Charlie credit for feinting left while going right. A masterful move if we may say so ourselves.

We have now learned that this plan was placed into effect at least two years ago, when the first hint of a second public defender's office wrinkled the nose of Silent Charlie and his danish eating sidekick.

Remember when the Public Defender's office assigned TWO C PDs to each felony division to handle the high case load of third degree felonies? Well, Silent Charlie put a stop to that when he realized that he needed high case loads to protect and preserve his budget. As early as two years ago, BEFORE the current budget crisis struck state governments, Silent Charlie stopped assigning two C PDs to each courtroom. This accounts for the high case loads, like 700 plus for APD Jay Kolsky, the hardest working PD in Miami and the "James Brown of the PD's office".

Silent Charlie and his mouthpieces will tell you that budget cuts caused him to remove the second C level PD. But don't let him fool you. Silent Charlie removed the second PDs before the budget cuts. And while we're on the subject of budget cuts, just how many C level PDs could Silent Charlie hire if he didn't have his old boss on retainer as an advisor while paying for his office to boot?

How many other State agencies during this time of fiscal crisis have former employees on salary as "advisors" while paying for a private office for the advisor?

The problem is Silent Charlie won't answer these questions, which is why is has the Nom d'blog of Silent Charlie.

Monday, December 21, 2009

PLEAS AND CONFLICTS

CONFLICT$

More than one little birdie has whispered in our ear that regarding the PD's office and the Regional Conflict Counsel's office we have it backwards: That Silent Charlie's real goal is to keep as many cases in his office as possible so as to squeeze the Regional Counsel's budget and ability to get sufficient money from Tallahassee to do their job. That may well be why Jay Kolsky is Miami's busiest PD. We hear that the PD office supervisors are holding a strong line against conflicts. More than one person has emailed us to "follow the money" a la Deep Throat's advice in Watergate. Any thoughts?

PLEAS.

We've been traveling the country wrapping up cases, handling new ones, and spending lots of time reading the Wall Street Journal and plotting our path to financial independence. Picking up 2000 shares of Goldman Sachs over the course of last December when the world was seemingly ending, at an average price of $71.50 has been a pretty good call. GS closed at 163 and change on Friday.

Anyway, we saw this article in the WSJ on a plea bargain gone bad, and we commend it to you:

By JOHN R. EMSHWILLER and NATHAN KOPPEL
Wall Street Journal
December 19, 2009

A surprise twist in the criminal case against Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry Samueli again raises questions about plea bargains, one of the most important and controversial aspects of the justice system.

In a Santa Ana, Calif., court last week, federal Judge Cormac Carney dismissed the criminal complaint charging Mr. Samueli with lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission in its investigation of whether Broadcom misstated its earnings by improperly accounting for executive stock options. Judge Carney's dismissal came even though Mr. Samueli had stood before him in 2008 and pleaded guilty to that very crime.

Mr. Samueli did what lawyers and legal scholars fear a disturbing number of other people have done: pleaded guilty to a crime they didn't commit or at least believed they didn't commit. These defendants often end up choosing that route because they feel trapped in a corner, or fear getting stuck with a long prison sentence if they go to trial and lose.

The evolution of the criminal-justice system in recent decades has put many defendants "under all but impossible pressure to plead guilty, even if they're not," said Yale law Prof. John Langbein, a critic of the plea-bargain system.

The dismissal came immediately after Mr. Samueli testified before Judge Carney as a defense witness in the criminal trial of former Broadcom Chief Financial Officer William Ruehle, who was charged with fraud in the options-granting activities. Judge Carney then called him before the bench and said he was setting aside Mr. Samueli's guilty plea and dismissing the case against him.

The judge said he had concluded that while Mr. Samueli's answer to the SEC was "ambiguous, evasive and arguably nonresponsive," it wasn't materially false. Judge Carney later dismissed the charges against Mr. Ruehle.

Mr. Samueli signed the plea agreement believing he may have violated the law, but that belief was based on the prosecutors' distortion of the evidence, said his attorney, Gordon Greenberg. "The government put incredible pressure on" Mr. Samueli, he said. The U.S attorney's office declined to comment.

...

One reason for false pleas is that potential prison sentences, particularly on the federal level, have increased for many crimes. This has helped put more power into the hands of prosecutors, who decide what charges and how many counts to levy against a defendant. ...

In the Enron scandal, for example, former Chairman Kenneth Lay, former President Jeffrey Skilling and former Chief Accounting Officer Richard Causey were charged with fraud and conspiracy and set for trial together in early 2006. Shortly before the trial, Mr. Causey reached a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to one count of securities fraud, and was sentenced to 5 1/2 years. At trial, Mr. Skilling was convicted on 19 counts and received a more than 24-year sentence. (Mr. Lay was convicted on 10 counts but died shortly after the trial.)

Few plea bargains are ever seriously challenged. The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law specializes in using DNA evidence to find prisoners who have been wrongly convicted of murder or other serious crimes. The project has represented 17 defendants who pleaded guilty even though DNA evidence later proved their innocence, said co-director Peter Neufeld. "Our clients plead guilty, because if they go to trial and lose they could get a death sentence," he said. "They plead guilty to save their lives."

...


The government doesn't have the means to bring every defendant to trial.

"If every defendant in every county jail got off the chow line this morning and decided he or she wanted a jury trial, the system would implode," said Brice Wice, a Houston criminal-defense lawyer who specializes in handling appeals. Often, he said, it is defense lawyers, rather than prosecutors, who exert pressure to sign guilty pleas. "They tell their clients, take this or you'll get life," Mr. Wice said.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

STUCK IN THE SNOW

UPDATE: WE HAVE A SUICIDE POOL WINNER- RICK FREEDMAN. The Broncos were upset by the Raiders 20-19 and DT and PS go down in defeat. Well done all. Surely a Suicide pool record.

Stuck in the DC snow storm. Using a phone to blog. All 3 suicide players alive- we mistakenly said last week that DT was out.

Rick F - Texans; Peter S Broncos over Raiders; DT- Broncos; Could have a winner if the Raiders pull an upset.

Take the JETS -6 1000. Take the Steelers -1 at home for 500 (don't often see the Steelers giving up so little at home. Still a dangerous team.)

Giants -2.5 on road here in DC (might be at the game, look in a box for a guy in a Rumpole mask) for 1000.

Brrrr.....

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?

YOUR NEW FEDERAL JUDGE!!!

We know who the new Federal Judge is. The news reached us way up here high in the California Sierra Mountain range.

Let us just say a couple of things. 1)It's too bad Bob Scola didn't get tapped. He would have done a great job, although the new pick is a delightful surprise and has earned it. 2) There's another appointment that is going to be needed based on this one. So think outside of the box on that clue.


HOW ARE WE DOING?

Apparently not too good:
Anonymous said...

Rump,

I know you are camped out in the western frontier. Just saying that the blog has been a little weak. Trust me, if I have some good shit, I will certainly send you an email. By the way, give the government a swift kick in the ass for me

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 8:04:00 PM


But then again, maybe not so bad after all...


Anonymous said...

Dearest Rump, as a long time careful reader of the blog, it seems that the higher you go, the funnier you get. Just love your response to 9:41 PM. Whether or not you are really going to trial is not relevant to me, as long as you keep me laughing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 10:41:00 PM


And now a message from a disgruntled County Court reader:


Rump: With the elevation of Judge Arzola to Circuit Court, County Court is one judge down. Add to that the fact that a few Judges are trying to squeeze in some vacation time (like the entire job is not a vacation) and Judges Slom and Leifman have been pressed into action covering calendars.


Here's my question: Judge Slom, how is it possible you are the Chief Judge and yet entirely unable to press a button, click a mouse and switch calendars on your computer to assist the attorneys who are standing in long lines in your courtroom? How is it that Judges Bloom, Krieger-Martin, Ortiz, Miranda, and Newman can switch between a calendar to assist an attorney, but you can't? Do you realize that not only do we wait twice as long as you try and call a calendar, but that we have to endure your rude bailiff who apparently feels the only way she can justify her job is to order people around. She routinely tells people where to sit, where to stand, and when you move, ten minutes later, she tells you to move back. She is annoying beyond belief and just adds to the tension and misery of standing in line watching you waste our time. I realize you've never been in private practice and don't comprehend the fact that we need to get back to our office and meet clients and make money. And I acknowledge you are otherwise a good and hardworking chief judge. But I have to tell you that almost the entire regular county court defense bar cringes when they walk into a courtroom and see you covering a calendar. Between having to wait and being ordered around, it ruins my morning every time.


Thanks for letting me vent Rump, but I just can't take it anymore.


Rumpole says: Anyone else want to weigh in on this? Any response from Judge Slom?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

YES VIRGINIA THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS

(click on the image to enlarge it.)

While there may be a Santa Claus, Christmas itself is in jeopardy, as the Justice Building blog has exclusively learned. The Boynton Beach Police department has arrested MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Yes, Merry Christmas has been arrested.
We are monitoring the situation and hopefully Merry Christmas will be bonded out before December 25, 2009.

Updates as they become available.


Monday, December 14, 2009

FAIR OR FOUL ?

Breaking Blog news: Homestead Police Officer Jose Villarreal has been arrested for falsifying documents associated with his application for citizenship. The Herald has it here.

When we started this humble endeavor a few years ago, we had no idea of the various and intricate ethical dilemmas that we would encounter. We had a few bright line rules that we thought would be sufficient, (little did we know), such as keeping the personal life of individuals out of comments and blog posts except under very unusual circumstances.

Therefore, we were a bit startled to see this in the Broward Blog, and we wonder what you think of it?

Attention Process Servers - if you're having trouble serving Judge Carney a subpoena for deposition in the civil suit filed on behalf of Frank lee Smith (an innocent man executed by the State of Florida), go to the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six on Thursday night. Carney's "accomplishments and career" are being honored as part of the Broward County Justice Association's "Annual Judges' Night". It'll cost $90.00 to get in, but you'll find him there, being lauded by Chief Judge Tobin, the SAO's Chuck Morton, and Kelly Hancock. ...Word of advice - don't mention Anthony Caravella, John Purvis, Christopher Clugston or Bob Norman to Carney. You don't want to spoil the festivities, after all ...

A couple of Rumpolian thoughts: Broward County has a Justice Association!!!!?
What in the world do they do there?

Dale: "Hey Jimbo, remember when there used to be justice in Broward Courts?"
Jimbo: "Boy, those were dark days, weren't they? Pass me dat jar of pickled eggs and a slim jim. I'm telling the wife I will be late for dinner."

Will there be a rebuttal period during Judge Carney's "accomplishments and career" dinner, and if so, will a seance be conducted so Frank Smith can give the opposing view point?

Have any attorneys been held in contempt recently North of the Border and been sentenced to spending $90.00 to have dinner with the rest of the Broward Judiciary? if so, is that an Eighth Amendment violation (cruel and unusual punishment for you robed readers) ?

While careful readers may have noticed a slight (just slight) disdain we have for the judiciary North of the Border, we're still not so sure it is appropriate to publicize Judge Carney's retirement dinner in this manner. Somewhere buried within all of those wrongful convictions and withheld evidence and innocent men on death row, we imagine the man must have done something right that merits a pat on the back and a hearty good luck as he heads into retirement. But then again, that's more care and concern than the Judge/prosecutor ever showed for Frankie Lee Smith.

THE STORY OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN.

Lets see....Monday Monday. Can't trust that day.

Lets give Daniel Tibbitt a hand. Fourteen weeks a survivor in our football pool, he made the final three, until the Chicago Bears let him down this weekend. Well done
Tibbitt.!

It turns out Kim Rothstein was a Witch in highschool. We said Witch. Emphasis on the "W" Bob Norman of the Daily Pulp has written it, and that's good enough for us.

A Righteous Man Among Nations: Captain Gustav Schroder:

Seventy survivors of the M.S. St. Louis voyage from Germany to Cuba in 1939 are meeting in Miami Beach according the the Herald.

The Statue of Liberty bears an inscription stating, inter alia, (Judges, click here for a definition of "inter alia") "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."

Yup, in 1939 almost everyone got into the US, except if you're a Jew on a boat fleeing Germany. Then, despite holding a valid visa for Cuba, you get turned away. The US refuses to accept you, and so does Canada. Eventually about 223 are accepted by England, and the rest returned to Europe- mostly Belgium and France, which is fine except both countries are about to fall to a German blitzkrieg. Eventually, of the 930 Jews seeking to escape Germany, 254 were captured and taken to the camps and executed along with the other ten million humans the Germans saw fit to exterminate.

The story of the M.S. St. Louis is a story of a homeless and unwanted people, abandoned by the world, a small microcosm of a fate about to befall more than six million other Jews. It is also the heroic story of one German man- Captain Gustav Schroder, who had refused to join the nazi party; had insisted that his crew treat his passengers with respect, and who refused to return his ship to any German port until all of his passengers had been accepted by other countries and were-he thought- safely away from the maw of the holocaust.

Captain Gustav was awarded the extremely prestigious "Righteous Men Among Nations" award by Israel for his actions as Captain of the St. Louis.

And so Captain Gustav bears the title Righteous Man, while President Franklin Roosevelt among others, sat by while those poor souls criss-crossed the Atlantic fearing only their heritage and religion and the persecution it brought upon them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

NFL WEEK 14

Lets start with the suicide pool, which is setting some kind of record for longevity.

Rick Freedman: Titans; Peter Sautter: Saints; Daniel Tibbitt- Bears.

Good luck guys and send me the winner of MNF and the total points scored broken down by total TDs and total field goals. This could be it.

One big bet last week and one winner. Thank you Giants and thank you Vanilla Phillips for that December Cowpoke swoon. Right on time.

The Dolphins are getting 3 in Jacksonville, and while we like the Fins +3 for 200 Hennes, we really like the under 44 for 500 Parcells.

Eagles at Giants. The line is 44. We loved the under in the first matchup this season, and as usual for this year, we were wrong. The history is these two teams is that there are several tight low scoring games and then one big blow out, which happened earlier this year. The Eagles are clicking , the Giants had a big win last week but their offense is still struggling. Look for a low scoring ground game in cold winter weather. Once burned....but we bravely take the under again. Giants/Eagles under 44 for 500 Osi Umenyioras.

Friday, December 11, 2009

RED TIDE

Ever wonder what the rest of the State thinks of our fair city?
Hip South Beach?
Fabulous restaurants?
The new opera house?
Communities filled with hard working families making life a little better for their children?

All true, but that's not how some Floridians view us, especially Judges who work in courthouses north of Miami. If like us, you have had the occasion to travel around the state and represent individuals in other counties, then you know that many judges, prosecutors, police officers and others view Miami as some crime ridden slum exporting drugs, vice, corruption and thuggery throughout the world.


That is certainly the express and avowed view of Palm Beach Circuit Judge Krista Marx who in a recent interview said that "crime is inexorably moving northward from Miami like the red tide."

Judge and obviously amateur marine biologist Krista Marx's interview is summarized in the New Time's riptide blog here.

Marx's prediction for the future of her city? Dim. Eventually, we'll be like Miami-Dade, and that's because we live in paradise and everybody wants to live here -- including criminals."

To the reporter's credit, the article notes:
Really, Palm Beach doesn't have "scary" crime?

Marx herself presided over the Dunbar Village rape trial, which was far "scarier" than anything that's happened in Miami-Dade in a while. And where did that kid who got set on fire by his friends over a video game happen? Oh, Palm Beach County. And where did a high proportion of Madoff victims live? In Palm Beach. Miami may be at number 45 on CQ's press crime rankings, but West Palm Beach wasn't far behind at number 63.

What was the big crime story in Miami this year? The cat killer? Whatever.


The reporter concludes:

The reason Miami and the rest of South Florida has crime is not because, "we live in paradise and everybody wants to live here -- including criminals." It's because we have a shamefully large population living in poverty (most of whom are minorities) that no one, especially the rich who can afford to live in luxury towers or gated communities, really gives a shit about.

Rumpole notes: We've been to Palm Beach. We've driven through its slums and we've seen it's crime. Palm Beach is paradise? Hardly. It's a boring, backwater town inhabited by classless snobs and ignorant oafs, some of whom have apparently made it to the Circuit Bench. We'll take Miami any day with the sincere hope that despite the problems some of our robed readers may have, that our Judiciary will not get infected by the "black robed tide" of ignorant snobs creeping down from northern counties in search of a real and vibrant city to live in.

Check out Broward Blogger and attorney Bill Gelin's great reporting here on the Broward blog on the emerging scandal involving Ft. Lauderdale's Police Chief. One of disgraced attorney Scott Rothstein's friends, one "Moe the Cigar Guy" drove his Bentley into a woman driving a BMW. The crash, in which no one was injured, was somehow serious enough to merit the personal attention of the chief of police, who was on Rothstein's payroll. Luckily for Moe, he somehow was not arrested for DUI.