Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WICKED WEDNESDAY

Trial woes continue for the battered and beleaguered State Attorneys Office as the first Not Guilty of the week comes in from a PRO SE Defendant in a DUI trial before Judge Luise Krieger Martin.

More later.

You know it, you love it, you wait all week for it: The 3rd DCA Roundup:

A very light week at the 3rd DCA criminal cases wise. In fact all we have is an entry on the wall of shame:

Judge Soto joins the wall of shame here in Montgomery v. State.


Scott Rothstein pled guilty today. The Daily Pulp has it, and the bizarre interviews his wife Kim Rothstein has been giving here.

The juiciest piece of information that came out of the hearing came from Attorney Bill Scherer. Scherer is representing numerous victims of the Ponzi scheme. Scherer confidently told Bob Norman that in the coming weeks there will be "20 Rothstein related arrests."

Wow. That cannot bode well for the former RRA partners.

Given the events of the last two years, isn't it time we change the name of these schemes to "Madoff/Rothsteins" ?

See You in Court.

Coming soon: Rumpole gets under the skin of Justice Scalia. Exclusively here, on your favourite South Florida Legal Blog.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

thats embarassing

Anonymous said...

I don't think that county court NG's really throw the Miami-Dade SAO for a loop. Is that really all you got Rumpy?

Anonymous said...

Dude- losing to a pro-se is the worst of the worst. I'd rather nolle prosse a case if I was going against a pro-se if I thought I had any real chance of losing. I think a good formula is, once a defendant announces he's going pro-se= nolle prosse. At least for the county court ASA's. Anyone know the facts? I retract the previous statement if it turns out that the ASA was forced to go to trial on a .02 or some other horseshit DUI. If that's the case they get a pass- sort of.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

So you want to be a member of the JNC...???

Judicial Nominating Commissions: Two lawyer vacancies for each of the 26 JNCs. The Florida Bar must nominate six lawyers for each Judicial Nominating Commission to the Governor for his appointment.

Each appointee will serve a four-year term, commencing July 1, 2010. Applicants must be engaged in the practice of law and a resident of the territorial jurisdiction served by the commission to which the member is applying. Applicants must comply with state financial disclosure laws. Commissioners are not eligible for state judicial office for vacancies filled by the JNC on which they sit for 2 years following completion of their 4-year term.

Applications must be received by mail or fax, (850) 561-5826 no later than 5:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, in the Executive Director’s office of The Florida Bar. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of an application.

Screening committees of the Board of Governors will review all JNC applications. The Executive Committee will then make recommendations to the Board of Governors.

Persons interested in applying for any of these vacancies may download the proper application form (there is a specific JNC application) from the Bar's Web site, www.floridabar.org, or should call Bar headquarters at 850-561-5757, to obtain the application. Completed applications must be received by the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300 by the Feb. 26 deadline date.

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

I feel terrible for any ASA that must try a case against an unrepresented defendant. It's a no- win situation and the pro se defendant will usually appear sympathetic.

Anonymous said...

Did somebody just say "Tony Natale"????

Yowyza!!!

Anonymous said...

Look, I love to take shots at the SAO whenever I can, but county court ASAs losing trials is not always a reflection of the legal talent available, but rather the strength of the case and the quality of the witness testimony.

This pro se DUI was probably a double refusal with one cop who observed what he perceived to be signs of impairment. Was he impaired, was he not? Reasonable doubt is built in to the case. Not the ASAs' fault.

Most county court cases are not great state cases. With the exception of Closius, Slimak, and Davenport (before he was put on desk duty for being too rough), most patrol cops do not make great witnesses. Some of them have been cops so long that their speech and mannerisms are robotic to the point that juries can't connect with them. (I observed the vehicle traveling westbound at which point in time I activated my emergency equipment and made efforts to direct the vehicle to the shoulder of the road) Come on - who talks like that. Don't say "vehicle" when you can say "car." And on the other end, the younger cops don't always convey a message of great competence.

Without getting into the great breath test debate, DUIS are largely based on the observations of one or two officers. Roadsides, driving pattern, odors, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech. Juries must take the officers' observations to be true and accurate if they are to convict someone of DUI. In other words - they have to believe the cop is not only telling the truth about what he or she saw, but that they are qualified to make the observations upon which they are testifying.

In Miami-Dade, we defense attorneys relish in the fact that cops don't have the best names around here. From our work and talking to our clients, we hear horror stories about how some of these guys are frighteningly abusive of their power. Outside of our profession, it doesn't take much more that a glance at the local news to hear about another cop who was caught up in some scandal. Take a jury pool that's comprised largely of people descended from nations where police violate civil rights with impunity, and you have all the makings for a not guilty verdict. That, and a lot of juries have a hard time convicting someone of DUI. That's the one crime we've all committed at some point. Everyone - and I mean everyone - has driven at some point in their lives when they should not have.

So to sum it all up - give the young ASAs in county court some credit. They are young lawyers trying their first cases. The SAO understands that so they put them in county court, where a not guilty on a DUI or a resisting without violence is really not a big deal. If we expected our young ASAs to be instant trial masters they would be prosecuting 1st degree murders already.

Anonymous said...

the only thing worse than an asa losing to a pro se is private counsel pleading out

Spiderman (i'm back) said...

If it were a .02...why the F would they be trying/prosecuting the F'ing case??!!! The F'ing legal limit is .08. Have some GD perspective. This isn't BROWARD. More to the point now:

To all you County ASAs....heres a HUGE tip from a longtime former ASA:

Unlike in Circuit Court, where there is a screening process and ASAs are prosecuting cases that have (hopefully) been somewhat evaluated for viabilitu before an information is filed...County Court cases exist because there was an ARREST! That means that some numbnut cop determined that there was PC...PC, that's it. You have a file in your hand, in a court of law, because of Probable F'ing Cause. It is YOUR job to further evaluate the case and determine whether or not it should be in court! KNP is not a dirty word for misdemeanor court...it shows perspective (usually). Trust me, for every good, honest cop there is a lying, piece of shit cop just trying to justify his overtime and paycheck. You are not wearing the white hat for trying to jam up some douche that was arrested for weed possession after he was detained and searched illegally. I know you are young, but these little cases are not games...these are peoples' lives you are playing with, so take it more serious than you have been trained to.

CAPTAIN said...

We shall never forget .....

Did you know that it was 65 years ago today, January 27, 1945, that the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp took place.

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

"Bib" ? "Scherer confidently told Bib Norman"

I like Bib.

Anonymous said...

Captain, at Wednesday, January 27, 2010 5:54:00 PM

JNC open seat you say. Scotty boy coughed up $140-K to the republican party last year and 2 days later was appointed by Gov. Crist to the 4th DCA JNC.

Now given the rate of inflation how much is the going rate to be paid for a spot on the JNC?


Should I donate directly to Gov Crist senate race or to the Florida Republican party. Does anyone have any insight on this?

Anonymous said...

yowza is right!!!

Tony Natale is hot!

Anonymous said...

9:25. You are right about cops not having a good reputation in Miami. When will this change? I would like to live in a city with good honest cops. Why is that such a rare commodity these days?

As far as a county court not guilty, who cares. These are baby attorneys just getting their feet wet. The sao has much bigger problems than not guiltys in county court

Anonymous said...

Re: Rothstein Update: Wife Kimmy is giving interview 'cause she is shopping herself around for the next person that will keep her. She got use to the lifestyle, who can blame her, and now needs it again. Bad news for the RRA partners means good news for the criminal defense attorneys in Broward. Just don't take a check boys & girls. Cash,jewelry or autographed sports memorilabalia witha certificate of authenticity is the prefered currency.

Anonymous said...

"Dude - Now that I got an NG, where is my car?"

Anonymous said...

To 10:35 pm: It's hilarious when former ASA's tell us county ASA's how to do our jobs. If you cared so much about the job you would not have left. Oh, maybe you didn't get the message when you interviewed that you were going into public service and therefore might not be able to afford BMW SUV's on an ASA salary? Well, why don't do your own jobs and defend your loser clients and quit "helping" us.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rump:

Would like to invite people to a fundraiser for Nushin Sayfie this afternoon, January 28th at 5:30 PM at the Haggard Law Firm, 310 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables. Nushin has done a great job, and she deserves our support. Maximum Contribution is $500.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

To 8:13 a.m. -

"Well, why don't do your own jobs and defend your loser clients and quit "helping" us."

Nice comeback! I didn't know the SAO employed thirteen year old girls.

Anonymous said...

Hey stupid,

Maybe the former ASA left because he could not pay his master card bill with his visa!

On a funnier note, the verification word was "spence." Will the next verification word be "Jones?"

Anonymous said...

Lay off the county court puppies.....IMHO it's the fault of the system...even felony B's need permission to take a dump and supervisors have a ridiculous world view...

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:13,

With an attitude like that, I hope you enjoy your future assignment to the felony screening unit.

Sincerely,
Another Former ASA

Anonymous said...

Speaking of lousy cops: why do I see the same band of loser cops standing outside the courthouse all morning long (they are then when I go in, and still there smoking cigars and hanging out together when I leave). How much money are they making to stand there with a gun on their belt and a stogie in their hand? You would think this county had NO crime to prevent. Today there were 5... count em 5 just standing around. WTF.

Rumpole said...

Sorry about the word verification but I'm getting 20 spams an hour without it. Weird stuff too.

Anonymous said...

When will teresa pooler run for judge again? she has delusions of grandeur as a traffic court hearing officer

to 8:13 AM said...

I understand that its your first job and all, and that your training attorneys drill it into your head that defense attorneys all lie, and you get wet in your panties hoping you can put some poor schmuck in jail who fell asleep buzzed in his car in the bar parking lot....

In a few years, your time in County Court will only be a memory. But, since you love your "public service" so much, you will still be at the SAO doing your dispos and making 42K.

You might gain some perspective, but I doubt it, but I'm hopeful.
You may get fed up with the nonsense at the SAO and the Steelcase desk and want to leave.

Then you will start looking for a job, but no defense lawyer will hire you because:

1) you still have no clue what you're doing and/or

2) you were such a toolbag that you made a lot of enemies on the defense side.

so, you go out on your own, get an office above the Botanica St. Lazaro on NW 17th ave. Then you start sending out flyers to do tickets for $59.00 and have to compete with all the other puppies who are doing the same thing.

And you still haven't made a dent in your student loans.

Just eat a bullet now.

Anonymous said...

Cigars & Overtime. Priceless!

Anonymous said...

8:13 am - your post illustrates everything that is wrong with the mindset of some (not all) county court ASA's. Your self-righteous, holier-than-thou post shows that you have zero perspective and are out of touch with reality. You've probably been out of law school for just a few months and this is your first "real job." Just remember that this job that you take so seriously is committed to achieving justice, not getting convictions. Hopefully, at some point you'll learn that not every case is worth prosecution. And oh btw, let's see a few years down the road whether your commitment to the SAO will outweigh your need/desire to provide a decent home for your family.

Spiderman said...

Man...I started some shit on here. 8:13 is taking a beating for trying to come back at me. And the Steel case Desk joke, priceless.

My intention was not to have venom spewed back from some puppy prosecutor to further prove my point....but I am happy with the results nonetheless.

8:13....you, my friend, are a douchebag. Get your head out of your 24 year old ass. I've been there...i've had my head up my ass too...I was trying to help.
I know, you know everything and us former ASAs (6 years in the office btw) are just money grubbing assholes putting shitbirds back on the street. WRONG! Neither side should have blind true believers and none of us are doing God's work or curing cancer.

Anonymous said...

8:13:

Your comment surprises me considering the county court culture is usually a reflection of its chief. Dave Maer is a great guy, incredibly reasonably.

There must be some holdovers from previous eras polluting the waters.

Anonymous said...

8:13 am, are you a masochist submissive or something? You are telling 10:35 pm and all defense attorneys to do our own job defending our "loser" clients instead of "helping" you, the wise and perspective-laden county court ASA's. Well, according to the rules, our job is to walk OUR clients by kicking YOUR butt! If that's what you like, so be it. But you really shouldn't disdain the help of those who have been in your shoes before you if you want to grow, mature and make a successful career in the law. Watch my words: in less than two years you'll look back and realize what a perspectiveless fool you were while a county court ASA. Now, go to your room and play with your toys after you finish your homework.

Rumpole said...

Actually I've come close to curing cancer more than once. Missed it by that much.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole=Chuck Norris

8:13 ShitStorm said...

Hey 8:13:

watch the tripe you spew on this blog.

You bought yourself a shitstorm of critics with not much backup (just like the SAO).

Anonymous said...

Fan of 8:13 here. Do you all feel like big boys and girls for stomping on a kid fresh out of law school? The "advice" you all dispense on this blog to county court ASA's is very obviously NOT for the purpose of helping these young lawyers get better at their jobs... your motives are not that pure. 8:13 called you all out on your bullsh-t and you act shocked, SHOCKED by the accusation? Get over yourselves.

BTDT3

Anonymous said...

While I am sympathetic to 8:13's comments (I remember well the days when I was a prosecutor where every former ASA who practiced defense made sure I knew that), I think that they, like many of the responses, are over the top.

The key to surviving life in the RGB (if not downright having fun there) is to be able to separate out the folks who are worth talking to (and maybe even trusting) and those who aren't. I've got friends on both sides of the fence. People are people; there's good and bad everywhere.

BTDT

PS---I do think prosecutors and public defenders deserve recognition for what they do..........unlike the rest of us, they're serving the community for a fraction of what they could make in private practice (assuming they're any good). There's no reason to ignore, undermine, insult or otherwise not appreciate that sacrifice.

PS2---the prosecutors and APDs who keep those jobs because they're too lazy to do anything else, well, they're another story. The should be fired. Their jobs are way too important to be treated like that.

The Straw Buyer said...

I could almost swear I know who 8:13 is...