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, February 27, 2010

COHEN/BACKMAN BROWEIRD SUMMARY

Ok. lets summarize- because to keep track of those wild and crazy judges north of the border you need a scorecard and a blogger named Rumpole.

Judge Dale Cohen has a massive JQC complaint filed against him after he set out to intimidate a lawyer who had filed a lawsuit to remove Cohen's wife from the judicial ballot in the last election.

During one hearing, Judge Cohen called his wife to testify as a witness. The lawyer objected to being put in an impossible situation to which Judge Dale Cohen responded with this brilliant judicial quip: "You mean if I rule in your favor I don't get dinner tonight?"

Say what you want about Judge Cohen, but he knows where his chickens are roasted.

The Judge is also...how do we say this politely? "Challenged" when it comes to the use of commonly known sayings or aphorisms; to wit he said this twice during the prelude to the hearing, in response to the attorney positing the various problems of cross examining the judge's spouse:

"We'll approach that bridge when we get to it."


Now lets think about this carefully for a moment. There is a bridge in the distance. You walk towards it. The act of walking towards the bridge is in fact the approach to the bridge. When you get to the bridge, you've already approached it. You're now at the bridge. Your choices are to cross the bridge, (and ruin your judicial career) or perhaps a coconut falls from a nearby tree, luckily striking you in the head and knocking some sense into you- at which point you don't cross that bridge (and don't broach the rubicon sending you into professional ruin.) (That last link to "rubicon" was provided for those judges who read this blog, and there are more of you than you all care to admit.)


Thus the saying : "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

(The Florida Bar is sponsoring "Common sense sayings for the Judge in Broward."

3 CLE credits. They're trying to get Milt Hirsch to teach the course.)


The fallout from Marti Levy Cohen running for Judge was that Judge Dijols lost his bid for election (he was appointed and drew two opponents. Levy-Cohen didn't win
either. )

Broward Beat reports that Judge Cohen is shunned at the Broward Courthouse by his colleagues worse than Rumpole walking through the administrative suites at silent Charlie's PD emporium.

(Fun Broweird fact: Marti Levy Cohen announced to run against Judge Pedro Dijols a few weeks after the Cohens invited Dijolis and his wife out for dinner. With friends like these....who needs prosecutors?)

Marti Levy Cohen is again running for Judge.

Her opponent is a young lawyer with the last name of Backman. (uhho...this is about to get really good).

Judge Paul Backman sits on the JQC, which is the organization that filed the complaint and may seek to remove Judge Dale Cohen from office.

The Backman running against Marti Levy Cohen....is Judge Backman's son!

Only in Broweird.

What's so great about this mess is to see the judicial house of Broweird imploding upon itself in a frenzy of bad karma, back stabbing, greed, and general nastiness.

Broward judges are now treating each other the way they've treated lawyers from Dade for years. And that says it all about payback.

We're getting a bag of popcorn and sitting back and reading the Broward Blogs this weekend. You can't get this stuff from the movies.


47 comments:

Browierd lawyer. said...

OMG. If there is a Pulitzer prize for blog posts, this one should be nominated. Love it love it love it.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff,,,cant wait for part 2.

Anonymous said...

The Rumpole we all know and ... well you get it, IS BACK!

Great job!

Anonymous said...

It's "Mardi"- you and the JQC should check your own facts before throwing stones . . .

Anonymous said...

What Rumpole - no comment on Judge Butcko doing the right thing and not giving the defendant a trial tx on friday when she sentenced him to probation?

Rumpole said...

Have we really reached the point where a judge needs special praise for doing her job and sentencing a defendant with justice and fairness?

Anonymous said...

that post was old school

Anonymous said...

what a fucking joke from butchko. dude steals from poor people by going and drinking martinis in vegas and he gets probation and having to do community service supervised by his freinds. yeah this will really make other preachers and those with their hands in the anti-poverty till think twice about stealing.

a fucking joke

Anonymous said...

Rump -

When it's Judge Butchko, who is known for being heavy-handed during sentencing, I think praise is in order. She is a former prosecutor and carries that mindset as a jurist. I think we are just relieved that she didn't max the guy out.

On the other hand, If Judge Rodriguez or Judge Zabel had sentenced this guy to 5 years probation, we'd be complaining that they were too tough.

Goes to show that your luck goes only as far as the judge you draw. If Miller had this case, this guy would be doing 5 in prison. If Zabel had it, he would have gotten a withhold and 6 months of non-reporting probation.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Judge Butchko gave the right sentence but you know she did it for the wrong reason: she only went light on the guy because she did not want to anger the black community and lose their votes.

Anonymous said...

You are right about Miller.......would have given 5 no doubt. He brags about giving a PTI rejector 5 after trial.

DUI Guy said...

Ahh I remember the heady days of the early incarnation of JOA Joe when prosecutors trembled at the sound of his footsteps echoing down the REGJB Hallways.

Nowadays you can't even get him to deny a state continuance on the day of trial.

Anonymous said...

A genuine good ol' boy would say:
"We'll jump that creek when we get to it".
That's "creek" as in "crick".

shumie update said...

I saw the great one in civil this week with a colorful chapeau on his head and a jaunty scarf wrapped around his neck- just his icy glare in rejecting a settlement offer and threat to go to trial resulted in a raise to mid six figures which was enough to get a settlement

Anonymous said...

Butchko gave the man probation for one reason. to curry favor at election time. it was actually a brilliant political move. until judges are appointed in florida they will always act for political reasons.

huh? said...

why do they call Blecher "the 007 of DUIs"???

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentlemen, your next county court judge-

George Herbert Walker Yoss.

Fulfilling a life long dream to do a traffic calendar better than all the rest.

Anonymous said...

is there a stranger bird then herb walker?

RFB said...

Because he has a license to kill the intoxilyzer.

Anonymous said...

Things that make you go, Ummm....

Why would anyone run for a County Court Judge seat? I mean Circuit Court Elections are held the same day as County Court, You get payed much more than a County Judge, You will not be dissed by Judge Diaz for being a low life County Court Judge (way below his pay grade), You still have to campaign around the same ol' tired ass events, You get way more respect.

So I ask, what dufus says, I want to sit around all day saying "w/h and 8hrs traffic school, next case".

Can anyone please explain this logic. I get being appointed to County Court, but when you are not a Judge deciding to run for office for the first time and saying, "boy, should I be a smuck or a king" and you choose smuck, thats just odd.

What say you.

Anonymous said...

A bunch of us Miami lawyers really like Dale Cohen and wonder what the rest of the story is.

I am glad you brought out the fact that his wife is running against Judge Backman's son and Backman is on the JQC.

Sounds like a Hatfield and McCoy's deal to me!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that Judge Butchko's sentence was politically or racially-motivated. This was a grand theft 3d degree case, which typically gets a PTI offer if the defendant has no priors. In this case, the defendant had no priors. The sentence was appropriate regardless of his race.

Anonymous said...

Blech is all that is cool about traffic court.

Anonymous said...

To 9:58

I would love to be a judge some day, and would run for county court over circuit in a heart beat. It gives you a chance to understand the craft, while the stakes are not so high. Once you learn the ropes, you can apply for a circuit spot.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the County Court Judges should be looked upon with greater respect.They deal with the general public and not just the legal "Eagles"or "wanna be"legal eagles.
County Court Judges have the ability to talk to the persons coming before them,without much opposition even by attorneys.
County Court Judges perhaps have greater impact upon the public.
No,they handle not felonies nor major civil matters.No,they have a lesser pay grade.But they are as important as any Circuit Court Judge.They are in a teaching position for new public defenders and state attorneys.They(or they should)EXPLAIN THE LAW BOTH CIVIL AND CRIMINAL TO ALL WHO COME BEFORE THEM.
THEY ARE THE TRUE jUDGES OF
"THE PEOPLES COURT"

Anonymous said...

He has completely forgotten where he came from, forgets that he was a defense lawyer at Essen's DUI mill and he summarily denies motions and blocks strategies he strongly advocated as a lawyer.

Whoever gave him the nickname 'JOA Joe" did it as a cruel joke.

Hides behind a monotone, emotionless demeanor, and gets his dander up if you tell him he's wrong.

He is an example of a problem with some judges...they think they are smarter than they are

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the two most deserving / qualified candidate on the list for the Circuit Court slot are Darrin Gayles and Andrew Hague.


At the bottom of the list, and the least deserving and qualified are Jose Fernandez and Robin Faber. Fernandez has absolutely no judicial temperament and Faber is horrible on the bench.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,

Question of the day:

What now deceased Circuit Judge was known for saying, "Vee Vill cross that bridge vhen ve get to it."

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I wonder if the person posting about how bad Joe fernandez is is only 1 person. I have to say, I disagree completely. Judge Fernandez is a very nice guy. I have seen him as a pleasant addition to the County Court Bench. He knowledgable, efficient, and respectful in the courtroom. Maybe the person posting has a personal dislike for Joe - it happens to us all. But I wonder, is this sudden venom coming out simply because his name is up to be interviewed by the JNC and you want to taint their opinion of him? I'll bet that's it. Because your rantings are not indicitive of the way Judge Fernandez's courtroom demeanor.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Rumpy: I Agree with 8:37 and 8:51. In addition, your writing skills are a major turn on. I'd light up, but I'm not a smoker.

Rumpole said...

8:30 am- That would be the late Judge Feredrick Barrad. Correct?

Anonymous said...

This is my FIRST post re: "JOA Joe" and I think he sucks too. Just be an equal opportunity asshole, thats all i ask.

Anonymous said...

Joe Fernandez is a great guy and I can't imagine him being anything other then the same as a judge. I'm so sick of all the haters.

Anonymous said...

OK, I know Joe Ferenandez well and have been a friend of his for years but, he has totally pissed off all of us.

Joe, if you are listening, try being nice and step on the State every now and then!

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

From my friend, mystery writer Paul Levine:

"During my tenure in the courthouse, the late Frederick Barad, was one of Miami's most colorful judges. A survivor of Auschwitz, he spoke with a European accent and was known for his sly humor. Judge Barad was one of my favorites, but he cut me no slack. I once represented a successful orthopedic surgeon in a divorce case from his wife of twenty years. My client was deep in the throes of a mid-life crisis: gold chains, black Porsche, blond bimbos. In opening statement, I tried to minimize these peccadillos. "Sadly, Your Honor, in recent years, the parties have grown apart."

"Sure they have," Judge Barad interjected. "When the doctor's wife turned forty, he traded her in for two twenties."

In another case before Judge Barad, I spotted a juror sound asleep as I did my closing argument.

"Your Honor," I complained, "Juror number three is snoring."

"So?" Judge Barad said. "You put him to sleep. You wake him up."

(one r in Barad Rumpy).

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

8:30am here Rump.

You are correct Rumpole and I now know you have to be at least 55 years old.

Anonymous said...

Barad was also quoted as saying:

"Brady, Brady, vhat's dis Brady. Ah hah, Brady vas a robbery, this is burglary, so it does not apply."

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:45 a.m.:

you are either on drugs or are JOA Joe himself (more likely). First, there is not a single DUI defense attorney in the county that has a nice thing to say about JOA Joe. He is all about slamming the defense bar and slamming defendants. No continuances (unless you are the state on the day of trial), no depositions, wait all day (at least) for the state witnesses to show. The only lawyers that like being in there are the State-ettes, cause they don't have to do squat but sit back and watch the judge do their job.

Second, you have exactly the same chance of Joe giving a JOA now as he had of getting one as an attorney -- ZERO.

Third, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to see that JOA Joe is now taking advantage of his position to show all his buddies (to whom he promised he would be such a good judge) how much "smarter" he is than they. Easy task when he wears the robe. I sat back when this stuff started on Joe, but when the 9:45 BS apologist chimed in, couldn't hold back.

Rating the DUI divisions 1-7, JOA Joe's is the WORST, THE WORST, THE WORST, THE WORST. Did I mention it was the WORST of any DUI division for a defense lawyer or defendant?

That being said, I hope he gets the circuit slot. His county seat is not up for 2 more years and that is too long to wait for someone to take him down. In the circuit spot, he will continue in his deliberately state-oriented, anti-defense ways, but at least there the defendants that he will give a screwing to are a little more deserving.

Anonymous said...

Defense Attorney: "Judge Barad, the state has failed to disclose important Brady material in this case. I ask the court to impose sanctions."

Judge Barad: "Brady?...BRADY?? Brady vas a robbery, your case ees a burglary."

Anonymous said...

Barad is presiding over a rape trial. The vicitm is testifying and becomes tearful and visibly upset. The prosecutor asks the judge if the victim can have a glass of water.

Barad pours one for her from the pitcher on the bench. After the victim gets her water the defense attorney asks the judge if the Defendant can have a glass of water too.

Barad says: "Vhen your client testifies THEN he can have a glass of vater."

Anonymous said...

Changes are coming in Broweird as several of the old guard are retiring or have already left:

-"Cryin'" Larry Seidlin
-Leonard "Nothing Could Be" Feiner
-Peggy Gehl
-Jay Spechler
-Joel Lazarus
-"Maximum" Dan Futch

The numerous contested elections and the prospect of possible indictments or JQC actions are likely to change the face of the judiciary forever. Now if only Satz would be gone ...

TAINT IT AIN'T said...

to 9:45 am:

Taint? It ain't tain't when its true.
No one ever said Joe wasn't a nice fellow. Your post didn't address any of the substantive comments made about him.

Anonymous said...

I would like to withdraw my earlier comment that started Dear 9:45. (around 4:00p) Thank you, Rump.

Anonymous said...

9:45am on 'JOA Joe'... its definitely more than one person.

Thanks for sharing your love for Joe. Going to have to pass on the praisefest.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rumpole -- more Broweirdness happening today.

Apparently the Adjudicator, Judge Seidman, got busted for having his election filings use his COURTHOUSE address and phone number for the campaign, and his JA has given out her official courthouse email for campaign invitations.

www.browardbeat.com has the scoop.

The guy has had opponents since July of 2009 and is claiming using his chambers as campaign headquarters was an innocent mistake.

Whoops..

Only North of the Border -- I guess going so long without judges having oppositions has made them forget about all the rules -- #1 being don't use the Courthouse for your campaign and don't have your JA on state time acting as your campaign event coordinator.

Anonymous said...

update: dale cohen is being moved to family. lazarus is covering his docket starting monday. dangerous.

Anonymous said...

They say
1. Law students who got all A’s become Professors,
2. Law students who got all B’s become Judges,
3. Law students who got all C’s become rich and
4. Law students who generally went to unaccredited law schools, graduated by the grace of irony, practice the art of the trial day “plea,” and flex their discontentment with Judges on a blog- them law students NEVER “graduate” past county……unless they become PI lawyers….I think you all should start chasing ambulances instead of cop cars.