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, May 22, 2010

FUN AT DCJ

We received this email, which bears repeating in its entirety:

"Rumpole- perhaps your readers would enjoy my experience at the Dade County Jail this week.

I took over a felony case from another lawyer and attempted to see my client at the Dade County Jail. Here is my story.

DAY ONE: MONDAY: I go to the jail and am cheerfully admitted through the legendary front gate. I fill out the paperwork, clear the screener (which is a new addition- for years no one bothered to check why the security machine was beeping. Just don't bring a cell phone or a lighter into the jail. Small arms and ammo were apparently completely acceptable.)

They take my paperwork and go to the computer and return and tell me I can't see my client because I am not the attorney of record. I inform them that the client just hired me. "No way Jose." If the computer doesn't say I'm his lawyer, I can't get in. Now it occurs to me at this point that in this case the client's family hired me. But what if they wanted me to see their son before hiring me? How would the jail handle that? Anyway, I am told to return with my notice of appearance.

DAY TWO: TUESDAY: I return with my notice of appearance. I enter the front gate, hand them my paper work and am promptly told that I cannot see my client. The computer does not have me listed as my client's attorney. "But I have my NOA" I say. "They told me they needed that."
Nope. If the computer doesn't have me listed as the attorney, I cannot get in.
A word about this computer. When they went to check the computer, the corrections officer could not get the mouse to work. She kept swiping it but the cursor on the screen didn't move. She then looked behind the screen to check the wire. I tried to lean down and talk through that little 16 inch opening in the security glass and tell her that the mouse was wired into the computer but not the screen. She ignored me. Then she started yelling to her compatriot that she couldn't check the computer because the mouse wasn't hooked up to the screen. "The computer, the computer !" I tried to yell. "Check the mouse wires to the computer." Another corrections officer arrived. Then another. They picked up the screen. They looked behind it. All the time tugging on the wire to the mouse that led down through a hole in the table and to the computer. Finally, and this is true- they put the screen down- one corrections officer held it- and another smacked it with a radio. Lo and behold! The mouse started working. The computer was checked and it dutifully spit out "NO" in my request to see my client.


DAY THREE :WEDNESDAY: Now things are going to get fun. I return with a copy of a certified copy of my motion for substitution of counsel. I fill out my paperwork. I present it to the corrections officer. "What's this?" "It's an order that says I am the new lawyer on the case. I bring it with me on the extraordinarily slim possibility your computer does not say that I am the lawyer on the case. " "Hold on." I wait several minutes. "You can't come in." "Why?" "The computer says you're not the lawyer on the case." "Aha. That's why I brought you an order. See, it's stamped just about ten days ago, saying the client switched lawyers. " "Hold on." I wait several more minutes. "You can't come in. " "Why." "My supervisor says this doesn't have red ink on it. It's not an official copy." They had me there. I made the fatal mistake of copying my certified copy, and not bringing the original one. I was beaten yet again. I left.

DAY FOUR: THURSDAY. If I was the subject of a reality TV show and had a TV crew following me, I would have the material for a top rated show. Today's attempt to see my client was truly frightening. I arrived at the legendary front gate fully armed for battle. I walk in. I clear the screener. I have my original certified copy of the motion for substitution of counsel. I cannot lose. I fill out my paper work, I smugly slide my original certified copy through the 16 inch slot, and while I was not looking Rod Serling was off to the side slyly informing his viewers to behold the over worked criminal defense attorney vainly trying for four days to see his client. Only today, unbeknownst to him, he was about to enter the twilight zone.

"You can't see the defendant." "Why not?" "The computer says you're not his lawyer." "Aha. But I have an order saying I am the new lawyer. And it has the red ink stamp on it as well."
"Huh?" "The order. You have it in your hand. It says I am the new lawyer." The corrections officer spends several minutes reading it. I am now quoting exactly the conversation that ensued, as I began to take notes. My recitation will also closely approximate the phonetic sounds of the words I heard:

"It don't say dat." "Yes it does." "Where?" "Can I see it for a moment." "No. hang on." I wait as a second corrections officer arrives. 2nd Officer: "What jew want?" Me: "Huh?" 2nd Corrections Officer: "You ain't seeing no one who you no be the lawyer for." Me: "Hang on a sec- that's a lot of negatives. I need to get this down." I take a deep breath. "Officers. I have an order saying that I am the new lawyer on this case. I know the computer doesn't think I am the new lawyer, but I assure you I am." First Corrections Officer: "Where it say dat on dis?" Me: "Right there. XXX shall be substituted as the attorney for YYY." First Corrections Office to Second: "See. He say dis say he da new lawyer. But this don't no say dat. Dis say substitute. Nothing about being a new lawyer." " Second Corrections Officer: "So he like working with the first one right?"
Me: "I'm right here. I can answer that question." First Corrections Officer: "Hold on."

Both corrections Officers disappear and after ten minutes or so, a third one arrives.

She authoritatively holds up the Order: "If you be working with some lawyer we need a letter from that lawyer saying you can see the client."

Me. "But I'm not working with the lawyer. I'm the new lawyer. I don't think any of you understand what "substitutes" means.

First Corrections Officer to Second and Third: "There he go again thinking he smarter than us cause he a lawyer."
Me: Bending down to talk through the 16 inch slot. "I never said that! All I'm saying is that if you don't understand the order, try reading the next line where it says that lawyer YYY shall be relieved from any further obligations in the case. "
Second Corrections Officer: "Why don't you try getting an order that say you da new lawyer. It ain't that hard."
Me. "I'm beginning to see your point. Can I speak with the shift commander? "
First Corrections Officer to second and third under her breath "I knew that was coming." Then to me: "He on break. You need to come back."


Post script :I went back on Thursday afternoon, spoke to the shift commander, was granted access to the jail, only to be told the floor was on lock down.

On Friday afternoon I went back to the jail and was promptly admitted and saw my client. I am by nature curious, so I asked the woman at the front desk why she didn't check the computer to see if I was the lawyer. "Too much trouble" she said. "The mouse never works and the information is always out of date."

Please Rumpole- please print this so the next time some sneering and condescending Judge who has never been in private practice wants to know why we didn't promptly see our client in jail, they will have some understanding of the troubles we go though. It's not just like we walk in, are given a cup of coffee and seated in a comfortable chair whilst out client is brought to us.

Thanks.

Rumpole says: Wow!




59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the funniest post in the history of the blog. And it all rings true to boot.

Anonymous said...

There are more Adrien reversals in the pipeline. What a disgrace!!! Some blame however should go to the Chief Judge or whoever assigned him to criminal in the first place. Not a good idea to assign a Judge with no trial experience AND no criminal experience to felonies. Too much
at stake.

Anonymous said...

Bertila Soto is given her first assignment. Fix this bullshit. The conversation with the Corrections director should last all of thirty seconds and should go something like this:

"Hey dipshit, If a licensed member of the Florida Bar signs your login sheet, clears security and states that he/she is there to see a client or potential client, then let them in your precious facility."

We're talking about a lawyer going into a correctional facility, not some 20 year old girl trying to sneak backstage to a Justin Bieber concert.

Or, another alternative. When "the computer dont say that you're the lawyer," there should be an emergency court hearing held right then and there. Summon the judge, court reporter, an ASA and the defendant. An emergency hearing should be held in the locker room right near the scanners. Assuming the judge shows proper ID and the computer says that is truly the judge, then the hearing shall commence. A corrections shift supervisor should be there as well.(as soon as he finishes his break)
A motion entitled "Defendant's Second Motion To Substitute As Counsel of Record and Order that Computer Say It Is So" should be filed. Let the former attorney testify that they are off the case. Allow for cross examination by the State- but only after the State has been allowed to depose the attorney and the defendant- for the limited purposes of verifying the substitution.

Then have the judge defer ruling, reset in ten days re plea, plea the case out with the original lawyer, then grant the motion. Then the new defense attorney can see his client-for the first time- over at the jail and discuss how the case ended. NOW, you can see your client- assuming it isnt head count, shift change, Passover, Arbor Day, Boxing Day (if your client is Canadian) or the American Idol finale.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely the most relevant post in a long time. Dade County Corrections is an example of the failure of government.

You hire incompetent, lazy people who can't be fired unless they have sexual relations with an inmate or assist them in bringing drugs into a facility. You place these people in a paramilitary type hierarchy where nobody is seemingly responsible for anything, and then you advise them that customer service is not necessary.

I would rather spend a day at the DMV then deal with corrections. This attorney's email presents a situation we have all been in. I am dealing with a corrections issue right now, as I am sure are many of my colleagues.

Not to politicize, but for anybody who is in favor of socialized medicine or overall large government, think about this: the government is not Barack Obama. It is not your congressman. The government is the lady working the front desk at TGK. The government is fully comprised of lazy, incompetent, ineffective people who will never take initiative to assist you, only refer you to someone else who is either on break, or can't help you.

we see this with the Clerk's Office as well.

So to the attorney who wrote that email, I feel your pain. From the bottom of my heart.

Anonymous said...

If you were a black attorney, you would have been in to see your client on the first day.

There is overwhelming racism toward white and Hispanics by Miami-Dade Corrections. What's worse is that many white and Hispanic inmates (I've heard detailed stories from many clients) are treated much differently than black inmates.

Racism on any level is wrong. If the white corrections officers treated black attorneys they way black corrections officers treat white and Hispanic attorneys, there would be a public outcry. We simply deal with it and accept it because our society still hasn't accepted the fact that white males can be the victims of racism.

Racism will never go away as long as it is tolerated.

Anonymous said...

Priceless!

Anonymous said...

So what can be done? I would join in a class action against the dept of corrections on behalf of my clients' 6th amendment rights.

CAPTAIN said...

To 3:17 am

Yes. Edith Georgi is a PD. I do not understand how it could be that client had an SAPD and now has a PD?

In the words of BHO, "that's above my pay grade"

Cap Out....

Anonymous said...

What if the prospective client wants to talk to different lawyers before retaining one? What if the client's family wants you to see him before hiring you? What if the client wants to know you and know that you know what you are doing before hiring you? What if the client is think about changeing lawyers but is not sure.

I think that corrections is violating the 6th Amendment rights of incarcerated defendants with this policy.

Anonymous said...

I have had very similar experiences trying to see clients. I ask that the new chief judge speak to the head of corrections and work out a way where lawyers and clients can meet. I average about ten hours a week trying to see clients, and about one actually seeing them bc of corrections' doing all they can to make it difficult. I'd rather do my work and spend time with my family than sit in a waiting room for an hour a day only to be turned away

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:42. Hysterical post, but so sad since it's no doubt a reality. I am a long time faithful reader of this blog, even though I work in the health care industry. I read this blog because in some twisted way it is comforting to know I am not alone as my efforts to be a patient advocate takes me into the twilight zone almost daily. The parallels between the legal industry and the health care industry are uncanning. One must have a sense of humor, or the insanity of the stupidity will drive you crazy. Kudos to all who face this obsurdity and don't go postal as they strive to do the right thing for their clients or patients.

Anonymous said...

So who is going to sue corrections for denying people the right to counsel? Why does a notice of appearance have to be the 6th amendment threshold?

Anonymous said...

Has it always been like this or was there a policy change and why?

Anonymous said...

Let things be the way they were when they worked fine.

Anonymous said...

Pure brillance.

Anonymous said...

We've all had bad experences with DOC. And, they don't just give defense attorneys a hard time (I remember when I was a prosecutor and received complaints that some officers were advising offenders to NOT speak to cops for any reason).

Regardless, most officers (as in any other line of work) are decent people. The rules obviously need to be changed and some of the leadership needs to excercise some more common sense.

That said, they have a tough, miserable job which none of us would want (who the heck would want to spend all that time in jail? Who would want to be spit on and lied to all day? And, have to worry about their personal safety to boot? All for minimal pay. Certainly not me). Really, I think we need to address this (and the other problems that arise) in a positive, constructive, and cooperative way. We'll get better results faster if we do. We spend way too much time complaining/fighting and not enough actually making things happen. The defense bar (FACDL, etc.) and prosecutors should work together with the judges on this, particularly since this kind of nonsense wastes EVERYONE's time.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

i am so glad that i retired! who needs that aggravation from the parking to the security to the bad decision making....not to mention all of the mold and germs floating around that building from the prisoners and free flow of "people". yuck. i used to get colds all of the time there, now i am healthy! don't shake anyone's hands....

Anonymous said...

I'm a PD, and of necessity I go to the jails a lot. Obviously I have never had this problem because I am the attorney of record, though I don't doubt that the problem exists. I feel bad for the lawyer who posted of his ordeal, that sucks. However, I totally disagree with the assessment of some in the comments that all of Corrections is a bunch of incompetent morons. I have been doing this for 6 years, have dealt with hundreds of corrections officers in that time, and the number I've had problems with I can count on one hand. It sounds to me like this policy should be changed, but I don't think its at all fair to blame the corrections officers behind the desk for the policy. The fact is that its a pain in the ass to see clients, but it could be worse. In NYC, where I went to law school, you had to go to Rikers Island to see them, way more of a hassle than our system believe me.

The worst jail to go to is TGK because you have to wait for a CO to walk you up to the pod you're going to, and then wait for another one to walk you back down. Pretrial it seems there's always somebody else on the floor you need to go to so you sit in that lobby forever. Stockade is the easiest, you walk right in and they bring the guy right to you, and as soon as you're done you can leave. MW used to be great except for the drive, but now they won't let you go up on the floors anymore and you have to wait for them to bring the guy which for some reason seems to always take half an hour. Then you have to wait for someone to come get the guy out of the room before you can leave it, leaving you 15 unwanted minutes of small talk with your client (although I've gotten some great stories in those forced small talk sessions). Whatever, its one of the pain in the ass things about being a criminal defense lawyer, bring something to read and deal with it, thats all you can do. That and don't go during headcount, i.e. all friggin afternoon. But, seriously, the CO's I have met almost all are fine to deal with if you simply give them a little respect, which they deserve anyway for the job they do.

If you've ever worked in an office you know there's bullshit you have to do because your boss says so. Probably this notice of appearance thing is that. Don't take it out on the CO at the desk. Having a high-up at the courthouse talk to a high-up at the jail sounds like a smart solution to the problem.

Also I'm white and I have NEVER felt that I was somehow being discriminated against by black CO's because of it. Nor have I ever heard a complaint from a white client that he was being discriminated against by black CO's. This is in 6 years with a PD caseload, and I talk to my clients. That comment is nonsense.

DT

Anonymous said...

speaking of racism, using a phonetic rendition of a sociolect in order to subtext a comedic point partially dependent on the race of the speaker isn't racist at all. good work man. :\

Anonymous said...

I have two questions.

If the Aventura Police Department wants to drop an A-form on someone in custody, do they have to go through all this bullshit?

And if they drop the A-form on the almost always black defendant, do they have to take him back to Aventura to give him the customary Aventura beat down and taser-fest? Or do they do it right there in the jail before taking him to Ward D?

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

the policy is meant to top hustling lawyers from hustling your clients away when the house man sends the client to a bondsman who sends the client to a lawyer. NOW YOU GET IT...The result: the solution is worst than the problem.

John Balazs said...

I will never again complain about the various difficulties I have encountered in getting in to jails in Northern California. --John

Anonymous said...

3:31 pm, before this policy change, all you had to do was show your bar card, sign the log and fill out the pink slip.

Anonymous said...

I am a young female attorney. Depending on who is working behind the front desk, I am at times forced to speak to my clients through the glass EVEN WHEN I'M LISTED AS ATTORNEY OF RECORD. Apparently its for my "safety." Its much safer to sit next to client in a little room than it is to touch the nasty phones that we need to use to speak to a client through the glass. Plus I'm not always convinced they are not monitored.

So not only is Corrections racist, they are sexist too.

Oh, and I had TWO clients sitting in jail on magical non-existent holds this month. I went to the Judges several times and had them ordered to be released and there was simply nothing that could be done until Corrections received a letter from the agency claiming to have hold on them stating that no hold exists....and obtaining such a letter is a whole other fiasco...

Anonymous said...

9:31- I wrote the email to Rumpole. I went out of my way not to mention my race nor the race of the people I dealt with. Now it is true most of them were women, but other than that the issue is not race and I did not feel a victim of racism ( as some have written) nor do I have any anger against anyone because of their race.

I did write the phonetic way people spoke to me to illustrate the poor intellect or at least the poor schooling that led to part of the problem which is that in all seriousness these people could not read and understand English. They also tended not to speak to me- they had no concern for my time- and while I went out of my way to be polite to them- they took that it appears as a sign of weakness and used it to be rude to me and to do things like consistently just say "wait here" and leave for ten or twenty minutes instead of being polite and saying " I need to speak to someone, can you wait five minutes, I will be right back?"

This was not about race. It is about courtesy and intellect.

Anonymous said...

To 10:22 A.M. (Saturday)

So I guess the DoC (and the Clerk's Office) would be better off if Private Industry took over and brought in non-unionized, near minimum wage workers who would be a lot more solicitous and friendly to the attorneys in the system in order to make it easier for their bosses to make greater profits. When you have a workplace where everybody else is obnoxious (and does anyone really believe that the majority of the attorneys who we work with are not obnoxious) and you live in a community that personifies obnoxiousness, is it any wonder that you too become obnoxious? But no, I guess you can take a page from the Glenn Beck playbook and blaim it all on Obama and big government.

Anonymous said...

you want better access, work on your ebonics....

Anonymous said...

Seems like there ought to be a way to step into the 21st century and and set up secure video links between attorneys and their clients. It would allow more attorney-client access without all of the security concerns at the jail. Their could merely be secure booths that the attorney logs into and talks to the client from his or her office. It would save time and money. There would be no checking in at the facility and no risk of introduction of contraband (if that is what they are concerned about). We nedd some video geek to look into how that could be done.

Anonymous said...

Rump- I have a bunch of dough and I'm thinking of a hedge fund that plays with CDOs. Any thoughts?

Rumpole said...

A CDO is a collaterialized debt obligation. It is a complicated instrument that is used to spread risk of debt among investors.

what we learned from the subprime mortgage meltdown is that most- and I do mean 99.9% plus of professional investors- including the guys who run the hedge funds- had no idea what a CDO was or what was specifically inside the particular CDO they were buying. Michael Lewis has a phenomenal new book out called "The Big Short" which I highly recommend. It explains how so much money was being made selling CDOs that contained repackaged mortgage bonds that the system was designed to succeed by merely continuing- therefore no one had any incentive to know what they really were or what was inside them.

As a side note- if you read the Lewis book there are some marginal players who were working with one of the two guys who figured out early on that the subprime mortgage bond and CDO game was a complete fraud. He is an old HS and college buddy of mine and was begging me to put every nickel I have in a hedge fund shorting synthetic CDOS in the subprime mortgage game. Synthetic CDOS are even more complex and more valueless than original CDOs. I didn't invest it all- but I gave him enough to pool with him and his family members to buy into a hedge fund and we made more money in six months than most make in several lifetimes.

Back to your question- I would sit down with the Hedge fund manager- not any sales agent- and spend a few hours seeing just what the strategy is. Keep asking "what is that" until you either get him or her to say "I don't know" or they answer every question and you believe they know what they are doing. Good luck.

A Man In Full said...

Forget money rump, something more important: SEX.

I got a new chippe GF- second year college- Playboy Lingerie model. Met her at the Rehab Pool Party in Vegas on a scouting mission a few month ago- and wouldn't you know- she's a Miami Native. Her parents are Colombian and they moved her when she was born. Anyway- this hot Chica is muy callente and I just can't keep up. Turning 50 has had some drawbacks, and I realized that I needed some Cilais.

Here's the problem- it says don't use Alcohol when using Cialis. How in world am I supposed to take advantage of what Cialis allows me to take advantage of, when I can't use alcohol which is integral to creating the moment I need Cialis for in the first place?

Help.

Anonymous said...

Sex, Money, what's next?

ROCK N ROLL!!

Anonymous said...

I am a (grotesquely) overweight, non-Hispanic, 61 year old lily white guy who has visited the Dade County Jail over 150 times in the past five years. I have never been denied access or treated rudely by a C.O. at the front desk. I have never heard a C.O. using improper grammar when talking to another C.O. The only spat I have ever had was with a particularly lazy female sergeant in the big glass room who did not understand that a faxed temporary bar card was still legal – the Lieutenant did, though.- one out of scores isn't bad. Now, in an uncharacteristic manner, I tend to be polite to them. Perhaps that would work better in the future. While it may not seem that way, they can be very busy. I would rather deal with 10 of them than one cop. Joe Klock

Anonymous said...

Joe how about a little $100.00 bet. Or more if you wish. Send Rumpole your email- I'll meet you at the jail this week and lets see if you can get in to see my client who I am not still officially representing as per the department of corrections computer.

As to the language- I apologize if it sounds racist. I can unequivocally state that at least one of the woman was either white or hispanic and I could barely understand her. If anything- I did not report all the malapropos and bastardization of the English Language. And if anything I under represented the times I was just told "wait here" and never- not one time- did anyone apologize for wasting my time or the fact they have a computer system that is just reporting Dewey Beat Truman.

Even if It took as long as it did- it would have gone a lot better if I was dealing with people who recognized I was trying to do my job and I was being delayed many hours in my attempt to see a client who desperately needed to see me. What if we were starting trial this week and I needed to spend several hours preparing him? I'd be in the position on Monday of asking for a continuance- keeping my client in jail a few more months- all because ignorant people can't read. It should not be my problem that people who are supposed to be professionals cannot read.

And finally did it ever occur to you that if this is how they treated me- imagine how they treat an inmate who is suffering from a migraine or a burst appendix? I'd hate to be in that position to find out.

Anonymous said...

Stat of the week:

"109 teenage offenders nationally received life without parole sentences and 77 of them were in Florida as of September 2009." (from the Graham case).

That is an amazing stat. Once again Florida - we're number one. Sad. Truly sad.

Unless you are BTDT, who, I am assuming, will tell you that he/she has no problem with Florida leading the country on this statistic.

Anonymous said...

Why not just go back to the courtroom after your first failed attempt, and ask the in court clerk to update the information to reflect you are the attorney of record in CJIS?

Anonymous said...

this black atty stuff is crap..i am a black atty and had the same thing happen to me,...from reading the post here it is clear there is a stench of racism ... no matter how many of u deny it...i am truly saddened..but the policy needs to be changed and the criminal defense lawyer association prexy needs to address this..as for the peole working their..don't hate..they just following orders...covering there asses..ever go to the woman jail ..no problem

Anonymous said...

joe

we are not talking about the juvi detention center!

Anonymous said...

11:37:00 PM......you're right. I have no problem with the state leading the country in incarcerating juveniles. After all, somebody has to and I believe that some of these offenders deserve life sentences.

I DO, however, have a problem with the fact that our juvenile system is a complete failure (it fails to adequately punish people, deter crime or rehabilitate offenders). I believe that if we adequately addressed people when they FIRST entered the system through good programming, etc., we'd drive down the crime rate, change offender behavior and save tax dollars. For the most part, we should reserve harsh sanctions for those we're scared of, not mad at.

Not everything is as black and white as you make it seem. The point of my prior posts was not that EVERY juvenile who commits a series of violent crimes deserves a life sentence (in fact, I initially said that I would NOT have given the offender we talked about a life sentence until someone provided more facts), it's that SOME deserve it.

If things are going to change, we're going to have to engage in an honest review of the system without pigeonholing people or running to the theoretical extremes. I'd rather be smart on crime than tough on crime. More often than not, we should focus on rehabilitating offenders than sanctioning them (that said, we still need to sanction people to deter misconduct). Sometimes, however, being smart on crime requires us to permanently incapacite an offender who simply is too dangerous to let out (ie. with a life sentence or death penalty). Remember that people who commit crimes do so by choice (mentally ill potentially excepting); they are culpable for their actions and responsible for the consequences, many of whice are born by the innocent.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Rump:

How about the correction officers who are referring case to certain bailbondsman, who intern are referring the cases to a hand full of attorneys. How about they address this issue. I was hired by the family of a client about three months ago, had a bondsman interlope and a female attorney, whom the family had never met, and who could not have possibly met with the client, show up at the bnond hearing. Long and short of it, I lost the new client, and lost crediabolity with a valuable source of referrals. And yes, I was turned away at the jail. So, why don't they clean house. Here is how it works, the intake personnel at corrections allow the arrestees to use a phone, provided they call the number (of the bondsman) the corrections personnel recommend. A major player in this "dialing for bonds" is a bondsman located on 36st. in Virginian Gardens, who is apparently tight with some folks in corrections, this bondsman is tight with a certain female lawyer, to whom this bondsman referres all "his" case. No, let Correction and Publc Corruprion investigate. Hey why not start by the phone toll records of the personnel working intake and processing and the the phones at corrections, trust me they will find the players.

Anonymous said...

9:09 be happy to go with you. I am baffled because I have never had anything even close to that happen. As to health issues, I have had cleint issues there, but it has been at the clinic level, not C.O.s. A lot of the clinic doctors take the same attitude towards inmates as an insenitive vet does towards an animal. One exception is Dr. Joe Poitier in the Psych group. Joe

Anonymous said...

If I was a criminal defendant, I don't think that I'd like to have BTDT as my attorney. He seems like one of these ex-prosecutors who charge ridiculous fees and then plead all of their clients guilty because they don't want to piss off any of their buddies in the SAO and they have only hatred for their own clients. Give me an attorney who wants to mix it up with the SAO any day.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the corrections officers were black. You can tell by their stupid language and ignorance.

wcw said...

Entertaining. I sympathize. I am awful at handling people with any authority who are not nice about it. But in retelling the story I would have left out the phonetic transcriptions as well. I find not only that the absence of oxbridge pronunciation tells you roughly nothing about a person's intellect, but also that a person's intellect predicts roughly nothing about his helpfulness in a rules-based, institutional setting. The last such person who treated me ill seemed intelligent enough. She simply seemed, if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor, a real prick by nature and avocation.

Off-topic, why are we talking about CDOs and hedgies here? My advice (and for a change, this is my field) is not to his a PM who wastes his time explaining his strategy to potential clients. His job is to manage portfolios, not talk to you. Any fund worth hiring has skilled professionals to intermediate this process. Talk to them. And if you do succeed in get an actual investment professional to the table, you immediately know his schedule includes lots of time for potential clients, hence less time for portfolio management.

Better yet, quite honestly: save your money and index. 2-and-20 goes a long, long way to equalizing any alpha advantage even a great hund might have.

Anonymous said...

I am the attorney who went to the Jail. I happen to be a lifetime member of the NAACP. I am truly aghast that there is a "stench of racism" attached to my email.

I was angry and frustrated and tried to turn that anger outward in a humorous way.

I wish I had a video tape of the incident. I was constantly saying "I'm sorry- I don't understand what you are saying to me." At some point the frustration of waiting hours over the course of four days before I got into the jail grew into anger that some of these women could neither read a fairly simple order nor effectively communicate with me as to what the problem was.

At least one of this women appeared to me to be white/light hispanic from New York and the quotes of "dis" and "dat" happened to be a thick brooklyn or bronx accent and had nothing to do with my mocking the way african americans are often portrayed. I am of an age when a thick NY accent was often portrayed in the movies and TV in a humorous way, and that's how it appeared to me at the time.

All I can say it that I am glad I stirred a hornets nest up vis a vis corrections and I am very very concerned that people view my email as an attack on a person of color. It is not. I do admit it is an attack on people of limited schooling based on my frustration on having to deal with them. Perhaps in that regard I should have been more sensitive. I again admit I was very angry and frustrated at having to try and explain why I was entitled to see my client.

Anonymous said...

I am a black attorney, who has had just as many run in's with the Corrections Officers as some others have. I'm not going to say they're morons. I'm not going to say they're terribly efficient. They're like every bureaucracy: they gravitate towards telling you no unless you jump through hoops and hurdles one day and they're nice the next day. Sometimes its smooth sailing for a time, then suddenly you get the wrong combination of people and things go wrong.

Doesn't matter if the CO is black, Hispanic, white or otherwise. Bureaucracy is bureaucracy. You could privatize things, but would it really make things that much better? When private corporations hire people for next to minimum wage to maximize their profit potential, is that really going to result in better quality service? Have none of you ever had a run in with a private sector security guard or two who wants to act like a glorified cop and tries to push their weight around and make trouble? Or maybe you have if you've tried to enter a building and have problems with the scanner machine and a guard who barely speaks English.

"Birth of a Nation" was a 1915 flick that was the highest grossing in its day. It was directed and produced by American film great pioneer D.W. Griffith. Much of what I have read in these posts seem very remiscient of the imagery portrayed in the movie.

Lazy, shiftless, ignorant. The film portrayed what would happen to America if blacks were placed in government, positions of power, etc. It was a scare tactic to America, that the Klan was really the savior of the land, the knights in white coming to save the day from blacks that threatened to overrun our way of life.

Nowadays, the Tea Party pretty much fills that role and relies on the same imagery. That somehow Barack and other blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, etc. in power are destroying what made this country great.

Absolutely disgusting. I actually didn't think the post was ebonics or taking a shot at minorities. The phonetic rendition was misleading but if you ever read the Grapes of Wrath, would you think everyone in that book was black because of Steinbeck's use of it?

And people wonder why minorities feel so disenfranchised all the time, when this race crap is tossed in our face so much? I'm not a big Justice Thomas fan, but I'm starting to see a little of his logic. He always complains that society makes huge errors constantly, because people come in with assumptions and preconceptions that somehow minorities are inferior (and thus needing help) and any differentiation continues to feed into this lamebrained stereotype.

In a way he's right. Minorities are in no way different from anyone else. Poor is poor. Rich is rich. Uneducated is uneducated. You can sit there and take potshots and claim, "They never try hard enough!"

"Obviously, the corrections officers were black. You can tell by their stupid language and ignorance." - 12:12:00 PM

You already engaged in racism by the time you did that. Because you just started lumping people together and making blanket assumptions, like always and that's why things don't change, no matter how much you claim, "Oh wait, I'm not a racist, really I'm not, I just am a realist who's willing to call a spade a spade, that's not the same thing." Spare me the trip down condescension lane.

Please, give me a freakin' break.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU 2:25. The cite to the Grapes Of Wrath was right on point and made me feel better.

I have spent my adult life fighting for people. I admit to being upset and my post was in a way condescending because the sad fact is those women could not read very well; they could not communicate in a professional manner; because of that I waited hours over the course of a few days to just try and see my client.

I know for certain I never lost my temper with them or was condescending because I was never given the chance. Every time I tried to speak one of the woman would say "wait here" and walk away, depriving me of even the opportunity to be rude.

I was frustrated but not because of their particular race. A white male co doing that to me ( and they have in the past) would have engendered the same sarcastic response from me.

Anonymous said...

It's not only government. The Advocate Program, which is a private company, operates much like the Clerk's Office or DMV with poor customer service, refusal to assist attorneys, and failure to return phone calls.

Then again, think about customer service around here (South Florida) in general. I was in a Subway the other week and some teenage girl had her cellphone glued to her ear while she (disdainfully) made my sandwich.

It might be regional. Bad attitudes prevail around here. Just look at the drivers.

Anonymous said...

Okay, let's ratchet this down a little. It is getting out of hand. Race is always a discussion that brings out the best in some and unfortunately the worst in most of us.

Does it really matter what race the corrections officer or the lawyer were. The CO's were idiots giving this lawyer a hard time for reasons that have nothing to do with what is in the post. Maybe it was just a matter of: it is not what you say, but how you say it.

Why do some people have to lower themselves to their least common denominator instead of finding the common ground? Isn't it bad enough that our politicians behave that way, do we now follow their lead instead of rejecting that path?

And to you provacateurs out there, STOP. Give us all a break from your illegitimate agenda.

Anonymous said...

Saturday 9:46 am. - Thank you for your illuminating and objective insight, Ms. Ruiz-Cohen. Adrien is a disgrace and needs to be replaced.

However, to be fair, despite your "experience" some 14 years ago, you aren't all that much better. After a 10 year absence from the practice of law, I don't think your being a Circuit Judge as your "come-back" job (with the possibility of being assigned to felonies) is a whole lot better.

But, all in all, anything has to be an improvement over Adrien, albeit not much of one,

Anonymous said...

To 8:49: Maybe if you could spell correctly, you would get more clients. An "intern" is a temporary office worker who volunteers his or her time. "In turn" means what you intended. "Hand full" is not a correct usage of what you want to say. The correct word is handful. This sounds picayune but the way a person writes reflects the way that person thinks.

Anonymous said...

11:35:00 .......... I always do what I think is right, regardless of who it pisses off. Despite my success at the SAO and the many wonderful friends I made, I bet that I angered or frustrated more of my ranking colleagues while there then most defense attorneys. I was well known for my brutal honesty.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

2:25 here.

You're welcome.

I think its like you said. Somewhere in there, people with a certain agenda came in and twisted the original message in a way you never intended.

I'd like to think at heart, we're Equal Opportunity potshot takers, not ones that try to cry that "the sky is falling" because we're constantly griping about "immigrants flooding the borders" and "barbarians at the gate."

No offense was ever taken.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought BTDT was Brian Tannebaum with a hint built in (BT)DT

Anonymous said...

Privatize the Clerk's Office! Contract out to Apple! Can you imagine Genius Bar at the REGJB? Pull up the court file on your iPhone. Order records, and they magically print out from printers attached under the counter ... all for a low monthly price of $200 to AT&T!

Toy Story said...

I am troubled with Florida leading the nation in juveniles serving life sentences for nonhomicide crimes.

As lawyers, I understand on the prosecutorial end, one fights for the victim and has to be passionate because someone needs to stick up for them.

On the defense end, one fights for the client because the job is not done if every tactic is not exhausted in getting the not guilty or the least worst outcome for the client.

Somewhere in between though, we have to step out of either role as lawyers and look at what's happening to our society as a whole.

Every day, the passions of public outcry demand more and more ways to legislate morality. With a flood of min mans, sentencing guidelines and new crimes on the books that continue to make more previously unregulated acts and more criminal, the amount of people becoming criminals is not necessarily because more criminals are being born and bred.

We make policy choices to criminalize certain things and to increase penalties as our prisons are exploding with more people than they can handle. Granted, that's what the Legislature's for and assumedly we defer to them.

But sometimes they get things dead wrong. And misguided judges can compound those wrongs all the more.

I recognize these juveniles act like scumbags and do horrific things that I'd be angered about too if it happened to someone I loved. But we as a society ought to treat them differently because they are growing, impressionable and sometimes just need a swift kick in the pants. Or maybe a few kicks.

I don't think kneejerk reactions of - let them think about what they did for the rest of their lives in prison is the solution. We have grown adults committing homicides who do less time. And there is a racial disparity in how these kids are treated from investigation to arrest to interrogation to prosecution to conviction to sentencing.

The racial disparities are real but more often than not they are de facto rather than some sinister conspiracy to target one group. Anyone who argues deterrence is not being realistic. Harsh sentences are handed out but that doesn't stop people. Particularly knuckle headed snot nosed brats.

We can't just settle for warehousing people.

Anonymous said...

9:33..........I'm not that clever, lol.

BTDT

PS---I do appreciate your thinking that I'm Brian Tannenbaum; I've always had a lot of respect for him and consider him a friend.

Anonymous said...

The reason I dont want to work for Regional Counsel is because the judges seem to make the attorney's go to the jail. I hate the jail and dont like to send discovery there either. Too many snitches!

Anonymous said...

This story id do true - imagine being an inmate. You have Director Ryan and his cronies to thank for this hell of a mess with Dept. of Corrections. I have been an officer here for over 27 years...I cant wait to retire and RUN out the door. This place is a fiasco, no one wants to work, they are either doing their nails, plaing solitare on the computer, treating people like total pond scum or they do exactly what they did to this Attorney.....imagine if it ever ran smoothly....will never happen...too many illiterate people working in that Department....too many chiefs, Director Ryan cant even tie his shoes......dumb as a box of rocks....he has no clue - he is a wanna be cop !!!! But he will let a Captain keep her job even though she was charged with 4 felonies, bragging how the Judge was her personal friend....shame on you !!!!