Saturday, May 29, 2010


Good morning. It's Memorial Day Weekend and here's the news you need to enjoy your weekend.


Meet Judge Beatrice Butchko- former prosecutor; spent time in private practice; appointed Circuit Court Judge, and self described (drum roll please)


Under an April 25, 2010 (why did it take Rumpole so long to address this story? See below) Miami Herald Headline "Miami Dade Judge Blasts Flawed Public Defender System" Judge Butchko said this in response to a PD who announced she was not ready for trial because she was overloaded with cases:

'We're not in some Third-World nation where the Constitution means nothing. In this division, the Constitution means something,'' Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Betty Butchko told lawyers Friday.

Rumpole wonders: What does Judge Butchko know about other divisions that we don't? Who does she hang out with, robed reader wise? Who is she eating lunch with? Will she respond and list just which divisions she is aware of in which the Constitution means less than something? Stay tuned.


Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts accuses BP of trucking in 300-400 extra workers for Friday's photo op showing the President walking the beaches with BP workers in the background earnestly cleaning what looked to us to be pristine beaches.

Understandably the WH was nervous about letting the press photograph the President on oil fouled beaches, lest the images be used in 2010 and 2010 campaigns. But what about the allegation carried by CNN here that the workers were trucked in for a staged photo op?


Everyone's favorite federal blogger has two wonderful emails from Judges Moreno and Altonaga on Judge Ned Davis. It's must reading.


Vienna tops the list of Best Cities in the World based on Mercer's quality of life survey here.

And Usher's OMG rests atop the Billboard Hot 100.

Rumpole's Daily Reading List:

As we spend this Memorial Day Weekend with the rich and famous in Montauk, NY, we post our daily reading list for your perusal:

When you wake up in the morning, if you're not immediately heading over to Politico to read Mike Allen's Playbook and The Huddle, then you're already behind.

Next, for us, we read the on line editions of Le Monde, The NY Times, The London Times, The Financial Times (Londo Edition) and the Washington Post. It's only then that we reluctantly turn our attention to the Miami Herald and the mundane news of who shot who, and whether Miami Beach will let revelers be served alcoholic drinks on the beach. Thus, we some times miss local stories like the one above. Most of the time alert readers will give us a tip.

Enjoy your holiday weekend, and get ready for the crush on Tuesday. If a few alert readers can send us updates and pictures of the lines outside the REGJB we will be greatly appreciative and will have a shot of Patron in your honour.


Anonymous said...

Rumpole - you speak of USHER's music ... are you still a fan of "DOWN WITH O.P.P."?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the PDs office hire a handful of attorneys to run their clients to see if they are actually indigent? I'm sure a some PD clients own a car, a home, etc...This is political however, with the idea of more case = more money. This money in turn is spent on wasted salaries such as consultant Brummer, Weed, & Stein. This also hurts the private sector, because these people would be forced to hire privates.

We could also try to get the ball rolling on clerk's running credit instead of the idiotic indigent form where people just lie.

Anonymous said...

We are in the most "third world"
part of the country. Constant
shootings, constant corruption,
dirty cops, dirty politicians,
poorest zip code in the country,
uneducated populace, huge disparity between rich and poor,
oligarchic traits, massive drug trafficking, etc.

Anonymous said...

Wake up! That story is OLD news. It's actually from 2009, not 2010. Look at the date. Ms. O'Connor hasn't been in that division in a long time and is actually leaving the PD's for private practice soon.
Are you now going to break the news that Bush stole the 2000 election or that the Berlin Wall fell?

Anonymous said...

I would read The Wall Street Journal before The Washington Post or The New York Times.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if another lawyer from the REGJB happened to be in Montauk this weekend!

Anonymous said...

The workers were trucked in for a photo op. This isn't an allegation. It's the truth. The whole charade yesterday was a photo op. The workers were ordered not to talk to the press and ordered not to say who was paying them. Sad. Very sad. The Gulf's Chernobyl.

Anonymous said...

Judge Butchko is in no position to speak of the meaning of the constitution. She is precisely the government official Jefferson and Madison were speaking of when the spoke of the constitution being a restraint on government. Judge Butchko, how about you allow a defendant to have their trial before the PVH once in a while instead of having the PVH first so you can sentenced the defendant prior to ever being convicted of the new substantive offense?

Anonymous said...

Who cares about this, Halladay just threw a perfect game against the Marlins. Only the 20th in MLB history, first time 2 thrown in same season!

Anonymous said...

What an irrelevant cheap shot at the Judge. What the Judge clearly conveyed was that in her courtroom the elected public defender's strategic gamesmanship with the constitutional rights of others would not be tolerated.

Anonymous said...

Hey 5/29/10 @ 11:59 am,

I'm down with O.P.P. and I'm naughty by nature as well

Anonymous said...

betty is defender of her robe

Anonymous said...

7:31......why waste everyone's time with a trial when a pvh is much faster and the burden is much lower? Regardless, last I checked, the Constitution permits her to do what she's doing.

South Florida Lawyers said...


I usually start with TMZ, check for updates on The Sorrow and the Pity fan site, then finish by Googling "Lake Bell" endlessly.

So our tastes are pretty similar.

Anonymous said...

12:18....great idea. We all know that the PDO represents many clients who are not truly indigent.

Hiring attorneys isn't the answer.......a team of investigators/bill collectors who make a career out of dealing with things like this and are far more cost effective should be hired to do it.

Regardless, the unfortunate fact is that the PDO is uncomfortable investigating its own clients or chasing money (many think they're above that, as if fiscal responsibility isn't their issue). In order to overcome this, I'd like to see the STATE hire the team and give it independent authority to go after the cash. They should buttress the team's power by passing a law allowing the team to garnish wages, etc. Watch what happens then.


Anonymous said...

8:44 AM - you, sir, are a moron.

Anonymous said...

The investigative team could get the money from the PD's non-indigent clients and give to the FACDL to split among its memebers who were decieved when the defendant lied in the affidavit of indigency and the judge gave him a PD instead of making him hire a private lawyer. Further, any judge who appoints PD's on gold-laden "indigent" clients shall forfeit campaigns contributions to the FACDL fund in amounts of $500 for misdemeanos, $750 for 3F's, $1,000 for 2F's, $1,500 for 1F's, $2,000 for 1PBL's and $15,000 for capital felonies.

Anonymous said...

I love it when someone like Betty Butchko tries to stick up for the Constitution.

Thanks Betty but, we are so sick and tired of your rudeness, your interrupting us and your general dislike of the defense Bar.

Go to civil and have a hard time knowing who to be rude to on a daily basis.

Let's have a list of the top 5 judges who cannot shut up and listen and who are simply rude on a daily basis:

Here is my list:

1. No doubt... #1: Dava Tunis. She cannot shut up and listen. She stares at the clock when we talk and could care less if lawyers are even in the room. She says over and over...."I don't want to be rude but..." She is out sick so often ( I do not wish her ill but she has been out sick a bunch of time lately) but, you should see the look on everyone's face when they walk in and are told someone else, like Rosa is covering. Everyone, I mean everyone is happy to see ANYONE but, Dava there.

2. Betty Butchko. She simply hates the sound of the defense voice and wishes we would go away and let her make all decisions. Another judge who never lets you finish a freekin sentence.

3. Diane Ward. Sorry, Diane, you need to shut up and listen more often. Hey, is that not what we pay you do do?

4. Jackie Scola. She is a one man show. We could all leave and she would handle it all without us.

5. Lenny's bouncing baby girl, Stacy Glick. The apple did not fall far from that tree. State wins every time in that courtroom and defense attorneys rarely finish a second sentence.

What do you all think?

Anonymous said...

The PD's office can not investigate their own clients to determine if they are indigent or not. Once appointed they have an ethical duty to their client. It is the job of the clerk or court to conduct adequate inquiries as to the indigency of defendants. How many times have we seen a judge half ass an inquiry just so they can get the PD appointed and the calendar moving? The inquiry must be more thorough. PD's can't investigate their clients or gather information through speaking to their clients and then reveal that info or call their clients out.

Anonymous said...

To May 30th 11:07
What do I think?
I think you got a problem with strong intelligent women.
While none of the (only women) judges you mention are perfect, you need to talk to your fellow defense attorneys and do your homework. If you do your homework you will see that bench trials have resulted in defense verdicts and supression motions do get granted-- granted not in every one of the ladies courts but they do get granted. Check the records.
Do your homework, strap on a couple and stop being so angry at your mother.