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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, May 10, 2010

NOT INVITED AGAIN

BREAKING: OBAMA CHOOSES SOLICITOR GENERAL ELENA KAGAN AS NOMINEE TO REPLACE JUSTICE STEVENS. News conference Monday at 10 am. NY Times article here.




Apparently there's been a party going on in our courthouses as the 11th Circuit has been celebrating Law Week. And once again, we were not invited.


WHAT'S ABOUT THE WORST THING YOU CAN SEE ON A MONDAY MORNING?


We would hazard to say that if you're a criminal defense attorney in Dade, the above view would turn most stomachs.

It certainly makes us queasy. (For those robed readers, this is the sight you see when walking into the "new" wing of the Broward County Courthouse. That's a statute of Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward gracing the hallway to hell.)

We're going to clean up some things from last week.

First: as we said in the comments section, a Judge who espies a person in the courtroom wearing a shirt that may be considered offensive has every right to ask the person to leave the courtroom. If the erstwhile model is a litigant, the Judge should re-set the case.

A Judge does not, under any circumstances, have the right to hold someone in contempt for wearing a shirt that contains a slogan that the Judge finds offensive.

A judge has no right to punish someone who wears a shirt that expresses a slogan. Once you start down that slippery slope, you end up with Judges punishing people who wear shirts espousing particular political philosophies. "Eat Organic"; "Vote For Communism"; "Teachers for McCain"; "Rabbis for Obama"; "Red Heads Are Sexy"; "Van Gogh Sucks" all end up subject to the particular political or esthetic whims of the person on the bench.

Judge Fernandez:
We congratulate him on his elevation to Circuit Court. He follows Judges Sarduy and Arzola as recent county court judges who have been elevated. While we wanted to see the seat go to Judge White-Labora, or Judge Gayles, we wish Judge Fernandez the best. It's certainly gratifying to see the seat to go to someone who practiced law as a prosecutor and a defense attorney before becoming a judge.







18 comments:

Anonymous said...

broward monday morning- i dont envy u

CAPTAIN said...

8:25 - you are absolutely on the money with your answer. (See my post re Obama announcement of Kagan nomination under Rumpole's post of today).

On a separate note, an Op Ed piece in the NLJ:

A bipartisan group of House members introduced a bill that would establish a blue-ribbon commission to study the issues and propose solutions to the current problem of our broken criminal justice system in the US.

The United States has the highest reported incarceration rate in the world. Prisons and jails are filled to bursting with nonviolent offenders. There are a wide array of approaches, including drug treatment programs and prisoner re-entry projects, that could bring these numbers down, save taxpayers’ dollars and give prisoners a real chance to get their lives back on track.

A commission of respected criminal justice experts would examine these problems and come up with an action blueprint. That could overcome the inertia in Congress and state legislatures.

When Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, proposed creating such a commission, his idea quickly attracted wide support. It is a rare cause in Washington that has the backing of the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the A.C.L.U. and the Marijuana Policy Project.

Senator Webb’s bill passed the Judiciary Committee in January, and he has been pushing for a vote from the full Senate. The House bill closely tracks his.

Given the current fiscal pressures and rare bipartisan agreement, there is a real chance to address the criminal justice system’s very serious problems. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should seize the moment and move these bills quickly.

The Captain says:

Oh no, another Commission. Congress will eventually pass this bill and the President will sign it into law; (after some trade-offs attached to the confirmations/or not of judges/US Attorneys/or some other group).

Then, it will take a year to name the Commission. Two years of Commission meetings. Finally, a report from the Commission and everyone involved will pat themselves on the back as another "Blue-ribbon" Commission authors another report.

How many years before real legislation results so we don't have to continue the chant "We're Number One" in incarcerations world-wide?

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

It is not about Hispanic v. Anglo; Black v. Caucasion; Male v. Female or Jew v. Christian when it is time to elect/select our Judges.

It should be about:
1)Competence
2)Experience-Have they tried cases before at the Circuit Court level. The more the better.
3)Temperment
4)Desire for the job for the right reasons.

I don't care if the person on the bench is a three headed Martian so long as they have the above listed qualities and give a fair trial.

All of the nay sayers that criticize the appointments, at least those that actually are familiar with the candidates abilites, have you picked up the phone and called a member of the JNC to express your support or concerns?

To those that criticize those that chose to run, do you think that you can do a better job? Than give up your lucrative practice, take a cut in pay and put yourself out there as a candidate!

Qualifying closed last Friday! If you did not file your papers then constructively write about the professional pros and cons of those that did. Professional issues do not have anything to do with Race; Gender; Nationality; Religious Beliefs or Sexual Preference. It comes down to choices between those that have entered the process, either via qualifying or application, and who would make the very best Judge.

Anonymous said...

I like Jose Fernandez, but I also would have liked to see Gayles get the circuit seat. However, Jose could bring votes to a vote hungry Crist, so that is life.

I donated to Jose and was glad he won the election a few years back. But for some reason, he just did not work for alot of attorneys in county court, including me at times. Maybe circuit will suit him better. I certainly hope so.

Good luck Jose.

CAPTAIN said...

Rumpy, looks like your man Gordon Brown has decided to hang it up. I don't think his move will keep the Labour Party in control of the government as PM, what say you?

The Conservatives are still doing their best to broker a "confidence and supply" agreement, but the Liberal Democrats don't like what they are hearing.

How's it all going to play out ?

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

B.S. Rump, that judge had a right to throw her ass in jail. I think 2 days showed restraint.

Free speech does not allow you to show severe contempt via disrespect to a Judge on the bench.

CAPTAIN said...

1:32 - how does a non-participating spectator in the gallery, who was not saying a word, show disrespect to the Judge on the bench?!

The Judge was way out of line.

Anonymous said...

Captain, the answer to your question is:

By wearing a shirt that says I have the Pussy...

If I were judge, I would have been willing to listen to a legitimate excuse, for example:

"your honor, I am sorry, I was sleepy and slipped on the shirt on the top of the pile and didn't realize what I was wearing..."

Or,

"I forgot I had this on last night when I woke up in that stranger's house..."

Or,

"I didn't realize what I put on this morning, please excuse me..."

I am sure the Judge gave her a chance to explain and she offered no excuse because she is nothing other than a gutter snipe who earned what she got.

Anonymous said...

Milt at 10:38. Let it go man. You are in without oppostion. You are good for only 1 term. Why do you care what the people on the blog say anyway?

Anonymous said...

AMEN to 10:38.

As far as the judge throwing the t-shirt girl in jail...

Why do you have to wear ANYTHING on your shirt to a courtroom? Vegans do it better, PEACE, Only GOD can judge me, or whatever??? I get it, she shouldn't have gone to jail for the thought on her shirt. But how about for her UTTER stupidity and lack of calss, decorum, intelligence, respect, et.al.??? I am not losing ANY sleep over that one!

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder, the Dade County Bar presents their "Lunch and Learn" seminar featuring Mark Eiglarsh, Esq. presenting: "Winning the Case In Jury Selection," this coming Wednesday May 12th, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in courtroom 6-8 of the Richard E Gerstein Justice Building. It should be a wonderful presentation. Feel free to bring your own lunch. Also, you'll receive one CLE credit. For more information, contact Judge Beth Bloom at 305.548.5400.

Anonymous said...

Judge was out of line, and the shirt was disrespectful to the bench, even as a spectator.

Anonymous said...

Rump
Bravo, hear hear. Cudos to 10:38. Well said , well thought out.
DS

Anonymous said...

CAP----"1:32 - how does a non-participating spectator in the gallery, who was not saying a word, show disrespect to the Judge on the bench?!"

Are you seriously saying that it was NOT disrespectful for her to wear that shirt in court?

BTDT

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed to see that a bunch of lawyers in this blog don't know what criminal ontempt is! Contempt is conduct that obstructs or hinders the administration of justice, which wearing this t-shirt is not. If you don't know what contempt is, how are you going to defend a client, or yourself, in a contempt situation?

Anonymous said...

When Chief Judge Joel Brown was a county judge, he had a defendant in court with a t-shirt that said: "I don't give a shit. I don't take any shit. I'm not in the shit business". Judge Brown never lifted his eyes from the court file, took the plea and went on to the next case as if he never read the t-shirt message, leaving the defendant without the pleasure of getting a reaction from the judge.

Anonymous said...

What the chief judge did back then was the right thing to do. I just think that people (myself included)are sick of the gutter trash that make up much of today's society.

Hey Rump - you must be busy. You need to update posts more often for those of us with mundane, boring jobs who need the distraction.

Anonymous said...

When did Eiglarsh become a trial expert?

When did Eiglarsh try a case?

I'm confused....

On Thursday I'm giving a training on open heart surgery...1 CLE credit...

...DON't bring your lunch.