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, August 16, 2010

Before we get to El Capitan: Coming soon- New Rules at Casa Charlie- "but don't say an 'f'ing' thing about it....or else."

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

ELECTION CENTRAL 2010 – COUNTY COURT


Good afternoon loyal readers. The polls have been open for one week now and according to Miami-Dade’s Election Chief, voter turnout so far is light. You can exercise your constituitonal right to vote by absentee ballot, or, by showing up at a polling cite between now and Election Day during Early Voting, or, you can wait until Tuesday, August 24, 2010, Election Day.

In Miami-Dade County, voters will cast ballots in four contested judicial elections. Last week, we covered the two Circuit Court races. Today, let’s review the first contested race for County Court.

In the County Court, Group 7, incumbent Judge Edward Newman faces off against challenger Manuel “Manny” Alvarez.

JUDGE EDWARD NEWMAN

He has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1987. He was first elected to the bench in 1994. Those of you old enough to remember will recall that Judge Newman actually attempted to run for Judge in 1992. Only problem: the Florida Constitution says that you must be an attorney for five years before you can qualify to run for Judge; at the time, Newman was not.

Newman, like Circuit Court candidate Robert Kuntz, took up law as a second career. Newman played college football at Duke and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1973 in the sixth round. He played 12 years with the Fins, went to three Super Bowls, won one (in his rookie season) and made the Pro Bowl four times as an offensive lineman. During his final season as a pro, Newman began taking night classes at the UM law school. He graduated with his law degree three years later.

His entire 16-year career on the bench has been in County Court. And, it seems from reading this blog recently, that our readers either love him or hate him. He certainly has his own way of doing things, and Coral Gables attorney and JNC member Gonzalo Dorta learned that when he appeared before Newman on March 24, 2010 on an LSA case. Although the State eventually Nolle Prossed the case on the day of trial, many of you have already read the transcript of the colloquy that took place between the Judge and Dorta’s two attorneys: Robert Pertierra and Al Milian. (To see the transcript, take a look back at Rumpole's August 4, 2010 post on this blog). To some, Newman's judicial demeanor was unacceptable; to others, it was just Newman being Newman.

Judge Newman has raised $184,000. Of that, $110,000 is his own money. Judge Newman had a good quarter (April 1 - July 16) and raised $40,300. Some of his $500 contributors include: Best & Associates, Leinoff & Lemos, Jaurequi & Jaurequi, Robert Reiff, Simon Steckel, Eric Stupel, Scott Hidnert, Ron Book, and Mark Seiden.

He has spent $91,000 so far, including spending over $51,000 in just the past couple of weeks. Most of that money ($48,000) went to Creative Ideas Advertising (Maritza Gutierrez; yes she is related to Armando), for direct mail, yard signs, palm cards, etc. He has also paid at least two consultants: Armando Gutierrez has been paid $13,000 and Nelson Horta has received $1,000.

NOTABLE EXPENSES: I noticed three very questionable expenses: On July 2, Newman spent $343.35 at Sports Authority for “Miami Dolphin momentos for fundraiser hats and footballs”. On July 4, Newman went back to Sports Authority and spent another $53.60 for the same thing. And on July 9, Newman billed his campaign for $318.32 for a charge at Cubavera for “Guaybera shirts as consideration for player appearance". Now, the way I read that is Newman had to buy some fancy shirts for one or more of his former Fins football players in order to get them to show up at a fundraiser. Is that a permissible expense to charge to your campaign???

You can visit Judge Newman's web site here.


MANUEL “MANNY” ALVAREZ

He has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1986. During his more than 24 years of practicing law, Manny has been an Assistant Public Defender in Miami for almost 20 years. He twice hung out his own shingle: going solo from 1989-1992 and with the law firm of Gonzalez (Silvia-his wife) & Alvarez from 2005-2007. He returned to the PD’s office for his most recent stint in 2007.

During his career at the PD’s office, Alvarez has handled everything from Juvenile cases through capital murder cases. He is currently First Chair Death Qualified. Alvarez is also an accomplished appellate attorney having authored over 800 appeals with over 200 published opinions. He has argued before the Florida Supreme Court eight (8) times.

Recently, the DBR covered a story concerning the 1992 arrest of Alvarez on two charges: Carrying a Concealed Firearm and Violation of DV Restraining Order (F91-18321). The allegations centered around Alvarez’ mother calling police and informing them that Alvarez was at her home in violation of a restraining order she’d obtained against him (91-22003-FC-04*). Alvarez entered a PTI Diversion program, completed it successfully and all charges were dismissed. (*According to the online docket, it appears that the DV Order was dismissed 39 days after it was filed).


Some in our legal community have posed that Dorta, Pertierra, Milian and others urged Alvarez to file against Newman because of the way he handled the Dorta case. Alvarez denies these allegations; although he did file his papers with the Division of Elections to run for Judge on March 30, 2010 just three weeks before the deadline, (and six days after the Dorta hearing).

Alvarez has raised a total of $40,800. Of that, only $1,000 is a loan from Manny. Maximum $500 contributors include: Rob Pertierra, Alberto Milian, Gonzalo Dorta, Gonzalo Dorta PA, Matias Dorta PA, Gamba & Lombana, Rene Sotorrio, and Arnold Trevilla.

Alvarez has spent a total of $17,100 so far. He paid $1,000 to consultant Janell Amador, $1,000 to Stephanie Warnell, and $1,000 to Willing Campaigns, Inc (Julio Perez).

You can visit Alvarez’s web site here.


The Miami Herald has endorsed Judge Newman. Who do our readers and bloggers think should wear the robe? Let's hear from you!


CAPTAIN OUT .....



17 comments:

What a Hypocrite !! said...

Oh Captain, My Captain,

your examples in defense of "El Kingmaker" are good ones - but unfortunately did not go far enough !! There's a whole lot more to that story - and politics is indeed dirty business

Anonymous said...

Based upon qualifications listed by you Captain, alone, Alvarez sounds like the more qualified candidate, and will be getting my vote. The better qualified candidate always gets my vote, regardless of politics.

Anonymous said...

dirty ain't the word kid...i was offered today $5 to vote for a judge today...how much for a not guilty verdict?

Anonymous said...

$110K of his own money,Ouch!What a price to be paid for arrogance Ed! I am sure there is a lesson here,isn't there Captain?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, as much as I love Ed and The Fins, he has no business being on the bench. Just ask Bonita Jones-Peabody.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether anyone is, or perceived to be, a "kingmaker" or the circumstances that led supporters to urge Manny to file in a particular race, the fact remains that Manny is a highly-qualified attorney and legal researcher, while Ed Newman is a bully on the bench still trading on his Miami Dolphins position many decades later....

Anonymous said...

Seems as if I am not the only person to say, Captain, my Captian.

I gave money to Ed Newman out of fear but, I will vote for the other person as I am tired of being bullied on Monday mornings.

Anonymous said...

Udonis Haslem's bull shit arrest should be a clear reminder to every defense attorney, prosecutor and judge-b.s. arrest happen all the time. Imagine he wasn't a pro player but a lowly civilian on probation, and was arrested in a similar manner, there would be no bond, no attorney immediately proclaiming his innocence, etc, etc. He would languish awaiting a VOP hearing and the little semblance of a life (s)he had been able to grind together would be vitiated in one minute.

Probation is a trap, and there always exist some FHP (your choice) officer ever so willing to push a defendant into this trap at every turn...judges need to see this, prosecutors need to remember this when they place an impossible probation period on a defendant, and defense attorneys should know that just because they can seduce their clients into accepting a deal in order to stop dealing with a case, people get easily hurt by probation. Here could have been the perfect example.

Rump, you should take a deep philosophical look at this issue in the system.

Anonymous said...

It's really sad that Carlos Martinez runs what was widely considered the greatest criminal law firm of all time, in the seventies of course. He kissed ass to the top-

Anonymous said...

Who is Bonita Jones Peabody

Anonymous said...

It took Carlos Martinez exactly 1 year to ruin a glorious office. Morale is in the dumps. The fifth floor is so disconnected they have no idea how bad morale is.

Nobody cares about results anymore all they do is count numbers, numbers for depos, numbers for jail visits, numbers for motions, ....it's turned into what many are calling "numerical assistance of counsel." How about that lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

It isn't sad simply that Carlos runs the office. What's sad is HOW he runs it.

Anonymous said...

Bonita is good peeps. Very hardworking attorney. If Newman messed with her, then he really has no judicial temperament.

Anonymous said...

8:31 p.m.: you are so full of crap. Don't want a bull shit arrest? Then don't commit a bull shit crime.

Anonymous said...

i have appeared before Newman both as a state and now as a defense attorney many a times and i have found him to be an equal opportunity jackass. Alvarez is way too overqualified to be sitting on a county court bench doing poss. of marijuana trials and he will have my vote and my $500 when he runs for a circuit seat.

Anonymous said...

12:01, you missed the point, a bull shit crime is not a crime at all, the bull shit is committed by the officer arresting the defendant when no arrest should have occurred. If a defendant is on probation the officer will err on the side of caution and arrest the defendant more easily all factors being equal. This set up is bull shit. My point stands.

Anonymous said...

Rump,

Do yourself a favor and read the prologue to DeLillo's Underworld. Captures the scene of Thomson's home run beautifully.