Wednesday, August 18, 2010


It's that time of year again! Long time and careful readers of the blog awoke today knowing that with six days to go in a judicial election is the time we traditionally post our Judicial election polls.

The Polls can be found on the left (<------over there) and as always we ask "who should win" not who will win or even who you are voting for. The poll is meant to be a reflection of our readers' assessment of the ability of the candidate.

We will release our much anticipated endorsements soon.

In other news, as the Captain and the NY Times reported yesterday (there's a sentence you won't see anywhere else in the world) a jury in Chicago convicted Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, of just one count of the twenty four charges the government had leveled at Blago. The jury hung on twenty three other counts and all four charges against his brother and former fundraiser.

The government will re-try the embattled former governor, and this is where the unfairness of the system kicks in. It takes a monumental effort of time and money to fight the most powerful nation on earth to a standstill in court. 99% of citizens don't have the resources to fight a seven year investigation and six plus week trial once. The ability to do it a second time is almost non-existent.

Assuming he government crushes the former governor at a re-trial and he gets a twenty plus year sentence, is that fair?

We're going to take a rare bow and thank those readers who enjoyed our off topic writing yesterday of the late Bobby Thompson's electric ninth inning home run that brought the NY Giants from behind in the last inning and secured them their only pennant whilst playing in NY.

There's just something about the timeless beauty of baseball that makes it so enjoyable to write about.

See You In Court.


Anonymous said...

11-1 for conviction. yes it is fair.

Anonymous said...

A little trivia off the top of my head:

Thomson had homered off Branca in Game 1 of the Playoff.

The on-deck hitter to Thomson was rookie Willie Mays.

A couple of years later, the Giants traded Thomson to the Milwaukee Braves for a young lefty, Johnny Antonelli. Not only did Antonelli go 21-7 and lead the Giants to the pennant (and World Series sweep), Thomson broke his ankle in spring training, opening a spot in the Braves' lineup for ... Henry Aaron.

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

(from the DBR)

You gotta love Judge Abdul Karim Kallon. He is a United States district judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

He was appointed by Pres. B. Obama and confirmed by the Senate in November of 2009.

Haley Petterson, 21, was a bank teller. She, (and two others), pleaded guilty for her role in cashing checks and withdrawing the money from dormant accounts of older people.

On Monday, Judge Kallon sentenced Ms. Patterson to one hour in prison. She also received eight months home detention and was ordered to pay $41,800 in restitution.

Cap Out ...

braves fan said...

Mr. Rumpole. Great baseball story on Bobby Thomson; (but there is no P in his name.

After the Giants traded him to the Milwaukee Braves, and Thomson got hurt, do you know what rookie replaced him in the Braves lineup?

Anonymous said...

What a surprise. A judge appointed by Obama thinks that looting the elderly deserves an entire hour in jail.

As Captain Renault once said: "I am shocked".

Anonymous said...

Justice is served by the restitution aspect of the punishment, and not the jail time, what would be gained, other than your Right-wing quest for retribution.

Anonymous said...

Big props to APD Billie Jan Goldstein for her brilliant legal argument in Hadley v. State.

Anonymous said...

1 hour in jail?!

Anonymous said...

11-1 with one holdout screams: SOME ONE (1 out of 12) GOT PAID!!!

Anonymous said...

You're mistaken about the NY Giants. They won the pennant in NY in 1888, 1889,1904,1905,1911,1912,1913,1917,1921,1922,1923,and 1924. Not too shabby.

CAPTAIN said...

you forgot 33, 36, and 1937

Anonymous said...

How will they pay the $41,800 in restitution? An hour in jail is the consequence of ripping off old people out of their money? While I agree that certain non-violent crimes should not carry out lengthy jail sentences, one hour may be pushing it a bit? It's not as if this was an economic crime of necessity; these people were taking advantage of old people; I can just imagine the stress this caused on some of the people. This is what bothers me about the criminal justice system...the focus is on the (alleged) criminal, and rarely do attorneys, even when they are not trying the case, think about the victims of the crimes committed.

the trialmaster said...

Is Billie Jean related to the late great Judge Stan Goldstein? Stan was a helluva guy who knew how to have fun. and was a great trial lawyer and later as a Judge.

Anonymous said...

4:04 p.m., you feel good about your comment? You feel like a big man? So Judge Schwartz took a lawyer to task. Gee, how honorable of you to jump on the blog and make sure you alert the masses. Really, you're a credit to our profession.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, please fix the polls to display the results in the Seff/Paulson poll.

Anonymous said...

From this ams Herald:
Palin endirses AG candidate in FLA:
Palin called Bondi and an attorney-general candidate in Iowa ``bold, sharp, selfless women who will respect our Constitution, defend their states, protect our rights and push back against any over-reach of the federal government.''

Palin said the timing of the endorsements was meant to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

``I'm so very proud to be endorsed by such a strong Christian woman who loves her family and her country and is a true role model,'' Bondi said.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/19/1782618/palin-backs-bondis-candidacy.html#ixzz0x2xTTIlf

Rumpole said...

As of this morning it's Seff 74 Paulson 44.
Anybody else have trouble seeing the poll?

Anonymous said...

If Blago is the best example you can come up with on the unfairness of retrying cases then the system must be working better than I thought.



Anonymous said...

Amazing that some people think the 1 hour sentence for the bank teller was appropriate. Whatever happened to the concept that people should be punished for their misconduct. I guess the judge isn't concerned about deterrence either.


The Straw Buyer said...

Rump, one hour in prison actually does seem a bit harsh.  Consider we've outlined $4.5 million in fraud here where none of the 15 people charged received anything more than probation.  Even worse, the PD and the SAO publicized these arrests all over the media.  LOL!

FACDL listserve leaker said...


Love the poll but, just to be sure it was possible, I voted twice for the same candidates. Then I evened it out by voting once for their opponents. :-)

So not the most scientific thing ever, agreed?

I have to say I'd much rather hear some real discussion about the races. (Although not about Adrien v. Cohen, because what is there left to say about that one?)

Some proposed topics:

Manny is a great guy, and better qualified than Newman, but does a vote for Manny endorse and empower the cabal that put him up?

Paulson seems unqualified, but has anyone ever had a pleasant day in front of Seff? Do you think having to run will be enough to adjust her attitude?

Koontz/Gordo is a classic prosecutor versus civil lawyer race. Also brings up issue of age and life experience versus sheer trial numbers. He's like 55 and second career and she is like 20 years younger. He has few trials and she has what you'd expect from the SAO.


Anonymous said...

PAM BONDI is going to blow danny gelber, professional politician, away. as soon as he would become a legislator-he wants to be a senator. as soon as he is a senator-he wants to be a u.s. senator or attorney general. as soon as he would win attorney general - he will have his eye on governor. as soon as he is governor - well, you get the picture ....PRESIDENT of the U.S.

Hence, BONDI for me. Not bad looking either huh? PS: she is supported by Gonzolo Dorta, so she has to be good!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, a vote for Paulson is a vote for a eight year lawyer who has never had a jury trial. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that except for the fact that she feels she's qualified to be a TRIAL judge. And she has virtually never practiced criminal defense and she would be assigned to the criminal division. I mean c'mon. Never had a jury trial? That just shows lack of effort. This is a no brainer for Seff.

I'll vote for Manny next time, but I dont like the CABA aspect of this race. Say what you want, but Alvarez was put up by CABA because Pertierra was unprepared for Dorta's trial and didnt get a nolle prosse fast enough. (Maybe Newman should have forced the SAO to nolle prosse it, then apologized for ruining Dorta's morning, taken a recess, gone back into chambers and made cafecitos for Dorta and then driven Dorta back to his office downtown.)Then the CABA mob denies it and calls it all a big coincidence. Please... I'd have more respect for Alvarez and CABA if they would just admit it. And other than Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp of CABA (Pertierra, Dorta, Milian and Lombana), have you seen any of the heavy hitting lawyers (CABA or not) supporting Manny? Of course not, because they've been longtime supporters of Newman. Newman has every major endorsement other than the aforementioned four horseman. Sorry Dorta, you got treated like every other defendant in Newman's court. Sorry Pertierra, you got treated like every other lawyer that is unprepared for trial.

Adrien's time has come and gone. Personally, I have had nothing but good experiences in front of him and he was no different than any other judge. He came on the bench in less than welcome fashion. Most lawyers could have cared less how he got there. But in the past six years, he has done nothing to rehabilitate his bad image, both on the criminal bench and now on the civil side. Give Sam a chance.

Gordo/Kuntz. Tough call here, but not really. I like jury trial experience of Gordo and like her as a person. But I like legal and life experience. Gordo is a "career" prosecutor (10 years or so) and has never been anywhere but the comfy confines of the SAO. That means no civil experience, no family experience, no federal experience, juvenile, dependency, etc. Nothing. Yes, she has 50 trials, but so does every ASA who's been there for 10 years. I was an ASA with her. But after working for small, medium and large firms and now owning my own practice, I can tell her that it is a whole different ball game. Kuntz has that view of the world.

CAPTAIN said...


So, you want to be a Circuit Court Judge?????

As you know, Judge Esquiroz is resigning from the Circuit Court bench. 19 applied for her seat. The JNC has reviewed the applicants and they will be interviewing 14 of them on September 7th.

The five who did not make the cut:

William Altfield
Rachel Diaz
Steven Grossbard
Margaret A. Rosenbaum
Paola Usquelis Mazure

The 14 that will be interviewed, with up to six names going to the Governor are:

Beth Bloom
Manuel L. Casabielle
Miguel M. de la O
Dawn Veronica Denaro
Alan S. Fine
Robert B. Galt, III
Darrin P. Gayles
Richard Hersch
Robert James Kuntz, Jr.
Norma Shepard Lindsey
Rodney Smith
Alan D. Sackrin
Lisa S. Walsh
Deborah White-Labora

Please send you comments to any and all member of the JNC including Chair:

Mark Romance
Richman Greer, P.A.


CAPTAIN said...

It's for many of us our final weekend of peace and quiet before another school year begins. If you have not seen this video before, take 15 minutes out of your hectic day, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

It's called VALIDATION


Captain Out ....

CAPTAIN said...

12:12 - your analysis is spot on and I agree with your end result in each race. But, you should know that, if Paulson were to win, she would not automatically be placed in Criminal. More likely, branch court Civil to start.

Cap Out ....

Marty Kohn said...

Mr Life Experience,

If "life experience" causes judicial candidates to act like asses, then you can keep your life experience. From Kuntz and his sign robbing or his Internet smear campaign to Newman digging through Manny's personal life, meeting with ex GF's, trying to get his mom to talk crap about him over the gun incident, etc, if this is what a judicial candidate with "life experience" has to offer then I'll pass.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 12pm....
Seff over Gonzalez-Paulson, Kuntz over Gordo, and Newman over Alvarez...hmmm....seems to me you are just finding a way to avoid voting for the Hispanic candidate (except for the Cohen/Adrien case where both candidates are minorities).

You pick Seff, a career one-sided prosecutor, over Gonzalez-Paulson because Gonzalez-Paulson, a sole practitioner with experience in several areas of practice, has not tried a criminal trial, and yet you pick Kuntz over Gordo even though Kuntz has 1, that's right only 1, jury trial on his resume; what's more absurd is that you go on to say that despite his lack of experience in criminal law, being a civil practitioner gives him a better view of the world (wouldn't the same apply for the Gonzalez-Paulson/Seff race?).

Wait, then comes my favorite analysis: Newman/Alvarez. You completely ignore and bypass Alvarez's qualifications and base your decision on whether CABA encouraged Alvarez to file against Newman. Let's suppose the "CABA mob" as you called them did urge Alvarez to choose Newman's division, so what? Next to Adrien, Newman was the least qualified incumbent up for re-election. The fact that he is an arrogant jerk to everyone does not make it right.

Look, this is the U.S. and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but to say that you'd have more respect for Alvarez and CABA if they admitted to the motives behind this race is extremely hypocritical when it's quite obvious that your choices are being driven by something other than logic and reason. Us Cubans have a saying for this situation, "aplicate el cuento, mi hermano."

Anonymous said...

Gonzalez-Paulson/Seff: Vote towards Gonzalez-Paulson. I've had cases against her and she is always prepared, knowledgeable of the law, but at the same time very reasonable. My experiences with Seff have been a nightmare. The problem is not a lack of legal knowledge, but rather complete disregard for people other than her. I'm talking all people including litigants, attorneys, clerks, and other court personnel. Comment that best describes her was made at the CABA luncheon; she was asked about the highs and lows of her career and she said that the highest point of her "LIFE" was being appointed to county court and the "lowest point" of her "LIFE" was finding out she got opposition. I sat there wondering...28 years as a prosecutor, a wife and a mother and getting opposition was the lowest point of your life?wondered...28 years as a prosecutor and having to campaign is the lowest part of your life? Then I remembered, oh that's just Seff being Seff, and by that I mean by egotistical and self-absorbed. So here, I'm choosing to give the newbie a try and at least I know Gonzalez-Paulson will see this as the opportunity of her life unlike Seff who sees the position as an entitlement.

Gordo/Kuntz: I've met them both and they both seem like they would make good judges. Obviously, Gordo has the jury trial experience that Kuntz lacks, but luckily judges don't try cases...they only hear them and rule according to the law. Only thing that bothered me a bit was seeing Kuntz personally comment on the blog some negative stuff about Gordo. That conduct was a bit unbecoming of a judge (fyi: do what the other judges who post on this blog do, write anonymously). Gordo on this one.

Alvarez/Newman: Alvarez for a couple of reasons: a) argued before Florida Supreme Court b)nice, down to earth guy c)tired of hearing Newman's Miami Dolphins' stories. Dude, 1973 was 37 years ago...most of the lawyers appearing before you weren't even alive then! d)a vote for Manny is a vote to upset all you CABA haters.

Anonymous said...

12:12 Judges do not run for TRIAL Judge or for specific divisions. They are a judicial candidate and will be assigned to any division the Chief Judge decides to place them.

Anonymous said...

to 8/19/10 at 10:37 am. your concern about professional politicians seems silly. if your sole complaint that a person has served in office in various positions disqualifies your voting for him, then for sure you should be either voting for Jeff Greene or Rick Scott, they have the outsider credentials that make your heart skip a beat.

Concerning Ms. Bondi's looks as qualifying her to gain your vote, your then should probably should be voting for Gonzalo Dorta's wife, since his judgement can't be all that bad. I mean he married her, right?