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

Thursday, September 02, 2010

NO BODY....NO PROBLEM

Chalk up a nice win for Abbe Rifkin and the Dade SAO, as today Dade jurors returned a verdict of guilty of second degree murder against Christopher Phillips.

The verdict was rendered after an hour of deliberation.

The Herald quoted Abbe as saying this, probably in opening (they need to get their act straight over at our local fish wrapper.)

`There is no body, but there is no doubt that she is dead. There is no doubt that the defendant is responsible for her death,'' prosecutor Abbe Rifkin said on the first day of Phillips' trial for second-degree murder.

Well done, Ms. Rifkin.


Here is the link for the wonderful obituary for Judge Lando's late husband-the remarkable Michael Gil. Here is an excerpt from the obit:

Maxine and Michael met while both were students at Coral Gables High School in the 1960's. They were both members of Temple Bet Shira. During his marriage to Maxine, they lived life intensely, traveled throughout the world, and he perfected downhill skiing. Michael was an avid ping pong player, and a persistent jogger. He loved the roar of loud motorcycles, the faster the better! Michael also cut quite an elegant figure on a dance floor. He embraced life with passion, integrity and love. We will miss him unto eternity. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Bet Shira Synagogue, University of Miami Chabad or American Diabetes Foundation...






11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eric Matheny sucks, hang it up, how could you lose this case...or, are the juries to stupid...put an end to the jury system, ten bucks this gets overturned on appeal.

Anonymous said...

didn't Tony Soprano say no body, no murder?

Anonymous said...

Maxine
He was Baal Shem and it was bershert. All my love.
D.Sisselman

Anonymous said...

Max's words at the service were the most powerful and moving I had ever heard. Truly inspirational and I can only imagine the catharsis it gave her. Well spoken and deepest condolences.

Anonymous said...

Rick Scott is such a political animal...through his choice of LG, Scott will suck up some of the African-American Kendrick Meek throw-off votes, break the down the party-line nature of voting, and win the election because of his token running mate. In effect, he acquired a set of voters without having to spend an extra penny for them. The only way this will backfire is if African-American voters do not identify with an islander and do not fall for this scheme. And this is alot to ask for. Scott's action prove once again that race politics still remains an important part of our legacy. Do not be confused, the LG choice was chosen for her race and not for her gender, and would not have been chosen had money-bags Greene beat Kendrick Meek. Scott inadvertently is setting back race relations in Florida through this scheme.

Anonymous said...

nice work abbe.

kudos to you rumpole because unlike Mr Federal markus you put wins by the prosecutors on your site, markus is too much of a true believer to do so.

Anonymous said...

Abbe Rifkin is by far one of the best people at the SAO. She is fair, nice to everyone and kicks ass in trial. She's also not afraid to take on tough cases. Great job, Abbe.

Anonymous said...

According to the Herald story the defense atty. opened the door to otherwise inadmissible testimony about his client having held a gun to a witnesses head. I didn't see the trial so won't say the representation was ineffective, but I do know there's a lot of bitching on this blog about how certain county court judge-elects don't have enough experience. This was a murder case without a body and the defense attorney graduated from law school in 07. I think thats a lot more concerning than how many years out a county court judge is.

Anonymous said...

Saw Rifkins Close. Awesome is an understatement. She made no evidence look overwhelming evidence. She was truly amazing. I have been a crim defense lawyer for 11 years. Seen alot of closing arguments. Girl's got skills. Nice work Abby. Really... nice work. really good arguments. Im not sure too many defense lawyers could have won that one considering her close. She really brought it home.

Anonymous said...

I watched a good portion of this trial. Both sides did a good job.

Many people, both defense attorneys and prosecutors, put too much stake in physical evidence.

Remember that jurors are human beings, and human beings have strong reactions to other human beings. Physical evidence may be persuasive, but it is impersonal.

Sometimes testimony is the strongest evidence.

This defendant did not stand a chance. The witnesses were simple, small town folk with neither the motive nor the sophistication to be anything less than credible. Particularly, the testimonies of the bartender and the tattooed, convicted felon uncle were very powerful and completely believable.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Murder case and the defense lawyer has only been practicing a few years and it appears as if he never tried any felonies at the SAO and he was against Abbe Rivkin, one of the best, brightest and most fair of them all.

Read his bio:

Eric Matheny is a skilled Miami-Dade criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals all over South Florida. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. After graduation Attorney Matheny attended St. Thomas University School of Law, where he graduated with J.D. Academic honors including Dean's List and "Best Student Award" for Criminal Law.

During law school Attorney Matheny gained experience outside of the classroom while interning for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. He served as lead counsel on six trials under the supervision of an Assistant State Attorney. After graduation he was offered a position as Assistant State Attorney for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. During his time with the State's Attorney Office he handled cases involving misdemeanor crimes, DUI, juvenile offenses, and felonies.

Eric Matheny has a reputation for being an outstanding trial attorney and he has been noted for toughness and preparation in his aggressive approach to Miami-Dade criminal defense. Attorney Matheny has represented many clients throughout South Florida and while at the State Attorney's Office he tried 40 cases.

Attorney Matheny left the State Attorney's office to pursue criminal defense. With his experience as a former Assistant State Attorney, Eric Matheny has an inside knowledge of the prosecution's approach, which enables him to better defend his clients. He has aggressively defended individuals who have been charged with crimes ranging from DUI offenses to murder. He is a seasoned Miami-Dade criminal defense attorney who uses his education and past experiences to protect the rights of his clients in order to bring about the most optimum case results.

Eric Matheny lives in South Florida with his wife and three dogs. In addition to fighting for the rights of the accused both in and outside of the courtroom, Attorney Matheny is an avid martial artist. He has trained in Tang Soo Do karate, Kung Fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Kickboxing. In his spare time, Attorney Matheny enjoys trips to Sanibel Island, Martin Scorsese films, and John Grisham novels. He is dedicated to learning and mastering new skills, and applies this to his personal life and criminal defense practice.