Monday, November 15, 2010


First- for the unenlightened few who read this blog and left comments yesterday, how difficult is it to understand that we did not write the post? It was written by a contributor who calls him or herself (their identity is unknown to us) The Colonel of County Court. So to those who wrote posts questioning what we wrote, we just have one thought- keep plugging away at that GED and someday you may get it.

Second- we won our three team teaser for +600 and our MNF pick for +500 so we were +1100 for the day and a comfortable +2350 for the season. Our totals are 21-14-1 as we count the teaser as one bet. Both Mr. Markus and Rumpole won their picks and the standings are DOM: 6-3-1 and Rumpole: 8-2.

THIRD: Dr. McGriff who runs a PTI program wrote this in response to the Colonel's missive:

M. David McGriff, Ph.D.,CEO, The Advocate Program, Inc. said...

Problem #2: PTI
Allow me to take strong issue to the “problem” of PTI mentioned in the Justice Building Blog. The Advocate Program has been providing PTI services to the State Attorney’s Office and Courts for over 30 years (and on an exclusive basis to the misdemeanor division until about 6 years ago). While we run this agency as a business, and have managed to do that successfully for a long time, as a Not-For-Profit 501 c 3 agency, we have neither owners nor shareholders to please. So we have always been able to set our fees at the most reasonable levels possible. Every time we have an audit done, we send the results to both the State Attorney and the Chief Judge.
It has never been the policy of this Program to discourage a defendant from seeking legal counsel and I should know since my involvement with this Program goes back over 35 years. In fact, I can’t remember when an Advocate PTI letter (and we have been sending them since the late 1970’s) didn’t include the admonition to a prospective client to bring the letter “(with your attorney if you have one)”. We try, as best we can, to determine if an attorney has been retained prior to sending a letter. If the blog was referring to the new Criminal Traffic Diversion program, we have not sent letters on those cases although, per the State Attorney’s Office, we reserve the right to do so. And as always we would never discourage a defendant not to retain an attorney in those cases or any other. Contrary to the blog we’ve always considered the Defense Bar as a critical referral source for us and have worked together in the interests of defendants for a long time. We both understand that a “not guilty” plea and a nolle prose as a result of a PTI program are much better alternatives to a “no contest” plea and a withhold of adjudication which have become the standard results for unrepresented defendants in the misdemeanor Criminal Division. As always, this Program stands ready to work with all of our system partners for the benefit of the citizens of Miami-Dade County and defendants of the 11th Judicial Circuit. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or other issues.

M. David McGriff, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Advocate Program, Inc.

And the Colonel responds: With all due respect to the good doctor, I have called the program (both Advocate and Court Options) several times posing as a defendant who received a letter. I will engage the person in conversation and at some point will wonder out loud whether I need to consult a lawyer about my choice. Invariably, indeed in every occasion but one, the person will respond to the effect of "why pay money for a lawyer when we can get your case dismissed?" Therein Dr. McGriff, lies the problem with your PTI program. But as long as the SAO and the court give you the unfettered license to practice law without one, there's not a whole lot we can do about it except shine the cold hard light of truth on what is going on.

Rumpole says: This is what the blog is for- a discussion of the issues when not betting or drinking. Have at it.


CAPTAIN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CAPTAIN said...

to 10:37 pm:

I just took the number from the counter that appears on the left side of the page. Don't know if the number represents unique visitors, page views ,etc?



It was a short five years ago today that Rumpole started this BLOG. And now, 1,794 posts later and nearly 500,000 hits, and the Blog has become the place to go for the news of the GJB.

Here's wishing you another five years of great posts, fine football prognosticating, and all the good things that come to those that fight the good fight.

I certainly appreciate the opportunity you have given to me to post my political/campaign election posts over the years.

Happy Birthday.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

Captain, good point.

Rumpole, as an avid reader of your humble blog from its inception, I would personally like to thank you very much. You have provided countless hours of entertainment, information, and a forum to air our differences and grievances. You have helped elect better Judges to the bench, and allowed us to get rid of the ones who should never have been on the bench to begin with. You've given a forum to the happenings at the PD's and SAO's offices. Also, you've encouraged and allowed us to recount historic Miami legal stories that should not be forgotten!!

You provide an invaluable public service to those of us who toil in the REG Building. A service I enjoy immensely. And, I wanna thank you.

Kissimmee Kid said...

“Non-Profit” corporations are the biggest scam going. Anybody who is associated with non-profits is a scammer or a dupe. One of your Ayn Rand readers can explain why the idea of not making a profit is anathema to a free society, but you don’t have to be a free-marketeer to understand the.

Say your income is $100,000.00 and your expenses $100,000.00. Income minus expenses equals no profit. Now, say you have a really good year skimming cases lawyers would otherwise work. Now you have $200,000.00 income and still just $100,000.00. Well, McGruff the crime dog only needs to bump up his salary and there you go.

All you have to do is pay your executives big bucks; they profit, society loses. When you hear the word “non-profit” get ready for hypocrisy. They are not better than you; they are worse.

Anonymous said...

pti letters are terrible.

Anonymous said...

The "ticket" lawyers are bitching cuz they like to charge people money to tell them to go to PTI. Some tell them all kinds of shit about how they did a great job in getting them PTI and how lucky they are to have them on the case. So, who's bullshitting the clients?

Except for needing a not guilty to sue, what is so wrong with PTI sending out letters and getting pepople a nolle pross?

We as lawyers need to tell our clients the truth. I tell them that they can go to PTI and I will then help them seal the case and I charge a reasonable fee.

The tickets lawyers are pissed off because they have lost so much revenue lately:
1. More adjudications in traffic court means paying back those $49.00 fees to many because of the unethical no points promisses made by the ticket mills.
2. PTI steals clients who really don't need to pay some fucking paralegal at a ticket mill $500.00 just to send them to PTI.
3. The PD gets appointed to just about everyone even if they have a car, a job and money in the bank. So, why hire a lawyer when you get one for $50.00
4. Last but, not least, illegal aliens now get PTI on as many NVDL cases as they get so, again, why hire the paralegal at the ticket mill?

Maybe more and more people are learning that the lazy ticket mills aren't always worth the money?

So what are we to do... mortgage defense work?

Anonymous said...

Maybe people were confused because of your nonsensical comment on the Markus blog.

Anonymous said...

Random thoughts re Kounty Kourt:
- Sam Slom, get with the program. Stop locking your damn courtroom and check out what's happening in other courts on your watch. Your judges sorely need refresher courses on ethics (i.e. ex parte communications are a "no-no.") and evidence among other things. And you apparently, need a refresher course on constitutional rights.
- Dealing with Kounty Kourt ASA's is as painful as root canal. Then again, the dentist will usually return your phone calls and has authority to make decisions, so maybe the root canal wins out here.
- Advocate, Court Options, etc. = In all my years of handling DUI's I have yet to see a client who doesn't need "counseling" or "treatment" following his/her eval. While some definitely need this, I venture to say that a good number do not. So I'm calling bullshit on this.
- General lack of professionalism re ASA's. Here's how this works: I file a motion, you file a response, motion is heard. Instead, you show up to court with no response, no courtesy copies of case law to support your arguments, and you expect to argue the motion right then and there. I've never understood why judges allow this practice and don't hold attorneys to professional standards (and this goes to both defense and state).

Just my 2 cents.

Rumpole said...

5:45 am- Thanks Mom.

Anonymous said...

5:45 am here. You do not take complments well. I'm not your Mom. Last one I give you Scmuck!!

Anonymous said...

County court asa's are hungrier and more self righteous than felony asas. It gets ridiculous, they lack complete and total perspective. I get it that petty theft was the biggest case of your young career, too bad you tried to get value in by using the store security guard who has 10 gold teeth and tatoos all over his body looking like he works for Shug Knight and not JC Penny's

Anonymous said...

10:23........your comment re the ASA's needing to file written responses is ridiculous. Defense attorneys file motions in virtually EVERY case. Most of these motions are utter and complete nonsense that never get litigated. Why in the world would you expect prosecutors to respond to them all in writing? Regardless, most also are require live testimony. It simply is not reasonable to expect the already overburdened ASAs to bring in witnesses, take testimony and file written responses to all defense motions.

Get a grip.


PS---most issues aren't complicated and most of us are familiar enough with the law that we don't need courtesy copies. You really expect the ASAs to show up with copies for every attorney at every hearing when 99% of the time its unnecessary? If you file a real motion that needs special consideration, perhaps you should call the ASA and let him or her know that you actually want to litigate it and discuss it with them.

Anonymous said...

10:23: Read the research (crazy idea, I know). The vast majority of even first time DUI offenders have substance misuse issues that need to be addressed (the research suggests that 80% or more have significant issues). And, virtually everyone believes that hard core offenders (first offenders who provide samples of .15 or higher and repeaters) need treatment. I'm calling bullshit on your uninformed opinion.

Also, just out of curiousity, are you suggesting that a good number of your clients (the ones who don't have substance misuse issues) are really just irresponsible people who endangered the rest of us because they didn't bother to control their drinking or were too stupid or lazy to call or cab or have a designated driver? Is that your argument? I want to see you make it court......


Anonymous said...

I'm just tired of all the ex parte in county court.

They seem to think they only need to have discussions between the idiot on the bench (former Dolphin is good example) and the spupid kid fresh out of law school who represents the state.

Hey, what are we? Chopped liver?

Anonymous said...

"I have called the program (both Advocate and Court Options) several times posing as a defendant who received a letter." I think it is safe to say that this guy reveiled his own identity with that sentence. The only lunatic that would waste his time posing as a defendant is... Mikey "the wire" Catalano

Rick Freedman's toothy grin said...

take a bite out of crime

Anonymous said...

is it asking too much for county court judges to simply follow the Bar rules?

Rumpole said...

11:19 AM- do you have any idea how much you just set me back in therapy?

"Deny thy father and refute thy name....."

fffffake alschuler said...

Shhhh shume time for me and crime dog McGriff but for vastly different reasons. I'm going out to catch the back nine before it gets dark.

Rumpole said...

Captain- the counter is actually an experimental project in which it records the number of stupid things said by judges in Miami-Dade. SInce I have used several counters over the years, there is nothing accurate about visitors other than to say we are well over 3 million in total, although unique visitors are much less. About a 100K over the years.

Fake Sam Slom said...

"Hello, Good Morning and Welcome:

My name is Judge Slom and I will be hearing your case today, with or without your lawyer or witnesses. It is now 9:00:13 and I have just locked the doors to the courtroom and have advised the defendants that I will be hearing their cases without their lawyer or witnesses.

Let the record also reflect that my bailiff, Mavel, has taken her nasty pills and has ordered me a large Diet Coke from Au Bon Pain.

OK, who is first? Jose DeLaVegaCruzGarcia. Sir, you don't need an interpreter, my snarky bailiff will misadvise you of what is happening. Go to room 116 for your paperwork.

Mavel, quietly let Mr. DeLaVegaCruzGarica out the rear door so the two front doors can remain locked."

More to Come.

Anonymous said...

You all have got to stop whining. You hate(d) the judges who do or did follow the rules (especially when they work against you) and then chastize the judges who don't follow the rules (especially when that works against you).

You wanted these idiots, now live with them. I got no sympathy for you.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. 1: 47 pm:

Catalano actually teaches the counselors at Advocate so, no, he is not likely to complain. He is David's good friend. he also does very few PTI cases.

He teaches them to not mess with lawyers and to show respect for what they do with their clients.

I am sure about this.

The clinics hate Advocate. The lawyers like Catalano, Reiff and Hersch (all who charge big bucks) get along very well with Advocate.

Get your facts right.

Anonymous said...

Dear BTDT -
Not all motions require a response, but some do. Maybe when you were an ASA you would file a traverse on a Motion to Dismiss. They don't anymore. What do you say should be the appropriate remedy?

Anonymous said...

BTDT - 10:23 here. I will fall on the sword for not being clear. I do not expect ASA's to respond to every routine motion that is filed (i.e. HGN, Meador, or basic motions to suppress). My frustration stems out of two incidents where I've filed a motion address other issues (i.e. involuntary plea) where I received no response and no case law to support the argument made by the ASA. Mea culpa for not making my point clear. And yes, I left a message and emailed the ASA who I was told would be handling the matter, but never rec'd a response. As to the treatment issue, let's just agree to disagree. While I have not read every single study out there, I formed my opinion based on my personal experiences with the clients. While I agree that many do need some kind of counseling or treatment, I don't believe they ALL do. And yes, some of my clients are irresponsible people.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you Kounty Court hounds know the straw that broke the camel's back which got Judge Shelly Schwartz kicked out of doing County Criminal and now doing County Civil?

Anonymous said...

Maximum Monica Gordo in for Eig?!?! Oh my!

Anonymous said...

5:59, if they don't traverse a c4 motion, it gets granted.

Anonymous said...

7:42.........fair enough. I do think it's irresponsible for prosecutors to ignore (c)(4)'s and other unusual motions. A big part of the problem is that the County Court ASA's are too young and inexperienced to separate out the real motions from the crap filed in every case. I try not to be too hard on them; we all started out knowing nothing.

Next time one doesn't return your call, you might want to call a Chief (I would).


Anonymous said...

You say:
5:59, if they don't traverse a c4 motion, it gets granted.

Not in this Kounty court it doesn't.
Judge :State, did you traverse?
State: uh, no, i don't have the file. was there a motion filed?
Defense: Yes, three weeks ago, copies stamped in to you.
State: Uh, judge, we'd like a chance to respond.
Defense: This was your chance, move to dismiss.
Judge: Counsel, I think we should give the state some time. Why don't you call my JA and have them reset this in a few weeks.
Defense: I object to this, your Honor.
Judge: your objection is noted, but they haven't had a chance to get to it yet, so let's give them a little longer. Next case.

Anonymous said...

Shelly is responsible for what happened to Shelly.

Anonymous said...

Shelly had the courage to talk about the Criminal Traffic Division and the State"selling of criminal charges for 150 and four hours course which is waste of time especially when people with any number of criminal charges are placed in program and or not had d.l.'s for 10,20,30 years.Shelly told people to go to trial and pro se litigants dis have wins in his court;people returned with d.l.;s within one or two weeks and cases were dismissed,defendants were told its best to have attorney and did not force programs,told defendants in other jurisdiction they may and probably would receive jail if driving on HTO or Drug suspension but not in Dade,Funny,problems for Shelly only started in June 2010 when State Attorneys wisdom called into question.
Further Shelly was set up by Rundle and her staff.Make inquiry and you will find out about meeting scheduled for "after Election"and thenHorn send letter/memo to Chief Judge,not living up to agreement.Shelly only one who is transparent.State is not!

Anonymous said...

Yes,Shelly caused his own problem by calling Rundle out,and her County Court Division Chief Maer.
Problems started in June 2010 when or before Court Option for Criminal Traffic started.It a program to have defendants pay money(150)and do 4 hour course to get criminal charges dismissed.Not get D.L.Further person can get 5,10 or more criminal charges dismissed by doung above and nor reference on drivers history.Program success is minimal and thius may be verified.
State did not appreciate court telling defendants to go to trial on accident cases when people had d.l.;s where accident occurred.State would not dismiss.In non accident they dismiss so why not have defendant go to trial and if witnees failed to appoear case was dismissed.
state did not like judge to tell people a little fartrhe nortrh they would be facing jail on 2,or 3 d.w.l.s.,hto,driving on drug suspension.
State did not like more people showed up with valid licenses in Schwartz;s court the all court and more importantly had 50 -70 % showing at arraignment with valid d.l.;s when Programs success rate below 30 after 3 to 4 months.By the way,court options refer people to Drive legal to take care of civil infractions in Dade County.Yes,criminal charges are dismissed on compliance with coyurt options,but d.l.not restored.
Perhaps you should speak with division prosecutors who appeared before Schwart.He was tough but fair to both sides and people respected that.Rundle did not.Further may be check how shelly was really set up by State after meeting scheduled between Rundle and Schwartz"after Election"and then memo sentby Horn to Chief Judge.Talk to some chiefs in State in this regard and may be verified.
Yes,Schwartz has big mouth,even saying a ruling was made over state objection when in fact prosecutor did not object because of the dictates of Maer.
Shelly was predictable and transparent>Can the same be said by State Attorney

MagicCityAttorney said...

Finally. The issue has been addressed. Court Options and their you dont need a lawyer letters have just about destroyed my Misdemeanor business. I guess they can write whatever they want in their letters and tell whatever they want to defendants since they are not regulated by the Florida Bar or any other agency. I have had so many clients tell me they have called the program and the program has told them the same thing...why do you need a lawyer when you can get your case dismissed with us. BS.

MagicCityAttorney said...

Fake Sam Sloam is hilarious!!!!