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, December 16, 2010

IS JUSTICE BLIND?

Update: We've added a little something to the blog, but it's not readily apparent. You need to search for it.
Prize: A nice bowl of some "delish" leftover chip-dip from DOM's big Holiday party soiree. And if you missed it, you missed some great dip.



That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise,
Her bandage hides two festering sores,
That once perhaps were eyes.”

The title of the post links to a NY Times article on a new book arguing against the concept that Lady Justice was meant to be blind.

From the article:

"Lady Justice’s familiar blindfold did not become an accessory until well into the 17th century. And even then it was uncommon because of the profoundly negative connotations blindfolds carried for medieval and Renaissance audiences, who viewed them as emblems not of impartiality but of deception (hence the early use of the word hoodwink as a noun, meaning a blindfold or hood).

Sight was the desired state,” Professors Resnik and Curtis write, “connected to insight, light and the rays of God’s sun.” Even in modern times the blindfold continues to fit uneasily in Lady Justice’s wardrobe, used as a handy prop by political cartoonists and a symbol of dysfunction by others.”



Meanwhile the federal courts burn under the weight of heavy case loads and not enough judges, while the senate fiddles and conservative senators attempt to obstruct nearly all of Obama's nominees.


If elections have consequences, then the federal judiciary is one of them.


MORE EXPERIENCED JUDGES?

We don't have the link to it, but we read in the Bar News that a Florida Legislator is proposing language raising the minimum time an attorney can be eligible to become a judge from five to ten years. The article references one new Dade Judge-elect, Gonzalez-Paulson, as an example of someone with barely five years experience ousting a very experienced Judge. We think the change is a good one.


Enjoy the weekend. Football picks this Sunday for some extra holiday dough.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gonzalez-Paulson is more suited to be a judge than Seff regardless of experience or time in the bar. 10 years mean that most people would have to be 35 before they can become a judge. You can be a U.S. senator at 30. President at 35. Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden became senators prior to age 35. America is a better place because of their elections. This rule change is misguided. Lets not focus on age or years of experience more than we focus on temperament, intelligence and common sense.

Anonymous said...

hey rump - it seems that there is a significant amount of hostility toward judge elect milt h. he has appeared before me and he is more than a competent lawyer. in fact, he is exceptional in his representation of his client at trial. he is more academic than most - and i find him to be personable and a nice person. let's give milt a chance and see how his temperament is on the bench. hopefully, he will be a pleasure to appear before and always remember what it was like to work hard as a lawyer. my bet is on milt.

Anonymous said...

You should have run. Surely your years of legal experience could have benefited this community in which you hold in such high esteem?

Anonymous said...

And yet you can run for State representative, senator, or Governor without a college or high school diploma. Yea, makes lots of sense to require judges to have 10 years membership with the bar. Everyone is passing judgment on this new judge without even giving her a chance to prove herself.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the change is important. I don't believe anyone with five years experience as an attorney is ready to be a judge. That goes double for folks whose egos and ambitions (or quest for revenge) are so grand/important that they think they're ready (or put themselves first regardless).

BTDT

Anonymous said...

I think 15 years for Circuit Court, 20 years for District Court of Appeal and 25 years for Supreme Court.

County Court should be available to anyone who wins an election regardless of who you are, bus driver, lawyer, teacher. It is the peoples Court and should be available to anyone who seeks the position and can get the votes.

Rumpole said...

A few people have forwarded me Judge Brown's email re: tragedy of a very personal nature has struck our building again. A Judge lost a child. I made a very determined decision to leave this as a private matter and let the judge and his family grieve in peace. As much as people want to express sympathy and well wishes, they need to do it in person. The young woman who passed away had nothing to do with our courthouse, and I think this is the right decision and does not in any way minimize our and everyone's heartfelt sympathies at this extraordinarily sad and difficult time.

Please don't send me messages to print. I won't do it.

Anonymous said...

'exceptional in his representation at trial??'

tell that to Keith Wasserstrom!! That dude was NG. But just because he was a not a good trial lawyer (he is a writing) that does not mean that he will not be a good judge.

Anonymous said...

One of the others you can point to is Ada Pozo-Revilla who had just 1 year more than the minimum. It does not matter that it was Swartz she took out. That was PD revenge against him. She was immature and decided 3 years into the term she did not like the job and quit.

I personally think 10 years is not enough. It should be more like 15 years. Now you really know what you are getting and they know what they are getting into.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea, JQC approves a list of no more that 5, no less than 2 candidates for a judicial spot. No candidate can apply for the ballot without such approval. If no candidate, or one 1 applies, then the JQC may then assign a candidate from the most recent JQC appointment list as a candidate.

Anonymous said...

I like your little countdown...

Anonymous said...

HR
Sometimes Five (5 ) years is enough,
Sometimes Twenty-Five (25) years is Not enough.
It depends on the Person wearing the Robe.
DS

Anonymous said...

9:20, 11:19....first, judges need to make snap decisions in trial. That means they need to know the law. Sorry, but virtually no sixth year lawyer is ready for that. Second, as far as not giving MGP a chance, be real. We've asked MANY times about her experiences. Has she ever even tried a case before jury? Her election is a bad joke.

4:05........the JQC does a decent job, but, let's face it.......appointments generally go to the politically connected.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Board Certification in some area would be nice. A minimum of 20 felony jury trials tried to verdict would be a start for the criminal bench. How about a demonstrated knowledge of the Florida Evidence Code by passing a basic evidence proficiency test. It will reduce reversals and save taxpayers money as well as giving a fair trial. . The Bar Exam does not seem to be enough.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rump, it's true that elections have consequences. Did you forget we just had one 2 months ago and the president's party got spanked?

Anonymous said...

Oh come on. Like there are qualifications to be a judge. Requiring a county court judge to be a lawyer is a waste of a lawyer.

Rumpole said...

Indeed I have not forgotten. And the current consequences of that election are the following: 3,000 americans received an exemption from an estate tax which will cost the treasury 1.5 billion dollars over two years; millionaires got a "well deserved" tax break; the winners of the most recent election immediately moved to fulfill their election promises as their very first move was to force through a tax cut bill adding a trillion dollars to the deficit.

Consequences indeed.

power outage in the south said...

I'v got a murder case coming up and need some help with the facts. My client's wife was fooling around and he learned of it but when he went to confront her, she was already dead. But what he did next sun him- from the a-form:

"Well the Georgia patrol was amakin their rounds, and he fired a shot just to flag them down, and a big fella grabbed the gun and said 'why'd ya do it?' "

ANy ideas?

Anonymous said...

JNC not JQC.

Big differece.

JudicialQUALIFICATIONS Commission and Judicial NOMINATIONS Commission.

Both politcal and both screw up sometimes.

That's the night that said...

One big question: Whose the attorney in this case? Do you have local counsel. Because I can give you one big piece of advice:

"Well don't trust your soul to a backwoods southern lawyer, cause the Judge in the town has blood stains on his hands."

Anonymous said...

Rump, since when is the govt entitled to tax people to death and then some? Those people aren't getting a break they ate keeping WHAT THEY EARNED! Those are the people that hire, spend and contribute to charities-all things that this country needs. But I guess you were okay with Scary Reids spending bill that included billions in pork? You liberals love to show how magnanimous you are with other people's money. Yeah and I know you voted for Reagan and 41 (which gives away your identity, by the way) but that doesn't give you the credibility that you think it does.

Merry Christmas

f/k/a CK

Anonymous said...

Another Miami cop arrested and federally indicted yesterday. Seems like it's been a while since the last cop got arrested.

Anonymous said...

There are criminal attorneys in Miami-Dade County charging $1000 for grow house cases.

Anonymous said...

didn't the following federal judges have way less than ten years experience before they became state court jugdges?
1. Kehoe;
2. King; and
3. Scott
I am not sure but I think so.

Anonymous said...

Hey power outage, it happened the nigght that the lights went out in Georgia.....

Fake Alschuler said...

Submitted for your approval: The Traveling Wilbury's "Handle With Care" with Roy Orbison singing lead is one of the best, most under appreciated "popish" songs in the last 20 years.

Anonymous said...

920 you might be the stupidest motherfucker to ever write on this blog

Rumpole said...

Well I'll tell ya CK, I look at it this way - I am in principal against an estate tax. But when a bunch of no-nothing yahoos who think they understand the constitution (and yet proudly are anti-intellectual religious nuts) run for election on a platform of lowering the deficit and then vote to increase the deficit because of the misguided belief that a tax cut that has been in effect for ten years- from the time Clinton left a 100 billion surplus to the 8 trillion deficit Bush rang up with his tax cut....

Well, I just have to call out hypocrisy when I see it.

You want to argue that "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter" as Karl Rove has said? Then say it openly and tax the shjt out of poor people and give tax cuts to hedge fund billionaires while using tax proceeds to give billions in hand outs to Haliburton and Brown and Root.

But don't pretend to be something you're obviously and demonstrably not.

Anonymous said...

Obama did not have to cut a deal. He could have let tax cut expire. He had to admit at the end that lower taxes help a struggling economy. The estate tax is insane. So is the family gift tax. After I pay taxes, what I make is my kids money not the governments. Obama did the right thing. And he will get another 4 years because of it...

Anonymous said...

RUMP FYI
Tony Moss
Judge colodney friended Tony Moss on FB
"Man, that New York sense of entitlement is hilarious to watch when a high-ranking free agent in any sport turns them down. And this comes less than a week after Cliff Lee kicked the Yankees to the curb, no less . . . "


Yvonne Colodny
Just left the Garden. Fun to watch Knicks fans leave with their tales between their legs.
1

Anonymous said...

I don't care if someone charges $1000 for a grow house case.....'cause if someone's gonna shop off the value menu, let 'em, they weren't gonna pay my fees anywho.

Signed,

Bottom Feeder Eater

Fake Tom Risivy said...

I'm thinking of cautiously poking around Everest. First up- I shall trek the Khumbu Ice Fall. Upon successfully doing that, I may explore higher options.

Whose in?

CAPTAIN said...

Rump, I think your countdown to Uncle Milty becoming a Judge needs to go until January 4, 2011. I believe the new Judges take office on Tuesday.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how the facts get turned around, but last time I checked there were many judges on the bench that were elected with less years of practice than Gonzalez-Paulson. Let's see : Beth Bloom, del Pino, Newman all had less than 8 years of practicing law which is how many years Gonzalez-Paulson had according to flabar. Reality is Gonzalez-Paulson was everywhere, and Seff had a bad reputation and was only on bench for 2 years. Forget the "Gonzalez" last name anyone who ran against Seff would have won the election. Got to give Gonzalez-Paulson credit she picked the right race. Hopefully she will do the job right it's not the years of practice that is the most important factor. If anyone out there remembers the rest of the judges elected or appointed with less than 10 years list them Lets get our facts straight.

Anonymous said...

9:19...........ridiculous argument. Aside from the fact that none of the three you named will ever reach their potential because they lack the foundation of being a trial lawyer, they all got off to incredibly slow starts (even Bloom, the star of the bunch).

Yes, let's "get the facts straight." We've asked dozens of times. Tell us how MGP is remotely qualified. Tell us how many jury trials she's had, complex cases she's handled, etc.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Cheney said that not Rove. Read the book not the excerpts off the moveon website.

CK

Anonymous said...

8:45 It's County Court! Gonzalez-Paulson has experience with bench trials in both County and Circuit most cases in County are bench trials. I have had her as opposing counsel she is very professional, and prepared. You are not required to have jury trial experience. She did good in running for County where she has had her share of bench trials, instead of trying to run for Circuit where you will absolutely handle jury trials. I think she will prove herself on he bench. Everyone has to start somewhere and County Court is the perfect place to start.

Anonymous said...

seff was obnixious as a asa and a judge.i kicked her ass in a murder case and she never spoke to me again. anyone in the building would have beat her. is her husband out of jail yet?

Anonymous said...

Let's face facts my dog would have made a better Judge than Flora Seff .......mean ,nasty,state oriented,self absorbed.....shame of it is she had the brains and knowledge to shine tha's why the JNC sent her out ......but a "leopard cannot change its spots"
.....sad ,lonely being

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see what Flora will be doing for a living in January.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe years of experience equate to being a better judge. I've gone up against some lawyers with 20-30 years of experience and they are pompous, unprepared, believe they deserve it all egotistical pricks.

Seff was only a judge for two years. Nominated by the JNC, appointed by the Governor, and was arguably the worst Judge I've ever been before. She was just as nasty and incompetent as some of those 20-30 years lawyers I previously mentioned. What good is knowing the law if you don't rule according to it?

You want to change the rule, fine, but not because of the MGP v Seff race. By the way, that Florida Bar article about it was biased as it failed to mention that Seff was only a judge for 2 years and also failed to mention how nasty and rude she was. What I think is an outrage is how this horrible judge can retire prior to leaving her seat and hear cases as a retired judge!

Anonymous said...

Relax 2:55!! Once Seff lost the election, by statute, she can not be certified by the Supreme Court to sit as a retired judge. She is out and will remain out.

Anonymous said...

I'm under the impression that under a new law, you can "retire" even though you lost the election. Would like to know if that's true?