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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

COUNTY COURT JUDICIAL ELECTION UPDATE

(Ed Newman set Miami Dolphins bench press record at 510 pounds. Arguably the strongest player ever to play for the Dolphins.)



(has opposition).


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
COUNTY COURT ELECTION CENTRAL ....

BREAKING NEWS ..... ELECTION UPDATE .....

Judge Ed Newman has opposition. Assistant Public Defender and veteran criminal defense lawyer Manny Alvarez has filed papers to run for that seat.

The only other contested race in County Court curently is in Group 11 with Judge Flora Seff drawing opposition from Michealle Gonzalez Paulson.

Cap Out ....

Rumpole notes: Judge Newman is our only current judge who has been elected to the Jewish Sports of Hall Of Fame.

BTW: We have no idea how much Judge Seff could bench press in her prime.

Monday, March 29, 2010

DBR TO THE RESCUE

The Daily Business Review has a good story and great defense of JAABlog (Broward Blog) author Bill Gelin. The title links to the story.

Referring to Carlos Llorente, who purports to run some fly-by-night cabal called "The Broward County Bar Association", the DBR had this to say:

So, it’s no surprise that Gelin or his blog are targets.

But to try to intimidate and silence the blog reeks of Orwellian desperation. It’s what one might expect in
countries where repressive regimes have taken draconian steps to stop the flow of information over the Web and through social media about their abuses and corruption. (Rumpole can't help but note- "countries.....or Broward County.)

It’s a good thing Llorente doesn’t have any real power and can do little more than call a secret meeting. Even if the Bar committee makes a finding, the Broward County Bar Association has no authority to regulate lawyers.

Llorente, a proponent of a new courthouse, apparently isn’t happy enough with the victory in securing funding for a new $328 million courthouse without a public vote — despite Gelin railing against it before the Broward County Commission and making his case online.

It looks like the real problem is that Llorente and other targets of JAABlog don’t like the spotlight. It’s classic “kill the messenger” thinking.


They don’t like that Gelin and his blog have empowered more Broward lawyers to speak their minds without fear of retribution and worse yet, challenge sitting judges. Once a taboo career-ender, it’s now spreading in Broward like the flu in an elementary school classroom.

And we close with this bit of news about the Dade County Jail, because we are, after all, a Dade-Centric blog: Inmates at our homey jail have found a way to charge phone calls to unsuspecting Dade residents, including one unnamed female federal judge. The Herald has the story here.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

A NEW LOW

Query- If you have a case in Dade County Court criminal division and you run into a serious enough problem that you need to speak to the Judge in charge of the County Criminal Division, whom do you speak with?

Judge Sam Slom of course!

If you run into a similar problem North of the Border, to whom do you speak with?

NOBODY! That's right, courtesy of the JAA (Broward) Blog, nobody is in charge of the Broward Criminal Courts, county court division.

From the JAA Blog:


Meet Judge Nobody - that's right, "nobody" is officially the head of county court criminal. click here for theAdministrative Order memorializing nobody in charge. What's it all about? Can't Chief Judge Victor Tobin find anyone else qualified, after Judge Stacy/Dale Ross said "thanks, but no thanks"? And is Tobin gun shy about picking a new team member, after Judge Joel Lazarus and Judge Ilona Holmes bailed? And why did Lazarus quit in the first place? Was it just about his impending retirement, or does the courthouse rumor mill have it correct that Lazarus felt slighted when Judge Dale Cohen's docket was given to another judge? Can't we all get along?

RUMPOLE NOTES: Isn't this one of those rare circumstances when "nobody" is better than "somebody"?

More tidbits from the place we love to hate (and hate to go to, but love to watch squirming in agony as their decades of bad karma brings their sordid courthouse down on their heads)

True or false: Judge Ian Richards started a trial Tuesday without the ASA present (answer: true)


And finally, Anthony Caravella is now a free man. 26 years ago, then Broward ASA (and Now Broward Circuit Judge) Robert Carney worked with the police to convict an innocent man who was brutalized and threatened into confessing to a crime he didn't commit. The Sun Sentinel has the coverage here.

File this comment by the current ASA under the title "The More Things Change, The More They Remain The Same": (also from the JAA Blog)

(ASA Carolyn) McCann said the Broward State Attorney's Office did the right thing when it agreed to defense requests for two earlier DNA tests, one done by the Broward Sheriff's Office lab in 2001 that did not implicate or clear him, and a second set of tests by a California lab last year that appeared to clear him. The third set of tests -- by a Virginia lab released Wednesday -- was done over the last six months at the prosecution's request.

"The evidence against him was provided by Anthony Caravella himself but we cannot ignore this DNA evidence,"
McCann said. "I cannot explain why people confess to police about crimes they did not commit." ...

RUMPOLE ROARS: LET ME EXPLAIN IT TO YOU, YOU STUPID SIMPLETON:
CARAVELLA WAS 15 YEARS OLD WITH AN IQ OF 67 WHEN BSO DETECTIVES BEGAN THEIR CAMPAIGN OF TERROR, BEATINGS, AND THREATS AGAINST HIM AND HIS GIRLFRIEND. THAT IS WHY PEOPLE CONFESS TO CRIMES THEY DIDN'T COMMIT. AND AS LONG AS THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM EMPLOYS, AND LET ME COME UP WITH THE PRECISE LEGAL TERM TO DESCRIBE YOUR COMMENT....IDIOTS LIKE YOU, THERE WILL STILL BE INNOCENT PEOPLE WHO CONFESS TO CRIMES AND PROSECUTORS WHO DON'T HAVE ENOUGH SENSE TO FIGURE IT OUT.


Friday, March 26, 2010

3rd DCA ROUNDUP -The Cop-out edition.

Our beloved 3rd DCA has long had the reputation of issuing PCA's in cases where they don't like the facts, but the conviction is weak. And that brings us to one of the bigger PCA cop-outs we've seen in a while:

Locascio v. State: Here are the facts from the opinion:

Edward Locascio was charged as a principal and co-conspirator to his brother Michael’s killing of Defendant’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Silvia. The State’s theory of this wholly circumstantial case was, because the divorce proceedings between Edward and Silvia were so hotly contested, Edward was motivated to have his wife killed in order to avoid parting with his assets. In support of its theory, the State introduced voluminous testimony evidencing Defendant’s failures as a father, his unlawful tactics as a certified public accountant and investor, and his contemptuous behavior during the family law case. Along with the testimony of two divorce attorneys, spanning over three days of trial, the State presented documented evidence of Locascio’s acts of perjury, forgery, and subordination of perjury during the course of the divorce proceedings. The State highlighted this extrinsic evidence in both its opening and closing arguments, propagating to the jury that Locascio engaged in acts of “lying, frauding,” and “[behaving as a] CPA at his finest.”


Wait a second- didn't we say this was a PCA? Yep, it sure it. These facts are from Judge Shepherd's dissent. Judges Rothenberg and Lagoa didn't see fit to write anything other than "PCA".


Judge Shepherd continues:

It is well-settled law in this State that where evidence of an uncharged crime is inextricably intertwined with the charged offense, the extrinsic evidence is admissible “where it is impossible to give a complete or intelligent account of the crime charged without referring to the other crime.” See Simmons v. State, 790 So. 2d 1177, 1178 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001) (quoting Nickels v. State, 106 So. 479, 488 (Fla. 1925)). However, this Court recently has reaffirmed the rule of law which commands that such evidence shall not become a feature of the trial. See Morrow v. State, 931 So. 2d 1021, 1022 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006) (citing Bryan v. State, 533 So. 2d 744, 746 (Fla. 1988)). Whether the collateral crimes have become a feature of the trial is not measured simply by the number of references; however, “voluminous references to the collateral crime are evidence of a prohibited transgression.” Morrow, 931 So. 2d at 1023. A careful review of the record in this case reveals this is indeed a case of voluminous references. ...


Although I can agree with the State’s assertion that some of the extrinsic

evidence was necessary to establish Defendant’s motive, I cannot agree that all of

3it was, especially in light of the characterizations of Locascio as a fraud, a liar, a tax evader, and “a CPA at his finest.”As it appears the surplus was directed primarily at impermissibly attacking the defendant’s character, I would reverse the defendant’s convictions and remand for a new trial, heavily directing the State to apply an editing eye to its case-in-chief.


Rumpole ponders: How can two judges affirm a conviction and life sentence with nary a reason and one judge write a dissent, especially in a case as hotly contested as this one was at trial? Either Judge Shepherd is way off base, and his well reasoned dissent suggests this is not the case. Or the 3rd DCA has earned another stripe in its reputation as a court that often avoids the really tough cases. You make the call.


That's it for this edition. We'll address the other cases decided this week at a later time, unless we just decide to skip it all together and take the easy way out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HOLD THE MAYO, EXTRA RELISH

Our friend(s?) over at the civil lawyers blog (South Florida Lawyers) took the opening of the Federal Court Cafe and ran with it and began to speculate on what kind of sandwich would be named for each of the Federal Judges. Being the good and ethical blogger that we are, we immediately made plans to steal their idea - with proper credit of course.

So pick your Judge and create your sandwich and we'll post the best one's here. (UPDATED BELOW AS PROMISED)

In honour of our new Chief Judge, we'll start things off with the Bertie Soto:
Cucumber and Watercress on Rye with the crust trimmed. A slight dab of mayo, and plantain chips on the side with a cold Materva. Why? Judge Soto just seems like she deserves a classy sandwich.

See you in Au Bon Pain, getting them to change the menu.


UPDATE:

So Be Sous chef, esq said...

I disagree with every choice except the shumie.

The Ed Newman would be a juicy sliced Romanian tenderloin steak on a large crusty french bread with ketchup and steak fries on the side;

The Stan Blake would a a half pound of ham, nothing else, on pumpernickel. Onion rings on the side.

And now I add my own: The David Miller:
Sardines and chicken liver and sliced raw red onion on toasted white bread with boston lettuce and a large SOUR pickle on the side.

The John Thornton: Corned Beef and melted cheddar cheese with cooked onions on rye.

The Beth Bloom: Sliced apple and creme cheese on raisin pumpernickel with grapes on the side.

The Joe Fernandez: Grilled burger, grilled onion, grilled bun (grilled client?)


Anonymous said...

The Broward County Bench and Bar:
2-lb's of German Bologna Also known as Garlic Bologna, this sausage is typically distinguished by adding garlic. On a 2 foot Scotty Boy Sub, served very cold and open.


Anonymous said...

The Katy Pooler:
Bread with lots of candy in between the slices.



FEED ME SEYMOUR said...

The Spencer Eig: Sliced belly lox on an onion bagel with chive cream cheese with a side of blintzes and sour cream and blueberry sauce. Decaf.

The Flora Seff: Dry toasted seedless rye, side of brown rice, no butter. Hot Tea.

The Julio Jimenez: Pan con Lechon, Yuca y Maduros. Pony Malta

The Cristina Miranda: 1/2 Grilled chicken breast on a crusty french baguette, melted Swiss, Dijon mustard, Iced Tea, side of Chanel Lip Creme.

The Alan Schwartz: Grilled Lawyer on a plate, challah to wipe up the b
lood.


Anonymous said...

The Jose Rodriguez - Ox Tail sandwich on Cuban Bread, Platano Maduro and Black Beans and Rice on the side. Light'm if you got'm for dessert.




Tuesday, March 23, 2010

BIG FEDERAL NEWS

We've learned some really big news about Federal Court.
New Chief Judge? Bigger.
More than 10 minutes for voire dire? Bigger.
Early discovery? Much bigger!

Our favourite federal blogger Mr. David Markus with a K has the big story: The cafeteria in the new Federal Courthouse is now open!

After doing a quick (and we mean quick) arraignment before Judge Huck and getting your case set for trial the following Thursday, you can stop down on 5, where we hear they have one of the largest selection of antacids in all of Miami for sale. Pop a few Tums, get a coffee and starting working your way through the 8500 documents in order to get ready for trial in six days.


Some times all the news is good news. And with that we are happy to provide the link here to the DBR article announcing that a record 12 Judges North of the Border are being challenged in the upcoming election.

And we have even better news: The deadline for filing is not until April 30, 2010!


Circuit Judge and Miami Judicial Historian Scott Silverman has been honored by the Miami Jewish Federation with the 2010 Community Service award. The link to the announcement for the award is here. And the community service was apparently not even a condition of probation.

If you read one commentary on the repugnant problems with the Republican Party, read Bob Herbert's piece in the NY Times on Tuesday entitled "An Absence Of Class."

From the piece:
For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. ... This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry....The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship....A party that promotes ignorance (“Just say no to global warming”) and provides a safe house for bigotry cannot serve the best interests of our country.

See you in court.

(Coming tomorrow: "Hold the Mayo, Extra Relish")


Monday, March 22, 2010

REPORT FROM COUNTY COURT-UPDATED

SILENT CHARLIE SPEAKS! (below) But first...
The Colonel of County Court has filed this report:

At ease.
Rumpole, having been the bearer of bad news for so long, I am happy to report that the action at the front has slowly shifted and we now appear to be winning. As Winston Chruchill once said: "It's not the end. It's not the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning."

What I am referring to is the horrendous over-crowding conditions that have been occurring county court for the last month or so.

Today Judge Seff's courtroom in 4-10 was so empty she appeared lonely. Previously, the courtroom was so jammed that the line extended down the hallway. Same for Joe Fernandez in 2-11. Judge Ortiz in 5-2 was her normal unflappable self with a moderate amount of clients in her courtroom.

What we are seeing are the long awaited effects of the new scheduling system which removed non-DUIs from the sounding calendar and placed the responsibility for scheduling non-DUI traffic offenses in the hands of the Judges. The Judges seemed to have finally gotten the hang of it and the calendars appear to be much more manageable.

Dismissed. And remember, there's gold in dem dere misdemeanors.



Rumpole says: Our dear Robed Readers. What can you say about them except that even a broken clock is right twice a day? We are gratified to hear they have worked their scheduling problems out in county court.

However, we must admit that Kounty Kort remains a mysterious and baffling place that we still perambulate by while casting a weary and wary eye at the disgruntled masses huddling in the hallways while those nameless and faceless traffic lawyers scurry to and fro making incomprehensible motions while shouting out traffic statutes that all begin with a 3.

UPDATE: SILENT CHARLIE SPEAKS!!! (he says- and we quote-: "woops")
Yesterday we reported that a new PD rule/policy that had gone into effect was having a deleterious effect on PD morale, which was low to begin with. The new policy that was handed down by the Silent Oz Behind The Curtain (SOBTC) was that henceforth all attorneys would answer their own phone calls.

We now receive word that the Great and Silent Oz has changed his mind!

After unilaterally implementing the "answer your own phone" policy without consulting the attorneys who work there, and after the aforementioned uproar (fanned, we hope, by this humble blog) spread like wildfire ( or like an insulting email between county and circuit judges), we now are informed by reliable sources that The Great and Silent Oz has said "woops" and halted the new policy. Peace of sorts has now returned to the Office of the PD, and once again the poor, the weak, and the gullible, who call the Public Defender as the last bastion of defense for the defenseless, are again greeted with

"Law Offices of the Great and Silent OZ...how may we help you?"




Sunday, March 21, 2010

JUST ANOTHER MANIC MONDAY II

If you have the time, catch "Ghost Writer" and let us know when you figure it out. We had a general sense of the end about half way through. There's a nice cameo by Eli Wallach when you least expect it, and Kim Cattrall is our kind of woman!

As of this writing health care reform is going to pass. Will it matter in the November mid-term elections? A week is a lifetime in politics. Is this legislation historic? Will it mark the highpoint of President Obama's presidency? Like it or hate it, If we have to spend a trillion dollars, we prefer it be on Americans and not in Iraq or Afghanistan.

How bad are things over at Silent Charlie's House of Blues (The PDs office) ? Pretty Bad. In the words of at least three PDs we've spoken to, "morale is at the lowest point ever seen". In a new twist, secretaries will no longer answer phone calls! That's right- call Silent Charlie or David Weed or your own favourite PD and they will answer their own phone (or that's the way it's supposed to be.) 305-545-1600 (ask for Charlie).


Someone wake us up when Judge Stanford Blake leaves the building.

Are we finished suing Regional Counsel? Any court appointments left?


Who said "I've done some pretty bad things in my life." ? (Hint- it's not Scott Rothstein.)

Somebody emailed us asking us our favourite playwright. It's an interesting question and one we don't get asked very often. We have two favourites- Doc Simon and August Wilson. Some people may find this more interesting or revealing than others.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

MORONS AT WORK

We couldn't make this up if we tried: The Florida Legislature, in a mad dash to pander to the gun lobby, to gun nuts, to the NRA, and in general to right wing lunatics, have spent their time in session drafting and approving a bill that PROHIBITS adoption agencies from inquiring of prospective adoptive parents whether there is a firearm in their home.


Let's give special recognition to perhaps the only two members of the legislature with a brain and the courage to vote against this idiotic law: Frederica Wilson and Ted Deutch.

Gun accidents kill more than one child a day in the United States. (500 a year).
The figure rises to more than 10 per day when you add intentional acts. Over 3500 children are killed every year in this country by a firearm.

There are over 200 million firearms in the United States.
And just two members of the Legislature in Florida who aren't morons.

See You In Court.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3rD DCA ROUNDUP -The Road to hell edition

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

In State v. McCray, Judge Murphy sentenced a defendant who scored 21 months prison to two years probation, 100 community service hours, participation in a jobs program, and $205.00 restitution. The road to hell and a reversal by the 3rd DCA is paved with both good intentions, and failure to file written reasons for the download departure or failing to contemporaneously pronounce on the record the reasons for the downward departure. Because apparently the judge was persuaded by the defense's powerful arguments for a downward departure to the extent that he remained mute, the 3rd overturned the downward departure.

Moral of the case: no good deed goes unpunished by the 3rd DCA unless you give a reason for the good deed.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NOW IS THE TIME TO HELP HAITI

When all the cameras and CNN and MSNBC are gone, people are still suffering in Haiti. Now is the time to help.

We received an email from an attorney who enclosed a story about his legal secretary who is from Haiti. Her mother runs an orphanage in Haiti. We encourage you to donate.


Here is the information on the orphanage.


HOW NOT TO PLEAD YOUR CASE:

Those of you unlucky enough to be on Jack Thompson's email list know that on any given day you received multiple emails, many of which are pleadings to the myriad of cases he files throughout the country attempting (and almost universally failing ) to advance agendas that he has.

This one caught our attention on what not to do when your complaint is dismissed and you seek a re-hearing:

(Warning- the following is for amusement purposes only and should not be copied or used other otherwise relied upon as a legal document:)

COMES NOW plaintiff, John B. Thompson, hereinafter Thompson, on his own behalf, and moves this court for reconsideration of its motion for relief from its dismissal order, stating:

There is absolutely no chance that this court will act like a real court and actually reconsider plaintiff’s motion, but this paper must be filed to set the record straight in light of this court’s knowing obfuscation to which many who have appeared before it have grown accustomed.



Saturday, March 13, 2010

DEFEND BILL GELIN!!

BROWARD BLOG UNDER ATTACK- THE DBR ARTICLE IS HERE.

Some nincompoop - blowhard-slug who is (hold your nose....ughh) an insurance defense lawyer and who is president of some organization called the Broward County Bar Association (motto: "duhhh...we hate dade") is taking on Bill Gelin who runs the Broward Blog.


If you happen to be in some backwater sewer in Broward and bump into this insurance defense attorney crawling out from under some rock after denying coverage to an injured child, tell him that Rumpole says he doesn't like him.


BREAKING NEWS .....


The JNC has sent six names to Governor Crist tonight to replace Circuit Court Judge Norman Gerstein.

They are:

Judge Victoria Brennan
Judge Jose Fernandez
Alan Fine
Judge Darrin Gayles
Anita Moss
Judge Deborah White-Labora


CAPTAIN OUT .....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 8:38:00 PM


Rumpole says: Judge White-Labora deserves the spot and Judge Gayles wouldn't be a bad choice either.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

3RD DCA ROUNDUP -MURDER MOST FOUL EDITION

We start our 3rd DCA roundup with a case that has a conundrum: What do you do when the jury instruction for a lesser has a higher standard of proof then the jury instruction for the charged crime? If you're the 3rd, you wince and certify a conflict.

Leggett v. State: Here's the problem: the jury instruction for second degree murder does not require the state to prove the defendant had the intent to cause the death of the deceased. In this case the jury was also instructed on lesser included crime- intentional manslaughter. That instruction requires the jury that before they can find the defendant guilty the state must have proven that the defendant had a premeditated intent to cause the death of the deceased.

Quite the conundrum.

The second DCA in Zeigler v. State, 18 So. 3d 1239 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) which the 3rd has followed has held that this is not error. The 3rd has followed that decision. See, Valdes-Pino v. State, 23 So. 3d 871 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009), and Bonilla v. State, 23 So. 3d 1256 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009).

The 1st DCA has held this instruction is fundamental error: Montgomery v. State, 34 Fla. L. Weekly D360 (Fla. 1st DCA Feb. 12, 2009), review granted, 11 So. 3d 943 (Fla. 2009).

What you need to know and do: Object object object to the manslaughter instruction and preserve the error.

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING:

BROWEIRD UPDATE: Take our new quiz:

County Court criminal administrative Judge Joel Lazarus has

a) resigned as administrative judge;
b) been accepted on dancing with the stars;
c) entered the world series of poker.

Answer: Hint- we have no idea if he can dance or play cards.

So chalk up two administrative judges North of the Border resigning this week. Chief Judge Tricky Vic Tobin is losing administrators faster than embattled NY Governor David Patterson.

And not to brag but here in Dade, we saw the resignation of our chief administrative judge for the criminal courts and the election of a replacement with nary a mention of scandal or bad blood.

Remember when the folks in Broward use to sneer at us for having a court system that was an unprincipled mess? To hear them tell it, they treated misdemeanor cases more seriously than Dade treated homicide cases.

Who's laughing now?



Tuesday, March 09, 2010

ON AND ON IT GOES.

BREAKING NEWS: BROWEIRD JUDGES IN REVOLT! Ask for a "no confidence/confidence" vote on Tricky Vic Tobin for this Friday.
Will Judge Holmes orchestrate a coup d' etat?
Will Tobin keep screaming at Mike Mayo?
Will Ana Gardiner ever show up for work?
Will we ever get a continuance in Broward again?
Keep it here- and remember our motto: "We may not have the news first- but we'll get around to it."


The Chief administrative Judge of Criminal Court is rumored to be resigning.
The Chief Judge is having a meltdown.
Another Judge is just not showing up for work.

Dade? Nah. We couldn't be that lucky.
West Palm? Get real.

It can only be our favourite County in all of Florida.....(everybody now) B..R..O...W..I..E..R...D!!!


It starts with this rumor that Illona Holmes -chief administrative Judge of the criminal courts (and former Dade Prosecutor) is rumored to be resigning because she cannot get along with Judge Tobin, who is the chief Judge. (Join the club. He absolutely hates us.)

Meanwhile, the Chief Judge "tricky Vic" Victor Tobin, who last graced these pages putting the moves on a Sun Sentinel Reporter and dashing away before she had a chance to ask him any questions (it was the old "look- it's Judges Gardiner and Seidlin kissing" trick) is now having a meltdown over a blog.

Oh but how we wish it was our blog giving him agita. However, it is our Broward Blog compatriots that is causing Tobin to lose it with Sun Sentinel reporter Mike Mayo.

And finally, while you may have to be in court, and while we have to be in court, Judge Gardiner doesn't have to be in court. And she's not. (Maybe she hurt her thumb texting.)

And now a plea to our robed readers:

This is getting embarrassing.
You are getting totally outclassed by your Broweird brethren. This is the county where circuit judges almost came to fist-a-cuffs over a fax machine. This is the county whose Judges normally take a back seat to no one over acting foolish.

And yet.....our robed readers remain quiet and apparently steadfast in their work.

Please- we know you have it in you. One of you: do something stupid and wrest the headlines away from the judges North of the border.






Monday, March 08, 2010

COUNTY COURT REPORT

Our Colonel of County Court has a report, but before we get to it, we are happy to report that Attorney Bob Lamons, stuck down on Friday with a medical incident, is fine and on his way to recovery.


REPORT FROM THE COLONEL OF COUNTY COURT.

Gather round and take a knee soldiers.

The great war has ground to a halt. We have a trench war stalemate. Casualties are high.

First a little background: The County Court Judges (Motto: Reemberto Diaz ) decided to do away with soundings for all traffic crime cases except DUI cases.

The reason was to ostensibly reduce calendars and court appearances and move cases quicker.

Defense attorneys often have new clients sign rights waiver forms and authorizations to proceed in absentia.

The reasonable Judges (ie., Judges Krieger-Martin and Ortiz) allow this reasonable solution- on trial day if the attorney has a valid rights waiver form and authorization to proceed in absentia, and if the state is not ready for trial, the case will be dismissed. If the state is ready for trial, the attorney enters a plea. In the unusual circumstance where the attorney actually intends to conduct a trial in absentia, prior approval is needed.

The unreasonable Judges have not adopted this solution and will force a defense attorney with a waiver and authorization to plea in absentia to take a plea or get a bench warrant on trial day EVEN WHEN THE STATE IS NOT READY.

SHAME ON JUDGES BLOOM, NEWMAN, AND FERNANDEZ. (It's not clear yet on Seff and Miranda's position.)

The unreasonable response of those unreasonable judges is that prior to proceeding in absentia the lawyer must calendar a motion to proceed in absentia- or to put it another way- a busy traffic lawyer with 30-40 traffic cases on any Monday must create and schedule their own sounding calendars before being able to do in those courtrooms what Judges Krieger-Martin and Ortiz reasonably allow.

The practical effect of the decision of these unreasonable judges is that they are forcing pleas on cases the prosecution is not ready on.

Where is Judge Slom to restore order and reason and help move cases and calendars?
On this issue- nobody knows.

So the stalemate continues and our side continues to suffer heavy losses from the artillery fired by the State in the courtrooms of Judges Newman, Bloom, and Fernandez.

Clearly a new strategy is required.

Dismissed. And remember.... there's gold in them there misdemeanors.


Rumpole says: Thank you Colonel. A real problem is brewing in County Court. Can anyone explain why the solution allowed by Judges Krieger-Martin and Ortiz is not followed by the other judges?



CRIME IN MIAMI



Believe it or not, Miami has a Museum.

And this Museum (The Historical Museum Of South Florida) has a "Crime In Miami" exhibit with historical artifacts from the criminal courts in Miami, including an actual legal pad used by Sy Gaer!

One devoted reader wrote in about the exhibit:

I thought you might want to inform your readers about the Crime in Miami exhibit. After all, it directly involves the criminal bar, our justice system, and is partially sponsored by the FACDL- Dade Chapter. Here are a couple of photos I took. Please feel free to use them, if you like.

The first is the entrance into the exhibit. Among the items on display are the jury foreman's note in the Mossler case informing the judge that they can't reach a verdict. As an aside, the jury ultimately found Mossler and her nephew/lover Melvin Lane Powers NOT GUILTY. They also have a bullet fired from Zangara's gun during his 1933 attempt to assassinate Franklin Roosevelt in Bay Front Park. They even have a mold of Ted Bundy's teeth.

The seco
nd photo is of Shirley Henderson's artwork. There are probably a number of your readers depicted in her sketches.


Cheers.


The exhibition runs through the middle of August, when the current cold snap is expected to ease up.

Friday, March 05, 2010

THOSE WACKY JUDGES AND LAWYERS FROM YOU KNOW WHERE

There is so much going on in Broweird we hardly know where to begin.

Lets start with Judge (but not for long) Ana Gardiner. Here's what we know: The girl can chat! Texting and phone calls to her main squeeze -Attorney Howard Scheinberg.

Judge (but not for long) Gardiner just caught a JQC complaint. What you need to know when evaluating her prodigious texting abilities is that the Howard Scheinberg she was texting and canoodling with, is the same Howard Scheinberg who was THE PROSECUTOR in a death penalty case before her.

From the JQC Complaint courtesy of the Daily Pulp:

During the period between March 23, 2007, when you began your close personal relationship with Mr. Scheinberg, and August 24, 2007, the date you imposed the death penalty on Mr. Loureiro, your phone records reveal, and you do not dispute, that you had 949 telephone calls with Mr. Scheinberg and 471 text messages, for a total of 1,450 separate communications over a period of 155 calendar days. That averages 9.35 communications per day between you and Mr. Scheinberg, 7 days a week ...

... On August 23-25, 2007, which included the date before, the date of and the date after the sentencing, you had 19 telephone conversations and 25 text messages with Mr. Scheinberg, for a total of 44 communications on those three days ...

Here's why we say Judge Gardiner is soon to be a former Judge: before issuing the JQC complaint the JCQ questioned Judge Gardiner about her relationship with Prosecutor Scheinberg. Judge Gardiner testified to this under oath:

... The same Panel member asked this follow-up question: "Again, just to clarify, my understanding is that you - - during the time your were a judge and he was a prosecutor, you did not have any kind of social relationship with Howard Scheinberg?" And your answer was: "If I saw him maybe at one retirement - - they gave they give plaquings [sic] to the younger prosecutors when they leave after three years. He could have been at a plaquing [sic] where the attorneys and the judges go. But I don't ever remember even sitting with him and socializing." This was a misleading answer because it failed to reveal the personal relationship and the thousands of calls and text messages between you and Mr. Scheinberg between March 23, 2007, and the date of the November 13, 2008, hearing before the Investigative Panel. Your answer demonstrates a lack of candor toward the Commission ...

"Sitting with"? Nope. "Socializing with"? Not really. Texting? Well that's a different story. From the JQC Complaint:

Your relationship with Mr. Scheinberg continued beyond the sentencing date of Mr. Loureiro. For example, during the period March 31, 2008, through the end of August, 2008, you had 1,166 telephone calls with Mr. Scheinberg and2,222 text messages, for a total number of communications of 3,388. During that 154 day period, you averaged 22 communications per day with Mr. Scheinberg, which is almost one communication per hour for each 24 hour day

Can you say "TOAST"?


And lets no forget the Head Honcho in Broweird- Chief Judge Vic "dodge em" Tobin. The old fella still apparently has a few moves left in him as he "dodged" a Sun Sentinel Reporter who waited outside his chambers on Thursday for two hours (!) just to get a comment.

Chief Broward Judge Victor Tobin dodged a Sun Sentinel reporter who waited outside his chambers Thursday for two hours to speak to him about Gardiner's absence.


You really need to read the Pulp and Sun Sentinel articles in full to get the real flavor of just how corrupt they are in Broweird. Judges sleeping with prosecutors trying death penalty cases before them; Chief Judges dodging the press; lawyers getting special treatment from the Bar. The whole stinking mess smells to high 201 SE 6th Street.

So, on this cold Friday night, cuddle up with your laptop and a steaming mug of tea (with a nip of Brandy) and be prepared to be shocked, surprised, and disgusted with all of your favourtie characters in our most compelling reality Blog Drama: "The Days of Our Broward Judges and Lawyers."