Wednesday, September 29, 2010


UPDATE: Before we begin, this is a disturbing case. Judge Stacy Glick has sentenced a pregnant woman to 3 years in state prison after a guilty verdict for felony battery on a law enforcement officer. We have no idea of the facts of the case, and the sentence may well be appropriate. The Defendant has a web site here which gives her side of the story. While we understand Judge Glick cannot respond to this, perhaps the SAO can?

As criminal defense attorneys we are often confronted with the dark side of human nature.

We are called upon to defend those that may appear indefensible.

We see acts so brutal, so ultimately devoid of humanity that we often have trouble sleeping at night.

Perhaps no other type of crime is more disturbing than a domestic related crime. The passions of family can often drive people to commit unspeakable acts.

Having been forewarned, we present to you an excerpt from a particularly troubling domestic violence crime from Jacksonville. We remind our readers that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and the facts, as horrific as they are, remain unproven allegations at this time.

On September 29, 2010, the Defendant Marie Brenda Riley was arrested and accused of...



Hat tip to a devoted reader for the a-form.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


UPDATE: breaking news: It's raining!!!!

ARE COURTS CLOSED WEDNESDAY? Great question. You would think, with a tropical storm approaching, that the 11th Circuit Website might have an update. But then again, you would think our Chief Judge would give a damn about these concerns. And you would be wrong on both counts. The website is advertising new civil assignments (for June 2010) and not much else. Local news stations are reporting that the tropical depression is expected to form into Tropical Storm Nicole. But whether or not courts will be open appears to be the very last thing on the mind of our chief judge. What can Brown do for you?

How about keep the 11th Circuit Clerk's website updated?
Without looking, when was the court's website last updated? If you go by their statement, "February 1, 2010". Which can't be true because they have those breaking new civil assignments for June, 2o1o. Your government, at work.

From the national weather service:






In a statement, David Halstead, the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said, "Though this system is unlikely to develop into a hurricane, it is important to remember that a storm doesn't have to be a hurricane to cause loss of life and devastating property damage. It is vital that residents and visitors in South Florida remember the phrase 'Turn Around, Don't Drown' when approaching a flooded roadway and heed all warnings from the National Weather Service and local officials."

When he says "remember that a storm doesn't have to be a hurricane to cause loss of life..." he's assuming he's dealing with someone who cares, unlike you know who.

Rumpole grumbles: A tropical storm is bearing down on Miami and nary a peep from the Chief Judge or the court administrator's office (motto: "don't bug us and we won't bug you") Commuting will be a nightmare. Nothing will get done in court. Officers will be involved in dealing with flooding and traffic control and emergency services. But lets make everyone trek down to the courthouse because I-95 and US1 could use the traffic.

There's a reason why these people are government employees and are not running their own businesses and we can assure you it's not altruism.

See you in court, wet, soggy, and in a bad mood.

Monday, September 27, 2010

FED ARRESTED-loose briefs.

BREAKING: The 39th President of the United States, James Earl Carter, was hospitalized today on a flight to Cleveland. No further details at this time, however, Cleveland is known to have that effect on people, right Lebron?

UPDATE: BAD TIME TO BE A FED. Karama continues to strike at the DOJ, as we are just learning that Nicholas Marsh, a federal prosecutor currently under investigation for his role in the discovery shenanigans in the Senator Ted Stevens prosecution, has committed suicide over the weekend. The breaking story is here.


AUSA Sean Cronin's booking photo.

Miami Federal Prosecutor Sean Cronin, who of late was most notorious for taping our fellow blogger David O Markus, in the case in which he lost and then got referred to the Bar by Judge Gold, has been arrested for Lewd and Lascivious Assault on a Child and Resisting Arrest without Violence to an office.

The title of the post links to the arrest.

Now to be fair, the facts appear to be a bit ridiculous. Mr. Cronin, while at a bar, decided to go for a dip in the pool in his boxer shorts. A mother who had a young child with her complained after they stated they could see Mr. Cronin's genitals.

So this is basically as BS a case as the tight ass feds usually bring.

One can only hope that when Mr. Cronin gets counsel, the ASA assigned to the case threatens a "seismic change" in the prosecution if Mr. Cronin contests the charges. You will remember that Mr Cronin did the same thing to Mr. Markus after David filed a motion to suppress, and obtained a superseding indictment adding about a hundred more counts.

News coverage of that fiasco is here and here.

No word on whether Mr. Cronin was booked in his skivvies or was allowed to put on his pants before being taken off to jail.

Just what kind of briefs do those AUSA's carry anyway?

Karama Kramer.

Check out the post below. David hung Buju's jury in Tampa. Nice work.


HUNG- A mistrial has been declared, DOM has hung the jury. He is filing an application for bond, and a new trial date will be set. No word yet on the rumors about what the split was.

Well Done DOM. Keep fighting the good fight chap.

TAMPA UPDATE: Jury says their deadlocked and forewoman tells judge she does not have hope for a resolution. Markus moves for mistrial (denied); Judge reads Allen charge. See,
Allen v. United States,164 U.S. 492, 501-502, 17 S.Ct. 154, 41 L.Ed. 528 (1896)

UPDATE: Buju hangin?

The jurors sent this note this morning to the judge:

Just for informational purposes," the note said, "we are still split on a decision and after reviewing evidence, nobody has changed their minds from our original vote on Thursday."

Rumpole says: we knew there was a problem ever since they ordered lunch on Thursday:
6 cheeseburgers, 6 hamburgers; six Cokes, six Pepsis. Old lawyers joke.

Good Monday morning!!! While the Reggae world watches and hopes, Buju Banton sits in a lonely holding cell in Federal Court in Tampa while a jury decides his fate.

You know what they say: "You can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride."

Good luck to Buju and Mr. Markus. We have high hopes now that they dodged the dreaded Friday verdict curse.

Not to be a downer, but here's why we are in real trouble: NY Time columnist Thomas Friedman points out five "Moon Shot" type programs the Chinese are engaged in: Transportation- from modern airports to high speed rail to electric batteries (with US investors); Genetic sequencing (with the 128 DNA sequencers ordered from the USA)....and several others.

Meanwhile, the US has it's own "Moon Shot" type project: Afghanistan.

Not good.

Sorry to start the Monday off with such bad news. But cheer up, there's always Tuesday (and a great MNF game.)

See you in court.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NFL WEEK 3 2010

UPDATE: Landed and home and happy to see we are 2-1, plus 280 for the day and 7-4 for the season and plus 905 at week three. Not bad.

Mr. Markus emails us his Cincy -3 pick, and he picks up his first win of the season to go 1-1-1.
It's late, so we'll take the Fins -2. More importantly, we hope to be congratulating him Monday.

Suicide Update: every pick below survived, but some sad news for these stragglers:
Marshall Dore Louis goes down with the Redskins, Luvery survives with the Vikes and Peter Sautter stays alive with the Patriots as does 52nd street with the Eagles.
Fake Blecher going with the hometown Fins.

Sorry for the spotty post, but we're trying to fly home and internet access is dicey.

Our record is 5-3 and were plus 625 Bujus for the year.

We love the Eagles -3 at JAX +400 Vicks;

Washington -4 over Rams for +200 McNabbs.

Cleveland at Ravens...the line is 37, and under seems like a lock. +100 Flaccos OVER.

Preliminary Suicide Pool: remember your email must be dated and timed before the game you pick. We'll clean this up Sunday night, Monday the latest.

Plea D -Colby-Clay K- Patriots;
Juan Gonzalez and Nick Basso-Rick Freedman-BTDT-David Markus- Ravens;
Fake Blecher-Eagles.
Rumpole- Cheaters.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


UPDATE: ON TO MONDAY. DOM keeps the jury out Friday and through the weekend!! Well done Mr. Markus!! The jury was dismissed for the weekend today and deliberations will resume 8:45 am Monday. We'll keep our fingers crossed all weekend.

Well, Mr. Markus kept the jury out Thursday in the trial of Reggae Star Buju Banton.

The jury returns Friday, and while we wish Mr. Markus and his client the very best, we loathe Friday verdicts.

Earlier DOM put his client on the stand to testify that he was just jammin...the tapes were just talk. "I was trying to impress this guy (the informant). I wasn't going to let him outtalk me" said Buju.

USA today has done an analysis of the DOJ and found a "glaring pattern of misconduct" in criminal cases, usually revolving around discovery violations.

Rumpole notes: What do expect with the Jenks act that doesn't require disclosure of most relevant documents until your client has served one year in prison? Or something like that. Actually most state prosecutors and clients are amazed and astounded to learn that the Jenks act doesn't require disclosure of the most routine documents, like prior statements, testimony, and reports, until after (and we are not making that up) the witness testifies on direct examination. Who in the world thought up that ridiculous procedure? The question is, "what is the government afraid of"? If you want to fix the federal criminal justice system, start with amending the Jenks act.

In other news, perhaps the Captain can keep an eye on the internet and post the verdict. We are actually across the pond...on the continent....long story about a client and a ship. But internet access is spotty, and it might be awhile before we update.

See ya back in the states.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


BREAKING: 3rd DCA affirms Judge Lederman on Gay Adoption case, here.
Hat tip to South Florida Lawyers, who had it up first.

We take this story
in toto from the JAA Broward Blog.

We are often asked why we despise Broward so much. In all seriousness, much of it comes down to the cowardly- and we say- unethical stance of the Broward SAO to "let the jury decide" when confronted with cases in which the client is clearly innocent.

If the defendant in the following story hadn't spent 25 months of his life in the Broward county jail, this story would be funny. But it's not. Congrats to the Broward PDs for kicking some ass and defending a client.

The Brian Greenwald Report - "Some pretty amazing things have been going on in Courtroom 4900 the past couple of days. No, the ASA's were not handing out nolle prosses in celebration of my transfer to Levenson. Rather, Judge Destry was presiding over a pretty amazing trial. That is to say, "amazing" in the sense that this overcharged, overzealous, and exaggerated prosecution ever made it out of SAO's case filing in the first place! This is yet another story in the continuing saga of "Let the Jury Decide".

Celveccius Delaney had been incarcerated for 25 months, charged with 3 counts of Sexual Battery against his wife. In August of 2008, Mrs. Delaney accused her husband of forcing her into various sexual acts. Today, in less than 5 minutes, a jury of his peers returned with a resounding NOT GUILTY.

To the credit of the ASA assigned to try the case, he kept it fair and fought honorably with what little he had to work with. This prosecution should in no way cast any negativity upon him. But even with his skilled lawyering, the jury simply couldn't look past the GLARING inconsistencies and credibility issues.

For instance, Mrs. Delaney admitted to having consensual sex with Celveccius about a week after accusing him of raping her. He had moved out at this point, and Mrs. Delaney drove down to Miami to have sex with him. Mrs. Delaney also admitted to lying to police on previous occasions involving similar accusations she made against her husband. All this was known prior to charges ever being filed. As if all that wasn't enough, APD
Matt Glassman got her to admit on cross that she never told her husband to stop, or that she didn't even want to have sex with him in the first place!

In the end, Matt Glassman and I walked a very grateful client out of the courtroom a free man! Thankfully, fellow trial guru
Bruce Prober is joining us, as our trio of APD leads take on the good fight before Judge Levenson!!! (I'm sure we'll be hearing more about those adventures in the very near future) ... "


Rumpole wonders: when will it end up there North Of the Border? When will prosecutors begin following the Code of Ethics and stop prosecuting people they know are innocent or in cases in which they know the evidence does not and never will support a conviction?

We admire the PDs for being gracious winners, but enough is enough. Someone needs to file a bar complaint, and some ASA needs to lose their license so these folks will start taking the "do justice" part of their mandate more seriously.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Nobody is rooting harder for our fellow blogger and brother in arms than we are for David O Markus as he begins his defense of international reggae star Buju Banton in Tampa.

The title of the post links to the St. Pete Times article on the start of the trial.

From the article:

"The evidence will establish the defendant's clear intention to engage in drug trafficking," said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston Jr. "His other occupation aside from entertainment."

Defense attorney David Markus said his client may be heard talking about drug smuggling — but didn't do it.

"Yes, he talked a lot. Yes, he tasted, but he's not a drug dealer," Markus said. "He was not a part of that deal."


Prosecutors argue there was a side to Banton besides his music — trafficking drugs. And while on a flight from Madrid in July 2009, Banton divulged this to an informer named Alexander Johnson.

"Myrie said he was involved in a smuggling venture from Venezuela, to St. Maarten to Europe," Preston told jurors.

Over the next five months, the informer and Banton talked on the phone several times about drug dealing, Preston said. Many of the conversations were taped.

A deal came to a head on Dec. 8, when Banton and Ian Thomas, his driver at the time, met with Johnson at a warehouse in Sarasota. There, prosecutors say, they have Banton on video tasting cocaine.

Over the next two days, Johnson, Thomas and a Georgia man named James Mack are accused of brokering a deal with undercover agents to purchase 11 pounds of cocaine.

Mack and Thomas were arrested Dec. 10 while attempting to finalize the deal. Banton was arrested at his Broward County home later that day.

Defense attorney Markus argued his client was not directly involved in the drug buy. It was Mack, not Banton, who put up $125,000 for the cocaine, Markus said.

Mack and Thomas have agreed to a plea deal.

Markus also questioned Johnson's credibility.

Johnson, a native of Colombia, has been employed by the government since 1996 after being released from prison for drug smuggling. Prosecutors verified that Johnson has received about $3.3 million in government money for information.

Johnson, who lives in South Florida, faces a dispute with the IRS over taxes.

"Alex Johnson has never held a job, instead he's been setting people up and been paid for it," Markus said. "When you make that kind of money you're supposed to pay taxes. He has a million dollar home, credit card debt and he's filed for bankruptcy."

Stand by for more news. Bulletins at once.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Football first of course: We ended up week two with a record of 5-3 and plus 625.

No MNF pick but how can you go against the Saints with 10 days to prepare when SF looked as bad as they did and internally they are reported to be in disarray?

We are 2-0 versus Mr. Markus who is 0-1-1, but there is no gloating since we also thought the Cheaters would beat the Jets. Indeed, Mr. Markus locked in an incredible NE+1 and he still lost, so the lesson is: Rex happens. Plus DOM starts his big Fed trial today in Tampa, and the South Florida Lawyers civil guys have all the coverage. Indeed, DOM gets a pass on our contest for next week and beyond as he has more important things to worry about.

Busy REGJB today with the hallway being punctuated by screams of delight by some and frowns by others as apparently the Bar results are in. The title of the post links to the website.

In our day they didn't have websites. In our day you had to dial a number that was continually busy and when it was answered you were transferred to a woman named "Agnes" or her partner "Frank" who were thoroughly annoyed at you for not waiting for the mail and for calling and who were either hard of hearing or pretended to be, and usually asked you to repeat your name several times and would then mutter that they didn't see anything with your name on it before finally saying "...oh it is......"(worst pause of your life...worst than any jury verdict) before saying you passed but they couldn't give you the specific results- as if that mattered.

An informal look by us revealed that in the results we saw, the pass rate was slightly more than 50%.

Congrats to those who passed- welcome to the party. And a ticket to the Irish House on Miami Beach- oh wait- that's not there anymore- for those who didn't. Well, go find some bar to drink at for not passing the bar, and then tomorrow re-open those study guides.

Contracts. Offer. "An offer is a manifestation of willingness to enter into a contract so as to justify those who receive it in concluding that their acceptance is invited and shall conclude ......blah blah blah. "

See you in court where we don't make offers, and we rarely pay consideration.

Friday, September 17, 2010

NFL WEEK 2 2010

UPDATE: We've guaranteed our second winning week in a row: the Fins won and the game was under (+200); the Pack rolled over the Bills (+300) and of course the Cowpokes lost (-110)- will we ever learn? So we are 5-2 on the season, and up 390 for the day and 735 for the season and all we have risked is 100 Rex Ryan's on the 4 pm game. We'll take it.

Suicide pool wise, we say goodbye to at least six players (we're still waiting for Rick Freedman's pick) : Michael Grieco (Ravens); Fake Alex Michaels and Kenneth Weisman, (Cowpokes) and Mark Vargo for real this time (Titans), Stephen Immasche (Browns- although we salute him for living fast and loose) and Ifitkhar Memon (Cowpokes). See youse guys next year.

We start week two 3-1 and a healthy 345 Bradys in the blue.

Our first pick, is the Cheaters -3 on the road over the J..E..T..S...over over blown. We've seen better offenses run by Miami Highschools than the Jets have. The Pats have a dominant offense, and decent defense, and the Jets are deep in a whole, facing going 0-2 in their new house, and a blowhard coach that doesn't know when to shut up. 100 Pats -3.

Mr. Markus likes the Pats as well. He says he grabbed the early opening line of NE +1,- update-
the best we could find is the game even. But we take Mr. Markus at his word- which has always been his bond- and the fault is ours for not checking it out when he sent the email. These are the ways of the gambling world and what Mr. Markus did was grab the advantage when he saw it. He deserves this line. It makes our bet look sad, but we still like the Cheaters to romp in NYC. Uhhh... make that New Jersey, but you know what we meant.

The Fins travel to Minnesota, where the initial report is that Favre would be sitting because of his ankle. However we know have learned that Favre will be playing, however his ankle is giving him problems. Even without Channing Crowder, the Fins have a good defense and will look to run the ball. Meanwhile the Vikes have the best RB in Football, so they will also be a looking at the run first. With Favre playing this is a bit of a risky proposition, but both these teams were part of winning under bets for us in Week one, so we're riding the gravy train with an under 39 doncha know. 200 Henne's under 39.

The Packers play the Bills in GB and the line is Pack -13. The money line is Pack -700, which means you have the bet 700 Blakes to win 100. We're seriously considering laying the 1400 to win 200, but on further review the 13 doesn't seem like a whole lot against a Bills team that still hasn't found it's identity and just lost their best LB for a month or more. Pack -13 for 300.
This is also our bet in the weekly face off against everyone's faourite federal lawyer.

The Cowpokes. You would think we would have learned out lesson from our only loss so far this season and stay away from the team with the worst coach in the NFL. But the visiting Bears won on a bad call last week against the Lions, and the Cowpokes still have better talent and this is their home opener and their O-Line is healthier than it has been since the beginning of pre-season. So we look to get even (the worst thing a bettor can ever say) and put 100 Romo's on the home team.

Here's the suicide pool picks which are still incomplete. More Sunday before the games.

First some house keeping: I got Mark Vargo's pick wrong last week. He picked the Packers over the Eagles, so the rumors of his demise are untrue. He lives to fight another week.

The Packers were THE hot pick this week, with Colby, Plea D, BTDT, David O Markus, Michael Feiler, Peter Sautter, Feet of Clay Kaiser, Fake Blecher, Miguel De La Over, 52nd Street Irwin; and Juan Gonzalez all jumping on the men in green.

Kenneth Weisman, et. al: Cowpokes; Mark Vargo: Titans; Cary Clennon: Falcons; Michael Grieco: Ravens; Fake Alex Michaels: Cowpokes. Rumpole: Packers.

Gutsiest pick of the week: second week in a row Stephen Immasche reaches deep into the bowels of the NFL and picks the BROWNS!!!?? who are starting a back-up QB


Our tale of Three Judges starts with Judge Diane Ward, who takes over from Judge Peter Lopez in ROC court. She wanted it and she got it. But we have to question why in the world a judge would want the mind numbing assignment of handling hundreds of robbery and strong arm robbery cases with more minimum mandatories than you can throw a Florida Legislator at, as these cases tend to dominate the ROC court docket.

We move on to everyone's favourite Judge Court Judge AND Crime Fighter; Judge Deborah White- Labora, who was one of many who received a City Proclamation for their activities of 11 August of this year. For those of you who missed it, the Judge was thick in the middle of chasing a would be camera thief who stole a camera from a Herald reporter who was taking pictures of a Taco Truck that the Judge and her family were patronizing. (BTW- we've looked for this famous Taco truck, and haven't been able to find it. Can someone tell us location, hours and whether the guacamole is any good?)

The NBC news video and story of the Proclamation is here.

And we end up with Judge Wesely E. Brown, USDC, Kansas. He is one of four remaining Judges appointed by President Kennedy. He fought in WWII, and he has served long enough to see his former clerk become a United States District Court Judge AND take senior status. At 103, he is the second oldest person ever to serve on the Federal Bench, and as this NY Times article makes clear, he is an inspiration to us all.

The Blog will be down for spiritual maintenance Saturday. Those of you who eagerly wake up and turn on the computer for the "Good Saturday's the news you need for the weekend" will just have to wait a week. We will post our Sunday Football picks Saturday night, along with the suicide pool picks.

For those of you fasting, have an easy one.

See you in court.

Thursday, September 16, 2010



That's where the inhabitants of the REGJB will be when the 11th circuit gets around to electronic filing.

The Feds have electronic filing, and it actually works very well. Everything is on line and accessible.

And now that the 11th Circuit (Motto "Better late than never") is considering electronic filing, the first five divisions to get the system will all be in civil court.

Follow the money.

But what can Brown do for you? Why he said the other day at the FACDL Board meeting that he was considering lifting the ban on beepers in the building!!! Won't that make our life better?
Also he encouraged the FACDL to put more typewriters in the attorney's room so attorneys can bang out last minute motions. What a guy! The white-out is on him.

He also said he was thinking of giving defense attorneys access to something called "SPIRIT".
It has to do with traffic and county court. We think. Either that, or it has lascivious pictures of cheerleaders on line.

Judge Lopez is leaving ROC court and heading to civil. And who will replace him? We hear the infighting has been fast, furious, and vicious, with the email equivalent of elbows being thrown.

Judge Ward wants it. So do several others. Judge Diaz passed and will be going to family or civil. One Judge even promised to hold Arthur hearings within the first year of the arraignment if s/he was assigned to ROC court. WOW!

Of the five names that went to Governor Crist, Judge Brown confirmed that the eventual Circuit Court Judge will (be sentenced) assigned to the REGJB. Dopey, Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Doc and Clarence Thomas are all in the running.

Second week of the NFL coming up. Don't forget your suicide picks are sent to blogpool21 at and go Fins as they travel to Minnesota, don cha know.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Before we begin, an update courtesy of a reader, on the issue of Arthur hearings being held before an information is filed:

Anonymous said...

In Cordarius Benjamin v. State, Case No 10-1801, defendant filed writ of habeas corpus on July 14 to require Judge Fernandez to hold an Arthur hearing immediatly before 21 days had run or an information had been filed. Two days later, the Third District ruled:

The emergency petition for writ of habeas corpus is granted only in that an Arthur hearing shall be conducted whether or not an information has been filed. The petition is otherwise denied. SHEPHERD and SALTER, JJ., and SCHWARTZ, Senior Judge, concur.

Rumpole notes: Not an auspicious start in Circuit Court for young Judge Fernandez. No Judge should hold a defendant in jail without a hearing when the defendant's counsel is vigorously seeking a hearing.

Longtime and careful blog readers know our appreciation for a life well lived and a well written obituary. Here are a few recent ones that have caught our eye:

Ed Newman passed away, BUT NOT OUR ED NEWMAN. The NBC newsman, who was an erudite advocate for the english language, as well as a reporter for over 40 years, died at age 91. The NY Times Obit is here.

Upon reading about the life of our fellow compatriot Michael Burn, it is easy to understand why we are Anglophiles. He socialized with Adolph Hitler before the war, and led a daring British commando raid on the German dry docks at St. Nazaire in occupied France. Captured, he spent the rest of the war as a POW, where a chance viewing on a propaganda film led to a woman of Dutch royalty sending him a Red Cross package. When he returned the favor after the war, Baroness Ella van Heemstra - struggling in post war Netherlands- sold the items to purchase penicillin for her seriously ill daughter. Michael Burn thus saved the life of young Audrey Hepburn.

Burn wrote several books of fiction and non-fiction; he published poetry and grew up in a French Casino owned by his family. And in the middle of it all, he raised a family AND carried on decades long affair with British/Soviet spy Guy Burgess.

He owned a signed copy of Mein Kampf, and organized a mussel farming cooperative.

All in all, a remarkable 97 years on this earth. The NY Times Obit is here.

The Pope's coming to England and judicial rotations are just around the corner. Up for grabs are a coveted spot in ROC court and some civil rotations for judges worried about 2012.