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, November 30, 2010

THE HEAT IS ON (the downslide)

UPDATE: This just in: Hurricane season is over! A quiet season that spared South Florida is just another reason we are thankful this holiday season.

Best of Luck to Miami Candidates Judge Andrew Hague and Attorney Jeffrey Swartz as they interview for the job of Statewide Prosecutor. 5 lawyers applied.

And lets send a little luck to the 99's- those are the people who have been looking for jobs for the last 99 weeks whose unemployment benefits are set to run out today. The Herald reports here.
And if you're a Republican make sure you proudly trumpet your desire to deny 2 million of our felllow citizens continued benefits while you furiously work to make sure to add 700 Billion dollars to the deficit by permanently extending the Bush era tax cuts to everyone making over $250,000.00 a year. Trust us, we know how hard it is to afford that NetJet card on income less than a million. The tax cuts will surely help keep us out of the airport security line.

The Feds interviewed the candidates to fill Judge Huck's seat on Tuesday. Speed is an asset that is a must for the job.

The poor Heat continue to stumble along just barely above the .500 mark, and now rumors are circulating that the coach is in hot water, especially since the NY Times is reporting he and James got physical with each other in the last game. Rumpole says there is no W(ade) in TEAM, nor is there a J(ames) and it is time to pull the plug on this fiasco, trade away the aging, over paid stars, and start anew with a TEAM of committed and hungry players.

Need something done in Judge Ward's division? Stop by and see one of your favourite retired Judges who will be manning the gavel until the New Year when Newly minted circuit judge Beth Bloom blossoms in the division.

FUN WITH 924(C)
Carry a gun during a crime, and in Federal Court it's an additional 60 months consecutive. However, courtesy of the SCOTUS Blog, there's this "kinda-sorta" exception announced in Abbott v. US.

A federal sentencing enhancement provision requires an additional five year sentence for anyone convicted of possessing a gun during a crime of violence or drug trafficking, "except" to the extent a greater mandatory minimum sentence is required by "any other provision of law." The Court held that this exception applies only to statutes covering the same kind of conduct as the enhancement provision and not to cases in which the defendant is also convicted of a different kind of crime that has its own minimum sentence of more than five years.

THOUGHT:
Law as a business will survive this recession. Law as a profession probably won’t, not at the prices these law schools are charging.
Brian Tannebaum, the man, the myth, the legend, getting a hat tip for his "my law license" blog at ATL.

Monday, November 29, 2010

JUSTICE STEVENS

If you didn't catch it on 60 minutes last night, this interview with Justice Stevens is well worth the time. His insights on court issues large and small are gems. His criticism of Bush v. Gore is right on the money as is his view on Citizens United. Both cases show that "conservative" judges have no problem with legislating from the bench and being "activist" so long as the issue is important to their cause. Stevens wrote in dissent in Citizens United that he feared for the court. He is not alone in his fears.


Friday, November 26, 2010

NFL WEEK 12 2010

Good Sunday morning. The Dolphins are in Oakland and we're in a zone.

We won our Turkey Day pick when the Cowboys came storming back in the second half and lost by three while getting four at home against the Saints. We're 23-15-1 for the season, +2420 for the season and 9-2 against DOM (7-3-1).

Jacksonville Jags at NY Giants. The Giants are -7 at home and the o/u is 44.5. We like the Giants but we'll take the under, for 100 Elis.

The Colts are -3 at home against the now worst coached team in the league: The Chargers (Vanilla Phillips having finally been fired in Dallas). We like Indy as our pick in our battle against Mr. Markus, and we also like the Colts -3 for 200.

"Riding that pick....his name is Vick...." The soon to be NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles are in Chicago where Da Bears are a home dog getting 3.5 points. Bears don't like dogs. The feeling is mutual. Eagles and Vick -3.5 for 400 Bruins.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BLOG MAINTENANCE

NFL TURKEY DAY: One more time because we never learn: Cowboys at home +4 over Saints for 100 Turkeys.


UPDATE: Sometimes Judges do good things, and sometimes Governors elevate good Judges. Governor Charlie Crist has appointed Miami Circuit Judge Kevin Emas to the 3rd DCA and it is a great appointment. Congratulations Judge Emas, who takes the spot of Judge Cope. Well done.

"Here Kitty kitty" Update: What kind of animal would do that to a cat? Some kind of animal apparently and not a person, and that was good enough to put to an end the long and difficult case of Tyler Weinman who had previously been charged with being a serial cat killer. The Herald has the purrefect details here . Our hardworking State Attorney took time from a vacation to say this:
``They peeled back underneath the skin and found puncture wounds and that was the end of the case,'' Fernández Rundle said. ``This is a classic case of scientific evidence trumping a circumstantial case.''

Rumpole says: This is a classic case of the SAO once again filing charges first and sorting it all out later. Same old song, but with a different beat.... Kudos to David Macey for sticking with the case and believing his client.


A few house keeping matters this short holiday week.


A thank-you to the Captain for remembering our birthday last week. You know how it is, the older you get the less you like your birthdays. Just how many Heat seasons has it been since some cocky federal lawyer shot his mouth off to the press that before the end of basketball season our identity would be known? He thought he was dealing with an amateur.


As old as it is, creaky knees and all, the blog will be down for a spot of maintenance for a few days during the holiday season. Rest assured we will be ever vigilant in case one of our dear robed readers get caught doing something stupid. But otherwise it's time to change the oil and rotate the tires on this lorrie.

Worry not that we will over indulge and you will wake up one day soon with the blog's familiar colours and beloved polka dots changed, ala the unfortunate circumstances over at the blogs run by DOM and South Florida. We abhor change of any type. That will not occur.
And wasn't there some sort of coup de tat over at South Florida? Civil lawyers will do that-stab each other in the back for an extra buck.

Enjoy your holiday but watch what you eat. It was Ben Franklin who opined : "To lengthen thy days, lessen thy meals."

Speaking of eating, a tempest in a pizza box has erupted over the 112th Supreme Court Justice (Kagan) seen on a recent saturday night with a box of pizza (from DC Pizzeria "We the Pizza") and a pair of "mom jeans". Ouch. The controversy rages: "What size pizza box was the justice carrying?"; "Why is she getting her own pizza?"; "Were there leftovers?"; "Does Scalia eat pizza?" we need answers and we need them now.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BROWIERD....AGAIN V.2.0

If it wasn't for those wacky Judges North of the Border, dozens of bloggers would be out of work.

Courtesy of one of our favourite blogs, Bob Norman's The Daily Pulp, comes this scholarly and thoughtful email from Judge Joel Lazarus of the "proud and fighting 17th Judicial Circuit Robe Wearers Brigade", to all his troops and Judges. Lazarus is firing up his boyz and providing scintillating and learned commentary on immigration, religion, and the constitution.
(As the Captain points out, the email is an old one, but Bob Norman has it up on his Daily Pulp and the JAA blog had a link to it as well, so why should we be left out of the fun and frivolity just because we live in Dade?)

Pull up a chair and enjoy:


From: Judge Lazarus/17THCircuit
To: ALL JUDGES, ALL JAS

Date: Monday, December 03, 2007 02:43PM
Subject: Three things to ponder....

1. Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

COWS
Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Candada almost three years ago, right to the stall she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

THE CONSTITUTION

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

The 10 COMMANDMENTS

The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this:
You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians... It creates a hostile work environment.

Stay tuned, as Rumpole will respond.

YOU'RE RIGHT-YOU'RE WRONG

Let's take a look at some recent comments:

Rumpole is wrong:
Anonymous said...

KUDOS to 9:54 a.m.! Rumpole, weren't you a little harsh on the original poster? Come on now, this isn't about folks trying to make it in this big melting pot we call Miami. It's about folks who can't effectively communicate in English (note I did not refer to it as the official language) & who take great pleasure in working against the lawyers who are necessary elements of the system -- all the while proudly parading giant chips on their shoulders.

Monday, November 22, 2010 6:54:00 PM


And the very next comment, Rumpole is right:

Anonymous said...

This contributor is a douche. Who cares if you went to Yale. Treat the people in the courthouse with respect and dignity, and they will almost always help you out. Snotty Yale Douche.

Monday, November 22, 2010 7:49:00 PM


Corrections is right:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

bythw the woman is Ana and she is very sweet. I think most people know by now that you have to get 3 certified copies with the jail number and cell location on it and give it to her. Prepration makes your life easier. Making fun of her accent is not cool either. She is one of the nicest most helpful people at REG. Maybe your attitude needs adjustment. SHe could of just been an ahole and accepted your order then when your guy was not transported have let you find out the hard way how to do things right but no she is super nice.

Monday, November 22, 2010 6:18:00

Corrections is wrong:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

KUDOS to 9:54 a.m.! Rumpole, weren't you a little harsh on the original poster? Come on now, this isn't about folks trying to make it in this big melting pot we call Miami. It's about folks who can't effectively communicate in English (note I did not refer to it as the official language) & who take great pleasure in working against the lawyers who are necessary elements of the system -- all the while proudly parading giant chips on their shoulders.

Monday, November 22, 2010 6:54:00 PM

Monday, November 22, 2010

BUREAUCRACY

A foreclosure fiasco!! Former REGJB denizen Alan Soven at the center of a legal nightmare (again). Details on the South Florida Lawyers blog here.

We received this email:

Rumpole: Help!
Here is a description of my encounter with a an individual who works for a particular agency in the Justice Building. My goal was merely to provide them a certified copy of a motion to transport. I won't name the agency, but it rhymes with "directions".

Me: Hi- here is a copy of an order to transport.
Woman #1: Jello...can I help jew?
Me: (to myself: Jew??Hmm...this is not starting out well).
Me: To Woman #1: Yes. Here is a certified copy of a motion to transport.
Woman #1: Weeeeell, dis is not (unintelligible- but I'm guessing she meant "sufficient") Jew need 11 certified copies. (or some ridiculous number).
Me: (to myself: Jew again!)
Woman #1: also, Jew need to add the yale number of the defendant. To get the yale number you need to go to the 4th floor and look at dee big blue book which has dee names and yale numbers of all of dee defendants.
Me: (admittedly somewhat sanctimoniously) I know how to get a "yale number" I've in fact been to Yale. (actually Rumpole, I've been to both, but that's another long story.) I also know how to get jail number. I don't need the big blue book. I can get with a computer. In fact, I can get it with my phone. Can you please take the order?
Woman#1: No. Here is dees memo on orders. You need read.
Me: No. Here is the order. You need read.
Woman#2: (walking over) She jus tryin to hep you.
Me: Really? Because I don't sense that.
Woman#1: If jew read dee memo jew can get dee order.
Me: I have "dee order", please take it. Many people who have studied long and hard have contributed to creating this order.

...and on and on it went. Not much really to say except that it seems like everybody is out to make everybody's life much more difficult than it has to be. I appreciate they have a job to do and so do I. I don't have a problem following rules, and this issue was resolved when I obtained the requisite 37 more certified copies- and I won't even start on what it takes to get one of those from the ninth floor. The clerks look at you like either you are crazy ( you want what??) or you are threatening some horrible act. My point is that people who deal with the general public need more training. Not to say it is not a hard job. It is. But how many times have you been waiting in line only to have the person answer the phone or have another employee come over and start talking to the person helping you about something that could have waited. Yes, I am making fun of this woman's accent. It is more bothersome to have a bureaucrat start lecturing you when they can barely speak english. I applaud this woman for working, I just wish she could lectured me less and done so more intelligibly. Thanks for letting me vent.

Rumpole says: We live in a multicultural society, especially here in Miami. Our opinion is that dealing with an accent is a small price to pay in view of the strengths immigrants add to our country. In light of all the xenophobic rage over immigration, we would be well served if we didn't over react to the short term (hopefully) economic slow down, and remembered that at one time or another all of our ancestors came to this country seeking a better life. Lets not be like the Judges of Miami, who once having been elected, want to close the doors behind them and do away with elections.

NFL roundup: 1-1 yesterday, 22-15-1 for the season; -30 for the day and + 2320 for the season. Mr. Markus won (7-3-1) and so did we (9-2).

Later this week: Is the blog going to be shut down????!!!! Stay tuned.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

NFL WEEK 11 2010

Good morning and welcome to week 11 in the NFL!

Here are the numbers: +2350 for the season; 21-14-1 in our picks.
DOM is 6-3-1 and Rumpole is 8-2.

Green Bay is at Minnesota. At 3-6 the Vikes are one loss away from being all but officially eliminated from the big dance and nobody more than the Packers would love to drive that stake through the heart of the ageless vampire Brett Favre. The over/under is 44 and we like the over for 300 Favres.

In out matchup against Mr. Markus we're going to ride that train called Vick until he pulls into the station marked "Dallas-Superbowl." The Eagles are -3 at home over the big men from New Jersey, and we are taking the Eagles, and also 300 of Pat's Cheesesteaks as well. Because we're hungry. DOM is hitching up his six shooter and putting on his ten gallon hat and taking the Texans +6.5 on the road in the big city against the JETS who btw set an NFL record for winning consecutive overtime games on the road.


We had to make our picks earlier in the week because Sunday is a travel day for us. We may update this as events, and our access to the internet, warrant.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leyritz guilty!!!!! (of misd only) acquitted on manslaughter !!

EXTRA INNINGS: The jury deliberations in the Leyritz case have gone into extra innings as the Jury initially signaled to the Judge that they were deadlocked, and then went back into deliberations.
"We have reached a stalemate," said a note read to the court by Gold at 6 p.m. Friday. "We have completely decided that we will not agree on this decision. How do we proceed?

Judge Gold read the Jury an Allen charge and sent them home for the night. Deliberations will resume Saturday.

Rumpole says: The alternate said he would have voted for acquittal, which is a sure sign of a conviction as any trial lawyer will tell you. The defense should take the deadlock and run.

The Herald has a story and a You tube video of Miami's finest on Halloween providing some "street adjudication" and other forms of "counseling" to a suspect. The video and story is here (and we couldn't find the blasted thing on you tube no matter how hard we tried.)

FRIDAY UPDATE: The Leyritz jury is out and we will be providing minute by minute analysis of the jury deliberations.....or perhaps we'll just post the verdict after someone give us a tip.

Will the Prosecution in Broward get shut out like the Fins did last night?
Stay tuned.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

North of the Border the jury is out in the Jim Leyritz trial. We can't call it a DUI/Manslaughter trial because the Judge JOA'd the state on that one. A Driving with Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level (UBAL) Manslaughter charge is the only felony remaining.

Say what you want about Dave Bogenschutz, but he earned his fee in this one. He did a great job no matter what the outcome.

We still can't figure out how he got the issue of the decedent's impairment out before the jury when the judge had ruled it inadmissible pre-trial.


DOM posits that Supreme Court Judges are tech-deficient.


What do you do when you get arrested after bringing a gun to the drug deal set up by your stripper girlfriend? Well if you're a Federal Judge you plead guilty, and probably avoid the 924(c) 5 year consecutive minimum mandatory for using a firearm during the commission of a felony.
It may be campy, but Judge Camp will be pleading guilty real soon according to ATL.

Short week next week. Court closes after Wednesday.

See You In Court.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FACDL UPDATE

UPDATE: We received this comment:

Michael A. Haber, Esq. said...

Hey Rumpole - Thanks for painting me as a racist - I am sure that ths was inadvertant. Please understand that a) I am not a racist, I dislike everyone equally; b) my comment would've been the same had I received what I consider to be an improper list-serve post; c) my point, to be clear, is that the list-serve should be used by members for FACDL-related topics ONLY; and d) I have always considered list-serve posts to be private communications between FACDL members and not public items; accordingly I take execption to your having posted my private response without my permission. In this case, as I am confident that we now understand one another, I expect mutual consideration in the future.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 4:54:00 PM


Rumpole says: There is some humor in Mr. Haber's comment, but we take his complaint very very seriously. Not only do we think that we did not paint Mr. Haber as a racist, we think our comment showed that there was a very legitimate side to his comment. Namely that the listserv should be used for legal issues and that any expression of religious beliefs -no matter how well intentioned- would open the flood gates for preaching.

If it was not clear- let us be very very clear- Mr. Haber's comment was proper, well thought out, well meaning, and in our opinion not directed in a hateful way at anyone or any religion. He was very clear that his comment was meant for all kinds of off topic comments, from the availability of a car for sale, to personal comments. He is not a racist. He does not have that reputation. From our admittedly limited knowledge of him personally, he is a very fine attorney fully committed to the constitution and the ideals of our country.


Lots of news about the FACDL (Motto: "Dues, please") so lets get right to it:

Item one: Congrats to Arnie Trevilla who won a DUI trial before Judge Miranda yesterday. But just to show you that his heart is in the right place, here is his email when the jury went out, and kudos to his praise of the judge BEFORE the verdict:

arnoldtrevilla@gmail.com

to khurrum, Facdl
7:04 PM (16 hours ago)
Jury just went out on my dui. Miranda gives a great trial!!!!!!!! Love her...


And here is his email 78 minutes later later:

arnoldtrevilla@gmail.com

to khurrum, Facdl
8:22 PM (15 hours ago)
Ng!!!

Item Two: Earlier in the day Khurrum Wahid sent out this email:

On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, Khurrum Wahid wrote:
To all my brothers and sisters in the bar, today is Eid ul adha.

Muslim holiday marking the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca called Hajj which all Muslims must to once in their lifetime.

Just by way of FYI, Hajj itself is purported to mark the event where God told Abraham to sacrifice his child for God and God replaced the child with a goat. This pillar of Islam shows the common link between Christians Jews Muslims and other faiths that trace their origins to Abraham.

Say Eid Mubarak to your friends and whether Muslim or not because we have more in common than not on this planet.

And the predictable contretemps erupted including this email from Michael Haber:

Please, pretty please, w/ powdered sugar & rasberry sauce on top, STOP USING FACDL's Google Group for posting non-law related issues. If u wanna sell your used furniture, lease office space, pat someone on the back (proverbially), celebrate a holiday (of any nature), share an anticdote or whatever, please use your personal e-mail and spare the rest of us your inconsiderate (& inappropriate) thoughts, comments or observations (as this would be but for my having been exposed to happy Muslim day emails on FACDL).

Rumpole says: Mr. Wahid's email conveyed wonderful sentiments and certainly the world would be a better place if we all had his wonderful view of life and religion.

Eid Mubarak....

BUT...one could speculate that such an email would open up the floodgates to those who would wish to prosthelytize their own religious views.

Item Three: Sabrina Puglisi - Commissar of the Miami Chapter of the FACDL had this startling announcement about the upcoming FACDL: Board meeting:

Just wanted to update yesterday's announcement. Chief Judge Federico Moreno
has accepted our invitation to attend. He will stay for the first 15
minutes and answer questions.

Rumpole says: There will be a "meet and greet" afterwards and the Judge will pose for pictures and sign autographs suitable for forging his signature on orders, which is becoming generally accepted in the South Florida legal community.

So there's your FACDL update. Lets remember, we're all on the same side (cashing cheques) so lets try and get along.

Eid Mubarak

Monday, November 15, 2010

COUNTY COURT CONTINUED

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.
mdmphd@advocateprogram.com


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.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

COUNTY COURT CRISIS?

A report from the Colonel Of County Court:

Good morning Rumpole and readers, with a criminal county court bench in flux (two judges- Bloom and Seff are out in the new year) there are troubling issues that are already bedeviling county court. These issues are reported after several weeks of witnessing most of these problems myself and with speaking with several long time county court practitioners

PROBLEM #1 EX PARTE COMMUNICATION:
Judges (and prosecutors who are being encouraged by Judges), are routinely engaging in ex parte communication with clients in an effort to clear their courtroom. Here's what happens: All judges are different in their ability to timely move their calendars, which usually are set every half hour. A solo practitioner may have to go to Judges Miranda and Krieger-Martin for a 9 am trial (both on the 5th floor) then race up to Newman and Bloom on 6 before trotting down to Schwartz on two. Meanwhile it is now 9:30 and the practitioner runs to Seraphin on 4 and waits in a long line until getting called at 10:15. In the meantime one or more of the 9:30 am cases that he or she hasn't gotten to yet has been dismissed. While the attorney is in another courtroom the judge in one of the 9:30 am cases tells the client to leave or the prosecutor does at the encouragement of the judge. The attorney runs back to that courtroom-can't find the client- calls him or her and the client says "the case was dismissed without you... why did I even need to hire a lawyer?" Now the lawyer has to explain that the case was dismissed because of the ten hours of work he or she did in getting the client a new license and then communicating that to the ASA before the trial was set or because the ASA agreed with the motion to suppress or dismiss that was filed, or for any other reason based on work the attorney did and the client didn't see.

Bottom line: Judges and prosecutors do attorney great harm when they start talking to their clients, even in a misguided belief that they are helping the client. It's also against the rules of ethics. So stop it.

PROBLEM # 2 : PTI: Basically the SAO and the courts have sold out to the PTI programs. Lets be clear about this - this was a decision based solely on money and not on anything else like a desire to help defendants. Defendants who get arrested are now receiving letters from people who are not attorneys basically telling them they don't need a lawyer to get their case dismissed. And these letters are sanctioned by prosecutors and Judges. Never mind the fact that a PTI disposition is now being used against clients in a whole host of situations, or that innocent people are being coerced to accept something other than vindication. It's not the existence of the PTI program. It's the way it is being marketed to clients before they have a chance to consult with an attorney: the marketing encourages the clients NOT to hire an attorney. If attorneys were allowed to first meet their clients and thoroughly discuss their history, the availability of PTI would be beneficial to all. Would you go to a surgeon without first getting tests and consulting with a diagnostician?

PROBLEM # 3 SLOM LOCKS THE DOORS.
This problem is mostly confined to Judge Slom and his totally intransigent and difficult bailiff. Basically, when Judge Slom covers for one of his Judges, there are times when he apparently wants to segregate the defendants by the calendar and only let the 9am defendants in the courtroom until he is finished with the 9am calendar. A couple of problems with this: First- this is the United States of America and any citizen has a right at almost any time to enter any court of law and observe. Except in Judge Slom's court. Second- to facilitate this segregation- the bailiff locks the door. Thus if an attorney is running from courtroom to courtroom and doesn't time it right- he or she is locked out of Judge Slom's courtroom while the client is inside. Third- Florida has a statute and procedure for closing a courtroom. It involves among other things notice to the media and a hearing on the attempt to conduct court business in private. To my knowledge Judge Slom is not following this procedure.

Additional issues: some Judges are overly influenced by Judge Slom from everything to case law interpretation to exactly how to run their courtrooms. Thus there is this new Slom inspired practice of playing a pre-recorded introduction to court several times throughout the morning, and usually doing it while several attorneys are waiting to dispose of cases.

That's it for now. And remember: There's gold in them there misdemeanors.

Rumpole says: Judges, ASAs, and criminal defense attorneys are invited to respond via comments or email which will be posted on the front of the blog unedited if they so request it.

We forward one urgent help wanted request:
"Help wanted. Professional sports team in Davie, Florida, needs one or more quarterbacks, preferably with experience. Inquire at Sun Life Stadium, attn: Tony Sparano."

NFL WEEK 10 2010

Good Miami Dolphins-Chad Pennington -Football Sunday!

It's a beautiful day and the Dolphins have a new starter at QB.
Fun fact: two players making their first start for their teams today in Miami -Chad Pennington and Randy Moss- both played college football at Marshall.

Mr. Markus (5-3-1) must be warily eyeing the calendar and beginning to note in his epic battle versus Rumpole (7-2) that he's down by two in the win column and before he knows it, time will be running out. But not yet. And we have our lead to protect.

A couple of intriguing games today but we're going with the game tomorrow night versus DOM: Michael Vick and his Eagles in DC against the Redskins and their cardiovascularly deficient QB.
Eagles -3 at DC and we'll throw 500 Geno cheesesteaks on the boys from Philly for good measure.

Mr. Markus responds that the Dolphins are ready for a home win and Chad Pennington is just the guy to lead them to victory. DOM picks the Fins +1.

Bengals at Indy (-7) and Jets(-3) at Cleveland are the two other games we've pondered this week while sitting in court and listening to prosecutors drone on endlessly. Thank goodness for internet access in court, otherwise there would be nothing fun to do during a trial.

So lets have some fun. What kind? How about the kind when you're walking down Bourbon street at 2AM and see a scantily dressed woman giving you a wink and motioning you to join her at the bar kind of fun. *

In other words, sounds like it's time for a Teaser Bet!!!!

There are lots of different teaser options out there, including 6 point, 6.5 point, and 7 point teasers. But we will stick with the Vegas Teaser, which is six points, and the odds adjust on the number of teams you pick.

How about a three team teaser at 2 to 1? Indy teased from -7 to -1; Browns teased from +3 to +9; and Carolina at Tampa Bay from -7 to Tampa -1. And we'll risk 300 Po Boys on this extravaganza.

Rumpole's tip: The key to teaser bets is that you want to find a spread where you move the line past a key number, like 7 or 3. So when the Browns go from getting a field goal to past a TD and up to 9, it becomes attractive. Ditto when Indy goes from being a TD favorite to 1, which moves them below a field goal.

Anyway, enjoy the day, we wish we could be at Sun Life Stadium today rooting on Chad Pennington, but duty calls.


*All characters and events appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or events, possibly including one late night in New Orleans in July several years ago, is purely coincidental.

BOLO- sorry to let work intrude on a football Sunday, but CBS4 reports a BOLO and arrest warrant was issued for Coral Gables Police Lieutenant Edward Claughton for battery on a hotel employee in Marathon.