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

Friday, December 31, 2010

364 DOWN-1 TO GO

Today is the last day of 2010.

There are 365 days in a year- that equals

8760 hours
525,600 minutes
31,536,00 seconds.

We who labour in the REGJB have had our share of sadness and loss this December and if anything that should make all of us aware of how precious life is.

We have one New Year's Resolution (ok two*) and that is to make the most out of every day, every hour, every minute and every second of the new year.

From all of us at the Justice Building Blog, have a happy. healthy and successful new year, and don't take one single second for granted.

For the last time this year, we say: See You In Court.


*Eat a few less cookies as well.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

DAVID PAULUS FUNDRAISER

From Raul Chacon, Esq, at Houck Anderson:


Sent: Mon, Dec 27, 2010 9:53 am
Subject: Domino Tournament in support of David Paulus

Hope the holiday season finds you and your loved ones well. The purpose of this email is to invite you to a fundraiser to benefit one of our own, David Paulus. As many of you know, David has been a lifelong prosecutor and a friend to us for many years. He has been a tireless and dedicated public servant and is currently the Director of the South Florida Money Laundering Strike Force. Recently, David was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As you can imagine, he and his family are now on a journey that is going to be not only physically taxing but also emotionally and financially draining.
We hope that you can join us on Friday, January 14, 2011 starting at 7:00 p.m. for a night of dominoes to benefit David and his family. All proceeds and donations will go to David. Details of the event are in the attached flyer. In the meantime, please keep David and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Best wishes to all of you for a healthy and happy New Year. See you on January 14th!
Sincerely,
Raul J. Chacon Jr.
President

Rumpole says: It's been a tough month of December but things don't always have to end badly. Here's a chance to step up for a friend and colleague and help him win his battle.

We can't print the flyer but here are the details:

January 14, 2011 at 7:00 PM at the Newport Beachside Resort in Sunny Isles, 16701 Collins Avenue.

$40.00 per team for dominoes. (team dominoes? we never knew...)

Call 305-302-1996 for early registration. Hosted by "MDPD Force Basketball team."

Lots of good food and drinks as well.

Hat tip: Rick Freedman for forwarding the email to FACDL and our spies who forwarded it to us.



LAST FEW DAYS OF 2010

It's coming down right to the end of the year and while our favourite federal blogger is mailing it in until the new year (a well deserved rest) the courts of Miami Dade are still open and running right through Thursday. Once again state court employees are expecting a half day on Thursday so if you'r planning to pull a bunch of files from the ninth floor one more time this year just for the heck of it, go early.

BRINKSMANSHIP

If you're on the FACDL list-serv (and if you're not, make it you're new years resolution to join) you have been following the travails of a defense attorney who dropped a NOE two weeks ago which expires this week. The last update is that there are not enough jurors to get a full panel this week and the question is how far can the court go and meet the requirement that the trial "begins" before the speedy trial date runs? The case is a capital sexual battery case (why we try cases here that happen in Tallahassee or DC is beyond us) and apparently the state will not be ready until next year.

Query: dropping an NOE that expires the last week of the year- good lawyering or dirty pool?

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE LEGISLATURE:

With the figurative stroke of a pen, or perhaps just a quite aside to an aide, incoming Florida Governor Rick Scott (motto: "what have I gotten myself into?") has abolished the beloved Governor's Office of Drug Control.

January 3, 2011 will be the first day of the new year and te last day of work for all four employees, saving the state $551,300.00 (breakdown $250,000.00 in salaries, $200,000.00 in costs distributing the salary, the rest in paperclips). The duties of the Office will probably be distributed among other state agencies that can carry the ball, including in Rumpole's opinion, "The Office Of State Libraries" (you haven't seen anything until you've seen a librarian on a drug raid); "The Office Of Elderly Affairs (ditto- senior citizens doing reverse stings on street corners in Hallandale are the wave of the future), etc., etc.

On a more serious note is this email (which we edited for space) from Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger

  • The Office of Drug Control was created by then Governor Jeb Bush in 1999 and is authorized by state statutes.
  • The Office collaborates with other agencies on the implementation of a three-pronged approach of Prevention, Treatment and Law Enforcement to eliminate the devastation of substance abuse rampant in Florida's diverse communities.
  • The Office was instrumental in getting legislation passed that is intended to help curb prescription drug abuse — one bill targeting pain management clinics, which are often disguises for "pill mills," and another that establishes a prescription drug monitoring program.
  • The Office championed the creation of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which almost reached the point of going on-line.
  • Prohibited by law to use state funds to pay for the PDMP Director Bruce Grant and his superb staff successfully obtained the necessary funding through federal grants and other sources...

  • The current political leadership in Tallahassee seems to be under the impression that weDO NOT have a significant drug problem in Florida.
  • Governor Scott's spokesman Brian Burgess was quoted in an article that "I don't think we're going to have cocaine bales stacking up on the docks of Miami if we close this office."

  • Obviously, he did not bother to check the facts:
  • Years of lax state laws and a plethora of pain clinics have made Florida a destination for prescription drug traffickers, drug peddling doctors and abusers.
  • The DEA, using its most recent data, says that 49 out of 50 of the top oxycodone prescribers are located in Florida.
  • The number of deaths caused by at least one prescription drug increased more than 100 percent from 2003 to 2009.
  • Mark Fontaine, executive director of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, said a recent study showed that substance abuse has a $43 billion negative impact on the state economy due to loss of job productivity, and costs associated with hospital and emergency room visits and incarceration. Fontaine said about 65 percent of Florida inmates have substance abuse problems.
  • A 2009 Florida Department of Law Enforcement study concluded seven people in Florida die every day- ALMOST 2500 FLORIDIANS A YEAR - due to prescription drug abuse.
  • Rumpole says: "Let's get to work."

  • Monday, December 27, 2010

    MNF/TNF

    We're not going to even bother to do the math. Suffice to say that we feel like the last time we picked a game right Neil Rogers (RIP) was on the radio saying
    UN-BELIEVABLE.

    MNF: The Saints are better than the Falcons. Simple as that. Saints 500 +2.

    PLUS a 200 Parlay Saints-Eagles.

    TNF: The snow is cleared and the Eagles are primed for the first NFL game canceled for snow since 1923. Lay the two TDs. Eagles -14 ....lets see if we can win the MNF game and then we'll pick a number.

    UPDATE: 150 on the Eagles.


    ps- to paraphrase Neil, if these dumb-asses on TV call the Falcons QB "matty-ice" one more time, I won't know whether to scream or eat a banana. Puhleeese. The last time I saw this putz he was throwing a pick in OT against the Steelers on opening day.

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    NFL WEEK 16 2010

    Things could not be any closer as the season winds down in our pick-em contest with David Markus. With two games left in the regular season, and although we didn't discuss it we are willing to extend this to the super bowl, Mr. Markus is at 8-5-1 while we are at 9-6.

    The Cheaters go Buffalo today and the visiting team needs to keep winning to lock down the number one seed in the AFC and get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Over/Under is 45 and we'll pick the over in our contest with DOM and for 300 Fitzes today.

    Time to get back on the winning track after two losing weeks, and we don't know any better or bettor way to do that then...a teaser!!! In a teaser bet the bettor can adjust the line 6 points and the odds are dependent upon how many teams are in the teaser bet. Today we like The Eagles at home over the Vikes with the line teased from Philly -14 to Philly -8; Giants at Packers with the over/under teased from 43 to 49 and we'll take the under 49 and the Bucs over the Seahawks at home with the line teased down from 6.5 t0 0.5 .

    With a three team teaser the odds are 16-10 so we win 160 for every 100 bet. We'll lay 300 on this teaser, just for fun.


    The game of the week (outside of the titanic Lions-Dolphins) is the Saints at Atlanta Monday night. The line favours the home team Falcons by 2.5. Too much is made over the Falcons home field run this year. We'll take the Saints but we'll announce the figure tomorrow.

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    NEIL ROGERS HAS PASSED AWAY





    He was the very best there ever was at what he did. He entertained millions of us for decades and when we weren't laughing we were debating some of the thought provoking ideas or comments he had. I have missed him since he went off the air.

    Rest In Peace Uncle Neil.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    XMAS EVE EVE

    UPDATE: YOUR NEW CIRCUIT JUDGE- JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS: DARRIN GAYLES. WELL DONE GOVERNOR CRIST!


    On the
    eve of Christmas Eve, here's the holiday scoop:

    Miami Dade Courts are open today, although the clerks office will probably close at 12:00 or 1:00 PM.
    Bah humbug.

    Miami Dade State and Federal Courts (see below) are closed Friday.

    Don't go on the Dade 11th Circuit website or Harvey Ruvin's Clerk of the Court website looking for a Holiday schedule. You won't find one.

    However, props to Harvey and the Gang for allowing an attorney to check where they are on the court appointments list. Want to find out what position you are at on the appointment wheel of mis-fortune? Plug in your bar number here.

    Thing are a little bit better at the Federal Website, which contains a link to
    "Fast Freddie's" (c) 2010 administrative order for the holidays. Ever the careful legal technocrat, our Chief Judge has cited to 5 U.S.C 6103 for the authority to designate an additional day off from work when a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Our Chief Judge carefully notes that tradition and precedent are such that when a holiday falls on a Saturday, the additional day off is Friday. Therefore, in the spirit of the season, and by the power vested in his holiness by the Congress of the United States Of America, etc., etc., the courts of the Southern District of Florida are hereby closed this Friday, December 24 for Christmas and next Friday, December 31, for New Years.


    Tis the season for our robed readers to sip a little too much free booze at the office parties now in full swing all over the county. A gentle blog reminder not to drive if you've been drinking, but please do something otherwise stupid-but safe- so we can have something to write about in the New Year.

    Be safe. Remember those we have recently lost, and after counting your blessings,
    remember that 66 years ago, like today, America's Armed Forces were overseas engaged in combat. Remember to say a silent prayer for our soldiers, and have a Merry Christmas.


    (We always make it a habit this time of year to re-read Stephen Ambrose's remarkable account of the 101st's defense of Bastogne in December, 1944. When Germany launched a surprise attack known as the Battle of the Bulge, all Eisenhower had in reserves were the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions. Both were ordered into the battle. Trucked across France and then marching into Bastogne while U.S. soldiers were fleeing in panic the other way on the same highway the 101st was marching in on, the division was lightly outfitted, without winter clothes or sufficient ammunition. And yet, with nothing to rely on other than each other, the 101st- and it's 506th PIR made famous by Ambrose's account in Band Of Brothers- took up front line positions in the woods of Bastogne, dug foxholes in the bitter cold, and once again held off the best troops and tanks of Germany. Their story is a remarkable one, and we urge you read about them and remember their sacrifice as we also remember the sacrifice of our current men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. )

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    RARE EVENTS

    Today/Tonight is the winter solstice (when the sun is at the lowest point in the northern sky for the year) and a lunar eclipse!

    "So what's so special about that?" you say? Well, it happens about once every two thousand years. According to the Washington Post, the last time both events occurred on the same day was in 1638 or perhaps 1544 (either way it was a long time ago, even before there were lots of Starbucks. )

    OUR LAWLESS 11th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS:
    Speaking of rare events, Judge Scalia is upset and he's dissenting from a denial of certiorari in Allen v. Lawhorn. First, let us say that once again we are forced to confront activist judges who want to legislate from the bench and thank goodness there were five level headed judges who were wise and "conservative" enough to let the lower court ruling stand.

    Lawhorn is an inmate who was sentenced to death by the great state of Alabama (motto: "commit a crime here and die") . The 11th Circuit overturned the sentence finding that Lawhorn's trial counsel for the sentencing phase was ineffective.

    The mistake at issue is that Lawhorn's counsel waived closing argument in the sentencing phase of the trial under the mistaken belief that waiving would have prevented the prosecution from giving a closing argument. Lawhorn's counsel objected when the prosecution went to give a closing argument but the objection was overruled. The 11th Circuit found that the error was not a reasonable strategic decision but an erroneous belief. The US Supreme Court refused to grant cert, so the decision stands, and DOM's favourite judge and "best-est" friends to defendants everywhere just can't sleep at night knowing another one has slipped through his fingers.

    Scalia's beef (a legal term meaning "what really bothers someone when they lose...")?

    That the AEDPA (anti terrorism and effective death penalty act) requires federal courts to give state courts great deference in interpreting the law, and that great deference combined with the fact that the supreme court has never held that a failure to give a closing argument is ineffective assistance of counsel under Strickland v. Washington, is such that no reasonable federal court anywhere could ever grant any defendant sentenced to death any relief after his claim has been denied by a state court.

    Put another way, Scalia is saying : "We all know Congress meant to say that a defendant's habeas claims should never be granted, especially in death penalty cases, and this case is an intolerable example of a defendant winning. No defendants should ever win a habeas claim. Ever. That's why they call it the 'great writ' "

    In raging against his brethren Scalia takes time out to diminish the impact of closing arguments ("not evidence" and mere fiddle-faddle) while conveniently overlooking that even without a closing argument, one juror had recommended life and in Alabama at that time three jurors were enough to recommend a life sentence.

    And what about the very clear mistake Lawhorn's counsel made in waiving a closing argument by mistake? To Scalia it's a mistake that can be reasoned away. For the rest of the educated universe, most of us are not comfortable with the government killing a citizen based on a proceeding in which a fundamental process was fumbled away in error.

    Scalia just can't live with a court system not geared to kill its litigants as this passage makes abundantly clear:

    It has been over 21 years since Lawhorn was sentenced to death. Alabama should be not barred from carrying out its judgment based on a federal court’s lawless speculation. I would not dissent from denial of certiorari if what happened here were an isolated judicial error. It is not. With distressing frequency, especially in capital cases such as this, federal judges refuse to be governed by Congress’s command that state criminal judgments must not be revised by federal courts unless they are “contrary to, or involv[e] an unreasonable application of, clearly estab- lished Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States,” 28 U. S. C. §2254(d)(1) (emphasis added). We invite continued lawlessness when we permit a patently improper interference with state justice such as that which occurred in this case to stand. We should grant Alabama’s petition for certiorari and summarily reverse the Eleventh Circuit’s judgment.


    So there you have it: What does Justice Scalia think of our 11th Circuit? "Lawless speculators." If we called them that you can bet the Marshals would be hunting down our ISP address so we could be hauled before the Court in irons to explain ourself. But if Scalia calls them that, well......




    Monday, December 20, 2010

    CHRISTMAS WEEK




    Anybody in trial? We think Judge Cooke in Federal Court was starting a trial today, but you know those guys over there...scrooges one and all (even nice ones like Judge Cooke.)

    DOM Picked the Giants on Sunday and boy was that ending a shocker! We kept saying all day long Vick would lead a comeback, but we didn't see it ending that way. We like the Eagles to go to the Super Bowl. They seem to be a team of destiny.

    Lame Duck Legislative Sessions? Keep em or tube em?

    Giving credit where it's due: For 364 days a year we criticize Broward and the Broward SAO. But today we're giving them props for their office Christmas Party last Thursday benefiting HANDY (Helping Abused and Neglected Abandoned Youth). The Sun Sentinel Article is here and yes, that's Chief of Homicide Brian Cavanaugh playing Santa.

    Fun fact: As near as we can tell, the Dade SAO does NOT have a homicide unit. How is that possible?

    Our Holiday Wish? To get through the end of the year without any more bad news and to hope that those colleagues and friends of all of ours who have a very very tough December eventually find some peace and the strength to carry on.

    See You In Court.



    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    NFL WEEK 15 2010

    We're going to try and get back on track with some old favourites, specifically the Eagles, in New Jersey, getting 3 points playing the Giants. Risking 300 Andy Reids on this game.

    We also like the Saints at the Ravens. The Ravens barely squeaked out an OT win last Monday night, while the Super Bowl Champs are peaking at the right time and are fighting for the division with the Falcons. The Saints have more to lose here and are the better team. We'll take the Saints getting 1.5 in our battle with Mr. Markus and we'll also risk 300 Brees to boot.

    Houston at Tennessee. The number here is 47.5 and that seems high so we'll take the under for 300 as well.

    It's been another tough week at the REGJB so forgive us if we are lacking in the normal Joie de Vivre. The year can't end quickly enough and hopefully good times and healing times are ahead in the new year.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    IS JUSTICE BLIND?

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



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

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

    From the article:

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

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



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


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


    MORE EXPERIENCED JUDGES?

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


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

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    TOY DRIVE THURSDAY

    Thursday at the PDs office there is a CLE seminar from 12:-1:30. It is free and lunch is provided (expect to see a lot of robes blowing in the frigid breeze as they hustle over to 14th street to grab the free grub.)

    Price of donation for attorneys is one unwrapped toy which will be donated to the Chapman Center and given to an underprivileged child for the holiday.

    The listed guest speaker is advertised as "Judge" Milton Hirsch (he just can't wait one minute longer, can he? Word to the wise- don't count your gavels until Judge Brown hands one to you.)

    The topic is something like "my brilliant victories" or "six easy steps to becoming chief judge" or some other entertaining topic.

    Anyway, a shout out to Transitions Recovery Inc., for what is always a delicious spread (ask any robed reader) and their generosity in helping secure toy donations.

    See you in court, but not there, even if they serve caviar and lobster.

    In March, 3rd DCA Judge Milton Hirsch will give another lecture, and then after the August recess, US Supreme Court Justice Milt Hirsch will give a speech entitled "greatest cases I have decided." Until then.....

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    JAIL VISIT GUIDELINES UPDATED

    OK, we're back. Sort of. Not really into it, but we'll try.

    From Rick Freedman comes this jail visit update:

    The new policy, outlined below, which goes into effect December 15, 2010, is listed here on Correction's website (they also have great deals on amazon dot com electronics)

    In June of this year I began meeting with the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. I met several times with Director Tim Ryan as well as his legal staff. I presented them with our concerns. We wanted all attorneys that were licensed members of The Florida Bar to have unbridled access to inmates at all MDCR facilities. We objected to the policy that only permitted attorneys of record to have face to face visits with inmates, while all other attorneys were forced to have a barrier visit (under glass) with the inmate.
    MDCR explained to me on several occasions that their primary goal was always "safety and security". They were also concerned about several instances where attorneys were not following the MDCR rules and where some attorneys had allegedly violated the law. They did agree that it was unreasonable for each facility to have different rules depending on the day of the week, time of day and whom the shift commander may have been on any given day. While it took some time, they finally understood that they were making it very difficult for private counsel to interview potential new clients at the jail with a glass barrier separating the attorney from the client. I explained to them that going over A forms, OIR's, exhibit lists, depositions, diagrams, etc. required interaction that could not be effectively accomplished with a barrier. I also explained that there were several instances where an associate of a law firm could not even see the firm's client face to face if the partner of the firm was the attorney of record and the associate was there to see the client.
    After several months of negotiations, MDCR did finally agree to relax the barrier rule. All licensed attorneys will now be permitted to see inmates at all facilities within MDCR without having to do so under glass. The new rule states that "an inmate shall only be allowed a one hour attorney visit, twice per day, by an attorney, not listed as the attorney of record by the Clerk of Courts." After two attorney visits, all other wishing to see that same inmate on that same day, will have to do so under glass. (If you are an associate from a firm that represents the inmate, you should bring with you a document from the firm on letterhead that explains your relationship to the client). Also, make sure that your letterhead address matches your Florida Bar address listed on the Bar's web site.
    Please be aware of the recommended visitations times. Also, on a separate note, if any of our members have not already registered their law office number with MDCR "Do Not Record List" they may want to take this opportunity to follow the rules attached and do so now.
    MDCR will be implementing these new policies effective December 15, 2010. They understand that there will be instances where a MDCR employee may not understand the rules the way you understand them. Please make every attempt to discuss the issue with the Shift Commander if at all possible. MDCR is doing their best to make sure that all employees of their department are aware of these new policies.
    If any of our members have any questions or comments, please feel free to have them email me and I will attempt to answer the question myself or direct them to the person at MDCR who can answer their question.
    I hope these new policies and procedures help make our members' lives a bit easier when visiting an inmate in Miami-Dade County.
    Rick Freedman


    Thank you Rick. Great job.

    **ALERT** IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE SO ALREADY, GO TO THE WEBSITE LISTED ABOVE AND REGISTER YOUR OFFICE PHONE NUMBER ON THE "DO NOT RECORD LIST"
    DON'T SAY WE DIDN'T WARN YOU.

    Thought of the day:

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.


    In the fell clutch of circumstance

    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.


    INVICTUS,

    -William Ernest Henley-

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    REST IN PEACE ROBERTO PINEIRO

    UPDATE: While we could not attend the funeral Sunday, we have received several emails confirming an astonishing fact: that two of Rob Pineiro's closest friends who eulogized him mentioned this blog! We are humbled. We are told that one of his best friends quoted our brief statement that "he was not a good man, but a great man....that he was not a good judge, but a great judge." Again, we are humbled.

    I take this opportunity to say something I have never told anyone: Rob Pineiro was responsible for our chosen identity. It was many years ago, when Rob was in County Court when, sitting in his chambers we saw some videos of the Rumpole of the Bailey series. Rob was always such an interesting fellow, and all of us should learn from his examples, including that there is a life outside of the law. If he was interested in something, that was good enough for me. After we spoke about Rumpole for a few minutes I went out later that day and was able to secure an "Omnibus Rumpole Reader"- a large collection of many of the short stories that make up the Rumpole collection. I was hooked. Many years later when I was toying with the idea of starting the blog I again found myself in Rob's chambers, by now he was in Circuit Court, and there staring at me were those Rumpole Videos! An idea began to take shape.....

    I was always immensely gratified that during the first few months of the blog's existence, and then from time to time over the years, I would receive an email from Judge Pineiro, or he would write a thoughtful comment. If in no one else's eyes, then surely in my eyes, it conferred legitimacy on my silly endeavors.

    I don't know everything that was said at the service, but I can only imagine that there were more than a few laughs, more than a few tears, and tremendous sadness about someone so wonderful leaving us at such an early age. A hundred years from now little of this will matter. But one thing will remain: Rob Pineiro used the considerable talents the good lord gave him to leave this earth, this county, our city, and all who knew him, better off for him having been a part of our lives. Truly, the good he did will live well beyond all of our limited years.

    Once again, rest in peace.



    Today we bury a friend and colleague.






    Thursday, December 09, 2010

    ROBERTO PINEIRO

    The title of the post links to an expanded article by Herald writer David Ovalle and it is an excellent piece.

    A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010, at Temple Beth Moshe, 2225 NE 121 Street, North Miami, Florida 33181.

    Burial will be at Lakeside Memorial Park, 10301 NW 25th Street, Miami, FL 33172, immediately following the service.

    In his honor, the flags at all Miami-Dade Courthouses are being flown at half-staff.

    From: Brown, Joel
    Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 12:53 PM
    To: All Judges JAs and Court Staff

    Subject: Judge Pineiro

    I am deeply saddened to inform you that our dear friend and colleague, Judge Roberto Pineiro has passed away.Judge Pineiro served this community with the utmost distinction since being appointed to the County Court in 1989 and again to the Circuit Court in 1996.Judge Pineiro will be remembered for his strong work ethic and unfailing devotion to justice. His legacy will always remain steadfast in the hearts and minds of our entire court family and so many others whose lives he has touched during the past two decades.Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family. We have all lost a true champion and a pillar of justice.

    This is a very sad day.
    Judge Joel H. Brown

    Rumpole says: Roberto Pineiro was not a good man, he was a great man. He was not a good judge, he was a great judge. He served his community and made this a better place to live for all of us. He was dedicated to his family and this is a loss that hits all of us hard. Words cannot express how sad a day this is. The flags are at half staff at the REGJB and deservedly so.


    Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    JUDGE ROBERTO PINEIRO REMAINS IN THE HOSPITAL

    UPDATE: Rob Pineiro's condition remains extremely serious. As several comments have indicated, including an eloquent statement by our State Attorney Ms. Rundle, his wife Barbara appreciates all the well wishes and prayers but wants to make sure everyone knows that this is a very personal time and the family wishes to be with him at the hospital without anyone outside of the family, no matter well intentioned, being present. I am certain everyone who counts Rob Pineiro as a friend, and who has been praying for him, will respect his family's wishes.

    Judge Pineiro had a stroke. His condition is serious.

    This is a great man who has touched so many lives in the course of his work and life.

    Please take a moment today to reflect on how fragile life is and to keep Rob Pineiro and his family in your thoughts.

    We are praying for him.

    Earlier today we had received erroneous information that was confirmed by two separate sources. It is not correct. We truly regret any pain this has caused Rob Piniero's family.