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, March 25, 2011

VERY GOOD SHOWING

UPDATE: TRAWICK SACKS ROBBINS FOR FIVE YEAR LOSS
The long, sad saga of former Oakland Raider center Barrett Robbins has come to a conclusion with a five year prison sentence of the former NFL star for violating his probation for testing positive for cocaine. The Herald has the story here.

We're not criticizing Judge Trawick here, but we are disturbed by the sentence. ASA David Gilbert (another fair and well respected player in this saga) asked for a prison sentence.

It is well known that Robbins is bi-polar. People with mental diseases self medicate with drugs. It just strikes us as wrong that we send mentally ill people to prison. We don't send overweight diabetics who self medicate by eating Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream to prison. But we send mentally ill people to prison all the time. And the quote attributed to Mr. Gilbert that Mr. Robbins deserves prison time because "he is big and quick" and thus presents more of a danger than, lets say a 5 foot 100 pound Miami Dolphin Cheerleader, also strikes us as wrong.

We recognize that Mr. Robbins was given chance after chance and at some point there are no chances left. And that's probably what happened here. It's just sad that we all know Mr. Robbins is mentally ill and prison is the best we can do.

FRIDAY'S SYMPOSIUM: THUS SPOKETH RUMPOLE.

The Symposium organized by Robert Kuntz went very well Friday . It was tough to get a word in edgewise with Brian Tannebaum and DOM hogging the microphone, but kudos to Mr. Kuntz for doing a great job moderating an ill-moderate bunch of egos. It was a very enjoyable experience.

And BTW, this shows that our judiciary needs qualified individuals with the varied life experience Mr. Kuntz, a former journalist, has. We hope he runs/applies again.

Also, follow Robert Kuntz on Twitter @RobertKuntz.

"SOME OF MY BEST IDEAS COME FROM MY CLIENTS."

This is the heading of a new post on Roy Black's new blog. (Roy spoke at the symposium Friday).

It's a good post with a simple but often overlooked practice tip- speak to (not at) your client, and listen (and don't interrupt) when they respond. It's amazing what you will learn.

Have a great weekend. For those of you not writing op-ed pieces on the late Justice Rhenquist, it is a beautiful day (so we hear) in South Florida (as we fly back from LA). Get out and enjoy Florida and we will see you in court Monday.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Rumpole - "Lincoln Lawyer" ... Did you see it? Great ethical issue in a criminal law setting! Recommended...

Robert Kuntz said...

Horace (I feel that I can call you Horace now) thank you for your excellent participation in a great discussion.

To my surprise, I did not find it difficult at all to understand you, despite the heavy English accent. (Was that a bit of Rugby I heard? I felt certain you'd gone to Eton. You ARE the mysterious one.)

One of the court employees did complain a bit about having to clean up the powder left by your wig. And I frankly expected you to be taller.

But let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Such quibbles aside, a great day. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

david gilbert has been a jerk since the 1970's.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ben and Jerry's is not illegal. I do not even comprehend how you can justify the comparison of someone committing a crime and someone being over weight and suffering from diabetes. That comparison would only work if you said that an overweight person with diabetes broke into a Ben and Jerry’s because his sugar dropped and he needed the ice cream, so he had to self medicate! That is just plain stupid and makes you look retarded. And let us not forget THEY GUY WAS ON PROBATION! Could you imagine the damage this former NFL player could cause to a police officer! If he had even a semblance of a good trial case it would of gone to trial especially in Miami because we all know how police officers are. So that being said and being a very experienced defense attorney and former public defender I think it is a logical conclusion that the facts against him must have been so bad that he pled to a 5 year probation sentence. No one former NFL player or star will walk into a 5 year probation sentence if the odds were not stacked completely against them. We all know that means he had a looser case! So I am so sorry if I do not feel bad for him. Mental health issues or not he should not do coke while on probation. He was on probation for battery on a police officer; his probation had been previously modified. He had approximately 3 violation of probation affidavits filed with in the first 3 years of his probation. Bi-polar does not mean, (I get to do whatever I want and blame it on a disease.) I know a bi-polar attorney who does not do drugs and deals and fights with his illness on a daily basis. I also know other bi-polar people who do not self medicate. What happens is People like Mr. Robbins have the Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan syndrome and think that they can get away with it forever. He also had a Public Defender. Let me be completely clear I fell no remorse and am completely unapologetic for stereotyping him when I say he probably blew his money on strippers, cars, jewelry and hoes and stuck a bunch of white powder up his nose. That is why he was declared indigent. He should of spent that money on getting himself and real medication and trying to get his life in order instead of sticking some blow up his bi-polar nose; Seriously! He was given chances based on his disease that is why he was placed on probation instead of sent to prison, that is why his probation was previously modified. I would agree that maybe the sentence may have been a bit long. Instead of 5 years the Judge could of done 366 and terminate or 18 months and terminate but at the same time it is a legal sentence. In other counties like Broward or Monroe he would not of had even a probation sentence to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Check your facts before you get all sympathetic with a Robbins. He could of killed the police officers he attacked. The has had multiple run ins with the law. He was given a withhold of adjudication initially and then he violated!

January 2005, Miami Beach officers were responding to a burglary call at South Beach commercial building when they encountered the 6-foot-3 Robbins, who was pushing 400 pounds. In a violent melee, three Miami Beach officers were injured — one officer had his head run through a wall Sgt. Mike Muley shot Robbins twice after grappling with the officer over his gun.

Robbins later received a “withhold of adjudication,” meaning a felony conviction did not show on his record, in exchange for completing five years of probation for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.

But Robbins’ probation was rocky. Twice, he violated his probation, including once for testing positive for drugs. Ultimately, Robbins finished a stint in a locked-down treatment facility in Houston.

Then in February 2010, a deputy pulled Robbins over just south of Dallas. He smelled of marijuana and had, inside a cigar box, a glass pipe with crack cocaine inside.

He served 146 days in jail there, and was transferred to Miami-Dade for violating his probation. Robbins pushed to be let out again, writing the judge in April 2010 that he felt he was “more valuable to society by helping others to stay off drugs and possibly coaching youth in sports since I have been a professional.”




Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/25/2133970/miami-dade-judge-sends-former.html#ixzz1He75heLQ

Anonymous said...

ITS ULTRA FEST WEEKEND! YIPPEEE I BELIEVE THAT THERE WILL BE A FRESH SLEW OF NEW CLIENTS COME MONDAY!

Anonymous said...

Very sad about Barret Robbins. I was a big fan of his.

However, how did he have a PD? Doesn't the NFL give him a pension?

Secondly, according to the article, officers involved in his 2005 arrest (including the alleged victim) testified at the sentencing and asked for the maximum.

Aren't victim impact statements reserved for sentencings on substantive offenses, not probation violations.

Seems like overkill seeing as the defendant has already been sentenced on that charge.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln Lawyer was great movie and book was even better.

Anonymous said...

What a bullshit post. You say you're not criticizing Judge Trawick.... but then you do by calling into question whether a drug abusing jerk who has been given multiple chances to fix his life F's it up again. Trawick showed restraint. And quoting Gilbert out of context - anyone who knows the man knows he would never recommend prison just because of a defendant's size - is also bullshit. Sorry, Rumpole, this post is just...... bullshit.

Rumpole said...

BIG PICTURE- a man who is not a seller of drugs is going to prison for five years because he is mentally ill and cannot stop himself from taking drugs. How much are the taxpayers of Florida going to pay for warehousing this man?

Small Picture- Robbins initial felony was more serious than the probation violation. In an intoxicated and mentally unstable state Robbins battered three police officers and fought one of them for his gun. What would have happened if the officer lost his gun? Would we have seen the funeral of three law enforcement officers?

No easy answer here. But prison ends up being the default option and I do not accept that as correct as well. And just watch- that is going to stop because Governor Scott is not going to pay to keep these prisons open to house non-violent felons.

Anyone remember how to handle a parole violation? Parole here we come baby.

Anonymous said...

Wahhh, the poor self-medicating bi-polar crack head is going to PRISON! C'mon Rump - lets be real, the streets of Miami-Dade County are polluted with bums, crack heads and criminally insane freaks who have managed to make an otherwise rich and beautiful location into a stinky heap of garbage. Self-medicating crack heads are making a very concious choice to SELF MEDICATE...WITH CRACK! This selfish rodeo clown should have checked his quick large ASS into the local hospital and that way he could have avoided the sweet, sweet prison time he's getting. The only thing that upset me about all of this is that his stale cheese sandwich is being paid for out of my precious tax dollars. If I see Mr. Gilbert I will most certainly give him a high-five for making this idiot pay. THAT'S WASSUP!

Anonymous said...

Check out the story coming out of Tallahassee. Sansom is nolle prossed in the middle of trial. Unbelievable prosecutorial abuse. Charge a public official with no evidence. Make him spend tons of $$$$ defending the absurd charges. And after ten witnesses, chuck it all as if it is a nonsense misdemeanor charge. Thank God this would never happen in Miami!

Anonymous said...

I feel badly for Robbins, BUT, he we have to recognize that he is not so sick that he bears no responsibility for his actions. And, as David pointed out can put quite a hurting on another person because of his size.

As for David, he's one of the most honest and ethical people you'll ever meet. It's a damn shame that everytime someone is mentioned on this blog by name some jerk has to attack him or her personally like 3:44.

BTDT

Rumpole said...

1133pm. Life must be good for you. However truste me when I say it will not always be so. The question is when you are down orwhen tragedy strikes you and you need some kindness and understanding and help will you get it? And if you do get it, will you remember how cruel your comments about Robbins were? We shall see.

Rumpole said...

1133pm. Life must be good for you. However truste me when I say it will not always be so. The question is when you are down orwhen tragedy strikes you and you need some kindness and understanding and help will you get it? And if you do get it, will you remember how cruel your comments about Robbins were? We shall see.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

So, you want to be a Circuit Court Judge .....

The JNC has nominated the following six to replace Judge Maynard "Skip" Gross:

Victoria Brennan
Miguel de la O
Michael Hanzman
Richard Hersch
Lisa Walsh
Deborah White-Labora

As a reminder, the Governor has six names before him already to replace Judge Pineiro and Judge Emas. Those six have been interviewed in Tallahassee and a decision will be made on or before April 12.

Victoria R. Brennan
Rosa Figarola
Andrew S. Hague
Michael A. Hanzman
Lisa S. Walsh
Deborah White-Labora

If you would like to comment on any of the nominees, please contact General Counsel Charles Trippe at 850/488-3494 or
850/488-9810(fax).

Good luck to all.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

JUDGE HANZMAN AND JUDGE WALSH....and the third will be JUDGE BRENNAN - what do you think? What will the Governor think when he sees that Andy Hague was not nominated this time. It seems that the JNC thinks they are lesser candidates than the replacements.

Anonymous said...

HR
Toanswer your question:How much are the taxpayers of Florida going to pay for warehousing this man?
$100 a day, $36,500 a year or
$182,000 for 5 years.
By the way, so it is clear I DO NOT BELEIVE IN DRUGS BEING ILLEGAL. Society has no right telling me which intoxicant I can use as a free adult citizen, as long as I am not driving or piloting the plane! No one should be sent to jail NOR Prison for drugs.
DS

Anonymous said...

JNC sends these six to replace Skip Gross:

Victoria Brennan
Miguel de la O
Michael Hanzman
Richard Hersch
Lisa Walsh
Deborah White-Labora

A few weeks ago, they sent these six to fill the seats of Pineiro and Emas.

Victoria R. Brennan
Rosa Figarola
Andrew S. Hague
Michael A. Hanzman
Lisa S. Walsh
Deborah White-Labora

So did De la O and Hersch NOT apply last time?

Did Hague and Figarola NOT apply this time?

Did the qualifications of those four massively change in the space of a few weeks?

Can anyone explain what the heck the JNC is thinking, ever?

Is it a GOOD thing that the answer to that question is "no"?

Is there any other aspect of public life where we think it's a good idea to have unknown standards, that shift daily, and then apply them whimsically and in secret?


Who benefits from a system that Kafka himself would find too Kafkaesque?

Anonymous said...

Now for something in Talahassee" two bills now speeding through the Florida Legislature (Senate Bill 1524 or House Bill 1231) Legislators want to completely end all consumer protection and regulation of these companies – freeing them to raise rates for basic landline phone service at will. These proposals also would completely eliminate basic consumer protections that now exist in state law. According to an official analysis by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), the proposals would wipe away your ability to protest an inaccurate telephone charge to state regulators.
LOL on us.
DS

Anonymous said...

Please take Hague ... he is so bad handling DUI cases that we really need to find a way to get rip of him...perhaps probate?

Anonymous said...

Really, Rumpole? Do you even read before you type away? He will only do 18 mo's with credit for time served.

With credit for jail time already served, Robbins will spend at least the next 1 ½ years in state prison, where he says he plans to write an autobiography with hopes of one day starting a foundation for people suffering from bipolar disorder.

Anonymous said...

"The question is when you are down orwhen (sic) tragedy strikes you and you need some kindness and understanding and help will you get it? And if you do get it, will you remember how cruel your comments about Robbins were"

I read very few comments on this blog - including from you, Rumpole - that bespeak any sense of kindness and understanding towards anyone.

Rumpole said...

1:46 am- you toss away 18 months of a person's life in a hell like it is nothing. Go do a weekend at DCJ and stare at the walls and be ordered around by (some not all) people who are sadistic morons and see how you like it.

5:37 you are NOT a long time NOR careful reader of this blog. Good day sir (or madam)!

Anonymous said...

Come on DS, you know that almost no one goes to prison just for using drugs. Especially in Miami where first time drug dealers often don't get jail time.

The folks going to prison "on drug charges" go because they've got long records (typically involving theft, burglary, and quality of life crimes), have shown a propensity for violence, or have other "aggravtors."

And, the reason the government has the right to declare certain drugs illegal is because we ALL pay for their use. That said, I can't believe any rationale person (and I've always liked and respected you) thinks that drugs like LSD and PCP should be legal. Can you imagine how widely they'd be abused if they were legal and Madison Avenue got to market them? (remember, once you legalize them, manufacturers/distributors, retailers have First Amendment rights!).

BTDT

old guy said...

DS - I always enjoy your world view.

Let me see if I got it right. If some close family member of yours is the victim of a kidnap-rape, then the Judge should consider the cost of incarceration in deciding the proper sentence. Perhaps a written warning would suffice, and have the added benefits of clearing the prisons.

As to your other brilliant concept, how many families have been destroyed by a crack, heroin, or meth addict? You know that many of them end up on a slab at the M.E.'s office.

If government has no business in this field, perhaps itshould be OK to put poisons in our food, or let kids ride without seat belts -- how dare they care about our lives, even when we do not?

Have you been smoking the funny weed with your clients?

Anonymous said...

HR
This is so outragous. Here is Fred Grimm on Judicial bonuses/Edited to fit
DS

Fred Grimm: Cash is poor incentive for justice
.By Fred Grimm
fgrimm@MiamiHerald.com
Powerful state Sen. J.D. Alexander (the Oliver Wendell Holmes of Lake Wales) floated his Judicial Workload Incentive Plan this week, a concept that seems novel only to someone unfamiliar with the piece-work pay offered by garment factories a century ago. Instead of dresses, judges earn extra by ripping through caseloads.

Alexander shrugged off objections. “I’m very serious about it,” he told Steve Bousquet, of the Herald/St. Pete Times Tallahassee bureau. “What we’re trying to do is create some incentives for the courts that are fair and reasonable and save us a lot of money.”

Alexander, with plenty of political juice as chairman of Senate Budget Committee, intends to fold an incentive pay plan into the state budget that sweetens the salary of trial court judges by an extra $12,000 a year. But only if the judges meet performance goals.

Last month, the Florida Supreme Court reported that an overwhelmed state court system, crippled by layoffs and facing “slower case-processing times, crowded dockets and long waits,” needs another 26 circuit judges and 54 county court judges. But Alexander figures it would be cheaper to dangle wads of cash in the judges’ faces. Let old-fashioned greed get justice moving again.


The staid, sometimes-plodding march of justice process would give way to a frenzied rush.
Merit pay for judges follows the big dust-up over merit pay for teachers, finally signed into law on Thursday. Teachers now have a financial incentive to rid their classrooms of challenging students who might bring down test scores. Judges, under Alexander’s plan, will have a similar incentive to jettison criminal defendants mucking up dockets with their costly claims of innocence.

With school teachers relegated to the status of kicked dogs, judges have found themselves the target of far-right turks who’ve taken over Tallahassee. They seem an odd target. Non-union. Largely conservative. Paid about $16,000 a year less than judges of comparable states. Yet bills backed by the legislative leadership would get rid of judicial nominating committees, allow Gov. Rick Scott to add three more justices to a bifurcated Florida Supreme Court, give the Legislature the right to set courtroom rules of evidence and procedures and require appellate judges to receive a 60 percent of the votes (instead of a majority) to retain their seats. The state judicial associations were working frantically this week to beat back proposals to cut their pay and eliminate a third of their judicial assistants.

Now, a powerful state senator would have them work on commission.

Judges have never seemed so beleaguered. Justice has never seemed so cheapened.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/26/2134463/cash-is-poor-incentive-for-justice.html#ixzz1HobgDP9O

Anonymous said...

HR
The real lesson in the Robbins tory is that he was broke after football. Like MOST professional players , they are used and discarded to suffer the results of play in the shawdows. Rich Ownership cares nothing for Labor.
Owners make BILLIONS in TV alone anot to mention the merchandise.
It seems for a lineman the pension means little. Once again a worker gets F=ed
DS

Anonymous said...

Brian TAnnenbaum, a blogger, on law. Sounds very informative. The self promotion that this guy gets away with is astounding. And why does Roy have a blog? To help himself mesh out ideas? He can't write them down? Rumple is the only blogger not in it for self promotion

mikal said...

Rumpole,

Have you been watching the show "The Killing" on bbc4? Heard it was outstanding. If I could figure out how to get it here, I would.

And, while I am on the subject of the motherland, you might want to subscribe to @duckrabbit (one of your own)to see what he is up to. Cutting edge guy doing some amazing things with video. We in the legal field can learn alot from the photo and video guys about communicating our ideas with othes.

What is with 3:48 dissing Tannenbaum? Who cares if Roy Black feels the need to blog - it is a free country, last I checked. And if he still has the time and moolah to sit by the pool and pontificate, more power to him.

Rumpole, I guess you were the last to realize that DOM coached Butler to this year's Final Four. That fancy Harvard education evidently equipped him to be more than a first rate lawyer.

Anonymous said...

The rumor out of Tallahassee is that cost cutting will result in Victoria Brennan filling the shoes of Judges Gross, Pineiro and Emas.

Anonymous said...

12:07......really DS? Professional athletes as victims is the real story? Cry me a river. In a country where we can't afford to pay cops, firemen, teachers, soldiers, other public servants and doctors what they deserve, you're going to get worked up over a bunch of millionaires who have been treated like Gods since they were old enough to play pee wee?

Regardless, the labor issues have nothing to do what happened with Robbins. Robbins is mentally ill. The owners didn't cause that. And either did football. The real story is how an unchecked mental illness can destroy a life. I feel sorry for Robbins because he suffered from the strain of bipolar disorder, just as I feel sorry for anyone in the situation (and for those who suffer from other crippling disorders).

The illness doesn't excuse what he did or make him any less dangerous, but it does make him a sympathetic. I hope he finds the treatment he needs and the peace we all deserve.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Look at at felony court . How many guys are in the box for drug cases.
Drugs can be danferous, but not as bad to society as locking up guts who get high.
DS

Anonymous said...

BTDT and Old Guy,
ThankYou for addressing the issues I raised and not my spelling.
DS

Anonymous said...

The reason the government has the right to declare certain drugs illegal is because we live in a fasist police state.

Anonymous said...

DS: please STFU. You just dig yourself into deeper and deeper holes with your posts. you are a nice guy but damn you posts some stupid comments. Posting stupid comments with your name/initials attached (instead of anonymously) is not brave. it's stupid.

Anonymous said...

the wannabe boxer who boxed his two-yer-old son to death has hung himself on the 9th floor at the dade county jail. now what?

Anonymous said...

Is ds having a nervous break down? What in gods name is he talking about.

Anonymous said...

1203am
Yes I am.
D

Anonymous said...

If vicky brenan gets circuit I'm shaving my head. That woman is the devil. That's camacho with long hair and half a brain. Pure evil