Thursday, August 25, 2011


One day after the anniversary of the day when Hurricane Andrew smacked Miami (August 24, 1992) a large storm churns dangerously near our coast. In anticipation of Irene's (hopefully) near miss, what did the judicial administration of the 11th Circuit do?

( 0 ) ----( 0 )

Nothing except stare straight ahead.

No public discussion of possible courses of action. No dissemination of information on their totally inadequate website as to what citizens who had court hearings on Thursday or Friday could expect. No mention whatsoever of the possibility that courts would have to be closed if the hurricane strayed nearer than expected. Not even a tweet on their insipid twitter feed.

What we got was absolute silence. And that is disgraceful.

At the very least the chief judge should have put some link on the 11th circuit's website stating that the court was watching the forecasts and the public who had cases on Thursday or Friday should check back often so they could see what the court was planning to do as the storm neared. The chief judge could have issued a statement to the effect that if the schools were closed, the courts would be closed. The chief judge could have put a link to the 11th Circuit's Twitter feed so that interested people could have followed the court and received up to date information if the storm's course changed. But lord-forbid that the chief judge actually employ current technology to make our lives easier. Geeze, if he did that with Twitter, the next thing you know we all would be demanding next that he install an electronic filing system and nobody wants anything like that, right?

There are dozens of things our chief judge could have done so that the public would know where to go for information.

Judge Joel Brown did nothing to inform the public about what the court would do in response to Irene's path. Shame on him.

We've been trying to get to posts on the new ASAs and PDs and Judge White-Labora's surprise announcement that she will be leaving drug court in the new year. But this stupid storm has pre-occuppied our thoughts, along with the deafening silence from the chief judge about what he was planning to do.

PS: If you're a robed reader and received some emails about the storm from your chief, spare us your defense of your leader. This is about the total lack of guidance to the public, not emails on whether or not you should cancel your motion calendar.


Anonymous said...

Who's got the scoop on Judge White-Labora's apparent force-out?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Rump, but I disagree with you on this one.

Every season we get truckloads of hurricane warnings which, for the most part, tend to be overblown (sorr, couldn't resist). Too many warnings over too many years does nothing more than contribute to public complacency. You've been around long enough to know that only a small percentage of hurricanes actually hit and do real damage.

Besides, do you really need a tweet from Joel to tell you that the courts will be closed if the hurricane hits?


PS----do you really think those of us who are too complacent to follow the news feeds on hurricanes are going to turn to the judiciary for updates? Really?

Anonymous said...

I WOULD like to know who is going to replace White-Labora. Will it be a judge who really cares about addressing offender needs or will it be someone looking to retire on the bench and avoid trial? I sure hope it's the former. Drug courts are a terrific solution and Miami's can use a lot of improvement; it would be a shame if the wrong judge took over.

Any insights?

Anonymous said...


Not that I'm defending Judge Brown, but by Monday morning everyone in Miami knew this storm was not coming anywhere near us. The only people that gave this storm a second thought were Home Depot employees and the strippers that read the weather on Channel 7.

Hysterical overreacting idiot said...

For God's sake, won't someone think of the children!

Anonymous said...

Its ONLY the outer bands hittig us. As the weather girl said it 264 miles ESE of us ( 4 degrees in longitude). We are ONLY getting outer bands, the indirect effect, of rain and wind, AS SOON AS it TURNS due NORTH we will maybe be safe. Its not like storms take unpredicted turns, its not like Andrew, Cleo, Donna, Katrina nor Wilma. Just grab something when those almost Tropical Storm gusts ( 30 mph) hit us and the rain comes sideways..
Lived through lots of storms ( at home)

Anonymous said...


Judicial elections were one year ago today.

What says the board about the performance so far of those newbie robed ones who won election or walked in unopposed?

Recall there was:


Also, is Newman the same judge he was before his close call? Is that good or bad?

(I'd love to have folks post from actual experience before these judges, but realize most comments will be nasty, uninformed sniping.)

Judicial elections for NEXT year are already ramping up. Better than the hyper-political appointment process? Worse?

Anonymous said...

Palm Beach Courts had a nice information page regarding the hurricane. http://15thcircuit.co.palm-beach.fl.us/web/guest/emergency

Anonymous said...

rump, I can't imagine what you did when you had no clue where to go or what to do without Judge Brown telling you. you must have a mess. that judge brown, so inconsiderate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rumpole on this. The information from the judge is more for the clients and people coming to the courts, not the attorneys who should know how things work around here. If someone has a criminal case coming up, that is the biggest thing in their life that is going on, and couple that with the possibility of a hurricane, they need/want to know up to date information concerning their how it may affect their case. No one is asking for the judge to do hourly press conferences, but just put up a link on the web site that advises if the courts are open or not, and some other info, like Palm Beach's site. Its professional, and once in a while Miami can try to be professional.

mikal said...

It is a non-story.

Anonymous said...

Look at the radar. WE are getting the western/ outer bands of this Hurricane right now ( 1 pm) If it only moved a little west we would be drenched.
How about going on cautions side and not risking everyone. How bad could a day off be compared to the posssibility that the Storm turns a bit west.

Fake Judge Brown said...

Okay Rump, here is your warning:

Court will operate during normal working hours. We will keep an eye on Hurricane Irene.

We will also resume normal working hours due to the earthquake in the DC area.

We will also resume normal working hours due to the rebels taking hold of Tripoli.

There may be some court closures if:
The Dow Jones dips another 300 points;
Elian Gonzalez returns to Miami;
The Hurricanes football team gets the death penalty;
Justin Bieber is in concert at the American Airlines Arena.

Stay tuned to CNBC, CNN and ESPN Access Hollywood for details.

Judge Brown.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of things in the justice building that are disgraceful - the way that the bathrooms smell, the ridiculous security screenings, and the MDPD cops standing around all day doing nothing but eating and smoking cigars - but the chief judge's decision not to become hysterical over some wind and rain isn't one of them. Seriously Rumpole what is your problem? What a stupid post.

Rumpole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rumpole said...

Here are my problems- plural.

1) as DS notes, we got the outer bands of the storm. It just missed us and playing chicken with big hurricanes is not a good idea.

2) I wanted an announcment coordinated with the clerk's website (Harvey Ruvin- remember him?) and the 11th circuit's website which hasn't been updated since Fred Moreno was in county court. The announcement should have said something to the effect of " it appears this storm will not affect Dade County and courts will be open Thursday and Friday. However, as predicting the path of any storm is an inexact science at best, please check this website often and will we post additional information as changes warrant. "

How hard is that? Then when clients called my office, instead of saying " I don't know" I could have sent them to the website secure that Brown was doing something to monitor the storm.

Not really too much to ask in my opinion. But apparently you think Judge Brown is way to busy to keep the public informed about events that could affect their case or court appearance.

Anonymous said...

So, if your clients call your office, then they must know your true identity?

Anonymous said...

Rump, you're just pissy 'cause you didn't get a day off.

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

Mr. Sisselman - please take tomorrow off. There may be additional bands hitting us on Friday and based on your recent posts, you need a day off. You have my permission and I will cc Carlos.

There has not been a named replacement for Drug Court yet. Several names are being considered.

In case you missed the announcement, long time APD Robert Coppel has thrown his hat into the Circuit Court race against attorney Maria Verde in Group 15. That is the seat being vacated by Judge Lester Langer.

In case you missed it 2 - the Lt. Gov of Missouri is "embroiled in a stripper scandal". It appears that Lt. Gov Kinder went to a strip bar, according to a former Penthouse Pet and current stripper, he was a regular. By the way, Kinder is single. As someone used to say to me regularly - BFD.

Finally, very sad news of the death of Mike Flanagan. Flanagan won the Cy Young in 79 and helped the O's to their last World Series Championship in 83.

Cap Out ....

Rumpole said...

Yes genius. You finally figured out what no one else has. All my clients know I am the mystery blogger but no one else does in the legal community.

Tell me, just how many times did you take the Bar and do they make you give it a rest after 10 or so tries?

Anonymous said...

Robert Coppel is not just a long time APD, but he is the Director of Training at the PDs office and has mentored and trained dozens upon dozens of criminal defense lawyers in our community. He was the mentor of none other than Jude "The Hammer" Faccidomo.

He is even tempered, knowledgeable on the law, experienced, humble and respectable. He will make a fine judge and we should be celebrating his candidacy.

Anonymous said...

Abby Cynamon was in Drug Court observing early this week.

Anonymous said...

A quick read of these post leads me to believe that we all need a few days off.

Lots of vitriol.

This also leads me to believe that Rump is not himself, as I had suggested in an earlier post. When Rump basically calls his readers Idiots incapable of passing the bar, then I know he is not himself. I don't think this is the one true Rumpole. I believe he has always shown himself to be above that, even when readers deserve his ire.

Just my observation

Anonymous said...

thanx I could use a day or 2 off
But got stuff to do so will be in court

We lucked out and I still think better safe then sorry

Anonymous said...

Passed the bar exam the first time, and received the highest score that year.

We know who you are but prefer not to say for reasons of national security.

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts on the Judges mentioned before:

Rodriguez-Chomat is trying hard, and is respectful.

Justice Hirsch is trail blazing, no really.

Monica Gordo needs to calm down and achieve judicial temperament.

No comment on the 2 others because I don't have any info.

Anonymous said...

Jude, you can fess up and let us all know that you are Anonymous, "The Hammer" at 8/25/11 at 8:35PM.