Monday, November 21, 2011


Front page of the NY Times: "What They Don't Teach in Law School: Lawyering."

Front Page of the NY Times Magazine: "Teaching Good Sex".

And they accuse the comments section on the blog over the weekend of being weird.

Law and Sex. The question is how much are our readers influencing the editors of the NY Times?

They are teaching good lawyering at FIU Law School. Over the weekend Professors HT Smith and Scott Fingerhut ran their annual Moot Court Competition. Judges from the 3rd DCA and the REGJB took time out of their weekends and presided over the trials while dozens and dozens of lawyers from the PD, SAO and private practice attended the trials as "jurors" rating the law student participants. We heard via a few emails (some apparently while the competition was in full swing) it was a great success, and congrats go to the law students and thanks to the Judges (it's almost the end of the year, we need to be nice to robe wearers at least once) and lawyers who gave selflessly of their time.

Anybody going to trial with two and half days of work scheduled for the week? Clerks and courts should close Wednesday at noon if tradition holds and the chief judge issues an order pardoning a local turkey and court and clerk personnel.

Anybody ever try a Turducken for Thanksgiving? It's a turkey stuffed with a chicken which is stuffed with a duck. Throw in some sausage and cornbread and it takes 12 hours in the oven. We saw one being prepared. Looks amazing.

See You In Court. Enjoy the holiday week.


Anonymous said...

What -- no fawning over Roy Black this morning? Didn't he do something great over the weekend? I know I can't take a good s--- until I've read his blog. Heeee's so wonderfulllll!

Anonymous said...

Satchel is a Rhodes Scholar. Who knew?

Anonymous said...


I went to Nova and I really believe I receive a solid practical legal education. But I do regret not attending FIU. They have simply done things right for a fraction of the cost. I can't imagine why any prospective law student would choose UM over FIU.

Fake John Madden said...

This is how you make a Turducken!

Anonymous said...

FIU rocks!!!

Eye On FIU said...

FIU is great since the classes are in Spanish.

Anonymous said...

2:23PM you sound pretty dumb!

CAPTAIN said...




On October 12, 2011, on the Justice Building BLOG, I reported the following:

And the newest filing has some challenging newly appointed County Court Judge Fleur Lobree:

William Pena Wells; (he is the attorney that caused much discussion on this blog on the issue of his being suspended by the Bar for three years as the result of his criminal conviction).

The newest candidate:

Michelle Alvarez Barakat. Ms. Barakat has been practicing law since 1999. She worked for the Florida Bar in lawyer regulation. She now practices in a two person firm with her husband, former ASA Brian Barakat. According to her web site, her practice concentrates on criminal defense and commercial litigation.

Anyone know anything about her, please chime in.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

As a law student who participated in the competition, thank you to the judges and lawyers who volunteered your time!

Anonymous said...

Hmm...an Alvarez and a Pena. Fleur may be in trouble.

Anonymous said...


Here is the link to the Barakat firm. If you have been around REG, you know them both.

Anonymous said...

Oh why not Cap? Look at the people being nominated and appointed. Most of the candidates can't make a living and are looking for a paycheck and the benefits. Is this a great county or what?

Anonymous said...

Just curious, why does everyone think that just because a private attorney wants to become a judge, it is only for the money?

Even in a selfish, shallow, materialistic city like Miami, there are some people that do things like serve the public because they enjoy it, or feel a sense of duty to their community. Some people want a new challenge. A new landscape. Some want some respect or power.

I realize that some candidates may be running for judge because it will be a bump in pay. And what is wrong with that??

So much negativity. No wonder people hate lawyers.

Rumpole said...

I won't publish a comment about who someone dated even if it was meant as a compliment and written in a respectful way.

Eye on the Underqualified said...

Michelle Barakat? Very sweet young woman. Very little (if any) trial experience. No business running for judge. Oh, wait...that makes her PERFECT.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole wont publish a comment on who someone dated but he/she certainly will allow you to attack the valor of American soldiers who have died in service to their country. After all, we know who someone dated is clearly more important.

Anonymous said...

I worked w/ Michelle when I volunteered with a grievance committee when she was w/ the Florida Bar . Very thoughtful and analytical with a good temperment. Exactly what we want in a judge, right? -- I don't see her doing this for the money one bit.

Rumpole said...

Listen genius, some of the soliders died fighting to protect our freedoms , including freedom of speech. The ability to put forth an idea that is not approved and in fact makes many people angry is the foundation of our country. No, i'm not pleased when someone attacks our soliders and their dedication. But the person has the right to say it. I guess that some years ago people were not pleased when others spoke out against the. "no jews or blacks" signs that populated Miami Beach. But i'm sure glad people who protested racism had the right to do it.

As to who dated whom, I have a long standing policy that a person's private life is off limits on MY blog.

I know the distnction here may be subtle, and I'm fairly sure you don't have the foggiest notion of what a subtle distinction is. But there is always hope.

Master Chief said...

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Anonymous said...

of course I understand subtle distinctions. But I did not find the need to insult your intelligence in my comment or now my response. I simply exercised my freedom of expression to illustrate how foolish I find YOUR policy on speech on YOUR blog to be.

Anonymous said...

9:00 I understand and there are some of those. John Thornton comes to mind immediatly.

However, the greater number are not that altruistic. Political correctness aside, many are on the mommy track and see this as a way to make $135-140K and benefits to help their family and work part-time. They come to work at 930 and leave (most days) before 3. Pick up the kids, go to soccer practice and be home in time for the hubby to have dinner.

Or they are young male lawyers unable to make a living and in need of a paycheck.

Generally if they are under 50 that is the case.

Let's be realsitic about the situation.

Anonymous said...

Funny how it's now Michelle " Alvarez" Batakat.

Anonymous said...

Rump, I recently started running. Last week I did my first 10 mile run and I got terrible chafing between my cheeks. Any suggestions for treatment? It is killing me.

Mr. Linguist Guy said...

What is a Barakat anyway? Is it a car made by the Stutz Company? A mix of two mammals? A small tweeting bird?

CAPTAIN said...

to 4:49 pm

The Captain Retorts:

I must tell you that I looked into what I could and it appears that she has been using that name for more than a few years.

If you have been reading my posts over the years, you know how I have been the first to point that out (when someone added a name in order to gain an "ethnic" edge) and I went so far commenting on one candidate, (pointing out all of the ways that the person used their name without the ethnic add-on right up until filing) that it led to her dropping out of the race.

If you have concrete evidence that Ms. Barakat started using that name just for the campaign, please share that evidence with us.

Cap Out ...

Rumpole said...

If you are asking a serious question, then the answer is zinc oxide. The white cream. You can usually find it in a tube by itself or marketed as a baby rash ointment. But zinc oxide will prevent the chaffing. Other baby rash ointments will help heal the rash after you run. I also recommend hot baths with epsom salt to help heal the rash. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Actually I know michelle and she has used both names since she got married. She is a class act!

Anonymous said...

I was absolutely asking a serious question and appreciate your response! There is lots of info on the Internet about how to prevent chafing but not so much on treatment! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Some people automatically assume that a woman lawyer with a Spanish surname is using it for electoral purposes without stopping to think that she may actually be Hispanic and that is her actual maiden name, as is the case with Michelle.

At the very least before running their mouths trying to appear smart and clever, those people should just go the marriage license website and check things out. They would see that Michelle Alvarez Barakat was Michelle Alvarez before marrying Brian Barakat and that she was known as Michelle Alvarez because that happened to be her own name.

In any event, regardless of her origin, Michelle is going to be a very fine judge.

Rumpole said...

Ok then, the zinc oxide should do the trick. Let me know.

Rumpole said...

2:34 I felt compelled to insult your intelligence because I found your complaint to be just so damn stupid.

Now lets examine my policy. I had a few choices on comments, and I am not now where I started. But where I ended up was a place I feel comfortable with.

Choice 1- I could have not moderated comments, and anything goes. But as the blog became more popular, the wrong, spiteful and hurtful comments had a greater potential to do more damage because more people were reading the comments. Therefore this option was out.

Choice 2- print only comments I like or approve. This appears to be what you want. But as the blog became more popular I wanted to retain readers. Despite evidence to contrary, people are not stupid. if I only printed comments I liked, it would have become evident quickly and would have jus as quickly squelched a vigorous discussion of issues. This was not am option whose results appealed to me.

Choice 3- set some rules and other than that let it fly. My rules include no comments about a person's personal life. One predictable result from this policy is that people will post comments I disagree with. But in order to avoid the problems associated with choices 1 and 2, this was the option I had to choose.

Look at it another way, but for choice 3, your comment would have never seen the light of day.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Barakat is married to Brian " Big Bully" Barakat?He was a real dick as an ASA. Shes very nice, but keep hubby away from the campaign trail.

Anonymous said...

It's coming. Black Friday at the SAO. I believe I saw Scott Saul and others setting up their tents. No min/man won't be waived on Friday from 4-6 am (limit 3 min/man waivers per division).

Master Chief said...

I have a simple solution.

Send all comments to me. I will approve or disapprove, redact as necessary.

That way any sensorship will be independent of the posts. No one will accuse you of bias.

Is this necessary? Of course not. You do an exceptional job here. But as with all volunteers who give up their time for the greater good, crucifixion is sure to come. I will happily take the heat for you. I know you have been looking for some help anyway.

I admire that you have drawn a line in the sand of what you feel is appropriate commentmary. You correctly state that you could have let this be a no holds barred forum, relying on our first amendment rights.

That would have been simplest, people's feelings be damned. You decided to exclude certain things, and that shows some compassion for people's personal lives, privacy, and frankly shows some class.

Sometimes you have come up short, (the Piniero fiasco comes to mind) but I think most readers feel that you have always tried your best. It is a fine line you walk, trying to be informative, while at the same time being respectful.. You will always have those that will find fault with you, however.

I will never understand why people continue to read, if they think you are doing such a disservice.

At any rate, if you would like to take me up on my offer, I'll be in REG tomorrow. Use your influence to create an obvious sign of your agreement. I will get further instruction to you directly.


Master Chief

Anonymous said...

Anti Monkey Butt powder (I swear I am not making this up) -- fabulous for chafing prevention

Anonymous said...

May I nominate 7:04 a.m. for the "Post of the Year"?

Anonymous said...


11/22 @ 5:34's comment that he/she "recently" started running and did 10 miles already leads me to ask....

I am currently running 3 days a week, 4 1/2 miles each day at a 10-minute mile pace.

How long should it take me to hit 8-minute miles for the same distance?

Anonymous said...

for the record
I aint Master Chief
censorship vs sensorship


Happy Turkey-day
Lord bless the Pilgrims
even if they outlawed
any out-of-church
XMass celibrations
including gift-giving,
banned the yule tree
and burnt witches

Friend of sappho said...

Can Kenny W post his outfit reccomendations for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow? I'm going to my new girlfriend's house to meet her parents (i'm female as well, we're gay) and I would like some suggestions. Shorts and A blouse? A skirt and blazer? Some help please.

Rumpole said...

10:52- you have many things wrong. First, you should not be running the same distance at the same speed all the time. Can you bump it up to four days a week? If so I would like to see you run one day at the distance you are doing now. One day run quarter or half mile intervals. Say a quarter mile sprint. Rest 1 minute. Half a mile in 4 to 4;30. Walk/ rest a minute. Two quater mile sprints back to back with 30 sec rest/ walk and then a slow half mile at 5-6 min. Then repeat two to three times. One day run ten miles at whatever comfort level you have. And one day run 2 1/2 - 3 miles as fast as you comfortably can.

Finally are you wearing a heart rate monitor? Your heart rate should dictate your increase in speed/mileage. The schedule I gave you will help you run the 41/2 miles more efficiently, meaning as fast but with a slower heart rate. When your average heart rate is about ten beats a minutes slower then when you first checked it, you can increase your speed and distance.

Anonymous said...

I support Fleur Lobree (I think she has a great legal mind and temperment and is developing into a fine judge). However, I hate to see the personal attacks on Michelle.

I've known Michelle (and Brian) for years. Both are truly decent people. Michelle is one of the nicest people you'd ever meet. And, she didn't just start using her maiden name to gain an advantage. She doesn't deserve what she's getting here from some of you. I just wish she chose to run against someone other than Fleur (who is far more experienced and qualified than she is) so I could donate to her campaign and support her (she'd be better than at least half of the other judges).


Anonymous said...


How about something strappy in leather? And a riding crop. Her parents will love you. A Thanksgiving to remember!

Anonymous said...

I know Michelle Alvarez Barakat very well and know that she will make a fantastic judge. I encourage anyone with any questions to get to know her and they will feel the same. She has a singularly unique way of seeing the heart of the matter and communicating it to both sides of any issue.
I'm not sure what all the scuttlebutt is about regarding her name. She was born Michelle Alvarez then got married and became Michelle Alvarez Barakat. She has always been proud of her Cuban heritage and an advocate of the Cuban community.
She has a website at: http://www.alvarezbarakatforjudge.com
You should check it out.

Anonymous said...

I have known Michelle for over 20 years. Her birth given name is actually Michelle Alvarez Reyes, so she has two hispanic names which she used all her life until she got married. People pick on the most stupidest things about people they simply do not know. I'm glad she won the election and has a chance to prove all you jealous haters wrong about her inability to be judge.