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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

UNLICENSED PRACTICE OF LAW

UPDATE: DIET SODA WILL KILL YOU. More in our continuing campaign against the slow poisoning of the american public by soda companies.

A study presented at a American Diabetes Association meeting this week shows that drinking diet soda is associated with a wider waist in humans. And a second study shows that aspartame -- an artificial sweetener in diet soda -- actually raises blood sugar in mice prone to diabetes...

Researchers found that the diet soda drinkers had waist circumference increases of 70 percent greater than those who non-diet soda drinkers. And people who drank diet soda the most frequently -- at least two diet sodas a day -- had waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than people who didn't drink any diet soda, the study said.

The article is here.
So- drink diet soda and get fatter. What a deal!


UPL. Unlicensed practice of law. Non-lawyers charging individuals to assist them in filling out legal forms and/or motions.

That's what several attorneys are saying the insidious Court Options is doing in charging clients to attend "workshops" to fill out and file seal and expunge motions.

Check out their website here and let us know what you think.

Court options directly solicits clients with letters that make it very clear they can do what lawyers can do for less. The aim and substance of "the pitch" is to not waste money on attorneys.

Should the Florida Bar (motto: "Dues Please") step in?

Should a group of attorneys get together and sue Court Options.

Or should you all sit around and watch your business being taken away by a bunch of unregulated semi-professionals?

It's your money and your clients that are being taken.



amend/j-MQC;rumpole at sea;gk


CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

The Barbecue post was a big hit and we have some new joints to check out while making sure our waistline doesn't expand.

ATT SERVICE DOWN TUESDAY NIGHT: And guess where the problem was at?

From the Herald:
The trouble began about 6 p.m., AT&T spokeswoman Kelly Starling said. As of 8:30 p.m., technicians were working to identify and fix the voice service problem, which was due to “an issue with a switch in Broward County,” Starling said.

Broward. Figures.

Congresswoman Michele Bachman is an idiot. And we are doomed as a country if this simpleton is considered a credible candidate for president.

Monday, June 27, 2011

PIG OUT

No bones about it, good barbecue is important.
As we wind down in anticipation of the 4th of July holiday there's no time like the present to put the ribs on the table and decide which joint in South Florida is the best.

We start with the nominations:

Shortys- Dadeland. The original and one of the best. Always serves consistently good ribs with a pink interior and excellent sauces which go well on the french fires.

Uncle Toms on SW 8th Street- not the original because the ownership has changed several times since we stumbled in there in....well, a long time ago.

Georgia Pig- apparently in Broward, so that's strike one.

Little Reds State road 84. In Broward (strike one) reviewer called it "sublime" (strike two) but apparently serves collard greens and that's a big plus.

Tony Romas- only place in town that serves beef ribs.

The other issue that must be addressed is dry rub versus ribs cooked in sauce. Put us down for dry rub barbecue but give us some Shortys sauce because it is just so damn good.

The field is open for nominations and reviews....

First prize- an extra large box of prilosec.

See You at the rib joint smothered in grease and sauce.




UPDATE- From Robert Kuntz and others in the comments section, another entry we missed:

Rumpole, as surprised as I am sure we all are, you are wrong. Tony Roma's is not the only place in town that serves beef ribs.

Shiver's BBQ on South Dixie serves brontosaurus-sized beef ribs that are outstanding.

The place also has collard greens and black-eyed peas, a swell corn casserole, and fired pickles -- all required for a great barbecue joint. The gigantic incongruous mural depicting western pioneers is nifty, too.

The place has been in the same family for something like 60 years and, while Shorty's has much to recommend it, I'd give Shiver's the nod as best in town.

Thought I'd chime in to stand up for a south county institution.

BLAGO VERDICT

UPDATE- a real live barbecue debate has broken out in the comments section, and just in time for the 4th of July. This is real important stuff so chime in.

GUILTY- 17 COUNTS. 1 NOT GUILTY, HUNG ON TWO COUNTS....


Jurors have reached a partial verdict on the retrial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The verdict is expected to be announced shortly. We will have it for you soon after it's announced.

Doesn't look good for Blago....


WANNA GET ON THE 3RD DCA?
Be nice to Judge Sayfie. Her husband, Justin Sayfie was just named to the 3rd DCA JNC.
Orlando Sentinel has the info here. Hat tip to those civil guys at South Florida.

Query: Why does an Orlando newspaper have an article on a Ft. Lauderdale Attorney serving on a JNC for Miami and Monore? Just wondering.

Roy Black on Closing Arguments here.

Rumpole says: "Brilliance is the residue of design."
In our humble opinion cases are rarely won or lost in closing argument. Especially on the defense side, the defense needs to give the jury reasons to acquit, be it through affirmative direct evidence or testimony obtained on cross examination. The most brilliant and captivating speaker in the world can't win a case if he or she has nothing to talk about. All too often we see young lawyers ignoring evidence and putting all their hopes in a closing argument basket. What happens is those eloquent attorneys find themselves losing to the mediocre lawyers who had the evidence and facts on their side.

Jurors aren't stupid (spare us your emails) and they can see the forest through the trees. Give us some real good evidence over a pithy line in closing any day of the week. That being said Mr. Black is right on the money when he says that eloquence does not come from sudden inspiration or off the cuff remarks, but is born of hundreds of hours of sweat, work, and tears put into a case. As he rightly endorsed- we open a file entitled "closing argument" the day we are hired, and we don't stop putting in thoughts, ideas, post-it notes until we sit down on behalf of our client for the last time.

See You In Court.

Friday, June 24, 2011

JUST ONE MORE QUESTION....




Peter Falk passed away today at age 83.
RIP Detective Colombo.

REGJB Trivia:
Name the criminal defense attorney who donned a raincoat and gave a portion of his closing argument doing a Detective Colombo impersonation.


FERNANDLE WANTS WHITEY!
Some new information out of the Whitey Bulger arrest, courtesy of the NY Times:

Within hours of his capture, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, the Miami-Dade state attorney, said she was eager to try him on charges of orchestrating a 1982 murder of a gambling executive at Miami International Airport. If convicted, Mr. Bulger could face the death penalty.


Sometimes you're just in the mood for a special something for lunch.


PD SOS TO DOJ

As per the JAA Blog, Broward PD Howard Finklestein has sent a letter to the Department of Justice accusing the Broward SAO and BSO of engaging in obstruction of justice for their failure to investigate several law enforcement officers who apparently obtained controlled substances (steroids) by fraud.

The Broward PD drops a dime to the feds on the Broward SAO and Sheriffs Office.
And you wonder why we call it "Browierd".

The letter is here.

The news article is here.

The JAA Blog coverage is here.

And just because it's Friday here's a video of the Phillie Phanatic going down in the line of duty. Have a great weekend.



Thursday, June 23, 2011

BROTHERS IN ARMS

DOM probably won't blog about his case, so we will.

David scored a significant victory in the sentencing hearing today for Buju Banton, his Grammy-winning reggae singer/ client convicted, after two trials, of drug trafficking in a Tampa federal court. The Sentencing judge dismissed the 924(c) firearms count which carried a consecutive five year minimum mandatory sentence. That just left the 10 year min man on the drug case and that's what the court sentenced Buju to.


From a news account of the sentencing:

Markus said he plans to appeal.

"This fight is not over," Markus said. "We will keep fighting for him. Mark Myrie is my brother, and I'm going to keep fighting until they tell me to stop."


David won't stop fighting even if "they" do tell them to. What more could a client ever ask for in a lawyer?


In a statement he wrote after the sentencing, Banton -whose given name is Mark Myrie - thanked family, fans and supporters from around the world who flooded the court file with letters of support.

"The days that lie ahead are filled with despair, but I have courage and grace and I'm hopeful, and that is sufficient to carry me through," he said in the statement, which was read by Markus. "The man is not dead. Don't call him a ghost."


See You In Court.

Memo to So Fla Lawyers: lay off the criminal stuff or we'll start blogging about debentured bond lawsuits and subrogation and stuff. Capice?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

FLORIDA DEATH PENALTY UNCONSTITUTIONAL?

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: WHITEY BULGER ARRESTED! The legendary boss of the Boston Mob, on the run for almost 16 years, was arrested in California last night. The NY TImes has the info here.

DOM is in Tampa for Buju's sentencing the Herald reports here.


Yes!
Says Federal Judge Jose' Martinez, because the Florida scheme for death allows a Judge and not a jury to sentence a defendant to death and does not require unanimity by the Jury. (In Florida a jury must be unanimous for conviction on stealing a lollipop, but not for sentencing someone to die. Lollipops require unanimity, death a mere majority.)

Your favourite Federal Blogger broke the decision and story on his blog. This being a quasi-state/quasi-federal issue he did not violate the borders between the blogs and cause another blog war similar to the clone wars (which as you will recall erupted when thousands of star systems seceded from the Galatic Republic and the small planet Naboo was blockaded.)

Here's the Palm Beach Post article on the decision.



Applying Ring, Judge Martinez held that the Florida scheme fell short of due process:
There are no specific findings of fact made by the jury. Indeed, the reviewing courts never know what aggravating or mitigating factors the jury found. It is conceivable that some of the jurors did not find the existence of an aggravating circumstance, or that each juror found a different aggravating circumstance, or perhaps all jurors found the existence of an aggravating circumstance but some thought that the mitigating circumstances outweighed them. ... After the jury's recommendation, there is a separate sentencing hearing conducted before the judge only. ... The defendant has no way of knowing whether or not the jury found the same aggravating factors as the judge. Indeed, the judge, unaware of the aggravating factor or factors found by the jury, may find an aggravating circumstance that was not found by the jury while failing to find the aggravating circumstance that was found by the jury. ... This cannot be reconciled with Ring.
The case is Evans v. McNeil, 08-14402-CIV-JEM. The petitioner was represented by Capital Collateral Regional Counsel.

If you open your window right now and listen closely that sound you hear is a dozen or so death penalty lawyers in Miami writing motions to declare the death penalty unconstitutional.

See You In Court.


Monday, June 20, 2011

SCALIA REVEALED

Lost in the uproar of the Supreme Court's decision on prison over crowding in California
(Brown v. Plata) was Judge Scalia's total abandonment of his philosophy of limited, rational, and contextual jurisprudence. In its place was Scalia revealed- a blatant statist who screams loudly when his ox is gored. To wit:

The Scalia that Justice Scalia wants the world to see is a Judge bound by strict interpretation of facts and law. Personal feelings, petty prejudices and biases, or even the "feel-good" jurisprudence of compassion, as averred by Justice Sotomayor in her speeches before her confirmation hearing, fall to Scalia's interpretation of the cold hard facts of the original meaning of the text of the Constitution or the law. The result be damned (innocent people in jail for example) so long as the Judge narrowly and strictly interprets the context of the law.

But then comes along a case that just sends poor Nino over the edge and he abandons it all in his dissent in Brown:

There comes before us, now and then, a case whose proper outcome is so clearly indicated by tradition and common sense, that its decision ought to shape the law, rather than vice versa.


To translate- "every now and then" something just "seems" to be the right result and therefore the Judge's job is to twist the law to reach "the correct" result.

But Rumpole wants to know: "Who or what determines what is the "correct" result?" Activist/sentimental/compassionate judges? Apparently so, as long as the sentiment/compassion yields the result Scalia agrees with.


How do we know that Scalia thinks that sometimes the "right result" must be achieved even when it requires twisting and bending the law by an activist judge? He says so himself!


"One would think that, before allowing the decree of a federal district court to release 46,000 convicted felons, this Court would bend every effort to read the law in such a way as to avoid that outrageous result."


Rumpole says: if you ever doubted that Scalia prays before the altar of the ends justifying the means, just keep re-reading that sentence.


Once again, just so there's no mistake about this- when Scalia's ox is gored he has no problem becoming an activist Judge interpreting a "living Constitution" so long as the twisting and bending and interpreting "avoids" "an outrageous result."


And what is "an outrageous result?" In Scalia's mind it is apparently releasing healthy and muscle bound males into society. When this happens we believe you will find Nino stacking chairs against the doors to his chambers so that the fairer sex are not ravaged by men "with intimidating muscles." Who knew the Justice was so easily scared? We guess he flips quickly through the cable channels that carry professional wrestling and that you will not find him at the Supreme Court gym pushing out another set of "lats" "pecs" or "tri's".


"Most of them will not be prisoners with medical conditions or severe mental illness; and many will undoubtedly be fine physical specimens who have developed intimidating muscles pumping iron in the prison gym."


In Scalia's world, a prison system that stands by while its inmates die of untreated hypertension or that leaves its mentally ill inmates in puddles of feces and urine is a mere inconvenience in light of the fearsome effect of incarceration on an inmate's musculature system. For Scalia its all about not being unlucky enough to be convicted, because your case (or your actual innocence even if facing execution) is something to be twisted and turned by the whims of activist judges seeking to avoid scary results.


Read what you want into Nino's dissent in Brown, just don't ever argue to us again that he is a man driven by an adherence to a judicial philosophy regardless of the results, because that just ain't so.

The emperor has no clothes and the release of muscle bound inmates so scares Scalia that he is willing to do anything to prevent it, even abandon his veneer of philosophical jurist.

3RD DCA NOMINEES

Update: Scalia to the women of Walmart: Drop dead (and pretty yourself up while you're at it).

Update: Florida Marlins: Our manager is older(80) than your manager. Jack McKeon (guided Marlins to World Series in 2003) is back.
Query: If a person can manage a major league baseball team at age 80, why does Florida require its Judges to retire at age 70? For many people 70 is the new 50. Do we really want to lose valuable experience where it's needed most?


Update: Amnesty International has taken up the cause of Georgia inmate Troy Davis. The petition and website is here.
We admit to not knowing a whole lot about this case. Can anyone fill us in?


The following applicants have been nominated for a seat on the 3rd District Court of Appeals:

Circuit Judge Jennifer D. Bailey.

Circuit Judge Ivan F. Fernandez.

Circuit Judge Jose M. Rodriguez.

Bambi Groff Blum, Esq.

Thomas W. Logue, Esq.

Edwin A. Scales III., Esq.

Good luck.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

RIP BIG MAN

Clarence Clemmons, the one and only Big Man of the E Street Band has passed away.

We can't even tell you the thousands of hours his sax playing has inspired us and seen us through good times and bad.

This song and video "A Friend of Mine" which Clarence did with Jackson Browne has always been a favourite of ours.







Somewhere tonight up in the heavens, The Big Man is being introduced like this:






Never again are we going to sit in a stadium enthralled as the Big Man belts out the sax solo on BTR or Rosalita or Jungleland... but thanks Clarence for a lifetime of memories.

"Well the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band...from the coastline to the City all the little pretties waived their hands...I'm gonna sit back here and laugh, while the scooter and the Big Man bust the City in half..."
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.

I feel so crappy now. The Sun Ain't gonna shine anymore..






Friday, June 17, 2011

SUPER 8

What we're watching: Super 8. A super cool movie with some amazing sequences in it....but the ending could have been a bit better.

What we're reading: Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam war by Karl Marlantes. Warning, for you men out there: the opening chapters have a story line guaranteed to make even the toughest guy squeamish. But it's still a great read.


Rumpole Riddle ( (c) Rumpole 2011, all rights reserved.)

We were walking down the street needing change of a dollar for the parking meter. We met an individual. He offered us three coins totaling .75 cents and we accepted. He took our dollar and walked off.

Based on that limited information you should be able to definitively state who we met and state the nature of the proof.

Watch the movie, get the book, solve the riddle, enjoy your weekend.


Mqc;


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

OVERRIDE!!!

UPDATE: Judge Murphy taking flak in Miami Herald comments for his override. Read the comments here.


WHO IS PHIL HUBBART? Read below, follow the link, and find out.

Today Judge Dennis Murphy once again showed the world why a real judge is an individual who can do more than total the scoresheet and impose the maximum sentence.

In the sentencing hearing Wednesday on State v. Brandon Rolle, Judge Murphy overrode the 8-4 recommendation of the jury for death and imposed a sentence of life without parole.
Congratulations to attorneys Bruce Fleisher and Charles White for saving their client's life.

It takes courage for a Judge to follow their conviction in the face of the prosecution's blood lust and the possible attendant negative media.

REGJB Trivia: What was the name of the Judge the last time a jury's recommendation was overrode? Bonus: briefly describe the facts of that case.


Please: for those of you just yearning to fire off emails and comments saying that we are only praising Judge Murphy because he didn't impose the death penalty, save your breath. Judge Murphy has the well earned reputation of being a hard working and thoughtful judge. We have no doubt that he would impose the death penalty if he thought it was appropriate and we commend him on his independence and courage and not the result per se.

WHO IS PHIL HUBBART? It's a crying shame most of you do not know just who Phil Hubbart is. So for you 20 somethings in the SAO or the PDs office, put down that Starbucks Latte and head over to Roy Black's blog and learn about the Giant on whose shoulders you are standing .


Mqc/jqc/Gk-r..



FUN WITH THE BROWARD BAR

When we last checked in on those lovable and fun loving Judges in Broward and the lawyers they canoodle with, Ana Gardiner had resigned from the bench and both she and former ASA Howard Scheinberg had Bar complaints pending. Apparently in Broward it is now verboten for Judges to...whatever with ASA's who are currently prosecuting a death penalty case before them.

Who knew?

Here's where it gets interesting, courtesy of the JAA Blog of Broward:

After we reported that "H" was getting ready to nuke Scheinberg back on April 12th, the brakes were slammed on and complete silence ensued. Rumor had it the leaks caused a totally new Grievance Committee to be assigned, although that couldn't be confirmed until today, based on the Notice of Probable Cause Finding, which clearly denotes Grievance Committee "J" as the governing body. While we still don't know the full charges, it's clear "J" only filed a violation of a single Bar Rule, not the numerous violations we were hearing "H" was primed for.

Here's where it gets even more interesting. The Vice Chair of "
J" is Homicide Prosecutor Tom Coleman. He worked with Scheinberg at the SAO for years (not in Homicide, a recent promotion), and currently reports toBrian Cavanagh, who wrote a lette in support of Scheinberg. The other members of J are: Mark Andrew Levy (Chair), Eugene Keith Pettis (Designated Reviewer), Minerva Vazquez Bailey, Brian L. Lerner,Mimi L Sall, Donna M. Marra, Jean-Pierre Mucha, Michael O'Rourke, and Scott Ross. Courthouse regular Pettis was apparently the Designated Reviewer for both "H" and "J".

Rumpole says: Nobody tops those guys running the Broward JAA Blog. Relentless.


Mqc/b.3.2




Tuesday, June 14, 2011

FLAG DAY




Today is F L A G D A Y .

Deal with it.



MQC/fd

Monday, June 13, 2011

OCTOPUSSY CONVICTED

Zvi Goffer a/k/a Octopussy was convicted Monday in a New York Federal courtroom of security fraud crimes arising from his activities in the Galleon Hedge Fund. In May, billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, the head of Galleon, was also convicted.

We note this case because the defense of Mr. Goffer was handled by two REGJB former PDs: Bill Barzee and "Country" Dave Pettus.

Both Barzee and Pettus were extensively interviewed after the verdict which took eight days. Country Dave probably had the best quote:

David Pettus, another lawyer for Zvi Goffer, said after the verdict that his team tried to pursue the opposite

strategy from that followed by Rajaratnam’s lawyers. Instead of presenting extensive evidence on the defense case, Zvi Goffer’s team focused on trying to undercut the government’s evidence and the cooperating witnesses, he said.

Pettus noted that both cases had similar results: conviction on all counts.

“I guess there’s no defense that’ll work when your guy’s on tape,” he said.

Rumpole notes: Been there and done that brother.

BB:/kc


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

2012 ELECTION UPDATE .....

The following non-incumbent candidates have filed to run for Judge:

CIRCUIT COURT

Group 15 - Maria Elena Verde ....The seat is currently held by Judge Lester Langer.

Group 42 - Miguel de la O .....The seat is currently held by Judge Lawrence Schwartz

Group 47 - Maria de Jesus Santovenia ..... The seat is currently held by Judge Arthur Rothenberg

Group 49 - Richard Hersch ..... The seat is currently held by Judge Mark King Leban

COUNTY COURT

Group 27 - Ivonne Cuesta ..... The seat is currently held by Judge Sheldon Schwartz

All of the incumbent Judges are retiring.

Also expected to file in County Court Group 28 is Jacqueline "Jackie" Woodward. Judge Catherine "Katie" Pooler is retiring.


IN OTHER NEWS .....

So, you want to be a 3rd DCA Judge .....

The following candidates will be interviewed for the open seat as the result of Judge David Gersten's retirement. 15 have applied including three Circuit Court Judges, three County Court Judges, and one Judge of the Compensation Claims Court (Pecko):

Judge Jennifer D. Bailey
Bambi G. Blum, Esq.
Jonathan D. Colan, Esq.
Gail Ash Dotson, Esq.
Judge Ivan F. Fernandez
Michael H. Galex, Esq.
Esther E. Galicia, Esq.
Ivy R. Ginsburg, Esq.
Judge Norma S. Lindsey
Thomas W. Logue, Esq.
Judge Maria D. Ortiz
Judge Kathryn S. Pecko
Judge Gladys Perez
Judge Jose M. Rodriguez
Edwin A. Scales, III, Esq.


If you want to provide comments to the JNC, please direct them to Jeffrey Bass, Esq. (Chair), Shubin & Bass at jbass@shubinbass.com .

So, you want to be the Regional Counsel for the 3rd District OCCCRC .....

As I reported two weeks back, the Supreme Court JNC had their first round of interviews for this four year appointment and only one name is being considered so far: Joseph P. George, Jr. The JNC has decided to re-open the process, accept more applicants, and conduct more interviews. They would like to send three names to Governor Scott for his consideration.

If you are interested, you have until July 15, 2011 to get your application submitted to the SCJNC Chair, Martin Lee Garcia. Go to the Florida Bar web site for more information.

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

Two open seats on the Circuit Court. The JNC will be conducting interviews on Thursday, June 13, 2011 with three to six names being recommended to the Governor for his consideration. Tough luck for the winners, who will likely be named before August 14th. If they get the appointment before that date, they will need to run for a full term in 2012. Anyone appointed after that date, will in effect get a three year appointment and not have to run until 2014.

Two open seats on the County Court. The JNC has not yet set interviews for these two seats.


School is out so the traffic should be lighter. And according to the NWS, our long hot humid summer should be arriving this week. Ugh.

Enjoy your summer vacations. Here's hoping the NFL has a season in 2011 or Horace will be writing once less column on the weekends.

CAPTAIN OUT .....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

MAVS/HEAT GAME 6

So here we are, game six in Miami. The home town hoopsters, everyone's preseason pick to sweep the playoffs and get King James crowned, are now a mere 48 minutes away from ignominious defeat.

In order to see and celebrate this moment of infamy in the Magic City, we are safely ensconced in a luxury suite.

See You In Court tomorrow.

Post Script:

And so it ends not with a bang, but a whimper. A real team beats a bunch of high priced prima donnas.

For those of you who kept asking us what we say now about the Heat?

Here now is our answer:

We think they're a bunch of losers with no heart.

Lebron James championship series stats: 10 games (4 last year, 6 this year). Record: 2-8. 7 points in 4th quarter of last game. 1 for 2 from three point range.
Superstar?
Ha!


p=gk;ps=mqc;

Friday, June 10, 2011

CAN'T STAND THE HEAT?

Then get out of Dallas.

The local hoopsters dropped their second in a row in Dallas Thursday night and now limp home to Miami down 3-2 in the series. The MAVS storm Miami needing one of two to wrap up their first NBA Championship.

Lebron James, coming off a horrendous 8 points in game 4 (none in the fourth quarter) followed that up going 1 for 4 in the fourth quarter and scoring only two points when his team needed him most.

For those of you who continually bombard us with emails and comments about what we think of the Heat, here is our answer: 5 games into this championship series the best team money can buy finds themselves down 3-2. The best player money can buy disappears in the fourth quarter while his counterpart on the MAVS makes shots and wins games while playing through a broken finger and the flu.

What do we think of the Heat? Give us a well coached team manned by players with heart and guts any day over this band of spoiled prima donnas.

Enjoy the weekend. See You In Court.


mqc/jk

Thursday, June 09, 2011

HISTORY CHANNEL

We installed an app which defaults to a mobile viewing mode when you view the blog on your phone while standing in line in court. As per the Captain, if you scroll down the page you can change the view to standard view if you so desire. Enjoy.








Tuesday, June 07, 2011

WHITHER WEINER?

Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY, horny) has been in the news for using his twitter account for sexting, i.e., sending provocative pictures of himself to young (over age 18) women around the country.

We arranged for two well known attorneys, one a prosecutor and one a defense attorney to engage in an email conversation. With very light editing, here is their discourse:

For the Prosecution:
Weiner is a liar. He lied to his constituents and the public in an effort to cover up his stupid mistake of using his twitter account (instead of the direct message feature) to send a woman a picture of his crotch. He has exhibited troubling and morally questionable behavior. He needs to resign.

For the Defense:
The prosecutor is an idiot. Weiner did not break the law. He does not need to resign. He will have a chance to explain his conduct to his constituents in the next election and they can decide if he is fit to represent them. Morally questionable behavior? Weiner didn't cheat on his wife. He flirted, electronically. If we asked every elected official who flirted, or who for that matter cheated on their spouse, Washington would be an empty city.

You know who should resign? Senator David Viiter of Louisiana. Vitter's name was found on two madams' lists. Vitter engaged in prostitution, a violation of the state laws of Louisiana. And yet this criminal was re-elected by his constituents who may be the only idiots dumber than the prosecution in this case.

For the Prosecution:
There is precedent for demanding Weiner's resignation. Before this scandal, another married NY Congressman Christopher Lee (is it something in the water up there) resigned in February, 2011, after it was revealed he sent a topless picture of himself to a woman he met on craigslist.

For the Defense:
There you go again. If flirting by sending a revealing picture of yourself is grounds to disqualify an individual to serve in elective office then you need to be prepared to argue that the following individuals should not have served this country: President Franklin Roosevelt; General Dwight Eisenhower; President Eisenhower; President John Kennedy; President Bill Clinton.

If flirting is the standard of disqualification, therefore cheating must mandate expulsion. You just threw out of office the top two decision makers who guided this country and the free world through world war II: President Roosevelt and Ike. Are you happy now with a country led by mediocre dolts like Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney?
Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Disqualify Newt Gingrich as well.

For the Prosecution:
You miss the point. Like Nixon, it's not the crime (3rd rate burglary, direct messaging, flirting, etc.) It's the coverup. Weiner looked into the camera, held a press conference and lied. How could he ever be trusted again? By the time Rumpole posts this the Weiner scandal will be worse. His sex/texting messages with a Las Vegas blackjack dealer will have hit the media making this scandal grow hotter (excuse the pun).
And there are likely more shoes to drop. All house members are prohibited from engaging in conduct that brings disrespect to the house. Weiner is becoming a poster child for mid-life crisis men acting like fools. He will never be effective again. Even members of his own caucus are disgusted with his behavior and will not work with him. He is a radioactive pariah. Worse- he is a bad joke. And the joke is getting worse and worse. Only his resignation will end this. The press is in a feeding frenzy and there's lots more texts for them to find and report.

For the Defense:
To quote the late, great Neil Rodgers, "You have a point and it's on top of your head." Clinton survived receiving oral sex in the oval office and lying about it. Sure Weiner will have trouble ahead. But he is a talented congressman and he should be given a chance to recover from this. Let he who has not flirted cast the first stone. If in two years his district votes him out, then so be it, the people will have spoken. But until then, lay off the guy and see if something good can come out of this.

Rumpole: We get the final word. Thanks guys/gals for your help in this difficult case. At the request of both of you we will keep your names secret. We may call upon you for help in the future.

See You In Court.