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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WANTED

Wanted: Blogger.

Must be kind, thoughtful. studious, generous, hard working, good looking, a great trial lawyer, knowledgable about wines and football and cosmology and epistemology. The ideal candidate will know a noun from a verb and avoid at all costs ending a sentence with a preposition which is the type of arrant pedantry up with which we will not put. *

Inquire within.

H. Rumpole, Esq. Proprietor.

We mean it folks. We need a blogger and soon!

DRESS CODE AT THE JAIL?

There was an "incident" last week at the stockade where an over zealous gaoler refused to let an assistant public defender see her client because she was wearing jeans which was not "court appropriate attire." The FACDL swung into action, headed by Rick Freedman who pulled out his rolodex and dialed appropriate jail authorities who responded that the employee in question had not properly applied the rules. Apologies were issued. Rest assured that in the future you may continue to see your clients in your best pair of Levis.
Good work Mr. Freedman.


* There are many variants of Churchill's famous rant against the rule against ending a sentence with a preposition. This is the one we choose.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WEDNESDAY WAS WEIRD

Wednesday was a weird day. Deadly fruit run amok (see below).

Convict Manuel Valle was executed.

Former Broward Sheriff Nick Navarro died.

Former Florida Governor Claude Kirk Died: "He tore down the temple of Old Florida," Reed (an advisor) said. "Gov. Reubin Askew followed him and built New Florida out of the rubble that Kirk left."

Quick thinking and well trained BSO court security personnel stopped a man entering a Broward Satellite courthouse (they prosecute sputniks there) with an automatic rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition. A tragedy was averted.

If the state doesn't do it, and old age doesn't get you, your cantaloupe may do you in. Be careful of the round fruit.

We told you Wednesday was weird.

Oh yeah, Happy Rosh Hashanah

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

VALLE EXECUTED BY STATE WEDNESDAY. Strapped on to the gurney in the death chamber (how does that phrase ring on the ears of a civilized society?) Valle had no last words.

33 years later "justice" has been carried out for the killer of Officer Louis Pena.


It tolls for thee Manuel Valle.

The State Of Florida is about a day away from killing Manuel Valle in retribution for Valle killing Coral Gables Police Office Louis Pena in 1978.

Wednesday September 28, 2011 at 4:00 PM is the date and time of execution. Valle was sent to death row when he was 28. He is now 61. Valle has been on death row for 33 years. A diet of high fat, smoking and no exercise would have accomplished the same thing a few years ago that the State will do Wednesday.

The latest round of litigation in Valle's case is whether the current combination of drugs will kill Valle in a humane manner.

Are you kidding me? Stuff a person in a 8 x 12 room for 3 decades and then worry about whether the manner of death is humane? Something is very very wrong.

This is not and should not be interpreted as minimizing the nature of Valle's crime. A police officer sworn to protect the public gave his life and the penalty for his murder should be severe. He had a daughter who lost her father. The man who killed him deserves to suffer. He possibly even deserves to die. But what ever side of the fence you are on in the death penalty debate, this case is outrageous and would be ridiculous if the events weren't so tragic for Officer Pena and his family.

Murder case dropped: Detective dates defendant's wife, forges Defendant's signature on Miranda form, state drops case. Kudos to Defense Attorney Andy Rier. The Captain had the Herald story in the comments section earlier. You can check it out here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A POLICE STATE

"The Office was run like a police state": That was Candidate Gene Zenobi to the JNC Saturday about the Regional Counsel Office run under Joe George. The Herald's David Ovalle's article is here.

A police state that frowned on wine.

Meanwhile Joe George fired back stating that the firing of Zenobi had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Zenobi filed to replace him. In the movie, Mr. George will be portrayed by Claude Rains, who is best known for his portrayal of Captain Renault in Casablanca.







According to Ovalle, JNC member Bob Butterworth had to this to say about the employee Mr. George fired:

As the interview concluded, committee member Bob Butterworth, former Florida Attorney General, praised Zenobi.

“If governor selects you, I believe you can change the agency,” Butterworth said. “You are able to attract people of the very highest quality who would like to get back into public service.”


The three candidates have flown to Tallahassee. They have met with the Governor's legal counsel and his assistant. So far all the smoke from the Capital has been black.

We are waiting and watching.

Judge Bill Altfield:
Feel good story of the year as former Bailiff (and former prosecutor) Bill Altfield is robed and announced on his first day on the job by his dad, who also happens to be a retired bailiff. The Herald article is here.


WHO WIIL IT BE FOR RC3?

Who will the Governor choose?

Who should the Governor choose?

Gene Zenobi?

PD Kevin Hellman?

Shari Vrod?

Has it occurred to Joe George the monumental disaster his completely without cause firing of Gene Zenobi has wrought to his career? But then again, since he literally phoned in his interview to the JNC, does Mr. George even care?

All these questions and more, answered shortly, as three hopeful attorneys wing their way to Tallahassee hoping for an appointment.

The Trial Tax in Florida, examined by the NY Times here. But no, we don't punish people for going to trial in our great state. Of course we don't do that- we're too busy shoveling snow from our driveways ten months a year.

See You In Court.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

SUICIDE WEEK THREE

BREAKING: JNC EMAILS CANDIDATES THAT EUGENE ZENOBI, PD SUPERVISOR KEVIN HELLMAN AND A SHARI VROD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED TO BE REGIONAL COUNSEL MIAMI.

Karma baby- George fires Zenobi for no reason, and Zenobi nominated to replace him. We eagerly await comment from the outgoing Regional Counsel.

While the JNC debates important issues, neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of Regional Counsel shall stay this blogger from the swift completion of his appointed post.

The Chargers are clearly the favourite pick this week of the survivors. Last week's picks in parenthesis: ( your pick here )

The headline today reads: "16Players-4 picks!"


WEEK THREE: The following survivors have picked the Chargers: Colby(NE), Plea D(Lions), Brian Freedman(Lions), Rick Freedman (Lions), Nick Basco with a C (Steelers), Dan Lurvey (Lions ) , Feet of Clay Kaeiser(Steelers), Michael Grieco(Steelers), and AdamT2 (Steelers).

Btdt(Jets) and Peter Sautter (Steelers) and Robert Kuntz (Lions) picks the Patriots-loss for all three- while Michael Feiler (Packers) and Wesiman Enterprises (Saints) and Juan Gonzalez (who did verify with us he sent a pick for the JETS last sunday in the early am) go with the Steelers over the struggling Colts on the Sunday night game.

And Cary Clennon (Lions) wins the Rumpole "go it alone award" for selecting the Titans.


Looking for a little action? Keep your eyes on the home town fish. They play much better on the road and they're getting 2.5 to 3 visiting the Browns. Miami is a better team than their record indicates. Take the Pack over the slumping Bears and give the 4 on the road and take the home town Rams getting 4 from the Ravens and the over 41. Love the under 48 in the Philly/Giants matchup. Ditto the under 53 in the Bills/Cheaters dance in Buffalo. Also like the over 41 in the Jets visit to Oakland and like the Raiders getting 3 to 3.5 at home to stun the strutting men in green.

Still waiting for the JNC to verify the nominees for Regional Counsel.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

JNC SAYS NO GO TO JOE

We can't tell you who is in, but we can tell you Joe George is out. (According to reliable sources).

And so comes to an end an experiment in handing over the reins of a major criminal defense firm to a person with no experience in criminal court. From those heady early days when Mr. George was seen scurrying around the REGJB with former Judge Bruce Levy in tow, to the current turbulent times when Mr. George saw fit to gut his capital crimes unit for reasons unknown or not believable, the Joe George experiment is over. Mr. George leaves with little respect, questionable leadership skills (not to mention a burgeoning inquiry into his travel expenses) having engendered much bitterness with little bonhomie among the denizens of our humble courthouse.

Good bye Mr. George. We hardly knew ya.

JNC nominations to come...

Friday, September 23, 2011

A NEW DAY IS AT HAND

Saturday brings 15 some odd supplicants to a downtown law firm to be interviewed by the Supreme Court JNC for the position of Regional Counsel, Third Region (Miami and parts of Hialeah and the Florida Keys). All the applicants will be trying to show that they too can fire the very best attorneys the office has for almost no reason.

Anyone want to live blog the interviews? They are open to the public, donchaknow.

BENCH AND BAR MIXER

There's a Bench and Bar mixer at some bar on October 6, 2011. Besides the fact that we don't associate with persons of low moral character (or is that "low morale character"?) there is the issue for our Bar members of the 12 tribes of Israel: October 6 happens to be gob smack in the middle of the high holy days observed by the more Jewish members of our legal community, and day before the beginning of two days of observance, prayer, introspection and one day of fasting.

Not really the brightest or culturally sensitive decision to throw a soiree' in the middle of ten days of solemn introspection.

Be it resolved that we, Rumpole, do hereby highly pledge to avoid bench and bar mixers, and the denizens who habituate them, for the following year. (Better to forsake that then the alcohol served at such assemblies or rendezvous's.)

Enjoy the weekend, get your suicide pool picks into the proper and correct email address.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ANOTHER BLOW FOR REGIONAL COUNSEL

You can often tell assistant regional counsel attorneys in the hallways of the REGJB. They're the ones with the slightly defiant look, tempered by the fact they work for a man best described as a bit "mesughenah." The dead give away however is when they buttonhole you and tell you how unfair it is that the counties refuse to pay their fair share of the regional counsel's budget.

A little background is in order.

When the State Legislature formed the Regional Counsel system, someone had the bright idea of requiring the counties of Florida to pay the fixed office costs (Rent, pens, paper clips, bottles of wine) of the various regional counsel offices. The counties got together and to make a complicated legal issue simple, their response to the legislature and Regional Counsel was...well this is a family blog, so lets just say the response had the letters "F" and "U" in it.

The Regional Counsels sued and lost in state circuit court and the first district court of appeals which held the applicable part of the law requiring the counties to pay unconstitutional.

Thursday afternoon things got worse when the Florida Supreme Court upheld the first DCA's decision in favor of the counties and against the Regional Counsel offices across Florida. The decision in Lewis v. Leon County is here.

It really stinks when your boss fires your best attorneys and no one will fund you and no one cares.

See You In Court.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN GEORGIA?

"That's the night the lights went out in Georgia
That's the night that they hung an innocent man
well don't trust your soul to no backwoods southern lawyer
because the Judge in the town has blood stains on his hands..."

UPDATE: The US Supreme Court denied a stay for Troy Davis. By the time most of us read this, Georgia will have executed a man who may well be innocent. The best legal system in the world? We don't have the best legal system in our own hemisphere. We're just sick over this.

As we write this Troy Davis, convicted killer of Savannah, Georgia police office Mark McPhail, lays perhaps in a death chamber, maybe with an IV in his arm, as nine men and women he has never met debate whether to end his life.

At 9:38 PM, 2 hours and thirty eight minutes past the time set for Davis' death, the nation and the world wait while Georgia authorities wisely have given deference to the consideration of the US Supreme Court which did not issue a formal stay.

The Pope, Jimmy Carter, Former Congressman (and virulent right winger) Bob Barr, former FBI Director (and proponent of the death penalty) Bill Sessions, five wardens of prisons that have death rows-including the former warden of the prison where Davis is at, and a petition of 680,000 others have asked Georgia not to kill Davis. Seven of nine eyewitnesses have recanted. Ballistics evidence has been called into question. The eyewitnesses were clearly mishandled (if not downright forced by the police into identifying Davis), and five jurors have said that given what they now know they would not have voted for death.

If ever there was a compelling case for not executing a man, this is it.

The world waits and watches as we dance our macabre dance of legal death.
When will this nightmare ever end?

The georgia patrol was making their rounds
So he fired a shot just to flag em down
And a big bellied sheriff grabbed his gun and said
Whyd you do it?

The judge said guilty in a make believe trial
Slapped the sherrif on the back with a smile and said
Suppers waiting at home and I got to get to it.

They hung my brother before I could say
The tracks he saw while on his way
To andys house and back that night were mine
And his cheatin wife had never left town
And that's one body thatll be found
You see little sister don't miss when she aims her gun...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

THE RISE OF JUDGE THORNTON

Before we begin, check out the previous post and our humble expanded explanation of the future of this blog.

Very quietly Judge John Thornton has made a swift and sure rise in his comparatively brief time on the bench, becoming first an administrative Judge in criminal court, and now, as our favourite federal blogger reports- being vetted for a spot on the Federal Bench!

With two new openings looming in the Southern District (Judge Gold taking senior status? and Judge Jordan's nomination to the 11th circuit) DOM broke the news that Judge Thornton and Magistrate Robin Rosenbaum were being vetted by white house lawyers for nominations to those seats.


PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT:

The Broward JAA Blog had this nice write up on the reversal in Hendrix v. State- where a shockingly raw display of prosecutorial rage over a witnesses' anticipated testimony resulted in the Defendant receiving a new trial.


From the Opinion:

In the present case, the prosecutor not only implied but clearly stated that he intended to charge the witness if he testified at trial consistent with the witness’s sworn testimony at the pretrial deposition. Significantly, the state already had the sworn pretrial deposition in which Small admitted to his complicity in the delivery of the hydrocodone. The state could have charged Small regardless of whether he testified at appellant’s trial. Yet, the state only announced its intent to charge appellant’s witness if the witness testified at the trial consistent with his prior testimony at deposition, and that testimony exculpated appellant ...

We find that the prosecutor’s conduct in this case was an infringement of appellant’s due process rights ...

We also find the prosecutor’s statement in closing that if the detective “is a liar, acquit. If he’s not a liar, convict” to be improper. The prosecutor may not argue that the jury can convict for any reason “other than his guilt of the crimes charged.” ...

As Justice George Sutherland aptly stated:

[The goal of a prosecutor] in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor-indeed, he should do so.But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one. (emphasis added)

And just what was the charge the prosecutor threatened the witness with? Another twenty-five year min/man, of course, for his role in the same transaction involving fifty-seven pain pills the Defendant was on trial for. It doesn't get any worse than this, and there's no clearer illustration of why pill case min/mans have gotten such a bad name. By placing all discretion in the hands of unreasonable and irresponsible State Attorneys interested in convictions at all costs, justice has effectively been thrown out with the bathwater.

Monday, September 19, 2011

CLARIFICATION

Perhaps a word of clarification is in order regarding the future of this humble blog.

1) We are not quitting. The Blog will not shut down.

2) The Blog must grow. To grow the Blog needs new blood. Several people have offered their services as a guest blogger and that is a good start. But ideally there would be a face of the blog. A respected attorney who would ensure that the comments remain appropriate and the content fair in all regards. With privilege comes responsibility. This blog has been privileged to be accepted by the Miami legal community. The blog has been cited by federal judges and used as a forum by some of the best attorneys in the country. With this type of acceptance comes the responsibility to make sure the blog is not used to hurt anyone. The first time a comment appears accusing someone of having an affair or publicizing some private aspect of a person's life, the blog loses all credibility. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and one minute to ruin it.
The right person is out there to help. They just need to step up. Until they do, things will remain as usual here: SNAFU.

3) Despite all the legal acumen a potential blogger may have, the ability to be an ace football prognosticator would also be nice. Yesterday we picked the Jets (win) Falcons (win) and the Cowboys (push). Plus our wide and varied expertise on matters as diverse as wine, food, literature (Rumpole is currently reading: "The Fall Of The House Of Zeus; The Rise and Ruin of America's Most Powerful Trial Lawyer" -not us, thankfully) , art, sports, exercise, nutrition and law undoubtedly make us a hard act to follow. That being said, when one door closes, another opens.

See You In Court.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

WEEK TWO SUICIDE POOL

UPDATE: The Herald's David Ovalle weighs in here with the good, the bad, and the George of the Office of Regional Counsel.

There's a small announcement about the future of the blog below.

Here are the picks for week two: Note a few additions: Brian Alexander picked the Raiders last Sunday, sending us an email at 11:22 am. He is in and alive. Rick Freedman made it in with the Cardinals, as did Robert Kuntz.

Week Two Picks: This week, and this week only, we will provide last week's pick in parenthesis: UPDATE- JETS, STEELERS, SAINTS ALL WINNERS. LIONS ALSO SQUEAKED BY 48-3. ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ TAKES A LOSS AS RAVENS SHOW THEY ARE SAME OLD RAVENS AND LOSE TO TITANS.

BDTD (Eagles) : Jets; Colby (Jets) : Patriots; ADAMT2 (Cardinals) : Steelers;

MICHAEL GRIECO (Texans): Steelers; Rick Freedman (Cardinals):Lions-after considering the Steelers, lets see how that plays out. Don't love the Steelers today. Game will be closer than expected at best for the guys in black n gold. ;

MICHAEL FEILER(Chargers): Packers; KEN WEISMAN (Chargers): Saints;

ROBERT KUNTZ (Cardinals):Lions; PETER SAUTTER(Chargers): Steelers;

CARY CLENNON (Cardinals): Lions; FEET OF CLAY KAEISER(Packers):NPY;

DAN LURVEY (Cardinals):NPY; JUAN GONZALEZ (Texans): NPY;

ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ (Cardinals): Ravens-LOSS; PLEA D (Cardinals):NPY;

BRIAN FREEDMAN(Raiders): Lions; NICK BASCO (Pats): NPY

The Final stats are 30 players started week one- 16 are left.

For the record (and we hate it when attorneys say that in court) we would probably choose the Lions today. The Steelers could be headed for a free fall- all it would take is a Seahawks victory today. The Jets over the Jags is also an OK pick. We like the Falcons at home plus 2.5 in our year long campaign that the Eagles are overrated. We also like the Cowboys to bounce back in their second consecutive road game at San Fran where the Boys are giving 3.


WANTED: FULL TIME BLOGGER. INQUIRE WITHIN. H. Rumpole, proprietor.

As it is written in Ecclesiastes, for everything there is a season. And we think it is time this blog makes a few changes. First and foremost, we are looking for a public face of the blog. You will be the lead blogger, fully responsible for content and clearing comments. From time to time we will offer posts or comments, like our Captan and the Colonel of County Court, but the blog will be yours to take where you want it to go.

Requirements: You should be a practicing attorney in the REGJB. You should be able to rite real goodly. You should know the difference between a JOA and the JQC and if asked how many times Al Sepe was appointed a judge and what happened between his two appointments (ie., you should have a great knowledge of the history of our great courthouse) you should know the answer.

This is no joke. Circumstances change and we must adapt and as the weeks ahead play out it is entirely possible that we will not be able to participate in the blog. We also feel that if we had it to do over again, we would have started the blog the way DOM did it and not remained anonymous. The anonymity thing just disrupted too many people's lives and careers with wrongful accusations. This is our way of saying sorry.

Be warned that if you apply and are chosen, you may well be accused of starting the whole thing to begin with. To that end, we may have to bite the bullet and identify ourself to a person we trust, like say DOM, who could then verify the new blogger is not us. In any event, send us a short email if you are interested and we will go from there.

Salary: negotiable.

See You In Court.

PS: This is serious. Not some joke. It is no where near April 1st.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

THE NOOSE TIGHTENS

You don't spend more than half a lifetime in this business without being able now and then to put together seemingly unconnected events to reach a conclusion. Lets try:

Item: The Governor tells the JNC to speed up interviewing candidates for the Regional Counsel office. The Governor further announced that the nominees shall travel to Tallahassee the following Monday where one will be selected.

Item: The current RC fires the two lead people in their death penalty defense unit.

Item: Miami Facdl Presidentrix Betty Llorente sends out this email today:


Dear Members:

If you are a Death Qualified Attorney, please send me your information as soon as you receive this as I need to forward this information to the Court by next Wednesday.

Thank you.

Rumpole says: Even a City Of Miami detective would reach the conclusion that something is in the works betwixt the court and the FACDL against the Regional Counsel's office. Can the court be preparing to use its inherent and statutory authority to strip RC of its death penalty cases? Who would hold such a hearing? Would it be open to the public/bloggers? Who speaks on behalf of RC now that only the janitor and an elderly security guard are apparently the only full time employees left? Is this the first crack in the *damn of the RC system? Will the Dolphins fire Tony Sporano before the end of the month?

These questions and others will all be answered in due course as the RC turns.

Stay tuned.

See You in Court.


*"damn" is probably more appropriate than "dam" in describing that damned office.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A DATE IS CHANGED

"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy not coming, but on our readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable."
Sun Tzu.

The Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) has seen fit to move up the interviews for the embattled Regional Counsel position to Saturday September 24, 2011. The JNC will then announce the nominations at the end of the day. Those nominated will appear in Tallahassee on the following Monday, September 26, 2011 at 2:30 PM for a meeting with the Governor.

The Governor and his cabinet will then meet until the time the traditional white smoke from the Capitol heralds the appointment of a new Regional Counsel.

The rumor: That the Governor requested the JNC to move up the date based on complaints about the current Regional Counsel (Motto: "You're fired!") from certain individuals in Miami known to wear a black robe while at work.

The Skinny: This cannot be good news for Mr. George. An objective view of this is that the Governor was close to removing "Mr. Fire em all" and instead asked the JNC to move quickly so the man can be summarily replaced.

"Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt."
*Shemp, The Three Stooges Go to China





*not really- that was Sun Tzu too.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WHAT'S UP, DOC?

So here we are, heading into the last quarter of 2011. How has your year been so far?

2012 will be an election year. How will that impact the REGJB?

President Obama has nominated two outstanding jurists for the federal bench: State Circuit Judge Bob Scola for the District Court and District Court Judge Bert Jordan for the 11th Circuit. Any chance the senate moves on these nominations before the election?

Governor Scott just set a third execution date for Manuel Valle, who was convicted for murdering Coral Gables Police Officer Louis Pena in 1978. The September 28th execution date will be the third set for Valle this year.

The City of Miami fired its police chief, while the Regional Counsel hasn't fired anyone in days.

This just in: The Patriots and Brady chewed up the Fins Monday night and Marshall Dore Louis joins the crowd as a week one victim of the suicide pool.

If you want a really really great wine, try the 2008 Caymus Special Selection Cab: it's pricey- about $275 a bottle- but it's worth it.

WE LOVE THE HERALD: And here's why: they don't edit their on line articles anymore. Here is an article about a new county wide task force on the theft of copper wire:

The county in cracking down on the theft of copper to be sold as crap. Thieves have stripped everything from traffic lights to air conditioning units. Those who purchase the copper could be punished under proposed ordinance.

An "S" an "S", the Herald's kingdom for an "S". Otherwise the article was not too crappy.

See You In Court.






Monday, September 12, 2011

ANOTHER LOOK AT REGIONAL COUNSEL

Deep inside Governor Scott's security bunker at an undisclosed location outside of Tallahassee. The morning "state of the state" briefing is concluding:

Aide#1: "Item 11- the rest of the Republican candidates have all contacted us. They agree with Governor Perry's plan to have you endorse the President in the general election. It will swing the state against him for sure."

Governor Scott: "Any news on my seats at the Convention?"

Aide#2: "Uh, yes sir! Good news on that front. The Hooters they have you at has agreed to reserve two spots at the bar right up close to the television."

Governor Scott: " Ok, lets wrap it up. "

Aide#1: "Last item: We have that problem with the criminal defense guy in Miami."

Governor Scott: "Well if that idiot hadn't decided to sue the state he might have done better with his budget. "

Aide#1: "No sir. Not that idiot. That's the Public Defender you are talking about. We have a problem with that other criminal defense agency. You know, the one that was created to take conflicts from the PD."

Governor Scott: " Didn't the state used to contract with private attorneys before this large agency was created?Can someone tell me what liberal commie pinko big government loving fool created that agency?"

Aide#2: "Ummm....that would be the last two republican Governors and the republican controlled house and senate that created Regional Counsel."

Governor Scott: "And why in the name of Lawton Chiles did they do that? "

Aide#1: "Well apparently the choice was between creating another big government agency or screwing the trial lawyers, and when the choice came down to that, it was pretty clear."

Governor Scott: "Yeah, I can see their point. What is going on in Miami? I need another problem like I need another federal investigation for healthcare fraud."

Aide#2: "The head of the agency has gone a bit nuts and fired almost everyone."

Governor Scott: He has? Fired almost everyone you say? hmmm...I like what I'm hearing. An agency head cutting government employees and downsizing? That man is a genius, he can go far with us."

Aide#1: "But sir, the problem is that he has decimated the agency and it can't do it's job. Criminal defendants aren't getting good representation and......oh wait....I see what you mean."

Governor Scott: "Get me this man immediately! He is being wasted in Miami. Together he and I can do great things, Why, when we're done, we'll be bigger than US Steel."

Aide#2: " Sir, US Steel went bankrupt in 2003."

Governor Scott(rubbing his hands together with glee): "Exactly! Fly him to me today! When I'm done with him they'll be begging me to sit in the convention next summer. And then we'll see who wants my endorsement."

Rumpole: And so on....




Sunday, September 11, 2011

THE AFTERMATH

The Suicide pool carnage: Out: Rumpole, DOM, Caped Crusader, Stephen ImMache, Fake Alex Michaels, Dustin Tischler, Fake Freddy Moldovan, Miguel De La Over, Crushing Catalano, and Ifitkhar Memon, 10-players out in the worst single day in blog suicide pool history. Faith in the Browns, and KC Chiefs did in most of the players. If the Cardinals had lost, and the game was close, the pool would have been down to single digits.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NFL 2011 WEEK ONE

Are you ready for some F O O T B A L L ?

We are, although being a Fins Fan this year will be tough, starting Monday night.

Suicide Pool, week one 2011:


29 people indicated they wanted to enter the 2011 suicide pool by stating that “Joel Brown Makes Me Frown” {(c)Rumpole 2011, all rights reserved}, but we are still waiting for many picks. As of last night, before the vino kicked in, here were the picks we have received:


Rumpole: late switch to KC; DOM: Browns; Shumie’s Cigar: Cowboys; Rick Freedman: Cardinals; Colby: Jets; Plea D: Cardinals; Orlando Rodriguez: Cardinals; Caped Crusader: Falcons; Juan Gonzalez has no faith in the Manning-less Colts-Texans-ditto for Michael Grieco; Stephen ImMache- Browns; Fake Alex Michales: Browns; Dustin Tischler: Browns; Dan Lurvey: Cardinals;Clay Kaeiser: Packers-verified email arrived on tim, the mistake was Rumpole's; Cary Clennon: Cardinals; Peter Sautter: Chargers; Robert Kuntz: No pick; Kenneth Weisman, et.a;., Chargers; Fake Freddy Moldovan: KC Chiefs; Marshall Dore Louis: Dolphins???(short season for you MDL); Miguel De La Over: KC Chiefs; Iftikhar Memon (hereinafter IM) Browns; Nick Basso: Cheaters; Adam 2T: Cardinals; and finally BDTD who has again provided us with a pick for every week of the season: Eagles ( could be a short season for BTDT- see below).


Picks: As we wrote earlier, due to many unforeseen circumstances (although how 52nd Street Irwin didn’t know that guy was a fed is beyond us) we will not be making picks every week. But we do have some thought$ on week one:


If you can get the line at 42, take the under in the Buffalo/KC game for 300; ditto for Tennessee at Jax; also hop on the Titans for the same amount +2;


Upsets of the week: Dream Team, schweem team, the Eagles giving 4 on the road to the Rams go down and Vick is not the pick. Indeed, if you want, take the money line of +175 Rams (meaning you are not taking any points and laying 100 to win 175). We did this 300 times; and how about those Cowboys? WIthout the worst head coach in the league (Vanilla Phillips) calling the shots anymore, the Cowpokes are posed to ride their talent to a surprisingly good season.


Last year we told you to bet against the Cowpokes at every possible opportunity. This year we are telling you to take the plunge and the points (+4 at the Jets in New Jersey) and watch them surprise some people, including the slow starting Jets. Cowboys +4 over Jets, 200X.


Let us give you some trends to capitalize on in 2011:

1) The Cowboys are a legit Super Bowl Contender- hop on them before the public catches on.

2) The Steelers are headed for a downfall. An aging defense and no change in a very suspect secondary allow the league to catch up to the men of steel. Stay away from them on any plays involving your wallet as we don't know when the dam breaks, but the cracks are there. NB- if they contend it will be with a high powered pass centric offense-hardly "Steeler football."

3) J..E...T....S.... hype hype hype. Rex Ryan's heft surpasses his teams win totals this year. The Jets will disappoint.

4) The Lions are for real- but no surprise there and their vastly improved defense has already been factored into the spread so you won't find value in their games.

5) With Vanilla Phillips gone in Dallas, Norv Turner assumes the mantle as ...drum roll please: "The worst coach in the league!!" The Chargers will win games and look impressive. And then lose in the playoffs, probably to the Steelers or Patriots.

6) Here's what happens when you send amateurs to do a professional's job: In Miami at Regional Counsel they fired two extraordinarily talented and respected lawyers on the eve of a re-trial of a man who murdered a police officer in 1977; In Jacksonville they release the starting quarterback after the end of all pre-season games and name a QB who hasn't started since 2008 or something ridiculous like that. The only question we have is whether the Bengals or the Jaguars are on the clock first for the 2012 draft? Probably the Jags win the race to the bottom.

7) The Dolphins reach mediocrity. 8-8 sounds about right as the Tony Sparano watch officially begins Tuesday morning.

8) The Rams are for real. A good offense and defense minded head coach will allow them to surprise some people, starting with the Eagles today.

9) The Seattle Seahawks are going no where fast with a back-up qb starting.

10) Can Donovan McNabb get back to the Super Bowl with the best offensive player in the league running the rock behind him? Nope.

11) Tampa Bay will improve from last year, but today's game is a tough call.

12) The Browns will improve from last year and may contend for a playoff spot as their QB is for real. They will surprise some people and you can find some value in their spreads.

13) The Redskins have a real defense, but their offense concerns us in a tough division.

14) No playoffs this year for the Giants.

15) Tom Brady carries the Patriots to the playoffs, but a weak defense is their un-doing.

16) We like the Texans this year. We don't like the Colts without Peyton.

17) The Titans are re-building. Stay away. Ditto the Bills.

18) The Bears stink. They are miles away from being a half away from the Super Bowl. The Packers march back to the big show without much of a challenge until they meet the Cowboys or the Falcons in the NFC Championship game.

19) Can the Ravens finally beat the Steelers in the playoffs? Yup.

20) Is the third time the charm for Alex Smith and the Niners? Nope.

21) KC and the Sunshine Band had more hits than the KC Chiefs will deliver this year.





Today is 9/11. Take a moment to reflect on how much they day has cost the families of average Americans who are no longer with us. From ground Zero to Iraq to Afghanistan, Americans lie in early graves because of that horrible horrible day.

Friday, September 09, 2011

HARRY RAMOS AND VICTOR WALD

Thursday was a fairly uneventful day in Miami. For the first time in a while no one was fired from the Regional Counsel's Office.

The JAA Broward Blog broke the story that a Miami Bar Committee found probable cause to proceed against former Judge Ana Gardiner for violation of Bar Rules 3.43, 4.84(c) & (d)!!! (that (d) will get you every time). The same Miami Bar Committee also determined that the sun will rise in the east for the foreseeable future.

Manuel Valle's days appear to be dwindling down to a few. The Herald reports that the 11th Circuit lifted its stay, clearing the way for the Governor to reschedule Valle's execution. Valle was twice convicted for the 1978 murder of Coral Gables Police Officer Louis Pena.

Query: If a condition of Valle's sentence was to live out his natural life in a death row-close confinement setting, would that have been sufficient punishment? In our opinion, a numbing life without hope, where every day is the same, is much worse than facing execution.

Sunday is the start of the Football season. Get your suicide pool picks in to fbpool12 at gmail.

Sunday is also 9/11/2011. It hardly seems like ten years have passed since the day that changed our world forever.

We will never forget.



We're Americans.
You can knock us down.
We just get back up stronger.

There are many heroic stories that emerged from the tragedy of the 9/11 attack. Here is one we have always found memorable:

Victor Wald and Harry Ramos began the morning of September 11, 2001 as total strangers.

Wald, a 49-year-old stockbroker at Avalon Partners on the 84th floor of the North Tower, managed to get down as far as the 55th floor – where he encountered Ramos, head trader at the May Davis Group, a small investment bank.

Ramos, 46, stopped in the stairwell to aid Wald, who had suffered from rheumatic fever and was long bedridden as a child. Witnesses said Ramos told Wald, "I'm not going to leave you."

They were last seen sitting together before the building collapsed; now they are united once more at the request of both families at the 9/11 memorial where their names are etched together.


The entire group of 9/11 hijackers and terrorists together don't have one thousandth of the courage and humanity of Harry Ramos.

Take a moment this weekend and tell someone you love the story of Harry Ramos and Victor Wald. It's a story that should never be forgotten.


See You In Court.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

BY GEORGE

UPDATE: Here's the Herald article on the 3rd firing. While it is technically illegal to consume alcoholic beverages in a State building, 1) RC rented offices from a private landlord in a building not owned by the state. 2) This smells rotten.

"YOUR'E FIRED!"

No, that is not a replay of a famous Bill Barzee opening statement, which set the legal community in NYC on fire earlier this year (see the article here).

Instead, that was the statement made three separate times over the last two days to three attorneys who were fired from the Regional Counsel's Office.

Here's what we know: Three lawyers were fired. Two of them were, as the Herald reported on Wednesday morning, counsel for a capital murder case re-trial. One lawyer had filed papers seeking appointment to replace the current Regional Counsel (Motto:"The Me Nobody Knows").

Here's what we don't know: Why they were fired.

Here's what everyone needs to keep in mind: We are dealing with people's livelihoods and professional reputations. Everyone needs to tread carefully and not make accusations that cannot be supported. This will eventually all come out in the wash, and we will not be a part of savaging someone's reputation for the sake of a few sensational headlines.

Everyone calm down and keep their head about them, although others around them may be losing theirs and blaming it on you.... (See, Kipling, Rudyard, If)

See You In Court.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

WELCOME BACK

Summer is officially over. Now a quick slog to the holidays and then the end of the year. We have a few trials set, so we will be busy.

The suicide pool is shaping up. If you haven't received an email from us at fbpool12 at gmail then you are NOT in. To register send an email to that address, not our regular address, with the phrase "Joel Brown makes me frown" in the subject line. We will respond and confirm that you are in. Miguel De La Over, Feet of Clay Kaiser, Kenny Weisman, Robert Kuntz, Marshall Dore Louis, BDTD, Nick Basso, Adam T2, Michael Grieco, former Judge Jon Colby, and Shumie's Cigar headline an all star field of lawyers vying for the prestigious title this year.

A word about football picks: For years now we have astounded the touts and critics by posting public picks and winning at a rate no other public tout can approach. Alas, many things come to an end, and we cannot promise that we will be posting football picks every week this year. First, we have some important matters to attend to. Second, our inside source in these matters- 52nd Street Irwin will not be available for another 16 months or so, if you get our meaning.
Third, it's just not something we cannot guarantee we will do every week this season.

NEW HIRES: at the PD and SAO. We haven't forgotten you. Hang in there, your post is coming.

"Sandy, Baby": SCOTUS blog reports that Justice O'Connor recently sat on the 9th Circuit in Montana at a special session held at a law school. The Justice then addressed the students afterwards. We're a big fan of appellate courts holding sessions outside of their normal courthouses. It brings the law to the people. We once argued a nasty case before an appellate court which held session at a high school and you could see the minds of the students engaging by what they saw and heard. It only takes one special experience to set a young person on the road to a career (which is why we strongly recommend educators limit their charges access to attorneys and judges -especially the latter.)

We're in court today. Are you?