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, January 25, 2012

EMERGENCY!

Here is the situation: You are an attorney and have a client ordered released on house arrest  a few days before Christmas.  It is now Christmas Eve and your client is not out. Corrections has made some sort of mistake (as shocking as that may seem. By the way, Dade Corrections confirms the bond for Al Capone is almost processed and he should be released shortly.)  What do you do? What CAN you do?


You can call the on duty emergency Judge for help. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit web site maintains a list of the emergency on duty judges for the criminal and civil and family divisions (although for the life of us we cannot imagine what emergency a civil lawyer could have- "Judge, the bank has short changed us $1.67 on the interest on the judgment and we need that fixed before Monday." ? Whatever.)


One such lawyer had such a problem this past christmas eve. He did not get satisfaction from the on duty judge for criminal court. Indeed, he did not get a call back although he left several messages.  Perplexed that the on duty criminal judge would not return his call, the attorney -thinking that the duty judge's phone must not be working- called the on duty civil judge. Enter Judge Gil Freeman who saved the day for the attorney and his client. She was by all accounts understanding, courteous, professional, and helpful to an attorney almost out of options.


Here is the letter which obviously lists the criminal court judge in question. But before you read it, try and guess who was less than helpful in this situation (including the allegation that he hung up on the attorney when he finally picked up the phone once he was explained what the emergency was.)


(Hat tip to South Florida Lawyers for 
the letter. )


Hint: 


“This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit, 
Which gives men stomach to digest his words 
With better appetite.” 

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar. 

Hirsch, M.complaint.adm.Judge

54 comments:

Mr. Justice Milton HIrsch said...

This is an OUTRAGE! Do you know who I am? I am Mr. Chief Justice Milton Hirsch. I was writing legal motions and getting people out of jail while you were shephardizing disorderly conduct cases out of the hialeah branch court. I am a very busy man. I do not have time for the tripe of a defendant spending christmas in jail. So the poor little boy would have missed christmas with his abuleas. Boo too hoo. Hey pal, as Shakespeare so elegantly put it: Don't do the f'ing crime if you can't do the f'ing time

That phone is for important business. As a duly elected state official of considerable seniority, I have now calculated that I am 9,765th in line to the presidency. If china nukes most of the us, I'm in charge. That phone is used for those purposes, not to cry to me about house arrest.

Why the next time I see you I just may poke you in the eyes like Moe did to Curly, you knucklehead.

Really. The crap I have to put up with to do my most important job.

Anonymous said...

There goes judge Hirsch again. This guy cannot keep the jerk in him from bubbling up. It's bigger than he is. Here's hoping for opposition for him whenever he needs to run again. This number is for law enforcement only??? Wow.

Anonymous said...

I am very surprised, but if in fact this is the case, this is unnaceptable. It is sad if it is true considering he was once not too long ago a defense attorney.

Anonymous said...

I had a simliar mess once and the duty judge was White-Labora. She asked me to go to her house nearby and she signed an order to fix the problem. She even offered me a cup of coffee.

I took the order to the window at DCJ and they said that if I left it there, they would arrest me for some bullshit charge. Judge White-Labora even called the shift commander and he would not help.

Hate corrections... love Judge White-Labora.

Client was relased three days later. I was pissed.

old guy said...

Milt? Acting like a jerk?

Please slap yourself if you are surprised!

Hirsch's cell phone message said...

"You have reached the after hours emergency line of Mr. Justice Milton Hirsch. If you are a law enforcement officer press 1 to speak to the justice. If you are a defense attorney press 2 and hang up and call during regular office hours between 9:30 and 10:20 or 3;20 and 4;05 and speak with my asssistant Mrs Moneypenney and explain your emergency in twenty words or less pursuant to administrative order 113-2010 Of MR. Justice Milton Hirsch's book of administrative orders. Thank you and don't call again."

Anonymous said...

Did Neal ever receive a response from Judge Brown or Soto? Was Mr. Justice Hirsch ever called on the carpet by the chief. Does Neal receive an automatic recusal if he has any cases before Hirsch? Interesting........

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope no one is suprized at this turn of events. Why is it that no one recognized or is willing to accept that this is the rudest, most arrogant, self-abosrbed and narsasitic person on the bench? Is it really so hard to accept this fact in light of the way he conducted himself in practice?

Other judges you all have so dispised for their so-called "arrogance" were responsive and took their duties far more seriously and knew their obligations to the public they serve. It is almost like Hirsch believes he is doing us all a favor and that we should be honored that he has allowed his precious time to be occuppied doing his job.

He literally makes judges like Jackie Scola, Stacy Glick and a former judge, whose name need not be mentioned, all of whom have had personality issues, look good. At least they understand or understood their obligations and responsibilities. They all know how lucky they are or were to be doing what they are doing or have done.

Milt, don't go away mad (your normal state), but do us all a favor, just go away.

Anonymous said...

I think Neal made a mistake sending that letter. He will get hammered by Milt for doing that.

Hey Milt. I know you read this stupid blog. If you did that you should call Neal and aplogize for being a jerk.

Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

what a fucking dick.

thank you for posting this...

Anonymous said...

milton you are gonna get thrown off the bench if you keep acting like this. this is totally unacceptable. the defense bar will not tolerate this type of conduct. keep it up and you end up in dependency followed by juvi and then out the door.

Anonymous said...

Pants too big, underwear too tight.

Anonymous said...

unacceptable for any Judge.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Neil for having the chutzpah to send that letter.

Shame on Milton. Episodes like this make me regret supporting him.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Nicely done Neil.

Anonymous said...

Milt exercised bad judgment in his responses or lack thereof to Neil. Milt should apologized and tone down the arrogance. However, Milt on his worst day, is no where as bad as Scola or Tunis.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't that the same week Judge Hirsch had bond hearings -- namely the week before Christmas? Perhaps he was too busy asking arrestees incriminating questions on the record.

A scene said...

9:07 Am. The courtroom of Mr. Justice Milton Hirsch:

Attorney: May it please the court?

MJMH: No it does not please the court. “Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy: This wide and universal theatre Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.”

Attorney: Huh?

MJMH: It's Shakespeare, As you Like it,

Attorney. I'm sorry?

MJMH:A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.- That's Lady Macbeth.

Attorney: Judge Please.

MJMH: Counselor. You are standing where law enforcement stands. You are out of order, out of position, and running out of time. Go to the back of the line and when it is your turn please stand in the appropriate place.

real Fake Former Judge said...

Boy there's a lot of material here. This isn't going away for a while.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I had a similar thing happen to me years ago. Bond granted on a non-bondable offense, corrections screws up and won't release him and the duty judge (Tam Wilson) didn't want to do anything. Client needlessly sat in jail over the weekend. By the way, the State no actioned the charges a few days later. I never could look at him with respect again.

Anonymous said...

You know, Rump, you need to try and weed out your prejudices. Your fawning concern for "only nice things" to be said about a judge loved by many, but who was, without doubt, a racist, was touching. I assume he had been nice to you. However, why you would print a comment form one of our colleagues like " What a fucking dick" about a sitting judge demonstrates your bias. You really need to turn the blog over to someone who is not as committed to third rate adolescent humor, an unending bend to the left, and a now more recently exposed sense of his own self-importance as you wax eloquently on legal and moral topics.
Judge Hirsch may be a bit of a showboat, but he is bright and articulate, and at least he does not take pride in wasting human lives of one predominant color randomly like some of your heroes, including deceased ones

Anonymous said...

Guess Neil is looking for a permanent disqualification. Got to start working on some letters about Judge Gordo, Judge Tunis,and Judge Glick - particularly the last alst one who disgraces the name she carries.

Anonymous said...

The Justice is totally absorbed by himself. And maybe even mentally ill.

This is not a good situation for his honor.

Rumpole said...

Let me respond 10:28: I am not sure who you are referring to about a judge who is racist. I would truly appreciate an email about this so I can respond off blog.

I agree the comment you mentioned where the individual cursed was not a great comment and something that in many circumstances I would not publish because It just doesn't add to anything. But in this instance, this is a post about a judge who did something and people are criticizing him. To that end, I think the comments that are thoughtful and intelligent are much more useful. But that comment, while not adding much (in my opinion) was about the topic and therefore was OK I guess. I am not above changing my mind. It doesn't really seem to demean the judge, in fact it probably demeans the person who wrote it. I guess in another context I would not publish it. Lets say if this was about a Judge retiring, then I probably wouldn't do it. If the judge was female and the person used the word "bitch" I might not do it.

You see I walk a fine line between wanting to let people have their say as much as possible without interjecting my personal opinions and wanting to keep the discussion on track with some dignity. Your point is well taken and I could very well have made the wrong decision.

Mrs Moneypenny said...

BFD my boss will be on the third dca any day now. Then you whinny babies can cry about someone else. Fyi we pay the SAME tax rate

Mr. Chief Justice-Designate Milton Hirsch said...

As you cretins all realized at the State of the Union Address, Justice Ginsburg will be retiring soon. As I have been preconfirmed (by a 98-2 vote) as Chief Justice-Designate of the Supreme Court, do you really think I give a flying fuck about "emergency judge duty?" I am far too intelligent and have far more important things to take care of. Soon you shall see me in Washington, bossing Associate-Justice Designate Roberts around. I cannot wait to get to my new digs.

Anonymous said...

Neil is my hero!

Anonymous said...

This blog will be shut down by the Florida Bar within the next 30 days. Do you think that I will allow people to curse and thereby denegrate the standing of the court? You are mistaken. Good luck Rumpole.

Anonymous said...

The truth is, if Neil wanted to cause even more trouble for Milt, which he deserves, he would report this, not only to the Chief Judge, but to the JQC. Milt may only get a private reprimand, but maybe a little show of displeasure from his peers would have a minimally temporary effect on the jerk's ego.

But, then again, Milt would be so arrogant and egotistical as to tell the JQC how they were wrong and how right he is.

Hmmm, to be a fly on the wall at that meeting.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised, he was that arrogant as an attorney in private practice. The problem as I see it, is that due to budget cuts and pay cuts for judges, we are getting subpar judicial candidates who subsequently get elected by an uninformed public. Judges such as Glick, Hirsch and Gordo (this is not an exhaustive list) do not have the emotional maturity to to be judges. These people take everything personally and seem to think they are superior to lawyers who practice before them. Gone are the likes of Leyte-Vidal, Crespo and Rob. I wish these new judges would talk with people who knew the great judges of the past so they an emulate them. Not surprised to hear White-Labora went the extra mile. I sure wish she were appointed to Circuit.

Anonymous said...

Neil deserves an award for his courage in writing that letter and his perseverance in putting his client's best interests before his own. Everyone dreads a "client emergency" but on Christmas Eve! Nobody wants to deal with work on Christmas EVE! Respect!

Fake joel brown said...

Milt....Neil....come on guys...lets hug it out.

Real fake former judge said...

Mad respect for Neil.

Anonymous said...

1) I had a similar situation in Broward on Thanksgiving day years ago. Unfortunately, my client did not get out, as I could not find anyone to assist me. I ended up physically going to the courthouse on Thanksgiving, and talked to clerks and the bond duty judge. I spent 3 hours on Thanksgiving trying to find a way to get a 20 year old home for dinner.

Clerks could not access files, corrections could not do anything without an order by a judge, judge I spoke to was very nice, but would not do anything without the clerk file, and was not going to put herself out like that.

2) just a thought. Could it be that Hirsch was not completely in the wrong. Yes, when someone calls you and says it is an emergency, most people would call back. But is there such a thing as a number that is only supposed to be used by law enforcement to contact a judge??

I don't know how the system is run. I like to think the Judge does know. But is there some possibility that Hirsch actually believed that the call was incorrectly going to him, and therefore he did not act upon it?

I'm not talking about rudeness or general civility. If Hirsch got the message and truly believed it was not for him to deal with, anyone with a heart would have at least returned the call.

I take the attorney at face value when reading his version of events. I guess I figure there are at least two sides to every story. I'm sure the Judge has his version of events.

From the outside, this looks bad, but like a picture of a Governor pointing her finger at the President, I'm not willing to pass judgement without knowing more. Even a jerk deserves to be heard from before being dragged over the coals.

It is very telling however, that most everyone who reads the story has no doubt about its veracity. It likely means that the guy has been a jerk to so many people over the years, there is no reason to believe any other way.

Not defending him. Just thinking out loud.

Anonymous said...

Running out on his lease, prompting a lawsuit, followed by this? Milt is looking worse and worse.

Anonymous said...

When is everyone going to realize that Judge Milton Hirsch is uncaring, unethical and is a disgrace to the legal and judicial community.

Anonymous said...

Hirsch will just lie his way out of this – as he has done before.

Anonymous said...

When the late Judge Manny Crespo was the emergency judge, he would not only invite both law enforcement AND private attorneys to his home, he would insist they stay for dinner, coffee, etc. And he would do what needed to be done, and get it done quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Real Fake Former Judge. said...

I hereby offer my good offices for a meeting between Mr Justice Milton Hirsch and Neil Taylor to meet and hug it out. Lets go guys, hug it out. Big hugs.

Anonymous said...

President Obama has invited both Neal and Justice Hirsch to his office for a beer so, this is being solved.

Milt, why can you not be human?

Anonymous said...

Hirsch, seriously, stop pretending you are so high and mighty. You were accused of advising your client to leave the country in order to avoid prosecution, you were about to get sued for breaking your lease- or maybe did get sued (not sure), you quote Shakespeare in every single one of your miserable orders and no one even cares about you.

Anonymous said...

4:00 speaks truth. When I was a young prosecutor, Manny was the on call. I brought him a warrant and he insisted on feeding the lead detective and me. We didn't take him up on it, but it was great to work with someone who really appreciated everything we were doing. He was one of a kind.

Milt can learn a lot from him. I've always respected Milt (and supported him for judge). Frankly, I thought he'd be above this.

As for the allegations, I have no trouble relying on Neil's representations. No remotely competent defense attorney would write a letter like that unless it wree true. Neil's going to pay a significant price for his honesty...........I have tremendous respect for him. Not many would come forward as he did.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Any comments or stories about the late former criminal judge Richard Fuller?

Anonymous said...

Judge Gil Freeman is brilliant, professional and a real pleasure to appear before. We are extremely fortunate to have Judge Freeman and Judges like her.

Anonymous said...

9:45 AM. Very Funny! Preconfirmed!

Anonymous said...

Also like 5:21 PM! Very Funny! That Obama beer thing sure stopped. Surprised no "Why can't we all get along."

Anonymous said...

Listen, I have one case before Judge Hirsch and throughout its duration, he's always treated me fair and with respect. He doesn't know me and I've never interacted with him prior to him becoming a judge. Yes, he comes across as someone who is extremely astute but I've never gotten the feeling he's trying to show me he's better or smarter than I. Even if he did, who cares? It's called having a thick skin. Brush it off and move on.

I like the way he runs his court. In fact, he pushes me to become a better lawyer because I know that I have to come prepared when I appear before him. He holds me and the state to the same standard. Gotta love that.

Compare Hirsch to certain other female circuit court judges. At least Hirsch makes informed and well thought out decisions. That's unlike those three or four females judges who basically sit up there during a hearing, pretend they're neutral, pretend they're hearing your reasoning/argument on behalf of your client but in the end let their "I'm still a prosecutor" mentality dominate.

A lot of you guys here taking shots at Hirsch probably piggy backed on his ruling where he threw out those possession of coke/with intent cases. Whereas, we presently have judges on the bench scared to rule against the state because, "when in doubt rule in favor of the state (also known as the Judge Norma Lindsey approach)" Hirsch reads and interprets the law (what a concept) and applies it neutrally.

I have no beef with the way he runs things.

A man in full said...

SSSSSSHUMIE TIME baby! I got a bottle of vodka on ice on the boat and a hottie UM 3L waiting for me in a bikini which I will shortly be helping her out of. Life is great.

Anonymous said...

4:06 pm, what has any of that got to do with how he treated Neal? Do you doubt it occurred? If it did, it bothers you not at all?

Worthless and weak!

Anonymous said...

What 4:06 said.

If things happened the way Neal says -- and there's no reason to doubt it -- then that's a problem.

But at least Hirsch is a guy who makes an effort to be a judge, instead of a Senior ASA. Can he be high-handed? Maybe -- although not in my experience. But for a blog populated with a lot of defense lawyers (or just people who care about justice) are you honestly saying you'd rather have your criminal defendant client's case decided by Gordo (just to compare Hirsch to a judge in the same election class)?

You talk about running off Hirsch? Think about that again. Gordo is going to be on the bench another 35 years until retirement age. You want another prosecutor, er, judge like that replacing Hirsch?

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with 1:06 about Hirsch. I have found him to be very curtious and professional on the bench and he has always gone out of his way to make me look good in front of my clients and their families. It is true that he makes me prepare more than most judges in the building (like having to actually prepare written motions and such) but I actually prefer going to his courtroom than most others in the building. I have also seen him go out of his way, to think outside the box of what has always been done to get fair and just results; knowing full well that an appeal was coming.

I never knew him as a defense attorney but it sure seems like most of the old guard in the building dislikes him. Why?

Holdem hal said...

Rump- I'm sitting 10-20 no limit at the hardrock Thursday night. Slow game. Six hours just even. About to leave when a whale of a fish sits down and plops about 6k in front of him. I wait a few hands and get rolled up AA. I make a small raise and to my extreme happiness only fudgy the whale calls. The flop is AAJ and only on heave can fudgy have JJ. I think for a moment and decide to make a stan at the pot as if I am bluffing. So I bet 420 and he calls. I am prayng he is trying to trap me. A 3 falls on the turn and I think if I take another stab he will call so I bet out 1600 and he peetends to be thinking about it and calls. The river is a harmless 8 so now I pretend to be beaten so I check. He immediately grabs his chips and then pretends to be considering what to do and then moves all in for like 4200. I immediately call ad he shows his jacks full of aces and I roll my quads.

With over 9k in my pocket I decide that this is better than a not guilty and take the day off from the pds office. I was entitled right? Plus my gf was frickin insaitable when I got home.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Milt was not polite but, do any of you remember former Judge Howard (Mousey) Gross? He took a call and reduced a bond and ended up as a defendant in a criminal case.He won but, was disbarred. Maybe Milt was misinformed and was worried the call could be construed as an illegal attempt to ex parte a judge?

Anonymous/Young lawyer said...

@ 4:30 I'm the guy who wrote the comment at 4:06

I have no doubt what the lawyer wrote in his letter actually did happen. I agree that it is unfortunate. Judge Hirsch should have handled it better and probably didn't know that being the emergency duty judge meant that he was not only on call for law enforcement. That still does not detract from him being a better quality judge than the others I mentioned in my original post.

On a side note, how many of us haven't come across a case where local LEOs execute a warrant. Then when we, as lawyers, review the PC affidavit think "this affidavit lacks PC!" I've been in court waiting my turn in line and have seen detectives approach the bench, hand a judge a document (which the judge does not read) raise their right hand, judge signs and off goes the detective. Hirsch would not do that. He would actually read the PC affidavit and if PC wasn't there, I can see him telling the cop "officer, you don't have PC here."

Anyway, I know that has nothing to do with the original topic. I'm a young lawyer, I've been practicing for just under 10 years. Like I said, I've never dealt with Judge Hirsch before, as some of you who have been around and practiced with him have. Despite that, while it is unfortunate that the emergency situation happened, I'll take 4 more like Judge Hirsch on the bench to replace the likes of, well, you know who.