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, May 17, 2012

BROWEIRD V.3.4

MIAMI HEAT UPDATE: The Heat are down 2-1 against the Pacers. Game 4 is in Indiana. Miami Superstar Dwayne Wade was 2-13 and scored 5 points in the Heat's latest shellacking. 
Let us take a moment to analyze this series....seriously......
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What a bunch of spoiled babies. One player gets hurt and the whole team collapses. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! 




In the United States of America court proceedings are, with rare exceptions,  open to the public. One of those rare exceptions is Broward county, where judges and their thuggish courtroom deputies routinely close the courtrooms and bar both the public and the litigants from court. 


Now we pause a moment to note that courtrooms aren't open to the public by the good graces of a Judge in a decent mood. No, the courtrooms are open to anyone and everyone by right and law  and not even judges are allowed to arbitrarily close them. There is a procedure involving notice to the media and the public and the right to be heard before a courtroom can be closed. 
Back to Broweird,  Judge Mary Robinson and this excerpt from the JAA Blog:
The trouble began shortly after 9:00 a.m. this morning, when the accused showed up for her hearing.  BSO Court Deputy Seymour blocked access to the public courtroom, stating anyone showing up after 9:00 a.m. had to go to the Clerk's office to reset their court date.  Arraignments are set at 8:15 a.m. it was explained, meaning people forty-five minutes late or more won't be heard.  One little fact the Deputy left out?  Observers told us Robinson herself didn't take the bench until after 9:00 a.m, making the judge at least forty-five minutes late as well, which is when we're told she usually shows up for 8:15 a.m. dockets.

Enter your humble author, who at least secured entry into the public courtroom for the woman in question.  Then at 10:20 a.m., she called to explain that she had been told again that her case would not be heard.  Court was still ongoing of course, and the courtroom was full of people waiting for their cases to be called.  At that point we returned and filed a pro bono Notice of Appearance to help the bewildered and capias concerned citizen, after some very angry and seemingly contradictory remarks from the bench in response to our questions regarding the judge's policy concerning late arrivals.

A call to Robinson's office not too long ago confirmed there is a policy, despite Robinson's refusal to use the "p word". Remarkably, the J.A. stated that unless she happens to be downstairs picking up mail and communicates to the courtroom that there are delays or long lines at security on any given day, Defendants arriving after 9:00 a.m. must reset their cases with the Clerk or get a warrant.  However, when questioned about Robinson's typical arrival times, the JA would not provide any information.  

So there you have it.  A massive dose of callous indifference to the plight of litigants who can't afford private attorneys, with what looks like a massive dose of hypocrisy to boot.  
But the trouble didn't end there for the courageous JAA blogger, because when he tried to appear before Judge Robinson the following day, he found that he would no longer be welcome in her court:
And speaking of disqualifications - neither Mike or Mary Robinson wants to hear our cases anymore.  Both judges entered sua sponte recusals this morning, following our reporting of Mary Robinson's tardiness on Monday, and refusal to hear cases of similarly late Defendants.  Is it simply a personal pride issue, together with spousal loyalty?  Is it because of possible JQC scrutiny?  Or has the Florida Bar received some judicial gripes of late?  Stay tuned, it could get very bumpy indeed ...
So lets summarize what has occurred:
1) A deputy barred a member of the public from entering the courtroom at 9am. The blogger eventually got her in. 
2) The Judge (who didn't take the bench for her 8:15 arraignments until after 9AM) refused to hear the woman's case, placing her in danger of a bench warrant. 
3) The blogger filed a pro bono notice of appearance thwarting the Judge's ability to issue a warrant for the woman. 
4) The next time the attorney showed up in court he was informed that Judge Robinson had entered orders of recusal on his cases before her. 


The Judge "punished" the attorney for stopping her from punishing a woman who was late, but not as late as the judge. 
Only in Browierd. 
See You In Court. 

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unbelieveable. You are an inspiration and my hero, again!! Never stop fighting injustice!

Anonymous said...

Mary Barzee should be disciplined for what took place here. to believe that anyone in federal court, where they hand out life sentences like coffee at starbucks, that the sentence for a conspiracy to commit murder could be 10 years is absolutely laughable. and if a lawyer made that mistake they should be disciplined for it, not celebrated like this blog seems to be doing.

Anonymous said...

I think the recusals were likely entered because of this post on the Jaablog: http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/2012/05/15/wheres-mary-robinson.aspx

You'll note from the URL that the post was originally titled "Where's Mary Robinson?" The original post (since changed):
"Not in court, and her JA's voice mail states the office is closed for the day. Bobby Diaz is set to hear a trial in her assigned courtroom instead.

"Here is the 2006 Administrative Order on annual leave for judges. In light of absences on the county criminal courts, we think it's about time to start counting the days ..."

That, of course, didn't happen, so Bill posted the sarcastic, mean post without realizing the judge's brother-in-law died. The departed was the brother of Michael Robinson, a circuit judge and Mary's husband.

Previously, on April 30, Gelin posted the following: "[C]ourtroom staff, busy lawyers, and litigants have been empowered by ... the JQC when it comes to dealing with perennially late judges. Check out the recent Stipulation between Marion County's William Singbush and the official judicial watchdogs... Precedent has now been set, which means some of Broward's main offenders (the unpopular ones, of course) better start showing up on time."

Fast-forward to May 14, the day before the "Where's Mary?" post: "Broward County may have its first test case following JQC. v. Singbush, courtesy of Mary Robinson. A scared and irate woman set for arraignment today in Robinson's courtroom is looking to file the complaint."

That's Bill Gelin threatening a JQC complaint. I don't find it plausible that a criminal defendant happened to have knowledge of a recent JQC proceeding in Marion County, then mentioned to her new pro bono lawyer that she'd like to act on the precedent.

So, we have a lawyer A) threatening her with a JQC complaint, and B) attacking her for her lack of perfect attendance after her brother-in-law died. I think that would instil enough animus in a jurist to create the appearance of impropriety should Gelin not get rulings his way.

By the way, for those who seldom venture north of the border, you should know that Gelin only targets judges that don't give him what he wants. Robinson is a good judge. She sets all of her MM arraignments Monday at 8:15. The State is ordered to have written plea offers extended to every defendant, represented or not. She takes the bench at 9:00 so the PD has time to meet with clients, explain offers, and do plea paperwork. She's not late because she's lazy or hungover; she's trying to move cases.

"American Minority" said...

They should also filemore JQC complaints, complaints with the DOJ and the IG, because 45min a day, at say an average of 260 days a year, adds up to a lot of defrauding the payroll. Great job Rump!

Anonymous said...

Bill Gelin is no hero. He is also setting his clients up for a fall because of his antagonistic attitude. It should never be about the lawyer; it is about the client!

Anonymous said...

Mary Robinson runs a tight ship. When you set your case for trial in her courtroom, you're picking a jury at 9:15. She comes down very hard on the state for their failure to provide discovery before the first calendar call. Most - if not all - Broward judges (Circuit and County alike) will make you take a defense continuance if discovery is not provided because many think that discovery is a privilege, not a right.

Robinson is good in trial. Fair but no nonsense - she keeps things moving.

All of the criticism is unfounded. She is one of the good Broward county judges, along with Merrigan, Cowart, and Lerner-Wren.

DS said...

Judges seem to ignore the US and FLA Constitutions, The FLA Supremes and FLA Statutes in closing their courtrooms.

All are very clear that what happens in court, even calendar calls in civil in Chambers, are OPEN to the Public.

I had a case reveresd on closing the courtroom. The Statute is very strict.

In Dade our Judges foolishly beleive they can keep out children who are making No noise nor fuss. It is the Family's decission to bring the child or not .

If the kid is not disrupting Court The Judge Nor Bailiff have no legal reason to keep them out.

That I believe may be my next battle. I shall fight it in the Trial court and on appeal AND perhaps the JQC .

Closing, even partially an open court proceeding is serious and a violation of the Constituion and the Law.

DS

Anonymous said...

DS,

I admire your fortitude.

Kids in the courtroom however is not where I think you should spend your considerable efforts.

Of course the proceedings are open. But I think one of the problems with many people in our community is that they grow up in a family where everyone gets arrested, goes to jail, and their kids see them in an orange jumpsuit. There is no shame in being the next one in the family to matriculate at DCJ, instead of FSU.

If I had been arrested, my family would be mortified.

Anonymous said...

I think I'd like to meet Bill Gelin to discuss his efforts. Let's see, here's his Bar profile showing his office address in Oakland Park.

And HERE is a very interesting Google Maps Street View of this modern-day Clarence Darrow's office.

At least I can buy some stamps while I'm there.

Anonymous said...

Ds u seem quite knowing and u been around a long time who are your picks for judges? I know u will give an honest response. Verde v Coppel, santovenia v. Jimenez labora, miller v. Padilla, De yurre v Pooler, Cuesta v. Sesskin, Pando v. Gonzalez, Marino- pedraza v. Hernandez, Brinkley v. yabor, Wolfson v. Wallace v. Spieler, Lobree v. Alvarez Baraka

Anonymous said...

that's what Judge Pando does everyday. Guess browierd isnt so different than Miami

DS said...

959
Its a long hot summer od campaigning and Dade is a BIG county . Let us see at the begining of August where they are.
So much can happen from now to election.

Like Pando not only getting thrown off the bench but getting suspended as an Attorney and cant run...

Fake DS said...

Fake DS

My predictions based on decades of observation Are:

Coppell
Jimenez
Miller
Pooler
Cuesta
Pando and Gonzalez
Marino but not prdraza and Hernandez
David Brinly
George Wallace
Lobree cause Baraka sound Kenyan

Fake DS

HEY 6:19 PM said...

FROM JAABLOG TO 6:19 PM:

Whether the comment is judicially motivated or not, it does bear some valid points that need clarifying, as well as some downright false ones that need to be called out.

First off, the rush to judgement in Mary's absence Tuesday was downright wrong. It was too easy to check Mike's courtroom as well before pouncing, to see if something familial was up. The old guard county criminal bench may deserve its reputation for preferring darkened and locked courtrooms to those open for business, but co-starring in a boy who cried wolf moment was not our intent. It was a mistake, but it was still wrong, and we apologize to the Robinson family. Categorizing it as an "attack" however, is just plain disingenuous.

As far as threatening a JQC complaint, well that's just not true either. The woman in question (a former client) was so irate and scared, we first brought her to Peter Weinstein's office for a consult. The office was closed, and a text message with the Chief Judge's son confirmed vacation days for the Boss. The next stop was Sharon Zeller's office, Robinson's direct supervisor. Zeller's office was also closed due to vacation. A discussion was then held which described the JQC process, since the other avenues for redress were blocked. The woman confirmed her interest in going that route, and left. We called the JQC later in a failed attempt to see if Singbush would apply, without mentioning names, and left it at that. Outside of the blog post stating the woman's interest in filing a complaint, it's anybody's guess as to whether or not the JQC is now involved. Hardly a threat, and hardly out of bounds for a lawyer to explain to a client or member of the public the JQC process, no matter how much judges may wish to keep it secret.

The last paragraph of Anonymous' comment is the most egregious. The Blog has indeed pounded many judges, elected officials and prosecutors, and they've all deserved it. Satz, Gardiner, Aleman, Massa, O'Connor, and Ross are names that most readily come to mind. Others have made isolated or repeat appearances when they step out of line, but for the most part the bloglight has shone brightest on relatively few. To say the Blog "only targets judges that don't give him what he wants" is plain and simply a big fat lie. Similarly, the praise of Robinson is misleading, since the blogpost that caused all the controversy was primarily concerned as to why Robinson would take the bench a full forty-five minutes after the scheduled start time, and then refuse to hear cases for people who showed up just as late. And lest we forget, Anonymous, if Robinson is only "trying to move cases", why would she send people away while court is still in session to reset their arraignments?

Long time readers will recall our recent extended break, and may be enjoying our recent renewed energy. The truth is we were bored bored bored, and disappointed with ourselves for turning a blind eye to the hijinks of judges who were popular with many lawyers, easy on sentencing, yet still wildly inefficient and inflexible. That's changed now, no matter how many enemies we may make. Precedent has indeed now been set, so sharpen your poison pens. While you're writing, we'll be watching and reporting, while the judges under scrutiny will be spending more and more time where they belong: on the bench.


http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/2012/05/17/jane-you-ignorant-slut.aspx#AddComment

CAPTAIN said...

To 9:46 pm

Very impressive and really funny that Gelin's office is a Post Office Box.

I agree with the posts about Judge Mary Rudd Robinson. She does a good job. She should not though prohibit anyone from entering the courtroom after 9am for their court hearing. So what of the defendant is 45 minutes late. If the Judge has not yet taken the bench, then no harm no foul. Why are we going to make the blue collar worker making minimum wage and missing time from work already, who probably took public transportation to get to court, why make them pay a reset fee downstairs at the clerks office, if we can close the case that day. Ridiculous.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

I like Mary Robinson. She's always been smart and fair in my cases.

And DS, what an honor to have a Fake DS!!

Anonymous said...

mathewman is doing real legal work here!

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/17/2805151/at-aventura-murder-trial-in-miami.html

Anonymous said...

There are all types on the bench, even in Miami-Dade were the uninformed jurist ticks off the wrong lawyer and she has a serious challenge for her job. You guys obviously do not remember the likes of former Judge Amy Dean and her judicial assistant, nasty and abusive as the day is long. Then there was Judge Amy Donner, in her day, before she sort of mellowed out with age or because of Joel Brown, she and her judicial assistant were hell to deal with. How about Rhea Grossman, she took the cake not only nasty and abusive, but a scratch on the MENSA scale. She had one of the trial experts in a case perform a medical exam in her chambers during trial. Trying a case in front of any of these two fine ladies was an experience worthy of the most intense S&M script. We have had others in our fine County, just not as nasty as these three. So you see, arrogance and inhumanity exists everywhere.

Barrister of Ballentrae said...

This is what Judicial Appointments could be like in Florida.
From the Huffington Post on AOL:

A Virginia Republican delegate who led the effort to defeat the nomination of a gay Richmond prosecutor to a post on the general district court defended his opposition to the nomination, questioning how he would rule in the case of a "bar room fight between a homosexual and heterosexual" and added that "sodomy is not a civil right

Tracy Thorne-Begland's nomination was defeated in the Virginia House of Delegates Tuesday after a late effort by social conservatives.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) responded to the news by saying, "In my consideration of judicial candidates I only consider the individual's ability to do the job well. If anyone voted against Mr. Thorne-Begland because of his sexual orientation, that would be very disappointing and unacceptable."

Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael N. Herring, Thorne-Begland's boss, called his rejection an "embarrassment" for the state and said it was hard not to conclude that what happened was a "form of bigotry."
When asked directly whether his opposition was solely because of his sexuality, Marshall said, "No. Sorry, you’re mischaracterizing that.

I said sodomy is not a civil right, and there’s an effort by homosexual lobbyists to equate the two. That’s wrong

The Barrister

Anonymous said...

Pando locks her courtroom as well if you're not on time. What for? Oh you're late, let me be a douche and lock you out. What's the point in doing that?

Anonymous said...

Gelin has created all that mayhem up there from a post office box. That is funny. I didn't know he went to Stanford either. It's no wonder he's kicked those dummies down so many notches. I almost feel sorry for them, but not really.

Anonymous said...

Locked courtrooms in Broward?

Please ... There are so many courtrooms that are dark after 11:00 o'clock for the day in Dade County.

A locked courtroom is to ensure that business can be conducted. If all the children are allowed in, we cannot hear anything and there won't be a record nor business conducted effectively.

Gelin is just another rock star attorney who thinks his opinion matters more than his client. Please ... get real!

The majority of the judges are hard-working. The only problem is that attorneys make a short appearance in the morning and think the judge's job is easy.

It is far from easy. And I have worked both in Dade County and Broward County and I would take Broward any day of the week. Dade County can keep their digital recordings.

mikal said...

Interesting times at the Kaufman murder trial.

Anonymous said...

Sill curious check out the now public information for the former candidates in thier financial disclouser forms that are public recond and on the lection websites.
Seems oneJudge is worth $23000000.00 and aniother is already retired and collecting both a full pension as well as salary. That judge apparently figure outhow to do it before the legialture changed the rules. Lots of millionaire judges. Nice to note that GOOD judges with no persoanl money and lttle raised money got NO opposition.

Anonymous said...

Gelin went to Stanford? Goes to show you that money can't buy everything... can't buy you a personality nor business success nor ethical conduct nor good judgment.

Say, where did he graduate in his class? Someone has to be on the bottom!

Anonymous said...

See Rumpole,
This should just reinforce for you why you should remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Sodomy may not be a right, but by god I do enjoy it.

Respectfully


Elizabeth
Her Royal Majesty
London, England

Trialmaster said...

7:43. You forgot MaryAnne Mckinezie and Rosemary Jones. Jones was the rudest one I have ever had the misfortune of being in trial in front of her. She was very rude to her baliff, and especially to the jury itself. I was embarassed for the legal system because of her. Even though I won against an obnixious insurance lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Rump, the Bulls lost Rose and subsequently lost in the first round against the eighth seed. Are they spoiled brats? The Heat put together three star players. When one of them is taken out of the equation by a hard foul, the team is going to sufffer. Does this make them spoiled? Should anyone laugh at their struggle? What did D Wade, who was drafted by the Heat and stayed loyal to Miami, ever do to deserve to be called spoiled? I look forward to your response.

Anonymous said...

God I hope the Heat lose all their games beause I am sick of the traffic around the Triple A and am sick of the fake fans rallying around a "team" of spoiled brats who care more about what they wear for their press conferences than how they play. Bow ties and big glasses and pocket squares. Jesus. Go Pacers.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I disagree that Wade is a spoiled brat. He has firmly established himself as one of the nice guys. I understand the criticism, but let's keep it real.

BTDT

Go Heat!!!!! said...

Fuck you Rumpole for being a Heat Hater. If you don't like this city's sports teams then why don't you move back to New Jersey and take your mittens with you...

Anonymous said...

She locks it so no one sees the special favors she is doing for her friends.

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

No, no, DS, I expected a real answer from u , not a politically correct one.
I can undetstand u abstaining out of Verde & Coppel. But u won't tell us who u think is going to be the better judge in the other races? I'm disappointed. But I guess even u get scared. I want a real no bs opinion about the races. I know u know at least half of the candidates. Seriously, please so many of these people talk crap about candidates because they have an agenda or its their "friend". I want to know who will be the best judges for America in 2012, not who is the most popular

Anonymous said...

TO 9:59 pm. It's hard to give an open opinion because judges are humans and they may retaliate. Many of us who have been practicing for a while are friends with judges and lawyers running. But though it may seem cowardly we all have to make a living and that is reality.
Here are my picks if it matters to anyone:
In Verde v. Coppel, this is the hardest for me I know them both, both are great lawyers, but have a lot of experience. This one I won't be able to decide till I'm in the booth.
Santovenia v. Labora-jimenez: he is an intellectual comes off odd but hit the nail on the button at the league of prosecutors when he said the biggest problem facing the legal system was funding and the defense should be allocated more funds because the state has a much larger budget. 10points for balls it did however cost him the endorsement. He lacks major edict in campaigning though. Santovenia is smart but I'm not feeling her too much, so for now it's labor-Jimenez. DeYurre v. pooler, for many reasons i'm going De Yurre. Tess Pooler is not nice unless u know her personally and she did unethical things as a hearing officer. I can not in good conscience support Her.
Miller v. padilla, I'm going Padilla. I experience maximum miller, it was disgusting and I don't care how sorry he is about what he did. To me miller realized he was gonna get opposition and that is why he had a change of heart. He is not a fair judge and he is rude and mean. To me the fact that he would even hit a woman, a female judge, speaks volumes of his deep seeded mental issues. Anyone would be better then Miller
Brinkley v. Yabor I don't know yet.
Cuesta v. sesskin, hands downs, no doubt about it, I'm going to vote for the best candidate in this race and that is Cuesta. Says a lot that sesskin did not get endorsed by her own peers.
Pando v. Gonzalez: Gonzalez is my choice, she is smart, and a great attorney, she has experience and is honest, straight forward. Pando is the type of judge that gives the judiciary a bad name. Even if you are a fan of hers she you can't deny her lateness, absence, and stupidity. I could never trust panda to give a fair and just decision because I would not know how well she knows the other party.
Marino-pedraza v. Hernandez I'm voting Marino-Pedraza, she has been a good judge and the other guy i just do't know him at all and does not seem experienced enough.
Wolfsov v. Et al... No need for me to say anything more. I'm going Wolfson 100 percent. She was a fair and just prosecutor and has proven herself to be a fair and just judge. More judges should be like her. Shame on Wallace for playing the race card, for that alone shows me you would not be a good judge.
Lobree v. Alvarez-barakat, I'm not sure just yet.
Cohn v. Cambo. Cohn is my choice, I've been in front of him I think he is a good judge. I've seen Cambo out. She has been less than friendly and she keeps very bad company which makes me think she is just another shady figure with a Hispanic last name. Oh and let me make it clear before I get attacked about that. I am Cuban , but I'm tired of dirty miami politics, what was the point of leaving Cuba to bring side-dealing, under handedness to miami? Vote for what right people not just for a friend, a name, or a favor. All my choices are based on my experience and not on a name or a friendship.

Anonymous said...

broward sucks

it really does

backward ass swamp water

DS said...

Dearest 959

Ok , I punked out. But what I said is True. HERE are my thoughts, BUT NOT NECESSARILY WHO I ENDORSE NOR WILL VOTE FOR:

In some ways Fake DS is correct , the Cuban vote is very strong and the old North East Condo/Jewish block vote is gone.

I like Rob Coppel, Very smart really knows the law and cares about people.
But Maria Verde pulls in the latin vote so this is a coin toss.

Santovenia v. Jimenez -Labora
Cannt tell yet on this one. Dont know enough. Who ever has money to do TV has the best chance.

If the Cubans come out it will be close but Padilla over David Miller. But Miller can sway the Tea Party types , he has a solid conservative history on the bench.

De Yurre v Pooler. Victor is a political pro w/ a team behind him. He is a Cuban darling. Politics sez DeYurre. Sorry Tess, just Miami Politics.

Cuesta v. Sesskin.
Seskins Money makes this close. Ivonne is a former partner of mine. I have seen her in trial and litigating motions. She is a kick-ass Trial Attorney, on Law Review at Nova. Smart as hell and grew up poor so relates to People.
I endorse her and respect her. I hope she wins but the $$ buys TV and that gets votes. A close race. I go Cuesta.

PS: See her YouTube video
Mariel Boatlift, Memories from Ivonne Cuesta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcw3-m5RbLY

Pando v. Gonzalez.
Pando's baggage will balence the Cuban vote. Close race but Judges under Investigation do not do well. I like Diane, and think She will win. But must disclose Diane is a former Intern of mine so I am prejudice .

Dont Know enough on Marino- Pedraza v. Hernandez nor Lobree v. Alvarez Baraka

Brinkley v. Yabor I like Tonya but Cuban vote is for Yabor. Flip a coin here.

Wolfson v. Wallace v. Spieler. Hard call, But I think Judge Wolfson will keep her seat , Especially if she can speak Spanish. Sorry Arnie.

I Vote for Don Cohn for County also

DS

Yes the real David Sisselman

Psychotic to the Stars