Monday, May 13, 2013


Mother Jones is doing a series on America's Worst Prisons:
"Doing time is not supposed to include being raped by fellow prisoners or staff, beaten by guards for the slightest provocation, driven mad by long-term solitary confinement, or killed off by medical neglect. These, however, are the fates of thousands of prisoners every year—men, women, and children housed in lockups that give Gitmo and Abu Ghraib a run for their money.
The United States boasts the world's highest incarceration rate, with close to 2.3 million people locked away in some 1,800 prisons and 3,000 jails. Most are nasty places by design, aimed at punishment and exclusion rather than rehabilitation..."
Here is a link to the story on ADX: The Alcatraz of the Rockies:
Many prisoners at ADX interminably wail, scream, and bang on the walls of their cells. Some mutilate their bodies with razors, shards of glass... and whatever other objects they can obtain. A number swallow razor blades, nail clippers, parts of radios and televisions, broken glass, and other dangerous objects. Others carry on delusional conversations with voices they hear in their heads... Still others spread feces and other human waste and body fluids throughout their cells, throw it at the correctional staff and otherwise create health hazards at ADX. Suicide attempts are common; many have been successful.

Did you read our prior post this weekend? Did you donate to help buy a foster child a duffle bag so they don't have to move their belongings in trash bags? 
Are you closing out a case this week? A simple $20.00 donation as part of the plea would be a great thing. 

Congrats to Saturday night's honorees: 
Judge Milton Hirsch (The Gerald Kogan Judicial Distinction award);  Michael Matters and Scott Sakin (The Rodney Thaxton Against All Odds award); Harry Prebish Founders award to APD Appellate Ace Howard Blumberg;  and the Gregg Wenzel Young Lawyers award to Assistant Federal Public Defender Samuel Randall. 
And so another week begins. 

See you in court. 


"Unabridged American Minority" said...


This is all to common in what's supposed to be "The Leader of the Free World." We systematically burden and incarcerate our own.

On another interesting note, this weekend I was invited over to my neighbor's (middle age white guy) house for a barbeque and he shared an interesting story with me about a time when he was young, in his teens growing up. He said he was stopped and given a hard time by the police at the time for a traffic infraction/mistaken identity, which the cop told him "Boy you're in big trouble" and ran him in, any how he said that he ended up in front of then Judge Mattie Bell Davis, Co-Founder of FAWL. My neighbor is a high up exec. in the private sector and the story was to funny because judge Davis was very rigid I was told, and the fact he has no criminal record, but knows what the DCJ looks like. Ironically he recently served as a juror on a case as well.I didn't know that women couldn't serve on jury duty in Florida until 1947.

Anonymous said...

UAM, Where did you learn to write?

Anonymous said...

How did Milt get an award when he is so regularly reversed by the Third, and treats attorneys and defendants so badly? Way to go for rewarding bad behavior, FACDL.

Fake Matters and Adelstein said...

Fake Matters and Adelstein send congrats to Michael Matters for his great defense in the Rilya Wilson case.

Rumpole said...

Judge Hirsch got an award because he did what he thought was right, regardless of the consequences.
Lots of judges who deny motions and max out defendants get affirmed most of the time. Is that the kind of judge you are looking for? These days you can't spit without hitting one of those. But Judge Hirsch does a bit more than ask the state what they want and then follow their recommendations blindly.

Anonymous said...


It doesn't matter what Hirsch thinks is right. He rules against clearly established law all the timewhich is why he gets reversed all the time. He is supposed to follow the law not not follow his thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hirsch could have also received the award because he is good friends with Brian Tanenbaum - maybe it was fixed. I wouldn't put it past Hirsch just to boost his ego. I know there are judges that are far more deserving.

Anonymous said...

I also cannot believe Judge Hirsch received an award. Wasn't it just last year (Christmas 2011)when he refused to help an attorney on Christmas Eve when he was the Judge on call and a letter had to be written to the Chief Judge complaining about him?? Another judge had to help the attorney. Are these the types of judges the FACDL are giving awards to?

Anonymous said...

If you had been to the banquet and heard Justice Kogan speak, you would know why Judge Hirsch got the award. I have been going for a while now and have never heard Kogan deliver a better speech in handing out the award. I would suspect that if Kogan, who has his name on it, didn't have a problem with reversals, neither should we.

Way to go Milt!

Rumpole said...

Tannebaum doesnt vote on the award. The current facdl board does.

Case law would never change if trial judges weren't receptive to new and innovative arguments as to why a motion should be granted. Judge Hirsch has shown himself to be intelligent and willing to listen to new ideas. He has courage which is why he won the award.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, do you think what Hirsch did on Christmas Eve - to not help an attorney when it was his duty justifies receiving an award? What about the time and tax payer dollars that are spent every time the Third DCA has to reverse Hirsch. That is not how you go about changing case law. It is a waste of the Third DCA Judges time and money. Hirsch is a rogue judge and was a rogue attorney.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, why do you keep defending Hirsch, you call Hirsh courageous. Was it courageous when Hirsch blasted the family of the murdered victim last year, rather than let them do what they needed to do? As was mentioned previously was it courageous of Hirsch to not help an attorney when it was his duty as a judge? Hirsch only does things to get attention - not for the good of the people.

Anonymous said...

You idiot at 11: 28am. I was on the board. Tannebaum was not even there when we voted.

We voted to support Milt because he does what he thinks is right.

I am not alone when I say I personally like him so, get a life, pal.

Anonymous said...


Have you notice that the check words created to keep spam out are sometimes almost impossible to read?

Rumpole said...

I suspect that the infamous christmas eve phone call incIdent is being way over blown and that there is more than one side to the story. You can tell a lot about a judge based on how they treat attorneys at calender. Judge Hirsch is open, kind and respectful. I doubt he would be rude on the phone. I am sure there was some miscommunication.

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe an attorney would accuse a judge of what Hirsch did to that attorney on Christmas Eve (especially knowing he could face the judge in court) -even take the time to write a letter to the Chief Judge? Why did another judge have to do what Hirsch should have done? Rumpole you are way off base with your defense of Hirsch.

Anonymous said...

Where is Judge Hirsch's courage now? He has been very quiet lately - keeping a low profile?

FACDL board member said...

Rumpole. You are incorrect. Past Presidents are member of the Board. BT is a past president and he attends meetings and has the right to vote.

12:13. I am also on the Board. Brian was at the meeting. I do not believe in discussing FACDL business on the blog and I will not get into who spoke for or against anyone.

10:40 AM and others. Ever heard of Plessy v Ferguson. I did not vote for Milt for the award, I thought one of the other candidates deserved it more, but having said that, Milt provides sound reasoning and case law when he renders his rulings. The 3rd DCA has not agreed, more than once, with those rulings. I give him credit for analyzing the issues and writing what he feels is a sound order.

Congratulations to Eddie Pereira on a fantastic event. And congratulations to Jude Faccidomo on his year as President.

Finally, I think the highlight of the night was the Lifetime Award to Howard Blumberg. He has worked 34 years as an appellate attorney in the PDs office. He is intelligent and dedicated to his profession. He is quiet and just does his job. He has had a great year. His parents were able to watch him argue before SCOTUS and even better, he won the case. And they were they Saturday evening to watch him receive the award.

Anonymous said...

Hirsch get an award for one ruling that gets reveresed because it had no basis in law. He also gets reversed for evidentiary ruling that likewise has no basis in rule or law. Reward judges that do it right and get it right.

It amazes me that everyone on this blog wants judges who are "polite" and get it right, so their clients get a fair shake. Yet here here is FACDL rewarding bad behavior. It just shows what a "one trick pony" that organization is.

Anonymous said...

YALE GALANTER SHOWN TO BE THE UNETHICAL HACK HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN. We all knew Glanter was a sleaze, but this really does it. He got paid $700,000 by OJ in Vegas. What he has never told anyone and did not tell the court was that he advised Simpson that it was ok to claim his stuff without force.

Instead of being a witness for OJ, he defended him in order to keep the fee. If he ahd testified it would have supported OJ's statments that he never intended force to be used and that he did not know the other people were armed.

Even after the conviction he continued to conceal all this during the appeal. What a sleaze.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the so called "Christmas Eve" incident that some here take Judge Hirsch to task for... So the on call judge couldn't jump to attend to your immediate problem? Welcome to the big leagues Skippy. Doesn't everyone have at least one experience with banging on chamber doors and annoying J.A.s in an attempt to get an "emergency" Order of some sort? I've done it at both the Justice building and 73 W. Flagler. Its part of the job kids. Calling the Chief Judge to complain is not.

Anonymous said...

As an appellate attorney it is stunning to see criminal defense lawyers criticize Hirsch because he has been reversed in the Third. Last I checked there were a couple higher levels of review, and the Third hasn't exactly fared wonderfully in them. Howard Blumberg (who was also deservedly honored by FACDL) won his Supreme Court case this year. Judge Thomas had initially granted the motion to suppress. The Third reversed him. Did that mean that he was an idiot judge who was wasting the courts time? The US Supreme Court didn't think so they agreed with Judge Thomas. The other recent USSC decision originating in Miami was Florida v. JL on Terry stops, and the Supremes said the Third got that one wrong too. And the FLSC reverses the Third all the time. To criticize a judge for getting reversed on appeal without more information is like criticizing a defense attorney for losing a trial without more information.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, I thought you said Tannenbaum was not able to vote for the award. See 12:57:00 p.m. I guess he did have a vote. Something is very sneaky here and what was Justice Kogan going to say? He is just told who is getting the award and I am sure believes who received it is deserving of it. In this case, there are far more better judges who should have received it than Hirsch. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 12:58:00, why reward a someone for bad behavior. In this instance Judge Hirsch.

Anonymous said...

Howard Blumberg definitely deserves the award he received. He is a great attorney. Hirsch on the other hand does not deserve the award.

Anonymous said...

2:19:00 PM - See the Justice Building Blog for January 25, 2012 titled EMERGENCY! and you determine whether Judge Hirsch handled the situation appropriately and where another Judge had to step in.

Anonymous said...

You Said "It doesn't matter what Hirsch thinks is right. He rules against clearly established law all the time which is why he gets reversed all the time. He is supposed to follow the law not follow his thoughts."
Under your Thinking Brown V Board of Ed. was wrong and we should Still have Separate But Equal.
How do you feel about Gideon?

Anonymous said...

To those defending Milt's opinions and actions:

I like Milton and think he can be a truly great judge ala Cardozo, but think it's ridiculous to suggest that he's being courageous for ignoring precedent. If he wants to change the law (which he obviously does), he needs to issue the proper ruling with a lengthy opinion explaining why he thinks the prior appellate decisions were wrong. It's really that simple.

If you really appreciated Milt, you'd join those of us who are encouraging him to tone down his WAY over the top opinions, be more respectfully of those who appear in front of him, and follow the law.

If he would put aside his ego and do those three simple things, he can solidify his position and, who knows, maybe even be elevated and placed in a position to really make a difference.


Anonymous said...

My response DS is that Hirsch has a duty under his oath to follow the law. It is not trial judges who make the law, but appellate judges. His job is not to make law but to follow it.

Both Gideon and Brown v. Bd. of Ed. were reversing trial rulings that followed existing law. Obviously you are one of the great constitutional scholars of our time.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:14 -- thanks for the cite to the original post & the actual letter. I stand corrected. (What on earth was his honor thinking?)

And Rumpole -- you think us ex-ASAs and PDs (yes, some of us were both) don't have real emergencies in civil land? Granted, they usually don't involve a cell, but the clients sure consider it an emergency...and the burn in the pit of the stomach is the same.

Greg Prosmushkin said...

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