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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

JUDGE ALTFIELD HAS AN OPPONENT



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Judicial Elections 2014 .....

Incumbent Judge William "Bill" Altfield now has an opponent. As many of our loyal readers know, Judge Altfield was a career prosecutor, serving for 24 years as an ASA here in Miami Dade County. For several years, Judge Altfield applied, repeatedly, for an open seat with the JNC. Finally, in August of 2011, Governor Scott chose Bill and appointed him to the County Court bench. This is his first election to maintain that seat.

Filing in Group 13 of the County court this week is Assistant City Attorney Veronica Diaz. We can tell you the following about Ms. Diaz: She has been a member of The Florida Bar for 11 years. Prior to working for the City of Miami City Attorney’s Office, she was in private practice with two law firms where she specialized in commercial and real estate litigation.

Ms. Diaz joined the Office of the City Attorney in March 2007. Presently, she practices in the Transactional Division where she handles complex commercial transactions for the City, including construction and development, public-private partnerships and other general business matters. She also serves as counsel to various City boards.


We reached out to Ms. Diaz and asked her to respond to several questions we had, and our readers had; (emails that we have received). If and when we hear back from Ms. Diaz, we will share her responses with our readers.

Florida Legislature 2014 .....

For those of you that keep up with what’s going on in Tallahassee, you know that the 60 day annual legislative session began two weeks ago. The 160 elected representatives include our State House Representatives (120) and our State Senators (40).  They have filed hundreds and hundreds of bills for consideration.  Many of those bills directly affect the criminal justice system. Two in particular were discussed in Rumpole’s post yesterday.

Other bills that may be of interest to our readers include the following:

SB 94 (and companion HB 39) Relating to Jury Composition; Requiring a 12-member jury for life felony cases.


HB 99 (and companion SB 0360) Relating to Controlled Substances; Provides that person who engages in certain acts involving specified quantities of hydrocodone or oxycodone commit specified offenses; amends the quantity figures and minimum mandatory times thereby providing for some leniency as compared with the current numbers.

 
HB 101 (and companion SB 0652) Relating to Habitual Traffic Offender Designations; Provides for removal of habitual traffic offender designation upon proof of compliance with specified statutory provisions. This bill would put a big dent in the filing of HTO cases. Finally.
 
SB 102 (and companion HB 0055) Relating to Drivers Leaving the Scene of a Crash; one of many bills that would provide for harsher sanctions against those convicted in LSA/SBI cases.
 
HB 1093 (and companion SB 1004) Relating to Eyewitness Identification; requires state, county, municipal, & other law enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specified procedures.
 
HB 1095 (and companion SB 0986) Relating to Custodial Interrogations; Requires that statements made during covered custodial interrogations be recorded; requires that electronic recordings be preserved for specified period; provides that failure to electronically record interrogation shall be factor for trial court & jury to consider when making certain decisions. Once again, the criminal defense bar tries to get law enforcement to do the right thing; something law enforcement has opposed for years.

Here is the link to read the entire list of HBs and SBs filed in 2014: (once you are at the link below, you can click on any bill to find out the current status of the bill and you can also read the exact language of the bill.

http://www.floridabar.org/DIVEXE/GCBillReport.nsf/7280db3af1bc12eb852575350064b174/34b4bc376fe8080a85257536005a1548!OpenDocument

 
CAPTAIN OUT .....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

37 comments:

Rumpole said...

You posted a comment about a feud. I am aware of it. I was asked not to give it more publicity. I am honoring that request for now oending proof the oarty you mentioned was behind the subject matter

Anonymous said...

This is B.S. Bill is a great judge and should retain his seat.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we cannot post about the real reason why Bill Altfield has an opponent?

Phil R said...

The list of great and extremely qualified Judges starts with the letter A: Altfield. It's a damn shame he has opposition. He's done nothing to deserve it. Indeed he's earned another term outright.

Anonymous said...

Bill Altfield is a very nice man, however as a judge there is much to be desired. His knowledge of evidence is severely lacking, and he appears to think he is charged with training the new ASA's. Discovery from the State Attorney's office is threadbare to start with, and he does not require the state to provide complete discovery pursuant to the Rules of Crim Pro. Rather, he favors the state even in cases where they have failed to comply with R.3.220. I am not sure Ms Diaz is qualified, however I am convinced Judge Altfield has demonstrated he is not.

Anonymous said...

Who is the lawyer that caused fatality? Was he charged?

Anonymous said...

Who changed her last name to run!

Anonymous said...

All we can do is spread the word and reach into our wallets and cough up money and get others to do so. I knew Bill as a prosecutor and he was one of the best lawyers and all around decent human beings in that office.

Anonymous said...

Wrong wrong wrong. They should all face opposition. They are elected officials. They take $$$ from lawyers and then rule in favor of their supporters. Contributions should be anonymous or judges should be appointed.

Anonymous said...

Another A in the PD office dropped their notice today. It is mass exodus out of that place. Keep it up Carlos & Co. Soon the PD office will be a massive social work department.

Anonymous said...

Veronica Diaz aka Veronica Xiques has a history dating back to her husband Lawyer Alfredo Xiques

Ex Blackjack Dealer said...

1:40 you must not have a whole of experience but I have litigated cases against Bill and he was a excellent lawyer and a formidable opponent. You must have lost a bs motion in county court and now hold a grudge. Just because a judge rules against you doesn't mean they are bad judges. Stay around long enough and eventually every judge in the building will issue rulings against you. Based on your logic they would all be deemed bad judges.

Anonymous said...

Veronica Xiques is what she goes by in social media. Just google her. Maybe Bill should change his last name to Will Altfield Goldstein Perez. She would quickly switch races.

Anonymous said...

Problem with the PDO, as Kirlew's departure makes plain, is that there is no money in the middle. Plenty of money up top and plenty of 42k newbies to hire among the hordes of new law grads, but few who can stick around past year 5, 6, or 7 without raises that at least get them making 60 or 70k.

Trouble is, that's where you get your best training attorneys, SSAs, and future major crimes attys.

The hourglass model (plenty up top, plenty down low) will hold for awhile, and they will continue promoting 3 year lawyers to be training attorneys... but when the 80s crew hits "drop" and retires, the hourglass will become a plunger type shape. Which is the best metaphor I can think of for where the office is headed.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of contributions. Roy Black's firm popped 500 bucks into Altfield's campain accout in February 2014, right after Altfield was the judge assigned to Justin Bieber's DUI.

I know its completely legal, but doesnt it just seem wrong when a lawyer contributes to a judge when there is an active case in front of the judge?

Anonymous said...

Bill is a fine judge... I have not written a check to a judge, since the rules changed for handing out SAPD cases. No point now..

Anonymous said...

1004

If true that looks bad. Newsworthy for sure.

Rumpole said...

Same story-differernt night: HEAT LOSE AGAIN.
Le-Baby sits and pouts.

Anonymous said...

10:04 is correct.
Campaign opened in March 2013.
Bieber arrested January 23rd 2014.
Black gives contribution one month later.

10 2/26/2014 BLACK SREBNICK KORNSPAN ET AL
201 S BISCAYNE BLVD STE 1300
MIAMI, FL 33131 Business LAW FIRM Check $500.00

hmmmmmmm......

Anonymous said...

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

I wanna be a judge too said...

First:

All the former ASAs who are now judges need opposition. Send a shot across their bow and let them know, you're not an ASA anymore. Stop being pro state and JUST BE NEUTRAL. I'm looking at you Glick and Gordo. Seriously, go look at Judge Ricker Wolfson, former ASA who is completely fair. She should be a circuit judge.

Second:

Roy contributing $500 to Altfield, great move in my opinion. Gotta level the playing field. He wants to keep the robe, he's going to need that money. Well played, Roy, well played.

Anonymous said...

Where can I see contributions??

Anonymous said...

Ok, but why did she pick Altfield? Look at his experience compared to people like Rudy Ruiz who is also up for re election? Do not get me wrong, I think Rudy is great, but lets be real here. She picked him because his name is Bill Altfield and she DID NOT pick Rudy because his name is Rudy Ruiz. Come on people....lets call it what it is. Welcome to Miami!!!

Secret Judge said...

My opinion of Mr. Roy Black has been once again negatively influenced. Assuming the accuracy of Mr. Black making a $500 contribution to the judge hearing the Bieber case shortly after the case was assigned to that very judge is despicable. Of course, you all worship Mr. Black like he is some sort of legal God. Such devotion is misguided. And don't tell me Black was just covering all the bases. His contribution represents a terrible appearance of impropriety. Old timers know that Black was always over shadowed by Jack Denaro in terms of talent. Shame on Mr. Black.

Anonymous said...

That looks bad for the judge the lawyer and our system of electing judges. Bush league.

Anonymous said...

No she picked Bill simply because the police union wants to get even with Bill for prosecuting cops.

Anonymous said...

white males should expect opposition in dade elections.

roy black giving a former prosecutor judge 500 dollars 1 month after getting high profile case in front of same judge is a plunder, if true.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Bill is a nice man does not qualify him to be a judge! If he is such a great judge, put your money where your mouths are at; appointments to state judgeship are not for life although most think they are, especially the so called administrative judges and assistant judges who never have any opposition!

Anonymous said...

How was a PD running a lawfirm on the side?

Anonymous said...

She Picked Altfield cause he will be easy to beat

Anonymous said...

1010 are you saying he is not highly qualified? If that's the case Hispanic candidates should grow a set and run against Hispanic candidates? Better yet, how about a woman run against another woman??????

Now the question remains..... Who is waiting to file against Fleur this time???? You know someone is waiting...... I wonder who it will be....I guess they will say Fleur isn't qualified either.

I bet no one has the cojones to run against Multack

Anonymous said...

Oh c'mon people. Let's call it what it is. Altfield is not an electable game vs. Diaz. Altfield is a man, Diaz is a woman. Diaz will raise tons of cash, Altfield has none and will raise none. Altfield has not been on the ballot and has not proven any elect-ability. Diaz is another Ada Pozo. Let's hope when, not if, she is elected, she at least finishes her term.

Anonymous said...

Diaz beats Altfield.

There, no you don't have to wait until the morning after the election for the headline.

But it's fine. Given how well the rest of the mommy bench is working out -- anyone else been before Gordo yet? -- I'm sure this will be just fine.

Esta es la verdad: ella esta corriendo en contra de el porque el es un gringo y ella es latina. Nada mas. Me da asco cada vez que sucede - que es en cada eleccion. Arriba la raza.

Anonymous said...

Nice Miami Spanglish,1:20 a.m.! "corriendo en contra" for "running against"?!? Or was that Google translator??? How 'bout some proper Spanish, like "se esta oponiendo a" or "esta postulando en contra de"? Oy vey!

Anonymous said...

This blog always makes me laugh. You are all out of touch with population growth and diversity. The makeup of the court is due to change. Get over it. Show some intellect.

Veronica Diaz is qualified. Altfield is qualified. Though you all still manage to kiss the butt of unqualified do nothing judges like Slom, Cohen, Leifman, Shapiro, Faber, Zayas and Vickie Del Pino.

Anonymous said...

http://www.crespogram.com/index_public_html/VERONICA_DIAZ_WANT_TO_BE_A_JUDGE.html

Anonymous said...

This guy. William " Bill " Altfied , sigh.... He's missed three days in the last five months. Not to mention, today he said he would be back at 2:30 and never did.. Guy always has some sort of excuse.