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

Monday, April 28, 2014

I AM WHO I AM!

We received the following: 

Judge Will Thomas made a simple, powerful statement Saturday night at the Hotel Intercontinental. 
Honored by the Miami Chapter of the FACDL with the Justice Kogan award, Thomas stood before a packed and hushed ballroom of lawyers and judges, and without direct reference to his failed nomination to the federal bench, simply, powerfully, and with dignity sated : "I AM WHO I AM."

Judge Kathy Williams, who was Judge Thomas's boss at the Federal Public Defenders Office, gave the introductory speech where she did directly address her disappointment at not being able to speak at his inauguration to the federal bench.  

The evening was a great success. Recognition of the behind the scene work necessary needed to get the FACDL banquet off the ground and a resounding success goes to the incoming president Margot Moss.  But make  no mistake, Will Thomas stole the show. 

Rumpole says: We've had our differences with Judge Thomas. But his life story is remarkable. When you look around and want to really find a "self-made" man, look no further than Will Thomas, who pulled himself up from poverty, a single parent home (his father was killed in an automobile accident when he was a young child), and all of the other obstacles a young man from poverty faces. 

Judge Thomas is sometimes impatient, he sometimes gets frustrated with lawyers, he does not tolerate fools or incompetence lightly. He has shown us, however, that he is a man of conviction. He exemplifies the true definition of a judge: he does what he thinks is right, regardless of the pressures against his decision. He is brave in his convictions, stalwart in the face of criticism and pressure, and handled the political fiasco of his nomination with the dignity befitting the position he was nominated for, and more importantly, the dignity with which he lives his life.  

He is, indeed, who he is. 
And that is a good thing for all of us. 

Have a good week.

See You In Court.  




33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well Said Rump

Anonymous said...

We are down to only 4 more days before we find out who is really running against who.

(Should that be whom .... whom???)

Please, if you are without money, have no connections but, want to run, pick Butchko or Tunis. You will get widespread support.

Anonymous said...

Except me and a small group of others.... do you really know why he said "I am what I am?"

This is gay history 101.

It's a famous line from a song from what musical?

Rumpole said...

I had no idea. It sounds like when he said it it was a powerful statement. It appears he was clearly speaking to, among other parts of his whole person, his private life.

The issue I have with the private life thing is this- no one says, when describing a judge or lawyer, "you know, the straight guy in courtroom XYZ" so why would anyone allow themselves to be identified as "the gay guy in courtroom XYZ".

Much like cops never say they saw a white male (its almost always a black male or just a male) we never identify straight people as straight, but often identify gay people as gay. It strikes me as wrong.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

JUDICIAL ELECTIONS .... THIS IS THE BIG WEEK .....

So, here we go on another fast and furious ride. The process is repeated every two years right about this time, and this year looks like it will be no different.

You read my post on Thursday and learned of all the moves made in just the past week. First Diaz de la Portilla jumps groups; Incumbent Judge Sandy Karlan retires and two attorneys jump into her Group; Altfield loses an opponent; while the former opponent, Veronica Diaz, jumps into the Sandy karlan open seat against Diaz de la Portilla; and finally, Incumbent Judge Nuria Saenz draws an opponent.

Today brings two new moves:

INCUMBENT JUDGE DRAWS OPPONENT:

Incumbent Judge Sarah Zabel, in Group 46, has drawn an opponent. She is MARIANNE SALAZAR.

Ms. Salazar has been a member of The Florida Bar for nearly 17 years. She lists her office in Palmetto Bay, but the address appears to be her home address as well.

She lists her areas of practice as: Business, Child and Family,
Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Construction, Contracts, Corporate, Family,
Finance and Investments, Health
Health Administration.

She attended UM Law School.

If anyone knows anything about her, please email us.

Judge Zabel has been a member of The Florida Bar for nearly 21 years and has been on the bench since 2003. She was first elected in the 2002 Election cycle. She entered a four way race against Alex Akpodiete, Xavier Cortada, and Raul Ordonez. She beat Ordonez in a run-off. She was re-elected without opposition in 2008.

She attended Nova Law School.

Cap Out.....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

JUDICIAL ELECTIONS, continued:

Candidate switches Groups .....

Group 58 has lost a candidate and Group 70 has gained one.

In Group 58, Judge Schumacher's open seat, three candidates filed: Oscar Rodriguez Fonts, Martin Zilber and Mavel Ruiz.

Ruiz has switched to Group 70, the new open seat as the result of the retirement of Judge Sandy Karlan.

Group 70 now has three candidates:

Veronica Diaz (she the former opponent to Judge Altfield);

Renier Diaz de la Portilla; (he formerly of Group 16); and

Mavel Ruiz (she formerly of Group 58).

Got it? I'm sure it will all change by Friday, May 2, at NOON.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Captain Justice: Marianne Salazar appears to be a major player in the Christian Family Coalition (do some internet research). Why do you think she chose Judge Zabel to run against?

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

ANOTHER INCUMBENT HAS DRAWN OPPOSITION .....

Circuit Judge Rodney Smith, in Group 26, has drawn an opponent.

He is Christian Carrazana. Carrazana has been a member of the Florida Bar for 13 years. He is an Associate at the law firm of Panter, Panter, and San Pedro. There, he is a trial and appellate attorney whose practice primarily focuses on first party insurance litigation. He specializes in representing healthcare providers and insureds who have had claims denied by various insurance carriers.

He attended UM Law.


Judge Smith has been a member of The Florida Bar for 14 years. He was appointed to the Circuit Court by Governor Rick Scott, to an open seat, in July 0f 2012.

He was appointed to the County Court by the Governor in 2008. He ran unopposed in 2010 to retain that County Court seat. In 2012, the Governor elevated him to Circuit Court. This will be his first election at the Circuit level.

Smith previously served as an ASA, and an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami Beach before his appointment to the County Court, and then Circuit Court.

He attended Michigan State Law.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

Shumie sighting. Civil court. Jocular.

Anonymous said...


Rumpole, who needs the Daily Business paper when we have your Blog and your crack staff.

The Captain provides us with up to the minute, hot off the presses, election information.

I still don't see anyone jumping into a race against Tunis, Butchko, or Glick. What do you think Rump? Do they deserve an opponent?

I'd be more willing to bet that Judge Hendon, Trawick, Prescott or Bagley draws an opponent. That would be sad if it happens.

Anonymous said...

The answer to the musical trivia question is: La Cage aux Folles.

old guy said...

Did you mean, "I am WHAT I am" from La Cage??

Donald Sterling. Clippers Owner. said...

OMG This blowhard captain makes me Ill. Please please please no more. His self important BS just makes me want to lose my lunch. And the juvenile writing style.... It is just too much.

Anonymous said...

"I AM WHO I AM" is a quote from the bible.

Not anti-gay or anything like that, but this one has been in the lexicon a lot longer than what you suggest.

Great quote, doesn't matter who uses it, gay, black, whatever.

I personally would not use it because it is synonymous with - "don't fucking ask me who I am because I AM GOD"...but probably appropriate for an aspiring federal judge to use.

Anonymous said...

Ok smarty pants who is running against Zabel for one reason only... to get the gay marriage case.

Let's say you win. Easily, the lawyers can move to recuse you and on the way out the door, Zabel can recuse herself or rule in favor of the gay couple. Either way, you don't get the case and don't get the chance to spread Christian Fundamentalist hate toward gay people.

Anonymous said...

This is on their website:

2011 Christian Family Coalition's Miami-Dade Family, Faith & Freedom Luncheon was a smashing success!
20110615



MIAMI-This past Saturday, June 11th, over fifty (50) of Christian Family Coalition's strongest supporters from South Florida gathered at the home of Marianne Salazar, for an afternoon of luncheon, fun and fellowship. During a brief program, attendees heard from George LeMieux, who served as Florida's appointed U.S. Senator for sixteen (16) months, when Mel Martinez suddenly resigned.

George shared his vision for Florida and the nation and committed himself to serving out the conservative values and principles which have guided his life and our nation for so long.

Anthony Verdugo, Executive Director, Christian Family Coalition briefed the crowd on our recent victories and the challenges that still lie ahead.


Anonymous said...



Boy did Will pick the correct Lyrics to quote: (La Cage aux Folles)
Here they are:


I am what I am
I am my own special creation.
So come take a look,
Give me the hook or the ovation.
It's my world that I want to take a little pride in,
My world, and it's not a place I have to hide in.
Life's not worth a damn,
'Til you can say, "Hey world, I am what I am."
I am what I am,
I don't want praise, I don't want pity.
I bang my own drum,
Some think it's noise, I think it's pretty.
And so what, if I love each feather and each spangle,
Why not try to see things from a diff'rent angle?
Your life is a sham 'til you can shout out loud
I am what I am!
I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses.
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace, sometimes the deuces.
There's one life, and there's no return and no deposit;
One life, so it's time to open up your closet.
Life's not worth a damn 'til you can say,
"Hey world, I am what I am!"

old guy II said...

NO!

G-d does not say to Moses: "I am WHO I am." That would imply mortality, and the capacity to be named.

The response was: "I am THAT I am"; signifying the inability of all persons to understand - or even define G-d. It is an expression that presumes that 'faith' must be enough of an explanation.

Anonymous said...

Love judge Thomas! Such a great judge and a classy person.

Rumpole said...

Let me weigh in on this excellent theological discussion. In Exodus 3:14, the quote most often accepted is "The Lord said unto Moses, "I AM THAT AM" and thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel, IAM hath sent me unto you."

The concept of the name of the lord is a complicated one for the jews. The name of the almighty is both unspoken and mostly unwritten and indeed it is common for observant jews to refer to their maker as "his name' or literally "The Name."

Thus, when the lord identifies himself to Moses, he uses the almost riddle like name of "I am" signifying in a sense, an eternal being who is just "I am" much like the philosophical Aristotelean concept of A is A or existence exists.

I am who I am is much different, in a religious sense, then I AM THAT I AM.
The former is an identification of self, the latter is the concept of an eternal being.

Thus sayeth Rumpole.

Anonymous said...

Ditto for Judge Thomas. Hate the fact that he couldn't go to federal court because he deserved it. Happy that he is still in state court for us.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff

http://m.miamiherald.com/?cu=spreed%3A%2F16910329%2F33322167

Anonymous said...

I'm not gay but, I am tired of people picking on guy for being gay. Hey, its their choice and they have a right to be happy too.

Will is OK with me. Must be hard being black and gay.

When I appear before gay judge I don't think of the judge as gay or straight. I think of a male gay judge usually as a guy who happens to be gay.

I guess I am what I am too.

Anonymous said...

I've also seen bibles where God says to Moses "I AM WHO AM" and then tells him to tell the Israelites that "I AM sent you".

Later, in the Gospels, Jesus identifies himself several times as "I AM".

DS said...

Who cares if a Judge is Straight, Gay or Lesbian.
I have been in front of Straight , Gay and Lesbian Judges.
What matters is the Judge considerate, dies the Judge treat ALL w common courtesy and respect.
Does the Judge listen to everyone and rule with COMMON Sense based on the Facts & the Law.

Anonymous said...

Judge Thomas wasn't approved for the Federal bench not because he is African American or gay, but because he pissed off too many civil lawyers. You can steamroll young prosecutors and PDs and be fine come election or JQC time, but if you railroad civil lawyers, who are more influential in all things political here, you will not last long. Simple as that. hes a smart guy, hard worker and a nice man, no question, but you can't have that type of judicial temperament with everyone and expect to get away with it. It just caught up with him. And I agree he is an excellent state court judge.

Anonymous said...

DS at 7:59, what really matters is that the judge know the law and be willing to follow it despite political pressure. I'll take anytime a nasty judge who knows and follows the law over a nice and courteous a judge who doesn't know the law or is afraid to follow it.

Anonymous said...

12:21 Here, here!! This "a judge should be considerate and deferential to lawyers" crap, is just that, crap. Judges should not be rude or demeaning, but courteous or considerate, nah.

This is more of the idea that lawyers should be in charge and that judges should answer to lawyers. I was raised it was the opposite, and that is the way it should be.

Give me a nasty judge, who knows the law and the rules, applies them fairly and impartially, anytime over the idiots that are too busy keeping their jobs rather than doing their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Carranza, having appeared before me, I can tell you is not bright and lacks a basic understanding of what being a lawyer is about. This guy does not belong on the bench.

Rodney has come a long way since he first took the County Court Bench. He is capable and honest.

It is clear that Carranza is running against him solely because he is African-American. Maybe the Panters have had enough of him and are ready to cut him loose/

DS said...

What about a Judge should listen to everyone and rule w Common Sense based on the Facts & the Law, suggests a Judge Not knowing it following the law. Nor do I suggest a Judge being refers to lawyers.
Only Common Courtesy and respect to all. Nothing I said suggested Not following the law or following Political expediency. Just simple Courtesy.

Anonymous said...

So the former candidate for federal judge - with lifetime tenure - quoted a drag queen from a broadway show. Wow. Or was he quoting Popeye the Sailor Man?

Anonymous said...

Carranza has also appeared before me. He is nasty and disrespectful to judges and opposing counsel.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely I know Carrazana and he does not belong on the bench. You have all been warned. Stay away from Carrazana.