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

Monday, July 28, 2014

A JUDGE SPEAKS

Every now and then the system works. A wise and experienced and successful individual runs for judge not because s/he needs a steady paycheck and a decent retirement, but because they want to give back to this community and hopefully make it a better place to live, work and thrive.

Miguel De La O is one such judge. His recent monograph to the Miami Herald says it all.






We once heard (and winced) when an experienced judge told a new judge "you can do anything you want in 98% of the cases, and give the public what it wants in 2% of the cases and never worry about being re-elected." 

We once saw a judge go back on his word in chambers and sentence a client to thirty years because he was under scrutiny by the Herald. 

Judge De La O is NOT that kind of judge. And that is why sometimes, the system works. 

See You In Court. 




33 comments:

Anonymous said...

An op ed on how great judges are, how hard they work, and how they are misunderstood. Edifying.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Here here.

Anonymous said...

really... plus even at face value and assuming all good intentions, judges should not be writing op-eds about anything. Undermines the claim to objectivity and independence.

Anonymous said...

You have had many judges like this, and you rejected them because they weren't "NICE". Sometimes the hardest working, most intellectually honest and stand up judges are those who may not have personalities you like, but they sure do know how to judge. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

judges should not be writing op-eds about anything. Undermines the claim to objectivity and independence

Yet you undermined yours by writing about his, or mine, or someone else's. You took a position on someone taking a position.

See how that works?

Anonymous said...

De la o was a real jerk in private practice so its nice to see him getting good reviews but, I agree that he had no business doing thst article. Judges should sut the fuck up off the bench.

Anonymous said...

These idiotic posts are the reason we are viewed as the pariahs of the world. We can’t stand to see anyone say or do anything genuine without a cynical retort. The Judge isn’t defending himself, he’s defending the system. He also happens to be spot on.

Anonymous said...

4:31,
Except that 2:48 never claimed to be objective and independent.
Unless 2:48 is a judge, then s/he is possibly/probably paid to be an advocate for a particular point of view.

Anonymous said...

Normally, I'd leave my name but I want to avoid any improprieties however;

De la O really is a good judge that treats everybody with respect, tries to do the right thing, definitely runs his court room and has the makings of a superb jurist. Coming from this guy, his op ed is valued

Anonymous said...

How is it that writing generically about the difficult decisions made daily by judges "undermines" objectivity or independence?

Anonymous said...

de la Over is de la Man.

Anonymous said...

Judges don't write this kind of stuff for good reason.

Anonymous said...

I hate to see brand new judges telling the world that will listen how much they are suddenly a expert at judging...
I'm just sayin....

Anonymous said...


Sorry Rumpolian but your English professor would never have considered this a monograph. Too short. An essay yes; a monograph no.

De La O deserves credit for giving us one judges insight into the daily trials and tribulations of a judge. And there are just a few people that are not lawyers that read the Herald.

H.P.N. said...

The road less traveled is often the one that takes the most courage, or as some would say cojones. I commend Judge De La O for speaking his mind and letting us know that he does actually consider the things we argue in court and is not a)one of those judges that make decisions based on tee time, or whatever else they have on their personal calendar for that day; b)a judge that rules out of fear of the newspaper; or c)takes the more traveled road of "he can only hurt other inmates in jail and if he does I sure hope its someone on my audit".
My God we have a Judge who actually takes his responsibilities serious because he is actually dealing with the lives of other human beings, doesn't degrade the defendants or their families, doesn't kowtow to alleged victims or ASA's who cry "BUT JUUUUUDGE" when a discretionary ruling goes against them, and you chose to criticize him because he let everyone know what he thinks and consideres when making a ruling. REALLY? Why don't you do us all a favor and NOT tell us how you feel...about anything...ever. Same thing for the jerk-off(s) who found something to criticize in the post about B Mac.

Anonymous said...

Why does he need to write an article defending the judiciary? Maybe Broweird's current judicial arrest rate? Maybe our current flock of candidates to be judge? Maybe because one current judge running (J.S.) is paying attorney fees with campaign funds?

Anonymous said...

A good article by a good man who has become a very good judge ...

Anonymous said...

Baby judge .

Anonymous said...

DS you were in ERU for years. You're fooling no one but yourself.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say a few things. I keep seeing all the comments about those running for judge just needing to make more money and they could not hack it in private practice. Well that is not true. When I ran for judge years ago I was criticized for being too young. I was a former government employee (I wont say if I was a pd or asa), I worked in criminal. I had been in the courtroom day in and day out for the length of my career, which to some was too short. I had tried many jury trials. I know criminal law and I live it. I wanted to become a judge because I thought I could do a great job. It was not the money. I was a government employee because I believe in the law not because I could not make more money at a private firm but because I have a true belief and passion for the law. So I got a raise, I went from a government employee salary to a judges salary. More importantly is to recognize that instead of going into private practice I continued my public service by becoming a judge. No doubt I could make a judges' salary in private practice but I am more about serving the public. As a judge you don't make that much and after taxes and the expenses of having to go to so many events and the money you have to put away for campaigning, well let's put it this way you aren't rich. But I do it everyday because I love it, I love the law, I love my job, and I love the people I get to work with. It's not easy being a judge at all. I loved what Miguel De La O wrote I think he hit the nail on the head. It's not a cushy job that you get to just work 2 hours and go play golf. It's a labor of love. I wish more attorneys would realize that it takes a lot to run for judge and it's not just about the money. That for some of us it has been a life long dream that gets accomplished at a younger age. By the way Presidents are getting younger too have you noticed that, so are senators, and reps, etc. the days that you reached for your dreams at an age near retirement are over.

Anonymous said...

Oh for cryin' out loud, BOO HOO for the poor judges who have to (gasp) make difficult decisions. How awful (yeah right). Give me a fuckin' break. Put on your robe, grow a pair and STFU. Just do your damn job, rule on the issues before you and don't bellyache about it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Migna.

Anonymous said...

De la O may be getting good grades for his work as a judge but, do you have any idea what kind of nightmare he was in private practice?

That article should be written by one who has just retired not a brand new judge. It looks bad and other judges are moaning right now.

Sitting Judge said...

6:21 is an idiot. I can speak for a number of my fellow judges that De La O's column has been well received. He spoke movingly and accurately about the realities of judging. We would speak up except that the asinine comments made here in response to Miguel's thoughtful monograph convince us to not pop our heads up in this forum.

Anonymous said...

A good judge doesn't need to tell people she is a good judge. Judge De la O simply expressed the sentiment of many judges before him who had the scruples and professional integrity not to advertise in the Miami Herald. When Justice Lewis and others spoke out about the lack of funding of the judiciary, that was one thing. When a singular judge publishes about how tough his job is and how fair he tries to be, the motivation is transparent. Part and parcel to the profession are making the difficult decisions - occasionally life or death decisions. We know that when we vote for, and elect the judiciary. We elect them to hold the state to their burden, to enforce the law in a fair and just way while keeping the public safe. We know its a difficult job, that's why we call them "Honorable". We don't need to hear their personal opinions.

Anonymous said...

Big Duh

Anonymous said...

If, as I suspect, Tuesday 8:31 is Monica Gordo, we could all only wish she'd spend as much time considering and writing any ruling as she did on her rambling, self-serving, grammatically flawed comment.

Anonymous said...

It seemed to me that Judge de la O's Herald essay offered some insight into a judge's thought process, without in any way compromising his impartiality. I doubt the content came as much of a surprise to any reader here, but many Herald readers, I am told, are not attorneys. Such folks might really appreciate hearing what the judge wrote.

Anonymous said...

I'm calling bullshit on 6:21. I handled cases against de la O when he was a in private practice. He was as pleasant and honorable then as he is now. I wish we had more like him.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

BTDT, don't bother. Catalano's hatred of the good judge is irrational. we've tried talking him off the ledge but it is no use.

Anonymous said...

8:31 = Diana Gonzalez?

Anonymous said...

Prophecy:

If Victoria Ferrer defeats Judge Nuria Saenz then the fload gates will open wide and 2016 will be the year of the changing of the guard.

If judges were concerned before, they should panic if this young and inexperienced attorney wins. I say go and tell your friends to support Judge Saenz. We need an experienced judiciary. Help yourself legal community.

Stay tuned!

david said...

I had no idea that there are so many "judges" commenting on Judge De La O...first i practiced with him at Sonnett Sale and Kuehne and referred civil cases to him at his lawfirm with David Marko and therefore am personally aware that he was a great ethical and passionate lawyer...dont practice before him now but not surprised at all the accolades...

sometimes people are just great people who happen to be lawyers and or judges...period