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

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

THE END OF SUMMER-WHO REALLY WANTS TO BE A JUDGE?

Well, Summer is over. We had a busy one. How was yours? 

So now we enter that 75 day  period when everyone is available to try case. Come the middle of November and Thanksgiving starts intruding on people's availability to try cases. Then there is the December holiday season, Christmas, New Years (heed Rumpole's warning to never ever ever try a case the first week of January), so you have about ten weeks to squeeze your trials in. Have fun. 

We have some old Judges retained (well Judge Rodney Smith was retained, so that was one) and we have some new judges. Out with the old....in with the new. 

So here is our question. You want to be a judge? Why? 
In criminal court your calendar is controlled by Assistant State Attorneys two or three years out of law school who the Florida Legislature has determined are more trustworthy, knowledgeable, and judicious than you in deciding most of the sentences in the cases that you will try. The prosecutors control the minimum mandatories, and when you control the minimum mandatories, you control the case. And when you control the cases, you control the judge's calendar. 

Every day you will do and say the same mind numbing thing over and over and over again. "Have you discussed this plea with your attorney?... Do you suffer from any mental illness?...I need to inform you that if you are not  US citizen then this plea....blah blah blah" on and on it goes. A never ending stream of wretched refuse and humanity pleading guilty to probation or prison. A parade of wrecked lives and the worst among us moving though your courtroom like toxic sludge on a conveyor belt to and from hell. 

Then there are motions, trials, and back in your chambers a never ending and growing stack of 3.850 post conviction relief motions. If you do your job conscientiously, then you will work 12-16 hours a day. The pay stinks. The Florida Legislature gave judges an effective 3.5% pay cut about five or six years ago. Your colleagues  can be petty and jealous and most are prima donnas who feel the fax machine is THEIRS and not yours, and other than people standing when you enter the room, there's not a whole lot of attention really paid to you.  Then there are the arrogant piss-ant  lawyers who have no talent and ability save their ability to bill and scam their clients. They wear more expensive suits, have nicer cars and homes and watches and vacation homes and they laugh behind your back and call you names and make up unflattering nicknames while gossiping about you and your JA or court reporter.  And for this you get to worry every six years if a 32 year old hispanic female six years out of law school is going to take your job.  

Really, who needs this crap?

Not us. 

But apparently these people do:



Welcome back from your summer vacation. 

See You In Court. 

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I miss the days when the majority of judges knew what they were doing before they took the bench, had life experiences (and the judgment that comes with it), worked long hours, knew the case law, controlled their courtrooms APPROPRIATELY, and tried cases.

It's not hard to understand why the legislature passed so many min mans (many of which are way to high) when so many judges dumped cases to make nail appointments or play tennis. It's too bad the minority of judges have ruined it for everyone else.

Social media has changed everything. I can't imagine why anyone would want to run for office in this climate. Schadenfrued, anonymity, and the desire to separate oneself from competing "news" sources have created a cesspool of animosity. It's legal, but disgusting. And, a huge part of the reason why we're plagued with an increasing number of arrogant, selfish, and power hungry, politicians (don't think for one second that judges aren't politicians) instead of thoughtful public servants (don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying all judges or politicians are hacks. Many are good and honest people. I'm just saying that a significantly greater percentage of them are problematic).

BTDT

PS---Jonathan Colby had his issue (the merits can be debated), as many of us recall. But, NOBODY controlled a courtroom better than he did. Importantly, he did it without being an asshole; virtually everyone liked him. I wish the young judges could have seen him.

Rumpole said...

Personally, I'm pulling for "Break".

Anonymous said...

Judge Margolius could run a courtroom. He was a mean mother fucker though.

Anonymous said...

"12 to 16 hours a day..."


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


Which one; there's five competing.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


Major props to ASA Christine E. Zahralban

http://www.gofundme.com/dsuil8

Anonymous said...

Something wrong with Hispanic females? If that 32 year old woman does a better job than you, you deserve to lose your job. Period.

thte trialmaster said...

my sentiments exactly.

Anonymous said...

Ethnic block voting has a long history in this country which goes back to at least 1828, when my own Scots-Irish ancestors helped elect Andrew Jackson, one of their own, President to the shock and dismay of the Establishment. Like it or not, it's part of American democracy in action.

Anonymous said...

Heard the Q Is representing the Pesh Merga. Wowza.

Rumpole said...

To the jerk trying to send me pictures that I am sure are full of viruses. No dice. I'm on to you. You think some article about a war I am interested will get me to drop my guard. ? No way.

Anonymous said...

Rump, you're paranoid.

Anonymous said...

As the Summer ends, so quietly ended today the the public service and tremendous work that two longtime interpreters: Court Interpreters'Dept. Supervisor Ana Cabezón and Assistant Supervisor Sergio Ball . The former retired after 33 years of service and the latter leaves Florida for Virginia after 28+ years of service to the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida.

They like many recent retirees lived through the Cocaine Cowboy Drug Wars, McDuffie & Lozano Riots, the Mariel onslaught of new immigrants, Elian protest arrests, Jimmy Ryce/Chavez case, and so many other events in S. Florida requiring more & more translation and interpreting services. They helped make the 11th Judicial Circuit's Interpreters Department one of the nation's best.

Anonymous said...

I've never had the pleasure of practicing before Colby or Margolius, but personally Judge Pineiro was the best I've ever seen wear the robe. Calendar ran longer because you discussed things in chambers, but he got rid of the bs, tried cases that needed a trial, gave breaks when appropriate, but you dam better know when appropriate he dropped the hammer. He wasn't afraid of his shadow, the Herald, or the Third. He wasn't arrogant or erratic with his temper. He could ferret out BS like no other and would not be afraid to let everyone know it was BS, even if it came from a cop. Right was right in his book and I admired him for that.

To your point of why a person would want to be a Judge even with the low pay, dishonest disrespectful disingenuous attorneys, ASA's who can't make a decision without consulting someone else without a name (legal, Career Criminals etc) or otherwise exercising discretion, backstabbing peers, legislative usurpation of judicial authority, long hours, and all of that other good stuff.
I can't speak for everyone who wants to be, has tried to be, or are a judge, but I aspire to be a Judge because excellent public servants are a fundamentally required part of a well functioning society. I have always loved American's governmental system (executive, legislative, judicial) and its purpose and design. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people. As of late, and from some of its earlier decisions like jerry-mandering, I have been disappointed by our government being held hostage by politicians (different from civil servants) and corporations and no longer focusing on the people. My aspiration is to be one person who stands for what is right with the hope and prayer that there are others like me, or that I inspire others after me to be that agent of change. If none of that happens and I stand alone, then I hope that I have used my position to make a change in the life of at least one person that comes before me as a litigant or party. Money, prestige, and power are not bad, but they can be mis-used as well as used for good.

Anonymous said...

8:57 - Really Ada, you think you did a better job than Swartz. No you did not and that is why you quit. You hated the job and never really understood it. He may not have been a "nice" person, but Swartz knew what he was doing and he did it well. Just like Goldstein did it better than Mills-Francis ever did, even on TV, and Harnage did it better than Adrien.

Anonymous said...

Diane Vizcaino is a mean spirited know it all. She will make a bad judge

Anonymous said...

How do seasoned attorneys like Dave Alschuler not even get an interview??? When I look at who is on this list, it makes me want to puke. Sad, very sad..........

EyeonAlschuler said...

Alschuler! The man. The myth. The legend. He's tanned rested and ready to judge. !

Anonymous said...

Mills Fraancis was a blast. Fun and fair, wish she was back.

Anonymous said...

Yep DIANE Vizcaino is mean spirited, a know it all and bossy. Hate to see that woman on the bench she'd probably be worse than migna.She thinks she can just say whatever she wants to you be rude and then she wants a recommendation to be a judge. I don't think so. She would be an awful awful awful judge if she is anything like she is in person like she will on the bench it's going to be scary