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, September 29, 2014

ICH BIN EIN BERLINER

Sorry about no post this morning. Uncharacteristically, there was no internet on the flight over the pond. And BTW, speaking of Europe, Berlin is the great European City of the 21st Century and you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't visit. 

VERY QUIETLY and without much (or any) fanfare, one of the best trial lawyers to grace the halls of the hallowed REGJB returned Monday. John Hogan, former chief assistant prosecutor to Janet Reno, the man, the myth, the legend, was quietly minding his own business in the 7th floor jury room as a potential juror. H/T a couple of longtime readers. 

AND VERY QUIETLY, Regional Counsel Eugene Zenobi tried a case last week. When was the last time you saw the head of an agency in the pits, their sleeves rolled up (figuratively) , doing some real work?  H/t just about everyone in the division. 



The League of Prosecutors is hosting a "New prosecutors meet the Old prosecutors" get together this Thursday. We haven't been given the official go-ahead to announce where this soiree is being held (despite a half dozen members forwarding us the email of the event), so we won't spill the beans, or reveal the CI as it were. 

At the risk of repeating ourselves, here's what we want the new PDs and ASAs to remember:  you will make great friends and maybe meet your best friend during this exciting time in your lives. Cherish these moments.  What is the difference you ask? 
A great friend is the person you call to bail you out of jail. Your best friend is the person sitting next to you in the jail cell saying "I can't believe we did that." That being said, try and not get arrested for the next few years. 

State v. Andrew Rolle. 
The prosecution and love-fest (not) between the opposing lawyers in the prosecution of the tragic murder of Detective James Walker continues today and through the end of this week before Judge Tinkler-Mendez. 

It's still the season of redemption. As the Jewish Torah says, the day of Atonement is for forgiveness of sins between a person and the lord. There is no atonement for sins between people without  an apology and forgiveness. 

Yes, the amazing breadth and depth of our knowledge extends to the theological. 

See You In Court, and we forgive you. 




Sunday, September 28, 2014

NFL WEEK 4

ERRATA:  Mark Vargo is still alive as he picked the Saints over the Vikings last week. 

Difficult pickings this week, as the lines look to be about right in each game. So we are reverting to a tried and true method, revert to the mean- which means that teams are neither as good or as bad as they appeared the week before (Jaguars notwithstanding). 

Packers +2 at the Bears. 
Panthers +3 at the Ravens.
Over 54 Saints/Cowboys. 
Over 44 Lions at Jets.
49'ers -4.5 at home over the Eagles. 

UPDATED SURVIVOR POOL WITH ALL THE LAST MINUTE CHANGES . THE POOL IS NOW LOCKED AND CLOSED. 


Until then....

"I'll find em for three, but I'll catch em and kill em for 10."






What Rumpole is reading:
"This Is Where I Leave You" by Jonathan Tropper. 
Funny, poignant and sad, often in the same paragraph. A writer of great depth and strength. 

"Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest For The Ultimate Nature Of Reality" By Max Tegmark. 
This is probably not for you. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

...AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON

Legend has it that during an otherwise non-descript late afternoon hearing before the legendary Judge Ellen Morphonious, a "C" prosecutor told the "C" PD  "fuck you."

The PD turned to Judge Morphonious and asked her if she heard what the prosecutor just said to him? 
And Judge Morphonious replied: "Yes. He forgot to say 'and the horse you rode in on'.

Such were the fun days in the REGJB, when a little release of stress didn't lead to bar complaints, human resource investigations and discipline, and anger management classes. We know who both the lawyers are, they can reveal themselves in the comments section if they wish, and both have gone on to distinguished careers. 

All of this is a prelude to the Miami Herald article hear about Judge Jacqueline Schwartz who allegedly told employees of a convenience store that was displaying a large sign for one of her opponents in the last election (she had two, one is remaining in a run-off) to "go fuck yourself" after  they refused to remove the sign. 

Campaigns are a tough business. All politics is local, and nothing is personal:   "It's not personal Tom. It's strictly business." Michael Corleone to Tom, after he removed his brother as consigliere to the family. 

Say what you want about judicial temperament, and Judge Schwartz has her share of complaints about her performance as a county court judge, but she wasn't wearing robes when she said this. Admittedly she was verbally abusing a few powerless clerks since the owner of the building had put up the sign and they had no  authority to take it down, but there is something old-school about this incident. 

Courts are closed today as members of the Jewish faith  begin ten days of introspection and reflection culminating in the day of atonement when they make amends for their shortcomings for the prior year. It's an excellent time for people to seek out those they have hurt or insulted (or wrongfully cursed at) and seek forgiveness.  Of course, we lead an exemplarily life and such pedestrian concerns are beneath us. But for the rest of you, get your house in order for a new year. 

See You In Court. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WINS AND LOSSES AND LOYALTY OATHS.

UPDATE: COURTS ARE CLOSED THURSDAY. 
It's a teacher work day. The establishment clause of the first amendment prohibits us from discussing this further. 


Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman was found guilty Monday afternoon in a political corruption trial. 
For Ben Kuehene, here is how his year has stacked up: he beat the feds in a political corruption trial (Mayor Pizzi) and lost a corruption trial in State court. That's the football equivalent of the Raiders beating the Patriots and then losing to the Bucs. Up is down. Down is up. The state never wins corruption trials and the feds never lose. Except now. 

Judge Luck tried the case and he reserved on the motion for JOA. Ben is the consummate attorney and you know all issues have been reserved and that this case is still far from over. 

You're only as good as your last verdict, and Ben Kuehene knows that. Our money is on him here. 

And congrats to ASA Isis Perez for the state. A very nice win. (Please tell us who tried the case with Isis and we will give them props too). 

Speaking of Judge Luck, if he is ever appointed to the federal bench they would just have to assign him to a courtroom and chambers on the thirteenth floor in the new Fed courthouse. The irony is just too juicy to pass up. 

JUDGES ON THE WEB:
 The criminal judges (Motto "No plea offer. Let's go to trial!" ) have started posting their practices and procedures on the web. Here is Judge De La O's. Here. 

This may well be a listserv violation, our reporting on a confidential listserv email.  We plead guilty as charged. And worse, we haven't taken the loyalty oath that some in FACDL are demanding "We are not now nor have we ever been a communist, and we swear to be loyal, honest, faithful, and will never read a legal blog nor share any information from this amazing listserv with anyone who is not a member of the brotherhood of the shark or part of the dark side of the force." Happy now Mr....you know who? 

PS: Those legal recommendations for a divorce lawyer in Oklahoma City, or a court reporting firm in Deland are just so damn juicy. Can't have Kathy Rundle or Don Horn knowing who we are recommending  for a worker's comp case in Atlanta. That would ruin everything. 


We Get High With a Little Help From Our Friends:
We had lunch today with a hedge fund client who, based on the nationwide trend towards legalizing marijuana or decriminalizing it, is going to capitalize on the trend by investing in.... rehab facilities. Yes, this guy, who manages billions of dollars and has a house in Connecticut the size of Delaware believes the trend will create a boom for people trying to get clean. Interesting thought. 

Our favourite season is here. 

See you in court. 



Monday, September 22, 2014

PROSECUTOR OF THE YEAR

Congratulations to ASA Marie Mato and  (new) USDC Judge Darrin Gayles who were honored Saturday night with the Prosecutor of the Year award and Justice Award respectively by the League of Superheroes  Justice Prosecutors.  We were remiss in not posting this Friday or Saturday.  Of course we were not invited, but we still think that the League and the award serve important purposes. 

Many judges and criminal defense attorneys are ex-prosecutors. We often hear people talk of their experiences while prosecutors, and many times they talk about the story of the case they dismissed because they believed the defendant to be innocent. It gets so difficult in the heat of battle, especially when dealing with a contentious and perhaps even obnoxious opposing counsel to keep your eye on the ball- which is doing justice. The best of prosecutors do this, and a dinner awarding judges and prosecutors who seek justice is a good thing. Marie Mato has won some high profile cases this year and she is a very good prosecutor. But it is her reputation among the judiciary and defense bar as a prosecutor who is fair and honest and will always listen and do the right thing that makes this award especially appropriate. 

Last week also brought the good news that Scotland voted NO on seceding from the United Kingdom.  We've spent most of our adult life trying to get UK citizenship and an entire country wants to renounce theirs?  We don't get it. 

The Nations not so blessed as thee, 
must in their turns to tyrants fall
whilst thou shall flourish great and free
the dread and enemy of them all

Rule Britannia!
Britannia rules the waves
Britons never never never shall be slaves

Have a great week. We will. 
See You In Court. 


Sunday, September 21, 2014

NFL WEEK 3 2014

After a pretty good week of picks for us, and a pretty bad week of publicity for the NFL, we start week three confident we are on a roll, and not so confident that the NFL is nothing more than a collection of super athletes, who are super spoiled, and most of whom have below average intelligence, morals, mores, and ideas about life, women,children, and family.  

Put another way, just because a player can run faster, hit harder, throw better, shed tackles or blockers, doesn't mean they are enlightened human beings who treat their families appropriately. We identify with what they do on the field (or fantasize about it), and somehow that translates into us believing that they are otherwise wholesome and intelligent human beings capable of rational thoughts and actions. 

Clearly, they are not.  Stop being surprised. The best linebacker in the history of the game- LT- slept with an underage prostitute. Perhaps the best running back of all time OJ- is a murderer and wife beater. The same percentage of our society that gets DUIs equates to the players in the NFL. And like a current Dallas Cowboy, some of them drink and drive and kill their friends. 

This week saw an explosion of comments by players about raising children. Some were thoughtful, some, like WR Calvin Johnson's obiter dictum that "no one tells me on how to raise my kids" leaves us to believe that there probably is not a copy of Dr. Benjamin Spock's "Baby And Child Care" on his bookshelf, if he even has a bookshelf. 

So what to do? We can stop patronizing a league where even the league admits that a third of it's players will later suffer brain damage. Watch an NBA or MLB old-timers event and you see the stars of your childhood older, grayer, a bit stooped. Go see a collection of middle aged NFL players and you see a collection of men with canes, walkers, and the beginnings of dementia. While we could never compete at that level at age 20, we most certainly can do more physically and mentally than most 50 year old ex-football players. We have both our hips, knees, and most of our brain cells. 

So is it wrong to patronize a league that wrecks devastation on its players, and employs players who brutalize women and children? 
Maybe so. It's a personal choice. But we know this, the bloom is off the rose. There's nothing romantic about the most popular sport in the USA. It is what it is. A collection of super-athletes, many of whom  are less than super human beings off the field. 

We fully intended to make our picks, but after reading what we just wrote, we just don't have it in us. 

Hypocrisy admission:  while we gave our luxury box ducats away this week, we will watch some games, eat some good food and drink some beer and root for our fantasy football players.  At least we admit our fallibility. 

We will post the survivor pool when the last picks come in. 

Sorry to be such a downer. 

See You In Court Tomorrow. 


Saturday, September 20, 2014

BRAVE BLOG POST



A brave blog post:
We write this with some trepidation, but not with the same courage that it took our colleague Phil Reizenstein to make a post on his blog about Adrian Peterson and child abuse. Many of you have emailed us and asked us to re-post it. We won't do that. And Phil has not contacted us. But he did post it publicly, and that is enough for us to mention it here. 

It was always baffling as to how his name became linked with this blog, there being zero evidence to support such an allegation. And in the early years, to say he was upset at us is an understatement. He had to respond to at least one bar complaint that he forwarded to us. In recent years we have heard him joke about it. We were in the audience for one such reference. So please, no comments about Rumpole and who you think we are. Just applaud Phil for his brave discussion of some very personal issues. And beyond the Adrian Peterson post, it's a very unique blog for a criminal defense attorney. Much like another blog we know, where the writing is witty, and .....nah...won't go there. 

His blog is here. 

Enjoy the fall weekend. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

IT'S A TOWN FOR LOSERS.....


If you've noticed that we've been posting less frequently, you are correct. 

Blame the feds. They are relentless. And of course the 11th Circuit doesn't give you a whole of time to file a brief. But we are thankful for the work. 

The JAA blog had these very nice words for Circuit Judge Elect Al Milian:

Meet Judge Al Milian - good news out of Miami, as Al easily won a spot on the circuit bench.  Many remember him as a relentless Broward prosecutor, but he’s spent a lot longer since then defending with equal passion and zeal.  On a personal note, we couldn’t be happier.  When asked, Al would gladly co-counsel gratis on cases south of the border when deserving individuals with bright futures were facing incredible odds.  His local gravitas always got the job done, with one young man he helped us with now a successful engineer with the Chrysler Corporation in Detroit.  Al’s simply a great guy, and will make a great judge.  Well done!



We second their thoughts about Al. Al distinguished himself with his work here these past few years, and it occurs to us that now both defense counsel in the murder trial of the Aventura man whose wife died in the bathroom have ascended to the bench. Al Milian will soon be a circuit judge and Bill Matthewman had already been appointed a federal magistrate before the trial began. Matthewman is sitting in West Palm these days. 


They call us south of the border? Why, the nerve of them....

David Ovalle and the Herald have a great article on the railroad cops who arrest poor people in Overtown for crossing the tracks. Talk about living on the wrong side of the tracks....
The Article is here. 

CLE SEMINAR:
Here's the deal with this seminar: it will change your life. It will be a magical experience. People will be talking about this seminar for decades hence.  And if it it is not standing room only, Robert Kuntz may just cash in all his chips and pack a grip and head for the coast, because this is a town for losers and he's pulling out of here to win. So please, please please, register and experience legal nirvana. 





Enjoy your weekend. See You In Court Monday. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NO CHILDREN ALLOWED





This is the sign hanging on a Judge's courtroom on the sixth floor. She's not the only judge with the sign on her door.

It's illegal.

It's wrong.

Children are people too, unless you're Adrian Peterson, asshole football player for the Vikings.

Florida law covers specific instances where a judge may close a courtroom. There are specialized notice requirements involving the media. Hanging a sign on a door is not the legal way to do it.

Banning an entire class of individuals for no good reason will not withstand any legal challenge whatsoever.

THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WE HAVE OPEN COURTS, EVEN FOR CHILDREN.

So let's get this straight. Take a young Rumpole, age 17,first year of college, in a pre-law class, assigned to go to the local courthouse and watch a calendar and do a report. This sign bars young Rumpole, a very mature 17 year old, from observing court and fulfilling a college assignment

We hope judges will remove these signs.  It presents such a bad vision of the courts of Florida. And as we said, it's completely illegal and if they try and bar a person based on age and no other reason, they will lose in court.

So try and follow the law for once (we know how awkward and strange that can be for most of you) and take down the signs.

See you in court, where we might just arrange for a gaggle of kindergarteners to stage a protest if the signs don't come down.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A FAST GERRY KLEIN STORY

A retired member of the judiciary was recently robbed at gun point. Thankfully he was not hurt. David Ovalle has all the details on his twitter. But it reminds us of the time that Gerry Klein was robbed on the Miami Beach Golf Course around 11:30 or so in the morning during the week. 
The Herald dutifully reported the story, and then the Herald being the Herald, called Judge Klein back a few days later (probably soon after retracting the Dewey Beats Truman Headline) and asked him what a sitting county court judge was doing on the golf course during a weekday? 

Klein responded to the effect that he was waiting for someone to ask that question and that "every now and then" he finished court early and on those rare occasions that he wasn't labouring late into the evening on a difficult point of law, he would try and squeeze in a quick round of golf. 

Those of us who knew him had a good laugh at that one. Rare was the day that Fast Gerry Klein hadn't finished his calendar and was out on the links before lunch. 

It was a different time folks. A simpler time. 

We also recall several circuit judges who would routinely cover two Friday calendars one week- theirs and a friend's, only to have the favour returned the following week. So every other week the judges had a nice three day weekend.  That all went along swimmingly until one of the judges began to take advantage of his friend by setting bond hearings on Fridays, taking a bribe to lower the bond, and then telling his pal that the case was on the calendar and he had already heard it and decided to lower the bond. Nothing better than taking a bribe for something your friend unknowingly does for you. That scheme, which pre-dated court-broom, went on for some time until some one dropped a dime to the FDLE. 

Anyway, those were the days. 

See you in court. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

NFL WEEK TWO

UPDATE: WEEK TWO SURVIVOR POOL PICKS BELOW

We bounced back from a morose and reflective Saturday, courtesy of a nice bottle of a 2011 Dehlinger Zin/Petit Sirah blend and some good curry and nan. 

Last week we joined the sad club of "first out" in the survivor pool when we picked da Bears at home over the resurgent Bills. We did score the most points in the Fantasy Football league, so it was a mixed day for us. 

This week Fantasy-wise, it's a battle of the bloggers as we face off against DOM and his ridiculously weak team led by Tony "INT" Romo. 

There are two big games today; games which, even on week two, will give us an insight as to who is real and who is not. 

(UPDATE: WIN) The first is our own hometown Dolphins, coming off a big second half come-back win against the Cheaters at home, going to Buffalo to play the Bills who had a great week one win on the road against the Bears. To be a champion in the NFL, you need to win on the road, and protect your home. The Bills have shown they can win on the road, while the Fins protected their house last week from the evil genius and his cheaters. Which trend will hold this week? It will be a very good game to watch.  Bills are -1 at home. We are not Fin-believers yet, although we should be:   Buffalo 32-Dolphins 27.

(UPDATED:WIN) The second game which will reveal which team is for real is the Falcons at Cincy. The Bengals showed the type of defense that Marin Lewis, their head coach was famous for twenty years ago when he developed "Blitzbugh" for the Steelers as their D-coordinator.  The Bengals are -4 at home, and while we like the Falcons, this could be the year the Bengals bury the Bungles. Plus, the Bengals are 8-0 at home in their last ocho. Cincy 24-Falcons 20. 

(UPDATED: WIN) The Browns at +6 at home against the Saints.  What did we tell you about these Browns? Way underrated, and just like we told you last week to take the Falcons in a shoot-out against the Saints, take these Brownies at home, with a great D, an underrated QB, and six juicy points. 

(UPDATED: LOSS) Lions-Panthers- Over 43. Duh. 

(UPDATED: LOSS) The wheel is off the stagecoach in Big D, as the Cowpokes are exposed for being nothing more than a below mediocre team playing in the greatest stadium in the world. Tony Romo will never win a Super Bowl, and he may not ever get to take his pokes to the playoffs ever again. That ship has sailed. The train is off the tracks. Circle the wagons, pick whatever aphorism you like, and take the Titans at home -1. 

Chief at Broncos- under 52. 



Saturday, September 13, 2014

THE WAR OUTSIDE STILL RAGES

"The war outside still rages, but you say it ain't ours anymore to win."
Bruce Springsteen, No Retreat, No Surrender. 

Before we try a case, when we are in trial, and while waiting for a verdict, No Retreat, No Surrender is our song. We play it on the way to court, and listen to it during breaks, sometimes in the background while reading case law or reviewing notes. 

Trials are war. Clients come to all of us and ask us to be the one remaining person between them and everyone else. Sometimes the opponent on the other side is the U.S. government, merely the most powerful entity on earth. 

But this is not about those wars. We all have our war stories. 

This is about when the war "ain't ours anymore to win."

When does that time come? 
When do you lose the fire in your belly; when  it becomes harder and harder to work till midnight, then get up at a few hours later and get to the office hours before anyone else?

And what do you do when being a warrior is all you've ever known? 

Do you don some robes and call balls and strikes?  With all due respect, from where we sit at counsel table, sitting in court and watching a trial and not being allowed to get up and attack a witness is our definition of hell. It's why we never second chair a case. 

So what do we do when "it ain't ours anymore to win?"

Sy Gaer was carried out on his shield after a lifetime of wars. (Note to new lawyers, go to the second floor of the REGJB, face the elevators, then turn 180 degrees and look up.) 

Most of us just fade away and we prefer to think of General McArthur's last address to the Corp at West Point when we think of colleagues we never see anymore; that they haven't died, but just faded away. 

It's the start of a beautiful weekend and we don't mean to be morose or bring anyone down.  And lest any of you worry or any prosecutors start popping champagne corks, our time has not yet arrived. But there's a bit more gray then there used to be, and a few more lines on the face, and nothing lasts forever. Even Rumpole. 

Enjoy your weekend. 

See you in court. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

JNC NOMINATES TEN FINALISTS TO GOVERNOR SCOTT


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

AND YOUR TWO NEWEST CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES are  .......

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission received 33 applications for the two open Circuit Court seats previously occupied by Judge Darrin Gayles and Judge Beth Bloom. Those two judges were elevated to the Federal District Court.

Of those 33 applicants, the JNC personally interviewed 22, including seven County Court Judges and 15 attorneys.  Last night, they forwarded ten (10) names to Governor Scott for consideration; five of whom are County Court Judges.***  Presumably he will name two of those ten to the open judgeships.

The names sent to the Governor include:

Ayana Harris; Federal APD
Laura Stuzin; Rumberger, Kirk
Jason Bloch; Miami-Dade County Attorney's Office
Judge Jason Dimitris
Judge Rodolfo Ruiz
Judge Charles Johnson
Diana Vizcaino; City of Miami Attorney's Office
Judge Wendell Graham
Judge Lourdes Simon
Lauren Fleischer Louis; Boies, Schiller

While the Governor has 60 days to select our two newest judges, (which would bring the deadline to November 8, 2014), we would not be going out on a limb by predicting that he will likely name the two new Judges before election day, Tuesday, November 4th.

If he selects any of the five County Court Judges, that would give him a two-fer.

***Two other County Court Judges that were interviewed, Judges Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer and Gladys Perez, did not make the final cut.

If you want to provide the Governor with your thoughts on any of the finalists, please contact:

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

(850) 717-9337

or

Peter Antonacci
General Counsel
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

850-717-9310

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

Monday, September 08, 2014

WELCOME

You see them walking through the hallways, white knuckles tight around Starbuck's cups, balancing files and cellphones, somewhat lost, very confused, their new suits conspicuous in a hallway filed with cheap ones. 

We are talking about the new ASAs and PDs who have started their training. 

Welcome. 

You are entering a profession in which you can do great things. As a prosecutor you  will have the opportunity to protect your community and give victim's a voice. As a PD you might just literally save someone's life.  It's a wondrous journey you are embarking on. 

Most of you will do two or three years here  and move on. The economics of family and school loans will require it. Some of you will make criminal law your career. A few of you will make this building and the glorious people who inhabit it your life. You may find love here, although lust is always around the next corner. You will make many friends here. The best friends we have were the people we met during those first few years. We survived a trial by fire, and we became close, and although there is a physical distance between us, that closeness survives. We can call on anyone of them  and ask them to meet us five thousand miles away, and know they will be there if we need them to. 

There is so much we can tell you. But why ruin the movie? It's more fun and it's infinitely more valuable if you find out on your own. 

So we will leave you with one piece of advice. It's advice we give all new lawyers. And it's easy for us to see who follows that advice and who does not. 

So listen closely and take heed. Put down the double latte and stop texting, tweeting, and facebooking and instagraming for one damn minute and listen up:

It will take you a lifetime to build your reputation as a lawyer. 
And one minute to destroy it. 
No case is worth breaking your word. 
No case is worth your career. 
No case is worth your reputation. 

Now go forth and do great things. 

Godspeed. 

See you in court. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

NFL WEEK ONE 2014

Is there any day more exciting than the first Sunday of football season?
Up north, there's a hint of chill in the air, before the bright midday sun brings at least one more summer kissed day. 
They're playing the finals at the US Open. 
The baseball division races are heating up. 
This may be our favourite day of the year!

And of course, the now world famous, earth shaking, smack talking, playa hatin, very frustratin, REGJB Survivor Pool. 

Kenny Weisman, smack talking attorney extraordinaire, gourmand,  stylish-well dressed- dapper,  and defending co-champ, started it off with this email:

Kenneth Weisman

2:23 PM (18 hours ago)



to me
Denver Broncos.
( my sole goal this year is to defeat Colby)!

The other defending co-champ, the quiet and dignified Dan Lurvey simply picked the Eagles. He lurks in the shadows this Dan Lurvey, and then he strikes and if you are a prosecutor, your case is over before you know it, and if you are a survivor pool contestant, he simply fades into the mist, and survives another week. 

The picks:  You can still join by emailing us a pick before the last games (Giants ve Lions, Chargers v. Cardinals) on Monday night begin. Fbpool13 at gmail. 





Our Picks:

J...E...T....S...Jets Jets Jets. Gang green -5 at home;  A Rex Ryan Defense at home, against the worst team in the league (sorry JAX) starting a rookie QB. Could it be any easier? 

Lions -3 at home against the NY Football Giants. Megatron and Stafford (who happen to be our starting WR and QB in the REGJB FF league). Need we say more? Lay the three against a Gints team with a new offense. 

Steelers vs. Browns. Over 41. Brian Hoyer is a very underrated QB. He will put up some points. The Browns have a great D and may win this game, but it will be close, and the Steelers offense has enough firepower to make this a 28-27 game. 

Titans at Chiefs. This line opened at KC -6 and fell to KC -3. Lots of Tennessee moving the line. But on opening day, take the favourite and some KC BBQ at home. KC -3.

Other thoughts: Stay away from Panthers game as Cam Newton status is uncertain; Cardinals at home -3 because until San Diego shows us something, they are a perennial disappointment; Matty Ryan has a big day with Falcons over Saints at home; Broncos at home vs. Colts- Colts played Broncos tough last year. Did the Super Bowl show that emperor Peyton has no clothes? Take the 6.5 and the Colts. 

What a great day! Enjoy. See you in court tomorrow. 








Friday, September 05, 2014

FRANCISCO LORIGA HAS PASSED AWAY

Francisco Lloriga has passed away. He was a young man, way too young to have died. We didn't know him, but he was apparently in a trial with Attorney Jason Grey when he went home for the evening and suffered an event and passed away. 

There was a rumor Jason Grey passed away. That did not occur. He has written us to tell us he is just fine. 

This is the time to remember that on their death bed no one wishes that they spent more time at the office. This will be a beautiful Florida weekend. There's lots to do. College Football on Saturday, the NFL and cookouts and family time on Sunday. Every day in a precious gift not to be wasted. 

Don't. 


Coming soon: Our first week of survivor pool picks are almost in. 
Can Kenny Weisman defend his crown? 
Who will join the unlucky "first week out club?"

See You Monday. 


Thursday, September 04, 2014

SURVIVOR POOL & MORE BROWARD

Some people, including certain well respected judges who will not be named/shamed here, CANNOT FOLLOW DIRECTIONS:

So lets try again:

Email your survivor pool picks to Fbpool12@gmail.com. 
That's fb pool 12 (all one word). 
Por favor. 

Broward working on reducing jail population as two defendants commit suicide. 
Sun Sentinel story here

Broward working on deficit reduction as two lawyers only charge 101K for a month's work. Confronted with the bill, one lawyer graciously reduces it $9,000 while commenting that he "lost money working on this case." 
Memo to the lawyer: stop talking to the press. Just stop. Stop....sto...st...s.....stop it . Don't open your mouth anymore.  Keep it shut. Please. 

David "chicken" Ovalle story here


Wednesday, September 03, 2014

SEX IN CHAMBERS


A judge in California has been censured for having sex in his chambers with a pair of former law students.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner was disciplined by the California Commission on Judicial Performance for behavior including promiscuous activity in the courthouse, the OC Register reports.
...
Engaging in sexual intercourse in the courthouse is the height of irresponsible and improper behavior by a judge,” the judicial commission said,according to CBS Los Angeles.
“It reflects an utter disrespect for the dignity and decorum of the court and is seriously at odds with a judge’s duty to avoid conduct that tarnishes the esteem of the judicial office in the public’s eye," the commission said.

Rumpole wonders if sex in chambers is the "height of irresponsible and improper behavior...." what are wrongful convictions where defendants spend decades in prison? 
Like when Prosecutor Joe Britt, a North Carolina -bible quoting prosecutor who thirty years ago put two mentally challenged  half brothers Henry Lee McCollum and Leon Brown behind bars and initially got death sentences for a crime they clearly didn't commit. But under intense police questioning, they confessed. First one confessed, who having done so then quickly asked if he could now go home. Then the other young man- having been told his half brother confessed, confessed as well. 
But DNA exonerated McCollum and Brown  and they were released today. Prompting Ol'Joe Britt to say "I still think they're guilty." Of course DNA didn't just exonerate them, it also implicated a man who had lived a mile away from the young girl killed in the McCollum/Brown prosecution,  and was being investigated for a similar murder that he ultimately was convicted of. 
The NY Times articles are  here and here.   
Yeah, sex in chambers is outrageous. A real affront to the justice system. 

See You In Court, but probably not chambers. 


DRAFT TONIGHT

The world famous,  earth shaking, Viagra takin, Justice Building Fantasy Football draft is tonight at 7:15 PM. 

Please, if you are a playa, make sure you have received an E-mail invite and are ready to go. We highly recommend running the mock draft where you draft against the computer. It verified our strategy of going K, K, Defense, TE in the first four picks. 

No sign of the San Diego Chicken as of yet, a/k/a @davidovalle305. 

See you at the draft. 

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.