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, January 05, 2015

F. LEE. BAILEY

We can think of no better way to start off the 2015 blogging season than to refer you post-haste, to Roy Black's blog and his coda to F. Lee Bailey. 

Go here, now, and read, and learn. 

Lee Bailey's life reads like a Shakespearean tragedy, with a sad ending of disbarment, the roots of which were planted in one of his greatest achievements- the cross of detective Mark Furman in the OJ Simpson trial.  Roy Black wrote that at the time he didn't think Bailey had done much damage during the cross. But in a rare instance of your humble blogger seeing more than the Jedi-Master of Cross-examination, we immediately  saw what Bailey had done. The greatness of the cross was that Furman was finished, only he and the prosecution didn't know it yet. Like a ninja, Bailey had slipped in the knife without anyone knowing it.  And the lesson there was, as Roy Black wrote: "A great cross reverberates across the entire scope of the evidence and takes on a life of its own." Indeed. 

For us, constant worriers about the fate of the world, the ending of Bailey's career re-enforces a belief (nee fear)  we have had for sometime- the legal careers of old criminal defense attorneys often end badly.  Maybe it's because the vast sums lawyers occasionally collect cause them to forget the hard times, and they fail to save. 
As equally as likely is the superman complex- we walk into the belly of beast and save the damned. The rules don't apply to us. 

Or so we think. 

Until we make that one fatal mistake. We ignore that nagging pain until a health care disaster strikes us down.  We spend like the cases and clients will never stop. 
Or as Roy Black wrote about Bailey's downfall : "The man who protected everyone didn't protect himself."

Stop. You. Reading this. Stop. The texts and emails will wait. 
Read that again. "The man who protected everyone didn't protect himself." 

If it can happen to one of the greatest criminal defense attorneys of  the last sixty years, it can happen to you. 

Protect yourself. 
Rumpole's first admonition for 2015. 

See You In Court. 








11 comments:

Fake Kenny w said...

Best F'ing post of the year. Really. I mean it.

Anonymous said...

Not the best post of the year -- best post EVER.

It really rings true.

It's got me thinking . . .

Fake Kenny W said...

10:07 you are a putz. You don't get the humor of best post of year and its like his second post. Duh. The best post ever was the famous Roy Black-Abe Laeser post go back to your grand slam Denny's breakfast you dope.

Anonymous said...

Only lawyer in this town in baileys league is jack denaro.
I don't know if he still practices but he was great.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, but it's not just a question of saving money...it's the disease that has affected many criminal defense lawyers of Bailey's generation. It's called "Four or more wives". Just unbelievably dumb.

Anonymous said...

I read Blacks blog and found it fascinating but I did not see the underlying meaning of it until I read your take. Many times we see the train wrecks and don't realize it is a mirror and not a window. The young believe they will never get hurt or die, the older sometimes get the notion that they don't have to obey all the rules. Bailey was a national superstar but recall the dozens of disasters that have befallen our justice building brethren over the last thirty years. Thanks for the advice.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but, in my office we don't steal client money. Just google Bailey and read what he did.

Anonymous said...

Two interesting side notes about F. Lee ... before he ever attended law school, he tried over 100 trials in military courts. He also attained the highest grade point average ever recorded when he finally attended the prestigious Boston University School of Law. It was said that when asked why he attended B.U. Law and not Harvard, he responded "if you want someone to write your will, you find yourself a Harvard lawyer. But if you want someone to fight to the death to defend your rights, you get yourself a lawyer from B.U."

George Frobisher said...

Didn't Jim Russ (Orlando) try the Coppolino case with Bailey? I wish Rumpole or Roy would invite Jim to write a guest blog post about it.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Edward Bennett Williams also go to B.U.?

Anonymous said...

Excellent summary of Bailey's career by Black (although I recall Bailey's work less favorably) and even better advice by Rumpole. I recently heard a lawyer gaily admit that he forgot to file a notice of appeal, evidently believing that there is no negative consequence. Protect yourself, paper your file with notes.