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

Friday, April 24, 2015

NEW COURTHOUSE OPENS

Sitting in the shadows of Miami's dilapidated civil courthouse, the new Gelber-Gladstone Children's courthouse  opened on Friday, with a bevy of local politicians and former Governor Bob Graham in attendance. 


Gelber-Gladstone courthouse
The Herald article is here. 

The new courthouse replaces perhaps the worst courthouse facility in the United States: the juvenile facility off of 27th avenue. 

But one wonders what chief Judge Soto must have thought, when glancing at the civil courthouse just a few blocks away, standing in asbestos-ladden, mold-ridden splendor. With vultures appropriately circling the higher floors, the civil courthouse is demode, and  stands as a constant, mocking and derisive reminder to Soto's failure last year to obtain funding for a new courthouse. The civil courthouse is her Israeli-Palestine conflict- an inscrutable  problem seemingly incapable of a solution. 

We wish those who will use the new children's courthouse well. We can't  count the number of juvenile cases we have handled, because the next one will be our first one.

We just have one question: will the new courthouse spawn a blog? 

Enjoy your weekend. 


41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Judge Michael Hanzman is the best Judge in juvenile court. He should be the Chief Judge. He would get a new civil courthouse built. Time for a new Chief Judge.

Anonymous said...

Soto is in as a judge because of her fathers influence. Just another little girl playing grownup. She, like the other little girls who wear the black robes, they have never accomplished anything as attorneys in private practice. Bring back the Whetherbird. Gerry was the best and was a great lawyer-professor as well. There will never be a new civil courthouse as long as she is there. Baily was just as bad.

Anonymous said...

I agree Judge Hanzman is very good but so is the newest Judge Marvel Ruiz. She knows what it is like to be in private practice. She is very polite, pragmatic and reasonable. A Judge with common sense, heart, and courage.

Anonymous said...

Hanzman for President

Anonymous said...

blame soto, miami has had just about the worst 3 courthouses, civil, juvenile and criminal of any major city for over 30 years. but its soto's fault.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, my life's work, "Agnew- a four act play" my magnum opus, is now ready for publication. Please print a bit for your readers.

August 3, 1968. Suite at the Hay Adams Hotel in DC, 2 days before the start of the Republican National Convention. Nixon and aides Halderman and Dean are sitting in the living room of the suite. Nixon is nursing his second scotch. On stage, is also a piano player. This is a tool I am using in the play. There will always be a piano player on the stage, playing period pieces. The actors will interact with the piano, leaning on it, or putting something on it. But they will otherwise ignore the player and mostly the music, except for the scene before intermission and the final scene when Agnew resigns.

Anyway, here it is:

Angew, a Play said...

Nixon: Ford wants Lindsay.
Halderman: Too liberal. The city is in a mess. Garbage strike, police strike, teachers strike, crime going crazy. Plus there may be women problems.
Dean: Rockefeller will take it.
Nixon. NO. Rocky is out. We don't want or need his money. I need someone plain, who will stay out of the way.
Halderman. How about Ford?
Nixon. Nah. Can't see him running in eight years, can you?
(audience will laugh)
Dean. Then it's Agnew.
Nixon. Spiro Spiro Spiro….get him on the phone.
(The piano player progresses from hail to the chief to a New Orleans Rag time Jazz tune)

Agnew: Hello?
Nixon: Sprio, Dick here. Pack your bags and come with us to Miami. I'm choosing you for Vice President.
Agnew: I'm…this is…well, (laughs) yes. Of course. I am honored Dick.
Nixon: Great welcome to the team. We're going to leak something tonight to the Post. I can count on the Washington Post to play ball. Good eggs over there.
(audience laughs again)
Anyway, we will speak more in Miami. One of my aides will call you tomorrow about travel plans.

The stage swings and as Nixon and his crew go off stage, we see Agnew sitting in a comfy chair in a well apportioned living room. The window is open and there is a tree and a bird signing.
The piano player is playing a selection of Beetles tunes.

Agnew: Vice President. Yeah…I like that.
(He smiles to himself)
And then in eight years, or if something happens earlier, who knows?
(Agnew chuckles to himself as the curtain comes down to the piano player playing Age of Aquarius)
Audience claps.

Seth Sklarey said...

It' Beatles, not Beetles. And Mitchell would have been there.

Anonymous said...

hanzman might be the best judge period.

Anonymous said...

So F'ing sick of the "little girl" judge comments. Attack these judges for their lack of education, temperament, experience, etc. if you want. However, calling these judges"little girls," when they were elected or appointed just like the little boys, is just stupid.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why anyone would take shots at Soto. She works hard, is regarded well by her colleagues, and has a rather large set of balls for a "little girl." She was a great criminal court judge and is doing a great job in Family now in addition to her duties. She tried to solve the problem of the civil courthouse and got shot down. She will try again.

Anonymous said...

Hanzman and Fine and now Zilber all make for a strong combination in the new courthouse. Too bad they are not in civil , more would be getting done , including a new courthouse.

Anonymous said...

yeah, 1:09 pm is a misogynist. it bothers him to see women in robes because the robes represent control and he doesn't like to see women in control. It would be interesting to know how his misogyny manifests in other aspects of his life -- his immediate family, his domestic matters, his sexual tastes, his porn preferences, his reading habits. Maybe the DSM-VIII will come up with a name for this condition (misogynist personality disorder (MPD)?), a list of symptoms and description of behaviors, treatment modalities and prognosis (guarded?). I'd love to see big-pharma take a crack at it. Then, the women in his life -- sex workers, sisters, daughters, nieces, etc. -- would have reason to hope for deliverance.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:09. For the most part they are "little girls" playing grownup.Most are from the SAO with no civil experience and are way in over their heads. They have very little life experience. We us to have great judges like Ed Klein, Ed Coward, Joe Farina, Phil Knight among others. Now we have the worst bench ever in Dade.

Secret Judge said...

Yes, the "little girl" comments are interesting. On the surface they do appear to be sexist. But what spawns these comments is an obvious truth, simply that the overwhelming majority of these women never did much of anything prior to their careers as judges. Almost all of this group never tried a jury trial as an attorney. They take unfair advantage of their gender and the bar's obsession with diversity to the exclusion of demonstrated accomplishment. Soto falls into this category. No trial experience and upon her selection as a Judge, she did everything possible to avoid a trial at the expense of the public. She is a very sweet likeable person with many positive traits, but not qualified to be a Judge, let alone Chief Judge. Give credit to Osvaldo for this one. He did the impossible.

Anonymous said...

The Agnew comments are interesting. Nixon picked him for one reason: he was Greek. One of the best kept secrets of American politics at that time was the almost maniacal loyalty of Greek Americans to both vote for one of their own and to raise money. Remember, these were the days when political fund raising was akin to selling cocaine in 1980's Miami. Lots of cash in brown shopping bags. And the Greek vote was huge in many northeastern states that Nixon kept close or carried. And Seth Salary is correct. Mitchell belongs in that room as well as Murray Chotiner

Anonymous said...

Hanzman and Fine and now Zilber all make for a strong combination in the new courthouse. Too bad they are not in civil , more would be getting done , including a new courthouse.

Claude Erskine Browne said...

11:46, well said.
I opposed Soto when she was an ASA. She was a solid lawyer and a decent person

Anonymous said...

Don't know how you can blame Judge Soto for lack of funding for a new courthouse. It was put before the electorate which soundly rejected the bond issue for a new courthouse.

Anonymous said...

The guy who leaves the "little girl" comments obviously has the smallest peeper in Miami.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, I'm actually surprised at and disappointed in you. The manner in which you wrote the article and referred to the civil courthouse as "mocking" and her "failure" is in bad taste.

The civil courthouse has been a disease for more years than I have been alive. It never had a 40 year inspection, the leaks, the crumbling columns, the mold, etc. have been there for 40+ years and did not simply pop up 4 or 5 years ago. Blame the politicians that turned a blind eye to the slow and continual deterioration of the building for so many years.

The resolution did not pass with the voters, true, but Miami voters are easily swayed by propaganda. There were a handful of people with a very specific, self-serving agenda who would routinely get on tv and lie about the state of the civil courthouse. The voters blindly followed because they only want to hear that no money will be expended. It didn't matter that it would have been only a few dollars per household per year because they either deliberately didn't hear that or willfully ignored it.

The ultimate resolution of the problem is not dead. It is still being worked on by the judge and others. Hopefully, it will be resolved. But to classify her efforts so far as "a failure" is unconscionable. She is the ONLY one who has tried to address the problem. Farina and Brown (and those before them) did nothing about it. Countless politicians over the years did nothing. And most of the legal community did not step up to assist either either (shamefully, myself included). Instead of bashing her efforts, why don't you acknowledge them and the continuing strides she is making.

As for the comment at 1:09, you are clearly an asshole who just does not like women. Don't you realize that the constant "little girl" comments automatically discredit ANYTHING you might have to say. Don't be jealous of other's achievements - instead make some of your own.

AS for the comments at 10:41 and 1:54 - I don't know Hanzman. He may be great. But Mavel??? Please...

Rumpole said...

Harry Truman had a sign on his desk: the buck stops here. When I go to trial I either win (most of the time) or lose (rarely). But when I lose it is my fault and my fault alone.
Soto tried to get the money. She failed. The failure is hers. Own it. And try again. And don't lose. Nobody remembers second place.

Anonymous said...

I practice in Juvi( and elsewhere) and do know Hanzman. This Judge has an unrivaled legal mind. If you have any doubt go read some of his insanely great Orders/4th DCA opinions. How he's been in Juvi for years is a total mystery. Having said that he's not Chief Judge material. Totally apolotical( just ask DCF) and would never glad hand enough to get votes. Also not patient enough to endure the beaurocracy. A rock star Judge( was at the very top of civil bar) but would be a terrible administrator. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

When you lose at trial its not always "your" the attorney's fault. It may feel like that, but it wasn't "your" decision to go to trial or "your" verdict that was read. It was the person who got caught red-handed with the alleged victims property, confessed, and was Id'ed by the neighbor, and caught on the nearby stores security camera. In the case of the "factually innocent" client, then yea it hits you like a ton of bricks and you do feel like it was your fault. If you were deficient in your work then it was your fault.

To all the j@ck@$$, misogynistic, helmet wearing, tools out there stop with the "little girl" comments. I would expect those type of comments from your clients, not the attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Wow Rumpole. You sound an awful lot like someone who has sour grapes. Did she deny one of your motions or something? I'd be interested to know whether you lifted a finger to help with the courthouse campaign efforts. My guess is no.

Kissimmee Kid said...

Why not maintain the beautiful old courthouse you already have, too much work for you indolent South Floridians? Or, is it just in your DNA to destroy everything old and build shitty new stuff. Cf. Tobacco Road.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


THE CAPTAIN RETORTS:

It's always easy to quote Harry Truman and his famous desk sign: "The buck stops here".

I can't agree with your position on this topic though and think 11:13 AM makes some valid comments.

You wrote: " .... Soto's failure last year to obtain funding for a new courthouse. The civil courthouse is her Israeli-Palestine conflict- an inscrutable problem seemingly incapable of a solution."

I don't believe for a second that it is the sole responsibility of the Chief Judge to obtain the funding necessary to build a new courthouse.

I do believe that she has been elected to a leadership position that speaks on behalf of the 123 judges in this Circuit and also on behalf of the citizens of our community that are forced (sometimes) to enter 73 West Flagler Street.

I believe that the Miami-Dade County Commission is ultimately the responsible party for whether a courthouse gets built, or not.

While I have enormous respect for former Chief Judges' Brown, Farina, and others, none of them stepped up to the plate and lobbied the County Commission, formed a coalition of private lawyers who raised six figures in money that funded a commercial campaign, (in a very short amount of time), and got an initiative to the voters.

Judge Soto and her team should be commended for getting the ball rolling and for keeping up the fight.

Also, this is in no way an Israeli-Palestine problem, incapable of a solution. Whether it is private sector driven, or public, or a combination of the two, this building will get built, in our lifetime, (maybe not before we retire).

See below one of the more recent updates on the funding courthouse issue and how they are attempting to get this done as a package deal so that we can get a new GJB at the same time.

Also note that the latest proposal is to build the new civil courthouse in the Civic Center area amongst the jail, the GJB, and JMH complexes. That should really make getting off the NW 12th exit of 836 even more enjoyable.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article5361933.html

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

Soto is a fantastic judge and her critcs on this blog couldn't carry her sandals. She was a first class student, prosecutor, judge and now chief. What is especially concerning is the mass grouping of "little girls' for criticism. There are a lot of idiots like Llorens, Tunis and Bronwyn who should not be mentioned in the same breath as Soto or Sayfie. This blog serves the finest bar in the country, the commentary on this point has been sexist and shameful.

Anonymous said...

Secret Judge,

I would love to know who you are. You clearly do not know the qualifications of the judge you speak of. I have tried many cases before her and, while I would agree with a lot of the criticisms of our current bench, I vehemently disagree with your assertions about our current Chief. She is one of our best.

It is insulting that you (and others) always seem to assume or allege that certain people (particularly women) achieved something because of their father or their husband or their brother, etc. Her father wasn't involved in the election for Chief Judge at all. He didn't make the first call or talk to the first person about it. Rather YOUR colleagues voted her in (not once, but twice) by a great margin. Perhaps you are one of those members of the judiciary who are jealous of the successes of others while you leave by 2 pm every day. In your down time, you may want to read your Judicial Canon of Ethics to refresh your recollection before you comment on this or any other topic.

Regardless, I wish that the members of the Bar who have to appear before this particular judiciary had many more Sotos and many less "secret judges" to contend with. Perhaps then, we wouldn't have to drink so heavily.....

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the "secret judge". The little girls who play grownup are mostly unqualified and have ascended to the bench as a result of gender diversity. Most have no life or civil trial experience or have even been in private practice. What amuses me is that these novice judges,appear as "lecturers" at seminars to input there "vast knowledge" to lawyers. This includes Areces who before running for election sold Amway products and never had a jury trial, and never practiced as an attorney. And Gordo,was a mere gang prosecutor at the SAO and is equally incompetent. Not to mention the other little girls like Ruiz-Cohen, ect. We use to have some great female judges like Ellen and Linnae Johnson(fed mag). But no more.Soto's father, Osvaldo got Kathy to hire his daughter in that she could not get a job otherwise. This was a payback for Osvaldo supporting her in her reelection campaign. What a weak bench dade has.

Rumpole said...

2:38 I did indeed lift one finger when I pressed the screen to vote for the new courthouse. Yup. I lifted one finger and voted yes. And it still didn't work. As to Soto denying my motion, my motions don't get denied so I have no sour grapes with her. I find her to be a very good judge. But in the respect of getting the new courthouse the fact is she didn't get the job done. A loss is a loss is a loss. And she lost.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,
Isn't it always you defense lawyers patting yourselves on the back and saying you "fought the good fight"??? You're a hypocrite. I agree with the previous comments. She's a great judge who is actually trying to accomplish something rather than sitting back and doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

Every Sunday in society photo page of the Herald I come across Judge Brwonyn Miller. It seems she spends more time trying to appear in the photos of the people who form fund raisers so they can gain publicity and photos in the Herald. The same women appear almost every Sunday. What qualification does Miller have besides being somewhat cute with blonde hair. And why the weird first name.

Anonymous said...

Gimme a break. Go rent some space in an office building and quit trying to be nostalgic about the civil courthouse. On its best day, it is too old and small to function as a major courthouse in a major city. Gut the thing, then renovate it and make it some other type of government office building or rent it out in a public/private partnership. But sitting around trying to figure out how to keep people from dropping dead from mold or drowning in the basement is stupid. Its like trying to figure out how to make a 77 Cadillac run on the Metrorail tracks.

Soto needs a to run the judiciary like a large law firm that has outgrown its space. A three month campaign to have a grumpy electorate approve hundreds of millions of dollars was dead from the get go and was short sighted.

Anonymous said...

Zilber? Ha! Buddy, you couldn't carry the jock strap of Fine or Hanzman...You posted your own name at 5:17 and 9:56 pm. to try and be relevant. Talk about a "little boy" judge. Never tried a case, never ran a practice, was nothing more than a CLI at the SAO. Ran, lost, ran, lost, applied, denied. Finally Ziggy's taxicab money got you elected...barely. You've been a judge for a a little more than a fortnight, take it easy.

Rumpole said...

5:46 I don't go in for that "fought the good fight" bullshit. My clients pay me to win. That's it.

Anonymous said...

1:09 pm, Let's assume there were two new African-American male judges you believed to be under-qualified. Would you refer to them as "little boys"? You'd expect a lot of eye-gouging, and you'd have earned it right? What stops you when it comes to demeaning women? Here I am now, silently pushing my thumb through your eye.

Rumpole, stop publishing comments that demean your women readers, and the wives, sisters, aunts, nieces and mothers of your male readers. Do you plan to allow racist epithets next?

Anonymous said...

The Zilber comment is spot on except you should point out that he was a traffic magistrate for a while. That makes you qualified to impose a life sentence or death penalty, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I like Soto, She is fast, fair and reasonable. The Old Civil Court is pretty . remove the mold and fix the bathrooms it as good as new. What will become of the old juvi court house? are they keeping the Juvi jail on 32AVE ?

Anonomis said...

Hi just need to know how can I optain Judge Marvel Ruiz email.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

What is Judge Marvel Ruiz Email