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, June 30, 2015

JUDGE VICTORIA SIGLER HAS RETIRED

We're losing one of the good gals. 

We first met Vicki Sigler when she was a no-nonsense -take no guff-PD who fought like hell for her clients, with a little bit of a  home-spun old time Florida accent.

When she ran for the bench and then won, it was a win for all of us. A very qualified lawyer devoting her career to public service. Judge Sigler wasn't some privileged lawyer with five years experience and no trials BS'ing voters at meet-n-greets about her devotion to justice. She was the real deal. She had tried cases and been in the thick of it, where the rubber meets the road. 

When she took the bench, she brought the kind of wisdom and insight that only someone who really knows their job and the justice system can bring to the bench. There was no highfalutin pronouncements of judicial philosophy, and certainly no political bent to her rulings. 

Judge Sigler knew the law, and she applied it. 
Judge Sigler knew right from wrong, and she did right. 
Is there any better appellation for a judge then to be called someone who did right by those who appeared before her? 

Judge Sigler is retiring out west, to a variety of pursuits and interests outside of the law. Good for her. She did her time, and we are all the better off for it. 

But we lost one of the good gals today, and maybe it's the humidity that has us pessimistic, but we just done see the type of quality individuals applying for the bench that Vicki Sigler was and is. Judge Sigler is the kind of judge who can't be replaced. Someone will take her seat on the bench, but they won't fill her shoes. 

Via Con Dios Judge Vicki Sigler. 


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of respect for her but she did become a bit ornery in the end

Rumpole said...

I'll take honest and ornery over some smiling 30 yr old judge with no experience and a right wing agenda designed to please his or her Tallahassee masters who appointed them. Any day -every day - every case.

The Professor said...

Yes, I think everyone who knows Victoria knows she is a little on the ornery side with a biting sense of humor. But she is smart, direct, fair and will be sorely missed. I have known her for over 35 years and she has remained true to herself and that is to be admired. I wish her well and happiness in her retirement. It is well deserved.

Anonymous said...

One day in criminal court some old guy said yes "sir" to Victoria. She smiled, touched her chin and said, I must not be waxing hard enough...

She has a funny sense of humor.

Former PD said...

Judge Sigler was definitely one of the best we had. She had a terrific sense of humor that I loved as a PD assigned to her division and, later on, when I went to private civil practice. She is not "ornery", she just demanded no nonsense and sprinkled it with a little sarcasm - perfectly timed, every time. She was decisive and did what she thought was right. And, more often than not, she was, in fact, right. I will miss her immensely. Enjoy your retirement Judge but don't forget us!

Anonymous said...

Rump,

In 1992 I was a certified legal intern in the Public Defender's office when it occupied a high floor in the Justice Building. After lunch, I had time before my next deposition and was waiting to take the elevator downstairs to try and find Sharpstein, Rodney Thaxton or someone else to watch in trial. I had yet to try my first felony case.

Before the elevator arrived out of the office side door bursts Victoria Sigler, with That Stare. "Hey kid: what are you doing? You want to try a case?" After I accepted, I learned that she meant, in less than 5 minutes.

She introduced me to Tamara Gray who was preparing to pick a jury before Judge Barbara Levenson. Unoccupied late-night warehouse burglary just west of the Justice Building. Jury hung. Retrial in the morning. Judge Levenson called Sigler to her courtroom and demanded I not return. "I don't want that boy back in this courtroom." Upstairs I handed the file to Sigler, who gave me The Stare. "What are you doing," she asked. "Giving you back the file. You heard Judge Levenson," I said. The Stare. "I want you to pick the jury next time. Trial starts at 9 am. Do't be so timid this time." The jury hung twice more before the state dismissed.

Godspeed, Vicky.

Paul Calli

Rumpole said...

Love that story.

Anonymous said...

You're totally right. Smart, experienced and capable with a great sense of humor. She takes the cases but not herself very seriously. Will miss her.

Steven Bustamante said...

Vaya con dios, indeed.

Anonymous said...

They don't make'em like her anymore, unfortunately.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

"Anything your data says you did may be used against you in a court of law."

How Data From Wearable Tech Can Be Used Against You In A Court Of Law

CAN YOU SAY FITBIT (courtesy HuffPost).....

When wearable computers can disprove what someone told police, you know you're living in a future that has arrived sooner than expected.

According to LancasterOnline, a woman in Pennsylvania has been charged with knowingly filing a false report after forensic evidence and the data from her Fitbit undermined her claim of rape.

The court affidavit obtained by LancasterOnline indicated that data from her wearable fitness tracker showed that the woman in question, Jeannine Risley, was awake and active the entire night, including at the time she told police officers she was sleeping.

This wasn't the the first time that Fitbit data has been used in a court room. Last November, Parmy Olson reported how a Fitbit was used in a personal injury claim by a personal trainer in Calgary, Canada. In that case, data from the activity tracker was analyzed to establish a baseline reference for her level of fitness to compare it to someone of her age and profession.

In the case in Pennsylvania, however, Fitbut data was directly used to contradict a claim. As Kashmir Hill observed at Fusion, "it's likely we'll see more Fitbits being trotted out in court in the future, as the wearable trend takes hold, and self-tracking leads to self-incrimination."

That's why this case should catalyze a national discussion about when and how suspects can or should disclose data from a wearable computing device, whether it's a Fitbit, Apple Watch or Google health wristband. Last June, in a landmark decision on a crucial civil liberties issue, the United States Supreme Court applied the Fourth Amendment to the digital domain, holding that "the police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested."

According to ABC 27, Risley gave the username and password to her Fitbit account to the local police department, which also discovered the device itself was in the hallway after she claimed it had been lost.

If she had refused to provide access to her account or the device data, it might have led a prosecutor to need to go to court to get a warrant to access the device. If the data was also accessible on Fitbit's servers, however, it would have fewer legal protections than data on a cellphone or home computer, as is the case with Web-based email and other cloud-based data.

That loophole is one reason that many civil liberties and privacy advocates have been pushing Congress to update the Electronic Communication Privacy Act to give citizens digital due process.

As the United States of America nears its 239th Independence Day, this liberty remains unprotected on the 4th of July. Despite 284 cosponsors for theEmail Privacy Act (H.R. 699), the bill has yet to be brought to a vote. Even it passed into law, however, there's no passage in H.R. 699 that refers to data from wearable computing.

It may be years before police officers will need to read an updated version of the Miranda Warning to citizens upon arrest: "Anything your data says you did may be used against you in a court of law."

Cap Out .....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

RED LIGHT RULING FROM JUDGE LEIFMAN .....

Many of you have been waiting for a decision from Judge Leifman.

The latest update we have is that the attorney for the City requested a ten day extension to file their Closing Argument. Judge Leifman Granted that extension and the deadline is now July 20th. Judge Leifman expects to have a ruling by Friday, August 21, 2015.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Steve Leifman lives to make money for the government. What is so fucking hard to do... The DCA opinion is clear.

The Professor said...

Nice Cap. Sounds like she was Fitbit to be tied. Oh, that was soon bad, but felt so good.

Anonymous said...

Fingerhut was great in federal court last week before Moreno. He must be the professor.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Judge - you made a difference in the lives of those who stood before you during a difficult time. Victims, Defendants and Young Attorneys alike!

The Professor said...

I feel so bad for Scott. No matter how hard he tries, no one believes he is not me.