Tuesday, October 27, 2015


THIS IS THE CITY, Miami, Florida. Home to over a million residents. Citizens enjoy access to a  variety of golf courses, pristine beaches, fishing and diving and water-skiing. You can get authentic Cuban cuisine on Calle Ocho, or hobnob with models and superstar chefs on South Beach. 

Sometimes people act up at the criminal courthouse. When they do, I go into action. 
I write a blog. 

The story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed. 

It was Monday, October 26, 2015. It was cloudy in Miami. There had been days of scattered showers. We were contemplating a third glass of wine over a late seafood lunch, when suddenly, our twitter feed erupted. 

A prosecutor had been pick pocketed. There had been a chase. Then an arrest. 

David Ovalle at the Miami Herald had the story here. 

ASA Chiaka Ihekwaba and defense attorney Jose Herrera were on the escalator leaving the courthouse when someone bumped into Ihekwaba. She felt her purse. Her Iphone was gone! A chase ensued . 

"Stop thief" shouted Ihekwaba. Immediately twenty-five people walking outside the courthouse, including three defense attorneys, froze in their tracks. 

Herrera joined the chase ( a moved frowned upon by the FACDL. His membership is "being reviewed" an unnamed spokesperson for the group said). The suspect raced outside and into the arms of Miami Beach Police Officer Kevin Milan, who being outside of his jurisdiction, effectuated a citizens arrest. One Dachel Gonzalez, aged thirty-two, (R) and supporting Donald Trump,  was taken into custody. 

Investigators arrived on the scene. They had questions. "What was the escalator doing working during a Monday, one wondered? What was a police officer doing at the REGJB another pondered? Why did the suspect immediately use the phone to log onto facebook and unfriend Kathy Rundle?"

The cell phone was recovered. But it is evidence in a criminal case. 

In a month the case will be arraigned. In a few months a trial will be set. And then continued. And then continued again. 

At some point we will have the results of this case. 

The story you have just read is true. No names were changed, although a few were probably spelled incorrectly. 

See you in court. 


Anonymous said...

total genius. You are the best writer around. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Weds Oct 26, 2015?

Anonymous said...

No mention of Juan Gonzalez? Common man... He had the best quote ever in the Herald's article: "I was going to tackle him and destroy him right there, but since there was a police officer right there, I didn't have to." About pissed in my pants laughing when I read it.

Anonymous said...

Kiko Sarasua once punched out a defendant who escaped from a courtroom and was being chased.

Anonymous said...

Big deal Kenny W once grabbed a banana out of a baby's hand and threw the peel down on the floor in front of a bad guy escaping. He slipped and fell but the baby was inconsolable

Anonymous said...

It was the baby's daddy escaping. Kenny ruined everything. That's why the kid wouldn't stop crying.

Real Fake Former Judge Colby said...

Remember "Brian Piccolo"? The movie.

Well, I LOVE KENNY W. We used to shop together in Bal Harbour Shops when I was on the bench and he was trying big money cases.

Old Guy! said...

Long time ago, Rich Wennett, then an SAO intern -- long before he became a Palm Beach judge -- heard a defendant refuse to be taken into custody, shout something - then head for the door. Rich, who had been playing linebacker for a semi-pro football team stood his ground. And as the face came forward, Rich's forearm took him out -- COLD! The jailers soon followed to arrest the unfortunate subject.
Very few stories happen just once around the Justice Building.

Anonymous said...

Spare me the mutual admiration society. It's makes me Ill. Get a room.

Anonymous said...

Let's Go Mets Let's Go Mets Let's Go Mets
Let's Go Mets Let's Go Mets Let's Go Mets
Let's Go Mets Let's Go Mets Let's Go Mets

Anonymous said...

11:36 A.M. Marijuana use is not yet legal in Florida. Avoid writing while under the influence.

Anonymous said...

This has to be the best part of the story:

“I was going to tackle him and destroy him right there,” said defense attorney Gonzalez. “But since there was a police officer right there, I didn’t have to.”

Blonde Pd said...

The post is funny. The writing crisp. Rumpole is head and shoulders above the rest of you intellectually.

Anonymous said...

I just died laughing... "His membership is "being reviewed"

I'm surprised he can still run.

Anonymous said...

Possibly the worst place to pickpocket someone.

Anonymous said...

OCTOBER 29, 1962

In October of 1962, the United States Supreme Court appointed one of Washington’s preeminent lawyers, Abe Fortas, to represent an indigent defendant whose petition for certiorari to the Court had been granted. On Oct. 29, Fortas wrote a letter to his new client, asking for “a detailed biographical description.” Shortly thereafter he received a 22-page reply, written in pencil on lined prison-issue paper. It concluded with these words:

I have no illusions about law and courts or the people who are involved in them. I have read the complete history of law ever since the Romans first started writing them down and before the laws of religions. I believe that each era finds an improvement in law[,] each year brings something new for the benefit of mankind. Maybe this will be one of those small steps forward[. I]n the past thirty-five years I have seen great advancement in courts in penal servitude. Thank your for reading all of this. Please try to believe that all I want now from life is the chance for the love of my children[,] the only real love I have ever had.

Sincerely yours,
Clarence Earl Gideon

Anonymous said...

About 18 years ago, some prisoner in a courtroom knocked over the corrections officer and ran down the hallway on the second floor. He was cuffed hands and feet.

Mike Catalano was sitting on a bench near the door talking with a prosecutor and threw his brief case under the guy's legs so he fell and was having a hard time getting up. Didn't take long for the who police world to show up. The guy almost made it to the escalator.

The guy was really pissed at Catalano and cussed him out.

I was in the courtroom and came out after it happened but, I saw the prosecutor flashing his badge at the guy on the ground. All very strange.

Anonymous said...

If you need a referral, just ask Ray. Dont bother emailing Facdl. He knows the best attorney in every field in every city in every state. It's amazing

Da Fonz said...

This blog has jumped the shark.
If you were born after 1984, follow the link.

Anonymous said...

My facebook feed lately has been inundated with lawyers drumming up support for their campaigns to be named to the "Most Effective Lawyers Under 50, but over 30" list, or "South Florida Super Duper Lawyer" list , or most gallingly "Best Trial Lawyer".

Many years ago I was an associate at a civil firm. The well-connected, well-moneyed partners wanted to spruce up my resume a bit -- so after a few phone calls I was a Super Lawyer Under 30 and a Best Trial Lawyer, etc. They then put all this under my name on firm literature.

Since I left, and returned to practicing criminal law, and returned to actually trying cases, I stopped doing all that shit.

If youre a trial lawyer, you should be able to tell your potential clients how many cases you tried this year, 2015, and what the outcomes were. As a matter of fact, the Bar would finally be worth something if it kept a simple webpage where you could click on a lawyer's name and see his trial stats.

But I guess then the Super Awesome South Florida A+ Rated Lawyer journals and associations would not be making their money. Can't have that.

Jules said...

Dear Da Fonz:

The blog is like Fonzie.

And what's Fonzie like? Come on what's Fonzie like?

He's COOL. Have a sense of humor for once in your life. Your comment reeks of insecurity -- makes you less anonymous and a lot less like Fonzie.

Anonymous said...

I was there. I'm pretty sure a rogue member of ISIS took the phone.

Anonymous said...

Read this, again. Still funny. Still laughing.

Anonymous said...

Pulp Fiction Reference > Happy Days Reference

Any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

I saw a very experienced Def atty kick the bejezus out of a very experienced prosecutor at a hearing today. And he out thought him on the fly and backed him into an ugly corner. Good advocacy is so hard to come by these days.

Real Fake Former Judge said...

Bfd. I saw the 007 of Dui win a stop motion on a 4th Dui in Hendry County Monday. The plea was 3 years as it was a felony and the judge had 40 jurors in the hallway. Then 007 worked his magic and two hours later He turned down a reckless and took the dismissal and said "see you on appeal" . He has ice water in his veins. Cool.

Anonymous said...

Like the 007. Love the Q. Hate RFFJ

Anonymous said...

When asking for a referral on facdl, we expect someone who answers to say, I know this attorney personally, or worked with her or him. This keeps the referral as someone we can trust. When you, most likely, just google someone or look in your nacdl handbook and vouch for someone you never met or have first hand knowledge of, you diminish the quality of our organization.

If you don't have first hand knowledge and can prove it, stop referring lawyers. You know who you are. Ray. You do not know lawyers Pesonally in Fargo, Phoenix, Puerto Rico, bakersfield, bumfick Wisconsin, etc. When I ask for a Referral I want a serious response. I call for a moratorium on your referring people who " maybe can handle the case or maybe knows someone who does"

I, too, can use google. Enough is enough.

/s/ everyone

Anonymous said...

Tonight is the Public Defender banquet.
Paid $50 for terrible food and a drink so I can kiss Carlos's ass

Anonymous said...

Dear 4:48 PM:

I don't necessarily have a quarrel with the point of your comment, but why would you choose to post your comment on the JBB. Why don't you email Ray directly and suggest that his referrals should only be ones where he has personal knowledge of the attorney? Why don't you have a serious discussion with Ray, if your comment was truly meant to be serious.

Because, by posting it on this "entertainment" blog, the same one that spends half its comments on something called the "ren" (I still have no idea who or what that is), you have lost all respect for what might have been a valuable comment.

Ray, to his credit, is very smart and savvy. I have only had one case against him and he proved to be a very knowledgeable attorney. He also, apparently, is very involved in NACDL and works on the NACDL Board with very skilled attorneys from around the country. He is volunteering and networking at the same time. He is smart enough to know that networking is an integral pat of practicing law; (see the discussion from last week when someone quoted from Tannebaum's book, The practice). He always cc's the attorney he is referring. That way, when that attorney needs a criminal defense attorney here in Miami, who do you think is the first person that out of state attorney will think of calling? Why Ray of course.

Instead of criticizing, learn something. Instead of criticizing, volunteer for a local, state, or national bar group and while you are giving back to your profession, you may also pick up some business along the way.

And again, I think your point is very well taken, (but who knows whether Ray even reads this Blog).

Anonymous said...


I do volunteer on many legal and non legal pro bono issues. This is not an issue. Many of us do.

To be clear, I have no issues with Ray. For better or worse, I simply do not know him. I understand he has an excellent reputation and I am not trying to denigrate him.

I completely agree that networking can help our clients as well as our business. My issues are the following:

If someone asks for a recommendation, I feel as though I am vouching for that attorney and my name is on the line. If someone wants a great Martin county DUI attorney, I will only refer if i actually know that attorney on a professional level and can attest to her/his work ethic. I will not refer a client to an attorney simply because I met her/him at a conference. If I cant personally vouch for an attorney, i will keep my mouth shut.

I believe the FACDL list serve is a wonderful tool for all of us. I just want to keep the integrity of it intact. I understand that if one sends a referral out of state, he or she will be likely to get a referral in kind. Good marketing. But I dont believe the mission statement of FACDL is to get out of jurisdiction referrals.

Again, I want to stress that I have never a heard a bad word about about Ray. In fact, I hear he is well respected. But it just bothers me a little when one attorney "knows" a contact in every single city and state. Referring a client to another attorney, is, in my opinion, serious business. We all want the best for our clients.

Whether I am right or wrong, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth when one attorney seems to know the best attorney in every city. Not to beat a dead horse, when I ask for a referral, I want an attorney to say, " Hey, I worked with this guy in Kansas City on a case or two and I trust him". I dont need an email saying I looked up this guy on NACDL and he is the best.

This is just an opinion from an average, 20 year attorney in the Reg. Please dont let seem as an attack on anyone. I just want to know if I ask for a referral it is a thoroughly vetted attorney.

And again, I have never heard anyone say a bad word against ray; from all accounts he is a fine attorney. I apologize if my previous post was short sided.