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, March 21, 2016

OBAMA SI! CASTRO NO

President Obama is the first President to travel to Cubs since Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge's trip to Cuba was his only trip overseas. 

Count us as a staunch anti-communist. We have recently turned down the opportunity to travel to Cuba several times. We will not set foot on the island until it is free. 

But we do not condemn the President's trip. He has correctly sensed that Cuba is at a tipping point. His trip will result in more freedoms in Cuba, not less. His trip and the normalization of relations between Cuba and the US will result in the end of communism quicker. It will not prop up that criminal regime. 

CONTEMPT

Trial continues today and probably tomorrow before Judge Charles Johnson, wherein the major question is not what will happen to the defendant, but the defense attorney?

There is a fine line defense attorneys must continually walk. We want to win. We must do our best for our client. We must respect the court and all that the court stands for. 

As defense attorneys we often decry when prosecutors abandon their most important job- to do justice. When a prosecutor becomes merely an advocate for the state and tries to win at all costs, we and most of our readers are the first to decry such actions. Rightfully so. 

The rules apply to both sides. Defense attorneys are officers of the court. Who amongst us has not received a terrible ruling in trial? A ruling where we know the judge is wrong (gasp!) and will hurt the defense. If you try cases, this happens. An experienced defense attorney likes a little of this. They object. They protect the record. They move for a mistrial. They file motions for re-consideration. They try and make it the focus of the trial. In a respectful manner they will address the ruling multiple times and make sure the record clearly shows the prejudice to their client.  It creates a great appeal. A great defense attorney hates a trial where all the rulings go their way and the judge is solicitous. It becomes a clean trial where only the verdict can save the client.  

A smart judge gives the defense a clean trial. But when that doesn't happen, there is a way for the defense to turn it to their advantage and losing one's temper is NOT the way to go. 

We like the defense in this case. He is a great and talented attorney who wins very tough cases that most other lawyers don't have the guts to even try. He needs to dial it back just a bit. For his own sake. 

See You In Court. 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

There have been half a dozen "hot takes" on the blog so far re: AM's contemptuous behavior, including your own, but it is still not clear what that behavior even was!

He threw a pen -- where? At whom? At the jury box? Jurors are completely silent during trial. Why did he throw a pen at the jury box if he was mad at the judge or the ASA? What did he say? What was the context?

Until *all* of that is clear, who the fuck knows whether he was contemptuous.

Anonymous said...

I really like the way Alex fights hard for his clients but, have you ever seen him in "action" in a courtroom? He makes Donald Trump look tame. He has zero respect for judges and is very unprofessional. He screams at his clients and calls them names on the record. He simply ignores court orders.

There's a reason Alex has had so many contempt issues, he as serious anger issues and honestly, he makes us all look bad.

There is only one lawyer worse... that guy with the yamaca. The guy who has trouble spitting out a single sentence without misrepresenting something to a judge.

Anonymous said...

It's not easy being civil in an adversarial arena, that's what Alex needs to understand and embrace. The most effective advocates are also the most affable. Alex's extremely zealous advocacy has certainly helped some yet, it has also caused harm. He has had too many problems over his behavior. If he doesn't learn, the Bar will school him.

Anonymous said...

Alex needs to sell cars for a living. His outbursts and disrespect for the law makes every lawyer look like a fool.

Anonymous said...

What defense attorney wears a yamaca and regularly lies to judges? Is that supposed to be some anti Semitic remark? Confused

Anonymous said...

The unspoken truth about Alex Michaels is that 90% of defendants live in a world apart from our own. Their neighborhoods, their buildings, their schools don't have anyone that looks or dresses or acts like we do. When they walk into court and one white lawyer in a suit is talking with another white lawyer in a suit in front of a white judge about the possibility that they will spend years in a cage, using words and terms they are not familiar with.... It's not hard to imagine they see the whole system is rigged.

It's common knowledge they often believe the PD is "working with" the state. It's likely they imagine we all socialize -- and we often do. They will never have a friend who is an ASA. They will never share drinks with a judge at a "mixer". They will never learn what a "capias" is or the difference between types of "speedy trials". They are likely personally familiar with someone who was arrested by a lying police officer and someone else whose children must grow up with their dad in a cage.

So our pride in acting "civilly" in court really means jack shit to them.

They see Alex looking and acting pissed off. They see Alex pissing on relationships with ASAs and judges. And there is no wonder he has a client list so full that he employs a bevy of hot young women lawyers to cover all his appearances. Can you think of any other lawyer who has as many cases in as many divisions?

He may not be getting huge fees because his clients are often poor, but he has TONS of clients, and that is likely because they appreciate that he, at the very least, will fight to the end.

Anonymous said...

"Great and talented" in the same sentence as Alex Michaels. That is a stretch. More like "loud, obnoxious and fearless." Yes he will win some cases but then again anyone who tries a lot of cases will win some. This is Miami Dade county people.

the trialmaster said...

This fool is an idiot and a disgrace to our profession. If he tried this crap in federal court he would never see the light of day. So its a good thing he dwells in the bowels of the justice building as a bottom feeder.

Anonymous said...

If you run Alex on the Bar website, you see one complaint for doing the exact same thing 11 years ago. So, for those of you who think he got the message, think again.

Funny, you don't see any other closed complaints?

The Bar only goes after hot potato cases. How do you spell hot potato in Romanian?

Anonymous said...

Just got sad news:

Attorney Lance Stelzer passed away.

I rented space in his office for over 10 years.

He had been rather ill lately.

He was famous for being the prosecutor who (about 35 years ago) handled probably the only case in the USA of a murder solved by a fingerprint on a dead body.

He leaves behind a son who is about 13. I know he was a very proud father of that boy.

Mike Catalano

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


potatoe fierbinte

Anonymous said...

I have Google translate.

Hot potato is "Cartof fierbinte" in Romanian.

So there!

Anonymous said...

Such a bunch of jealous haters out there, only mad because Alex gets more clients then you. Sad

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken Robert Godwin, former ASA and former APD and Lance Stelzer's sometimes law partner, also died recently in Memphis.

Anonymous said...

Go enjoy a trip to Cuba now, before it is ruined by capitalism and looks like New Jersey, or worse, Florida, covered in strip malls and brand logos.

The United States is a Communist nation through Federal Reserve central planning of Big Banks, and by extension, much of the economy.

Are you familiar with Fulgencio Batista,?

"...Batista suspended the 1940 Constitution and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who owned the largest sugar plantations, and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between rich and poor Cubans.[5] Batista's increasingly corrupt and repressive government then began to systematically profit from the exploitation of Cuba's commercial interests, by negotiating lucrative relationships with the American mafia, who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses in Havana, and with large US-based multinationals who were awarded lucrative contracts..."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulgencio_Batista

Batista ultimately fled the island with an amassed personal fortune, and eventually found political asylum in Oliveira Salazar's Portugal, where he lived until dying of a heart attack on August 6, 1973, near Marbella, Spain