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

Thursday, April 14, 2016

FAILURE

The most important lesson of life is failure. 

The measure of a person is not how many times they are knocked down, but how many times they get back up. 

It's important that the best among us fail. It gives them perspective on the rest of us. When the best fail, they judge those who come before them in the light of their life's experiences. We're not just talking about judges here. Parents who see their children repeating the mistakes they made thirty years ago; the politician who knows failure and humiliation and even personal indiscretion, who is given a second chance. And yes, the prosecutor who fails and commits a crime. 

We live in a time of instant information, where failures are recorded on the internet for time immemorial and where the politics of absolutism demand that leaders, officials, candidates, presidents, judges, et.al, all tow the religious, moral and philosophical line of their constituents without error or deviation. 

General Petraeus was forced out of the CIA because of an affair he had in Iraq during his leadership of the surge that finally ended the fighting. 

Dwight Eisenhower, a lowly Lieutenant General from Kansas was plucked from obscurity by George Marshall to become the Supreme Allied Commander of the Armed Forces in Europe for World War II. It was upon Eisenhower's shoulders, and his alone, that he made perhaps the momentous decision of the 20th century, when on June 2, 1944, he postponed the invasion of Europe from June 5 to June 6. On June 5, he gave the final go-ahead, sending 4,000 warships and 160,000 men into battle. On May 30, 1944 the British Commander of the entire Airborne Operation asked Ike to cancel the paratrooper drop of 18,000 men, arguing that he would lose 90% of them. Eisenhower needed the airborne to control the bridges and access to the beaches and keep the German army from throwing the invasion back into the sea. Eisenhower called the decision to go with the airborne assault the toughest decision of his life. 

Eisenhower had a mistress throughout most of WWII. And yet he performed his duties superbly, and became president of the United States. 

Would Eisenhower be court-marshaled today? 

Several Presidents had mistresses before and during their time in office. 

Lincoln, surely our greatest president who suffered the most in office and made the most difficult and loneliest decisions of any president, was most certainly manic-depressive. And yet Lincoln saved the Union. The greatest figure of the 20th century- Winston Churchill also suffered from depression. Would we be better off today if Lincoln and Churchill were disqualified from service? 

Franklin Roosevelt served almost sixteen years as President, taking the country from the depression to the edge of victory in WWII. Roosevelt had a mistress. His affair was discovered by his wife well before he became president. 
None of these great men would have withstood the intense scrutiny today. 

Our scrutiny of leaders, achievers, and those who dare, weeds out the best, and leaves us with the most mediocre. Perhaps they've never had an affair or a bout of depression, but they are deemed "morally pure"- the only crucible that now seems to matters. 

 Given the choice, the last person we would ever want to sentence us would be a judge who has never failed or erred in their personal choices. It's their life experience and not their pretense at perfection that gives them the perspective to do their job. 

How many Supreme Court nominees in the late 1980's and 1990's were disqualified because they may have smoked marijuana? 
Would a brilliant female jurist who had an abortion be disqualified from service today?

"Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone."

Wise words from a failed carpenter. The son of a single woman. A man who consorted with a prostitute.

See you in court. 

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a good post. But why do you keep taking these jabs at Christians and Christianity? It's as stupid as the Jewish State Attorney and Judges post you criticized.


Huey Freeman said...

We shall see if KFR agrees with your post. I for one do.

Anonymous said...

So......?

Anonymous said...

Your post is dead-on, but it's an odd one from a lawyer who runs a gossip blog.

You have posted in the past that you find your heart is less and less in this blog and that if there were a worthy successor you would hand over the keys. This business with the ASA makes me think the time is nigh. I love your blog, but readers can feel the awkwardness when you simultaneously cover the newsworthy event and make your own negative comments about the subject, while eliding the name. In a google age, anyone can just open a tab and fill-in-the-blank. It's like Louis C.K.'s bit about "the N word". He rails that the phrase "the N word" just makes HIM have to do the dirty work of thinking the ugly word.

Ive posted before and suggest again: turn the blog over to a super team of a PD, ASA, and maybe a clerk or JA. They dont even have to know each other's identity. You can be blogger emeritus.

Anonymous said...

The he/she prosecutor arrested for DUI over the weekend just resigned. I guess this failure post really got to this person. They were a good one, too.

Rumpole said...

I don't attack any religion. I attack those who believe being religious is a quality that is necessary to be president, senator, prosecutor, dog catcher, teacher, etc.

Anonymous said...

I liked the post a lot. Some, not all, criminal offenses fit your definition of failure. I wish the SAO could understand this concept of failure as applied to our clients and resolve those cases accordingly.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...

So the person who shall remain nameless has reigned their position at the SAO. Sad. Very very sad.

Anonymous said...


So now he/she is a single mother/father facing felony charges who has given up her/his annual salary of $81,235.92 according to public online records, and will have a difficult time finding work with this matter pending. One mistake. We all deserve a second chance.

Anonymous said...

The average individual today is quick to judge and convict on superficial and incomplete or crafted information. We live in a sound bite world. The thirty second quote carries the day, no one reads the substance anymore. Thus, titular allegations or accusation appeal to the average reader and are seen as gospel. Frequently, the titular accusations are devoid of merit or substance, but the average propagator ignores the fact that he/she lacks substantive details and preaches the titular “truth” in a vacuum. The gossip mongers are ever more prevalent in our dog-eat-dog profession which is plagued with envy. Far too many of our colleagues thrive and form opinions on gossip ignoring the obvious deficiency of evidence, what is worst is they propagate the often half-truths to enhance their own egos. It is easy to spread half-truths in anonymity - such as in blogs. It’s been suggested that once aspersions are casts the doubts will remain long after the falsity of those aspersions is exposed. We have waiting periods for buying a gun, should we not have a verification period before we engage in character assassination? It really should make no never mind if the person is john Q citizen, a public employee or even an elected official, they are entitle to a full and fair expose' before being crucified in the anonymous blog or in the limited print media.

Anonymous said...

Rump,

I want you to know that these words were of great comfort to me personally today. I hope that the now former ASA, whom must be going through a very difficult time, finds some solace in them as well. We are human and by nature imperfect. We are so imperfect, that at times we forget how human we are when we sit and criticize someone else for being human and imperfect as well.

Thank you, from one imperfect being to another.

Anonymous said...

That's bullshit. You do attack Christians. Imagine inserting any other group identifier: black, Hispanic, Jewish, and then being as derisive as you are. Instead of saying bible-thumper, say hood rat and see what happens. Besides exposing you as a sensitive little phony, itexposes the hypocrisy of the PC left. You all aren't interested in eliminating racism, sexism, mircoagresssions, or any of the other PC classes you've made up. And that's because you don't really think it's wrong -- as long as you aren't the victim. You just want to be on the giving end and not the receiving end. That's it.

Rumpole said...

Nobody says this is a jewish country, or a black country or a Hindu country. But somehow despite the first amendment, right wing fundamental christians believe this is a christian country. And so I do attack that. The irony is that most of the fundamental religious right is too stupid to understand the protections of the first amendment protect their ability to practice their religion. I would love to see someone ask Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz if this is a christian country. They have to say yes- and that exposes their beliefs which are entirely and I do mean entirely inconsistent with the first amendment.

If some right wing jewish nut was running around saying this was a jewish country I would have the same response.

My belief is you are a bible thumping, right wing talk radio listening yahoo who buys those fake survival supply foods and believes Glen Beck is a constitutional scholar, Which is why my attacks on your brethren hurt so much. Now here's the thing- you have the passion of your beliefs and religion. I grant you that. But not the intellectual ability to hold an argument with a slug. So go back to the rock you crawled out from under and huddle in your supply tent and buy gold, read the bible and the constitution and eat your freeze dried survival supplies and clean your gun to get ready for the black, asian, jewish muslim hordes led by Barack Obama who you think wants to bow down to the King of Saudi Arabia.

Have I stereotyped you enough? Or do you want some more?

Anonymous said...

As much as I've appreciated many of your prior posts, this is the best so far. However, I'd say that failure is a teacher, not a lesson.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Lol Rump. Awesome response

Anonymous said...

This is as wise a statement as I've ever read. Congratulations to you for writing so concisely a very difficult concept. To the prosecutor who we all know and most of us respect and like, may god lead you through this by the hand. A true Christian would understand your words.

Anonymous said...

I'm not 1:04, but let me ask you -- Is Israel a Jewish nation? Should it be? What makes it so? Its 1948 declaration of independence guarantees complete equality for all religions. If someone were to say that Israel is therefore NOT a "jewish" nation, that only idiots living under rocks believe it to be so, and that no special protections should be made to preserve its jewish cultural identity, are you on board with that?

Because I know a few million Muslims that would LOVE to immigrate into Israel. Are you cool with that? Can we let 'em in?

Lemme guess, Israel holds a special place in your heart and you feel strongly that it has a right to persist as an ethnic Jewish state with a Jewish identity and that building literal walls is not only sensible but a moral imperative in Israel.

It's only American Christians whose documents guaranteeing religious freedom who somehow have no claim to a national ethnic or religious or cultural identity.

Got it.

Anonymous said...

How odd? That prosecutor's case has now disappeared from the Broward Clerk web site. Hmmmmm.

Anonymous said...


I do think gold is still a great investment safeguard for part of one's portfolio.

Anonymous said...


Not true. Still on the web site. case number is 16004300CF10A

Rumpole said...

Israel at times calls itself a Jewish nation. It was founded on the precept that jews fleeing the Nazis had no where to go. No nation would take them, including the US. I respect the jewish people's need for such a country. But in light of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians (and yes, the Palestinians treatment of Jews) I find a "Jewish nation"incompatible with the concept of democracy. It's a sticky wicket. But I don't live in Israel. I live in the US and it is this country and the yahoos who think it is a christian nation that I am concerned with.

Claude Erskine- Browne said...

Zionism, the belief of a Jewish state in historic Israel goes further back then 1948 and the Holocaust of WW2. Modern Zionism began with Herzog in the late 1800s

Anonymous said...

Mr/Ms. 4:46...You're right.
Lawyer for that unnamed prosecutor is Pat Trese.

The Professor said...

On many occasions I have stated that the type of person who wants to be President has to be driven in every aspect of his life (I speak only of men, because until this coming January it will have been only men who have served in that office) Look at the men in my lifetime who were "pure" and how well they did in the Presidency. Carter and Nixon. I have always said that if they don't "screw" someone, they will screw the country.

Anonymous said...

All finance reports are in for March. These are the fundraising numbers for each candidate as they head to qualifying week .... with observations and predictions at the end:
John Schlesinger 61k
Rodolfo Ruiz 117k
Jason Block 100k v. Marsha Del Rey 193k
Scott Bernstein 76k
Bertila Soto 108k
John Thorton 189k
Jennifer Bailey 156k
Rosa Rodriguez 89k
Barbera Areces 64k
Mark Blumstein 21k v. Renee Gordon 26k v. Denise Martinez-Scanziani-Marino-Levy 35k Luis Perez Medina 1k
David Young 222k
William Thomas 188k
Milt Hirsch 174k
Samantha Cohen 111k
Carol Breece 33k v. Elena Tauler 1k v. Raul Ceballos 15k v. Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts 23k
Nushin Sayfie 54k
Monica Gordo 144k
Robert Luck 287k v. Yolly Robertson 5k
George Sarduy 105k
Spencer Eig 0

I rounded off to the nearest thousand.
The number for judge Eig is not a mistake. Eig has raised zero dollars.
Although Judge eig shows the amount of $19,937.88 as a contribution, these were deposited as Carry Over Funds from his prior campaign. There is no such thing in judicial campaigns. Read Florida statues 106.141. What he did is really really really illegal. It is a 1st degree misdemeanor to fial to return funds after a judge is relected without opposition. Florida statues Section 106.141(11). Maybe someone should file against him and then get him disqualified????
Judge Luck is a fundraising machine.
Marsha Del Rey has almost doubled Judge Blocks fundraising, although he has dropped 300k from his personal money into the race.
Carol Reece is not going to beat oscar with 33k.
Chief criminal Judge Sayfie has raised 54k, the least of any incumbent who has tried to fundraise. Judge Schleisnger is second lowest and Chief family Judge Bernstein is third lowest. Eig doesn't count obviously because he isn't trying. Do these folks have secret hispanic names no one knows about? It is a little arrogant to raise so little money.

Steven Bustamante said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

Relax Rump. I know how sensitive and fragile you are. After all, you quit the fantasy football league you started after you lost the first two games. You took your ball and went home despite your professed prowess in football.

I haven't been to church in years. I wouldn't even consider myself religious. But I think the greatest "sin" in life (if you will) is being a hypocrite. Sort of like you.

I find it incredibly distasteful that right wing religious nuts shove their religion down everyone's throat. But these folks represent only some of a large group of people. You're not smart enough to to even qualify your comments by recognizing that there are a vast majority of quiet and deeply faithful Christians who neither broadcast nor impose their faith on anyone.

Every time a Muslim beheads, bombs or murders innocent people you -- and people like you -- trip over yourselves to talk about Islam as the the religion of peace or how these terrorist Muslims are a small minority. Your president won't even call it Islamic terrorism.

When blacks disproportionately kill blacks, we talk instead of when a white police officer shoots a black person. When black communities are ravaged by unemployment, single parent homes and broken schools all you can do is talk about the white man keeping the black man down. By doing that, the very valid inequalities and vestiges of racism that should be spoken of get glossed over. We can't have a frank discussion.

You need safe spaces, unless " you" belong to the new minority -- Christian White. Then, it's okay to discriminate, judge, belittle and oppress.

You have valid points. Just don't be a sensitive little hypocrite and we might all be better off. Is it about equality or payback? Be honest.

Ted Cruz said...

It's "radical Islamic terrorist".

Claude Ersline- Browne said...

Professor,
How can you compare President Carter to Richard Nixon.
Carter was and is a good man and a decent President.
Nixon was a crook , he lied and engaged in plotting crimes in the oval office.
Shame on you

Claude Ersline- Browne said...

5:24
When did the 70% White Christian Majority become a oppressed minority? White Christians control the Congress, both the House and the Senate. All US Presidents have been Christians , only one wasn't a white man. Governors and State Legislatures are all controlled by White Christians so how are White Christians an oppressed minority, except that now the minorities have a small say and can't be overtly discriminated against as in the past?

Anonymous said...

LOL. Never seen Nixon described as "pure" before. As much as I detest Carter's politics and anti-Semitism, comparing him to Nixon is ridiculous.

BTDT

The Professor said...

They were both "pure" in the sense of their sexual lives. Remember, Carter admitted to sinning by "lusting in his heart." Nixon, well, do I really need to spell that out? Thus they were "pure", and if you read my comment, it was a way of agreeing that our leaders have not always been, shall we say, faithful to their spouses and no one cared.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of human failure, everyone's talking about how the FDLE is investigating a former ASA for having sex with a defendant he/she was prosecuting. If/when (hopefully when) there are charges filed, I wonder if we will see prosecutors empathetically declare "there but for the grace of God go I."

Anonymous said...

5:24 is a "frank discussion" only one in which YOU agree with everything?

I was going along with you in your post at first (not all Christians are bad), then you came out of left field with some things that really bother me. Maybe its from Rump's previous posts that left a hair up your tush, or a bad taste in your mouth but please for the life of me tell me why you (and others if you know) feel the need to say something to the effect of "When blacks disproportionately kill blacks, we talk instead of when a white police officer shoots a black person." I'm hopeful that you can see that those are two separate and distinct issues, and that BOTH of them need to be eradicated, not one used to diminish the other. Its apples and oranges.

When people say what you said, what sensible people hear is this "Blacks kill other blacks and no one cares, so why are you complaining that cops are killing blacks." If the next of kin to a deceased victim was having a press conference grieving about the loss of their daughter, would you tell them "her husband beat her a couple of times and you didn't complain, so why do you care that the neighbor beat her to death?" Both are issues that should be addressed, and not compared.

I've often heard people make the black kill blacks disproportionately argument/comparison you made. Maybe you're old enough to remember Broward Judge Charles Greene. He said his remarks weren't intended to be racist or demeaning, but they clearly were. They were also so common place that people still knew what they meant. In my opinion the "Black disproportionality argument" is just a softer version of what he said.

I've often wondered what it would take to solve the gun/violence problem that plagues our nation and the black community. I have been eternally optimistic that a solution would come in my lifetime. I would never wish the tragedy of Sandy Hook to happen to my worst enemy, 20 innocent dead children. TWENTY DEAD BABIES! Surely I thought, this will motivate those in power to do something about the gun/violence problem in America. And then nothing from the House or Senate passed on the Federal level, and only about a handful of states did something. The eternal optimist in me is still in tears, 1) because twenty of our nations most precious gifts were taken at their onset, and 2) because if twenty* innocent and mostly white dead babies doesn't motivate multiple layers of predominantly white governmental bodies to take action then they really don't give two shits about the violence that goes on in the black community.

What do you believe the other things you spoke on about the black community being ravaged by unemployment, single parent homes, and malfunctioning schools was caused by? I'm not implying anything, just leaving an open ended question for you.

"The very valid inequalities and vestiges of racism that should be spoken of [SHOULD NEVER] get glossed over." (Emphasis added)

*twenty first graders were killed at Sandy Hook, six adults, and the shooter killed himself. Wikipedia, with all of its faults understood, has a much lengthier list of school shootings in the United States. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

Anonymous said...

No mention of Broward's ASA Drug Trafficking Unit Secretary under investigation? I know its Broweird, but still newsworthy.

Seth Sklarey said...

Professor there were things that occured on Bebe Reboso's houseboat that you obviously were not aware of. I believe it was called the Coco Lobo.