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, October 31, 2016

BLOCH BLOCKED

Queen Elizabeth famously said that 1992 was her annus horribilus.  Two of her children divorced their spouses that year; the last part of the realm in Africa abandoned the Monarchy; her daughter-in-law Diana wrote a tell all book; while tapes of the first in line to the throne- Charles- canoodling with his long time love over the phone were released. And then on November 20- the Queen's  wedding anniversary, part of her home-Windsor Castle- caught fire and was severely damaged.

For Jason Bloch 2016 will be his annus horribilus.  
He received the political opposition for his judicial seat that a long-time opponent had promised. And although scandal rocked his opponent in the form of her being caught telling people she was a prosecutor when she wasn't, and the revelation that she resigned an internship at the State Attorneys Office because the hours were too long (a problem she need not worry about once she dons a robe)- Bloch couldn't capitalize on his opponent's problems. 
 Lawyers grumbled when he solicited them for donations despite his financial disclosures revealing an almost Rumpolian level of wealth. His ill-timed, poorly planned, and horribly executed lawsuit aimed at knocking his opponent off the ballot blew up in his face, with losses in the district court and Third District Court Of Appeals generating even worse publicity. Even the revelation that her family derives a significant amount of income from motels designed to assist in extra-martial assignations didn't derail her candidacy and Judge Bloch was defeated soundly at the polls.

And now to add insult to injury; a prime example of being kicked while down- the JNC declined to forward his name to Governor Scott to fill the seat of retired Judge Stan Blake (whose retirement tour continues with a night by the Miami-Heat honoring him in November)*.

Bloch couldn't elbow one of these guys/gals out:


Jason E. Dimitris; Ayana N. Harris; Spencer Jet Multack; Victoria del Pino;  Lourdes Simon; and  Andrea Ricker Wolfson. 


Judge Bloch can take solace in this fellow, lost mostly to history, who had a long and tortured path before he was unceremoniously shot and killed.
At age 23 he lost his job and ran for election to the state legislature and lost. The next year his business failed; a year later his girlfriend died and the year after that he suffered a nervous breakdown at age 25. At age 34 he was defeated in a run for congress. Six  years later his application to be a land officer was denied.
At age 45 he ran for senate and lost and four years later his second bid for senate also ended in  defeat.

This was a simple man with a law degree who had continually been defeated in his bid for elective office. He was a pretty decent lawyer, and one of his successful bids for congress only lasted two years, when by virtue of a promise he made, he did not seek reelection.

At age 51, having lost his last two elections for the senate, Abraham Lincoln was elected the sixteenth president of the United States and went on to save the Union and become our greatest president. 

So Judge Bloch, hang in there. Being rejected by the JNC is nothing like what President Lincoln went through.  Just be wary of the play "Our American Cousin" should Judge Altfield and his troupe elect to stage a revival.

See You in Court.

*The Miami Heat is not honoring the retirement of Judge Blake, although they appear to be one of the few establishments in town where a retirement party hasn't been held recently. 


Lincoln Trivia:  What does Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas off of Key West have to do with the Lincoln Assassination?  Anyone but Judge Milton Hirsch may answer. 


Sunday, October 30, 2016

WEEK 8 NFL 2016

Week Eight by Rumpole21 on Scribd
 

Week 7 saw Immache take a loss while the rest bravely marched on. But drama lurks in week 8 as of this posting at 8:30 Sunday night, Michael Feiler hasn't picked. He still has the Monday night game.

If we were making selections today, we would have told you to take the Jets, Raiders, and that the DC -Bengals game in London would end in a tie.

Busy busy busy. Even on Sundays. See You In Court this week. Lots of trials and motions before the holiday season is upon us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

JUDGE STEPHEN MILLAN AND THE REAL SCOOP, ON THE MISTRIAL .....

UPDATE: THE DQ MOTION FILED





THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

THE REAL SCOOP .............. (we barely made it up to the courthouse just in time to pull the court file and review the proceedings).

First, the Judge involved in the case was not Al Milian.  It was Judge Stephen Millan. The case is State v. Navarro, F13-30148.  The charge is Manslaughter and the case was tried during the week of 10/17 before Judge Millan.  For the defense: Dan Lurvey.

Last Thursday, after the jury had already been sworn, the sworn jurors were gathered outside the courtroom on the 4th floor of the REGJB.  The bailiff, Victor, presented the jurors with envelopes that were going to be used to contain the jurors trial notepads.  Victor instructed the jurors to write their names and juror numbers on the outside of the envelopes.  One of the jurors asked about these details and who might become aware of the notes, to which Victor replied: "Don't worry. The bad guy won't see it".  This was all witnessed by defense attorney Eddie Pereira, who was walking by the courtroom at that exact moment of the statement.

Judge Millan conducted an evidentiary hearing on the matter.  Pereira testified to what he had heard.  Victor testified that he said: "No good guys, no bad guys, no other person will see the notes.  Only the judge, if requested".  During the hearing, Lurvey also questioned Victor on a statement he had made about Lurvey in the jurors presence.  The statement regarded Lurvey's legal skills.  Victor said: "if you are in trouble, this is the guy to hire .... his dad was a member of the Miami-Dade bomb squad".

One other troubling note.  When Lurvey first brought these issues to the attention of the Judge, Lurvey asked the Judge not to share the allegations with his bailiff, because Lurvey knew there would need to be an evidentiary hearing.  During the evidentiary hearing, Victor admitted that, during the recess, he met privately with the Judge and Millan apprised Victor of the allegations of impropriety.  After the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing, the Judge did not, sua sponte, declare a mistrial, instead he forced Lurvey to request a mistrial of the case.  The Court did grant Lurvey's motion.

Then the real fun began.  Lurvey then moved for disqualification of the Judge.  Apparently, Judge Millan, rather than calling "balls and strikes" during the hearing, instead took a much more adversarial role, in support of his bailiff and challenging the credibility of both Mr. Lurvey and Mr. Pereira. Additionally, Lurvey pointed out in his Motion to Disqualify that, the court "departed from its role of neutrality when it spoke in private to its bailiff, prior to the commencement of the evidentiary hearing, regarding the accusations being brought by defendant against the trial court's bailiff providing an unfair advantage to the bailiff scheduled to testify as to misconduct before defendant's jury".

After much wrangling, Judge Millan today did grant the Motion to Recuse and the case has been reassigned to Judge Trawick.

If any of our readers can fill in any more of the blanks, please email us or post in the comments section.

***We have Lurvey's eight page Motion To Disqualify and will email it to Rumpole so he can add it to this post; (we haven't figured out how to do that yet).

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Monday, October 24, 2016

OUR KIND OF JUDGE



 Judge McBain, of Michigan, ripped off his robes and tackled an unruly defendant, yelling "tase his ass". 

Now here is what we like about Judge McBain. You get what you see. No phony impartiality. No smiling as he calculates the highest possible sentence and then tells your client what a great job his lawyer did. 

Nope. We prefer a Judge who wears his true stripes on his or her robes. 

Judge McBain. Crime Fighter. Tackler of litigants. Well done sir, well done indeed! (we are certain there is a space on the bench for you in Broweird). 

See You In Court where we've seen corrections beat the bejesus out of a defendant; we've seen at least two criminal defense attorneys slug their clients, but we've never seen a judge do it. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

TINKER TO EVERS TO CHANCE

In this digital age where everything is timed and measured and recorded,  one sport is not.

Baseball is not the quintessential American sport. Americans have been obsessed with time. Making the trains run on time. Opening and closing Wall Street stock trading on time. Punching a clock. The Atomic clock. We are a society of time.

Baseball is the only team sport not measured in time. And since cosmologically speaking Time does not exist (only SpaceTime does) Baseball is the only cosmologically pure sport.

But baseball has its own limitations, and for seventy years Chicago Cubs fans have continually bemoaned the passage of "time without a world series appearance" or TWAWSA.

But no more. The Chicago Cubs, beloved losers of millions of fans who ended every fall with the cry of "Wait until next year" have to wait no more.
The Cubs are in the World Series.
Say it again. The Cubs are in the world series.

A baby in the North Side of Chicago, born after world war two, is now a retired old man or woman. They have gone a lifetime without a team to root for in the fall classic. Eyes now rheumy with a lifetime of disappointment.

It wasn't always this way. At the turn of the past century, the Cubs were a powerhouse. And in one famous published poem, a Giants fan lamented the inning killing double play of the Cubs great infielders Tinker, Evers, and Chance:


These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

The Cubs have been close before. Famously in 2003 the Cubs were five outs away (and up 3-0) from a World Series when a fan interfered with a fly ball that would have been the second out in the inning.

After the fan incident, the Marlins scored a run, and with a runner on first Miguel Cabrera hit a ground-ball to Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez. An inning ending and pennant saving double play was at hand. But Gonzalez booted the ball and the Marlins went on to score eight runs and the Cubs went home to wait out another cold, winter, the spring and summer and fall lost in one nightmarish half of one inning.

Fast forward to Saturday night. Einstein famously said the lord does not play dice with the Universe. But the almighty does have a sense of humor and history. You just need to pay attention to see it.

Cubs up 5-0. Top of the eighth. The Cubs once again that magic five outs away from a world series appearance. The Dodgers have a runner on first. Could this be the beginning of another nightmare?
Cub closer Chapman on the mound. Pinch hitter Howie Kendrick at the plate. On an 0-2 fastball, Kendrick hits a sharp grounder to second... Time slowed for those Cub fans who have endured so much.

Oh but for one more appearance of Tinker, Evers and Chance, now ghosts of an era long lost. Absent their return, anyone but Alex Gonzalez who booted the Cubs out of their last chance at a world series.

Old men prayed. Little boys grabbed their mitts; little girls flipped the ball their parents gave them.

And they all watched...

Javier Baez, the steady second baseman snared the grounder; he flipped it to shortstop Addison Russell who nipped the bag at second with his foot and made a steady throw to Rizzo at first for the double play.

Inning over. Five-outs-away-jinx done. Tinker to Evers to Chance lives!

As do the Cubs in the world series in 2016.

Baseball is timeless and cosmologically pure. It isn't our game. It's harmonic with the Universe when it's played the way the Cubs turned the double-play Saturday night in the cold October night at Wrigley.


It's a sin to pollute these pages with any reference to another league where their players brutalize their children and wives and the owners look the other way. So other than posting our survivor pool we won't.

See you in court.

Week Seven by Rumpole21 on Scribd

Saturday, October 22, 2016

DENIAL OF SERVICE

We're back. Much like the recent denial of service attack that crippled the internet on Friday, we suffered a DOS attack in the wilds of Austin, Texas this past week that left us dark and silent. 

But not for long. 

Here's what we missed: In no order of importance:

A new county court judge (check out El Capitan's coverage);

The Florida Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in Florida, following in the footsteps of the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. The FLA CT struck the dp down on different grounds: They were shocked, shocked! to learn that Florida can (and has) execute defendants on less than a unanimous jury recommendation. 

But this being Florida and Halloween season, the dp may be dead, but your local prosecutors (Motto: "Kill em all and let the good lord sort em out")   have vowed -much like Dr. Frankenstein- to sew together the monster and resurrect the dp from the dead. 

Good luck with that.  It appears to us that the politicians of Florida have one goal- when the world turns its back on the dp and the  dp is dead and gone and a bygone relic of a neanderthal past, only Florida will be hanging on by a thread. Leaders of North Korea and Iran and China will mock us and our governor and legislators will proudly drawl "we must be doin somethin right if dem commie fellas are callin us kooks."

Donald Trump has accused the CIA of killing Kennedy as a ruse to sneak baby Obama into the US from Africa  as the country mourned and was otherwise pre-occupied, so Obama and the FBI and the Tri-Lateral Commission (remember them?) and the Madison County Wisconsin parking violations bureau could all 50 plus years later conspire to rig the election against him. 

Makes sense if you think about it long enough. 

Sunday football picks tomorrow. 

Thanks for all the emails expressing concern and good wishes, even from robed readers which tells us we are doing something wrong.

See you in court, just not in Austin any more please.

Friday, October 21, 2016

WELCOME OUR NEWEST JUDGE, ALEXANDER BOKOR


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

YOUR NEWEST COUNTY COURT JUDGE IS .....

ALEXANDER S. BOKOR

Congratulations to Mr. Bokor who was appointed earlier tonight to the open seat on the County Court created by the resignation of Judge Jacqueline Schwartz.

We last covered the JNC nominating process on September 1, 2016 in a post that can be read here.

Alexander Spicola Bokor is 38 years old and he is an 11 year member of The Florida Bar.  He is currently employed as an Assistant County Attorney working for the Miami Dade County Attorney's Office since 2008.  He handles litigation cases and has worked as legal counsel for the Miami Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works, the Property Appraiser's Office and the Tax Collector's Office.  He began his legal career with Jones Day in 2002 and worked for Kozyak Tropin from 2006-2008.  You can read Judge Bokor's entire bio by going here.

Mr. Bokor was chosen by Governor Scott over Ramiro C. Areces, Raul Cuervo, Elijah Levitt, Joseph Mansfield, and Julie Harris Nelson.

YOUR NEXT CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE WILL BE .....

Chosen from among the 15 finalists that are being interviewed next week by the JNC to replace Judge Blake.  On Friday, October 28, 2016, the following attorneys and County Court Judges are scheduled to be interviewed, (we have it on good word that the number has been reduced to 14):

9:30 a.m. Raul A. Cuervo

9:50 a.m. Andrea Ricker Wolfson

10:10 a.m. Spencer Jet Multack

10:30 a.m. Alexander Spicola Bokor

11:10 a.m. Jason Emilios Dimitris

11:30 a.m. Pamela M. Gordon

11:50 a.m. Joseph J. Mansfield

12:10 p.m. Lourdes Simon

1:30 p.m. Elijah A. Levitt

1:50 p.m. Victoria del Pino

2:10 p.m. Jason E. Bloch

2:30 p.m. Wendell Mitchell Graham

3:10 p.m. Milena Abreu

3:30 p.m. Ayana N. Harris

3:50 p.m. Carlos Alberto Lopez, Jr.

The JNC will send between 4-6 names to Governor Scott and he will have 60 days to make the appointment.  Therefore, we should have a new Circuit Court Judge by no later than New Year's Eve.

CAPTAIN OUT .....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com





Sunday, October 16, 2016

NFL WEEK SIX

SURVIVOR POOL

Week Six by Rumpole21 on Scribd

Sorry for the delay dear readers. This has been an unusual weekend to say the least. Survivor pool-wise, David McGriff went down last week with the Broncos and Adam Goodman joined the losers list today with the Steelers being upset by our home-town Fins. 

See you in court.

MASS CONFUSION

Hi, blog intern here. Well, not really a blog intern, more like an intern in the tech dept of the firm Rumpole skulks around from time to time. 

So I'm a nerd and don't follow sports. Game of Thrones, yes?  Thrower for the Giants? No. 

Anyway, Mr. R is at a tech conference outside of Austin and some firm is unveiling something way cool and they killed the wi-fi and cellualar service and all he could do was call me on a land line. I'd rather be with him at the conference. Anyway, he gave me the nuclear codes to log on and was yelling about picks looking at emails for a survivor pool and a speadsheet and quite frankly I have no idea what to do. 

Survivor the show? Way yes. Survivor pool? No idea. So as a last resort I am posting this, and he should have service sometime this evening and will do whatever he needs to do. Sorry. 

He also said I should pick games. Fallout4, Call of Duty are the games I would pick, but I am thinking he meant I should tell you who would win the football games. No freaking idea. Is sports betting even legal? 

Bye.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

WELCOME SAO C,22LASS 2016

UPDATE: Sandra Jaggard's  memorial service will be on Saturday October 22, 2016 at 2pm at Stanfill Funeral Home, 10545, South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest. 

We will give you one, simple piece of advice.



Don't do anything stupid to get on the blog. Don't snapchat your guilty verdict, or facebook your cross, or tweet about a motion to suppress or Instagram the first autopsy photo you see. 

Here's some more small stuff: 

You will make your name and your mark by being fair, decent, honest and a person of your word. Being "tough" at this point in your career means merely you have no life experience or perspective. 

Perhaps you laugh at that. 
Maybe you would like to talk to a prior "tough" Division Chief who had little sympathy for defendants until they got arrested for their own DUI and lost their career?

Most defense attorneys are not jerks. Some are. Because a defense attorney lies to you, attacks you improperly in court, or is demeaning, does not mean the next one is a jerk and will treat you badly. 

Treat everyone- lawyers and defendants- as a unique individual. Not all cops, witnesses and victims are telling the truth. Not all of them are liars either. Sometimes they are honestly mistaken. 

Find the good people in your office. They will be easy to spot. Frank Ledee. David Gilbert. Reid Ruben. Warren Eth. Bill McGee. Many others we are forgetting. The ones who you see Judges acknowledging when they walk into court. The ones who are cordial and friendly with the defense bar and the Pds. When you see one of these people, watch what they do. Volunteer to help on a case even if it means just copying and scanning (we used to say stapling but then millennials scoffed at us). 

Update: A reader made an excellent comment/complaint.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
A little Trumpian chauvinism coming out in Rump. The only good people at the State you mention are all men?!? How about Marie Mato, Isis Perez, Alejandra Lopez, Abbe Rifkin? You can do better than that Rump.

Friday, October 14, 2016 7:10:00 AM
 

Look for the plaques of Sy Gaer and Richard Sharpstein in the courthouse and read about them and then ask others about them. Look for the picture of Judge Edward Cowart and ask some old timers about him. Google Ellen Morphonious and ask old time prosecutors about working with Janet Reno. 

Here's a Sy Gaer story- about 15 years ago we were in trial in a pretty big drug case that we realized was well beyond the young ASA's ability. About the third day of trial the ASA surprised us and pulled off a pretty nifty trick in court during closing. Later, when the jury was out, we asked them how they thought of it. They smiled: "I saw Sy at the bar last night. I was  pretty depressed. He bought me a drink and asked me about the case. That was his idea."
We couldn't help but laugh that Sy, who beat on prosecutors for over forty years took pity on a young kid and helped them out. He did things like that all the time. 

Most of all, make the most of this experience. It may well be the most fun you will have as a lawyer. 

Enjoy the ride. We will see you in court. 

BACK IN BUSINESS

We are, hands down, the best legal blog in the business. Always have been, always will be subject to our elevation to the Supreme Court which will require us to stop this blog (but start another one hehehehe).
Vote here for your favourite blog.

Fresh off another sinless year, we are back, as are  the courts of Dade-County. This has been a most unusual two weeks, with courts closing for two days last week in the face of Hurricane Michael (Motto "Made ya blink!"), followed by the Columbus Day holiday ("Land Ho!") and then Yom Kippur ("Repent!").

Now begins the six week push to Thanksgiving, after which, good luck getting much done until 2017.

So what's the good news? Who's in trial and what's the latest gossip?

We have a new round of judges coming in for 2017, and of course the normal judicial rotation to contend with (Spin the Wheel of Judges: "round and round she goes, where it stops, nobody knows").

See You In Court.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

CLOSED

Closed for atonement* and spiritual cleansing. 

We will re-open tomorrow for regular business. 

Thank You. 

Horace Rumpole. Esq. Proprietor. 

In the meantime, vote for us as the best blog, which we are, here

*We haven't done anything requiring forgiveness, but in the spirit of the day and all that....

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

SANDRA JAGGARD HAS PASSED AWAY

Assistant Attorney General Sandra Jaggard, known for her dedicated work defending criminal convictions in capital cases on appeal and post-conviction proceedings, passed away Tuesday, at the way-too-young age of 51. 

David Ovalle and the Miami Herald have the obit here. 

Ms. Jaggard was mostly unknown to us, but she was well respected, and her work upholding the most serious of convictions and her advocacy on behalf of victims and their survivors is something that the citizens of this state will miss.

Court is closed Wednesday for the Jewish day of atonement.


Monday, October 10, 2016

RUTH CHRIS SHOULD FAST AND ATONE

Ruth Chris's steakhouse, a moderately decent steakhouse chain tried to be a little creative with it's Ann Arbor, Michigan restaurant. It offered a promotion to reduce the bill for a meal for the week following the Michigan-Rutgers game this past Saturday based on the score differential. So for example, if Michigan won by 10 points, diners would get a ten percent reduction in their bill. 

Michigan shutout  Rutgers  78-0 Saturday!

The restaurant, which quickly sold out for this week, is falling back on the small print which apparently limited their reduction to 50%.  Bad press has ensued. They would have been much better to honor their word, and make a donation to a local homeless shelter to boot. The free publicity would far outweigh their losses for a week.  It's overpriced anyway. 

Over/under on the first lawsuit being filed? 

Weird week. Court's closed Monday. Many lawyers and judges out Wednesday for Yom Kippur- the holy day of atonement for our readers of the Jewish faith. 

See you in court.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Week FiveA by Rumpole21 on Scribd
Week five finds us in Palo Alto, speaking at a LAW/TECH conference and, ironically, with spotty internet service.

Our picks:

Cheaters over Browns- point spread doesn't matter.
Vikes -6 over Texans, and our upset of the day: Lions +3.5 derail Eagles. We love those home dogs.

And of course, our Raiders -3.5 over Ovalle's Chargers, in Oakland.

See you in a week.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

MIAMI WE WILL REBUILD

Nothing can break the spirit of this proud community. As the storm clouds pass and we assess the damages and extend a helping hand to our neighbors, let each of us have this solemn vow on our lips:

Miami, we will rebuild!!

Warning, the following are graphic images of storm damage and may not be suitable for all audiences. 






Tuesday, October 04, 2016

ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH

UPDATE ONE: COURTS CLOSED THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY AND
MONDAY (COLOMBUS DAY)
 In photo one above, an alert reader catches a highly trained worker installing high-tech silicon-based hurricane flood prevention devices (sandbags)


In photo 2 above, we watch as workers install hurricane shutters and wonder about the over/under on how long the awning lasts and where it ends up?

Matthew-Killer Storm 2016 edition. v1.0. 
Here we go again. 

After much emails, begging, and cajoling, we herewith present Rumpole's Hurricane Preparation List, (c) JBB Productions, 2016. 
(Listed in order of importance)

1. One Quart Titos Handmade Vodka
2. Two Gallons Orange Juice, one gallon Cranberry Juice Cocktail.
3. 4-ten pound bags of ice and one large cooler. 
4. La Coe's Pleadings, Florida or the 2016 Rules of Criminal Procedure. 
5. Former Judge Jackie Schwartz's self published book: "F'ing Pleadings in Florida"
6. Two large bags Lays potato chips
7. One dozen apples, organic.
8. Three pounds bananas, organic.
9. Four bags Cheetos, large. 
10. One large bags of grapes, organic and seedless. 
11. Two boxes, Entemanns Chocolate Chip Cookies. 
12. A few bottles of water. 
13. One block of cheese, cheddar, preferably grass fed from Vermont. 

Instructions: Take the ice and put it in the cooler with the vodka and juice and grapes. Move the food to higher ground in your house. 
Take the legal books and slowly rip out a page at a time and toss on the floor for your cat to chase. 

We often get questions when these disasters threaten us. Here is one: "Rumpole, please explain the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning and what I should do?"

Rumpole: This is a common question, especially among new lawyers from Kansas and Oklahoma who don't know from hurricanes. 

A hurricane watch means that weather ...wait...first you need to know that normal barometric pressure is around 1013 millibars, except in Broward where is it often more, or less. 

As a storm approaches, the barometric pressure drops on an inverse curve to the distance in kilometers minus, of course the drag coefficient of the current of the Gulfstream. Duh. This is often called Bernoulli's Equation. So, a hurricane watch means that it could rain a lot in the next 48 hours. 

However a hurricane warning means that it is raining, that the drag coefficient of the Gulfstream is less than minus 1 Celsius, and tropical storm winds may be present soon. 

If all of this sounds complicated, it really isn't. Check Rumpole's  list. When Channel 7 WSVN, designated by President Rutherford B. Hayes as "Your Hurricane Station"  issues a Hurricane Watch, pour one shot of vodka into a cold cup with some ice and OJ. Place the rest of the vodka and juice in the cooler. Drink and repeat. By the third drink, Bernoulli's Equation and the differences between the hurricane watch and hurricane warning will not be any clearer, but you won't care. 

CLOSINGS TOMORROW:
Most Bowling lanes. 
The PIP Seminar at Joes Take-Away entitled "PIP-How to bang those insurance companies for fees now more than ever." 
Court is open Wednesday, but closed Thursday except in Broward where court will be closed Wednesday, but open Thursday. (*) 
All Christian Science Reading Rooms (not because of the storm, but because no one goes there anymore).

See you in court. Stay Dry, and watch this blog for your exclusive end of civilization coverage of "Matthew- Killer Storm 2016."


* None of this is true as far as we know, but it's a great rumor. 

Monday, October 03, 2016

THE COSTS OF DEATH PENALTY DEFENSE

According to the Herald, the costs of defending a death penalty defense in Miami are high and it takes a real long time for the cases to go to trial or be resolved.

Mr. Abe Laeser was interviewed and he opined that defense attorneys have a financial incentive to drag the case out, which is one reason why the cases take so long to resolve. He seems to think this is a problem.

We beg to differ. 

This is Rumpole's defense of defense attorneys having a financial incentive on a case.

First, what would be the opposite of an attorney having a financial incentive in a case? It would be paying an attorney a flat fee. What would that do? No matter the fee- even if it were a million dollars per case, it would create the economic incentive to NOT explore every issue, challenge every fact, look for every possible witness and consider every possible defense.
Who wants an attorney like that? Only prosecutors.

The death penalty in this county is a national shame. With all the work and supposed expertise of detectives, prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys- courts still send INNOCENT men and women to death row at the fairly consistent average of 5 percent. Five people out of every hundred sentenced to death are INNOCENT.

So what we want is every attorney to have the greatest possible financial incentive to work on the case as hard as possible. The more they work, the more they earn. It works in civil law, why not criminal law? The more they work, the more possible issues and defenses are uncovered. The more the defense attorney works, the harder it is for a prosecutor to obtain a death sentence.

Far from being a problem in death penalty cases, the current method of paying criminal defense attorneys (other than having an hourly rate akin to a plumber and not a skilled professional) is one of the only things standing between society's desire for vengeance and an innocent person being executed.

But what about those cases where "we know he did it"? 

Ask Richard Jewell about what happens when everyone in the country "knows" you did it. (You can't actually. He died of a heart attack.)

Ask the five juveniles (four black, one Hispanic) who were convicted of raping the central park jogger what happens when everyone "knows" you did it and you are sentenced to prison and your case is affirmed on appeal. Ask them about being innocent in the face of everyone "knowing" you did it.

Keep the incentives. Just pay the lawyers more.

See you in court.

COURT CLOSED TODAY



                      HAPPY 

                ROSH               HASHANAH 

Court is closed. Drive carefully. 

Sunday, October 02, 2016

NFL WEEK 4 2016

This is bounce back week, or the week decent teams revert to the mean and win when they lost last week.
Survivor pool-wise, the in-artfully named team in Landover, MD, is the pick of most of the players.

Tampa Bay is the home dog, getting three against the Broncos. The Bucs bounce back for the win.

Carolina Panthers bounce back giving 3 on the road in Hot-lanta against the struggling Falcons. 

And because we are riding this train until early January, the Oakland Raiders, +3.5 on the road against the perplexing Ravens. 


Saints at Chargers, under 53.

Waiting on a few late comers for the SP. Mssrs. Immache, Kaeiser, and the Hon. R. Faber, were on top of their game and picked the Bengals over the hapless Fins for Thursday night. They are already assured of playing into October.
The stragglers are in and the pool is locked.