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

Friday, May 26, 2017

GOVERNOR SCOTT NAMES NEWEST 3RD DCA JUDGE .....


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

BREAKING NEWS .......

YOUR NEWEST 3rd DCA Judge is:

JUDGE NORMA LINDSEY

Judge Lindsey fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Linda Wells.  Judge Lindsey began her career in private practice in 1993 with the law firm of Hornsby, Sacher.  She worked for a number of law firms from 1993 through 2005.  In 2005 she became a County Court Judge.  She served on the County Court for six years until Governor Scott appointed her to the Circuit Court in December of 2011.  She has served on the Circuit Court for the past five and one half years, having replaced Judge Ivan Fernandez.  She now joins Fernandez on the 3rd DCA.  Lindsey was chosen over five other finalists:

Judge Monica Gordo, Judge Bronwyn C. Miller, Oren Rosenthal, Esq., Judge Daryl E. Trawick, Judge Angelica Zayas

This appointment now opens up another seat on the Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County for Governor Scott.

ON THE GOVERNOR'S DESK .......

Governor Scott has two open seats to fill, one in the Circuit Court, and one in the County Court, with six named finalists for each on his desk.  The decision on these two seats is not expected until sometime in mid July:

CIRCUIT COURT (as mentioned in the post below):
This appointment replaces Judge Robert Luck.

Judge Andrea Ricker Wolfson
Judge Lourdes Simon
Judge Spencer Multack
Judge Ivonne Cuesta
Judge Tanya Brinkley
Ayana Harris

COUNTY COURT:
This appointment replaces Judge Victoria del Pino.

Ramiro Areces
GM Karl S.H. Brown
Julie Harris Nelson
Elijah Levitt
Joseph Mansfield
GM Gordon Murray, Sr.

ON THE JNC'S DESK .....

The Eleventh Circuit JNC has received applications from 25 attorneys to replace Judge Jason Dimitris.  The interview schedule and who will be interviewed has not yet been determined.

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

MOVIN ON UP

Your Circuit Court nominees courtesy of the JNC (motto "We shall nominate no judge, before their time....unless the federalist society tells us to.")


Monday, May 22, 2017

A BIG NOT GUILTY

It was a big case. 
A big, weird case. 
So naturally, it was in Broweird. 

Here's one headline: 

Man who claimed girlfriend accidentally choked during oral sex found not guilty of murder. 



While the defense had moved pretrial to display the ...ah.....hmmm... appendage in question sounds about right- that never occurred.  The court had deferred on the ruling and the defense never re-erected the defense during trial. Perhaps they went soft, or otherwise had second thoughts. Sometimes discretion and remaining securely zipped up is the better part of valor, not to mention a wise trial strategy. 

So for our female readers, having been found not guilty...would you go out on a date with the defendant? 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

DIARY OF AN ARABIAN PRESIDENT

Dear Diary: I'm in Arabia! And life is grand. 
Landed after a long flight. (Memo to self- complain about travel times to air force guys. We can speed this up.)

Everyone on the flight was tense. Special prosecutor stuff. I've about had it with that.  I'm the president. And I was on a TV show. I can fire anyone. This Muller guy better watch his step or he's history. 

Anyway, landed here and they have my picture everywhere! On billboards. Buildings. Just like Atlantic City when I had the casinos. Then I got this medal. Gold. Bigger than the one they gave Obama (I checked). 

I got Jared working on this jewish issue. Seems pretty simple. Nothing money and a few buildings can't cure. Basically I said to the King- King, howz about we sell you some F-B52's- the ones Patton used, and build a Trump tower here and you make nice with the jews? In fact, they love to eat. Open a few bar-be-que joints. Not many pig places here in the middle east. Not sure why. Anyway, I'll negotiate the leases. Ten years, 2% escalator, get that Net Yahoo guy in Israel to lean on the owners and keep the rent down and we'll all make some money. 

I'm also going to the Vatican. Wait until the Pope gets a load of Melania! They tell me he's an old guy. Wife probably died a few years ago. I'll have M wear something low cut. It will be great. 

I've decided to fire Spicer. Can't have a member of the greatest presidential people being made fun of every week on saturday night live. The whole country is talking about it and they have such low ratings. But he's gone and I'm going to fire anyone else they make fun of. That will show them. 

I'm still working on firing Paul Ryan. He rubs me the wrong way. And I'm thinking Clint Eastwood for FBI director. A little Dirty Harry for the country. Then I'll say to Paul Ryan ...go ahead punk, you want health care? Well, bring the bill up for a vote. Are you feeling lucky punk? Well, are ya? 

Off to dinner and then maybe we'll fly to North Korea. Should be near by. I can fix things with that nut-job. No, not the nut-job Comey, the other  nut-job, the guy who's the  head of Japanese.  

DJT.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

FACDL DOESN'T LIKE US (FROWNIE FACE)

UPDATE: A possible BIG case is going on in Broweird

There are in our collective history moments when the man meets the opportunity and history is made. Washington at Valley Forge. Eisenhower on June 5, 1944. President Reagan saying "Tear down this wall."

And Daniel Pearson and Harry Prebish forming FACDL Miami. 

At least that's what FACDL would have you believe. 

Everyone loves the blog when we skewer KFR or POTUS 45 or some drunken Judge in Broward. 

But poke a bit of fun at the legal equivalent of Mother Teresa? Oh no. "The Blog is being mean to us. Wa wa wa." 

We came into being mocking those in the criminal justice system who were self-important frauds. And we shall continue to do so. 

FACDL serves an important function. Too many for us to list here. We support their goals and efforts. But memo to the FACDL board- when you're in your meetings and one of you makes a sarcastic mention that what you're discussing will be on the blog the next day- we get five or six emails that night. 

When you form your endless committees to speak to the court committees and the prosecutor committees about the need for more committees? Don't expect to escape our mocking posts. 

Fight the good fight. Your members are indeed liberty's last champion. When no one else will stand in the way of the government who is crushing some individual, it's a criminal defense lawyer who rises to defend the person and the constitution. 

You give awards and a little well deserved recognition to under-paid PDs who struggle every day to get blow-hard judges trying to impress the Federalist Society with their "tough on crime" rulings. Well done. 

Just remember that one of the amendments you defend is the First. 

And when we give you some publicity - "Facdl - motto: dues dues dues" laugh and shake it off and move on. 

Or in the memorable words of Sgt Hulka in Stripes: "Lighten up Francis."

Now go fight for justice and be the heroes you all are-including your former President Brian Kerlow Kirlew who always reads our posts and has done so since he was a young PD. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

HAROLD FIELDS AND LEE WEISSENBORN HAVE PASSED AWAY

The REGJB community lost two long-time and experienced lawyers in the last week: Harold Fields and Lee Weissenborn. 

Harold Fields was a former Dade Public Defender and a long time fixture around our courthouse, especially in the 1980's and 1990's.  We didn't see much of him lately, but we knew him during a time when he handled a lot of cases and always did so with professionalism, honesty, and decency. He was well respected by all who knew him. 

Lee Weissenborn is more of an enigma to us. We knew Lee as many of our colleagues did, as a hard fighting lawyer who handled a lot of post-conviction cases. And that would be the end of our recollection of him, if it were not for this wonderful article in the Miami Herald detailing his political career as a state representative in the 1960's and a state senator in the 1970's. Lee was a delegate to the famous 1960 Democratic National Convention that nominated JFK. There is a great picture in the Herald article of him with JFK. 

But, as we were shocked to find out, Lee was best known for his crusade to move the State Capital from Tallahassee, which in the 1960's was a backwater southern town filled with southern racism, to Orlando. 

Lee wasn't successful in his attempt, but he did get a lot of institutions in Tallahassee to integrate in response to his criticisms. The political big-wigs were so frightened about Lee's attempt to move the Capital that they appropriated money and built a new State Capital so big that it could never be moved. And then, according to the Herald, the legislators in Tallahassee did this:


Tongue in cheek, a sardonic bronze tribute to Weissenborn for his inadvertent role in motivating the new building was mounted in its lobby and reads:
This plaque is dedicated to Senator Lee Weissenborn, whose valiant effort to move the Capitol to Orlando was the prime motivation for construction of this building.

We knew Lee as an older gentlemen, always with a smile, lugging transcripts around the courthouse, fighting for clients who were convicted and seeking a new trial. Now we learn that in his youth he was a swashbuckling civil rights fighter who wasn't afraid to take on the racist-southern establishment in Tallahassee and who had the admiration of people like JFK. 

Shame on us for not taking the time all those years to sit down and have a cup a coffee with him and find this out. 

These were two good men who spent a good part of their professional lives in our small courthouse fighting for clients,  and they deserve to be remembered. 

From Occupied America, where the president unwittingly (without any wit) compromises intelligence sources in the oval office, Fight The Power!

Coming Tomorrow: Why Brian Kirlew  FACDL hates  doesn't really like us.





Monday, May 15, 2017

FACDL SOIREE RECAP

The Miami chapter of the FACDL met on Saturday night for their annual soiree.*  The Hialeah chapter of the FACDL will be meeting at Pollo Tropical next Saturday for their annual soiree, while the Coral Gables FACDL and Pinecrest FACDL will be meeting at the Four Seasons for their annual soiree in two weeks. 

The Miami FACDL soiree was a great success! Everyone congratulated everyone else on doing a great job. The event was hosted by a retired judge who noted most of the people in the room weren't alive when he joined the FACDL in 1982. He then performed some of his beloved imitations- like George Jessel picking a jury before Judge Ellen Morphonious while Gen X assistant PDS whispered "Who are George Jessel and Judge Morphonious?"

"Jessel worked for Phil Hubbart and Morphonious was the judge who sentenced Mercury Morris" whispered an older PD. 

"But who are Phil Hubbart and Mercury Morris?"

"Bondsmen from the 1970s"

Then the awards were handed out:

The Sy Gaer "I've Tried A Lot Of Cases" award went to the Professor Roy Black who recounted tales of drinking with Ted Kennedy while his clients Magulta and Falcon fixed the jury in federal court. 

The Alex Micalescu Professionalism Award went to that lawyer on Miami Beach who was arrested for stalking his girlfriend by bugging her car and office.

The State PD Pat On The Back award went to a State PD who for a salary of $41.99/week tried a hundred cases to verdict and invented a partial cure for feline leukemia on the weekends. 

The Federal PD Pat On The Back award went to a Federal PD who got Judge Moore to sentence a client to the lower end of the guidelines ....twice! 

And on a serious note, the Justice Kogan award went to REGJB fixture Judge Dennis Murphy who has spent the last 15 years enforcing the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments (as he so eloquently put it) "one motion to suppress at time.

Unfortunately for Judge Murphy, by the time he left the event and got his car, he was informed by text message from President Trump that he was fired. Governor Scott then announced he was committed to appointing judges who respect the constitution, "but not at the cost of having a criminal case dismissed."

And so it goes. 

From Occupied America, where as you read this, next year's State PD Pat On The Back award recipient is finishing raising money for every child in Florida to have a laptop in school while also constructing a hundred "no kill animal shelters" all before heading to court to try another case, Fight The Power!


*Some big-wig from the FACDL didn't  like us calling their event a "soiree"

Saturday, May 13, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT YOU'RE FIRED EDITION 2.0

Dear Diary...simply put,  the best week ever!!!

Here's how the week went down. Last weekend I was in a bit of a bad mood. And nothing makes me feel better than firing some people. So first Manuelo, who's staff at my golf club in New Jersey brought me two scoops of ice cream for my dessert Saturday night. I have given specific instructions that I am to be give two and one half scoops of ice cream with my dessert. I made that very clear from day one. "Manuelo, you're fired!" Then I had the secret service hustle him out. I felt a little better. 

Sunday morning I saw that little so and so Peter Ryan on the news shows. Thinks he's a big shot being speaker of the congress and all. So I called him up I did. "Petey, you're fired. I'm making changes in the senate." 
"Mr. President" he says, "You can't fire me, I was elected."
"Elected" I sneer. Did you see my inauguration crowds? Bigger than yours and Obama's. "You're fired" then I slammed down the phone and called my chief of staff and told him I fired the speaker of the senate and I wanted him out by Monday and Jared in as speaker. My chief told me I couldn't do it and I admit that made me angry. 

So then I wondered what the vice president was up to? Where was he when I was working all weekend? It was time for a change I decided so I called John McCain. "John" I said, "you're out as vice president." Then I slammed down the phone and told Priebus what I did.  Then he told me I couldn't fire the vice president and then my phone rang and the person said SENATOR John McCain was on the other end. The whole world is going crazy, Diary. People don't even know what jobs they have in my administration. I have a lot  of work ahead for me.  

I have to admit that by Monday morning I was in a really foul mood. I needed to make changes. The guy who cleans the golf carts at the club? OUT. The guy who drives me? OUT.  The guy who replaced Manolo? OUT. But it just didn't feel right. I wanted to fire someone big. Ginsberg at the Supreme Court. But she didn't take my call. Bernie Sanders, but his staff said he was in the garden working. 

And then, out of the blue, I remembered that guy from the FBI. Causing all the trouble with the fake Russian investigation. Wouldn't pledge loyalty to me and Barron and Melania. I called in all my important people. Priebus. Ivanka. Her husband whazhisname. The guy who replaced the guy who replaced Manolo. 

"I've got a big announcement. I'm going to make a change at the FBI. I want a new director. The old one is fired."

Diary, everyone got real happy. They patted me on the back. Told me I was being decisive. A real president. Obama never fired the FBI guy. Neither did Bush or Reagan or Lincoln or Washington. Only me. Which makes me the best president ever. The guy who replaced the guy who replaced Manolo brought me THREE scoops of ice cream. I turned to my chief of staff and in my best presidential voice said "Get Chuck Schumer on the phone. Tell him he's FIRED!"

Then I felt so good I went out and shot a 92 on the front nine. And the best part was the guy who replaced the guy who replaced Manolo gave me a 32. 

Bestest week ever Diary, until next week that is. 

DJT. 


Friday, May 12, 2017

PERSON OF THE WEEK MAY 12, 2017

It was a quiet week at the REGJB this week...at least for us. We almost picked FACDL, Miami Chapter who will be having their annual soiree tomorrow night. Lawyers will gather and hold their cheap chardonnay and tell each each other with wine-induced grins, "for all we do...this chardonnay's for you."

But then this email crossed our desk from FACDL:

Chief Judge Soto is commissioning the creation a back-up county court trial division. The hope is for this division to be operational in January 2018. AOC, along with representatives from the SAO, PDO and FACDL-Miami will participate on a committee to work out the details. One of the primary objectives of this division is to alleviate the backlog in our jail divisions so clients can have their trials quicker. The impact on regular divisions should be minimal. More details will be shared as they become available.

So Judge Soto, for working to alleviate the backlog in the misdemeanor jail division- You are our REGJB Person of the week. 

Take a bow. 

From Occupied America, where as startling as it is people are still in jail for Misdemeanors..Misdemeanors!!, fight the power!

Monday, May 08, 2017

YOUR TIME IS UP

Query: 
Having argued at appellate courts at all levels, why doesn't the Third District Court of Appeals have an electronic timer like other courts? 

Battle of the Coral Sea- 75 years ago this week
Last week the Australian Prime Minister visited the United States and met with POTUS 45. There were many comments about the 75th anniversary of the battle of the Coral Sea which occurred this week. The battle concluded on May 8 with the sinking of the US Carrier Lexington. 

The Battle of the Coral Sea was many things. It was the first major naval engagement of carriers. The first major naval engagement where opposing navies didn't actually see each other during the engagement. Coral Sea was fought strictly with carriers launching naval aviators and attack planes. The Battle of the Coral Sea was also the first major naval engagement between the United States and Japan, coming five months after the disaster at Pearl Harbor. 

The Battle of Coral Sea was many things, but it was NOT the turning point of the Pacific campaign in WWII, although many commentators have recently and mistakenly taken to calling it that.

The turning point in the war would come a month later on June 4 at the Battle of Midway, upon which we will expertly expound more at that time. 

The Battle of Coral Sea was for both sides- at best- a draw. The US struck first, sinking the Japanese light carrier Shoho. The next day the Japanese located and 
sunk the older and slow US carrier Lexington. The US then severely damaged the Japanese carrier Shokaku and in return the Japanese damaged the carrier Yorktown. Both sides then retreated, although the Japanese invasion of Port Moresby, which would have threatened Australia, was defeated. 

The long term strategic effects of the battle favored the United States.  Fleet Admiral Yamamoto was spoiling for a large scale naval battle so as to sink the remaining US carriers which escaped damage at Pearl Harbor.   To that end, Yamamoto created an invasion fleet for the US island Midway hoping to draw out what he believed would be the remaining two US carriers- Enterprise and Hornet. But the Yorktown limped back to Pearl and was turned around in three days (with damages that were thought to require a month of repairs). The Yorktown made a surprise and significant appearance at the Battle Of Midway and contributed to the resounding defeat of the Japanese Navy and loss of four carriers. 

Midway was the turning point in the Pacific War and to a small extent the outcome of the battle of the Coral Sea contributed to that outcome by disguising the presence of the Yorktown and also giving the US naval aviators and Navy the confidence that they could defeat a much more experienced and larger Japanese Navy. 

The battle of Midway was when time ran out on the Imperial Japanese Navy, and when their time ran out- like the litigators at the 3rd DCA- they didn't know it either. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power!






Friday, May 05, 2017

PERSON OF THE WEEK MAY 5, 2017

Our first person of the week is ....

Our Public Defender Carlos Martinez!!!

As detailed in ace Herald reporter David Ovalle's article this week, Carlos Martinez was in Tallahassee successfully fighting for a pay raise of 6% for his employees after years of drought. 

This success was to the chagrin of Miami SAO Kathy Fernandez-Rundle, who immediately cut short a vacation to complain that prosecutors, who have for years been paid more than PDs, weren't being given a space at the trough. 

From the article:

But the issue of the pay differential between the two sides has long been a politically sensitive issue in South Florida’s criminal-justice community. Florida prosecutors have traditionally earned more money than their counterparts at the public defender’s office.
Martinez said Monday that bill solely addresses the longstanding wage inequity, which he says averages about $4,000 between attorneys on each side.
“It tries to provide parity in salaries between assistant public defenders and assistant state attorneys,” Martinez said.

For fighting the good fight for his dedicated and under-paid  employees, the honour of being our first person of the week is Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez. 

Honorable Mention: FACDL President Brian Kirlow- nominated by the Captain. 

Second runner up and a favourite of the commentators on the blog this week, for apparently just showing up to work- Judge Hanzman, who is off to a fast start in making a great name for himself, but-to the best of our knowledge- didn't really do anything exceptional this week. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN TALLAHASSEE .....

UPDATE: Coming tomorrow: Our first REGJB Blog Person of the week. And it will surprise you. 

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

SINE DIE, ON FRIDAY ......?????

Yes, those words may or may not get uttered on Friday in Tallahassee.  Normally, the end of the legislative session is deemed official with the calling out of those words.  But, as of today, it looks like the budget will not get passed by both chambers by Friday, (the only constitutional requirement the legislature has), and that means the final day of the Spring 2017 legislative session will extend into the weekend or beyond.

Some good news:

SB 118, ADMINISTRATIVE SEALING OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS has passed both chambers and is headed to the Governor's desk.  The bill,  which can be found here sets up a process whereby certain records are sealed once the opportunity for appeals has expired.  Automatic administrative sealing of records of adults and minors charged with felonies or misdemeanors can occur if a State Attorney declines to file charges, all charges were dismissed before trial, or the person charged was found not guilty. 

The bill also covers entities engaged in the business of publishing arrest booking photographs.  It prohibits them from charging a fee to remove the photos.  It provides a mechanism for the requested removal of booking photos.

SB 312, POLICE LINEUP STANDARDS FOR EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION, has passed both chambers and is headed to the Governor's desk.  The bill, which can be read in its entirety here requires law enforcement agencies to use lineup standards to avoid eyewitness mistakes that could lead to wrongful convictions.  Lineups will be required to be conducted by an administrator who does not know the suspect in order to ensure impartiality.  Also, witnesses should be told that suspects may or may not be in a photo or in person lineup and that they are not required to make an identification.

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A JUDGE ..............

3RD DCA

Governor Scott will be naming a replacement for Judge Linda Wells.  He has until May 30th to decide between:

Judge Monica Gordo
Judge Norma S. Lindsey
Judge Bronwyn C. Miller
Oren Rosenthal, Esq.
Judge Daryl E. Trawick
Judge Angelica Zayas


CIRCUIT COURT

The JNC will interview nine applicants on Friday, May 19, to replace Judge Robert Luck:
1:30pm Joseph Mansfield
1:45pm Raul Cuervo
2:00pm Luis Perez-Medina
2:15pm Ayana Harris
2:30pm Judge Spencer Multack
2:40pm Judge Lourdes Simon
2:50pm Judge Andrea Ricker Wolfson
3:00pm Judge Tanya Brinkley
3:10pm Judge Ivonne Cuesta

COUNTY COURT

The JNC, on the same day, will interview 16 applicants to replace Judge Victoria del Pino:
(Three applicants, Mansfield, Cuervo, and Perez-Medina, are being interviewed for both open seats).

9:30 a.m. Julie Harris Nelson
9:45 a.m. Natalie Rico
10:00 a.m. Peter Heller
10:15 a.m. Renatha Francis
10:30 a.m. Denise Martinez-Scanziani
10:45 a.m. Ramiro Christen Areces
11:15 a.m. General Magistrate Karl S.H. Brown
11:30 a.m. Christina Marie DiRaimondo
11:45 a.m. Vivianne Del Rio
NOON General Magistrate Gordon Charles Murray, Jr.
12:15 p.m. Elijah Levitt
1:00pm Steven Paulson
1:15pm Ariel Rodriguez
1:30pm Joseph Mansfield
1:45pm Raul Cuervo
2:00 pm Luis Perez-Medina

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


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

THE RETIRED (AND TIRED) JUDICIARY


What's wrong with the below picture? 


Proudly invites you to
Passing of the Gavel Judicial Lunch
Honoring Retired Members of the
Federal & State Judiciary
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Judicial Networking begins at 11:30 am
Program & Lunch to follow
Opening Remarks by
Judge Edwin A. Scales, III
Judge Tanya Brinkley
Retired Members of the Federal & State Judiciary

Hon. Stanford Blake
Hon. Jason E. Bloch
Hon. James I. Cohn - Senior Status
Hon. Gill S. Freeman
Hon. Michael A. Genden
Hon. Paul C. Huck - Senior Status
Hon. Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat
Hon. Judith Rubenstein
Hon. Jacqueline Schwartz
Hon. Frank A. Shepherd
Hon. Victoria S. Sigler
Hon. Linda Ann Wells
Hon. Victoria Regina Brennan


History:
Here is our history lesson for today, courtesy of POTUS 45

The Civil war began April 21, 1861 with the confederate firing on Fort Sumter. 

Andrew Jackson, POTUS 7, died in June 1845. 
Thus this tweet from our historian in chief:

President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!


Earlier in the day POTUS 45 gave an interview in which he stated that Jackson was "really angry" about the civil war and if he were president it wouldn't have happened. The Tweet which was several hours after the interview, was apparently in response to the rest of the civilized world laughing at the president

Coming Soon: President Woodrow Wilson and the Vietnam war: "He was really really angry about what he saw coming. He would never have let it happen. No Gulf Of Tonkin incident for Wilson!"

From Occupied America, where intelligence matters, Fight the Power!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

THE DOMINO THEORY

Before we begin on another brilliant exposition, our readers have suggested and seconded a "person of the week" for the blog. We listen to our readers. However, the readers will need to contribute to make it work. Make your nominations (judges are people too!) and the reason why, and we will choose. 

THE DOMINOS THEORY

On a bright spring day on the last day of April, 1975, Saigon fell and the Vietnam war ended. Over fifty-eight thousand Americans died for a war that the Generals and Johnson and Nixon and Kennedy for that matter knew could not be won. 

From late 1963 onward, Secretary Of defense Robert McNamara- according to his own memoirs- knew the war could not be won. In 1963 78 Americans had died in Vietnam. In 1964 the total was 225. By 1975 the total surpassed 58,000. 

In his exceptionally well written new biography- Nixon, The Life, John Farrell, the first Nixon biographer to have access to all the White House tapes, writes that Nixon clearly understood as he ran for President that the war could not be won.  Yet Nixon was so desperate to win the presidency that he feared a Johnson led peace effort in 1967 would lead to a Humphery victory in November. So Nixon's used Anna Chennault- a fascinating character of the mid and late 20th century- to sabotage the nearly complete Paris Peace Talks with North Vietnam by having Chennault tell the leaders of South Vietnam to reject the peace accords because Nixon was going to win and Nixon was personally assuring them that South Vietnam would get a better deal with Nixon as POTUS. 

The continuation of the war was all in the name of American prestige and the Domino Theory- which for you prosecutors and PDs and Judges born in the age of Starbucks - held that the loss of one democratic country to communism would cause neighboring countries to go commie as well. 

Nothing could be further from the truth, as China and North Korea and Cuba are the only remnants of a failed collectivist political and economic philosophy . 

Or is it? 

There are three Domino Pizza stores in Ho Chi Minh City: 

Domino's Pizza Nguyen Tri Phuong

Quận 10, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

+84 1900 6099
Dominos 
Quận 7, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
 and Dominos Tan Bih, Hồ Chí
Minh, Vietnam.

There was a Domino theory that
was going to save South East Asia
and for that matter, the world,
from Communism: It was called
Capitalism. 

Bombs and mining Haiphong
Harbor and deforesting
Vietnam with Agent Orange
didn't stop the Domino theory-
Dominos did. 

When given a choice, comrades
will choose Starbucks Coffee
over collective farms. 

Which brings us to North Korea.
There is no doubt that the
concentration camps North Korea
runs are well beyond the killing
fields of Cambodia. But the 
capital of South Korea is within
artillery range of the
border, making a military
campaign impossible. 

Ronald Wilson Reagan brought
down the Berlin wall
and then the Soviet Union without
firing a shot. 
Trump can do the same in North
Korea with sanctions in
conjunction with China. 

It turns out the Domino theory was correct. It was just the wrong Domino.

It wasn't this Domino


It was this Domino.



Nikita Khrushchev famously threatened to bury the west. Instead, you can dine at a KFC a short walk from his tomb in Vladimir, Moscow. 

The Domino theory was correct after all. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power. 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

KEN WHITE HAS PASSED AWAY

Very sad news today as we have learned that attorney Ken White- a great and long time fixture in the REGJB- passed away, reportedly in his sleep, last night. 

Ken was known as an expert in death penalty criminal defense. He handled many well known cases and was a meticulous lawyer in trial. Professional, aggressive, protecting his client at every juncture in the proceedings. 

This is shocking and sad news. Our community has suffered a real loss today. We will post funeral information when we have it. 


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

MORE VOIR DIRE

We're in a jury selection mood lately, so here are Rumpole's "Rules Of Voir Dire" (c) 2017 Justice Building Blog. 

10.  This is for ASAs. Never ask jurors if they would like DNA, Video, fingerprints, etc, when you don't have that in your case. You ask them that, they think for a second and say "sure, that would be great" and now you have to explain that you don't have that evidence. You look like fools doing this. 

9. Don't go into reasonable doubt. The jury instruction is clear. As a defense attorney it can only hurt you. 

8. If you do go into reasonable doubt, ask the judge to read the instruction. Then ask them what they think about it. Don't ask them if they can follow the law. 

7. Spend time on your client not testifying. Even if she is going to testify. The number one way to expose a state oriented juror is to identify a juror who wants to shift the burden of proof and have the defense prove through the defendant's testimony that they are innocent. 

6. NEVER EVER EVER tell the jury in voir dire your client will testify. It creates two big problems. First, if the state's case falls apart but the judge doesn't JOA it, you're stuck with your promise. Second, it tells the prosecutor - "hey- get a legal pad and for the rest of the trial start thinking of every question on cross you want to ask my client." Bad bad move. 

5. Never admit to anything in voir dire. The thought that it buys you credibility is crap. It just reinforces in the jurors' minds that the reason why your client is sitting next to you is because she did something. 

4. Personalize your client non-verbally. Show physical contact with  them in front of the jury. Laugh with them at the appropriate moment. Put your arm around them and explain the process as the panel is filing in. The attentive jurors will see that and some of them will reason that this is a new experience for your client as well. 

3. You can't try your case in voir dire so stop trying. It's annoying. It doesn't really work and to the extent you get jurors wholeheartedly agreeing with you, you're just alerting the other side on who they should strike. 

2. Never ask a juror if they can follow the law. Either a bad juror says yes and you've lost a challenge, or a good juror says no, and you've lost a juror. Ask them to explain what they mean when they express reservations with a legal concept. 

1. Never ever interrupt a juror. They can't poison a panel. But they will give you a good insight into what they are thinking, even if they are thinking your client is the worst worm ever to wiggle into a courtroom. Ask them why they think that way. It will identify your problems. 

Bonus tip: always tender first time around. The other side won't be able to resist using a strike. Now you're ahead of the game. Do it twice. Do it thrice. You'll see. It puts them back on their heels and you start having the ability to control the panel. 

It sounds dangerous. We've been doing this since around the time James Earl Carter was living at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue (with a break after he lost).  It works. 

From Occupied America, where the Attorney General of the United States is afraid to ride the NYC subways, but senator Schumer's teenage daughters ride them at 4 am, Fight the Power! 

LUNCH AND LEARN TODAY ! (TUESDAY)

Lunch...AND Learn?! What a novel concept!
Today, at noon, at our humble courthouse, the master of voir dire, Gene Zenobi will be reprising his lecture on the subject.  This is one you don't want to miss. 

Jury selection is by far the most important part of the case. Imagine trying to get Republicans to vote to raise taxes, or Democrats to vote to repeal Obama-care. Our point is that your audience matters. It is crucial that you get jurors who will have the ability and inclination to vote for your case. This is something most lawyers never understand. 

One final point-although we could expound on this subject for hours.  We see very few lawyers who can conduct a proper voir dire. And the biggest mistake we see is that lawyers somehow believe- and this is probably because fools at the SAO and PDs office have trained them to believe this- that the purpose of jury selection is to educate the jury about your case. 

WRONG. 


The purpose of voir dire is to find out what individual jurors believe so you can determine if the juror has the ability to build a coalition with other like-minded jurors to vote for your case. 

Ever see a lawyer interrupt a juror who is speaking? This is what we are talking about. That's a lawyer who doesn't understand what jury selection is all about. 

Don't believe this? 

Come watch Mr. Zenobi speak today. 

From Occupied America, where the US is being asked to pay for the wall, Fight the liar Power. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT 100 DAYS

Dear Diary, coming up on 100 days as the big kahuna. The Big cheese. El Jefe. Da man. That's me! 
Got a guy on the supreme court. Voted to allow an execution in Arkansas. Only sad part was the scum executed wasn't Mexican. Oh well, better luck next time. 

100 days- promised to end Obama care on day one. Oh well. 
Promised to build wall on day one. Oh well. 
Promised to stop North Korea from launching missiles on day one. Oh well. 
Promised to rip up Iran deal on day one. Oh well. 
Promised tax cuts on day one. Oh well. 
Promised to expose global warming as chinese fake news on day one. Oh well. 
Promised to lock-up Hillary on day one. Oh well. 
Promised to declare China a currency manipulator on day one. Oh well. 
Promised to end World Bank on day one. Oh well. 
Promised to not interfere in regional conflicts like Syria. Oh well.  
Promised to withdraw from NATO on day one unless Germany paid fair share. Oh well. 

Here's what I did do...
Biggest inauguration ever. What will good health care do for the average american versus his president having the biggest crowds ever? I mean really, I know what's important. 
Re-did the drapes in the Oval. Obama had such bad taste. 
Lots of golf. 
Lots of Mar-a-lago. 
Oh yeah...
Did bomb Syria. 
Did threaten Australia. 
Did insult German leader whaz-her-name by not shaking her hand. That sent a message. New sheriff in town. Can't push me around the way Bin Laden did with Obama. Which reminds me, when we catch Bin Laden it's going to be a big deal. Going to put him on a reality TV show. Make him work on wall with Mexico. Etc. Calling Mark Burnett later for ideas. 

Did insult all US intelligence agencies. 
Did have Patriots to white house. Super Bowl guys. Winners. Like me. 

Everyone is saying this is the best presidency ever. That no one has ever seen a presidency like this one. Loving that. 

Job is good. Golf game improving. 
Gotta go. Treasury guy apparently has Mexican Amex card...gonna charge like 100K to start work on the wall. That will show them! Plus the travel points go to Ivanka and Jared. 

Phone call later with Putin...got some good stuff cookin on French Election. Le Pen is our gal. 

First state dinner with Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. State Dept said we can't have state dinner with local mayor. But I say yes. Burgers. Taco Bell. 

DJT.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

WHERE IS THE CARL VINSON? THE WORLD WONDERS

In October 1944 the US invaded the Pacific island of Leyte. The Japanese expected the invasion and sought a naval confrontation with the US Navy. The Japanese had carefully studied the US Admirals and believed they had located a weakness in US Admiral William "Bull" Halsey. 
Halsey was a fighting admiral. He was brave and impetuous and was spoiling for a fight.  The Japanese decided to play on Halsey's temper which they viewed as a weakness and created a "Northern Task Force" about which they sent fake radio traffic which indicated that the Northern Force comprised the main part of the Nippon Navy- a juicy carrier loaded target. 

 Halesy was lured to chase the ghost northern force, leaving the US invasion force mostly unprotected, although Admiral Kincaid bravely held off the real main Japanese forces which attacked in a pincer movement around the island. 
Kincaid radioed to Admiral Nimitz for help and for Halsey. And Nimitz sent this now famous and historical radio message to Halsey: 

"Where is, repeat where is Task Force 34...the world wonders?"
TURKEY TROTS TO WATER GG FROM CINCPAC ACTION COM THIRD FLEET INFO COMINCH CTF SEVENTY-SEVEN X WHERE IS RPT WHERE IS TASK FORCE THIRTY FOUR RR THE WORLD WONDERS

The controversy of the message, especially the "world wonders" part was quickly explained away as superfluous words that were included in coded transmissions and did not reflect the actual words or thoughts of Nimitz. However, the words stung Halsey in light of him falling for the Japanese bait and compromising the invasion. 

Halsey recovered in time to help thwart the invasion, but his reputation suffered from the message which was viewed as a rebuke from Nimitz, the Pacific Commander of Naval Forces. 

Which brings us to the USS Carl Vinson and the now nearly hourly reports that when the current President threatened North Korea with the Carrier Task force, it was in fact thousands of miles away heading towards Australia- which even most people who wear robes could have told our president is the wrong way if you want to get to North Korea. 

The media, not to mention much of the world is now ridiculing the US and our President: 

The Atlantic wonders in this headline How the Trump Administration Lost an Aircraft Carrier?

The NY Times Gail Collins Op Ed is entitled "Paging The Trump Armada...It's not easy to lose a flotilla"

Unlike Admiral Halsey who was a WWII hero (although he is subject to criticism which continues to this day including his questionable actions at Leyte and that he led a task force through a Pacific cyclone at the end of the war),  the current POTUS is neither a war hero, nor respected. 

As to the current status of the  Vinson Carrier group, it may be appropriate to again ponder: "Where, repeat where is the Vinson Carrier Group? The World Wonders..."

From Occupied America, Fight the Power.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf is perhaps the most studied naval battle of WWII.  In other forums, your humble blogger has written extensively on this confrontation. 

Unlike today with satellites tracking naval forces, the battle highlights the decisions admirals had to make with imperfect information. The tactics of the Japanese- in using guile and a thorough understanding of the nature of the adversary to even the odds in the face of a superior force have been required reading at Annapolis for the last 50 years. 

"If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him." Sun Tzu. 
The Japanese did just that, baiting Halsey, and almost achieved what would have been a stunning naval victory that could have set back the war efforts in the Pacific six more months.  


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

ONLY NIXON COULD GO TO CHINA

"The problem with vice is not so much the sin, as the character of the people one meets to practice it."
Len Garment, counselor to President Nixon, quoting Oscar Wilde on Nixon's involvement with the coverup of the Watergate Burglars.

Rumpole has read "Richard Nixon The Life" by John A Farrell and pronounces it a very satisfactory, if a bit too short biography of the 37th POTUS. Farrell's distinction is that this is the first major biography after the successful lawsuit in 2007 to release over 37,000 hours of white house tapes. The writing is crisp and at times superb. For example: "It was that spring, with little note, that Truman dismissed Franklin Roosevelt's qualms about aligning the US on the wrong side of an anti-colonial war of independence and approved the first multimillion dollar aid package for French Indochina.
Thusly, the spectre of Vietnam, which came to define Nixon, was subtly introduced. 
And...
"Nixon moved to New York in June 1963 to lay him down and bleed awhile" in discussing Nixon's loss of the 1962 race for governor in California. 

And ... in discussing 1968...
"As the world went mad around him, Nixon had shown touch and timing in his campaign to claim the Republican nomination.

All of this relevant to those of us who believe (unlike the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue)  that those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.

And while we remember but do not honor the birth of the greatest war criminal of the 20th century on April 20th- a man who under the banner of German nationalism led his nation to ruin and a world to war, we also remember on April 22, the death of Richard Milhous Nixon- who in 1994 ended a remarkable life with a career filled with Shakespearean or Grecian like tragedies, triumphs, defeats, and ultimately a comeback of sorts and some peace. 

The 37th POTUS was a remarkable and complex man whose life is well worth much study. 

From Occupied America,  where "Only Nixon could go to China", and a deposed president once, incredibly,  told David Frost "If the President does it, it means that it is not illlegal", Fight The Power. 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

WHEN THE RAIN FELL GENTLY FROM THE SKY

On this date April 15, 1865, when the "rain fell gently from the sky as if the heavens were weeping" Abraham Lincoln passed from man to immortal at 7:22 AM from the assassin's bullet which struck him the evening before. "Now he belongs to the ages" his  Secretary of War  Edward M. Stanton was recorded as saying in grief  by Lincoln secretary John Hay in his diary. 



We are reminded of Lincoln's letter to his friend Joshua Speed in 1855,  a decade before the end of the civil war. Lincoln was wrestling with slavery and the union and the Missouri compromise and whether Kansas would be admitted to the union as a slave state. 

This famous letter is remarkable for many things, and today it stands out for Lincoln's prescience for his interpretation of these most precious words upon which a great nation was founded: "All men are created equal": 

Dear Speed..
I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor or degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy ..." 

Although Lincoln's reference to the "Know Nothings" refers to an actual political movement of the day, there are different more literal "Know Nothings" in charge of our great country today. From these words we can extrapolate this- in these troubling times when the degeneracy of "all men are created equal" continues with alacrity, Lincoln would be moving to Moscow. 

From Occupied America, where "Know Nothings" sit in our Oval Office, Fight the Power!