Friday, September 15, 2017




Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division, Judge Sayfie, has issued the following information as to what we can expect to take place at the GJB next week:

The cases from our Irma days will be reset as follows: 

1. The approximately 500 in custody arraignments that will be split between Monday 9/18 & Tuesday 9/19.  

2. All AC's will be set Monday 9/19. (we know, this must be a typo)

3. No inmates will be transported for your regular Monday 9/18 trial calendar. If you need an inmate for a speedy case then please let your individual CO know to transport the inmate for Tuesday. Please avoid this if possible because Tuesday's calendars will still be heavy with make-up arraignments.  

4. All trials set 9/11 or on any of the missed days will be set on Wednesday, 9/20 so you can address the trial status/date. Remember that no defendants will have notice. And in many cases the attorneys may not be aware either. These cases are printing so that you can reset them as you wish.  

5. All out of custody arraignments are being reset with time for notice, so likely 2 weeks from today or Monday.  

6. All other cases that were printing for other hearings that did not have future dates already will be printing during the first week of October. This will give you and the attorneys the opportunity to move the date to an earlier date if you wish.
Also, a reminder that the courthouse is Closed on Thursday, September 21, for the observance of Rosh Hashanah.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017





Date line: Ritz Carlton, Washington DC. 
September 12, 2017. 

POWER: FPL says all east coast power restored by this Sunday. All power in West Miami to be restored by this Friday. The farther east you go, the more power lines are down and the longer it will take. 


Our intrepid state attorney is seeking temporary office space, as her office (part or all- it's not yet clear) is damaged/flooded. 

State courts remained closed on Wednesday AND WILL REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH THIS WEEK. But the REGJB also suffered flooding and damage so we think - highlight THINK state courts will not re-open this week. 

Federal court is also closed through the end of the week. Support personnel, including those who stamp "denied" on most motions, are being asked to report to work on Thursday if they are able.  refuses to confirm or deny if they will be open Wednesday: Their attitude is "you should know". We don't.

Monroe County Courts closed...indefinitely. 

Here is our community's attitude: 
The Storm came. The rain came. The wind came. We all are in this together. We are damaged. We shall rebuild. We are all strong and resilient. 

We're going to use a legal phrase here: BULLSHIT!

Miami survived only by sheer luck (which we had discerned by analyzing weather patterns days before the storm, about which we told you about BEFORE supposedly expert forecasters did. See our last two posts). 

This community would have been destroyed beyond repair within a year if a Cat4+ had hit us directly. 

Our shelters were in disarray. Staff didn't show up, requiring police officers to run shelters, which took them from the streets where they needed to be. 

Our governor was (is, and continues to be) a moron. We watched (from the relative safety of our suite at the Ritz in DC, where we are rather well known) as on Friday night, the governor said during a state-wide televised press conference- and we quote "get out now!
Get out to where? Anyone in Miami on Friday would not have had enough gas to get to the Florida/Georgia border, and many of those who fled Miami, fled to....Naples, Sarasota, and Tampa. Enough said. 

We have heard of individual acts of altruism and that in many neighborhoods neighbors did in fact help their neighbors. But make no mistake, people in many depressed neighborhoods are suffering without food, water and power. It is almost impossible to sleep in 90 degree heat and no breeze, which is the type of weather that follows large storms. 

On an individual basis, police officers, fire rescue, nurses, surgeons, hospital staff and doctors all left their families to serve our community during the storm. For that we should all be thankful. The next time you see a police officer, thank him or her for serving during the run up and after the storm while you were getting supplies and taking care of your family and home. 

But our elected officials were bumbling fools. Moe, Larry, and Curly could have done a better job. The Mayor of Miami, during a press conference when he was taking criticism for the fact that shelters were not opened or were not staffed, felt it important to tell everyone his home was without power. As if that mattered. 

We survived this storm only because it missed us, not because our elected officials did their jobs in a competent matter. 

For the future, those of you who remained behind, consider this- during the next run up, do everything a week early. Board up your house before there are lines at Ace and Home Depot. Drive out of Florida before there are gas lines. Book tickets to fly to Uncle Ernie in Akron, before the flights fill up. 

If this storm has taught us anything, it has reminded us that they are very very powerful and deadly, and that we cannot rely on our officials to make wise decisions and run government in a manner that will assist us in a time of need. 

We are fortunate to have access to private travel and be able to afford a few weeks at a luxury hotel. Not everyone can do that. The key to surviving these storms, is the key to winning cases: prepare, prepare, prepare. 

Stay safe. We wish all of our dear readers a quick recovery with power restored. 

Your Humble srvt,
H. Rumpole, Blogger. 

Friday, September 08, 2017


Friends, colleagues, dear readers of our blog. There is nothing funny about the threat to our home town. 
Although we hold hope that this storm will not turn on a dime as predicted and head north, no matter how it goes we will get hit. 
Many of us will suffer. 
This is the time to think clearly. 
Be kind to neighbors and friends and strangers in need. 
Help each other and spread good karma and together we can overcome what none of us can individually. 

After the storm, we will be down for some time, pending internet and power. 
But we will be out in our community, a shovel or a saw in hand, helping those who need help. 

Think clearly. 
Act rationally. 
Don't panic. 
Be safe. 
You can always buy another TV, car, or house. 
Life is precious. 

We are thinking of you, friends. Be safe. 

Your humble blogger who has always known it was a privilege to have readers. 

See You In Court, sooner than you think. 

H. Rumpole, poor country lawyer. 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017


Update: This is an irreverent post. Please review the preceding post for some sad news about the tragic passing of attorney J.C. Dugue and leave your remembrances there if you wish.  

Courts  remain scheduled (which we pronounce as the King's english dictates, shed/ul/eld )for closure Thursday and Friday(Fed and State, unless you have something scheduled before Judges Martinez or Huck: a little wind and rain never caused them to continue anything). 
August marked the beginning of the employment of new PDs and ASAs. Many of whom are from out of town. This is their first hurricane. Here is our famous storm prep list   ( (c) Justice Building Blog, 2008, all rights reserved) along with some common sense Dos and Don'ts:

DO: go swimming only with a buddy;
DON'T: try and serve subpoenas on Miami Beach Police without a mask, fin and snorkel. To our friends on the Beach: see ya, wouldn't want to be ya

DO: Announce ready for trial today for all cases set for next two weeks.
DON'T:  Take your files home. If the PDs or ASA offices are wacked, you have proof of why you need a continuance. 

DO: Go to Publix at least once and rip a bottle of water out of a kid's hand. Also go to a gas station, wait on line, and then act puzzled at the credit card swipe screen until everyone behind you beeps. These are classic Miami hurricane activities that are a right of passage for new-comers.  
DON'T: Return any gun fire. You may hit an FPL worker hiding in the gas station cafe avoiding work. 

DO: Follow all tips from our Governor, including his directive not to mention "Global Warming" in emails.
DON'T: Evacuate to the Bahamas, or Houston. 

Breaking: POTUS 45 tweets Irma "FAKE NEWS" and blames "Obama/Clinton/Comey/Dems" for path of storm.

Hurricane Supplies: (in order of importance)
1: One Bottle Don Julio 1942 Tequilla
2: Three bottles of any: 2010 Opus One Napa Propriety Blend (in an emergency, the 2008 will do); Lewis Cab 2013, Napa Valley, Sequoia Grove Cabium, 2009, Napa Valley.
3: One gallon of water per person, per day.
5. One bag of organic apples.
6. One box Annie's Organic Granola bars, mixed.
7. One copy of Les Miserables, or The Grapes of Wrath, or 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or either of 11/23/63 or IT by Stephen King, both of which are vastly superior to The Stand.
8. Box of candles and matches.
9. Limes (see 1, above).
10. One week supply toilet paper.
11. Battery powered radio. Gen Y'ers and Millennials take note: you cannot listen to radio on your phone when the internet is out. You must watch a you-tube video on the basic principles of operating a radio. You also cannot stock up on ice cream. Just trust us on this one. And Uber Eats, et.al., will not be available for a few days. So get some dry staples in the house. Google cereal and buy some.*
12. Oranges, grapes, pretzels, chips. 

Above all else, unlike POTUS45, use common sense and stay safe. 

Because we know that long-time and careful readers turn here first for the real, non-fake news they need to survive the storm, practice law, and collect a few fees along the way, we will be on the blog all Friday evening and Saturday until (and IF) the storm knocks us off the internet. As we hinted at yesterday, and the reports are indicating today, Irma is s..l..o..w..l..y moving east by north east and that is good news. 

From occupied America and storm threatened Florida, fight the wind and the rain and the power. 

* This is a true fact. General Foods is experiencing a drastic decrease in cereal consumption by people between 10-20. Apparently market research shows that millennials don't like to spend time on cleaning the bowl after eating cereal. 


Long time Miami lawyer and REGJB regular J.C. Dugue, passed away suddenly on September 5, 2017 of a heart attack. 

Judge Glick wrote this in the comments section:
Just finished a trial with him. A fine lawyer, a true gentleman and always had a smile on his face. RIP.
S. Glick

And we received this wonderful comment as well:
EX Black Jack Dealer said...

This is sad and shocking news. Unfortunately the blog has become an obituary section lately. I first meet JC in early 1994 right after I became an attorney. We both worked at the old HRS ( now Dept of Children & Families) where I first meet him. We remained friends since then. JC has just come over from the SAO in Lee County. He was a good guy and almost always had a good cheerful demeanor who was very funny and almost like the life of the party if you knew him. I just worked a case with him as I brought him into a case with co-defendants. JC was the type of lawyer that was always willing to go the extra mile for his clients and financially speaking took the short end of the stick in terms of being paid for his work on many occasions and did not bitch or complain. He just did his work.

JC loved sports, particularly basketball, and really enjoyed his children. If anyone has any funeral or memorial service info please post it.

To all his friends and family, particularly his children, I send my condolences. Although his life was shorter than it should have been he lived a worthwhile and fulfilling life. RIP my friend.
Wednesday, September 06, 2017 2:40:00 PM

We didn't know Mr. Dugue well, but a quick Google of his name showed a dedicated lawyer with some very nice victories under his belt. 

Please post your remembrances here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


(We see something in the upper atmosphere of Canada which will move this storm away just far enough to brush us. You heard it here first.) 

More importantly than court's closing is the availability of Starbucks. We will keep you updated on those openings/closings.  

The City Of Miami Beach is not accepting subpoenas, otherwise validly served, for police officers for depositions on their day off. 

The statute below,  is unclear

The lawyer who has the issue (rhymes with Batalano) has a motion scheduled today (Monday) before Judge Barakat. Apparently in this case there are six officers with six different days off requiring the lawyer to set them on six different days, incurring six separate court reporter appearance fees. 
Such are the problems from which Solomonic Judicial wisdom appears. We shall see. 

 (4)(a) Service of a criminal witness subpoena upon a law enforcement officer or upon any federal, state, or municipal employee called to testify in an official capacity in a criminal case may be made as provided in subsection (1) or by delivery to a designated supervisory or administrative employee at the witness's place of employment if the agency head or highest ranking official at the witness's place of employment has designated such employee to accept such service. However, no such designated employee is required to accept service:
1. For a witness who is no longer employed by the agency at that place of employment;
2. If the witness is not scheduled to work prior to the date the witness is required to appear; or
3. If the appearance date is less than 5 days from the date of service.
The agency head or highest ranking official at the witness's place of employment may determine the days of the week and the hours that service may be made at the witness's place of employment

Before most of the ASAs and a few of our Judges were born, Miami had a long-time radio host named Mike Reineri.  Whenever a hurricane would threaten, Reineri would sing a little song "We don't want no hurricanes coming round here." And it worked all through the seventies and eighties, right up until Hurricane  Andrew. 

So take a moment today, pull your eyes away from Channel Seven's apocalyptic predictions- the stock videos of long lines at Home Depot, the empty shelves at Publix,  the fights at petrol stations, and close your eyes for a moment and sing a little song: "We don't want no hurricanes coming round here." 

And maybe, just maybe, if you watch Fox news and believe in the power of prayer....the President will resign!  

Irma will be approaching Cuba on Friday, which we think is a good day to shut down the State and Federal Courts and give employees time to make final preparations. While we don't wish destruction on anyone, the mountains of Cuba could do lots of damage TO the storm, and lessen its impact wherever it makes landfall. 

While initial projections had it turning north and perhaps impacting the Carolinas, it now appears Irma could churn through the Florida Straits, brush Miami and the Keys, and hit the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen with the Gulf's warm waters (which, according to the White House has NOTHING to do with global warming, which is a Chinese fake-news fraud designed to ...never mind, it just gets weirder from here) and slam into Mexico or Texas. 

Nothing about Irma is good. Stand by; prepare; sing the song; read the blog; and hope for the best. 

It's gratifying to see that the City Of Miami Beach has taken our motto to heart and is fighting the (subpoena) power!

Friday, September 01, 2017


And where is Rumpole eating? 
First, as we head into the last holiday weekend of the summer, we need to update our long time and careful readers on what the best legal blogger and social commentator in the nation is reading. 

"Dereliction Of Duty" by H.R. McMaster. When our current national security director was just a scholar/solider he undertook a doctoral thesis about the Vietnam war that because a fascinating book. Want to know how we stumbled into defeat in Vietnam? The politicians and the military didn't talk to each other and manipulated facts behind each others backs. 

"Giant of the Senate" by Al Franken because we read everything he writes and once again he doesn't disappoint. 

"The Force" by Don Winslow. A NYPD beach read for this weekend if you just want to tune out and drink some cerveza by the pool. (Tequilla for us). 

Have you read the Richard Stark novels? Crime noir 1960's including some cool Miami scenes. Pick up any of the series and enjoy. 

If you haven't read "Shattered" detailing the loss of HRC and the country to the current POTUS, now is the time to rip through the book this weekend and find out just how we came to be in this unfortunate situation and how Trump won. 
And because of that victory detailed in Shattered, we now have a situation where a  madman controls nuclear weapons in the Korean conflict (and Kim Jong-un is involved as well.)    

Where is Rumpole eating? 
The best new and exciting restaurant in the county is The Grey, in Savannah, Georgia, where the chef turned an abandoned (and segregated) bus station into a southern food wonderland. "Comeback sauce" can't be missed. Pork belly shows up everywhere, and where you least expect it, and the collard greens are smoked. Need we say more? 

Readers know that we often find ourselves in the Big Apple, and when in NYC we now find Rumpole dining (when he can pull himself away from the noddle shops that dot every corner) at Superiority Burger, where nothing on the menu is more than nine bucks (judges take note!), and the "megamouth" is our fav burger of the summer and is vegetarian to boot. In fact everything is vegie at Superiority and most can be made vegan!

Enjoy the last holiday weekend of the summer. Think of your country men and women suffering in Houston and the surrounding areas and donate to your fav charity. They need dry clothes desperately. And when you're done being charitable and altruistic, then remember you live in Occupied America and Fight the Power!

(and remember "boards don't hit back"). 
Hands down the coolest guy of the 1970s....Well, maybe him and Ali. And Noam Chomsky of course. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Rumpole's Trial Lessons: #12: Always have a good quote memorized. 

A good trial lawyer has a bag of quotes ready to go at a moment's notice. 
For example:
"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere." 
Dr. MLK. 
Today's topic is "Mercy". 

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
Portia's Mercy Speech, The Merchant of Venice. 

We are in the position we are in today- in the area of criminal justice- because of the publicity driven and ill-advised political movement of the 1980's to abolish parole and remove sentencing discretion from judges. 
Shouldn't a 20 year old sentenced to life have the ability to have his sentence reviewed in 10, or 20, or 30 years? Some people can change. Prisoner's need some hope and some incentive to behave and rehabilitate. 


From Occupied America, where the president is next considering pardoning* Ted Bundy and Stalin next, Fight the Power. 

* When asked about his pardon of the sadist Joe Arpaio, the current president referenced the "pardon of Chelsea Manning" by Obama and the unfair prosecution of Arpaio by the Obama administration and that Arpaio was innocent. 
Wrong. Wrong. And constitutionally wrong.
Obama "commuted" the sentence of Manning. She -like Scooter Libby who President Bush gave a commutation to- remains convicted of her crimes. 
The prosecutors who obtained the conviction of Arpaio were in the Justice Department under Jeff "Don't Fire Me" Sessions. 
According to the Supreme Court, a pardon requires the receiver of the pardon to admit guilt. 

Monday, August 28, 2017


As many of you know, August 23, 1963 represents a turning point in American history. 
The date and the event also proves, once and for all, the power of words and ideas. It proves that words and ideas are more powerful than guns and hate. 
No one remembers the villains who caused this speech to be made. No one remembers the names of the racists sheriffs who turned on water cannons and let loose the dogs. No one remembers the names of the racists judges and the governors who turned a blind eye. 
But everyone remembers the name Dr. Martin Luther King, and his words, spoken so eloquently and passionately fifty-four years ago today, on August 23, 1963 : I HAVE A DREAM: 

"I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, "We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream..."

Dreams are sometimes interrupted by nightmares. But it is the dream that we remember. It is the dream that drives us and unites us and makes us a shining light for all the world. History remembers those who dream. Those who cause nightmares are destined for the ash pile of history. From Occupied America- DREAM. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Being the pugilistic purists that we are, and expert historians of the sweet science (nobody but us knows who Tunney Morgan Hunascker is without googling the name) we don't think Mr. McGregor has a puncher's chance. Ernie Holmes he is not. 

Floyd Mayweather is not just a pro, and not just a champ, he is a top ten all time. At 49-0 her has tied the hallowed record of the real Rocky- Marciano, and at 50-0 he will surpass it. 

Figure Mayweather TKO rounds 9-11. 

From Las Vegas Nevada, fight! And fight the power.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


# Update below

The Eclipse continues to affect America and Americans, including one frustrated FBI agent as this order written by US District Court Judge Merryday illustrates in a very Judge"Milt Hirschish" way. 
Meanwhile, you thought our post the other day about President Trump telling people it was OK to look at the eclipse was a parody? Ahh...the truth is stranger than the presidency. See below.

Eclipse Order by Rumpole21 on Scribd

We told you the President said it was OK to look at the eclipse. At least he put his money where his eyes were:

And the NY Times reported on the story we broke, here- that the President looked at the eclipse and urged all americans to do the same. 

This blog knows more about the War in Afghanistan than the generals, and knows more about POTUS 45 than POTUS 45. 

Happy 10th Birthday to # (the hastag) in social media. We were one of the first to use #, as in #bestblogever. 

From Occupied America, where freedom is being eclipsed, Fight the blind power!

Monday, August 21, 2017


Judge Rodriguez-Chomat, who spent about a decade on the bench at the REGJB has passed away. 

We didn't know him very well, but his reputation was one of a kind, caring, and decent man and dedicated Judge. 

Like so many of his colleagues on the Miami bench, Judge Rodriguez-Chomat's story is one of an immigrant from Cuba whose family came here seeking a better life. 

Here is the Herald obit, which recalled the contretemps that erupted when he gave a defendant thirty days for giving him the finger during bond hearings. Here's the well superbly written post in which we reported on the incident. 

The Funeral is Tuesday.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


And other sayings from our President. 

"Stare at the eclipse. Only Obama-care doctors say you can't watch the eclipse. People have been watching eclipses since they were walking with dinosaurs and you never hear any of them went blind.So stare at the eclipse and enjoy."

"Nazis are people too. Americans." 

"We spend all this money on nuclear weapons and don't use them. What good are they? Harry Truman used nuclear weapons. Great American Republican President. He had the right idea."

"Robert E. Lee was a Republican. So was Stonewall Jackson. That's why the Obama crowd wants to take down their statutes."

"Lincoln didn't believe in global warming. Neither did Patton. Neither do I."

"Exercise is bad for you." 

Monday, August 14, 2017




JOSEPH MANSFIELD, Age 52.  Joe has served as an ASA since 2001.  He fills the vacancy created by Judge Victoria del Pino who was elevated to the Circuit Court.

RENATHA FRANCIS, Age 39. She is currently with Shutts & Bowen. She was previously employed by the First DCA as an attorney to Judge Scott Makar, a staff attorney, and a law clerk to Judge Peter Webster. She fills the vacancy created when Judge Jason Dimitris was elevated to the Circuit Court.


Wednesday, August 09, 2017




Will be selected by Governor Rick Scott from among the below names. With the elevation of Judge Norma Lindsey to the 3rd DCA and the retirement of Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely, there are two open seats on the Circuit Court. The Eleventh Circuit JNC has met and nominated a total of 12 names to the Governor - he will choose two of those as our next Circuit Court Judges.

Judge William Altfield
Alex Spicola Bokor
Judge Tanya Brinkley
Raul Cuervo
Judge Ivonne Cuesta
Ayana Harris
Carlos Lopez
Joseph Mansfield
Judge Spencer Multack
Laura Stuzin
Luis Perez-Medina
Judge Andrea Ricker Wolfson


Will be selected by Governor Scott from among the below names. With the elevation of County Court Judges Victoria del Pino and Jason Dimitris, there are two open seats on the County Court. Governor Scott has had 12 nominee names on his desk since June 16th and he is expected to name two new Judges on Friday, August 11th, or at the latest by early next week.

Milena Abreu
Ramiro Areces
Karl S.H. Brown
Christina DiRaimondo
Renatha Francis
Peter Heller
Elijah Levitt
Joseph Mansfield
Luis Perez-Medina
Gordon Murray, Sr
Julie Harris Nelson
Steve Paulson


With the elevation of Judge Lourdes Simon to the Circuit Court, the JNC is now accepting applications for an open seat on the County Court. Please make sure to get your application filed before the deadline of August 24, 2017 to JNC Chair Luis Suarez, (lsuarez@bsfllp.com).

For those of you wanting to predict the five names that Governor Scott will choose, lay your money on any of the nominees that have been an ASA or AUSA or government paid lawyer. Just within the past eight weeks Governor Scott has continued his MO of appointing judges that are both young, and are former government employees. For example, since mid June he has appointed seven new judges including General Master and Judicial Hearing Officer Kristine Van Vorst, 40, to the Alachua County Court; Jamie Grosshans, 38, former ASA, to the Orange County Court; Judge Jennifer Gabbard, 45, former ASA, to the 13th Judicial Circuit Court; Judge Charles Sniffen, 44, former ASA, to the 12th Judicial Circuit Court; James Goodman Jr, 38, former ASA, to the 14th Judicial Circuit Court; and Darren Farfante, 46, former Justice Dept attorney, to the 13th Judicial Circuit Court.  Finally, was his recent appointment of Judge Lourdes Simon, a former Assistant Public Defender.


Monday, August 07, 2017


He was a US Marine. 
He fought in Korea at the infamous and hellish Chosin Reservoir battle against the Chinese in the brutal korean winter of 1950. 
He was a prolific author of pulp-fiction short stories. 
He knew his way around a bar and a courtroom and he had clients lining up top hire him. No checks please. Just cash. 
Every client was "a poor innocent child" upon which disaster had fallen. 
If he liked you, he added "darling" to your name when he saw you. 
Clients with multiple arrests while on bond were, to him, "a clear pattern of police harassment." 
His arms were often splayed out as he pled his case.
He tried at least a case a week for probably forty years, maybe more.  
He was an REGJB original and his likes will not again be seen in our building. 
He died today, August 7, in 2007 and it doesn't seem like he has been gone ten years. 
Rest in peace old friend Sy Gaer.

Here's the link to the great article about Sy by the former herald ace Susannah Nesmith. It's worth a second read. 

Saturday, August 05, 2017


Talk amongst yourselves quietly and nicely.

From free Europe, where Global Warming is real, fight the heat and the power!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017


The Lawson Courthouse will remain closed Wednesday. Kindly continue reading. 

It rained in Miami this week. Which means, naturally, that one of our courthouses flooded. But it wasn't the asbestos addled  dinosaur at 73 West Flagler Street (Motto: "A support beam in every courtroom obstructing your view since 1935"), but one of our newer courthouses- the Family Law center where everyday divorces and domestic violence injunctions are bandied about like so much hoo-haa. 

So what does this mean for you, you may ask? 
Carry an umbrella, replies Rumpole. 
And read this email and govern yourself accordingly: 

The Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, located at 175 NW 1st Avenue, was evacuated and closed on Tuesday afternoon, August 1st, due to flooding from a roof drain impacted by significant rain. The building will remain closed on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, for repairs.

All hearings scheduled for Wednesday, August 2nd, will be re-scheduled and parties will be notified accordingly.

What you may ask, could even be more bad news that that? Steady yourself.

The clerk's office on the 9th floor has ....REMOVED the copy machine. No soup for you. No copies of a-forms and discovery and such for you. 

But Rumpole, you may ask, doesn't this mean that the files will be available on-line? 

Surely you jest dear reader.  Stop reading fake news. The clerk's office just upgraded their dial-up modem for AOL, although it's still powered by a couple of gerbils on a wheel in a cage. And monitored by a guy named "Al". 

From Occupied America, where Miami Beach floods when it rains, but sea levels aren't rising, and the globe isn't warmer, and part of the Antarctic ice-shelf  didn't recently break away, carry and umbrella and Fight The Power!

Monday, July 31, 2017


UPDATE: The mooch is out!
Rumpole says: "Well, that was fast." 

DUI BRADY-MARIJUANA: There's a good letter on the  JAAB broward blog from a Broward toxicologist about the presence of marijuana in urine in a DUI case. Toxicologists cannot determine the date of use, much less when -if ever- an individual was under the influence of marijuana based solely on the presence of a THC metabolite. 
It's interesting to note that the toxicologist, a prosecution witness, sent an email to the defense attorney only, because he couldn't locate who the ASA was. 
Gotta love Broweird. 

DOM highlights Chief Judge Carne's opinion and epic put down of the argument of appellant Little: "Little's logic lacks luster."  Ouch, but such is the life of appellate lawyers who attack child-porn convictions. Fight the power. 

You gotta love guys who, if they're losing, change the rules. As a Starfleet cadet, James T. Kirk became the only cadet to beat the Kobayashi Maru scenario by hacking the simulator and changing the rules. "I don't believe in no-win scenarios" said Kirk, and neither do we.  It has an application for what we do as trial lawyers.  

Adrian Beltre, who just joined the 3,000 hit club, was Kirk-like the other night.  And even after 50 some odd years of watching, we can always see something new, which we did with Beltre. 

Friday night Beltre, who was on deck, was in the spot he likes to stand, so he can see the pitcher. Problem was, it wasn't where the on-deck circle was. The umpire ordered Beltre into the on-deck circle, but Beltre had other ideas. See the video below. Beltre fought the power, and for that he gets a Rumpolian Well done! Well done indeed

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The S in Harry

Item: A speech by the president of the United States, to law enforcement officers: 

"Don't be too nice...these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you see them being thrown in, rough, I said "Please don't be too nice..." 

Item: The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution Of the United States: 
"No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, property, without due process of law..." 

On Friday, July 28, 2017, the 46th president of the United States encouraged law enforcement officers to brutalize suspects arrested in a criminal case. 

Item: July 26, 1948, President Harry S Truman signs executive order 9981 desegregating the armed forces of the United States of America. 

Item: July 26, 2017, President Donald J Trump tweets that transgender individuals are barred from service in the United States Armed Forces. 

From Occupied America, where we are one of the very few people who know what the "S" in President Truman's name stands for without googling it, Fight the Power!

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Mary Barzee-Flores for Congress: Big fan.  Her website is here. Donate. Sign up. Fight the power. 

Uber tipping: Not a fan.

Instacart: Big Fan. 

Removing AG Jeff Sessions: Not a fan.

AG Jeff Sessions: Not a fan.

Artificial sweeteners/
Diet Colas: Not a fan

USS Gerald R Ford: Fan

Dunkirk The Movie: Big Fan

Movie Popcorn: Not a Fan

Dunkirk: Big Fan

Al Franken Book: Giant of the Senate: Big Fan

Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, et al. Not a Fan.

Satellite Radio: Fan

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


DOM's blog has coverage of the  untimely and tragic death of Miami Appellate Lawyer Richard Strafer.

We didn't know Mr. Strafer, so comments and memories should be directed to DOM's blog. 

Mr. Strafer's death- apparently from a virus contracted on a cruise- causes us to reflect on the fragility and seemingly unpredictability of life. 

Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity. 

Hamlet, Act I, scene 2. 

That we shall die we know; 'tis but the time
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.  
Julius Caesar, Act III, scene 1.

For us, such talk from The Bard brings us back to a long forgotten but wonderful movie- The Lion In Winter, circa 1968. 

When King Richard the Lionheart (played by a young Anthony Hopkins in his first major film role)  and his brother Geoffrey, in prison, hear the footsteps of their captor King Henry coming to kill them, Richard says "He's here. But he will get no satisfaction out of me. He isn't going to see me beg."

To which Geoffrey replies: "You chivalric fool, as if the way one fell down mattered."

To which Richard replies: 
"When the fall is all that is left, it matters greatly."  

Life is, in a way, about confronting the fall we all inevitably face. Sometimes the fall announces its presence- cancer, heart disease or the like. Sometimes the fall strikes when we least expect it- like on a cruise in Europe. 

As lawyers, our clients face the fall in court. A trial, in many ways, is a client saying like Richard the Lionheart that when all that's left is the fall, how you face it matters greatly. 

In that sense, unlike those who are artists, or handle closings, or are CPAs, we as attorneys in criminal court- prosecutors and defense alike- become all too familiar with the fall. 

We win, we lose, we get a new case where someone has been killed. Everywhere we look, there is the fall. And then it strikes our colleague unexpectedly. 

Sometimes, you just want to have a quiet day, review some docs, sign your name and go home. 

From Occupied America, where such concerns about dignity "fall" (pun intended) upon deaf ears of the president, Fight the Power, because the fall matters greatly. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017


If you're a space nerd, like we are, then you are very familiar with the 1201 and 1202 alarms that Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Pilot Dr. Buzz Aldrin encountered about 5200 feet above the Lunar surface on July 20, 1969. 

Apollo is what makes America great. We are the only country to make Humankind's greatest leap from our planet to the stars. And if we can do that, then there isn't anything- pollution, global warming, disease, hunger, poverty, traffic on U.S 1 in the mornings- that we cannot solve. America doesn't need to be great again. We've always been great. 

5200 feet above the moon, Neil Armstrong, seeing only large boulders and enormous craters in his landing path, took controls of The Eagle. A team of American scientists and engineers had his back. Thousands of hours of simulations and planning for everything that could go wrong came into play. Loss of signal from Houston? Back up-plans in place. Loss of landing engine- abort button firing ascent engine was ready to go. Every possible contingency had been planned for and simulated. 

Except a 1202 alarm. And of course, that's what occurred. 

Here's how it all went down 48 years ago this past week in July, and why two American heroes- one whose name is known to all of humanity, and one whose name is not, saved the day and allowed us to land on the moon. 

The Dramatis Personae  are Astronaut Charlie Duke-  Cap-Com at Houston- the astronaut who was communicating with the Eagle. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in the Eagle with Michael Collins orbiting above the moon in Colombia. And a twenty-four year old unknown engineer named Jack Garman. Times are in mission elapsed time. Much of the discussion is the loss of communications between Houston and the Eagle, with Houston telling Collins on Colombia how to move various antennae to help Houston acquire the Eagle. So at 04 06 28 22 (read 4 days, 6 hours, 28 min and 22 seconds into the mission) Houston tells Colombia that the Eagle is "GO FOR PDI" and that they've lost communication with the Eagle. PDI is Powered Descent Initiation- the command for Armstrong to fire his descent engine and drop the Eagle out of Lunar orbit. Collins tells the Eagle they are go for PDI. 

04 06 34 24 Eagle: descent looks good. 

04 06 36 18- Eagle:  Our position checks downrage shows us to be a little long. (Armstrong is noticing that their computer is taking them on a descent path that will be beyond their anticipated landing area. At this moment he is just monitoring the situation.) 

04 06 37 18 Houston: Eagle, Houston, you are GO to continue powered descent. 

Now, the first problem occurs...

04 06 38 26 Eagle: PROGRAM ALARM...it's a 1202

Twenty two seconds later, an eternity as the Eagle is plummeting towards the lunar surface-  totally unfamiliar with that alarm and having never trained for it or seen it or handled it in a simulation, Armstrong and Aldrin  ask Houston for a status report on the alarm: 
04 06 38 48 Eagle: Give us a reading on the 1202 Program Alarm. 

04 06 38 53 Houston: We got...We're GO on that Alarm. 

What happened in those twenty-two seconds that saved the moon landing? Everything. 

Enter Jack Garman, a twenty-four year old engineer who saved Apollo 11.  Garman was hired at age 21 by NASA and worked with the MIT team that built the guidance systems.  Legendary Flight Director Gene Kranz, famous for his "failure is not an option" credo, had instructed Garman during training to write down every possible error code with the computer guidance systems, which Garman did. 
A complicated set of facts explains why the alarm occurred. Basically the on-board radar and the on-board guidance computer were powered at the same moment and didn't go into an aligned phase which caused the computer to divert about 15% of its resources dealing with about 12,800 interrupt requests per second- which in turn caused the guidance computer to run behind on its other tasks. When the backup exceeded limits, the computer issued an alarm which essentially said it was running behind. 

Garman recognized the problem and told Steve Bales, who was Guidance Officer that the computer could be relied upon if the alarms weren't continuous. Bales now had to decide if he could trust Garman, which he did and gave the GO to Krantz. As Flight Director, Gene Krantz then had to decide if he could trust Bales- his guidance officer- which he did. And twenty-two seconds after the 1202 alarm Krantz gave the GO to continue which Charlie Duke communicated to Armstrong and Aldrin. 

Garman was later given an award by NASA. Bales, his boss recalled: "Jack had memorized these things (alarm codes) and said 'that's okay' even before I could even remember which group it was in. His quick reactions and in-depth knowledge led others on his team to nickname him 'Gar-Flash' ". 

Jack Garman, a true American Hero, worked at NASA until 2000 and died in 2016. His name is not often mentioned in the history of the Moon Landing, but there would never have been a landing on the moon in July, 1969 without Jack Garman. 

Having received a GO on the 1202 and subsequent 1201 alarms, Armstrong takes control of the Eagle and now, running low on fuel, looks for a place to land. 

04 06 42 10 Houston: Eagle, Houston, you're GO for landing. 

04 06 42 17 Eagle: Understand. GO for landing. 3000 feet. PROGRAM ALARM ...1201

They get a similar alarm  but Houston is now ready  and eight seconds later gives the Eagle the GO on that alarm:
04 06 42 25 Houston: Roger. 1201 Alarm. We're GO. Same type. We're GO. 

Fast forward about a minute and half, and now the second emergency is beginning to occur, and only the skill of the greatest pilot in the world at that moment- Neil Armstrong- could save the space program. 100 feet off the lunar surface, and still hunting for a clean landing spot, Houston tells Armstrong he has only 60 seconds of fuel left:

04 06 44 45 Eagle: 100 feet, 3 1/2 down, 9 forward. 

04 06 45 02 Houston: 60 seconds. (This is Charlie Duke telling The Eagle they have only a minute of fuel left and if they don't land it they have to abort).

04 06 45 21 Eagle:  (this is Aldrin calling out the altitude and movement while Armstrong concentrates on landing the Eagle)  30 Feet, 2 1/2 down, faint shadow. 

04 06 45 31 Houston: 30 seconds

Thirty feet off the ground- 30 seconds of fuel. One problem never before faced in the history of humanity:  trying to land on another planet and running out of fuel (relax- we know that the moon is technically not a planet, but you get the idea). 

One Problem. One American Hero. Nine seconds later- Problem solved. 


Armstrong and Aldrin had a check list to run through to power down their craft so that they didn't mistakenly take off before they were ready to. Charlie Duke in Houston is anxious...

04 06 45 57 Houston: We copy you down, Eagle. 

And now, perhaps, the greatest words in the history of humanity, announcing our greatest achievement as a human race: 

04 06 45 59 Eagle: Houston, Tranquility Base here...

04 06 46 04 Eagle: THE EAGLE HAS LANDED!

If you've ever wondered about Charlie Duke's strange reply to Armstrong and Aldrin in which he congratulates them and tells them that they had "a bunch of guys about to turn blue down here" it's Duke's reference to the drama of the landing, the Eagle only having thirty seconds of fuel, and everyone holding their breath. 

It's a uniquely American comment during  A uniquely American moment.  A combination of training, expertise, camaraderie and humor all wrapped up in arguably the moment of the greatest achievement of humanity (excepting of course the current launch of Pokemon Go 2.0).  

It's why America was and is great and doesn't need some bloated, ignorant buffoon to tell us we need to be great again.  

From Occupied America, which was great and is great and will soon be great again once we expel this virus of incompetence and deceit in our midst, Fight The Power!

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Orenthal James Simpson was granted parole today in his nine to thirty-three year prison sentence for the contretemps in a Las Vegas hotel wherein he participated in a poorly conceived and poorly executed plan to "rob" the individuals who had some of his sports memorabilia. 

Longtime and careful readers of the blog will remember that OJ was also prosecuted in the REGJB. 
While his lawyer in that case-Yale Galenter- won it, he lost the case in Nevada in what was a widely criticized performance of abjectly poor lawyering. Having watched the Nevada case, we join in that view. 

It's hard to have sympathy for Mr. Simpson. While acquitted of the cold-blooded knife murder of two innocent people including his ex-wife, our view of the evidence is that he was clearly and undoubtedly the killer. 

There are many reasons why OJ Simpson was acquitted, race being at the top of the list. But there was also poor police work and very good defense lawyering.  Lee Bailey's cross of Mark Furman-the lead detective-criticized at the time- was in fact well done, having gotten Furman to continually deny having used the "N" racial epithet, when in fact the defense had lots of evidence that Furman continually used the word. The cross was a great example in how a defense case is prepared and presented. Sometimes you pass up the opportunity for the "wow!" moment to bring the chickens home to roost at the end of the case. 

But another reason was that the defense used a jury expert and conducted mock trials and learned the type of juror who would be sympathetic to their client-African American females. The prosecution didn't use a consultant, and one could argue that the case was pretty much over after jury selection in which there were ten women, nine of whom were African American. 

Should parole have been denied based on Mr. Simpson's prior murder case for which he was acquitted?

Probably not. An acquittal is an acquittal (except in Federal court, where it is not: see, Dowling v. United States, 110 S.Ct 668 (1990)). 

OJ will be released October 1, 2017 and we will give you one guess where he wants to live? 
Yup- Florida- our fair state.

From Occupied America, where the President doesn't like his attorney general- and neither do we- Fight the Power!