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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

YOU'RE GO ON THAT 1202 ALARM

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. 

04 06 45 34 Eagle:  CONTACT LIGHT...Okay. ENGINE STOP. .. ACA out of DESCENT...MODE CONTROL both to AUTO. DESCENT ENGINE COMMAND OVERRIDE OFF. ENGINE ARM- OFF. 

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

THE JUICE IS LOOSE!

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!















Tuesday, July 18, 2017

JUDGE MURPHY LEAVES FOR CIVIL

UPDATE#2 GOOD BYE COFFEE AND PASTERIES for Judge Murphy and his wonderful staff Ralph (bailiff) and Joette.  The reason why Judge Murphy is considered one of the best in the building is in no small part because his staff is hands down the best as well. The soiree is being thrown by Judge Sayfie (well done) and will be Friday July 21, @ 2pm. 

UPDATE: Lourdes Simon was appointed to the circuit court Tuesday by Governor Scott. 
Congrats to Judge Simon. See you in court. 

There's a really worthy charity - School Uniform Drive, that we highly recommend. The FACDL is running a fundraiser at Fado's Irish Pub at Mary Brickell Village on August 3, 2017. See the flyer below.

JUDGE MURPHY TO CIVIL
It's not the end of the world. 
It's not like withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. 
It's not like a giant iceberg has broken off of the shelf of Antarctica. 
It's not like Trump has been elected president. 
It's not like repealing Obama-care without a replacement.

It's just a great judge going to civil for a while. 
He'll get bored and hate it and come back. Until then, Keep Calm and Carry On.

From Occupied America, where we have withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and all the other bad stuff has happened, Fight the Power. 

SCHOOL UNIFORM DRIVE 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

KRIS MAHARAJA CASE

UPDATE: TRIVIA ANSWERS BELOW as most of the correct answers have been published in our popular comments section. 
We think this was the  case Judge Sepe  Judge Gross was presiding over this trial (according to many alert readers) when he was arrested in a bribery case before the Court Broom. Don't know what Court Broom was? See below. 
Anyone have any info on this?

Trivia: Judge Gross's nickname?
THE MOUSE  because he loved all things Mickey Mouse. 

Bonus Trivia: Lawyer who was arrested with Judge Gross?
Harvey Swickle- also acquitted.

Double Bonus Trivia: Who were the defense counsel for Gross and his co-defendant?
Michael Tarre who was phenomenal and never got or gets the credit for being one of the top-notch trial lawyer-defenders of his time.

Tom Scalifini represented Swickle as per an alert reader (who thought his first name was Tim, but is actually Tom. Once we saw the last name we remembered and Mr. Scalifini was and is also a top-notch litigator in his own right . No idea who represented Swickle but Swickle and his son pulled some sort of stunt when the jury returned with a verdict as a way of creating an appellate issue which was never needed.

Triple-I Know as Much as Rumpole Trivia: Who was the Judge and from what county was he from?
Judge Daniel Futch from Broward who pretty much hated Dade, hated Dade lawyers, was a mean and ornery son-of-a gun and who once said to us "how high can you count?" when we inquired what bond he was going to set. 

On the day of the verdict Futch brought a contingent of BSO officers because-as he told the prosecutors- "I brought my own boys because I don't trust them guys from Dade to hold em when I take em in."

Quadruple I'm an REG Nerd Trivia: Name the prosecutor and where was the case tried?


Prosecutors were Dade ASAs Larry LaVecchio and Michael Band. Case was tried in the civil courthouse at 73 Flagler street- possibly in the late Judge Sidney Shapiro's (what a great decent judge he was!) courtroom. 

Thanks for playing and allowing us to reminisce. 

So all we have left is the name of Swickle's attorney at trial. We're stumped. 


Marajahal by Rumpole21 on Scribd

From Rumpapedia ( (C) JBB Productions 2017, all rights reserved):  Court Broom was a judicial scandal in the REGJB where Judges asked unpaid interns to sweep their courtrooms without paying overtime.  Born after a Starbucks appeared on every corner? Ask any lawyer over the age of 40 and they will tell you all the shocking details. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

HANZMAN ON SYG

The Judge Hanzman fan club was out in full force this weekend, emailing the below order reflecting the Judge's own view on the new SYG motion. (Spoiler alert- he likes it).
We received about a dozen copies of this from the Judge Michael Hanzman Fan Club, hereinafter JMHFC, so you can stop sending them. Use Snapchat or something. 

"M...i...c..see you real soon...K...e..y,, why? Because we like you! MOUSE...." Woops, wrong fan club song. 

So now we have two very learned and skilled judges, both successful litigators in their own right before putting on the cursed black robes, who have different views of the new SYG law.

Have at it.


Thursday, July 06, 2017

STAND BY YOUR STAND YOUR GROUND LAW

Judge Hirsch celebrated our nation's independence by finding that the latest iteration of Florida's shoot to kill stand your ground law shoot first ask questions later  is Unconstitutional.

Here is the order:



Highlights from the order include the following: 

"When in due course of human events...
"Ask not what you can do to an intruder, ask what caliber ammunition should be in your firearm..."
"That's one small step for the Florida Legislature, and one giant leap for mankind..."
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal...

And of course, the judge found succor in his favourite president- Abraham Lincoln: 

"A law divided against itself cannot stand..."






Monday, July 03, 2017

JULY 4



HAPPY FOURTH OF JUL


1) Try and name the three Presidents who died on 
July 4. 

2) How many hotdogs are consumed on the 4th of July? 
500 million; 250 million; 150 million; 75 million?

3) Who was the oldest signer of the declaration of independence? 
Ben Franklin; Thomas Jefferson; John Adams; Donald Trump:

4)  Independance Day was first celebrated where?
Washington DC; Philadelphia; NYC; Trump Tower; Newport Rhode Island; Boston?


5) Who first signed the Declaration of Independance?
George Washington; Donald Trump; John Hancock; Benji Franklin; Rupert Pupkin? 

6) Which state has apple pie as their state pie?
Utah; Vermont; Kansas; Alabama; North Dakota?

7) When did Congress declare July 4 as a national holiday?
2010; 1870; 1777; 1900?

8) What are the first words of the declaration of independance? 
"Donald Trump will someday..."; 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident..."; "When in due course of human events..."; "That's one small declaration for man, one giant declaration for man-kind..."?

9) How many people lived in America on July 4, 1776, not including indigenous native americans who refused to participate in the census. 
1 million; 2.5 million; 3.5 million; 5 million? 

10) From whom did the USA declare independance from?
China; England; NAFTA; Mexico; Canada; Russia; Microsoft? 

GRADE YOUR SCORE:

10/10 : A true patriot;
8-9/10: A history major you must be;
6-7/10: You went to college in the Northeast, didn't you?
1-6/10: Try again next year Judge. 


Answers:
1) John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe.
2) 150 million hot dogs are consumed today.
3) Benji Franklin was the oldest signer of the declaration of independance.
4) Philly first celebrated July 4.
5) John Hancock elbowed his way in front of Trump to be the first to put his John Hancock on the DOI.
6) Get your apple pie with a slice of Cabot cheddar in the green mountain state of Vermont. 
7) We got the day off starting in 1870.
8) "When in due course of human events..."
9) 2.5 million people lived in America on July 4, 1776, and McDonalds had already served ten million hamburgers.
10) Despite claims by the current white house that NAFTA and China were the entities from whom we declared independance, it was King "Vlad Putin" George of England that we declared our independence from.


Friday, June 30, 2017

WOZ

UPDATE: Time change on Gordon Shuminer's funeral to 2:00 pm. See post below. 

On June 29, 1975, at 10:00 PM WST, a momentous  event occurred without any notice in a small town in California. 

A young man, who had labored over a contraption for many months, indeed in one form or another for many years, took a deep breath and pressed button. 

One could say the future of the world changed that day.  
The future of business changed that day. 
The future of communication changed that day. How we talk with each other and how we write to each other changed that day. 
The way the world shops changed that day. 
That day changed the course of how newspapers would be published and how books would be read and how information would be communicated and stored. 

You would be hard pressed to look around and try and find items in your life that would not change based on the press of that one button that day. 

On June 29, 1975, a young man named Steve Wozniak -known as Woz to everyone- pressed a button on a keyboard and a letter appeared on a screen.

Think about that for a moment. For the first time EVER, a person typed and the letters appeared on a screen. Forty-two years ago no one had ever typed anything that appeared on a screen. And then Woz did it. 

And the world has never been the same.

Ten months later, on April 1, 1976, The Apple Corporation was born. 

From Occupied America, use your computer and Fight the Power!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

GORDON SHUMINER HAS PASSED AWAY

UPDATED FUNERAL INFORMATION BELOW

This is for old-timers only. Sad news today has reached us that Gordon Shuminer, brother of Alan and Jeff Shuminer, passed away today-Thursday- unexpectedly. 




Gordon was a public defender in the 1980's. Gordon had immense talent and ability and is still famous for cross-examining an empty chair during closing argument, highlighting a state witness who wasn't called well before Haliburton prevented such brilliant tactics. For those of you who remember him, he was one of a kind. 

For many years only Alan Shuminer has practiced in Miami, and we are sure he would love to read the memories of his brother from those who knew him. 

UPDATED: Services are this Sunday, July 2, 2017, at 2PM at Beth David Chapel, 3201  North 72nd Avenue, Hollywood, FL

May Gordon rest in peace.

Monday, June 26, 2017

BOLO...OR JUST SAY NO

Todays post is about the over-worked, under-appreciated cog in the court system: the bailiff. 

A great bailiff is like a great umpire: s/he is doing their job well when you don't notice them working. Every well-run courtroom needs a competent judge and a great bailiff. A good bailiff shows compassion to the litigant, whispers a well placed tip in a lawyer's ear ("check your fly counselor" is always our favourite, especially when it's up),  and keeps their judge grounded and focused. 

A bad bailiff lets the badge go to their head. They try and close the courtroom although the law doesn't allow it. They try and stop people from texting on their cell phones when they have no authority to do so, and they are rude to people who need their help - like litigants who show up late and are worried they missed their court appearance. 

Which brings us to this @Davidovalle305 tweet:

Not sure what a "GRM" is, but at least they are as well informed as the ASAs. 

So BOLO for a fake bailiff. 
Or the next time one comes up to you and asks you to stop texting, and leave the courtroom, "just say NO." Say: "Rumpole told me to tell you that you have no authority to close a State of Florida Courtroom to any individual on earth. They don't even need to be a US Citizen. They just need to be an earthling." (It's not clear if ET can enter a courtroom without permission.)  Even visiting judges from Broward have the right (as unpleasant as the thought is) to enter a Miami-Dade Courtroom. Which reminds us of the idiot Judge in Broweird who      (we are not making this up) used to order his bailiff to close and lock the door at 9:01 am and issued BWs to everyone who wasn't seated inside the courtroom. This included people running late, stuck in the elevator, or talking to their lawyer outside. 

Anyway, be on the lookout for a fake bailiff. Maybe it's the low pay or long hours that they find attractive.

From Occupied America, where affordable health care appears to just make our president and his republican pals nuts, Fight the Power!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

HANZMAN RULES

We're back. Our short absence can be directly traced to two United States District Court Judges at opposite ends of the country who had no problem making us try two cases back to back. As the saying goes, the difference between the Almighty and a US district court Judge is that the Almighty does not think she is a US district court judge...

Judge Hanzman, a popular subject for the commentators on this blog has issued a ruling that has the FACDL members yapping. We re-print it here for your review and comments.

Judge Hanzman has entered the arena of minimum mandatory sentences. This arena was created by the legislature with the full belief that the 24 year old prosecutor with a year under her belt in court, is more trustworthy, better suited, better able, more experienced and overall a better person to decide the fate of a defendant facing a 15 year minimum mandatory sentence than a wise and experienced judge like Judge Hanzman, who has more than likely tried more cases in his career, than three times the years our young prosecutor has lived on this earth and sipped her Starbucks lattes every morning.

That being said, Judge H reaches into the dark and murky area of the the Restatement of Contracts to come to the decision that HE and not the prosecutor, is best suited to decide the fate of a defendant facing a minimum mandatory sentence.

Judge for yourself.

Order Accepting Plea and Imposing Sentence by Rumpole21 on Scribd


From Occupied America, bully for Judge Hanzman fighting the power!

p.s. Our unscientific survey leads us to believe the last judge in the REGJB to cite the restatement of contracts in a ruling was ...never. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

NEW LAWS IN FLORIDA & JNC STAYS VERY BUSY .......

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

NEW LAWS IN FLORIDA .....

GOVERNOR SCOTT STAYS BUSY SIGNING BILLS INTO LAW .....

SB 118 - CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS:

Any person or entity engaged in the business of publishing through a publicly accessible print or electronic medium or otherwise disseminating arrest booking photographs of persons who have previously been arrested may not solicit or accept a fee or other form of payment to remove the photographs. 
 
To read the new law, go here.
 
SB 494 - COMPENSATION OF VICTIMS OF WRONGFUL INCARCERATION:
 
Revising the circumstances under which a person is disqualified from receiving compensation under the Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Compensation Act; specifying that a wrongfully incarcerated person who commits no more than one felony that is not a violent felony, rather than a felony law violation, which results in revocation of parole or community supervision is eligible for compensation, etc
 
To read the new law, go here
 
SB 312 - EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION
 
The “Eyewitness Identification Reform Act”; requiring state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specified procedures; requiring the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to create educational materials and provide training programs on how to conduct lineups, etc.
 
To read the new law, go here
 
SB 128 - SELF-DEFENSE IMMUNITY
 
This bill amends the statute to require the State, rather than the Defendant, to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant did not use force lawfully.
 
To read the new law, go here
 
SB 1052 - JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE
 
This bill clarifies "justifiable use of force laws" and expands the Castle Doctrine to include any residence a person has a right to be in.
 
To read the new law, go here.
 
SO, YOU WANT TO BE A CIRCUIT/COUNTY COURT JUDGE .......
 
The 11th Circuit JNC has met and voted to send 12 names to Governor Scott to fill vacancies resulting from the elevation of County Court Judges' Judge Victoria del Pino and Jason Dimitris to the Circuit Court.  The Governor has 60 days to choose two names from the list, which includes:
 
Milena Abreu    
Ramiro Christen Areces
Karl S.H. Brown
Christina Marie DiRaimondo
Renatha Francis
Peter Heller
Elijah A. Levitt
Joseph J. Mansfield
Luis Perez-Medina
Gordon Charles Murray, Sr.
Julie Harris Nelson
Steven G. Paulson
 
 
The JNC has also announced two Circuit Court vacancies due to the elevation of Judge Norma Lindsey to the 3rd DCA and the resignation of Circuit Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely.  The deadline to submit your application to the JNC is July 17, 2017.
 
CAPTAIN OUT .......
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

REGJB REGULAR INDICTED

Sam Konell, a REGJB regular has been indicted for health care fraud. 

Article here. 

Sorry for slow blogging. In trial. 
It's hot here in Phoenix...but not for us...just the AUSAs.

From the DOJ press release:


The indictment alleges that from approximately January 2006 through June 2012, Konell accepted kickbacks in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to Greater Miami Behavioral Healthcare Center, Inc. (Greater Miami) to serve as patients so that Greater Miami could bill Medicare for mental health treatment purportedly provided to those beneficiaries. The indictment further alleges that Konell knew that the beneficiaries he referred to Greater Miami did not need, qualify for nor receive such treatment. In addition, the indictment alleges that Konell and co-conspirators took steps to disguise the true nature of the bribes and kickbacks Greater Miami paid to Konell and other patient brokers.


From occupied America, and on a break in a federal court where WE are fighting the power....fight the power!

Friday, June 09, 2017

THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE

The Miami legal community lost two very different lawyers this week. 
Naphtali Wacks was murdered by a reckless driver who rammed his car into the back of Wacks' car as he drove to work. 

We can't help but think that Naphtali woke up like he did any other day, performed his morning ablutions, got into his car, and drove to work, not realizing that his days were numbered. Of course there is the denial of this tragedy. "If he had only lingered over his coffee five minutes longer...If he hadn't made that light on the way to causeway he would have been delayed five minutes and wouldn't have crossed paths with the man who killed him."

But fate had other plans, and Naphtali's life crossed paths literally with a man who had literal regard for human life, and Naphtali lost his life in a senseless tragic accident. 

Friday morning came work that civil super-star lawyer Ervin Gonzalez had committed suicide. Mr. Gonzalez is the second high profile lawyer in Miami to take his own life recently. It seems like only yesterday when Richard Sharpstein made that same, tragic decision. 
It was just a few weeks ago that Attorney Ken White died suddenly of a cardiac event.

Some lived and wanted to die. Some died, wanting to live. 
And life for us plods on. 

All of these men had much to live for. And yet they are gone. Forever. Death brooks no appeals. There is no waiver. The judgment is final and eternal and irreversible. 

We get up every day and yet some of us are living our last day and don't know it. 

What we take for granted has a fragility that we mask behind our daily denial of the inevitable. 

There is no real end to this dark billet-doux. Just the musings of an older, rumpled, exceptional trial lawyer, who on this rainy day, is a bit morose about life and its fragility. 

From Occupied America....Affirm Life.  

Monday, June 05, 2017

NAPHTALI WACKS HAS PASSED AWAY

Naphtali Wacks passed away Saturday from injuries he sustained in a criminal hit-and-run event last week.  He was buried Sunday. 

Born In September, 1959, he was 57 years old.  Naphtali was part of what made our small courthouse and legal community fascinating and unique. He will be missed. 

May his name be a blessing and may he rest in peace.


Sunday, June 04, 2017

THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY

Seventy-five years ago today, Sunday, June 4, 1942, exactly six months from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, American Naval Aviators changed history and saved the world.

The US had broken the Japanese code.  Admiral Nimitz, who at the direction of Roosevelt had taken over from Admiral Husband Kimmel at Pearl, found himself commanding a Pacific fleet with most of it at the bottom of Pearl Harbour. Except for the aircraft carriers, Yorktown, Enterprise, Hornet, Saratoga, and Lexington although On June 4, the Lex had been sunk a month before at the Battle of the Coral Sea. The Yorktown was severely damaged in the same battle, trailing a ten mile oil slick as she limped into Pearl. Needing three months for repair, Nimitz ordered all hands on deck and 1400 welders descended on the Yorktown and had her back out steaming for Midway three days later.

The Japanese sent six carriers to Midway, led by Admiral Yamamoto on his flagship, the largest battleship in the world. Yamamoto wanted to lure the American carriers into a trap, finish them off, and then the entire Pacific and west coast of the United States would be vulnerable to the mighty Japanese Navy.

But Nimitz put all his eggs in the basket of Cmdr. Joe Rochefort, a cranky, brilliant analyst who after working weeks non-stop, was sure he was reading Yamamoto's mail. He knew the order of battle, and so did Nimitz and that gave the Americans an opening.

Nimitz's best fighting Admiral- Bull Halsey was out -sick with shingles- and he was replaced by Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance, who had never commanded carriers in Battle. Spruance sailed with the Hornet and Enterprise and Rear Admiral Jack Fletcher was on the damaged Yorktown. But Nimitz had a plan- he would use the landing strip at Midway as a fourth carrier. Loaded with bombers waiting to attack Yamamoto.

The issue was who could find who first? Nimitz had some advantages, knowing from the Japanese code that Yamamoto had split his force into four task forces, and knowing where the Japanese would be searching, Nimitz got his carriers into place before the Japanese went searching for them. The Japanese planned to lure the carriers AFTER attacking Midway, but Spruance and Fletcher were already in place.

And then it came down to the men in the planes. Wave after wave of American Torpedo bombers found the Japanese carriers, and almost all of them were shot down. A terrible loss of young, brave men. But Nimitz had more planes than Yamamoto was expecting, and the waves of American Torpedo Bomber Aviators took their toll on the Japanese carriers in terms of fighting them off. Men like Cmdr Duffy Waldron and Ensign George Gay are little remembered today, but they flew into battle without fighter escort, desperate to inflict damage on the Japanese carriers. All were shot down and only Ensign Gay survived. But the tide was about to turn.

As Admiral Nagumo scrambled his fighters to fight off wave after wave of American Torpedo bombers - none of whom scored a hit, Nagumo was in a constant dance of landing fighters, refueling them, and also coordinating the arming of his bombers all while trying to get the fighters in the air with the bombers to launch a coordinated strike.

Then Nagumo's luck ran out.

Enter Cmdr. Wade McClusky, and his two squadrons of dive bombers from the Enterprise.  McClusky's bombers were almost out of fuel for the return trip. But he knew the Japanese were nearby. And again luck or fate intervened. McClusky spotted the destroyer Arashi racing for the fleet. It had just spent an hour depth charging the US Submarine Nautilus that had attacked the Japanese Battleship Kirishima. If the Nautilus doesn't attack Kirishima, the Arashi doesn't get delayed, and Cmdr. McClusky doesn't see it returning to the fleet. But all of that happened. And, placing his men and planes at risk of running out of fuel, McClusky follows the Arashi and comes upon four Japanese carriers, all without air cover, their decks full of planes being refueled and re-armed after fighting off waves of fruitless American Torpedo bomber attacks.

As McClusky approached with his squadrons from the Enterprise from the Southwest, one squadron from the repaired led by Cmdr Max Leslie off the Yorktown - the carrier the Japanese were never expecting to be in service after Coral Sea- approached from the Northeast. All three squadrons arrived over the unprotected Japanese carriers at the same time.

In the space of an hour- 10:20 am local time to 11:20 am, one could argue the War in the Pacific was won by brave American Naval Aviators whose names have faded into history.

The Japanese carrier Kaga sustained five direct hits, the carrier Akagi was hit once by a bomb dropped by Lt. Cmdr Best, and it was a fatal blow, landing in the blow deck flight deck among the fuel and ammunition.

Now Cmdr. Max Leslie and his group from the Yorktown arrived and found the Japanese carrier Soryu. Leslie and some of his men didn't have bombs as they dove. A faulty switch dropped them several minutes before battle. But Leslie and some of his other pilots dove on the Soryu anyway, taking anti-aircraft away from other planes that had bombs, and strafing the carrier and setting in on fire.

Now three carriers were ablaze and sinking. The sole functioning Japanese carrier Hiryu launched its planes against the Yorktown, striking it several times.  But the old girl had one last trick up her sleeve. Late in the afternoon, a Yorktown scout plane found the Hiryu, and bomber squadrons from the Enterprise, comprising planes that had been recovered from all US Carriers launched one last time upon the orders of Admiral Spruance.  Spruance was no Halsey, but he had his blood up and he knew he had the Japanese on the ropes. A more cautious admiral may have retreated with three Japanese Carriers sunk, but Spruance went for the kill shot. His planes found the Hiryu, and fought through fighter cover and hit her four or five times and she was done.

As the sun began to set in the Pacific on June 4, 1942, the world had changed because of men like Nimitz and Spruance and Fletcher and the bravery of Aviators like McClusky, Gay, and Duffy Waldron.
Never again would the empire of Japan be on the offensive in the Pacific. Now Japan would fight a defensive battle as Nimitz from the sea and MacArthur from the land tightened the noose around the Empire's neck.

We owe these men- all since passed on either in battle or after a well earned retirement- our freedom. Our country exists today because Nimitz trusted Cmdr. Rochefort; because Spruance and Fletcher trusted their Aviators; because the Captain of a US Sub attacked a Japanese Battleship, and Cmdr. McClusky trusted his gut and followed a ship to the entire Japanese carrier fleet. We are free because Cmdr. Max Leslie attacked and dove on  a carrier into enemy fire without a bomb, drawing fire allowing his men to drop their bombs and sink the Soryu.

One day- June 4, 1942- and a few brave men- changed a war and altered the course of history.

May the good lord continue to bless our country- As General Patton once remarked- "I don't mourn their death, but I thank God that such men lived."

From Occupied America, where the current occupant of the White House has no idea what today means, Fight the Power! Fight it for Nimitz, and Wade McClusky and Max Leslie and all those brave men who died so that we may live.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD TOURETTE SUFFERER

Dear Diary,
What a great amazing covfefe week! 
But for this covfefe relapse of my tourettes covfefe covfefe It would have been perfect. 

Went to Europe and the Middle East and also Israel. 

Met the covfefe Pope. 

Told the president covfefe of Germany that she was covfefe covfefee. 

Gonna fix global covfefe warming. I'm so much smarter than the generals on this covfefe problem. 
It's so covfefe simple. Air Conditioning! Covfefe. 
Start with the antarctic, you know, the north pole area. Roll out some covfefe ginourmous AC units. Plug em in and set them to 40. That will bring down the temp. 

Then to Saudi Arabia. I have to admit it was warmer there than I realized. But build some ACs (make america great covfefe again) in Tennessee and Detroit. Ship em to  Zimbabwe Arabia, and turn them on. End of problem. I'm a covfefe hero.  Withdraw from the Paris accords. Who makes a treaty in Italy anyway covfefe?  All the Italians do is drink that tiny coffee covfefe and make pizza. What do they know about global warming? 

Final piece of the puzzle. Everyone with AC in their house or car opens the door for an hour a day. AC your neighborhood. It's going to be amazing. No one's ever seen an idea like this. 
Memo to self: Invest in room heaters company. It's going to be real cold real soon. 

Back home. Tried to fire the FBI guy, but realized I don't covfefe have one yet. So I'm adding Chris covfefe Christy to the list. Hire em. Fire em. Made a living on TV that way. 

Bestest week ever. Until next week. 

Covfefe. 


Thursday, June 01, 2017

NAPHTALI WACKS CLINGS TO LIFE

Courtesy of ace Herald reporter David Ovalle, comes this tragic story here of local REGJB regular Naphtali Wacks who lies in a hospital, grievously injured on the way to court this week by a Miami-Beach hit and run driver. 

Naphtali always cut a unique figure in the REGJB, with bright orange hair, and a 100 watt smile to match. He is a good guy. 

Lets all pause a minute and meditate and send Naphtali good and healing thoughts.




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

unLUCKy in LOVE

Item: In 1963 sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins and their cousin Joan Marie Johnson decided to seek a professional career as singers in their band Little Miss and the Muffetts which later became The Dixie Cups. They had been singing together since grade school. 

Item 2: Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich wrote the song Chapel of Love, which was originally written for the Ronettes, was recorded in 1963 by The Blossoms, but was never released. 

Item 3: In 1964 opportunity met design and the Dixie Cups recorded and released Chapel of Love which went on to sell over a million records*. 

Item 4: Sometime in late 2009 or early 2010 cupid drew back his bow and fired into the hearts of Kemesia Boota Ward and Patrick James Ward. James popped the question; Kemesia said "Yes" and a wedding was planned at the beautiful and famous Deauville hotel on Miami Beach for July, 2010. 

But the Deauville had seen better days (haven't we all?) and by the wedding day the evil inspectors of the City of Miami Beach had shut down the function rooms of the Deauville and after the couple was joined in wedlock off site, the guests repaired to the Deauville where they were ensconced in "the Napoleon pre-function area", which in Orwellian speak was The Lobby. 

As guests wandered through the weeding in a lobby in bathing suits and flip flops and dripping pool towels, the bride and groom and their families and friends tried to eat, dance, and be merry, although the tables were crammed together, there was no room for the bridal party, and the DJ was told to turn the music down as some raucous guests joined in to celebrate the nuptials (they crashed the wedding).

Kemesia and Patrick's special day was ruined. 

A lawsuit was filed and trial was held in the Circuit Court of the 11th judicial circuit of Dade County before now 3rd DCA judge (but then circuit judge) Norma Lindsey. 

Kemesia and Patrick won a resounding verdict of over $25,000.00 dollars and the hotel appealed and the opinion landed in the lap of one new 3rd DCA judge who has shown he has a little of Federal Magistrate Jonathan Goodman in him: Judge Luck. 

Here is how the opinion starts: 

“Chapel of Love,” the tune made famous by the Dixie Cups, celebrates how a couple’s wedding day should feel like “Spring is here, the sky is blue/Birds all sing as if they knew . . . Bells will ring, the sun will shine, I’ll be his and he’ll be mine.” The Dixie Cups, Chapel of Love (Red Bird Records 1964). 

The birds, however, did not sing and the bells did not ring on Kemesia Boota Ward’s wedding day. The hotel ballroom where she planned to have her wedding reception was closed by the city of Miami Beach, and the hotel moved the reception to its lobby. Ward’s wedding day was “ruined,” a “public spectacle,” “cramped,” and “very uncomfortable,” and caused her to be “embarrassed,” “cry[] uncontrollably,” and have “nightmares..."

The full opinion, in which the verdict is upheld, but in true Republican-conservative-federalist society fashion the amount awarded is reduced based on solid, conservative business precedent, is here for you to peruse. 


Love Hurts by Rumpole21 on Scribd


The moral of the story: UnLUCKy in love, LUCKy at the 3rd DCA

From Occupied Covfefe America, fight the Covfefe!



* If the internet was born before you, and your nanny took you in your stroller to Starbucks,  then most likely you don't know what a record is. A record was a spherical shaped disk made of plastic and vinyl with grooves in the middle upon which songs were recorded. The record had a hole in the center. Now we know you're thinking that records wouldn't fit into an Ipod, but Ipods didn't exist in the 1960's. The record would be placed on a phonograph which spun the record and reproduced the sound with a needle and a small speaker.

COVFEFE

The word of the day is COVFEFE

Google it. (Hint check twitter, POTUS). 

Actually, it's the word of the year. 

Covfefe (cov-feef fee)


We don't usually use the blog for personal reasons, but if any will be in the South Dade Courthouse on Friday morning, we could use some Covfefe. 

From Occupied America, fight the Covfefe!


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.