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, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
HERBERT WALKER III ORAL ARGUMENT ON CONTEMPT
If the video doesn't load, you can see it here. Enter "Walker" in the search for a case space.
We are admittedly no fans of one of the parties in this case.
Here is the OA in the contempt case wherein Judge Miranda held Mr. Walker in contempt.
Things go bad at 1:20 when Judge Suarez inquires "What did the trial judge do wrong here?"
"This is just part of the record [Suarez holds up a fist-full of the record] when the trial court over and over and over and over being patient and ...over and over and over being interrupted, being talked over... and the trial court holding their demeanor. So tell me where the trial court was wrong?"
Things go from bad to worse when Judge Rothenberg starts at 4:10 to recount Walker's conduct and her soliloquy continues through 6:50. The Judge's recitation of the conduct doesn't bode well for the appeal for Mr. Walker.
Rothenberg at 7:15: "Frankly she should have done it much earlier (Hold Walker in contempt) but she just kept hoping against all signs the conduct would stop..."
Not pretty. And counsel for the Appellant's citation to the Alex Michaels case just doesn't help him or his client that much.
Rothenberg at 8:03: "That's what direct criminal contempt is..." In response to the Appellant's argument the court should have taken a break.
Judge Suarez 11:30: "Everything I've read was a judge being restrained, being nice..explaining..saying 'please don't do that again, I've asked you before'... and what she got back were snide comments."
Judge Suarez at 12:21 [Judge Miranda says] "I need you to turn the board around... and Mr. Walker says 'I will when I finish.' That's not a proper comment to a judge. And this has been going on everywhere I look...This is a judge that held restraint to the Nth degree... very fortunate it was a small monetary order..."
(Rumpole notes...so far there is no 'gofundme' campaign to pay Walker's fine.)
On rebuttal at 14:50 counsel for Walker points out that the order says Walker said "This is ridiculous" while the transcript says "This is insane." Seems like a picayune distinction.
And Judge Rothenberg, a former top prosecutor/trial lawyer, was not ready to let that go unchallenged at 14:40: "Were either of those comments respectful?"
(That sound on the transcript you heard was either the trap snapping shut, or the PCA being etched into the record.)
Final rules of thumb for practicing before Judge Miranda:
Don't mutter curses in Romanian: Michaels v. State
Don't say "This is insane" when the judge rules. Walker v. State.
Judge Suarez gets the last word at 18:58 when he recounts a war story when he was a young trial lawyer: "As judge Levy told me, when I was in the middle of trial: 'if you don't like my ruling, preserve it. That's what the 3rd DCA is for."
Well said Judge Suarez, but on our blog, we get the last (respectful) word: "So what's with all the PCA's?"
To be clear, we wouldn't have said that to you at OA...but we admit we would have thought it.
From Occupied America...Fight the power.