We were supposed to be out this week- and the Captain has a great post below on the Tally session and possible judicial term limits. Please read it. But some stories are too good to miss, even when returning from a stroll on the Champs d elysees. This is a hot story.
When Judge Hanzman left the comfy confines of a successful civil practice, what did he imagine? Perhaps some brown bag lunches and dinners at his desk while he worked. Dealing with new and aggressive prosecutors and PDs? Probably.
A lawyer's pants catching on fire during closing argument in the defense of- we are not making this up- an ARSON CASE? Never.
David Ovalle and the Miami Herald have all the hot details here.
Meet Stephen Gutierrez.
He was arguing that his client's car "spontaneously burst into flames" when at that moment, according to Ovalle, Gutierrez's pants "burst into flames" and he bolted from the court.
Spectators were stunned.
Gutierrez returned a few moments later with a singed pocket, blaming a faulty E-cigarette. Anyone know a good lawyer?
Did the "Stunt" work? Nope.
Claudy Charles was convicted of second degree arson.
A possible prosecutorial or judicial inquiry into whether this was an accident or not remains a possibility.
Rumpole notes: Some courtroom stunts work.
The widow who waited 11 minutes to call 911 after intruders shot her husband and is accused of conspiracy to commit murder? Any good prosecutor will show a jury how long 11 minutes is by sitting silently for that time.
Hugh Rodham, brother of Hillary and a Miami PD, was famously caught with his pants down when trying to re-enact the crime of his client who was accused of robbing a coin laundry mat and stuffing fifty dollars in quarters into his pockets. As he demonstrated for the jury, he had a clothes malfunction and his pants hit the floor as he stood there before the jury in his skivvies.
The OJ Glove.
But this is a horse of a different color. If it was engineered, it caused a fire hazard. If it was a mistake, it was a golden opportunity at closing that shouldn't have been missed.
From Occupied America...Fight the Power!
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