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

Thursday, September 20, 2018

NOT TO BE MISANTHROPIC BUT....

Before we forget, we love tonight's game. Jets. Brownies.  Our two fav teams in 2018 battling it out in Cleveland. And although we love the Jets, we think the Browns have a great D-their cornerbacks shut down the Saints and Steeler Wrs-  and they finally get that W. Take the boys who play at the mistake by the lake -3, and the under 41. 

Here is what bothers us: 

1) When a phone accidentally rings in court and the judge or a lawyer is talking,  the bailiff will always shout out "please turn off all cell phones" as if anyone thought that they could talk on their phone. It's not as if, after the phone accidentally rings and the bailiff shouts, the person goes "WOW! I didn't know you couldn't have your phone ring in court. Thanks for straightening  that out for me."
No. It's a mistake. Give the person a moment to quiet their device before shouting and interrupting the proceedings even more. 

2) We don't like the fact that in every airport you now have to take a train to the plane. (check out the old commercial at the end of the post).  Props to those airports that have the screening after you get off the train rather than in the lobby where the crowds are enormous. And BTW, if you don't have TSA pre-check, you don't know what you're missing. It's like flying first class through security. 

3) One of Rumpole's rules for life is Never ever ever buy the extended warranty. Maybe, just maybe for a car. But that's it! The money you save will more than pay for the item you replace. This doesn't apply to Apple Car and broken iPhone screens. Buy all the insurance you can for that. They know us by name at the Apple Store considering how many screens we've gotten replaced. 
The following is an actual (sort of) chat for service: (we don't like talking to people so we use the chat function)

Rumpole: Our Dell Computer we bought six months ago isn't charging.
Dell: We're very sorry for that. We will work to fix that for you today. What is your thirty-seven digit IPID number on the back of your computer?
R: The one written in 007 type micro-printing?
D: Yes. 
R: I need to go find someone under the age of 20 to read it. Hang on. (provides number that receptionist-after using a magnifying glass-provides)
D: Where did you buy this computer?
R: Our IT specialist ordered it from Dell. He actually gave it to us in a parking lot at night and we handed him cash, but it's not as nefarious as it sounds.
D: And when did he buy it? 
R: (after calling IT person) November 28, 2017.
D: And what credit card did he use
R: (after calling IT person, provides cc number)
D: Does he have the product specialist warranty order number? Please note, this is not a number contained on the warranty, sales receipt, or any documentation. It would be something told to him verbally. We cannot process the warranty request without it.
R: All I know is when I bought it he said it came with free on site repair for two years.
D: Yes, that's technically true, if your site is in the sub-Saharan continent or in New Delhi, and if you have your warranty specialist number. Otherwise you can mail us the computer and within four quick months we will repair it and send it back. 
R: But this is my only work computer. And I blog on it. 
D: Are you by chance going to visit New Delhi shortly?
R: That silence you are about to hear is me hanging up on you. 

Speaking of bailiffs, we received this email last week about a bailiff

"Rumople, I was in the hallway and watched as XXX, Judge YYYYY's bailiff was dealing with a juror who wanted out of a case. The woman approached him and I happened to be standing by waiting for an elevator. The first thing that occurred was that she pumped him for information about the case. He was extremely professional in his answer, replying several times he could not give her any information. She then started talking about all the reasons why she would not be a good juror and could he let her leave? He continually and politely and professionally deferred to the Judge and kept telling her to just answer all the questions honestly and at the end to make sure she tells the judge and the lawyers how she feels. He was a real pro and it was gratifying to see him not allow a juror to drag him into a case and to just continually tell her to make sure she asked all the questions she had in court and to tell the Judge and lawyers about her feelings."

We'd like to give the bailiff public thanks, but then we got to wondering how the case ended, and if the juror disclosed in court what she was saying to the bailiff and if not, whether the bailiff said anything to the judge? And we decided not to risk a very experienced and highly regarded bailiff getting into trouble, so we edited out his name and the Judge's name. 

In no particular order we also don't like diet soda, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Justin Bieber, hotel coffee that isn't Starbucks, Uber drivers who talk too much, or not at all. There's a sweet spot for Uber Driver/passenger chat and most don't hit it. 
Dell Computers, see above. Dell service techs. Id. Free Airport Wifi, the non-existent REGJB wifi, celery in egg salad, people who take selfies and block the sidewalk, Instagram( we don't understand it- can't you post pictures on Facebook? What's the diff?). 
And non-fat yogurt with artificial sweeteners. Give us the real deal, with some healthy fats and real sugar. 
That's it for now.


Monday, September 17, 2018

DE LA OVERTURNED!

Breaking: Broward veteran ASA Stacy Honowitz has been arrested for shoplifting forty-two dollars and change in beauty supplies. Channel 10 has the story on the web  here. She has been suspended. As the case below shows, she is absolutely presumed innocent. We have seen more than one professional caught in a shoplifting snafu that wasn't what it first appeared. And the late-great Richard Sharpstein once defended a newly married man who was arrested for shoplifting when he attempted to return some wedding gifts to a bridal registry. Richard-being his brilliant self- had this spectacular line in closing argument on a case he won: "He was a stranger in a strange land." 

We're not sure how a person who was identified by an eyewitness who was "60%" certain, loses a trial and an appeal, but that's what happened to Tony Brown. 

Enter enterprising journalism students, and lawyers from the under-appreciated Regional Counsel's office. Add one great judge who is not afraid to do the right thing, and what you have is the below order. 
Congrats to Regional Counsel Lawyers Philip Reizenstein and Kristen Kawass who get the win. 


Sunday, September 16, 2018

NFL WEEK TWO

SURVIVOR POOL
Last week was the equivalent of Hurricane Florence. as the Saints went down to the Bucs, giving a week one loss to Blog stalwarts De la Fins, DOM, Fake Freddy Moldovan, Cary Clennon, Nichols Basco, Peter Sauter, VP Pence, and Alan Kaiser, to name a few. Survivor stalwart Kenneth Weisman, missing his pal Colby, had a scare, but hung on as the Packers and Aaron Rodgers staged a second half comeback against Da Bears. However late comer "Fake Jay White picking for Colby" (yes that's the full name of the team) kept the flag flying with a pick of the Pack. 


Ifitikhar Memon tied, picking the Steelers, who kissed their sister against the Browns. After some research in the matter, we believe a tie is not a loss, and Memon, survives another week.
See, Bushel’s Case (1670) 124 E.R.1006; Bushel's case and 
Entick v Carrington [1765] 19 Howell's State Trials 1030. 
Entick_v_Carrington.

We're traveling for a case today, so we won't get the actual picks up until our NetJets land after 4pm.  (landed a bit early)
UPDATE: Real fake former judge, Lurvey, and Lucy Lew all go down in week two of the Survivor Pool.




PICKS
Count us as officially on the J...E...T...S  Jets Jets Jets super-bowl bandwagon. We're takin gang-green minus two and a half, at home, against our Fins, who do not have us convinced they're any good. The Fins are on a 0-5 streak on the road from last year.  😠

We also like Da Bears, at home, minus 3.5 against the Seahawks on the road for the second week. 

We're also hopping on the Browns bandwagon. They have a real, solid D. They DB's shut down the vaunted Steeler passing game. Take the Brownies +9.5 against the A'ints. (WIN πŸ˜‡ )

Mantra for 2018. Repeat after us: "Always bet against the Cowboys. Always."  To use technical terms: They stink. They're no good. They cannot compete. The Giants aren't much better, but we'll take the Boys from the Big Apple who always play the cowpokes tough. We're betting against the Cowboys until they show us otherwise. Also take the game under 43.5

The Raiders also stink. Take the Broncos at home -6.5 against the future denizens of Sin City. 

(BTW- take Muller -4 over Trump. Guaranteed.) 

FANTASY FOOTBALL
Your humble blogger was vindicated by his week one win- where incidentally we had the highest score in the league. We passed on Steeler FF sensation A Brown at the number four pick and grabbed Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley, and we were proven right as we beat Mr. Blecher, who picked Brown next at five. Barkley outscored Brown, as we did Blecher.  

Which brings us to Rumpole's rule of FF: when choosing between players of equal talent, always chose the younger player. NOTE: This rule does not apply to your choice of criminal legal counsel. Indeed it is exactly the opposite. 

Other winners last week were Judge De La Fins, Mr. Grieco and his aptly named "Comeback" team, because America loves second chances, Millennial Me, our first #metoo female contestant, and Court Keeley.  

Thursday, September 13, 2018

YOU CAN'T WIN A PLEA

David O Markus, everyone's favourite federal blogger speaks Friday at lunchtime at the PDS office on the secret sauce he employs in trials that results in Not Guilty verdicts.  
You should attend. 
DOM is like that old E.F Hutton commercial: "When E.F Hutton talks, people listen.







BUT YOU CAN BE NICE
Here's the consent agreement for former Broward Judge John Contini to be disbarred for five years. What is notable about the agreement is that one of the reasons why Contini was disbarred is because during his three years as a circuit court judge, he admits that he "could have been more sympathetic toward some litigants, lawyers, and court personnel." 

WELL...if that's the standard in Broweird, how does any judge there keep their robes? 






COURTHOUSE CODE BROWN NOW!

BREAKING….
Code Brown at REGJB...Thursday morning. Armed officers with assault rifles sealing off courthouse. 

This is a breaking story. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

DODGING A BULLET

It is hard to feel thankful that we are not getting gob-smacked by a major hurricane. Our good fortune is our neighboring state's misfortune. 

In the spirit of prior hurricanes, misses and hits, we revise our much desired Rumpole's Hurricane list and Q & A. 

Q: What do the categories mean?
A: The category numbers refer to the "Saffir-Simpson Scale" (literally "the Saffir- Simpson Scale"). The scale relates the square of the amount of liquor in metric ounces needed to forget the impending disaster.  Since there is an exponential difference between the damage a cat2 and cat3 storm causes, you need four metric ounces of liquor to forget the impending damage of a cat2 storm, but nine ounces to forget a cat3 storm. 

SURVIVAL LIST
* denotes a new addition to the list. 
Four Bottles Tito Vodka.
*Four jars olives.
Three Apples. 
Two Oranges.
Bunch of Bananas. 
*Four Bottles Hayden-Basil Bourbon.
Two Bottles Bullet Bourbon.
One case Coca-Cola.
One box power bars.
Two flashlights.
One Radio.
One case C batteries.
One case water, 16Oz bottles. One case per person per two days of anticipated delay before rescue. If you listen to the local channel 7 type TV station, then add 30 cases water per person per day. 
*One Book: Crime and Punishment.
*One bottle sleeping pills, or one book "The collected humorous speeches of William Howard Taft." 

Q: Should I use a generator?
A: Only run the generator during the storm. After the storm, surreptitiously run a power cord from your neighbor's generator. 

Q: How dangerous is a hurricane?
A: According to most meteorologists who work for Channel 7 or who have worked for the station  over the past decade in Miami, most hurricanes threaten 90-95% of all life within a five hundred mile radius of a storm. Your chances of surviving a storm rise -according to Channel 7- in direct proportion to the amount of plywood you buy from Home Depot multiplied by the number of hours you wait in line. So for example if you buy ten sheets of plywood after waiting two hours, your chances of survival rise twenty percent. 

Q: Will courts be closed? 
A: In Miami and the rest of Florida -yes. In Broward County-NO. And in the words of one prior chief judge "warrants for missing court during hurricanes will be the priority in being enforced once the storm passes."

So there you have it. Everything you always wanted to know about a hurricane. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

9/11

Today we remember those who lost their lives in an unprovoked and cowardly attack. We remember the innocent people who went to work, and we remember the brave firefighters and police officers who started a long walk up  the tower to put out a fire and rescue people and paid with their life when the tower fell, 

Today we remember. 

But, as Americans, we are also mindful of this:
"People who trade their freedom for security deserve neither."
Benjamin Franklin. 

If there is a uniqueness to being American it is this: that we treasure freedom and liberty above all else. That when we invade a continent, as we have done twice in the last century (Europe) we do so only to defeat tyranny, and once done, we leave, asking only to retain those small pieces of ground that are the final resting place for our hallowed fallen. 

We do not seek vengeance. For we are mindful that vengeance is reserved for the almighty. We seek justice. We seek peace. We seek only to see individuals allowed to live their lives in freedom from evil. We treasure the right to pursue happiness. We fight for the right to worship, or not to worship. We choose our leaders by popular vote. We cherish a free and open press and the marketplace where we are free to exchange ideas. 

This is what being American is all about. This is why our NYC firefighters ran into a burning building when everyone else was running out. Those men are what being an American is all about. 

Peace. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

COURTS CLOSED MONDAY

Courts are closed Monday for observance of our Jewish colleagues holiday Rosh Hashana.
Ten days of introspection will end next Wednesday at sun-down. 

Speaking of repentance, about half of the REGJB survivor pool washed out in week one as the Tampa Bay Bucs blasted the Saints on the road in New Orleans. The Saints were the number one pick in our pool and a canvass of survivor pools showed that between 35 and 40 % of all picks in week one were the Saints.  Harvard QB/journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick had a career day with over 400 yards passing and four TDs.  

We will post final survivor pool results shortly. 

From Occupied America, where the NFL has provided a welcome respite from the unending bad news from Washington, DC, and in the spirit of the new year- Fight The Power with Ryan Fitzpatrick slinging the rock. 

Sunday, September 09, 2018

NFL 2018 WEEK ONE

Incredibly, we lost our entire post, so we have to do it again. 

First, as we watch the start of the NFL season and the Fins, we cannot help but think of our friend George Cholakis. George was a great prosecutor, and then became a well-respected criminal defense attorney. He was active in his church, and a friend to many. And if you knew George, you knew that he lived for the NFL season and Dolphin home games. George died as he lived: at a Dolphins home game last year doing what he loved most. We don't remember the outcome, but the day was a big loss. So here's to you George. We are sure your tailgating pals have lifted a few to your memory today, as we have. 

SURVIVOR POOL 
Here are the picks. Blog fav and retired Judge Jon Colby is out this year on Injured Reserve. We wish him well and look forward to his return next year. 
PICKS

Ravens -7 at home over the Bills (WIN)
Titans -1 on the road over the Fins. (LOSS)
Packers -7 over da Bears (LOSS) 
Cardinals -2 at home over the Skins (LOSS)
Jags on the road over the Gints. Not this week Saquon, not this week against this D. (WIN)
Broncos at home -3 over Seahawks (PUSH)

OVER/UNDER
Long time and careful blog readers know that in the early weeks the defense dominates. 
Steelers/Browns under 41(LOSS BY 1)
Rams at Raiders under 49. 
Chiefs at Chargers under 49 (LOSS)


FANTASY FOOTBALL
Follow our league live here. See how your favourite judges match up against defense attorneys. Can our first female player -our own Millennial Me make a dent? 

Rump starts the season against veteran FF manager Jon Blecher. Will Rumpole's startling move passing up Steeler WR Antonio Brown and drafting rookie RB phenom Saquon Barkley pay off? Blecher snapped up Brown with the next pick. Today will not be Rumpole's day as Barkley' s first game is against a tough Jags D. 

De La Fins v. Team Horenstein. 
We like hizzoner's team. QB Brees ain't bad, and two good quality RBs in Melvin Gordon and Leonard Fournette, although late breaking news is that Fournette is down with an injury during today's game. Horenstein's QB is Luck. Our own Luck at the 3rd DCA had a better year last year than the injured Indy QB. His RBs are Fin re-tread Lamar Miller, and Bears RB Jordan Howard, along with Drs. Fine and Howard with the Stooges. 

Two REGJB big hitters take the field against each other today as Dan Lurvey and Court Keeley match up. Advantage Lurvey in this one as his QB Big Ben, star WR Julio Jones and RBs Lynch and former Fin Jay Ajai compare favorably to Keeley's Qb Newton, and Rbs Gurley and Devonta Freeman. 

Millennial Me starts the season off against Multack and Me's QB TE combo (Brady-Gronk) has already paid off with a TD and double points. ME's RB Alex Karma from the Saints compares favorably to Multack's Zeek Elliott. This is a bad year for the Cowpokes, and we look for Elliott's production to taper off. 



Friday, September 07, 2018

LODESTAR

UPDATE: SURVIVOR POOL EARLY PICKS 
IF YOU DON'T SEE YOUR NAME ON THE LIST YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED. SEND AN EMAIL TO FBPOOL12@GMAIL.COM AND MAKE A PICK 





Welcome to Fall, 2018. The summer has ended. Football season has begun. And "Lodestar" has entered the American lexicon where it will take its place next to "deepthroat" as a recognized code-word for secret efforts to thwart a corrupt presidency. 
Referring to the late Senator John McCain, the anonymous writer of the NY Times Op Ed piece this week wrote "But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue."

Lodestar's significance and understanding will soon supplant  Deepthroat because the source for the Washington Post reporters -decades later revealed to be FBI Associate Director Mark Felt- was only talking about the corruption of money and the presidency. Serious issues to be sure. 

Lodestar however speaks to presidential incompetency. A president who rumbles throughout the day, shouting at staff members, issuing orders willy-nilly to deny aid to countries who are our allies, and impose tariffs on trading partners for slights-real and imagined. At any moment it appears that the President will ruminate about withdrawing all troops from Korea, issue an order to assassinate President Assad of Syria, invade Venezuela, and demand the justice department indict his political rivals. 

Lodestar has sought to assure the American people that "there are adults in the room" who are protecting the Country and the Constitution. Deepthroat's information about the illegal movement of a few million dollars -even 1970 dollars- pales in comparison. 

Lodestar is not the new Deepthroat. There is no comparison to this remarkable letter to the American People about the complete incompetence of the President of the United States.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
It's on. 
The world famous, entertaining, Miami-Shaking, Viagra-taking, Justice Building Survivor League has begun. But it's not too late to join. Send an email to Fbpool12@gmail.com and you are in. Then, every-week, pick one winner, no point spread needed, and if your team wins, you survive. The only rule is once you pick the Eagles over the Jets, you cannot pick the Eagles again. Sounds simple. But it's not. For those of you newly hired by the SAO or the PD, ignore your supervisor's threats. You cannot be fired for reading the blog, as both the SA and the PD read our missives daily. You can participate in our survivor pool. Legions of new hires have previously done so, and we have successfully fought subpoenas forcing us to reveal the identity of our participants. Go to Google- open a new email account- say "newbie@gmail.com" and shoot us an email with your first pick and you are IN. 

The Justice Building Fantasy Football league also had its draft this week. Why did a respected lawyer and a respected Judge BOTH pass on drafting Steeler RB Leveon Bell, the leading FF player for the last two years,  in the first round? 
Why did Rumpole pass on WR Antonio Brown to select rookie running back Saquon Barkley in the first round, only to pass on Falcons RB Devonta  Freeman and draft Denver rookie running back Royce Freeman in the second round?

It's fall. There's football. The weather will get (a bit) crisper. The sky is a beautiful azure blue. A few months of hard work, and then we enter the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years- holiday cycle and then we do it all over again. 

And we have Lodestar, who apparently is a careful reader of this blog, because s/he has indeed taken our daily admonition to heart and, from occupied DC, is fighting the power. 
Well done Lodestar. Well done indeed. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

JUDGE HERBERT KLEIN HAS PASSED AWAY

Sad news reached us that Judge Herbert Klein has passed away. 
Judge Klein was a fixture in the REGJB from 1975 when he was appointed by Governor Askew through the end of the  1980's and was well known and liked, and indeed beloved for his sense of humor and wit, kindness and grace. Judge Klein was surely not the type of judge, so in vogue today, who "just called balls and strikes." No. Judge Klein was a judge who cared. He was a Judge who was interested in the lives of the people who appeared before him. As a lawyer, you always knew that your client was going to get a very fair shake when his or her case was before Judge Klein and you also knew that you'd probably leave his court with a smile. 

There were several "Judge Kleins" in the 1980's and there was a picture of all them, and Judge Herb Klein stood out for his beaming smile. 

We have one memory of Judge Klein that always stayed with us. 
When State Attorney Janet Reno was re-elected, she asked Judge Klein to introduce her at the swearing in ceremony. We don't remember the words of his speech, but we remember how he ended it: with a simple declaration: "I LIKE YOU JANET". 

For some reason that always resonated with us. Janet Reno of course went on to become a great Attorney General. But she was not always spoken of well in Miami during her tenure. Indeed, she was a bit of lightening rod for criticism. It was popular for Judges, often from the bench, to berate the State Attorneys Office, and Janet Reno.  So it was a nice thing to listen to a Judge speak well of Ms. Reno and then end with a simple and heartfelt declaration that he liked her. And Janet Reno beamed when Judge Klein ended his speech and introduced her. It is a small moment in the life and career of a man who through his life's work made Miami a much better place to live.  He has been missed since he retired, and men like him- Judges who possess experience and kindness and humor and common sense -can never be replaced.  In his death we are reminded of a life well lived and a life to be celebrated. 

His on line obituary is here. 
His on line obituary is here

Saturday, September 01, 2018

MY GASTRONOMICAL JOURNEY IN AND AROUND THE COURT HOUSE

THANK YOU MR. SAUL FOR THE POST. WE INTRUDE UPON IT ONLY TO ADVERTISE OUR JUSTICE BUILDING FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE. 

YOU NEED TO SIGN UP TODAY (SUNDAY) MONDAY THE LATEST. DRAFT MONDAY AT 7 PM. 
Send an email to FBpool12@gmail.com and we will invite you. 

Test your skills against Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. Civil lawyers grudgingly admitted, although they tend to challenge everything and argue and are usually too litigious for a fun league. 

  
Food and criminal law, grub n' Gerstein, eats and the criminal justice system…the collision course between being stuck in the building and needing to eat is inevitable.  Sure, today the neighborhood has been significantly built up with that nearby hipster Health Center offering an array of fine dining. However, in the past, there were significant limitations on what you could put in your mouth. I offer you a brief (and probably inaccurate) history of food in and around your beloved criminal justice building.

My introduction to the esteemed court house was way back in 1983, where, as a part of my University of Miami curriculum, I had an internship with the Pre-Trial Services program. That necessitated being inside of the Pre-Trial Detention center (back then it was just called “The Dade County Jail”).  On the first floor (I don’t think it still exists),   there was this little grill where you could get a burger, fries and soda for a mere dollar!  Back then I thought I was getting a lot of bang for my buck yet today, I’m not so sure.  Grade Z beef cooked by a jail trustee may have a negligible value  

During the 1980’s, candy was offered in a little stand that greeted people entering towards the rear of the building. You could load up on chiclets, tic tacs, lifesavers and the late Judge Calvin Mapp’s spiral-ring treatise on county court law.

When I started as an ASA in 1987, there was a first floor eatery called “Casolas” (I think) . This was like an Italian-themed cafe with pizza, casserole-looking things and other items served with a ladle or spatula. It was like a cross between a high school cafeteria and the schlock joints dishing it out at the Florida turnpike service plazas.   It never seemed like business was booming there. As the 80’s was coming to an end, so did "Casolas".

In approximately 1988. “The Pickle Barrel” took over the downstairs space. This seemed like a pretty big deal since not only did they have a nice menu, but the food was actually pretty good (their grilled chicken sandwich and crinkly-cut french fries were definitely decent).  As a prosecutor that usually had empty pockets, having a finski to purchase a meal was more of a luxury and hardly a daily occurrence. It was more like, “Hey, I just attained a favorable verdict, let’s celebrate with a sandwich/fries combo” at the Pickle Barrel.” I guess doing business with the county is not easy for one day the Pickle Barrel just inexplicably shut down.

That made way for the late 90’s debut of the national chain, Au Bon Pain.  Saint maquereau! (that’s Google's French translation for “Holy mackerel!”) this place was pretty fancy shmancy. Besides the sexy French name, they had gourmet sandwiches, an open-to-the-public soda dispenser (where you can get unlimited beverages), their soups were quite tasty and, because it was a bakery chain, their baked goods were on par with anybody.  Like every other restaurant on the first floor, that business also came to a grinding screech. I guess they had a pretty good run since it seemed like they were there for well over ten years.

The windows were covered, and so construction began for the current “El Gordo”.  It took so long and progress was kept pretty secretive so, I thought they were building something special, perhaps a serious dining establishment. Yet, when it opened, the dΓ©cor turned out to be quite bare…not to mention the very limited menu. I’m not a big fan of “El Gordo”.

Over the years, dining has not just been limited to the first floor since that seventh-floor, jury nosh-pit has always had something going on. From the blind guy at the cash register that somehow knew how to provide the correct change to the spicy (and potentially work interrupting) Jamaican patties to whatever is going on there today, the seventh floor has always had their niche.    

Besides what was served inside the building, there were some things available immediately outside the court house. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the hot dog pushcart business was so competitive that these vendors were actually getting into fistfights over the positioning of their carts (the closer to the building the better).  Catty corner to the building was “Eat and Run Submarine Sandwich Shop” where a tasty honey- mustard, grilled chicken sub sandwich would place you into a deep food coma.  You could go to the old Holiday Inn (by the  the drawbridge)  where, upon the purchase of one cheap bottle of Bud, you’d have access to unlimited chips and salsa and mini egg rolls.  Today, when that smoker/grill master guy comes and sets up shop on the side of the building, that smoked meat aroma is pretty darn enticing. 

Can you get a relaxing alcoholic drink in the building?  Why venture to nearby craft beer mecca "Kush" (North Miami Ave & 20th Street) when history tells us that in the past, a few of the judges’ chambers were pretty well stocked?



Thursday, August 30, 2018

DADE CLERK BUREAUCRACY

In the State portal filing system (unofficial motto "portal to hell") each clerk for the circuit creates the categories that pleadings are filed under. So for example, if you have a motion, you click the motion section and then the specific subject. For example, you can select a "motion to suppress". The specific titles of the motions available is set by the local clerk. So for example, there probably isn't a "motion to lower bond" in Broward because...well, you know why. 

Pop Quiz: In Dade, which motion is NOT A CHOICE in the motion category, meaning our clerk has decided there is no need for this:

A) Motion to Travel
B) Motion to Transfer Judges Section
C) Motion to Tax Costs
D) Motion to Determine Confidentiality Of Court Records

So you, as a long time and careful reader, are surely saying to yourself: "Self, I always file motions to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records. I mean, who doesn't? Duh! And ditto for the daily use of Motion To Transfer Judges Section. That's like the first thing they teach in law school, right?  So now it's down to Travel or Costs..."

Yes, loyal reader, the Clerk's in Dade, in their infinite wisdom, based on the daily practice in our courthouse, apparently frequently deal with motions to transfer judges section, but never see...A MOTION TO TRAVEL. 

Are you kidding me? 

We don't even know what a motion to transfer judge's section is. But then again we've only been doing this 30 plus years. 
How in the name of Marshal Ader do they not have a Motion To Travel in the motions section in the portal? 

Sorry, but if you practice around the State, you will see that Dade has a bizarre list of motions, but not things like a motion to travel, or a motion for individual voir dire.

Need a motion to waive jurisdiction? They got it. Need a motion to "record/admit pre-trial immunity testimony"? EZEEPEEZEE. 

How about an "Amended Motion for Post Conviction Relief"? You-bet-cha. As if they were sitting around one day and one of the clerks said to the other (while in the process of pouring another large bourbon):
 "You know what we need Sam? We need a special category for Amended Motion For Post Conviction Relief because so many of those suckers file amended motions."
"I hear ya Arnie. How about adding a motion for travel?"
"What's that?"

It's ridiculous. Almost as bad as needing the precise page and word count before they would accept the motion. They did away with that requirement as long as-while filing the motion- you affirm out-loud you have recorded the number of pages and words in your separate "page and word number diary" that the Clerks who run the portal system require you to have. 

Or something like that. 

From Occupied America, please send us  a motion to transfer judges section. 

Peace/Out. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS

RUMPOLE SAYS MATHEMATICALLY AS OF 8 PM YOUR NEW JUDGES ARE MILENA ABREU, LIZZET MARTINEZ, YERY MARRERO, KRISTY NUNEZ, AND ELEANE SOSA-BRUZON  
UPDATE AT 9PM JUDGE MILLER RE-ELECTED 
UPDATE AT 9:30 BARKET ELECTED...GORDON MISSES WINNING OUTRIGHT AND AVOIDING  RUNOFF BY 2.5%. 

AS OF 10:45 PM, 100% REPORTING - SEE RESULTS BELOW

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

ELECTION CENTRAL ..... PRIMARY RESULTS .....

Join us tonight as we follows the election returns in Miami-Dade County for the eight contested judicial seats.  The polls close at 7:00 PM and shortly thereafter we should be getting the numbers reported from the two weeks of Early Voting.  Next, we should begin receiving Absentee Ballot numbers. And throughout the night, we shall update you on the overall numbers.

EARLY VOTING & VOTE BY MAIL TURNOUT

As of yesterday, a total of 178,671 voters had already cast their ballots in Miami-Dade County. (Today, on election day, an additional 118,771 voters cast their ballot); Total Turnout 21%.

EARLY VOTING NUMBERS:

Republican - 16,802
Democrat   -  34,470
NPA           -    4,892
TOTAL      -  56,184

VOTED BY MAIL NUMBERS:

Republican - 50,852
Democrat   -  51,707
NPA           -  19,948
TOTAL      - 122,507 

COLUMN ONE RETURNS ARE FROM VOTE BY MAIL;
COLUMN TWO RETURNS ARE FROM EARLY VOTING;
COLUMN THREE INCLUDES ALL VOTES NOW TALLIED AS OF 10:00 PM (100% of all votes have been counted)

TWO SHOCKERS:

1. Andrew Gillum BEATS leads Gwen Graham in the Democratic Governor's primary by 40,200 votes (34%-31%) with 99% of the votes counted.

2. Michael Grieco, yes THAT Michael Grieco, WINS leads all candidates in State House 113, in the Democratic Primary: Grieco - 41%; Weithorn - 35%; Lalchandani - 24%.

CIRCUIT COURT

GROUP 8

Elisabeth Espinosa       59,362 - 19,877 - 47%

Judge David Miller       53,917 - 29,143 - 53%

 
GROUP 14

Vivianne del Rio           43,686 - 14,027 - 34.76%

Renee Gordon               45,190 - 27, 465 - 47.56%

Louis Martinez              23,254 - 7,352    - 17.58%

 
GROUP 25

Yery Marrero                 62,946 - 24,293 - 53%

Joe Perkins                     46,872 - 23,499 - 47%

 
COUNTY COURT

 
GROUP 2:

Rosy Aponte                   49,104 - 23,028 - 48%

Kristy Nunez                   59,514 - 24,123 - 52%

 
GROUP 32:

Lizzet Martinez               74,603 - 32,770 - 67%

Chris Pracitto                   35,247 - 14,872 - 33%

 
GROUP 33:

 
Olanike Adebayo               40,235 - 24,552 - 44%

Eleane Sosa-Bruzon           67,564 - 22,158 - 56%

 
GROUP 40:

 
Michael Barket                  56,417 - 26,306 - 54%

Elena Ortega-Tauler          52,473 - 20,737 - 46%

 
GROUP 43:
 
Milena Abreu                     66,574 - 32,339 - 65%

Mike Mirabal                      40,117 - 13,845 - 35%

Congratulations to Broward County Election's Supervisor who set a new record by posting their first returns at 8:06 PM.  UPDATE: Broward up to 40% of their precincts counted as of 9:00 PM; Dade at 94%.  I will never quite understand what the problem is North of the Border!

 
If a runoff is required in Group 14, it will take place on November 6th. Good luck to all of the candidates.
 
CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Sunday, August 26, 2018

STRONGER IN BROKEN PLACES

A college degree takes four years. 
If you go to law school, like many readers of this humble blog, that's another three years. 

Time has meaning. To endure difficult times can build character. To avoid challenges and conflict creates the absence of character. 
How many of us look back on our three years of law school as …."torture?" 

John McCain was tortured. He didn't have to get up early, listen to ponderous lectures, and study bleary-eyed late into the night. He was captured and beaten by an enemy nation. His arms were broken. He was hung by his arms and tortured for years and made to "confess" war crimes. He was kept in solitary confinement for two and half years-almost the amount of time it takes to finish law school. When offered a blessed early  release before his comrades because his admiral father was commander of a Navy Fleet- McCain refused:  the code was you were released in the order of your capture. 

McCain was the bravest politician of our generation. He remains the one man we did not vote for who deserved to be president. An accident of history placed McCain in the general presidential election against the transformational figure of our time. But isn't that what really makes America great? That we could produce a McCain- a war-hero and man of exceptional character and an Obama- a  brilliant and transformational leader and then pick from between them? How could we have gone wrong?

In these dark times when no politician on the visible horizon  has a scintilla of the character and courage and love of country that John McCain had, we are left to comfort ourselves that we live in a country that produced a John McCain. 

John McCain. A man who would fight for his country. A man who had flaws for sure, but who in the end-time and time again-did what was right- party or politics be dammed. Heroes inspire us. They give us courage in dark times to carry on. Heroes don't live for ever. But their memory does. We think of our heroes and their moments of courage- when they were beaten and tortured but kept their code of honor. When they voted their conscience for their country ignoring  political expediency and peril. 

So in these dark times we carry on, warmed by the idea that we live in a country that produced John McCain. Fighter pilot. POW. Congressman. Senator. Candidate for President. Hero. 


The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there
will be no special hurry.

A Farewell to Arms, Ernie Hemingway. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

SURVIOR POOL AND FF COMING SOON

G'day all. The internet is a bit wonky as they say in the Outback. 

So where are we? 
Has everyone who knows POTUS been indicted or given immunity yet? And this from the guy who only hires the best. Gives us the mediocre if this is the best. 

We have a judicial election coming up. What's the over/under on voter turnout? 
Rumpole is setting the line for August 24 at 160,000 county wide. Register your selection in comments. 

And that reminds us that it's almost time for the legendary, award-winning, earth shaking, Viagra-taking Football Survivor Pool. 
Everybody into the pool! Monitor these pages closely and you will see where and when to register. 
LOOK: DIRECTIONS: 
TO REGISTER SEND AN EMAIL TO FBPOOL12@GMAIL.COM WITH THE SUBJECT LINE "MAKE THE BLOG GREAT AGAIN" OR "MTBGA" from the email address you are using and let us know under what name or nom de guerre   you wish to be listed under in the pool.

WARNING YOU CANNOT PROCEED UNTIL YOU HAVE UNDERSTOOD THE ABOVE DIRECTIONS
You have no idea how many people, mostly those who wear robes, try and play and send an email on the first day of the season to Rumpole instead of the proper football pool email address. It becomes ponderous man...ponderous.

NEW THIS YEAR- One pass. You can take a pass on any one week and automatically survive to the next. 

Any interest in a FF league? We need 12 confirmed players and we will set it up. Leave a comment or better send us an email and we will send you an invite. 

People like Ovalle and DOM are too afraid to play in the very public spotlight of this widely read blog, but your chance at fame and FF immortality awaits. 

This is our favourite time of the year. And that doesn't include impeachment season. 

When you travel the raison d'etre  (for those of you who wear robes, literally "the entire raison") has become plugs, charging and wifi. People walk, phones in front of them, texting, emailing, busily sharing with the world where they've been, what they've eaten, what they've seen and done. And in doing so, they miss where they are. In a phrase from the last decade, they "aren't in the moment." 

From the end of WWII to about 2000, it was the obsessive taking of pictures. The pictures couldn't be shared other than roping unsuspecting guests to a dinner party where albums, or slide carousels would be produced, and pictures of your Aunt Matilda next to the edge of the Grand Canyon feeding a chipmunk popcorn, would be proudly displaced:  "And here we are in front of Cinderella's castle....and here we are at Weeki Wachee springs watching the mermaid show... and here we are at Gatorland...and here we are at Monkey Jungle which was closed because one of the monkey's opened a gate and then taunted the gators and the gators were roaming the park... and here we are at Lums getting the fried clams..."

We think you should put the camera and the phone and the wifi down and enjoy where you are. Smell the dessert. See the rock formations, close your eyes, and remember the small cactus flowering in the barren dessert and don't worry about tweeting it. 

From the free Outback...fight the power mate. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

THE NEW BAR POLL IS HERE!!!

BREAKING: TUESDAY AFTERNOON: PAUL MANAFORT GUILTY OF FIVE   EIGHT COUNTS OF TAX AND BANK FRAUD. HUNG ON OTHER COUNTS....MORE TO COME 




This Poll is "de La" OVER. (+60% exceptionally qualified is tops for circuit court judges for our lone robe wearer who plays in our football pool and is a long-time and careful reader of your favourite blog). 

60% of voters feel candidate Ortega-Tauler is UNQUALIFIED. 
Ditto 50+ % for Mesdames Aponte +40% for Sosa-Bruzon. 
Biggest conspiracy theory: Candidates Pracitto and Martinez were left out. Vlad Putin wants to know why? 





Rumpole Blog Poll numbers rumoured to be +98% over-qualified. 

RUMPOLE IS ANNOYING

Guy makes a blog. Becomes a success, and OY, all the emails..."when are you going to post?" etc., etc. Good for him he can fly all over the world while we're sweating here in Miami doing arraignments, reports, bond hearings (yuck). 
Anyway, since I'm posting...

WHERE TO EAT IN MIAMI
Millennials are foodies. We also don't like to handle cash. Yuck. So much easier to split the bill with Venmo. 

First, catch the Indi film "The search for General Tso" about the history of General Tso chicken in the US. Great flick. 

I'm hitting Mason Eatery on N Miami Ave like three times a week. A real NY diner in Miami. Who'd a thunk it? Pastrami sandwiches. French toast. Omelets. It's open 24 and I'm there at all hours. 

If it's late at night/early morn, and I'm not at ME, then I'm at Le Chick in Wynwood, eating the fried chicken sandwiches, or drinking an old fashioned, because  MM likes bourbon. Especially Basil Hayden or Widow Jane. 

Sometimes a girl just has to have sushi. And If I'm not paying then Hidden, which is hidden in Wynwood (finding it is half the fun, especially if you've had a few before-hand) and serves an Omakase menu is the best. But it's two bills for a decent meal so save your salary for a big night out. 

And when a girl doesn't want sushi, then she wants pizza, and pasta and flatbreads and Sette Osteria is the place. The calzone's are great to share. 

Of course, MM loves steak. But here's a twist. We like farmers markets. And sometimes there is this stand run by a H & W who make their own sausages. Babe Fromans . But they don't just grind and stuff pig stuff. They make duck sausage! And even better, they make this Banh Mi - which is a Vietnamese street-food sandwich with meat, and slaw, and hot sauce and the Babe uses duck sausage. Like heaven. And now....drum roll please, they have a restaurant! It's down south. Babes Meat and Counter. It's way south. Like 156th street Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay south. Which is a hefty Uber/Lyft fee for a sobe girl. But find a friend, split the ride, and get the banh mi and say MM sent ya. 
Here's the thing about being a millennial and heading to Pinecrest. You see those big houses and schools and soccer moms in Lexus SUVs and you think "is that going to me be in five years?" But then you flee the area, find a bar, drink a few old fashions and forget the nightmare. 


Jails:
Why can't the jails take emails so when we arrive, the customer is waiting? 
Here's the way to fix the Dade County Jail...it starts with two large wrecking balls and a budget authorization for a new jail. The only thing that works in the there is the AC, and it works too well. 

Why does every client in jail blame me? I didn't put them there. I'm trying to get them out. 

I hear so many lawyers fretting about going paperless. Me? I wouldn't know how to set up a paper file. 

AND FINALLY, This makes me cry, 😒😒😒😒 so I try and ignore it. But I can't. And our idiot president isn't doing anything about it. 

Half of the Great Barrier Reef Has Died Since 2016. 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/04/19/half-of-the-great-barrier-reef-coral-has-died-since-2016/#64e8b0345f9f




Friday, August 17, 2018

DATE LINE DOWN-UNDER JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENTS

UPDATE: Included is the letter to Gov Scott for the names nominated for the three, countem -three- open County Court seats. They include candidates Milena Abreu, which we neglected to indicate below, and Mr. Pracitto.  Query: If a candidate gets appointed on the day they win the election, do they have to handle two divisions ?(Not that it's that difficult in County Court. Sorry, but if walk likes a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a spade.)






G-day blog readers. It's a delightful 13c  here down-under, a welcome respite from the dog says of August in South Florida, not to mention Kensington, U.K. 

Our blog contributors are doing just fine towing the rope, holding the line, and keeping the blog afloat. 

When you travel outside the US, you quickly become aware of one thing- our country is the laughingstock of the world. 

A scene at Bad Frankie recently:

"Where'ya from mate?"
"Miami"
"Can I buy ya one?"
"Maybe I should buy you one?"
"Nah mate, with your president you need one more than I do. Crikey he's an idiot isn't he?"
"Make it a double por favor." 

JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENTS: 
The older we get, the less we know about those who wear robes, and those who want to. We are entering a world where most of our learned and younger opponents do not know a world without a five dollar cup-o-joe at Starbucks, and where your phone has always been  your camera. 
So we cannot endorse everyone, because we just don't know who the heck they are.  But we feel comfortable with these robe-wearer wannabees: 

Milena Abreu. She ran a great race last time. She should have won. She is smart, experienced, will have a great judicial temperament and unlike most of those she will join on the bench, she's actually tried a case, which makes her sui generis

Yery Marrero. Diitto. She's been in the trenches as a PD. She's experienced and a great litigator and will make a great judge. 

Judge David Miller. We're giving him the benefit of the doubt here. We did not appreciate his "Maximum Miller" philosophy in sentencing (not that we lose cases and have to deal with that). But that was a long time ago in galaxy far far away. The civil lawyers we know are uniform in their praise of Judge Miller as fair, hard working, and the type of Judge who gives lawyers the time to make their case. And the whole thing about his opponent; her big law-firm trying to throw foul elbows just stinks to high-hell. It's very "dark-side of the force-ish" from a big firm known for bullying tactics. And after reading this, we expect a nasty C&D  missive from them. Better people have tried. 

Louis Martinez/Renee Gordon.  We know of both of these candidates. They are both experienced, hard working, and will make good judges. You can't go wrong here with either of them becoming a judge. 

Chris Pracitto.  He knows his way around the criminal, DV, and family courthouses (Yes, DV and family are in the same courthouse-this is what is known as literary license). He is experienced and well respected. He knows criminal. He knows civil and he will be a great judge. His name has gone up to the governor and it would be nice to see him appointed. 

Kristy Nunez.  Rumpole says former prosecutors make the best Judges. And Ms. Nunez has been a very good ASA. She will make a good judge. And her opponent...? Res Ipsa Loquitor. 

Olanike Adebayo. We have a fondness for judicial names we can neither pronounce nor spell. But Ms. Adebayo is a very competent lawyer and she has intelligence and talent and will make a great addition to the bench. 

Michael Barket. We don't know a whole lot about Mr. Barket. But we know a whole lot about his opponent and there is nothing much to like about her being a judge. And for perhaps the first time in our career, we use a civil Latin phrase twice in one day. Res Ipsa Loquitor. 

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name

Robs me of that which not enriches him, 
And makes me poor indeed

Othello, Billy Shakes.


Candidates: Don't see your name up here? We didn't receive your check...duh. 

From Free Down-Under, there is a whole world that lives in peace with their elected leaders who they respect and who don't make secret deals with KGB agents and disparage their own war heroes while avoiding military service themselves. 
It's almost enough to make a blogger wonder about a new life in a new land...