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

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

AN UNHAPPY ENDING

Wednesday is National Hot Dog day. No word on whether El Chapo CafĂ© will have specials. 
In over thirty years we have never, ever, eaten anything from any of the carts that populate the streets outside of the REGJB.

Query: has any reader eaten a hot dog from a cart outside of the courthouse? Reviews? 

WHAT NOT TO DO:
Dateline- Ohio. 
The Columbus Dispatch reports that attorney Brian W Benbow was in court with a client for a child-visitation matter in December, 2014. In a conference room that had a live video feed that was monitored by courthouse deputies, Benbow put his files and coat on his lap. and then his client's hand underneath the coat. 

A sex act ensued involving the client's metacarpophalangeal joints and the lawyer's intromittent organ. The ending of this union was anything but happy.  Benbow has been suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court for two years. 

Helpful Rumpole practice tip of the day. DO NOT DO THIS. 





Monday, July 16, 2018

FDC AND OTHER THINGS THAT ANNOY US

A STAR IS BORN:
Before we get to FDC, we must say that a blog-star is born. Our intrepid, erstwhile and putative REGJB Juror Mr. Samuel Danzinger, Esq., has left a comment, which we post here with the simple invitation- Mr. Danizger, the blog is yours to use and enjoy. Should you feel so inclined, please email us your thoughts, reminiscences of Dade legal days long gone, and those who wore black robes from that era, and we shall print them-unedited- on the front page, where your ideas and thoughts surely belong. 

Anonymous Samuel R. Danziger said...
Right Hon Horace:
Seek and ye shall find a place to leave a comment. I sought and now found your comment section. First, I have just enjoyed each and every comment. As 5:43 said, I am a retired civil attorney who could not serve while being active with the Florida Bar. Now, second, the 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 magnets come from a firm by the name of Quotable Cards. (http://www.quotablecards.com/our-products/). The firm produces greeting cards, mugs,
magnets, etc and they are sold locally by Whole Foods. You will find a spin rack near their checkout registers although the selection may vary from your taste. In that event, please follow though and contact the firm for information on custom made.
All the best, Sam Danziger


STRAWS SUCK   STINK : (even we couldn't tolerate the pun).
Longtime and careful readers of the blog know that we have continually railed against the use of straws. They are unnecessary and an environmental hazard. The rest of the world has now caught up. Rumpole as a trailblazer once more. 

FDC: WTF? 
First of all, props where due. FDC is the best jail in Miami. You can email and have your clients waiting for. This is big. And we have seen a definite improvement in the staff hustling lawyers in and out, which is also much appreciated. 

But why does FDC need to know the license plate number of our car, as well as the make, model, year and color? It's  total waste of time to fill that stuff out. And how about this- when we take Uber or walk and indicate that on the form, at least half of the time they kick it back and ask us if we own a car and to list it. And this is the ridiculous part. Once the information is written, they do nothing with it. Otherwise they would want to know why a lawyer is driving a 1958 Powder Blue Edsel with the license plate from Alaska of "Trmpstnks"which is generally how we fill out the form. 

Second, we can email our request, why can't we at least have the forms on line or in PDF format so our crack staff can fill them out in our office and thus save us valuable time when we arrive? One might hope that a certain popular and influential blogger who runs a blog about the Southern District Of Florida would join this bandwagon and try and get FDC to allow the forms to be in PDF format on line so they can be filled out before hand. 

And don't even get us started on the locker placement/key issue. And when it is raining, and it is raining a lot these days, there is no place to leave an umbrella. 

Minutiae: 
We are also bothered that Starbucks puts a plastic lid on every cup, even those we drink inside the store. A waste of plastic at a time, environmentally, when we cannot keep doing that. 

Andy Weir's new novel-Atremis- about a lunar colony, is a good summer read. The Martian was great, and we recommend that if you haven't read it yet. 

Also, every now and then it's good for the soul and work to pick up Henry V and give it a re-read. There is nothing better than reading Shakespeare in a cool London Pub on a hot summer day with a pint of their best, or two. Henry V is  Shakes recounting of our England's great victory at the battle of Agincourt. The passions of men about to head into war. The intrigue of the clergy, who manipulated the lust for blood. 

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger.

And of course...
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;

And the words all those who wear black robes, and all those who practice before them should heed: 

Men of few words are the best men.


From Occupied America, once more into the breach dear readers, once more...

Friday, July 13, 2018

MILLAN RESIGNS

Facing an uproar over his conduct, and a Florida Supreme Court not in the mood to tolerate Judicial name calling that has racial overtones, Judge Stephen Millan, who was elected to the Circuit bench, has resigned. 





Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A JUROR WRITES ABOUT BEING A JUROR IN THE REGJB

We received an email from a civic minded citizen who wrote about his recent experience as a juror in the REGJB. As is our wont, we responded asking if we could use the email and if he wanted us to use his name or not. He responded. 

Here is the second email authorizing us to use his name: 

Dear Mr Roark:
     First, I like the blog; you are congratulated, but,  most of all, your contributors must first be congratulated for without them you would just be spitting into the wind.
Now, you may only use my comment exactly as written and only with my name.  As  for civic duty,  be aware that I will be 81 years old in three weeks, have never been 
able to serve before by occupation even though being a resident of Dade County (Miami-Dade, ugh) since 1973.                          
                                                               Samuel R. Danziger

PS:  Apropos yours of WSC, I have a magnetic graphic on my refrigerator -
                                        NEVER
                                        NEVER
                                        NEVER
                                           GIVE
                                              UP
                                             wsc

And here is the first email from Mr. Danziger about his experience as a juror. 

Tuesday for the first time since moving to Dade County in 1973 I was called for Jury duty.
Looked forward to the day.  Reported at 8:30(as usual MetroRail has malfunction so Train was late – good old Dade County)instead of 8AM.  
After a rousing and enjoyable  welcome by Judge Sloan all jurors enjoyed talking, smartphones, generally lounging.
In the AM two panels were called out and then time for the noon break.  
In the PM, around 1:45, all remaining jurors were called and escorted from the 7th floor Juror Pool room to the elevator lobby on the 5th floor.  Put around 30-40 people in that dingy area,
not even enough hard benches to sit on so some sat on the floor(sat on the floor!) 
FOR TWO HOURS.  No word what was going on, NO ONE TO TELL THE ASSEMBLE TO GO BACK
TO THE JURY POOL ROOM. Eventually(@ 3:45) a little woman came to hand out  certificates of attendance, and told everyone to skeddatle. 
Yes sir, good old Gerstein building treatment courtesy of Dade County.  Is it any wonder anyone would opt for excuse rather than attend to a CIVIC DUTY ? 

Dear Mr. Danziger. 
Thank you for serving as a potential juror. We apologize for the inconvenience and uncomfortable surroundings of the fifth floor. We know the Judge responsible for this all-too-common snafu will read this. Perhaps in the future Judges will be more considerate to jurors sitting outside for hours (And on the floor!!). 
You were certainly owed a least a personal thank you by the Judge for keeping you all waiting. But then again, remember, this is a judge we are talking about, so we can only hope for so much. 
Thank you for staying in Dade County all these years when we are sure many of your peers fled north. 
And thank you for contributing to our blog. 
You have done your civic duty X 3. 
Well done sir!
Well done indeed. 

Your obt' srvt
Horace Rumpole, Esq, Blogger. 

PS. Where can we purchase a refrigerator magnet like you have? 


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

OTHER GREAT PREDICTIONS

In light of our "swing and a miss" on the nomination of Judge Hardiman to the Supreme Court, we reflect on failures great and small. 

Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots in his career. Twenty-six times he took the game-winning shot and missed. So failure is part of success. 

10) There's no way Bill Clinton, some hick-governor beats George Bush, a president who just won a war. 

9) I'm not sure Amazon will make it as a stock. 

8) Cameras in cell phones are a fad. 

7) Social media is a fad. 

6) Nobody will eat vegan for long. 

5) Diet beer? Are you kidding me?

4) WTF is Instagram? 

3) I'm sure they'll build a new criminal courthouse in Miami by 1990. 

2) The US will never elect a President with a middle name of Hussein. 

1) I wonder who will serve in the President Hillary Clinton  Cabinet?

The measure of a blogger is not how many times we fall down and fail, but how many times we get back up and blog again. 

COMING TOMORROW: A JUROR'S VIEW OF THE REGJB!

Monday, July 09, 2018

JUSTICE THOMAS HARDIMAN

UPDATE: JUST LABEL THIS UNDER "SOMETIMES WRONG NEVER IN DOUBT"

In the end  it wasn't so much that Judge Hardiman's working class background and now famous cab that he drove throughout law school that  appealed to the President as much as it was the privileged and Bush/DC insider status that turned POTUS off to the front runner Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 
What we known as of 4:26 PM EDST is that Judge Thomas Hardiman, of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, where he happens to serve with another Judge who happens to be the sister of POTUS, will be nominated to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

Judge Kavanaugh didn't even make it to the top two. The runner-up this time around is conservative darling of the religious right- Judge Amy Barrett. But it was Senator McConnell (R-no morals, ideals, or principals) who warned Trump off of Judge Barrett, telling the President that her right wing religious views would lose at least three Republican senators votes which would be more than enough to defeat the Judge. 

The President is notoriously (stupid, feckless) fickle,  could change his mind (or what acts as his mind) in the next few hours. But as of now, the White House is preparing to roll out Judge Hardiman, a reliably conservative vote in the manner of Justice Alito-but less so- in the 9PM TV extravaganza. 

Johnny- tell our contestant what he has won.

"Judge Hardman. Congratulations! You have won an all expense paid relocation to Washington, DC, where you will be given chambers at the spacious Supreme Court located in our nations capital. You will be given a lifetime appointment and will receive your salary to the day you die. You will work from later September through June, and will be able to schedule your summer months with lucrative teaching positions in England, Germany, Australia, or Spain to name but a few of the countries that have universities that will bid for your services. 
But wait! There's more! You will receive a spacious chambers with room for clerks who will read the records, read the briefs, and write your first drafts. You will be invited to lunch by Justice Clarence Thomas where he will regale you with tales of what he is texting during oral argument. 
All of this, and more can be yours Judge Hardiman, if you just go to the Senate and refuse to answer any questions about overturning Roe v. Wade with the response that you cannot comment on hypothetical cases that are not yet before the court. "

From Occupied America, we can fight the power, but if Hardiman is the choice, he is a shoe-in and will garner three to five democratic votes as well. 

MORE PUBLICITY

More publicity for the best legal blog around (yawn). 

Now its the local DBR tagging on to our ground breaking, Pulitzer Prize worthy stories about judicial candidate Elena Ortega-Tauler.

Here is the link but you have to pay them money, or just read this blog for free. 


Sunday, July 08, 2018

SO YOU SAY YOU WANT TO BE A BLOGGER

Favourite legal movies... 
Rumpole's:  "The Verdict." Paul Newman. Miles O'Shea. Jack Warden. James Mason as Ed Concannon the villainous insurance defense attorney-opposing counsel. Paul Newman calls him a "good man" and Warden responds "A good man? He's the prince of fucking darkness. He'll have a dozen people testifying they saw her water-skiing last weekend." Newman's client is in a coma having been given the wrong anesthesia because the doctor mis-read the admitting form.  A legal Rocky story. 

David O. Markus's Fav: "A few Good Men". Rumor has it he watches it on the eve of every trial. 

So you say you want to be a blogger? Enjoy the fame and fortune and the blogging groupies that follow The Captain around posting on Snap-Chat his every move? 

Well now you can. 
Rumpole is off next month to parts unknown. Not England, fair England, she of Wi-fi access in every Pub and Pret-a-Manger
But places like, perhaps Everest, where there's a motor-cycle tour up to and near the bottom base camp. Or, perhaps, the boarder of Thailand and Laos, where once upon a time in a previous century, a young Rumpole wrote movingly of the battles of the Hmong against the Communist. 
Or even the Kamchatka Peninsula, where a dip in the Sea of Okhotsk could restore a battered blogger's soul. 

The point is we are not expecting internet access. We will not be blogging about the pedestrian effluence of our REGJB, the comings and goings of Judges, and lawyers, and defendants and jurors. 

Can you fill the void? Can you step up, like Lou Gehrig did and make Rumpole a modern day Wally Pip?  Maybe fame and fortune await. Life doesn't present many opportunities. This could be one. 

Apply within. 
Howardroark21@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

ENGLAND WINS! HAPPY FOURTH

Rumpole has quietly decamped to the Basil Street Hotel in Knightsbridge, London, where we have escaped the Miami heat, and rooted for the lads, who emerged victorious Tuesday, in a shootout over Colombia. The game was especially exciting, with the Colombian team tying the game in literally the last seconds on a corner kick and beautiful header. Two over-time periods later, the score was still 1-1 and England faced the dreaded shootout, in which the national team has suffered heartbreak in 1990, 1996, and 2006. But Tuesday was different and The Three Lions roared and England emerged victorious. We raised several glasses of stout and sang Rule Britannia and God Save The Queen, and reveled in the victory, even as our fellow revelers in the pub gave little thought to the upcoming anniversary of the loss of the Thirteen Colonies in 1776. 

Fifty years to the day after they signed the Declaration of Independence, Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the last surviving Founding Fathers, passed away on July 4, 1826. When Adams died, he was reported to have said about his old friend, and then rival for the presidency "And Jefferson Lives". Adams did not know that a few hours earlier Jefferson had passed away as well. 

While the pedestrian blogger would be tempted to quote "we hold these truths to be self evident..." we are far from pedestrian. 
Instead, as the times dictate, we publish the portion of text that talks about when it is the right and duty of citizens to rise up and abolish governments that "becomes destructive". (Hmmmmm, what governments  have recently become destructive by separating children from their families, and glorifying ignorance over science by denying global warming?)

Words from a time well gone that have special relevance today. 

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

From Free England, from whence the colonies once broke free, and where now the English once again, along with the French and Germans (but not America), light the darkness of oppression with the principles of freedom and humanity, fight the power!





Monday, July 02, 2018

THINGS THAT BOTHER US

There is a sign in the Broward County Main Jail (yes, Rumpole has been there recently. Don't ask. The whole county gives us the willies) that informs attorneys that they cannot hand anything to their client, including a business card. Then the sign says this "Attorney, wishes to leave any information such as telephone number or other pertinent information..." and it goes on to tell the lawyer how to do so. 
Did anyone proof read this? It should read, we think, "Attorneys who wish to leave..." But it doesn't. And this isn't a hand-written sign. It's an official one made at some factory or what-have-you. It should be embarrassing to the jail, but it being Broward, they don't care. 

IPADS: But speaking of Broward, want to bring your Ipad into the Broward jail to make notes during your meeting with your client? Go right ahead. Just bring it in. Want to bring your Ipad into the Dade County Jail and if your last name isn't Ovalle, then sure, just do the following: 1) Call a number that won't be answered; 2) Send an email to an account that isn't active;  3) Obtain the permission of various captains, lieutenants, majors, shift commanders, who will then approve it and leave a letter authorizing you to bring your Ipad in. Approximate elapsed time from beginning to end- eight months. Then on the big day, none of the paper work is available, the corrections officers on duty look at you like you've lost your mind, they claim none of the people on your copy of the paperwork even work at the jail, and they open a criminal investigation into you smuggling contraband into the jail. Or you can just call David Ovalle and ask him to come with you. 

CALLING THE DADE PDS:
This is a fun one. If you want to waste your day and try and get a Dade County PD to answer their phone after you call 305-545-1600, here is a brief synopsis of what will occur (there isn't enough space on the web to detail all the indignities you will go through):

Do we want general information? No, we will not be going to the website to get general information. Nice try. 

The interesting part when you punch all the buttons (English? yes, Spanish? No; Creole? No, etc) is that a woman's voice warns you that if you are not a CLIENT calling to discuss your case, then no one will assist you. 
Hmm...we thought to ourselves. This is interesting. We aren't a client. We are calling to speak to an assistant PD to actually tell them something about a case that will assist them. 
What if a judge was calling? Well, our care and concern about the judiciary is well documented, so we have no dog in that fight. 
Well, we thought, lets just see what the assistant says when they pick up. 

Oh..we are such optimistic, pie-in-the-sky-dreamers! 

We are then told that if we have our assistant public defenders number, to please hang up and call them directly. Okay. Makes sense. But consider this, from a vaunted legal theorist and advocate- IF WE HAD THE NUMBER OF THE ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER WE WANTED TO SPEAK TO, WE WOULD NOT BE CALLING THE MAIN NUMBER GENIUS. 
Just sayin... 

Next we are told that a "call center specialist" would assist us shortly. 
Hmmm...this could be bad. Are we being re-directed to India, where a majority of "call center specialists" work for 22 cents an hour? We've never met a PD call center specialist? Have you? 

Happy Hour Interlocutor: "Hi what do you do?"
PDCCS: "I'm a PD call center specialist"
HHI: "Sounds interesting."
PDCCS: "It's not as exciting as it sounds."

Our day dream is interrupted by a message : "thank you for your patience as we assist other callers …
Ah.... the end is near. 

We called from our car. Twelve minutes later, after two messages apologizing for the delay, we switched to our cell, and walked into the Starbucks, our Bluetooth headset firmly in our ears and working well. 
More apologies. More music. More everything! Except a person. 
The PDs office must have more callers than....Amazon; The Pentagon; The Impeach Donald Trump Hotline; Whatever. 

Actually we have another, more fascinating theory: Is it possible that Mr. Martinez's office is more technologically advanced than we suspected? Were they able to access our cell phone, get our name, compare it with their client list, see we are not a client, and send us into phone purgatory because as we were first warned, if we were not a client calling about a case, no one would help us? 
It's very "Big Brotherish" 

So dear readers, there you have it. The petty, picayune, annoyances that your blogger experiences on a daily basis. 

Let's let the same person who wrote the sign in the Broward Jail sign is off:
"From Occupied. American. Fight the, Power. "

GET A LIFE

We received this comment over the weekend:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Why does Rumpole take the weekend off - and not put up comments.

Come on Man. I check it a hundred times for updates on Saturday and Sunday.

Please comply - or I’m going to start following the civil courthouse and Flagler Street.

Help!
Sunday, July 01, 2018 1:33:00 PM

Rumpole to Anonymous: Get a life. 

Coming soon (hopefully today) Kennedy and Casey: A brilliant legal analysis of one of Justice Kennedy's impactful opinions by the best legal blogger on earth. 



Thursday, June 28, 2018

JUDGE MORENO MAKES SHORT LIST FOR SUPREME COURT

Judge Federico Moreno, a US District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, has made President Trump's short list for the Supreme Court. His name, with several others, has made most of the media stories about the short list. 

DOM and his federal blog notes that if selected, Judge Moreno would be the first Supreme Court Justice from Florida who also is  "A Venezuelan, a former practicing criminal defense attorney, a former assistant Federal Public Defender, and a UM Law Grad."

What DOM left out is that Judge Moreno would also be the first former Miami-Dade County Court Judge to serve on the Supreme Court. He also would most likely be the first Supreme Court Justice to have previously presided over a DUI trial. Not to be overlooked is that Judge Moreno would also be the first Supreme Justice who presided over a trial that Rumpole won. 

For those of you who have never lived in a world without a Starbucks on every corner, Judge Moreno was nominated to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by President George Herbert Walker Bush. However, when Clinton beat Bush, Judge Moreno's nomination was not resubmitted and he has served with distinction as a District Court Judge in South Florida, including a term as Chief Judge.
If...and "if" is always a difficult proposition, but IF Judge Moreno had made it to the Court Of Appeals in 1992, then it is very likely he would have been the first Hispanic Justice of the  Supreme Court. But that did not happen.

While there is no better Judge on the list, or any list, to serve our Country on the Supreme Court, we -unfortunately- think it is unlikely that Judge Moreno will be chosen. Trump has indicated his desire for a judge to serve 40 years, and that probably excludes Judge Moreno. BUT, on the other hand, if the President wanted to make a choice that would be almost unanimously praised, and who would garner votes from many Democratic Senators, then Judge Moreno is the choice. 

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and President Trump has the ability to make the correct choice with Judge Moreno. 



Monday, June 25, 2018

THE WISDOM OF JOHN ADAMS

The second president of the United States, one of the founding fathers of the country, was a smart and accomplished man. He was the first vice president of the United States and was an accomplished diplomat, serving as ambassador to the Dutch Republic, Great Britain, and helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War. 
Adams was a member of the Continental Congress, where he met and worked with his future rival for the Presidency- Thomas Jefferson. When Jefferson defeated Adams, Adams sent him a note wishing him a successful term in office, to which Jefferson did not respond, starting a feud that lasted twelve years.
Although their feud eventually ended, their correspondence was infrequent and their rivalry continued. When Adams died on July 4, 1826, some of his last words were "Jefferson Lives". Adams was unaware that his friend and rival had passed away a few hours before him. Two of the most important founding fathers died on July 4- 50 years to the day they signed one of the most important documents in the history of the world. 

Adams knew the power of the written word, and knowing that Jefferson was a far better writer than he was, Adams predicted that he would fade from memory over time, while Jefferson's legacy through the written word would endure. 
Of course Adams was wrong, and one of his most enduring statements was:
"We are a nation of laws, not men."  which he embodied in the constitution of Massachusetts in which he authored the phrase  that the Commonwealth was a "Government of Laws not Men."

Which brings us to the most repugnant iteration of Adams and Jefferson- our current president who said over the weekend that immigrants seeking asylum in our country should be deported without a hearing before a judge:

“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,”  The president then said our system was a "mockery" to "good immigration law."

It is true our system may be a "mockery" to some. But it is a beacon of the principle that we are a nation of laws not men, and that we were founded on the principle that all men are created equal. 

It's just that when comparing our current president to Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Reagan, Bush I, and Obama, et.al, some men are more equal in terms of intelligence than others. 

From Occupied America, where the President is now calling to close our immigration courts- and this is one more step on the path to book burning, imprisonment for espousing opposing ideas ("lock her up!") and finally a dictatorship, Fight The Power!

At various times we have received comments and emails questioning what we mean by "Occupied America" and "Fight the Power!"
Now that we have a president who is trying to shut down a court system and create a nation of men not laws, you know what we mean by Occupied America- we are occupied by a narcissistic man of limited intelligence and his followers who are equally self obsessed and lacking self esteem and poorly educated.  
And the "Power" we fight is nothing less than evil ignorance seeking to end our democracy.

But fear not. In the word of elder sages, "We shall overcome!"

Sunday, June 24, 2018

WHAT RUMPOLE IS READING

As the summer doldrums begin,  no clients, no trials, hours spent in a quiet office dreaming of cooler climates, a blogger's thoughts turn to books. 
This is what Rumpole has been and will be reading this summer: 

What we have read so far: 

First- Chasing Hillary by Amy Chozick. A funny, fascinating story about a woman who first met Clinton as a teenager, who became the NY Times reporter assigned to Clinton's last two presidential campaigns. The tension between her admiration for Clinton, and her fair reporting which caused the Clinton team to shun her in a very "Trumpian" manner, makes this the best political book of the year. 

The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Fin.  A Hitchcock inspired "rear window" quick psychological thriller. Strictly beach or airplane material, but still a very fun and fast read. 

A Season in the Sun- The Rise of Mickey Mantle, by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith.  It's been so long that the memory of one of the very best to ever play the game is fading. This will re-kindle any baseball fan's knowledge of one of the greatest players, who's career was hampered by a myriad of injuries (ACL tears) that today could have been repaired. We can only imagine what Mantle could have done if he played the game on knees that worked. Still, his stats are, in retrospect, surprising for just how great he was. 

Grant, by Ron Chernow. Perhaps America's greatest General. An underestimated president and thinker. One of our best biographers turns his considerable talent to one of our most underrated leaders. A big book that covers a big life. 

Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kapur.  You don't read poetry you grumble. You should. Poetry is life. And this young woman is a genius. Pure and simple. This is a book you should not miss. And if you are not a millennial, there is some young adult or teen in your life, especially a young woman, who will treasure this book if you are smart and kind enough to give it to her. Do yourself a favor and take a break from life and read this book. 

On Deck:

Lincoln's Last Trial, by Dan Abrams and David Fisher.  The lost transcripts of Lincoln's last trial and his defense in a murder case to boot! A criminal defense attorney's dream book ( we hope). The reviews are great. 

Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson, Isaacon wrote "Jobs" the biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Now he writes a biography about another historical genius. Count us in. 

Alone, by Michael Korda. The cover says "Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk. Defeat into Victory." That's all we need to see to buy this book.  All Churchill and England did in 1939-1941 was stand alone against tyranny in the world. They may well have saved freedom for the rest of the 20th century. We've read 50 plus books on this subject. And it's never enough. 

That should keep our readers going for the next few months. And for those of you that wear black robes at work, we are sure most of these are available as audible audio books, since we realize reading is not your thing. 

From Occupied America, where we don't yet burn books, (but we do rip infants from the arms of their mothers) Fight The Power!

Friday, June 22, 2018

ASA BILL HOWELL RETIRES

He quietly put together a long and distinguished career as one of the best prosecutors and trial lawyers at the Dade State Attorneys Office handling the most serious murder and death penalty cases. He was fair and hard working  concerned about both victims and defendants. Defense attorneys frequently learned too late that  his disarming southern drawl was something jurors loved. 

Today Bill Howell retires and Miami loses yet another experienced prosecutor who served this community for decades and made a difference. 

There is a goodbye party this afternoon at American Social on Brickell. Readers should come by and wish Bill well. He was one of the really good guys and he will be missed. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

CALL TO ACTION

Readers, this is why we are lawyers. To see wrongs, and make them right. 
This is an email from Ms. Arias from FACDL:

"There is simply no humane way to detain families. Asylum seeking families should be given due process, not expedited removal. And the end of the road must be the end of family detention entirely." - Victor Nieblas Pradis, Former AILA President

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

No matter what your politics, it’s time to get out and help immigrant families. Also, beware of any proposed bills that claim to end family separation at the border. Many of the provisions in these bills specifically take away safeguards in the law to protect the children as we currently have in place and also EXTEND the period of CBP detention in “cages”, “chain-linked enclosures,” “chain-link fenced cells” from 72 hours to up to 30 days for children, no matter what the ages. What we need is boots on the ground both here in Miami at at the various border detention centers.

So many of you have reached out to me personally, by FB, by email, by phone, begging for information on how to help the families detained at the border. I want to provide you some quick ways to help both financially and with volunteer efforts. I will be putting together a training to held in July specifically for those who may wish to learn how to help and then take a 5-day trip to the Border Detention Centers to help on bond hearings, asylum interviews, case-prep, translation, etc. The 5-day trip is put together with the help of CARA — a collective made up of The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Hence, the acronym CARA.

I sincerely hope you can either donate money, volunteer to work, volunteer to assist remotely (yes, that too can be done), and realize that help is also needed LOCALLY. Family separation happens in immigration court locally EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day in immigration courts in BTC and Krome, Bond Hearings get denied and mothers and fathers are separated from their children for prolonged periods. This has a lasting negative impact on the children’s wellbeing, and on their development. If you are interested in volunteering at the local level, please sign up with AIJ here or with Catholic Legal Services of Miami here.



If you are interested in volunteering to head to the border yourself, the CARA ProBono Project is always recruiting volunteers. They train you, they give you specific expectations, you work, then you leave the case and the next set of lawyers pick up where you left off. See below.

CARA Project is currently recruiting volunteers indefinitely.
The greatest need is for attorneys, law students, and paralegals with interest and experience in asylum work. The project also encourages and appreciates the participation of return volunteers from both Artesia and Dilley, with their vast experience working in a family detention setting. To provide effective assistance to our clients and to have a meaningful experience, we recommend volunteers to either be fluent in Spanish or consider collaborating with an interpreter. Compassion, endurance, resilience, flexibility, and the commitment to ending the insidious practice of family detention are required for every volunteer. To volunteer, please complete the Dilley Volunteer Sign-up Form. To learn more about the Dilley Pro Bono Project, and how you can help, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Caya Simonsen at caya@caraprobono.org.

I hope this information is helpful to you. The criminal defense bar is in a particularly great position to help since you are all litigators and have a much better grasp of advocacy than some transactional attorneys who may have never been involved in adversarial hearings and the like.

God bless every one of you and I hope you will help in any way you can.

Best,

Maggie Arias
Partner