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

Sunday, October 13, 2019

NFL WEEK SIX

The survivor pool saw some upsets last week, with KC losing and taking Miguel De La Over down along with Shumie's Ren and Alan Kaiser and Jason Ireland getting knocked out with da Bears losing a see-saw battle with the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders near the old Bailey in London. Eight players are left, including the ever dangerous Mr. Markus. 

The Game of the week has to be the winless Redskins at the winless Dolphins. Our Fins are home dogs at -.35 and are coming off a bye-week. Mortgage the house and bet the rent money on Miami to win one. 

Another "home-dog" we like is the Tampa Bay Bucs +2 over the visiting Panthers. Of course both teams are playing in London, but we still like Tampa. Bruce Arians is a great coach and he is beginning to work his QB whisperer-magic on Winston. 

The Houston Texans march into a buzz-saw named KC who will be a foul mood after disappointing Judge De La O and losing MNF to the Colts. Take the Chiefs and lay the 5 and take the over 55. 

Bengals at Ravens. Cinncy can't win, but they may cover but our pick is the under 48. 

Cowboys at J...E....T...S...Jets Jets Jets, We like another home dog as gang green gets it QB back New York +7 at home and over 43 as Leveon Bell (remember him?) gets back on track. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

TRIVIA

UPDATE: Check out the extra credit question. 
We will start filling in some answers check below. 

Judge K contretemps update: POTUS isn't the only one who has people chasing him for his job. Politicians are jumping on the "Dump Kastrenakis" bandwagon. Way overeaching and over reacting in our opinion. This is a teachable moment. No reason to destroy a very well respected and good judge.  Here is a CBS story on the issue. 
https://miami.cbslocal.com/2019/10/09/state-senator-bobby-powell-calls-investigation-judge-controversial-jury-duty-case/

You were born in the 80's which means we probably do not like you. In our opinion you know nothing about culture and the world. So prove us wrong. Here's some cultural trivia from the 1960s-70's with a few from the 40's and 50's. Politics; sports; entertainment; a few gadgets. 60 questions. No googling. Try it honestly. How many could you get correct? If we were presented with this cold we think we would get 50-55 correct. The gadgets are the hardest. 

Before you get to it, we like the over 41 in the Thursday night game Giants at New England. We might take a flyer on the Gints +16.5 but only for a few Jerseys. 


1) Madame Anna Chennault  -

Our first person is perhaps one of the hardest to identify. Only Rumpole, with his superior knowledge of history and the election travails of the 37th President of the United States (hint hint) knows the answer to this. If you know this, you are already way ahead of your class. Probably less than 5% of the US could identify this fascinating woman of the 1960s.

2) Joe DiMaggio Iconic Yankee Baseball player who married Marilyn Monroe.

3)Abbe Hoffman 1960's radical. 

4) SNCC Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organized sit-ins around college campus's in the 1960's for civil rights and later to protest the Vietnam war. 

5) Huey Newton 1960's black activist who along with Bobby Seale co-founded the Black Panther party which advocated violence in the struggle for civil rights. 

6) Cyrus Vance Jimmy Carter's secretary of State. 

7) Sinclair Early PC.

8) Desert One The rendezvous spot in the desert of Iran where a US helicopter crashed into a plane on the way to an ill-fated recuse mission of US hostages being held in Iran. Ordered by President Jimmy Carter. 

9) Sergeant Shriver

10) Ed Muskie US Senator who ran for VP with Senator Humphrey in 1968 loss to Nixon. 

11) Henry Cabot Lodge Longtime US politician and ambassador from Massachusetts who ran as Nixon's VP in the loss to Kennedy in 1960.  

12) Adlai Stevenson- Ran against Eisenhower twice- 1952 and 1956 and later became Kennedy's ambassador to the UN and was famous for backing down the Russians at the UN by yelling that he was prepared to wait "for hell to freeze over" for his answer to a question. Estes Kefauver beat out Kennedy at the 1956 Democratic National Convention for VP. 

13) Estes Kefauver- A senator who ran an investigation into organized crime and also beat out Kennedy for the VP nomination in 1956.

14) TRS-80- Early Radio Shack desktop computer. 

15) Charlie Finley Flamboyant and publicity loving owner of the feuding but championship Oakland A's Baseball Team who won the World Series in 1972, 1973, and 1974 but fought with his Ace Pitcher Catfish Hunter and slugging outfielder Reginald Martinez (Reggie) Jackson.

16) Betty Friedan 1960s-1970's feminist.  There was a time in our country when being a "feminist" was a career. 

17) Brian Epstein Manager of the Beatles. 

18) Ed Sullivan Had a widely watched Sunday night television variety television show that, as  a sign of the times, showed Elvis Presley only from the waist up when he appeared on the show. Was often imitated for his statement that he had a "really big show" that night. Set records for a TV audience when he had the Beatles on in the 1960's setting off Beatlemania.  

19) Trinitron - Best selling Sony Color TV from the 1970's 1980's.

20) Petula Clark _1960s British Pop singer/songwriter whose hits included Downtown and It's a Sign of The Times. 

21) Christiaan Barnard – Another tough one that gets to the heart of the quiz. South African Heart Surgeon who completed the first hear transplant. 

22) Charles M. Schultz-Creator and illustrator of Peanuts comic strip (Snoopy and Charlie Brown).

23) Ann Landers Wrote a syndicated advice column entitled "Dear Ann". Her twin sister Abby also wrote a separate syndicated newspaper advice column. 

24) Joseph Heller-Author who wrote Catch-22. 

25) Esso - Became Exxon.

26) Ken Kessey- You’re crazy-good if you get this one. Author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. 

27) Ira Levin – You’re scary-good if you know this guy. Author of 1960's horror classic Rosemary's Baby. 
Both books were made into iconic hit movies. 

28) Griffin Bell - Attorney General of the United States 

29) U Thant- Two generals in a row, huh? Secretary General of the UN. 

30) Gayle Sayers  Great Chicago bear running back of the 1960's whose career was cut short by a knee injury. Became close friends with teammate Brian Piccolo who died of cancer as a young man. The story was turned into an iconic made for TV movie tearjerker that ended with Sayers giving the eulogy for his teammate in which he said "I love Brian Piccolo." The unusual twist to the story for the 1960's is that Piccolo was white and Sayers was black and the friendship between a black and white teammate was considered newsworthy enough to make a movie about. 

31) Paul Harvey -……(long pause) Good day! Conservative radio and TV commentator who at the end of his radio report would say "Paul Harvey....(very long pause) GOOD DAY!" He also had a second five minute radio vignette in which he would give details on the surprising background to a well known story and end the report with "....and now you know THE REST OF THE STORY." 

32) Cherilyn Sarkisian – one-word winner here, and maybe “we got you babe” with this one.CHER

33) Betamax- the first system to record TV shows. Introduced by Sony in the 1970's. Was replaced by VHS which gave rise to this business maxim: explorers get slaughtered, settlers prosper- meaning the second product that comes in a new field usually does better than the groundbreaking one. 

34) Lee Iacocca -Chairman of Chrysler who took company through bankruptcy in 1970's and appeared in a series of TV commercials which made him an iconic figure in the 1970's. 

35) Ngô Đình Diệm  President of South Vietnam who was assassinated. 

36) Vida Blue Ace Pitcher on the Oakland A's (see Charlie Finely above). Winner of the Cy Young award and MVP for the all-star game. Pitcher on three straight world series winning teams for the A's 1972-1974. 

37) John Lindsey- Mayor of NYC in late 1960's and frequently discussed as a possible presidential candidate in 1968 and 1972. 

38) Brian Mulroney Conservative PM of Canada in 1980's. The Ronald Reagan of Canada.

39) Roberto Clemente Great Hall of Famer right fielder for Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960's-1970's  who was a great hitter and considered to have the best arm in baseball. A s Puerto Rican he fought for the rights and dignity of black-Hispanic ballplayers and people. Killed while flying relief supplies from Miami to Nicaragua New Years Eve 1972.  Won Batting crown four times, League MVP in 1966, and was world series MVP in 1971. Was first ballplayer to speak in Spanish on network TV when he was interviewed after winning world series in 1971. 

40) Ed White NASA Astronaut killed on the ground in the fire that killed Astronauts Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee in Apollo One. 

41) Maurice Richard- eh?  Montreal Candian superstar hockey forward. Nicknamed the Rocket was first player to score 50 goals in a season and first player to reach 500 goals. Named to list of 100 greatest hockey players of all time. 

42) Howard Cosell Iconic sportscaster (who was originally a lawyer) who rose to fame with his distincitive nasal voice and  sesquipedalian form of speech. Supported Muhammed Ali when he was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War when most everyone else in the media did not, and was an advocate for civil rights. Was on the first trio of Monday Night Football announcers which turned the game into a cultural phenomenom. Based on his voice and arrogant use of his intellect, Cossell was widely despised by other sports reporters and portions of the public who would tune into MNF to curse and yell at the TV based on what Cossell saif. 

43) Red Adair- The heat is on with this quiz. Somehow became famous as an oil-well firefighter. Considered the best at his profession. 

44) Daryl Stingley NE Patriots wide receiver who was paralyzed on national TV when he received a cheap-shot hit by Oakland Raider Jack Tatum who for years refused to apolgize for his dirty hit. 

45) Konrad Adenauer First West German PM during reconstruction after the war.

46) Pete Rose Pugnacious baseball player who became all time hit leader and was on the great 1970's Cinncinnatti Reds "Big Red" baseball team. Banned from baseball for gambling as a manager. Served time in prison for tax evasion. 

47) Henry Aaron Atlanta Braves baseball player who broke Babe Ruth's homerun record of 714. Received mutliple death threats because he was black and was breaking an iconic record. 

48) DynaTac

49) Jim Brown Greatest running back in NFL history. Played for the Cleveland Browns. Became a movie star in 1960's. Civil rights advocates. 

50) Jack Parr Second host of the Tonight TV show before Johnny Carson. Comedian who walked off his show when NBC censors did  not allow him to tell a joke that had the line "water closet" in it (which is a British term for bathrooms). When he returned three weeks later he famously quipped " As I was saying..." and then finished the joke. Is credited with making the late-night televison show host a part of US culture. 

51) Tommie Smith and John Carlos: African American runners  at the 1968 Olympics who during a medal ceremony for the 200m event  (Gold and Bronze) hung their heads and gave an iconic Black-Power-fist-raised salute. 

52) Patty Hearst Daughter of US Newspaper owner Randolph Hearst. Was kidnapped in the 1970's by the Symbionese  Liberation Army (a 1960's 70;s left wing radical organization). Due to the Stockholm Syndrome, she bonded with her captors and robbed a bank. When she was rescued, she was then indicted for bank robbery and represented by F. Lee Bailey. She was convicted at trial and served a short prison sentence.

53) Roberto Duran Great Panamanian Middle weight fighter who beatup and bet opponents through intimidation and hard punches. Nicknamed "hands of stone." Beat popular US boxer and gold medal olympian Sugar Ray Leonard  for the championship, but lost in a rematch several months later, infamously saying "no mas" when he could not handle the speed and taunting of Leonard who trained hard for the rematch while Duran did not.

54) Chet Huntley -If you get this one, good-night! C-Host of the NBC Nightly News with David Brinkley. Their famous signoff "Good Night Dave, Good Night Chet, and Goodnight from NBC news" became so popular that people would watch the news with Walter Cronkite on CBS but switch to watch the two men say goodnight to each other. 

55) Bob Grant Acerbic and top rated  NYC radio talkshow host of the 1960's and 1970's who would scream at callers "Get off my show" and hang up on them. The forerunner of radio shock-jocks.

56) Alan Shephard First American Space. Later walked on the moon. 

57) Bob Gibson Great and intimidating pitcher for the St Louis Cardinals. Won 20 games in a season 4 times, and 19 games twice. Won 3 world series games in 1967. Was a world series MVP in 1964 AND 1967. Only pticher in history to be MS MVP twice.  Had an ERA of 1.12 in 1968 in which he had probably the greatest dominating season of any pitcher in baseball. He was 22-9 and had 268 strikeouts. 

58) Georgy Malenkov

59) Whittaker Chambers- you won't find this answer in a pumpkin patch. Communist Spy who cooperated tetsified against Alger Hiss before the House Unamerican Activities Committee. Hid notes, microfilm and stolen state department papers in a pumpkin and then revealed this to a young energetic congressman/communist hunter named Richard Nixon who was famously photographed in a pumpkin patch in an overcoat "discovering" the papers. 

60) Joseph N. Welch -we end with a tough one. Which may make you ask us if at long last we have no sense of decency left. Counsel for the Army who famously responded to Joseph McCarthy on national TV during senate hearings if at long last he had any decency. Was part of the reason for the downfall of McCarthy. 

Extra Credit: Who was A. Hidell and Edwin Walker? What did they have in common? If you get this without googling, you are at the top of your game "pardnah" (hint) and even Rumpole is impressed. 

1-25: Those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.

25-35: Not bad if you're under 35. Hang your head in shame if you're over 50.

35-45: It's a tough quiz and you hung in there. 

45-55: You might enjoy our four hour lecture- "Nixon, the teenage years." 

55-60: You could have a beer with Rumpole and follow the conversation. 



Wednesday, October 09, 2019

YOM KIPPUR

Courts are closed today in observance of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement for Jews. 
As our life gets more complicated, more busy, more digital, we often struggle to find time for spin classes, yoga, and religion (not in that order).  You could fill a three-page pamphlet with the title of "Great Jewish Athletes of the 20th Century". (Don't start an email avalanche, we know there were plenty, it's a humorous line ). 

Tops among hall of fame pitches in the last century was Sandy Koufax. Kofax was as a great a pitcher you will ever see. Koufax, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Doc Gooden, Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton. Take your pick. But Sandy Koufax was Jewish, and in 1965 his Dodgers were in the world series, often referred to as The October Classic, because it occurs in October. Sometimes Yom Kippur falls in October, like in this year. 
We let Judge Hirsch and his Constitutional Calendar take it from here......

The First Amendment purports to guarantee freedom of religion from encroachment by the federal government.  The Fourteenth Amendment incorporates that guarantee as against the states.  See, e.g., West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943); Hamilton v. Regents of the University of California, 293 U.S. 245 (1934); Meyer v. State of Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923).  

But for freedom of religion to exist in fact, and not merely in contemplation of law, what is required is acceptance and even support in the general community for those whose religious practices differ from those of the general community.  Such acceptance and support cannot be imposed by legislative fiat.  Either they exist as an expression of the American spirit, or they do not exist at all.

On October 6, 1965, Sandy Koufax, the ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff and almost certainly the greatest pitcher in all of baseball at that time, declined to pitch in the first game of the World Series against the Minnesota Twins.  Koufax was Jewish, and the game fell on Yom Kippur, one of the most solemn religious observances in the Jewish calendar.

Dodger owner Walter O’Malley, even with all he had riding on the World Series, backed Koufax’s decision.  “I won’t let Sandy pitch on Yom Kippur under any circumstances,” O’Malley told the press. “I can’t let the boy do that to himself.”  (O’Malley joked to the press that he’d “ask the Pope what he can do about rain on that day.”)

"Nobody said a word. Nobody thought a bad thing about [Koufax],'' said Wes Parker, the Dodgers’ African-American first baseman. "We respected him because he was doing it because of his religion. He was being true to himself.''

"Most people admired Koufax for putting his religion before his job,'' Hall-of-Fame Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said. "It was his decision, and everyone respected it. They understood.''

In Koufax’s absence, the Dodgers gave the ball to Don Drysdale.  But Drysdale didn’t have his stuff that day.  He coughed up seven runs in less than three innings.  When Dodgers manager Walter Alston went out the mound to take out his starting pitcher, Drysdale quipped, “I bet right now you wish I was Jewish too.”

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

JUDGE K AND THE JUROR

Update: We have our finger on the pulse of the South Florida legal community. Rarely does an issue escape our view and review. But we candidly missed this one. 
But your favourite federal blogger who cannot resist slumming in state courts from time to time did not miss it. 
Here is his post at The Hill: We Are Addicted to Jail. Click here. Scintillating writing but no Robert Palmer girls (obscure 80's reference). 
Our country has a serious addiction to jail time.
We issue jail sentences like candy, to address every known problem that we have. Drug problem — jail.  Using your family member’s address to get your child into a better school — jail. Paying college athletes — jail. The United States jails more people than any other country in the world. We have higher incarceration rates than Russia, Iran, and Iraq — by a lot. We tolerate innocent people sitting in jail when we only suspect that they might have done something wrong, as one man did for 82 days when he brought honey into the United States. 82 days.
A contretemps emerged in West Palm Beach last week (Motto: "Not just Mar-a-Lago, we have shopping too!") when Judge John Kastrenakes, who started his career as a top prosecutor in Miami-Dade,  held a juror in contempt for showing up late and sentenced the young man to ten days in jail. 
We stayed out of it, but a reader called us out. And we are very customer friendly, so see below:


I read the Blog ALL the time, love it, but very very seldom comment. I am posting now because I am appalled at the lack of condemnation and outrage expressed by our readers of Judge Kastrenakes; recent reprehensible conduct in jailing a 21 year old for missing jury duty. Even the few comments which were made omitted the important facts - the kid overslept, he had NEVER been in trouble with the law, he lives with, and helps care for his disabled grandfather, the trial was delayed for a total of 45 minutes, and oh, did I mention what I, and everyone else who is honest knew before I checked it out, the kid is African American? This judicial act is an intolerable example of the most insidious form of racism, and without question merited far more than a few random comments on a post related to Judge Slom retiring. Shame on Rumps for not making a separate post, shame on all of us for not calling it for what it unquestionably was, and shame on the JQC if they do not remove Kastranakes. 

Well done loyal reader. We report. You decide. (couldn't write that with a straight face).

UPDATE: Here is Judge K rescinding the sentence, which the reader above does not mention. However, this occurred AFTER the young man did his ten days. Give some credit to the Judge in keeping the gentleman's record clean and vacating the order of contempt. However, the more we learn about this, the more we believe the judge overreacted initially. The young man made a mistake- that's it. 

Monday, October 07, 2019

FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER

Today is the first Monday in October. A day celebrated by legal nerds everywhere as the opening session of the new term at the Supreme Court (Motto: "Not political, except for Bush v. Gore"). 
This season the court has a hot agenda including oral arguments the first week on Gay rights, a second amendment gun case next month, and last week the court  agreed to hear a Louisiana abortion case. 
DOM's blog naturally has an in-depth discussion of two criminal appeals before the court. Something about insanity and unanimous verdicts blah blah blah. Read before bedtime if you have trouble falling asleep. 

On the horizon is  Chief Judge Roberts  presiding over the impeachment trial of the president in the senate before the end of the term. That could throw a monkey wrench into the Supreme Court's schedule. 

JUDICIAL DIVERSITY
Here's a whole of bunch of former ASA's who now wear black every work day. The occasion was the investiture of Judge Lobree at the 3rd DCA this past Friday. 



For what it's worth, the absence of judicial appointments by Governor DeSantis of defense attorneys and PDs is a different kind of lack of diversity that should be discussed. Not every prosecutor is a prosecutor oriented judge (far from it actually) and not every former PD is defense oriented. It is nearsighted to make appointments assuming such nonsense. 

Sunday, October 06, 2019

NFL WEEK FIVE 2019

We are having (for us) a sub-par season picking the games. And today's menu is like being a vegan at a Brazilian steakhouse where they bring platters of meat to your table. But like a criminal court judge assigned to a civil forfeiture calendar, we bravely solider on. 

WIN 😇Cheaters (-11) at Redskins. Longtime and careful readers of the blog know our disdain for the gang from Foxboro. But they have a really really good defense. They have a guy that can toss the rock. And the Redskins are in complete disarray. There are reports their coach has been consuming illegal substances on video, doesn't like the QB they drafted in the first round at 15, and that Colt McCoy will be under center to start the game. Pro tip- always bet against QB's named "Colt". The name is too good to be true. Cheaters -11. 

Two games on local TV are worth a look. The Ravens go to Pittsburgh  which is coming off an impressive win on MNF. Even if both these teams were 0-8, it would be a great game because of the rivalry. Ravens a bit overrated, Steelers are just slightly better than they seem. If the Steelers can run, they can win. They have JuJu and a rookie WR who has two TD catches in the last two games. Mason Rudolph is not Patrick Mahomes or Daniel Jones, but he doesn't need to be. The Steeler D is getting better with the addition of Miami FS Fitz. Lay the three and have an Iron City Beer while watching the game. 

LOSS  😞  Vikes at Gints. Now this is a game we are interested in. Danny-Boy Jones, the  Gints rookie QB has yet to lose in the NFL. He's had a good game and a bad game but he is 2-0. The Vikes QB stunk up the joint last week and then took the blame.  All things being equal, the Vikes should win. But all things aren't equal. Minny has a losing record on the road, outdoors, against teams with winning records. While the NY Football Giants at 2-2 do not have a winning record, they are 2-0 under new QB Jones. The Purple People players have not convinced us that they should be road favourites. Take the NY Jones's +5.5 

WINNER WINNER Chicken Dinner 😀
Bucs at Saints. Are we believers in Tampa Bay? Ummmm…..maybe. Before the season we thought coach Arians would turn around  QB Jameis Winston so we drafted him in our FF league. Then he stunk up the joint and we dropped him and then he caught fire. We like the Bucs, but are they the type of team that wins two hard road games back to back? While their win in LA was impressive, they return to the mean this week. Saints -3.5 in the big easy. Have a beignet at the end of the day and enjoy a good game. 

BTW, the Dolphins will NOT lose today. Guaranteed. 

We lose the loser bowl. 😞
Loser Bowl. Arizona at Cinny. Neither team has a win. Something has to give. Bengals get off the schneid and win and cover -3. 

Survivor League. 
Lots of people picking Philly, Could be a problem. J...E...T....S have to win a game and Philly is the type of team that could underperform. 
Public Pretender sent an email saying they are withdrawing from the league based on "rule changes". Not sure what is bothering them. Not sure about any rule changes. They are invited to make a pick before the 4pm, 8pm, or MNF game. 




IMPEACHMENT
We try and avoid legal chat on Sundays. Unlike Mr. Markus's blog, this is not the place for an intellectual discussion on the common law roots of the hearsay exception or philiosphical dissertations on Rule 17C subpoenas. BUT... here is POTUS's tweet last night:

“I’m hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats! #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY,”

See, here's the thing. President's aren't perfect. They do not know everything. But they should know politics. And if they are facing impeachment, they should know how it works. 
So, umm, Mr. President, we think you should know that ahh...senators aren't impeached. They are removed by a vote of the sentate. Just sayin....

Impeachment: Trump +39 in the house (Meaning right now Trump will be impeached with a 39 member difference for impeachment).  
Senate Trump -2. We think at least two Republicans will vote to remove the president- Senators Romney and Collins with senator Sasse on the fence. 
It's 10-1 against removal (you have to bet 10 dollars to win one if you're betting Trump is removed from office). These odds are subject to change. 

Friday, October 04, 2019

AU REVOIR SAM SLOM

Today judges and lawyers and clerks and bailiffs gathered to wish Judge Sam Slom a fond farewell as he heads to retirement. It was a worthy send off for a Judge who has labored long and hard to make the REGJB a better place. Not only Judge Slom, but his JA and Bailiff- the sui generis Ma-bell, are all headed into retirement. 


There was general merriment- judges sang a song!; some enterprising ASAs made a Slom-App (don't ask); there were some good natured jokes, a wonderful portrait painting procured by Judge Soto that will hang in Judge Slom's courtroom, and bittersweet sadness as Judge Slom heads to a well deserved retirement in another State. We have most likely seen the last of a wonderful Judge. Years from now young lawyers will wander into their first courtroom, wide-eyed, and at some point ponder the portrait of a man they will never know. Such is the river of life. 

We wish Sam Slom a  long and healthy and happy retirement. 
Au Revoir Judge Slom. 

Not Just a Gator, but the first St. Thomas law graduate to take the bench. 




Thursday, October 03, 2019

JUDICIAL COMINGS AND GOINGS AND THE RARE COUNTY SWITCH

Judges are nomadic at times. Shuffling across the legal landscape, JAs and bailiffs in tow, their battered duffle bags slung over their robed shoulders, filled with ceremonial gavels and recognition plaques from places like the "North Dade Nail Salon Association" and the Australian-American Doral Bar Association.  

With that in mind, criminal law practitioners need to know where to go to appear before their favoutire and newly minted circuit court judges. 
Altruists that we are, we provide you, courtesy of the REGJB CJ,  with the latest comings and goings:



Judge Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos took over Div 2 (Fine) on 9/23/19 and will move from courtroom 6-2/ chambers 602 to courtroom 2-7/chambers 217 on November 4th.

Judge Laura Cruz will take over Div 6 (Multack) on 10/21/19 and will be in courtroom 2-10/ chambers 229. 

Judge Bill Altfield will take over Div 20 (Diaz) on 11/4/19 and will be in courtroom 6-2/ chambers 602. 

Judge Gina Beovides will take over Div 15/Walsh on 11/4/19 and will be in courtroom 2-2/ chambers 204-205.

Judge Renatha Frances will be leaving Bonds. Judge Mindy Glazer will be returning.  Exact date TBA. 

Speaking of Judge Frances, she pulled off the rare county-switch, in which the Judge moves to a different county. To pull this off, the Judge has to resign AND get the governor to re-appoint her to a circuit spot in a new county. We are sorry to see Judge Frances go. By all accounts she was and is a rising star and was doing a great job. 

BLOG TRIVIA- In our vast institutional knowledge of the REGJB, we can recall only one other Judge pulling off the rare County-Switch. Name the Judge and where she (hint hint) went. 

While we are at it, name the former chief judge who resigned from the bench, took a sabbatical, returned, and was reappointed and rose to be CJ of the circuit. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

LISTSERV HIJINKS

In violation of article II, section 9, et. seq., of the criminal defense attorneys' code of conduct,  we publish an FACDL Listserv thread.  This will in turn engender much discussion at the next FACDL board meeting, where members who faithfully email us all the gossip they know, will righteously expound upon the evils of Rumpole and his un-regulated blog who refuses to tow the FACDL line. Who says we spend all our time trashing prosecutors and judges? 

The following emails are true. The names have been redacted, because we are not as recklessly mean as we used to be:

The opening salvo- about marijuana which as we all know is a gateway drug to FACDL snipping: 

Hello Colleagues,
You are hereby invited to a free private event tomorrow at 6:30pm in South Miami featuring XYZ , author of the book "WXYZ" and an
authority on the human Endocannabinoid system and how CBD and other Cannabinoids work. As Florida recently legalized Hemp and products derived from Hemp (most commonly referred to as CBD) it is beneficial to become educated about these products. Wine and Cheese will be served! (does nobody besides Rumpole see the perhaps unintended humor in serving food at the event??)

Beyond the above, if anyone has questions regarding Florida Medical Marijuana or Hemp please feel free to contact me off line. Most likely I will be able to answer your questions.

Our Fav FACDL member, a true grouch in the best traditions of Rumpole, was roused out of their fall hibernation to roar: 

This is a purely commercial ad, and should not be permitted on the listserv. Besides, it is advertising items that are still against federal law. Being on the listserv does not mean agreement to accepting every bid to make money, even from members. 

And then the coup de gras by a member who wins the Rumpole award for wit and wisdom:

And I can think of one person who could use a little wine, cheese, and CBD...

Well done all. You brought a smile to our day. 

SIX OPEN SEATS; TWO CIRCUIT AND FOUR COUNTY .....



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A JUDGE .....
          THEN FOLLOW THE BOUNCING BALL .....

CIRCUIT COURT

Judge John Thornton has resigned. This has resulted in an open seat on the Circuit Court.

Judge Renatha Francis has resigned, sort of. The Honorable Judge Francis was first appointed by Governor Scott to the County Court in August of 2017. Scott elevated Francis to the Circuit Court in June of 2018. On Tuesday, Governor DeSantis appointed Francis to an open seat on the Circuit Court bench in the 15th Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach County) to fill the vacancy created by the death of Judge Meenu Sasser.  Open seat Circuit Court.


COUNTY COURT

Judge Sam Slom has resigned. Open County Court seat.

Judge William Altfield has been elevated to the Circuit Court. Open County Court seat.

Judge Gina Beovides has been elevated to the Circuit Court. Open County Court seat.

Judge Laura Shearson Cruz has been elevated to the Circuit Court. Open County Court seat.


The Eleventh Judicial Circuit JNC is going to be berry berry busy these next few months.  If you ever wanted to sit on the bench, now would be a very good time to get your Application submitted.  Just remember that the first two lines of your resume better read: current (or former) ASA/AUSA/AAG; Member, The Federalist Society.


CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com


 

Monday, September 30, 2019

JUDGE THORNTON RESIGNS

Football coaches have coaching trees: assistant coaches who worked under a head coach who then become head coaches in their own right. 

Judge Federico Moreno has a judicial tree. The judiciary is populated with former clerks and law partners of Judge Moreno, who entered private practice after leaving the federal public defenders office and starting the climb to CJ of the SDFLA (county court, where he famously issued a BW for a Dolphins star wide receiver and then wrote on the document "do not arrest on Sundays"; circuit court, federal district court, and a nomination to the 11th Circuit before Bill Clinton upset his plans by beating GHWB). The number of judges on the bench in South Florida who worked with him or as his clerk speaks to Judge Moreno's  influence and caring as a friend and mentor. Foremost in the Judge Moreno judical tree was Judge John Thornton, who along with 3rd DCA Judge Kevin Emas,  was partners with Judge Moreno in private practice in an era before cell phones and eight dollar cups of coffee. 
After a distinsguished career as a circuit court judge, and a couple of brushes with a federal judicial nomination, Judge Thornton has hung up the robes and resigned. As of this writing, the reasons are unknown, but the judiciary and South Florida will miss his wisdom, judicial temperament, and abilities as a wise and experienced judge. We wish him well in his future endeavors. 

SURVIVOR POOL 
The Rams let a lot of players down this week. One player DQ'd and one just got in under the MNF wire. We shall see. 13 solider on to week 5.

GREATEST QUOTE EVER

As state court practitioners begin ten days of reflection and introspection, and federal practitioners plod through their day with the First Amendment prohibitions against Shul and State firmly in place, we provide you with perhaps one of the greatest quotes of all time.

The context is the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs speaking to his team after an unexpectedly difficult win against the emerging Detroit Lions. The win was "ugly" and henceforth this shall define ugly wins:




Congrats to Judge De La O who, after losing the fantasy football  championship to your faithful blogger last year exacted his revenge yesterday and beat us and beat us good. The series isn't over until the fat judge sings.*

Enjoy your day off if you are Jewish and happy new year 5780 or something close to that. 
English Supreme Court ruling on prorogation coming soon. 


* For you millennials, this is a reference to a quote that was said during the 1978 NBA playoff series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Washington Bullets in which the Spurs won the first game. A "large boned" female opera singer was set to sing the national anthem during the final game, and thus the quote. It can be used after the prosecution presents its first witness during trial. Our use of a large judge instead of an opera singer should be viewed solely as humor. Any comparisons to any individual, any judge, any lawyer, any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental and unintended. The phraseology is clearly not politically correct and body shaming is wrong and we are against it.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

NFL WEEK FOUR 2019

A couple of interesting games headline week four in the NFL. Survivor-wise the Rams and Chargers are the top picks in our pool. One of them may lose!

The marquis game is the 3-0 Cheaters heading to Buffalo to take on the surprising 3-0 Bills. Unlike other prognosticators, we will pick the game for you. See below. 

Washington at the Giants. The o/u is 49. We like the Giants -2.5, but being Saquon-less, we like the under 49 even more. 

Panthers at Texans, under 47.5. When somebody on any of these teams finds some O, let us know.

Seahawks at Arizona. We like the Hawks -5 to bounce back. There is an incredible stat about Seattle winning outright when they lost as a favourite the week before (which just occurred). But basically, we do not like Arizona that much.

Chargers at Miami. We like our Fins +15.5 to keep it close. Quite frankly, we like them to win the game outright. Just watch and see. 

Cheaters at Bills. The game of the week. The torching of the pass or the passing of the torch? There is so much to like with the Bills +7, but we just aren't feeling it this week. Soon, but not today. Brady 37-21. 

Jags at Broncos. Jax is in disarray. Denver is not. Lay the three for the hometown Flaccos. 

Rumpole is again marching to a FF victory, but our well known respect for  members of the judiciary will prevent us from disclosing the final score of today's matchup. Judges should never be embarassed is our motto. 

SURVIVOR POOL. Lucy Lew made the pick last week-Cowboys. So she continues. We have verified the email she sent. 
The total pass yards for MNF last week was 563. DOM at 480,  Peter Sautter at 465 made it with 99 yards. Juan Gonzalez at 460 just missed. 
Picks for this week will be posted when the stragglers email their choices. 

STATE COURTS CLOSED MONDAY 
FEDS ARE OPEN

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO OUR JEWISH FRIENDS AND READERS. Monday starts ten days of reflection and introspection ending with Yom Kippur on Wednesday October 9. 




Thursday, September 26, 2019

PROROGATION PART TWO

When we last left you our readers, you were breathlessly following the legal maneuverings of the UK courts dealing with HRH's order Prorogating Parliament until October 14. The High Court of England declined to intervene, ruling the issue political and non-justiciable. There were, however, two cases proceeding simultaneously, and the second case was in Scotland. 

The High Court of Westminster's ruling was hardly unexpected. The lower court in Scotland, The Lord Ordinary,  dismissed the original petition. He found that the PM’s advice to HM the Queen on prorogation was, as a matter of high policy and political judgment and thus  non-justiciable. 


Rare is the Scottish barrister who takes "no" for an answer.  A petition for judicial review was raised by 79 petitioners, 78 of whom are parliamentarians at Westminster, on 31 July 2019, seeking inter alia that it would be unlawful for the UK Government to advise HM the Queen to prorogue the UK Parliament with a view to preventing sufficient time for proper consideration of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit).

Three Judges heard the appeal, just like at the 3rd DCA, but the court is a bit older (by two hundred years or so). 
The Chief Judge, The Lord President, Lord Carloway, decided that although advice to HRH the Queen on the exercise of the royal prerogative of prorogating Parliament was not reviewable on the normal grounds of judicial review, it would nevertheless be unlawful if its purpose was to stymie parliamentary scrutiny of the executive, which was a central pillar of the good governance principle enshrined in the constitution. 

Lord Brodie considered that whereas when the petition was raised the question was unlikely to have been justiciable, the particular prorogation that had occurred, as a tactic to frustrate Parliament, could legitimately be established as unlawful. This was an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities. It was to be inferred that the principal reasons for the prorogation were to prevent or impede Parliament holding the executive to account and legislating with regard to Brexit, and to allow the executive to pursue a policy of a no deal Brexit without further Parliamentary interference.
Lord Drummond Young  (the liberal of the three) determined that the courts have jurisdiction to decide whether any power, under the prerogative or otherwise, has been legally exercised. It was incumbent on the UK Government to show a valid reason for the prorogation, having regard to the fundamental constitutional importance of parliamentary scrutiny of executive action.  The circumstances, particularly the length of the prorogation, showed that the purpose was to prevent such scrutiny. The only inference that could be drawn was that the UK Government and the Prime Minister wished to restrict Parliament from stopping the PM’s hard Brexit plans.
The court held the Prorogation order null and void. According to Scottish court, Parliament was still in session.
COMING NEXT PROROGATION PART THREE: THE SUPREME COURT OF ENGLAND RULES