WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

JUDGE FLEUR LOBREE, THIRD TIME'S A CHARM .......


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN .......

Can you say roller coaster ride. If you are Fleur Lobree, you must be on top of the world right about now.

Our loyal Blog readers know that she has been a member of The Florida Bar for 26 years. She spent most of her time in the Appellate Division of the State Attorney's Office where she became a highly respected appellate attorney. Then she decided to throw her hat into the JNC interview process.

By all accounts, it went really well. I say that because she made it to the Governor's desk on her first try, for an open County Court seat, in 2011. In fact, Lobree was Governor Scott’s first judicial appointment in Miami-Dade County. Of course, getting appointed to an open seat means you have to run in the next scheduled election. So, now County Court Judge Lobree needed to win with the voters. She was hoping, of course, to draw no opposition, and earn a full six year term on the County bench.

No such luck. With a name like Fleur Lobree, she was easy pickin’. Attorney Michele Alvarez Barakat filed against "Incumbent" Judge Lobree and proceeded to trounce her on election day. And we are not just talking trounce. We are talking Jaguars v Dolphins playoff game trounce; (62-7 if my memory serves me correctly). Lobree lost in the most lobsided judicial election (involving an Incumbent that lost) in Miami-Dade County history. The final score: Barakat 71% and Lobree 29%.

The story gets better. The Lobree v. Barakat contest was playing out during the summer election season of 2012. At the same time, there came an open seat on the Circuit Court bench. Lobree is no dummy, and realizing she was in the midst of a hotly contested election to retain her seat, and that she "could" lose, she applied for the open Circuit Court seat.

Another interview with the JNC came calling, and they still loved her. That’s because her name was again chosen and sent to Governor Scott. By the time Scott conducted the interviews of the six finalists, Lobree had already lost the August 2012 election to Barakat. She was scheduled to hand over her gavel on January 2, 2013 and return to the practice of law. Amazingly, Scott again chose Lobree and this time Lobree was named a Circuit Court Judge. So, in an amazing twist of events, the voters voted her out of a County Court seat whilst at the same time the Governor promoted her to a Circuit Court seat.

So, with her new Circuit Court gavel, she was back in business by March of 2013, after taking an unpaid 60 day vacation. This time, everyone warned Lobree. With that name, she needed to start campaigning early and she needed to start raising money early. Whatever she did, it didn’t work. Since getting her Circuit Court appointment in March of 2013, in a period of one year, she raised only $17,500 from 86 contributors. She did pluck down $100,000 of her own money in November/December of 2013.

Meanwhile, attorney Mavel Ruiz, who had made her intentions known about running for a Circuit Court seat, waited and watched as Qualifying Week played out. First, Ruiz filed for Circuit Court in Group 27, in September of 2013. In October of 2013, Ruiz jumped out of Group 27 and into Group 58. Ruiz jumped ship again, and on April 18, 2014, she switched to Group 70. Finally, at 10:52 AM on the final day of qualifying, she jumped into a new race. This time, she filed against now Circuit Court Judge Fleur Lobree.

In August of 2014, the voters spoke once again. This time Lobree ran a much closer race, but Mavel Ruiz beat Lobree by 54% to 46%.

Back to the State Attorney’s Office Appellate Division one more time for Ms. Lobree. She once again bided her time, and when 3rd DCA judges began leaving in droves, (first it was the resignations of Judge Leslie Rothenberg and Judge Richard Suarez; then it was Judges Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck moving on up to the Supreme Court), Lobree applied for all of those open seats.

The 3rd DCA JNC sent Lobree’s name up (along with Judge Gordo) and eventual nominees Judges Hendon and Bronwyn Miller to Governor Scott. When Lobree did not get the nod from Governor Scott this time around, she didn’t give up still. She applied to the JNC again and once again her name went up this time for Lagoa and Luck’s seats.

Finally, last Thursday, April 25, 2019, Judge Fleur Lobree became a Judge for the third time. All three appointments, to County Court, Circuit Court, and now the 3rd DCA, came without her ever winning before the voters of Miami-Dade County.

Judge Lobree is by all accounts very intelligent and highly respected in appellate circles. Judge Lobree has proven the old adage - if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. We wish her the best this time around - as the proverb says: "third time's a charm". 

IN OTHER COURTHOUSE NEWS .....

The 11th Circuit JNC has met and sent twelve names to Governor DeSantis to replace recently named Circuit Court Judges Michelle Alvarez Barakat (how ironic that Alvarez Barkat gets named to the Circuit Court four weeks before Lobree getting named to the 3rd) and Tanya Brinkley. Your next two County Court Judges will come from the following list of names:

Karl S. Brown
Elsa Maria Fernandez
Peter Heller
Zachary James
Scott Janowitz
Arya Attari Li
Steven Lieberman
Jonathan Meltz
Griska Mena
Julie Harris Nelson
Christopher Pracitto
Stephanie Silver

The Governor will name the two replacements within the next 60 days.

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


Monday, April 29, 2019

JUDGE MARI SAMPEDRO-IGLESIA RESIGNS

Judge Mari Sampedro-Iglesia, who served in the Unified Childrens Court, unexpectedly resigned this past Friday. She had recently confirmed to the Captain that she was planning to run for re-election in 2020. 

It's a long road that has no turns.

What was the Childrens Court before it was unified? Un-unified? And what did that mean? 

So if you wanna be a circuit court judge (and what county court judge doesn't?) then by our rough count, you now have two opportunities, with the opening of Judge Gordo's spot (upon her ascention to the 3rd DCA and the FIU fairgrounds) and now judge MSI's spot. 

Blog trivia: Name a judge that resigned from both the state and federal bench for other opportunities? The former judge is still practicing today. 

Janet Reno once told us that this Judge tried more cases in one year than any other judge she had seen. 



Friday, April 26, 2019

FASHION ACCESSORIES IN THE JUSTICE BUILDING

OWNER'S NOTE:  Even after all these years, many of you do not know how a blog works. We have multiple individuals who can write a post. You can see the author of the post at the bottom by the comments button. Mr. Scott Saul wrote this post. The opinions expressed are his own and are not endorsed in any way by the proprietor of this blog. 
Also, a blog-practice re-fresher: WE DO NOT WRITE THE COMMENTS. Thus when you read a comment, and then have a loud conversation about an offensive comment in the El Chapo Café in which you say "I don't know how Rumpole can write such things" you are illustrating your ignorance of blog operations and perhaps this forum is too complicated for you and the Cartoon Channel or TMZ is more your comfort level. 


So, you’ve put away a couple of shekels and now you want to make a fashion statement in the courthouse.  For men, the accessory is usually the exalted "luxury watch". For women,  it looks like it’s either handbags or jewelry (DISCLAIMER, I'm inept at speaking on behalf of the ladies. I’ll try to get a consultant before I finish this post.). What’s the best way for a lawyer to announce their presence in the building? To get some recognition? To make a fashion pop?

I like watches and I’m a confessed “watch snob”. Dress watches should have a pizzazz factor yet, also maintain an aura of elegance. Obviously Patek Phillipe represents the crème de la creme. The iconic Rolex I love but keep away from those 80’s-90’s nouveau riche models. The sport models are best, leave the Presidentials and Datejusts to the pinkie ring wearers jamming to Huey Lewis & the News. Panerai’s are okay. I don’t get Breitlings since, for the same money, I’d get a Rolex.  Audemars Piguet are great (if it’s the Royal Oak Offshore) but I don’t understand the whole Hublot thing.  Ulysses Nardin looks good on paper, but not such a big deal on the wrist. Vacheron Constantines are exquisite. IWC’s Big Pilot is as classy as it is macho. Steel Omega Seamasters and Speedmasterare fantastic   All gold compliments a dark suit quite well. All stainless steel is versatile and utilitarian. Two-tones...what, you couldn’t afford the all gold?


I’m a watch geek, if you wear something interesting,  I see you. Yea, I’ve noticed that ASA rocking the all gold Sub.  Bentley in the back of lot 26, you’ve got good taste.  Mr. New Yawk, I recognize your horological rotations.  Miami Beach skinny guy, I’m definitely in awe of your Nautilus. Cigar-smoking,  dark-colored Mercedes, Hublot dude, you're being monitored.  Diesel BMW, I'm onto your over-sized Date Just. Bow-tie guy, your Apple watch is duly noted. Well-to-do lawyer that's now a  judge, I see your gold presidential (you must have Huey Lewis on your playlist).   

Back to the women, my wife is currently giving me the silent treatment, so I've lost my consultant. I have noticed that classy women like those steel Michelle watches with the diamonds.  Also, there seems to be a movement to wear reversed men's Rolex's (is that a penis envy thing?)   For the superior gender, it is obvious that purses are quite the big deal (some of you carry multiple ones) but, I don’t profess to having my finger on the pulse and need assistance for any semblance of a fashion assessment.

Look,  I'm just giving a snide opinion, I'm hardly a fashion anything but, I'm willing to learn. So, here’s the inquiry that I’m looking for feedback on. What accessories make the best fashion statements for... of course... the legal-eagle crowd? 

You have an extra $1000, what would you get? 
How about for $10,000?  $50,000? 
What impresses you the most? 
What compliments your outfit the most? 
What is in? 
What is out?  
What is timeless?
What fashion accessory, on the opposite sex, turns you on?
What fashion accessory on a lawyer takes them up a notch?   
If you were awarded the coveted title of Mr. or Ms. RGJ building, what would you accessorize with your crown, tiara or sash? 
What am I completely off-base about?    


Thursday, April 25, 2019

GOVERNOR DESANTIS NAMES TWO NEW 3RD DCA JUDGES


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

YOUR TWO NEWEST 3RD DCA JUDGES .....

ARE:

JUDGE MONICA GORDO
Judge Gordo has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1999. She spent 11 years at the State Attorney's Office before getting elected to the Circuit Court bench in 2010 besting Robert Kuntz.  She was reelected in 2016 without opposition.

FLEUR LOBREE
Three times a charm.  Appointed to the County bench in 2011 by Governor Scott, she lost in her election to Michelle Alvarez Barakat in 2012 (71% to 29%).  Appointed again by Scott to the Circuit Court bench in 2013, she lost in her bid to hold that seat, in 2014, to Mavel Ruiz (54% to 46%).  She has spent most of her career as an appellate attorney at the State Attorney's office in Miami.

Will be announced today at a press conference at 2:00 PM when Governor DeSantis will personally introduce the two newest appointments at the Alan Schwartz Atrium at the Third District Court of Appeal.

Our sources are buzzing. They first alerted us to the fact that, on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Tallahassee, Governor Scott’s Legal Counsel interviewed the nine finalists to replace Justices Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck who were both elevated to the Florida Supreme Court. Those interviewed included:

Hon. Monica Gordo
Christopher Johnson
Hon. Timothy Koenig
Fleur Lobree
Oren Rosenthal
Eduardo Sanchez
Ann St. Peter Griffith
Hon. Daryl Trawick
Hon. Lisa Walsh

Now our sources have confirmed the surprise Press Conference later today.

The two newest jurists will join freshly appointed 3rd DCA Judges Eric Hendon and Bronwyn Miller who were both appointed by Governor Scott on his way out the door in late December of 2018.

COUNTY COURT

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A COUNTY COURT JUDGE .......

On March 27, 2019, Governor DeSantis named Judges Michelle Alvarez Barakat and Tanya Brinkley to the Circuit Court (replacing Judges Hendon & Miller - see above). With those two appointments, that opened up two seats on the County Court.

The 11th Judicial Circuit JNC will interview 19 attorneys and then send up to 12 names to Governor DeSantis. A total of 27 attorneys applied to the JNC, but eight failed to make the cut. Those scheduled for an interview on Monday, April 29th include:

 
8:00 a.m. Karl S. Brown
8:10 a.m. Miguel J. Chamorro
8:20 a.m. Ritamaria Gonzalez Cuervo
8:30 a.m. Elsa Maria Fernandez
8:40 a.m. Blanca Torrents Greenwood
8:50 a.m. Peter S. Heller
9:00 a.m. Zachary N. James
9:10 a.m. Scott M. Janowitz
9:20 a.m. Jeffrey M. Kolokoff
9:40 a.m. Gale Lewis
10:30 a.m. Arya Attari Li
10:40 a.m. Steven Lieberman
10:50 a.m. Jonathan Meltz
11:00 a.m. Griska Mena
11:10 a.m. Julie Harris Nelson
11:20 a.m. Christopher Pracitto
11:40 a.m. Kayla Riera-Gomez
11:50 a.m. Melissa Roca Shaw
12:00 p.m. Stephanie Silver


NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL .......

The Florida Legislature has been in session since March 5th and they are scheduled to adjourn sini die on May 3rd. Several bills have passed both the House and the Senate and have been sent to Govenor DeSantis’ desk for his signature. This week, DeSantis received Senate Bill 96, which amends, among other things, F.S. 843.19: the injuring, disabling or killing of a police, fire, or SAR canine or police horse. Those crimes would go from a third degree felony to a second degree felony if DeSantis signs the bill into law.

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

3D DCA PICKS ARE IN

We have two ways to announce your two new 3d DCA Judges. 

1) We can go this way:
OH MY LORD-O 
Your two new Judges are Lobree and Gordo

OR 

We can play off the upcoming NFL draft tonight and do this:

With the First Pick in the 2019 3d DCA judicial draft, the governor selects...
Fleur Lobree, (R) Dade State attorneys Office. 

With the second pick in the 2019 3d DCA judicial draft, the governor selects....

Monica Gordo, (R) Circuit court. 

Which is better? 

GOVERNOR DESANTIS TO NAME TWO NEW THIRD DCA JUDGES TODAY AT 2:00 PM


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

YOUR TWO NEWEST 3RD DCA JUDGES .....

ARE:

JUDGE MONICA GORDO
Judge Gordo has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1999. She spent 11 years at the State Attorney's Office before getting elected to the Circuit Court bench in 2010 besting Robert Kuntz.  She was reelected in 2016 without opposition.

FLEUR LOBREE
Three times a charm.  Appointed to the County bench in 2011 by Governor Scott, she lost in her election to Michelle Alvarez Barakat in 2012 (71% to 29%).  Appointed again by Scott to the Circuit Court bench in 2013, she lost in her bid to hold that seat, in 2014, to Mavel Ruiz (54% to 46%).  She has spent most of her career as an appellate attorney at the State Attorney's office in Miami.

Will be announced today at a press conference at 2:00 PM when Governor DeSantis will personally introduce the two newest appointments at the Alan Schwartz Atrium at the Third District Court of Appeal.

Our sources are buzzing. They first alerted us to the fact that, on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Tallahassee, Governor Scott’s Legal Counsel interviewed the nine finalists to replace Justices Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck who were both elevated to the Florida Supreme Court. Those interviewed included:

Hon. Monica Gordo
Christopher Johnson
Hon. Timothy Koenig
Fleur Lobree
Oren Rosenthal
Eduardo Sanchez
Ann St. Peter Griffith
Hon. Daryl Trawick
Hon. Lisa Walsh

Now our sources have confirmed the surprise Press Conference later today.

The two newest jurists will join freshly appointed 3rd DCA Judges Eric Hendon and Bronwyn Miller who were both appointed by Governor Scott on his way out the door in late December of 2018.

COUNTY COURT

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A COUNTY COURT JUDGE .......

On March 27, 2019, Governor DeSantis named Judges Michelle Alvarez Barakat and Tanya Brinkley to the Circuit Court (replacing Judges Hendon & Miller - see above). With those two appointments, that opened up two seats on the County Court.

The 11th Judicial Circuit JNC will interview 19 attorneys and then send up to 12 names to Governor DeSantis. A total of 27 attorneys applied to the JNC, but eight failed to make the cut. Those scheduled for an interview on Monday, April 29th include:

 
8:00 a.m. Karl S. Brown
8:10 a.m. Miguel J. Chamorro
8:20 a.m. Ritamaria Gonzalez Cuervo
8:30 a.m. Elsa Maria Fernandez
8:40 a.m. Blanca Torrents Greenwood
8:50 a.m. Peter S. Heller
9:00 a.m. Zachary N. James
9:10 a.m. Scott M. Janowitz
9:20 a.m. Jeffrey M. Kolokoff
9:40 a.m. Gale Lewis
10:30 a.m. Arya Attari Li
10:40 a.m. Steven Lieberman
10:50 a.m. Jonathan Meltz
11:00 a.m. Griska Mena
11:10 a.m. Julie Harris Nelson
11:20 a.m. Christopher Pracitto
11:40 a.m. Kayla Riera-Gomez
11:50 a.m. Melissa Roca Shaw
12:00 p.m. Stephanie Silver


NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL .......

The Florida Legislature has been in session since March 5th and they are scheduled to adjourn sini die on May 3rd. Several bills have passed both the House and the Senate and have been sent to Govenor DeSantis’ desk for his signature. This week, DeSantis received Senate Bill 96, which amends, among other things, F.S. 843.19: the injuring, disabling or killing of a police, fire, or SAR canine or police horse. Those crimes would go from a third degree felony to a second degree felony if DeSantis signs the bill into law.

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


Sunday, April 21, 2019

EXPLETIVE NOT DELETED

Here's one take away from the Mueller report: The President is not a liar. When, in reaction to the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had requested the appointment of a special counsel, Trump truthfully said "I'm fucked." 

Yup.

We also learned that the President requested other members of the Justice Department lie for him, requesting that they write false memos, and in one instance, offering one of them an Ambassadorship to Singapore.  Sign us up for that one.

We also learned that the President doesn't like lawyers who take notes and we also loved this exchange: 
POTUS: "Lawyers don't take notes. I've had a lot of great lawyers who didn't take notes. Roy Cohn didn't take notes." 
White House Counsel Don McGhan: "I'm a real lawyer."

We take notes. 
Query: Do you take notes? 

DOM says on his blog that the Feds are threating defendants who do not take pleas. He also has recently learned that Truman beat Dewey.

The behavior of the US Attorneys Office against Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli is disgraceful. They are punishing two people who have exhibited  the audacity through their counsel to not immediately roll-over and beg for leniency.  The superseding indictment for money laundering is outrageous as is the bandying about of forty plus years in prison- more than many defendants get for murder.  The case once again brings into stark light the outrageous penalties for while-collar crimes. 
Assume for a moment that Ms. Loughlin and her husband Mr. Giannulli are guilty of subverting the college admissions process and essentially using money to cheat the system to get their air-head daughter into college. How much prison time is enough? It's not like they will ever do this again. So how much is enough? A year? Two years? 
The media spreads the perception that defendants who receive a year or two in prison spend their time laughing about their sentence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any prison sentence significantly if not permanently disrupts a person's life, from bringing them to the edge of bankruptcy, to affecting their ability to drive, work, obtain housing and credit, and all the things most people need to live in a civilized society. And this bunk about discouraging others is just that-bunk. Most people we have met in our practice do not come to us saying "We were reading the opinions out of the Eleventh Circuit one day and saw a few five year sentences for stock fraud and decided that the penalty was light enough to encourage us to take a chance and commit a crime."  
The fact is that sentences do not discourage other would-be criminals. No one likes prison for one day, and not one of the these parent-defendants ever thought that a light prison sentence was worth getting their child into USC. And when did USC become such a great school anyway? Its not Stanford. 

What these parents did was disgraceful in many ways, not the least of which is that there are parents of modest means and some of their children who didn't get into a college they were qualified for now feel they never had a fair chance. This damages our educational system and our society. But it does not mean that any of the defendants should be sentenced to decades in prison. Any sentence over 18 months for the parents is excessive. 

When the story broke, most of those parents probably had the same thought as our president when he learned about the appointment of the special counsel. And they both deserve to end up in the same place, and 18 months sounds about right. 



Thursday, April 18, 2019

AREA CINCUENTA DOS

UPDATE: How could we forget to recall and celebrate General James Doolittle's raid on Tokyo in 1942? 16 B-25's were launched from the Hornet on a one-way bombing raid. 

And on the same day one year later,  April 18, 1943, American Fighter pilots ambushed and shot down Japanese Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto's plane, killing the famed Japanese Admiral who pulled off the Pearl Harbor raid two years earlier.  Based on Navy Intel that Yamamoto was in the Solomon Islands, American Army Air Corp fighters launched from the Kukum airstrip in Guadalcanal jumped Yamamoto's  bomber and shot him down over Bougainville Island. The operation was aptly named "Vengeance", which as we all know, is a dish best served cold. 

Before we get to the secrecy and intrigue our REGJB is known for, a little housekeeping. 
Newly minted Circuit Court Judge Tanya Brinkley (an elevation well deserved we say) is coming to the REGJB.  Moving to the nether worlds of interrogatories and summary judgments or family financial affidavit is Judge Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts, colloquially known as "ORF". 
A welcomed addition, but a subtraction that will be missed. 

The Mueller report is being released today. It affects South Florida not in the least. Neither does the Republican movement in Tallahasse to disband MDX, the Miami-Dade Commission that imposes tolls on our roads. 

Area 52:
What in the name of intrigue is going on with one of the elevators in the REGJB? Rumors abound. "A vertically mobile courtroom". "An elevator with Starbucks". A safe container for exhibiting to the public  venerable REGJB relics like Judge Morphonios's robe; Judge Snyder's Statute Book or Judge Cowart's Gavel. 

The annoying part of this post is that right after reading that, there are County Court Judges born circa 1985 sending each other Facebook Messanger messages like "Dude! Who is Judge Cowart? He's like on the blog and stuff."


Are aliens being kept behind this sealed area? Retired Judges?



Will they add a glass case and display REGJB relics? 






Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A BULLET IS NOT A WEAPON

It's a Terry lollapalooza in the 11th Circuit. 
US v. Paul Johnson Jr. 

DOM has lots of the details on his blog. 

But it really boils down to this:  Is a bullet a weapon

Judge Jordan, in his dissent, says it is not.  The full except is on SDFLA

See Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85, 93-94 (1979) (“Nothing in Terry can be understood to allow . . . any search whatever for anything but weapons.”). By allowing officers to seize a stand-alone bullet from an unarmed suspect who is in handcuffs and being held at gunpoint by several officers, the majority expands Terry beyond its “narrow scope.” Dunaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 210 (1979).

Jordan is right. The majority is wrong. 
And so it goes. 


Monday, April 15, 2019

LPI


This is not a picture of the entrance to the courthouse on SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Although it should be. 

This is not a depiction of a career path in civil law. Although it could be. 

This is not what a calendar call is before certain unnamed judges, where time slows down. 

This is the first ever picture of a black hole. 

Longtime and careful readers of blog know that we have a deep interest in cosmology. 
So lets dive in. 
There is a central theory of general relativity called Local Position Invariance (or LPI to us cosmologists). LPI posits that a measurement on a freely falling object should be the same in a strong gravitational field (like those around black holes) or a weak or non-existent gravitational field- like the legal library of cases in most judicial chambers.

In other words, the watch of suspect "accidentally" pushed out of a window of a ten story building by a Miami Beach Police Officer should tick the same as the fake Rolex of a Judge in the courthouse, or the watch of an astronaut in space. 

This is a big deal because if a measurement does not follow LPI, then all of General Relativity follows the suspect out the window in Miami Beach. 

Now follow us on this. Colors are wavelengths of light. Stars are mostly made of hydrogen and helium. The wavelength colors of hydrogen and helium have been measured in the earth's atmosphere. 
At the center of our Milky Way galaxy is our own black hole called Sagittarius A. 
Recently,  Star S2 went nearby Sagittarius A. 
So the experiment to prove LPI was simple- the wavelength of the colors of hydrogen and helium from S2 as it passed near Sagittarius A were  measured. 

Would the color of the gasses near the black hole be the same as the colors near earth? 
Would LPI be validated? Or would General Relativity be trashed like the Exclusionary Rule before a Trump appointed judge? 

Fear not members of the universe. All is relatively well (we crack ourselves up). LPI was confirmed which is the good news. 
The bad news is the universe is slowly expanding. The expansion will never stop. Eventually all the stars will be so far away that light will never reach our skies. Our earth will be cold and dark, like the heart of a Judge at SE 17th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 
But until then, there is always the exclusionary rule; Einstein; LPI; general relativity; and suspects who accidentally tumble out of windows. 

BTW- PAY YOUR TAXES TODAY 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A MORE PERFECT UNION

BREAKING: KING BUILDING EVACUATED! 
Which means this afternoon after lunch there are a bunch of lawyers wanting to work for Greenberg milling around outside the federal detention center. 
There is no truth to the rumor that the threat against federal employees was called in by someone with a New York accent from this number: 202-456-1414


There can be no more apt illustration of the emotional issues, explosive points of view, political divides than the Civil War and ….LOT 26 at the REGJB. 

The Civil War tested whether "Any Nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."
The Gettysburg Address, A. Lincoln, 11/19/1863; cited with approval by Hirsch, J, passim. 

Lot 26 tests every day  whether ebony and ivory (law enforcement and the defense bar) can park with perfect harmony. 

Thus, as you have come to expect, this blog addresses head-on the great issues of our time:

JUDGE HIRSCH'S CONSTITUIONAL CALENDAR April 11, 2019:

One of the great constitutional issues questions associated with the Civil War was whether any state was possessed of the lawful authority to secede from the Union.  The verdict of the battlefield was against the doctrine of secession.  But did that verdict also reflect the correct understanding of our Constitution, or was it correct only because, and for so long as, there were more soldiers in blue than in grey?


            In the post-war era, the Supreme Court was well aware of the need for a clear and jurisprudentially-persuasive resolution of the question:

We are very sensible of the magnitude and importance of this question, of the interest it excites, and of the difficulty, not to say impossibility, of so disposing of it as to satisfy the conflicting judgments of men equally enlightened, equally upright, and equally patriotic. But we meet it in the case, and we must determine it in the exercise of our best judgment, under the guidance of the Constitution alone.

The opportunity to provide the resolution to that question came in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700, decided April 12, 1969, from which the foregoing quotation is taken.  Chief Justice Chase, in his opinion for the Court, explained:


The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form, and character, and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these the Union was solemnly declared to "be perpetual." And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained "to form a more perfect Union." It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?



            That being the case, secession was a constitutional impossibility.  “The Constitution,” the Chief Justice explained, in the turn of phrase for which he is best remembered, “looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States.”

NEW PROCEDURES LOT 26
Good afternoon Lot 26 patrons,



This is to inform you effective Wednesday April 17, 2019, MPA will go live with the newly installed equipment. You will be required to use the access cards, sent a couple of weeks ago.

These cards work on in and out loops, therefore in order to exit you must swipe an entry otherwise the card is taken out of synchronization and will require for you to contact our

Customer Service Department, which is open Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM, for us to refresh your card.



We appreciate all the positive feedback we’ve received regarding the updates and look forward to continue provide you excellent service.



Thank you for your patronage.  

"But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who have parked here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”
Rumpole's Historic Lot 26 Address. 

COMMING SOON: 
The lot 26 admission scandal. Paying for admission to a parking lot that has a lower admission rate than Harvard, Stanford, and the lot at Fifth and 56th in Manhattan. An expose' of Power, Privilege and how the 1% feel entitled to all the parking benefits of our great nation. 



Tuesday, April 09, 2019

CONVICTION REVIEW UNIT

In our last post former long time and well respected ASA Gary Winston said he left the SAO over a difference in how the office was run. He wanted to establish a unit to review convictions, and he was overruled by individuals he did not name, and then decided to retire, 

Wrongful convictions are a problem across the nation, and they have infected every court and every prosecutors' office, including the Dade County State Attorneys Office. Just last year there was a well publicized  reversal of a murder conviction on a rule 3.850 after a defendant spent 12 years in prison. Even in face of a court order finding serious problems with the case, the Dade State Attorneys office, in dismissing the case, would not admit a wrongful conviction. A case, we note handled by the same prosecutor who just publicly lambasted Judges for how they treat victims. 

What concerns us is that the Dade SAO has no process to handle a possible wrongful conviction case. The office acts as if their office is immune to the problems of false identifications or false confessions. What makes their office immune from problems that are universally recognized? Nothing. 

The Dade County State Attorneys Office has no introspection. They refuse to look at their practices and procedures and they refuse to acknowledge the growing problem of wrongful convictions. Apparently the Dade County State Attorneys Office believes their prosecutors and their witnesses are the only perfect ones in a system beset by incompetence and imperfection. 

Contrast the Dade State Attorneys Office's arrogance, ignorance, and willful blindness, with that of the  Brooklyn District Attorneys Office which has established a Convictions Review Unit. Click here. 
Click Here

Our State Attorney is an elected official. The office she runs has wrongfully convicted defendants, and she turns a blind eye to the problem.  Perhaps it's time for a prosecutor who recognizes that they do not need the approval of victims to dismiss a case of a wrongfully convicted defendant. 




Monday, April 08, 2019

HE SAID WE SAID GARY SAID

Hmm....."a disturbing internal change in focus" re the Dade County State Attorneys Office. 
Not our words. A respected former prosecutor's words. Read on McDuff.,,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"IT'S A BAD TIME TO BE A VICTIM IN FLORIDA" - A Response

I usually go to this Blog to read an entertaining, or thoughtful, or learned post from you Sir Horace. The post on Tuesday was none of those.

First, as one of your few mistakes you make annually, NO, the FACDL Awards Banquet is NOT this weekend. That event is scheduled in May.

Second, your diatribe that fails to mention the name of the ASA; (we all knew exactly who it was as soon as you posted it - and if you didn’t know - all you needed to do was Google the LOP Face Book page to view the invitation to the event) - is ridiculous. If you are going to call someone out and criticize them for what they have done - then at least have the courage of naming them. What’s your point with criticizing them, and then avoiding identifying them by name? Were you attempting to be noble or fair? Your post was a harsh and direct criticism of someone who you have no love loss for, you have a history with, and you disdain.

Third, as for your history with that individual. You have a “conflict of interest” that should be identified, but we can’t do so, without identifying the ASA, and, You. But anyone who has been in the GJB and knows what goes on daily, knows of the conflict I write about. That conflict alone, should disqualify you from penning an objective narrative of what was said at the LOP banquet this past weekend. (Having said that, I am well aware of this person’s history with the Bar, and it is not a pretty one, and personally, I have never cared too much for the person either).

Fourth, you write:

“Every single case handled by this current State Attorneys Office is based on the plea offer the victim wants, whether or not it's grounded in reality. Prosecutors have abandoned their constitutional mandate to do justice, deferring to the irrational demands of victims who are admittedly traumatized and entitled to be angry and seek vengeance. But ours is a justice system, not a vengeance system, although the current State Attorneys Office doesn't act like it. “

WRONG. I recently represented the family of a victim who was killed by a drunk driver. A father died and the child wanted justice. They wanted the punishment to be as harsh as it could possibly be. But, the ASA would not have it. The ASA pointed out the legal issues they were faced with and ended up providing a sweetheart of a deal to the defendant. The victim’s child was not happy. The defendant took a plea just in the past couple of weeks after that case had been continued a total of eight times - all defense continuances.

So, when you write that “it is not the defense attorney’s fault” that the case took years to proceed to trial/plea you are wrong. It is much worse to be the victim in this case than it was to be the defendant. The defendant has a future. They will get out of prison in a much too short a period of time. The child, on the other hand, has lost their father for the rest of their life. Trust me, “in the scheme of things” (your words), it is much, much worse being the victim.
Thursday, April 04, 2019 8:12:00 PM
Anonymous And we replied, inter alia 
12 PM I hope your hangover is not too bad. If you email me, I'll remove your ill conceived and embarrassing comment. You don't know me. You have no idea if I have an issue with that ASA- although granted, he has pissed off most of the defense bar which he was a long time ago an alleged member of, so granted just throwing darts at all defense attorneys, you're likely to land on someone his conduct has offended. And we can contrast that by legions of ASAs who were more successful, and more respected. David Gilbert. Gary Winston. Howard Rosen. Reid Ruben. Laura Adams. David Waksman. Abe Laeser.

AND THEN GARY WINSTON SAID....

Gary said...
Thank you for the compliment, Rumpole. You including my name with the other talented prosecutors I consider an honor. I left the SAO not because of my age, but because of a disturbing, internal change in focus. Nonetheless, I believe in KFR, who joined with me to develop a Continuing Justice Project unit focused on wrongful convictions. Others, however, said "no", so I left.

After all, real prosecutors work for True Justice/Continuing Justice, not merely convictions, even after convictions. Often times, putting the wrong defendants in jail is easier than getting the right inmates out.

Gary
Saturday, April 06, 2019 11:48:00 AM

Thursday, April 04, 2019

WEEKEND BOND HEARINGS MOVED

In this first time in recent memory, and may be since the early 1960's when the REGJB was brand-spankin-new, weekend bond hearings WILL NOT BE IN THE REGJB. 

Who among us doesn't love the late Friday night phone call that a client has been arrested and will be on the Saturday morning bond hearing calendar. 

We show up only to see Judge [ insert name here] who has spent the last thirty years in Probate Court on page 4 of a 35 page misdemeanor calendar with the felony bond hearings nowhere in sight. 

Corrections: Judge standard bond on disorderly conduct is five hundred dollars."
Judge: Defense ?
PD: That's too high. 
Judge:  Hmmm...do you have case law on this? Can you brief it if I take a short break?

And the sinking feeling that you will not be getting out of weekend bond hearings until well after the sun has set. 

Now comes news that due to "technical upgrades" to our courthouse  (they are using electrical tape on one of the power outlets on the second floor  that is a bit wonky) the whole shebang will be moved. 
See below, and good luck and god-speed John Glenn. 

This weekend’s bond hearings will be heard at the Children’s Courthouse, courtroom 2-1, due to the information below:

As part of the overall upgrade of the Richard E. Gerstein Building (REG), ITD is installing a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) to feed each of the telecom closets on the East and West sides of the building.
The installation requires we install a 300 AMP circuit breaker into the main panel that feeds electricity to the 9th floor computer room.  This installation will require that we power down the computer room and all the equipment in that room.
This event is currently scheduled for April 5th, 2019 at about 7pm to allow for the weekend to test and assure that all the equipment starts up properly after the shutdown.
This will affect all telephone and computer access at REG as well as those buildings that feed from the fiber at REG.  The Jail, SAO, PDO, Medical Examiners, and Bond Court  should plan for the outage with the possibility that connectivity could be down for the entire weekend.
A formal list of sites affected will be presented at the ITD Hardware Software Meeting when we submit the scheduled outage.

Please feel free to forward this information

And indeed the email was forwarded to us... multiple times.