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

Thursday, July 09, 2020

TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION

In America 2020 there is a disconnect between science and populism. This disconnect did not always exist. In the 1960's the triumph of American ingenuity and science was celebrated as the United States landed men on the moon. To be an intellectual, a learned man or woman of science was a celebrated profession. Scientists and Engineers were admired. They promised an almost unimaginable future of a life made easier by  computers and technology. Young boys named Jobs, Allen, and Gates became obsessed with computers. They ordered kits and built them in their garage. From their  passions, indeed their obsessions, Silicon Valley was born, and another American technological revolution led the world into the digital era. 

Fast forward to 2020. A pandemic burns throughout the world. The 79 year old American doctor of epidemiology and virology who has trained his whole life for this moment- Dr. Anthony Fauci- is marginalized and ridiculed. Doctors and scientists who are the leading experts in their fields of viruses and pandemics are criticized if they make common sense suggestions like social distancing, testing,  and wearing a face mask to prevent infections. You do not need a PhD in epidemiology to understand that staying apart and wearing face mask (and ideally a face shield) stops the spread of the virus. But these days, to understand that concept you apparently need to be anyone other than an American. Well that's not entirely fair. You need to be anyone other than an American who is a Republican. 

How and when did conservatives abandon the mind? When did being smart and well trained become inconsistent with other conservative values like capitalism and rugged individualism? 

In her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged, written in 1957, the philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand depicted a dystopian United States of the future where liberals attacked men of achievement (for all her genius, Rand's writings exclusively used the masculine pronoun). The philosophical concept and plot of the novel was that the liberal views on property rights and altruism that held that a person's ability and production belonged to the collective would slowly strangle innovation. Working for the good of everyone would produce the good for no one. In Atlas Shrugged men of production and achievement in various fields from engineering to finance to production to  music "go on strike" and disappear from society. They give up and thus show the world what happens when people scorned for their ability stop working. In the penultimate scene, New York City loses electricity and the experts needed to repair the problem are missing. 

In America 2020 the people of production and achievement have not (yet) gone on strike. But they labor in the shadows. Dr. Fauci works behind the scenes because at Republican presidential rallies "Fire Fauci Now" chants routinely breakout. The President trashes the CDC and withdraws from the World Health Organization. 

Let's take a look at two different states. Florida opened early. The Governor refused to require people to wear masks in public. The results has been a week of 10-11,000 new Floridians a day becoming infected. ICU beds are at 95% of capacity. And as Dr. Fauci recently pointed out, the death rate- low at this point- is about to explode because it takes Covid19 about 2 to 4 weeks to kill. Florida is teetering on the edge of chaos and destruction. And in the face of this scientific evidence, the governor says everything is fine rejects the advice of intellectuals and scientists that increased testing and masks will help stop the spread of the virus. 

In an almost unbelievable display of illogic,  the president and most conservative politicians argue that increased testing only leads to increased NUMBERS of people who are infected. If you do not test then the virus numbers are low (sadly, our own FDC has also adopted this philosophy, telling our federal judges every Friday that everything is fine because the virus numbers are very low. Meanwhile the first inmate just died of  Covid19).  The logic behind this belief is staggeringly dangerous. If accepted, it could be applied to cancer, pollution, gun murder rates, domestic violence, you name it. Stop reporting cancer deaths, and cancer is cured! Right? (Unless you die of cancer-but for everyone else, it's party time.)

In Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo had a different approach from Governor DeSantis. She asked the federal government for help in testing and they told her to go pound salt. So she formed a partnership with CVS (which is headquartered in RI) for testing. 25% of Rhode Island citizens have been tested. The positive rate is under 2%. Florida's positive rate is in the teens. Governor Raimondo mandated masks in public, limited public gatherings, and cajoled the company Salesforce to develop a contact tracing app for free. Infosys was tasked with deploying a location tracking feature, and Survey Monkey was assigned to monitor symptoms. Rhode Island is only one of four states labeled "low risk level" by the CDC. Five people a day or less are dying of Covid19 in RI, 50 people a day or less are newly infected. That's less than the daily rate in Hialeah. 

Rhode Island was uniquely situated to be severely damaged by the virus- it has the nation's second densest population and the ninth oldest population. The virus struck quick and hard at the beginning. But testing, contract tracing, masks in public, a public/private partnership, and listening to the health experts resulted in the virus being beaten down. Rhode Island did not invent this playbook. New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, all have done the same thing. 

But here is the problem. Governor Raimondo is not a right wing conservative. She listens to experts and deployed companies with expertise to work with her and devise a strategy to succeed. She employed a NASA 1960's "lets listen to the experts" philosophy with the resulting success that makes right wing anti-intellectuals furious. 

We have some of the smartest, well trained experts in the world to help us defeat this virus. Rhode Island has given us a roadmap. And mark our words, what they did will be rejected by almost every Republican politician in the country. 

We know where we are at- Intellectuals are dangerous. Scientists who speak the truth are bad. Scientific testing leads to bad news so just stop testing. Experts are idiots and must be ignored. The Constitution enshrines the right not to wear a mask in public and drink at a bar (The murky third amendment we believe). 

What we do not know for the life of us is how we got here and how Ayn Rand, more than 63 years ago, got it right. 


Tuesday, July 07, 2020

KATHY RUNDLE'S PHOTO ID EVIDENCE

Not sure how we missed this the first time around, but State Attorney Candidate Melba Pearson tweeted this over the holiday weekend past and it is downright shocking 

@MelbaforMiami:
This isn’t photoshopped. It’s a real sketch that Miami-Dade State Attorney Rundle used to justify falsely arresting 15-year-old DeAndre Charles for murder and locking him up for 333 days. Nobody received justice, Rundle chose optics over accountability.

And drum roll please...this is the sketch used to wreck this poor young man's life. Did he even get an apology?

Here is the link to the NBC6 story.


So let's recap the blog stories for the past few days. 
Det Archer of Miami Beach punches and kicks a woman who he has wrongfully arrested and has her hands cuffed behind her back. Prior to that attack, he punched and arrested a man who came to her rescue when he saw Archer beating her on the street. False police reports were filed. NO PROSECUTION WHATSOEVER. 
If Our State Attorney is not a late comer to the movement against police brutality- if she has led an office inspired to stop the police from beating and killing people and making false arrests, then what is her explanation for not prosecuting Det Archer for any of the THREE DIFFERENT  TIMES he beat citizens of Miami-Beach? So far, the only sound we hear are crickets coming from the SAO.  Cop Cat got your tongue? 

Now we see a sketch worth of a Seinfeld episode which would be funny except that it led to the year long incarceration of a fourteen year old boy for a murder he did not commit. Any apology? Any explanation? Conscience Cat got your tongue? 

Silence from the State Attorney, but at least she didn't forget Marco Rubio's birthday recently. 




Monday, July 06, 2020

MIAMI BEACH NEEDS TO FIRE OFFICER PHILIPPE ARCHER


  • This Miami Dade officer was rightfully fired for hitting a woman.






  • This Miami Beach Officer- Detective Philippe Archer-  is still on the force although he punched and kicked a woman with her hands cuffed behind her back. Archer was suspended for a month and allowed to serve the suspension a few days at time so he could keep working most of every month. 

     Any difference other than time?


    THE RESULTS OF BEING ARRESTED BY DET ARCHER 
    The woman above was ARRESTED FOR...(wait for it....you got it) BATTERY ON A POLICE OFFICER.

    FYI: Kathy Rundle's office saw fit to NOT prosecute Archer 
    for either the battery or the false police reports he filed when he arrested the woman AND the man who came to her rescue. 

    FYI- This was NOT the first time Detective Archer struck a citizen whose hands were cuffed behind their back. 

    See:
    MAYEUL MOULIN AND GUY MOULINE v. CITY OF MIAMI BEACH  So. Dist. Of Florida case number  12-23390 - Mayeul Moulin was 13 years old at the time Archer attacked him. Then Archer attacked his father Guy Mouline who went to defend his son. 
                                                                                                   Prior to  Archer striking  the woman with her hands cuffed behind her back,  he beat up (and of course then arrested) a good Samaritan who  tried to come to her rescue. So what we have is a Miami Beach Police Officer who beats up people so badly that other citizens routinely come to their aid because the violence is so shockingly bad.                                                 AND HE IS STILL WORKING AS A POLICE OFFICER.                                                                                                     And see:
     DUQUESNE v.  CITY OF MIAMI BEACH  So. Dist of Florida Case Number  12-20575 BEFORE JUDGE HUCK in which Archer  struck Andres Duquesne. 

    So as one of our alert readers who sent us this information has asked, why is the City of Miami Beach still employing an Officer who regularly beats up the citizens of Miami Beach?
    Three brutal incidents. One caught on video. One silent State Attorney, and the City of Miami Beach who we guess just raises taxes on their businesses to pay for this officer's brutality. It will only be a matter of time before something worse happens and someone else suffers at the hands of this thug. Because that is what he is. A coward, a bully, and a thug who only hits women when their hands are safely cuffed behind their back. 

Friday, July 03, 2020

JUDGE SHELDON "SHELLY" SCHWARTZ HAS PASSED AWAY .......


We are going to add our thoughts about the passing of Shelly, First, to us he was always "Shelly".  He always had a smile, and he always had an amusing story to share. But above all else, no remembrance of Shelly is complete without mentioning his sartorial splendor. 
The Ties. 
Chartreuse and lime green, with a splash of yellow and purple against an orange or perhaps light pink background. And that would be on a day he was toning it down. He reveled in his ties and it was an insight to the unique, friendly, happy man he was. He was truly a Justice Building original, one of the legends of our profession as an attorney and Judge who spent his time on the bench mentoring young lawyers. He has been missed for sometime in his well deserved retirement. 
Au revoir old friend. We are better for knowing you. 

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

SAD NEWS TODAY AS JUDGE SHELDON "SHELLY" SCHWARTZ HAS PASSED AWAY

Judge Schwartz was first elected to the County Court bench in 1996 when he defeated Larry King. He was last elected in 2006 defeating Migna Sanchez Llorens. He retired from the bench in 2012. He became a member of the Florida Bar in 1969 and celebrated 50 years as a bar member this past November. He previously was a law partner with Alvin Entin for more than 20 years.

Judge Schwartz was a real mensch and he never felt more comfortable than when he spent those six years on the bench serving in the "peoples court"; County Court. He was sometimes criticized for taking too much time explaining to un-represented defendants how the law worked and how it would affect them in their decision in court that day. He was proud of the fact that he took the extra time to treat each citizen who came before him with respect and compassion.

He famously apologized on this Blog when he once had a particularly bad day on the bench and he felt bad about it. Here is the link to that Blog post:

http://justicebuilding.blogspot.com/2006/01/honorable-judge-sheldon-schwartz.html

We will miss you Shelly.

Captain Out .......

Captain4Justice@gmail.com


Wednesday, July 01, 2020

CASTING THE FIRST STONE

Item: Princeton University to remove President Woodrow Wilson's name from their school of International Relations and Affairs because of his racist views. 

Rumpole has had enough. 
If you have not sinned, lets start casting some stones. 

Washington DC. The Washington Monument. All named after our first President who owned slaves. Remove the name and take down the monument, and while you're at it, call PM Boris Johnson and let him know that after further review we beat the British with a racist at the head of the army and we'd in fact like to surrender than be seen as honoring a racist slaveowner. 

Dwight D Eisenhower. Supreme Allied Commander, WWII. Head of an army of millions from 1941-1944. Arguably the most powerful man in the world. While married, and much older, took advantage of a younger woman who was not equal in power to him (Kay Somersby). Call Prime Minister Merkle, we cannot live with the results of WWII when the armies of the allies were led by a man who took advantage of a young woman. #Metoo USA #SurrendertoGermany. 

While you're at it, the second most powerful man in the world at that time- President Roosevelt, also slept with a younger woman in a relationship in which the power was not equal. Time to surrender to Japan and Germany. We won the war with  men  who took advantage of younger women in relationships where the power was not equal. #METOO= #LoseWWII. 

General Patton? Saved the allied army by repelling the Germans in the battle of the bulge. In an unmatched display of generalship, On December 19, 1944, as the Germans were breaking through all Allied lines, Patton disengaged from a major battle, marched three divisions over three hundred miles  in 48 hours in a snow storm and attacked and smashed the Germans. Patton was an avowed anti-Semite, consistently railing against Jewish conspiracies. Can't accept what he did, saving the Allies in 1944 from a German attack that could have led to a peace with Hitler. #Surrendernow. 

And while we are busy surrendering to Germany and Japan, lets tear up the US Constitution. It was written by slave owners. And do we need to even broach the 3/5 of a person clause (Art I, Sect.2)? 

While racism is rearing it's ugly head, perhaps we need to remove all the streets named after Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as end the national holiday. As a powerful leader of a worldwide movement, Dr. King unfortunately entered into a number of sexual relationships, while married, with younger women who may well not have felt comfortable saying no to such a powerful and important man. #METOO= No More Dream. 

And looking forward, before we all race to get the Covid-19 vaccine, lets make sure we approve of the personal, sexual, and racial views of the inventor of the vaccine, lest we save the world with someone who does not adhere to all the correct views. 

Too bad we did not have a mediocre man leading all the allied armies in WWII who didn't  sleep around. Maybe we would have lost. Maybe the war would have taken two more years and 500,000 more lives. But at least we would not be glorifying men who took advantage of younger women. 

Lets roll it all back. No Washington DC. No USA. No Constitution. No Civil rights act of 1964. Call Buzz Aldrin and tell him to fly back to the moon and remove the plaque he and Armstrong placed. President Kennedy, a man known to cheat with younger women outside of his marriage challenged the country to land on the moon. We are all cheapened by responding to a challenge by a man of such low moral character. 


Here is the point. We are human beings. We are at our best when we learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of those who came before us. But we have no right to expect that every single person of achievement also adhere to all the right views. We can strive for that. There is no rational, reasonable, or moral defense of racism. Men who use their power to take advantage of younger women are of low moral character. But make no mistake, if the surgeon who saves our life cheats on his wife, then we will take the trade off. If the scientist who invents the Covid-19 vaccine does not like Jews or Asians, we are getting the vaccine. 

We will not knowingly eat at a restaurant of a racist. Silence does equal acceptance and we should not support anyone who is a racist. But President Wilson does not need to be erased from history. It's okay to have a statute and honor the man who conceived of the league of nations, as long as his story is fully and fairly told. 

But in looking backward, not forward, the fact is that in different times different behaviors were unfortunately acceptable. That does not mean that the person who engaged in unacceptable behavior or views, but also contributed to the well being of human kind should be erased from history. A full discussion of the good and bad is appropriate.  We can admire the genius of the Constitution, and recognize and praise the contributions of Thomas Jefferson, while still teaching about the full man, and the fact that he owned slaves and slept with female slaves. And even though that behavior is reprehensible, we do not support removing a statute of Thomas Jefferson. 

This is absolutely "in for a penny, in for a pound." Remove Wilson's name for racism; then remove Dr. King's name for sexism. It is as simple as that.  Or accept that each man had both a genius, and like most humans, many flaws. 

And finally this- none of this applies to Confederate Statutes, names, flags, or honors. The Confederacy was run by traitors to the Nation who supported slavery. Every one of them was a traitor. Most were war criminals. Not one should be honored. 

Happy Fourth of July. 




SOME MORE HELPFUL NUMBERS

Courtesy of FACDL Head honcho Matthew Meyers

All…..

I know there has been some confusion regarding the Clerk of Court Operations.  As of now, the 9th floor is open for attorneys to review files and pull documents.  Supervisors have advised me they are implementing a system to better field email requests, which will include someone following up via phone to take your credit card information for payment.  I am still waiting on a response as to when this will be finalized, but it is in progress.

As for Traffic/Misdemeanor….the 8th floor is closed
Please find the below contact information and instructions:

All requests can go through the email inbox’s I provided below, unless it is a TRAFFIC petition to seal/expunge which can be mailed or dropped off in the drop box right inside exit door of the REG building

The office address is 1351 NW 12 street, Miami, FL 33137. I would also include if it’s Traffic or Misdemeanor on the envelope. 

Records Requests
Traffic:                                          Traffic2@miamidade.gov
Misdemeanor (Non-DV):            cocmisdemeanor@miamidade.gov

Inquiries Only
Attorney Traffic Phone line:                                     (305) 548-5636
Attorney Misdemeanor (Non-Domestic Violence)    (305) 548-5549

For the other divisions, the following email inbox’s are available for anyone to request records from our offices. 

Domestic Violence:                     Family@miamidade.gov
Felony:                                         Criminal@miamidade.gov



Tuesday, June 30, 2020

WHO WAS GEORGE BRAUTIGAM?

Now we are going deep. Way back into the recesses of history when Miami was a sleepy southern town and hotels in Miami Beach had signs that said "No Blacks or Jews"

The State Attorney history goes Richard Gerstein to Janet Reno to Kathy Rundle. There are still many lawyers around who worked for "the boss" Gerstein, and even more who worked for Janet. But what about before Gerstein? Things get murky. One old time prosecutor posted this: 

Richard Gerstein was not the first State Attorney. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit was established in 1911. The office of State Attorney has existed ever since then. It was during Gerstein's tenure that the office of county Solicitor was merged into the State Attorney's Office. The State Attorney before Gerstein was George Brautigam. Gerstein defeated Brautigam in his 1956 reelection bid due largely to unfavorable media coverage regarding Brautigam's attempt to suppress a grand jury report and his refusal to seek an indictment against a suspect in the murder of a little girl.

Then El Capitan weighed in: 

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

I REFER YOU TO A REPORT OF THE GRAND JURY, NOVEMBER 8, 1955

https://www.miamisao.com/publications/grand_jury/1950s/gj1955s4.pdf

[Rumpole notes: Listed as one of the ASAs is William Meadows who we knew -we think- as Bill Meadows- a wonderful man and older-timer when we first met him.]

FILED BY: State Attorney George A. Brautigam. Listed within the Report are the names of his eight ASAs including one named Adele Faske.

Dick Gerstein ran against the incumbent Brautigam in 1956 at the age of 33 and defeated him. He was reelected six times before moving into private practice. (Brautigam passed away in 1957)


So who was George Brautigam? And does anybody have a personal memory of him?  And who was before himHere is a short obit.  A Google search reveals he was a bit of crusading anti-communist, not unusual for the era. 

One brief thought about our covid-crisis: If only we had listened to the President and opened up earlier, like around Easter. Because the one thing we are learning is that the more you close your eyes really tight and ignore a serious medical issue, the more likely it is to just go away. 

REGJB TRIVIA 
Which former Chief Judge voluntarily resigned from the bench, left town for a bit, returned, was reappointed, and then became Chief Judge Of our circuit? Bonus question- what murder case did he preside over that garnered nationwide attention? 

Monday, June 29, 2020

JUDGE MATTE BELLE DAVIS

Judge Matte Belle Davis was the first woman to preside in the REGJB, but very little is remembered about her by our Starbucks swilling millennial readers. 



We asked former Judge Ted Mastos to write something, and this is what he remembered: 

I believe Mattie Bell Davis was a lawyer, Ruth Sutton was the woman who succeeded her husband who was a Justice of the Peace. When he died she replaced him. When the Florida Constitution did away with the Justice of the Peace system all those who had been Justices of the Peace were grandfathered in as County Court judges. That is how Ruth Sutton became a County Court Judge. She had the best Mango tree in South Florida.

Mattie Bell Davis was a champion for the County Court judiciary. She somehow had the ear of Governor Ruben Askew and worked tirelessly for improved salaries for the judges. County judges were making $32,000 back in the 70's. She was a great lady and an early pioneer for women in the law. Back in that era there were only a few woman lawyers working in the State Attorney's Office. One of them was the mother of David Markus who looked at me as some green kid from Wisconsin who needed a Jewish mother. She was my mentor in those early years.


Because he is a long time and careful Blog Reader, David S Markus* responded: 
Anonymous David S. Markus said...
Ted's mention of my mom brought a smile to my face. She was an ASA in 1973. There were only 3 women in the office at that time-mom, Barbara Schwartz (who became an AUSA for many years) and one other who I cannot recall. Janet Reno was my mother's intern.
I was in high school, but I already wanted to be a prosecutor. I thought it was the coolest job on earth. She taught me how a prosecutor could make a difference in someone's life (both victim and defendant) and how important it was to exercise that power wisely. Mom would bring the files home and I would look through them and we would discuss the cases and argue about them. Mom would talk about the lawyers she interacted with and it was interesting to meet them years later when I became a prosecutor, and to see if my view of them matched hers. She always talked about "Ted" with a big smile on her face.
I also learned how difficult it was for women in the legal profession not so long ago. Mom graduated UM law school in 1955 at the top of her class and was on law review, but could not find a job because she was a woman. She pursued other interests and returned to the law in 1973 to work in the State Attorney's Office. Life had gotten better for women in the law, but they were not treated as equals. Male lawyers would ask her why she was working at all since she had a husband. Judges and lawyers who did not know her personally assumed she was a secretary. She was once held in contempt for wearing pants to court. But mom loved the job, and she passed on that love to me. Mom was so proud that I chose to follow in her footsteps. I have been on the defense side for 39 years, but I still think of myself as a ex-prosecutor more than a defense attorney.
Well said David. Thank you for that. 

Judge Davis was born in 1910 and died in 2004. According to her Wikipedia page, she was admitted to the Bar in 1939, although at the time women could not sit on juries in Florida. She was instrumental in the formation of FAWL- the Florida Association of Women Lawyers which has an award named after her.  which, if they were smart, would name an award after her to be presented to a female member of the bench for outstanding work of some sort or another. She was president of FAWL from 1957-1958. 

Judge Davis was the first woman to sit on the Metropolitan Court of Dade County,  in which old timers like former Judges Lenny Glick and Ted Mastos actually practiced in. Judge Davis started on the bench in 1959. It is not clear how long she served.  

Prior to becoming a Judge, Matte Belle Davis was in practice with her husband Troy Davis. After he died in 1948, she became a single parent to two step-daughters. During her time in private practice she successfully argued two cases before the Florida Supreme Court.  We have researched the issue  and found those two cases: 

Abercrombie v. Eidschun, 66 So. 2d 875, 876 (Fla. 1953):
Petition for writ of certiorari be and the same is hereby granted, and the order dated the 7th day of May, 1953, denying petitioners' motion for a summary final decree be and the same is hereby quashed, with directions to proceed further in accordance within this opinion.

Spark v. Canny, 88 So. 2d 307, 311–12 (Fla. 1956):
We hold, therefore, that where a joint bank account with right of survivorship is established with funds of one person, as here, a gift of the funds remaining in the account at the death of the creator of the joint account is presumed; but such presumption is rebuttable and may be overcome by clear and convincing evidence to  the contrary. 

In 1987 Miami Dade County designated March 3 as Judge Matte Belle Davis day. 

There are a lot of female judges serving in Miami-Dade County. Two new ones were just appointed. They enjoy the shade of Oak Trees, whose acorns were planted by those who came before them. Every now and then, it is appropriate to remember who blazed the path we trod on. 

* Miami is blessed with TWO superstar attorneys named David Markus. David O runs the federal blog and can be found downtown tying federal prosecutors up in knots. He also works on top of a garage across from the courthouse. 
David S, who spent decades sharing space with the great Sy Gaer, can be found in the REGJB, walking clients out the door and leaving state prosecutors in his dust. He currently concentrates on Death Penalty cases. 

While David O has won cases in state court, and David S has kicked some federal butt from time to time, each is known primarily for his sphere of battle- State for S, Feds for O. 
What would have been nice is if, a long time ago, in a court far far away, Judge Stanley Marcus (with a C)  presided over a trial in which co-defendants were represented by Mr. Markus and Mr. Markus. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

THE PATH FORWARD AT THE REGJB

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: Ace Herald Reporter @DavidOvalle305, is just one of a long line of distinguished Herald reporters who have called the crime beat their own. From Susannah Nesmith all the way back to Edna Buchannan, prowling the hallways of the REGJB and digging up the stories the powers that be want hidden has been a hallmark of these intrepid members of the Fourth Estate. Now, of course, covering the REGJB has been reduced to "click-n-Zoom". The other day, David realized that he had some competition. Another person was Zooming around the REGJB Zoom calendars. His Name: "Big Meat Daddy". You can read all about their encounter in David's twitter feed listed above. 

This is the email from Judge Sayfie about new normal at the REGJB. It has been approved by the Motion Picture Association for distribution to all ages. 

Greetings to all.  I hope this email finds you all healthy.

As you all know we are back in phase 1, having spent less than 2 weeks in phase 2.  While this means that we all need to continue to be vigilant, in and out of REG, the good news is that we can move forward with our next stage.

Beginning Monday, July 6th, we will go back to normal…our new normal.  All division calendars will be heard in the respective division’s VIRTUAL courtrooms.  To appear in court you need to zoom into the virtual courtroom.  Attached is a directory of all virtual courtroom ID’s with clickable links. [Rumpole says: we have included the attachments below]. Each judge will preside over their virtual courtroom. If a judge is covering another judge, the covering judge will appear in the virtual courtroom of the division being covered. If questions or issues arise please contact chambers.  All chambers numbers are also attached.

We will still be limited to 3 “Pods” or connections to the 3 jail facilities.  The judges will continue to special set hearings and pleas in their respective Pods for defendants who are in custody and need to be present.  Additionally, every AM there will be one judge on duty for each Pod to cover pleas and other issues that arise in the AM calendar, from divisions assigned to that Pod, that may require the presence of the defendant.  The Pod duty judge will cover their division calendar first then “move” to the Pod virtual courtroom for matters requiring inmates.  I have attached the Pod schedule and the clickable link for each Pods’ virtual courtroom. This will be amended as MDCR works to increase the number of zoom stations or pods.

We have also created a procedure for the safe fingerprinting of out of custody defendants to take pleas.  These will be set by the division JAs.

Finally, thanks to the hard work of MDCR, the COC, and our CITES, we have been able to limit the physical appearances in the courtrooms to the judge, bailiff, court clerk and court reporter, ensuring that movement and contact within the REG is limited and within the CDC guidelines.

As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  I want to thank all of you for your leadership and cooperation and patience as we tackle these issues. 

Please take care and wear your mask and keep your distance and stay healthy and safe!    


Rumpole says: The Judges have put themselves in Pods and we have not said one word about it- not even a passing reference to 
Invasion of the Body Snatchers. That deserves some type of award in our opinion.


Judge's Pod Schedule by HR on Scribd



Coming Monday: Judge Matte Belle Davis; Judge Ted Mastos; David S Markus; David O Markus; a star-studded blog post not to be missed!


Friday, June 26, 2020

TEACH THE CHILDREN WELL

UPDATE: FRIDAY AFTERNOON- This is not funny anymore. Governor DeSantis just ordered the suspension of alcohol consumption at bars in Florida. The bars remain open, so long as you order a Shirley Temple. 

First, all praise due our Governor, who has taken Florida from 700 new cases a day to almost 10,000. Way to go Ronnie! That's how you handle a pandemic. You open up, get people together, and shun masks as a Clinton-Commie-Chinese- Democratic-fake-news-Joe Biden-fraud.  Ditto social distancing, which perhaps President Trump can mock as "social Clintoning". 

Second, we have a couple of new County Court Judges today. Read the Captain's Post below. One is a current prosecutor-Chiaka Ihekwaba, whose name gets you 212 points in Words With Friends. We kid- she is well known and liked at the REGJB and a great choice in our opinion. The second- Cristina Correa- is a former prosecutor about whom we do not know much. 
New slots for judges are opening daily, and that's not even counting the inevitable vacancies once members of the judiciary start getting sick for a virus the Governor says is best ignored. 
Here is the number one rule for Governor DeSantis judicial selections: NO PDS NEED APPLY! Got that? If you have ever represented someone in criminal court, even if you hate Dr. Fauci and call the virus the Kung Fu Flu, you may not pass GO, you may not collect $100, and you will not be a Judge. Ever. As long as DeSantis is Governor. 

THE OTHER SIDE. 
We are tough on the MAGA crowd. But they do have a point. Times are tough for them. Many of their numbers are dropping dead from a virus they do not believe exists. Their beloved Confederacy is under attack throughout Dixie as well as the Yankee North. They can't get tests for a virus that doesn't exist; they can't get into an ER for a virus that doesn't kill. They can't wear their sheets in public, they are jeered for the Confederate Flag bumper sticker on their pick-up when they pull into the Piggly-Wiggly. It's a world where young women of color are speaking out, and they are frightened and scared. The American Exceptionalism, which in their mind is "White American Exceptionalism" is not playing out the way they think it should. Jobs are scarce for people who use their fingers for math and have trouble reading an Archie Comics. 

But they have a side to their story and it deserves to be told by the best, brightest and most eloquent. Sparing no expense or time, we have tracked that woman down, and present her to you: 





Yup, you got that right. This Nobel Prize candidate for stupidity is going to teach her grandchildren to hate. It's why we truly believe this country may well be doomed. 


Thursday, June 25, 2020

MR 5000

UPDATE: Soto puts on the brakes! Because she is intelligent, thoughtful and respects science, Chief Judge Soto moved the Miami Courts back to phase one on Thursday because of the expanding virus numbers in South Florida. Phase One means that the courts will remain open only electronically via Zoom and otherwise will remain closed to in person attendance, so as to stop the spread of the virus. This is what real leaders do. They assess the situation and make a decision that is best for the people they serve. Well done Judge Soto. Well done indeed. 

We give credit where credit is due. In a triumph of ignorance over reason; passion over science; MAGA over medicine; and the Third Amendment's clear right not to follow medical advice, Governor  "Fire Fauci" DeSantis has achieved the landmark goal of over 5,000 Floridians newly infected with Covid-19 in one day. That's more than the average attendance of a Marlin's game in August. That's as many people as who attended the Trump rally in Oklahoma. 

What it is, is a tragedy of epic proportions. Healthy people are going to die. Some people, with their view that they have the absolute right as an American not to wear a mask have brought this on themselves. Others, who believe in science and social distancing have gotten infected and are going to die because of the idiot yahoos who reject science and reason and medicine in favor of QAnon conspiracies. You have the right to be stupid, kill yourself and die. You do not have the right to be stupid and get someone else sick and cause them to die. 

For those of you who believe in MAGA, that America is the first, best, and greatest ever, here is something to think about. Well over 100,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. Thailand, has a population of almost 70 million people. 3,157 Thai citizens have contracted Covid-19 and 57 have died.  57 deaths- was a bad hour at the height of the crisis in New York. But hey, MAGA baby. 


REGJB Trivia: 
Name the first female judge to sit in the REGJB. 

TWO NEW COUNTY COURT JUDGES APPOINTED TODAY .......



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Today, Governor "Co'ron'a Ron" DeSantis named eight new judges to the bench, four to the Circuit Court and four more to the County Court. And, you can’t make this up - seven of the eight new judges are former or current Assistant State Attorneys; the eighth was formerly a County Attorney. No, none of the new judges hail from the Public Defender’s Office. Two of the new judges were appointed to the Miami-Dade County Court bench.

YOUR TWO NEWEST COUNTY COURT JUDGES ARE .......

CRISTINA RIVERA CORREA

Ms. Correa has been a member of The Florida Bar since 2010. She began her career as an ASA in Miami. For the past seven years she has worked as the Assistant School Board Attorney for Miami-Dade County Schools. She replaces Judge Zachary James who was elevated to the Circuit Court.

CHIAKA IHEKWABA

Ms. Ihekwaba has been a member of The Florida Bar since 2001. She has spent her entire career as an ASA in Miami. Her trip to the bench began when she obtained her Barrister at Law degree from the Nigerian Law School, her LLM from Kings College in London, and another law degree from St. Thomas Law School. She fills the vacancy created by Judge Lody Jean who was elevated to the Circuit Court.

THIRD DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL

Your next 3rd DCA Judge will be selected from the six names sent to Gov. DeSantis to replace retiring Judge Vance Salter who leaves the bench on August 31, 2020:

Judge Antonio Arzola
Judge Alexander Spicola Bokor
Judge Lisa Walsh
Kansas Gooden
Christopher Johnson
Eduardo Sanchez
 
 
CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com



Wednesday, June 24, 2020

TREASON

BREAKING DC APPEALS COURT ORDERS FLYNN CASE DISMISSED "Markus was right, retired Judge Gleeson was wrong" the court did not hold, but should have

From Judge Hirsch's Constitutional/Covid Calendar: (and more REGJB trivia below)


  On June 5, 1776, the Continental Congress constituted a committee to address the problem of those who were cooperating with the British in the already-ongoing Revolutionary war.  The committee’s report, adopted by Congress on June 24 in the form of a resolution, provided that, “All persons abiding within any of the United Colonies, and deriving protection from the laws of the same, owe allegiance to the said laws and are members of such colonies.”  Giving aid to the King’s forces was defined as treason.  It was further recommended that laws be passed in the several colonies to implement the resolution.
The resolution was as revolutionary as the war itself.  For the first time, allegiance was demanded, not to the King or any person, but to the laws themselves.  It was a dauntingly abstract concept – the notion of a duty of loyalty to the law, and not to a human being who represented or was thought to be the source or embodiment of the law – but it was necessary if America was going to be governed as a democracy.

Item: The failing Washington Post reported this on Monday:
President Trump on Monday accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of treason, without offering any evidence or details to back up his claim.Trump made the accusation in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network. The president has frequently accused others of “treason,” but Monday marked the first time that he has leveled that claim against the man who preceded him in the Oval Office.

REGJB Trivia: Name the only (we are pretty sure) Asian American Judge to serve in the REGJB.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

THE FACE OF VICTORY

This is what winning looks like. 
This is what the after-effects of holding one of the greatest presidential rallies in history looks like. 


Now, this may be fake news. Upon walking in the door of the West Wing, Melania may have said "did you get the diet coke and Ring Dings I asked for?" 
This may be the walk familiar to millions of husbands, of a man returning home from work who has just realized he did not get his wife the Ring Dings she asked for. Lo any man who returns home empty handed when Ring Dings have been requested. 

Or he may have gotten his ass kicked by the very low turnout in Oklahoma- whose citizens mostly decided to stay home because they didn't want to get Covid-19 and die. 

Speaking of which, Florida's numbers for Sunday were approximately 2.800, down from 4,700 on Saturday. Governor Flatten What Curve? Ronny D is disappointed. He knows by riling up the troops with more mask-less visits to the beach and Wall-Mart, we can get those numbers back up. 

VP RACE:
Senator Harris of California is considered to be the front runner. We really want to know why former President Obama could not be Biden's VP? If Biden was impeached or resigned Obama could serve out his term. Co-presidencies have been considered before. 


REGJB Flash-Back Trivia:
Name the only African-American female judge to serve in the REGJB to also service on the 3rd DCA? 





Monday, June 22, 2020

MONDAY MORNING LOOKING FORWARD

Good Monday morning. Let's put a positive spin on the news. 

The USA has the most new cases of Covid-19! Woo-Hoo! We're Number ONE. AMERICA FIRST baby! And speaking of most new cases, Florida is battling it out with California for the most new cases amongst the states. Both are over 4000 a day, but as Governor Never Go Low Ronny D mentioned, California has more people, so Florida rightfully should claim the NUMBER ONE spot. If we try- if we crowd the beaches and flood the Wall Marts and don't wear masks (which are for wimps and Biden voters) we can do this! 

Meanwhile the President gave the best, biggest, no one has ever seen anything like it, political rally this weekend in which barely anyone went to. Hopefully, that portends the same for his votes. 

DOM is showing his politics with his last few posts. Check his blog out- it's not always a dry analysis of the 1977 committee notes on Money Laundering. 

David Ovalle tweeted that Miami-Dade, entering phase two, means, inter alia (he didn't use that term) that jury trials should be starting in 30 days. Not so fast Mr. Herald.  There are whispers of a super-star staffed committee working on re-starting jury trials. But, and this is our own opinion, we think we are a ways off. From reconfiguring the jury room on the seventh floor, to social distancing in the courtrooms (which is a polite way of, inter alia, declining an invitation to chambers as well as side-bars) jury trials are as far off as a 182 game baseball season.  Oh, there might be a 60 game season, and there might be a few test trials here and there, but that Monday morning "who's ready?" gathering in the old REGJB?  To quote one of our favourite Presidents- "Not gonna happen. Wouldn't be prudent." 

Other good news? Well, there is NASCAR, that liberal, Northeastern, intellectual exercise of watching cars go round-n-round-an oval for a few hours. In response to their only Black driver Bubba Wallace getting them to abandon the Confederate Flag...someone hung a NOOSE in his NASCAR garage. Yee-Haw! 

Let's think how this went:
Bubba Wallace (BW): Isn't it about time for NASCAR to stop displaying the Confederate flag? The Confederacy fought to keep slavery, and that's a might bit offensive to people of color. 

NASCAR: Well, normally we'd say no. But considering the country went up in flames recently, ummm...sure. We will do that for ya. 

NASCAR Fan: Someone tell that asshole that he don't know no history and needs to be learned some. The Confederacy fought for State's rights and stuff and the Civil War  don have nuttin to do with slavery and my grandaaddy fought with Robert A Lee and I'll be dammed if I'm going to take that flag down. And why is a black guy allowed to be named Bubba anyway? Gladys! Gladys! Get me that rope I've been keeping on the porch....it's behind the refrigerator....no not that refrigerator ....the other refrigerator on the porch, the  one on top of the truck tires with the old oil cans on top. 

America. Love it with your mask off or we will hang a noose in your work place. 

Happy Monday. 


Sunday, June 21, 2020

A NIGHT AT THE COPA

In the 1950's-1960's there was no better place to see and be seen than at the Copacabana night club in NYC, 10 East 60th street. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tom Jones, were among the headliners that entertained New Yorkers in post midnight shows. 

Of the many famous events at the Copa, none match the night of May 17, 1957, when six NY Yankees out celebrating pugnacious Second Baseman Billy Martin's 29th birthday, brawled with a Washington Heights Bowling Team.  NY Deli Owner and Bowler Eddie Jones ended up in the hospital with a busted nose and broken jaw. 

The fight captivated the NY dallies for weeks and ended up giving NY Yankee GM  George Weiss the excuse he was looking for to trade the street-wise Billy Martin whom he felt was corrupting Mickey Mantle, the innocent home-run slugging kid from Oklahoma. 

The fight started  when Sammy took the stage and the bowlers began shouting racial slurs, which upset both the Yankees and Harry Belafonte Jr., and Sidney Poitier, who were sitting next to the Yanks. Hank Bauer, a big beefy slugging right-fielder and decorated Marine, told the Bowlers to cool it. 

In the aftermath, Bauer was interviewed by the NY Times: "A big fat guy told me 'Don't trust your luck too far tonight Yankee'. I told him to Go--------yourself." The NY Times, in the sensitivity of the times reported that Bauer suggested the portly fellow perform an anatomically impossible act. 

Billy Martin, a pugnacious guy who never backed down from anyone, despite his diminutive size (once, on National TV, as Yankee Manager, it took four guys to hold him back from socking Reggie Jackson, who was easily twice his size and half his age) backed up his buddy Bauer. Jones, the Deli guy-bowler,  invited Martin to discuss the matter with him outside in the alley. Martin did not need to be asked twice. But before they reached the alley someone socked Jones, who according to newspaper reporter Harvey Arronson of Newsday, "went down like a ten-pin." Such was the fun reporting of the times. 

Violence was not new to the Copa, which had, according to a popular saying at the time, "the three B's:": Booze, broads, and brawls." NY Post columnist Leonard Lyons once wrote that the famous battlefields "include Gettysburg, Bastogne, Verdun, and the kitchens of the Copacabana." 

Suspicion centered on Hank Bauer.  A Grand Jury was convened. Yogi Berra, true to form said "nobody did nuthin to nobody." Bauer said "I only hit balls and lately I haven't been doing that too well." Bauer was hitting .208 at the time. Mickey Mantle was called to testify. He apologized to the judge for chewing gum, stuck it under the witness chair, and said he was so drunk he couldn't remember anything." Mantle did see someone on the floor: "It  looked like Roy Rogers rode Trigger through the Copa and Trigger kicked the guy in the face." 
No True Bill was returned and the Grand Jurors raced out to get autographs from the Yankees. But the damager was done. Bauer was haunted for years. The young Senator from Massachusetts, John Kennedy, on seeing Bauer in a train a few years later asked him how things were going at the Copa. Billy Martin was soon traded from the Yankees, and his ball-playing  career tanked. 

So who clocked the deli-owner-bowler? 
Enter Joey Silvestri, now 88, but at the time, a 24 year old street-wise kid from Queens, who knew how to use his fist. Joey was known for decades as "Joey at the Copa" because he ran the door and nobody got in without Joey's approval. On the night of the brawl, Joey was off, and the owner of the Copa had a hard rule that when the staff was off they could not hang out at the Copa with guests. But this was the last night of Sammy Davis, Jr.s set, and Sammy and Joey had become friends and Davis had invited Joey to attend. So Joey and Davis arranged for a table near the stage, out of the sight of the owner, and Joey sat with Belafonte and Poitier and heard and saw it all. The Bowlers mouthing off. The Yankees telling them to cool it And as Martin walked out to the alleyway prepared to fight, the kid from Queens stepped in and threw two punches to protect his friends and good customers. First Joey "hit him dead with a left hook to the jaw. It knocked him into a brick wall and the wall didn't give. On the way down I socked him a right hand between the eyes and busted his nose."

Now 88, with just about everyone involved having passed on to another Copa, Joey decided to set the record straight. Bauer told the truth. He didn't hit the Deli-owner. Martin never had the chance to hit him. And Joey was constrained by the fact that he was forbidden to have been in the club that night to begin with. That, along with the fact that there was a large mob influence at the Copa, and the rule was nobody talked about nuttin,  Joey was forced to remain silent even though he could have exonerated Bauer and perhaps saved Martin's job and career. 

 The moral of the story is that although Bauer was the prime suspect, and everyone thought he did it because he was following Martin out to protect his friend and as a Marine, he didn't take crap from anyone, nobody saw him throw a punch because he didn't- he was innocent. 


Saturday, June 20, 2020

YOU'RE FIRED

UPDATE BELOW
It was the best of times. 
It was the worst of times.
It was the Southern District of New York. 

Dramatis Personae: 
Donald J Trump, President of the United States of Citizens who reject science, education and experience. 
William Barr, Attorney General of the Unites States 
Geoffrey S. Berman, US Attorney for the Southern District Of New York
Jay Clayton, SEC Chairman

And so it came to pass that in the first years of his presidency, Donald Trump's then Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Geoffrey S. Berman as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. But never really happy with the appointment, or for that matter the AG who made it- (the President reportedly wanted to appoint one of his doormen at Trump Tower, or Kim Kardashian, who is currently studying for the California Bar) Trump did not send Berman's nomination to the Senate. 

The Judges of the SDNY, wise and learned all, stepped in at 120 days and appointed Berman as US Attorney because otherwise his appointment had run out. 

Berman did not tow the Trump line, and this weekend Attorney General Bill Barr flew to NYC ostensibly to meet with the police to speak with them about unhappy the President was with the way they were treating demonstrators. "A little more of the baton to the head" was the message. But the real purpose was the grease the skids of Berman's exit. So Barr offered Berman the head of DOJ Civil.  Pay attention now, things move fast. 

Berman turned the offer down. "Who wants to do civil instead of criminal?" he was overheard to rightly say. 
On Friday night Barr released a statement that Berman was leaving and Clayton would be nominated. 
Berman released his own statement saying he wasn't leaving and no one could make him leave unless Trump's appointee was confirmed by the Senate. 
On Saturday Barr ran crying to the President that Berman was hogging the slide at the playground and wouldn't leave. 
Trump then said to Berman the words he wants on his gravestone: "You're fired...and by the way Geoffrey is a lame name you dope. Who hired you anyway?"
Berman in turn showed up for work on Saturday with a briefcase full of important papers.
Clayton meanwhile sat in  the Starbucks around the corner from the SDNY ( a place Rumpole has spent many an hour at) cooling his heels, sipping a latte,  and wondering whether he needed to worry about the pump-and -dump of Hertz's stock come Monday morning. 

So....who is the US Attorney for the SDNY? 
No one knows. 

A glooming peace this morning with it brings.
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things.
Some shall be pardoned, and some punish├Ęd.
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
Of Trump and Barr, and their troubled US Attorney who wouldn't go. 

Long time and careful Blog readers are noting that we are posting at a furious rate. Politicians keep doing stupid things and we are trying to keep up. 

UPDATE: 
To put an end to this drama as only Trump can do, the following actions occurred late Saturday evening:
1)  The Attorney General wrote a second letter to Berman telling him he was fired.
2) The President then DENIED firing Berman, saying that was Barr's job. 
3) Berman resigned when, after barricading himself in his office he realized he would miss his Pelton ride the following day and break his 28 day streak. 
4) Jay Clayton, having spent about a dozen hours in the Starbucks around the corner from the SDNY waiting to be given the keys, was briefly hospitalized with caffeine intoxication. He is reported to be resting comfortably at home. 

POSTSCRIPT:
5) William Barr approached Justice Gorsuch and, in light of Gorsuch's support for LGBT rights, offered him the head of the Justice Department's Civil Division. Gorsuch turned him down, which means that next up is............Clayton is ordered to fire Gorsuch!