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, April 02, 2020

JUDGE DUFFY SDNY HAS PASSED AWAY

We are thirteen days away from projected peak virus activity (deaths, need for beds and ventilators)  in the US (April 15) and about 33 days away from projected peak virus activity in Florida as per the excellent IHME website here.
Today we unfortunately can expect to hear that 1036 Americans will die from the virus. The peak date will be April 15 when it is projected over 2,000 Americans will lose their life. Of course we can lower that number BY STAYING HOME. Please listen to us.  

Judge Kevin Duffy, of the Southern District of New York passed away Wednesday from the effects of COVID-19. If you did not know Judge Duffy, you missed one of the great Federal Judges in the US. A criminal defendant could not have a better Judge on the bench. Judge Duffy took the government's burden seriously, and he held their feet to the fire in every case and every hearing because he was acutely aware of the effects of a criminal prosecution. If you didn't know him, after reading the excerpt from the Obit below, you will get a flavor of what you missed. The man was a gem. 

From the NY Times Obit:

In handling these and thousands of other criminal and civil matters over almost 40 years, Judge Duffy gained a reputation for being colorful and often controversial in the courtroom, displaying an independent, even defiant streak and delivering unvarnished comments from the bench. He would sometimes compliment jurors on their apparel.
He once referred to a prosecutor as “that obnoxious little twerp.” In another case, an appeals court threw out a verdict because it said that the judge’s comments before the jury — including calling a lawyer’s questions “silly” and “goofy” — might have prejudiced the jurors against the lawyer’s client, who lost the case.

A Disaster is defined as a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life.

Tragedy is defined as an event causing great suffering,
destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.

The terms are apparently interchangeable, although used in a sentence it would be more appropriate to write "It took many years for Young Milt Hirsch to recover from the tragedy of the Cubs losing the pennant to the Mets in 1969 after leading the NL East almost wire to wire" as we have been recently discussing (by email of course). 

We were pondering whether to ask where COVID-19 ranks on the scale of a Tragedy or Disaster to befall Americans when compared to events like 9/11, Hurricanes Andrew and  Katrina, The Civil War, WWI, WWII, the rise of the Kardashians, and the times McDonalds has stopped selling the McRib and the Shamrock Shake.  

If you look at the cost economically, COVID-19 tops the list. The new Jobless claims for Unemployment set a record at 6.5 million applicants, which makes sense if you drive down any street and see all the businesses shuttered. Even our favourite restaurants only have a few chefs and a a few people processing orders. The waitstaff is not working. 
If you look at the costs in deaths, then it is going to be one of the Wars. 
If you look at the cost in terms of loss of culture, then it's the Kardashians. 

Rumpole's view:  Every tragedy presents a challenge to get better for the future. We can learn from our mistakes. Create a national supply of medical supplies including masks, gowns, gloves, antibiotics, and ventilators. Each state should have its own emergency supply as well. We can buy less weapons because it is clear that in an interconnected world, the ability to combat disease will now rival the ability to invade Ecuador. 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Disasters
McRibb
Civil War
WWI
WWII
Kardashians
Closure of the REN

Anonymous said...

Talk about economic disaster--the Civil War basically closed down the U.S. economy for four years and led to the total destruction of the Southern economy, while causing a necessary restructuring of it. We are still feeling the long term effects today.

Anonymous said...

With lockdowns in place, people are not going out, police are not making arrests. And with indefinite court closures, clients don't feel the urgency of having to hire a lawyer (remember those panicked calls where the client has court the next day and needs to hire a lawyer ASAP?)

How has this impacted business for you guys? Will criminal defense ever return to normal?

Is it time to branch out and practice other areas?

Anonymous said...

Who else loves the Filet O Fish? Is it the tartar sauce? The soft bun? The fish?