Sunday, September 30, 2007


Things just keep getting tougher in the NFL this year, which is becoming the season of the Haves (Cheaters, Colts, Steelers, Cowboys and the Surprising Packers) and the have nots-everyone else.

Here’s the thing. There isn’t one game this week we feel strong about. Our system, which is noticing trends the public does not (overrated or underrated teams especially) has not provided good matchups. The 49’ers did not look as good as we thought last week, so while we would normally say take them at home against the Seahawks, we think it is better to wait a week and see if they right themselves. Similarly, the Cardinals now have a QB controversy at the wrong time- with the visiting Steelers and their pressure defense. Stay away from that game.

The three games we like are visiting favorites. You will go broke quickly betting against home dogs on a regular basis. Thus, while we like the Eagles. The Pack, and the Jets, tread lightly here.

Here are our best guesses this week.

The Bears take their very tough Defense and start Brian Griese over Rex Grossman to Detroit. The Bears are banged up very bad, otherwise the play would be Bears -3. The over/under is 45 and that is intriguing. The Lions have an explosive offense. The Bears are banged up on defense. The play seems to be under, but with a Big Lion roaring on O, and a rejuvenated Bear offense psyched by behind Griese, over might just be the play here. The Lions are also one of our lesser trend teams in that they are better than people think. Lions +3, and Over 45.

The resurgent Philly Eagles take a quick bus ride to NJ to battle the NY Football Giants. The Giants are just hanging on with a gritty win over the Redskins last week, The line is Philly -3 and the over under is 47 ½. We like the Eagles who are the far superior team. The Giants are in reality ready to enter the Bill Cowher sweepstakes. Their Coach has lost this team, and nothing short of a super bowl victory will save his job. Take the Eagles -3 and the under.

The surprising Pack play division rival Vikings at Minneapolis. The Pack is -3 on the road, but the Vikes are starting their back-up QB. While the Vikes have rookie sensation Adrian Peterson, wouldn’t you go with Farve versus a backup. Take the Pack, but lightly as home dogs can bite.

The Dolphins (the Dolphins???) just about turned the corner last week. Is this the week they get off the schneid? Why not? There are lousy pickings this week. I really don’t feel strong about any picks, so take a couple of shots of Cuban coffee and call 52nd Street Irwin and say “give me the fins -4”. Stranger things have happened. The under is 41 and with the rain last night, it also might be a play here.

The Jets visit Buffalo as a 3 point favorite. The hapless Bills, bitten by the injury bug big time this year, start a rookie QB, and that always catches a bettor's eye. Give the 3 as the J E T S get a road win. The under is 37, which is low, but a 21-10 Jets win keeps it under.


Another tough week.
For us its down to the Cowboys or the Eagles. Our heart says Philly, but our heads say take the home favourite.

Rumpole: Cowpokes.

Feet of Clay: Holding his nose and closing his eyes, and with a heavy heart, he picks the Lions over his beloved Bears.

David Markus: Chargers.

Miguel De La Over: Dallas.

By the way, the very best sports today is Baseball. Can the METS hang on? Will Philly take it on the final day? Will there be a one game playoff tomorrow? The Marlins are right in the middle of this, as they play the Mets at Shea Stadium. Meanwhile the CUBS are division winners this year with Sweet Lou as their first year Manager. We are looking forward to a great October classic.

See You Tomorrow, The First Monday in October, with our bumbershoot.

Friday, September 28, 2007


The Daily Business Review got down to business today with an article on the new Regional Counsel Office in general and Mr. George in particular. The article is

When you get past the unfortunate picture of our colleague Mr. Denaro, who is leading the FIDA efforts detailed on the blog earlier this week, you come away with a feeling of distaste for the whole mess. This is not about Mr. George personally. But beyond the issue of the whole ROC system, people have raised questions about his qualifications to run the what is the second public defenders office in the largest and busiest circuit of the State.

From the Article:

Some critics note that Crist’s newly appointed director of the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel in Miami hasn’t worked a criminal case since he was a law student 22 years ago and has never tried a case of any kind before a jury. According to the appointment application obtained by the Daily Business Review, newly appointed director Joseph P. George Jr. wrote that none of his cases during his 13-year law career involved jury trials. George said Wednesday that he tried criminal cases as an intern clerk as part of his practice program at Samford University’s law school, and in his career has done some work involving the Baker Act — the civil state law that allows for the involuntary committal of mental patients. ...

Addressing critics who assert he lacks sufficient criminal experience for the Conflict Counsel job, George said: “I don’t think it gives an appropriate context. When people have their civil rights taken away [under the Baker Act], I think it disserves them to think that they’re a second thought.” “All I can do is the best I can do, and that’s going to be trying to hire the best people the most qualified people, and I’ve already taken steps in that direction,” he said. George conceded he initially failed the Florida Bar exam after he graduated law school in 1985. He worked as a legal investigator in the 16th Judicial Circuit in Key West until he passed the bar in 1994, after being told he needed a bar card if he wished to keep his job.

Rumpole responds: Try telling "I did my best" to the parents of an 18 year old boy who gets a life sentence because the lawyers were inexperienced. This is the real game here. The legislature is passing minimum mandatory sentences as fast as they can get out of the bar and vote, and State Attorneys Offices are enforcing the law. Is this really the appropriate place to start learning about voire dire, much less the other parts of a criminal trial? We would tell Mr. George to take his good intentions, get a job with Mr. Brummer's office, get some training under supervision of lawyers who know what they're doing, and then apply in five or ten years. Or in other words- do like the rest of us have done and get the training and experience necessary before saying you are competent to run a criminal defense office where you will be litigating against the very best prosecutors who may very well be trying to have your client executed.


In late August, Crist appointed George, who is white, director to the Conflict Counsel Office in Miami. The five Conflict Counsel Offices cover regions based on the state courts of appeal. Crist passed over Tampa attorney Belinda Noah, who holds a doctorate in law, to pick George. Noah, who is black, said she believes she is the victim of racial discrimination. “I feel it was a miscarriage of justice. It’s totally unjust what happened,” she said.

Rumpole says: We've said this before. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. We are tired of hearing about Mr. George's good intentions. In all honesty he would not hire someone like himself to represent a family member who was charged with murder or drug trafficking. Why would he seek to force his inexperience upon the poor of Dade County who don't have a choice in legal representation? The real honorable thing would be to decline the appointment and let someone who knows what they are doing run the office. That would really show his good intentions. We are left to conclude that Mr. George is merely a rank opportunist willing to balance his own personal ambitions upon the backs of clients who will suffer because of his ineptitude.

See You In Court, where the more we think about this, the angrier we get.

PS. When soemone decodes Mr. George's defense of his exprerience as reported int he DBR, please let us know. If that is the best he can do defending himself, prosecutors will be lining up to try cases against him and his office.


We like to use Fridays for writing about things other than strictly REGJB stuff.
The ever growing pile of tomes by our bedside has led us to ponder the whether summer is really the time that the best books get released? We think that based on our purely unscientific survey, the Fall reading season is when the best books get released.

So what is Rumpole reading?

We are slogging our way through the Reagan Diaries. If you can get past the mundane musings about White House life, every now and then there are some little gems tucked away. Our biggest disappointment is that the diaries have not been edited with commentary. It would have been more helpful and the reading would be more enjoyable if an editor had added some comments on the specific individuals or events of the time when they are mentioned, sometimes just in a fleeting passing comment, in the diaries.

But speaking of enjoyable, any WWII history buff will fly through Agent Zigzag, by Ben Macintyre. Agent Zigzag is the true story of Eddie Chapman, a small time British thief, safe cracker, and adventurist, who while in prison on one of the outlying British Isles, finds himself under Nazi capture (yes, a few of the British Isles were captured briefly by Germany in WWII). Chapman becomes a spy for the German Reich, and upon parachuting back into Britain, promptly becomes one of England's most successful and important double agents.

And speaking of mundane musings, Alan Greenspan's new biography The Age Of Turbulence is similarly possessed of small fed-speak tidbits wrapped around some astounding observations about past US policy and a wonderful chapter on the future economy. You ignore Mr. Greenspan's predictions at your own peril. Another great book requiring a commitment to spending a large amount of time to digest the material.

Author Dennis Johnson gives us his first novel in more than a decade, and it is an ambitious one, in Tree Of Smoke, a twisted labyrinth of a story centering around CIA Officer Skip Sands who is sent to Vietnam in 1967. A large book well worth the required investment of time and energy to digest a wonderful but scattered tale of Vietnam and beyond.

And to steal from Jay Leno, the other night he noted that this is National Book Month. While authors are going around the country expounding on the joys of reading, President Bush has asked for network time to give the rebuttal.

Only if you must: If you're the type of "wonky" guy that spends your weekend reading about federal sentencing, and we're not casting any labels

then the Denver University Law Review
HERE has several articles on the Booker/Rita advisory guideline sentencing line of cases. But only if you just can't find anything better to do this fantastic fall weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007



In the year 1215, one of the greatest legal documents ever written came to be known as the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta, (Latin for "Great Charter", literally "Great Paper"), also called Magna Carta Libertatum ("Great Charter of Freedoms"), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. Magna Carta was the most significant early influence on the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today. Magna Carta influenced many common law and other documents, such as the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and it is considered one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy.

Magna Carta was originally written because of disagreements between Pope Innocent III, King John and the English barons about the rights of the King. Magna Carta required the king to renounce certain rights, respect certain legal procedures and accept that his will could be bound by the law.

Any of the attorneys who read this blog and remember appearing for a jury trial before the Honorable Richard Yale Feder remember the time he spent with the venire going through the history lessons of the 13th century. I remember appearing in his chambers with opposing counsel and being told that I would be wearing the traditional garb of the barrister when presenting my case to the jury. I donned the robe, (he did not require us to wear the horsehair wigs) and we walked into the courtroom together and listened intently as Judge Feder explained the origins of the jury process as they related to the Magna Carta.

"No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, and or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, and or by the law of the land."

The other most enduring legacy of the Magna Carta is considered the right of Habeas Corpus. This right arises from what we now call Clauses 36, 38, 39, and 40 of the 1215 Magna Carta.

Why should we be discussing the document today in the year 2007?

This week, Sotheby's, the auction house, announced that it plans to auction off the 1297 copy owned by the Ross Perot Foundation. It plans to auction it in New York in mid-December and estimates that the document will sell for $20 million to $30 million. It is the only copy in the United States and the only copy in private hands. Sotheby's says 16 others are owned by the British or Australian governments or by ecclesiastical or educational institutions in England.

Until last week, this copy was on display in the National Archives in Washington, steps from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But it was only on loan from the foundation. Ross Perot bought it in 1984 for $1.5 million.

Why should we be discussing the Magna Carta? Because of Salih Uyar and Mosa Zi Zemmori. Uyar of Turkey and Zemmori of Belgium, are two of the more than 550 enemy combatants housed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They are there, in part, because they were captured wearing a Casio F91W digital watch. (This model of watch is notable because United States intelligence officials have identified it as the watch that terrorists use when constructing time bombs). These detainees have no rights. They have no attorneys, they have been granted no right to a public trial and many don't even know what their charges or and why they are there. They have no habeas corpus rights.

Why should we be discussing the Magna Carta? On Monday, the "First Monday of October", the United States Supreme Court will again come to order. The "Roberts" court is complete and we all know where it stands. In an era of red states and blue states, an era of disputed elections in 2000 (Florida) and 2004 (Ohio), and in an era of too many 5-4 decisions, the court will again meet to decide the most important legal issues of our time.

This past term, the court's first full one with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., the percentage of 5-to-4 decisions in which the four liberals (John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and David H. Souter) were together in dissent rose to 80 percent, up from 55 percent in the 2004 term.

No less than 12 of the previous 14 appointments to the court come from Republican presidents. Burger, Blackmun, Powell, Rehnquist, and O'Connor (all retired) and Stevens, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito were all appointed by Republicans. (Only Ginsburg and Breyer were appointed by a Democrat; Bill Clinton).

Next year, in 2008, we will again elect a new president. And, from this lawyer's perspective, that decision may be one of the most important ones we ever make. Stevens is 87 years old, Ginsburg 74, Breyer 69 and Souter a mere 68 years young. In the next eight years, it is possible that all four could be gone. A new Republican president surely means the further evisceration of the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments. Will the court still even recognize Habeas Corpus or the right to a Trial by Jury? There are many other important issues of our time that will come before the new Roberts' court.

Maybe it is time, this First Monday of October, to remember back to 1297 and the purpose behind the Magna Carta. We must stand strong and continue to demand that our leaders respect the rights of its citizens, that they respect certain legal procedures and they understand that their decisions are still bound by the law.

I am proud to be a lawyer and one of Liberty's Last Champions. I hope you all remember why you became a lawyer!!!

As Rumpole likes to say, "see you in court". I'll be the one carrying the 800 year old parchment and, unlike Perot's copy, mine won't be "For Sale".

CAPTAIN OUT .............................

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


An inmate protesting the food at the New Hampshire Department of Corrections attached a boiled egg to the pleadings he filed. United States Magistrate Judge James Muirhead had a little fun with the order, which is HERE
in which he wrote in part:

I do not like eggs in the file.
I do not like them in any style.
I will not take them fried or boiled.
I will not take them poached or broiled.
I will not take them soft or scrambled
Despite an argument well rambled.

We first spied the order on our favourite federal blog.
We think it’s important for everyone but especially Judges to have a sense of humor

The President of Iran, in the Big Apple this week for a UN Meeting on Global warning that President Bush decided not to attend, spoke yesterday at Colombia University.

Memo to the President: The ice cap is melting faster than expected. Go HERE to read the article.

We support Colombia University, not for giving a platform to a “petty dictator” who has denied the Holocaust and called for the destruction of Israel. We support Colombia University because in the market place of ideas, the only way we can win is to subject the ideas and positions of people like Ahmadinejad to the scrutiny of the public. Better to have the world hear Ahmadinejad in his own words deny the holocaust and deny the existence of any homosexuals in Iran, than to give him support by muzzling him and turning him into a martyr. Was anyone really worried that he would convince any rational individual that the holocaust didn’t happen? Either we meet and defeat this extremist in the market place of ideas, or we fight him on the battlefield. While the latter may indeed happen, we should not forget that we brought down the entire repressive Soviet Regime without one solider losing his life in direct combat with the Russians. Extremism can fail under its own oppressive weight.

Give peace a chance. Or as President Reagan said "Trust. But verify."

Isn't it ironic that people from the greatest generation, like the President's father, risked their lives in WWII to save the world from tyranny, only to see their children slowly destroy the world with pollution and carbon emissions?

Michael Vick was indicted in Virginia State court on dog fighting charges. While we have no sympathy for Vick, isn’t it about time congress did something to stop these oppressive two front prosecutions that state court and federal prosecutors engage in to put extreme pressure on defendants? Here in South Florida we see that every day when the Feds decide to shoot some fish in the barrel by indicting defendants in Federal Court for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after the defednant has pled to a CCF in State court. The Federal charge can carry a 15 year minimum mandatory and with a state court plea already in the books, what defense can be mounted? Congress needs to put some teeth back into the double jeopardy clause.

And finally, the NY Times carried this OP ED PIECE
piece by Adam Cohen about Senator Craig’s attempt to set aside his plea for disorderly conduct in a Mens room in the Minnesota Airport.

Craig, a right wing Christian Conservative Republican has been a big backer of President Bush’s federal judicial nominees. You know who they are- the conservative judicial candidates who are believers in limiting a defendants access to courts, and who have eviscerated most of the case law on post conviction relief. Now comes Senator Craig, who suddenly finds himself with the strange bedfellow of – no, not an undercover officer- but the ACLU who is supporting his attempt to withdraw his plea of guilty.

From Mr. Cohen’s Op Ed Piece:

Mr. Craig is hardly alone in deciding that he likes defendants’ rights after he became a defendant. Among law-and-order conservatives, it’s the norm. Oliver North got his Iran-contra convictions thrown out, with the A.C.L.U.’s help, on a relative technicality. This year, an official of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, James Tobin, got his conviction for jamming Democratic Party lines in New Hampshire on Election Day reversed on a fine point about what his “purpose” was.
It would be gratifying if conservatives who saw the legal system’s flaws up close were changed by the experience. After all, as the joke goes, a liberal is just a conservative who has been arrested. But more often, they carve out an exception to their tough-on-crime philosophy, just for themselves.

As we have said time and time again, Karma Kramer.
Nothing is so satisfying as to see some law and order right wing conservative suddenly in desperate need of the services we struggle to provide clients on a daily basis.

See You In Court, where there are some judges we'd love to give an egg with our pleadings, but we probably won't.

Monday, September 24, 2007


No it’s not a secret Masonic organization.
Nor is it the female version of Fido, your local neighborhood mutt.
It may well be Joe George and his Rockettes worst nightmare.

We requested an email on FIDA, and here is what we got, which we have edited:

FIDA, inc. or Forida Indigent Defense Association is a non profit organization dedicated to defeating SB 1088. Also affiliated with FIDA is a CCE or a committee of continuous existence called "Alliance For Legal Reform." Both organizations have been raising money for the singular purpose of getting things back to the way they used to be vis a vis the court appointment system. To date, we have raised around $30, 000.00. FIDA’s philosophy is that the best way to influence the process is to become part of the political process. To that end FIDA has hired lobbyists to advance our case. The firm we hired is called the "Barretto Group." Brian May, one of the partners, was Dade Mayor Pinellas' chief of staff for 8 years. Part one of the plan advanced by May and FIDA was to get the county attorney to cut funding for the ROC offices. This just happened last week. Part two is to get the County Commission to sue the state since SB 1088 requires the County to pay for elements of the conflict office notwithstanding article 5 which reserves such costs for the state. We also have a lobbyist working the Broward County Commission for the same goals. Step Three is to work the legislature once the law suit is filed. The Legislature does not have the highest respect or concern for criminal defense attorneys or our clients. FIDA believes that the reason this whole problem occurred is that criminal defense attorneys have never played the game- lobbying Tallahassee to make sure that the money in the budget for criminal appointments would remain.

Currently FIDA is paying the Barretto group $7,000.00 per month. Attorneys have given up to $3,000.00 but the average donation has been around $1,500.00. FIDA needs to raise around $250,000.00 per year to become major players.

Criminal Defense Attorneys who want to help should send checks
payable to FIDA
to 777 Brickell Avenue
Suite 400
Miami, Florida, 33131

Rumpole says: It seems simple- you want to get your money out of Tallahassee? Pay up and play the game.

This is a fantastic NY Times Sunday Magazine article on

Justice John Paul Stevens
, who it turns out, spends half of the court’s term working out of his condo right here in South Florida.

We highly recommend the article.

Suicide Pool: Everyone except 52nd Street Irwin remains alive for week 4.

Football: Cowpokes redeemed us. Pulling out a tougher than expected 34-10 win. Bears are showing that in this day and age you need more than a very good defense to win. Bears played the Boys even at 3-3 and then 10-10 through 3 quarters, but with the rules slanting towards the offense, the Belichick philosophy that you need an offense to win a shootout to be successful in the NFL appears to be true. Bears just could not shut out a top quality offense for a full game. Rumpole improves to 3 wins (Fins/Jets Over; Cowboys; and the upset we called- Packers the underdog win outright: if you followed our advice and shunned the points for the money line, 100 got you 215 in return.)

We are not counting our "win" with the Texans and the points because we later backed away from that after the Texans announced that Ron Dayne would not play. We had two ties- Jets -3 and Seahawks -3, and one loss: Jax upset the Broncos in Denver. 3-1 makes money every time.

See You In Court.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


DOLPHINS AT JETS. It’s time we started riding this Miami gravy train. The Fins are only getting 3 in their visit to the big apple. Rumpole shocker: MIAMI WILL NOT LOSE TODAY IN NY. GUARANTEED (since they are playing in New Jersey) However, the Fins lately have had a tough time on the road against the Jets. Call it a reverse curse of the famous Marino Spike Play. This is just the game Mangenuis needs to right his Jets. Give the three. Jets -3. The total in this game is 35 and Miami/Jets games have a history of going under the number, but the Jets have some problems on D and the Dolphins do not want to go 0-3, so I think they will pull out all the stops here. Dolphin D minus Zack won't make it any easier. Over 35.

COWBOYS AT BEARS. We’re continuing our theme of overrated teams this season. The Bears are overrated. Didn’t we tell you before the season started that the Saints were overrated? Now they’re 0-2. The Bears are 1-1 and while their defense is stout, their offense is anemic. The Boys are getting three points on the road and we think they are the superior team. We’re a little worried putting some cow patties on the Cowboys for their second consecutive road game. You try and stay away from teams on their second consecutive road game, but we still like riding the line against the overrated teams, making Dallas +3 the play here in the NFC marquee match-up of the week.

BENGALS AT SEAHAWKS. Remember last week when Irwin talked about lines that appear out of wack? The total here is 49 ½ points. The Bengals have a potent offense, but Seattle has a good defense and Seattle has a good but not explosive offense. So the number seems too high. The Bengals are getting 3 points on the road, and this is their second week on the road after an exhausting and surprising shoot out with the Browns last week. By all rights, this should be the week the embarrassed Bengals bounce back. But that takes character, and we are not convinced this Bengals team has character. The Seahawks ( as we predicted) lost last week to the Cardinals on the road, and they do have character. We like Seattle minus 3 here.

COLTS AT TEXANS. The Colts are beatable. They showed that last week, eking out a 22-20 win. This Houston team is for real, and more importantly, they believe in themselves. The Texans are getting 7 at home, and its time to ride this Houston gravy train for a while. The Texans showed great character in coming from behind against a tough Carolina defense last week, and they did it on the road. They will be sky high for this game, and 7 points is a gift. Houston +7. (The line opened at 7 and moved to 6.5, meaning lots of money is going on the Texans. If you were in Vegas the play would be to follow the late money. Since we can't do that here- talking about gambling on the phone is some sort of federal offense right? And we would never do that. Anyway, take what you can get or tease it up.)

Denver stole one from the Raiders last week. And if you know us, you know it pains us greatly to give the Raiders any kind of sympathy. But Janikowsky made that 53 yard field goal and that last tenth of a second timeout was BS. Be that as it may, Jay Cutler is coming into his own, while we think trouble is brewing in JAX. The Broncos -3 a mile high win.

We doubt you will ever see a play as juicy as the NE Cheaters -3 at home last week. What did we tell you? That the Cheaters would “pound” the hapless Chargers, and that is exactly what happened.

San Diego is giving 6 points to the surprising Packers in Green Bay. The Packers are not a 2-0 team, and yet there they sit, having whooped up on the Eagles and the Giants. The Packers will return to earth. But the real question is whether San Diego’s new coach Norv Turner has this team? There was a power struggle in San Diego and Marty Schottenheimer lost out. Turner does not seem to have the Chargers believing in him. If the Chargers lose, they lose big. Meaning the play here is not the line, but the money line.
100 pieces of cheese gets you 215 back on a straight Packer win with no points. Consider it, but lightly.

This week is tough. The one Play is clearly the NE Cheaters. However, you can make a case for the Seahawks or the Broncos. The rule of thumb in these pools is to not get too fancy and look several weeks down the road. The rule of thumb is to survive, which means the Cheaters are the choice. And yet, the Broncos should win…..hmmm.

David Markus: NE Cheaters
Feet of Clay: Seahawks
52nd Street Irwin: Broncos
Miguel De La Over: NE Cheaters
Rumpole: Gonna play it safe and take the Cheaters and stay alive.

J….E….T…S….(don’t you just hate those slovenly cads covered in Green mocking us? Until the Dolphins clean house and get some Cowher power, look for things to remain the same sad way. What really stinks is that guys like Zack Thomas and Jason Taylor will not even get a taste of the playoffs much less a super bowl. These guys spent their whole career here with a bunch of losing coaches. Cam seems to be a nice guy, but don’t they finish last? )

Lastly some sad news, a reader reported late last evening that the prince of polygraphs, George Slattery has passed away.

See You Tomorrow, counting my winnings.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


In our copy of today's Herald, in the Local Dade Section, here is the Headline:

Jerk Festival set for Sunday in Sunrise

There is just so much we could do with that, we wouldn't know where to begin.

There's a probation warrant out for
Barret Robbins Eddie O'Donnell's client.
Robbins is in Texas, so the Miami Beach police department, in a startling display of detective work, have prepared and distributed wanted flyers in Miami Beach.

Sharpie got the former CITY ATTORNEY
of North Miami community control and probation, and a withhold, for having sex with a sixteen year old girl.

And our favourite Herald Scribe Oh Susannah Nesmith wrote that a man claiming to be the THE ALMIGHTY HIMSELF made an appearance yesterday before Judge Adrien, but the Judge remained "unimpressed" and sentenced the man to life in prison for murder.

While we commend the Judge for following the law, with all the flack he has been getting lately on the blog, one wonders whether he should tempt providence so willingly?

(for some) today, and Football for all tomorrow (well, maybe we are over stating things a bit. Perhaps it is a bit too much to expect the Dolphins to play football tomorrow. Let them just go on doing whatever it is they do on Sundays.)

Reminder to all those left in the Suicide Pool- get those picks in.

See ya Monday.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Conflict with the Conflict office?

Our spies say yes.
As another secret source once muttered many years ago “follow the money” or in our case, the lack thereof.

It should be no secret that Governor Crist’s little experiment with the Sixth Amendment right to counsel has developed several powerful enemies in several places. Beyond the lawyers and lawyer-lobbyists, can you think of another group of people who are more than a bit ticked off?

The answer is the Mayors and County Executives of local governments who are being forced to foot some of the bill for the ROC office. Politics makes strange bedfellows, and that could not be more clearer than in Dade County where an unlikely confluence of defense lawyers and Dade County executives have banded together.

What Crist has joined together, let no man tear asunder? Not when it comes to the Regional Counsel Office.

What Rumpole has learned is that Dade County is now of the opinion that SB 1088- the bill that creates the Regional Counsel Office- is unconstitutional. Because Dade County believes that SB 1088 is unconstitutional, the County now is of the belief that Dade County is under no obligation to fund their portion of SB-1088.

What does that mean?

It means that while Mr. Joe George and his top leftenants were making the rounds in the Justice Building Thursday introducing themselves to Judges and pledging to work hard in representing defendants, powerful political forces were at work undermining Mr. George’s office’s very existence.

Dade County funds its projects with a Budget Memo. Rumpole has obtained that Memo, and there is currently no funding for the ROC included. There is also consideration for adding language in the Memo indicating Dade’s official position: that the county is under no obligation to fund ROC.

Translation: Mr. George and his Rockettes have no money for office space, so they better start getting used to working out of their homes. It’s ironic. Because of Mr. George’s existence, several criminal defense attorneys have opted to work out of their home to save costs while the court appointment mess shakes out. Now, Mr. George and his staff have no money for office space either.

Karama Kramer.

Unfortunately, that may not be 100% correct, because we have received conflicting information that the State legislators, anticipating these maneuvers, have authorized additional funds to cover the first year of expenses. Yet we have also learned that as late as Thursday Mr. Crist cut another 2 million from the ROC offices.

Like most politics, its all pretty confusing to a poor country lawyer.

Be that as it may, it cannot be very comforting to Mr. George and his Rockettes to know that their very existence depends upon the additional funding of the legislature to make up for the hostile reception from local governments that everyone was anticipating they would receive.

Howdy- now leave.

You can bet this battle is not over. The Republicans will not rest until they have wrung every possible protection out of the 6th Amendment until it hangs there, like the cheap suit in the back of the closet that no one wants to wear.

So Mr. George, as we have opined before, most of your colleagues resent your very (professional) existence. But it’s not personal Sonny. It’s strictly business.

And you remember what happened to Sonny Corleone don't you?

They killed him on causeway.

See You In Court.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


ONE NIGHT ONLY. Tonight. At the Miami Historical Museum at 101 West Flagler Street.

A New President parades down Biscayne Boulevard, while nearby an assassin squints and aims his gun. A shot rings out. A man crumples to the ground fatally wounded.

The 11th Circuit Historical Society presents The Five Weeks Of Giuseppe Zangara.

The five weeks refers to the time between the attempted assassination of President Roosevelt, and Zangara’s execution. Author Blaise Pichi will be present for a book signing as the 11th Circuit Historical Society kicks off an exciting season of events.

Rick Freedman, ever the eternal optimist, writes in defense of the clerk’s office:

rick freedman said...

This is not the first time I have had to provide you with accurate information; (ie the interpreter column).
According to the Clerk's office, (I spoke with them today), Director of the Division in charge of those that work the windows on the 9th floor, both for the public as well as for the attorneys, probation officers, etc., the procedures for obtaining a file and viewing the file WILL return to normal on either Friday or Monday. It is true that the office was undergoing a makeover and that this makeover did cause an inconvenience for the attorneys, but it is NOT a permanent fixture.
Also, I spoke with the Clerk about their policies reference waiting times. I received a commitment from this person that, once the regular system is back in place, that if there are more than three people waiting for assistance in the attorney's window line, that a second clerk should come over and assist the other clerk at the window. If you continue to encounter this problem, and do not see a change in the speed and efficiency of the clerks, please let me know and I will talk to them again.

Rumpole replies: My dear Mr. Freedman, your misplaced faith in the clerk’s office mirrors your faith in the Jaguars (now we’re even for that shot you took about this not being the first time you have to set us straight.)

Rumpole is sorry to inform you that there is no Santa Claus. There is no Easter Bunny. And there is a snowball’s chance in hell of the Clerk’s office efficiently and promptly assisting attorneys in obtaining files to review. I assure you that I did indeed inquire as to why, having trekked down the hallway, I was given a form to request a file and told I had to walk back down the hallway to turn it in, and then walk back down the hallway to see if I won the lottery and my file was available. And I swear it is true that when I asked the clerk in the attorneys room why he could no longer go get files, I was met by a blank stare and then the comment : “We just painted this room” as if that clerkian logic explained why it was necessary to race up and down the hallways like a rat in a maze (no smart comments please) only to be told there was no cheese.

You want to believe their bureaucratic propaganda? Go right ahead. From someone who on a weekly basis waits in that interminable line while the clerk’s disappear for ten and twenty minutes at a time only to return with a smirk to say “the file is out”, we are just a bit less optimistic than you are.


You have heard the STORY
by now. Some African American students at a Louisiana high school decide to “sit on the white side” of a meeting area at the school. White students responded by putting nooses in the trees. The African American students got upset, a fight broke out, and six young black men sit accused of attempted murder and face decades in prison, while the noose builders go on with their studies.

Today in Jena, Louisiana, hundreds if not thousands will descend on this small backward town to protest the treatment of these young men.

Violence begets violence. Does Rumpole support these young men’s actions in initiating physical violence ( if that is what they did)? The answer is no. Nor does Rumpole support hanging nooses in trees.

The answer is so simple it is right in front of their racists noses.

This happened at a school. These are kids. And they need to be taught. The white students and black students need to be brought together in a class. The white students need to write essays on southern lynchings. The black students need to write essays on Dr. King’s philosophy of non-violence. Instead of throwing the book at these kids, some enlightened educators need to see this as a chance to plant ideas that can turn these kids into productive citizens.

See You In Court, helping to explain to Mr. Freedman why there is no tooth fairy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Longtime and careful readers of the blog may remember when we commented on the efficient system the clerk's office has for retrieving files so that attorneys may review them. Who among us has not been in court and received a lecture from a Judge about how when s/he was a lawyer they always pulled every file they were handling from the clerk's office once a week?

At the time we reminded everyone of the procedure as it then existed:

1)Go to your local library and obtain a copy of War and Peace and Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
2) Go to the REGJB and proceed to the 9th floor and head to the attorneys room. If you're in luck, there are only two people ahead of you.
3) Open War and Peace.
4) By the time you are half way done, the clerk will have efficiently handled the two people ahead of you and pleasantly inquire how they can help you.
5) Give the clerk the case number of the file you wish to review. The clerk will type something into a computer, squint as if the reply is in ancient Korean, and leave.
6) Finish War and Peace and begin Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
7) The Clerk will return to inform you that the file is "out". Who knew that files had a better social life than most lawyers in the REGJB? These files get around, and probably the one place on earth they will not be is on the shelf in the clerk's office.

From a recent NY Times article: "Nato Forces stopped a Taliban convoy on the Kabul-Jalabadad Road today and found a cache of weapons and several felony files belonging to a division of criminal court in Miami presided over by a 'Judge Firtel'. Authorities were investigating how the Taliban obtained the weapons."

8) Rinse and repeat.

Now however, things have gotten weirder.

After several emails and complaints from alert readers, we have pieced together this information:

The powers that be have decided to put up a fresh coat of paint and some new furniture in the attorneys room of the REGJB. However, this has created some unknown force field which now prevents clerks who are assigned to that room from leaving to get files. Clerks not currently entrapped in the force field can enter and leave at will. But clerks in the attorney room cannot currently leave the room, necessitating aid in the form of supply drops by air from the aforementioned NATO troops who keep finding our files in Afghanistan.

This is 100% true: If you now go to the attorneys' room on the 9th floor you will be greeted by fresh paint and a helpful clerk, who will inform you that you can look at the files in the room, but you cannot request the files from the room. This is because of the aforementioned force field.

Here is how it goes:

Rumpole: I'd like to see a file please.

Clerk: Great. Just fill out this form, walk back down the hall to room 9000, wait in that long line with the rest of the sweating and lost masses, and hand in your file request form. Then the clerk will go get the file and you need to come back here to review it.

Rumpole: Huh?

Clerk: Great. Just fill out this form...

Rumpole: I heard you. I just don't understand. Why can't you go get the files? I can see some right over your shoulder, right there, about twenty feet away?

Clerk: Sir! We have remodeled this room!

Rumpole: Yesssss......I can see that. But why can't you just go get the file like you used to do all these years? I have my books with me right here.

Clerk: We can't leave here to get the file. You have to go to room 9000 and the clerk there will get the file and bring it here.

Rumpole: So they can enter and leave the force field area, but you are stuck?

Clerk: By jove I think you've got it!

So there you have it folks. The new and improved system for reviewing felony files.

See You In Court, and on some long hopeless line on the 9th floor. I'm the guy reading War and Peace. Again.

Monday, September 17, 2007


As Monday begins, a family prepares to bury a Husband and Father, taken from them at age 37 by a killer with a semi automatic rifle. Here are the two ways you can donate to Officer Somohano's family.

The PBA LOVE FUND is a fund that has been set up to help the families of slain officers. The Love Fund depends on PBA special events and outside contributions for its success. It is a federally recognized charitable organization[501(c)(3)] and contributions to it are fully tax deductible.

Please make your check or money order payable to the
"Dade County PBA Love Fund"
and mail to:Dade County PBA1
10680 PBA Memorial Blvd.(NW 25th St.)
Miami, FL 33172

Or go to this link to DONATE


This Thursday at 6:00 PM., at the Historical Museum at 101 West Flagler Street, the 11th Circuit Historical Society will have a Book signing and remarks by author Blaise Pichi who has written
The Five Weeks Of Giuseppe Zangara, The Man who tried to Kill FDR.

For young prosecutors and PDs, this is a great organization and a wonderful way to meet lawyers and Judges who have been around awhile and can steer you in the right direction. Miami has a rich legal history and Judge Scott Silverman has done a fantastic job getting this organization off the ground. New lawyers might be surprised to find out that the Miami legal community has had involvement in significant historical events like Watergate, the trial of serial killer Ted Bundy, not to mention the assassination attempt on Roosevelt. We are sure Judge Silverman and his crew have a whole host of stories and events lined up in the months and years ahead.


The Cincinnati Bungals marched into Cleveland yesterday fresh off their win over the Ravens in week one. Cleveland, in apparent disarray after being pounded in week one by the Steelers so bad, that after one and half quarters their starting quarterback for the season was benched and then traded. So what happens? After our fabulous Femme Fatale of Football, TOOTS, and Dan Lurvey pick the Bengals for a quick and easy win this week, the Browns throw up 51 points and hang on for a 51-45 win, as the shocking upset of the week. The never say die Brownies knocked Toots and Dan Lurvey out of the suicide pool. Markus, Clay Kaiser, and Miguel De La O, are breathing easier as the Jaguars eek out a 13-7 victory over the low flying Falcons. The Falcons were one late TD from turning this suicide pool into a two man event. Yours truly and 52nd Street Irwin cruised as the Steelers pounded the Bills. Toots and Lurvey join Rick Freedman on the sidelines, as 5 remain in the suicide pool.


And finally comes this STORY
of the hapless man who stole a car to drive to court to turn himself in on an outstanding warrant. Under the theory of if it can happen, it will, our enterprising hero was arrested driving the stolen vehicle before he got to court. Gotta love his moxie.

See You In Court, where we may just try the “necessity defense” the next time we tee it up in a Grand Theft Auto case.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


With our extensive beltway and White House contacts, Rumpole has learned that President Bush will announce tomorrow (Monday) that he is nominating former NY Federal Judge Michael Mukaskey, for Attorney General. The NY Times article is HERE

Judge Mukaskey was originally appointed to the Bench by President Reagan. He was a Judge in the Second Circuit for 19 years, and was chief Judge of the Southern District Of New York. Before becoming a Judge, Mukaskey served in the US Attorneys Office with Rudy Guiliani.


7 of 16 games today have point spread 8.5 or above. Three more have point spreads of 7 or more. Ten of 16 games require you to lay 7 or more if you fancy the favorite.

We lost last week on the 49ers. This week they get 3 while traveling to St. Louis. The o/u is 45. Sticking with our theory that the 49ers will surprise people this year, we like San Fran +3, but the better play here is under 45. Neither team’s offense is clicking. 49er’s +3 and under 45.

Seattle goes to Arizona. The last time these two teams met, in December of last year, the Cardinals shocked the Seahawks 27-21. The Cardinals are favoured by 2.5, but again, we like the under 45 here. That is against the trend, but we like the pick because of the good Seahawks Defense against pretty boy Matt Leinart who is clearly struggling learning the Ken Whizenhut Offense. When a QB is confused, teams tend to run the ball. Under 45 again.

San Diego travels to NE to play the Cheaters. The line is Cheaters minus 3.5. You have to take Bill Cheater and his Cheaters when they are home and giving up less than 7. The Cheaters put this week’s controversy behind them; they have removed all the bugs and wiretaps in the visiting team’s locker room, the visiting teams’ Gatorade is no longer spiked with sleeping pills, and as much as we hate to say it, the Cheaters are still one of the two best teams in the league (right up there with those never say die Brownies). The Chargers are the third or fourth best team ( second or third if you only count teams that don’t cheat) but Karma isn’t enough today as the evil genius and his cheaters pound, and we mean pound, the well meaning but hapless fair playing Chargers. NE Cheaters -3.5.

Saints go to Tampa Bay and the o/u is 42. The trend is that Over has prevailed the last 3 meetings between these two teams. What does Rumpole do with trends? He chews them up like prosecutors that won't waive minimum mandatories and spits them out. Take the under 42. Tampa runs the much discussed Tampa-2 D (which is, as most football historians know, the 70’s Steelers Cover 2 D, which Tony Dungy learned from Chuck Noll when he played and coached in Pittsburgh). We don’t like the Cover 2 D, but its obviously easy to be successful at it when half your starting defense is in the Hall of Fame. While the Bucs don't have that, they do play D very well. Saints are overrated.

Wanna get crazy? The Colts go to Tennessee where the home team Titans are 7 ½ point under dogs. Ask Tony Dungy which team, year in year out, gives him the most problems? The Cheaters? Nah. The Dolphins? Hahaha. It is Jeff Fisher and his resurgent Titans. With Vick in the dog pound, Vince Young takes over as the most exciting QB in the league. Fisher has built his Titans to run and pound the rock, as they did last week, churning up 280+ yards against one of the best run defenses in the league. Peyton Manning can point and yell and change the play a dozen times at the line of scrimmage, but every time Young takes a snap he is the only player on the field who can score at any time from any type of field position. Wanna take a flyer? Laugh at those 7 ½ points and TAKE THE TITANS AND THE MONEY LINE. Yup, play for the upset and bet 100 crackers to win 360 straight up. Wow! Can Rumpole really call the upset of the year? We shall see. Everything is against it. The Colts have had ten days to prepare. They are the defending champions. And yet, Jeff Fisher is the most underrated coach in the league (it was not that long ago his Titans lost a Super Bowl by two yards) and he has one of the two most explosive players in the league (give LT of the Chargers his props). That adds up to a team that will be in most games long into the fourth quarter. Don’t bet the mortgage here. Don’t even bet one of Markus’s fees, a Rumpole fee would be more than enough to have some fun with here.

52nd Street Irwin’s tip of the week: Lines are set to accomplish one thing and one thing only: to give the book an equal amount of players on either side of the game. If 10 people pick the dolphins for 100 this week and 10 people pick the Cowboys for a 100, then the book makes an automatic 100 as he gets 10% of the losing bet, and one team has to win. Some people think that some books may manipulate the line because they have inside information. For instance, if the Colts were playing the Browns at home this week, and the line was Browns -7 (Cleveland favored by a touchdown!!!!!?????) some people believe that the book, by forcing you to take the Colts, has some inside information that the entire Indy team has the flu. Irwin says, that is not necessarily the case, although the issue bears further inspection. When you see a line out of wack, what it means is that somebody (more likely a whole bunch of people) like one team a lot more. The Book is still just trying to get people to bet the other way just to keep the money they are taking on each team roughly even. Then the question is whether the money moving the line is from insider money, or just a bunch of rabid fans. If you are a natural contrarian like Rumpole, then you might just want to sniff out the inside money and go with them. In our example that would mean taking a deep breath and taking the Browns -7. Somebody has put so much down on them that the Books are forced to move the line to force people to take the Colts. The question is why?


Feet of Clay Kaiser: Jaguars
Miguel De La O: Jaguars
52nd Street Irwin: Steelers.
Rumpole: Steelers

It's going to be awful lonely if the Jags drop a second straight at home.

THIS WEEK ON THE BLOG: More on the upcoming event by the 11th Circuit Historical Society.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


The Captain was good enough to post the information in the comments section yesterday about donating to Officer Somohano’s family.

Officer Jose Somohano was 37 years old and he leaves behind a wife and two children. Somohano was a former schools police officer who was hired by the Miami-Dade Police Dept. in 2003.

The PBA LOVE FUND is a fund that has been set up to help the families of slain officers.

The Love Fund depends on PBA special events and outside contributions for its success.

It is a federally recognized charitable organization[501(c)(3)] and contributions to it are fully tax deductible.

Please make your check or money order payable to the

"Dade County PBA Love Fund"

and mail to:Dade County PBA1

10680 PBA Memorial Blvd.(NW 25th St.)

Miami, FL 33172

We who labour as attorneys some times find ourselves opposing officers in court. We may disagree with their view of a case, but we can never forget that every officer has volunteered to work at a job that may require that they sacrifice their life to protect us or our family. Officer Somohano paid that ultimate price. Many years from now when his name is rarely spoken among us, his family will still have that empty space in their heart. Like Miami Beach Officer Scotty Rakow, and other officers killed in the line of duty, his sacrifice will be applauded, his name will be remembered fondly, but we will go on about our lives, while his family will feel his loss everyday. A small donation is the least we can do to ease his family’s heartache and pain.


This Thursday – September 20, at 6:00 PM., the 11th Circuit Historical Society will have a Book signing and remarks by author Blaise Pichi who has written The Five Weeks Of Giuseppe Zangara, The Man who tried to Kill FDR. While there is no truth to the rumor that the case still languishes on page 165 of Judge Adrien’s calendar, we highly recommend everyone attend this event at the Historical Museum- 101 West Flager- right across from the Civil Court House, and join the 11th Circuit Historical Society. It is a great organization.


Rick Freedman bit the dust in week one (last time we mention this Rick, we promise). And a few picks have already come in. Toots our famous Femme Fatale of Football, our Pretty Pigskin Prognosticator, is going with the Bengals over the Browns, while David Markus like the Dolphins over the Cowboys!!!!!…..just kidding. Markus likes the Jaguars at home over the low flying Falcons. Everyone else still alive (meaning everyone but Rick) is reminded to get their picks in before Sunday.
Rumpole's picks tomorrow.

Friday, September 14, 2007


The following post was on the Broward Blog. We thought we'd reprint it here as proof that things are indeed getting better North of the Border........NOT.

My Midsummer Nightmare" by Maury Halperin

Maury Halperin wrote:Attention: criminal defense lawyers/F.Y.I.
Re:scheduling conflicts/contempt/judge Gold.


ACT ONE. a couple of months ago, I announced ready on a Gold case and was sent to the pool/trial unit. a few days later, I was called at 11:45 a.m. and told to be in front of Backman at 1:30 p.m. for trial. I told the caller that I had just left the dentist office (having recently broken a tooth), that my mouth was numb, and that I had to go home, change, etc, and may not make it on time. She could not excuse me, so I called Backman's J.A., she could not excuse me, so I did my best and arrived at 2:00 p.m., only to find Backman picking a jury on another case. I went home. few days later Gold issued a rule to show cause why I should not be held in contempt for failure to appear. (rule later dismissed based on above explanation)

ACT TWO.more recently, i announced ready on another Gold case and filed a speedy demand. The case was sent to the pool. On Monday 8/27, I started trial in front of Fogan on an unrelated S.Kaplan case that went into tuesday. The jury retired to deliberate around 5:00 p.m. I then checked my voicemail to find that my Gold speedy case was set for Wednesday, 8/29 in front of Weinstein. I was previously ordered by a federal judge to be in Miami on 8/29 at 8:45 a.m. to start a federal trial. I called Diane from the pool and explained to her my prior commitment. On wednesday, 8/29, I went to Miami. A few days later, I was served with a second rule to show cause why I should not be held in contempt signed by Gold. (rule pending, hearing set for 9/27 at 9:45 a.m.)

ACT THREE.because I did not show on 8/29, the prosecutor scheduled a staus on the case/speedy, for 9/5/ at 9:00 a.m. he gave me notice on 9/4 at 1:00 p.m.I showed up on 9/5/ at 9:15 a.m., after a hearing in O'Connor's courtroom, and the judge was not on the bench yet. (surprise). I had a previous commitment in a federal case in Miami for 11:00 a.m., so I told my client to stay, and when called, to tell the judge I had a previous commitment in Miami, and to please reset the status. Gold illegally removed me from the case over my client's begging to keep me on, (I was an s.p.d), appointed a new s.p.d., and, you guessed it, told me that he will be issuing yet another rule to show cause why I should not be held in contempt. (rule promised and coming to the theatre soon).

can anyone believe this? wouldn't a status to first get the explanation for the non-appearance be the better course? and if not satisfactory, then do a rule?

Thought I should share this with you. obviously, nobody bothered to look at the rules governing conflict. maybe judge Gold's cases get priority over all others, but I cannot find the rule that says that.

Rumpole says: Now you know what its like for us attorneys in Miami to practice North of the Border. Actually when we emerge from a Broward case with a mere Rule to Show Cause, we consider it a victory.


What’s wrong with these headlines and stories that are in the NY Times today?




What’s wrong is that nothing is right. This was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at arguably the wrong time.

Wrong War: We invaded Iraq for its failure to turn over WMD’s it didn’t have. Wrong war.

Wrong Place: Iran is building a nuclear weapon. So is North Korea. What can the US do about it? With its army depleted because of this war we are bogged down in, absolutely nothing. Wrong place.

Wrong Time: There were ways with dealing with Al Qaeda without driving every other nation in the middle east into the arms of Al Qaeda. We squandered that chance as Bush and his cabinet virtually welcomed the 9/11 attacks as a way of giving them the excuse they needed to finish off Saddam Hussein.

Wrong War. Wrong Place. Wrong Time. And we are paying for it. Now our President wants to deplete our national treasury, to say nothing of our national resources- the most valuable of which are the young people who are dying in Iraq, for an indeterminate period of time beyond when he leaves office.

Our standing in the world community has never been lower.

Our armed forces have never been more depleted and stretched beyond capacity in the last 30 years.

And after invading one of the most prolific producers of oil, the price of oil has never been higher.

We are going to spend a trillion dollars on this fiasco.

We could have spent half of that on poverty in this country, and the other half rebuilding infrastructure, exploring sources of alternative energy, reversing global warming, fighting AIDs, and paying down the debt.

And what do we have for our money?
A complete mess.

Bush is the worst president in my lifetime.
Bush is the worst president in the last 100 years.
Bush may be the worst president we have ever had.

See You In Court. Football tomorrow and Sunday.

UPDATE: The individual suspected of shooting four Miami Dade Officers, and killing one, was killed yesterday evening in a shootout with the police. More guns. More death. A sad day in our gun laden city. If someone will email us details about the slain officer's funeral, and any support fund for his family (and we believe he was married with small children) will will post it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007




CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:The correct name of the suspect accused of shooting four police officers is:SHAWN SHERWIN LABEETMr. Wehner has contaced the Jacksonville police and confirmed that his identification was stolen.CAPTAIN OUT .....

The Herald reported this:

The alleged suspect's uncle in New York, John Wehner, told The Miami Herald that police in South Florida are searching for the wrong man. ''It's a case of mistaken identity,'' said John Wehner.
He said that his nephew lives in Jacksonville and contacted police Wednesday afternoon to tell them of the mixup. The uncle said his nephew had recently reported to authorities that his wallet, containing his driver's license, had been stolen.
John Wehner's account could not be immediately confirmed. Kevin Wehner has no Florida criminal record. A search of state records shows Wehner had two speeding tickets in Jacksonville, one in 2006 and another in 2007.

Rumpole says, our community suffers another tragedy.

Too many guns out there. This has got to stop.




Our BBC carried this disturbing REPORT

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

Governments have pledged to stem the loss of species by 2010; but it does not appear to be happening.

This year's Red List shows that the invaluable efforts made so far to protect species are not enough," said the organisation's director-general, Julia Marton-Lefevre.
"The rate of biodiversity loss is increasing, and we need to act now to significantly reduce it and stave off this global extinction crisis.

One in three amphibians, one in four mammals, one in eight birds and 70% of plants so far assessed are believed to be at risk of extinction, with human alteration of their habitat the single biggest cause

In Borneo, home to the second orangutan species, palm oil plantations have expanded 10-fold in a decade, and now take up 27,000 sq km of the island. Illegal logging reduces habitat still further, while another threat comes from hunting for food and the illegal international pet trade.
So fragmented have some parts of the Bornean forest become that some isolated orangutan populations now number less than 50 individuals, which IUCN notes are "apparently not viable in the long term.

For us in South Florida the report contained this disturbing news on coral reefs:

This is the first time we've assessed corals, and it's a bit worrying because some of them moved straight from being not assessed to being possibly extinct," said Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy head of IUCN's species programme.

We know that some species were there in years gone by, but now when we do the assessment they are not there. And corals are like the trees in the forest; they build the ecosystem for fish and other animals.

Rumpole says: Right after the issue of innocent people languishing in prison, this is what keeps us up at night when we aren’t drinking.


Longtime and careful readers of the Blog may note we have tweaked the look of the blog. We have had very very bad experiences working with Google Blogger. Therefore, we proceed at a snails pace lest (there’s that word again) we screw it up and lose everything. The Broward Blog on the other hand has upgraded their blog to include new features like music! There was a question in the comments section as to what music we would choose, and our initial choice was Badlands by Springsteen, followed by I am An Innocent Man, by Billy Joel. What would your blog song be?


Check out the Federal Blog (the new place for the link is on the top, under “Our Favourite Blogs) and read the article on the Sick Federal Courthouse. The Dyer Federal Courthouse has been found to have significant amounts of mold. There is an especially high concern about the effects of the mold due to the untimely and surprising death of our friend, colleague, and Federal Magistrate Ted Klein. Everyone who knew Ted knew that he was a vigorous man who jogged regularly and took excellent care of his health. His surprising death to a lung infection of some sort (we do not know the details) has led to some to the conclusion that the courthouse may have tragically contributed to Magistrate Klein’s early death. In any event, the Federal Blog has the DBR article by Julie Kay, who reports that Chief Judge Moreno has commissioned a new study on the possible health effects of the mold in the courthouse.

Rumpole says: This is too serious an issue to throw federal money at for a new study, and then wait around and debate the findings. Close that courthouse NOW. Do not require people to work in a place that may be harming their health. If it is found out that the mold is a serious health issue, then it would be too late to reverse the damaging health effects on those who work there.

See You In Court, hopefully not Mag court.

PS. We received this late email. Now I am not going to blow this one. I have read it carefully. The following is an email about former Commissioner Joe Gersten (no i).
(whew. Got it right).

Anonymous wrote:

Read the House Committee on Government Reform report on the Gersten case and reconsider your remarks, Rumpy. Gersten was never a "fugitive" in a civil contempt case. The state attorney's office ignored exculpatory evidence, including a false murder accusation against Mr Gersten in the shooting death of the transvestite prostitute 'Champagne', suborned by hooker Claudia Lira.When Kenneth Elswick was pulled over while driving Gersten's Mercedes the arresting officer (the late Mr Garcia) claimed he stopped the vehicle because the tags were on the stolen vehicle 'watch list';this was not possible due to the fact that Elswick had changed the license plates that morning as evidenced by the impound records. After arresting the car thieves, Officer Garcia spent the afternoon driving around town, all the while using the car phone to call some of the same numbers the crooks had used when they were in possession of the vehicle; interestingly, though not immediately germane, Officer Garcia was arrested later that evening when he approached an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute in a sting operation. Kenneth Elswick was never charged with any crime in connection to the case, not even when wiretap on Mr Gersten's phone recorded his offer to Joe to change his story for ten thousand dolars. A neighbor walking her dog saw Joe's car in his driveway at the time that the prostitutes claimed they were 'partying' with him. Claudia Lira told Wayne Pearce that she had been paid $400 by 'the FBI' to get Joe into trouble. All drug tests on Joe, including hair testing, were negative. I could (and will) go on and on. Some of your statements border on the libelous.

Rumpole replies: True or false- Gersten is a fugitive from prosecution in Miami? Or is it that having had some shrimp on the barbie he just can't bear to leave Australia? Maybe the Dingo ate his airline ticket!!!!???

As to the rest of the information in the email, we think we have seen this before, and you left out some information: What about the guy who opens and closes the umbrella, on a perfectly clear warm day while the Gersten motorcade drives by? Why were there known french hit men in town, and by the grassy knoll when Gersten's car was stopped? And what about the film shot by Abraham "El Flaco" Zapruder which was taken immediately into custody by the same city of Miami Police officers and to this day has never been revealed? A rush to judgment I say. A conspiracy well beyond what our little minds could ever comprehend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I could not have screwed yesterday's post up more if I tried. Rather than edit and run from this disaster, I will leave it up for all to see in its embarrassing glory.

First, when I received the email on Gerstein, and saw it referred to a law office in the Gables, and remembering where Mr. Gerstein set up shop with Lee Bailey and others, I naturally thought of our former State Attorney Richard Gerstein. Then when the email mentioned a governor's race in the 70's, I again thought the email referred to the former State Attorney. But as one alert eader noted, the email refers to Joe Gerstein, the Miami Dade Commissioner who has since fled Miami to Australia.

Another error: I started off the post with "lest we never forget" when an alert reader immediately notified me that what I meant to say was "lest we forget."

So, through the haze of cold medicine and alcohol (you should only mix cold medicine and alcohol under the guidance of an experienced doctor or bartender, and Suzie at Monty's has said the pain killer ( a rum drink) she mixed me was safe to drink while battling this cold) I wave the white flag, admit defeat on the post, and gamely move on to another topic.

Here's some good news: A federal Judge has declared Bar rules that prohibit a lawyer from criticising a judge overly broad and vague and he has struck them down. Want to call one of our dear robed readers a JACKASS?
Then click on the link and find out how (not that we're inciting such conduct. Far be it from us to heap scorn and ridicule on our wonderful robed readers.)

And finally, long time and careful readers will remember our fondness for the life well lived and a well written obituary. Sad news reaches us that Alex, a famous African Grey Parrot who worked with researchers at Brandeis University has died after thrity years of work.

From the OBIT

"It's devastating to lose an individual you've worked with pretty much every day for 30 years," scientist Irene Pepperberg told The Boston Globe. "Someone was working with him 8 to 12 hours every day of his life."
Alex's advanced language and recognition skills revolutionized the understanding of the avian brain. After Pepperberg bought Alex from an animal shop in 1973, the parrot learned enough English to identify 50 different objects, seven colors, and five shapes. He could count up to six, including zero, was able to express desires, including his frustration with the repetitive research.
He also occasionally instructed two other parrots at the lab to "talk better" if they mumbled, though it wasn't clear if he was simply mimicking researchers.

Rumpole says: This Bird "expressed frustration"? The Bird could identify colors and told other to talk better if they mumbled? Was this Bird a Judge in South Florida???

Oh wait, of course not. As the Obit says, Alex worked 8-12 hours of his life everyday. Never mind.

See You (achoo!) In Court, wiping my nose.