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.


Anonymous said...

I admit it. I am a complete idiot about politics. I still harbor the foolish belief that the elected will act on behalf ofthe greater good. Call me Pollyanna!

I have absolutely no clue what SB-1088 was, if it was not some politicians' way to save money by denying a poor person's fundamental rights.

Now they argue over who will pay LESS towardthe representation of these people. Did anyone in the legislature read GIDEON v. WAINWRIGHT?

I am ashamed of myself each time I vote, and still am silly enough to hope that things will change.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am out of the loop. Is it really true that there are lawyers that rely on the pittance that eventually gets paid on these lousy-ass conflict cases?

Anonymous said...

credit must go to the lobbyists working this issue for the working class criminal defense lawyers in dade.

Anonymous said...

This move was just a slight graze of the "jimmy." The next shot will be for the kill.


Anonymous said...

Why worry about this ROC thing, the hell with providing the poor, downtrodden, financially deprived of legal representation. Heck if they were not smart enough to commit classy or sexy financially rewarding crimes, we should not reward them by having society pay for their lawyers! Besides, if they have no legal representation, it will make the system function more efficiently. Why we could go from arrest to electric chair in thirty days. Now that is true justice. You all will never get it as efficient as we have in the old country! Why in the old country we go from arrest to execution is less than an hour, even minutes if the offense is particularly upsetting to the “justice official” who pulls you over. That may explain why we have no road congestion in the old country and why we have not budgeted a penny for jails in fifty years. It also explains why we have not amended our sentencing laws in years, see the last revision, spearheaded by the Republican Guard, we eliminated private lawyers, juries, and judges, heck don’t need them, Those judges really thought they had any authority, we gave all the power to the police, really more efficient. The police in the old country tell those baby prosecutors, who we still let believe they have some degree of power, what to do. After all, it would not look good to the world if we just let the police sun the justice system, we in the old country still believe in public appearance and image, it is important. Talk about efficiency, we hope the old country becomes the model for Miami-Dade County, perhaps a judicial college in the fine beaches of the old country will help the fine jurists of Miami-Dade tweak up their act. Our newspaper is reporting that one motion to suppress was granted, and a motion to dismiss was taken under advisement - this cannot be, it will destroy your system!!!.

Rumpole said...

I did not publish a crude comment from an individual who does not like "BT" whomever that may be.

Old guy- read some fed opinions on ineffective assistance to see how little Judges expect from Criminal Defense Attorneys. In a nutshell its OK if an atty sleeps in trial so long as he doesn't sleep through the important parts.

Anonymous said...

Bob Amsel. Hmm ... Does DUIs. Does murder cases. Sharp sense of humor. Very bright. Been around a while. Hmmm. Could Bobby A be Rumppy R??
Stranger things have happenned.

Anonymous said...

Cobitz- TAKE THE POLY!!!!

Anonymous said...

What about Dan The Man Schulafan? What about him?

Anonymous said...

Rump- hear about the cat fight between a pd and an ASA over our boy Mendy the dancing machine?

Anonymous said...

Thats what the FBI never understood. That all Freddie and the organization did was provide security to the DUI lawyers who couldn't go to the police. That was it.

Anonymous said...

Cobitz PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the poly.

Anonymous said...


Your focus on SB-1088 is a failure to see the broad attack on the law. It's not an attack on the 6th Amendment. It's an attack on the legal profession generally.

Our judges are paid shit.
Our prosecutors are paid shit.
Our public defenders are paid shit.
Our courthouses are aged, mold infested tombs.

Your fight against SB-1088 is little more than fiddling while Rome burns.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with the Conflict Counsel yesterday when he was making his rounds,gladhanding
in the building. Nice guy, but utterly clueless.
I asked how he would staff capital cases. He told me he has interviewed one person for that position, but the person was not "death qualified" yet. If he did not get enough applicants, he said he could always "contract them out". He acknowledged that he was underfunded and would have to ask the Legislature for more money (Funny, I thought the whole point of 1088 was to provide justice on the cheap).He also said he was encouraged about the number of attorneys who passed the most recent Bar exam because he hoped to hire some of them.

Anonymous said...

Richard Joyce, Dennis Berger and Joe George are parasitic lowlifes!

You will receive no peace if your office opens-NONE! EVER!

You make me sick, you shit little scab fucks. Your day will come. Yu better pray this shit don't open, assholes!

Anonymous said...

To: Mr. Rumpole:

Just writing to advise you of the latest on SB 1088.

Today, AG Bill McCollum declined to proceed with the requested Writ Quo Warranto action that FACDL requested.

As a result, FACDL has filed a petition in the Florida Supreme Court to prevent the new appointed conflict regional counsel system from going into effect.

Will continue to keep your readers updated as warranted.

Anonymous said...

Here's a snippet from the latest Florida Bar News, which had a lengthy article on the ROC offices around the state:

"George, the Third DCA regional conflict counsel, laughingly said the first part of his job was wading through about 50 pounds of paperwork. He expects to have a budget of around $4 million and a staff of 40 to 45 people, with more than half being attorneys. He anticipates having around 5,000 criminal cases annually, plus another 1,000 dependency cases."

Assuming his own staffing estimates you probably end up with 25 attorneys. How do 25 attorneys handle 5000 cases? Each one carries a caseload of 200 cases after a year? Even if 10%-20% of the cases close out to some minimal CTS, probation or PTI type deal, you will have the new attorneys overloaded in a relatively short period of time.

This is a recipe for disaster. The Legislature has not taken into account that Miami is a whole different story from the rest of the state. What may hypothetically work up in the panhandle is destined for failure down here. What it comes down to is that you cannot think you can save money by eliminating private attorneys because private attorneys were not getting rich off the old system. The wheel in Dade was not a public trough where greedy attorneys would come to get money for a new yacht. Instead, it was a way to supplement your practice and maybe pay the copier bill for the month. I wish Mr. George nothing but the best, but the odds are against this system working with the current budget.

Anonymous said...

Now that FACDL is filing a suit with the supreme court to kill SB 1088, maybe Dade County can join in the suit?

Kinda like the ACLU defending the Senator who almost got a blow job in the airport in Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

6:02 - 50K last year on the wheel
alone without any death penalty
cases. Add that to my private cases
and I easily hit over 6 figures.
What a pittance!!

Rumpole said...

1:04- I think there was a better more lawyerly way to say that.

Rumpole said...

12:49- ditto. I understand your point and I agree. The public doesn't want to pay for a quality justice system. But when there is no money for new schools, for medical care, when children in america in 2007 are going to bed hungry, just how high up the priority list is a raise for judges much less assistant public defenders?

Anonymous said...

May I wish my professional colleagues a SHANA TOVA -- A Happy and Healthy New Year (5768)+ an easy fast on YOM KIPPUR.


Anonymous said...

Last night was a victory for the Wheel, and a loss for Joe George and the Conflict Office.

It would not have happened without the lobbying efforts of Brian May , who was hired by FIDA-Florida Indigent Defenders Association. Mr. George had called every Commissioner in an attempt to receive this county funding. FIDA's lobbyist, Mr. May, countered his efforts and was successful. Without this lobbying, the Commission would not have heard our side, and Jor George would have likely received the $ he needs to open.

This does not mean the conflict offices are over in Dade, but it was a Victory for the Wheel.

FIDA wants all wheel attys and others of good faith to help in our efforts. Right now it is a relatively small group of attys, and yet it has just achieved a major early win.

FIDA's next meeting is Tuesday at 5:45 at Joel Denaro's office at 777 Brickell, Suite 400.

Anonymous said...

Is it Joe George or Jeff George? Are they the same person?

Anonymous said...

I'm struggling

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:04:00 PM have a (1) Snickers, (1) Decaf (1 - 3) Painkillers and just calmly sit down and relax. Gee wiz do the crazys come out of the mental ward and hit this blog as part of the rehab?

Rumpole said...

To all our Gentle and Gentile readers, may you have an easy fast. Thus I am not sure the previous comment was religiously correct for this evening.

Anonymous said...

For some weekend entertainment, go to the broward blog post on OJ and Yale Galanter - http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/2007/09/19/you-be-the-judge.aspx

Click the links to both transcripts and read them in their entirety. Check out Yale's flunky (makes it better if you know her) put on a display of complete unethical and embarassing behavior.

Anonymous said...

Just finished eggs over easy and toast. Yummy.

Anonymous said...

Fake David Letterman's top 10 things to do to make sure the new conflict counsel Jeff George fails. 1. Let the air out of his tires in his parking lot so he will be late to court. 2. Download viruses onto his computers. 3.cancel his subscription to the florida law weekly. 4. have good looking girls who just passed the bar apply to his office and then have them entice him into sexual harassment. 5.interdict the office max shipment and replace the pens and computer ink cartridges with blanks 6.ask the facdl and bennett brummer for advice on office management 7.have an imposter decorate the office with fake fen sui 8.sabotage the payroll by increasing the pay 9. have the office stationery have the addresses of old bitter wheel attorneys and have phone calls diverted to the facdl lawyer locater line. 10. stop bribing the judges.from the onion peeler.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty pathetic how FIDA is taking credit for work being done with county manager's/mayor's staff behind the scenes. It had nothing to do with Commissioners.