Thursday, August 13, 2009


Based on the conversations yesterday, we think the only thing to do is create an official post for talking about memories - good and bad- of one of the legends of the REGJB.

Mayor Of North Miami Beach.
Circuit Court Judge.
First Mayor of Aventura.

Cantankerous jurist with a tennis court named after him, Judge Snyder was nothing if not controversial. He had a penchant for offering defendants polygraphs in drug trafficking cases, and for holding defendant's who showed up late to court in contempt.

But he was also tough on the state. Judge Snyder could separate the wheat from the chaff and knew a BS state case when he saw it.

Post your memories of Judge Snyder. Love him or hate him, he was an original and is part of the colorful history of our beloved (???) building.

David Ranck gets PTI for Pizza provocation. The Herald reports here.

Here's the inside info on Miami's TV judges courtesy of the DBR. David Young and Karen Mills Francis are out. Alex Ferrer and Marilyn Milian (our favourite) are hanging strong.

And who else doesn't like the Judges in Broward? Why the clerk of the court!!! Here's the DBR article on the very public feud between Clerk Howard Forman and Chief Judge Victor (I'm in charge here and don't you forget it) Tobin. With television cameras present Forman got in Tobin's grill and told him just where his authority stopped (at the doors to the clerk's office).

“I was offended by his attitude,” Forman said later. “I’m kind of done with him.”
("Me too" says Rumpole)

Keep fighting the good fight Howie Baby.


Anonymous said...

Rumors of Ed Frank’s death were exaggerated. He is alive.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love a Judge that uses common sense. The polygraph offer is brillant, I wish more Judge's would have the gull to be this creative and start working each case.

Anonymous said...

The best quote from Arthur Snyder:

"I never let the law stand in the way of justice."

Anonymous said...

I believe that many of the new generation of asa's and pd's would have no love for Arthur. They would call him "mean", "nasty", "impolite" "disrespectful" and "intolerant". He just had his own way of doing things and, if you did not like it, well, too bad.

seen it all said...

Arthur Snyder story:

Pat Nally's first day as PD. Three defendant's show up late. Synder finds them in contempt and gives them 60 days. Goes back to arraignment calendar. Pat arraigns next client- RFUSES TO WAIVE READING.

Snyder does a double take. Nally makes it clear he will continue to refuse to waive reading of the indictment in every case if Snyder continues to put his clients in jail for 60 days for being a few minutes late.

Great move by Pat.
They worked it out.

eyeonED said...

Ed Frank on short short list to replace Sotomayor in 2nd Circuit.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Arthur Snyder a pharmacist at some point in his long and varied career?

Anonymous said...

Judges in the past few years have had their ability to do justice
curtailed.Snyder was as described,but most importantly used common sense.Today he would be taken before the J.Q.C.
Pat Nally was a fine attorney and and did everything to assist his client,but did not cross the line as many attorneys do today.It was not win ,no matter what it costs.
The office of the state attorney had prosecutors who understood how to and were able to prosecute cases,and stood up against the "powers"to say when cases should not be prosecuted or pleas should be entered.
ADVERTISING ON TELEVISION OR HAVING WEB SITES SUCH AS "WHO CAN I SUE"and others have brought the legal profession to an unfortunate depth,and candidly the Florida Bar is to Blame.
Once justice was what was sought!Now the mighty dollar alone is what is sought!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard Judge Snyder's tears cure cancer.



Rumpole, you only mentioned four of the five robed stars - leaving out our favourite - Veredicto Final's own Cristina Pereyra.

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

Even mentioning rumors of someone's death is not nice.

Ed Frank rebounded and is well. He has been in court recently.

He was gravely ill a few years ago but, now, looks good.

Anonymous said...

Two Art Snyder stories:

I was a very young ASA. Bad guy at arraignment had about 3 prior theft convictions that I could see on his rap sheet and about 30 prior arrests.

I asked to raise bond because of the prior arrests.

Judge Snyder said: "Mr. Catalano, how many arrests does it take to equal one conviction?

2: Snyder used to love to tell the story about when he represented a guy who was charged with some kind of L & L INSIDE a booth at a porno shop. Client told Art that police busted in and arrested him before he could even unzip his pants.

Art went to same place with camera and tape recorder, sat in the same booth and sure enough, cops busted in and he recorded it all.

I miss Art Snyder.



WE'RE NUMBER ONE .... when it comes to incarcerating juveniles for life. And to keep our record in tact, we just did it again.

When is this ever going to change? When are we going to come to the reality that 15 year old brains are not sufficiently developed to make all the decisions that we expect adults to be able to make. Most 15 year
olds girls have a difficult enough time deciding which color blouse to wear to school.

Here is the headline and the link to the full article is below:

"As reality set in, Morgan Leppert's sobs echoed through a Flagler County courtroom Thursday afternoon. The Putnam County teenager will receive an automatic and mandatory life prison sentence after a jury's first-degree murder verdict. She will be the youngest girl in Florida's prison system. She also was convicted of robbery and burglary. The jury of five men and one woman apparently didn’t buy her childlike appearance and claims that her adult boyfriend, Toby Lowry, directed the robbery and murder of a disabled Melrose man last year. At the time, Leppert was 15 and a runaway; Lowry was 22. Lowry already is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder."


Cap Out .....

Eye on Ranck said...


In case you missed it, David Ranck was offered PTI by the Broward special prosecutor on his "battery" on a pizza delivery girl case. No surprise there. But what greatly surprises me is that Ranck, a fair and extremely honest (if not humorless) prosecutor hired a defense attorney with a reputation as being the most dishonest and unethical defense attorney in town (Simon Steckel). For the life of me, I don't get it. Can someone please explain this to me?

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Why the Steckel bashing? What is it with some of you people that you feel the constant need to bash others?

Anonymous said...

Simon Steckel is a good guy who loves to have a good time. You are a hater.

Anonymous said...

I was assigned to judge Snyder’s courtroom from late 1989 – 1991. Things were different then and he was a unique man. Most pds and asas today would break down in tears or faint dead away if a judge now did the things that were then routine. Snyder would threaten “tough guy” defendants with a pistol, he would not hesitate to dismiss a case he thought was an injustice, if he thought a cop was lying during testimony he would stop the proceedings and read him his rights, then dare him to answer the next question. He would hold any defendant who was late for court in contempt and take him into custody, then wink at me as a sign that he would vacate the contempt and 180 day sentence if the defendant would take a withhold and cts. He would refuse to allow strikes on attractive female jurors, he would bet money on the outcome of trials, (only after the jury retired), he would refuse to grant a motion to suppress in any case in nmb, and would dismiss any case from the opa locka pd. He held me in contempt numerous times locked me up on the bridge, had me arrested in the pickle barrel and brought up to court in handcuffs he also administered the vows at my wedding. You had to be there .I COULD FILL A BOOK WITH STORIES, BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS, WITH SNYDER IT AMOST ALWAYS CAME OUT RIGHT, IT JUST DID. I LOVED THAT CRAZY OLD PIRATE. God rest!
Jason Grey

Anonymous said...

Ed Frank is dead. I had coffee with him last friday and trust me, he is dead.
Jason Grey

Anonymous said...

Cry me a river Captain. She committed a murder for God's sake and you compare it to choosing a blouse? Get real. Homicide is not a youthful indiscretion. She got what she deserved.

Anonymous said...


Don't all women have a a difficult time choosing which color blouse to wear regardless of age?

Vargo said...

In one of my first felony trials as an over-educated prosecutor, the victim was describing the verbal altercation that preceded the physical one, including some choice descriptions of the defendant's girlfriend. (Note: Agg Assault + brand-new "C" = Really crappy case).

I asked the victim if the defendant "took umbrage" at what the victim said. Jason Grey: "Objection. I don't know what umbrage is." J. Snyder: "Sustained. Neither do I."

Anonymous said...

Arthur Snyder story:

Felony-division PD-intern, trolling for trials to watch. See what looks like a judge, talking to what looks like a jury. Duck into the courtroom, slip into a seat.

Judge Snyder, charging the jury. Graciously. Senses on fire, straining to assimilate everything, but little resonates. Except this.

Calmly, carefully, clearly, cogently and, all in all, elegantly, Arthur Snyder delivers, really delivers, the "plea-of-not-guilty, burden-of-proof and reasonable-doubt" instruction.

As he finishes, everyone knows that the JUDGE holds the idea(l)s set forth in this instruction to be as natural, and as dear, as his next breath. And so, from the top, the tone is set for the jury's deliberations.

Never saw this instruction delivered better. Still thrilled when a JUDGE labors to impart 3.7's idea(l)s to a jury. Be nice if it happened more often.

Anonymous said...

hey mark, long time. rember the hot dog vender vs cop fight ? call me 305 325 8119,

Anonymous said...

I was also one that had the honor of being assigned to Judge Arthur Snyder's Courtroom. The Polygraph stories are true and not one person ever passed the polygraph. According to Judge Snyder only one person passed and it as defendant from India that was able to meditate during the exam. The female juror stories are true and he would always let the panel know that he was single and loved to attend cocktail parties. As for the Contempt only one person was able to talk his way out of it. He told that Judge the reason he missed court was because while at the bus stop waiting for the bus to take him to court he met a "lady friend". After talking a bit they went to her place and that he forgot all about his court date. The Judge told him "I beleive you, women are the root of all evil, they make you do things you normally would not do." I really enjoyed working in that courtroom,his sentencings were appropriate with the crime charged. He was very fair and always loved to help you out. His Judicial Assistant Helen would always tell him what needed to be said. Harry his Baliff and brother-in-law was great too. I miss them all.

the trialmaster said...

In the late 80s the fins were playing the 49ers in the super bowl in Palo Alto. as I was walking into the stadium, I observed Snyder making out and more with female circuit court judge. I thought he had better taste but I guess that was as good as he could do that cold day in Palo Alto.