Wednesday, November 18, 2009


We received the following email and picture:
(Update- take our Jeopardy lawyer quiz below)


At your request I have emailed you a picture of the offending message from the Prosecutors in County Court. In case the picture is not clear, it is handwriting on a Plea Sheet and says the following in Red Ink:
"All pleas will be enhanced on trial day. This includes jail enhancement. These pleas are open today only."
Will the FACDL considering filing a bar complaint against the State Attorneys Office and the individual State Attorneys who punish people for exercising their sixth amendment right to trial?

Will anybody stand up for the proposition that people accused of crimes are presumed innocent? Will anybody fight for the right to trial? Will we all stand by here while the Judges kowtow to the State and turn our courts into plea machines? GIGO (garbage in garbage out) and assembly line justice is not what we should be participating in. And yet, when people are punished for exercising their constitutional rights by so called "enhancements" it creates a chilling effect in our courthouse.

Thanks for the vine Rumpy.

PS. The County Court traffic guys head out to Vegas tonight for their "Miami Traffic Guyz 2009 Vegas Tour: Putting a hurt on the Casino." Wish them luck.

Rumpole says: Well said old chap. What say you brethren of the criminal defense bar?

Lawyer Jeopardy: (thanks to So Fla Lawyers for the answers )

Contestant One (Murray): "Alex, I'll take who wrote that for 200"
Alex Trebek: The answer is: ""I am driven to insure (sic) the integrity of our judiciary. I will accept nothing less than professionalism and integrity.''

Murray: "Who is Scott Rothstein?"
Trebek: Correct.
Murray: I'll take Who Wrote That for 400:

Trebek: "I've had over 150 jury trials. I have a unique insight into the Judiciary. I am a confidante (sic) of many members of the judiciary and am called on regularly for counsel."

Contestant Two (Harold) : "Umm...who is Scott Rothstein?"
Trebek: Correct!

Stay tuned for Final Jeopardy after the break. Our category is....What is the Guideline Range?


Anonymous said...

Assuming that sheet was not being handed out to attorneys (I don't think the SAO has color copiers), is anybody going to file a bar complaint for the apparent invasion of the attorney work product privilege?

Rumpole, you are better than this. I am not a ASA, but how do you think you or I would feel if somebody took a photo of our notes (ethical notes or non-ethical notes) and published them.

I, for one, would be pissed.

You should take that photo down until you clear up whether or not that was work product.

County Court Lawyer said...

RUMP= Let me answer for you as I have county court knowledge you and 2:47 do not-

this is the PUBLICLY DISTRIBUTED plea sheet. It is placed on the PDS table for all defense attorneys to review for their plea offers. As such, the message on the sheet was written by a prosecutor as DIRECT THREAT to us and our clients if we are so inclined to set a case for trial. As such, your concerns about work product are understandable but not relevant here.

And yes - I wrote the post Rumpole put up and he emailed me to respond to your comment.

Rumpole said...

Thank you CCLawyer- and I had the same concerns as County Court is not my milieu and you answered them and answered them well.

Anonymous said...

You have to be such a pussy to be intimidated by that.

Anonymous said...

I would add, this is just a coward response to the SAO losing so many trials in County Court. Excellent PD and Private Defense work, keep it up. SAO, how about hiring qualified and skilled prosecutors for the County Division?? not all of them are bad, but some of them......

Anonymous said...

Here's one for you: how does the state ask for jail on a first MM DUI case after trial (guilty) when one has a private attorney, but they cert. "no jail" at arraignment when a 1mm defendant wants a PD??? Equal protection? Sixth amendment? Equity?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, if you have a good case go to trial, if you know your client is as guilty as Scotty Boy, then take a plea and stop wasting everyone's freakin time!

Anonymous said...

To 3:23:

I am what I eat.

Anonymous said...

2:47 here.

Thanks for the response.

Let me ask you...

Why are you rolling a case for trial rather than taking a plea at the sounding?

IF the answer is to see if the witnesses show up -- the sentence should be enhanced because your client is playing games rather than accepting responsibility.

If the answer is for a good faith Motion to Suppress or other matter that requires the case to be rolled, it should not, in fairness be enhanced.

Anonymous said...

this never happened to me when i was a pd. i was fair and tried a lot of cases but if a fiscal got agro like that... i would rein terror on that ass. brings the ruckus to that ass larry

Anonymous said...

It amazes me how some people make a big deal out of everything. So the prosecutor is going to increase the offer at trial. Big deal. Show me the rule which prevents prosecutors from offering a plea lower than what they think a case is worth at a report setting and increasing the offer (to closer what they think the case is worth) at a future setting or trial. What's that you say? You can't do that? Of course not; it doesn't exist.

There are so many real things to address and battles worth fighting; stop wasting your time on this nonsense. Threatening to file frivilous bar suits is itself unethical.

BTDT (a former prosecutor)

When will it end? said...

Just when will it end!?! First Faber and Diaz and now this! Dear, God when will it end?

Anonymous said...

Reached for comment on the Eggo shortage, Rumpole stated:

"I am despondent. DESPONDENT. My 4 food groups are: tacos, skittles, pop, and eggos!"

Rumpole said...

There's an EGGO Shortage??????

eyeonBlecher said...

Is it true our own Jonathan Quinton Blecher a/k/a The Q is going to step in and represent his fraternity Brother Scott Rothstein during his time of need?

Rumor has it so.

Anonymous said...

try the case you sissy. stop whining.

this ain't broward.

Anonymous said...

You go Dude! If anyone can save Scotty its the Blecher mon.

SOS said...

I have no problem with your choice of lead counsel. However, I'd like to bring in David Jofee who does those famous fed ct podcats The Joffee Report along with fed ct specialist Kiko Sarasua- who's a real meat and potatoes nuts and bolts trial guy. And finally when we save our scotty, we still need to keep him working because Kimmy wont take to Sizzler on Saturdays. So If we're assembling the dream team, I'd like to add Jeff Felier to handle the bar and keep his license. Sure Brian Tannebaum would be a good second choice, but why not the best?

Save Our Scotty.

Anonymous said...

I be defense lawyer and I have no problem with them doing that but, what about them saying they are not seeking jail when you are begging for depos and all of a sudden a change in heart?

That is why I always ask them at the depos motion to tell me what they are seeking.

A few years ago, an ASA put up a similar note and the bosses told him to stop it. It said that they better take the plea or Mc W had a habit of giving jail after a trial. It even gave three examples.

ASA no longer there. Judge knocked out in election.

Eggo Shortage! said...


Anonymous said...

SOS "Save our Scotty"!

Freakin hilarious!

Anonymous said...

as a former county court PD,I can tell you that the State's enhancements are a threat to anyone who dares sets a case for trial. But I don't blame the young, zealous and completely incompetent prosecutors in County Court. They are keeping the streets safe from all the non-violent misdemeanor offenders one enhancement at a time.

I blame the Judges. Yes, the Judges. They should stop the madness and make non jail offers on the day of trial if the Defendant wishes to accept such an offer and the court deems it appropriate. The Judges in County Court, with the exception of a few, are completely beholden to the SAO bullshit.

Defense attorneys, do your jobs too. Set these damn cases for trials, file speedy demands, file NOEs and bring the conveyor built of adjudication to a screeching halt. TRY THESE DAMN CASES. We all know that the pitiful prosecutors are going to lose 90% of the time. When they do win, our guy probably deserved the jail time anyway.

Anonymous said...

what an expose rump this is amazing.you should send this photo to the new york times this is so upsetting.

grow the fuck up

Traffic Guys in Vegas update said...

Traffic Lawyers In Vegas- Update number one:

The Traffic Guys arrived in Vegas and stormed off the plane alternatively chanting "Traffic school blows", "points are for woosies" and "We do traffic, yes we do. if you got a ticket BOO HOO HOO".

The Boys startled a Womens Gardening Club from Rochester, Minnesota, and barreled through McCaren Airport led by their Leader- Vegas Veteran Freddie "Double down" Moldovan and headed out into the night and the Vegas strip.

Next up- Checking in and checking out the action.

Click and Read said...

I know... but Rumpole this calls for your review:


Anonymous said...

We have no right to a plea offer. The government gets the complete right to make an offer and to withdraw an offer. In most jurisdictions, judges will never get involved in plea negotiations. Go to federal court and see how it is over there getting a plea offer.

The SAO's policy is the result of some of our defense attorneys (some of the alleged better ones too - MC, BR, CL, etc in DUIs) who play the police do not show up on trial day game. If the judges would not require a KNP if the State was not ready on trial day, then this game would not be played and would force our defense bar to file speedy demands or take pleas earlier on in the process.

former ASA, wish I was a former defense attorney, current earner of the bread.

Anonymous said...

Dear 2:47,

The fact that you think a plea sheet may be "work product" means that you are a moron. Please, immediately go back to day 1 of law school, do not pass go, and do not collect $200.

The Professor

Anonymous said...

What complaint could issue if the plea sheet were revised to something like the following:

"Pleas in cases where no motion to suppress or other substantive motion is filed between this setting and trial may be enhanced on the day of trial; this includes jail-enhancements. The State reserves the right to alter its plea offers at any time."

That said, when you announce ready for trial, you should in theory be able to proceed at the next available opportunity. Certainly we expect some lead time because we know that is how the court is administered, but you are really saying I could go to trial as soon as I get any witnesses subpoenaed. That goes for the State too. If defense counsel still has a motion to file (not to litigate but to actually file), eg, motion to suppress, then how can defense announce "ready" in good faith?

Anonymous said...

Rump, I love the blog, love your continental spelling etc, but your post on the county court pups trial day pleas takes the cake and places you in the ranks (on this nonissue anyway) as a hand-wringing, pursed-lipped, yenta fabissina punim-- of course there are enhancements, --the defence (your spelling?) is playing the game to see if the idiot cops show up or not-- if the state has a decent case and the client is scared, shouldv'e taken it at sounding--- oy vey!!!!!! happy thanksgiving

Anonymous said...

To 7:19:
Very thoughtful and reasonable comment, but the reason that the "game" is played is the frequency that the police fail to appear for trial. In other jurisdictions, it almost never happens, and if it does, the officer has hell to pay. As a zealous advocate, you must do everything you ethically can to get a good result for your client, and if that means setting cases for trial in this jurisdiction, an attorney ethically must set the case.

Rumpole said...

Do you get the fact that I DONT WRITE EVERYTHING on the blog? When I write that I have received an email, that means someone else wrote it.

fake fake Country Dave said...

Dudes, isn't "the Q" Quirantes? I just woke up so help a brother out.

Anonymous said...

Followup Question:
Which is worse, this behavior or that of a defense lawyer convicted of abetting terrorists, and possibly perjury during her trial? Should this get its own thread too?http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iqFFRaxZKfmO7QApHCKcMjydegTgD9C28L200

Anonymous said...

what would maria ortiz say about all this?

Anonymous said...

I applaud the County Court ASAs for standing their ground. The State has no obligation to provide a plea, and its sounding offers are always discounted from what Defendants are typically entitled (please take your clients and their priors upstate and see the sort of plea offers they get). The pleas Dade County Defendants receive are dramatically discounted to compensate for the volume prosecutors must endure. Finally, the threat to somehow harm prosecutors by going trial is absurd. ASAs accept their low paying jobs for the purpose of going to trial, honing their skills and putting the guilty where they belong.

Anonymous said...

Ummm can someone remind me where in the sixth amendment it says: "And every defendant shall be afforded the right to a plea offer from the government prior to trial . . . ."
I had that section tabbed in my copy of the US Const, but I must have dropped that copy while riding my glitter farting unicorn to the courthouse today.
Let 'em write their little RED disclaimers on the plea sheets, cause I fully intend on writing my BROWN ones on there too.

Gobble Gobble bitches!!!

Anonymous said...

Given the half-assed standard of practice for most of the guys in county court, I find this deep concern for their clients' constitutional rights laughable. Can you say "coverage attorney?" At least the SAOs have read some of the files before they get to court. Most of the county court usual suspects walk into court having it on good authority that somebody has maybe probably sorta once talked to their client. As another poster said:
"Defense attorneys, do your jobs too. Set these damn cases for trials, file speedy demands, file NOEs and bring the conveyor built of adjudication to a screeching halt. TRY THESE DAMN CASES."

Yes but that's exactly the problem. You can't charge your clients $200 a pop and actually try anything. The game is to get a thousand clients, trade with your friends to make sure somebody stumbles up to the podium more or less on time and then bitch about how there's no justice in the world so you can sleep at night.