Saturday, January 30, 2010


This comment, left at 8:13 on the "Wicked Wednesday" post has engendered a lively discussion. So this comment is the comment of the year (so far).

Anonymous said...

To 10:35 pm: It's hilarious when former ASA's tell us county ASA's how to do our jobs. If you cared so much about the job you would not have left. Oh, maybe you didn't get the message when you interviewed that you were going into public service and therefore might not be able to afford BMW SUV's on an ASA salary? Well, why don't do your own jobs and defend your loser clients and quit "helping" us.

Rumpole says: It's an interesting comment reflecting the inherent tension between those newer lawyers tasked to do an almost impossible job and those more experienced lawyers who now think they know it all. Much like the conflict between Republicans and Democrats, both sides think they're right.

The writer of the comment further reflects the dedication to public service that is inherent with working in the State Attorneys Office. But the inquiry does not end there.

The writer shows his/her inexperience/ ignorance with the "BMW" and "Loser clients" diatribe. Just as all prosecutors are not out for bloodlust and to throw everyone in prison, so is it equally untrue that all criminal defense attorneys are Porsche driving cretins benefiting from getting child rapists out of jail on ridiculous technicalities.

Most of our colleagues in the criminal defense bar are as equally committed to justice as prosecutors. And despite fantasies to the contrary, they earn about as much as a mid-level prosecutor with far more headaches unrelated to law.

Billing clients/collecting money- supervising employees, fending off unscrupulous bondsmen hustling for the worst lawyers in our community, filing payroll and tax forms. The responsibilities of defending a client are equal to prosecuting one, and yet most small practitioners also have the additional burdens of running a small business. Suffice to say that it is not all topless models on speed boats off of Miami Beach on Saturdays, but rather a trip to Metro West followed by a final revision of that brief that is overdue before calling it a day at 6pm instead of the 8 or 9pm quitting time that occurs on many weeknights.

But the comment was thought provoking to say the least, so it deserves recognition as fulfilling what we see as the promise and potential of our humble blog.

Final thought of the day: Not since Moses came down from the mountain has a tablet generated as much controversy as Apple's new IPad.

See You In Court On Monday.





At the beginning of the month, I reported that four Incumbents had yet to file for re-election:

"Incumbents that have yet to file:"

Group 10 – Scott Bernstein
Group 12 – Bertila Soto
Group 13 – Norman Gerstein
Group 30 – Rosa Rodriguez

Since then, Judge Soto filed on January 11th; Judge Gerstein announced his retirement; and this week, Judge Bernstein filed to run again.

That leaves Judge Rosa Rodriguez as the lone incumbent yet to file.

Cap Out .....

Scott Saul said...

Former ASA's that try to lecture current ASA s what to do are ridiculous.

The reality is that all of you brand new ASA's, as well as your chiefs (which have a tad more experience then you) have a lot less experience and legal knowledge than people that have come up the ranks. However, those newbies in County Court have the power and us wise old guys need to understand and RESPECT that. It is not easy to be civil in an adverserial arena but the experienced ones should employ that.I think most new ASAs want to learn from good defense lawyers.

I love what I do and I am very dedicated to the profession. Any lawyer that is honest and hardworking should be able to carve out a nice lifestyle for themselves. Most of the ostentatious ones are single and have nothing better to spend their money on then themselves. Young ASAs, a Porshe is nothing but a car payment and once you raise a family, that payment is a pittance compared to the other stuff. Any mope can drive a luxury car.

When I use an ASA, it was ALL good. It was about learning new things, making friends & connections, getting schooled, being exposed to the finest legal experiences, touching peoples lives and kicking butt (or getting your butt kicked in court). When you get to practice law without the tarnishment of the money angle, you are practicing in the best environment that it will ever be. You get the awe of being an idealist.

Work in that office to get the experience or, while you work there, understand that when you have the power, you will get some criticism. If a former ASA starts out the conversation by saying "When I was a prosecutor...", don't fret it because once that lame line is laid out, you have an advantage over your opponent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice Scott. You are so wise

DUI Guy said...

Congrats o Frank Gaviria who takes the early lead in the Dade DUI Defender's Cup. With his come from behind win in the Roscoe Parrish DUI case (NG=100 points) , and a few well timed breakdowns (BD=35 points, 65 points after motions) Frank was named DUI Defender of the Month (20 points) and has jumped out to a 205 point total with Rodney Braxton and Richard Hersch in second and third paces respectively.

It's a long race, as last year's winner Richard Hersch can attest to. Can Frank keep up the pace? Or will some of the young DUI guns knock him off and claim the coveted Honus Fredrick Beer Stein?

(Honus Fredrick was the earliest known and recorded defense attorney to win a DUI trial in Dade. It was before the time of breath tests, so few arrests were made and even less cases went to trial)

Fake blecher said...

With all due respect to Frank, should he win the Cup at the end of the year by less than 100 points, then the committee needs to take another long hard look at awarding 100 points for a not guilty even when the lawyer is co-counsel. Most you remember the long and contentious 2001 award mess when I lost out by 85 points to Jim Best as Jim- to put it politely- hopped on at least two DUI trials in November and December to make up and surpass my 220 point lead. For those of you who know how hard it is to get a jury in late December, his 12-29 NG was especially bitter as I had a seemingly unsurmountable 115 point lead that last Monday of the year. I could taste the beer in the Honus Frederick cup....

Anonymous said...

Scott, that may be the best post you've ever written. I agree with everything you said.

Being a prosecutor is an awesome job..........lots of responsibility and very rewarding.........

I LOVED being a prosecutor. It was the best job I have had. I had tons of discretion (because everyone knew I was hardcore and worked my butt off) and did what I thought was right and for the right reasons, all day, every day. I'm not saying I didn't make mistakes........I did. But, I honestly did the best I could with the knowledge, perspective and judgement that I had.

And that last sentence is key. I learned through the years that I could've handled things much differently and better, especially when prosecuting those offenders who weren't going away for decades or longer (I could've improved public safety AND helped offenders by addressing the underlying causes of criminal behavior).

The young ASAs can learn a lot from former prosecutors, like myself, who genuinely want to help them. I hope they're open to it (I wasn't during my first 6-7 years and it made the job much tougher than it needed to be). Not all former prosecutors are out to get them. They need to learn to distinguish those of us who want to see them succeed from those who don't. Those who can't do that will miss out on a lot of opportunities.


Anonymous said...

As a defense attorney, I find most of the county court ASAs to be reasonable in their plea offers. There are a few who are not and are nasty to top it off and they give the rest of the young prosecutors a bad name. I can't blame an ASA for giving me 270DCJ offer for a client who picked up his 4th DUI in 10 years. I would do the same if I was a prosecutor. However, those over zealous prosecutors tick me off because I know they simply don't understand that innocent people are sometimes accused of crimes. It happens more often than it should in Miami

Anonymous said...

Objection! Chris Lyons should have gotten DUI defender of the Year for his work on the Stallworth matter. How did the Academy give it to Mr. Hersh, a fine lawyer, but i'm trying to remember a better deal than the one Chris got for Donte.

Anonymous said...

Bring back the Sunday DUI power rankings!

Anonymous said...

stallworth was easy case. money nice victims great facts. actually stallworth got fucked

Rumpole said...

no ad hominem attacks. So you'll need to find the person you called a Putz and tell him yourself. In person.

Anonymous said...

Scott Saul is a pompous ass. He is still a prosecutor in defense clothing, always anxious to get along at the expense of his clients. Go back to the state where you belong. You don't care about your clients. I can't remember how many times you called your own clients scum. Not to mention he is a self hating Jew who criticizes those who celebrate their ethnicity by wearing Jewish garb like tsitsis. You'd be the ones the Nazis would hire to deal with the Jewish problem.

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