Friday, February 18, 2011


SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: FLIP-FLOP-A-DOLPOLIS: First actually voted for the funding before he voted against it. Sound familiar? No, it's not some erstwhile Massachusetts Senator running for president, it's Florida's own President of the State Senate who is running for Senator in 2012. In 2009 Mike Haridopolos (R-wishy-washy) voted to accept 2.4 billion dollars in federal funds to support a high speed rail train in Florida. Now- with Governor Rick Scott against the dollars- a Scott and a Florida Tea Party outlet pressured Haridopolos to reverse his support for the rail network, as per the Herald this morning.

And guess what? Haridopolos wants to go to Washington as our Senator much more than he wants to put Floridians to work, help reduce traffic and move Florida into the 20th century to join Japan and France, who have had high speed railroads since the 1980s.

No word on whether Flipodopolos will be supporting the use of horse and buggies for Floridians as gas prices approach $4.00 a gallon. Just as long as we can afford to fly him to DC.

Longtime and careful perusers of these electronic pages know that Rumpole's Fourth Rule of Trials ( (c)2011 Rumpole, all rights reserved) is

Longtime and careful readers of the blog will remember that the last time our hero went to Tampa to defend Buju Banton, David Markus endured a tense Friday only to have deliberations halted for the weekend and resume on Monday, wherein the jury eventually announced they were hung.

Well David has done it again. He closed Thursday, endured an entire day of deliberations on Friday, only to have the jury call it quits for the weekend. This being a three day weekend, we think-but we're not sure- that jury deliberations will not resume until Tuesday.

Clearly, whatever David is doing is working, and we wish him the best. Having avoided the dreaded Friday verdict, it can only get better from here. We hope.


Getting past all the "don't forget to turn out the lights"* comments to David Rothman, the investiture of Judge Kevin Emas at the 3rd DCA was a great one, as our Captain reports:

The Captain Reports:

Emas Investiture ......

The first three loaded the bases. Thornton. Rothman. And Moreno, were all spectacular. Then, of course, Emas knocked it out of the ball park. Funny, witty, compassionate, respectful, and honorable all rolled into one great speech.

Truly a memorable and amazing event for those that were present. Great to see the circle completed with Goderich swearing Emas in.

Cap Out ....

*Moreno, Rothman and Thornton were all in practice together at one time.

The trial of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence Jones is set for Tuesday. The Dade SAO's public corruption unit (Motto: "eventually we nolle prosse everything") has moved Judge Rosa Rodriguez to remove herself from the case over the charges that were filed against her (and dropped) over the funding of here election campaign in 1998.



old guy said...

"Eventually we nolle prosse everything" should be written in stone over the portals to the 5th floor at the SAO.

I enjoy getting the business which drifts my way from the SAO public corruption unit. Unfortunately, I also live in this town, and their track record is absolutely shameful. They consider it a "win" if someone leaves office, is put into PTI, and promises to try to pay back their stolen monies.

The little guys [my clients] may be looking at jail for a store burglary, but the Big-Wigs who steal hundreds of thousands of public funds are never looking at the Maximum sentences.

The SAO has never put a premium on putting trial lawyers in that unit -- but Rundle cannot tell who is a good trial lawyer, anyway.

There should be a blanket rule for public corruption cases -- NO DEALS. I will win some, and lose some, but some very bad corrupt people will get the sentences that they deserve. Maybe it will scare the others more than the threat of losing their pensions.

How come they go to prison in Broward??

Anonymous said...

I think the State made a mistake recusing Rosa. Here past problems are not the same thing as w/ Spence-Jones accusations. She gives a fair trial and If the State could convince a Jury Spence-Jones is guilty, Rosa would have launched her.
Yes ,some will say I am an ass kisser, but I have know Rosa for almost 20 years and I think she is ones of the Good Guys/Girls.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Old guy,

Boy are you wrong. I have worked with those people and they are OK. Nolle posse when you cann't prove it is the right and ethical thing to do.

What bothers me is all the cases they don't file in the first place but, Broward almost NEVER files against politicians, cops and well connected people so, you are dead wrong.

Anonymous said...


I heard last week about Scruggs moving to recuse Rosa Rodriguez. Today it is all over the Herald. Rosa Rodriguez is an excellent judge, perhaps one of the better ones on the bench. The tactic is cheap, I guess the same arguments can be advanced against every Judge who was prosecutor immediately before getting on the bench, or those who are married to police officers. It seems there is a hearing on Tuesday morning, I would encourage all members of the Defense Bar to attend the hearing and make their presence known in Rodriguez’ courtroom, let her know the respect we have for her, and send a message to the State and also the prosecutors with a robe.
How about it Rump - - will you post this front and center and help getting the lawyers there Tuesday?

Anonymous said...

Rosa Rodriguez is not only a pleasure to be in front of, she is the perfect balance of fair and tough. Fair on the shit FSU cases that oversaturate our dockets. Tough when she needs to be. She doesn't have an agenda other than being fair and even-keeled.

We need more judges like her and Dennis Murphy.

As for the SAO's public corruption unit, it's certainly a waste of resources but in Miami, we need it. Lots of elected officials, cops, and government employees with their hands out.

Anonymous said...

Emas is an ass at OA! I was before him his first week at the 3d and he needs to calm down!

Anonymous said...

Sisselamn i dont need to say it since you said it.

SAO is totally right here. This Judge who showed her true colors as a panderer during Elian saga, was prosecuted by the same unit that is prosecuting Spence for much the same conduct. It would be understandable if Judge was a little biased with the state under these circumstances. I mean if this were a juror you would be very skeptical of this person with this background. Does the fact that a person won an election and wears a robe mean that we should expect them not to be human?

Anonymous said...

The defense bar should have moved to recuse Betty Butchko on every case involving the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with Judge Rodriguez's history. There is an impression at the State Attorney's Office that Judge Rodriguez is "pro-defense" because she is fair and doesn't launch every defendant. The State Attorney's Office can't afford to lose this trial because it then validates Spence-Jones' claims that this prosecution is a "political lynching." Then KFR loses clout with the black community (which she tries to maintain with her bullshit "community prosecutions" division.). If she wins, then people will think that the jury made their decision because the evidence was strong.

That office is so politically tainted, all the way down to county court. That's one of the reasons I left. Hell, Don Horn tells you during your training that it is your primary objective "not to embarrass the State Attorney."

Hey - since KFR's son has been arrested for burglary, does that mean her office cannot fairly prosecute burglary cases? Maybe we should move to recuse her office on burglaries???

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember a State case in Dade Besides Phil Davis that was a corruption casethat resulted in prison time? I dont, an rememmber that Court Broom was a Fed case.

FACDL list serve leaker said...

First, I've been in front of Uncle Milty. He was polite, relaxed, respectful to everyone there, unafraid to rule. Ask the SAO about how they are doing on suppression motions in front of him.

How many of you bitching about him have been in front of him yet? I'm guessing not many. Have not seen a SINGLE post from anyone saying they were before him and he did anything unpleasant or dickish.

Maybe it is because I spend more time in federal court, but what is the problem with having some actual legal support for the relief you seek? A state court memo of law does not have to 50 pages. But a couple of pages saying why you're supported by which cases? Seriously, what's the hang up?

Casey? He's where he belongs.

Rodriguez? When she's actually there she's not a bad judge, I guess. Pro-state, but most are. Like I said, try federal court sometime. There's a reason it's called The Guilty Factory. But she works shorter hours than just about anyone in the building and always has. And she's arrogant OFF the bench, which is odd for someone who bought her way and served a suspension for it.

Anonymous said...

Hard not to like Rosa Rodriquez. I don't know why a decent guy like Scruggs made such a dumb move but, i bet Kathy approvef it first.

Lawyers trust Rosa. That's why Catalano and PD Aaron are trusting her to give something less than life to the worse dui in all of miami history.

Marty Kohn said...

Good luck to Mr Raben, I hope he hands that pos Scruggs his ass on a plate.

Anonymous said...

Emas was the most overrated judge in the history of the MJB. It is truly amazing how he was able to fool so many for so long. But give the dude credit, he was able to parlay his arrogance into a seat on the DCA.

Anonymous said...


How is Eig still a judge? This guy just makes ruling off the cuff without a shred of thought or concern for what the facts/law actually are. Thank god he's out of criminal at least.

Anonymous said...

I've won and lost in front of Rosa. She's a great judge. She's always been fair, is extremely knowledgeable, and most importantly, doesn't take shit from anyone. I look forward to taking any case to her courtroom as an ASA.

Anonymous said...

And Flip-flop-a-dopolous represents the Cape Canaveral area?? Bet the anti-fed sentiment is really high there!! What a douche.

Anonymous said...

Sisselman what about the North Miami city manager who just got 12 years, what about the city of Miami Beach building inspectors who went to prison, the people at water and sewer went to prison, numerous cops and corrections have gone to jail, even miriam alonso went to jail for 90 days.

I could go on and on but I have other things to do. Why Sisselman is the SAO Public Corruption Unit the only thing you will criticize on this blog?

Oh I get It Joe Centorino doesn't wear a robe

Anonymous said...

Raben and Scruggs in the Same Courtroom. hmm. good thing the case isnt assigned to Milt Hirsch--all those egos couldn't fit in one courtroom. Ok maybe 4-1 but thats it

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Scruggs been disciplined for the illegal recordings during the Pastor Gaston Smith case? Wasn't Tein gonna file a complaint with the bar?

the trialmaster said...

the TRIALMLASTER has had alot of success before Judge Rodriguez. He/She has found her to be polite, has a great bench presence and listens. Too bad we dont have more like her.

Anonymous said...

6:37:00 PM - You obviously don’t know the facts of Casey’s case. Milt is the one who should be behind bars for telling Casey to not show up in court, obstructing justice, and committing perjury in court when confronted with what he did.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, this is just pure SAO politics. Judge Colodny had exactly the same issues, ten years have passed, the State was hoping that Judge Colodny’s case would still be hanging around when they tried this one, so that they could intimidate her. Alas, it was not. Then, when it went to back-up, they were hoping to get Judge "they're all guilty particularly the Black ones" Scola, the meanest. most biased, marginally bright tool of the State ever to sit on the bench, and didn’t luck out. So they would like to recuse Judge Rodriguez so they can go to their favorite situs, where they don’t even have to show up to insure a conviction.
You can bet Kathy was all over this. No legal questions to confuse her, just pure politics. Someone should file a grievance against Scruggs for draffing Judge Rodriguez's name through teh mud like he did. Now, was unnecessary. Guess they want to taunt her. They have picked the wrong judge. She is nobody's fool.

Anonymous said...

"Hell, Don Horn tells you during your training that it is your primary objective "not to embarrass the State Attorney.""

Then how do you explain that incompetent boob Kostrzewski?

Anonymous said...

Emas, Another great gator judge, .like,Stanford,Joel Brown,Joe Davis,Sam Slom, and others,

Anonymous said...

I did a trial against Scruggs. He was perfectly ethical and fair.

I know Richard. He is a good and decent person but,I too must wonder why he went after Rodriquez like that.

No one ever recuses Ellen Venzer on DUI cases and she lost a very close person to a DUI.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

I like Joe Centorino and most of the Attys in Public Corruption. I think Joe is one of the good guys. They got good lawyers in that unit but never seem to hit the home runs. A few low lying officials isnt like netting the big fish. I wish they would convict and launch more ( higher up) officials.

Anonymous said...

Spare us sanctimonious crap on the Casey case. The DNA doesn't clear him, despite what you think (plenty of defendants produce experts to proclaim their innocence............experts who are often proven wrong). Even Casey admits the "possibility" that he was driving. http://www.freeseancasey.org/PR-4-26.pdf.

And stop acting as if Casey bears no responsibility for his fleeing the country. Regardless of what Milton did or didn't tell him, Casey is the one who actually carried out the act.


PS---If I didn't spend so much time around the Justice Building, I'd find it ironic that a man (Casey) who begs others to not rush to judgment against him is so quick to speculate on the motives of the folks he thinks are reponsible for his predicament (ie. Levine and Glick). I also have little doubt that if Levine found something on the tapes that would have allowed her to prosecute Hirsch she would have done so.

the TRIALMASTER said...

Markus will learn that once jurors separate for a long time, it becomes extremely difficult to obtain a not guilty verdict. Your best bet is to force the deliberations and try to keep the jurors from outside influences.

Anonymous said...

In a state where the governor bought his position with stolen money, I can't see how anyone would care if a Judge borrowed money from someone to run a campaign.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

9:58:00 a.m. – Why didn’t the State prosecute Hirsch? From what I understand, Hirsch was on their side during the evidentiary hearing. The State did not want to reopen the case (think of all the work they would have to go through). The prosecutor (Levine) knows Hirsch and Rappaport lied in court under oath. One member of the SAO office said in a letter that the tapes are “quite shocking.” Why would he say that about someone who was on Hirsch’s team? Someday the tapes will become unsealed and then everyone will know the truth. We can debate this over and over, but the truth will eventually come out. It always does in the end. This is not going to go away. I, and many others, support Casey.

P.S. Two prominent defense attorneys know the truth and have proffered in court that Hirsch lied under oath. Are they lying too?

Anonymous said...

BTDT - Didn't prosecutor Levine lie in court as well? So how can she and the SAO prosecute Hirsch without incriminating herself and the SAO? That's a very good reason for not prosecuting Hirsch, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

You Casey defenders remind me of the old saying.......

"Deny everything, admit to nothing, demand proof and, when all else fails, counteraccuse."

Here's what I do know. Neither Milton nor Gail were responsible for Casey's drinking. Neither were driving the car. Neither fled the country.

Perhaps Casey (and you all) should stop complaining about everyone else and look at Casey's actions. When he can't step forward and say "I'm innocent" or take any responsibility whatsoever for his actions (did Milton FORCE him to leave the country? I think not) I'm not terribly impressed with your defense of him or his character.


PS----I'm guessing you're not an attorney, since you obviously know nothing about Gail. Ask someone who has dealt with her. Gail is one of the best lawyers this county has ever seen and is a fighter. She harbors no great love for defense counsel. And, she certainly isn't gun shy. She'd have no problem retrying this case. Part of my difficulty with your comments (and Casey's) is that you all can't seem to defend his actions without slamming anyone and everyone who has touched the case (save the people currently fighting for him). That's pathetic. You're so quick to malign long-standing and hard working public servants and so slow to acknoweledge (let alone regret) Casey's misconduct (there simply is NO defense for fleeing).