Monday, December 31, 2012


FORMER FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE BEN OVERTON HAS DIED. The former justice, who was the first justice appointed under the new merit appointment system instituted by governor Ruben Askew in 1974 oversaw a court in turmoil from politics and scandals. Overton was a steadying influence on the court, becoming it's chief judge in 1978. Justice Overton retired from the court in 1999. 

FISCAL CLIFF UPDATE: The senate has a deal but the house is not expected back into session on New Years Eve which means that we're going over the cliff! Hang on everyone......

The last day of 2012 is a Monday. The REGJB is open for business, but we seriously doubt anyone will be picking a jury. 
Court will be closed Tuesday- New Years's day, and then open again for business on Wednesday, as  fresh faced prosecutors and new minted judges try to make good on their New Year's resolutions to try more cases, make less plea offers and get tough on crime. January is never a good month to be a defendant in court. 

Today is the 365th day of the year. There is  less than 24 hours until we fall off the fiscal cliff. The practical result for our readers is that ASAs, PDs, clerks, and even Judges will see their paychecks shrink a bit as the Bush era tax cuts and payroll tax cuts expire. Some of the state employees can ill afford to lose a dime of pay. What better example of Washington being broken then Congress, the Senate, and the President all unable to lead on this issue. 

To give you some perspective on the new year: there's 184 days until the 4th of July; 124 days until Cinco de Mayo; 147 days until the Memorial day long weekend;  331 days until Thanksgiving and 358 days until Christmas 2013.  
Enjoy your new year. 

For long time Miamians, Saturday marked the 40th anniversary of the December 29, 1972 plane crash of an Eastern Airlines flight 401 into the Everglades.  75 passengers survived that crash while 101 died. The crash, for many Miamians brought the hazards of air travel in the jet age home to them for the first time. The Herald covered the anniversary here. 

Lets end the year on a good note. Change is the price of survival. Go to the comments section and post one thing you would like to see changed about this blog. We'll post the comments that are serious and constructive. As much as this is our blog, we write it for you. 

Happy New Year from the Justice Building Blog. 
See You In Court. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012


You have to believe someone at the 3rd DCA has a sense of humor. Anyone, really. 

Because they released this decision: Noel v State, on December 26. 

PARDON US: Prior editions of the post had the name of Judge Hirsch spelled wrong. It's "Hirsch" with an "i" as in "I have been reversed" and Hersch with an "e"  as in "easy going" for Judge Richard Hersch. Mistaking the two is like mistaking North Korea for Luxembourg. 
That's our third, and most likely final mistake of the year. 

Judge Schwartz, on the other hand, does not have a sense of humor, at least as it concerns our own dear Judge Milt Hirsch and his propensity to do his job the way he sees fit. 
Something is brewing between these two, and it's not a pleasant mutual admiration society. 

In State v. Martinez,  Uncle Miltie's decision NOT to follow the dictates of the poorly named "Anti murder statute" (as if anyone would be in favour of murder. Well, not including our own misfortunate demise, which apparently many think about fondly).  The AMS- section 948.06 for those of you scoring at home- requires a sentence be imposed within the guidelines for qualifying offenders who violate probation. Pretty simple. 

In Martinez, our hero found that the statute applied, and then, having considered the testimony of the victim- the defendant's wife- imposed a sentence-364- below the guidelines. 

In short, Judge Hirsch did what we pay our Judges to do: being best situated (as appellate courts love to remind us when they are affirming denials of motions to suppress) to evaluate the testimony and demeanor of the witnesses, and best situated to understand the complete ramifications of the crime and the sentence, Judge Hirsch- drawing upon his decades of legal experience (sorry Milt, you're old) as opposed to the prosecutor's probable months and months of experience- issued a sentence that he believed to be fair and just. But unfortunately for the world we live in, not legal. Because woe unto the judge who uses his or her experience in a manner than benefits a defendant. The Florida Legislature  (motto: "Getting tougher on crime until everyone is incarcerated") will not stand for that kind of independent judiciary. 

And surprisingly, neither will Judge Schwartz, whose opinion is chock full of anti-uncle Miltie phrases and jabs like:

This statute, which could not be more categorical, unconditional, or unambiguous, clearly establishes that the code and the guidelines do apply to this case. Indeed, 
they apply in spades... 

The result below is in flagrant violation of that legislative objective...

It is inconceivable that the legislature would have countenanced an end run around the statute by permitting instead the miscreant to be sentenced to prison (or, as here, jail) for any period, however short – 364 days, 60 days, or 60 minutes – solely within the presumably unreviewable discretion of the trial court.
This last broadside about the "unreviewable discretion of the trial court" directs us to footnote seven, upon which the opinion concludes:

Thus, under the ruling below, the legislative mountain, having labored, has brought forth a hole in the ground. 

Translation: "Don't mess with me. You're not smarter than I am. And your actions are certainly reviewable by my court. Got it?"

Offer: Lunch with Rumpole at Joes and a donation of $1,000 to the charity of your choice for a verifiable cell phone video of Messrs. Hirsch and Schwartz quaffing a few beers together after a hard day at work. 

See You Next Year In Court. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

NEVER SURRENDER (Unless you're a Judge in Miami)

Good Wednesday after Christmas. 
How was your Noche Buena? For us it's all about the chicharones.
Five days until we tumble over the fiscal cliff. POTUS is flying back from Hawaii in case there is a deal. Maybe he should bring John Boehner a pineapple?
Who has court tomorrow?

Jack Klugman, a great actor, quietly passed away on christmas eve at the age of 90. Besides the roles he was most famous for-Oscar Madison and Quincy ME., you can see a very young Klugman in the all time great legal movie "12 Angry Men".  If 12 Angry Men was re-made today, they'd have to give it a different title. Putting aside for the moment women now serve on juries, the title would have to be something like: "12 angry jurors plus a seriously pissed off judge that your client didn't accept  a plea offer plus a prosecutor bent on revenge for your client exercising his right to a jury trial..."  It's a working title for now. 

Governor Scott closed most state offices for Christmas eve, but the SAO and the PDs were open, slugging it out before the courts in the REGJB. 

The Supreme Court (Motto:  *   ) will be examining a few significant 4th Amendment cases in the new year, including:

Missouri v. McNeely on the issue of warrantless blood draws in DUI arrests; and
Maryland v King on the issue of whether the state may draw blood for DNA analysis on people who are arrested and charged with felonies. 
No need to read the briefs or the opinion. We'll do it for you. 

It's popular this time of the year to create lists of what occurred in 2012 or hand out awards in semi-fictitious categories. 

We've thought long and hard about this, and something is bothering us. In the entire  history of the REGJB we never recall a judge quitting after losing an election. Until this year. So without further ado (or actually, with a little more ado) we sadly award this year's "Winston Churchill 'Never Never Never Never Never Surrender' award" to former Judge Ana Pando, who after being soundly beaten at the polls earlier this year, quit. She resigned from the bench rather than working until the end of her term.  

FYI- two presidents- Truman and Ford died on the day after Christmas. 

See you in court. 

* This space intentionally left blank.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


XMAS EVE TRIVIA: Just for fun, no googling or Santa won't bring you a gift: the first  president who 1) was never in the military and 2) was never elected to any other office other than the Presidency.  

Good Saturday Morning. The second to last Saturday of 2012. 
Three shopping days until Christmas; nine days until we fall off the fiscal cliff and eleven days until your brand new circuit and county court judges are sworn in. 

BIG BRWARD NOT GUILTY.  We cannot overstate the amazing win in Broward County for Hillard Moldolf, who accomplished the amazing feat of having a client who was on death row acquitted of all charges on Friday. The trial of Seth Penalver, which was the third trial in this case, began in April, 2011. For nine months the defense and prosecution battled over one maddeningly elusive fact: was Penalver the person on the grainy surveillance video who was wearing a hat and sunglasses? The case involved the grisly triple murders that occurred at the home of the owners of  Casey's Nickelodeon, a Broward bar. Penalver, 39, has been in custody since 1994. He now begins the difficult job of putting his life back in order, which given the alternative, is not a bad thing. 

Favor Hamilton was a three time US  olympian track star, competing for the US in 1992, 1996, and 2000. At age 44, the happily married mother of a daughter was living in Wisconsin and working part time as a high priced escort in Las Vegas. 
Sometimes, when you miss that runner's high....

We are in the final two weeks of the year. There won't be any big trials started until January. Although we are ensconced in our winter retreat just outside of Truckee, California,  we'll update the blog from time to time, so keep checking in.  

2013 is going to be a year of big changes, and that includes this humble blog. Just wait and see. 

ps. For those of you who participated in the "In Remembrance" blog post last week, thank you. It was a very gratifying experience, and it is a blog post that has quickly become one of our favourites. 

See you in court, 1/3/2013, or thereabouts. 

Friday, December 21, 2012


FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: peering our from under the bed, we're happy to find we're still here. Stay tuned to the blog- if the world ends, we'll be the very first to let you know. 

 A BIG BROWARD NOT GUILTY. A re-trial of a defendant who was on death row ends in NOT GUILTY. Seth Penalver has had three trials in which he was accused of committing a triple murder, armed robbery and armed burglary. The first trial ended in a hung jury. The second trial ended with a guilty verdict and death sentence, both of which were both reversed. And now a big- five count- not guilty. Congrats to defense attorney Hillard Moldolf who, as the JAA Broward Blog points out here, took a big gamble when the jury was deadlocked 10-2 and agreed to replace the two holdouts who the other jurors reported would not participate in deliberations. The trial began in April of this year. April! And a big NG on the day the world ended: 12/21/2012. The legendary Chuck Morton, a big class act, was the lead prosecutor for the State. 

According to the Mayan Calendar today is the end of the world. So....no world....no blog. Can't have one without the other. 

No regrets here. Perhaps a bit earlier than we liked (although most of the Broward judiciary would have liked to see us disappear a lot sooner). And there's a few things we never got to do: Everest. Stretching a single into a double at Wrigley, and sliding head first into second base, wrapping our arms round the bag as the crowd cheers. No Cub world series win for that matter.  Never addressed a joint house of Congress. Never sang 10th Avenue Freeze Out at the Stone Pony. Hef never invited us over to the Mansion. 

 But there was that sunrise over Lake Lucern. And the Milaski twins right before college. And that double diamond run down Squaw Valley. A couple of real sweet not guilties. A bonefish and a tarpon on a fly in Marathon on the same day. To Kill A Mockingbird. The walls of Cayman Islands and the beaches of Normandy and the Louvre. And all of London. Tequila. So all in all, not too bad. 

So, if it's the end of the world as we know it*, who better than REM to sing us out?  

We'd say "see you in court" but not even the REGJB can survive this. Maybe the cockroaches in ABP might survive, but that's about it. 
It's been fun. 

*In the unlikely event  the Mayans are wrong, then we'll be back soon. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


UPDATE #2 Robert Bork, whose nomination hearings changed the way people used sentate confirmations- and not for the better- has died.

UPDATE: Lots and lots of new names added after the original post.

At this time of year thoughts turn to those who have been here before us and have since departed. Many of those who graced our courthouse and this earth planted seeds which grew into giant oak trees.  These are the men and women who made the practice of law in Dade County a great thing. 
So in no particular order, except for the first, we remember Judges and attorneys we knew.  Please email or post your remembrances and we will put those names on the front of the blog.
Ed Cowart- the first among many.  Rob Pinero. Manny Crespo. Gerald Klein. Phil Knight. 
Sy Gaer. Ned Davis. Wilkie Ferguson. Henry Oppenborn. Julio Jimenez. Henry Leyte-Vidal. Fred Nesbitt. 

Ellen Morphonios. Arthur Snyder. Stanley Goldstein (founder of the first drug court in the nation!).  Calvin Mapp. Tom Carney. 
George Orr. Gemma Cosentino. Greg Wenzel, who died in the line of duty of serving his country and was a former dade PD. 

Harold Solomon. Sydney Shapiro. Richard Hickey. Richard Gerstein. Paul Mendelson. Margarita Esquiroz. Dixie Chastain. Mattie Belle Davis. Norman Roettger. David Dyer. Maxine Cohen-Lando. Michelle Block. Ed Newbold. John Tanksley. Morton Perry (a real gem of a man) C.P. Rubiera- who loved to mentor young attorneys,  and one of our favourites: Dominick Koo. Joe Durant. Gabe Martin. Bill Meadows- another gem of  a man.

Harry Prebish (founded FACDL Miami Chapter along with Daniel Pearson), Daniel Pearson,  Carol Guralnick- somebody should write a book about her, Gino Negretti (the cuban rocket), Paul Pollack. Rodney Thaxton- amazing PD, FACDL gives an award in his name. Carl Vizzi. Danny Velaos.

David "Sterno" Stern. Ted Klein- they don't make them any better than Ted, Arthur Maginnis. Vince McGhee- brother of Rayfield McGhee, Arthur Winton. Bill Schurr. Meek Robinette- yes you young ASAs and PDs, there once was a judge named Meek. Murray "The K" Klein. Henry Carr. Harvey Baxter, who ran for judge with the slogan "Put a Mensch on the Bench." He won. 

David Paulus. Ira Dubitsky, Terry McWilliams, Jeff Raffle, Kirk 
Haas, Norman Haft, Max Kogan, John Durant, Milton Farrell  Jr.
Max Engle. Stuart Mishkin. Steve Chaykin- a great lawyer and a great man who died way too young.
And ditto for Steve Levine, a judge who was cherished and taken from us way too soon. Joe Eaton. Lenore Nesbitt, Sidney Aroncvitz, James Payne, George Gold,Tom Duff, Kirk Marmar and John Komorowski.

Jeff Samek- led the defense in the Country Walk trial. 
Adele Faske- the first woman ASA.  Walter Gwynn. Ben Cohen. Rosemary Jones. Paul Louis. Bill Ferguson. 

These names are in no particular order and we are sure we have forgotten many who deserve to be remembered. Think of this as a start. Please email us or post a name and we will put it up. 

See You In Court. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Longtime and careful readers of this blog know that from time to time we have taken pause from our appointed duties as scribe of the comings and goings of the REGJB and entertained serious epicureal discussions about such topics as the Chicago Hot Dog and where one could obtain the best Bar-B-Que in town. 

We now turn our attention to more ante meridian concerns and invite our readers to tell us where is  the BEST BREAKFAST IN TOWN?

Some rules: If you live outside of Dade County, you have our sympathies, and we could care less where the best breakfast in Weston Pines or Pembroke Ponds is. Nobody (meaning us) cares. 

If your taste runs to Denny's Grand Slam, we're not interested. Our personage has never darkened the door of a Dennys, and most likely never will. 

Have at it. 

We'll start the discussion off with  a small out of the way counter only joint- Ruben's Cuban restaurant in Pinecrest. Simply a very good breakfast with one of those machines that slices the oranges and squeezes out the OJ. 

See You In Court, but not having breakfast at Au Bon Pain. 

Monday, December 17, 2012


The NY Times profiled four non-violent inmates serving mandatory life sentences. The article is here. Fact: of the 141,000 inmates serving life sentences, 41,000 are serving life with no chance of parole. 

Why is parole so disfavoured? Don't we trust the professionals who have trained to be in the position to make such a decision? Shouldn't people who are incarcerated be evaluated individually instead of collectively by the crime they were convicted of? Isn't that what this country is about? That each individual has the right to be judged by who they are as an individual, and not as a member of a race or any particular class. And yet with sentencing, we are avowed collectivists, tossing any individuality on to the trash heap of vengeful punishment. 

Should parole be granted sparingly for some crimes? Sure. But for the incorrigible twenty five year old who keeps getting arrested for serious but non-violent crimes, there should be a  chance at redemption ten, twenty, thirty years later. Not only would the chance at parole motivate prisoners, but it is in keeping with an enlightened society that values individuals and rewards those who make themselves better. 

The Dolphins looked downright good yesterday. 

Yes, the blog has a new look. After 2,285 posts, we changed the template to all black on Saturday to mourn the children killed in the horrible tragedy last week in Newton, Connecticut.  Having changed from an old style template, we couldn't go back to our cherished bubbles, so in a way we were forced to upgrade to the new look. Enjoy. Many minutes of thought went into the new look. 

Seven more shopping days until Christmas; 14 days until we tumble over the fiscal cliff. Last full week of work for the year. 

See you in court. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Long time and careful readers of this humble blog will notice the  blog has a new look. 

"Change is the price of survival."
Gary Player.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012


We've posted this statistic before. And the truly sad thing is, we will probably post it again:

According to the  the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,042 children and teens died from gunfire in America in 2007 – one child or teen every three hours, eight every day, 58 every week. Almost six times as many children and teens – 17,523 – suffered non-fatal gun injuries and the often-lifelong emotional aftermath that follows. 

Friday, December 14, 2012


BREAKING: Fleur Lobree and Alan Fine are your new circuit court judges. And for Judge Lobree, currently of the county court (say that three times fast) her appointment to the Circuit Court, in the face of her loss at the polls in August to retain her County Court seat, is - in  keeping with the season- a Lazarus like arising from the judicial trash heap of judges who couldn't defend their seat. Life rarely gives you second chances, much less third bites of the apple.

Good Friday Morning. This is your second to last working Friday of the year. Will anyone get roped into appearing in court on Friday the 28th? If so, time for a refresher course  on your litigation skills. 
10 Shopping days until Christmas. 17 days until we tumble over the fiscal cliff.  And just for perspective, 201 days until the fourth of July, 2013. 

Is Alan Fine your newest Circuit Judge? 

Bogus butts?  Deleterious derrieres? The Herald reports that another clinic in Miami has been illegally enhancing the less than bountiful bottoms of the fairer sex of Hialeah. The article is here. 

Anybody in trial besides the lawyers in Judge Tinkler-Mendez's division? 

Remember the Jeffrey MacDonald case? Green Beret doctor convicted of killing his wife and daughters? MacDonald's guilt was presumably exposed in the book and television movie Fatal Vision. The case has gone on and on. Back and forth to the Supreme Court. Now, for perhaps the last time, MacDonald, aged 68, and Brian Murtagh age 66 and the last remaining original prosecutor on the case, are squaring off in court again. Because of the new book "A Wilderness of Error",  MacDonald has a new, and in all likelihood final, evidentiary hearing. The Washington Post portrays this fascinating battle between two men for forty years here. 

A case lasting forty years? Talk about your career case. 

See You In Court. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Good Thursday morning. Eleven shopping days until Christmas and eighteen days until we fall over the fiscal cliff. 

Lewis and Tein saga: The case continues, and DOM has coverage from the DBR (which we refuse to pay for access to) in which more witnesses support the embattled lawyers. Which just goes to show you that it ain't over until....you hire Paul Cali. 

A trio of heat babies players have been invited to take part in the annual three kings parade in January. Scratch the parade off our list of things to do. 

As we reported yesterday, the Broward County courthouse- yes the same place that houses during the workday most of the Broweird judiciary- was shut down because of an excess accumulation of gas. Make of that what you will, but we think the cause is obvious. 

HELP WANTED: Federal Judge. Must be a lawyer, self important, and have a bit of a deity complex.  The NY Times Op Ed piece states that there are 77 spots (9%) open. Lets see....Hawaii would be nice. We wouldn't turn down a spot in San Fran either- plus you have the 9th circuit reviewing your decisions, so no worries there. Yes, after a few moments of thought, we proudly announce our availability for a spot on the Federal Bench in San Francisco. 

Otherwise...See You In Court. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

twelve 12 XII

Gas leak. The main jail is closed as well.
The Broward courthouse....too much gas....sometimes it's just not fair how lucky we are.

This is important: The NY Times article on the horrors of minimum mandatory prison sentences. 

Today is December 12, 2012. Or 12-12-12.  The last of these numerological thought-provoking dates that started with 1-1-01, through 7-7-07, and ending today.

Here's a reprint from a NY Times article on 12-12 1912: Interesting. 

A group of twelve things is called a duodecad. The ordinal adjective is duodenary, twelfth. The adjective referring to a group consisting of twelve things is duodecuple.

Twelve is a composite number, the smallest number with exactly six divisors, its divisors being 12346 and 12.

Twelve is a super factorial , being the product of the first three factorials. Twelve being the product of three and four, the first four positive integers show up in the equation 12 = 3 × 4, which can be continued with the equation 56 = 7 × 8.

The importance of 12 in Judaism and Christianity can be found in the Bible. The biblical  Jacob  had 12 sons, who were the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, while the New testament describes  twelve apostles  of Jesus.

The Daily Business Review handed out their annual awards for the Most Effective Lawyers, in 2012.   Paul Calli,  Stephen (The Iceman) Bronis and  Michael Menchel won in the criminal defense category.  Congrats to all. From the DBR article:
Paul Calli, Stephen Bronis and Matthew Menchel gained acquittals in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act sting.
Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer called it the most significant Foreign CorruptPractices Act lawsuit brought by the Justice Department, calling it a “game changer.”
Twenty-two executives and employees of weapon manufacturers throughout the nation were charged with bribing
foreign officials to grease a $15 million deal for guns and security gear to the African nation of Gabon.

The government employed old-fashioned sting techniques used primarily in drug trafficking cases to attract the executives, meeting some of the defendants at the Miami Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

But after a series of acquittals and mistrials, federal prosecutors conceded they had been bested and dropped the entire case. Three of those attorneys came from Miami: Matthew Menchel, Stephen Bronis and Paul Calli.
Menchel’s examination of the lead agent in the first trial set the table for the second, where Bronis and Calli were successful.
There never was another trial. Prosecutors dropped all charges, even against three defendants who were awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty. 

Calli said Bronis was able to expose informant Richard Bistrong, who was 
prosecuted for his own FCPA violations.
“I think by the end of Steve’s cross, people understood that Bistrong wouldn’t know the truth if it 
bit him in the backside,” Calli said.

Rumpole notes: The awards are well deserved. Those guys are big time. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012



MID-DAY UPDATE: Bad day for the police:
1- We bet these cops are upset. Herald reports  the FBI investigating City of Miami cops for bookmaking and protecting a Liberty City Bookmaking operation. Take the Fins and over this weekend. 
2-Doral Police Chief fired. Ricardo Gomez out as chief in the 15 square mile municipality. He was not even allowed to get his personal items. Chief Gomez's next step: "I want my lawyer!
Fun fact: Doral was named "Tree City USA".  
(Hialeah was recently named "dead chicken on your porch city USA"). 
3- Bal Habour (Motto: "you can't afford to live here") Police Chief Tommy Hunker was suspended with pay pending the DOJ's investigation of the small principality municipality's dabbling in forfeiture and drug investigations across the country. 

Want to become a board certified lawyer? Well, first you have to try some cases. With that we cannot help you. You must develop the intestinal fortitude to say "NO" to the offer of withhold and court costs and look at the judge and bravely say "lets pick six"

Next: Come to the PD's office on Wednesday at noon. BRING AN UNWRAPPED TOY for the DCBA Homeless Outreach Committee, and then listen to Judge Richard Hersch (motto: "The other, quieter, Judge Hersch/Hirsch")  and Sabrina Puglisi talk to you about everything you wanted to know about becoming a board certified lawyer. 
Also come hungry because lunch is being served and Au Bon Pain has nothing to do with it. 

The festivities start at noon. 
See you there? Hardly. But it's still a worthy event for the rest of you. 

Former Judge Pando charged by JQC.
Charges against Judge Pando dropped by JQC. 
What? Why? Who knows?  Herald article here. 
Talk about your revolving door of justice. 
It appears the charges filed were dropped in exchange for Pando agreeing never to run for President. Or something like that. 

"You want the truth?
You can't handle the truth!"

There's never a cop around when you need one. And now we know why- courtesy of the Sun Sentinel- they're going home early- busted by Sun Pass. Rats. 

Manuel Pardo execution still scheduled for 6pm Tuesday. 

See You In Court. 

Monday, December 10, 2012


Robert "Bob" Koeppel, Dade County's first Public Defender has passed away. He died on December 8, 2012. 

From the on line Obit:

Robert L. Koeppel, known to friends and family as Bob, passed away Thursday Dec 6th at South Miami Hospital. Bob was born in Jamaica New York on July 15, 1930. He was the second son of Aaron and Frances Koeppel. His father sold cars, used at first and then purchased and ran a new Dodge dealership. After Graduation from high school he attended University of Miami where he attained a degree in Psychology. He then went on to Law School graduating from UM Law in 1954. Bob began his legal career back in New York but quickly returned to South Florida where he became Dade County's first Public defender in 1957. He was re-elected to the position in 1965 and served the county as its first Public Defender for 13 years. Bob began his private practice after leaving the Public Defender's office. He was in private practice in the law firm of Koeppel, Stark, Marks and Newmark for many years ultimately retiring from the practice of law in 1990.

OK REGJB oldtimers: who has memories of Bob Koeppel? 

Read more here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/herald/obituary.aspx?n=robert-l-koeppel&pid=161550188#storylink=cpy


Before we begin, make sure you read our prior post and the email from Jude Faccidomo about renewing your REGJB skip-the-line ID. 

From Nicholas Kristoff's Sunday Times Column:

THIS is what poverty sometimes looks like in America: parents here in Appalachian hill country pulling their children out of literacy classes. Moms and dads fear that if kids learn to read, they are less likely to qualify for a monthly check for having an intellectual disability....

This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.

The ironic thing is that it has taken an avowed collectivist to bring back the intellectual side of the conservative argument. Interesting article. 

It's snowing in Dallas and Fort Worth this Monday morning, which is very unusual.
The Dolphins got whupped this weekend, which is not unusual. 

There may be a scandal brewing with the Hialeah Police Department  (which is not unusual) and a possible coverup over the tragic accident in which a young woman was killed by an accident likely caused by a vehicle driven by an undercover Hialeah police officer. The Herald article is here.  

A Monkey was found shopping in an Toronto area Ikea store over the weekend, which is fairly unusual.  He was looking at some reasonably priced furniture, which is not unusual. 

The "Holiday Slow Down" ( (c) Rumpole 2012, all rights reserved) will be hitting the REGJB this week. Tell us who is in the trial, which is somewhat unusual for this time of year. 

Enjoy your week- 1 until the State of Florida executes former Sweetwater Police Officer Manuel Pardo for multiple murders and a few wrongly issued parking tickets; 14 shopping days until Christmas; 21 days until the fiscal cliff; 42 days until inauguration of Mitt Romney Barack Obama. 

See You In Court.  

Friday, December 07, 2012


UPDATE: SCOTUS blog coverage of the Supreme Court's grant of cert in the two gay marriage cases. 

Who wants to wait in line at the REGJB? Not us! So please pay attention:

An email from Jude Faccidomo:

Dear Membership:
On Wednesday FACDL Vice President, Eddie Pereria, and I met with members of the Administration of Courts  to discuss the process for moving forward with the renewal/continuation of the REG ID Badge program. As most of you have probably noticed your ID badges are set to expire at the end of this year. That date has been extended to January 15. 
Starting December 17 there will be new IDs available for pick up. That location is yet to be determined, but will either be REG or the Lawson Building. Through our negotiations with AOC there will be no charge for your renewal this year since most members used their IDs for a small portion of 2012. FACDL will be sending out to its members an ID renewal form with the 2013 FACDL Membership Application. Once you have filled out your ID renewal form you will need to bring it with you to pick up your 2013 ID along with your 2012 ID. When picking up your ID you will then need to sign an acknowledgement form affirming that since your first application you have not had any arrests. 
If you did not apply during the pilot program and need to get an ID for the first time you will need to go through the process of submitting a full application. For new IDs there will still be a charge of $30.00. These applications will also be available through FACDL.  
Again, you will be able to enter the building with your current ID or a new ID until January 15. After January 15th you will only be able to enter through the side entrance with a new 2013 ID badge. Per AOC, the pick up time for the renewal IDs will be finite. If you do not pick up your new ID between December 17th and January 15 then you will not have an ID for 2013- but I am sure your colleagues will wave to you as the pass you in line.  

BREAKING: US SUPREME COURT TO HEAR ISSUE OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE:  Oral arguments set for March, so there will probably be an expedited briefing schedule. The two cases come from challenges in California and New York so it's a "bi"-coastal case. (Bad pun). 

Rumpole has always said there is no reason why gay people should be happier than everyone else who is married. 


Last night was the night as the NY Knicks embarrassed the Miami Heat at home, beating them 112-92, and we were there to enjoy every moment of it. 

And tonight is the night for the famed PD party. (By invitation only.) Have fun. 

Meanwhile, we've been following the extraordinary blog of US software mogul John Mcafee, who has been blogging while on the run from a murder investigation in Belize, which has great diving by the way. Mcafee was arrested in Guatemala Thursday, and became perhaps the first prisoner to blog from jail.   We now know that the coffee served by corrections in Guatemala is "excellent." 

Many loyal readers have often opined that perhaps it would be nice if we blogged from jail- where they say we belong- but we were happy to cede that honour to another. 

Speaking of things we've been accused of, Roy Black advises to "cross examine like a psychopath." 
From his blog:
The key traits to psychopathic success are: ruthlessness; intense capacity to focus, excluding all distractions such as fear; powerful reward motivation; a disposition to action; acute ability to read emotions in other people, without being moved by them; charisma; mental resilience; and mindfulness, the ability to live in the present moment. Include in that “the refrigerated heart of a ruthless, glacial predator.” Sounds a lot like a trial lawyer conducting a cross-examination.

Sound like anyone you know? 

Have another drink on us tonight. Who won the movie tickets? 

Enjoy the weekend. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012


UPDATE: Let us be clear about this: we are not criticizing the Public Defender for having the staff pay for the PD party. It is the only allowable way the party could take place. That being said, check out our new poll.

From: Carlos J. Martinez
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 5:00 PM
To: Janice Terry
Cc: All Users
Subject: Re: 2012 Annual Holiday Party

All employees who pay by tomorrow at noon will be entered into a raffle for two 
AMC movie tickets. Hope to see you on Friday night.

*Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse typos and grammatical errors.

You didn't win the half a billion dollar power ball drawing, but perhaps your luck is changing, and you score these tickets.  Your luck just got even better. Email us proof and we, through our extensive network of blog assistants, will provide you with an AMC gift card sufficient in value for a large popcorn, two soft drinks, and because it's the holidays, a box of those nonpareils. 

Happy holidays from your favourite blog. 
See You In Court. 

*we can excuse the grammatical errors and typos, but not the deaf like mismanagement of employee morale.