Friday, January 18, 2013


UPDATE:  A reader reports on the memorial for Jim Best:

Went to the party for Jim Best last night. I saw; His (now and past)partners, Joe, Chris Lyons, Rene Palamino, and others. Judge Richard Hersch Lasoyna Lacy Tom Risavy Mike Catalano Bob and Dad Louis Lesperance Judge Bill Altfield Judge Patty Marino Ted Mastos and wife Lt. Jeffrey Locke and wife Gina and many othes. We did a toast to Jim. I suggest all of us who knew and liked Jim Best, raise a glass tonight and say a toast to our old buddy. RIP Jim.

"For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo."

The story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed, as nobody is innocent. 

This is the city...Miami. Millions of residents. Twenty eight (or so) are Judges assigned to the criminal circuit court. This is the story of one of them: (cue Dragnet theme.. dum da dum dum. Dum da dum dum dum....)

Judge Milt Hirsch does not like fingerprints. He told the prosecutors he doesn't like fingerprints and then told them that in any fingerprint case to ask him to recuse himself. They did. He didn't. This appeal follows. 

"The affidavit further avers that, subsequent to this disclosure, in a separate conversation with another prosecutor, David Gilbert, Judge Hirsch suggested that the State file a motion to disqualify him because of his preconceived opinions on the subject of fingerprint evidence. When Mr. Gilbert suggested to Judge Hirsch that he should recuse himself based on his expressed feelings, Judge Hirsch stated he would prefer that the State file a motion to disqualify him, which he would grant. In addition to these statements, the affidavit states that Judge Hirsch told a third prosecutor, Christine Zahralban, that if the judge had a case in which the issue of the reliability of fingerprint evidence was raised prior to trial, he would recuse himself from hearing that case. Based on these statements made by Judge Hirsch and, in light of the defendant’s challenges to the fingerprint evidence and the defendant’s pending motions, the prosecutor in the instant cases took Judge Hirsch at his word and orally requested that he recuse himself. Judge Hirsch replied that he would not disqualify himself sua sponte, but he was expecting the State to file a motion to disqualify him..."

"However, despite the averments in these affidavits that Judge Hirsch acknowledged having preconceived opinions on the subject of fingerprints, urged two separate prosecutors on different occasions to file motions to disqualify him in cases where the reliability of fingerprint evidence was raised prior to trial, and told these prosecutors that if they filed such a motion he would grant it, Judge Hirsch denied the motion to disqualify filed by Mr. Ko. This was error." 

"Although Judge Hirsch’s disclosure of his writings on the issue of fingerprints most likely do not require his disqualification1, his invitations to file motions to disqualify him in cases where the reliability of fingerprint evidence becomes an issue, and his assurances that he would grant such motions if filed, certainly would cause a reasonable person to question the judge’s ability to fairly and impartially adjudicate the issues surrounding the reliability and admissibility of fingerprint evidence in a judicial proceeding."

An appeal in the form of a writ of prohibition was taken on Judge Hirsch's refusal to recuse himself on a fingerprint case in State v. Borrego.
In a moment....the results of that appeal. 
"Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest".  ( King Lear, Act I, Scene IV).

We therefore hold, as our sister courts and as we have previously held, that where a judge makes a disclosure, invites the parties to file a motion to disqualify him, and suggests that such a motion will be granted, the motion, if filed, must be 
Because we conclude the judge should have granted the motions to disqualify him, his subsequent rulings were without authority and are hereby vacated."

Milt for this blog is like a wet t-shirt reality TV show on Fox. Ratings go through the roof. We see a minimum 20% jump in unique hits and readers and a corresponding increase in comments. 

See you in court. 


Anonymous said...

Punk him all you want, but Milt is actually CORRECT about fingerprints. THERE IS NO SCIENCE.

DS said...

Someday fingerprints may be like bumps on the head [ phrenology?], Eyewitness IDs and Unrecorded Confessions.

BUT ALL Judges should learn the Greek Judges Rule of Saying as little as possible on the record { ie Keeping their Mouth shut }.


Trivia Name the 2 Greek Judges I named this rule for...

Mao Ze Frye said...

Only Nixon could go to china and only Milt could suppress fingerprint evidence.

Ancient Zen Saying

Milt Cam said...



Anonymous said...

Forget the fingerprint issue on the merits. How bright is it to invite the state to move for disqualification, indicate you'll grant it, and then deny the motion? Disqualification under these circumstances has been mandatory for..oh...30 years? Why does Milt pick fights that he can't win and only make him look bad? He has a self-destructive streak that cannot be cured.

Anonymous said...

I like Milt, but this is ridiculous. The worst part is that he knows better.

We all get that he disagrees with the Third and Supremes, but he needs to stop wasting taxpayer money by doing what he wants instead of following the law. That's his job. He can't expect everyone else to follow the rules when he doesn't (can you imagine what it would be like if every offficer, attorney, etc. did the same thing he's doing?).


Anonymous said...

Wrong on the 893 statute
Wrong on the bail case
Not only wrong but apparently dishonest on fingerprints......

What a great record. Good thing his ego is so huge that the bruises don't show.

Anonymous said...

Science! This is America you idiot. We don't need science! Jesus said it, I believe it, that ends it.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Milt,(and attorneys who square off with a cop) wasn't Milt involved in an altercation with a Miami Beach Police Officer after oral arguments at the Third DCA several years ago when he was an attorney? I believe he even wrote a letter to KFR complaining about it.

Anonymous said...

The fingerprint issue is a moot point right now. The issue is that Hirsch LIED to the state when he said he said he would disqualify himself and then denied the motion - Hirsch is a liar. He has lied before and will continue to lie. When is everyone going to finally see it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with BTDT at 7:49 a.m. When is Milt going to stop wasting taxpayer money. If he had signed the motion as he said he would, this would not have been brought to the 3rd DCA, wasting their time as well.

Anonymous said...

milt has issues with executive functioning.

the trialmaster said...

A Rule 29 in federal court is not an indication of great lawyering. It simply means that the Gov. did not have sufficent proof even to get to a jury. The defense lawyers could have sat there and not done a thing and the case would have been tossed. Nothing to crow about.



Kastrenakas is Greek. But he didn't serve in Miami. Was Eugene Fierro Greek? Was Morphonious Greek. .?

If you read the Borrego opinion I believe it cites to at least three other Judges who have previously done the same thing. So Milt can't claim to be the first to say one thing and then do the opposite.

Anonymous said...

With the exception of Emas, there is no judge on the 3rd who can carry Milts gavel. There are more flat out envious, cowardly, idiots on that court than at any sportswriters convention. More concerning would be this gang of hacks agreeing with Judge Hirsch.

Anonymous said...

what an absolute clown

Anonymous said...

Down goes Diaz

Anonymous said...

emas does not have a high opinion of milt.

Anonymous said...

A Rule 29 in a federal case is "nothing to crow about"? Get your head out of your ass.

Anonymous said...

It may be of some interest to know that Hirsch allegedly made those statements about 10 months before the motion for disqualification was filed, and that the ASA on the case knew of both the statements and that fingerprints were an issue in this case for at least the last 6 months.

It may be of further interest to know that the ASA who alleged Hirsch said he would recuse himself admitted in his affidavit that this was in an apparently ex parte telephone conversation.

Query: if defense counsel had filed a writ based on a motion to disqualify that was both untimely (exceeding the 10 days to file the motion) and based on an impermissible expart conversation, would the DCA have (1) ruled the same way, or (2) denied the writ and refered defense counsel to the bar for the ethical violation?

Anonymous said...

Went to the party for Jim Best last night.
I saw;
His (now and past)partners, Joe, Chris Lyons, Rene Palamino, and others.
Judge Richard Hersch
Lasoyna Lacy
Tom Risavy
Mike Catalano
Bob and Dad Louis Lesperance
Judge Bill Altfield
Judge Patty Marino
Ted Mastos and wife
Lt. Jeffrey Locke and wife Gina

and many othes.

We did a toast to Jim.

I suggest all of us who knew and liked Jim Best, raise a glass tonight and say a toast to our old buddy.

RIP Jim.

Milt Hirsch- The Play! said...

Scene: Chambers of Mr. Justice Milton Hirsch.

MJMH: MONEYPENNY!!! I need to see those opinions from the 3rd DCA.

Mrs. MoneyPenny: They're not out yet Mr. Justice.

MJMH: WHEN? I cannot wait. Lets see what those trolls have done to my cases now. You know Tzar Nichloas once said that....

MMP: Yes, I know, I've heard it, you've said it before.

MJMH: And Shakespeare once wrote...

MMP. Yes, yes, you've said it before.

MJMH And as Ernie Banks said, that great Cub player by the way: "Lets play two" and In the Lincoln Douglas debates there was this line by Douglas......

Curtain closes and house lights fade as MJMH continues to talk.

Anonymous said...

Holiday weekend and no one called the shumie???

Mr. Chief Justice-Designate Milton Hiirsch said...

I honestly don't give a fuck what the Third DCA, or the Florida Supreme Court says. I am MR. CHIEF JUSTICE-DESIGNATE MILTON HIRSCH. While the Senate may not agree on much, they agree that I am, hands down, the best nominee for the next seat on the Supreme Court. Both Sens. Reed and McConnell have assured me that my pre-confirmation is a shoo-in.

Anonymous said...

4:22 you think you know the facts but you don't. Read the opinion. The motion was timely because it could not be filed until the PD actually filed the motion challenging the fingerprints. If they had not, no motion to disqualify would have been filed. Nor did the ASA admit in anyway that there was an ex parte conversation. The PDs did Milt no favors when they fought the motion.

DS said...


No One you mentioned are the 2 I am thinking of. Clues coming on Sunday's Blog.
But I am refering to the 4th Rule of Judgeship, that they tEach at Judicial College>

4. KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, Say as little as` Possible on the Record.

You all remember the First 3 rules of Judgeship taught at Judicial College:

1. Grant or Sustain the State's Motions and Objections.

2. Deny the Defense's Motions and Objections.

3. Max out the Sentense on all Defendants, if they Lose at Trial.

Anonymous said...

LOL DS. We all know that judges are taught to rule AGAINST the State when they're unsure since the State can't appeal an NG.

Get real.


Anonymous said...

There are few words we judges can say to a situation like this. The best are:


Anonymous said...

I think that you are a delusional

Tannebaum Tweets said...

Donkey Sex....Enema tampering, OWN and Oprah, Donald Trump and Amazon.
It was a pretty great week for the great one on Twitter.

Our fav: Brian Tannebaum ‏@btannebaum
Its hard to imagine a world where relationships between people are totally fake.

TT (c) 2013 Because all tweets and tweeters are not alike.

Anonymous said...

Love the blog. Hate the Milt. 50/50 on the shumie.

Secret Judge said...

Hate to clutter the Blog with some objective truth, but yours truly, having attended countless Judicial Educational Conferences and Colleges, must contribute the following. Never once has any lecturer, professor or teacher ever suggested we trial judges rule in a particular fashion, either for the State or the Defense, other than getting it legally correct based on precedent and established case law. The opinions expressed here at the Blog strongly suggest the standards for admission to law school have significantly declined.

Anonymous said...

DS, you are delusional. Here is what they really teach us:

You only needs four words:

1. Granted
2. Denied
3. Sustained
4. Overruled

Everything else is unnecessary.

It has nothing to do with State, Plaintiff or Defense. And since you have never been to Judge 101, and never will be, and I have, I think it is fair to say you don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

DS did you ever think you are the problem, not the solution? Of course not, because self righteous people never think they are the problem. Deal with things in a realistic way and you might just help you clients more, instead of less.

Anonymous said...

@3:22-- "The Milt" has a nice ring to it.

DS said...

“So you want to be a public defender? Don’t do it for the money, there isn’t enough. Don’t do it for prestige, you won’t get any. Don’t do it for the thrill of victory, victory rarely comes. Do it for love. Do it for justice. Do it for self-respect. Do it for the satisfaction of knowing you are serving others, defending the Constitution, living your ideals. The work is hard. The law is against you. The facts are against you. The judges are often against you. Sometimes even your clients are against you. But it is a great job – exhilarating, energizing, rewarding. You get to touch people’s hearts and fight for what you believe in every day.”

Carol A. Brook, Deputy Director, Federal Public Defender for Northern Illinois

Anonymous said...

So the motion to disqualify Milt was untimely. The court then reversed anyway. The important fact that the motion to disqualify was untimely was left out of the opinion. Also in the opinion was a negative comment regarding the assistant public defender. Maybe someday things will change.

Anonymous said...

"Don’t do it for the thrill of victory, victory rarely comes."

when i was a pd i won a lot more then i lost. i loved the thrill of victory. just sayin..

do it for the experience. then go get paid.

Rumpole said...

Secret judge - any idiot can get into law school these days, and then -3 years later and 100K in debt they wonder why they can't get a job.

Anonymous said...


Why does DS get top billing on your blog. He's a nice guy I think but for sure, a bafoon.

Anonymous said...

Very impressed by Ramon and the stellar job he did for his client, but 2 years county jail for an LSA with death while out on bond for a cocaine charge?

How can a judge sentence a first-time grow house defendant to the three year state prison min man with a straight face? A tool shed with 30 marijuana plants is worth more than a life?

I understand the judges are slaves to the mandatory sentencing scheme, but the legislature needs to get it right. In essence, Traverso was rewarded for leaving the scene. Had he remained on scene, the cops would have wanted a vial of his blood. And his blood would very likely have revealed intoxicants. His min man would have been 4 years and based on the facts of the case and the desires of the victim's family, i don't see any reason why he should have gotten less than 10 on a plea.

But he leaves the scene, lets the alcohol burn off, then surrenders, where his guidelines put him in a better position than if he had been charged with DUI manslaughter (although LSA with death carries more maximum time). Still, a judge with a soft heart listens to a sob story about how this little delicate piece of shit can't survive in state prison and just like that, county time followed by house arrest.

Feels like Donte Stallworth all over again.

Rumpole said...

Buffoons need a voice too.

Fake Jay White said...

The winter wind of playoffs blows cold and the leaves turn brown
it will be many months before I hear
"That's another Miami Dolphins First Down!!"

Anonymous said...

I Horace Q Rumpole do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President Of the United States and that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me G-d.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting Sisselman be the voice for fools and buffoons. We all need to be heard.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a kounty kourt memorial. the trialmaster WAS NOT in attendance.

Anonymous said...

DS - stop. just please stop.

Anonymous said...

is anyone on this blog annoyed that their taxes went up?

Anonymous said...

lance armstrong did the right thing. his son of 13 was constantly defending his dads tainted record. the people who he sued drew first blood, not him. the companies who endorsed him made money off of him and have no damages. if everyone against you is cheating then cheat you must, in sports.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about Lance Armstrong? A bicycle rider ... so what?

If DS was a conservative, he'd be called a "fingerprint denier".

I love the people who insult someone by calling them a "bafoon". Just too ironic to be anything but funny.

DS said...

I admit I have wondered why my initials come up first. I assumed it had something to do with the format that Rumbole has no control over.

But, Does That make me BiC
Buffoon in Chief?

Lghten up, the Judge rules were jokes. The the 4 things they teach you to say does support my rule #4- say as little as possible.
1. Granted
2. Denied
3. Sustained
4. Overruled

A Judge should NEVER describe the facts of a case by saying,

'Oh yeah, this is the case with the Schwarvtza who ran across the Palmetto at night wearing dark clothes and got hit by a car, whose driver could not see him in the dark'

nor say

' Do what the rest of us guys have to do and taker her to dinner and a movie first'

DS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

G-dfather Rump I come to you seeking your advice.

I am in love with a girl who is constantly on my mind but I need to get her out of my mind. Cold showers aren't working.


DS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

DS. Stop. Please. You make no sense...ever.

How the hell did you pass a law school exam with that writing?

mikal said...

9:57 - Well said. You echo the sentiments of the bike riding / triathlon community specifically and the I believe, the general population.

As for 30 marijuana plants, yup, the old guard still believes that it is worse to have 30 marijuana plants than it is to kill someone while drunk, and then leave the scene of the accident, all while out on bond for a cocaine charge.

mikal said...

This guy got away with murder but received only 14 years. The judge enhanced his sentence by 3 years because of the severity of the crime but he still gave the guy considerably less than what the prosecution wanted. Is this good lawyering or did the judge simply do the right thing under the circumstances?


Anonymous said...


448 here. On simple matters you handle the mechanics well. It is the more complex problems in which you get caught up in self righteousness and a lack of reality. Your job is not only to inform, but advise. It sounds like you don't do enough of that.

You do nothing to offend judges, but that does not equal doing a good job. Although I admire that you put yourself out there by using your name on your comments, you also expose yourself by making direct and sometimes inaccurate references to people and thus incur their displeasure and that of their friend, which in turn limits your effectiveness.

Just a little insight that some self righteous people lack.

DS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dear 1/20/2013 @ 7:30:00 PM:

Forget the cold showers. Suicide will do wonders for you.

Anonymous said...

There were most certainly no ex parte conversations about that earlier case between Judge hirsch and the prosecutor, I assure you all parties were aware of the judges position in that case. And he made it clear his position was determined in THAT CASE alone, not the more recent case he was erroneously disqualified from.
I should know, I was there.
The opinion from 3rd is based on incorrect facts and upsetting inaccuracies sworn to by the state.