Welcome Back! You've had your holidays, drank too much egg nog, eaten too many cookies and slices of candied nut cake, dealt with client emergencies when no Judge's chambers was answering their phone, and if they did, they didn't want to schedule a hearing until today.
But if you're in the REGJB with a case set for trial, then you ignored our second rule of jury trials ((c) Rumpole 2014, all rights reserved) Do not EVER let a case be set for trial the first week of the new year. EVER.
Lets examine this closely. There are multiple problems with scheduling a trial for the first week of the new year.
First: You spend your holiday working and preparing for trial while your phone and email is flooded with pictures of friends on the top of the mountain in Aspen or at the top of the water-slide on a cruise ship. It stinks.
Second: The prosecutor has spent the holidays thinking about their new years resolutions, one of which more likely than not was to try more cases and ask for tougher sentences. They want that promotion in the new year that their spouse/significant other spent the holidays haranguing them about.
Third: The Judge has also spent the holidays thinking about new years resolutions, but most likely their resolution is the opposite of the prosecutor's. "I worked too hard last year. I didn't spend 100K to become a judge just to let some snot-nosed defense attorney keep me in trial until 5pm every day. Why that Judge in Lee country bragged to me at the judicial reception in November that after he gave a defendant thirty years on a third degree felony that he only had to try one more case the whole rest of the year."
The Judge, with their addled capacity for logic, decides that by trying a few cases in the first few weeks of the new year, and handing out stiff sentences, that the word will go forth and they will soon be sipping margaritas poolside by 3pm every day, or squeezing in a quick back nine after a long lunch.
Whereas the last few weeks of the year are a great time for a defendant to be sentenced, the first few weeks of the new year are a minefield for defendants. The time is best spent preparing for trials in February and March. We speak from experience on this. If you are unlucky enough to be walking the hallways of the REGJB the next few days, listen to what your colleagues are saying about judges and prosecutors and see if we aren't correct.
As a practical and beneficial side effect, if you've scheduled a vacation for these next few weeks, the hotel rates are lower, the ski slopes are less crowded, and you can turn the tables on your miserable colleagues and send them selfies of you on an empty ski slope or strolling an empty beach at Cabo.
Happy New Year.
See You In Court, just not this week.
JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG
WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.