Monday, May 12, 2014


Before he was Judge Kastranakas, before he was a federal prosecutor, he was a Dade ASA and we called him Johnny K. 

But now, having shed his trial suit for depressing black robes, Circuit Court Judge John Kastrenakas, has made news by slapping Dade Lawyer Benjamin Waxman with 6K in costs for requiring the West Palm Beach SAO to litigate what the court deemed a frivolous motion. 

This has ominous overtones. We cannot recall any judge in any criminal case sanctioning a defense attorney with costs for fighting for their client.  

Defense attorneys already are threatened on a daily basis by prosecutors whilst judges sit idly by: 

"If the Defense persists in litigating this motion to suppress, we will withdraw all plea offers". 

Yeah, that's not a threat. It's just a friendly reminder. 

The Palm Beach Post article is here. 

H/T to the Captain for bringing this issue and the article to our attention. 

A missive to the criminal defense bar: The next time a prosecutor threatens your client on the record to withdraw a plea offer if you insist on litigating a motion, bond hearing, arthur hearing, please contact the FACDL. We need to start filing bar complaints and striking back. First it starts with bond hearings. Then motions to suppress. Soon prosecutors will be withdrawing all plea offers if you invoke discovery. 

See you in court, where to paraphrase the greatest man of the 20th century, we never never never never never give in to threats. 


Anonymous said...

Which rule of professional conduct requires a prosecutor to keep a plea offer open after a bond hearing, or after the deposition of a rape victim?

Anonymous said...

What can you expect from a guy who would laugh at the statement heard in Major Crimes at the time: "any prosecutor can convict a guilty man, but it takes a great prosecutor to convict an innocent man."

If Kris Maharaj turns out to be a mistake, what should happen to His Honor?

Anonymous said...

Waxman is one of the smartest, most conscientious attorneys in town. He is also the nicest guy anywhere -- unfailingly courteous to opposing counsel and respectful to judges. If this could happen to him it could happen to any of us.

Anonymous said...

Remember a few months ago when I was told by a prosecutor that the plea to house arrest would be off the table if I went forward with the Arthur hearing?

SAO supervisors said that such a policy does not exist and the ASA was told not to do that again.

That was Miami.....

I have litigated with John K (years ago when he was a Miami ASA) and he was fair and reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Honest question... I have a client in another county that scores to 4 years with a 3 year min man. I get an email with this offer (verbatim): all counts as charged – will plea to 36 months prior to depositions

Do you guys think its unethical to make a below guidelines offer that's revocable upon asserting discovery rights?

Anonymous said...

Dont let the baby face or boyish boy scout looks of Johnny K fool you. He was unethical as he could be in the Joyce Cohen case.He made side deals with co-defendants that he never revealed. In fact, in another case he handled a jury wrote a letter to the trial judge saying she felt betrayed by Johnny K. when she found out the real facts.

Anonymous said...

Will there ever be financial sanctions for prosecutors who are disingenuous/hide discovery/facts, or is that just to be expected from them?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The crazy part about the scores 4 years with 3 year MM, 36 month offer, is that it seems like a no brainer that you could tell the judge about it and get 36 months after depos from the judge if necessary.

Id understand if they were going below

Anonymous said...

where has rory stein gone? no more hoops on palm island? those games were the glue that kept the office together. when they stopped all hell broke loose. sports are a great unifier

Anonymous said...

The ASA responsible for that offer couldn't figure that out. Or they don't care. Or both.

And if Mr. Waxman can get hit like this, anyone can. He's not the first lawyer slapped by a WPB judge for fighting for a client - but criminal prosecution? Maybe they have a new dictionary in Palm Beach that re-defines such terms as "frivolous" "zealous defense" and "valid argument". Can someone share it please?

Happy Guy said...

Rumpole, what's the point? I mean of all this?

Like why do we save files? Does anybody want the possn cocaine case I closed out in 1997 for CTS?

Does anybody look for Max Engle's files or Gino Negretti's or Manny Crespo's?

We're born. We miss out on childhood because we don't know enough at the time how special it is. And then suddenly we're on some conveyor belt. College . Law School. Get a job. Spend ten years paying off debt. Try and buy a house and have a kid. Your wife soon hates you. You're underwater in your mortgage.

You meet people worth hundreds of millions who are idiots. How did they get so much money being so stupid? They think they enjoy their life jetting off here and there but they're so dumb so they don't know about poetry, art, literature, life.

Meanwhile your 50's hit and some 35 year old doctor is telling you things about diverticulosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol. tryglycerides, PSA prostate. You can't piss much anymore and yet you're up 3X a night peeing.

Your 60's come and your erections go. Now you need a pill, but you look so hideous you must pay for sex. Your wife is gone. Your kids only call for money. Even your cat skitters away when you come home to your empty condo which has a 30 year mortgage you know you'll never live long enough to pay off.

You spend holidays alone as your kids are with your ex-wife and their new spouses and in-laws and they call you for ten minutes as they spend your money at the condo in Aspen on the family holiday you weren't invited on.

You finally stop buying viagra and just give up on sex.
No reading glasses work now.
The doctor is talking some operation that will leave you shitting in a bag and he hopes in a few months he can reverse that.
You lose your breath tying your shoes or walking up a few steps. No food taste goods and no one will drink with you.
Your friends are retiring to fun places and new lives and you drag your ass out of bed everyday and hustle for clients. Retirement is a fantasy.
For what?
A heart attack in trial would be best. But no, with your luck a series of strokes will just eventually leave you stuck, staring at afternoon TV while some Jamaican woman nurse's aid paid for by medicare talks on your cell phone and offers you apple sauce.

Eventually the lights go out. All your friends and colleagues who knew you are enjoying the retirement you never had. The 30 something judges and lawyers only knew you briefly as some sad old man stumbling through arraignments, with stained pant suits and greasy thinning hair.
You're gone and nobody cares and nobody misses you one damn bit.

So I ask you Rumpole-
what the fuck is this all about?

Rumpole said...


Anonymous said...

Or there was the kid who was a star athlete and got hot chicks since he was 14. Went to college did well in school, did drugs and always had the fine girlfriends. Went to law school became a lawyer won his perfect cases and lost his files. Met the perfect wife had the perfect kids and made millions before he was forty.

Secret Judge said...

To Happy Guy 6:58 PM: Just continue to do your very best as long as possible. Use what time you have left to be nice to and help as many people as possible. Try to maintain, if possible, a quiet dignity. Believe me, you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

6:58, damn son

Anonymous said...

You wanna opine on Johnny K? Read Clive Stafford Smith's book on the Kris Maharaj trial, The Injustice System, Johnny K is no angel, never has been.

Anonymous said...

Instead of relying on a book based in fantasy and untruth, I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that you read the trial transcripts.

Anonymous said...

You don't have a right to a plea offer. Acceptable bases for a plea offer are reduction in caseload, acceptance of responsibility, and certainty in the outcome, for example.

Offering a resolution other than the maximum exposure (or other than guidelines) in exchange for ensuring an outcome, accepting responsibility early, or reducing a caseload is completely acceptable and not grounds for any action against either the State or the prosecutor. The notion that a defendant can force the State to litigate every aspect of the case and then, at the last moment, insist upon a right to a plea offer is ludicrous.

You best offer is always going to be early on. Why?
1. You accepted responsibility immediately (and showed remorse).
2. You saved time and resources by pleading early.
3. You assured the prosecutor/State of an outcome early on, without having to risk motions to suppress, dismiss, etc.

This is completely OK and to suggest otherwise is irresponsible and legally incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Hey rump, the no heart heat just ground one out....blows up the six prediction. You are in good company with bitter barkly

Heat fan said...

Hey Rump. Still think the Nets will win in six? Did you take that to the bank? Do the math and enjoy the ride. Oh yeah, your no heart favourite Heat player Lebron James put up 49 points. Take that to the bank.


Heat Fan

Anonymous said...

another day, and more bondsman in bed with attorneys. can't wait for the feds to take down the attorneys who can't follow the law.

Joe Gatto said...

Scoopski Potatoes

Anonymous said...

6:58: Why wait. Blow your brains out tonight

Anonymous said...


The "Hapless" Heat, make the Net's Paul Pierce cry again. Celtics redux. Time to go to the bank before there is a run on your money.

When are you going to see, what every "real" basketball analyst sees: The Heat are the best team in basketball.

Anonymous said...

The problem with revoking plea offers if discovery is pursued is that you are placed in an ethical quandary. No, there is no right to a plea offer. But once one is made, how can I effectively represent my client if I'm told that any offer will be revoked if I engage in discovery. How can I ethically and effectively advise my client regarding the strengths and weaknesses of his case (and whether he should take the plea) if I can't even conduct discovery. It forces us, as defense attorneys, to be ineffective as counsel. That is why prosecutors who engage in those tactics are themselves unethical and should be reported to the Bar.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:58. BINGO!! My thoughts exactly every morning I wake up. Just remember young lawyers: the fun you have today will be the memories you live off of when you are living like Hyman Roth in some sunray home in North Miami Beach. So drink, smoke, chase women, spend money on them, and basically live about as hedonistic a life as your mind and body can handle. Trust me. When you are 75 and able to predict the weather by how your legs feel, you will get more fun thinking back about that 25 year old you slept with in 1989 than reading books about the relative benefits of index and growth funds.

eyeonshumie said...

No sightings civil or criminal state court Dade. Family and federal not covered.

Happy Guy said...

Secret Judge. Go F yourself. Really. The guy who told me to blow my brains out gave me better advice than your peplum crap.

I haven't even gotten to the dating scene. Women my age are all bitter at their ex-husbands who made money and left their saggy asses for the second trophy wife twenty years younger. All the women my age complain men my age aren't interested in them. Know why? Because on dates all you do is trash your ex-husband and tell stories of how you tried to screw him in the divorce.

So I date women who haven't been married which means I date women 15-25 years younger than me. They are nice, happy, pretend to be interested in me, and basically are only willing to have a relationship if it involves me paying their car loan, tuition, buying them a condo, going on expensive vacations. And the problem with that is that the sex lasts ten fricking minutes, and I am stuck with some airhead 23 hours and 50 minutes a day who knows nothing about nothing. Harry Truman? Who was he? Nixon went to China? Huh?
Literature- The Naked and the Dead? is that some cool zombie TV show? Idiot- go try on a smaller and tighter skirt, that's all you're good for.
Poetry, art, literature, classical music, they have no idea.

See I would date a woman my age with education and culture who is not bitter about life, but I cannot find any, so I date young bimbos just so when I am flying to Vegas for a few days of fun I have someone to sit next to me in the airline seat and at the restaurant. She's on her stupid I-phone (which I bought) or I=pad or I-pad air (ditto and ditto) and doing something on twitter or instagram or some other thing I care not one damn whit about.

In the end, I got tired off all the crap and now I just eat a lot of sushi as they have a sushi bar and I don't feel so stupid eating alone.

Hookers in Vegas are cheaper and after it's over (30 minutes tops chit chat included) I can read a nice book or watch a decent movie without some idiot next to me smacking gum as she texts or ichats or whatever the fuck she does.

Meanwhile, I'm still drifting through life, unfulfilled, unhappy, no companionship, fully knowing my fate is to end up in some dilapidated nursing home because when I get sick no one will give a damn to take care of me.

So Secret Judge, take your stupid advice and your DROP retirement program and go with your wife to SUN CITY in Tampa and play pinochle and Marjong until you die from boredom or have a stroke on their golf course or choke on a fish bone at the early bird special at Bonefish Grille in Tampa. I can do without your advice.

You never answered me oh great Rumpole.
What the fuck is this all about?


Rumpole said...

Double wow.

Anonymous said...

Rump - I heard Judge Cooke is bringing the hammer on the Tribe lawyers? Details! Details!

Anonymous said...

Never. - Churchill The Great

Anonymous said...

Happy Guy: take 2 viagra, 1 bullet to the head, and call me in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Two things I don't see much: a good crustini served at a fine restaurant. And men named Rutherford. I mean you don't hear people saying " my son has a friend at school named Rutherford." Or "the crustini at the forge is fantastic. "


Hot blonde PD said...

I love these comments. The depth. The breadth.

Anonymous said...

Happy Guy, you are right. Enjoying life by yourself is nice when you got money. You can go to nice dinners, can buy anything you need and don't need bitching wife or hisband to ruin it for you. I am with you. Having a dog helps.

Anonymous said...

Happy Guy

There is no Sun City in Tampa. That is in Arizona. Don't rap on Tampa. I live here and it is a great place to be.

The fact that you are so narcissistic that you would rather pay for sex than try to have a real relationship says more about you, than it does about Secret Judge.

But to each there own.

Anonymous said...

Wait? We're addressing existential nihilism on the blog now?

I suppose you're right, HG. This is all very transient and utterly devoid of meaning, but you should try to enjoy it while it lasts (the few moments worth enjoying).

Meanwhile, on my end, I'm getting rave reviews from the Brits:

"Oh goodness gracious. After some rather melodramatic respite I do hereby find myself once again here concocting dastardly survival plans for seaman from your sirenesque allure and tendencies! Your profile still reigns supreme!"

Anonymous said...

In response to one part of Happy Guy's comment-

I am a female lawyer. Age about 29. I am studious, kind of mousy, definitely nerdy, but I have a great body and I am very comfortable with myself sexually and intellectually. I speak three languages. I have a dual undergraduate degree in Economics and Chemistry. I could have gone to med school and still may.

I became romantically involved with a high powered lawyer twice my age who was a visiting professor at my law school. I knew he was married and knew he wouldn't leave his wife. He didn't buy me a phone, condo or pay my tuition or pay a car bill. He gave me influence and entree and that was priceless and invaluable. I wanted a job at the SAO/PD office here. He made a phone call. I was hired. I did my time. I wanted a job at Big Law- six figures. He introduced me to the managing partner over dinner at Masa in Manhattan. (His firm keeps a suite at a top hotel which we frequently used for weekend getaways.) The meal cost upwards of 5K. I had an offer the following Monday.
I now earn a very nice six figure salary.

Here's what opened my eyes.
A weekend getaway at an exclusive Caribbean resort. A very powerful federal judge was there. The type of person with an impeccable reputation. Very close friends with my boyfriend. Was at his wedding 25 years ago, Knew exactly what was going on between us. Accepted me completely. Said he would help if I wanted a clerkship. This judge- extremely moral, religious, well respected, was willing to get his pal's mistress a coveted clerkship. That said more to me than anything.

This man I was dating oozed power. Everyone gravitated to him. He made millions of dollars a year. He got clients that his firm billed tens of millions of dollars a year.

I am smart. Well educated and a very good lawyer. And if I didn't have him to open doors for me, I would be working for $65K at some PIP civil firm, instead of litigating at high levels for +200K a year.

When I was at the PD/SAO, my boss didn't know him. My boss's boss didnt know him. The PD/SA knew him and would often stop to chat with me and make sure I was happy at my job. No other first year lawyer had the top person checking up on her.

I don't chew gum. I don't facebook or text or Tweet or use Instagram. But when we went to France to meet with a Bank his firm represents, at dinner I spoke with the chairman of the bank and helped interpret when his English wasn't sufficient. I didn't get a nickel for that week in Paris where I used my French to help with his client. But I did get two jobs out of it.

So Happy Guy, there are plenty of smart young women who will date older men and not ask them to pay for their phone bill. The smartest of us can't be bought with a BMW. We want entree into the game. That was my payoff.

Anonymous said...

wrong 6:10


Sun City Tampa/ St Pete.

Rumpole said...

Well, this got weird in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you only deserve to be working at that civil firm you mock for $65K instead of litigating for $200K.
If your credentials are that impressive, you shouldn't need to be screwing a married man for a job.
May seem like he's happy now but he's going to be the guy at 6:58 whose wife hates him. Why? because he's oozing out his power all over you and helping his young female 'friends' find jobs instead of spending time with his own wife and kids.

Wait til you find out your big law husband is screwing his secretary. Then you're going to end up one of those bitter women HG won't want to sit at a dinner table with.

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, 6:52, most of the people I know who are working in small firms are actually much happier in their lives than those working for Big Law, even if they wish they were making more money at it.

Fake Kenny W said...

6:52 you had me at Masa. 26 tables. Best japanese food in this hemisphere. Impossible to get a reservation. Chef cooks specially for your party. No menu. Been dying to go for years.

Happy Woman said...

Well now I have to weigh in on 6:52.
I am 32. My boyfriend is 54. I am a partner at a midlevel civil firm. He is an equity partner at a super firm. I make good money. He makes amazing money. We met when his friend fixed us up, He is divorced, a great dad, friends with his ex wife. I don't want kids and am not sure I even want to be married. He is the only man I have ever met that speaks fluent latin and japanese. We have a wonderful relationship. During our first date we went the best sushi restaurant in town. The bill was over $500. He was trying to impress me by ordering expensive sake and speaking in Japanese. Right up until his black Amex was declined. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing and realized right there I was falling in love with him (it had expired and he is such an airhead he never put the new one in his wallet.). I paid for dinner. Every year on our anniversary, wherever we go, I pay for dinner. It is our little ritual.

We have no financial agreement. I took him to Tokyo for his birthday and we had such a good time he arranged a stop in Hawaii on the way back and we never left our hotel room. Sometimes I pay for dinner, sometimes he does. We take frequent weekend trips: Paris, NYC, Chicago, Boston, Cape Cod, etc. And whomever arranges the trip pays. End of story. I am with him because he is an amazing man, a kind and gentle lover (the very best I ever had) and a sweet and brilliant man. I have a very high IQ. His is higher. I went to Wellesley and Harvard law. He went to MIT and Princeton law.

There is no payment either way except the payment of two people who love each other very much and make each other very happy.

6:52, When I read your comment I came away thinking Happy Guy is better off than you. And that is saying a lot considering how miserable he appears to me.

Rumpole said...

Well now this is getting downright fascinating.

Anonymous said...

6:52 - the oldest profession...

Anonymous said...


Misery is deserving of company, but 50+ men can barely walk and they're in terrible shape. Do yourself a favor and date someone your own age. You'll be more satisfied.

Happy Guy,

Just give up already. If this is all pointless you should make a clean exit. No one is going to convince you to stick around.

Anonymous said...

Rump -

who are the anonymous lawyers for the indians, who are about to get launched in federal court by judge cooke?!?!? details!!!


Anonymous said...

Black AMEX declined at 8:06, I know it's hard to come to this blog and continue to put together these short novel-type lies about wonderful exciting lives, but when you do, you have to at least try and hide that it's all made up.

"He went to MIT and Princeton law."

Princeton Law closed. In 1852.

Anonymous said...

Happy Woman - Princeton does not have a law school. You are a moron.

The Law School at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) was a department of Princeton University from 1847 until 1852. It began instruction in 1847 as a modest effort consisting of three professors: Joseph Coerten Hornblower, Richard Stockton Field, and James S. Green. Only seven students obtained a law degree before the school closed in 1852. The short-lived experiment was the furthest the university got in a recurring ambition, marked by varying levels of effort, to establish a law school. Previously, in the 1820s, an attempt was made to organize teaching in law, but this plan ended with the death of the designated professor. In 1935, the university once again formed appreciable plans for the start of a law school but was unable to secure a faculty. The desire remained after these unsuccessful efforts but aspirations were relegated to thirsting words rather than material preparations. In 1974, then president of Princeton, William G. Bowen, selected a committee to investigate and advise on the achievability of a law school. The committee recommended plans for a law school be deferred after citing high construction costs.

Anonymous said...

This all reeks.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:06. Your sugar daddy went to Princeton law? If you are going to lie, at least be smart about it. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Feds need to take down scum bondsman who are being paid for cases.

Anonymous said...

Happy woman and happy guy should get together.

Mr. 1K Feet said...

I thought my life as a single residential parent , raising my kid was tough.
But after reading the above Penthouse letters, I realize that I would rather be having dinner w my teenager discussing her day then living those fantasies.

Anonymous said...

6:52 and 8:06 get an a+ for creative writing. Likely same person. Well done.

Anonymous said...

8:06, just curious, with whom does your man speak "fluent Latin?"

Anonymous said...

Feds need to take down scum lawyers who pay scum bondsman for cases. At least one of them posts here using his real name. Balls.

Anonymous said...

Happy Woman - Obviously some of your 'details' need work - probably using fake names of law schools so we don't fiure out who you are.
But your point is very well made.
People should be with other people because they make them happy. Not because they can get you a job.
6:52 is gold digger even if she doesn't realize it.
Un-"Happy Guy" shouldn't be so down on himself

Anonymous said...

As another starting to become an old fart lawyer, I'd like to know if some of these outstanding women would like to set up a special happy hours: "Fabulous Babes willing to spend time with smart, but older litigators!"

Imagine the crowds!

Anonymous said...

Yeah. You could take a picture of a young female lawyer conversing with a mid50'ish graybeard. The caption would read "Who is bullshitting whom?"

Anonymous said...

To the guy who wants people to go to jail for paying off bondsman. Civil lawyers at the highest level pay runners to bring cases which net millions. Should they go to jail also? I never had to pay bondsman to get cases but I never hated on anyone who did. People need to make a living...

Anonymous said...

7:40: yes, civil lawyers paying runners to bring cases should go to jail also.

Anonymous said...

well then, they are all going to jail because they all pay

Anonymous said...

Funny, I have see insurance cases settled via settlement statements and a runner will get a check directly from an attorney's trust account. The practice is so ingrained that many lawyers don't event realize that it is illegal.