Wednesday, August 31, 2016


If he is analyzing his defeat, Judge Bloch should start by looking in the mirror.
First, based on his financial situation, he received a significant amount of criticism for asking lawyers for donations.
Second, he ran a poor campaign. Personally, we never received a phone call asking us to vote early which is where he lost the election coming out of the gate. There was- to our knowledge- no early get out the vote campaign, and no follow-through phone calls to supporters on election day to ensure they voted. We didn't see one poster, one television commercial-nothing other than one mailer. So on what did he spend his money? No idea.
Third, he got only negative publicity from the lawsuit to knock Del Rey from the ballot. Civil lawyers who were his supporters opined that the lawsuit was weak at best.

As to the citizens of Miami-Dade electing a candidate who resigned from the SAO as an intern because the work was too hard, and then lied about being a prosecutor....we have only one quote: "Oh the humanity"....see below. This is a disaster as a pick for judge. Someone who couldn't work past five now, someday, may be given the power to sentence someone to death? Really? This is the best and brightest of our legal community?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


12:30am.  With all 783 precincts reporting, a mere 689 votes separate the challengers:

SERAPHIN - 105,779 - 50.16%
ABREU       -  105,090 - 49.84%

(In Florida, a recount of the ballots takes place if the vote margin is 0.5 percent or less. The County Elections Canvassing Board will conduct the recount).


10:30.   With 96% of the votes having been counted it's:

SERAPHIN - 104,537
ABREU       -  104,142

10:00.  We are ready to call all but the Seraphin v. Abreu race.

Judge-Elect Del Ray over former Judge Bloch
Blumstein v. Perez-Medina in a runoff. Gordon and Scanziani out
Breece v. Rodriguez-Fonts in a runoff. Aponte out
Judge Luck over Roberson
Judge Sarduy over Tauler (YES Tauler)

Judge Newman over Martinez
Judge-Elect Luce over Aponte, BIG, Really, Really Big
Judge Graham over Jimenez

With 92% of the votes counted, Judge Seraphin leads Abreu by 249 votes.

And North of the Border, headed for a run-off Barbara Duffy (29%)and Abbe Rifkin (24%). Mike Satz (52%) over Teresa Williams (48%) for State Attorney.

9:30 Yawn. We are going to sleep. Big early morning sunrise hike scheduled. Basically the returns are what they are below- it's a total toss-up between Abreu and Seraphin  Just checked and with 723 out of 783 precincts reporting, Seraphin pulled ahead by 249 votes, but the race is still way too close to call, and Bloch has probably lost but we can't say for sure. Maybe the Captain will post later but will won't be near a computer until we return around noon. Good night. 

9:15 update- with 697 out of 793 precincts reporting Milena Abreu has a 76 vote lead over Judge Seraphin with almost 205,000 votes cast. Meanwhile Judge Bloch remains 9,318 votes behind. 

Fifth Call of the night: 8:54 PM= Jodie Breece (40%) and Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts (35%) will make the runoff in a circuit court seat. 

Fourth Call of the night- 8:51 PM- The Biggest winner of the night, vote wise, is your new county court judge LINDA LUCE who leads Ruben Alcoba by more than 55,000 votes. This is a landslide. 

Third Call of the Night-8:48 PM- up by 22,000 votes, it's....SARDUY!!! 

Second call of the night-8:35 PM- after an initial scare in the early returns, your county court judge Wendell Graham, confortably ahead by 25,000 votes and with 630 of 783 precincts reporting, will be re-elected and returned to the bench! Congrats to Judge Graham!
Meanwhile things are looking for grim for Bloch- Del Rey continues to hold on to a 9,300 vote lead, and there are less and less places on the map where Bloch can make it up. In fact we are not sure there are more than 10-12,000 votes left to tally 
There are 36,000 votes to tally and that makes his comeback a very very slim possibility at this hour.
Bloch needs to win 26,500 out of the 36,000 to pull even. And that's assuming Bloch is listed on every ballot, which is an incorrect assumption. This could well be the end for his current judicial career. 

Meanwhile, in the tightest race of the night, Milena Abreu is clinging to a 665 vote lead over Judge Seraphin with a total of almost 200,000 votes cast. WOW. 

Our first call- Looking at the returns, based on the map and the precincts left, prior voting patterns, and leading by 15,000 votes....ROBERT J LUCK has been returned to the bench and will 
continue to be a circuit court judge. 
Interesting observation- Both Luck and Block took the south and Homestead area. But when you move into the Pinecrest, Gables, South Miami areas, Luck won that as well, but Bloch did not and that is shaping up to be the difference here between these two incumbents. 

Early Returns: 7:30
No precincts have fully reported, so take this with a grain of salt.
Graham has pulled ahead of Jimenez 55-45.
Luck is maintaining a 55-45 lead over Roberson as is Sarduy over Tauler.  While Newman and Abreau lead Martinez and Seraphin 51-49 each.

But in the biggest and most closely watched race of the night, Judge Bloch trails Del Rey 51-49 and by a total of about 9500 votes.



Welcome to our bi-annual Blog Post on Election day.  Today is the day where as many as nine of the names listed below will be hired (or rehired) by the voters of Miami-Dade County to the position of Circuit or County Court Judge.  The job interview began for many of these candidates more than a year ago and the process has been long and arduous.  These candidates have had pastelitos for breakfast in Homestead, arroz con pollo for lunch in Hialeah, and matzah ball soup and corned beef for dinner in Aventura, as they trekked across our very large County selling themselves to the voters.

At least seven of the contests will be decided by the close of the polls tonight.  There could very well be a run-off in two Circuit Court contests.

Good luck to all of the candidates.  We will begin reporting the results shortly after 7:00 PM.

Here are your contested judicial races:


Circuit Group 9 - Incumbent Jason Bloch v. Marcia Del Rey

Circuit Group 34 - Mark Blumstein v. Renee Gordon v. Denise Martinez-Scanziani v. Luis Perez-Medina.  (Judge Gill Freeman retiring).

Circuit Group 52 - Rosy Aponte v. Carol "Jodie" Breece v. Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts. (Judge Michael Genden retiring).

Circuit Group 66 - Incumbent Robert Luck v. Yolly Roberson

Circuit Group 74 - Incumbent George "Jorge" Sarduy v. Elena Ortega-Tauler


County Group 5 - Incumbent Fred Seraphin v. Milena Abreu

County Group 7 - Incumbent Ed Newman v. Lizzett Martinez

County Group 15 - Ruben Yury Alcoba v. Linda Luce (Judge Judith Rubenstein retiring).

County Group 35 - Incumbent Wendell Graham v. Antonio "Tony" Jimenez


We will also keep our eyes on the election in Broward's Circuit Court Group 15 where incumbent Judge Matthew Destry has his hands full with four challengers including our own ASA Abbe Rifkin.  Good luck to Abby.


Holy hotcakes, Batman.  Did you say that our Circuit actually has a new web site.  Why yes, Robin, we understand that Miami-Dade bigwigs went straight to the founder of the Internet, former VP Al Gore, and, with his help, they have developed a state of the art, first of it's kind, never before seen, website for the ages.

You can peruse the new web site by going here.


Monday, August 29, 2016


Two items caught our eye as we repaired to our Labour Day retreat a week early for some well earned rest (just ask the AUSA in Virginia about the tax case that went **Poof** if you see her).

Item One: Colin Kapernick, NFL QB, refused to stand for the national anthem this weekend and further announced that he would continue not to stand because he doesn't believe this country treats people of colour with equality and fairness.

Item Two: Anthony Weiner, former representative and current Twitter addict will be seperating from his wife, Huma Abedin, close aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, after the NY Post revealed yet another "sexting" scandal.
Abedin and Weiner in happier times
Good for Mr. Kapernick we say. Not because we agree with his views or his manner of protest. We don't- at least as to his protest. Men and women, including men and women of color died in wars so the national anthem celebrating our values could be played. But it is not in the easy protests that freedom and democracy are tested. It's not in issuing the permit to allow the Green Party to picket a nuclear power facility that democracy is tested. It is in ensuring that Nazis can march in Illinois, or that the Klan can stage a rally, that the real limits of democracy- no matter how odorous and repugnant the political ideals being advanced- are tested. 

Not to compare Mr. Kapernick's thoughts about race to the American Nazi party or the Klan. Kapernick's concerns are much more well placed. But it is in the disruptive nature of the protest that we applaud Mr. Kapernick. Living in a free society gives its members the right to stand and sing, or sit, and we are all so much the better off for it. 

As to Mr. Weiner and his proclivity to sext pictures of, well, his you-know-what, it's about time his long suffering wife said "enough". Bill and Hillary Clinton's marriage endured the ups and downs of Bill Clinton's philandering, while Ronald Wilson Reagan's first marriage did not endure the problems he had with Jane Wyman. Such is life.  A man committed to family values becomes the first divorced president, while an adulterer managed, somehow, to save his marriage. 

Ms. Abedin has a great future ahead of her- perhaps as President Clinton's chief of staff. Certainly as Ms. Clinton's special assistant. Such responsibilities come with a West Wing Office and security clearances. She has suffered enough. Good riddance. 

Lolling around into Labour Day- will be soon print our recommendations for good holiday reads. Any other topics you faithful readers want addressed before the holiday? Like who is coming to replace Judge Brennan? We've heard - in no particular order- Bronwyn Miller, David Miller, Mavel Ruiz, or the Notorious RBG. 

See you in court in a few weeks.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Unrelated Update: A client writes in about the late Stuart Mishkin.
We sometimes receive comments from posts posted long ago. Sometimes we think they deserve to be read by everyone. 
The late Stuart Mishkin (click on his name for our original obit) was an REGJB regular, and this comment-written by a client- captures a wonderful side of him.

I just found this post. Mr. Mishkin crossed my mind after watching unsolved mysteries on t.v. In 2003, my then boyfriend got into some trouble an ex provoked him into. We were recommended to call Mr. Mishkin by our bondsman, Paz. We did after learning the hard way with a learned lesson and a horrible traffic lawyer my husband used. Mishkin was so caring of the case and us. Intimidating none the less, bit still sweet as pie. He even offered to marry us if we were still together a year later. We actually got married in May of 2008. Ironically so. Been together since Oct 2002. If it wasn't for Mr. Mishkin defending my husband back then, I wonder if things would have turned out the way they have. He kept us together, helped maintain our bond and strength through trying times. We are forever thankful. May he rest in bliss! Brian and Ada on

Like so many plaintiffs before him, he went to court with the promises of untold riches whispered in his ear by his attorneys.
His day in court.
Justice, that elusive concept, would finally materialize.

But Judge Bagley saw it different on Friday, ruling that Judge Bloch's lawsuit to toss his opponent off the ballot like some cheap suit a Hialeah courtroom hack dons  didn't have a leg or ballot box to stand on.

Bloch had brought suit against one Marcia Del Rey, she of the failed internship at the State Attorneys Office (too much work) and partial ownership in a string of hot-sheet motels that rent rooms by the hour, and dreams of amazing carnal knowledge in jungle themed rooms (so we have been reliable informed).

But it was Bloch who was short-sheeted and perhaps the receiver of a crude four letter colloquialism for sex when Bagley ruled that before the court could consider the very drastic measure of disenfranchising the voters of Miami-Dade who have Del Rey on their mind, Bloch should have filed an ethics complaint.
Florida has an ethics commission! Who knew? It's like hell having an ice skating rink. 

So now it's down to ballots at noon and the votes will be counted and we shall see which scion of a family fortune reigns supreme on the circuit bench for the next six years.

Stay tuned- voting ends this up coming week.

Enjoy the no-storm weekend and we will see you in the voting booth next w

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


It was an era when being a criminal defense attorney meant being a trial lawyer. And two of the very best trial lawyers of that era were Jay Hogan and Bill Richey and both have passed away within the last 24 hours. 

Jay Hogan was one of the true superstars of the Florida criminal defense bar. He looked and talked and dressed and acted like a trial lawyer, and it was a case of if you can walk the walk and talk the talk. When judges got into trouble, Jay Hogan was called. People still talk about his performance in the Miami Court Broom Corruption case. When Jay Hogan walked into the courtroom, prosecutors took notice, judges took notice, and jurors, even through they may not have known his reputation, quickly learned they were in the presence of greatness. 

Bill Richey was an alumnus of the Dade State Attorneys Office when Richard Gerstein and then Janet Reno routinely turned out legal superstars. Bill was the type of prosecutor unrecognizable today- his word was his bond, he was concerned with justice, and defendants weren't punished for taking discovery, filing motions, or going to trial. When Bill Richey left the SAO he went into the world of criminal and civil practice and we didn't see him as much, but Judge Jonathan Goodman has some great memories which are on DOM's blog here. 

We lost two more legal giants today. The ranks are thinning fast. 

See you in court. 

Monday, August 22, 2016


Early voting has started for the judicial elections. 
People are talking. 
There is a buzz...oh wait, that's the Judge Stan Blake Memorial WiFi which still doesn't work a damn (Blake was instrumental in getting the first wi-fi system installed, which was powered by several hamsters kept on a wheel in the back of the clerk's office.)

Anyway, people are talking and now there is a cottage industry analyzing our local elections. Soon there will be segment on Morning Joe: "Coming up next, a local law professor takes a look at the county court judicial races in Miami-Dade County. Mika, we have some close races in Miami, and the Zika virus outbreak isn't helping turnout..." 

Well until that occurs, we do have in fact a local law professor who has invested a significant amount of time going on campaign websites, poking around court, observing courtroom demeanor, and he has posted his recommendations on his blog which we are linking to. 

UM Law Professor Michael Froomkin County Court recommendations. 

UM Law Professor Michael Froomkin Circuit Court recommendations. 

Judges Bloch, Newman, Graham, Sarduy and Luck get the nod from the Prof. 

See You In Court with the "Kiss Me I voted Today" sticker. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016



To paraphrase a line from the infamous 1971 movie DIRTY HARRY .....

..... "You’ve got to ask yourself one question. DO YOU FEEL LUCKY?"

For the past 22 years we have been very lucky. Thousands of prosecutors, Assistant Public Defenders, and private bar attorneys have all felt lucky. The clerks, bailiffs, correction officers, and courthouse staff have all felt lucky. But most of all, the citizens of Miami-Dade County have been luckiest of all to have a Judge named Stanford Blake on the bench.

He began his career as an Intern in the Public Defender’s Office in 1972. At the time, he was attending his third year of law school at the University of Miami. He said of those first days appearing in court: "Your deodorant was failing you in 10 minutes, but afterward you would say, 'What a rush!’" He accepted a job at the PD’s office and worked there for five years. Then it was on to 16 years of private practice before getting elected to the Circuit Court bench in 1994. Most of us know him from his years on the bench at the Gerstein Justice Building where he led the Criminal Division as Administrative Judge for eight years. He left us a few years back and went first to the General Jurisdiction and then to the Family Division where he serves today.

He will tell you that his favorite case ever sitting as a Judge was the case of State of Florida v. John Connolly that was tried before him in 2008.  In 2005, Connolly was indicted on murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges in the 1982 slaying of John B. Callahan and the 1981 murder of Roger Wheeler, owner of the World Jai Alai sporting corporation. Callahan was murdered by John Martorano who left the corpse in the trunk of a Cadillac in a parking lot at Miami International Airport. Prosecutors alleged that Callahan was killed on the orders of Whitey Bulger and Stephen Flemmi after Connolly told them that the FBI was investigating Callahan's ties to the Winter Hill Gang in their ongoing investigation into Wheeler's death. Wheeler had been killed by Martorano in Tulsa, Oklahoma in May 1981.

Only in the movies, (they made one called The Departed based on these gangsters), could you ever see a cast of characters like those that showed up to testify in Judge Blake’s courtroom daily during the course of that trial. During the trial, Bulger associates Steve "The Rifleman" Flemmi and John "The Executioner" Martorano testified for the prosecution and admitted to murdering more than three dozen people.

There are a host of qualities you find in our great judges: intelligence, judicial demeanor, empathy, patience, calmness, respectful, fairness, efficiency, courage, diplomacy. Judge Stanford Blake had all of those qualities, but he had something rarely seen in our "great judges", something that we wish a few more of our judges might show: a sense of humor. It was Stan’s sense of humor that lightened up the courtroom atmosphere on those occasions when, where things might have boiled over, it was exactly what was called for. He always kept his smile and sense of humor despite having to deal with some of the "characters" he had to deal with on our side of the bench too.

Stan, at last year's FACDL black tie gala.
He always keeps us smiling.

Judge Blake was recently presented with the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence where he was commended for his "rare mix of humor, intelligence, courage and diplomacy". Stan was called "a man of stature, a man of compassion, of a strong ethical and moral compass and one who has a unique understanding of the human condition." Another praised him for his "genuine compassion for the people and parties that appear before him." Several letters of support emphasized that, Judge Blake’s "contributions have been made without any desire or expectation of recognition. This is the truest measure of an outstanding public servant—to find reward in the very act of service."

All of these accolades and more are so true of our friend Stan Blake.

In addition to his work on the bench, Blake has served on the Exec Board of the Florida Judicial College for 20 years; the College for Advanced Judicial Studies for 10 years; and has taught litigation skills at UM Law School for the past 18 years. Also off the bench, Stan has been a fierce advocate for organ donation having donated his own kidney to his brother in 1996. He has also been a member of the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club for nearly forty years.

Below is Judge Stanford Blake’s resignation letter to Governor Scott:

Dear Governor Scott:

After almost 22 years as a Circuit Court Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, I am at this time announcing my retirement as of August 31, 2016. .......

I have been blessed to have had this opportunity to change lives and help people. Few people are ever put in that position and I remember daily how important the responsibility I have as a judge. You have made excellent judicial appointments to the bench for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit and I am confident the JNC will send you very talented appointees for this seat. While I am sad to leave this position which I love every day, I will always cherish these past 22 years as a judge.

Sincerely yours,

Stanford Blake
Circuit Court Judge
Eleventh Judicial Circuit

Judge Blake: Thank you for your years of service to our community. We have been very lucky to have you. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

Readers: Please share your favorite Stan Blake story in the Comments section.


Monday, August 15, 2016


Update: Take our new Judge Brennan poll. 

This story was broken by David Ovalle of the Herald 

While angrily trying to boot her teen son’s drunk pals from her Key Largo home, police say a Miami judge used a metal pipe to smash the windshield of one young man’s pickup truck.
The episode led to a strange South Florida legal saga — for most of July, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Victoria Brennan quietly was facing an arrest warrant for criminal mischief in Monroe County, a period when she briefly sat on the bench presiding over criminal cases.

At a hearing last week, a Key West judge stayed the filing of the arrest warrant, putting the case in limbo after Monroe prosecutors decided to opt out of the investigation. Florida’s governor has now assigned Lee County prosecutors to review the case. Even if the case dissolves, Brennan could still face scrutiny over whether she properly disclosed to superiors and defendants that she was facing a criminal case while ruling on criminal cases.

On July 7, the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office “gave verbal OK” to have the arrest warrant signed, the report said. Key West Circuit Judge Timothy Koenig signed the warrant for second-degree misdemeanor criminal mischief.
The warrant, however, was not — and has still not been — entered into the clerk of court’s system. It was unclear Monday why the document was not filed immediately, which is standard in criminal cases.

Rumpole says: Judge Brennan is a good judge and we hope she will remain a judge. 

This however, is a lesson in humanity for all of us, including those of us who judge or prosecute others- "Let she who has not sinned, cast the first stone."

We are all human. The best of us, have bad days where we do something, upon reflection, that we regret. Such transgressions should not prevent a person from serving and serving honorably when they have done so in the past. We hope this is quickly and amicably resolved. 

See you in court, where we often represent good people who are being seen on their worst day. 

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article95847082.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article95847082.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article95847082.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Every now and then we are brought back to earth and reminded that all of this is worthwhile and there are things more important than work. 

We received this amazing comment which is now posted in the blog post about her dad:

I just found this blog after 4 years I am 13 now and I know its late but I wanted to say thank you to all the people who supported my family and wrote these things. He really was the best parent and lawyer and I still miss him everyday. I also wanted to give thanks to the people who worked at the Justice Building with my dad because you gave him the best years of his life working there and sometimes I still think he is gonna come back from there with his briefcase. I remember take your child to work day and walking around the office talking to his co workers and friends I remember looking through some files and playing with the badges he had in his office. I am really proud of the man he was and I wish he could have seen me now and helped protect the streets. He fought a long battle and actually lived longer than he was supposed to I remember the hospital visits. I also remember the people working at the Justice Building and his co workers supported us and gave us comfort and brought on DAVID PAULUS

Elizabeth Rogers Paulus

Dear Elizabeth:

Thank you for reading our blog and I am  beyond happy that you found the blog post about your Dad which is here. Your comment was heartwarming and I guarantee you that it will bring more than a few tears to our readers' eyes. 

There are so many more qualified people who can tell you wonderful things about your Dad. But I will tell you this: he was a true hero. He was a great lawyer, and he devoted those talents to protecting the people of Miami. For that, and because of the wonderful person he was, he is remembered, and his memory is honored. And anyone who has read your wonderful words knows that your Dad would be so proud of you. 
Be well, and always know you have many friends at the Miami Criminal Courthouse and the Dade State Attorneys Office. 
Keep in touch. 

Friday, August 12, 2016




With the resignation of Miami-Dade County Court Judge Jacqueline Schwartz there is currently an open seat that will be filled by Governor Scott.

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission received applications from a total of 27 attorneys vying for the right to wear the black robe.  Earlier this week, the JNC met and narrowed the list to 17 attorneys that they intend to interview on August 31st. (Those with an asterisk by their name will be interviewed).

They are:

Karl S.H. Brown ***
Raul Flores
Gordon Murray, Sr. ***
Michele A. Vargas ***
Griska Mena Rodriguez
Elijah A. Levitt ***
Joseph J. Mansfield ***
Sarah A. Mourer ***
Ramiro C. Areces ***
Evian L. White
David Alschuler
Peter Heller ***
Miguel F. Mirabal
Alexander Spicola Bokor ***
Jonathan Meltz ***
Steven G. Paulson ***
Rachel S. Glorioso Dooley ***
Raul A. Cuervo ***
Frank C. Bocanegra ***
Ernesto Martinez, Jr.
Julie Harris Nelson ***
Renier Diaz de la Portilla ***
Marilyn Blumberg
Dennis J. Wouters
Flora M. Jackson
Jacqueline Woodward ***
Pamela A. Leone

The JNC will narrow the field from the 17 interviews and they will then send 4-6 names to the Governor for his consideration.

If you have any comments on any of the applicants, positive or negative, please forward them to:

Daniel Fridman (Chair)
White & Case LLP
Southeast Financial Center
200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 4900
Miami, FL 33131
Tel.: 305-995-5265

or any of the other members of the 11th JNC.  You can find those names here.  And, don't forget that one of those members is actually a practicing criminal defense attorney, Robert "Bob" Pardo.


Judge Stanford "but you can call me Stan" Blake was honored this week at the Statewide Conference for Circuit Court Judges.  Florida's Chief Justice Jorge Labarga awarded Judge Blake with the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence.

Labarga commented that Judge Blake is well known for "his personal warmth, humor, wisdom, compassion, and courage".  Judge Blake has been on the bench since 1995 serving in the Criminal Division, (including serving for eight years as Chief Administrative Judge); the General Jurisdiction Division; and the Family Division.  In addition to his work on the bench, Blake has served on the Exec Board of the Florida Judicial College for 20 years; the College for Advanced Judicial Studies for 10 years; and has taught litigation skills at UM Law School for the past 18 years.  You can read the entire press release by going here.


Thursday, August 11, 2016


Two lawyers contest for the same judicial spot in backwater Miami-Dade, a small sleepy, southern town. 

What do you call them? 

Plaintiff and Defendant. 


Herald article here. 

Knowing less about civil law than the average judge knows about the fourth and fifth amendments, we have no idea what the complaint alleges. Replevin? Intentional infliction of emotional distress? Slander? Sedition? 

Have at it

Tuesday, August 09, 2016


Judge Richard Yale Feder has passed away. (updated)

He has been described in emails to us as a great judge and an even better man. 

The Miami Herald Obit is here 
We recall this "experiment"  which was widely reported at the time:

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Richard Feder’s “grand experiment” in decorum and dignity made national news when he asked trial lawyers in his courtroom to wear black judicial robes, to remove the sartorial vices of a mid-1980s Miami courthouse and elevate it to one of British judicial majesty.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/obituaries/article94707217.html#storylink=cpy
Judge Feder was just one of those judges whose path we didn't cross very often.  His reputation was sterling and we welcome comments about his life and career. 

Some readers have remembered Judge Feder:

Anonymous Juan Gonzalez said...

A great Judge and even greater man. When you were in his court you sensed that he was special without him saying a word. I am a better person to have practiced in his court

 Alison Pinsley said...

Judge Feder was my husband's uncle, his mother's cousin. He was a wonderful and caring man who would give you the shirt off of his back, if it was all that he had. He had a special way about him, that you did not find in many people of his stature. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him

Services will be at 11:45 a.m. Aug. 11 at Temple Israel, 137 NE 19th St., Miami. Donations can be made to the ACLU.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/obituaries/article94707217.html#storylink=cpy


This is our 3,147th post. To that reader who left a comment several years ago stating "you'll never make it past 3,146..." HA. We showed you. 

Crime Will Out. 
The wheels of justice grind slowly...

The year was 1977. On January 3, Apple Computer was incorporated, while the Commodore PET computer was demo'ed at electronic trade shows. 
Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad in Utah, and President Gerald R. Ford pardoned US citizen Tokyo Rose for her collaboration with Japan in WWII. On January 20, James Earl Carter was sworn in as President. 

Fiona Apple was born, while Elvis Aaron Presley died, and in Miami, in the beginning of August, a nurse named Debbie Clark was viciously beaten and shot to death. 

This month, 39 years to the day of her death, Alan Bregman, 75, her paramour at the time, and a suspect from day one, was arrested and charged with her murder. 

Ovalle and the herald have the story here. 

Barry Wax for the defense. 

Rumpole at work. 
See You In Court.

Monday, August 08, 2016


In the EDNY and SDNY federal criminal jury trials are disappearing. Much is the same around other districts in the nation. 

We don't know the stats, but it seems we try a decent amount here in the SDFL. 

However, as long as congress enacts minimum mandatory prison sentences, puts the almost exclusive power of waiver of those sentences in the hands on inexperienced prosecutors (don't email me with claptrap about safety valve), criminal jury trials will continue to fall. And while this NY Times article quotes several distinguished judges and former judges in New York decrying the disappearance of jury trials, as long as judges impose a trial tax and tolerate prosecutors seeking enhanced sentences based on a defendant having the audacity to exercise their right to trial by jury, this trend will continue. 

See you in court, picking six or twelve. Bring it on.

Sunday, August 07, 2016




Julie was the best.  And she loved what she did for a living.  Daily Business Review writer Monika Gonzalez Mesa wrote a fantastic obit that was placed online tonight on the Miami Herald web page and can be read here.

I have written a total of 152 Posts in the past ten and one half years and I always turned to Julie first.  We emailed each other many, many times over these past ten years.  Most of the time, it was Julie with the scoop.  Every once in a while I was able to get the story first and I always shared it with her before I posted it here.  We frequently shared and traded information on upcoming stories.  She was always a pleasure to deal with and she was always a pure professional.

And if you read the Herald article, you will learn that she has been battling ovarian cancer for more than a decade - and told virtually nobody about it.  I was shocked when I read the obit - I had no idea - like most of the journalism community.

From the story:

"She never complained about her illness and despised pity," said Sallie James, Kay’s friend for more than 30 years. "She was a warrior with the kind of courage that is seldom seen anywhere. Julie loved being a reporter more than anything and always focused her energy on her work instead of her health."  "For Kay, journalism was a kind of medicine for the soul. She reveled in finding "juicy" story ideas as business of law reporter at the Daily Business Review for more than six years. Her life revolved around reporting, her friends, and her nieces and nephews."

"Attorneys trusted her and called her with tips. Sources appreciated her integrity and belief that lawyers are fundamental to achieving and preserving justice, said Peter Quinter, a partner at GrayRobinson"

"She was always full of ideas and wanted to do her best work," said Joan Chrissos, Miami Herald night news content and health editor who worked with Kay by phone and email for about two years. "I knew I could count on her every month. I knew I would get a story that would be well-reported, well-researched and well-written. She always wanted to make sure she did it well and on deadline, and always did. She was a real pro."

In May, she emailed me stating: "Yes, captain, I saw., good job! And did you see my juicy post on Miami lawyer Mason Pertnoy running for Judge Imperato’s seat in Broward and then, after raising $17,000, having to return it all after finding that Gov. Scott planned to appoint someone."

Now I understand why, when I emailed her on July 13th, I got a forwarding message telling me to contact another reporter at the DBR.

Services are planned at 2 p.m. Monday at Levitt Weinstein Beth David Memorial Gardens, 3201 N. 72nd Ave., in Hollywood.

Julie Kay was 54.

Rest in peace Julie.  You were one of the best and you will be missed by all.



Despite the alliterative headline, today brings the sad news that Julie Kay, local reporter for, inter alia,  the DBR, concentrating on courts in Florida, has passed away.

Julie interviewed us, via telephone, way back, when this blog was new and splashy and causing a kerfuffle. Her writing was crisp, her reporting always spot on, and she was well respected by her peers.

Sad news indeed.

Friday, August 05, 2016


Talk amongst yourselves. 

The topics can include, Donald Trump- a madman? 

Judicial Candidates who own motels of ill-repute;
Judicial Candidates who lie about formerly being employed as an Assistant State Attorney
Judicial Candidates who do both. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Fresh off the hi-heels of judicial candidates that dabble in brothels and impersonate prosecutors, is a good cause we all should support (well, you should support this. We don't mingle with hoi polloi).

2nd Annual Uniform Drive 
Thursday, August 4, 2016    
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Fado Irish Pub
The Shops at Mary Brickell Village
900 S. Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33130

Hosted by:
DCBA Criminal Court Committee
Jude M. Faccidomo, Chair
League of Prosecutors
Marie E. Mato, President

Sponsored by:
Casanova  & Rasmussen, P.A.
  Jurney & De La Grana, P.A.
  Law Offices of Sabrina Puglisi
Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC

Tuesday, August 02, 2016


Fresh on the heels of learning that judicial candidate Marcia Del Rey owns, through her family "sex themed hotels" where there is sex, prostitution and perhaps human trafficking, comes news that Del Rey has been falsely telling people that she was an Assistant State Attorney when in fact she was an intern in the DV division for a month, whereupon she resigned- AFTER BEING FIRED FOR NOT SHOWING UP- one month after starting. 

The Herald and Ovalle have the disgusting facts here.

And her resignation was classic:

“Had I been informed by the state of the fact that being an assistant state attorney required working every evening until 11 p.m. and every weekend, all day long Saturday and Sunday, I would not have committed to the position,” she wrote

Ahh, the truth will always out. 

Poorecito. No wonder she wants to be a judge. Prosecutors' hours are not for her. But two hour lunches and afternoons off with benes and a retirement package sounds just about right. 

Her candidacy is an insult to every prosecutor and PD working long hours for no thanks and little pay. 

And we call upon the Bar to discipline Del Rey for lying about being a prosecutor. It's akin to lying about being a wounded war veteran. And it's an insult to every hard working prosecutor who didn't quit under the strain of long hours and hard work.

Del Rey couldn't hack it for one month as an intern? She can't hold the robes of Rodney Smith who came  from the inner city of Miami and worked those same hours as a prosecutor before becoming a judge  AND had to ride the bus to work because he couldn't afford a car after getting out of law school. 

This woman's life story is an insult to the bench and public service and her quitting after one month at the SAO because she was "tricked" into working long hours is an insult and outrage to every hardworking prosecutor, PD, and yes, even judges. 

See you in court where we can tell you we would not stand up in the unfortunate eventuality of her becoming a judge. 

Read more her

Poorecito. No wonder she wants to be a judge. Prosecutors' hours are not for her. But two hour lunches and afternoons off with benes and a retirement package sounds just about right. 

Her candidacy is an insult to every prosecutor and PD working long hours for noe: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article93266417.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, August 01, 2016


Sex sells. But does it win elections? 

Marcia Del Rey is running for circuit judge. (Yawn). "What else is new, Rumpole" you may say. 

Well....Ms. Del Rey owns 33% of a sex-motel. (eyebrows raised). 

"Tell me more" you say, your prurient interest clearly rising (pun intended).

The following has been first reported by Sandy Skelany at her blog here. 
Marcia Del Rey who is a candidate for Circuit Court Judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit (Miami-Dade County, FL), for example. Financial disclosures from May 2016 show that Marcia’s assets include Tropic Gardens Investments valued at $2.4 million. You may know this company better as Executive Tropic Garden Hotel, the “sex-themed” hotel located at 6925 SW 8th Street where Marcia is a 33% owner with her brother Julio Del Rey Jr. She also reports income from Resorts of Dade, Inc. and Puerto Rico Income....

Public records also show that Marcia Del Rey’s judicial campaign and Raquel Regalado’s mayoral campaign have been directly funded by each of approximately half dozen sex-hotel holding companies owned by the Del Rey family with a significant $25,000 going to Regalado’s campaign from the Executive Fantasy Hotels...

In all, the Del Rey family owns several “sex-themed” hotels in Miami and Puerto Rico founded by her parents Julio and Marcia back when our judicial candidate was still a child. You can say that it’s a family business empire of sorts. The most prominent is Executive Fantasy Hotels which lists the following hotels on their website: Executive Airport Hotel, Executive Tropic Garden Hotel, Hotel Presidente, La Fuente Motels on 8th Street and Hialeah, Executive Grant Emperor Hotel, Mansion Motel, Executive Miami Hotel and Paraiso Hotel.
Rumple "interlude": Can we expect the candidate so announce that she is "Shocked! Shocked to find out that there is sex going on at her motels"?

The Executive Fantasy boasts “Luxury. Seduction. [and] Excitement.” and the promise of “unleash[ing] your wild side on your exclusive love chair or slip[ping] into your personal heart-shaped jacuzzi.” ...
Sounds pretty innocent, right?
Here’s the problem. While these hourly rate sex-themed hotels may be a great venue for adventures in infidelity, they are also hotbeds for prostitution, and by extension sex trafficking and the sex trafficking of children. While the line between prostitution and trafficking isn’t always clear for adults, any child under 18 years old who is being prostituted is a victim of sex trafficking under both federal and Florida State law.

So learned readers, here is the question of the day: Does a judge having an ownership interest in sex-motels disqualify her from being a judge?
Sexy question, indeed. 
See you at the Executive Airport
in court.