Friday, June 30, 2017


UPDATE: Time change on Gordon Shuminer's funeral to 2:00 pm. See post below. 

On June 29, 1975, at 10:00 PM WST, a momentous  event occurred without any notice in a small town in California. 

A young man, who had labored over a contraption for many months, indeed in one form or another for many years, took a deep breath and pressed button. 

One could say the future of the world changed that day.  
The future of business changed that day. 
The future of communication changed that day. How we talk with each other and how we write to each other changed that day. 
The way the world shops changed that day. 
That day changed the course of how newspapers would be published and how books would be read and how information would be communicated and stored. 

You would be hard pressed to look around and try and find items in your life that would not change based on the press of that one button that day. 

On June 29, 1975, a young man named Steve Wozniak -known as Woz to everyone- pressed a button on a keyboard and a letter appeared on a screen.

Think about that for a moment. For the first time EVER, a person typed and the letters appeared on a screen. Forty-two years ago no one had ever typed anything that appeared on a screen. And then Woz did it. 

And the world has never been the same.

Ten months later, on April 1, 1976, The Apple Corporation was born. 

From Occupied America, use your computer and Fight the Power!

Thursday, June 29, 2017



This is for old-timers only. Sad news today has reached us that Gordon Shuminer, brother of Alan and Jeff Shuminer, passed away today-Thursday- unexpectedly. 

Gordon was a public defender in the 1980's. Gordon had immense talent and ability and is still famous for cross-examining an empty chair during closing argument, highlighting a state witness who wasn't called well before Haliburton prevented such brilliant tactics. For those of you who remember him, he was one of a kind. 

For many years only Alan Shuminer has practiced in Miami, and we are sure he would love to read the memories of his brother from those who knew him. 

UPDATED: Services are this Sunday, July 2, 2017, at 2PM at Beth David Chapel, 3201  North 72nd Avenue, Hollywood, FL

May Gordon rest in peace.

Monday, June 26, 2017


Todays post is about the over-worked, under-appreciated cog in the court system: the bailiff. 

A great bailiff is like a great umpire: s/he is doing their job well when you don't notice them working. Every well-run courtroom needs a competent judge and a great bailiff. A good bailiff shows compassion to the litigant, whispers a well placed tip in a lawyer's ear ("check your fly counselor" is always our favourite, especially when it's up),  and keeps their judge grounded and focused. 

A bad bailiff lets the badge go to their head. They try and close the courtroom although the law doesn't allow it. They try and stop people from texting on their cell phones when they have no authority to do so, and they are rude to people who need their help - like litigants who show up late and are worried they missed their court appearance. 

Which brings us to this @Davidovalle305 tweet:

Not sure what a "GRM" is, but at least they are as well informed as the ASAs. 

So BOLO for a fake bailiff. 
Or the next time one comes up to you and asks you to stop texting, and leave the courtroom, "just say NO." Say: "Rumpole told me to tell you that you have no authority to close a State of Florida Courtroom to any individual on earth. They don't even need to be a US Citizen. They just need to be an earthling." (It's not clear if ET can enter a courtroom without permission.)  Even visiting judges from Broward have the right (as unpleasant as the thought is) to enter a Miami-Dade Courtroom. Which reminds us of the idiot Judge in Broweird who      (we are not making this up) used to order his bailiff to close and lock the door at 9:01 am and issued BWs to everyone who wasn't seated inside the courtroom. This included people running late, stuck in the elevator, or talking to their lawyer outside. 

Anyway, be on the lookout for a fake bailiff. Maybe it's the low pay or long hours that they find attractive.

From Occupied America, where affordable health care appears to just make our president and his republican pals nuts, Fight the Power!

Saturday, June 24, 2017


We're back. Our short absence can be directly traced to two United States District Court Judges at opposite ends of the country who had no problem making us try two cases back to back. As the saying goes, the difference between the Almighty and a US district court Judge is that the Almighty does not think she is a US district court judge...

Judge Hanzman, a popular subject for the commentators on this blog has issued a ruling that has the FACDL members yapping. We re-print it here for your review and comments.

Judge Hanzman has entered the arena of minimum mandatory sentences. This arena was created by the legislature with the full belief that the 24 year old prosecutor with a year under her belt in court, is more trustworthy, better suited, better able, more experienced and overall a better person to decide the fate of a defendant facing a 15 year minimum mandatory sentence than a wise and experienced judge like Judge Hanzman, who has more than likely tried more cases in his career, than three times the years our young prosecutor has lived on this earth and sipped her Starbucks lattes every morning.

That being said, Judge H reaches into the dark and murky area of the the Restatement of Contracts to come to the decision that HE and not the prosecutor, is best suited to decide the fate of a defendant facing a minimum mandatory sentence.

Judge for yourself.

Order Accepting Plea and Imposing Sentence by Rumpole21 on Scribd

From Occupied America, bully for Judge Hanzman fighting the power!

p.s. Our unscientific survey leads us to believe the last judge in the REGJB to cite the restatement of contracts in a ruling was ...never. 

Monday, June 19, 2017






Any person or entity engaged in the business of publishing through a publicly accessible print or electronic medium or otherwise disseminating arrest booking photographs of persons who have previously been arrested may not solicit or accept a fee or other form of payment to remove the photographs. 
To read the new law, go here.
Revising the circumstances under which a person is disqualified from receiving compensation under the Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Compensation Act; specifying that a wrongfully incarcerated person who commits no more than one felony that is not a violent felony, rather than a felony law violation, which results in revocation of parole or community supervision is eligible for compensation, etc
To read the new law, go here
The “Eyewitness Identification Reform Act”; requiring state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specified procedures; requiring the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to create educational materials and provide training programs on how to conduct lineups, etc.
To read the new law, go here
This bill amends the statute to require the State, rather than the Defendant, to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant did not use force lawfully.
To read the new law, go here
This bill clarifies "justifiable use of force laws" and expands the Castle Doctrine to include any residence a person has a right to be in.
To read the new law, go here.
The 11th Circuit JNC has met and voted to send 12 names to Governor Scott to fill vacancies resulting from the elevation of County Court Judges' Judge Victoria del Pino and Jason Dimitris to the Circuit Court.  The Governor has 60 days to choose two names from the list, which includes:
Milena Abreu    
Ramiro Christen Areces
Karl S.H. Brown
Christina Marie DiRaimondo
Renatha Francis
Peter Heller
Elijah A. Levitt
Joseph J. Mansfield
Luis Perez-Medina
Gordon Charles Murray, Sr.
Julie Harris Nelson
Steven G. Paulson
The JNC has also announced two Circuit Court vacancies due to the elevation of Judge Norma Lindsey to the 3rd DCA and the resignation of Circuit Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely.  The deadline to submit your application to the JNC is July 17, 2017.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Sam Konell, a REGJB regular has been indicted for health care fraud. 

Article here. 

Sorry for slow blogging. In trial. 
It's hot here in Phoenix...but not for us...just the AUSAs.

From the DOJ press release:

The indictment alleges that from approximately January 2006 through June 2012, Konell accepted kickbacks in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to Greater Miami Behavioral Healthcare Center, Inc. (Greater Miami) to serve as patients so that Greater Miami could bill Medicare for mental health treatment purportedly provided to those beneficiaries. The indictment further alleges that Konell knew that the beneficiaries he referred to Greater Miami did not need, qualify for nor receive such treatment. In addition, the indictment alleges that Konell and co-conspirators took steps to disguise the true nature of the bribes and kickbacks Greater Miami paid to Konell and other patient brokers.

From occupied America, and on a break in a federal court where WE are fighting the power....fight the power!

Friday, June 09, 2017


The Miami legal community lost two very different lawyers this week. 
Naphtali Wacks was murdered by a reckless driver who rammed his car into the back of Wacks' car as he drove to work. 

We can't help but think that Naphtali woke up like he did any other day, performed his morning ablutions, got into his car, and drove to work, not realizing that his days were numbered. Of course there is the denial of this tragedy. "If he had only lingered over his coffee five minutes longer...If he hadn't made that light on the way to causeway he would have been delayed five minutes and wouldn't have crossed paths with the man who killed him."

But fate had other plans, and Naphtali's life crossed paths literally with a man who had literal regard for human life, and Naphtali lost his life in a senseless tragic accident. 

Friday morning came work that civil super-star lawyer Ervin Gonzalez had committed suicide. Mr. Gonzalez is the second high profile lawyer in Miami to take his own life recently. It seems like only yesterday when Richard Sharpstein made that same, tragic decision. 
It was just a few weeks ago that Attorney Ken White died suddenly of a cardiac event.

Some lived and wanted to die. Some died, wanting to live. 
And life for us plods on. 

All of these men had much to live for. And yet they are gone. Forever. Death brooks no appeals. There is no waiver. The judgment is final and eternal and irreversible. 

We get up every day and yet some of us are living our last day and don't know it. 

What we take for granted has a fragility that we mask behind our daily denial of the inevitable. 

There is no real end to this dark billet-doux. Just the musings of an older, rumpled, exceptional trial lawyer, who on this rainy day, is a bit morose about life and its fragility. 

From Occupied America....Affirm Life.  

Monday, June 05, 2017


Naphtali Wacks passed away Saturday from injuries he sustained in a criminal hit-and-run event last week.  He was buried Sunday. 

Born In September, 1959, he was 57 years old.  Naphtali was part of what made our small courthouse and legal community fascinating and unique. He will be missed. 

May his name be a blessing and may he rest in peace.

Sunday, June 04, 2017


Seventy-five years ago today, Sunday, June 4, 1942, exactly six months from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, American Naval Aviators changed history and saved the world.

The US had broken the Japanese code.  Admiral Nimitz, who at the direction of Roosevelt had taken over from Admiral Husband Kimmel at Pearl, found himself commanding a Pacific fleet with most of it at the bottom of Pearl Harbour. Except for the aircraft carriers, Yorktown, Enterprise, Hornet, Saratoga, and Lexington although On June 4, the Lex had been sunk a month before at the Battle of the Coral Sea. The Yorktown was severely damaged in the same battle, trailing a ten mile oil slick as she limped into Pearl. Needing three months for repair, Nimitz ordered all hands on deck and 1400 welders descended on the Yorktown and had her back out steaming for Midway three days later.

The Japanese sent six carriers to Midway, led by Admiral Yamamoto on his flagship, the largest battleship in the world. Yamamoto wanted to lure the American carriers into a trap, finish them off, and then the entire Pacific and west coast of the United States would be vulnerable to the mighty Japanese Navy.

But Nimitz put all his eggs in the basket of Cmdr. Joe Rochefort, a cranky, brilliant analyst who after working weeks non-stop, was sure he was reading Yamamoto's mail. He knew the order of battle, and so did Nimitz and that gave the Americans an opening.

Nimitz's best fighting Admiral- Bull Halsey was out -sick with shingles- and he was replaced by Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance, who had never commanded carriers in Battle. Spruance sailed with the Hornet and Enterprise and Rear Admiral Jack Fletcher was on the damaged Yorktown. But Nimitz had a plan- he would use the landing strip at Midway as a fourth carrier. Loaded with bombers waiting to attack Yamamoto.

The issue was who could find who first? Nimitz had some advantages, knowing from the Japanese code that Yamamoto had split his force into four task forces, and knowing where the Japanese would be searching, Nimitz got his carriers into place before the Japanese went searching for them. The Japanese planned to lure the carriers AFTER attacking Midway, but Spruance and Fletcher were already in place.

And then it came down to the men in the planes. Wave after wave of American Torpedo bombers found the Japanese carriers, and almost all of them were shot down. A terrible loss of young, brave men. But Nimitz had more planes than Yamamoto was expecting, and the waves of American Torpedo Bomber Aviators took their toll on the Japanese carriers in terms of fighting them off. Men like Cmdr Duffy Waldron and Ensign George Gay are little remembered today, but they flew into battle without fighter escort, desperate to inflict damage on the Japanese carriers. All were shot down and only Ensign Gay survived. But the tide was about to turn.

As Admiral Nagumo scrambled his fighters to fight off wave after wave of American Torpedo bombers - none of whom scored a hit, Nagumo was in a constant dance of landing fighters, refueling them, and also coordinating the arming of his bombers all while trying to get the fighters in the air with the bombers to launch a coordinated strike.

Then Nagumo's luck ran out.

Enter Cmdr. Wade McClusky, and his two squadrons of dive bombers from the Enterprise.  McClusky's bombers were almost out of fuel for the return trip. But he knew the Japanese were nearby. And again luck or fate intervened. McClusky spotted the destroyer Arashi racing for the fleet. It had just spent an hour depth charging the US Submarine Nautilus that had attacked the Japanese Battleship Kirishima. If the Nautilus doesn't attack Kirishima, the Arashi doesn't get delayed, and Cmdr. McClusky doesn't see it returning to the fleet. But all of that happened. And, placing his men and planes at risk of running out of fuel, McClusky follows the Arashi and comes upon four Japanese carriers, all without air cover, their decks full of planes being refueled and re-armed after fighting off waves of fruitless American Torpedo bomber attacks.

As McClusky approached with his squadrons from the Enterprise from the Southwest, one squadron from the repaired led by Cmdr Max Leslie off the Yorktown - the carrier the Japanese were never expecting to be in service after Coral Sea- approached from the Northeast. All three squadrons arrived over the unprotected Japanese carriers at the same time.

In the space of an hour- 10:20 am local time to 11:20 am, one could argue the War in the Pacific was won by brave American Naval Aviators whose names have faded into history.

The Japanese carrier Kaga sustained five direct hits, the carrier Akagi was hit once by a bomb dropped by Lt. Cmdr Best, and it was a fatal blow, landing in the blow deck flight deck among the fuel and ammunition.

Now Cmdr. Max Leslie and his group from the Yorktown arrived and found the Japanese carrier Soryu. Leslie and some of his men didn't have bombs as they dove. A faulty switch dropped them several minutes before battle. But Leslie and some of his other pilots dove on the Soryu anyway, taking anti-aircraft away from other planes that had bombs, and strafing the carrier and setting in on fire.

Now three carriers were ablaze and sinking. The sole functioning Japanese carrier Hiryu launched its planes against the Yorktown, striking it several times.  But the old girl had one last trick up her sleeve. Late in the afternoon, a Yorktown scout plane found the Hiryu, and bomber squadrons from the Enterprise, comprising planes that had been recovered from all US Carriers launched one last time upon the orders of Admiral Spruance.  Spruance was no Halsey, but he had his blood up and he knew he had the Japanese on the ropes. A more cautious admiral may have retreated with three Japanese Carriers sunk, but Spruance went for the kill shot. His planes found the Hiryu, and fought through fighter cover and hit her four or five times and she was done.

As the sun began to set in the Pacific on June 4, 1942, the world had changed because of men like Nimitz and Spruance and Fletcher and the bravery of Aviators like McClusky, Gay, and Duffy Waldron.
Never again would the empire of Japan be on the offensive in the Pacific. Now Japan would fight a defensive battle as Nimitz from the sea and MacArthur from the land tightened the noose around the Empire's neck.

We owe these men- all since passed on either in battle or after a well earned retirement- our freedom. Our country exists today because Nimitz trusted Cmdr. Rochefort; because Spruance and Fletcher trusted their Aviators; because the Captain of a US Sub attacked a Japanese Battleship, and Cmdr. McClusky trusted his gut and followed a ship to the entire Japanese carrier fleet. We are free because Cmdr. Max Leslie attacked and dove on  a carrier into enemy fire without a bomb, drawing fire allowing his men to drop their bombs and sink the Soryu.

One day- June 4, 1942- and a few brave men- changed a war and altered the course of history.

May the good lord continue to bless our country- As General Patton once remarked- "I don't mourn their death, but I thank God that such men lived."

From Occupied America, where the current occupant of the White House has no idea what today means, Fight the Power! Fight it for Nimitz, and Wade McClusky and Max Leslie and all those brave men who died so that we may live.

Saturday, June 03, 2017


Dear Diary,
What a great amazing covfefe week! 
But for this covfefe relapse of my tourettes covfefe covfefe It would have been perfect. 

Went to Europe and the Middle East and also Israel. 

Met the covfefe Pope. 

Told the president covfefe of Germany that she was covfefe covfefee. 

Gonna fix global covfefe warming. I'm so much smarter than the generals on this covfefe problem. 
It's so covfefe simple. Air Conditioning! Covfefe. 
Start with the antarctic, you know, the north pole area. Roll out some covfefe ginourmous AC units. Plug em in and set them to 40. That will bring down the temp. 

Then to Saudi Arabia. I have to admit it was warmer there than I realized. But build some ACs (make america great covfefe again) in Tennessee and Detroit. Ship em to  Zimbabwe Arabia, and turn them on. End of problem. I'm a covfefe hero.  Withdraw from the Paris accords. Who makes a treaty in Italy anyway covfefe?  All the Italians do is drink that tiny coffee covfefe and make pizza. What do they know about global warming? 

Final piece of the puzzle. Everyone with AC in their house or car opens the door for an hour a day. AC your neighborhood. It's going to be amazing. No one's ever seen an idea like this. 
Memo to self: Invest in room heaters company. It's going to be real cold real soon. 

Back home. Tried to fire the FBI guy, but realized I don't covfefe have one yet. So I'm adding Chris covfefe Christy to the list. Hire em. Fire em. Made a living on TV that way. 

Bestest week ever. Until next week. 


Thursday, June 01, 2017


Courtesy of ace Herald reporter David Ovalle, comes this tragic story here of local REGJB regular Naphtali Wacks who lies in a hospital, grievously injured on the way to court this week by a Miami-Beach hit and run driver. 

Naphtali always cut a unique figure in the REGJB, with bright orange hair, and a 100 watt smile to match. He is a good guy. 

Lets all pause a minute and meditate and send Naphtali good and healing thoughts.