Monday, February 26, 2018


The envelope please....
This is what we wait for all year.
The anticipation...the thrill of victory...the agony of defeat.

The FACDL annual award winners are...

The Daniel Pearson-Harry Prebish Founders Award:
Jane Moskowitz and the late Gregg Toung.

The Rodney Thaxton "Against All Odds Award"
Michelle Estlund for her work in a Graham/Miller resentencing issue.

Gregg Wenzel Young Lawyer's Award:
Abbie Waxman.

And our favourite award...
Known by it's eponymous name The Honorable Gerald Kogan Judicial Distinction Award (affectionately known as "The Kogie") to United States Judge Patricia Seitz.

The award banquet is May 12, 2018.
Tickets, which are sure to be a hot ducat, go on sale March 1, 2018.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Where should the prosecution and the defense sit in a courtroom? 
Does it matter?

In a small courtroom on the third floor of the REGJB, it recently came to pass that the prosecution's table and podium was next to the jury box which holds the defendants that are in custody.  The courtroom is one of the smallest in the courthouse. If a realtor was showing it they would call it "charming", "comfy" and "a good starter". 
In reality, the third floor is where the judges with the least seniority are sent to adjudicate the miasma of the REGJB.
One day our intrepid CJ of the criminal courts division covered the calendar. Sensing a possible security issue, she had the prosecution and the PDs switch tables and podiums. No offense to the PDs, but most in-custody defendants would like to take a poke at a prosecutor. 
And then Judge Blumstein returned to court, and exercising judicial wisdom and discretion, finely honed after hours of sitting in his third floor bantam-sized fiefdom, said "switch back" because the judge controls the positioning of the lawyers. See, Commonwealth v. Boyd, 246 Pa. 529 (Pa. 1914) "While in every criminal trial, the accused has a common law right to counsel, and this right may not be abridged by any rule or regulation which would operate to hinder and obstruct free consultation between the accused and his counsel, the refusal of the trial judge, in a murder case to permit the defendant to sit by his counsel, so that the defendant was compelled to occupy a, small enclosed place, about six or eight feet away from the counsel table, was harmless error where no defense on the merits was made..."

Although traditionally, the litigants with the burden of proof sit next to the jury. 
See also, "Does the Placement of the accused undermine the presumption of innocence?"

But the SAO said NO! "We will not move to the back of the bus". Woops, wrong famous civil disobedience statement. The SAO actually said "No, we will not move to the other side of the courtroom." 

And there we sit. So to speak 
For now.....
From Occupied America, sit where you want and fight the power. The SAO did. Good for them!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


You can't make this up. 
The President of the United States wants to combat gun violence in schools by.....arming teachers. 

PS 110. East Village. NYC. 2021.
Ms. Postdam's Kindergarten class. 
First Day of School. o

Good morning class. I am Ms. Postdam. Please find your seats. Welcome boys and girls to the President Donald Trump Grade School in New York. As we all know, President Donald Trump was born and raised in New York. In fact, when you look out the window, you can see the President  Donald Trump Firearm and Ammunition store. It's right across the street and next to the President Donald Trump and Vice President Vladimir Putin's chain of  Russian-American Friendship Tea and Vodka Shoppes. 
Class, we have a few rules in Kindergarten. If you need to go poopy or peepee you need to raise you hand and ask  to go to Mr. Potty. 
If you are hungry, then raise your hand and ask for Mr. Snackee. 
And if a bad man comes to the school to kill all of you and your friends with his assault rifle, then you need to tell me right away to get Mr. Boom-Boom. 
Does everyone understand? 
Now today, we are going to start with finger painting. Then we are going to learn the "Lock Hillary Up and Throw her in Jail Song!"  But before we start singing,  we are going to learn the pledge of allegiance to President and Dear Leader Donald Trump. 
But first we need to learn a safety issue. It's called "duck and cover."
Let's pretend a bad man comes and has an automatic rifle, which of course is his god given right to own and possess. But lets pretend he is having  a bad day and instead of hunting doves with his AR-15 automatic rifle with dum-dum bullets, he decides to show up to school and kill everyone like happened right here in this school  eleven times last year. 
Who knows what to do? Sally?"

Sally: We duck and cover!

Ms. Postdam: That's right Sally. You duck under your desk and cover your head with your hands. Ask your grandparents. In the 1950's they had to learn how to duck and cover because before Vice President Vladimir Putin became Vice President of the United States while also being President of Russia, people in the United States were worried Russia would blow them all up with a thermo-nuclear weapon. And the best way for us to survive a nuclear weapon one hundred times more powerful than the one we dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, is to duck and cover. In fact, it's a known fact that if the Japanese had all learned to duck and cover, they would have won the war. Now we can use those same skills that protected your grandparents from 10,000 degree nuclear heat, to protect us from bullets fired from a high-powered semi-automatic weapon. 

Now, let's  all start our day by saying the pledge of allegiance, which of course is now the law:
"I pledge allegiance to our dear leader President Donald Trump and the United States of America and Russia. And to our dear leaders, who protect our lives, we pledge- unlike former FBI Directors,   everlasting loyalty to our dear leader President Donald Trump. So Help Us God."

Wonderful. Now we are going to learn the "Lock her up" song. 
"Who's responsible for everything bad?
Hillary-LOCK HER UP!
Who's responsible for fake news? 
Hillary-LOCK HER UP!
And who's the one who lied about global warming?
Hillary- LOCK HER UP!
And who's the one who opposed our dear leader and almost wrecked our lives?
Hillary, Hillary, Hillary....LOCK.....HER    UP!

Excellent class. Now if you will all take out your Russian books we will start with lesson one....

From Occupied America, there are people who dream of a place like this. Where teachers are armed, and children are brainwashed.  Fight The Power!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


A man and his guns. 

In Silvester v. Becerra, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a fourteen page dissent from the court's decision not to grant cert and review California's ten day waiting period to buy a firearm.

"The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this court's constitutional orphan" Thomas fumed.

"We have not heard argument in a Second Amendment case for nearly eight years" the silent Justice whined. "And we have not clarified the standard for assessing Second Amendment claims for almost 10."

Rumpole wonders how many years has it been since the court heard a Third Amendment case (prohibition against the quartering of soldiers in homes) , or an eighteenth amendment case (prohibition against sale and manufacture of liquor)?  Should the length of time between the court hearing issues be in fact an issue raised on cert?

Say this for Justice Marcel Marceau, (judges, click here), the man has timing. Because what the world needs now, are guns, more guns...not just for some, but for everyone...

From Occupied and heavily armed America, Fight the Power without shooting. 


Monday, February 19, 2018

MM786 IN THE 212

Happy President's day from NYC!
Yes, your Millennial blogger from Miami took a Prez weekend trip. MM786 in the 212! 

Couple of random thoughts. We often write in legal pleadings that an issue or fact  was "unbeknownst" to a client. But I have yet to see someone write that something was "beknownst" to someone. Why? 

Also, Caregivers are caretakers. But one implies giving- "she gives care to her elderly mother. She's a caregiver." And yet, "He takes care of his father. He's a caretaker." Strange, right? 

Black Panther was the bomb. And the theater in Times SQ, NYC was dope. I felt like such a tourist, which I am. The movie is great. Yes, it's  groundbreaking because it's a super-hero action movie with almost entirely people of color. But that quickly fades, and it's just a good movie. I went with some friends/family who had teenagers and when I asked them the significance of the movie they didn't mention race. When I asked them the difference between the Black Panther and Superman or Batman or Spider-man they focused on the different superpowers. No one said "Black Panther is black". Take away? This new generation really doesn't think about or see race, and that's a good thing. 

I've complained about the lack of a great steakhouse in the 305/786 (and don't give me that Prime nonsense please). Well, NYC is steakhouse-lovers heaven. Sooooo many choices. 

First up, old school- Keen's Steakhouse. Been around since late 1800's. There's a pipe Teddy Roosevelt used on a beam on the dark wood ceiling. A dark paneled room with an old-boy clubhouse feel lined with portraits of be-wigged  long-forgotten men from NYC.  Appetizers are oysters or "Lincoln's Oysters", wedge salad with blue cheese (natch) and then the beef. There's a mutton chop (first time I've seen that), and old school cuts. Porterhouse for two, prime rib, or "New York Sirloin".  Sides are creamed spinach and hash browns. Get the picture? No wagyu beef here, no sir-ree. 

Next day Lunch- Ikinari Steak in the Village. The deal here is that it's a stand-up steak bar. You stand at the bar, order your steak priced by the gram, and then eat. Standing up. And drink, until you cannot stand up. It's fun. And the steak is off the charts good. The steak is wet-aged for 40 days. They recommend you order it rare. It's grilled over an open flame, and served in an iron skillet with sides like rice and veggies, and then to make it a "J-steak" you drizzle "J-sauce" over it. I had the wild-steak set, and sake. Lots of sake. Then they spray you with a clothing spray to clear the grilled steak odor as you stumble out the door. NYC-Japanese cool. 

For dinner your blogger scored a resv at the smokin-hot celeb chef Salt-Bae's new sensation- Nusr-Et Steakhouse. Yes, there's one in Miami, but this is New York baby.   This place is crazy expensive. And most people show up looking for the Salt-Bae show. He dresses in tight white t-shirts, guns bulging, and round sunglasses. He puts on a show with the knife, does a slap of the meat, and then throws salt on it in his signature move. You can see all that on you-tube. I came for the steak. It was decent, not great. And as I said, crazy-expensive. You don't get the Bae show unless you order a particular cut, like the rib-eye. When you do, the steak is presented sizzling. He shows up surrounded by a retinue of lackeys (assistants) and as everyone pulls out their cell phones, he slices the rib eye and throws some salt on it, and wordlessly moves on. At this point, having done it a few thousand times, it seems like a sad show. 
The ribeye was good. The steak at Keen's was better. I suggest skipping the show and saving a few hundred dollars. 

That's it for now from NYC, where the weather is cool, the steak is mostly great, and I haven't even touched on the shopping.  After wandering wide-eyed (and mostly broke) down Fifth Avenue, my nose pressed up to the glass of window displays like some hungry waif looking at diners, I spent a glorious afternoon at The Strand. 18 miles of bookshelves, and it's like I walked a ten-K with a book (books) in my hand. 

MM786 happy in the 212. 😋

Friday, February 16, 2018


The league of prosecutors may be a collection of super-heroes, but they need a good editor. 


The League of Prosecutors congratulates

the Honorable Joseph Mansfield

as she is sworn in today as County Court Judge.


      We wish you success as you serve the citizens of Miami-Dade County.



It happens to the best of us. We made a typo once. It was post #789. 

Long weekend. Enjoy. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018


CODE BROWN and a building-wide lockdown was the order of the day today- Thursday- starting around 10:15 AM and lasting for about an hour. As "Code Brown, clear people from the hallways" was repeatedly broadcast over the REGJB loudspeakers, corrections officers and bailiffs hustled people from the hallway into the courtrooms and then locked the doors. 

Several lawyers reported judges being whisked off the bench and going to their chambers, leaving a courtroom of scared and confused citizens in the galley, and lawyers, PDs and ASAs commenting on the judges' absences. We note that leadership occurs when regular people do irregular things at moments of real and possible danger. Did any judge remain in court to calm everyone down? Or did they just huddle in their chambers, peaking out from below their desks? We do not know. 

Of course in the wake of yesterday's tragedy, the Code Brown lockdown was met with fear and nervous silence in many courtrooms. The incessant beeping of the public address system for long periods of time didn't help calm the nerves of the people locked inside the courtroom. 

We live in violent times. 
But we need those guns, right? 
Gotta have those guns. 
Second amendment and the lord and all that. 
Jesus wants us to have guns. So does the NRA and Trump. 

From occupied America, where mentally ill people have easy access to firearms which allows them to murder children in their school, Fight The Power!


There is no joy in a world and a society  where children are murdered by people shooting them with guns at their school. 

When is enough enough? How many more children need to die? 

Monday, February 12, 2018


Miami lawyer and frequent REGIB habituate Joaquin Perez has been barred from entering Colombia. That's the country, not the University on the upper west side of Manhattan (which is spelled Columbia btw). Perez is now abogado non grata in Colombia and the prisons in which narco-traffickers are being held pending extradition to the United States. 

The Herald in this article says that Miami lawyers are flying to Colombia, and making lots of money getting deals for people who are being held pending extradition to the United States!!!!

Say is ain't so joe. 

We are shocked, shocked to find that there is gambling on these premises. 

Miami lawyers....flying to Colombia...cutting deals....for money??? 


From Occupied America, fight the power!!

BTW- it's 25 degrees today, here in the cold apple. If you can get into one of the WOW suites at the W, we highly recommend it. 
Here's an "only in NY" Times article about a city artist that draws hearts on sidewalks. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Let’s get Metaphysical! (Apologies to Oliva Newton John).
First, the burning question of the moment: Uber/Lyft- front seat or back?
It’s creepy to get into the front seat with a stranger, especially drivers that don’t talk. But I always feel bad when I get in the back seat arnd the driver is cool and chatty.
There doesn’t seem to be a solution to this dilemma.
I was trying to log on to something yesterday and of course I forgot my info. So then I had to long on to my app that stores all my info. And then I logged on to the app I was trying to log on to. And I realized that I do that about three times a day. Five minutes per issue…fifteen minutes. TM says you should meditate twenty minutes a day twice a day. So what is my time better spent? Logging into apps so I can log into apps? Or meditating?
And then I thought this: Logging is now something we do all the time. Every day. Multiple times a day. Until we log out.
Until we log out for good. Until we are gone. And you know what? I can send texts and emails to friends who are gone. Dead gone. And it’s so strange.

I know both lawyers who got appointed Friday. One is great, one not so much. Oh well, 50% isn’t bad.
TMC is the best cable channel and Sunday night at 8:00 is one of my fav movies: The Grapes of Wrath. Watch it just for a young Henry Fonda’s  (Tom Joad’s) speech at the end: “…wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but…the President is sort of correct on the #metoo allegations. People’s lives…men’s lives should not be destroyed on a mere allegation. Of course men like Harvey Weinstein and the like, men facing serial abuse and rape allegations over decades deserve no sympathy.  But do we destroy a person’s life over an unproven allegation?
There are two sides to every story and here is one. Call it a hypothetical. A hypothetical classmate in law school who (to use legal language here) knowingly and willingly  engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a married professor. When the professor went to end it, the classmate asked for and received a substantial sum of money…two times. The second time in exchange for unfettered access to their email and social media to erase all pictures, emails and text messages.
The Hypothetical student is a wrong as the Prof.
Great professor. Dumb relationship. The hypothetical professor has had a successful career. Won pro bono cases at the highest appellate levels for indigent clients. Should their career be ended because of a personal failing? Or to quote Jesus, “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.”
(please note, the location of the hypothetical law school, and the gender of the hypothetical parties have not been disclosed, and should not be speculated upon.)
Harvard peeps- New prez selected Sunday.
Let’s end on a happy note. On February 8, 1820 my favorite civil war general- William Tecumseh Sherman (“Billy T” but known to his compatriots as “Cump”) was born. His father died when he was young and his mother sent his brother to be raised by a family member, and he was sent to be raised by Thomas Ewing, a friend of his father. Sherman later married Ewing’s daughter. Sherman’s service in the war, much like that of his friend U.S. Grant, was up and down. He was given commands, and relived of them, and at one point publicly accused of being mad (as in crazy). But if there is one thing Grant was, he was a superb judge of fighting talent. And he knew he had a winner in Sherman. In late 1863 Sherman was given command of the Army of Tennessee. The following spring Grant recommended his promotion to Supreme Commander of the Armies of the West. Upon taking command he received this famous order from Grant: “Create havoc and destruction of all resources that would be beneficial to the enemy.” And that Sherman did in a terrible manner not before seen on any battlefield. Sherman was the first general in modern history to employ a "scorched earth" military campaign. 
With almost 100,000 troops in his army, Sherman marched through the south (known as his “March to the Sea”- from Atlanta to Savannah ) in one of the great military campaigns of all time. We can only pray an army will never again lay waste on American soil what Sherman did in, and too, the South. As Lee held off Grant at Petersberg, Sherman lay waste to anything and everything in his way, and in Lee’s rear.
On the night before Christmas Eve in 1864, Sherman sent Lincoln a telegram presenting him with Savannah, Georgia, as a “Christmas Gift.”  It is fair to say that without Sherman’s fearsome march through the south, the war would have lasted far longer. When Grant retired, Sherman was promoted to General of the Army, a rank above a five-star general. Other Generals of the Army have been Grant (the first), Pershing, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Hap Arnold. And Bradley. Not a bad group.
Sorry, but let’s actually end on a sad note. I don’t see a Lincoln, Eisenhower, or Grant in our future.
No, let’s end on a happy note. Lincoln came almost out of nowhere to save the Union. Grant was a down on his luck merchant when the civil war revived his career. Eisenhower was picked from virtual obscurity behind a desk by Marshall over dozens of more experienced generals to lead the war. So we can only hope we have another miracle left to save our union.
Blog peeps were asking for me. And here I am. 👩 (Can't end without one emoji.)'

Friday, February 09, 2018




LAURA SHEARON CRUZ. Ms. Shearon Cruz is 39 years old and she has been a member of The Florida Bar since 2007 out of Tulane Law School. She spent her first four years working as an ASA, then left the office in 2011 to join Wicker Smith doing civil litigation (defense insurance cases). She returned four years later in 2015 and she is currently a DC and handles homicide cases. She was born in Memphis and she grew up in Alabama. Her father was an attorney and her great grandfather was criminal court Judge in Tennessee. She is married to Erick Cruz, former ASA and current criminal defense attorney. Judge Cruz replaces Judge Ivonne Cuesta. ***Up until today, Shearson Cruz was a candidate in Group 18 of the County Court running against Mike Mirabal. (Group 18 is an open seat due to the retirement of Judge White Labora).

CHRISTINA DIRAIMONDO. Ms. DiRaimondo is 33 years old and she has been a member of The Florida Bar since 2010 out of Nova Law. She is also with the State Attorney’s Office and she replaces Judge Laura Ann Stuzin. She is also a Division Chief and has been with the office for all seven years of her career.



ASA Laura Shearson- Cruz. Got the call today/last night. 

Good pick. Seems like a good and experienced prosecutor. 

For all the grief we give them, Rumpole always says former prosecutors make the best Judges. 

From Occupied America, where the Government is open, then it's closed, then it's open, Fight the Power (when it's open and even when it's not). 

Monday, February 05, 2018


It's getting cold.....brrrrr....Icy as it were. 
ICE (Motto: "Deport em all, let Mexico sort it out") is coming for your client. 
In the courthouse. 
Arrests in the courtroom. In the courthouse. And if you speak up, why they may just deport you with your client. 
So, in the words of our brilliant, constitutional-scholar-President, "STFU and stand aside while we deport them to their sh*t-hole countries. "

From Occupied America, where there is soon going to be plenty more room, Fight the Power! The Eagles beat the evil empire, so why can't we?

Sunday, February 04, 2018


We're pretty much done with the NFL. We cannot sit and cheer while young men destroy their brains. Read this NY Times Op Ed piece by Emily Kelly about former NFL Player Rob Kelly "I'm the Wife Of a Former NFL Player. Football Destroyed His Mind."
Read that. They try and cheer a vicious hit. 

Instead try this...fast...do the opposite of the rest of the country and give your body a break and don't eat at all while everyone is stuffing themselves with pizza and wings. You will feel amazing tomorrow morning. 

Donate time at a homeless facility. The country is consumed with conspicuous consumption. Hundreds of private jets will fly into Minneapolis today. Give something back to those who are less fortunate at a time when (unlike Christmas guilt) no one is talking about the poor and homeless and the hungry anymore. 

The NFL has become synonymous with jingoism-patriotism. You can't attend a game without lengthy time devoted to the national anthem, military jets flying overhead,  video feeds of troops overseas. Football has nothing to do with patriotism. Nothing. You can be a solider and sacrifice your life to your country and not like football. You can be a patriot and not like football. You don't need to stand with your hand over your heart and sing patriotic songs under the scrutiny of your neighbor eyeing you. Are you singing loud enough? Do you really believe the words? If you are faking it, they will report you. A football game is becoming more like a forced North Korean military rally than a game. 

Spend a quiet afternoon reading Rupi Kaur's poetry. She will touch your soul. A five yard run off tackle will not. 

But tradition is tradition. So for your enjoyment, we give you our super bowl analysis. 

Coin toss lock: Heads. 
under 48.5
Cheater FG will be first score.
Under 24 points first half. 

And ...... forgo the points and take the money line, because tonight, in the streets of Philly, they will be singing "Fly Eagles Fly, on the road to victory..." 

From Occupied America, try doing something different than the crowd. It will make you a better person. Fight the power. Don't watch the super bowl. 

Thursday, February 01, 2018


Before we get to the post, Happy Birthday Ayn Rand! One of the most brilliant philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. 
"I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor  ask another man to live for mine."
"John Gault, Atlas Shrugged." 

California has legalized marijuana (gasp!). So far, the State seems to be functioning just fine. 
And now California, rapidly becoming our favourite state in the union, is now moving to vacate thousands of felony and misdemeanor possession of marijuana convictions. So far the DA offices in San Fran and San Diego are moving to vacate convictions. Others will soon follow 

Hmmmm..... a District Attorneys Office recognizing the fundamental unfairness of their prior, misguided actions, and actively doing something to remedy it. How...unusual. It's downright...Californian. 

Proof of the relativity of time can be found in a certain courtroom in the REGJB. Reports have flooded our in-box about a certain newly elected judge who, for example, ponders for minutes on end, an agreed motion to continue for a first-time-up case. Sometimes it pays to elect Judges who actually have experience in the courts in which they sit.

In the Einsteinian theory of  special relativity predicts  "Time Dilation": two working clocks will report different times after different accelerations. Similarly, in the Rumpolian theory of "CourtTime" ( (c) Justice Building Blog, 2018, all rights reserved), two watches of two different attorneys, will appear to move at different speeds relative to the time spent watching a judge ponder the simplistic. 

From Occupied America, where California is vacating marijuana convictions while Jeff Sessions' Justice Department is gearing up for more marijuana prosecutions, fight the power!