WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Sunday, September 30, 2018

NFL WEEK FOUR

We enter the fourth week of the NFL season through the looking glass. 
The Browns are riding a wining streak. 
Senator Grassley (R. Mars) is riding an FBI-investigation  losing streak. 
And QB Jeff Goff in our FF league roasted and toasted the Minny secondary for five TDs and 60 FF points for team Multack. 
Speaking for Judge M, he's one of five survivors in our world-famous survivor league, which suffered a zombie-like apocalyptic wipe-out last week when the Buffalo Bills Senator Flaked (surprised) the Vikings. 

So here we go. 
Our home town Fins, they of the 3-0 record, travel to Bahstahn. and play the cheaters, they of the 1-2 record. The cheaters are -7.5 and the total is 48. Are the Dolphins for real? Now's the time for them to step up and show the league.  The cheaters are the 31st in run defense. Look for Miami to run the rock downhill all day. "Tannehill-downhill". Could be a trend. Like Senator Lindsey Graham flaming out on national TV.  Take the Fins +7.5 to Senator Graham the cheaters. And we love under 48. Loss- 😠 Was never close. 

Cowpokes at home against the Lions.  The line is 44 and we Senator Klobuchar like the under. Loss. 

Da Bears at home -3 Senator Booker the visiting Bucs New Jersey style. Take the Bruins, leave the cannoli and lay the three points. BIG WIN -never close

Gotta love a home dog like Judge Kavanaugh (DC Circuit)  and the Giants. The Giants are getting 3.5 at home over the Saints. Kavanaugh, no saint he, needs those three and a half to survive the next two weeks. Take the Gints, pass on the Judge.

Survivor: 
Memon and newbie ASA like the Chargers. 
PD2B Likes the Cowpokes (oy) and Real Fake Former La Jolla Judge likes the Pack.
At kickoff we have not received an email from Hiz Honor Multack. He has the 4 pm, 8pm and MNF to pick from. 


Thursday, September 27, 2018

ROUND TWO TO KAVANAUGH AND GRAHAM

Round two in the unseemly theatrics that have become the advice and consent of the Senate Judiciary Committee went to Judge Kavanaugh and Senator Lindsey Graham. 
Judge Kavanaugh was angry, combative, and outraged at what he and his supporters called the unsubstantiated allegations against him. His opening statement was as compelling as the testimony of Dr. Ford earlier in the day. 

It seemed that Kavanaugh was headed for trouble when he couldn't properly answer and deflect the crafty questions of Senator Durbin (D. Illinois) who asked him if-based on his opening statement in which he said he welcomed any investigation of the allegations-he would join in the Democrats call for the FBI to investigate. Durbin referenced Kavanaugh's time in the White House where he used the FBI to vet other judicial appointments. Durbin then- with some theatrics- asked Kavanaugh to lean over and tell White House Counsel Don McGahn to let the FBI investigate the allegations. 

To the rescue of the beleaguered Judge first came committee Chairman Grassley (R. Mars) who bellowed that he was running this confirmation hearing, not the White House and not even Judge Kavanaugh. 

Then, in the ultimate display of theatrics on day when high-drama was the norm in the normally staid senate, Senator Graham (R. South Carolina) asked for time and, disdaining the hired-gun prosecutor from Arizona that he and his colleagues had hid behind in the questioning of Dr. Ford earlier in the day, began a diatribe against the political nature of Supreme Court confirmation proceedings (Gasp!) and bellowing about the injustice of the worst thing he had ever seen in politics. 

Senator Graham seemed to light a fire under the Republicans, who shuffled out of the first part of the hearings after Dr. Ford testified as if they were the Cleveland Browns playing the Patriots any time in the last decade. All of the sudden the need for the prosecutor from Arizona disappeared and she was never heard from again as Republican Senators took over the questioning of Judge Kavanaugh, asking him such pertinent questions of whether he believed in the almighty, and if so, if he could look his interlocutor in the eyes and tell him he didn't sexually assault anyone. 
To the surprise of everyone no-one, Judge Kavanaugh denied ever sexually assaulting anyone.

Rumpole says: We have a been a voice in the wilderness for years about the unreliability of eyewitnesses. The science proves that memory in inherently unreliable. Dr. Ford's testimony was compelling. And believable. But we know that even if she believes it, it doesn't make it true. Judge Kavanaugh may well be innocent and if this was a criminal trial, there is nothing close to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Not Guilty; even a JOA. 

But this isn't a criminal trial. And that's where this gets hard. Judge Kavanaugh appears to have been a drunken lout in high-school and college. His explanation of the things in his yearbook, especially the Alumni society thing, and FFFFFF do not ring true-indeed we are convinced he outright lied. 
And yet, his defense of himself-that he has placed more female clerks on the US Supreme Court than any other judge, and his considerable time spent with female law clerks, female law students, and his coaching of a high-school female basketball team with nary a complaint about his behavior is a powerful defense that he treats all women with respect and dignity. You don't just stop being a sexual predator. If he was trying to rape women in high-school and college, we believe the conduct would have continued throughout his adult career, absent intensive therapy- which could have well occurred. 

So in the final analysis, what should happen here? 
It is so very hard to say. We are leaning towards the belief that the Judge should not be confirmed. However, we are not sure. It's a very tough call. 


ROUND ONE TO FORD

Dr. Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee (Motto "11 angry white male republicans remaking the judiciary in their image since 2014") has been a slam dunk for Ford. This putative prosecutor, behind whom the republican members of the Judiciary Committee are hiding, is, to use a singular and technical legal phrase-awful. 

One cannot help but wonder what Republican Susan Collins of Maine, who is likely watching these proceedings from her office, is thinking. All that is needed to defeat this nomination is two Republican nay votes. If Collins comes out publicly against Kavanaugh, the dam will break and he will be headed to inglorious infamy along side the names of , inter alia, John Parker (Hoover), John Marshall Harlan II (Ike) who wasn't reported out of committee  for his "ultra-liberal views"Clement Haynsworth (you don't see many people named Clement these days), Harold Carswell -both Nixon nominees that paved the way for Harry Blackmun, Douglas Ginsberg  and Robert Bork, (Reagan) paving the way for Tony Kennedy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

COURTHOUSE COMPLAINT DESK

With Festivus approaching, it is necessary for the airing of grievances, Here are a 100 beefs... in all shapes and sizes;


1.      The down escalator between the 3rd and 4th floor. 

2.     Police cars dominating the lawyers' parking lot.

3.     Police officers' shooting the breeze from their cars as   

     they block the parking lot.

4.    The minimal menu and lack of inventory at El Gordo Café.

5.     Judges that take the bench late.

6.    Can't I get into the building at that side entrance with just   a  

      bar card (like every other courthouse) , why do I need a  special

      ID? 

7.      Judges not being humble about their lack of experience before   

      being elected judge.

8.      Judges that won’t take private lawyers out of turn.

9.      People that pay stupid scalper's prices at concerts.

10.     Prosecutors that do not return phone calls.


11.         Lawyers that do not return emails.

12.       Prosecutors that make hi-ball plea offers even though  

        they’re willing to resolve the case at a much lower level.

13.       Michael Bay movies.

14.       Millennials that stare at their smart phone 24/7.

15.        The elevators that have had the outside directional 

        lights inoperable for years (Is this elevator going up  

        or down?).

16.       Employees at El Gordo that don’t speak a word of 

        English.

17.       Judges that speak too softly from the bench.

18.       Judges that never bother to read motions 
19.        Two-tone men’s Rolex watches.

20.      Wrinkly sports jackets.

21.        Lawyers that do not understand how to be civil in an    

         adversarial context.

22.       Bums that beg for money as you’re entering and      

         exiting the courthouse.

23.       Creepy religious-freak defendants that need to know  

         the spelling of the prosecutor's and judge's name     
         concerning their case so they may cast their spells.

24.       Those who dump sacrificial chickens outside the  

         courthouse.

25.       How great lawyers, judges, courtroom personnel and  

         other dedicated people are so easily forgotten once they 

         retire or pass away.

26.       The lack of preservation of the history of the Miami   

          justice system.

27.       Too many tattoos on women (it's like spray-painting a luxury
         car).

28.        Cheesy, overproduced, auto-tuned pop music.

29.       The now pamphlet-sized Miami Herald and Ft Lauderdale
        Sun Sentinel.


30.      Attorneys doing unnecessary, over-the top dog & pony shows 
        during calendar calls.
31.        Judges that panic when they’re in trial.

32.       Judges that take 5 days to conduct a 2-day trial.

33.       People on a venire that purposefully try to get out of     

        jury duty and the judges that tolerate that. 

34.      Potential jurors that complain the system is unfair, yet  

        they are too biased to participate in the very system they are

        saying is unfair.

35.      Candidates running for judge that ask for campaign  

        contributions, yet they’ve never asked me “How I’m  

        doing?” or “How’s my family?”

36.       Kingmakers and wannabe kingmakers.

37.        How Miami-Dade County Correctional facilities   

         rarely answer the phones.

38.      How Metro West [essentially] incarcerates people by    

        locking them in those small interview rooms and then  

        taking forever to release them. One day, maybe I’ll just 

        relieve myself in there, let them clean it up and perhaps that

         may teach them a lesson.

39.       Kiss-ass lawyers that ask judges "if they may be

         excused from court ?".


40.      The correctional officer that screws up the jail cards     

         resulting in ruining my evenings or weekends.

41.        How overly politically correct our country has become.  

         Yes, "snowflakes" are real and it's another term for       

         being a total wus

42.       Judicial Assistants that do not answer their phones.

43.        Judicial Assistants that make it seem like their doing  

         you a favor by simply calendaring a case.

44.       How I have to pay for 3 certified copies to get  

         Corrections to do anything.

45.       How, at the main jail, visiting a client has become so       

         incredibly difficult and time-consuming.

46.      The lack of parking at TGK.

47.        How they make a "federal case" out of so much in 

         Federal court.

48.      How the Southern District of Florida seems more 

         oppressive than other jurisdictions. When I travel to 

         other places, everybody seems to be nicer and I get better   
         results.  
49.      Judges scared to make a ruling.


50.      Judges more interested in playing it safe than doing the 

        right thing.

51.         People that talk during the performances of a concert.

52.      "Classic rock" elitists that think a 70-year-old singing 

        hard rock makes any sense at all.

53.       Too many sidebars during calendar calls.

54.       Courts that don't provide pre-printed seating charts for jury 
         trials. 
55.       How terrible it is to jack up all these court costs when it is 

         usually poor people that it’s imposed upon.

56.       The use of Nebbia conditions for far too many scenarios.
57.        How Clerk Harvey Ruvin seems to make the criminal 

          justice system his lowest priority.

58.       The lack of Clerk’s office personnel and resources 

         resulting in crazy lines at the 9th floor attorneys’  

         window.   

59.       How these animals abuse their children and use vile 

         profanity in front of their kids, in the hallways of the 

         courthouse.


60.       Defendants that wear apparel that celebrates booze, 

        drugs or violence... to court.  

61.        Lawyers that quote Shakespeare during trials (you’d be 

         better off quoting Kim Kardashian)  

62.       Lawyers that charge cheap legal fees.

63.       The concept that the recreational use of marijuana  

         triggers any form of criminal prosecution.

64.      Prosecutors and judges that have an informal attitude 

         towards marijuana outside of court yet take a hard line 

         inside of court.

65.       The horrible racial disparity that poisons the criminal 

          justice system.

66.       Extremism on both sides of American politics.

67.       The pathetic state of music radio in South Florida.

68.      The Hard Rock/Hollywood as a venue for concerts.

69.      Able-bodied people using handicap parking stickers.


70.      The whole circus that embodies the judicial election     

        process.

71.        How the internet has all but eliminated responsible    

        journalism.

72.      Too many breaks during a jury trial that interrupt the 

        flow and momentum.

73.      When I am making an argument, or cross-examining a 

        witness, and the judge is turned away from me and 

        talking to the judicial assistant.

74.      The lack of resources for dealing with mental illness in 

        the criminal justice system.

75.       Immigration lawyers that tell their clients “You need to tell
        your criminal defense attorney to simply just "get your case  
        dismissed so you don’t have immigration problems”.

76.      Defendants sentenced to lengthy probation, judges that 

        order them to set up a payment plan at the Clerk’s office 

        for their court costs, they have to pay high interest rates 

        and a set-up fee for entering into that payment plan when,
        since they’re on a lengthy probationary period anyway, they
        have ample time to pay. What a money grab!
77.       Judges playing obvious games to get defendants to waive their
        speedie trial rights.

78.      The asinine 2-year license revocation as a result of an 

        adjudication on a controlled substance case...where it had 
        nothing to do with driving!
79.      Idiotic reality TV shows and their reality “stars”.


80.    Conniving televangelists.

81.       Where’s the calendar for private attorneys so I know 

        what page I’m on?   

82.     How defense attorneys are now, in many court rooms, 

        forbidden from talking to clients in the jury rooms.

83.     The disgusting (and very real) “trial tax”.

84.     Chonga hair.

85.      Co-defendant defense lawyers that are not team players

86.     How the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office deals with 

        cooperation in drug cases. "Three cases in 90 days" is utter

        nonsense!

87.      Mass-produced swill beer.
88.     The lack of resources to help people get their driver
        licenses straightened out.

89.     How every time I need to use the bathroom on the first  

        floor, there’s a yellow tape preventing me from entering.


90.     How Harvey Ruvin did away with the very necessary        

         information booth on the 9th floor. 

91.       When you phone into a judge’s chambers that your 

         running late yet the message doesn’t get to the judge

92.      Judges that don’t understand the concept
        of  the Supremacy Clause.

93.      Judges that never grant motions.

94.     That one ASA in the felony screening unit (most of the  

        screeners are very fair and professional) that rubber-

       stamps the filing of anything and everything.

95.      The rising cost of affordable housing in South Florida.

96.      Lawyers too quick to get their client to rat out co-   

        defendants.

97.      Unsophisticated and pathetic defendants caught up in 

        ridiculous drug trafficking sting operations (“Wanna 

        buy 20 kilos for a $1000 ?” ) and the difficulty in getting the  

        minimum mandatory penalties waived.

98.      How the criminal justice system can be insensitive to     

        victim’s rights even though there is a statute that is     

        there to preclude that from happening.

99.     How too many un-provable or nominal domestic 

        violence cases take a life of their own. 


100.       Judgmental lawyers thinking their poop doesn’t stink and
          making lists like this (Detractors, I took the wind out of your
          sails)