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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

STATE V OFFICER ALEDDA

UPDATE IV NOT GUILTY ON ONE COUNT...HUNG ON THREE OTHER COUNTS...more to come.

UPDATE III: FRIDAY MORNING-  The jury deliberated Thursday night for a few hours, which we view as a positive sign for the defense. The state has not yet asked for additonal rebuttal this morning, but you never know.  The legal community is buzzing with the decision to keep ASA Reid Ruben on the bench. 
Rumpole says verdict by 1pm. Antyhing past that you are looking a a jury that rhymes with "sung".  The herald's intrepid crime reporter will be tweeting all the action during deliberations 
@davidovalle305. Some possible tweets:
"jury arrives...three have coffee -three have tea. People view that as a bad sign"; "jurror shows up wearing MAGA hat. Prosecutors frowning." 
and things of that nature. 


UPDATE II: Kolsky finished the defense closing and then Don Horn rose to give the prosecution's final closing. With all due respect to Mr. Horn but keeping Reid Ruben out of closing is like keeping Lebron James on the bench for the last quarter of game 7. It's a mistake to leave your best player out of it. A tactical error and we shall see how this plays out. 
No doubt we are headed for a Friday jury verdict unless the jury wants to work tonight, and if they do that would be a very positive sign for the defense in our opinion and we are more knowledgeable than most. 

UPDATE: Perhaps showing the rust, ASA Don Horn closed the state's first closing argument by asking the jury to find the defendant guilty of "attempted murder". Uhho. Aledda is charged with attempted manslaughter. Defense objected and Horn apologized. 
Next up: Doug Hartman for the defense in closing. 

There was a bit of legal maneuvering this afternoon in courtroom 4-1 in the trial of officer Aledda charged with attempted manslaughter in the firing of his weapon at an autistic young man. 
After both sides rested Wednesday, the prosecution after a good night's rest decided to call a rebuttal witness. What were they rebutting after they rested? The negative press coverage. 

That being done, it was Chief ASA Don Horn, dusting off his trial suit, for the state on the first closing argument. You can follow all the details on @Davidovalle305 's twitter feed. 

The weakness of the prosecution's case is evident in this: Horn told the jury that Officer Aledda wasn't a bad man, he just did a bad thing on the day of the shooting.  The jury's sympathies will be with the officer on this one we think. 

After Horn concludes, the chatter is  Jay Kolsky, an old pro who is a former prosecutor and PD will close for the defense. Kolsky is trying the case with frequent police lawyer  Doug Hartman. 

Then perhaps Reid Ruben, who we have opined in this pages previously is as good as it gets for the SAO, will get rebuttal and then the jury will be charged. Once again, very experienced lawyers have disregarded Rumpole's #1 rule for jury trials: AVOID FRIDAY VERDICTS. 

Even so, the courthouse rumor is that the officer is ahead on the judges' scorecards and the state needs a knockout punch in closing.

Stay tuned. Bulletins as proceedings warrant.  

40 comments:

Fake Joe Farina said...

Reid has met his match. Kolsky will kick his ass.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay! Whatdda ya say? How about a not guilty today??!!!

Brent Musburger said...

Hi this is Brent Musburger and here's an update on the odds from my guys in the desert. The state opened at 6/5 for a conviction as charged but the late money has come in on the officer and now you can get 7/2 for an acquittal and its 9/5 for a misdemeanor.

Fake Country Dave said...

I had the officer two months ago at 8-1 for a G for an NG. So if he's acquitted I get 8K. My move now is to hedge 4k on the state at 1-3 for a guilty and I win 4 k either way. Right?

The Q said...

Horn did both closings. Big mistake. Reid is 100X better

Anonymous said...

The cop should go down. And go down hard.

Anonymous said...

Sentencing would be interesting in this case. Attempted manslaughter with no priors creates a 36 point scoresheet, minimum is non-jail.

Anonymous said...

Avoid Friday verdicts? How? What if, for example, the state rests Thursday afternoon. Defense has two witnesses to put on but in doing so, that would surely mean the case wouldn't get to the jury until Friday. So what do you suggest? Don't put on a defense and just rest, charge the jury and let them deliberate that Thursday? Please share how you go about avoiding a Friday verdict.

Also, what happened to Horn is what happens to me after I don't try a case for a while: rust.

the triamaster said...

I took down Horn many moons ago when he was a line prosecutor and was not impressed by his ability. I found him lacking and I doubt he has gotten any better while he is in administration. I say a lesser on a misdemeanor.Jay is an old veteran and has much more jury appeal with his emotion that the state can handle. Jay was always a pleasure to deal with when he was a major crime prosecutor.

Rumpole said...

I know this is difficult for you. I bet you blow up the reasonable doubt instruction or use a power point and maybe one of those charts that has various levels of doubt and you feel you are a real pro. But then you wonder why you lost. That damn judge or that stupid jury.

A real WINNING trial lawyer sees the chessboard 10-12 moves in advance. When I see a case heading for the state resting Wednesday night and closings on Thursday I do my level best to stop it. I slow down questioning witness. or I speed up. I ask for more time on issues. I always files a written rule 29 or JOA motion and that can usually take a morning or afternoon if done correctly.
The point is - you are either driving the boat towards a victory or just floating down the river of guilt along for the ride.

Avoid Friday veridcts how- you ask?

BE A TRIAL LAWYER I respond.

Geeze- who is training you people?

Anonymous said...

Hey...those charts are great!

Anonymous said...

Serious question Rump -

What's the proper way to treat a former Judge that is now back practicing defense work? I am finding it extremely uncomfortable considering said former Judge treated most of the defense bar with contempt when he believed he would be a Judge forever. Now, he wants to be one of the guys....thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Reid should've done first and second close like he did in the Baby Lollipops trial last year. And to say he is "as good as it gets for the SAO" is a huge insult. He is one of the best pure trial attorneys alive and practicing--state, defense, civil, criminal, Miami, anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole:

Lawyers no longer get trained. They sink or swim entirely on their own. The economics of the practice do not allow for training.

Anonymous said...

Jay the K kicked some serious state atty butt.
Who da man? HE DA MAN!

Rumpole said...

12:14 I don't know. I do not hob-nob with disreputable characters like former robe wearers. If you lie down with dogs you get fleas.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay whadda ya say? Three more not guilty's and you're on your way!

Anonymous said...

1251........Yes, Reid is as good as it gets anywhere. But, it's not an insult to say he's as good as it gets at the SAO. A lot of great lawyers have worked there and still do. I don't think Rump meant to insult Reid anymore than you meant to insult current ASA's like Gail Levine, Michael Von Zamft, Laura Adams, Kathleen Hoague, Abbe Rifkin, etc. or past ASA's like David Gilbert, Abe Laesar, Flora Seff, Susan Dechovitz, etc.

Regardless, we CAN appreciate one person without having to denigrate others............

BTDT

Anonymous said...

LMAO get the fuck outta here with that "If I see the state close on Wednesday, I do everything to stall the court so that the judge has to bring the jury back to deliberate next Monday." Bullshit! Sure buddy. You're telling me a judge is going to stop a Grand Theft 3rd trial on a Wednesday and waste Thursday AND Friday hearing argument on a JOA to bring them back on Monday???? I know you're old but I would've liked to see you try that move in front of someone like Judge Thomas.

Oh, no, I've never blown up the reasonable doubt instruction.

Rumpole said...

Well said BTDT. Saying Reid is as good as it gets at the SAO obviously means he is one of the very best trial lawyers right now anywhere. The dade county state attorneys office has a tradition of having exceptionally good trial lawyers like the ones you mentioned.
I'd add John Hogan (RIP) (now Judge) John Kastrenakas, Kevin DiGregory, and David Waksman. I'd also add (now judge) Gerald Bagley, (retired Judge) Lenny Glick, and George Yoss along with Ed O'Donnell and perhaps the best of the bunch- Ed Carhart- who was as brilliant and talented a trial lawyer as you will ever see.
Kastrenakas and DiGregory prosecuted Joyce Cohen who was defended by Alan Ross who was a superb criminal defense attorney. That lineup of lawyers starting in the late 70's and through Janet Reno's tenue was as fine a group of trial lawyers in the nation. Period. And Reid belongs in that group. There are some in your group I do not agree with. But I do not take anonymous shots at people.

Yeah I wrote that last line with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

LOL Rump. I agree with those you added; I just didn't go back as far as you did.

BTDT

Rumpole said...

I also think Sally Weintraub deserves mention for many reasons.

Anonymous said...

Rump, I agree. There are so many good ones, it's hard to remember them all (one reason I didn't go back so far). Not only was she a great lawyer, but she stuck it out for a long, long time. Have to respect that. We're very fortunate in this community that so many great lawyers have served and continue to serve as ASAs and APDs. We shouldn't lose sight of that in our daily battles (though we all do at one time or another).

BTDT

the trialmaster said...

Alan Ross blew the Joyce Cohen case. She is lucky he didnt put her in the electric chair. Eddie O was as good as they come. If Reid was any good he would be in civil like Kelly Hancock a great ASA in Broward. Carhardt was brilliant as any. Al Sepe was a great major crimes prosecutor. Glick was a nice guy but not a top notch trial lawyer. Jim Woodward was as methodical as any. However, The Public Defenders office in the 70s and 80s produced much better trial lawyers than the SAO. No question about it. Actually, you could say it was the finest criminal trial firm in the Country.Adorno was as smooth as any. Yoss carried Hanks bag but was not dynamic for sure.

Rumpole said...

It's Jim Woodard (not Woodward) and we left him off our list and he should not have been. He was another great prosecutor in that office. So was Hank but George was as good and he was nobody's bag carrier. Of course Abe Laeser starts the list. He was the finest prosecutor in Miami, in Florida and throughout the country. Nobody was as methodical in preparing a case and nobody could analyze a case better than he could. Janet Reno had 100% trust in the judgment of Lenny Glick, and there was a reason for her well placed trust. Your comment about him is wrong.

Your cheap shot at Reid is just that- a cheap shot. You have no idea why he stayed at the SAO and "making it in civil" is by no means the measure of success in this profession. In fact I have yet to see a civil lawyer who could pick a jury. County court ASAs get better training and do a better job because 99% of all civil cases turn on the depositions and those stupid summary judgement motions.

Anonymous said...

I'll never understand the people who slam those who choose to serve the community over making money. We should appreciate the sacrifice the Reid (and the many others like him) make for staying at the SAO (and PDO) when they could make far more money in the private sector. Criticizing people for making that sacrifice or suggesting that it somehow reflects upon their skills is asinine.

The timing of the criticism is, however, ironic. As we speak, the legislature is in session and considering ASA and APD salaries. We all should support a substantial increase. These folks are GROSSLY underpaid and it shows. APDs and prosecutors are leaving their offices in droves and it should be unacceptable. We, as a community, need the SAO and PDO to be stable and effective to ensure public safety and minimize the chances of an innocent person being convicted. I hope that the people complaining about the SAO and PDO will do what they can to support increased pay.

BTDT

Rumpole said...

I fully support a large increase for ASAs, PDs, and the forgotten lawyers- regional counsel lawyers. All lawyers who work for the people and the PDS and RC3 lawyers who help indigent clients are unsung heroes who should be paid a living wage.

Hamerin Hank said...

Hey Rump- I'm at Cobblestone's Pub in Forrest Hills, Queens. Lawyer here and you are widely read by the bar in Queens, NY for some reason. Anyway, what a great Sunday at the players. Tommy Fleetwood. Rory. Old Jim Furyk, Jason Day, Grant Snedeaker. All of these guys could take home what I believe is the 5th Major.
Any predictions?
Any blog readers in NYC come by Cobblestones and the first cold one is on me. Just tell Morgan behind the bar- you cannot miss her if you get my drift- you're a Justice Blog reader and she will point me out- Henry is my name.

the trialmaster said...

Abe was as well prepared as any, but his lack of emotion and jury appeal caused him to lose close cases. We should remember Ira Dibitski and Terry McWilliams. Ira was alot like Abe, very well prepared on the facts and the law but lacked emotion and could not relate to juries very well. Alan Postman and Fred Graves were easy to work with but not top notch trial lawyers and not as prepared as Ira and The Abed one.

Anonymous said...

Abe lost close cases? Abe didn't lose cases.

fake shumie said...

Tommy Fleetwood is a young Ben Hogan. Grant Snedecker is a young Steve Stricker. Two of the best current golfers remind me of two of the best golfers from the last two generations.

Real Fake Former Judge said...

I'm gonna date one of the Jenner/Kardashians so people start talking about me again.
Plus. they're all hotties!

Anonymous said...

Cobblestones in Queens is the NY equivalent of the REN, A venue. Cold beers. Top shelf booze. Amazing food, scummy lawyer hang-out. What's not to love?

Anonymous said...

FURYK JUST BIRDIED 11 FOR THE CO LEAD -14!
THE PITTSBURGH GUY A REAL YINZER IS ON THE PROWL!

Anonymous said...

There was a criminal defense attorney in the 1960's who was a top amateur who made the turn at the masters after amen corner in the lead on a sunday circa 1962 63 64 or 65. Anybody remember his name?
He drove a new caddy every year for the money he hustled on Miami Beach golf courses, especially Normandy. One year he took Gleeson for 100k when Gleeson was here from November to May (what we old timers used to call "season" in Miam-ah. ).

Anonymous said...

Johnny "five iron" Roberts?

Hamerin Hank said...

RUMP! Furyk's second at 18 will go down as one the legendary golf shots of all time! Tied for the lead. 170 to the hole ; wind coming off the right; he lasered one to three feet ! and then cleaned up his birdie to go into the clubhouse as the sole leader. 48 years of age and the clubhouse leader after a brilliant second shot at 18. MASHED POTATOES!

Anonymous said...

But now McIlroy birdies 15 to tie Furyk for the lead! What a tournament!

Fake Tom Carney said...

Grip it and rip it. Drive for show...putt for dough.

Atty Cutie said...

One of my BFs said Tiger was going to win.
Yeah, that's right I have more than one, plus a GF I see a fewX a month. Deal with it.