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

Saturday, November 30, 2019

KNIVES OUT A REVIEW

UPDATE: Going to leave up the movie review-
We're done picking against the Purple Birds so Ravens/49ers are off our board. 
Texans at Cheaters- Over 45. 
Packers at Giants...don't know why but we like the home-dog Gints +6.5
Rams at Arizona- Over 47.
J..E...T...S  Jets Jets Jets. Gang Green on the prowl. -3.5 over  sad Cincy. 
San Diego at Denver. Chargers -2.5 in the snow. 

Survivor: Judge Faber rules for the Pack; Fake AM likes Seattle; Mr. Markus and Peter Sautter roll with the Panthers.  (OUCH- see ya, wouldn't want to be ya) 
Juan Gonzalez rolled with the Pack. Awaiting  And Lucy Lew lost last week with the Falcons.  and Dustin Tischler took the Rams.

MOVIE REVIEW 

This is a decent piece of writing. Not by Rumpole, but by a reader who left it in the comments section. We are intrigued, so we decided to put it on the front page: 




At The Cinema said...
At the Cinema

“We’ve been here before” my fellow cinema attendees seem to say as they settle into their 
reclining seats to view “Knives Out” Rian Johnson’s ensemble “who-dun-it”. 
Maybe we have, and then again, maybe we have not. 
Which disgruntled family member killed patriarch-writer Harlan Thrombery 
(Christopher Plummer) in his twisty-turney mansion at the end of his 85th Birthday party 
when he is discovered with his throat gashed open? One of his disgruntled and recently 
disinherited children? One of their dysfunctional children? Did the butler do it ??? 
Except in this story the butler is played by ingenue Ana de Armas, the coquettish nurse who, 
by the time the movie is over, is from every country in Central and South America. 

First the clumsy part- the introduction of “famed” private detective Benoit Blanc
 (Daniel Craig), Johnson’s Hercule Poitrot. Blanc appears instantaneously,
 inexplicably assisting a couple of inept local detectives, one of which is 
inexplicably identified as a state trooper. Why is a traffic ticket writer assigned to a death?
 It’s never explained, and it doesn’t matter. 

The real question in this movie is not who did it, but what Craig and Johnson are
 doing with us? Do they think we are buying Craig’s putative southern gentleman accent 
and are cringing, or is the joke on us? There is everything but Craig breaking the fourth 
wall ala Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cops and pausing to wink at us. 

Eventually the will is read (did you think you were going to escape that tired old ploy?) 
the family gasps, and then the movie takes off in earnest. “Cui Bono” we ask in our 
criminal cases and in our murder mysteries (who benefits?). 

Craig/Blanc stops pinging one note on the piano, and in the penultimate and ultimate
 scenes Craig- ala Poirot ala Ms. Marple ala Holmes explains all. Don’t bother trying- 
you won’t be able to do it and Johnson doesn’t give you chance. It’s all a wink and nod- 
you pay for your ducat and some Snocaps and he takes you for a two-hour ride
 (there’s even a mild car chase). But even when the killer is unmasked- then as the
 infomercial says-“wait there’s more!”. 
Because in the end is it about life and morality and catching a killer… or in the end is it 
about the money? And this is where Rian Johnson wants to take us. Not to Agatha Christie 
and Sir Arthur C Doyle, but to Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman.
 Johnson has his popular vox popoli hits behind him- Star Wars and the like. 
Now he’s writing and directing for something bigger. 

Johnson wants his Seven Samurai, and Knives Out is his first attempt. 
The question at the end of this two-hour romp is not who did it? 
Intelligent viewers will leave the theater pondering what Knives Out will do to the genre? 
As Seven Samurai begot the Magnificent Seven, what will Knives Out beget? 

In Cinema Veritas… and next time the popcorn is on me.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they can be used (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation (1620-1647)


Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty

Edward Winslow, Mort's Relation (1620-1621)

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

THANKSGIVING DINNER

What does Rumpole dine on this time of year? 
Well, turkey and potatoes and stuffing are so humdrum. 

We will start this Thursday with Widows Hole oysters, cultivated on just a few small underwater acres in the bays of Long Island, NY. 

Because fish, mostly cod and stripped bass, was integral to the Pilgrims survival, we will have some simply salted and battered fried cod filets with our oysters. Wine pairing: A Muscadet is a wonderful and inexpensive French wine. Crisp and clean, a bracing cold glass stands up nicely to the salinity of the oysters. We like the Domaine du Fief aux Dames Muscadet Sever et Maine Sue Lie.  It's a mouthful, but at $16.00 or so, a great value. Please get the 2017. 2016 was damaged by an early frost and just doesn't hold up. 

Money Bread was made famous by Ronald and Nancy Reagan. A Reagan family tradition, it garnered a lot of attention when served at the President's Thanksgiving dinner. While many recipes call for a sweet cinnamon-roll like bread, we like the plain round loaf of flaky dough, made with a liberal dose of butter. Pull off a piece and enjoy. 

Our turkey is made simply. We recommend brining in a simple solution of one and a half  cups of kosher salt and two gallons of water. (Traditional solutions are two cups of salt, but we worry about over salting the bird). Have some fun and add a half a cup of brown sugar, a cup of OJ, some thyme, and kick it up a notch with some chili powder. 

After 24 hours in the solution, pull the turkey out and let it rest at room temperature for two hours. Pre-heat the oven to 425 and reduce to 375 when putting in the bird. Liberally rub butter with seasoned salt under the bird's skin and baste infrequently (twice at most). Opening the oven to baste lets the heat out, which adds to cooking time at lower temperatures, which dries the bird out. The key to a juicy turkey is brining and roasting quickly at a high heat. Cook it all the way through and get it out and then baste to your heart's content. 

Stuffing is made from two day-old French baguettes, cubed with  a stick of butter, chopped garlic, chives, and a sofrito of mushrooms, shallots, salt, pepper, and chopped jowl bacon if you can find it (regular bacon is fine as well). 

You can mash some mashed potatoes (yawn) or put some whipped yams in a casserole dish with some mini-marshmallows on top, but really, aren't you bored with those pedestrian dishes by now? 

Since we live in the crossroads of the Caribbean, how about some coconut rice (just cook jasmine rice in coconut milk instead of water, top with scallions-throw in some chickpeas for your vegetarian guests and they will be happy). How about this for a change: scrape off the kernels from ears of corn, simmer in coconut milk, jerk seasoning, and some brown sugar. Wanna go crazy- put the mixture into a food processor and blend. Add almond flour until it becomes a paste (add eggs unless you have vegan guests), and fry like latkes.  

We will pair our meal with the 2016 Cade Cabernet blend of Cab, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. It's rated 96 points on Wine Spectator, and one of our favourites this year. 
For a white we like the Radio-Coteau Savoy. It's big, and buttery, and organic all in one. 

We aren't big on sweets and deserts. Some fresh fruit-mangos, late season cherries, and blueberries mixed with some crème-fraiche is a nice way to end the meal. 

And then the really best thing to do is go here and donate a few bucks to Habitat for Humanity. It's President James Earl Carter's favourite charity, and it provides housing for ...well...humanity, which is a good thing to do. 

Happy Thanksgiving to our readers. 
  




Monday, November 25, 2019

TRIAL UPDATE! Don't look now, but the "Trial of the Century" County Court style, scheduled for Monday morning in the misdemeanor division of County Court, with a bevy of heavy hitters on all sides, including everyone's favourite federal blogger, has washed out with a "conditional nolle prose" whatever that is. Maybe it's an "IF...THEN" scenario. "IF you eat Turkey AND stuffing, on Thursday, THEN we will dismiss the case." 
Either way it's a win. When you and your client walk out of court with no return date, it's a win (unless you pled to CTS, then it's  loss). 

Judge Hirsch's Constitutional Calendar for Thanksgiving is a repeat, but one worth repeating. And while we are at it, let's give a shout out to Probate's newest Judge, and his latest novel, available here on Amazon . A Judge. Criminal Court. Civil Court. A Museum Theft. What more could a reader ask for?

Well, perhaps the answer to this question: What does the 6th Amendment right to counsel, the decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, some Coca Cola and Whiskey, and Henry Fonda all have to do with the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure? The answer is below.



     It was August, 1963, and readers of the Panama City News or the Panama City Herald could scarcely help but feel a sense of civic pride.  The front pages told of a local construction boom: A Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge on West U.S. 98, Gainer Funeral Home’s building on North Cove Boulevard, and the Florida State Employment Office’s new quarters on Ninth and Magnolia.  In the advertising supplements the Cook Motor Company trumpeted the sporty new Ford Falcon for $1,795.  And on the sports pages, big things were foretold for the Bay High School Tornadoes and junior halfback Joe Wayne Walker.

It was August, 1963, and Panama City, Florida, was small-town Dixie, an unlikely epicenter for a constitutional earthquake.

That same month, while the Tornadoes ran their two-a-day drills, Clarence Earl Gideon was tried for the second time – this time with the assistance of counsel – for the theft of 12 bottles of Coca-Cola, 12 cans of beer, four fifths of whiskey and about $65 in change from the cigarette machine and jukebox of the Bay Harbor Pool Hall.  Neither the trial nor Gideon’s acquittal received any particular notice in the Panama City News or the Panama City Herald.

But in the highest echelons of Florida government, notice was taken.  In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Gideon v. Wainwright and Gideon’s ensuing acquittal on retrial it was expected that hundreds, perhaps thousands of Florida prisoners would be filing habeas corpus petitions claiming that their judgments and sentences were unconstitutional because uncounseled.  The respondent in each such petition would be Louie Wainwright, the warden of the state penitentiary at Raiford.  Jurisdiction would lie in the circuit court of what was then Bradford County, a rural spot in the middle of the state that in 1963 had but one circuit judge; one judge, and hundreds, perhaps thousands of petitions.  Chaos would ensue.

Thus it was that as a result of Gideon v. Wainwright the State of Florida got what it had never had before: a rule of criminal procedure, aptly entitled Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure No. 1.  The rule provided that habeas petitions were to be filed in the circuit court in which the convictions under attack had been had. The expected flood of petitions would be fairly and evenly distributed throughout the state.  Chaos would be neatly averted.

Joe Wayne Walker and the 1963 Bay High Tornadoes never really got the chance to live up to expectations.  The big game against the Rutherford High Rams was played on the evening of Friday, November 22, and ended in a scoreless tie.  But President Kennedy had been assassinated earlier that day, and the football game didn’t seem so important.

The answer to the trivia question is mostly self explanatory based on Judge Hirsch's Constitutional Calendar, except for Henry Fonda, who played Clarence Gideon in the made for TV Drama about Gideon v. Wainwright. 


Sunday, November 24, 2019

NFL WEEK 12 2019

Coming this week: The world famous, secret Rumpole Thanksgiving menu, 🦃 recipes included!! 
We're going old school this year, starting with the Monkey 🐒Bread made famous in the Reagan White House Thanksgiving menu. 

The Survivor  pool drags on...the lucky seven now have twenty-one teams left to select to stay alive. It's harder than it seems, like walking through the dollar store on Saturday after black Friday, the shelves bare, picked clean by shoppers seeking to save a buck. 

The Browns are the favoured team amongst our players, who don't seem to learn. Two weeks ago they all jumped on Indy at home, only to see the Miami 22 win on the road. The same thing could happen again today in the land where rivers burn. Messrs.. Markus,  Lew, Tischler, Sautter and the Hon. Judge Faber all pick the Brownies. Lucy Lew likes the Falcons to fly at home, while Fake Alex M is rolling with the Bills in Buffalo


Our Picks, which aren't turkeys...🦃

Cowpokes at Cheaters. Looks good on paper. It won't be close. Cowboys don't travel well, don't play good teams well, and won't keep it close.  Cheaters -6 in NE. 

(WIN)
It's Bird vs Bird as Seattle goes to Philly, eschewing Turkey for Pats Cheesesteaks, wit of course. Hawks are coming off a bye week and getting 1.5. Nuff said. Pass the stuffing.  Seattle +1.5 over Eagles. 

(loss)
Bucs at Falcons. Diet after Turkey day...under 52. 

(Loss)
Fins at the Mistake on the Lake. Once again our hometown heroes are getting no gravy , 🥖, rolls, butter or respect,  and are 10.5 dogs in the dog pound. Cleveland ain't that good. Bet a Baker Mayfield dozen rolls on the Fins +10.5

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

FDC VISITATION SHUT DOWN THURSDAY

UPDATE: 
Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Lagoa has been confirmed by the Senate (motto: "Please don't use Latin phrases like Quid Pro Quo, it just confuses everyone") and she is now United States Circuit Court Judge for the Eleventh Circuit. The vote was 80-15. Judge Lagoa is way behind her colleague Judge Luck on the seniority list since Luck was confirmed yesterday. That means in the all important choice of chambers and a parking spot, Luck picks first. We're not sure, but this may also mean she must also bring Dunkin Donuts and coffee to practice for the veterans. 

Meanwhile, in Tallahassee, the Florida Supreme Court has forlornly hung a "Help Wanted, inquire within" sign on the door. 
"Applicants should be self-starters, motivated, with good research and writing skills and should work well with others in a goal-oriented teamwork based office." 

It's hard to get good help to stay these days. 

FDC CLOSED TOMORROW
It's not the impeachment. It's not global warming. For those who wake up and put on clothes that are not khaki (can't wear khaki into FDC unless you are "invited" in via an indictment), it may be more important. Schedule that spin or Pilates class. Go to Joes Takeaway for the best breakfast on the beach (Rumpole may be espied there from time to time, thumbing through Le Monde), but don't head downtown and don't go to FDC because you will not be allowed in. 

FDC Visitation will be closed (cerado) on Thursday November 21, 2019. So don't go.  Do some research for those briefs that Judges Luck and Lagoa will soon be reading (and probably denying. We mean if we're going to tell it like it is, then lets speak truth to power and all of the other nonsensical bromides people say). 


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

WHAT LUCK

Justice Robert Luck is going back to being Judge Luck. From the Florida Supreme Court, he moves from Tallahassee to Atlanta where he will join the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, as Judge Luck. He was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday 64-31. 
Up for confirmation Wednesday is Justice (soon to be Judge) Barbara Lagoa. She is also headed to Atlanta. Perhaps they could split a moving van? 

Forever moving on up...


Monday, November 18, 2019

A MONSTROSITY OF AN APPELLATE BRIEF

There is good writing and bad writing. Some people like Shakespeare, others like Dashell Hammett. Personally, outside of "The Old Man and the Sea" we do not care for Hemingway. Writing, like cuisine, is in the eye of the beholder. McDonalds for some, Per Se and Eleven Madison Park  for us.

But no lawyer wants to see this in the start of an opinion in McCurry v. Kenco, from the Seventh Circuit:

We affirm. McCurry doesn’t challenge the judge’s decision to enforce the local summary-judgment rule. As a result, and unsurprisingly, the uncontested record contains no evidence to support a viable discrimination or conspiracy claim. Indeed, the appeal is utterly frivolous and McCurry’s monstrosity of an appellate brief is incoherent, so we also order her lawyer, Jordan T. Hoffman, to show cause why he should not be sanctioned or otherwise disciplined under Rules 28 and 38 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

"Surely you jest Rumpole. It cannot be that bad", you say. We report- you decide:

McCurry’s response to the defendants’ motions... was instead a disorganized, rambling, hard-to-decipher mess. 

"But what about the arguments in the brief, Rumpole? Surely they must have had some legal merit?" 
Well, in what may be a first in US jurisprudence, the brief did not have (steady now) ...an arguments section!!
Although McCurry did not include an argument section in her brief, her arguments were scattered randomly throughout her 62-page response, in probable violation of Local Rule 7.1(D)(5), which (by crossreference to Rule 7.1(B)(4)) limits the argument section of a response brief to 15 pages or 7,000 words. 

And file this part of the opinion under the "tell us how you really feel judge" file: 
Her appellate arguments are insubstantial to the point of incoherence and had no chance of prevailing in this court. “The result has been the harassment of opposing parties, insult to judicial officers, and waste of limited and valuable judicial resources.” 

And now to the fun part: 
The patently frivolous nature of this appeal isn’t the only thing that troubles us. The hopelessness of McCurry’s cause didn’t deter her lawyer, Jordan Hoffman, from signing and submitting a bizarre appellate brief laden with assertions that have no basis in the record and arguments that have no basis in the law.

McCurry’s brief, which spans 86 interminable pages, is neither concise nor clear.  It is chock-full of impenetrable arguments and unsupported assertions, and it is organized in ways that escape our understanding. Here is a representative sample: 

The brief includes a section entitled “GAMESMANSHIP ,” which contains the following assertion: “Defendants have been ‘gaming’ the system.” There is nothing else in the “gamesmanship” section.

The brief contains many sentences like this one (all errors in original): McCurry experiences a change in fringe benefits; harsher scrutiny; failure to be promoted; lack of opportunities; lack of professional standing; economic sanctions; hostile work environment that led to an employee being shot on the premise, various verbal and physical assaults of AfricanAmericans by Caucasian employees of use of gun violence, vehicular assault, amongst other forms of violence, the ever looming threat that a racially motivated altercation or riot may ensue and physical damage to McCurry’s auto amongst actions/activities/ conduct.

This just hurts: 
There is more, but the point is made. Bad writing does not normally warrant sanctions, but we draw the line at gibberish

And this hurts even more:
Because we have a duty to “maintain public confidence in the legal profession” and “protect[] the integrity of the judicial proceeding,” Doe v. Nielsen, 883 F.3d 716, 718 (7th Cir. 2018) (quotation marks omitted), we confronted Hoffman about his brief at oral argument. He replied that he is a “solo practitioner” who tries “to get the help of … clients and whoever can provide help to [him]” and then “merge[s] that information.” Whatever that means, it in no way excuses this unprofessional conduct. 

Rumpole. who routinely rejects all proffered help from clients and the "whoevers" of the world, says: "OUCH!" And we don't really merge information. If anything, we fight the merging of information by big brother, amongst others. 

FN 4 of the opinion is the cherry on the sundae: 
4 He signed the brief on behalf of “plaintiff-appellant Mary Madison,” who is not a party in this case. This is yet another way in which the brief is “out of the ordinary.” 

The whole, scathing, scalding opinion is here for your perusal:


Saturday, November 16, 2019

NFL WEEK 11 2019

Before we begin...

There is a celebration of the life of Herb Kim, who died in a tragic accident two weeks ago. The celebration is Sunday at Bulla Gastropub, Coral Gables, 2nd floor starting at 430. Here is the invitation.  All are invited. 

Football. 
What a bunch-a-mopes we have in the survivor pool. Everyone lost last week, so the last bunch struggle on. Perhaps by now they have learned not to pick against the hottest team in football- our Miami Dolphins!!

DOM and Lucy Lew, Judge Faber and Peter Sautter  pick the Raiders. Juan Gonzalez picks the Vikes and Fake Alex M likes the Rams at home. 

Can the Fins make it three in a row? They have covered four out of the last five games and they are the reason why we can order Opus One when at Per Se in NYC at which we dined this past week.  The line is a reasonable +6 and the under is 40. We think the Fins keep it close, but unlike the prior double digit spreads, this one is fair, so keep any wager on the light side. We also like the over 40 because Fitz is lighting it up

Cheaters at Philly is an over 44. 
Cardinals keep it close in San Fran, +10.5.
And the Bears +6.5  at the Rams is interesting. So...TEASER ALERT- Our second teaser of the year. We nailed the first one, natch, so for this lets tease the Bears who are cuttently +6.5 to minus -.5 visiting LA and we will tease the over 44 down 7 points in the Philly game, so the number is now over 37. Two team-seven point teasers are 10-13, so we will lay 130 Tukeys to win 100.  

TEASER #2
The Texans are +4 visiting the Ravens. We've lost every bet against the Birds we have made this year. The o/u is 50 so if you can't beat em, join em. Tease the line down to Ravens +3 at home, and over 43. Same bet of 130 Crabcakes to win 100. 



Friday, November 15, 2019

SO SAY WE ALL

JUDGES READ VERDICTS NOW? 
What did we miss and when did we miss it? 
Admittedly our last dozen verdicts have all had USA v.  on the verdict form.  (Most had the NG box checked, but you already knew that). We don't try as many cases in the REGJB as we used to as in the good old days. 

Here is Judge De La O READING the verdict form in a fascinating murder case involving the owner of the Presidente supermarket chain-where we go to buy our Materva (not). 

So what's the deal? A change in the law. 
We like it. We cannot tell you how many times a clerk, bless their soul, knowing the importance of the verdict, stumbled over a name, and just on the edge of saying those magic words "not guilty" would stop, and then start over..."In the circuit court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, In and For Dade Country...no wait, County...ahh...In the circuit court...". You get the idea. 

Judge Stanley Goldstein, lionized for being the first Judge in the nation running a drug court, and just a wonderful judge and great man, once leaned down and held out his hand when a poor clerk just couldn't do it, and then read the verdict. It was not guilty of course, but much like when CJ John Roberts didn't read President Obama the correct oath of office in 2008, we asked for it to be published again by the clerk, just to make sure it was done correctly. 


Turkey week is coming. Vegan Thanksgiving anyone? 
Best side dishes? Who still throws a batch of green beans in a casserole dish with a can of Cream Of Mushroom soup and then sprinkles those onion crisps on top? Once a year we NEED that. Also, give us the cranberry jelly in the can, over fresh everyday. You just can't change perfection. 
Trials will start slacking off. 
Enjoy the weekend- it's bitter cold here up north. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

BENCH AND BAR MIXER THURSDAY NIGHT

Two words: Don't go! 

Democrats don't break bread with Libertarians. Republicans don't talk to anyone with more than a grade school education. Dogs don't hang out with cats, and you don't tug on superman's cape and you don't spit into the wind. 

There are a myriad of dangers in lawyers mixing with the unwashed, uncouth, hoi polloi. And we are not speaking of bondsmen or clients. 

But our readers have a long history of not listening to our advice. Did five of our smartest readers listen to us last week and not pick the Colts over the Fins in the survivor pool? Nope- and they lost (but so did everyone else, so the game continues.) 

True, Justices Scalia and Ginsberg were opera buffs, attending together. Nixon did go to China. Ali once loaned money to Joe Frazier. Patton shook hands with a Russian General in Germany. And one time in the last year it is rumored that Senator Graham held open the door for Senator Booker. 
So if you must:
As your mother might say: Be careful. Don't talk to strangers or people soliciting unwarranted comments about how funny, smart, endearing, charming, dedicated, and decent they are. Stay in groups. Don't get picked off alone like the limping Zebra surrounded by a herd of Hyenas, salivating at the easy kill. Be ware of charming smiles and sweaty handshakes slurping free booze and stuffing cocktail franks and mini-quiches  into their purses or pockets. Keep your Amex Black firmly in your wallet, lest wandering and envious eyes cast lecherous glances about your success. 

But be decent. You will offend if you talk about legal intricacies, something other attendees likely have no interest in. "Some weather we are having" is usually enough. But double over in pain and feign a kidney-stone if after some harrumphing, a comment like "You know 2020 is an election year" is made.  Avoid discussions where you hear the words "committee" and "fundraiser" at all costs. 

Impeachment might make some people queasy. Removal or resignation will cause fear, and the letters JQC may cause an outright panic in some circles. So speak with circumspection. A suddenly urgent text is an easy way to beg off from being buttonholed and given the Lyndon Johnson treatment about "when I was a lawyer I tried this case and during cross examination...wah wah wah wah wah" (like the way adults speak in the Charlie Brown cartoons). 


Don't let this happen to you!
Of course we will not attend. We do not like crowds. We sip superior wines in quiet retrospection by a video of a fireplace  after a day fighting for truth and justice. 

But if you must go, after all of the above warnings- then have fun- although for the life of us, we do not see how that is remotely possible. 

If the above doesn't vault us back to the top of the FACDL's hit list (your local FACDL is sponsoring this soiree) nothing will. The others we have made oblique reference to do not have a hit list. They are by law "fair and impartial" right? RIGHT? 


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

LOBSTER MEN & a DEER; SURVIVIOR FOOTBALL CRISIS

Everyone lost this past weekend in our award winning survivor pool. What to do?  Petitions have been filed. We've been threatened with a writ of prohibition to the 3rd DCA as well as a writ of Mandamus if we refuse to act. 
Not one to back down in the face of a legal threat, a Google search of the issue ("what if everyone loses in a survivor pool in a week?") generally yields the result that the losers from that week are admitted back in and the game goes on. 
Although five of seven members didn't listen to our advice and foolishly chose the Colts over the hottest team in the NFL: OUR MIAMI DOLPHINS, and at great personal sacrifice because we truly have better things to do... the survivor pool continues...BUT Mr. Markus and Mr. Gonzalez LOSE their hard earned week pass because they were foolish enough not to use it. 
DONE AND ORDERED, on this the 12th day of November, 2019, in Miami-Dade, Florida. 
S/ Horace Rumpole, Esq., Blog Proprietor and Survivor Pool Commissioner. 


Now on to a good story. 
Commercial Fisherman are a hard lot. Lobster-men in Maine have seen it all, ayup. They earn their living on the seas, taking from the ocean, and giving back, working in the most dangerous job in the US: Commercial Fisherman. 
Thus the heartwarming story,  recounted in the Bangor Daily News (which we peruse every day along with the Journal, Times -NY & London, and of course Le  Monde) when Ren Dorr and his crew saw a young deer FIVE MILES off the coast of Maine, floundering. The hardened fishermen saved the young deer a and took him back to shore, where the deer begged off sharing a few Narragansetts' to discuss the incident, and happily  hopped away. 

Deer in the Ocean 




Deer Onboard 

Monday, November 11, 2019

11th Hour 11th Day 11th Month

We run this every year. It's important. 

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
beneath the crosses row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly;
Scarce heard amid the guns below,
We are dead. 
Short days ago, we lived, felt dawn glow;
Loved and were loved 
and now we lie
In Flanders Fields. 
If Ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders Fields.
John McCrae
WWI Solider who died on the front in France of pneumonia in 1918.




While you're at it click here and read Judge Jon Schlessinger's moving tribute to his Uncle Edward Kielich, who was buried with full honours at Arlington Cemetery. 



They’ve seen things we could never imagine.

They’ve done things people were not meant to do.

They risked their lives so we can live in freedom.

They are our veterans and today we honor them.


101 Years ago today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the guns of the great war fell silent.

Our Boys, The Doughboys, lie at rest in places with names like Flanders, Bony, and Belleau. They died on battlefields named Marne, Somme, and Verdun. Almost 5 Million Americans were in uniform for World War I, and over 100,000 died, and more than half of those deaths were on the battlefield.

It was the first time American boys would be asked to save Europe. It would not be the last.

Our nation has answered the call time and time again. Mostly for the right reasons, but not always. Yet we’ve always answered the call. And the price has always been high. Our young men and now our young women lie in battlefield graveyards all over the world, never to grow older, never to see the results of their sacrifice. Sacrifice given with the full assurance that their country would never let them down and would never forget. Sacrifice that Abraham Lincoln called "The last full measure of devotion."

Today we remember. And at 11 am, stop for a moment and take two minutes and reflect on the good things in your life. Think of your home, or your children, or your parents, or the freedoms you enjoy, and your comforts and remember none of that would have been possible without them.

Thank you. It doesn't seem enough, but Thank You, each and every one of you.