Sunday, May 31, 2020


The Americans: There are times when all that is needed to settle us is a quick review of Gordon Sinclair and his classic: The Americans (A Canadian's Opinion). Do yourself a favor and watch it. 
This was a June, 1973 editorial that Mr. Sinclair, a well known Canadian commentator of the day wrote. It was set to music and he recorded it and it received a lot of air play in its time. In many ways, it is still relevant today. There is a measure of pride in hearing our country praised for a century of help to other countries of the world. We are a good people. We do put our scandals on our front pages for the world to see. From our pain and suffering will come growth and renewed spirit and strength. We returned to space this weekend- it was a private American company, displaying the entrepreneurial spirit that makes our country great that did it. God Bless America. 

UPDATE # 3 : Sunday 10:30 PM. Things are quiet in Miami. Violent protests continue in other cities such as NYC. 

UPDATE#2: In a direct threat to the livelihood of FACDL members, the Miami protestors have  marched to  FDC where they are chanting "shut it down!" Personally, we prefer the "no justice-no peace chant." We have plans to dine again at 11 Madison Park, and for that we need clients. 

UPDATE: SUNDAY 4:30 pm: a large group of protestors are in downtown Miami marching towards the City of Miami Police Department (Motto: "How many cops does it take to throw a protestor down a flight of stairs? None. He fell..." ). There is a sundown curfew in the City. 

FACDL has a volunteer hotline: 786-759-0992- where protestors who need legal representation can call and be put in touch with an attorney who will represent them for free.  (We didn't read this on the listserv- that would be a violation of SALTII. We received emails from members about it).

Where is the State Attorney? 

Yesterday, as peaceful protests in Miami turned violent, Ace Miami Herald Reporter David Ovalle was at ground zero and tweeted that "Miami is in Chaos" as the protests turned violent. 

Melba Pearson, running for State Attorney tweeted this: "If you are in #MIAMIPROTEST and arrested for NON VIOLENT actions, DM me and I'll connect you with attys to represent you Pro Bono. If you are law enforcement I strongly encourage the use of civil citations instead of arrests as we are in Covid-19 crisis." 

In Coral Gables, Police Officer knelt with protestors and prayed. 

And our State Attorney? This was her last message on social media: "Ditto. Felicidades"- which was three days ago when she retweeted someone else wishing Senator Marco Rubio (R, Bewildered) happy birthday.

Does she know Miami, like in 1980 (McDuffie), 1982 (Police shooting in video arcade in Overtown)  and 1989 (Officer Lozano acquittal) is burning again?  Maybe not. This is how we imagine (satire- protected speech, can't be prosecuted, no minimum mandatories apply) a meeting between her and her Chief Honcho Don Horn:

KR: I got an email from a victim. Some law furniture was stolen and we placed the offender on probation and they wanted five years prison.
DH: I check on it and chastise the prosecutor. 
KR: Other problems?
DH: Well, have you seen that on the streets...
KR: Hang on. There was that manslaughter case we lost on self defense. Why didn't they death qualify the jury?
DH: It wasn't first degree murder. We cannot seek the death penalty for  crimes other than first degree murder.
KR: Well that should be brought up in Tallahassee next month. What about minimum mandatories?  Are they up? Remember our Motto: "A minimum mandatory a day makes the State Attorney Say: "I am happy and that is the way to prosecute crimes every day'." Are we saying that every day in assembly?
DH: We don't have assembly. There is this problem with the streets...
KR: We should have assembly. I thought the assembly task force recommended assembly. Can I see that report?
DH: Yes but there is rioting because of Minnesota and...
KR: It was Marco Rubio's birthday last week. Did he get my box? I ordered that fruit box where they make decorations with fruit. Can we tweet a picture of that out please? Oh look at the time, I have the Victim's task force meeting, then the police officers as victims task force meeting, then the judges need to listen more to victims task force meeting with judges, and finally the victims rally task force meeting where we are discussing the link between increased prison sentences for first time marijuana possession and a decrease in property crime. Gotta run....

In May and June 1980, after the acquittal of four Miami Police Officers who killed Arthur McDuffie, we walked into the Justice Building (as it was called at the time) as armed national guard troops stood outside. Miami Burned (see the amazing post with Roy Black and Abe Laeser here).  If you do nothing else today, read that post written mostly by Messrs. Laeser and Black. 

Three people were killed in a riot outside of the Justice Building after the verdict. The next day twelve more people died in rioting in Liberty City and Overtown. Police did not enter the area because of snipper fire. But we had a State Attorney-Janet Reno-  and Civic Leaders who acted. They went into the community and talked to people. 
A significant number of businesses were looted in Overtown and Liberty City and never returned. Old time Justice Building denizens will remember that "Wally the Bailiff" (Wally Leahy, who has since passed away) owned a butcher shop in downtown Miami that was looted and burned. He never reopened the business. His story was one of many at that time. 

Now we are in a time of crisis that is expanding. As the virus crisis started the State Attorney tweeted that her office would be open for  "business as usual". There were disturbing reports early on that staff workers were told they would have to use vacation and sick leave if they did not come into work. That of course changed when events overtook the nearsightedness of both the State Attorney and the Judicial administration (and the President) and the virus showed that it did not care what people did. It was going to kill indiscriminately, and it did. 

The riots across the United States are ostensibly because of the murder of George Lloyd. But if you think the economic pain, frustration and fear caused by this virus is not also fueling the social unrest, then you are clueless: business as usual. 

It would be nice to see the State Attorney lead. To have her appear at bond hearings and authorize the release of peaceful protestors and seek full prosecution of agent provocateurs - looters taking advantage of the protests.  

It would be nice to have a State Attorney who could lead and not follow. 


President Donald Trump said...

OMG the callousness of her tweet compared with Ovalle's is devastating. How could she be dso deaf?

Kathy State Attorney Rundle said...

From Kathy Rundle
To Don Horn DHyesboss@miamisao.com
RE: The Blog
There is a post about the office on the blog today. Check it out. Insulting the state attorney is in fact a crime and there are minimum mandatories that apply.


This is top priority. Stop the revisions of the misdemeanor enhancement code requiring prison and get right on this.

Also take down that damn tweet about Rubio!!! Put up something profound like "Our thoughts and prayers are with The family of George whatever his name is and we urge people to protest peacefully"

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, you have no idea how close to home your barbs at KFR have hit. I am literally writing this on a computer in a commercial store that rents internet access. That is how worried I am about the SAO tracing this comment. They have always said being on the blog at work is an offense that can result in our dismissal as well as posting even at home about SAO policy.

First, you have no idea how out of touch KFR really is.
Second- this post is going to make her nuts. She cannot stand being made fun of. The reference to Reno is a total NO NO in her presence. That always makes her crazy.
She spends her days and evenings just like you said-pandering to victim's groups. The reference to Horn chastising a young prosecutor for putting someone on probation for a property crime first offense after the victim complains is more true than you will ever know.

Third. They are a vengeful bunch. They think they know who you are and they are going to come after you for doing this a few months before the election. You need to protect yourself. I am serious. I could see police officers harassing you at their request. This is much more serious than you realize. She feels her job is threatened and that is a serious serious issue at the office. She doesn't want to address the protestors because she feels anything she says will potentially alienate a voter group.

But keep up the pressure. Deep throat would say follow the money. I am saying "follow the silence". It speaks volumes.


Anonymous said...

Never was much impressed with Mr. Horn. The trialmaster took him down in a lock case for the State with a Not Guilty. As for KFR, her wishing "Little Marco" a happy birthday is just plain disgusting. Even after the Orange Orangutan covered him with insults, Little Marco, like Lying Ted and others now kiss his orange ass. I do not know the attorney running against KFR but will probably vote for her. Judge Milan should have been SAO and it would be in much better shape.

Anonymous said...

Sunday afternoon Miami Mayor Suarez giving a press conference, City of Miami Police chief present.


Anonymous said...

This is how we can beat her:


make it trend.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, you forgot the "victim want the max" task force; the "if we don't use it we don't have to turn it over in discovery" task force; the "conviction review there are no wrongful convictions in Miami" task force; the "victims really really want the max" task force; the "increased penalties for losing at trial is not a trial tax" task force; and finally, the "enact more minimum mandatories" task force.

#wherewaskathy? said...


has a better ring.

Where was Kathy when Miami was burning?

Where was Kathy when the city was shutting down and she wanted everyone to come to work?


Anonymous said...

There are massive protests in downtown Miami Sunday afternoon? #Whereiskathy?

Anonymous said...

I'm good with not hearing from her. Her and her office policy of not prosecuting corrupt cops has led to this. DA's and SA's offices across the country have contributed to the police routinely violating rights, being bullies, and committing crimes - which understandably devolved into a system of distrust. The murder of George Floyd is the match which lit the powder keg. Besides, whatever she says would just be a political stunt to try to win the election.

Anonymous said...

I will vote for Melba Pearson. Kathy is a horrible state attorney, but a wonderful suck up.
We need someone who will actually do the job. #whereisKathy?

Anonymous said...

Melba stop posting the ant-KFR stuff. So obvious.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am an ASA who wrote one comment. Not the 2:16 one-which rings very true and real to me. And I have nothing to do with KFR's opponent. You try working in a place where when you do something good and decent and fair you are roasted over the coals and investigations are opened on you and your personnel file is marked up with negative comments by a legion of supervisors and supervisors supervisors and supervisors supervisors supervisors who all have one goal- to protect their ass.
The morale is low.
Last week I watched a Clint Eastwood movie- Heartbreak ridge. Eastwood is a Marine Gunney Sgt who trains his Marines to improvise and adapt. I kept thinking that is the type of thinking we need at the SAO. The ability to improvise and adapt and not read from a manual that basically says :"If the defense wants it-object. If it is not the MAX, don't offer it and if the judge does-Object. Don't take risks. Don't think on your feet. Don't innovate. Don't develop your own style. Be a wind up automaton who can only do one thing and cannot survey the moving landscape of any particular case and react accordingly.

You know what I am? I am the car salesman who continually has to go to the back and check with his manager before agreeing not to charge for the undercoating and floor mats. That is what I am and it sucks.

Anonymous said...

10:46 PM: ASA's learn early on how to explain to victims that they often won't get the "max" punishment for their cases. The Dade SAO is the most lenient prosecutor's office in Florida.
If you feel like a car salesman who keeps having to check with his manager, maybe its because you are not very good at your job. If you are so miserable at the SAO, then quit.

Sir Wilfred said...



Anonymous said...

I'm a defense attorney and I'm voting for Kathy. Name a better SAO in the state.

Anonymous said...

Working at the Miami SAO sucks. It is soul crushing, unappreciated work for which you are paid a non-living wage.

ASAs with less than 3 years on the job...Honest question. How many of you can afford to go out to dinner on the last day of the month?

It should be noble work, but the structure of the office, putting the most incompetent in management positions scrutinizing the move of the men and women who actually do the labor and the court rooms, is highly discouraging. I worked there over a decade ago and couldn’t get out fast enough. It’s great experience and you should get the job, Rob that place of all the information you can get, and then go get paid in the private sector.

The Miami SAO is not set up to be a career office like many SA/DA offices nationwide. You hear about some of these offices paying first year prosecutors $70,000 or more, because they understand that career prosecutors are needed for the most serious cases. And people need to be financially stable in order to make a career out of public service.

The irony is that if Miami SAO paid a decent wage and set their office up in such a position where division prosecutors had more discretion and “victim wants the Max” wasn’t the mantra, A LOT would stay for their careers.

The senior trial counsel will not be there forever. So who handles the most sensitive media cases? Who’s the next Abbe Rifkin or Gail Levine?

Having a successful office that can do the work of keeping the community safe is not built by making sure some 65-year-old drug addict gets 10 years in prison for stealing a lawnmower from an open garage.

It’s creating an environment in which prosecutors can learn and grow and stay there for decades, and be able to probably represent the people of their community by putting away the most dangerous offenders.

SAO leadership falls short of this task.

Anonymous said...

Whadda we want? DINNER
Where do we want is? AT THE REN (A venue)
No Justice, no kobe beef sliders, no peace.

ASA ESQ said...

Meeting at SAO today Rump- they are on the warpath. Buckle down in your bunker if you have one. They are a coming for you mi amigo.

Anonymous said...

So many whiny ass defense attys ...are you folks serious with your criticism of the Miami SAO's plea offers?? Have you ever been to another county? State? Good lord u fools are short-sighted. I'm a 20 year Miami defense atty and I'll be voting for KFR.