Sunday, May 10, 2020



The Mount Rushmore game is simple. As most of our non-robed readers know, Mount Rushmore has four American Presidents enshrined. The Mount Rushmore game is simple- pick four- and only four- of the greatest  in any particular category. Give us your picks in the comments section and we will post some. 

1) It starts with Judge Ed Cowart. He has to be first. 
2) Has to be Alan Schwartz on the 3rd DCA. He cast a long legal shadow on this town and this state for over forty years. 
3) Jose Gonzalez. Jr., SDFla. Could have been former Chief Judge Ned Davis, but Judge Gonzalez is a personal favourite. It's hard to explain how great he was, but he was. He would listen to arguments, lean back for a moment, close his eyes and then rule, and almost never missed the mark. He was decent, kind, funny, and dedicated to the law. 
We are at a loss for the last one, but open to suggestions. We are leaning toward another favourite- Federico Moreno. Mattie Bell-Davis as Miami's first female Judge has to get some consideration, as does Fast Gerry Klein for sheer longevity. Meek Robinette (who has the best first name of any Miami Judge) does not get consideration despite his memorable line and holding at bond hearings every day:  "unless ah sahy otherwhaise, Ah fahind probable cause...

1) Don Shula.
2) Bob Griese- brought the first two championships to Miami. 
3) Now it gets tough but Dan Marino gets the nod here despite not winning a championship. 
4) The fourth spot is very hard. Miami Heat should be represented and that is Dwayne Wade. But what about the Hurricanes and Coach Howard Schnellenberger? And a Miami Marlin? Jeff Conine? And a Miami Panther?  We think our pick is Coach Schnellenberger- he brought UM football back and is responsible for the decades of success after he led the Canes to a national title over the feared Cornhuskers in 1984. It was the first of what was to become 5 national championships for the Canes and very simply if there was  no Coach Schnellenberger then there would be no Championships for the Canes in the following years  because that first one allowed Miami to recruit the players needed for the others. 

1) Lincoln. Saved the Union while enduring unendurable tragedy- personal and national.
2) FDR. Won WWII. 
3) Teddy Roosevelt The most fascinating and energetic man who has ever lived in the White House.
4) This is where it gets hard. Washington gets the nod because we do not have a democracy without him. But you could make a case for Reagan (ending the cold war, restoring American pride, bringing down the Berlin Wall) or Lyndon Johnson (civil rights act, great society, but the Vietnam war is a big negative). 

This is very hard because if you go with some of the greatest American Novels, like to Kill A Mockingbird, you run into the issue that it was Harper Lee's only book. Similar criticism for J.D. Salinger, except he probably wrote dozens of books while is self-imposed exile and just didn't publish them. Lee and Salinger don't make the list because they didn't write a lot (or publish a lot) and this is about great American Writers, not novels. Sinclair Lewis wrote the great American Novel, indeed he may have invented the category, but he was not a great writer. 

1. John Steinbeck. The best. Period. Grapes of Wrath. Of Mice and Men. Devoted to his craft, and has a depth and breadth of writing that no writer matches. 
2. We do not personally care for his writing other than The Old Man And the Sea,  but Hemmingway gets the nod here. 
3. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Wrote too little and died too soon, but what he wrote  makes his inclusion mandatory. 
4. Stephen King- very controversial pick here, but he gets out vote for longevity, productivity,  and some wonderful writing that is not often attributed to the  King horror genre that he no longer should be pigeonholed into. For example, The Long Walk is a great novella and something our readers should read on a rainy Sunday. 

1. Roy Black. Put the Miami criminal defense bar on the map. 
2. Richard Sharpstein. Fearless and immensely talented. 
3. Joel Hirschorn. "Diamond Joel" is still trying cases better than just about anybody. 
4. Not going here- you pick it. But for sheer toughness, bravery, and his winning record, you couldn't find much better these days than everyone's favourite federal blogger (other than Rumpole, but we cannot vote for our self).  

No, The Goonies won't make the list, so do not even try. We could make a great case for one of our all time favouties - Car Wash, but we won't waste the space here. We also will not include Titanic because popularity does not a great movie make. 

1. Casablanca. Simple story superbly told with great actors. Does not get any better than this. 
2. Star Wars. Changed the world of movie making and has had a lasting influence over forty years later. 
3. Double Indemnity. One film noir needs to be on this list, and this is our favourite. 
4. Once again a fourth choice automatically forecloses all other possibilities. But we press on and close our eyes and select....
The Godfather. Yes we know we did not include Citizen Kane, but in all honesty, we do not see the greatness in that movie, while the Godfather endures in so many ways. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" (yes, its GFII, but still great advice). "They shot Sonny on the Causeway", "It's strictly business",  and perhaps the greatest line in the history of cinema- "Leave the gun...take the cannolis." 

It's a fun game so have at it. Lots of rain in store for Miami this next week so stay dry. Maybe do something different and try staying at home this week for a change. 

UPDATE: MUSICIANS: Suggested by a reader, we go with her/his picks:

1. Bob Marley
2. Bob Dylan
3. Prince
4. The Boss. 

Interesting that the topic was not "singers" because that makes things different and we would have to replace one of the picks with Sinatra. But the reader chose Musicians and we cannot disagree with the picks. Prince was a genius beyond what most people realize and he belongs on that list. Maybe Dylan is the weak choice. Bruce plays guitar and is the true poet of rock: 
You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain for a savior to rise from these streets...

Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band, Thunder Road. 

Pure poetry. 

Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain
Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band, Jungle land. 

It just doesn't ever get any better than that. Ever. 


Anonymous said...

Judges- Gelber (Roy), Davis (Phil) Harvey something or other, and the other Miami Courtbroom judges. Brought more fame and infamy to Miami then any other bunch of judges.

Anonymous said...

MY FOUR JUDGES. 1. the late GREAT ED COWART 2. Lady Ellen( Schwartz was obnoxious and overrated. Died lonely and unloved at the palace) 3. Judge Hanzman 4. Judge Joel Eaton. Top FOUR ATTORNEYS. 1. Roy2. Jack Denaro 3. Ed O'Donnell 4. Ed Shohat. ( I would put the trialmaster in the top 4 as he beat Sharpy when he was a ASA and was better in trial then "Diamond Joel". TOP 4 CORRUPT JUDGES 1. Harvey Scheinberg 2. Gelber3. Davis 4. Lady Ellen.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. The JUDGE who put Miami on the map was Judge Ellen Morphonios.

She was on 60 Minutes being admired for her tough sentences. She was a machine gun shooting former beauty queen who was old school Miami. If you had the cash, your bond was reasonable. If you were a poor unconnected thug, you got a thousand years.

Corrupt as hell. Probably the ringleader of the Dirty judges. She was investigated by the feds and they forced her to resign in disgrace.

She had balls. Don’t fuck with her. Maximum Morphonios was her book. Should have rotted in prison for what she did to Judge Phil Davis. Taught him how to be corrupt - and let him sink.

Anonymous said...

Alas, how soon we forget. The greatest Miami judges ever are

1. Gerald Wetherington - no one could treat a defendant with greater dignity while sentencing him
2. William Hoeveler - prior restraint on CNN to protect trial of Noriega upheld
3. Fredericka Smith - simply the calmest and best
4. Daniel Pearson - criminal defense attorney turned greatest judge

And space should be carved for

5. Leonard Rivkin

Anonymous said...

I read that the Justice Building now has a thermal scanner to check the temperature of those entering. Is that true?

fake alex michaels said...

Where is everybody? I go avay on short vacation Romania and I come back and court is closed? Vat da fuck? People saying stay avay and distance? And vat is dis zoom? I don't Zoom. Vonce I try case in Naples and Judge say ve have electronic reporting and I yell at Judge "you bugging me" and ve get into fight and I get bar complaint and its long story. But I don't do electronic hearing vhere state can bug me and listen to vhat I say to client.
I vant to go to court and argue my case and I don't wear mask. They try and put my clients in prison for veering masks and now all of dee sudden veering masks is a good ting? Dey going to let all people who wore masks and now in prison out and give dem revards for being safe? Or vee only vant white rich people wearing masks and vee still put poor black guys in prison for masks?

I don like dees
Dis is Bulsheeeeeet.

Rumpole said...

232 I cannot disagree with your choices But I do disagree with Honorable mention to Rivkind. Not my cup of judicial tea.

Anonymous said...


Presidents: I like the 4 there already!

Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Prince, Bruce Springsteen.

Anonymous said...

Boy do I disagree about Alan Schwartz. He was a mean and nasty man who loved to push people around. He was also a very smart judge who wrote some really great opinions but, when he made the joke about my client who died of AIDS, he lost me forever.

Now you know why the 3rd DCA has a video system for oral arguments.

Rumpole said...

I put the musicians up on the front. Well done.

Anonymous said...


1. William Hoeveler- so majestic
2. Elijah Williams- so passionate
3. Ronald Rothschild- so evenly keeled
4. Mark Walker- so gutsy


1. Don Shula
2. Dan Marino
3. Dwayne Wade
4. Ron Fraser


1. George Washington
2. Abe Lincoln
3. FDR
4. Teddy Roosevelt


1. Stephen King- nobody can touch his achievements. His body of work is practically
2. Edgar Allen Poe
3. William Faulkner
4. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


1. The Godfather-remarkable character development
2. To Kill a Mockingbird-
3. The Wizard of Oz-so incredible was the sense of awe and emotion that many years later is still an annual event
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey- A Kubrick film must be on here. This was such a daring, artistic
intellectual and challenging film


1. Miles Davis-father of modern music
2. Elvis Presley- father of showmanship
3. Bob Dylan- father of lyrics and placing pop music on the same level as literature or
4. James Brown- originator of going against the grain. Also, so much rhythmic and dance
music is tied in to his catalog


This is problematic; with big fees come significant resources where there is a definitive correlation to the results attained. Therefore, some of the big dogs are great lawyers yet how can they not be with the tools they have at hand? There are a lot of excellent lawyers that make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t. Yes, some of my position is driven my envy but a good lawyer should have a lot of pride

Anonymous said...


1. jay Hogan;
2. JoseQuinon;
3. Roy Black;
4. Richard Sharpstein

Anonymous said...


1. Miles Davis
2. Bob Dylan
3. Jerry Garcia
4. Stephen Malkmus

Anonymous said...


1. Joyce
2. Pynchon
2. David Mitchell
3. Zadie Smith

Anonymous said...

Nice move on Double Indemnity. The perfect movie for the Miami ethos and dire warning for all of those rich old farts looking to marry a younger women. Honorable mention in this sub-category goes to Body Heat.

Anonymous said...

This one is easy:

Best 3 Judges ever -
1. Judge Michael Hanzman (if you have ever read one of his orders, you would say he belongs on the Supreme Court. His demeanor is amazing in court as he has read every word of your motion and he narrows down the issues. He is spot on with his rulings. In my almost 40 years of being a trial lawyer, I’ve not seen anything like it.).

2. Can’t think of anyone else ... but Judge Bob Scola and Judge Fred Moreno are damn good.

Anonymous said...

1) William Hoeveler
2) Rosemary Barkett
3) Phillip Hubbart
4) Daniel Pearson

My honorable mention goes to Alan Gold.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me. Ellen Morphonios corrupt? No way. She was tough on crime and would not tolerate bribery or corruption. She turned Shenberg, Gelber, Sepe, Gale and Davis in to authorities when she realized they were dirty Judges.

She was Deep Throat.

Phil Maniatty said...

Miami Criminal Defense Attorneys: Harvey St. Jean deserves a place in your rankings.
Movies: The Maltese Falcon.
Musicians: Nat "King" Cole. He was a highly regarded jazz pianist before pursuing a career as a vocalist.

Anonymous said...

No way Sy Gaer is not on the top 4. Created an entire mode of representation that has been much imitated never duplicated. Being good is not about generating press it’s about keeping people from being eaten by the machine. Very few related to a Miami jury like him.

I would also give a nod to Kevin Hellman. Someone who has dedicated their life to the PDs office and is a excellent trial lawyer but also has trained and shaped hundreds of excellent trial lawyers...that is what makes the Miami defense bar special is we believe in this shit, and we are taught to rather than taught out of it like they are in many places.

Anonymous said...

Please take Ronald Reagan off Mount Rushmore. Put him on Mount Alzheimer with our other mentally defective Presidents--Donald Trump, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce.

Anonymous said...

7:46 am: great comment!

Anonymous said...

Like you, I couldn't think of a single female writer to equal Stephen King (Edith Wharton, Toni Morrison, Joan Didion, Marilynne Robinson, Edwige Danticat...), or a single female judge to equal Jose Gonzalez (Frederica Smith, Melvia Green, Nushin Sayfie, Mary Jo Francis, Louise Kreeger Martin...) or a single female trial lawyer to equal Joel Hirschhorn (Susan Bozorgi, Liesbeth Boots, Jeanne Baker, Margot Moss, Jane Weintraub...) or a single female musician to equal Bob Marley (Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Carly Simon, Billie Holiday, Carole King, Nina Simone, Etta James, Tina Turner...).

On behalf of all the women who read your blog (and those men with wives, daughters, mothers, aunts, nieces, grandmothers, granddaughters, sisters), I would like to thank you for your honorable mentions of one female judge ("Mattie Bell-Davis as Miami's first female Judge has to get some consideration") and one female writer.

Well-done Mr. Rumpole, well-done indeed.

Anonymous said...

What about a much more interesting rushmore.....which four contemporary judges would have a chance of breaking into your judge rushmore some day? I say Hanzman, De la O, Bailey, Thornton. What say you rumpole?

Anonymous said...

Bob Griese?? The guy wasn’t even the starting quarterback for most of 1972 including the Super Bowl. Quarterback in franchise history. The easy three are Shula, Wade, Marino.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so enamored of Hanzman? I can appreciate that he was better on the Criminal bench than most who have been elevated and sit there these days, but he is horrible in Civil Division, wrong on the law and with a horrible demeanor.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to add a few considerations to your lists:

Best criminal attorney = Manuel Alvarez, Edith Georgi, Art Koch
Best Musicians/Band = Queen, David Bowie
Best Judges = Rudy Sorrondo, Diane Ward

Best Actors = Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Gregory Peck

Anonymous said...

Shelby Highsmith.
Ned Davis.
C. Clyde
The Hanz

Anonymous said...

Top 4 bands.1. Mamas and Papas 2. The association 3. Righteous brothers 4. Beach Boys

the trialmaster said...

Griese should be in there. Won superbowl in 72 came off bench and won again in 73. A Dolphin lifer.

Anonymous said...

I would replace Bob Dylan with John Lennnon.
Dylan is a master artist, no doubt, but I've always thought of him more as a spectacular poet who added some music to his poetry as opposed to being a true 'musician'

Anonymous said...

Young PDs Rushmore: Damaris del Valle, Julia Seifer, John Sullivan, Dan Parker (honorable mentions: Yanelis Zamora and Fan Li)

Anonymous said...

Alan Schwartz was not a good judge. He was an average writer. He was also a BULLY. It is okay to be tough as a Judge but to be a BULLY is unacceptable. If he was a Judge now and alive he would definitely be subject to JQC complaints for his unprofessional and aggressive demeanor and poor temperament.

Anonymous said...


Seth Sklarey said...

Criminal defense attorneys
1. Phil Carleton
2 Harry Prebish
3. Sy Gaer
4. Henry Carr who on a misdemeanor prostitution case could regale the jury with a one hour treatise on the history of prostitution fron Mary Magdeline to the gates of Rome, to Civil War General Hooker to the New Orleans ladies of Storyville who had featherbeds strapped to their backs to be instantly available for business.

Seth Sklarey said...

1 George Schultz who after the 8th hour of summation in the Candace Mossler murder trial admonished her defense lawyer Percy Foreman "You have an excellent train of thought, but you seem to be lacking in terminal facilited."
2. J. Fritz Gordon who became a judge after representing Al Capone, and who sent the Sheriff after jurors who shirked jury duty.
3. Carling Steadman, who got even with the Herald for getting him defeated at the polls by withholding adjudication of Hialeah Mayor for life Henry Milander thereby allowing him to go back to reelection victory.
4. 300 pound Judge Pat Cannon who famously said to the two attorneys appearing before him " You both contributed equal amounts to my campaign so I guess I have to try this case on its merits.

earl rogers said...

Seth--Henry Carr must have borrowed his argument from Temple Houston's "Soiled Dove Plea." He either had a great grasp of the history of American legal rhetoric or watched the (really) old T.V. show.