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

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

JOHNNY K TELLS NUTS THEY ARE NUTS

Before he was circuit Judge John Kastrenakes, and before he was a superstar federal prosecutor, Judge Kastrenakes was ASA John Kastrenakas and sometimes called Johnny K. His list of accomplishments and cases is impressive. Just ask Joyce Cohen, who hired hitmen to kill her husband Stanley, in a famous Miami-Coconut Grove-Steam Boat Springs-1980's murder case. She's doing life with a 25min man. Alan Ross for the defense. 

Now Judge K sits in WPB, and the city passed a mask ordinance. People must wear masks in public to stop the spread of the virus. It's controversial in the US where we just passed 150,000 deaths. It's not controversial in Vietnam which has 95 million people, (one third of the US population) and ZERO DEATHS. (And btw Vietnam has had a TOTAL of 450 confirmed cases which is 5% of the daily Florida total. DeSantis would kill for 450 cases a day, but instead he's killing Floridians with 10,000+ cases a day. Again- Florida- no masks- 10,000+ cases a day. Vietnam-masks- 450 total cases since January 2020. From mid April to July 27 Vietnam had NO new cases of covid-19. But what do they know? Buncha commies who ain't got the american fighten learnin spirit that allows us to drive pickup trucks and spit where ever we wanna. )

Anyway a group of gadflies who are just nuts sought an emergency injunction based on the Constitutional  right to privacy to not wear a mask. (See  Griswold v. Connecticut and the penumbra of the bill of rights. Justice Douglas found the right, which otherwise doesn't exist in writing, by using some special optical tools which allowed him to view the penumbra emanating from the Bill of Rights, which upon using his special optical glasses, included a "zone of marital privacy". Who knew?  Stewart's dissent is the best reasoned opinion in this horribly decided case).  

Judge K slapped them down, dare we say Miami-Style? 
No blue-blood Palm Beach beating around the bush legal reasoning here :  "[W]e do not have a constitutional right to infect others."



INVASION AND CONDITIONS OF BOND

UPDATE: Kate Brown, the Governor of Oregon announced that the Federal Government is withdrawing armed forces from Portland on the condition Oregon State law enforcement protect federal property.  
It's beyond bizarre that in 2020 we are reporting something like this. All we can think of is a headline circa 1972-73: US to withdraw troops from South Vietnam on condition South Vietnamese oppose the North. 

Item: Protestors arrested in Portland who appear before federal magistrates for bond are being ordered, as a condition of release, not to attend any public protests:
“Defendant may not attend any other protests, rallies, assemblies or public gathering in the state of Oregon,” states one “Order Setting Conditions of Release”

So much for the sanctity and respect we have for our federal courts.  Like so much else these days, that is going out the door. 

The first shots of the Civil War began when members of the Army of the Confederate States fired upon Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861. Americans fired upon Americans. A tragedy had begun. In July 21, 1861 first battle of the Civil War took place at Manassas, Virginia. Southern General Thomas Jonathan Jackson received his nickname Stonewall as his troops routed a superior federal force. As Jackson moved his troops to stop a federal attack, one of his generals shouted "Look Boys, there's Jackson standing like a Stonewall!"

In September 1957, President Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent 1000 members of the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock to desegregate Central Highschool in the wake of the Brown v Board of Ed decision. (Eisenhower had a fondness for the airborne. They led the way into Normandy on D-Day, and stopped the Germans cold in the Battle of the Bulge and bailed Ike out. Little Rock as just an old solider calling on a friend for help one last time).

But never in our history have we seen the disgrace of armed federal officers, US Marshals and others, invading a City in the United States of America against the wishes of the Governor of Oregon, and the Mayor of Portland. Masked men sweep American citizens off the streets into unmarked vans. Federal Magistrates trample the Constitution and suspend the right of free assembly. 

The Invasion is called OPERATION LEGEND and US Attorney General William Barr (who is taking the "General" part of his title a little too seriously) announced on Wednesday he was sending more federal agents/troops to Milwaukee, Detroit, and Cleveland. Cleveland?!! The mistake on the lake? The city whose river used to regularly catch on fire in the 1970's? Oh leave Cleveland be please. They have enough problems and heartache with the Browns. 

Every time you think it cannot get worse it does. 
A US Navy Veteran was attacked and beaten after he showed up with protestors to speak with the federal Marshals. 




A man was attacked for playing the Star Wars Imperial March of the storm troopers as federal agents rushed a crowd of protestors. 



We can only think of this:

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

SHUT IT DOWN

Judges Sayfie and Soto are wincing as they read the headline. 
"Why can't that moron leave us alone already?" or words to that effect are crossing their Judicial minds. 
Rumpole responds: SHUT IT DOWN ......Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred. 

"Ahhhh...." said Judges Sayfie and Soto. "Whew...." 

The Marlins are infected with Covid-19. One positive went to five went to thirteen in a blink of a virus eye. All the Philadelphia Phillies who the Marlins players who were positive played against are being tested. The Phillies game with the Yanks has been canceled. The Umps are in quarantine.  (say, maybe there is something good about this virus stuff....nah).  No one will enter the visiting team dugout the Marlins used at the Phillies stadium. Just call it radioactive and see us in 50 years.  The Atlanta Braves who the Marlins just played before flying to Philadelphia are shoving so many testing strips up their nasal passages that it looks like a walrus convention in the south. 

Lets examine the problems. 60 games are scheduled to be played over 67 days. There is no room or ability to fly a team to play a makeup game. The players are in close contact with each other and close contact with players on the opposite team (the catcher's mask is not exactly the type of mask needed to stop virus transmission). A wildfire spread of the virus is inevitable. Even players who are scouted as "all bat no glove" and  boot every grounder and can't catch a flyball are going to catch the virus. 

A long time ago a great law school professor taught us agency law. And he said "Agencies do agency business." Apply that to any appellate agency case and you will see that thread in the opinion. If the agency was doing agency business then its actions were affirmed. And the reverse was true as well. 
Viruses do virus business. They infect people and spread like a ,,,,uh....virus. 

The cat is out of the bag. 
This is worse than the designated hitter rule. 
One team is a virus hot house and NO ONE on that team can play anywhere anytime against anyone for two weeks. 
How now Comm Rob? Covid just went deep against one of your teams and knocked them out of the box. Are you sending another batter against this virus? (Careful readers realize we just improperly mixed baseball metaphors. But, whatever.)

The Great Baseball owner and promoter Bill Veeck, who did such outlandish promotions as bring your disco records to the game to smash, once sent a small person to bat in a major league game under the theory no pitcher would be able to get to his strike zone (which we all know is from the batter's chest to his knees).  The small person is  known to history as Eddie Gaedel or the PC incorrect Midget Gaedel. He wore the number "1/8" on his uniform. Gaedel stood 3'7" and had one at bat in the second game of a double header against the Cards. He was walked on four straight pitches. Veeck had instructed Gaedel to crouch at the plate and measured his strike zone at 1.5 inches.   Gaedel is the shortest player in the history of major league baseball and as Veeck was quoted as saying "The greatest midget player in the history of baseball" (because he was the only small person player in baseball history). 

Here's the thing. While a pitcher could not find Eddie Gaedel's strike zone. The virus would infect him as quickly as  pitcher Randy Johnson who stands a menacing 6'10" on the mound. 

Shut it down Mr. Manfred. Walk to the mound and instead of pointing to an arm (left hander or right hander from the pen) pull your finger across your throat. It's over. Covid-19- 1. MLB -0. The season is done. You may just not know it yet. 


Monday, July 27, 2020

THE PESKY FIRST AMENDMENT

Update: Does the SAO run a slush fund? See below.

Those pesky amendments keep biting the government in the butt. 

Right to bear arms? Load us up with automatic rifles so we can shoot some deer into swiss cheese while swilling beer and eating pork rinds from the Piggly Wiggly. 
Establishment Clause? Prayer in school baby for this Christian Nation. 
Right to not wear a mask during a pandemic? Amendment three or nine...it's gotta be in there some where. 

But when it comes to the right to assemble? Send in the Fed Storm Troopers (our post on the US invading Portland is coming soon!)

And that right to free speech bullcrap? Only if you say MAGA. 

So check out DOM's piece in the Hill about a federal judge being a mite out of sorts because a federal probation officer revoked the release of Michael Cohen because Cohen was   (let's play the blog multiple choice game!)

A) Dealing drugs

B) Arming the Iranians 

C) Buying oil from Venezuela

D) Writing a book about the President. 

David's post is here

The opening salvo:

Federal district judge Alvin Hellerstein was rightly outraged that a probation officer acting on behalf of the Bureau of Prisons had Michael Cohen arrested because he was writing a book about President Donald Trump and because Cohen would not agree to give up his First Amendment rights as part of his supervised release. The judge found that “the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory, and it’s retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and with others."

Also this week: The Dade County State Attorneys Office and head investigator Martin Dardis (who passed away in 2006) played an oft overlooked role in Watergate. Now comes word the SAO has their own Nixonian Slush Fund.  (Click for the WLRN Article). 
We will have all the slushy details. 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

ROSE(IE) GARDEN STRATEGY

In 1979, when challenged by Senator Ted Kennedy from the left of his party, James Earl Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States, adopted what was known as the "Rose Garden" Strategy. Carter didn't go on the campaign trail in the primaries. He stayed in the White House, acted presidential, held events in the Rose Garden covered by the media, and looked busy and presidential to potential voters in primary states. Carter beat back Kennedy's challenge in the primaries but lost the general election to Ronald Wilson Reagan, who famously, in one debate, delivered the death blow to Carter's chances by saying "There you go again" before responding in full. Game. Set. Presidency.

This past week there was an FACDL Candidates forum. We wondered in a previous post if one candidate in particular would entertain everyone will a few stanzas of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" ?
That candidate for circuit court was Rosy Aponte, and she was a NO SHOW at the FACDL forum.

Aponte has shown, to her credit, a deft hand at using the political gambits of better known politicians. When challenged about ethnicity and her use of a rather unpopular offensive term of "colored people" at a candidate event sponsored by an African-American Bar association (we know, we still cannot believe she said it there of all places) Aponte played what we called the Elizabeth Warren gambit by claiming Indian ancestry (she was not sophisticated or caring enough to use the term "Native American").

Now Aponte has adopted the Carter Rose Garden strategy by avoiding candidate forums. Call it Rosie Garden.  Maybe she had other plans this past week. Cooking for the coloreds at Camillus House comes to mind.

And maybe Aponte just realized, based on past performances,  that when she opens her mouth nothing good for her campaign happens. Which means the astute candidate learns to keep their mouth shut. Give her credit for learning. But we are left with this thought: If you cannot handle yourself in a candidate forum, how in the world are you going to handle a courtroom full of aggressive lawyers and litigants? 

Not every judge can hide in probate (apologies to the robed probate readers for that- but as we understand it, there are no trials and most decisions turn on the rule against perpetuities and interpreting cases like In Re: Cox's Estate "Cox died intestate and his executrix challenges the distribution of the pregnant sow whose value was not sufficiently determined..." ). 

In any event Judge Tunis appears to have the forums to herself. Rosie is in her garden.


Friday, July 24, 2020

JQC SPEAKS ..... JUDGE DAVID MILLER LISTENS .....


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

HERE COME THE JUDGE, HERE COME THE JUDGE ......




JUDGE DAVID MILLER AND THE JQC:

Judge David Miller, who has been on the Circuit Court bench for the past 20 years, found himself in the cross hairs of the JQC recently.  Today the JQC issued their Findings and reported them to the Florida Supreme Court for their review and determination as to whether they will accept the Recommendations.

From the FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OF DISCIPLINE: (the entire nine page Report can be found here).

“On the afternoon of January 17, 2020, Judge Miller was presiding over a lengthy tobacco-related civil trial. After resumption from an extended lunch break, the trial proceedings were interrupted continuously by loud noise from the public lobby outside of Judge Miller's courtroom. The source of the sound was a result of many people congregating and not promptly disbursing from the public lobby at the conclusion of Judge William Altfield's investiture ceremony, which had occurred in the ceremonial courtroom on the same floor.”

“Judge Miller instructed his court Bailiff to go out and try to quiet the people in the lobby. When that was unsuccessful, Judge Miller sent the Court Clerk and his Bailiff back into the lobby. That too was unsuccessful.”  “Judge Miller stepped down from the bench wearing his robe and proceeded into the lobby accompanied by his Bailiff. Several witnesses, including judges and lawyers, observed Judge Miller to be "yelling," and waving his arms at the people in the lobby while trying to get them be quiet.”

“While trying to quiet the groups of people in the lobby, Judge Miller observed one person shaking her head while looking at him. Judge Miller believed she was telling him, "no," indicating that she would not cooperate with his attempt to quiet the crowd. Responding to what he believed was contemptuous behavior, Judge Miller approached the individual and shouted, "Do not shake your head at me." Judge Miller then twice threatened the person with contempt, demanding to know, "Do you want to be held in contempt?" When the person answered that "no" she did not want to be held in contempt, Judge Miller continued to question the individual asking her name and whether she was employed in the Courthouse, before going back into his courtroom.”

“In this Stipulation Judge Miller admits that his conduct as alleged in the Notice of Formal Charges and outlined above was inappropriate, and should not have occurred.”  “Because Judge Miller's conduct, including his inappropriate threat of contempt, plainly fell below the high standard of conduct required by the Canons and this Court, the Commission finds and recommends that the interests of justice will be well served by a public reprimand of Judge Miller.”

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Thursday, July 23, 2020

OPENING DAY

We post every opening day for baseball, but there has never been one like this. 
With apologies to the Grateful Dead, what a long strange trip this is going to be. 

There is no good in what will be happening on the diamond,  other than men will be pitching a small cylindrical object that other men using a different and longer cylindrical object will try and hit. 

Let's deal with the bad. 
First and foremost, NO SPITTING ALLOWED. Playing baseball without expectorating is like Barbecuing broccoli. Every year in the minors some raw boned rookie from Oklahoma with a large chaw of tobacco stuck in his cheek swats the ball a country mile and people start dreaming about the next Mickey Mantle. Spitting is endemic to baseball. You cheat by throwing the spitball. Players chew sunflower seeds by the gazillion and spit out the seeds. Players spit chaw and they spit when they chew gum. Mark us down as a solid "NO" with the ban on spitting. 

No high-fiving.  What are the players going to do after a dinger? Fold hands and say "Namaste"? Count us out. 

No fans. There is nothing like home town fans. Standing and cheering as one  as Doc Gooden or Nolan Ryan or Bob Gibson or J.R. Richard is on the mound. The count is 3-2 and everyone knows some serious heat is coming for the third strike. Or how about this: Two on, two out, bottom of the ninth, home team down by two, winning run in the form of Dave Kingman walks to the plate. Kingman did one of two things: He struck out a lot, and when he made contact, he sent it out of the park. Fans are on their feet screaming so loud the pitcher walks off the mound, takes off his cap, and mops his head and walks a quick circle. The fans in return, scream even louder.  
A few years ago in an NL playoff game the home team fans so rattled the opposing pitcher, he balked in a run. Fans matter. Baseball is fans. No fans.....no baseball. No baseball the way it was meant to be played- on a warm summer day, with the bleachers full of fans drinking cold beer or cokes  and cracking open salted peanuts. 

We know change is inevitable. We know the dastardly Covid-19 has inexorably altered our way of life. We know this is only temporary. That a sixty game season is sacrilege- nothing more than a cup of coffee over a 162 game season when the averages (the all important averages and stats that we live for) take hold over the long haul. Lowest ERA in a season? Don't know. But we will never forget Bob Gibson's was 1.12 in 68 or that Kofax was the NL leader in lowest ERA for five straight years from 62-66- something that will never be repeated. DiMaggio had a 56 game hitting streak. Great hitters come and go, but no one has been able to hit safely in 63 straight games for well over 50 years. 

Hack Wilson had 161 RBIs for the Cubs in 31. That's the record that has stood for 89 years. It will last a 100 years - mark our words. Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx and Alex Rodriguez had 13 straight seasons with more than 100 RBIs. By comparison, the incomparable Babe Ruth had only eight straight seasons with 100 or more RBIs. 

We could go on and on. But we will end with this. 
Who gets the honor, in this strange year,  of throwing the opening pitch for the first game to open the 2020 Baseball season? Who else could it be but Dr. Anthony Fauci, in the Washington Nationals game today. 

But of course it was Fauci. Who else could it be? 
Let's play two. Enjoy the season. Better times are ahead. 

GOV. DESANTIS NAMES NEW 3RD DCA JUDGE .......


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

YOUR NEWEST 3RD DCA JUDGE IS:

JUDGE ALEXANDER SPICOLA BOKOR

Alexander Bokor is 42 years old. Judge Bokor earned his JD from the Univ. of Pennsylvania in 2002 and passed the Bar in New York in 2003. He worked with Jones, Day from 2002-2006, except for a stint as a Law Clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Merryday (Middle District Florida) from 2004-2005.  He joined Koyzak, Tropin in 2006 and was with them until 2008. He then became an Assistant County Attorney for Miami-Dade County handling cases as legal counsel for the Miami Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works, the Property Appraiser’s Office and the Tax Collector’s Office. 

In October of 2016 he was appointed to an open seat on the County Court (Jacqueline Schwartz resigned) by Governor Scott.  He ran for election to a full term on the County Court bench in 2018 and was elected unopposed. He spent 25 months in County Court before Governor Scott elevated Bokor to the Circuit Court (Stephan Millan resigned), in November of 2018. Bokor ran for election for a full term on the Circuit Court bench in 2020. Once again, he was elected unopposed.  He indicated on his Financial Disclosure form that his Net Worth was $1,442,792. 

Today, Governor DeSantis appointed Bokor to an open seat on the 3rd DCA (Judge Salter retired).  So, in less than four years, Bokor has risen from Assistant County Attorney, to County Court Judge, to Circuit Court Judge, to 3rd DCA Judge.

Bokor was appointed over nominees Judge Antonio Arzola, Judge Lisa Walsh, Kansas Gooden, Christopher Johnson, and Eduardo Sanchez.

CAPTAIN OUT …….
Captain4Justice@gmail.com



Tuesday, July 21, 2020

AIRING DIRTY LAUNDRY

Unlike other popular bloggers and news outlets (we are NOT a news outlet, although we scoop El Herald from time to time) we do not hide controversy or our dirty laundry. We hang it out for all to see. 
We received this comment. We invite further comments based on our thoughts below:

Rumpole, just say that you support Tunis and that's the reason why you attack Aponte. If you are old and wise as you claim to be, you would know that "Hispanic" is not a race but a census origin. According yo he U.S. Census Bureau "Hispanic origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before arriving in the United States. People who identify as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be any race." https://www.census.gov/topics/population/hispanic-origin.html. If you meet Aponte in person, you will see that she is of mixed race with a mix of physical characteristics of white European, red Native Caribbean (Taino/Arawak) and black African races and that her origin is Hispanic Puerto Rican. So, your attempt to smear Aponte over how she described her race at the forum and the improper use of "Hispanci" origin as a "race" in voter registration records is just stinky hot gas emanating from b.s.

Being so woke and politically-correct, perhaps, you could be better informed about Hispanic culture where "de color" (of color) is not considered an insult but the respectful and proper manner to describe black and mixed-race persons. And, by the way, she is absolutely correct about the vagaries and craziness of political correctness and the speech police.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 1:58:00 AM
 Delete

First: We have been clear- we do not think on any metric Ms. Aponte approaches the bar to be a county court judge much less a circuit court judge. She has not demonstrated any expertise in any area of the law. She has not written one article we can find on any area of the law. Her pleadings that we have reviewed do not pass muster of a 1-L summer intern. She worked for a law firm that used runners to chase cases which is unethical and illegal. She appears to be the stereotypical candidate who seeks the bench for all the wrong reasons (steady paycheck and benefits). 

Second: The thought of her handling a death penalty case in circuit court when she appears to have NEVER tried a case or taken an adversarial deposition defies belief. It is downright frightening. It would diminish the judiciary and Miami-Dade County. 

Third: We do not think she has told the truth. We are working on her claim about cooking at Camillus house. It does not add up to what we are learning are  their procedures for people who volunteer. SO if that is not true, then her claims to be African-American and Indian appear to be the lowest form of pandering to the electorate. To be fair, she is not the first to do this, and will not be the last. It does not make it right. 

Fourth: We will admit possible error and to being insensitive to race and ethnic origin if Hispanic is NOT a race and is only an ethnic origin. The above commentator is correct- The US Census asks people to identify their race and says Hispanics can choose any race.  However other institutions characterize Hispanic as a race. Hospitals upon admission. Police reports when detailing an arrest.  But we could be wrong. We readily admit that many many Hispanics (including some of our best friends*) are also black. 
But on this point we concede error based on giving Ms. Aponte and her defender above the benefit of the doubt. 

We have aired our dirty laundry. WHO will address our concerns about Ms. Aponte? That she has neither the experience, nor demonstrated intellectual ability to be a circuit court judge given the power of life/death/freedom over the citizens of Florida. Who will call her our best and brightest and show us where we are wrong? You see we post our critics in the comments section and at times on the post section. We have invited Ms. Aponte or her defenders to reply. Show us one trial. One depo. One brief. One legal memorandum that shows legal ability. Just one. We will take it from their. Or please be prepared to defend a circuit court judicial candidate without any of the above. 

(THWACK) the sound of the ball in your court. 

* Note our sarcasm and humor in writing that many of our friends are Hispanic/black. This is classic defense by racist which we are not. The  truth of the matter is we have few friends and we have never even considered their race/origin. On review, some are Sith, one is a Hutt, one an Ewok.*
 Shame on us. We think of other things.


* Even more humor. These are alien species from Star Wars. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

SHUT COURTS DOWN 2.0

It is now too dangerous for clerks, lawyers, JAs, corrections officers, bailiffs, and Judges to leave their homes and go to court. It is time to shut it down again. We realize two things: First, a courtroom needs to be open in criminal court, juvenile court, and domestic court to handle bond hearings in state court  and first appearances in Federal Court. Second, what we are advocating is easier blogged than done. 
The challenges facing Chief Judges Moore, Soto, Sayfie, Bailey, et. al, are staggering. But every contact inside a courthouse is a dangerous contact. Support staff have gotten ill. We have received reports of certain staff in certain courthouses congregating without masks, inside. No good can come of this. It is time to shut all but the very basic court operations until the positive test rate in Miami-Dade gets below 5 percent.
JULY 20 1969 
On this date in 1969 we landed on the Moon. Humans reached to the stars that humanity has stared at with awe and wonder since people  first walked the earth. We traveled to another celestial body and landed on it and returned. 
We have often pondered if that would be the people of earth's high water mark. Would this be our shinning accomplishment? The best we would ever do? 

The landing was fraught with drama. 1201 and 1202 alarms that were not immediately recognized or handled in simulations occurred as the Eagle plunged towards the lunar surface. The landing computer was bringing the Eagle into a field of boulders.  But the best pilot in the solar system was in command. Neil Armstrong had trained for this moment his whole life. The stress of the situation was not going to affect him. He rose to the occasion and took over from the computer and piloted the Eagle to safety. Humanity rose to the occasion and Armstrong, NASA and the USA showed the world what we could do when we put our mind to something. 

It is no accident a country that celebrates individualism could invent the technology that made Apollo 11 possible. 

It is no accident that the United States produced a Neil Armstrong. 

It is no accident that NASA had produced men like Gene Kranz Jack Garman, and Steve Bales,  who saved the landing when the unexpected `1201and 1202 alarms occurred. Kranz as flight director had final authority to order Armstrong to abort the landing. Weeks before the landing Kranz ordered his specialists to review every possible alarm. Twenty-four year old flight specialist Jack Garman made a handwritten list of all alarms and causes. Bales was the guidance officer. When the alarm occurred Kranz wanted Bales to give him a go/abort on the alarm. Garman quickly pieced together that the alarm was a computer memory overload and was not fatal to the mission. He told Bales they were a go and Bales trusted Garman. Bales told Kranz they were a go and Kranz trusted Bales. Kranz told Armstrong and Aldrin they were a go on the alarm and the two men trusted their team in NASA and they went on to land the Eagle on the Moon. 

This country produced Armstrong and Aldrin and Kranz and Bales and Garman and ten thousand other men and women who made the lunar landings possible. 

At this very moment ten thousand or more Americans are working to save humanity. They are studying a virus and discovering treatments and developing a vaccine. 

We can only hope that we did not hit our high water mark fifty-one years ago today. That someday in the near future we will celebrate  new names-unspoken today- who will be the team of men and women that defeat this virus and scourge. We have done it before. And we are not done yet and we will not be defeated. 


PS Wear your mask. It works. Study after study shows that all it takes is a mask to stop people from spreading the virus.  In a recent study two people who cut hair in Missouri became infected. While they were asymptomatic they wore masks as did there customers- over 130 people who came into close contact with an infected person wearing a mask. Contact tracing showed that NO ONE became infected. Here is the CDC study.  MASKS WORK. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

NEW CANDIDATE FORUM NEXT WEEK

Check below if you want the new SAO Lineup with phone numbers.

There is a candidate's forum set for July 21. 


And based on the last rock-rollicking candidate's forum, which you can read about here- it will definitely be must see TV.  
Let's play another little game like we did yesterday:

1) Which candidate in the "other skills" category will choose to sing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" ? 
2) When asked to name the last great movie they saw, which candidate will say "Muppets Take Manhattan"?
3) When asked to explain the most interesting legal issue they have recently confronted, which candidate will say "The possible trespass case in Muppets Take Manhattan"?
4) Which candidate is most likely to quote the National Enquirer and/or TMZ as the site they get most of their news from?
5) Which candidate will use the most "ummms" and "ahhhs" and "like...like this is the way like I see that issue, duh" in their responses?
6) Which candidate was employed by a disbarred, out-of-state lawyer the subject of multiple bar complaints?
7) Which candidate told the Wilkie Ferguson Bar association words to the effect of "I myself am a colored woman" and then said she was "colored" and had "Indian" ancestry, but actually identifies herself as Hispanic when she registered to vote? (see below) And thus which is the lie and which is the truth? 
8) Which candidate has been accused in a court pleading of employing "runners" to solicit personal injury cases? (see below, especially paragraphs 3-4). A more foul and distasteful practice for lawyers to engage in we do not know of.
9) Which candidate may think Dred Scott was decided correctly because precedent should not be overruled lightly? 
10) Which candidate might say "Korematsu" is one of their fav dishes at the local sushi-spot?
11) Which candidate might identify "sui generis" as one of the Instagram Influencers they follow?
12) Which candidate is the least likely to know the word "perambulate" that we use in the next section? 

Post your answers in the comments section. Win valuable prizes. 


CAN'T TELL THE PLAYERS WITHOUT A SCORECARD (Your 2020 Fall SAO Lineup)
Oh for the days when we would perambulate over to Marlin's park and buy a scorecard and settle in for a few hours of a meaningless Astros/Marlins contest. It wouldn't matter in the standings, so we could concentrate on whether the rookie pitcher a left hander, runners at the corner, one out, facing a right handed .275 contact batter, would decide to throw Uncle Charlie low and away, or walk him to load the sacks and face the slugger.

Here is the only scorecard worth (minimal) perusal now. Use it in good health, which is a saying that takes on added significance these days:




VOTER REGISTRATION:
Person Location Voter Details Rosy A Aponte Age: 47 Gender: Female Race: Hispanic Residential Address: Miami Fl 33155 Party Affiliation: Independent Party Of Florida Registered to Vote In: Dade County, FL Voter Status: Active

LAWSUIT WITH ALLEGATIONS OF SOLICITING CLIENTS WITH NON-LAWYERS-   Yes folks, your CIRCUIT COURT candidate has  long and distinguished legal career. We should immediately give her the power of life and death and freedom over  the citizens of Florida. Can't think of anyone better.  

Rosy Sues Client by HR on Scribd

Thursday, July 16, 2020

FLORIDA 2020 MASKS AND HOODS

This is a different posts about masks in Florida. 
and hoods. 

Florida is an enlightened place to live in. Black Lives Matter. #MeToo. 
We have made mistakes but we strive to acknowledge them and change for the better.
We have great institutions of higher learning. Superior medical and scientific research facilities. 
Floridians enjoy the outdoors as well. Hiking, biking, sailing, fishing, SCUBA diving and boating of all sorts. 

AND THEN WE HAVE THIS 



So let's play a little game: Where is this picture currently hanging?

A) A Dixie-Cafe in Pensacola?
B) The Klan Museum at the Florida-Georgia border?
C) Governor DeSantis private dinning room (but it's being taken down because of the Governor's well known aversion to masks) 
D) The lobby of the Circuit Court in Baker County, Macclenny, Florida. 


It's a chilling picture. It is frightening on many levels. The bird seems almost demonic. And then there are three klansmen on horseback. They aren't riding to the rescue of anyone. There is no good with a pack of klansmen on the move. The whole picture is nightmarish in context and message. 

And if you didn't already guess,  the picture is hanging in the Baker County Courthouse, which is another reason to never go there. 
Practice tip- avoid taking cases as Miami lawyers in Macclenny, Florida. If you are a minority or Jewish....you can figure out the rest. 

FACDL Florida is asking to remove the painting. We will be following this issue and we promise to post the pictures and contact information  of any Macclenny yahoos who defend the displaying of that nightmarish, racist glorifying picture. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

IT'S ALWAYS THE COVERUP THAT GETS YOU

Before we begin, we note we removed the entertaining and informative post on the recent Supreme Court case about Native American tribal lands and jurisdiction. We have no inclination to read the opinion (there goes an hour we will never get back) but we thought many readers would benefit by the excellent analysis of the opinion in an email that was sent to us. 

Much like Groucho Marx (if you say "who?" please stop reading the blog and go to Instagram or tweetbook or wherever millennials post selfies) we choose to not join a club that would accept us as a member. We are too misanthropic to participate in annual awards dinners ("The Best Continuance Award for 2020 goes to...Sheila Smith, Public Defenders for her ninth continuance on a disorderly intox case"....etc); too cheap to pay dues; and too egotistical to care about what others think or are doing ("If anyone has a motion for substitution of counsel in Paco, County, could you please send me a copy?"...etc). But from time to time various members of these clubs  forward us emails and this seemed like a good one to use. However, we did not have permission and it was authored and sent for review amongst members only, and since we are nothing if not warriors for property and intellectual property rights, we removed it.  You will just have to read the opinion like the rest of us mopes. 

THE COVERUP
We all know Nixon didn't resign because of Watergate. He resigned because of the coverup. (If you do not know who Nixon is, or what Watergate was, please stop reading the blog and go to Instagram or tweetbook or wherever millennials post selfies). 
For all he did wrong, Al Capone was only convicted of tax evasion. 

Thus it is troubling to see the negative press in the NY Daily News, Miami Herald (you may need a subscription. Spend ten bucks and help Ovalle get a raise) , and ESPN about witnesses to two NFL players accused of robbery being paid off in a local lawyer's office.

NBC reports The Florida Bar (motto: "We're gonna get you sucker") is now investigating the lawyer. All sorts of digital evidence we know nothing about like DMs, Instacart, and video recordings apparently support the payoff  (video recordings-that's evidence we understand ever since a Ukrainian born clothing manufacturer named Abraham Zapruder recorded the Kennedy assassination. If you don't know those names or the event, please see above as to what to do blog-wise). 

We presume our colleague innocent, as we presume the players innocent. 

Let's assume the entirely plausible scenario that the clients/players/defendants schemed to pay off the witnesses at the lawyer's office and the lawyer knew nothing about it. Our question for our loyal readers to ponder is how do you as lawyers protect yourselves from unscrupulous clients? 

This is a funny story that is true. We had a client who was Jamaican who was in pretrial custody for a murder. We were in his brother's place of business in Broward (yuck) before seeing the client in the Broward Jail (double yuck). The brother asked us to tell his brother he had "a big grouper" he had recently caught ready for him when he was released (we had an Arthur Hearing pending). We politely responded we would do no such thing. We thought this was code talk for a large drug deal, and as it stands we are already  unwelcome in Broward. We had no desire to make it worse. The gentleman looked at us askew. He asked why we refused,  and we vaguely responded we don't mention "fish" to clients in custody. "It is not proper for a lawyer to do" we said. The gentleman got up and motioned for us to follow. We walked into the garage and he opened a large cooler. There were no kilos of cocaine. There were no bales of marijuana. There was a delicious looking 25 pound black grouper on ice. 

The moral of the story as Freud famously said: "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." (And if you do not know who Freud is...). 
Also the client was found NG at trial. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

FOR WANT OF A NAIL AND A MASK

First as to Governor Ron No Mask DeSantis. We thought our post about Mr. 3000  on June 19, 2020 was sad but appropriate. Florida had hit 3000 new cases a day. On June 20 Florida hit 4000 a day and we posted Mr. 4000. Five days later on June 25 Florida hit 5000 new Covid19 cases a day and things were looking bad.  A week after that Florida topped 10,000 new cases a day and our Governor said "everything was fine" and that the rate has "stabilized" as if 10,000 new Floridians getting sick every day with a virus that could kill them was fine at that level. Well, we had no idea. This weekend Florida set the nationwide record for new cases in one day: over 15,000!  We're #1 baby with a bullet! And our Governor? Still will not require people to wear masks in public.

They are calling Miami the "New Wuhan". 

The Governor will not require people to wear masks in Florida. It brings to mind this ancient proverb:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail


For want of a mask a person got sick.
For want of a mask his family got sick.
For want of a mask his family  infected five other families.
For want of mask those five families infected their neighborhood.
For want of a mask that neighborhood infected a city.
For want of a mask that city infected a region.
For want of a mask that region infected Florida.
For want of a mask Florida infected the nation.
For want of a mask the nation infected the world. 
And all for the want of a governor that will ask people to wear masks in public. 
What a complete brainless asshole he is. 

It's true we added a few lines to the original proverb. Especially the last one. 
But if the (horse)shoe fits...

Friday, July 10, 2020

DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO RUNDLE: "DROP....OUT"

At least it wasn't the Daily News Headline about President Ford and NYC. See below. But the Miami Dade Democratic Party (motto: "Remember Us?) called upon your State Attorney Kathy Fernandez-Rundle to DROP OUT of the primary on August 18,2020. 

The Miami New Times (motto: "Remember Us?") reported this:

During a meeting of the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee last night, an "overwhelming majority" of voting members approved a resolution calling on Rundle to suspend her campaign, says William Byatt, the party's treasurer and author of the resolution.
The measure reiterates Miami-Dade Democrats' previous resolution seeking Rundle's resignation "if she cannot pursue justice for all victims of crime." The 2017 resolution slammed the state attorney for a pattern "in which she has repeatedly refused to hold law enforcement officials accountable for on-duty killings."
They didn't exactly cite the rampage Rumpole went on this week about Rundle not prosecuting cops who punch people in the face when their hands are cuffed behind their backs, but it couldn't have helped. Indeed, if you click on the link and read the article you will see that the SAO Spokesperson responded that the State Attorney cannot charge people without evidence. 
So here is our question we ask once again: WHY DID NOT YOU PROSECUTE DET ARCHER WHEN HE PUNCHED A WOMAN IN THE FACE WHEN SHE HAD HER HANDS CUFFED BEHIND HER BACK? 
Don't hold your breath expecting an answer. 
FORD TO NYC: DROP DEAD
It was a long time ago, when our country was in a different type of crisis. Nixon had resigned. Ford was running for election (not re-election because he was never elected)  and large cities in the Northeast were facing blight and flight. Crime was on the rise, and the activism of the 1960's faded into this sort of difficult nether period of the 1970's when things were blah, and the go-go 80's had not yet arrived. Sometimes nations have down decades, and the 70's was one of them. 
New York City was bankrupt and asked the federal government for a bailout. President Ford said no, and this is how it was reported: 

Now as history buffs know, it did not end well for President Ford in his question for election. James Earl Cater beat him. Will the same thing happen to our State Attorney? 

Thursday, July 09, 2020

TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION

In America 2020 there is a disconnect between science and populism. This disconnect did not always exist. In the 1960's the triumph of American ingenuity and science was celebrated as the United States landed men on the moon. To be an intellectual, a learned man or woman of science was a celebrated profession. Scientists and Engineers were admired. They promised an almost unimaginable future of a life made easier by  computers and technology. Young boys named Jobs, Allen, and Gates became obsessed with computers. They ordered kits and built them in their garage. From their  passions, indeed their obsessions, Silicon Valley was born, and another American technological revolution led the world into the digital era. 

Fast forward to 2020. A pandemic burns throughout the world. The 79 year old American doctor of epidemiology and virology who has trained his whole life for this moment- Dr. Anthony Fauci- is marginalized and ridiculed. Doctors and scientists who are the leading experts in their fields of viruses and pandemics are criticized if they make common sense suggestions like social distancing, testing,  and wearing a face mask to prevent infections. You do not need a PhD in epidemiology to understand that staying apart and wearing face mask (and ideally a face shield) stops the spread of the virus. But these days, to understand that concept you apparently need to be anyone other than an American. Well that's not entirely fair. You need to be anyone other than an American who is a Republican. 

How and when did conservatives abandon the mind? When did being smart and well trained become inconsistent with other conservative values like capitalism and rugged individualism? 

In her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged, written in 1957, the philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand depicted a dystopian United States of the future where liberals attacked men of achievement (for all her genius, Rand's writings exclusively used the masculine pronoun). The philosophical concept and plot of the novel was that the liberal views on property rights and altruism that held that a person's ability and production belonged to the collective would slowly strangle innovation. Working for the good of everyone would produce the good for no one. In Atlas Shrugged men of production and achievement in various fields from engineering to finance to production to  music "go on strike" and disappear from society. They give up and thus show the world what happens when people scorned for their ability stop working. In the penultimate scene, New York City loses electricity and the experts needed to repair the problem are missing. 

In America 2020 the people of production and achievement have not (yet) gone on strike. But they labor in the shadows. Dr. Fauci works behind the scenes because at Republican presidential rallies "Fire Fauci Now" chants routinely breakout. The President trashes the CDC and withdraws from the World Health Organization. 

Let's take a look at two different states. Florida opened early. The Governor refused to require people to wear masks in public. The results has been a week of 10-11,000 new Floridians a day becoming infected. ICU beds are at 95% of capacity. And as Dr. Fauci recently pointed out, the death rate- low at this point- is about to explode because it takes Covid19 about 2 to 4 weeks to kill. Florida is teetering on the edge of chaos and destruction. And in the face of this scientific evidence, the governor says everything is fine rejects the advice of intellectuals and scientists that increased testing and masks will help stop the spread of the virus. 

In an almost unbelievable display of illogic,  the president and most conservative politicians argue that increased testing only leads to increased NUMBERS of people who are infected. If you do not test then the virus numbers are low (sadly, our own FDC has also adopted this philosophy, telling our federal judges every Friday that everything is fine because the virus numbers are very low. Meanwhile the first inmate just died of  Covid19).  The logic behind this belief is staggeringly dangerous. If accepted, it could be applied to cancer, pollution, gun murder rates, domestic violence, you name it. Stop reporting cancer deaths, and cancer is cured! Right? (Unless you die of cancer-but for everyone else, it's party time.)

In Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo had a different approach from Governor DeSantis. She asked the federal government for help in testing and they told her to go pound salt. So she formed a partnership with CVS (which is headquartered in RI) for testing. 25% of Rhode Island citizens have been tested. The positive rate is under 2%. Florida's positive rate is in the teens. Governor Raimondo mandated masks in public, limited public gatherings, and cajoled the company Salesforce to develop a contact tracing app for free. Infosys was tasked with deploying a location tracking feature, and Survey Monkey was assigned to monitor symptoms. Rhode Island is only one of four states labeled "low risk level" by the CDC. Five people a day or less are dying of Covid19 in RI, 50 people a day or less are newly infected. That's less than the daily rate in Hialeah. 

Rhode Island was uniquely situated to be severely damaged by the virus- it has the nation's second densest population and the ninth oldest population. The virus struck quick and hard at the beginning. But testing, contract tracing, masks in public, a public/private partnership, and listening to the health experts resulted in the virus being beaten down. Rhode Island did not invent this playbook. New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, all have done the same thing. 

But here is the problem. Governor Raimondo is not a right wing conservative. She listens to experts and deployed companies with expertise to work with her and devise a strategy to succeed. She employed a NASA 1960's "lets listen to the experts" philosophy with the resulting success that makes right wing anti-intellectuals furious. 

We have some of the smartest, well trained experts in the world to help us defeat this virus. Rhode Island has given us a roadmap. And mark our words, what they did will be rejected by almost every Republican politician in the country. 

We know where we are at- Intellectuals are dangerous. Scientists who speak the truth are bad. Scientific testing leads to bad news so just stop testing. Experts are idiots and must be ignored. The Constitution enshrines the right not to wear a mask in public and drink at a bar (The murky third amendment we believe). 

What we do not know for the life of us is how we got here and how Ayn Rand, more than 63 years ago, got it right. 


Tuesday, July 07, 2020

KATHY RUNDLE'S PHOTO ID EVIDENCE

Not sure how we missed this the first time around, but State Attorney Candidate Melba Pearson tweeted this over the holiday weekend past and it is downright shocking 

@MelbaforMiami:
This isn’t photoshopped. It’s a real sketch that Miami-Dade State Attorney Rundle used to justify falsely arresting 15-year-old DeAndre Charles for murder and locking him up for 333 days. Nobody received justice, Rundle chose optics over accountability.

And drum roll please...this is the sketch used to wreck this poor young man's life. Did he even get an apology?

Here is the link to the NBC6 story.


So let's recap the blog stories for the past few days. 
Det Archer of Miami Beach punches and kicks a woman who he has wrongfully arrested and has her hands cuffed behind her back. Prior to that attack, he punched and arrested a man who came to her rescue when he saw Archer beating her on the street. False police reports were filed. NO PROSECUTION WHATSOEVER. 
If Our State Attorney is not a late comer to the movement against police brutality- if she has led an office inspired to stop the police from beating and killing people and making false arrests, then what is her explanation for not prosecuting Det Archer for any of the THREE DIFFERENT  TIMES he beat citizens of Miami-Beach? So far, the only sound we hear are crickets coming from the SAO.  Cop Cat got your tongue? 

Now we see a sketch worth of a Seinfeld episode which would be funny except that it led to the year long incarceration of a fourteen year old boy for a murder he did not commit. Any apology? Any explanation? Conscience Cat got your tongue? 

Silence from the State Attorney, but at least she didn't forget Marco Rubio's birthday recently. 




Monday, July 06, 2020

MIAMI BEACH NEEDS TO FIRE OFFICER PHILIPPE ARCHER


  • This Miami Dade officer was rightfully fired for hitting a woman.






  • This Miami Beach Officer- Detective Philippe Archer-  is still on the force although he punched and kicked a woman with her hands cuffed behind her back. Archer was suspended for a month and allowed to serve the suspension a few days at time so he could keep working most of every month. 

     Any difference other than time?


    THE RESULTS OF BEING ARRESTED BY DET ARCHER 
    The woman above was ARRESTED FOR...(wait for it....you got it) BATTERY ON A POLICE OFFICER.

    FYI: Kathy Rundle's office saw fit to NOT prosecute Archer 
    for either the battery or the false police reports he filed when he arrested the woman AND the man who came to her rescue. 

    FYI- This was NOT the first time Detective Archer struck a citizen whose hands were cuffed behind their back. 

    See:
    MAYEUL MOULIN AND GUY MOULINE v. CITY OF MIAMI BEACH  So. Dist. Of Florida case number  12-23390 - Mayeul Moulin was 13 years old at the time Archer attacked him. Then Archer attacked his father Guy Mouline who went to defend his son. 
                                                                                                   Prior to  Archer striking  the woman with her hands cuffed behind her back,  he beat up (and of course then arrested) a good Samaritan who  tried to come to her rescue. So what we have is a Miami Beach Police Officer who beats up people so badly that other citizens routinely come to their aid because the violence is so shockingly bad.                                                 AND HE IS STILL WORKING AS A POLICE OFFICER.                                                                                                     And see:
     DUQUESNE v.  CITY OF MIAMI BEACH  So. Dist of Florida Case Number  12-20575 BEFORE JUDGE HUCK in which Archer  struck Andres Duquesne. 

    So as one of our alert readers who sent us this information has asked, why is the City of Miami Beach still employing an Officer who regularly beats up the citizens of Miami Beach?
    Three brutal incidents. One caught on video. One silent State Attorney, and the City of Miami Beach who we guess just raises taxes on their businesses to pay for this officer's brutality. It will only be a matter of time before something worse happens and someone else suffers at the hands of this thug. Because that is what he is. A coward, a bully, and a thug who only hits women when their hands are safely cuffed behind their back.