Saturday, August 15, 2020


 The legal blogosphere has had their say on the Rebull transcript and we have refrained from opining. Now it is our turn. 

Everyone has a bad day. We have had the best judges make grievous mistakes, and we have seen bad judges rise to the occasion and do something great. No one judge or lawyer or person should be fully "judged" on one act. For those judges who sentence defendants, take that last sentence as a hint. No one should be solely judged on a bad moment or day. 

Disclosure: we had a case that resolved very favorably before Judge Rebull. Our experience with him is limited, but we were asked to assist on a very serious matter. We had heard the rumors and the chatter- he was tough on defendants. Our experience was that he was fair in the case we handled. 

The cold transcript is bad for the Judge. Not his finest hour. His treatment of the daughter of the litigant is awful. Having told her to assist, it is as if he trapped her when he asked if she was an attorney. One reads that portion of the transcript and wonders "what was he thinking?"

But much like the Miami Herald's lukewarm endorsement of our State Attorney, we are not willing to write off Judge Rebull. First and foremost he should personally apologize to the woman and her father. 

He will hopefully learn from this episode and become a better Judge. We hope he cares about his profession and the people who appear before him to the extent that he will rededicate himself to be more patient and more compassionate and more empathetic. 

We are going to vote for Judge Rebull. Perhaps it is evidence of our going soft in our older age. The rampaging Rumpole circa 2012 would have never tolerated such behavior, and we certainly admit we would have no patience for this if it had occurred north of the border (Broward). Indeed, the very worst we can say about this incident is that it was "very Broward like"

But unlike many of our robed readers, we have patience and compassion and we endeavor to see the best and not the worst in people. And having seen Judge Rebull at his best, we are not wont to accept him at his worst. 


Anonymous said...

Very fair post Rumpole.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That’s such a crock. He’s a racist, elitist jerk. Shame on you!

Rumpole said...

Well those two comments pretty much cover it all.

Anonymous said...

Did you even read through the comments? About the Rule 3.850? Has he gotten to you causing you to fear for your own clients after posting this right before the election? This was not his first rodeo gone wrong and it sure won’t be his last.

Anonymous said...

He's a garbage judge and should be consigned to the dustbin of judicial history.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that you and your client were treated well, and I understand why and how that informs your position. It might be worth considering the following:

1) You're a lawyer who was treated well. The transcript shows what he did to a pro se litigant. With as much experience as he has, an experienced judge having a bad day might look like rudely dismissing litigants with harsh admonishments. Not threatening a civilian with a felony criminal offense.

2) That is an important moment because black and brown people are subject to these types of abuses of power every day. This "one bad day argument" is how abuses of power continue. Excusing it is partly how these abuses continue.

3) The "one bad day" argument is offset by the voices who report opposite experiences before him and have been saying so on this blog and in the community for years.

Thanks for keeping the blog up, to keep civil discourse alive, and to shine a light where it should've been a while ago. (Here's looking at you, Herald...) It's hard to speak up. We are lucky that some Bars' leadership did. And, that there's a transcript. 

Anonymous said...

"No one judge or lawyer or person should be fully "judged" on one act. For those judges who sentence defendants, take that last sentence as a hint."

How many "mulligans" are judges and lawyers entitled to? Are they entitled to keep their jobs and respect even if the "one act" is taking a bribe in exchange for a ruling or judgment?

Judges who sentence defendants aren't going to take a hint, because they don't even see a connection. They don't think the indigent, drug-addicted defendants who file through their courtrooms are the same kind of people as privileged lawyers and judges who have valuable positions and livelihoods.

As far as they're concerned, 99.9999% of criminal defendants were lost causes before they set foot into court. They don't think sentencing a wretched defendant to years or decades in prison is ruining anybody's life because they don't think this defendant has any life to ruin.

Exceptions may happen when the defendant is some privileged white college boy and the judge is concerned that committing a rape shouldn't upset the dear lad's prospects for a cushy suburban future. And then you get Aaron Persky.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Rumpole in this, your most recent post, regarding Judge Rebull.

Anonymous said...

Rebull and Tunis must go. Period. No second chances with peoples lives. Let them practice law and may they only appear before Judges who treat them as poorly as they have treated others.

Anonymous said...

You are complicit

Rumpole said...

8:09 unlike most of the idiots here your comments are very important and you make valid points. I do not know if race played a part in the judge’s actions. My client was African American but well represented by lawyers of different races and sexes. I tend to view the incident as a pro se issue and not race but I could well be insensitive to the issues.

the trialmaster said...

The only lawyers Judge Tunis has "Treated poorly" are the incompetent lawyers who appear unprepared and are probably the bottom feeders that occupy the majority of the nearly indigent defendants. Their clients would be far better off with the PD than these crap lawyers. Judge Tunis is one of our best. Aponte, is the worst lawyer ever to run for office and that says a lot in this county.

Anonymous said...

Rump. Re-read the TWO Rule 3 Orders vacating half century Rebull sentences you posted on March 20 2018. Then give us your views.

Anonymous said...

What is equally as amazing is that there has been silence on this in the herald. Publicizing the information will 1) better inform the electorate, and 2) let this judge, and any other judge on the bench know, that there will be light shined on this things and attendant consequences. If he is reelected, great, but at least it will be an informed decision. Shame on the Herald and David Ovalle for not reporting in detail on this one.

Anonymous said...

Whoa...Hold on there Rumpole...just hold on minuete.

What do you mean when you write to 8:09 that "unlike most of the idiots here...".

Ha ha...here...read this...‘Person, woman, man, camera, TV.’


'Person, woman, man, camera, TV.’

See...Rumpole...I am no Idiot.

Doctors told me very few people can do that, very few people get that!

Anonymous said...

The one thing your post shows is that you never have represented a poor person.

Anonymous said...

Rebull is aligned with governmental and corporate interests, not a surprise that you're willing to give him a pass.

Joe Klock said...

The evaluation by Rumpole tool some guts. It was also thoughtful, professional, and well-analyzed, as opposed to the brainless tripe that reacted to it. I really do think that folks that analyze or comment on judges or judicial candidates should not be published if they do not identify themselves. Joe Klock

Rumpole said...

My dear sir or madam at 5:58 PM- there are rich people in this world and poor people. Beautiful people and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Given the choice in your life would you prefer to be married to a wealthy and beautiful person with all of the other attributes you seek in a spouse or not?

I have in my younger days represented people who paid me with Mangos, Arroz con pollo, one misplaced goat, fake rolex watches, and the like. Those days are past and now, because of American capitalism I am entitled to sell my services at the price I set and the market will pay.

Your comment goes to whether Judge Rebull did what he did because the person was Haitian or poor or both. I have no idea why he did what he did and what caused him to do it. Nobody defends it. The question is whether that is enough to have him voted out of office.

Do you admire Bobby Kennedy? I can tell you a dozen things he did that were 100X more offensive. Lyndon Johnson got the 64 civil rights bill passed- he was no paragon of personal virtue.

Have you ever done something you professionally regret? I have. We all have. And yet I can point you to dozens of clients whose lives I have saved well after the mistakes I made. One moment did not define me. It should not define you or any of us.

Americans love second chances.
Nixon's Checker's speech.
Belichick coached the Cleveland Browns for pete's sake- that's enough to get him banned from Football- and yet look what he did.

You going to watch Mike Tyson's upcoming fight? Did you like him in the movie The Hangover- or do you boycott him because of a (suspect) rape conviction?

Anonymous said...

Rumpole please tell me Judge Rebull's accomplishments that rival RFK and LBJ.

Anonymous said...

That Mike Tyson comparison is pretty random. And his conviction was upheld on appeal so I don't know why you call it "suspect." Even if the appeal was wrongly decided, it's not "suspect." But not supersing you align yourself with the rich and the powerful. Not surprising you align yourself with Rebull.

Anonymous said...

"I really do think that folks that analyze or comment on judges or judicial candidates should not be published if they do not identify themselves. Joe Klock"

Sure. You know who agreed with that opinion, Mr. Klock? Former Broward judge Ana Gardiner. She said:

"If you feel your comment is a legitimate concern, then why not put your name to it? If your goal is to promote a positive change, then why not put your name on it?"

Those words, uttered to Tonya Alanez, sound more like a threat than a comment. Gardiner, who is the subject of plenty of rumors of judicial improprieties herself, is basically saying, "Put your name on it and then watch me and my powerful friends destroy you."


That was before judge Gardiner resigned from the bench and then got disbarred. Turns out those anonymous negative blog comments about her were not just spurious gossip.

Lawyers who speak unfavorably about judges or judicial candidates face professional retaliation and ruination, even when the unfavorable statements are based on truth.



Regular people who speak unfavorably about judges get jailed for contempt.


And even judges who speak unfavorably about the justice system get punished.



Anonymous said...

Boycott Tyson. Alas, you still say it was one bad day and choose to focus on his many bad days. But per chance, your endorsement of him will well-favor your clients of the future once this racist gets re-elected. That is assuming you still represent poor people given that you now bank on capitalism. If the prosecutors even care about your client.

Anonymous said...

Imma throw in my .02. I am a plaintiff's trial lawyer and have been before Rebull extensively including a trial to verdict.

I also knew him as opposing counsel long before he took the bench. And, I have gotten to know him off the bench a little bit.

We could not possibly be more different philosophically. But that's ok. He prepares; he reads; he listens; and he expects the same of you. And even though he can be very tough on lawyers, he has always been respectful and pleasant (My joke has long been that when he starts a ruling with "respectfully," you know you're fucked.)

BUT - he's not a tyrant, he's never abusive that I have ever seen (unlike some other judges), and far as I can tell, he does not EVER rule with an agenda in mind (remember Jon Gordon?). He may have a different view of the law than me - but that's just how the game works. Compare him to some of our robed ones that are nasty, or stupid, or play favorites - I'll take Rebull all day. And deep down, he's a pretty good guy. I firmly believe that he is absolutely not a racist or an elitist. He just needs to broaden his jurisprudential horizons a smidgen.

Don't love when I get a tough case in front of him - but have never experienced anything in front of him that I felt to be unexpected or completely out of left field and idiotic (see Ruiz, M.)

He had a bad day. Guarantee he learned from it.

Rumpole said...

8:52 pm may I respectfully request you take your head out of your behind? How could Rebull favor me? He doesn't know who I am. No one does. And I am not even in the US during this pandemic so I have NO cases before him in the near or far future.

Anonymous said...

Did Thomas have another bad day?