WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Saturday, October 31, 2020

DID YOU KNOW

 Happy Halloween. 👻 Did you know? Watch where a writer of strength and depth takes this. As we write this even we do not know where we are ending up. So join us in the journey. 

Did you know that there are less than 100 hours until all polls close in the US for the POTUS election? 

Did you know that our beloved England has NO interregnum. When the results are decided, the PM either stays or leave 10 Downing Street by sundown the next day. 

Speaking of our beloved England (and oh to be in London now that Covid has a second wave!) Did you know that Sean Connery, born in Edenborough,  convinced the Queen to knight him in Scotland? And did you know that  and that when the Scottish Parliament reconvened for the first time in 292 years  On May 12, 1999 ( having last met on March 25, 1707) Connery  was invited to speak at the opening ceremonies? Did you know that sadly the best 007 died Friday night peacefully in his sleep at 90. And Did you know that one of his best movies is one of our favourites? 2000 Finding Forrestor in which Connery plays a reclusive writer ala JD Salinger who befriends an inner city young man who has great writing talent. We recommend you watch it this weekend if words matter to you. Some of our favourite lines are "you write your first draft with your heart; you rewrite with your head" and "why is it the words we write for ourselves are always so much better than the words we write for others?" And of course, not necessarily PC, but still: "Q: Women will sleep with you if you write a book? And Connery answers "Women will sleep with you if you write a bad book."  The same may apply to bloggers, but we have no experience with bad blog writing. 

Did you know our favourite federal blogger has a great new podcast here (yeah we know we are promoting this a lot, but that's what friends are for). 

Did you know that according to the President we are turning the corner on Covid and according to his son deaths have dropped to "almost nothing'?

Did you know that Thursday we had almost 90,000 new Covid cases and deaths exceeded 1,000 American souls? Did you know that  the "almost nothing" stat means that every seven weeks we lose the same number of Americans who died in the fifteen years of the Vietnam war? Did you know that each and every one of our fellow countrymen who have died and will die had hopes and plans for their future which did not include dying unexpectedly alone, on a respirator in a hospital room?

But we end on a a bittersweet note, remembering 007 as he should always be remembered. NB- 007 wears an iconic grey flannel suit that you can see throughout the video. For most of our professional career we have always had several in our closet,  made by our gentleman tailor just off Saville row in London:




And look where we ended up. No where near where we began, which is the joy of writing. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

CANDY WARS

 We tackle the tough subjects. There are more famous bloggers. Bloggers who hang out with Hollywood elite and now do Podcasts (here   ) and wax poetic about the 1982 committee notes to the money laundering statutes. 

But only one blog tackles the tough things. The things that make you look away and wish you can ignore. But we will not let you look away. These issues must be confronted. 

For Halloween we take on the ...... C A N D Y   W  A   R   S!!!

1) MMs vs Reese's Pieces.  The toughest one to start. MMs are classics. They fulfill a chocolate urge. But Reese's Pieces, with the element of Peanut Butter is more than a worthy challenger. But here is the rub....RP's are almost too good. Too sweet. Too satisfying. We love em, but if we have to only pick one, it has to be the Traditional MMs. 

2)  Almond Joy vs. Mounds.  Nuts or not? Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. No nuts for us. Mounds please. 

3) Three Musketeers vs. Milky Way.  The 3M has this chocolate fluff inside and is ...sui generis. The Milky Way has a layer of caramel which is very rich. Too rich.  3Ms for us. 

4) Kit Kat vs Twix. Same as above but reversed. Nothing is better than a Kit Kat bar in the freezer. Twix doesn't freeze as well, but it has a caramel lawyer that the Kit Kat doesn't have. Break them in half; it's a split. Kit Kat's that have been frozen, but Twix if the Kit Kat has not been frozen. 

5) Snickers v. Baby Ruth. Chocolate and nuts and some caramel. Snickers wins for us. 

6) Nestles Crunch vs. Hershey's Bar.  Two original giants in a candy bar matchup made in heaven. Once again we have to go to the freezer issue. A Hershey bar is original and great. But the Nestle Crunch in the freezer is something special. NC for us. 

The others. These are the candy bars we eat last on Halloween. They have chocolate so unlike pornography they have some redeeming social value. But they also have a bunch of weird stuff that appeals only to a niche market:

Clark Bar, Fifth Avenue, Charleston Chew, Heath Bar (the worst except at certain times not bad- you really need to be in the mood for a Heath Bar), Butterfinger (suggested by a reader and may be the worst candy bar of all time).  Payday, Mr. Goodbar, Chunky, Krackle. Lots of good chocolate there. 

If we had to choose one. Just one. For eternity. No other choices. It would be.....second place- MMs, and the winner is a frozen Nestle Crunch Bar!

VOTE

Thursday, October 29, 2020

KING OF ALL LEGAL MEDIA

 In the past dark times, when social media was just beginning to catch on in South Florida, a Blog appeared, run by a young, aggressive talented lawyer. The blog purported to cover the Southern District Of Florida,  and it became a hit. 

Soon thereafter, an even more groundbreaking blog, full of rumor, humor, innuendo, and scintillating legal writing appeared. You're reading it now. 

The moral of the story is explorers get slaughtered and settlers prosper. But we give credit to our own Magellan or Ernest Shackelford - hacking through the weeds to start a ground breaking legal blog. 

We speak of course of our very favourite federal blogger, David O Markus with a K. The second best trial lawyer in the SDFL. An appellate counsel that crunches the government's case under his shoes like a construction worker tramping through a glass littered site with steel toed-boots. 

And he has done it again, with his new (drum roll please......) PODCAST!!

FOR THE DEFENSE available now on Apple, Spotify, or your favourite podcast hosting sites. 

Yes, David O Markus is truly the King Of all Legal Media. Trials. Appeals. Blogs, Twitter with more followers than a certain someone in DC, and now a Podcast. 

Here is the linklisten here.

Topics include...

How does Rumpole do cross? 

What does Rumpole say about his shocking win in US v. _________. 

Actually, None of these topics are covered because we are fixing our voice synthesizer. But the Podcast has amazing topics and the greatest lawyers in the US (with one notable exception as we fix our voice sythesizer) like .....

ROY BLACK!

AND .....

 F.  LEEEEEEE BAILEY!

MARTY WEINBERG AND 

MICHAEL JACKSON'S LAWYER TOM MESSEREAU

Special guest stars include Gavin McCleod from the Love Boat, Charo!, and Kris Jenner of Kardashian fame!

So tune in, turn on, and drop off your Zoom hearing to listen to FOR THE DEFENSE!  Sponsored by Dial Soap, for those times in court when the heat is on, Dial has you covered; and XQY Bail Bonds. "When they put on the cuffs, XQY Bonds takes them off -for a small fee." And Alka Seltzer, when a day of eating court cafeteria food catches up with you, "plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is". 


Monday, October 26, 2020

ALVIN ENTIN HAS PASSED AWAY

 A sad way to start the week. One of the legal giants of South Florida, Alvin Entin, has passed away. Alvin was a brilliant lawyer and a man of many interests, including later in his life- acting. He has not been active in REGJB cases for a while so many young lawyers and judges will not know who he is. But ask around and you will find that he was a character and a heck of a lawyer. 

In other sad news the Notorious ACB will most likely be confirmed as your next supreme court justice today. She will be calling balls and strikes by the end of the week. Thus starts what we believe historians will look back on as a period of social unrest and upheaval in American society that will shake our republic to its very foundations. 

Item: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled in a way in which approximately 20% of all mail-in ballots will not be counted. The election could come down to Pennsylvania and the Constitution allows the Pennsylvania Legislature to elect their own slate of electors to vote in the Electoral College which could throw the presidential election to a candidate who otherwise has lost. 

Item: Covid infection rates are approaching 100,000 Americans  a day. One maker of an adjunct therapy that has been shown to help infected people who are seriously ill has only 50,000 doses. 

Item: The cold winter months (and certain Florida Judges) are bringing people inside unventilated buildings where the virus is most easily spread. Things are going to get worse. 

So add it all up. No new stimulus package. Businesses are failing and people have no money. The Supreme Court will have a 6-3 conservative majority. But not a real conservative majority the way we define conservatism. It will have an altruist-collectivist conservative majority that has an agenda. A presidential election that no matter who wins will send people into the streets, and perhaps a lame duck president who will not go quietly into that good night. 

Hang on and buckle up. It is going to be a bumpy ride. But never fear - Rumpole will be here (until they get a subpoena issued and block our site and arrest us). 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

NFL WEEK 7 2020

 There is a reason why cool October nights fuel our passions. Yes, we had a great experience crashing the FACDL awards banquet (Motto "Rumpole is never invited again"). 

But the fall classic, the World Series, is what really made our night on Saturday. This game has become a classic. 

Dodgers up 2-1 in the series, jump out to a 2-1 lead. In the 5th inning it is 3-1. LA finishes the top of the 6th up 4-2. Then the fun begins. Rays at bat. bottom of the sixth.  Two  on, one out and a three run dinger by  Brandon Lowe who is having an October Monster Series makes it 5-4 Tampa.  The Dodgers march right  back at the top of the next inning with two runs on a laser single to right by Joc Pederson. LA 6-5. Bottom of the seventh inning Rays' Kevin Kiermaier blasts one 426 feet to to right field. Game tied 6-6. The Dodgers come right back in the top of the eighth. Runner at second, two out and Corey Seager hits a Texas league blooper into short left-center and it is LA 7- Tampa 6. 

And now it is the bottom of the ninth. 7-6 Dodgers.  Kiermaier, who has already homered,  hits a single. The Dodgers walk Rays slugger Arozarena. Runners at first and second.  Two outs, two on. It does not get better than this. A single ties the game, two runs tie the series. 

 Rays slugger rookie Randy Arozarena, who already has homered in the fourth, is on first. (this will become important shortly).  And little used and unknown bench player Brett Phillips steps to the plate. For 2020 he hit an anemic .196; 51 at bats; ten hits. 

The Count is one ball and two strikes. The Dodgers, like the 86 Red Sox*, are one strike away from going up 3-1 in the series.  Kenley Jansen throws  92 mph heater right down the center of the plate and the man meets the moment. Phillips singles up the middle to center and now the fun begins. 

Kiermaier scores easily as Dodger centerfielder Chris Taylor boots the ball. Game tied. Then Taylor throws to the  cutoff man who throws to home as a chugging Arozarena does what has now become this week a "Daniel Jones**" and trips  for no reason whilst rounding third.  Arozarena, having belly flopped on the base path is easy pickings and we are headed for extra innings.  

Except it is October and the world series,  when ground balls hit players in the throat (Tony Kubek 1960 series) or trickle through the legs of first basemen and Bill Buckner  (Mets-Sox Game 6, 1986) becomes a goat of historical proportions (and no, that is not the greatest of all time acronym. Once upon a time a goat was the person who lost the game). 

On this cool October evening Dodgers catcher Will Smith drops the ball and Arozarena, with new life like a fish that has spit the hook, gets up and belly flops into home as Smith lunges a bit too late to make the tag.  

Rays win 8-7 and we cannot wait for game five. Series tied 2-2. 

Chew on this classic game while we get our picks and the survivor pool up. 


Bills over Jets. Gang green cannot afford to win and lose the #1 pick. Bills -13. 

Bradys's at Vegas.  It's good to be a Tampa fan these days. Stanley Cup winners. World Series team of destiny and the cheatingist QB in the NFL now has AB to throw the ball to. Take Brady -3. 

Jags at LA. Take LA -7.5. 

SURVIVOR POOL

Week Seven by HR on Scribd

* Yes in 86 the Sox were one strike away from winning the series and ending the curse of the Bambino when Buckner booted the ball. But the analogy fits here. 

** This past Monday night, Giants QB Daniel Jones, having broken free, was on his way to an 80 yard TD  run when, like someone being chased in a horror slasher film, he inexplicably tripped and fell with no player within ten yards of him. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

FACDL AWARDS BANQUET TONIGHT

FACDL BANQUET POST GAME 

We have never attended an FACDL Banquet and maybe that has been a mistake because the event we just watched was wonderful. There was a technical glitch at the beginning and at the end , but  in between there were inspiring speeches, funny videos, and hard working lawyers and yes..judges...who were honored Saturday Night. 

A few random thoughts:

We do not know Mr. Adam Saper from the PDs office, who won the young lawyers award, but he gave a great speech, acknowledging the shade of the tree leaves we all rest under- acorns  planted by giants like Rodney Thaxton and Gregg Wenzel. Well done Mr. Saper. 

Nothing better than Judge De La O's video of FACDL President Matt Meyer delivering the Kogie to the home of the Judge. As he accepts the award, his wife and his son are in the back ground holding up a sign that says "SAVE US".  Too funny. 

Both Chris DeCoste and Tara Kawass are cancer survivors and Ms. Kawass battled cancer as she and DeCoste battled the State in a notorious murder case in Tallahassee. The State joined their client with a co-defendant who they sought death on. So our two heroes obtained a hung jury verdict with the same death qualified jurors who convicted the co-defendant. An almost unheard of outcome. Amazing. Even we are impressed. 

And then there was the life time achievement award to past FACDL president Lenny Sands. We don't have enough space to tell you all the great things about Lenny Sands, so we will leave it at this- you will NEVER in your career meet another lawyer who is both a gentleman and as fine an advocate for his client as the good lord ever made. There is no other lawyer who we can think of who is more deserving of a life-time achievement award as Lenny Sands. 

We have asked the big-wigs at FACDL (who rightly view us with a wary eye) to send us the videos. If we get them we will post them. A lot of hard work went into them. The production value was good. The subjects all had fun with it and it made the 90 minutes fly by (so did our wine). 

All in all, we must eat some crow and say this award banquet -albeit via Zoom- was a well done and indeed special event. We are impressed and that says a lot considering how misanthropic we are and remain. 

The Kogie: Judge De La O

Founders Award: Leonard Sands (great choice BTW).

Rodney Thaxton Against All Odds Award: Tara Kawass and Chris Decoste

Gregg Wenzel Young Lawyers Award: Adam Saper 

Best Local Blogger Award: Rumpole

In other news: 

The US blew past 70,000 new infections a day and exceeded 80,000  (82,154 for a new record) on Friday and we are on our way to 100,000. The second wave is here and things are getting worse and no better time for your local state court judge to say "Hey, how about trying this case?"

Ohio has a record number of its citizens in hospitals, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court just blocked the Governor's emergency order restricting the number of people who can gather indoors because that is what idiot judges do. 2,500 people were newly hospitalized overnight in Illinois, and North Dakota has the highest rate rate of infections per capita. 

All in all the news is just what President Trump, who is now repeatedly announcing "we are turning a corner" wants to hear. 

The problem is that the turn is at the corners of "Hell" and "Collapse".

Your Dolphins are on a bye this week and next weekend their new QB Tua becomes the starter. 

Game Four of an entertaining World Series starts tonight after the FACDL Banquet (Fox planned the start to not conflict with the banquet of course). If you were watching Friday night you saw a perfect "safety squeeze" pulled off. Runners at the corners. Less than two outs. Batter bunts. The runner from third scored and the runner from first advanced. Small fundamental baseball at its best in the fall classic. 


Friday, October 23, 2020

WE VOTED

 This is a primer on how to vote in Florida. 

First. You must pass the Voter History Test.  Q: Who were the runner ups in the 1956 Republican Presidential Primary and Democratic Vice Presidential Primary? *

Second. Having passed the test (piece of cake) you then show up at your Voting Site and register so you can be assigned your Voter Assistant (VA).  Expert Tip: Ask to have a VA who has similar views as yours assigned to you. 

Third. By law ballots must be assigned randomly. There is a large tumbler that slowly and continually stirs up the ballots. Reach in and grab your ballot. Under (semi) rare circumstances, your ballot may include a Jacksonville Congressional Race. Just wing it. 

Fourth. You may vote by check mark, by circling your favourite candidate on the ballot, or by using an orange high-lighter. Any writing instrument OTHER than a Russian manufactured #2 pencil is acceptable. 

Fifth. If your ballot has Al Gore and George Bush on it, you may exchange it at any local 7-11 for a full-size Slurpee of your choice 

Sixth. If you vote on SW 8th Street, your presidential choices will be Donald J. Trump,  Paul Harvey (good day!), Barry Goldwater, or John Birch. 

Seventh. Mark your ballot (see #4) and submit it to the Dade County Canvassing Board for approval. To do this, you will take your ballot in a semi-sealed green envelope, leave your polling spot, drive downtown to the Miami Dade Government Building, and take the elevator to the Clerk's Office. When the Board approves your ballot, go back to your polling place. 

Eighth. Your ballot will be electronically scanned using Tik Tok on your phone. Open the App, scan the ballot into a video and then email the video to VoteFl@Miami [your precinct number here].vote. 

Ninth. Get your "I Voted!" sticker and leave and congratulations on your jury service. 

* Robert Taft and John F Kennedy. 



Thursday, October 22, 2020

ONE STEP CLOSER

The Senate Judiciary Committee (Motto: "No Democratic Supreme Court Nominees within 3 1/2 years of an election. Ever!") approved the notorious ACB today in a party line vote in which the Democrats boycotted. Wow! That showed them. Not. 

The CDC has changed their guidelines.  A close contact is now defined as someone who sneezes on you AND/OR someone who is infected for which  you are in contact with for a total of  fifteen minutes spread across twenty-four hours. 

 THIS IS JUST A HYPOTHETICAL: Some Yahoo Judge in Dixie-Lee-John-Wilks-Booth County in Florida does something stupid like order you to try a case and she lets you speak with an officer in a hallway before trial. You speak for ten minutes, You pick a jury. Then you remember you forgot to ask the officer if he called your client the N word while repeatedly striking her with a tire iron and the officer agrees to answer that question and you speak with the officer again for another ten minutes in which he says he did do that because your client had refused to put down her diet coke and beef jerky when ordered to do so. 

Those twenty minutes, broken up into two ten minute sessions, are now considered close contact for over fifteen minutes, and because this is   Dixie-Lee-John-Wilks-Booth County where G-D herself has written into the Constitution that "Americans do not have to wear masks, even during a pandemic" the judge and the cop and the prosecutor and all the witnesses who hang out at the Piggly-Wiggly after court praising Trump and cursing Biden, are all teeming with Covid-19. 

LAWYER OF THE DAY Must be Miami Lawyer Aaron Honaker who has been arrested and charged with  a series of bank robberies. DOM  and @305ovalle have the story. But you know, desperate times call for desperate measures. 

The Path to 270: 

Democrats are feeling good but anxious. Let us give you some bad news. Trump will win Florida. If he wins Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Mexico, and Iowa, then even if Biden wins Wisconsin and Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota and New Mexico, the president will be reelected. Biden's clearest path to winning without Florida is Georgia- which is in play and would be a big loss for the president, and Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. We see several scenarios where is it is 268-263 and a few of those states- especially Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada are in contested recounts. Then the election will spread, like Covid19- into December and maybe 2021. Hang on to your hats. It is going to be a wild ride. 


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

YOUR WEEKLY QUIZ

 It is time to play our famous weekly current events quiz. Win valuable prizes. 

1) Which Country is less than two weeks away from electing a president where the president is publicly pressuring his chief law enforcement officer to arrest his current and former political opponents? 

a) The US
b) Kazakhstan
c) Eretria
d) Nicaragua 

2) Which County  has new infections rising from 50,000 a day to 60,000 a day while the president says "we are rounding the corner and things are getting better?"

a) The US
b) Kazakhstan
c) Hungary 
d) Nicaragua 

3) Which Country has a president who routinely attacks his world renown chief infectious disease specialist? 

a) The US
b) Belarus
c) Eretria
d) Venezuela 

4) Which state in the US has state court judges pushing jury trials to begin while the virus numbers are rising by hundreds of new cases a day?

a) Florida 
b) Alabama
c) Mississippi
d) North Dakota

5) Which state in the US has a governor who refuses to tell its citizens to wear a mask and in the face of increasing virus numbers has fully opened bars, restaurants and those all important tattoo parlors? 

a) Florida 
b) Alabama
c) Mississippi
d) North Dakota

Extra credit: Which famous and highly skilled blogger has a pending EU citizenship application? 

 


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

THE FALL CLASSIC

 After Sunday, it is the story everybody is talking about. Covid? Nope. Dolphins shut-out? Nah. Trump trashes Fauci? Dog bites man. 

It is Los Angeles vs. Tampa Bay. The World Series. And we have been wondering about the greatest world series moments. Here are our nominees. Submit yours. 

1) Reggie Jackson. Three swings. Three Home Runs on one October night in the Bronx and Yanks win the series. 


2) There has only been one, bottom of the 9th walk off game 7 world series winning home run and it occurred sixty years ago this month as the Pirates Bill Mazeroski did it against the Yankees. This series was fascinating for the scores of the games. The Yanks out scored the Pirates 55-27, winning three games with scores of 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0. But the Pirates hung in, winning close games with scores of 6-4, 3-2, and 5-2.  This game was perhaps the greatest game seven ever played as the score see-sawed back and forth. The Pirates went up 4-0. The Yanks came back and were up 7-5 when fortune favored the Bucs in the form of a ground ball that was a certain double play ball. But it hit a pebble and struck Yankee shortstop Tony Kubeck in the throat sending him to the hospital. The runners were safe and then the Bucs scored another run before Pirate- catcher Hal Smith hit a three run home run to give the Pirates a 9-7 lead.  The Yanks came back in the top of the ninth and tied it sending the game to the bottom of the ninth and bringing light hitting second baseman Bill Mazeroski to the plate.  



3) There have been dozens of pitchers in the world series who would end up in the Hall of Fame. Whitey Ford; Bob Gibson; Tom Seaver; Sandy Kofax; Mariano Rivera. But there has only been one perfect game pitched in the World Series and Don Larsen did it for the New York Yankees in 1956.  27 Dodgers up and 27 Dodgers down. No hits. No walks. No errors. No baserunners.  Just perfection. 



4)  Jack Buck's call may be better than the home run:  "I don't believe what I just saw". But we are putting  Kirk Gibson's pinch hit home run with one good leg against Hall Of Fame reliever Dennis Eckersley to win the game for the Dodger  in Game one of the 1988 World Series. 

  Game 6. 

5) 1986. The Boston Red Sox are one out away from breaking the curse of the Bambino. The NY Mets are down to their last at bat. Bottom of the tenth. Two on. Two out and Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner are about to be linked forever in Baseball history as Mookie has the most epic game-winning at bat  in WS history. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

OPENING LINES

 We give you, loyal blog readers, a peek behind the curtain to see the Great OZ and how the sausage is made. 

On November 4, 2020, the day after election day, we will have one of two opening lines to the blog post. Before we reveal them, we should examine opening lines. Great novels and great writers have great opening lines. "Call me Ishmael" is the opening line for Moby Dick, a novel we are decidedly unenthused about and believe to be one of the most overrated novels of all time. 

Better opening lines for better books are "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times" for Dickens' a Tale of Two Cities. "Lolita, light of my fire, fire of my loins" in Nabokov's Lolita. "Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting." The Sound and The Fury by Faulkner. "Howard Roark laughed." The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. "All this happened, more or less." Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. 

Next let's consider who will win. This statistic from the Democratic super-PAC Priorities USA: If Biden gets just three percent less from white working voters than he is now getting, and if just four percent of people of color do not vote then the electoral college vote is Biden 257, Trump 239, with Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania too close to call. 270 is needed for a win. For those of you who care, President Trump may well win Florida, which is a big problem for Biden. Florida is a statistical dead heat at the moment. We have seen insider polling.  So this election is far from over. 

Here is what we are currently thinking of opening the blog with, depending on who wins: 

Trump Win: "The End Of Democracy As We Know It Occurred In The United States Yesterday..."

Biden Win: "Our Long National Nightmare Is Over." Those of you who are of a certain age and historically acute (meaning not 98% of our robed readers) will recognize those words as the start of the peroration in President Gerald Ford's inaugural speech  as he addressed the nation for the first time after taking the oath of office.    

You see blog brilliance doesn't just happen.  Many of the posts are carefully planned weeks or months in advance, with words and phrases going through a rigorous editing process designed to produce a product we are justifiably proud of. Either that, or in a covid-gin hangover haze, we pound out something while sipping strong black coffee. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

NFL WEEK SIX 2020

 Good Covid19 Sunday Morning. The Virus numbers are up up up. US total cases rose from 50K to 65K. Florida has doubled from 2K to 4.5K and we are confident with our Governor's ability to tell people not to wear masks and go into crowded bars and restaurants that he can drive those numbers above ten thousand again. State court judges are pushing trials to begin, and only the SDFL Judges are ignoring the vox populi and siding with the science. Shame on them for doing the right thing. From Global Warming to Covid to international relations to emergency assistance, we rely on our leaders in 2020 to do it all wrong.  As Jerry Seinfeld famously told  George Costanza:  "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite must be right."

That being off our chest, we give you a few picks for week six, choosing among a host of games we do not like. 

Our Fav is the J...E....T.....S Jets Jets Jets who have embraced the philosophy of our Governor and elected leaders by screwing up everything they touch. Sign perennial All Pro and NFL rushing leader Leveon Bell and unlike any defense in the NFL, they stop him cold. He was released this week, an utter mulit-million dollar failure. Draft QB Sam Darnald number one and they are winless and on pace to have the number one draft pick in 2021, creating rumors that Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is considering staying at college for his senior year -ala Petyon Manning, rather than be drafted by the Jets number one. The Fins are a monster -8.5 in Miami today. Don't blink. Lay the points and take Miami.  BIG WIN AND THERE WAS A TUA SIGHTING AS HE CAME IN AT THE END AND COMPLETED HIS FIRST TWO PASSES!

Green Bay Packers at the Tampa Bradys. Green Bay is getting 1.5 on the road in a year when home field advantage is mostly meaningless.  The heat and humidity is not enough to stop Aaron Rodgers from besting a QB who is over the hill, overrated, and cheats when he can get away with it. Pack +1.5

We don't often make picks of certain teams because we do not have a good feel for the team. The Rams, the Steelers, the Falcons and the Panthers are a few of those teams. The over/under for the Steeler/ Browns game is 51. Both teams seem to have their offenses in high gear. Both teams also have top ranked defenses. But we like the over because the Steelers strength is in stopping the run and the Browns can throw and run. So if Cleveland tosses a few TDs, the Steelers have a fast offense that can compete with any team in the league. So take the over and pop and Iron City Light.  (Loss)

Two more overs. Ravens over 47 against Eagles  (WIN) and Over 46.5 Bengals/Colts. (WIN)

Survivor league: It is week six and we are down to six.  Four players are rolling with Fitz and the Fins, while one has the Ravens and one has the Vikes.  Just note that the Fins broke Judge De La O's heart and ended his season early last week by rolling the 49ers. 

UPDATE: Clay Kaeiser take a loss on the Vikes. Five left. 

week sixa by HR on Scribd


Friday, October 16, 2020

FEDS PUNT ON 3RD DOWN TRIALS SUSPENDED UNTIL APRIL

 Sometimes, to pick up some extra spending cash, we blog about stuff in Mr. Markus' milieu. 

The Breaking news from the secretive Federal Judges' Friday Conclave is that they have suspended jury trials until APRIL! YES. APRIL. April trials bring May sentencings the AUSAs like to say (but not when we walk into a courtroom). 

Let us turn serious for a moment.  We address the Judges of the SDFLA: 

Bravo!  You may be a co-equal branch of a government that has lost their mind (temporarily) but you have placed science over hysteria. Good for you and more importantly- THANK YOU. 

This virus is bad. It kills people and as we enter a second wave and much of the country moves inside where the virus propagates,  our  federal judges have recognized what the official policy of Florida's  State Court Judges have not- that it is dangerous to be inside a closed courtroom without adequate ventilation and no case is worth dying for. 

The judges of the SDFL have listened to the science. Now maybe they can speak to one certain judge who is not sure that climate change is real. 

BTW - one last thought. Didn't the president say he has "one of the great memories of all time"?

Then at the town hall meeting in Miami on Thursday night why couldn't he remember if he had a covid test on the day of the last debate a few weeks ago?


Thursday, October 15, 2020

HOLD TIGHT

 We know you wake up and log on expecting top flight writing and scintillating wit examining the legal issues of the day like no one else does (with apologies to our friend and compatriot Mr. Markus). 

But we tell it like it is and the news is not great. First- today is tax day.  😡If you got an extension like Rumpole did in in July to keep your money in high yield commercial paper, then today is the day you pay the piper and Uncle Sam. Sorry but pay those taxes. We had a good year last year. This hurts. 

Second, the virus is now in an official second wave in Europe. Here are the numbers: 

France (which has a real President who knows how to lead) declared a state of emergency and a night to morning curfew. France has exploded from 12,000 to 25,000 cases a day and the President is moving to clamp down and expand ER capacity in anticipation of hospitalizations that come ten days after the infection (unless you get treated at Walter Reed).

Germany has seen daily infections triple from 2,000 to 6,000 a day and the R rate ( the rate of infection spread) explode. As we all know by now, when R<1 then the virus dies out because each person. 

UK: New infections are headed to double from 10 to 20K a day. New strict lockdown measures are being imposed. 

Italy has exceeded daily numbers from the spring when it was the face of the crisis and Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain and Portugal are all imposing lockdowns to deal with exploding second waves. 

Meanwhile in Florida, we plan to stream people into our courts for trials, and then send them out for lunch and dinner at open bars and restaurants. It is PARTY TIME in the Sunshine Virus State. FYI Hospitalizations in the US are at a two month high. But don't worry. It doesn't mean anything. No need to wear your mask. Kiss a stranger and have fun. It's all fake news. 

Third- the presidential race is tightening. Not only is Florida in play, but we have seen some quality independent polling (albeit a Republican unit) that puts POTUS up 1-4%. It is the same white, uneducated and disenfranchised voters (mostly men) who do not show up on polls, but who turned out in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida for Trump in 2016 and there is specific targeting going on (including geo-spatial) that is driving them to the polls for early voting. All those long lines are not just angry democrats. 

Fourth: The Notorious ACB, who we all learned yesterday has "read about global warming" but has no opinion about it because she says she is "not a scientist", refused to say that there should be a peaceful transition of power after an election, and would not opine that a president cannot pardon himself (although there is a long standing opinion from the DOJ during the Nixon presidency that a president cannot pardon herself), will be your next Supreme Court Justice in time for Halloween. BOO!  

Query: If you cannot have an opinion about global warming because you are not a scientist, does that mean that 1) You cannot root for a sports team because you're not an athlete; 2) You should not leave a house on fire because you're not a fireman; 3) You should not have an opinion about getting an operation because you're not a doctor?  In other words, according to the Notorious ACB, you cannot rely on experts and empirical data to make decisions. You can only form opinions and make decisions in the singular area you are trained in. And this genius will be sitting on the Court for 30 years. It's why we drink. BTW after a long layoff (plantar fasciitis) we have started running again. Yes we have a Peloton, but there is something about the rubber meeting the road that just does wonders for a body.

BUT we have some good news. (Blogger tip- always finish on an up-note): Apple's 5G phone is here and nothing expresses our joy more than the brilliant Steve Martin and this scene: 


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

TUESDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TONIGHT

 Has there ever been a regular season NFL game on a Tuesday night before? Well, there is one tonight. Your undefeated Buffalo Bills play the Coviud-19-Titans. 

We are taking the Bill -3.5 and under 53. 

Anybody have any info on what's going on in the REGJB? Oh wait- it's closed to the public. 

What about the Feder....never mind, it's closed too. 

Civil closed (but no one realizes it). Family closed. Juvie closed. 

Probate OPEN because by the time you need it you're dead anyway!! 

Thank you, thank you.  I'll be at the Comedy Store all week. And coming up next is a very funny guy who I think you're really going to enjoy....

DID YOU KNOW....

The feds have done away with certificates of service?  The Cm/ecf  stamp is proof of when it was filed. 

Time for the State to follow suit since we also have electronic filing. 

Yes with nothing else to do with our time,  we are going to champion the cause! DO AWAY WITH CERTIFICATES OF SERVICE 

Right behind Covid and Global Warming, it is  our top issue. 


Monday, October 12, 2020

FACDL AWARDS BANQUET GOES VIRTUAL

 The FACDL Annual Awards banquet is always a rousing affair. Cocktails are sipped. Hor d'oeuvres are consumed and everyone congratulates everyone else for fighting the good fight. Judges are honored. Other Judges who are running for reelection show up as if they always attend (they don't). Long speeches are made and everyone goes home and they next day tries to steal a case from the people they drank with the night before. 

But this year will be different because this year two things which never happened before will occur. First, On Saturday October 24, 2020, the event will be virtual. 

And second, RUMPOLE will attend. We will finally get to see the shenanigans we have been missing. We have our own Zoom account. Our IP address will be masked with a Tor and we will be in full mask- the character of our mask will be announced on the day of the event to stop imposters. And we are working on a voice synthesizer. 

So show up. Toast the honorees and chat will Rumpole. We are lining up a very nice Bourbon or perhaps open one of our rare Sine Qua Non Shot in the Dark 2006 Syrah. Only about 440 cases were produced and we have several bottles. Some fresh king crab legs. Line caught Halibut and a loaded baked potato and a Shot in the Dark is not a bad way to spend an hour with friends. 



Sunday, October 11, 2020

NFL Week 5 2020

UPDATE: We made our big announcement on Twitter @justicebuilding just now.  

Well last week was a total disaster pick wise. We hope to do better. But before we begin, we have very exciting news!

We have something big planned with FACDL. Yes Rumpole and FACDL. Ebony and Ivory, trying to live together in perfect harmony. Trump and the rest of the human race. Pick your opposites and we have been that with FACDL Miami, But all is going to be forgotten and forgiven. Think President Carter with Menachem Began and Anwar Sadat at Camp David (most of you robe wearers will have to Google that to understand the reference).  And we will be announcing it FIRST ON TWITTER @Justicebuilding sometime today. It's a biggie.

UPDATE #2 Your MIAMI DOLPHINS the greatest football team took the ball from goal to goal today like no one has ever seen. They were in the air and on the ground and always in control and the Dolphins beat the Niners and knocked De La Over, Immache, and Ireland out of the Survivor Bowl! 4 out today and if the Gints beat the Cowpokes- they are currently up in the 4th quarter- we will be down to two!


Our Picks. 

Two teams we are done with : Dallas and Arizona Cardinals. 

Seahawks host the Vikes and are giving up 7. Take Seattle, give the points, take the cannolis.  Also over 57- the highest total on the board this week. 

Colts at Browns. Browns showed us something thumping the Cowpokes last week. Indy won last week and thus they are due to return to the mean because their QB is Phillip Cry Me some Rivers.  Take the Browns as a home dog in the dog pound. +1.5 WIN

Your Las Vegas Raiders go to KC and get 13.5 against the KC Chiefs. Chiefs are 4-0 but that includes two very close wins. Take Chucky's Raiders +13.5  to keep it close. WE'RE BACK BABY RAIDERS WIN. Weisman takes a loss in the survivor pool. Down to 9.

SURVIVOR POOL 

We are down to ten. Ireland and Weisman survived a scare with the Bucs last week who fell behind early and big. A Brady come from behind win saved them at the last moment. The popular pick this week is the Cowpokes and we think the NY Football Giants may just well upset them, although we agree a bounce back is likely, we are putting a C-Note on the Gints and the Money Line +310. An upset will be just  enough to pay for that bottle of Cabernet  we have our eye on. And a little left over for a lobster cocktail. 

week four by HR on Scrib

Late pick- Ireland picks the 49ers.

Friday, October 09, 2020

ELECTION UPDATE

It's campaign season and it is time we weigh in on the issues. 

 We have an election with vast consequences. People are examining the two candidates. The two candidates are getting out the vote. The results- and we are not being dramatic- will transform the Miami Dade Court system for decades to come. 

Biden v. Trump? Nah.....

Sayfie v. Bernstein for the job of Chief Judge.  This is the barnburner we are watching and you should be too. 

Phone calls are being made. Who is zooming who? Judges are lining up. The dominoes are starting to fall into place. If Judge Sayfie is elevated from chief of the Criminal division then who will replace her? (Hint- he's an administrative Judge who's name is vowel. And you should respond "O really?"). 

We know Judge Nushin Sayfie better because we have had more contact with her in the criminal division. She would be an excellent choice. We have no doubt she would do a great job. 

On the civil side, Sayfie's formidable opponent is Scott Bernstein. Fact: There are more civil judges than criminal judges, so if Sayfie is gonna pull this thing off she needs to fish in Bernstein's waters. And that will not be easy. Judge Bernstein is a dedicated Judge. His immersion into children's issues during his service in the family court was admirable. He is also very well respected.  

The choice will be a tough one. 

So we say this: Dear Judges Bernstein and Sayfie- the Blog is YOURS. Write us something and we promise to post it on the front page WITHOUT ANY EDITS AND- as tough as this will be- without any snarky comments. The floor is yours. Do with it what you wish. 

What do you want to do? How are you different from your opponent? Where do you see the Court System in 2025 and 2030? How has Covid permanently altered how courts do business? What's your plan to get Rumpole back trying cases? There are several prosecutors who need a good thumping. These would be great topics. But if you have a recipe for Brisket that you want to share, or a comment on the Dolphins O line, write whatever you wish. But write us. It would be a good thing for both of you. And do not under estimate the power of lawyers speaking to their favourite Judges on your behalf. Our guess is that this is close because more than likely most of your colleagues value and admire you both.  The decision will be tough. 

Judge Soto is term limited and the election is sometime in February. 

We await the candidates' missives. 

(We can imagine the phone call "Hello Scott? It's Nushin. Are you going to write into that crackpot? I think we should agree, either we both do, or we both don't.....blah blah blah.").



Wednesday, October 07, 2020

FIRST VP DEBATE IN OCTOBER

UPDATE- ANSWERS TO TRIVIA  

The Vice Presidential debate is Wednesday evening and we will be live tweeting our observations @justicebuilding on Twitter. 

In order to prepare for our live tweet event, we offer this bit of VP Trivia. 

VP John Nance Garner famously said 

A) The Vice Presidency was not worth a worm bucket of "spit" or a word that rhymes with spit;

B) The Vice Presidency was a snooze-fest;

C) The Vice President's heart started when the President's heart stopped. 


2) Who was President when John Nance Gardner was VP?  FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT 

3) Which Vice President was also president without being elected to either position? FORD 

4) Which VP decried the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism? AGNEW 

5)  Who beat JFK for the VP spot in 56? ESTEES KEFAUVER 

6) Name the only VP to first lose election for the presidency and then win? NIXON 

7) Name the last VP to win the election for the presidency and then lose an election for the presidency? GHWBUSH 

8) Name the VP who won and election to the presidency and then declined to run for a second elected term? JOHNSON 

9) Name two VPs who were governors of NY ROOSEVELT AND ROCKEFELLER 

10) Name the last two VPs who decided to not run for the presidency?  (Not 100% sure on this one- will discuss in the comments section).  CHENEY AND WE THINK DAN QUAYLE. 

Monday, October 05, 2020

FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER

 The Supreme Court is now in session, albeit with eight justices. Some are old and some are young and will be there for a while. 

The Republicans want to replace the recently deceased RBG, and they are correct in doing so. The rules clearly state that a justice CANNOT be replaced in an election year, UNLESS the justice who dies was appointed by a Democrat AND the president making the appointment is a Republican. What is so hard about that to understand? Why must irresponsible liberals call Republicans hypocrites for not giving President Obama's selection even a hearing when they now insist on quickly confirming the notorious ACB? Why are they being hypocritical when the rules are the rules? 

 There are a couple of good cases on the docket, including another round of Obama-care lawsuits. Again, we do not see the problem. Most Americans now have affordable health care but if the Republicans repeal affordable health care- especially during a pandemic- things will only get better, right? 

Speaking of doing away with health care, the President is sealing the case for masks are for wimps. Social distancing is for others. Washing hands is for others. But getting sick and getting access to every new treatment to save your miserable life? That's for the President and only the president. BTW- Christ Christie got sick and "voluntarily checked himself into a hospital as a precaution." Which everyone who doesn't feel well should do.

If you are not feeling up to snuff, head over to Mount Sinai or Baptist or Mercy and just tell them you're voluntarily checking in for a few days. Ask for a room with a view and make sure the cable works. It's the right way to go for the average Joe or Jane feeling a bit under the weather. Duh! Why people insist on dying at home with Covid is one of the great mysteries of 2020. 

So here is our first Monday in October. Masks not needed. The notorious ACB should be confirmed. Obama care should be killed especially during the pandemic, and when that happens trot over to your local hospital and check in for a few days. The Fontainebleau is getting old these days anyway. 


Sunday, October 04, 2020

NFW WEEK 4 2020 COVID 19 EDITION

 Trump has Covid. Cam has Covid. The Tennessee Titans have Covid. But the show must go on. 

Here are our picks for week four. We are a slight below average (for us ) 12-4 for the season. 

The big contest of the week that everyone is watching is Covid19 v. Trump.   Covid19 -7 1/2 over Trump. Covid has killed more than a million people. Trump is the perfect opponent. Old. Fat. Never exercises. Can't make it up (or down) a flight of stairs without needing to catch his breath. True, this is a tough road game for Covid. Trump in Walter Reed enjoys a distinct home field advantage. But Covid has won on the road before. A lot actually. China. Italy. And NYC and you know what they say- "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." Trump has a very good defense. But once the Covid 19 Cytokine storm offense gets rolling, it is almost impossible to stop.  It is hard to ignore a home dog like Trump. And he has surprised before. But he may just have met his match this time. 

Speaking of home dogs, the Ursine quality, we like the Bears and the amazing Nick Foles at home, getting 2.5 from the Indianapolis Colts. The adage "Always bet against Phillip Rivers" applies as always and a Nick Foles fully prepped with a week of work is a very dangerous opponent. Chicago +2 1/2. 

Browns at Cowkpokes.  Dallas has a pretty good offense. They just do not know how to finish games as a team. That is why the almighty created the Cleveland Browns. To help teams get back in winning form. Pokes -5 1/2. 

Cardinals at Panthers. Arizona broke our hearts, our bankroll AND knocked us out of the Survivor pool last week in getting upset by the hapless Lions. We still like this team and their offense and they right the ship against a Carolina team without McCaffery.  Cards -3.5.

Seahawks at Dolphins. Fins are a TD home dog. And Miami is just not that bad and maybe flying east from one of the farthest points on the map from Miami that a team can make slows Seattle down just enough for our Dolphins to keep it close. Ftizmagic baby +7. 


Survivor Pool coming up soon.


Saturday, October 03, 2020

Call Sign Chaos

 As the president remains hospitalized for a Virus that did not- as he promised- "magically disappear"- we will be tweeting @Justicebuilding some of the reflections of Retired General Jim Mattis. His book "Call Sign Chaos" is one of the finest explanations of leadership and reflections on the lessons of war and how organizations should be led.  The lessons Mattis discusses easily translate to running a law firm and preparing for trial. 

Meanwhile- as one person commented recently on the blog: "We like Presidents who do not get sick" and...."We should all extend to the Trump family the same concern and respect that they did as Senator McCain lay dying."

But of course that would be wrong. It would make us like the president, and that would be a tragedy of unprecedented magnitude. 

No one in the White House had the decency and courtesy to notify the Biden campaign once they knew there was a potential issue when Hope Hicks tested positive. Even when Trump tested positive, there was no heads up from the Trump campaign or the White House to the Biden campaign. 

An organization takes its cues from its leader. 

From Call Sign Chaos:

"In his fast moving campaigns during the Civil War, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman habitually sought to threaten two objectives before he attacked. This forced the Confederate generals  to split their forces, giving Sherman a decisive advantage when he made his lunge."

Years ago we observed a legal team that was intimidated to strike at anything, always worried that they would tip their hand. The result was that the prosecution concentrated their forces and attacked and routed the defense.  

Mattis emphasizes over and over again the value of reading books on warfare campaign. His tactics in the desert  in leading a Marine Battalion in the campaign to liberate Kuwait were influenced by the great British General William Slim and his classic "Defeat into Victory" - an account of the British Army recovering and regrouping  in Burma and India and defeating the Japanese. Mattis carried Slim's book with him into battle in Kuwait. 

 


Friday, October 02, 2020

COVID 3- TRUMP 0

 Thursday evening  on Twitter @Justicebuilding after learning that presidential aid Hope Hicks, who had been traveling with the President had tested positive for Covid, we tweeted this:

I really think the media is missing the seriousness of Hope Hicks having Covid and traveling with Potus this week. Everything else this year has happened. President Pence is next. #Trumphascovid

And then this morning around 1am  we learned that our 74 year old obese President, and his wife both tested positive for Covid-19.  (Covid3- Trump 0). 

So the important news is that you are really missing a lot if you are not following us on Twitter @Justicebuilding. 

(For example, having tweeted to @Facdl-Miami that we are following  them, they sent back this gem: 

FACDL Miami

Replying to
Hidden identity and potential conflict of interest? Sounds like the perfect Miami-Dade relationship


Friday morning at 8am we learned that Vice President Pence and his wife tested negative for Covid-19. However we do not know the sensitivity of that test. 

Follow us on this: Hicks tested positive on Wednesday. She was with Trump Tuesday. 

Trump debated Biden on Tuesday.  Which means it is entirely possible the 46th President of the United States sworn into office in January, 2021 is .......Kamala Harris!

Meanwhile, while you ponder all of this information a few thoughts on the breaking news:

1) Karma baby- this is what happens when you do not wear a mask to prevent a virus that did not "magically disappear" in April, May, June, etc. 

2) The Virus is young. Like any toddler it cannot read. It does not understand that when a Judge or politician says "Phase Two" or "Phase Three" that is is prohibited from infecting anyone else. Judges making decisions about ordering trials should keep this in mind, 

3) What if Trump gets sicker and the stock market rises? As we write this, the markets implied open are down- the Dow about 400 points, the NASDAQ about 350. Believe it or not, for the first time since March, we are buying this morning.  Apple under 114, Abbott Labs at the open (about 108- they will have a 15 minute test available soon. Demand will be in the mulit-billions)  Corning at 32 (they are making the glass vials for the vaccines), Pfizer at 36 - they are our bet for the first successful vaccine. 

3) According to the CDC males are at twice the risk of a negative outcome then females. Individuals over the age of 70 have a 10% mortality rate. Individuals who are overweight and haven't run a mile since they chased a twinky as a child are at a much higher risk for a negative outcome then individuals who are thin and in shape.  All of this means Melania could be back on the market for a husband in 2021. We can see the add on Tinder- "Former model. Young widow. Done with politics seeks successful male for quiet life. I have the condo on Fifth Avenue- you get the farm in Connecticut and the house in the Hamptons."

The two keys here are Pence and Biden (and to a smaller extent Nancy Pelosi). They represent continuity of government. As long as they remain negative and are effectively isolated, then the impact on a sick and perhaps Covid disabled president is minimal. It's not like we have had a mentally healthy and effective President since POTUS 44 (Obama) anyway.