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

Sunday, February 28, 2021

TAKE THE JnJ JAB

 In preparation for our ground breaking, earth-shaking, robe-wearer-quaking post on Monday, we use this Sunday to clear up some loose ends. 

First, Diamond Joel Hirschorn, ever the class act, wrote to us privately that the real story behind the discovery that the trial court neglected to read the reasonable doubt instruction was a little less dramatic than our post, which took some literary-license with the scenes of discovery, not to mention the 3rd DCA deliberations (and perhaps it is time to give kudos to the panel- CJ Kevin Emas,  and neewbies and former prosecutors Flor Lobreee and Monica Gordo.  We expected no less from Judges Lobree and Gordo  as former prosecutors. In their time at the SAO  they were known as reasonable and fair and it was nice to see them in the majority here.  BTW- if you like reading 3rd DCA opinions, keep an eye on Judge Gordo- some of her dissents have been superb and she is making a reputation for herself as an original thinker. It is gratifying to see. 

In his email to us, Diamond Joel gave all credit on the briefs to his co-counsel Mr. Sarangoulis, and had some mild criticism for the State not admitting error. We find the last part troubling. A man is serving life in prison, and the fundamental basis upon which our entire criminal justice system rests- a jury considering whether the prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt- was not in play during the trial. And despite that, the State - with their unsettling blood lust, sought to keep Mr. Phelps in prison until he died. The Florida Bar should be investigating whether these state bureaucrats should be held accountable for their lack of prosecutorial professionalism, the first requirement being sworn to ensure that the laws of the State are followed and executed. On this point, they failed miserably. Not for the fact that the RD instruction was not read, but for not immediately agreeing that a new trial was in order. 

Second, many people are emailing us asking if they should take the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or wait for the Pfizer/Moderna jab. The answer is an unequivocal YES.  The main reason is this- ignoring all of the other numbers for a moment, the JnJ vaccine is 100% effective in stopping hospitalizations and death for Covid19. That means that no one- zero, nada, was hospitalized or died after getting the JnJ vaccine, even if they got Covid. That means everything. 

Now lets take a deeper dive into the numbers. First praise for Pfizer. Not only are the P=jabs 95% effective against Covid19, but those numbers have been confirmed in real life field testing in Israel in which, reviewing over 250,000 people who got both P-Jabs in the last few months, the vaccine approached 98% efficacy. These numbers are more recent than the P-jab studies conducted 8-10 months ago, in the US, Europe, Africa and South America when there were less and less serious variants. So the Pfizer vaccine works and is working now. 

The JnJ jab was tested more widely and more recently  than the Moderna shot, which was only tested in the US, and also was tested at a time when there were less and less serious variants. Preliminary data shows that the Moderna vaccine is very effective against the deadly South African variant. which is good. But the final thing to remember is that with all three vaccines you are comparing Broward Judges to Miami Judges- there is no comparison. One set of the Judiciary will take lawyers who are from another county out of turn and another won't. You figure it out. 

If offered the JnJ jab, just keep telling yourself this- a month after I get this vaccine, I have zero chance of dying from Covid. Period. End of story. Roll up your sleeve, grit your teeth, get a lollipop and leave with your life protected. 

It is fair to say we are at a tipping point in our battle for Covid- but there is no doubt how it will end. We will prevail- we can make boosters and new vaccines that will shut this sucker down and a year from now, someone dying from Covid will be a rare and isolated event. 

WE CLOSE WITH THIS:

What would have happened if Covid came in 1977, or 1987, or even 1997? Would the Justice system have survived? In 1977 or 1987 most people didn't have cell phones (remember beepers?). In 1987 laptop computers were a rarity, there were no Ipads, and we accessed the internet with a  dial-up modem. Even in 1997, internet access and speeds were such that we could not have streamed Zoom hearings. And there was no e-filing at the time. So what would have happened? The clerk's office would have to had a person on the front steps, wearing a mask that they could not buy from Amazon, taking filings. We cannot even imagine the lines at Eckards (remember them?)  to buy a box of masks. 

Court hearings to process new arrests would have to take place in Lot26. Regular calendars would have to be held across the street under tents, or in the Orange Bowl. Even the dissemination of information about what was happening would have been near impossible. The Herald (gasp!) would have played a crucial role in telling people where to go and when. 

This could have been worse. We did not have the mRNA technology that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use. The JnJ weakened adenovirus would have been the first jab created and without computer monitoring and reporting of events, it would have taken a year to collect, collate and analyze the data.  And in any of those decades, 9 out of 10 vaccines routinely failed. So let us take a moment and count our blessings. We are well on our way to being back, to having Rumpole prowling the bars of jury boxes, growling out objections, crushing lying state witnesses with a withering glare, and arguing the reasonable doubt instruction-whether the judge deigns to give it or not. 

Stay safe. 


Saturday, February 27, 2021

?





Coming Monday: The Blog post no Judge ever thought Rumpole would write. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

WOOPS

 Good lawyers do their job and try hard. Great lawyers assume nothing, challenge everything and leave no stone unturned. 

Joel Hirschorn is a great lawyer, truly deserving of his legendary status as "Diamond Joel", which he was known as around the REGJB in the drug trafficking heydays for his diamond tie tack. While we do not know him, Andrew Sarangoulis, who was lead counsel with Mr. Hirschorn on a case that resulted in the 3rd DCA vacating a first degree murder conviction, deserves kudos for great work. 

Let's take a deeper dive. 

In 2014 Joseph Phelps was convicted of first degree murder. He conviction was affirmed on appeal. Enter Mssrs. Hirschorn and Sarangoulis on a 3.850 habeas petition. Talk about a long shot. So what did the defense team do? They started at the beginning. They assumed nothing, and reviewed everything. And lo and behold what did they find? 

Ummmm that the trial court "forgot" to give the reasonable doubt instruction!!! Wait- was this trial in Broward? Nope. It was here in Miami. And not only did the trial court forget to give the reasonable doubt instruction, the error was missed by the prosecution, the defense, and the defense on appeal. 

Woops, double woops, and triple woops. 

Just how did closings go? "The court will instruct you in reasonable doubt" - every attorney who has walked though the door of 1351 NW 12th street has told a jury in voir dire, opening and closing arguments. 

Did they fumble through their jury instructions packet? Or did the learned trial judge just miss it because of the pressures our poor, underpaid robed readers are under? 

The real story here is the lawyering at the habeas stage. It is realistically the client's last shot. Lawyers need to roll up their sleeves, start with the a-form and end with the verdict form and not overlook anything, including the boring jury instructions. Imagine the aha moment here when the defense team, surely late at night, a lone lamp burning in dark offices at Gray Robinson, sips a lukewarm cup of coffee and sighs and turns to the jury instructions of the transcript. "Thank you all for your attention. I will now read to you the jury instructions in this case. ....for over 200 years we have all agreed to abide by a set of laws. There are no other laws in this case."

"Ok, tomorrow I'll re-read the appellate briefs....hey...wait a second... did the judge read reasonable doubt? Of course s/he did. But...let me just check...introduction to homicide...definition of first degree murder...when there are lesser included counts...second degree murder....the first thing you should do when you enter the jury room is elect a foreperson. Either a man or woman can be the foreperson of the jury....NO REASONABLE DOUBT??? This cannot be. Let me do this again.... (papers now being frantically scattered across an already messy desk as the transcript is reviewed)NO REASONABLE DOUBT INSTRUCTION??!!  Surely this was raised on appeal....where are those appellate briefs....hmm...it was not raised on appeal???" 

A phone rings late at night. One of the lawyers is calling the other "You're not going to believe this, but on the Phelps case, I think I found something..."

The scene now shifts to the 3rd DCA in a small conference room: "We can't PCA this can we?"

"Of course not. There is precedent..." (nervous laughter in the room). 

"I mean, it has to be reversed right? Have we done that yet this year?"

"No...but still, we usually do one or two a year."

"Still, a PCA would stop any further appeals."

"It's reasonable doubt for gosh-sakes. It's not like the lawyer was sleeping during the trial. That's been affirmed before. But this....I mean who forgets to read reasonable doubt??"

CJ: (sigh) "Ok, all in favor of a reversal say 'aye'. 

CJ: "allrighty then. I'm the CJ, I'll write the opinion." 

Ladies and Gentlemen, may we present to you the winners of the 2021 FACDL MIAMI CHAPTER (dues due now) AGAINST ALL ODDS AWARD- Diamond Joel Hirschorn and Andrew Sarangoulis. (cue Rocky Theme Music as lawyers all rise at home (the awards ceremonywill be on Zoom again this year) and give these lawyers the standing ovation they deserve.

The opinion is here.  


Phelps Decision by HR on Scribd

 
Coming this weekend- the most unusual Rumpole post ever.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF COVID 19 AND MORE

 We are truly at a tipping point in our Covid 19 battle. The Virus is on the ropes, like a prosecutor whose witness has admitted that maybe she didn't see exactly who robbed the bank, but the detective said they had arrested the person who did it and maybe she could just confirm that by seeing him in handcuffs. 

Vaccines and masks are causing significant drops in new infections. Like a prosecutor from the Southern District of New York hiding exculpatory evidence and then lying about it, the virus is desperate- mutating to more virulent and deadly forms. But like Rumpole rising for one last cross examination to deliver the coup' de grace, bio-tech companies are developing new boosters that will protect against the new variants. In this race, we will win. We will outthink this virus with our technology until the virus has no where to go and dies an ungraceful death. Be patient. It is more than "the end of the beginning" as Winston Spencer Churchill said about the British's victory at the second battle of El Alamein (Rommel was heavily favoured, but it turns out he was nowhere near Egypt when General Sir Bernard Law Montgomery's forces routed the German Afrika Corps consisting of the 15th and 20th Panzer divisions and the 90th light Afrika division.). It is indeed the beginning of the end, so keep the faith and keep your mask on. 

The DOM publicity machine rolls on. Millions of NYC straphangers yesterday plopped down on their seat on the BMT or IRT and folded over their Daily News to this OpEd by "the spokesperson for the Ghislaine Maxwell family" in which our Mr. Markus notes that Ms. Maxwell has been kept in horrific pre-trial isolation that represents significant psychological and physical punishment on a woman convicted of nothing. Ms. Maxwell is going back to court with what Mr. Markus calls "one of the most comprehensive bail packages ever offered in a US Court.

Talk about being ahead of the curve! Why spend thousands of hours preparing for trial when you can be a "spokesperson"?  Genius. Our federal blogger is exploring new fields of opportunities for our profession. Imagine a person hiring a lawyer for a DUI- "I will be your attorney in Court and the fee will be $7,500.00. We also recommend you hire the DUI Spokesperson Defense Team as your spokesperson. It's the newest thing in criminal defense." 

Or how about this on TV: "Have you been injured in a car accident? Has a doctor operated on the wrong foot? Have you already hired a lawyer for your lawsuit? Then call us NOW at 1-800-speak-4-u and we will be your spokesperson." 

Of course the slightly small problem in the Maxwell matter is that, in our humble opinion, the best in-court  lawyer for Ms. Maxwell is currently the spokesperson for her family. It's like going to Dr. DeBakey for heart surgery and finding out all he is doing is putting in the IV. It's like being Tiger Woods and renting a car but not hiring a driver. 

Speaking of which, the NY Post, notorious for their bad pun headlines had this the other day: "Tiger's Worst Drive Ever". Not as cringe worthy as the infamous "Headless man found in topless bar" headline, but still in poor taste. 

And finally, this comment from the Yahweh Ben Yahweh post the other day deserves  the front page: 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truly amazing Yahweh trial was the first one with 17 defendants in Federal court in Fort Lauderdale before Rotteger. I represented one of the defendants. It was a five month trial. I had to pass on an all expense paid two week business trip with my best client to Kauai. She was invited to record with Taj Mahal at his Hawaiian studio . That was a tough choice. But the truth is, I made the right one. The trial was as entertaining as it gets with many, many memorable moments I relive often. Didn't hurt that my client was acquitted on all counts. The defense was so strong that the state declined to charge him in state court. You all should have been there to see a truly spell binding three hour closing argument by Alcee Hastings. We all broke for lunch in the middle of his closing and 16 attorneys gave him a standing ovation when he walked into the local restaurant. Those were the days my friend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:30:00 PM

 Delete
Indeed they were the days. Who was the spokesperson for the defense? 

COMMING FRIDAY : Diamond Joel Hirschorn and the amazing win at the 3rd DCA this week. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

YAHWEH BEN YAHWEH

 In the Rumpole abode, on Saturday nights we open a nice bottle of wine, finish off the Pasta Amatriciana-made only with guanciale (cured pig jowls) naturally, open the ice cream machine to see what we have made, and gather-round the Ipad for our favourite Podcast- For the Defense, by Mr. Markus, available where ever quality podcasts are disseminated (Apple, Spotify, Starbucks, et.al). 

And in the latest episode Mr. Markus sheds the rarified confines of federal court, where his interviewees wax poetic about the changes in the admissibility of scientific evidence from Frye to Daubert, and drill deep in the committee notes on Federal Rule of Evidence 404. Instead Mr. Markus heads to the intersection of 12th street and 12th avenues, finds some parking and enters the real  criminal courthouse where real trials have been taking place since it opened its doors circa 1960. None of this nonsense where agents sit at counsel table. The cops wait in the hallways like everyone else, until called to face the crucible of cross examination like only Rumpole can deliver it.  

It's a 305 Miami murder case that started in the 1980's with a Miami religious sect and ended with an acquittal in 1992 with famed Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Jane Weintraub defending the lead defendant Yahweh Ben Yahweh. The State-led by ASA Trudi Novicki was seeking the death penalty  Many defendants were on trial.  Some having been acquitted in federal court several months earlier were acquitted again and released. Robert Rozier, a former NFL football player was the flip who testified for the state. Rozier testified to several murders committed on the orders of Yahweh Ben Yahweh. "This case starts and ends with Rozier" REJBG legend Rayfield McGhee, who successfully defended another member of the sect on trial, told the jury in closing argument. 

It took three hours for the REGJB jury to say those sweet two words Rumpole hears many times a year: Not Guilty. 

So, gather the family around the Ipad and hook up some blue tooth speakers and be prepared to be entertained and transported to a time when we tried big murder cases, and we won them.   Mr. Markus interviews Ms. Weintraub, and its a great podcast. And don't forget to download the other episodes with interviews of Roy Black and other great criminal defense attorneys like Tom Mesereau who successfully defended Michael Jackson. In the crowded world of podcasts, this series stands out, especially in our profession. And NO, there are no plans as of now for the biggest "get" for the Podcast- your humble blogger. If the medium is the message, ours is electronic print. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

JURY TRIALS

BREAKING: Tiger Woods injured in one car accident in LA. We watched the news conference. Do the stupid questions reporters ask annoy you as much as us? Just once I'd like to see a sarcastic answer: 

Q: Was any special treatment given to Tiger Woods because he is a celebrity?

A: Yes. Of course. A second and newer ambulance was sent once we were alerted who was injured. The head of orthopedics was called to the hospital to handle the surgery instead of the on-call resident. We have a celebrity-injury check-list that we go through once we realize a celebrity is injured. For example Mr. Woods was offered to have the ambulance stop for a cafe latte once it was determined he was stable. Also a cleaner ER than the standard one was used.  

What if we never get back to normal? What if Covid19 lingers and there is a Covid21 and we cannot safely bring jurors into courthouses on a large scale basis? (There goes our chief Judge reaching for her Maalox again because of us. Sorry). 

Lets just say we cannot get back to normal. What do we do? 

We have some thoughts, naturally. 

First: Reexamine our criminal code and prosecution practices and judicial sentencing philosophy. First and foremost the "trial tax" (cue ominous music). Let's start with County Court and misdemeanors. County Judges, you are relevant. Look in the mirror, rinse, repeat. But when the defendant asks for a trial by jury for a first DUI and loses, they DO NOT need to be sentenced to jail. Not when all plea offers for first DUIs are non-jail offers. Ditto for the battery charge, the resisting arrest without violence charge and the Snook out of season charge. People do not need to go to jail for misdemeanors. Period. 

Now Circuit Court and felonies. Take the last sentence and substitute "drug possession" for misdemeanors. People do not need to go to prison for drug possession cases. Or any third degree felony for that matter, That is the low hanging fruit. Now buckle up, because it is going to get rough. 

What do we do with the serious, violent felonies? 

Professional jurors and/or panels of five judges who recommend a sentence along with the verdict. Walk through the REJG any afternoon between 2000-2019 and you will see empty courtrooms and chambers. These judges need something to do! And now we have it- they can be jurors! It will still take six to convict- five jurors,  including retired judges and retired lawyers, and the sitting judge must unanimously agree to convict the defendant. The five jurors in the jury box will then recommend a sentence, no complex guideline calculations needed. "Yes, the defendant is technically guilty of burglary of an occupied structure with an assault. But when the defendant broke into her own home that her husband locked her out of and threw a box of graham crackers at him, the sentence should be a withhold and one year probation."  

We need to start moving cases. Professional jurors can handle more evidence quicker and can come to common sense verdicts and sentences. And how about this? No voir dire! You get three potential panels of Judges. One panel is picked by the blind clerk.  The State can then strike that panel and the second panel is picked by the sight-impaired clerk. The defense then has the final say of panel two or panel three. Takes ten minutes, swear them in and lets start with openings! 

Now just stop before you complain that the world will be deprived of your brilliant voir dire, something that Mr. Markus will tell you  that we do not have in federal court anyway. And let's be honest, most lawyers stink at voir dire. They get so befuddled about reasonable doubt that they start drowning in hypotheticals until the trial judge rescues them. A more ignominious fate we cannot imagine.

Lawyer: Ok, imagine the sun is shining, and you walk outside and see your car is wet. Is it reasonable doubt to assume a rainstorm fell on just your car or someone came by with a hose?

Juror #1 (raises hand): I don't have a car. 

Juror#2 (chimes in): There are no hoses in the jury parking lot. (Other jurors laugh). 

Lawyer: Ok, it's snowing out, right, and you see snow on your driveway and....

Juror #3(raises hand): It hasn't snowed in Miami since 1974. 

Change is the price of survival. We need to change and adapt. We have to move cases through the maw of the justice system conveyor belt. We need to stop slamming defendants who cannot hire Rumpole for trial and lose, and we need to stream-line the process of trials and make sentences reasonable.  

And while we are on our soap-box,  let us finish with this. There is no such thing as deterrence. Period. Deterrence is a big deal in federal court under the 3553 factors. We have spent a life time practicing criminal law and not once has a client sat down and said "I had an opportunity to do some mortgage fraud and I was reading the federal law weekly and saw that Judge so and so gave someone three years for mortgage fraud with a loss of under a million and it was affirmed by the 11th circuit so  I figured I could risk that. If the sentence had been five years  I would not have lied on my mortgage application."

Lawyers, who do not read appellate decisions, commit crimes. So how do we think that some 17 year old kid who grabs a purse or steals an ID and buys an Xbox11 on the web knows the consequences of a crime? Miami is the capitol of medical fraud and has been for 20 years. Doctors have gotten 30 year prison sentences. And more doctors come along and write fake scripts in fake accident cases. The prior sentences on other doctors had no affect on them.  So stop with the deterrence crap. It's meaningless. 

There. 

We said it. 


Monday, February 22, 2021

Blue Monday

 Rainy days and Mondays always get us down. 

It's another edition of Rumpole's "WE'RE DOOMED"! ( (c) Rumpole's Blog, 2021, all rights and wrongs reserved). 

First the good news. Covid numbers across the board and the nation are falling. We are wearing masks. We are getting inoculations. We are social distancing, and guess what? It works! The science words. Who would-a-thunk-it?  The downside to this is that we passed a half a million deaths from Covid19 on Sunday. More Americans died in less than a year fro Covid19 than the combined deaths in WWII and Vietnam. Good thing we had a smart and motivated president from the start of the pandemic or it could have been worse.  

Our President has secured 600 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines combined. Yes POTUS 46, not 45 did that. And those will be fully available by July which means they should be in the arms of every American who wants one by August. And this does NOT include the Johnson and Johnson vaccine coming on line shortly. JnJ has said it will have 500 million doses ready before the end of the summer as well. America will lead the world in vaccines and distributing vaccines to those countries who need it. A far cry from the xenophobic "America First" nonsense of the last few years. When Americans arrive in far flung lands and vaccinate needy populations, the goodwill that buys is inestimable. As our current president said to the leaders of the NATO countries this past week: "We're back!".

Now, the sobering news why none of this may matter. 

It turns out that the reason for the Neanderthals' disappearance from earth was something called a "polar-switch." About 42,000 years ago (or roughly as long as it takes to get a file from the 9th floor attorneys' room in the REGJB) the magnetic fields at the north and south pole switched. As the magnetic fields switched, the part of the atmosphere that protects us from solar radiation disappeared. There was dramatic climate change, which the Neanderthal Republican Party at the time  (Motto: Eurasia first!) called "fake news and science" (you don't think the current Neanderthal Republicans  had the imagination to come up with that on their own, do you?). 

Well unfortunately for the Neanderthals, (Republican ones and otherwise), the climate change news was not fake and the solar radiation killed them all. The CNN article is here.

Now here is the worse news: The polar magnetic fields may be fixin to switch again. In the current issue of the journal Science, there is an article detailing the current weakening of the Earth's magnetic field by 9% in the last 170 years and there is "rapid movement" of the northern magnetic field across the northern hemisphere. 

A magnetic field switch would be bad. How bad? Like worse than having to pick a jury in Broward bad. 

In other words...




Sunday, February 21, 2021

TEXAS 2021

 Howdy, y'all. Let us take a look at our neighbor to the west, the Lone Star State. Rugged individualist who exemplify the American "go-it-alone" spirit. The place where all is well because Texans can wear their sidearms in Church and Kindergarten and the Piggly-Wiggly, as is guaranteed in the first forty-four amendments to the Constitution and and in the Bible: "Go forth and wear guns where you worship Jesus, where your children learn, and where you reap food (with 2 for 1 coupons on Tuesdays)" Luke: 23:5-7.  

The temperature fell a few degrees and folks we are here to tell ya that Texas fell apart. "Ohhh I'm cold, where is the federal government bringing help?"  Well Texans, you do not want to pay taxes. You chant "de-fund FEMA" and you support state's rights. So when your state is in trouble, just solve it, right? Three quarters of the country was in a deep freeze and and only you Texans were heard to whine. What? You don't have a winter coat and a hot cup-o-joe? Pluhleeze. What a bunch-a-wussies. The weather falls below zero in Vermont in August and doesn't get above zero until the end of July and they handle it with Yankee ingenuity just fine. Canada, those liberal gun-hating babies, is frozen year round, with nary a whimper. Texans have shotguns. Texans hunt. But they don't have one of those red checkered jackets for a cold snap?  

Let's look at what Texas did right.      

No. Seriously. 

El Paso. El Paso Did not lose power. Stores were open for food and fuel and water. Why? Because in 2011 after El Paso was hit with the type of freeze that crippled the rest of Texas in 2021, El Paso, those liberal commie bastards, did something unusual.  They didn't pray, they fixed their problem. They insulated their existing power stations. They built a power station that could switch in minutes from natural gas to fuel so that if natural gas pipelines froze, their fuel in supply tanks could be used. They raised taxes and utility rates for a few years and modernized. 

And Ted Cruz. Really. Senator Cruz is apparently one of the only smart people in Texas, as befitting his liberal, north-eastern law degree from Harvahard, Cruz did the smart thing. He looked around and said "feet don't fail me now" and he took his family to Mexico (the wall he supported the former president building only keeps Mexicans OUT. It lets Americans in. Duh.). Cabo San Lucas, specifically. Why sit in a house with no power and 20 degree weather when there is a Four Seasons with 80 degree weather just waiting for you in Cabo? 

Do not blame the rest of  Texas that they are too stupid to get out of the cold. Celebrate that they have a senator who is smart enough to listen to the weather girl on WTEX. Just what did outraged Texans think Senator Cruz was going to be able to do if he stayed home? Mosey over to the Dallas power station and lean over Rex and Bubba who are under the generator in their oil stained overalls.  Ted Cabo: "Looks like you boys have your hands full."  Rex: "Uh, yeah. Can you hand me that wrench?" 

When the going gets tough, the smart go to the Four Seasons. That has always been our motto. If you are not industrious enough to make enough money to afford to fly your family to Cabo and the Four Seasons, whose fault is that? Obama's obviously. But until then, let's celebrate what Texas did right:  El Paso and one wickedly smart Senator. 

Meanwhile for those of you in Texas who read this blog, it was 80 degrees here in Miami all week. Just sayin. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

PERSEVERANCE

 On Thursday the Mars Rover Perseverance landed on Mars. 



 We live tweeted the last minutes of the landing @justicebuilding. You should check it out. This is a big deal. Our exploration of Mars is going to lead to humans landing on Mars, which is going to lead to colonization of Mars. 

"2BR Capsule, Mawrth Vallis,  in the Neil Armstrong development, Recently redone with new water reclamation and next-gen O2. Buy for 690 or rent at 3950 per Mars/month, food resupply pod every six months included" 

As the planet heats up, people call global warming a hoax. When the planet got sick with Covid, people attacked social distancing and masks. When the FACDL listserv self-immolated this week, after the dust settled and all the lawyers finished attacking each other, they did next what comes natural- they attacked US! 

*"Rumpole posts all our emails!"; "Yeah, none of this would have happened if Rumpole didn't run the blog"; "Get him!" someone shouted. 'Hang him!" someone else screamed. That guy who stormed the Capitol wearing fur and Vikings horns chimed in, looking for a large flag pole to swing at us. 

It was a blood bath. We were pummeled. and no one came to our defense. It is like we were the Americans in our favourite Gordon Sinclair recording. 

The attack was the height of calumny. Here we were minding our own business, writing a motion to dismiss, when our email in-box started receiving emails with captions like "You cannot believe what these idiots are saying about you!

It was Outrageous. Salacious. Faceless. Shameless. And not in the least, Mendacious. If we could find more adjectives that rhyme, we would keep going. 

Lost in all the attacks we endured was the original problem. Apparently David Ovalle of the Miami Herald sniffed out our post on the PVH/Covid controversy. Some lawyers spoke to the intrepid Herald scribe and gave him some FACDL emails which he put in the story. Now mind you, we posted ONE email after our Capitan spoke with the author and received permission to do so. No good deed goes unpunished. The furor rose. One member called for others to resign. Aspersions were cast. Invectives were hurled. Unfounded accusations that would make a Broward Prosecutor smile were made. 

And when the dust settled and everyone was licking their self-infected wounds and there was no one else to attack, someone had the bright idea to blame your humble blogger. It was like lighting a flame to a can of gasoline in Texas so you can melt the ice in your bathtub to flush your toilet while your senator is in Cabo. In other words...WHOOSH! The mob turned, and in moments we were electronically tarred and feathered. "He posts every email we send" they whined. "Been doin it for years" someone grumbled. "Has no respect for us" someone else chimed in. 

In other words, in that famous poem by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller decrying the rise of Nazis "First they came for..." , the prediction of the poem came true: "Then they came for me."

 It was not pretty. 

We are still being trashed. (sniffle 😥). 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

WE'RE GOING REMOTE

UODATE The calumnious attacks on the Blog and us on the FACDL listserv continue unabated. Will no one stand up for us? We have not for years posted emails from the listserv unless, like yesterday, the writer gives us permission. We will not take these untrue assaults on our character and integrity  quietly much longer. 

UPDATE- 3:46 PM We are live tweeting the Mars landing of Perseverance. @Justicebuilding. Stop trashing each other on the Listserv and watch the landing and follow our tweets. 

UPDATE: If you are a member of the FACDL, and have a few minutes and need a laugh, read your emails about our last post. They are too funny- except for the baseless attacks on us and El Capitan. That is the point they have stepped over the line. Those attacks should stop lest we seek legal counsel. You know who you are. Kindly act accordingly.  

The CJ of the Florida Supreme Court issued an administrative order and then a memorandum on how judges should institute remote jury trials. We suggest  skipping the 27 page order and reading the 2 page memo.  The variant has thrown the judiciary a curve ball. In December and January we all had visions of being inoculated in February and picking juries in March.  We are close, but we are not there yet. Most Americans may not be jabbed with a vaccine until August and that is a bridge too far. 

So we give credit to CJ Canady for adapting to the shifting landscape. And, surprisingly, we support the move. 

Now before you get on your soap box and start pontificating about the small micro-gestures you expertly pick up on in trial which allows to you pick the best jurors and break the unbreakable witness with a withering cross all fueled by that slight tick you picked up on, let us say ...balderdash!  You didn't win that case you're always bragging about because the eyewitness blinked at the right moment. And more importantly, a good trial lawyer adapts. Good trial lawyers try cases under all sorts of difficult situations. They go to foreign jurisdictions where cross examination is conducted while seated. Or where they are not permitted to move from behind a podium. Or- like most of the country and all of federal court- where depositions are not allowed. And yet, they prevail. Like the US Marines, they Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. 

Both sides have the same limitations in remote jury trials. When a judge hands you a lemon, make lemonade. What you may lose from not being in the same room with jurors and witnesses, you may gain in other ways. It is up to you as a good lawyer to find those ways to make the disadvantages into advantages. Appellate oral arguments are conducted viz zoom, and things are different. There are less questions. Panels let lawyers talk longer before interrupting. Good appellate lawyers are still winning cases. They find a way. 

Change is the price of survival. The world has changed. Courts have changed. The Law has changed. And now the way we try cases has changed. Deal with it. Go to trial and get those not guilty verdicts that are just waiting there for you to take off the table and hang on your wall. 

Improvise.

Adapt. 

Overcome. 

Win. 

2021-02-17 Memo Re Requirements for Remote Criminal Jury Trials by HR on Scribd



AOSC20 23 Amendment 9 by HR on Scribd

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

COVID-19 ADVISORY #742,312 -

Rumpole Update: This is a comment that we received that sort of levels the playing field. Things are not always what they seem. 

Paul's e-mail is a little misleading. The judge chose to move forward with a Zoom PVH under the authority of the recent decision by the Third in the Clarington case. Mr. Cariglio objected and said that he and his client had a right to be present in the courtroom (he later also requested that the ASA be required to be present in the courtroom). After that objection and request by Mr. Cariglio, the judge ordered corrections to bring the defendant and for Mr. Cariglio to appear. Mr. Cariglio said it was not ideal but he would be willing to appear in person and also stated that he had been dining out at restaurants during the pandemic The hearing was reset so everything could be arranged. All this to say, its not giving the full picture to claim that the judge decided to conduct an in person hearing over Mr. Cariglio's objection. The judge ordered a Zoom PVH and Mr. Cariglio demanded he and his client be allowed to appear in person. None of this, however, negates the fact that the judiciary should closely examine the decision whether to conduct trials under the circumstances. 

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:


COVID-19 ADVISORY #742,312


Regular readers of the BLOG know that we have been posting in the Comments section every time we receive one of these "advisories" from Eunice Sigler, the Communications Director for the 11th Judicial Circuit.

Today, we were alerted to some very disturbing information shared on the FACDL List Serv by Paul Petruzzi. We asked Paul for permission to re-print the information and he encouraged us to do so. Here is what Paul wrote in its entirety:

So, many of you know I share space with Jerry Cariglio. Our office also has staff and a lawyer with health conditions that place them at greater risk for serious complications were they to contract Covid. As an office, we have all been very careful to avoid exposing ourselves and then the rest of the office. Over Jerry’s objection, Judge Fernandez decided to conduct a PVH in person rather than waiting for things to become more safe. The hearing started yesterday and was to resume today. It won’t resume today because the bailiff tested positive for Covid. In the meantime, Jerry had very close contact with the bailiff for several hours yesterday and now has had contact with half the people in our office suite. I encourage the judicial powers that be in state court to rethink their current plans. Paul P.


Needless to say, the feedback on the List Serv was swift and directly to the point.  Judge Soto and Judge Sayfie need to take a long hard look at the decision to resume jury trials on March 1, 2021.  There must be an absolute standing Order signed by Chief Judge Soto that directs all Circuit and County Court Judges to permit the attorney of record to be granted a continuance if they do not feel comfortable appearing for trial in person.

This is a matter of "life and death".

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

CONVERGENT EVOLUTION

British researchers now believe that the new British strain B1.1.7, which Dr. Fauci has already said many times will be the dominant strain in the United States next month, is not only more virulent but most likely more lethal. 

But something a little more concerning is also happening, and along the way it is further proof of Charles Darwin's Theory Of Evolution. For all you Religious-Fundamentalist-Republicans who do not believe Adam descended from Bonzo the Chimp, Covid is dealing you some serious disappointments. 

Convergent Evolution is the similar evolution of new traits in not closely related organisms. In other words non-related species can evolve similar traits based on their environment. The phenomenon has been observed in viruses and now there is evidence that strains of Covid19 in the United States are showing traits of the strains of the British and South African variants. Holy Evolution Batman! This is not good. What this means is our enemy is independently adapting throughout the world. Strains continents apart are separately and independently mutating to a new strain with similar characteristics- becoming easier to catch (because by wearing masks we have made it harder to spread) and more deadly. Covid is a worthy enemy- like a prosecutor with a confession and DNA. But as any prosecutor who has dealt with Rumpole can tell you, Covid can be beat.   

The NY Times article is here. 

The reasons for an elevated death rate are not entirely clear. Some evidence suggests that people infected with the variant may have higher viral loads, a feature that could not only make the virus more contagious but also potentially undermine the effectiveness of certain treatments...

(Note to Judges- as Bruce Springsteen sings in 10th Avenue Freeze Out "This here is the important part"*):

No matter the explanation, scientific advisers to the British government said on Saturday, the new findings laid bare the dangers of countries easing restrictions as the variant takes hold.

The overall picture is one of something like a 40 to 60 percent increase in hospitalization risk, and risk of death,” Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist and scientific adviser to the British government, said in an interview on Saturday. Referring to the tight restrictions on socializing that are in effect across Britain, he said, “It reinforces the policy measures in place.

The CDC announced Sunday that two million Americans had been vaccinated the day before.  We are close to vaccines being available  for those of us who labour in the REGJB for our bread and wine, although it is not yet on the menu of Au Bon Pain. March 1, 2021, is NOT the time to open up the Courthouse and start trials again.  But like opening day in baseball, Memorial Day or the 4th of July or Labour Day or Thanksgiving, it is coming. Just wait a little longer please.


* Bruce  only sings that line occasionally in live shows.  It was not part of the original lyrics. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

ATTORNEY AL WILLIAMS HAS PASSED AWAY

 Al Williams, a long time fixture at the PDs office where he handled the most serious cases and mentored generations of young lawyers has died at the age of 70. Mr. Williams life is a Miami Story gone good. 

He was the second of six children born in a house on Williams Avenue in Coconut Grove. He attended George Carver Highschool and Coral Gables Highschool, a three year letterman in football and wrestling. His football team went undefeated one year, winning state and national titles and named the Florida Highschool football team of the Century, no small honor in this state. Al was an undersized 160 pound guard on the team. 

Al Williams graduated from UM Law school in 1976, joined the PDs office and spent the next 35 years defending the people of his home town. 

We did not cross paths with Al Williams much, but he was a much admired member of the Dade PDs office and started at the time when assistant PDs were named Roy Black, HT Smith, Jack Denaro, and Norm Gerstein to name a few. It was an office of current and future super-stars. 

COMING TO NETFLIX

 

Coming to Netflix this fall, a new political thriller....The Impeachments of Donald Trump.

Every season the former president will be impeached. 

Scene: Speakers Office, Capitol Hill. 8:30 pm. An aide walks in. Speaker Pelosi sits behind a large desk. She looks up from a notepad expectantly. The aide is harried and is carrying a diet coke as he flops down into a seat. His hair is matted down wet. Behind the Speaker is a window and we can see a furious rain storm beating on the windows. Thunder rumbles ominously in the background. 

Aide: "He threw a hamburger at a waiter at Mar A Lago and hit him. He ordered it well done and it came out medium well. 

Pelosi: And?

Aide: And, wait until you hear this...the waiter was an immigrant from Mexico. 

Pelosi: We may need more.

Aide: He and Melania are not sleeping in the same room. He made Lindsey Graham caddie for him during his golf round on Sunday with David Duke and the My Pillow Guy. You should have seen Graham lugging three golf bags down the fairway. He was sweating. It wasn't pretty. 

Pelosi. Hmm...

Aide. And we have this. He called Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau a wimp on DT, his new Twitter-type app.  

SCENE TWO: House of Representatives. 

Speaker Pelosi: The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Raskin. 

Congressman Raskin: Madam Speaker. I have the high honor to introduce (again) the articles of impeachment against the former 45th President of the United States.  Article One: That within the last week the former president did maliciously, and with intent, hurl a hamburger at one Ernesto Guerra, a citizen of Mexico, striking Mr. Guerra in the arm, committing the misdemeanor of battery with a food item. Article Two: That within the last three days the former president of the United States did call the Prime Minister of Canada "a wimp and an idiot" and said that Canada was only good for "that French fries and gravy thing", and in doing so did bring disrespect to the high office of former President of the United States and did embarrass most Americans, especially those who enjoy Poutine. That such acts constitute high crimes and misdemeanors and as such the House Of Representatives are presented these articles of impeachment for consideration. 

Each season, from the acts of the former president to the house of representatives, to trial in the senate, there will be an impeachment, and a trial, ending, in high drama...ala "Who Shot JR?" with a vote in the senate coming down to the very last vote.

Casting: Meryl Streep as Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the Housel; Jim Carrey as Lindsay Graham; Eugene Levy as Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer; Zack Galifianakis as Mitch McConnell; Will Ferrell as Congressman and Impeachment Manager Jaime Raskin; Jennifer Lopez as Melania Trump; Billie Ellish as Tiffany Trump- the disaffected daughter of the President;  Neil Patrick Harris as Jared Kushner;  Iggy Azalea as Ivanka Trump; Martin Short as Vice President Mike Pence; and special guest star John Lithgow as the former President. 

The Three Stooges as Trump's defense team.  Moe: Impeachment??!! why you...(finger poke at Larry who ducks, Moe hits Curly in the eyes who howls in pain, bends down and throws a hammer at Moe who ducks. The hammer hits Senator Lindsey Graham). 


Future seasons will include impeachment for cheating at golf during a round with Kim Jong Un; publishing a book MAGA that plagiarized most of John Kennedy's Profiles in Courage;  cutting the line at Mortons in West Palm Beach; threatening a Kansas Second Grade History teacher in a recorded phone call for teaching in history class that Joe Biden beat him in the 2020 election: "A lot of people are saying I won the election, nobody has seen anything like the votes I got and you know, if you keep lying to these children, you personally could be in a lot of trouble, and I know Kansas has a lot of good lawyers and you might need one..."; trying to sneak aboard Air Force One; trying to give the State of the Union Address one day before Biden is scheduled to give the speech; and finally, the revelation that in February 2021, each republican senator was sent before their vote on impeachment a coupon for half off a room at the Trump hotel in Washington DC., for the fourth of July weekend.  

Friday, February 12, 2021

WEEKEND BOND HEARING ZOOM INFO

 We try not to be informative or helpful. It ruins our stellar reputation as a scoundrel and rapscallion. 

However, as much as it pains us- you do need this information from the head honcho at FACDL- your dues at work: 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – DO NOT SKIP THIS EMAIL


All,

 

Please see the below message from Judge Sayfie regarding Weekend and Holiday Bond Hearing Calendar:


Good afternoon,

Effective tomorrow, Saturday, February 13th, private attorneys or other interested parties seeking access to weekend DV, Traffic, Misdemeanor or Felony Bond Hearings can do so via Zoom.

Virtual Courtroom ID: 932 0830 6120.  The hearing is in webinar format.  If you need to be heard please follow the instructions on our website, also attached, or type your request in the “chat”.

Please disseminate this information to members of your office or agency.



Agencies do agency business. The blog is what matters when it comes to dissemination. 


Kindly zoom accordingly on weekends. And remember, no cat filters!


Personally, we would immediately delete any email that arrived in our inbox with the annoying "do not skip this email" warning. Important information is best ignored. It's the minutiae that fascinates us. But then, we are contrarians who have made a good living doing  exactly the opposite of what we are told to do. When judges stand, we sit. When Judges sit,  we stand. Try it. It is a whole lot of fun. 


Meanwhile,  continue the discussion on the last post about attending trials. We love stirring up the pot and creating a ruckus. No truth to the rumor that we send every new chief judge a bottle of Maalox with the note "The first one is on us". But we should. 



Thursday, February 11, 2021

THE T WORD

UPDATE: Knowledgeable individuals have told us that "no one will be forced" to try a case until they feel safe. However, that doesn't completely jive with some- admittedly- off-the-cuff remarks by judges who have told lawyers in no uncertain terms that when trials begin their case WILL BE FIRST. Even those who wear black every day have a right to be frustrated with the slow pace of  covid-19 recovery, but it would be a good idea for the Judiciary to state in no uncertain terms that while they are working hard-as they should- to get trials back on track, no lawyer or litigant will be forced to trial until they feel safe/are fully vaccinated.  

Trials are the T word. And the T word is on everyone's lips and minds. The Feds pushed back trials until May 3, and then it is only supposed to be a "single civil trial" before the indefatigable Judge Ungaro.  The State ...well suffice to say there are more rumors about State trials restarting in March than about whether the prior President will run again in 2024. Ovalle and The Herald reported an interview with Judge Soto in which she said  that jury trials will start March 1. 

Good! No, Great! Let's start jury trials right when the new, more virulent form of the virus will be the dominant strain in the United States, and Miami. 

The new strain is doubling every ten days in the US. From the NY Times: 

Federal health officials warned on Friday that a far more contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain could become the dominant source of infection in the United States by March, and would likely lead to a wrenching surge in cases and deaths that would further burden overwhelmed hospitals.

"Hi, welcome to the Richard E Gerstein Justice Building Jury Duty room. The windows do not open. In fact no windows in this building open. You will be in a court room where the windows do not open and you will be in close contact with your fellow jurors, like that person over there- the one with his mask below his nose. Yes, there is a new and more virulent strain of the virus where even wearing a mask and staying six feet away may not protect you. But we have a very serious resisting arrest with violence charge to litigate, and after a year of no trials, we just can't wait, even if that means some of you get sick and die. So feel free to use the wipes to wipe down your chair and we have complementary hand wash and Cuban Coffee. So settle in and we will take your temperature twice a day, because we do not acknowledge asymptomatic transmission of Covid.

This is whistling in the dark. This is akin to being a lunatic president and just wishing the virus away or telling everyone it will be gone by spring, summer, or the day after the election. This is hope over science. This is wanting something more than understanding the challenges in getting what you want. This is reckless. This is dangerous. And this is wrong. 

When everyone who gets summoned to a trial- from the person sitting high up wearing black, to the clerk, court reporter, corrections officers, lawyers, litigants and witnesses have  two vaccines on board, then trials can begin. Safely. Smartly. With much less risk. 

Until then, if jury summons go out for March 1, and the powers that be start trying to march people into courtrooms who are not vaccinated to try a case, we will be shouting from the electronic mountaintops that it is wrong and dangerous. Not just into the teeth of a virus, but into the teeth of a new, more virulent strain of the virus that is just as deadly, and more easy to catch. 

The Biden administration just announced the purchase of 200 million more doses of vaccine. By the end of July the country will have 600 million doses of vaccines available, enough to vaccinate every American who doesn't believe Dr. Fauci is personally profiting off of the virus and vaccine. We are talking about waiting a few more months to save lives. 

The decision is an easy one. 

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

MEOW

 The greatest court hearing on Zoom in the history of Zoom court hearings. Superlatives are often overused. Not this time. 




A lawyer showed up to virtual court in the 394th district of Texas with a kitten filter turned on, the cat moving its lips and eyes, as Rod Ponton said he and his assistant were attempting to remove the filter during the court case.

Please everyone...whenever you need local counsel in Texas, Mr. Ponton is your guy. He has to be your guy. He is the greatest. We love him. This made us laugh.

And BTW- props to the Judge who was clearly doing his best not to lose it.

FACDL INFORMATION YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU NEEDED

 One proposition bet we missed reporting was the total offensive yards of both teams versus the number of emails the president of the Miami Chapter of the FACDL would send out the Monday following the game. It is close as to which is the greater number. 

First up County Court Zoom Bench Trials. Before you overreact, lets us repeat- County Court...take a deep breath...a bench trial. So, those undersized Snook cases, expectorating on the sidewalk (more serious in days of covid then in days of lore), and disorderly intoxication cases can finally be tried. Save your gripping about the immediacy of witnesses and their reactions, put on a shirt and tie, and try those cases. Nobody wins a case by making a Snook wince on cross. That only happens in the movies (or on DOM's Podcast). 

Procedures for Zoom Bench Trials by HR on Scribd

 
Next  up are those all important procedures for DV motions -non emergency only (non-emergency...which is puzzling. Aren't all DV cases by definition an "emergency!"?) 

 
And finally everything you wanted to know about Juvenile Court but were afraid to ask (which includes us...a multi-decade streak of never entering said courthouse or handling said juvenile cases)
First up, something called a Detention Shelter Rotation Calendar. Sounds intimidating. Detention and shelter cannot be good. Personally we suggest avoiding such star-chambers, whatever they may be.

Updated 2021 UCC Division Detention Shelter Rotation Calendar 1.20.21 by HR on Scribd, 

 
Next up A UCC zoom Directory. Sounds useful...Of course in law school we did much better in crim procedure than contracts which is why we ended up in criminal law. Never saw the fun in walking around quoting the UCC all the time when contracts were broken when there were Snook cases to defend. Let's see what we can remember..."An offer is an manifestation of willingness to enter into a contract, so made to another...blah blah blah"

 
And finally Your UCC Judicial Directory, Can't tell the players without a scorecard is what they used to yell outside the ball park when games were played during the day and there was no designated hitter. This is your Judge Scorecard. Revel in it and enjoy. 

UCC Division Judicial Directory FINAL Rev 1.20.21 by HR on Scribd

Monday, February 08, 2021

IMPEACHMENT 2.0

 A new week brings many expected events as we enter the second month of the second year of Covid-19. 2-2-cv19, which for all the world looks like the start of a federal civil case number, will become our new way of measuring time. 

The senate starts the second  Impeachment  of Former President 45 (FP45) on Tuesday. Between Sunday and Monday FP45 surprisingly did NOT change legal counsel, but Monday is a new day. 

Could there be any better hire for FP45 to make then the new hot name in defense? Mr. Markus? One of the best, but no longer new. Roy Black? Even less new. And neither of those two esteemed counsel could do what the nation saw on Sunday night- stop Patrick Mahomes, the new Best QB in the NFL (BQNFL).  Until the Super Bowl, the BQNFL had NEVER gone a professional game without throwing a TD pass. He had NEVER lost by double digit amounts before Sunday night. His numbers, were we dare say, Rumpole-like. 

Enter Tampa Bay defensive coordinate Todd Bowles who figured out a way to stop the vaunted Kansas City Offense. Their stars were silent. There is a missing wide-receivers report for NFL star Tyreek Hill. He was last seen Sunday afternoon warming up in Tampa Bay. 

Could there be a better pick for the defense team of FP45 then Todd Bowles? Maybe he can shut down Chuck Schumer et al., the way he shut down Patrick Mahomes.

On the virus front, the new variants may well be the back wall of the hurricane as this CNN report speculates.   We are now in a race- get a majority of the US public vaccinated before the variants can take hold in this country and spread like wildfire. Of course in this race we are starting one year behind, the one year being the time FP45 fiddled while the virus burned. Remember how FP45 and his minions including Florida Senator  (R-sniveling wimp) confidently predicted the virus would disappear the day after the election? As Dr. Fauci keeps chanting, a virus cannot mutate if it cannot replicate. A virus cannot replicate if it cannot find a host. Thus the need to jet jabbed. 

Judge Sayfie is soon to take the reins as the CJ of the Miami-Dade County system. Her first hard call will be when to open up the courts for trials. She knows our feelings. We will give her a few days to get settled into her new digs before we start beating the drums on no jury trials until most of us are vaccinated and the Florida new infection numbers drop into the double digits. 

Meanwhile, how many days until pitchers and catchers report? It was a great NFL season. In many ways it helped save 2020 for a lot of us. Congrats to Tom Brady, who may well be the figure we have disparaged more on this blog than Judges. He is great. He proved it last night. OK? We said it.  Now lets hope the Dolphins trade Tua for Watson. 

Sunday, February 07, 2021

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY 2021

 Let us get this right out of the way. The Kansas City Chiefs should win the game. They are the better team with the better quarterback. They are well coached and they are blistering fast on offense and defense. Yes they have some holes, and Tampa might, just might be able to exploit those issues. The largest problem for KC is that their offensive line is decimated. It is a patchwork of replacement players,  and in the battle between the Bucs' D-Line and KC's O-line, give the edge to Tampa. Ditto the running game. But that is where it ends. KC has the better secondary, the better wide receivers and currently the best quarterback in the game. If you want a safe bet, take KC -3. KC Should win by between 5-10 points. 

Which is why we are betting Tampa and the money line +140. Bet a hundred on a QB making his unprecedented tenth! super bowl appearance to win 140 sounds like a fun way to spend a Sunday evening. Throw in that we really like Tampa Coach Bruce Arians and Offensive Coordinator Lord Byron Leftwich, and we are happy rooting for an upset, despite the cheater leading the Bucs. The whole "Lion in winter" story line has always been appealing to us. 

Now let's get to the real fun. Here are the proposition bets we like: 

Brady throwing over 295.5 yards: -115. Brady has bought into the Arian's concept of the deep ball this season. Lay the 115 to win 100. 

Chief's TE Travis Kelce scoring a TD: -162. It is a lot of vig to give, but he is a fav target of Mahomes.

Over 2.5 players to attempt a pass: +165. You're betting someone other than Brady or Mahomes tosses the pigskin just once. This is a fun one to root for and have 100 bucks on. 

First scoring play: Bucs field goal +430; KC Field Goal +420. 1,000 on Tampa returns 4,300 (4.3 to 1).  That would pay for some nice Covid stay-at-home wines. 

First turnover will be a fumble +140, interception -160. In a pass intensive game we love the INT bet- lay the 160 to win 100. 

First Half Tampa +2 1/2.  KC is a classic slow starter and a great come from behind team. Brady knows the value of a strong start. Take the Bucs +2.5 for the first half. 

First player to score a TD- It is time for Antonio Brown to pay off for the Bucs. Brady asked that he be signed by Tampa and this sweet 20-1 bet pays a cool 2K for a hundred dollar wager. TB to AB for 2k. 

KC total rushing yards 9.5 yards (-110) versus the final round score of golfer Xander Schauffele on Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. KC runs for about 95 yards a game. Schauffele has averaged 68.5 on the tour this year. So even subtracting 9.5 yards from KC's total rush yards, the Chiefs should rush for more yards than Schauffele's final score unless Tampa shuts down KC's running game and Schauffele implodes. Neither result is likely. Lay 110 to win a hundred KC's running game tops the golfer. UPDATE- Schauffele shot a 69. So now the bet is will the Chiefs rush for more than 69 yards after 9.5 yards are deduced from their final total? 

Total first half points vs total points for NBA back to back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's  in the Bucks v. Cavs game. The line says the first half total should be between 27-28 points. GA has been averaging 28 points a game this year. Throw out one or two outlier low scoring games and he is averaging 30 a game. We think the first half will be tight. Take GA -115 over the first half total. 

Trump impeachments vs. Mahomes' Super Bowl MVP awards through 2025. Trump has already been impeached twice. Mahomes has one MVP. For Mahomes to win this bet, he will have to win the MVP today and return to the Super Bowl again before 2025 AND win a third MVP. Take Trump -160 and his two impeachments over Mahomes SB MVP totals before 2025 +210. (Note this is a Rumpole bet. No one else we know has this prop bet.) 

Other Rumpole Prop Bets: 

Number of Justice Building trials before May 1, 2021, vs. number of TD passes Mahomes throws today. If, like us, you think the new strain of covid will hit harder before we are all vaccinated, then take Mahomes. But remember that our new CJ is committed to starting jury trials as soon as safely ("Sayfiely"?) possible. Mahomes -180 v. Sayfie +120. Our pick is Mahomes. 

Days until it is formally announced Judge De La O is the new chief administrative Judge for the REGJB vs. longest FG yardage minus shortest FG yardage. So lets say the longest field goal is 50 yards, and the shortest field goal is 20. 50-20=30. Will De La O be named new admin Judge for the REGJB over or under the longest FG- shortest FG?   Over +125, Under-160. We think Under. We think it will be a very short time before De La O is the new CJ for the criminal division. If this has already occurred then the bet is off the board.

Number of total TDs (run or passes) +175 vs. number of PCA opinions released by the 3rd DCA this Wednesday (-120). The 3rd DCA is the favorite to PCA more cases than the total number of TDs scored in the super bowl. 

 COIN TOSS

And of course our dead-lock-solid- never lose heads or tails bet. Tails has won 7 of the last 8 super bowls and that matters not. Coins have no memory. The wind speed at the time of the flip (approximately 4mph), the relative humidity, the number of anticipated rotations of the coin, and the relative strength of the coin-flipper (RSCF) all have been factored into our patented super bowl coin flip simulation software (SCFSS), our calculation of the Geodesic Deviation of the longitude and latitude of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa,  and after roughly 5.9 million simulation runs of the coin flip,  we are fairly sure that the coin will land......... _______ (tune in before the flip for the answer).  

TAILS