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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS FOR IMPROVEMENT

 UPDATE: DOM SAYS "WAHOO!' You know he must be really happy. Check out his blog. 

As September ends, we have some random thoughts for improvement of our court system and the practices and procedures. 

CERTIFICATES OF SERVICE: The feds have done away with certificates of service because the CMECF e-filing receipt is the official notice of service. It is time for the State to do the same thing. "It's over Johnny."

POSTING CASH/10% BONDS IN FEDERAL COURT is a total hassle.  "Abandon hope all ye who wish to post ten percent bonds" should be the sign on the clerk's office. We can communicate with multiple landers on Mars and the Lander can Tweet and post on Instagram, but the clerk's office Cashier in the Ferguson building has NO ability to communicate with the Magistrate section of the clerk's office in the Atkins building (other than by Morse code by leaning out a window and blinking a light across the street) and therefore to post a bond that requires posting a 10% fee with the clerk, the attorney spends the better part of the afternoon crossing and re-crossing the street, chatting with the screeners who often say "you're back again?" as the attorney makes their fourth trip between the clerk's offices because one clerk has realized that in the 75 pages of bond paperwork the defendant's name on page 43 contained the middle initial of "L" instead of "E" and everything has to be redone. 

"Can you email the receipt  to your office across the street showing that I paid the bond?" is met with incredulity, laughter,  and a remark like "this is the federal government. We can read your license plate from space, but we cannot email a receipt across the street you idiot." 

Lets fix this CJ Altonaga. Be known as the "The Chief Judge Who Made Posting  10% Bonds Easier." It's not a bad moniker. 

ZOOM IDS: Can the feds post the Zoom Ids on a website, or is that a national security issue? Half the FACDL listserv emails are "Can anyone give me the zoom ID for the 2PM Mag court in Fort Lauderdale?" 

What do you think is wrong with the court systems (other than the apparitions that hover above it all)? 

UPDATE: A PERSON WRITES:

Hey at least Judge Sayfie did away with the 3 certified copies from the 9th floor, to the 6th floor corrections office, back to the judge to fix one word corrections didn't like in the order, back to 9th floor, finally back to 6th floor mary-go-round needed to get someone house arrest. Give credit where credit is due.

Friday, October 01, 2021 9:42:00 AM

 Delete



Tuesday, September 28, 2021

THAT'S CRAZY

 On March 30 1981, John Hinckley, Jr., shot President Reagan, Press Secretary James Brady, Police Officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy. While the attempted assassination had wide ranging effects, perhaps the greatest and unexpected effect was on the US criminal legal system. 



The entire world saw Hinckley shoot the President, and yet, after a trial he was found  not guilty by reason of insanity. The verdict so inflamed the public that the insanity defense was forever altered, depriving thousands of mentally ill defendants of a traditional defense. 

After the Hinckley verdict, the insanity defense was changed by Congress and most states  after 85% of the American public opined that justice was not done in the Hinckley trial. The changes to the insanity defense included shifting the burden to the defendant, and raising the standard of proof so that now insanity meant suffering from a severe mental disease such that the defendant could not appreciate the nature and quality of the wrongfulness of his or her acts. In other words, if a defendant heard voices telling her to kill, so long as she knew the killing was wrong, she was not insane no matter what the voices told her to do.  Insanity was no longer just about the inability to form intent, it now meant that it had to be a total lack of understanding the nature and result of the actus reus. 

After the Hinckley case, insanity was nearly impossible to prove. The changes in the insanity law illustrate one of the most glaring examples of law being changed by public out cry and not sound policy. Insanity was nearly abolished to placate the American public who could not understand how Hinckley was acquitted.

 Rumpole's Rule #5: Bad trial facts  make bad law. 

In 1999 Hinckley was allowed to leave the hospital for supervised visits with his parents. In 2009 Hinckley was allowed to stay at his parents home for up to ten days at a time. In 2016 Hinckley was ordered released from the hospital because a judge agreed he no longer presented a danger to himself or others. In the last week, a Judge- with the consent of the Department of Justice-  ordered that within nine months all supervision of Hinckley will end. He will be a free man. 

In 2021 it is impossible to imagine a person shooting four people and receiving a sentence that does not include a mandatory life incarceration. And yet, for all the difficulties the Hinckley case has caused the criminal justice system and defendants, the final outcome shows that there is a much needed and absent concept of healing and redemption that is currently unthinkable (and nearly unobtainable) today . 

Rather than simply saying Hinckley's actions in shooting four people and killing one (James Brady died of his wounds 33 years later and his death was ruled a homicide) were inexcusable, they were all too excusable. Hinckley was a very sick and dangerous young man. But once hospitalized and treated, he was able to get better. He does not and did not deserve life in prison because the law in 1981 was such that since Hinckley was mentally ill, he was not capable of forming the criminal intent necessary to commit what we in Florida call attempted first degree murder. 

Unfortunately the result in the Hinckley case will remain one of the last of its kind. Any such act today would result in a life incarceration no matter how sick the defendant- because after the Hinckley case it is nearly impossible to prove insanity. And that is crazy. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

MISCELLANEOUS MONDAY

 We bounced back in the NFL yesterday, winning our picks, surviving another week in the survivor pool, and scoring the most points in our Fantasy Football week after a disappointing 0-2 start. 

Speaking of the NFL, how many years has it been that the Washington football team has not been able to choose a name? How hard can it be? Nothing racist, nothing offensive... just choose a name. The Washington Gridlocks; the Washington Potomacs;  the Washington Monuments; the Washington budget deficits; the Washington Taxes; The Washington Filibusters; The Washington Whips (our favourite); just pick a name please. 

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ZEBRA? 


He's on the loose in Maryland and cannot be caught.  He's actually one of a few Zebras on the loose in Maryland. Query: what do you call a group of Zebras? A Dazzle. Yes, that's right. A Dazzle of Zebras are on the loose in Maryland. 


HOLD THE MAYO 

Speaking of being on the loose, the US Department of State just upped the bounty to fifteen million dollars for Mexican Sinaloa Cartel Boss "El Mayo" Zambada.  El Mayo is 73 years old, a former partner of El Chapo, who is residing in Colorado these days, and is rumored to like his turkey sandwiches on rye with...mayo. 




 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

NFL WEEK FOUR

 Last week was forgettable so we are wiping the slate clean. We paid off the guy, our balance is zero and we are back on the hunt for value and winning bets. 

The home dogs got hammered last week, which means....we are starting off with a home dog: Rams over Bradys because the Tampa Bay secondary is hurting. Rams +1 in LA. WIN 

Tennessee went on the road and beat the Seahawks (and knocking a very agitated Fake Alex Michaels out of our survivor pool). Normally it would be time for them to return to earth, except the Indy Colts with a second year QB making his first start comes into Tennessee and is only getting 5 points. Take the Titans -5. WIN 

The Pack is at San Fran and we like the over 48.

Our survivor pick, like just about everyone else's in the league, is the Broncos at home versus the J...E...T...S...Jets Jets Jets.  WIN 

BTW is you haven't watched the Kominsky Method on Netflix, you're missing the best show of the year, and the comedic acting genius of Alan Arkin.  In the history of television there is perhaps no better/genius line then when Alan Arkin riffs on Michael Douglas's "Schrodinger's prostate". You just have to watch it to see. 

Here's the Survivor Pool, delayed because some people feel more important than others and wait until the last minute...



Week 3 Picks by HR on Scribd

Saturday, September 25, 2021

40 YEARS AGO

 40 years ago, before there was #MeToo or You Tube, and before the time RBG became Notorious, an unknown state appellate court judge in Arizona was nominated by President Ronald Wilson Reagan to become the first woman associate justice on the United States Supreme Court. Reagan was fulfilling a campaign promise, and he got it right (pun intended) when he tapped Judge Sandra Day O'Connor. 40 years ago in 1981 Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in, forever changing the makeup of the Court. 

CJ Rehnquist  Burger swears in O'Connor as her husband looks on. 

The Supreme Court in 1981 included the aging white men nominated by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, along with one African American man- Thurgood Marshall. 

It took time, as it does for all new justices, for O'Connor to find her sea legs. She routinely followed fellow Stanford Law graduate  Justice Rehnquist (who was also an early paramour) and voted against affirmative action. O'Connor was also a well know critic of the Roe v. Wade decision. In her dissent in the 1983 Akron v. Akron decision, she attacked Roe because the science of the viability of the fetus had exceeded the boundaries set by Roe. 

While time and tide wait for no one, not even a Supreme Court justice, time has a way of tempering, moderating, and bringing wisdom to those who serve on the highest court. Four years after her first dissent against Roe, in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, O'Connor declined to join four justices and form a majority that would have effectively overruled Roe: "There will be time enough to reexamine Roe, and to do so carefully..." And yet four years after that concurrence, in Planned Parenthood v Casey, O'Connor joined the majority in firmly upholding Roe and planting what was thought to be the final brick in the foundation of Roe- until now (more on that in future posts). 

In 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas, O'Connor joined the majority in striking down a Texas anti-sodomy law, changing her mind from her vote 17 years before in Bowers v. Hardwick in which the court, 5-4, found that the Constitution does not confer a right on homosexuals to engage in sodomy. Justice O'Connor grew; she reexamined old beliefs, some of which she moderated, and some of which she outright changed, She became a member of the moderate wing of the court, loved by neither extreme, but courted for her much needed vote. 

When Justice Marshall retired in 1991, O'Connor wrote a law review article for the Stanford Law review in which she recognized that Marshall moved the Court with his "power of moral truth" as well as his legal analysis, and that she "hoped to hear just once more another story ...that would perhaps change the way I see the world." Moderate indeed. O'Connor was a Justice constantly challenging her own view of the law and the world. She was not wedded to consistency so much as the desire to get it right. 

In 2005 O'Connor provided the fifth vote in striking down the constitutionality of the display of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky Courthouse: "Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served other [nations] so poorly?

The Supreme Court has three relatively new Justices. We can only hope they will be as introspective, intelligent, and willing to learn from other colleagues who have different views. 40 years ago President Reagan was fulfilling a campaign promise and striking down a barrier for women,  along the way he picked as good a Judge as there was in the land- ready to become a great Justice. 


Thursday, September 23, 2021

HE'S BACK!

 In Confessions of a Story Writer (1946), author Paul Gallico wrote "It's only when you open your veins and bleed a little on the page that you establish contact with your reader."

From 1978-1988 New York Yankees player turned manager Billy Martin was hired and fired five times, including once for a memorable fight with a marshmallow salesman (which if you're thinking of resigning from the bench would be a great second career). 

In 1960 Richard Nixon lost one of the closest presidential races. In 1962 he ran for the Governor of California and lost, prompting him to hold a famous press conference in which his bitterness towards the press overflowed to the point where he said he was retiring from politics and it would hurt the press the most because "you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore because gentlemen (there were few is any female reporters in 1962) this is my last press conference." Nixon was subsequently elected president in 1968. 

In summary, there are second acts in life, which leads us to everyone's favourite federal blogger- David "Podcast" Markus. He's back baby! In a regular DOM-type post today, listing the finalists for the federal magistrate's job in WPB ("I promise to grant pre-trial detention when asked") he slipped in a brief note that he missed blogging and would be re-taking command of the Famous SDFL blog- the blog that started it all in the South Florida legal community. 

Much like when media people like Larry King retired with the promise that he would be back with specials (and never appeared on CNN again) DOM promised that his coterie of bloggers would remain and fill in often, however it remains to be seen whether that will be so. 

So it's SDFL 2.0- bigger and better than ever!  And we for one are glad. While the fill-in bloggers were good and thought provoking, no one goes to French Laundry to eat food not cooked by Thomas Keller. No one goes to Tampa Bay Bucs games to see the back-up QB play. No one went to see Othello on Broadway to watch anyone other than James Earl Jones play the role. There were the Three Tenors, not the three and the backup three. No one wanted to see anyone other than MJ take the final shot, and Frazier-Oscar Bonavena did not sell like Frazier-Ali. 

As for us? They will have to pry this blog out of our cold-dead hands (or we win Powerball, whichever comes first. and hopefully those two events do not occur at the same time). 

BTW- if you haven't done so, you MUST watch the Ken Burns documentary on Muhammad Ali. Nothing groundbreaking, but the stories you know are told in exquisite detail with amazing pictures and video and thought-provoking commentary. The arc of Ali's life encompasses the second half of the 20th Century US history. It is Ali in the raw, the good and the bad, the elite athlete that made the sweet science beautiful, and the ugly side of boxing as he beat Ernie Terrell bloody, taunting him to call him his name (Terrell had refused to call Ali anything other than Clay). Ali was all too human, and yet worthy of his self-appointed title "The Greatest". He was brave (taking on and beating the US government in his refusal to be drafted), strong, fast, innovative, angry, not a great father, not loyal to his wives, not a great business man, an icon, stubborn, brilliant, flawed, cruel,  inspiring, a civil rights leader who at times used crude race-baiting tactics against his opponents , and yet a man who ended up rising above the civil rights struggle to speak for all oppressed humans throughout the globe. In the  end Ali became perhaps THE iconic figure of the second half of the 20th century as well as the most famous human being in the world. He risked prison for his religion, was suspended and unable to work during the most productive years of his career, and grievously  injured his health by fighting too long.  

 Do not miss this  documentary. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

GOV. DESANTIS' JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS & A "FEW" NEW ATTORNEYS SET TO JOIN THE BAR .......

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

GOVERNOR DESANTIS & HIS RECORD ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS .... AND NEW LAWYERS JOIN THE RANKS OF THE FLORIDA BAR .......

Last week I reported to my loyal readers that three new judges* were appointed in Miami-Dade County among a grand total of 20 new judges appointed throughout the State by Gov. DeSantis on September 16th.  Following my post, there was a decent amount of chitter chatter on the local list serv which we will not quote from directly. But the gist of the chatter was that, in the patch of 20 new judges, Gov DeSantis included two, yes two criminal defense practitioners, and that we should somehow be excited because our fine Governor has finally seen the light after being in office for 32 months and finally recognized the fact that a criminal defense lawyer can actually make for a fine trial court judge.

Let’s be clear and set the record straight.  DeSantis’ record of judicial appointments has been abysmal.  There is a reason why DeSantis does not fear losing at the appellate court level when a trial court judge in Tallahassee rules the Governor’s mask Order to be unconstitutional. He knows that every single judge sitting on the 1st DCA is a Republican appointee and, as DeSantis predicted, they reversed the trial court judge’s ruling faster than you can say the word “ivermectin”.  The trial court appointments made by DeSantis also reflect only one kind of judge - one that has somewhere on their resume the initials  “ASA”, “AUSA”, or “AAG”.

The current numbers are staggering when you consider them from the lens of a criminal defense practitioner, or, better yet, from the eyes of the citizens of our great state - many of whom may someday appear before one of those trial court judges.

Governor DeSantis loves to cite his record of diversity in his judicial appointments. His appointments to the bench have been anything but diverse. (Contrast that with President Biden's first eight months in office. On Monday, the Senate confirmed another Biden appointee as an U.S. appeals court judge - Veronica Rossman; Judge Rossman becomes one of only eight appeals court judges in the country who have experience as a public defender. Biden is responsible for naming four of those appointees. Read the full story here.).

Between January of 2019 and September of 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed at least 148 judges to the Florida Supreme Court, Appellate Court, Circuit Court, and/or County Court bench. Of those 148 judges, at least 93 of them (63%) have the “ASA”, “AUSA”, and/or “AAG” on their resume. Contrast that with the fact that only 9 of his 148 appointees (6%) had the letters “APD” and/or AFPD” on their resumes.  Of the 93 appointees, 57 of them were actually employed as an ASA, AUSA, or AAG at the time of their appointment, while only TWO (2) of the nine defense appointees were working as an APD or AFPD at the time of their appointment.


NEW ATTORNEYS JOIN YOUR FLORIDA BAR

The test scores are in and please welcome another 1,483 attorneys to The Florida Bar.  The actual numbers may end up being even higher.  The July results include: (UPDATED/CORRECTED)

FIRST TIME TEST-TAKERS STATS ONLY

2,285 applicants sat for the Bar exam for the first time; (3,343 applicants overall took the Bar exam; 1,058 of them had taken the test one or more times before. It is not clear how many of those 1,058 passed the exam).

1,637 of those applicants passed the Bar exam

1,483 have been approved for admission by the Florida Supreme Court while the other 154 have hired Brian Tannebaum to find out why they were not yet approved.** 

The top law school pass rates for FIRST TIME test takers:

FIU (again) at 88.8%

UM  - 82.5%

UF   - 81.3%

The bottom three:

St. Thomas - 50.8%

Florida Coastal - 53.3%***

Florida A&M - 56.8%

*The Eleventh Judicial Circuit currently has a total of 121 judges including 48 that are male and 73 that are female. The breakdown includes: in Circuit Court 34 male and 43 female; in County Court 14 male and 30 female.

**Just Kidding about Mr. Tannebaum, although we all know how fine an attorney Brian is in that field of practice. No cash nor a bottle of Opus One was provided to the Captain by said Tannebaum in exchange for this message.

***Florida Coastal lost their ABA accreditation and will cease to exist as a law school after 2023.

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

Monday, September 20, 2021

RIDE EM COWBOY! YEEHAW!

 Well its back to drinking domestic beer for us, having pretty much lost all of our NFL Week two bets. Dreams of bottles of Opus One being uncorked faded with the Fins shutout, the Eagles loss, and the Seahawks upset. 

There are some  fake- email Advocate program scams being circulated. Pretty much any email that asks for your bank password to open an email should be treated mildly suspicious. 

There is a humanitarian crisis going on at the Mexican-Texas border, and images of federal agents on horseback rounding up scared Haitian immigrants are horrific in a Trumpian sense. 


Yup, that's a picture that makes you damn proud to be an American. 

It brings to mind the poetry of Emma Lazarus: 

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,                                                           So that I may send federal agents to lasso them like cattle                                      before sending them hence to their home country                                                      regardless of whether they be murdered by gangs                                                       or killed by pestilence or disease. 

Pardon us while we go throw up. 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

WEEK 2 NFL 2021

 Football is in fill swing. Rumpole is in trouble with his FF league, wasting his first round pick on Giant RB Barkley, and needing good RBs and nary one is to be found. Survivor pool wise we are in full swing, with most players surviving a first week with not too many upsets. 

We like some games this week very much, others are real hard to pick. 

We are going to start with the team that is going to allow us to upgrade our wine orders at dinner this year- the Philadelphia Eagles- fly Eagle fly! They romped last week over the hapless Falcons, and we are salivating over their status as home-dogs this week. Take the Eagles, at home, getting 3.5 over the visiting 49ers. And with this win, we have our eyes on a nice bottle of Opus One 2016. 

The Seahawks are giving 5.5 to the visiting Titans this week. Can Tennessee right the ship? Will their new WR Julio Jones (who we also made the mistake of drafting, ugh) catch some balls today? No and No. Take the Seahawks -5.5. 

J..E..T...S  Jets Jets Jets. Gang Green opens at home today with a new QB and an new outlook. The Evil Genius also has a new QB, same cheating outlook, and will probably win the game- they almost beat the Fins last week. Take the Jets +5.5  to keep it close. Another home dog. 

These Dolphins are gamers. They have the best new coach in the business and the are learning how to win. Will they blow out teams? No, not even Atlanta or the Texans. But they will win. The big, bad, pre-season-crowned-division-winning-Buffalo-Bills roll into town, the patina of their invincibility  wiped clean in the upset loss of the week to the veteran Steelers who rolled into Buffalo last week and said "nope, not yet" to the Bills. Another Home Dog- another pick by Rumpole. Take the Fins getting 3.5. 

   AVOID these games (to bet on; you can watch them) Ravens at KC. KC should win, but... Browns giving 12.5 to Texans- Browns should win, but they have not shown the ability to blow out teams; Cowboys at Chargers- we like what the Pokes showed us ten days ago and coming off a nice rest it is a tempting pick, but the Chargers are for real, so skip it;  Saints at Panthers- is Jameis Winston for real? This game will tell us. Raiders at Steelers- are the Steelers for real? We think they win, we just do not like the 6.5 spread over the pesky Raiders. Its hard to say if the Raiders won last Monday night or did the Ravens lose? This game will tell us a lot. 

SURVIVOR POOL- Coming shortly. 

Week 2 Picks Final by HR on Scribd

Saturday, September 18, 2021

OUR NEW OBSESSION: My Anaconda don't...

 Every now and then something new and exciting crosses our path and we become obsessed with it/them/him/her. 

Our new obsession is Niki Minaj. In our prior post we examined Nikki's  (we are on a first name basis now) tweet about her cousin's friend's testicles swelling after getting a Covid vaccine. The health minister of Trinidad and Tobago had to become involved and investigate, and then a contretemps with the  White House over a meeting, a zoom meeting, and finally no meeting.  

The Tweet that started it all: 

My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied

Query: who is the bride to be who dumped the vaccinated and now impotent groom left at an altar in Trinidad and Tobago? THAT is the interview we want:  "So you saw his...ummm...his...you know...were swollen and you claim he couldn't...couldn't get an ...obtain a ....achieve a....well, and this happened after he got vaccinated?"

Here's what has happened since then. 

Fans of Nikki rallied outside the CDC in Atlanta and called Dr. Fauci a liar. 

CNN issued an Op Ed criticizing  Nikki

Someone named "Trinidad James" stood up for our Nikki. 

We learned that Nikki is actually FROM Trinidad and Tobago! Go figure. 

Dr. Raven "The Science Maven" Baxter, who advertises himself as a "rapping molecular scientist"  (we couldn't make this up if we tried), weighed in on the controversy, chastising Nikki for her tweets. 

Former President Trump stated that Minaj would be his Health and Human Services Director when he is restored to the White House after the Georgia Vote is thrown out. (We are making this up, probably). 

And then Stephen Colbert weighed in. Enjoy.


Add Nikki Minaj to our growing list of obsessions. Somewhere after Churchill, Cosmology but before Arthur Rimbaud (sorry Artie).  Despite his brilliance, how  can a 19th century  French poet compete with this? 

By the way, what he say?

He can tell I ain't missing no meals
Come through and check him in my automobile
Let him - with his grills, he keep tellin' me to chill
He keep telling me it's real, that he love my sex appeal
He say don't like 'em boney, he want something he can grab
So I pulled up in the Jag', and I hit him with the jab like
Dun-d-d-dun-dun-d-d-dun-dun
My anaconda don't, my anaconda don't
My anaconda don't want none unless you got buns, hun
Oh my gosh, look at her butt
Oh my gosh, look at her butt
Oh my gosh, look at her butt

Thursday, September 16, 2021

THREE NEW JUDGES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY .......

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

AND YOUR THREE NEWEST JUDGES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY .......


CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE ARIANA FARJARDO ORSHAN

Judge Fajardo-Orshan has been a member of The Florida Bar for the past 25 years. She was appointed to the bench in 2012 by Governor Rick Scott and served as a Circuit Court Judge from 2012 until 2016 . She was appointed by President Trump as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and served from 2018 until 2021. From 1996-2002 she served as an ASA in Miami-Dade County, her first job out of law school. Judge Farjardo-Orshan replaced Judge Rosa Figarola who resigned in July.


CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE DIANA VIZCAINO

Judge Vizcaino has been a member of  The Florida Bar for the past 20 years. She previously served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami from 2008 until 2015. She began her career as an ASA in Miami-Dade County from 2000-2005. In 2015 she was appointed to the County Court bench by Governor Rick Scott. She won election uncontested in 2016. Judge Vizcaino replaces Judge Martin Zilber who resigned in July.


COUNTY COURT JUDGE LAURA GONZALEZ

Ms. Gonzalez has been a member of The Florida Bar for 11 years. She is currently Of Counsel to the Law Firm of Kobre & Kim. She has been with that firm for the past five years. She previously was an associate at Holland & Knight. She focuses her practice on advising institutional and individual clients in cross-border white-collar criminal defense and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement matters and parallel complex civil disputes. Ms. Gonzalez replaces Judge Miguel Mirabal who resigned in July.

POST-SCRIPT:

The three appointees were informed of the news by Governor DeSantis on Monday, September 13. They were asked to keep the news to themselves until today because Governor DeSantis wanted to hold a Press Conference in Tallahassee today announcing the appointment of 20 new Circuit & County Court judges in five Circuits and ten County Courts: 4th, 9th, 11th, 15th, and 18th Circuits, and Citrus, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, and St. Johns Counties. Governor DeSantis' reasoning for holding the press conference on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, was because he wanted to make the announcement on the day before Constitutional Day, which takes place tomorrow.

============================

Are expected to be named today by Governor DeSantis from the following finalists:

Replacing Judge Rosa Figarola & Judge Martin Zilber: (both having resigned from the bench in July)

(two names from the list below)

Christine Bandin
Karl Brown
Miesha Darrough
Javier Enriquez
Ariana Fajardo Orshan
Scott Janowitz
Jeffrey Kolokoff
Natalie Moore
Luis Perez-Medina
Christopher Pracitto
Stephanie Silver
Diana Vizcaino

Replacing Judge Miguel Mirabal: (resigned from the bench in July)

(one name from the list below)

Heloiza Correa
Javier Enriquez
Laura Gonzalez
Christopher Green 
Marcia Giordano Hansen 
Kevin Hellman 


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

REPENT!

UPDATE: THE GOVERNOR, EVER SENSITIVE TO RELIGION, IS CALLING JUDICIAL APPLICANTS ACROSS THE STATE. Some will be "sealed in the book of the judiciary" for the coming year. Some will not. (* see below) 

UPDATE 2: FAJARDO GETS A SPOT. Your new circuit court judge is your old circuit court judge, with a US Attorney spot in the middle. REGJB TRIVIA- Name the last CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE to leave the bench as a CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE and then get reappointed as a CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE. We phrased the question to weed out the "Sepe" answers. Go deeper. 

Today is the Jewish Day of Atonement. Miami-Dade Courts are closed. In northern Florida they are shaking their heads..."ya'll do what causa Yom what? And y'all can't eat or drink nothing?"

Poland has come up with a unique way to honor Yom Kippur. The Poland Parliament passed a law preventing holocaust survivors and their families from suing to recover property stolen during the Holocaust. Poland, like France, has a sordid history of not standing up for their Jewish neighbors when the Nazis invaded Poland. The law takes effect....wait for it....on Yom Kippur, the holiest day for Jews. 

Meanwhile, in the latest example of our doomed society, someone named Nicki Minaji has gotten into a very public dispute with the White House over not getting vaccinated. Apparently this Minaji is someone that has a large following on social media and can influence people because of her multiple degrees in bio-chemistry and immunology.   because apparently she sings in rhyme. Somehow Trinidad and Tobago, who has some serious issues to contend with, got dragged in the dispute when Dr. Minaji, relying on the firmest of scientific data, tweeted or something that "her cousin's friend in Trinidad and Tobago  got the vaccine and his [testicles] became seriously enlarged." That in turn caused the health minister for T&T to issue this release: 

The health minister for Trinidad and Tobago said on Wednesday that government officials have “wasted” time “running down [a] false claim” made by Nicki Minaj of swollen testicles possibly being linked to the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Monday afternoon, the rapper lit up the internet when she asserted in a tweet that her “cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen.” Minaj spent that night justifying her own vaccine skepticism, claiming she still needed to do more research despite the vaccines being developed about a year ago.

Yeah, you pretty much want to follow the advice of some entertainer when making important health decisions. Life tip: Always find out what her friend's cousin is doing. 

So lets recap, Poland disses the Jews on their most holy day; some idiot singer has determined that the covid vaccine will swell men's testicles, which in turn caused the Health Minister of Trinidad and Tobago to conduct a full investigation. Now we are just freewheeling here, but if Dr. Faucci spread the rumor that the Covid vaccine enlarged another portion of the male anatomy, how long would the line be for vaccines?

Now, with that snappish and not politically correct remark, we have something to atone for.  

*Supplicants seeking atonement pray today to be "sealed in the book of life" for another year. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

COURT REPOPENS 2.0 NEXT MONDAY

 If at first you do not succeed, try, try, again (this time fully masked). 

Our New Chief Judge Sayfie wisely shut down in person hearings after many people were becoming infected and sick with the "Sy Gaer" version of the Delta Variant (always in court, always ready, indefatigable). 

On Monday September 20, 2021 (when hopefully many of us are celebrating the Dolphins being 2-0) the old REGJB will creak open her doors, her floors newly shinned, her escalators under repair, and welcome back the lifeblood of the building-the court staff, corrections, clerks, clients, lawyers and last and least, black robed apparitions who float several feet above mere mortals in the old lady's courtrooms. 

As per Judge Sayfie's order, while court is "abierto"*, you may still appear remotely. In other words, the best of both worlds. 

We are back baby! Shine those shoes. Watch You-Tube videos to remind yourselves how to tie a Windsor Knot (idea for a blog post- what's your go-to tie knot?) or wrap a fashionable ascot,  pick out your best suit or blouse-skirt combo and come back to the courthouse we all love to hate and hate to love, but cannot get out of our blood (skipping all snarky virus comments). 

In all seriousness, Delta kicked our collective ass over the summer, reminding us (well, those of us who are not the Governor of Florida) that this virus is serious stuff and we need to remain vigilant. Very simply- to stay safe WEAR A FREAKING MASK IN COURT- AND THAT MEANS ABOVE YOUR NOSE. 

We implore our Judges to enforce mask requirements and to empower their bailiffs to remove from the courtroom  anyone not wearing a mask THAT COVERS THEIR NOSE.  We do not want to hear any political BS. If a  judge can require a male lawyer to wear a coat and tie in court in the middle of August,  then a judge can require everyone to wear a mask THAT COVERS THEIR NOSE in court. Pure and simple. 

And if that is not the case, then expect Rumpole to show up in August in shorts, a T-shirt, and flip-flops, and really, no one wants to go there.

Welcome back and in light of the occasion we will dust off our original ending to blog posts for many years....SEE YOU IN COURT. 

* Open

Monday, September 13, 2021

THREE NEW JUDGES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY .....

 

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

AND YOUR THREE NEWEST JUDGES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY .......

Are expected to be named today by Governor DeSantis from the following finalists:

Replacing Judge Rosa Figarola & Judge Martin Zilber: (both having resigned from the bench in July)

(two names from the list below)

Christine Bandin
Karl Brown
Miesha Darrough
Javier Enriquez
Ariana Fajardo Orshan
Scott Janowitz
Jeffrey Kolokoff
Natalie Moore
Luis Perez-Medina
Christopher Pracitto
Stephanie Silver
Diana Vizcaino


Replacing Judge Miguel Mirabal: (resigned from the bench in July)

(one name from the list below)

Heloiza Correa
Javier Enriquez
Laura Gonzalez
Christopher Green 
Marcia Giordano Hansen 
Kevin Hellman 


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


Sunday, September 12, 2021

NFL WEEK ONE 2021

 ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? 

We are. 

This is our favourite time of the year. Baseball playoff runs; Djokovic playing in the US Open finals today at 4 for the Grand Slam and YOUR Miami Dolphins visiting the land where players and coaches cheat. Did the evil genius make the steal of the draft with his new rookie QB, or are our Fins ready to make a serious playoff run with a QB we have still not bought into? Can anyone say Deshaun Watson trade? 

Our REGJB Fantasy Football season kicks off as we try to defend our championship from two years ago (last year we didn't run it) and everyone's favoruite REGJB Survivor Pool starts as well. Still time to join- just send your pick to FBpool12@gmail.com before the last game of the week- make a pick and don't forget to also pick the total score in the Fins/Cheaters game for an extra bye week.

Our Picks week one: 

Here is our sleeper for 2021- the boys in Green from PA- the Philadelphia Eagles. We like their QB Jalen Hurts with a year under his belt and their electric WR Devonta Smith. We are rolling with Philly- the city of Freedom and Cheesesteaks (wit [cheese], of course) over the fading Falcons on the road. Philly +3.5. WIN 

And as much as we like Philly, we do not like Da Bears so long as the redhead Andy Dalton is throwing the rock. Put in the rookie -and after Dalton gets destroyed tonight in LA, Justin Fields will be the starter in week two (which is why we drafted him in our FF league). Until then, as much as we do not like new LA QB Matthew Stafford, take the Rams -7.5 at home (also our survivor pick). 

Browns at KC- we are not on the Cleveland bandwagon just yet. KC, riding a one game losing streak (they lost the super bow if you do not remember) -6 at home to right the ship, and over 53. 

Packers at Saints- the post Drew Brees era starts in the Big Easy, once again smacked with a hurricane- talk about being unlucky (since it cannot be fake global warming). This is a road game for both teams, with the game being played in Jacksonville. In honor of the Packs QB stint as a Jeopardy host in the off season we will frame our pick in the form of a question: This team from Wisconsin beat the Saints in opening week one of the 2021 NFL season with a QB who both hosted Jeopardy and has a massive chip on his shoulder to light up the league and become a free agent next year.  "Who is Green Bay -4 over the Saints." BIG LOSS 

We don't love it, but we will   bring a smile to Judge Newman and wager a C Note on the Fins who are on the road in New England getting 3 Fish.  And our pick for the survivor pool total is 41. WIN 

ONCE AGAIN- YOU CAN JOIN THE SURVIVOR POOL RIGHT NOW BY EMAILING TO Fbpool12@gmail.com and include one team and the Fins/Cheaters total.  All your favourites are back- Fake Alex Michaels, De La Over, Colby, Weisman, Lucy Lew and more. 

FINS WIN 17-16  SO THE TOTAL IS 33 AND THE WINNER IS SHUMIE AT 35!

Week 1 Picks by HR on Scribd

Thursday, September 09, 2021

STATE ATTORNEY MORALE CRISIS AND SURVIVOR POOL

 Last week, before the start of the holiday weekend, as many as a dozen (count em- like a container of eggs or two six-packs of Michelob Ultra, or a jury in a death case in Florida) ASAs quit! Quit as in "I am outta here". There is a morale crisis in the SAO. The pay is not great.  Victim's control all plea offers, and there are at least 14 layers of supervisors that a prosecutor has to go through to set a deposition, Want to offer a plea to the bottom of the guidelines? Add a zero to that number after the 4. Miss one step and you're on probation; miss two steps and to quote POTUS 45 "You're fired!". 

It's all bad and no one wants to work there once they get there (so we hear from multiple sources). The other side of the story is welcome to be told. Send us an email. 

SURVIVOR POOL

  It is back and better than ever. The world famous, earth shaking, Viagra-taking, REGJB Survivor pool. 

The rules: Simple- pick one team every week, starting Thursday night (if you wish) that will win, no spread is considered. Texans over the Bills? Go for it. Once you use a team, you cannot use that team anymore. 

ALL PICKS MUST BE EMAILED TO FBPOOL12@GMAIL.COM 

Do not send your picks to Rumpole at our email address. We will not use it. You are warned. 

Ties survive. 

Plan your bye week. Everyone gets one. WEEK ONE SPECIAL- email us your pick to FBPOOL12@GMAIL.COM and include the point total for the Dolphins -Cheaters game Sunday. Player(s) who hit the total or are closest win another bye week. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

FEDERAL BLOG EARTHQUAKE

Nothing is forever, and that includes the second best legal blog around.  We are speaking of course, of David Markus's SDFL Blog, which was the first widely read legal blog in this community. We 100% admit that DOM gave us the idea to start our own blog, and for that we are grateful, along with his support over the years. We hear that David is stepping back, being a big Hollywood-podcaster, as well as a sought after criminal defense attorney, he just does not have the time to blog as much anymore. UPDATE: He will blog at times, when certain  federal issues catch his fancy. 

So the bad news is David will not be blogging  very much anymore. No more in depth analysis of the 1982 committee notes about the proposed changes to the Jenks Act, that we have all come to rely upon on those late nights when sleep will not come. 
But the good news is that a new generation of bloggers has stepped up and will be blogging on DOMs platform. Click the same link, but read a cornucopia of blog posts by new blood. It sounds exciting. To quote DOM- he wanted "some new blood". 

Over the years we have come to know David in our real life, as a friend, and fellow lawyer. There is no one better. He always has a smile, and when he is in court he has a steely glint in his eye- the kind of look, attitude, and preparation you want as a client in your lawyer. His wins, along with his wife Mona,  and his partner Margot Moss,  are legendary, and a bit envy-inspiring; if only we could get a case where the government acted so stupidly. But that is not really true. David and his team apply the pressure, the other side cracks.

This is not (thank goodness) a eulogy for DOM; we come to praise him and his ground breaking blog, not to bury him. He will still be practicing law and pod casting and winning impossible trials and appeals. 

He is just apparently tired of being AVIS to the HERTZ of blogs (vague 1970s reference). 

Well done DOM. Well done indeed. 

Friday, September 03, 2021

BEST REGJB BAR HANGOUT

 As we approach the holiday weekend, lets take a break from the Covid bad news and reminisce about your favourite REGJB after work  bar-hang out, or place to sweat out  a jury verdict, or the after-verdict place to celebrate or commiserate (something we did infrequently. 

Of course the Marine Bar and the Alibi Lounge get top billing, followed closely by Tobacco Road and the 1800 Club. 

Personally, we avoided Tobacco Road on Fridays- too many feds to feel comfortable. But we had many a cold beer on a Friday afternoon and Friday  evening into Saturday morning at The Marine Bar. 

And then of course in Coconut Grove there was the legendary Biscayne Babies and the incomparable Mutiny Hotel. 

Enjoy the holiday weekend. Courts are closed for all sorts of reasons. 

Thursday, September 02, 2021

SAYFIE PULLS THE PLUG ON ALL IN PERSON HEARINGS/TRIALS

 County court was at it again this week, doing another trial- this one about some sick horses, of course the potential for litigants and jurors and court personnel to get sick was not apparently a major concern- although the information we received is that the judge and all parties took all precautions. It was still unwise to proceed, in our expert opinion. 

And on Thursday afternoon our new Chief Judge, who has already had to deal with a collapsing civil courthouse- PULLED THE PLUG ON ALL IN PERSON HEARINGS AND TRIALS. 

No more county court judges bringing 25 unnecessary people into the REGJB to try those ultra important reckless driving cases, resisting without violence, and possession of undersize Snook cases. So while we expect Friday's NY Times to lead with "Dade County Misdemeanor Court halts jury trials-nation shudders as legal system teeters on the brink!"   somehow we will muddle through. *

THE NEWS RELEASE:

In order to protect the health and safety of the community and court staff, the Honorable Nushin G. Sayfie, Chief Judge of the Miami-Dade Courts, has temporarily suspended in-person trials and in-person hearings for two weeks beginning Friday, Sept. 3rd, through and including Friday, Sept. 17th.

 The suspension was enacted in consideration of the current high rate of COVID-19 community transmission in Miami-Dade County, as well as the advice of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists who regularly consult with the Miami-Dade Courts.

 Only in-person trials and in-person hearings are affected by this temporary suspension. All other court matters that may take place remotely on the Zoom platform will continue as scheduled.Questions regarding specific cases or operations within a court division should be directed to the administrative judge of that division. A judicial directory for the Miami-Dade Courts may be found here.

Please continue to visit our website www.jud11.flcourts.org and social media @miamidadecourts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for future updates.


* Miami, Florida.

Special to the NY Times:

Miami, Florida canceled all pending misdemeanor jury trials on Thursday, causing legal experts to opine whether the nation's legal system can withstand the loss of jury trials adjudicating whether a defendant drove recklessly or resisted arrest without violence. The White House, already dealing with the Supreme Court's refusal to stay Texas's ban on abortions,  was caught by surprise: "The president is studying the order in Miami and legal experts will be briefing the President on the implications for the US legal system on Miami's suspension of critical misdemeanor trials on possession of undersized Snook. A senior White House official stated that "Our legal system is resilient. While the suspension of these critical proceedings is concerning, it is only temporary."