JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Monday, March 28, 2022
From the weekend: President Biden shocked NATO and the world by calling for the ouster of Putin as the head of Russia.
Ukranian fighters and citizens in Mariupol, surrounded and under siege, have refused to surrender and continue to hold out as a bastion of freedom against tyranny.
A scrappy number ten seeded UM Basketball team fell in the elite eight to number one seed Kansas while St. Peters, a tiny college in New Jersey - the NCAA version of Ukraine, finally fell to North Carolina, setting up a blockbuster Duke-UNC final four.
But that is not what everyone is talking about.
The shot heard round the world is that some spoiled actor who was upset about some jokes about his wife while sitting in the front row of the Oscars and nominated for best actor walked on stage at the Oscars and on world-wide- but not US television- slapped at, or slapped, comedian Chris Rock, who apparently doesn't know how to defend himself physically.
This is such a waste of time.
First, how many countless jury trials have we seen with assaults or battery charges less serious than what occurred at the Oscars? There will be no charges here, because sometimes people just do stupid things and criminal court doesn't need to be involved. Perhaps it is time for Ms. Rundle and her compatriot State Attorneys to approach the Florida Legislature and re-write the criminal code to reduce simple battery with no harm to a civil infraction and reduce all misdemeanor assaults to civil infractions.
Second, the Smith/Rock slap will get more airtime, an Oprah or Netflix special, and more commentary than the brave Ukrainian people of Mariupol defending democracy for the world, and that stinks.
Third, the slap and the F-bombs were shown to the entire world, presumably even in Russia, Venezuela, and North Korea, but not in the United States, where censors deemed the American Public needed to be protected from the slap. How stupid is that?
WARNING!!!: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO SHOWS ONE SPOILED ACTOR SLAPPING ANOTHER. THE AUTHORITES HAVE DEEMED THIS VIDEO AS DANGEROUS AND HARMFUL TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
Friday, March 25, 2022
There are a thousand parts and people that make the REGJB run. This blog has endeavored to be about the people who make up the REGJB and their lives, and sadly, their deaths. Last week one of the people who made the REGJB run and who touched the lives of countless lawyers, defendants and judges passed away. Her name was Anna Pineda and she worked for the Advocate Program. One of the people who knew her best attended her funeral Thursday night and sent us an email which we post in its entirety. Over the years we have written too many of these, but this is the best we have read. We are endeavoring to obtain permission to post the author's name.
UPDATE: Judge Jacqueline Woodward wrote the below remembrance of her friend.
If you are lucky, there are people in your life that make you feel better just being around them.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
50 years ago, March 24, 1972, a little movie named The Godfather was released. The movie had a difficult beginning, Paramount walked away from it pre and post-production several times, before finally finishing it and releasing the picture.
The movie has generated some of the most recognizable lines of all time:
I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse;
They shot Sonny on the causeway;
Have the veal, it's the best in the city;
Leave the gun; take the cannoli;
It's no personal Sonny, it's strictly business;
It was Barzini all along;
Tom, can you get me off the hook? For old times Sake.
Even Sonny won't be able to call off Luca Brazzi....yeah, well, let me worry about Luca
He's still alive, they hit him with five shots and he's still alive.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
So how do you think the confirmation hearings are going so far? Not bad, not great, and a real window into a broken system.
Do you think the Republicans would be muddling through this if she was nominated to replace Thomas and was a deciding vote flipping the Court? Or do you think there would be a level of histrionics about Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson that would be unlike anything we have ever seen?
As it is, the Republicans are making her backtrack from her work as a federal PD and shaming her for defending people accused of crimes, as if they never heard of John Adams. The whole thing stinks.
REGJB HALL OF FAME
Lots of traction in posts about the great lawyers and stories of our little courthouse which is a stone's throw from the Miami River. We need to get a handle on it, and here is what we are going to do. We are going to create a few separate divisions. There will be a PD division, an ASA division, a Judicial Division, a private defense attorney division, and a staff division recognizing the great clerks, JAs, bailiffs, and corrections officers that make the trains run (somewhat) on time.
Just like in sports where someone can make the HOF as either a player or a coach, a nominee can also make the HOF in the part of their career they distinguished themselves at. Some of the decisions may be difficult. For example, Roy Black made his mark at the REGJB mostly as an assistant Public Defender, who along with a core group of attorneys like the great Jack Denaro, changed the culture of the PDs office and the courthouse. And Roy did this before he ever gained any fame in private practice. Personally, we would place him in the REGJB HOF as an assistant public defender.
On the other hand, great criminal defense attorneys like Ed O'Donnell Sr., and Jim Woodard, were really good ASAs but probably made their mark on the courthouse as criminal defense attorneys. Some ho-hum ASAs and PDs became great judges. So there is a lot to consider.
In the coming weeks we will announce nominations for each division and people can vote.
Until then, keep the war stories coming.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Some feel good stories to start your spring week off with a smile.
Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. If she drank a lot of beer in high school and raised a bunch of heck and if one of her classmates accused her of cheating on his Organic Chem final, do you think she would be confirmed? Or are the rules different for... supreme court candidates who went to high school in Miami? (What did you think we were going to say?).
PAYING IT BACK
Fania Rosenfeld Bass was a teenager in the Ukranian town of Rafalowka when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in WWII. As the Germans would enter captured cities, they would identify the Jews and kill the ones who could not work and send the rest to concentration camps for slave labor and the final solution. Fanis's parents and five siblings, including her six-year-old sister were rounded up, shot and their bodies dumped in a mass grave in a forest outside of the town. Fania survived because a non-Jewish Ukranian family led by Maria Blyshchik hid her for two years.
After the war Fania moved to Israel where she married and had children and grandchildren and told the story about the family who rescued her over and over. In the 1990s, with the advent of Facebook, the two families connected and remained in touch.
You see where this is going.
Sharon Bass, Fania's granddaughter, located Lesia Orshoko and Alona Chugai, who are cousins, and whose grandmother was Maria Blyshchik- the woman who saved Fania.
Last week Lesia and Alona landed in Israel courtesy of the efforts of Sharon Bass, Israel, and people from around the world captivated by this moving story. In 1995 Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in Israel honored Maria Blyshchik and her extended family as Righteous Among the Nations, the exceptionally high honor bestowed by Israel to people who risked their lives to save Jews from Nazis.
As John Kennedy once said, we all share this small blue planet. We all breathe the same air.
War does not have to be the natural state of the human race. We are facing a gobal catastrophe with the planet warming and climate change. We have dozens of challenges facing our species. We do not have to waste time, and money, and precious innocent human lives on the folly of a few deranged men.
The stories of Maria Blyshchik and her granddaughters Lesia Orshoko and Alona Chugai, and Fania Rosenfeld Bass and her granddaughter Sharon Bass, affirm the goodness and humanity of our species. These women are the reason we are hopeful about our future on this planet.
They used to say in the 1960s what if they started a war and no one showed up?
What a great idea.
Sunday, March 20, 2022
I am sad to see the passing of Louie Casuso, he was a major player in his day, yet he was always humble and friendly. If you work at this building long enough, it is inevitable that many of your contemporaries will come and go. So many have passed through the doors, scratched-up elevators, continuously broken escalators, and perpetually smelly bathrooms (the one on the first floor has a permanent urine stench) of the Metro Justice building. The curse of criminal law is that, usually, once you are gone, you are gone…and quickly forgotten. There is a problem with the preservation of history as to people that made a big difference in this decrepit old building. Here are some names that deserve recognition and preservation through the beloved halls of this trailer park of court houses.
Note, this is hardly an exhaustive list so add your favorites. I didn’t work at the PD’s office, so I have a lack of familiarity. I’m also embarrassed that I have no females on here; there are tons of fantastic female attorneys yet they’re all pretty much classy and not that controversial. This is not so much focusing on a list of the best lawyers but, rather, I am concentrating on extremely memorable characters . Lastly, I’m drinking a big bottle of Chimay Blue so the quality and cohesiveness of my writing may diminish the further on you read
1. Sy Gaer- What a character this man was! He was a stereotypical New Yawker that was a cantankerous trial animal. He had as many clients as he wanted. He never took discovery, didn’t assemble files yet he had to have tried more cases than anybody…possibly in the whole universe. When you’ve tried more than 500 (I’m guessing this number) cases, you must become extraordinary at it. Sy beat a lot of excellent ASA’s. If you were a newbie ASA or APD, at first you were offended by this man (he had carte blanche to do anything in the courthouse). Once you were able to know him, he was, by far, the most interesting lawyer in the courthouse.
2. Judge Henry Vidal- He wasn’t on the bench that long, but he developed into a top-notch criminal judge…and then, so quickly, he passed away. He was a budding star.
3. Richard Sharpstein-He was the best of the best; brilliant, so persuasive, a killer trial lawyer and was as successful as anybody. Despite how accomplished he was, he could socialize with the elite or with the janitor…he had unbelievable people skills…everybody loved Dicky Sharpstein
4. Judge Calvin Mapp- Nobody trained new ASA’s and APD’s better, and with more enthusiasm than him. He wrote a criminal law book that was sold at the building’s snack stand; if you cited it, you earned serious brownie points with his rulings.
5. APD Carl Vizzi- When I was a young ASA, I jumped into a trial with an older ASA but, there was a lack of proper preparation, and we were up against Carl Vizzi…big mistake…one wrong move and he took that wrongful move and shoved it really deep up your rear end. He taught me to always anticipate your opponent’s every move.
6. State Attorney Janet Reno- I had the privilege to work for her. The first thing she said to our new class of ASA’s was to stress to “protect the innocent”. She was as classy as she was personable but most of all, she stood for JUSTICE. Her tenure brought Miami’s criminal justice system into an elite class.
7. Bondsman Barry Hodus- There was a time when being a bondsman could be quite lucrative and when it was, they were able to get know all the players since they were always in the courthouse. He had a ultra-baritone voice like Froggy from the Little Rascals. He was always in the court house and always looking to befriend anybody in order to increase his clientele.
8. ASA/ Div Chief David Stern- David was a regular guy and didn’t try to impress anybody. He was sincere and big-hearted which may have interfered a bit, especially since he was the division chief before one of the more volatile judges. David was especially loyal to his ASAs but infinitely fair. There were always lively discussions in the hallways since he was the epitome of a hands-on division chief.
9. ASA Paul Mendelson- Paul was in the legal department ( I think he became the chief). The State Attorneys Office legal department offers definitive (at least to them) legal opinions concerning important issue on their pending cases. Paul was one of the nicest people that you could ever deal with.
10. Judge Robert Pineiro-Everything that any lawyer ever wished a judge would do, Rob did it all. If you were to build a perfect, criminal law judge, it would have been him.
11. Judge Tom Carney- He looked like an assistant manager for Payless Shoes in his short sleeve dress shirts and 50’s era hair style. However, he was a trial machine, an originator of the “back up division” where all he did was try cases. He was a real nice guy, a regular guy but don’t pull any funny stuff!
12. Judge Arthur Snyder- Trial by lie-detector test
13. Judge Ellen Morphonious- I swear I’m not lying, when you had a trial in front of her, she informed the lawyers to pick the jury on their own and then inform her when they are done.
14. The mid 90’s era ASA that had an affair with the super-hot Russian tennis star
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Before we begin out paper parable, a suggestion not to miss David Ovalle's Herald obit on Louie Casuso. It was superbly written and captures the many sides of a unique Miami lawyer, character, and good and decent man. There's a pay wall, so either buy it or Google the names and you'll get to it.
A PROBLEM WITH PAPER
If you're like Rumpole, business is bouncing back and you may find yourself at DCJ or Metro West or TGK needing to see a client who needs you.
You already know that the list of things you cannot bring into the jail is longer than the judicial line at the open bar at an FACDL event. iPads, computers, books of any sort, keys, church keys, beepers, thermonuclear weapons, etc.
Add paper to the list.
Yes, in 2022 the Miami Jail system has BANNED PAPER.
Well, it seems some enterprising inmates and families and friends of inmates are treating paper products with clear liquid chemicals. THC, cocaine, meth, caffeine, you name it. That innocent looking blank sheet of paper, upon which we have written some of the world's greatest cross examination and closing argument notes in the history of western legal culture, can now be smoked or ingested, providing the consumer a high.
Imagine the scene: a traffic stop in Miami. The officer walks to the car and asks for the DL and insurance and registration. As he returns he espies something:
Officer: What is that on the floor sir?
Future client: Oh, nothing. Just a legal pad.
Officer (hand on firearm): I'll need you to get out of the car right now sir, and keep your hands where I can see them.
On St. Patrick's day, the bars are full. That makes sense.
And now we know why the stationary stores are crowded as well.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Louie Casuso, who was both a friend and colleague, has passed away after a short illness.
Louie was a Justice Building regular and irregular. He had a away about him, call it a style, that not many others had.
We met him under unusual circumstances that were, to put it mildly, not pleasant for either of us. But that case passed, and we came away from it impressed by his skills as a lawyer. His voice mannerisms and intonation may have reminded one of a character out of On The Waterfront, but that only served to partly disguise a very crafty and skilled defense attorney. One thing is for certain, Lou Casuso knew his way around a courtroom. After meeting him and settling our differences, he became a friend and we were better for it.
Louie was a friend and mentor to many young lawyers. Many is the time we would see him in the courthouse explaining the facts of life over a cup of coffee to a young lawyer who had just left the SAO or PDs office.
Louie was not just a great lawyer, he was an upstanding friend. We will feel his loss and he will be missed.
Update: Want to know how it was working for Janet Reno? Read this comment :
One day, while I was in trial, I got the dreaded message that Miss Reno wanted to see me. I wondered what I had done to warrant a visit to the boss. I walked into her office and she pleasantly asked how my trial was going. I breathed a sigh of relief and was amazed that she even knew I was in trial. We chatted about the trial, and then she looked at me with a steely-eyed stare and told me that a victim in one of my cases had called her to complain that I had not returned her phone call. I arrogantly replied "Janet, I have been in a trial for almost a week, and I have been working nights also to keep up". I explained that this victim was a pain in the ass who would never be satisfied. I noticed the vein in her neck start to throb, a sure sign that I had said the very worst thing. If you were an ASA in those years, the neck vein throb was one thing you never wanted to see. She calmly replied that she returns every phone call before she ends her work day because it is the professional thing to do, and inquired if I thought that I was busier than her. Impression made- I never again left work without returning all my calls. She taught me a lesson in professionalism i never forgot.
The tone of the office is set by the leader. I do not believe that KFR communicates that returning phone calls to defense attorneys or being available for case discussions that lead to plea agreements are a priority. She is about politics- kiss the victim's ass, and don't piss off the cops.
If I am wrong, I hope that some current ASAs will reply with their view of why the defense bar thinks they are so difficult to reach. Today, with email on your cellphone, there is no excuse.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022 10:09:00 AM
Chatter on the not to be mentioned listserv (but here's a hint- it rhymes with EF-A-CEE-DEE-HELL) is that prosecutors cannot be reached.
Lawyers are frustrated. And frustrated lawyers drink Titos vodka and that doesn't help anyone but bartenders and bars.
So why aren't prosecutors returning calls and emails?
Here is one reason we shall posit- there aren't that many prosecutors.
The dream job- the one that had dozens of applicants for everyone accepted, has fallen in disfavor.
First, because defense is in our blood, let us defend Ms. Rundle, her office, and her minions.
Being a prosecutor in Miami-Dade is a dream job. It's the very best job any lawyer who wants to practice criminal law can get. This is one of the best and most active prosecutors' offices in the nation with a tradition of excellence that is hard to match. Manhattan DAs office; LA DA's Office; Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. These are great offices with legendary prosecutors and legendary prosecutions.
Second, the Dade SAO has suffered, like all jobs and all legal offices, lots of turnover. In times of Covid19- and don't ask us how because we do not know- people are not working. We go to our favourite restaurants and see signs asking us to be patient because they are short staffed. Maria's Greek on Coral Way, were we used to see Janet Reno having a late supper, has such a sign in their restaurant when patrons walk in.
So in general all businesses are short staffed these days.
Third, the appeal of being a prosecutor in The Magic City was trials. Come to Miami and try a lot of cases against the likes of Rumpole and others. Covid19 wrecked that but good. We have a generation of young prosecutors sitting around not going to court and fending off the sharp elbows aggressive PDs and crafty defense attorneys throw in the heat of battle. Not hardened by battle, these young prosecutors are leaving in droves for the 85k a year drudgery of insurance defense.
Your emails aren't being returned? Your calls go unanswered? Don't take it personally. There aren't as many prosecutors as there used to be.
Here's your Ukrainian moment for the day:
Monday, March 14, 2022
This is a great way to start the week
The Joseph Project. A way to combat human trafficking. Read below and click on the link to learn more.
Thank you, Paul Cali, Esq., an REGJB OG and all-around great guy.
The purpose of this email is to introduce you to the mission of The Joseph Project, its Founder and Executive Director FBI Special Agent Nate Knapper, its Legal Director Amanda Paletz, and to request your assistance in my effort to “get the word out” further to my commitment to recruit South Florida attorneys across a broad spectrum of practice areas to provide pro bono services to survivors of human trafficking, though the Joseph Project. I am grateful to Ms. Puglisi for encouraging me to reach out to you all.
Nate and Amanda – Ms. Fernandez Rundle is our State Attorney in Miami-Dade County since 1993 and served under Janet Reno for fifteen years prior. Ms. Ladis is the Executive Director of Dade Legal Aid since 2014 and boasts an astonishing twenty-three years is a past president of the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association, formerly known as the Black Lawyers of Miami. As president of the Ferguson Bar, she spearheaded a number of initiatives to enhance diversity in the legal profession and to help deserving students in Miami. Ms. Puglisi is the President of the Miami-Dade Bar Association, past president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL), Miami Chapter, and a Director for FACDL statewide.
On behalf of the Joseph Project, I have agreed to coordinate an effort to recruit attorneys in South Florida - Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward, Palm Beach, and Lee counties - who wish to serve in a pro bono capacity, to assist survivors of human trafficking.
The Joseph Project, founded in 2018 by Detroit-based FBI Special Agent Nate Knapper, assists survivors of human trafficking by providing access to pro bono legal services. The legal needs of the survivors include criminal record relief, child custody disputes, immigration assistance, personal protective orders, access to crime victims compensation, name changes, and driver’s license restoration.
Based on the foregoing non-exhaustive legal issues, a deep bench of legal talent from diverse practice areas is required. The program would succeed best with practitioners from the state and federal bars, prosecutors, public defenders, criminal defense attorneys in private practice, and civil practitioners whether solo, small firm, or in big law. The goal is to create a rotating “wheel” of legal talent so that if the attorney “next up” for an assigned pro bono case is unavailable to take the matter, the Joseph Project can immediately call the next attorney on the wheel. I think this is also a great opportunity to bring people together for a great cause, where those attorneys might not have had occasion to interact otherwise.
Amanda Paletz is the Legal Director for the Joseph Project and has significant legal experience. She will be the main point person for training and administration of the program in South Florida. As she shared with me, helping survivors of trafficking through the provision of pro bono legal services is one of the most gratifying experiences she has enjoyed as an attorney, and one that never gets old, as the legal assistance provided changes the trajectory of lives for the better, for survivors who often are powerless, have no safety net, and have no one to which to turn for help. Often, the biggest hurdle is reaching survivors so they know that legal services are available to them.
As we know, South Florida suffers a significant level of human trafficking. We also enjoy tremendous legal talent in diverse practice areas, and attorneys who are compassionate. I am grateful for any effort or insight you may lend, in my effort to recruit attorneys. Once an adequate number of attorneys have agreed to serve, a virtual training program will be scheduled. Ms. Puglisi has graciously agreed for the Miami-Dade Bar Association to video tape the initial training session so that subsequent attorneys who volunteer their services may be appropriately trained to assist. We will seek Florida Bar CLE credit for training, and an attorney’s service on a given case will be reportable on the Bar’s annual pro-bono reporting.
Thank you for your time reading this email. I am available to answer questions. I am excited to help get this noble endeavor off the ground in South Florida. Please email email@example.com to commit or for more information.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Soooooo.... why stop there? We have some ideas- Ban Ideas! Ban em all! Ideas are bad. They lead to thinking; and thinking leads to voting and vaccines and that leads to stolen elections and Bil Gates tracking you when you go to Pizza shops in Washington DC to watch porn.
At the start of this governor's term he banned State employees from using the term "Global Warming" which was a
good great and GAY idea.
Why do you need a boat and snorkel to get to Ocean Drive? The Democrats of course! Global warming has nothing to do with rising sea levels.
We fought World War II because Nazi Germany burned books, among other atrocious things. Burning books was a small symptom of a larger disease- hate and ignorance. Florida would never burn books. We can do bigger and better- hate more and be more ignorant than Nazi Germany. Never let it be said that Nazis out hated Florida lawmakers.
Plus, there are problems with burning books. First, there are very few books left. It's all digital. So it really wouldn't accomplish what our law makers want to do. Kindles (despite the name) don't really burn. Instead, we Floridians ban words and ideas. Because we have evolved from those crude Nazis. We mean, what Christian, God fearing Florida Republican would be caught dead in those Brown Shirts? Such a fashion faux pax for ignorant lunkhead dictator lovers.
In that vein, we offer to our Florida Governor and his minions some more words and ideas (and books) that should be banned:
Ban Biden. Ban the mention of Joe Biden. Fake President. "LET'S GO BRANDON!"
Franklin Roosevelt. Ban the mention of a great democratic President.
Reason. Science. Jews (we are a Christian nation after all). Blacks. Race. Lesbians. Transgender. Ban em all!
"Bi-weekly"- too close to the word "Bi" and can't have that.
Voting. Democracy. Covid19 (totally fake). Vaccines- government scam.
Ban these books to start: To Kill a Mockingbird; Fahrenheit 451; The Grapes of Wrath; I know Why The Caged Bird Sings.
Ban Nine of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The Second Amendment - which every good republican can tell you requires everyone over the age of six to have a firearm on them at all times, including at church and in a bar, would replace the pledge of allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to Donald Trump and the second amendment and our love of guns. And to the republic, where we shoot each other, one nation, with no stolen elections, one loaded AR15, with ammo and rifles for all."
Ban Critical thinking. Ban The Socratic Method. Did we mention banning "reason"?
Ban all scientific research. Ban Merck, and Pfizer, and AmGen and all Bio-tech companies. Remove all mention of Dr. Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine from history books. Ban the word "vaccine" and require the death penalty (or an hour talking to the governor, which ever is more painful) if someone says the word "vaccine" in public.
Some research, especially into the efficacy of horse antibiotics and ingesting bleach as a way to cure most diseases would be allowed under certain rules called "The Non-Fauci Standards" which state that scientific investigation into drugs using a double-blind study are banned. Joe Rogan will be The United States Commissioner of New Drugs, because clearly he has the training and knowledge for it, while Dr. Fauci does not.
And finally, Ban the Blog, and ban all blogs (sorry David).
Does this make you sick like it does us? Here is a way to fight back.
Use the Word GAY every day, in as many sentences as you can, especially if you're a lawyer and in court.
Judge: Good morning counsel.
Lawyer: It's a GAY day judge. And I'm feeling so happy and GAY.
The way to beat Putin- and he will be beaten, is to every day and in every way say the word Ukraine and praise the Ukrainian people. Never stop until he is shamed into silence and defeat.
The same goes for our governor- not that we are making the GAY comparison between our happy and GAY governor and the gray and not GAY Putin. We are not.*
So it is really simple how to beat the Don't Say Gay law. Say GAY all the time. Every day.
Have a great and happy and GAY weekend.
* We really are. In every way.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Before you watch the video, look to the right and click our Twitter button to follow us. You (probably) won't regret it.
Why was Rumpole taking the stairs?
First, there are significant cardio-vascular benefits for taking the stairs.
Second, an escalator was not working.
So we called the Miami Dade Department of Escalators (Motto: "Life has its ups and downs") and in classic bureaucratic speak were told this: "During the time the courthouse was shut due to Covid, the department made no repairs and conducted no maintenance because the escalators were not being used. Now that the courthouse is open and people can walk in sick as can be without a mask, the department will conduct regular repairs and maintenance during the hours of 8am to 12 noon, as needed."
UKRAINE is holding on. They are England 1940 and their people are heroic.
Judge Hanzman has tentatively approved an 83-million-dollar settlement in the Surfside building collapse. In practical terms, the settlement is the similar in value of the contract for the Milwaukee Brewers' back-up second baseman. All is not peachy with this litigation and settlement. While Hanzman was effusive in his praise for the settlement: "Passes muster with flying colors" the judge wrote in his order ratifying the settlement, the Herald (Motto: "Trying to be relevant in a digital world since 2013") quoted one disgusted survivor as saying he was getting 30 cents on the dollar for his apartment and he would have nowhere to live.
Speaking of Baseball, the lock out is over. Opening day is April 7. Biggest change you will notice? DH is universal....which sucks.
Tuesday, March 08, 2022
McDonalds has bowed to social media pressure, especially on Twitter and is closing all 600 restaurants in Mother Russia. Russia and Ukraine account for about 9% of all revenue, or about 2 Billion dollars (not rubles) a year.
Speaking about social media, if you're not following @justicebuilding on Twitter, you're missing what one expert said was "the most exhilarating social media experience since Kim K debuted a black two-piece bikini in St. Barts with Pete..."
So click follow and hop on board.
If you're following you would have seen this Gem:
Coca Cola, Pepsi Co (which owns Pizza Hut), Shell Oil, BP Oil, and Starbucks (ouch- no morning cup of coffee- talk about sanctions taking a bite) are also shutting down Russian operations.
Do NOT believe rumors that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered Ukraine $100,000.00 to throw the war... It's probably not true.
DOM beat us to the punch with his post on the excellent SCOTUS opinion in Wooden v. United States resurrecting the Rule of Lenity (or completing the task started by DOM's fav justice- Scalia) .
Here are some gems from OUR new fav justice- Gorsuch- in his concurrence on one of our favourite concepts- the Rule of Lenity:
Respectfully, all this suggests to me that the key to this case does not lie as much in a multiplicity of factors as it does in the rule of lenity. Under that rule, any reasonable doubt about the application of a penal law must be resolved in favor of liberty. Because reasonable minds could differ (as they have differed) on the question whether Mr. Wooden’s crimes took place on one occasion or many, the rule of lenity demands a judgment in his favor.
The “rule of lenity” is a new name for an old idea—the notion that “penal laws should be construed strictly.”
Lenity works to enforce the fair notice requirement by ensuring that an individual’s liberty always prevails over ambiguous laws
Of course, most ordinary people today don’t spend their leisure time reading statutes—and they probably didn’t in Justice Marshall’s and Justice Story’s time either. But lenity’s emphasis on fair notice isn’t about indulging a fantasy. It is about protecting an indispensable part of the rule of law—the promise that, whether or not individuals happen to read the law, they can suffer penalties only for violating standing rules announced in advance. As the framers understood, “subjecting . . . men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law . . . ha[s] been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instrumen[t] of tyranny.” The Federalist No. 84, pp. 511–512 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (A. Hamilton);