Tuesday, May 31, 2022


 POINT ONE: What a nice exchange over the holiday weekend, as readers posted their favourite 1970's songs. Now we enter the long hot summer months, when no one feels like trying cases and everyone eyes a cabin in North Carolina as a getaway. 

Lawyers and Judges running for election or re-election face the challenges of raising money and capturing the attention of the voting public for an election date in August. That seems like a difficult challenge. On the other hand, if the election was moved to November, then the candidates would have the problem of getting their message out during a crowded election cycle. 

POINT TWO: We note that there is significant criticism with the response of the local police to the school shooting in Texas last week.  The NY Times has an Op Ed by the FBI Agent who created the Active Shooter response team, criticizing the local police's response. The police waited outside for the better part of an hour. Sort of defeats the argument that the way to stop mass shootings is to arm more people. 

And even worse, as America mourned the death of innocent children, there were another ELEVEN mass shootings over the holiday weekend. Welcome to the United States in 2022. It's a dangerous place to live. 

POINT THREE$$: If there is a new bounce in the step of your favourite circuit or county judge, maybe it's because they are planning a myriad of ways to spend a new raise coming their way.  Circuit Judges  (motto: "The motion to suppress is respectfully denied" ) are going from 160 to 182, while County Court Judges (Motto: "Misdemeanors Matter!") will be going from 151 to 172.  You can buy a lot of crypto for that cash, or a new Tesla, or a vacay in Italy, or why not all three?? 

The new raise is on the Governor's desk, and as much as it pains us to say it, our robed readers (most of them anyway) deserve it and we hope Governor "There is no such thing as Covid" signs the raise.  

As former Judge Harvey Shenberg said as he stuffed fifty thousand dollars in cash in his pants while being recorded in Operation Court Broom "It's hard to send a kid to college on a judge's salary."  And he was right. He just went about it the wrong way. 

Sunday, May 29, 2022


Update:  Here's the thing. This list is SEVENTIES SONGS; Seventies music. There are genres of music like rock, metal, Motown, etc. There is no doubt that Born To Run, the song and the album are pure genius. And as a song, Jungleland or BTR cannot compare with, say, That's The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia or Undercover Angel. But TTNTLWOIG is by far a better SEVENTIES song, emblematic of Seventies music, than Thunder Road. Thunder Road is a classic that stands the test of time. But Lights or Leroy Brown  is a better Seventies song.  So no Stones or Dead or Aerosmith or Bruce. But we've added Night Fever, because it was THE disco seventies song, and disco was Seventies music. 

Remember, as the Spinners sing in Rubber Band Man: "So much love and grace and debonair in one man? Nah." 

Update: A careful and alert reader writes in support of  Hello it's Me by Todd Rundgren, Definitely a top twenty song of the seventies. Coming in right around twenty or so. 

Another reader mentions "Brandy You're a Fine Girl" which we put right at or outside the top ten. 

Another reader has the most complete list so far, including Rock the Boat, You Don't Have To Be A Star (Marilyn McCoo), Come And Get Your Love (Redbone), September (Earth Wind and Fire) , Running On Empty (Jackson Browne), and Could It Be I'm Falling In Love (The Spinners). And other readers have chimed in and we have taken all of those comments and started populating our top 25 list:

1.That's The Night That The Lights Went Out In Georgia (Vicki Lawrence not Reba McEntire)2. Lets Get It On (Marvin Gaye);  3. Night Fever (Bee Gees)

4 Taking Care of Business (BTO): 5. Spirit In The Sky (Norman Greenbaum);  

6. Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce); 7. Midnight Train to Georgia (Gladys Knights and the Pips); 8. American Pie ( Don McClean);  9. Dancing Queen (ABBA); 10. Brandy You're a Fine Girl;  11;  More Than A Feeling (Boston) ; 1Running on Empty (Jackson Browne).; 13 Could it Be I'm Falling In Love (The Spinners):  14 Come and Get Your Love (Redbone) ;  15; You Don't Have To Be A Star (Marilyn McCoo): 16 Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell): 17 Baby Blue (Bad Finger and a great song to end Breaking Bad and the tortured life of one Walter White); 18 Rubber band Man (The Spinners): 19 Touch Me In The Morning (Diana Ross); 20 Undercover Angel (Alan O'Day); 21_Don't Leave Me This Way (Thelma Houston); 22 Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (BJ Thomas); 23 Rock The Boat (The Hues Corporation) ; 24 Still The One ( Orleans) ; 25 Car Wash. 


Feeling a little creative this holiday weekend, we've been thinking about the best songs from 70's, which, along with the 60's, are the two best decades for music (sorry Madonna fans from the 1980's). 

If you want to send us your list, we will create a top ten or top twenty.  There is a clear number one, and if you need a hint, he just announced a European Tour for 2023. We will post that on Monday. 

This song, which epitomizes all that was in the 1970's, comes in for us right around 25. Not the best by far, but a prototypical song,  attached to a prototypical and iconic 1970's fun movie, with appearances by George Carlin, Richard Pryor,  and that 70's icon Professor Irwin Corey (who BTW died at age 102 in 2017). 

Coming in at NUMBER 25 on Rumpole's list, from 1976, the song and the movie.... Rose Royce's 


Thursday, May 26, 2022


 Here's a little bit of good news.  At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which we highly recommend attending, there is a move afoot to plant a trillion trees. 

There used to be 6 trillion trees. Now there are 3 trillion. By 2030 the goal is to have 4 trillion, which scientists estimate would significantly stabilize global warming and maybe even slightly reverse it, because trees capture and store carbon. 

Now trees  don't stop people from chanting "drill baby drill", unless they fall on them, which isn't a bad idea, but trees, who do not as a policy carry hand guns or pray, could still help with global warming.  We haven't seen a response, but our guess is Senator Cruz and the former President #45 are against it for a myriad of reasons, including it's fake, trees are fake, and global warming is fake. And for that matter Davos, Switzerland is fake. 

In fact, if you want a great website and movement mocking the fake news movement, go to the Birds Aren't Real website here and read the NY Times article on the Gen Z Conspiracy everyone loves here. 

Several countries including China and the US have made commitments to planting over a hundred billion trees, which is a great start. 

The websites are here  (1T.org) and here.  (trilliontrees.org). 

The start of summer is here with the long holiday weekend- unless you're a Republican and don't believe in summer or seasons. Then it's just a long weekend. Either way, enjoy the sunshine and the day off before we get back to the grind. 

Finishing with trees, if you haven't read it, here is the single greatest appellate opinion of all time courtesy of the Michigan Court of Appeals 

Fisher v Lowe by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd

 IF EVER you wanted to see the difference between our blog and Mr. Markus' blog, read his post today where he discusses two complex opinions issued by the 11th Circuit (Motto "defendant's appeal is denied") this week- one on social media companies, injunctions, politics and Florida law, and the second on the Second Amendment. Complex stuff to read, while we post our fav opinion rhyming about trees. Res Ipsa Loquitor. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022


 RUMPOLE NOTES: Thank you Captain. We've been thinking since yesterday that we should write something, and yet there are really no words. Parents send their child off to school, and she is murdered. In the United States. In 2020.  And it's happening over and over again. And a large percentage of this country, would scream and yell in ecstasy at the top of their lungs if at a rally a politician said "all we need is more guns and more prayer."  It is madness. We have lost our mind as a country. We were thinking of things like "Guns don't kill people, but they kill children at school"; and "Our adults are the Russians and our children at school are the Ukrainians."  

Nothing really captures the sadness and horror of this. Other than to say we are broken as a country. Broken to bits when a parent cannot safely send their child to school. If we cannot do that, then nothing else matters. The Constitution, our courts, our political bodies...nothing matters if we cannot protect innocent children. We are broken and we do not see a fix on the horizon. Maybe it's time to call this experiment a day. Break up the union into a country  that love guns and prayer and reject science, and a country with gun control that respects education and reason and science and healthcare and logic. Maybe it is time for that. Nothing else seems to work. 




On Tuesday, an 18 year old male wearing body armor walked into Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, pulled out a firearm, and slaughtered 21 human beings including 19 children who were there attending the second through fourth grades. It was two days before the end of the school year.

The attack evoked memories of one of the worst days in recent US history when, our “well regulated militia” struck almost ten years ago, as a young man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newton, Connecticut, and murdered 20 children and six adults.

Following the attack at Sandy Hook, President Obama and Vice-President Biden led the effort to get Congress to enact significant firearms legislation. Despite bipartisan support, led by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) (yes that Joe Manchin) and Senator Pat Toomey (R) of Pennsylvania, and in the face of the grieving parents of 20 elementary school children, legislation never made it to President Obama’s desk with the bill failing in the Senate by a vote of 54-46.

Since Sandy Hook, there have been no less than 3,500 mass shootings (defined as a shooting incident in which four or more people are killed or injured) in our country.

Our “well regulated militia” struck again when in 2015, it was at a Black church in Charleston, S.C., and then again at a government-funded nonprofit center in San Bernardino, Calif. They struck again in 2016, at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Again in 2017, at a country music festival in Las Vegas, and again, in 2018, when it happened in our own back yard at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

A week after the MSD shooting, President Trump met at the White House with the families of the murdered students. He famously clutched a note card that read: “What can we do to help you feel safe?” and “I hear you.”. The next week, Trump stood up to the NRA by calling for comprehensive gun legislation and warned his fellow Republicans not to be petrified of the powerful gun lobby. But, the next day, Trump hosted the NRA’s top lobbyist in the Oval Office, and suddenly, all of the momentum for a post MSD rally to pass any gun legislation quietly faded away.

Our “well regulated militia” was not done. In 2018, they struck again at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. In 2019, on the same day, they struck twice, first at a Walmart in majority-Hispanic El Paso, followed just hours later by a shooting in a popular nightlife corridor in Dayton, Ohio. In 2021, it was at Asian American massage businesses in Atlanta.

And just last week they struck again at a supermarket in a black neighborhood in Buffalo, NY that left ten dead.

American Exceptionalism

America is exceptional at leading the civilized world in mass shootings.

America is exceptional at having more guns per person than any other country on earth. In fact, the estimate of civilian firearms per 100 persons in the United States is 121. The next closest country is Yemen at 53 firearms for every 100 persons.

America is exceptional in not requiring the registration of firearms.  There are an estimated 393,347,000 firearms in the United States as of 2017. Of those, only 1,073,743 are registered. The rest are not.

America is exceptional for having over 200 mass shooting having taken place already in 2022. That number works out to ten per week for the first 20 weeks of the year. There were a total of 693 mass shootings that took place in 2021.

America is exceptional for having already experienced 27 school shootings this year where someone has been injured or killed. In 2021, there were 34 such incidents of violence.

Today, before Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Final between the Warriors and the Mavs, Golden State Coach Steve Kerr took to the podium and refused to discuss basketball. Here is what Kerr had to say:

“I'm not going to talk about basketball. Nothing's happened with our team in the last six hours. We're going to start the same way tonight. Any basketball questions don't matter.

Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed 400 miles from here. And a teacher. In the last 10 days, we've had elderly Black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, we've had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California. Now we have children murdered at school.

When are we going to do something? I'm tired. I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I'm so tired. Excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough!

There's 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on HR8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple years ago. It's been sitting there for two years. And there's a reason they won't vote on it: to hold onto power.

So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings. I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that's what it looks like. It's what we do every week.

So I'm fed up. I've had enough. We're going to play the game tonight. But I want every person here, every person listening to this, to think about your own child or grandchild, or mother or father, sister, brother. How would you feel if this happened to you today?

We can't get numb to this. We can't sit here and just read about it and go, well, let's have a moment of silence -- yea, Go Dubs. C'mon, Mavs, let's go. That's what we're going to do. We're going to go play a basketball game.

Fifty senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage. Do you realize that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want background checks -- universal background checks? Ninety percent of us. We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we, the American people, want.

They won't vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power. It's pathetic! I've had enough!”

Have you had enough?!


Tuesday, May 24, 2022


 DOM broke the story that Judge Scola is taking senior status as of October 31 this year.  2023. OMG HE'S TAKING SENIOR STATUS 2023 ABOUT 500 PEOPLE WROTE TO TELL US THAT. IT'S 2023 GOT IT? NOT 2022. OK? IS THAT CLEAR??

We pause to think that Janet Reno ran a pretty great office with great prosecutors, many of whom went on to become great judges. 

Bob Scola is at the top of that list. Along with Lenny Glick, Rob Pinero, Jerald Bagley, Jackie Scola, Marilyn Milian (whose TV career short-circuited what would have been a brilliant judicial career), Tom Peterson, Ted Mastos, Sam Slom, Gerry (Hawk) Hubbard, Leslie Rothenberg, Katie Pooler, Johnny Kastrenakes, Bill Altfield,  along with many others. 

Who are we missing? Reno era prosecutors who went on to become Judges? 

Monday, May 23, 2022


 (Que Jaws Theme music)

Just when you thought it safe to go back into the courtroom after Covid19....


Sunday, May 22, 2022


 Here's some things about Rumpole that you probably did not know. This is strictly Sunday morning stuff. 

1) We cannot get enough of the Pete Davidson/Kim Kardashian stories. It is one of the favourties on our Apple News Feed. Now the thing is, we are not sure why Kim K is famous. Her dad was part of the OJ team and then several years later she seemed to be everywhere. Famous for being famous. But that doesn't stop us from gobbling up all the stories we can. 

2) The "How They Spend Their Sunday" is one of our favourite re-occurring articles in the NY Times.

3) We are a connoisseur of standup comedy. Not that we frequent comedy clubs and mix with hoi-polloi, We do not. Never did.  But  the history of Stand Up fascinates us. The rise of the Improv, Catch a Rising Star in NYC along with the Comedy Store in LA in the 1970s, and the history of the great comedians who got their start fascinates us.  William Knoedelseder's   "I'm Dying Up Here" is a great history of the rise of the Comedy Store in LA, which gave starts to Jay Leno, David Letterman, to name a few. The book also details the Comedy Strike which eventually got standups paid for their work. Prior to that, many standups fought for five minutes of stage/mic time with no renumeration.  And when the dust settles, and we can argue about it, George Carlin stands above the rest. 

4) What are your favourite Science Fiction novels? We haven't read a really good one in years and years. 

5) If you have HBO Max "Showtime Rise of The Lakers" is about as great a mini-series as you will ever see. The writing is crisp, funny, and smart. The acting is superb. At various times each one of the actors steals the show for that episode. Don't miss it. 

6) When you're next out and about look to your left and then your right. One of those people already had Covid, and the other is currently infectious with Covid/Omicron.  But you're so done with masks, right?  Covid is the prime example of how employing a philosophy could affect and potentially save your life. Certain types of collectivist philosophies believe that if you ignore something it will go away. The Russians are currently ignoring that they are getting their asses kicked in Ukraine. If they ignore it enough, their army will go away because will be wiped off the face of Ukraine. 

      Other philosophies, and we are talking about Ayn Rand's Objectivism here, hold that A is A and reality exists and cannot be ignored. Put another way, just because you are tired of wearing a mask and want Covid to go away, will not make it go away, no matter how many of your contemporaries smile and affirm your decision not to wear a mask. Maybe some of them will attend your funeral if they really like you. 

7) But let's end on a happy note. Let's see- the weather? Nope- 500 million people worldwide will suffer with global warming this summer (although if you're a conservative republican, you can feel free to ignore it and chant "drill baby drill". And if you're a conservative republican in a costal region, you can weather the floods from the rising oceans in your yacht).

 Biden is in Asia. But North Korean is threatening to shoot off an ICMB. Not that. 

The Supreme Court's term is winding down. But Roe is a goner, so not that. 

Hmm....bear with us, we will find something. 


Got it! 


Thursday, May 19, 2022


 As reported by NBC6 Miami, JAC has ordered one court appointed attorney to repay 282 thousand dollars in court appointed fees that could not be accounted for. The commission held a hearing. There was significant incredulity about the billing of more than 24 hours of work in a day more than 44 (That's Reggie Jackson's number with the Yanks BTW) times. 

Rumpole says....Practice Panther. Track your hours. Save your Bar license. Keep your fees. Very affordable. 

This makes all of us look bad. 


Meanwhile, the City of Miami Beach continues to prosecute people for taking pictures and videos of police officers...except when the case is set for trial. Then they run faster than a judge from a bar tab. 

Ace Herald Scribe has all the details of the latest act of cowardice of CMB here  and their prosecutor Yoe Lopez dismissing a case a year after arrest as it came to court for trial. Lawyer Dan Tibbitt, who doesn't take sh$t from any prosecutor or judge, and has won some very big cases, was ready for battle and took the win. 

Yo Yoe!  Your reputation is worth more than whatever Miami Beach is paying you to wreck the lives of people taking pictures. Are you going to arrest Ovalle if he takes a picture of a cop making an arrest? Or if he takes a picture of you getting your case whipped in court?

Yoe taking a loss and beating a fast retreat 


Wednesday, May 18, 2022



Now there is a move afoot by those who wear black and sit above the rest of us to end zoom court. 

Why? Because it's easier for clients and attorneys and that rubs those who wear black robes the wrong way. 

Judges are grumbling (ever wonder what they teach at those "judicial colleges"? "Grumbling" is a course) that lawyers aren't showing up on time, clients aren't showing up at all, and there is a general lack of respect. 

A couple of Rumpole thoughts.

Has the administration of justice stopped? Have trials stopped occurring? Have pleas stopped? 

We think not. 

The only thing that has happened is that lawyers can sit in their offices or palatial homes and Zoom from court to court and not have the 45 minute commute to court, and the 45 minute commute back. The environment is better for this- less carbon emissions. Clients are better off- they don't lose time off from work and that makes Judges nuts- not being able to inconvenience people and impose their importance on people's lives. If they are not the most important part of a person's day, then their existence, in their own minds, is diminished. 

Maybe that is too harsh, but then again, consider the source- Rumpole, 

If there is reason under those robes, then do not end Zoom Court. 

If you read the news and see that Covid/ Omicron is ripping through this country at an alarming rate, then don't end Zoom Court. 

But if your day is centered around supplicants coming before you, laughing at bad jokes, and bowing deeply when asking for a re-set of a case, then end Zoom Court. 

There should be a vote on this by the Judges. And the vote should be made public. 

Because the public votes as well, and if you proudly want to end Zoom Court then put a line through a Z and wear it as a badge.  Stand up and be counted. 


 This is what this blog means to be.  What Ted Mastos wrote. It deserves its own post. We would invite him and others to write more about the Mosler trial. And we call upon CJ Sayfie to start an REGJB Hall Of Fame. It can start with a list of names on a board, prominently displayed, and then we can go from there. 

 Theodore Mastos said...

It would be hard to be any more eloquent than the folks who have already spoken. He was truly one of the remaining Gerstein gang members who witnessed Richard Gerstein and Gerald Kogan in the Mosler trial. He was a lawyer's lawyer in every sense of the word. Jack could always be found in the cafeteria with a cup of coffee and stories from the past with eager young lawyers gathering around just to hear some of the stories. As I have often stated, it is a shame that REG is such a cold and austere building with no sense of the history that has unfolded over the years. Jack belongs in the Hall of Fame of REG greats who have walked those corridors. Jack should not be forgotten. I will miss him.

Monday, May 16, 2022


UPDATE: From the Blumenfeld family:

On Sunday, May 15, 2022, Jack R. Blumenfeld, loving husband, brother, father and grandfather, passed away at age 79 surrounded by his loved ones.

His funeral will take place on Wednesday, May 18 at 9:30am at Temple Judea, 
5500 Granada Blvd, Coral Gables, FL. The service will be live streamed here
 for those who can't make it: https://bit.ly/3lnfi1L 
We ask that you give the family time to grieve during this difficult time. 
We will be monitoring Jack's Facebook messages if you have any questions. 

All of these are tough. Some are harder than others. This one is very hard. 

Jack Blumenfeld, one of the old guard criminal defense attorneys who cut his teeth in the 1970s and was there for all of the drug wars that followed, passed away this weekend. 

Jack was old school, and that is a badge of honor. He is from a time when lawyers huddled in the hallways, made deals and shook hands and his word was his bond. If the case needed a little extra work, then a drink in a bar was a good way to settle it. And if the case could not be settled, then he tried the case and he was great at it, 

There is so much that pains us about the loss of Jack. Part of the loss is that he was a storehouse of knowledge of lawyers and cases most of you have never heard of. But it is under the shade of those trees - the acorns that Jack and his contemporaries planted- that most of you practice law. 

Jack was a treasure. As a person and as a lawyer. We are broken hearted by hearing this news. A few weeks ago we spoke with him. He was loving retirement, teaching law to highschoolers. He told us if he knew how much he would enjoy retirement he would have done it years ago. It was someone like Jack who inspired us to go to law school many years ago, and we can see why he would thrive around young people who thirsted for his knowledge and reveled in his war stories- of which there were many. 

Jack was a great lawyer. He was a great family man- which was the most important thing to him. And he was a great friend. We shall not see his like again. 

Rest in Peace old friend. 

When Gerald Kogan passed away, Jack saw fit to email this to Rumpole: 

Rumpole, I’m sure that you will get many comments regarding the devastating loss of 

Jerry Kogan. Most will come from young and not so young lawyers who practiced before 

him on the Circuit Court and/or the Supreme Court. But, there are a few of us older

 (guess ancients would be more accurate) who go back to the 60s and 70s with him. 

I met him as a young ASA and tried many cases against him, especially as a Major Crimes 

prosecutor handling murder cases. Unfailingly, he was brilliant. His closings made you 

wonder if you would have voted NG if you were a juror, even when you knew the 

defendant was guilty. But, he was also unfailingly a true and consummate professional. 

He NEVER made it personal. He treated every lawyer-even 

adversaries- with respect. That didn’t change when he took the bench either, as many can

 attest. When I decided to leave the SAO, he invited me to practice with him and a year 

later made me his first law partner; a junior partner for sure, though he never treated

 me as anything but an equal. What an experience!! We got a young law clerk from 

UM Law, who seemed to have some promise. His name: Alan Ross. 

Can you imagine a better place to practice in those days?

More importantly, I knew him as a human and it was as a human that he excelled. 

He was one of the most decent, honest and respectful person I have ever met.

 Yes, he was a great lawyer and jurist, but, he should also be remembered as a great husband, 

father, brother and friend. He just did life the right way.

Gerald Kogan made you proud you were a lawyer; especially proud to be a criminal defense 

lawyer. And he made me thank G d for allowing me to know and associate with him. 

Frankly, if we have displayed pictures of some of our colleagues who have left us, 

we should dedicate the entire 4th floor in his name!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2022


 The FACDL had its awards dinner last night. Some people won awards. Lots of alcohol was consumed, making the speeches more bearable, and judges who would otherwise never give you the time of day were present, smiling and laughing and being unusually friendly because they are up for election in two years and they want your support. 

Rumpole, as usual, was persona non grata

Frank Quintero won the Against All Odds Award. 

Elliot Scherker won the Founders Award. 

Judge Raag Singhal, won the Judge award, called affectionately the Koogie after the late, great Judge Gerald Kogan. 

And D. Ryan McCartney won the young lawyers award. Gotta love someone who has an initial for a first name. 

Other highlights. 

Valet parking was almost $33.00! 

FACDL provided "complimentary flip-flops" and no, that was not a judge standing around saying "Granted...wait...I uhhh mean denied."  It was some pair of foot coverings. Must be an inside joke we are on the outside of. 

Now hang on to your hats, but those of you like us, who missed this event, missed....virtual bowling. Yes, virtual bowling. Here's a beer. Here's a pretend ball, pretend to roll it, pretend to have fun. As long as the beer wasn't pretend...

There was pool somewhere, but as best we can tell, no one fell in. 

From the actual, real official guide, there was forty minutes of "non-programmed" time where the guide actually suggested that the participant "get more drinks."

"Hey Martha, are we going to that FACDL thing this year?"

"Nah, it's too programed."

"Wait! I'm looking at the guide. This year they have forty minutes of non-programmed time!"

"Really? Then let's go. I hope they have virtual bowling as well."

We are hopeful a good time was had by all. Just not us. 

Friday, May 13, 2022


 As a Rose by any other name (would deny a bond just as sweet?) struggles with the demand of a full case load and lots of invitations to Judicial Election functions (see the PoliticalCodadito blog) we want to state a few things. 

In response to our blog post about her name change. Ms. Tylman-Tua -Cervera told PoliticalCodadito that our post was "a lie. It's twisted. Deliberately distorted." As to "twisted" we will have a more detailed response below- we're not gonna take it anymore, that's for sure. 

As to a lie, we reported she had her DL and voter registration card in the name Tylman and that her bar profile was under Tylman. If that is a lie, let us know and we will print a full retraction. It did come out in the interview that she has her passport under the name Cevera. If so, it is an important fact that should be out there for the voters' consideration. Of course, the lawyer in us would remind Ms. TC that at many the pretrial detention hearing in federal court, the prosecutors delight in telling the court that our client has a passport in a different name. Just saying, it could backfire when you need it most. 

It also came out that TC changed her name when her son saw her Zoom name as different than Cevera. Personally, we would advise to leave children out of this contretemps. 

And finally this- TC said "she has always dreamed of being a judge.

Stop the presses Mr. Ovalle. Front page herald: Judicial candidate stuns world, revealing she always dreamed of being a judge. 

"The Miami legal community reacted in shock and amazement when a judicial candidate revealed she always dreamed of being a judge. 'It's a game changer' said one political consultant. 'We've never seen a candidate say that before.' Speaking with a Judge who asked to remain anonymous, the Judge said 'We all want to be judges. But having always dreamed of being a judge? Wow! That is something special. I hope she wins.' "

So lets play this forward at an imaginary candidate forum, assuming Ms. TC could clear her crowded schedule of cases and other judicial receptions and actually attend one. 

When asked why she is running for judge, Judge Lody gives a response about how rewarding the job is in serving Miami and how it is a continuation of her work as a prosecutor. There is polite and genuine applause. 

Then Ms. TC rises and states "Well, I've always dreamed of being a judge." A moment of shock, followed by a raucous standing ovation and loud cheers. 

A Rose by any other name- is a Dream Candidate For Judge. 

And now, rocking all the way from 1984. We are Twisted? Well, Ms. Dream Candidate- let us say....WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022


 Last we ventured way north of the border, to the Palm Beaches where lawyers clad in blue double breasted blazers with their club insignia and tan slacks and white buck shoes sip Gin and Tonics at 5pm and bemoan the lack of civility and the downturn in the market, one Judge Johnny Kastrenakes, he formerly of the Dade County State Attorney's Office (Janet Reno era) and US Attorneys Office (Dexter Lehtinen era?) had engendered not one but two challengers in what was going to be his last election. 

Reading the writing on the genteel Palm Beaches walls and political scene, the Judge gracefully withdrew, citing family time and teaching commitments. Discretion in blue-blood Palm Beach always being the better part of valor, as well as continued entry into the clubs whose names you are not even allowed to speak in public, it being declassee. 

This information was widely reported on other blogs before ours, pressing legal issues having prevented us from hoping on this story as it broke earlier this week. 

Two challengers entering a judicial race in WPB is a very unlikely scenario. It is hard to remember a time when that occurred before. The reasons behind the challenge are a bit unclear, but it may relate to a story where the judge held a recalcitrant juror in contempt and sentenced him to jail, later modifying the sentence when the juror apologized. Apparently the issued galvanized the West Palm Beach elite, where such things "are just not done here."

  A little of the 305 goes a long way in the 561, and sometimes a little too far. You can take the boy out of Miami, but not the Miami out of the boy. Or words to that effect. 

Judge Kastrenakes has had a long and distinguished public service career, trying and wining some of the biggest cases in South Florida before donning black robes. He was a worthy adversary when he prowled the halls of the REGJB, and we wish him well. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


Lost in all the hubbub and contretemps over A Rose By Any Other Name, is that the Florida Supreme Court DENIED the Florida Bar's emergency motion to suspend Bruce Jacobs. But the fight goes on and we wish Mr. Jacobs well (maybe cut back a bit on the size of those appendices to start. Everyone knows Judges do not like to read).

We recently traveled and approximately 30-40% of people on planes were wearing masks. Dumb. Dumber. Dumbest. Dead. Declinate the D's of not wearing masks.  

Vicki White, the corrections officer who helped an inmate escape has died of a self inflicted gunshot wound after being captured. We were sort of rooting for her. 

F1? F-Off. Not for us. But rumor is that Dolphin Owner Stephen Ross made more on this past weekend's F1 race then he will for the whole 2022 NFL season. 

Raul Julia's portrayal of the defense attorney in Presumed Innocent is just remarkable. We had occasion to watch it again over the weekend, and it is too often neglected. The line about having more than enough  unsubstantiated allegations for one case is just classic. Julia died way too young at age 56 or so. 

Monday, May 09, 2022


 We have been called many things. Accused of bias, stupidity, and perhaps worst of all- boring writing. And that's just from our mother. 

Others in the legal community have said worse. 

And then there was this in the DBR, who did a story on the Captain's Name Game post, which hit our legal community like the bomb it was: 

But in response, Cervera called the blog post “an attack on professional women who engage in the act of assuming their husbands’ surnames.”

“It is disappointing that issues like this one are raised to distract residents from being able to learn more about me and the reasons why I am running for judge,” Cervera said in an email. “It saddens me that with all the progress women have made, we still remain susceptible to attacks about what last name we decide to use.”

 An attack? You betcha. On professional women? Surely you jest. You can do better than that Ms. Tylman-Tua-Sanchez-Wong whateverwillwork.com.

You have been married how long? Several years at least? And you were too busy to fill out the paperwork to change your name, what with the cleaning and the shopping, and such as a busy housewife? 

You have been caught Madam. Exposed for what you are- a win-at-all-costs-character who will do what it takes to play the name game in Miami Judicial elections. Period. 

The John Kennedy School of Government awards Profile in Courage Awards to public servants who have made decisions putting the welfare of the public above their own personal needs. Elected officials who voted their conscience, and then lost the next election as a consequence of their vote.  

You Madam, will never know the accomplishment of standing for something bigger than yourself. Perhaps, it is this sort of thinking that led you to change your name in advance of an election, rather than seek to tout your experiences. 

So once again, we offer you the pages of this blog. Unedited. Speak your piece. Rise in your defense. Tell all of us why you deserve to be elected. How your experiences and abilities make you uniquely qualified to sit in judgment of others. And if you wish, address your name change- and how at this particular moment in your life- you needed to take your husband's name like the good wife you are. 

Should you doubt our sincerity, email us and we will send you the private emails of respected judges and attorneys who will vouch for our sincerity and, if it makes you feel better, in to their hands we will place the blog and the ability to publish a post, so you feel secure. 

The floor is yours. 

Do you have the courage to accept? 

Oh, one last thing. Check out the post of the Captain on August 9, 2010, in which he reports on the name change of one Peter Adrian, who, like you, desperate to win a judicial race, reached into his long lost past and found the sur name "Camacho". Adrian went on to win one term, before being roundly and deservedly beaten, earning the reputation of one of the worst judges to disgrace the bench of Miami-Dade County. 

An attack on women? How dare you. 

An attack on liars and lack of character is more like it. 

Saturday, May 07, 2022


Bruce Jacobs update below 

When Rumpole rises in defense, he bows slightly to that sepulchral-like figure, clad in black, looming meters above the rest of us, and mutters "may it please the court" before launching into a spirited defense of the accused. 

We need not acknowledge one of our two opponents in the courtroom, but we do so out of respect for what they represent. Our democracy. Our judicial system. Overseer of due process, comity and cafecito at 3. 

But what if we did not? What if those around us simply said "no" we chose not to follow your decisions? 

We started this conversation on Mr. Markus's blog with a comment about a scenario: Imagine if two of the so-called conservative justices were forced to retire unexpectedly this term. Perhaps Justice Thomas retires, and Justice Kavanaugh is offered the presidency of a beer distributorship in Baden, Germany. Now also consider a democratic rout of republicans in the senate midterm elections, resulting in Biden appointing two new justices. And now imagine the newly constituted "Biden Court" reversing the reversal of Roe. 

What will our Supreme Court have become, if nothing more than another congress, ruling according to which side is currently in the majority. 

The Judiciary's power flows from the public's respect for the institution. They have neither the power of the purse nor the military. If the public loses trust, then what? 

Now imagine this scenario: A President Trump or suitable clone, reacts to a Supreme Court decision by telling his or her followers to not follow it. They order federal law enforcement to not enforce the decision. Their supporters in congress beat back yet another impeachment proceeding. 

We are on the precipice of very dark times dear readers. 

Yes, there are moments in history when back-benchers like Churchill defied his party and parliament and thundered about the rising Nazi threat. Proven right, his country turned to him, bringing him from the wilderness, and into power. 

Lincoln, suspending the sacred rights of habeas corpus and freedom of the press; violating the Constitution to save the Union. 

But those moments are and should be rare. And yet they fuel the rising populist movement to defy the law, to defy science, and to defy common sense, because a Trump or DeSantis says they should. 

The threat to this Union, this great experiment in democracy, is real and imminent. They will defy judges if told to do so. They will attack law enforcement if egged on. They will arrest and incarcerate intellectuals and scientists and the Rumpoles of this world, and we shall descend into the dark ages of mob rule, pandemic illnesses, drought, heat, famine and flood. Force will replace reason. Prayer will replace medicine and science. Elections will be rigged and tampered with. Democracy will die, and many millions along with it. 

Other than that, enjoy your weekend. 

Update: the Florida Supreme Court disapproved without prejudice the Florida Bar's petition for an emergency suspension of Bruce Jacobs. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2022


The Right To Privacy Update below: 

As reported in the Media starting Monday night, the Supreme Court (Motto: precedent matters, except when it doesn't) has decided to overturn Roe v. Wade. In the leaked draft opinion by Justice Alito, there is the phrase "The constitution is silent on abortion."

In another post we will speak about our personal views on abortion. They may surprise you. For now we wish to discuss the judicial reasoning about the Constitution being silent on abortion. By overruling Roe, the States will now have the final say on whether a woman can have an abortion. Women in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and the like must be feeling well protected and secure. 

Here are some of the other things the Constitution is silent on, which means states may outlaw them. 

Dinner. Appendectomies. Dental care. Cars. Aeorplanes, Donuts. Starbucks. Baseball. The NFL Draft. Sirius Satellite Radio and the Morning Men show on MadDog radio. Concerts. Apple iPhones.  Pizza. Voir Dire.  The Sentencing Guidelines. Pineapple on Pizza (we agree in outlawing this). Lox and Bagels.  Crypto (Thank you Eth). Kittens. Zoos. Crayons.  Garden rakes. Meditation. HIIT Peloton classes and our fav teachers Hanna Frankson and Jen Sherman on the bike and Daniel McKenna for strength. Cafe Con Leche and Cuban Toast. Psychotherapy. Disney World. Surfing. Skiing. Boxing. The designated hitter (ditto on no problem outlawing this). Fireworks. Mini-skirts. Cardiac catheterization  when having a heart attack. 

Our point is, if they can deny federal protection and allow a state to outlaw one medical procedure, then every medical procedure is in jeopardy. 

If the yardstick is whatever is not mentioned in the constitution is fair game for a state to outlaw, then all sorts of activities from sports to exercise to foods can be banned. 

If a state decides coffee is dangerous, then the supreme court will not strike down that law. If a state decides football games on Sundays violates the Lord's day of rest, then there goes your Atlanta Falcons/Texans/Colts parlay. And if the state has a Jewish bent, then Saturday is the day of rest and no movie dates. If a state decides sex between people under 30 should be illegal, then so be it because as near as we can tell, the Constitution is silent on sex. 

Every Supreme Court case striking down sodomy laws are also now in jeopardy. Gay Marriage? Move to Canada. 

Someone explain to us why a State that adopts a belief that surgery, medicine, and medical treatments are bad (because the Governor and legislators have done their own research and decided that antibiotics are bad [sound familiar?] or that the polio vaccine is dangerous) cannot outlaw surgery and modern medicine techniques. Back to leeches. Prayer will save you, erythromycin will not, although swigging some bleach could help. 

This country is loudly and proudly returning to the dark ages. 

Update: We neglected to mention that the decision in this case opens the door for the court to reverse the decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, a decision we have roundly criticized for decades.  The decision in Griswold found a right to privacy in the penumbra of the constitution. For those of you who are robed readers, a penumbra is an aura or shadow. It is most often used in astronomy contexts, in discussing the penumbra cast when the moon moves before the sun. A right to privacy is most certainly not mentioned in the Constitution.  Therefore, the decision in Griswold, its holding on privacy and the ability to purchase contraception, should now be considered in doubt. 

Again, for our readers who wear robes at work, the reason why the decision in Griswold concerns us, is, who is reading this penumbra? What standard is at use for ferreting out those rights hiding in the shadows cast by the Constitution? And if the Griswold court could find privacy in the penumbra, could not the Barrett Court find Jesus in the penumbra? Could not the Alito court find a mandate to not work on Sundays in the penumbra? 

Here is the problem: when you praise the decision in Griswold because you like the right to privacy, but ignore how they reached that decision- a personal opinion by a judge that a right was hiding in the shadows of the Constitution, then you open the door for Justice Barrett, Justice Altio and Justice Kavanaugh to find what they want to find in the same shadows. And trust us, they are not finding the right to privacy, the right for homosexuals to marry, and the right to be free from enhanced electronic surveillance in those shadows. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2022



FACDL-Miami is hosting a JUDICIAL CANDIDATES TOWN HALL on Tuesday, May 3rd, from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. The event can be seen on Zoom at the following link: Click this link on May 3 to join the forum (Meeting ID: 943 189 3869 Passcode 378486). The event is co-sponsored by several voluntary bar associations).

ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES (on both the United States Supreme Court and on the Florida Supreme Court) .....


Justice Alan Lawson announced his retirement from the Florida Supreme Court on Friday. This gives Gov. DeSantis yet another appointment to our highest court. Lawson has served on the high court since his appointment by Gov. Rick Scott in 2016. He previously served 11 years on the 5th DCA and four years as a circuit court judge in the 9th Circuit. His retirement is effective August 31. 

Since taking office in January of 2019, DeSantis has made six appointments to the Florida Supreme Court. Two, Judge Robert Luck and Judge Barbara Lagoa have since moved on to the federal bench. Three other justices are currently serving on Florida’s highest court including: Justices Carlos Muniz, John Couriel, and Jamie Grosshans.

The current makeup of the court does not include a black justice. You may recall that Gov. DeSantis attempted to solve that issue by placing Judge Renatha Francis on the Court in 2020 (his sixth appointment).  Only problem with that appointment was that Francis was not qualified as she had only been a member of the Bar for nine years. The Florida Supreme Court told DeSantis he needed to pick someone else. (He picked Grosshans).

So, will DeSantis pull a Joe Biden and announce that his next appointment will be black. While we doubt that, we are willing to wager you a bet that his first qualification for all of the candidates will be that they must be a member of The Federalist Society.


We were not able to include the information for candidate Renier Diaz de la Portilla on last week’s County Court races post as he did not file his financial paperwork until Friday.

Here is that information:

Attorney Diaz de la Portilla paid his Qualifying Fee in the amount of $6,255.08.

Attorney Diaz de la Portilla has a Net Worth of NEGATIVE $91,667.

Attorney Diaz de la Portilla stated that his salary is $100,000 annually from his law firm.

Maybe candidate Jason Bloch (who has a Net Worth of more than $72 million dollars) can loan Renier a few bucks.


But related to Miami-Dade County .....

You rarely see Incumbents challenged in judicial races in Palm Beach County

Judge John Kastrenakes, longtime Circuit Court Judge, and former ASA in Miami-Dade County for 13 years (as well as former AUSA for 14 years), got not one but two challengers: Caryn Siperstein and Alcolya St. Juste. Kastrenakes was appointed to the bench is 2009 by Gov. Charlie Crist. He was unopposed in both 2010 and 2016. This is his first contested election.

You may recall that Judge K made the news back in 2019:

Judge Kastrenakes held a man in contempt of court, giving him a 10-day jail sentence and a year on probation after he slept in and missed his jury duty. Following his jail time, Deandre Somerville appeared at a hearing on October 4, 2019, during which Judge Kastrenakes reduced his probation sentence to three months and his community service hours from 150 to 30 after Somerville's lawyer appealed. The judge also removed the contempt from Somerville's record following the hearing.

“I firmly believe that Deandre Somerville is the type of person who can achieve anything he wants in this world. I know he now understands and respects our system of justice and the critical role jurors play in that system. In conclusion, I do not want even a finding of contempt to be gleaned from a perusal of his background or record,” wrote Kastrenakes.


Monday, May 02, 2022



More to follow on this important issue. 




FACDL-Miami is hosting a JUDICIAL CANDIDATES TOWN HALL on Tuesday, May 3rd, from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. The event can be seen on Zoom at the following link: Click this link on May 3 to join the forum (Meeting ID: 943 189 3869 Passcode 378486). The event is co-sponsored by several voluntary bar associations).

Last week we introduced you to Teressa (Tess) Tylman who transformed from Anglo to Hispanic overnight when she decided to run for Circuit Court Judge in Miami-Dade County under the name Teressa Cervera.

Last Friday we were emailed an intercepted communication between candidate Tylman (Cervera) and another candidate for Circuit Court Judge, Brenda Gitchev Guerrero.* Ms. Gitchev Guerrero filed to run in Group 20 against Incumbent Judge Robert Watson.

[Rumpole notes- the conversation which is a satire and NOT REAL is listed below. We do not have Title III powers, and do not intercept communications.]

First, a bit of a background on Ms. Gitchev Guerrero.  Unlike Ms. Tylman, she did not magically become Hispanic overnight. Brenda Liz Guerrero was born in Puerto Rico. She married Veselin Gitchev (from Bulgaria) in 1997. She then began using the name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero. Nothing wrong with that.

Ms. Gitchev Guerrero became a member of The Florida Bar in 2005. She is a former ASA where she worked in the Child Support Division. She currently owns her own practice specializing in family law. She incorporated with the Florida Department of Corporations in 2017 using the name Law Office of Brenda Gitchev Guerrero, PLLC. She is listed with The Florida Bar as attorney Brenda Gitchev Guerrero and she uses the email address of brenda@gitchevguerrerolaw.com. She has a Voter ID card under the name Brenda Gitchev.

On January 21, 2022, she filed her initial paperwork to run for Circuit Court Judge in Group 20. She filed under the name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero. She then proceeded to submit additional paperwork to the Division of Elections:

Statement of Candidate, filed 1/21/22, under the candidate name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero

Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office, filed 1/21/22, under the candidate name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero

Candidate Appointment of Campaign Treasurer, filed 1/21/22, under the candidate name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero (name used three times in this filing)

Amended Candidate Appointment of Campaign Treasurer, filed 1/24/22, under the candidate name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero (name used three times in this filing)

Financial Disclosure, filed on 4/26/22, electronically signed using the name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero

Candidate’s Checking Account opened under the name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero Campaign Account and filing fee check filed on 4/26/22 using the name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero.

Then, on 4/27/22, last Wednesday, Ms. Gitchev Guerrero, filed her Candidate Oath, where she asked that her name on the ballot read, drum roll please, Brenda Guerrero.  As we said at the top of this story. This is not Tylman becomes Cervera. Brenda Guerrero was born with that name. But, Ms. Guerrero was officially running for Judge for 115 days under the candidate name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero. She has held herself out in the legal community for 17 years as Brenda Gitchev Guerrero. Then, on day 116 of her campaign, she requested to have her name placed on the ballot as Brenda Guerrero.

Oh yeah, one more note. Last Friday, (two days after she decided to run as Brenda Guerrero), when Brenda Gitchev Guerrero renewed her Florida Corporation with Sunbiz, she electronically signed as both officer and registered agent under the name Brenda Gitchev Guerrero.


*Here is just part of that intercepted conversation:

Teressa Tylman Cervera (TTC): Hi, is this Brenda Gitchev Guerrero?

Brenda Gitchev Guerrero (BGG): Yes it is, who is this?

TTC: Hi, you don’t know me, my name is Tess Tylman, I mean Tess Cervera and I am running for Circuit Court Judge. I am challenging an Incumbent named Lody Jean. I see you are running against Robert Watson.

BGG: Yes, that’s true. It’s nice to meet you Tess Tylman

TTC: Cervera. You mean Cervera.

BGG: Oh yes, sorry about that.

TTC: Listen, Brenda, if I may call you that. I hope you don’t mind if I extend just one word of advice to you about running for judge.

BGG: No, go right ahead. One word though?


BGG: Excuse me Tess?


BGG: I don’t quite understand.

TTC: Your name. It’s not Brenda Gitchev Guerrero, it’s Brenda Guerrero. Got it.

BGG: Ah yes, I got it Tess. Mucha suerte en la campaña. adiós

TTC: Huh, what did you say?

BGG: Mucha suerte en la campaña. adiós. It’s Spanish for Best of luck on the campaign. Goodbye.

TTC: Sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. Goodbye.**

**The preceding conversation was all in jest, all satire, and never actually took place.

Buena suerte a todos los candidatos en la campaña.