Thursday, March 30, 2023


UPDATE: TRUMP INDICTED!  INDICTMENT ANNOUNCED THURSDAY AS THE NY GRAND JURY FILED AN INDICTMENT UNDER SEAL FOR DONNY TRUMP. IT WILL BE UNSEALED NEXT WEEK.  For those of you in the REGJB Trump Indictment pool who had the 12-6 pm block of March 30, 2023, you will advance to the Perp walk/arraignment pool bracket. For the rest of you, much like picking the Jets over the Chiefs in the survivor pool, thanks for playing. 

Let's play ball!  Today is opening day. We have a traditional opening day post you newbies can read here. It's a good one.  But today we are in a reflective mood. 

What is perfection? It's a 6-4-3 double play. It's Willie Mays gliding in center field and making catch. You want to see perfection? Watch this video on throws Roberto Clemente made from right field. He was the first (or one of the first) Hispanic superstars. When the Pirates won the World Series in 1971 and he showed the world how good he was and won the MVP, he was interviewed in the clubhouse and made the shocking decision to first speak in Spanish on nationwide TV to his people in Puerto Rico. 

Perfection is Henry Aaron hitting a home run. And Aaron Judge hitting one as well. Aaron and Aaron- there are no coincidences. 

Perfection is the smile on a child's face walking into a baseball stadium for the first time and walking down a tunnel and suddenly this bright green field emerges and their face beams. 

Perfection is a Nolan Ryan fastball. It is Bob Gibson scowling from the mound. It's a Dwight Gooden curveball impossibly breaking over the plate and it's Sandy Kofax and Tom Seaver and Lefty Carlton. 

Perfection is Graig Nettles at third base in the world series, making breathtaking plays time and time again. And it's Brooks Robinson at third in any game he played. 

Perfection is Ozzie at short and Johnny Bench behind the plate. 

Perfection is stealing second base, and then running to third on the bad throw. Perfection is Jackie Robinson dancing off of third base in the world series and stealing home, and Yogi probably making the tag and then arguing with the ump. Because in baseball, perfection is dispute and arguments and Billy Martin kicking dirt on the umpire's shoes. It is Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in 61 chasing the greatest ballplayer of all time- The Babe. 

Perfection is the hit and run. 

Perfection is a 2-1 ballgame played on a hot July day when the fans are drinking cold beer and eating hot dogs and peanuts and there is pitcher's duel, and the home team wins in the bottom of the ninth. 

Perfection is Jack Buck yelling "I don't believe what I just saw" after a lame Kirk Gibson hit a game winning home run on one leg in the bottom of the ninth in the world series for the Dodgers. It was any game Vince Scully called. And if you want to go way back, it's Red Barber and Bob Prince calling games on the radio, because in the right hands, baseball is a game for the radio and the mind's eye. 

Perfection is any baseball game that takes two and half hours, or three hours, or four because baseball is played by its own rhythms and not with a clock (pitcher's clock not withstanding). 

Perfection is the sound a ball makes on a wooden bat and the sound the ball makes as it smacks the leather in the center of a glove. Perfection are the memories of an old man about the games he played in his youth, and the cheering of a father as his daughter strokes a single in her first at bat in a little league game. 

In life there is so little that is simple and pleasurable that can make you smile. Baseball can do that and does it over and over every day, every year. 

Perfection is baseball and baseball is perfection. 

Monday, March 27, 2023

BANG BANG NSFW warning- this is a long and winding post, well worth the read

UPDATE: Monday is the 86th day of the year. We have had over 100 mass shooting incidents in the United States this year, including, tragically today at a school in Nashville, Tennesse, that left three children and three adults dead. Three children! Dead. Children who got up this morning excited to go to school, and died there at the hands of a crazy woman with a gun. 

And the Florida Legislature's solution to the pandemic of mass shootings? More guns and less restrictions on carrying them in public. It's like needing to go on a diet and buying five boxes of cookies and two gallons of ice cream. 

Welcome to Florida, where we encourage you to carry a concealed firearm, because there's been no tragic gun violence in this State since, well, maybe never. 

As of Sunday, there is no more CCF law in Florida. You can carry your gun to McDonalds now. Or into Thomas Keller's joint in Sunny Isles, and you do not need a permit. Don't you feel safer now knowing the people in your movie theater may be armed? It's not like anyone has ever gotten into an argument and then pulled their gun and shot someone out of anger, only to regret it later when the Dade ASA intones "next of kin wants max". 

Florida is run by idiots who are encouraging more guns in public, not less. 

Query: You have a pending CCF and now it's legal. Will the State drop the charges, or does "the officer wants the max" still apply? 


Do you have a friend or colleague who is a plaintiff's lawyer? Be a nice person and buy them a drink when you see them sitting at a bar staring forlornly off into the distance, wondering how to break into the lucrative traffic ticket defense business because their plaintiffs' practice was just destroyed by the Florida Legislature (Motto: "We can do as much damage as an unlicensed and angry gun owner who isn't seated on time at Cracker Barrel in Two Egg Florida with his family on a Friday night. Maybe more.") 

As of Sunday: 

Attorney fees multiplier? Zap! Gone (or severely reduced, we don't know a whole lot about this stuff). 

Homeowners' attorneys getting fees when the insurance company loses or settles? Zap! Gone. 

What this means:  Tropical Storm Ron comes through Miami and rips a hole in your roof. The water comes flooding in and damages your 75 inch TV, and MacBook Pro, not to mention your Subzero fridge and your expensive Pakistani hand-woven carpet. The insurance adjuster comes walking though your home. "Hmm, older tv, rug already had pasta sauce stains, the roof was previously damaged, the subzero looks fine to me. $3,500.00 is our offer." 

Previously you could hire Dewey Cheetum & Howe and sue your insurance company. Debbie Dewey, the named partner, settles for $110,000.00 and the good news is the insurance company paid her 56 hours of work at $650.00 an hour! 

NOW? You have to hire Debbie Dewey and agree to pay her out of the recovery if you win. 

Rumpole expert analysis: This is what you pay for. Our in-depth analysis of the issues, seeing things others (and especially judges) do not see. 

There are a few big losers here. First is Dewey and other first party defense law firms. But the second big loser here are the banks making loans to buy homes in Florida. 

"The Banks" you say, wondering if Rumpole is out of his league on a complex civil issue. We are most assuredly out of our league, and yet, our insight is correct. 

Follow this scenario: 

A Bank loan Debbie Dewey the money to buy her 2.2 million home in Gables by the Sea. She put 500K down and the bank has a 1.7-million-dollar mortgage and interest in her beautiful home. 

The bank wants Debbie to do two things: 1- pay her mortgage; and 2- UPKEEP her home, so their investment remains safe. 

If the roof is blown off in Tropical storm Ron and Debbie's insurance company offers her $2,500 and she has 100K in structural and flooding damage beyond 75K for a new roof, and Debbie cannot afford to pay that out of her pocket because her income has gone down because of this new law- then Debbie's house's value is reduced. 

Now Debbie defaults on the mortgage because the traffic ticket defense gig isn't as good as it used to be and the bank take's Debbie's home. 

The problem is that the home, with all the water and wind damage is now worth 900K and the bank needs to recoup its 1.7-million-dollar loan. 

The bank sells the property, loses 800K, Jim Cramer reports this on Squawk Box on CNBC the next day, and then the shares of Gables Savings and Loan tank as there is a run on the bank because Debbie is one of 9,000 homeowners in Gables by the Sea that the bank has loaned money to on houses the owners cannot get adequately repaired after Tropical Storm Ron roared ashore on August 1, 2023. 

All because the Florida Legislature likes insurance companies more than banks. 

Property Values Plummet:

Last domino to fall: Citibank and Bank of America see Gables Savings and Loan fail and don't want to be lending money to people to buy homes in Florida, the land of hurricanes and storms, when they now know the homeowners are at the mercy of insurance companies who will be offering pennies on the dollar when their roofs blow away. 

Judge Sally Goldstein-Tegucigalpa has worked diligently for the last thirty years. She has raised a family, and paid off her home, all while avoiding an opponent in her election cycles by diligently following the prosecution on every case where "victim wants max". 

Now Judge Sally wants to retire to Sun City in Arizona. Her house in Pinecrest has gone from $224,000. to 2.4 million over the last 30 years,  and she wants to sell it. Her two kids are both heading to medical school, and she wants to give each of them $750,000.00 for college and medical school and take the rest of the money and buy that adobe condo in Sun City she has her eye on.  

Miranda Castro-Schwartz, age 31, a lawyer for 5.1 years has just won a judicial election defeating some male judge who is sixty and been a judge for 17 years. Miranda has 300K left from her election that she wants to use to buy Sally's home. All is good until Miranda finds out no bank will lend her the money to buy Sally's home. 

Judge Sally reduces the price to 2.2 million and Judge Miranda still cannot get a loan. 2 million, 1.8 million, 1.5 million, still no dice. No lending institution will do business in Florida real estate anymore. 

Judge Sally's kids take second jobs at Starbucks to help with expenses. They get B's in organic chemistry because they have less time to study and that means they cannot get into medical school, so both of them are forced to do the only thing they have left. Go to law school, become a lawyer, wait 5.1 years and win a judicial election because of their multi-ethnic hyphenated last names. 

Then they spend their days on the bench smiling as the State says "victim wants max."

Thursday, March 23, 2023


 It's time to play...YOU ARE THE JUDGE. Everyone can play, even those with a predilection for wearing black at work. 

What bond would you set? 

The defendant has no prior record. He is 75 years of age, and a successful businessman, with properties overseas, extensive world travel in the last six years, and access to significant funds. 

The charges are non-violent and relate to a violation of ethics and certain reporting requirements. Upon conviction he would face a minimal amount of incarceration, along with home confinement and probation. 

What bond would you set?

Additional facts: The defendant is also under federal investigation for various acts of fraud, and a total of two state court investigations. 

Now what bond would you set? 

Additional facts: The defendant was involved in publicizing and praising the acts and affrays of a violent crowd of people. 

Now what bond would you set? 

We are under an INDICTMENT WATCH  for the 45th President of the United States. New York will be the first shoe to drop, followed by Georgia, and then the feds. Will he get bond in all three cases? 

What bond would you set?  

Monday, March 20, 2023


UPDATE: THERE IS AN AMENDED ORDER BY JUDGE HIRSCH which has what has rapidly become an internet/legal phenomenon with the now famous "needle and haystack" reasoning, soon to be etched in the pantheon of legal analysis. 

InReSearchWarrantMarch14 15PDF Updated by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd

There are a few things that our Judge Milton Hirsch does not like. These items are well known 

He does not like hitters who do not run out a ground ball. 

He does not like split infinitives. 

He does not like Fingerprint evidence. 

He does not like abridged editions of Shakespeare (neither do we). 

And now we know he does not like search warrants that ask for ALL of the target's social media records.  (existing as we do in cyber-space, we don't like these either). 

Particulary, the Judge does not like that the warrant applications ignore the requirement that the warrant identify the documents to be seized "with particularity" (pun intended by careful design). 

Amongst the many quotable highlights by the Judge, who when he was a lawyer was known as "The Dr. Ruth of the Fourth Amendment" [FN1]: 

The warrant in this case provides that, “This court finds that it is impractical for [Meta] to sort the evidence of the articulated crimes specifically sought herein from innocent or innocuous documents or records intermingled therewith.” When, and upon what factual predicate, did I make this finding? I conducted no hearing. I received no evidence. I took no testimony. This entirely conclusory statement is offered without a shred of support. I claim no expertise whatever with respect to computers or social media, but I find it impossible to believe that Meta (formerly Facebook), one of the largest and certainly one of the most “tech-savvy” businesses in the world, is utterly without reasonable means to conduct word searches or other specific searches of account data that would make possible a much narrower and more particularized seizure than the one sought here.

In Research Warrant Application Dated March 13 PDF by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd

FN1: Dr Ruth was a diminutive older woman who spoke with a thick Israeli accent and became famous in the 1908s for dispensing sexual advice.  The term's usage for the Judge (a lawyer at the time) was one of endearment by his colleagues. 

A review of our social media posts would reveal the following: 

Kim K 💕;  Michelob Hard Seltzer 💓; Shun Lee Sunday night Chinese Food 💖; Kourtney K 💔;
etc. We invite law enforcement to sift through that. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023




Long rumored in the comments section of the blog, where rumor is currency, and juicy rumors are like cyypto-up and down-  Judge Michael Hanzman, fresh off of a remarkable handling of the Sunny Isles building collapse tragedy, has RESIGNED from the Miami Dade Circuit Court bench. 

This is a loss for our judiciary and our community. 

Monday, March 13, 2023


 Prosecuting offices around the nation have instituted Conviction Review Units. 

And guess what? Even Broward County- the land where justice goes to die- has one. 

But Miami Dade does not. Either they are that good that they do not ever wrongfully convict someone, or they just don't care. 

On Monday Sidney Holmes, age 57, was exonerated in Broward County, after assistant state attorney Arielle Berger acknowledged that only one faulty identification tied Mr. Holmes to a robbery in 1988. It being Broward in 1988, although no one else was prosecuted, and only one witness gave an identification of Mr. Holmes as the get-away-driver, Mr. Holmes was convicted and sentenced to...steady yourself- 400 years- at age 23. 

We could engage in a lengthy exposition at the shocking abuse of the criminal justice system and a judge that sentences a 23-year-old young man to 400 years for being, at worst, a get-away-driver.  But as we said, this was Broward 1988, and that's how they treated young 23-year-old black men who fell within their dastardly clutches. 

Instead, we will congratulate Seth Miller of Florida's Innocence Project, the State,  Judge Edward Merrigan for granting the order vacating the conviction, and for the prosecution for then nolle prosing the charges. 

Here is the Herald article (sans Mr. Ovalle who is now a Washington Post hot shot reporter) on the events in court Monday. 

Thursday, March 09, 2023


 A death can start with a sneeze. A small cut, then an infection, then sepsis, then death. 

Senate Bill 23-00233B-23 will restrict the ability of the defense to take depositions in domestic violence cases (because as we all know, disgruntled spouses do not make false accusations of domestic violence to use as leverage in divorce proceedings) and in sexual battery cases, because as we all know, complaining witnesses in sexual assault cases can always identify their assailant- exoneration by DNA is virtually unheard of in these cases,  and again, disgruntled girlfriends/boyfriends never ever ever have a motive to make up an allegation of sexual assault.  

Just ask the members of the 2006 Duke Lacrosse team if so-called victims ever make up sexual assault accusations, and whether prosecutors are complicit in such skullduggery, 

So the Florida senate, knowing that in these cases that if there's smoke- there's fire, and that wrong accusations are never made, has now introduced a law to restrict depositions of such complainants in CRIMINAL CASES and NOT IN CIVIL CASES,  because as we all know, a person will never make a wrong accusation of sexual assault in criminal cases, but those devious victims make up #metoo allegations all day long to cheat poor, honest, struggling insurance companies. 

What this means, is that there is a new wave of anti-defendant and anti-defense bills  washing up on the beaches of Florida, and the courthouses that line our shores.  Death penalty cases will no longer have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Defense lawyers will face disbarment "for trying to defend murderers" (see e,g. State v. Nicholas Cruz), and depositions are a needless waste of time because if he/she said it, and the police believe it, then the defendant did it, and let's move on to execution, because as we all know....(all together now) the VICTIM WANTS THE MAX!

Goodbye depos. It wasn't really fun while it lasted, but every now and then a good depo helped us a bit. 

Tuesday, March 07, 2023


 Did you know that there's a SIXTH DCA?  Yup, and it's up and running. The appointment process was a little different. First they gathered a bunch of circuit judges in a room, and the top twenty who accurately typed "PCA Affirmed" on criminal cases moved on to the next round. 

The next contest was a graded essay "Why I hate Disney World" in 500 words or less. Extra credit was given to paragraphs sneering at the cancel culture. 

Eventually a full complement of judges raring to deny criminal appeals and reverse the awarding of attorneys fees to plaintiffs' lawyers was set loose on Florida. 


They are rolling out a NEW electronic search and filing system for the appellate courts. Clerks everywhere are running their hands in anticipation. 

"Yes Madam, you did file with the on line system, but your brief was due on THURSDAY and you didn't use the system for Thursday filings. Plus, every word I'm telling you now, under the new rules, comes off your word count for your brief. So currently you are down....ummm (yeah, ummm is a word)...fifty nine words! Have a nice day. Make that sixty eight now." 

Saturday, March 04, 2023


 Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the murder of his wife and son, ostensibly done to re-direct scrutiny from his financial crimes. Putting aside for the moment the weakness of the motive, the crime, if true, is heinous. 

But do all first-degree murders deserve life in prison? 

One of the great tragedies in criminal justice in the country in the last fifty years are the number of people serving life in prison for felony murder. The driver of the car during a convenience store robbery gone bad, or the unknowing accomplice to a break-in when the co-defendant pulls a gun the accomplice never knew she had, and shoots someone. Most of these people were part of a felony when they were young, they never killed anyone, and yet they are wasting away in prison. 

Which brings us to Pamela Smart. Before there was the OJ case, there was the Pamela Smart case in 1990. Smart was a schoolteacher having an affair with a fifteen-year-old student- Billy Flynn, who broke into her house and killed her husband. Flynn, the killer, is free. Smart, is serving a life sentence issued by the State of New Hampshire, who transferred her thirty years ago to the infamous maximum security women's prison in Bedford Hills, NY. 

While in prison, Smart has become an ordained minister. She lives on an honors floor for inmates who have earned it. She has mentored generations of young women inmates who have done their time and been released. And still, at age 55, she serves her daily death-in-prison-sentence for a crime an immature 22-year-old woman committed. 

The simple question is whether we as a society believe in redemption? If we believe in the human spirit, and redemption and change, then people like Pamela Smart should have the chance to be released. If we believe in vengeance and retribution, then let's just affirm that what we are running is Gulag America. 

There are signs this is so. Florida doesn't distinguish between first- and second-degree murder in many cases, mandating life for both. Florida is now seeking to expand the death penalty to include non-homicide crimes, which sits just fine with the diminishing legion of Miami-Dade prosecutors, seemingly hired only for their ability to mindlessly intone "victim wants max." 

True story: we walked into court this week and saw a female ASA, during a sounding, robotically intoning, over and over, "the victim authorized plea is..." usually followed by a high prison sentence. Proseutors have become a ChatGPT bot, serving only as a conduit between complaining witnesses and the court. But we digress. 

Here is the NY Times article on Smart. 

We love to talk about having the greatest justice system on earth. But beyond the massive wrongful conviction problems we have, our justice system doesn't allow for the redemption of the human spirit. Once wrong, always punished. No room for change. 

Let he who has not sinned, impose the life sentence. 

Here's the penultimate paragraph of the Smart article:

She called the requirements for clemency a conundrum.

“They’re trying to box me into confessing a crime I didn’t commit,” she said. “So if I say I’m a coldhearted killer, you’re going to let me out, but if I say I’m rehabilitated, you won’t let me out?”

Thursday, March 02, 2023


 This is breaking news Thursday night (at least they avoided a Friday verdict). 

The disgraced South Carolina lawyer was found guilty of murdering his wife and youngest son. What a tragedy! 

We didn't follow the case much, but there appeared to have been lots of extrinsic and unrelated evidence about Murdaugh stealing money from clients. 

That always worries us. Jurors are not trained to put aside evidence of wrongdoing. Prosecute a person for murder, and prove that they also stole, just makes the jury more likely to convict on the murder count. 

It seems like that occurred here. 

Your thoughts? 

UPDATE: We just read some of the defense closing. No physical evidence was obtained. Murdaugh was accused of "butchering" two people, and there was no forensic evidence. Very troubling, along with the fact that the police never considered any other suspects. That always troubles us the most- when investigators focus on one suspect from the beginning.