July 31 is a good day to have a birthday.
JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG
Monday, July 31, 2023
Sunday, July 30, 2023
We write a lot, no surprise, and here are some stylistic issues on our mind.
PAST TENSE OF PLEA
But then we had a serious disagreement with his honor Judge Dillard. He tweeted that the past tense of PLED WAS PLEADED and we respectfully objected in a tweet back, arguing that it was PLED.
You bleed, you bled- you didn’t bleeded.
You Plead, you Pled. Upon receiving a misbegotten alias capias command to appear in court, we might fire off an email like this: “Dear Judge, this case is closed. My client pled last week” as opposed to “my client pleaded last week”
Pleaded is awkward. Consider this our continuing objection your honor. When appearing before you, we shall endeavor to follow your rules of language (however wrong they may be).
Of course, this is somewhat unneeded for us, since our rule is never plead anything but not guilty.
When using a quote, the rule is to add a period inside the quotation even if the portion doesn’t have one if the quotation ends the sentence. For example you might write in an email to your favourite judge “Rumpole said you were a simpleton.”
And note there is no additional period outside of the quotation mark.
BUT (or as they say in the hallowed halls of rhe REGJB) PERO...
We think the rule also is that if the sentence is followed by a citation, then no period is used. For example:
“Rumpole said you were a simpleton”. Justice Building Blog, December 2, 2013.
Thoughts on the stylistic issues of the day?
Friday, July 28, 2023
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Florida has revamped the old (and liberal) way of looking at various historical events. For example, Florida children will be taught that slavery was beneficial to slaves in several ways. We could not make this up if we tried. Click here if you do not believe us.
Because we live to help, here is a suggested curriculum with topics for Florida tykes hungry to learn.
I) SLAVERY- Beneficial to everyone!
Many slaves enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the owners of the plantation they worked on. Some were brought into the Main House and participated (by serving) in family traditions like Christmas dinner, birthdays and holidays and the slaves were looked on by their owners as members of the family. Many slaves were able to take leftover food to their own families!
Slaves, who had been transported from Africa, also enjoyed additional benefits like: 1) A free ocean voyage; 2) training in vocations like picking cotton; 3) free housing on a southern plantation.
All in all the owner/slave relationship was a mutually rewarding experience for many of the participants in this great American experiment. These days, many black Americans can look at pride upon southern towns and plantations knowing their ancestors played an important part in the building America (and graciously did so without being paid!).
II) THE HOLOCAUST- a wonderful get-together.
The Holocaust gets a bad rap. Florida Children will learn that many Jews preferred to live together and in the construction of "labor villages" ,Jews and Gypsies were able to live and work in peace amongst their own kind, with many benefits including 1) ZERO unemployment- every Jew and Gypsie worked every day; 2) A healthy meal - many Jews arrived at the labor villages overweight. Germany helped them lose weight and become productive members of society; 3) Cutting edge medical care by Dr. Joseph Mengele- a renowned German physicians who had many innovative ideas about health care; 4) Protection from Russian pogroms- Jews in the labor villages were protected from the Russians.
All in all, many Jews emerged from their time in German labor villages with memories that they would never forget. And with the popular trend these days of people enjoying tattoos, all Jews were tattooed in German labor villages at NO COST TO THEM. Just one of many benefits Jews and Gypsies enjoyed for free during their stay at the labor villages.
Rumpole says: Does this frighten you? A governmental effort to teach Florida children that slavery had benefits? It should. Let any person who seriously advances this idea become a slave for a year; be whipped; see their children sold and their wife raped, and then report back about the benefits of slavery. Trying to teach that slavery had some benefits for the slave is like saying Oswald deserves some credit for shooting JFK in the head so he wouldn't suffer.
It is madness.
Now you know why we are leaving Florida and the United States? This is part of the reason why.
Monday, July 24, 2023
The Miami-Dade State Attorneys Office has a wee problem...which I cannot believe has not been the subject of contention and criticism. Their telephone situation leaves a lot to be desired.
I have pride in having a resume that includes being a former Miami-Dade prosecutor. In my decades of having cases against that office, and comparing them with other district attorneys offices, the Miami-Dade County State Attorneys is way, way up there. From the top to bottom, it's an upper-echelon office that has produced an array of excellent professionals and there are also plenty of current employees deserving of accolades. However, their telephone situation doesn't correlate to the legal, administrative and people skills that I have given complements to. Frankly, it's not that good; in more technical terms... IT STINKS!
After lunch, I would say you only have a 50/50 chance of a human being answering. So many times you just get a recording. Even if you get somebody to answer at the switchboard, you will still most likely, get directed to a filled up, not- able-to-receive-messages voicemail. It is common for ASAs to not update their own voicemail leaving the caller uncertain if the messages are going to the proper persons. Even if you are fortunate to get through the switchboard, it is not uncommon for the ASAs to not be in proximity to the people answering the phones resulting in the answerer not being knowledgeable enough to take your message. How many times do I spin my wheels giving the secretary all of their requested information so that they can respond with "that person is not here"? I don't know if many of the staff members are working remotely but sometimes their telephone system sounds like two tin cans attached by a string. COVID was from 2020 yet we are inching towards 2024; it's enough already, let's get back to business...normal business!
To all the ASAs that have called me from your cell phone, I view that as a "one shot deal" and not an invitation to regularly call you on that phone. You know, I respect your privacy but, I need to get in touch with you.
To the judges that may read this, this a bona-fide problem that absolutely impacts the administration of justice. To be a high volume defense attorney, you take a lot of time to make calls in an effort to resolve cases, clarify legal issues and make progress for the clientele...but this telephone issue is an insurmountable obstacle. Some of you judges like to micro-manage, so why are you not concerned about this? Communications among parties is vital but, in certain regards, it has definitely become rather elusive. If this debacle was caused by budgetary issues, high turnover rate, etc...so what...you're still one of the largest district attorneys offices around. Your switchboard and secretaries are the first line of interaction with the public meaning regular and attainable communications should be a priority. If you ran a private business like this... you'd be out of business!
The following may be considered offensive, or even fighting words, Broward blows Miami-Dade out of the water...at least with the ability to call their office. Miami-Dade, think about that...Broward has one-upped you! This concept may use to be inconceivable ...but not any more.
So, Miami-Dade States Attorneys Office, reaching back to my youth when one of my parents would be in the shower, heard a ring but knew others were in the house... ANSWER THE DAMN PHONE!
The Miami Herald / Chuck Rabin broke the story this morning around 2 am that Miami Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez shot himself early this morning while driving back from Tampa. There is no firm report on his condition other than he is in the hospital.
You can also follow developments on Twitter ( soon to become X, but that's a story for another time) with @chuckrabin and @davidovalle305 (because you can take the reporter out of Miami but not the Miami out of the reporter).
This is a breaking story and we will update as needed.
Saturday, July 22, 2023
Talk amongst yourselves.
Check this space frequently, as always, for special guest bloggers!
Not saying who, but let's just say certain former presidents do more in the summer than release their reading and playlists....
Thursday, July 20, 2023
We repeat our post on the Apollo 11 Moon landing, 54 years ago today, because our post was so exceptionally well written.
The fascinating part of the historic Apollo 11 landing on the moon (50 years ago today) is the handling of the 1202 and 1201 alarms during the decent of the Eagle to the lunar surface.Some Apollo-nerd stuff that you only get here: The Eagle's computer had three programs to run from the time it undocked to landing. The first was P63: which controlled Eagle from undocking while it was still in orbit to powered-descent. P63 controlled the attitude (pitch and yaw) of Eagle and ran the burn which took Eagle out of orbit and into a controlled descent to the lunar surface. PDI (powered-descent initiation) occurred about 500 kilometers east of the landing site and 12 minutes to landing. The first go-no-go from Houston after the go-no-go for undocking was for PDI. When the Eagle is three minutes from landing and 7K/M from the site, the computer ran P64. The P64 program pitched the Eagle forward and gave Armstrong a view of the lunar surface so he could check for landmarks. At this point the computer is telling the astronauts and Houston where it intends to land. If you listen to the raw landing tapes, the guidance officer in Houston is indicating that they are headed for a spot longer down-range than anticipated.
When the Eagle is 600 meters from the landing site, Armstrong activates P66 in which he and the computer share the throttle while Armstrong alone controls the descent.
Somewhere along the way a switch was flipped powering on the rendezvous radar that was supposed to be off. The rendezvous radar began feeding more information to the computer than it was designed to handle at exactly the wrong time- during the dangerous descent phase. How Armstrong and NASA handled this critical error is the stuff legends are made of.
As PDI begins, Houston immediately loses signal and data from Eagle, prompting a call to Collins in Colombia to tell Aldrin to re-aim an antenna. Meanwhile Neil Armstrong has several issues to contend with, including no communication with the men who are supposed to guide him.
As the Eagle descended Armstrong began to realize that the guidance computer was taking him farther down range then it was supposed to and was putting the Eagle into a crater. The Eagle has two guidance systems: PGNS (pings) is the main system, and AGS is the back-up. Both Houston and Aldrin are monitoring both systems and comparing their data to see if it matches as the Eagle descends towards history.
As P63 turns the Eagle around so that now it's Engine is facing the lunar surface, the landing radar and other radar (that's supposed to be off) both lock on to the lunar surface. The computer is overloaded with data, and now come the words that almost ended the mission: "1202...1202 alarm." Eagle is 33,500 feet above the surface of the moon.
In the simulator Armstrong and Aldrin had practiced with several different scenarios, including the loss of various functions of the Eagle, wrong indicators, loss of communication, and the like. But in the thousands of hours of training, they had never encountered a 1202 alarm.
Here is what happened on the ground in Houston and their success showed why NASA was able to achieve the extraordinary moon landing:
Gene Kranz was the flight director, later responsible for the saying "failure is not an option". Kranz was the one who made the final decision to allow the Eagle to land.
Jack Garman was an engineer and part of the team working on the computers and the landing guidance system of the Eagle. At a meeting several weeks before the landing, Kranz told Garman to write down every possible alarm and the response to the alarm.
Steve Bales was the guidance officer who was one of the men responsible to answer Kranz during various "Go-No-Go" calls when Houston had to tell Armstrong if he could continue to land.
Astronaut Charlie Duke was "cap-com" the man responsible for speaking directly to Aldrin and Armstrong.
Meanwhile in Houston, when the alarm went off, Kranz was looking towards his guidance officer Bales or anyone else who knew what the alarm was. Nobody knew. There were blank stares all around as Krantz's landing team started scrambling though massive three-ring binders looking for what a 1202 alarm was. Eventually Krantz asked Bales and Bales called over to a back room where there were dozens of engineers One of them- Jack Garman - knew what the alarm meant.
Apollo 11's computer's were rudimentary. The landing radars started giving the computer more data than it could handle. When this occurred the computer had a line of programing to tell it to prioritize its work and to trigger a 1202 alarm to let Houston and the Eagle know what it was doing. Essentially the computer was rebooting without shutting down. If the computer had shut down, Kranz would have ordered an abort.
Garman reasoned that as long as the alarm didn't continually repeat, which would mean the computer was in a non-recoverable loop, that they were "go" on the alarm. Garman told Bales. Bales told Kranz. Kranz told Duke and Duke told Armstrong.
There was another 1202 alarm and then a 1201 alarm at 27,000 feet above the surface. Aldrin tells Houston about why he thinks the alarm is occurring. Meanwhile Garman quickly told Bales that the 1201 alarm was the same type of alarm as the 1202 and that they were "go" on that.
Armstrong never doubted what Duke was telling him. Kranz had faith in Bales and Bales knew Garman knew the landing computer software better than anyone.
At about 9 minutes into the landing, and 5200 feet about the surface the computer switches to P64 and the program pitches Eagle over so that the attitude of the Eagle is more upright, and it begins to descend in the same attitude that it will have upon landing. Armstrong is now looking at the surface so he can find a place to land. Kranz quickly runs through a "go-no-go" for landing and Retro (the controller monitoring the engines) FIDO (flight dynamics), ECOM (electrical, environmental and consumables), Guidance and the flight surgeon all give Kranz and enthusiastic "GO!" for landing which Charlie Duke relays to Aldrin and Armstrong.
The first words spoken by a human being on another celestial body belong to Buzz Aldrin: "Contact light. Ok. Engine stop. ACA out of descent. Mode control both auto descent engine command override off. Engine arm off. 413 is in."
Hardly memorable or historic words, but before Armstrong tells the world that from Tranquility Base "The Eagle has landed", Aldrin had a checklist he needed to run through to make sure the descent engines were shut down and the abort-ascent engine couldn't be accidentally triggered.
Charlie Duke responds "we copy you down Eagle".
A half a million people worked on some part of the Apollo program. But on July 20, 1969, it was Kranz, Steve Bales, and Jack Garman who gave the go ahead to Armstrong and Aldrin to continue the landing in the face of 1202 and 1201 alarms.
Brave and historic actions indeed. And it is, in our humble opinion, humanity's finest hour. It reminds us that if we try together, we as a species can do great things.
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
In 1968, candidate Richard Milhous Nixon, in his second bid for the presidency, came up with two strategies. First, he conceived of the Republican "southern strategy", betting that the Southern states of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, to name a few, that were dominated by southern-dixiecrat Senators, would be willing to cross party and vote for a Republican presidential candidate. He also highlighted the Republican "tough on crime" strategy. The two strategies, novel at the time, would send Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush, and Trump to the White House and would become the de facto strategies for Republican presidential candidates.
From Nixon's 1968 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention:
The choice we make in 1968 will determine not only the future of America but the future of peace and freedom in the world for the last third of the Twentieth Century.
And the question that we answer tonight: can America meet this great challenge?
For a few moments, let us look at America, let us listen to America to find the answer to that question.
As we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame.
We hear sirens in the night.
We see Americans dying on distant battlefields abroad.
We see Americans hating each other; fighting each other; killing each other at home.
And as we see and hear these things, millions of Americans cry out in anguish.
Did we come all this way for this?
Did American boys die in Normandy, and Korea, and in Valley Forge for this?
Listen to the answer to those questions.
It is another voice. It is the quiet voice in the tumult and the shouting.
It is the voice of the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans—the non-shouters; the non-demonstrators.
They are not racists or sick; they are not guilty of the crime that plagues the land.
Sunday, July 16, 2023
54 years ago, on July 16, 1969, Mankind (to use the lingo of the time) began its greatest journey. Apollo 11, with three Americans on board, lifted up from Cape Kennedy in Florida to land two Americans on another celestial body- the moon.
The Apollo program, and the moon landing, was our greatest journey, and arguably our greatest hour. Perhaps America and the world recached the apex of humanity's achievement in July 1969.
What has happened since we landed on the moon?
We have been to war multiple times; experienced genocide on multiple continents in numerous countries; we have brought our planet to the edge of an ecological disaster, while a significant number of Americans have accepted the lies and propaganda that global warming is fake. We have rioted in our streets, shot at each other in the name of justice, and watch countless children shot and murdered simply because they went to school that morning.
We have none of the can-do spirit that united a nation behind the dream and leadership of a young president who was murdered in office. One can only now think that if the prevailing attitudes of politics existed in the 1960s, then the opposing political party would have done all it could do to stop the moon landing, just so a martyred president and his party could not claim credit for the accomplishment.
We do not live in a time when people believe they are Americans first, and then a member of their political party second. We live in a time when many people fervently believe that they would rather see the nation fail, then allow a political opponent succeed. And so we suffer with children being murdered and the world overheating.
We are made of better stuff. We still have in our collective genes the ability of overcoming anything against any odds. We did it during Washington's winter camp at Valley Forge; we did it at the battle of Belleau Wood in France in June, 1918; We did it in the battle of Midway in 1942, in the Ardennes Forest in December 1944 and at Iwo Jima in February and March 1945. Americans, sometimes just a few, stood up to danger and tyranny and turned the tide.
We created computers, and silicon chips and Silicon Valley. We digitized our collective knowledge and, in some ways, our collective consciousness. We fought AIDS down to a manageable medical condition, and later created the COVID vaccines that corralled the virus.
Maybe July 1969 was humanity's finest hour.
And maybe it wasn't. Maybe when the story of our small blue planet is written with a conclusion, maybe July 1969 is just one of many wonderous moments. We choose to believe that there are many more to come.
But for today, let's remember this moment and rejoice that we could do this. That three brave men, with a nation behind them, could travel to the moon and that two of them could land on another celestial body and proudly declare "We Came In Peace For All Mankind".
Friday, July 14, 2023
Judge Michael Ponsor is a US District Court Judge in Massachusetts. He is now on senior status.
Here is his Op Ed in the NY Times on the odor emanating from the penumbra of the US Supreme Court.
It's not a pleasant smell. His recounting of a few incidents in his career reminded us that we were recently thinking about what certain Judges in the SDFL would do if offered free luxury vacations and other swag that the current batch of Supreme Court Justices are scooping up the way Ozzie did a hot grounder to short.
We think our bench would do the right thing. No Hedge funded vacays to Bali for our judges. In the (very rare) times we have socialized with the members of the federal bench it was never an issue, everyone paid their own way.
But as Judge Ponsor, who knows a thing or two about turning a good phrase, "The road to perdition is paved with a free cup of coffee."
For those Maga-DeSantis thirty something judges who populate our courthouse and think judicial genius starts with denying as many motions to suppress as possible, this essay is worth a read on what it really means to be a Judge.
Actually it is the heat. Other than being a Republican and/or a Federalist Society member, the rest of the world knows that July 4, 2023 was the hottest day in the last 100,000 years.
Remember back in 2000-2010 when all the Republicans were saying global warming was a liberal democratic hoax and were ecstatic chanting "drill baby drill" in public? What do you morons say now?
So let us once again get on our soap box and ask WHY DO MALE LAWYERS HAVE TO WEAR A SUIT JACKET IN COURT IN JULY AND AUGUST?
Not that we are an Equal Protection expert, but if female or non-binary lawyers (note the historic event of Rumpole using in public for the very first time the term non-binary) were required to wear some oppressive piece of clothing, wouldn't there be an outcry and lawsuits?
What could actually happen if a male lawyer showed up in court in just a shirt and tie sans jacket?
Judge: Good morning counsel. And nice to see you're wearing a full suit and tie today.
Lawyer: It's 99 degrees in Miami with 500% humidity (under his breath- But I know since you were appointed by DeSantis and are a federalist society member you cannot acknowledge the science of global warming without destroying your career.)
Judge: What was that last part?
Lawyer: I said glad to be here judge, in my suit and tie.
Judge: That's correct. If you weren't wearing a suit jacket on this day when it was 99 degrees outside, the fair administration of justice would come grinding to a halt.
Lawyer: That's right judge. If I wasn't wearing a suit jacket we might return to Plessy v. Ferguson, and no one wants that.
Judge: Umm, what's the cite on that counsel? It's not ringing a bell for me.
Lawyer: Never mind judge, no one wants to return to Plessy v. Ferguson anyway. Well, maybe Justices Thomas and Alito, but for now we are safe.
Judge: Well, I'll consult my handy Federalist Society handbook and see what my position is on that.
Rumpole says, this whole federalist society thing is getting under our skin. Especially when judges who have zero training in philosophy prostrate themselves before the federalist society just to get their endorsement.
We hereby challenge any judge to a (semi) live/public debate on the philosophy of the federalist society. And because it won't be pretty or close, we will give you a hint and tell you to make sure you understand (or at least have a wiki definition handy) of the terms Metaphysics and Epistemology. This will at least keep you in the game for the first five minutes.
We're a fair blogger, but take caution: this heat is making us f'ing crazy:
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
WE MOURN THE PASSING OF JUDGE A. LEO ADDERLY .....
There was a time not too long ago when you could count on one hand the number of judges in Miami-Dade County that were African American. The "first" to hold that honor was Judge Lawson Thomas, appointed to the City of Miami Black Municipal Court in 1950. Judge Wilkie Ferguson was our "first" African American judge on the Circuit Court in 1977. Judge Ferguson also became the "first" on the 3rd DCA in 1980. Judge Calvin Mapp was "first" on the County Court bench in 1973.
I remember well Judge Leo Adderly. He was sitting on the County Court bench when I first began practicing law in the 1980s. I cannot ever recall Judge Adderly raising his voice. He always had a calm demeanor, he was in fact soft-spoken and he treated everyone that appeared before him with respect.
Our Justice Building Blog family joins family members and friends in mourning the passing of Retired Judge Alfonso Leo Adderly on July 3, 2023.
Judge Adderly, a recipient of the Miami Herald Silver Knight Award, obtained his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, and his law degree from Indiana University, Howard University School of Law. He served as a Miami-Dade County Judge from September 1981 to August 31, 2003.
Prior to his appointment to the County Court Bench, he was in private general practice and also served as a Miami-Dade Assistant Public Defender from 1969 to 1972.
Beyond his service on the Bench, Judge Adderly made significant contributions to his community. He was among the first group of nine attorneys to serve as Legal Services of Greater Miami staff attorneys in 1966 and later served as Board President. Together with Dorothy Ellen Jenkins Fields, he founded the Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida.
A viewing will be held from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday, July 14, 2023, at Range Funeral Home, 5727 NW 17th Ave, Miami, FL 33142.
The funeral service for Judge Adderly will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Church of the Incarnation, 1835 NW 54th St. Miami, FL 33142.
I hope that some of our older attorneys that read the Blog will share their good memories of Judge Adderly.
Monday, July 10, 2023
Friday, July 07, 2023
Tuesday, July 04, 2023
His was the first South Florida legal blog, and the best (federal) legal blog around. Happy Birthday to SDFL blog and its creator David Markus!
We owe a debt to Mr. Markus and his blog. Many years ago, before Twitter and Snap-Tok, and Intergram, in a day when flip phones were cool, we saw two blogs, one out of NYC and DOM's. One gloomy afternoon, while whiling the hours away in our office, staring out the window waiting for inspiration to hit us on a nicer way to tell the 3rd DCA that the trial judge was a dofus (edited for inappropriate content), we thought "why not?" and blog legal history was made in South Florida.
But David was first, and he paved the way, and for that he deserves all the accolades.
Of course, our blogs are fundamentally different. David puts his name on his blog, which requires him to be more circumspect in his coverage of judges and issues. Like all of us, he is bound by codes of professional ethics and responsibility that doesn't allow for lawyers to say what they really think about the wearer of the black robe. And...and don't underestimate this- David has to go to court and practice before the same judges in the courts he is blogging about. So naturally his blog covers the federal legal community in ways much different than we do- which is at the fringes of decency, and in the safety of opaqueness.
We've had our differences over the years.
We don't agree on the historical and formal language of pleadings. We are formal. Proper. Reserved. We like "Comes Now" and DOM- a Gen Ex-er with all their informality, is progressing towards "Hey Judge!...".
But (and as Bruce Springsteen sings in his live performance of Tenth Avenue Freeze Out -"This here is the important part!")- we all know that you can do no better * than hiring Mr. Markus and Ms. Moss, and their team when scurrilous accusations are hurled your way.
SO, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SDFL BLOG. Thank you for leading the way.
* Not including the author of this blog