Tuesday, February 27, 2024


 This is breaking news that we learned of this morning (Tuesday). We will update as we receive more information. This is both unexpected and terribly sad. Judge Hendon was amongst the best we in Miami-Dade had for the bench. His most recent appointment was the Third DCA. 

From: Judge Thomas Logue, Chief
Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2024 9:45 AM
Subject: Passing of the Honorable Eric William Hendon


Dear Court Family:


With a great sense of loss, I share with you that our colleague and brother, the Honorable Eric William Hendon, died last night at Baptist Hospital. He passed in comfort and love surrounded by his wife, Diane Kennedy Hendon, his son, Lt. Col. James Hendon, and his brother, Dr. Marvin Hendon.


Judge Hendon brought to this court decades of experience as a trial lawyer, appellate advocate, and trial judge, as well as kindness, humor, and good fellowship. He relished his work as an appellate judge and spoke with pride and appreciation of the talent and effort of all the members of the court family.


Judge Hendon lived a great life, overcoming much and achieving much. He was something of a child prodigy in music and education. He loved classical music, expensive cars, and traveling to virtually every corner of the world with his wife, Diane. His presence will be sorely missed. Please join me in keeping him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.




Thomas Logue,

Chief Judge, Third District Court of Appeal of Florida,

Monday, February 26, 2024



Flaco The Owl. 
Two topics to start off the week. The first is that Falco, a Eurasian Owl that had escaped the Central Park Zoo (as a law student we signed on to work on the case circa late 1970s to shut the old zoo down) died in NYC last week. 

Like many New Yorkers, we were captivated by Flaco, who was born in captivity. He was freed last year by what the Zoo called an "act of vandalism" but about which we cheered. There were concerns that Flaco would starve but he soon proved to be an adept hunter of rats in Central Park. The Twitter (now X) feeds documenting Flaco are worth a look. 

Like all New Yorkers, Flaco had  wanderlust. He decamped to the Lower East Side last spring. The speculation was that he, like many of his fellow New Yorkers, was looking for love in the Village. He then returned to his favourite tree in Central Park, where he occasionally ventured into the Upper West Side, but like us, he apparently found it boring, and always returned home. 

We are going to say this one time: Animals belong in the wild and not in Zoos. Period. End of discussion. You disagree? Go live in a cage for a year and let us know how you like it. 

The second issue for the day is the handwringing by Constitutional Law Professors over the teaching of Con Law now that the Court is populated by second level intellects of a certain political persuasion. Oh what to do

The NY Times article is here. 

When did you lose faith in the Court? 

For us we could say it was the opinion in Wickard v. Filburn, holding that a farmer could not consume the wheat he grew because of the greater good (altruistic collectivism in its most basic form).  Or maybe it was Buck v. Bell upholding the forced sterilization of people with diminished mental capacity, which caused Justice Homes to write in 1927 that  "Three generations of idiots are enough."  Who said only the Nazis had a monopoly on eugenics?

By the time the Court decided Bush v. Gore and stopped the counting of votes for President we were done, at least in the belief that the reasons behind the decisions were purely legal. 

And we predict it will even get worse. Our Governor selects Judges recommended by a conservative society who has lost its roots. Our wanna be judges fall all over themselves to ignore morality, common sense, and reason, and only employ a careful parsing of what idiot lawmakers in Tallahassee wrote (Unless its a pesky death penalty precedent, and then it's "Out with the old and in with the Right" ). 

Sorry but the death of Flaco just has us totally bummed. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024


Fresh off the campaign trail where he couldn't beat a rapist and accused felon, Governor DeSantis reluctantly turned his attention to Florida business and appointed four judges for Miami. In a surprising development only two of four were prosecutors. In a development that surprised nobody, none of them had any experience representing people accused of a crime. 

So more Desantis judges. More books being banned. More motions seeking to enforce  rights under the constitution denied. Yawn...another day and more judges who have faithfully sworn to do nothing more than call balls and strikes. 

County Court Judge Carlos Gamez was appointed to the circuit court. He takes over the prestigious "Aponte Division".  Things are looking "Rosy" for Judge Gomez. 

Christine Hernandez was a state attorney and US Attorney and now she is a circuit judge. 

 Jennifer Hochstadt was appointed to the County Bench. She was an Assistant County Attorney. 

 Jason Reding QuiƱones was appointed to the County Court. He is a former Fed... and so it goes. 

As you can see, we are just soooo excited by all of this. 

Friday, February 16, 2024


 Ever wonder what that person wearing a robe sitting a few feet above everyone else is doing during court or during a trial?  They stare intently at a CRT screen, frown a bit, and are fully engrossed in their endeavors. Surely they are putting the finishing touches on a groundbreaking law review article on the Fourth Amendment and Inevitable Discovery ("How To Deny Every Motion To Dismiss With Confidence And Get That Appointment To The Appellate Court") ; or maybe they are examining the dissent to an Alaskan Supreme Court case on an obscure point of law a lawyer just raised- legal scholars they. 

True Story; During a rather admittedly boring and long pre-trial detention motion, the magistrate called us up side bar and we got there quicker than they were expecting and glimpsed their computer screen. After the government earnestly argued their objection and we responded and were royally dismissed with a wave, we stopped, turned and said "Black ten on red jack" and then kept walking. 

Well, we know what Oklahoma Judge (now former judge) Traci Soderstram was doing during a murder trial- texting her bailiff and making snarky and sexually suggestive comments about various participants in the trial.   Here is one news report.

Traci is our first nominee for Judge of the year, 2024 edition. We are sure there will be others. 

Lesson: during a boring trial or pre-trial detention hearing, play solitaire like the rest of the judges and don't text while on camera. DUH. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024


 She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

(it's not lyrics from you know who- rhymes with "drift"- we prefer the classics. And, oh yeah, we did not forget the apostrophe). 

Sunday, February 11, 2024


Half time thoughts. First, perhaps the worst half time show in the history of the super bowl. His mic didn't work, and that was the best part of a yawn fest. Whatever happened to Up With People? 

Second, the under is looking very good. SF Defense is controlling the game, Mahomes doesn't have any one open to throw to. Hopefully Shanahan manages a lead better than his last two Super Bowl misadventures when as OC and Head Coach he blew half time leads. 

Update: Check out our SB trivia below.     

Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday, a bittersweet day. It has been a great 2023 Football season. The advent of online betting apps made the season so much fun.  We had exciting games and playoff races and glimpsed a future where the Dolphins are relevant in end of season discussions.  After today it's the NBA, college B Ball and Hockey until pitchers and catchers report. 

Some Swiftie news- her foreign fans visiting Japan for her concerts are as raucous as Grateful Dead roadies, and the Japanese - notorious rule followers- your seat is your seat and you sit in it- are not happy. Not like Springsteen in Jersey, where -forgettaboutit- everyone is up and dancing and having a good time.  (The link is to a NY Times article and you need a subscription to read it- if you do not have one, maybe you should get on with your life and stop reading our blog). 

On to the Superbowl!!!

The 49ers are the favourite because unemotionally they are the better team. The line of SF -2 or -1.5 is what it is because the Books' goal is to balance the bets on both sides. If a book takes a million on SF and a million on KC they get 10% from the loser and that's how they make money. In other words, the sports books you are gambling with do not like to gamble. 

The line is so low that we suggest taking the money line for MVP for your fav team. Think SF is going to win? Take the MVP odds for McCaffrey or Purdy at +160 or so and skip the -115 for SF. Similar to KC- take Mahomes MVP at +150 rather than KC at even money. 

Both teams have good defenses. Take the under 47.5. 

Our analysis: 

SF is the better team . Professional money is flowing on SF and yet we like KC for reasons other than Mahomes. 

Reason 1- KC has the better defensive coordinator- Steve Spagnuolo.  He has been a genius in the playoffs, stopping Ravens QB and season MVP Lamar Jackson and containing the Bills all world QB Josh Allen and giving his team a chance to win both games. As to the Super Bowl? Can you say "blitz"?   Spags will pressure Purdy with extra linebackers and bring up safeties to stop the run until SF has an answer.  By then it could be 21-10 and the game will be over. 

Reason 2- SF's kicker is ifffy at best. Jake Moody, a rookie third round pick,  missed the game winning FG against the Browns during the season and has been shaky throughout the season. Harrison Butker, KC's kicker has been money- making tricky kicks in -20 degree weather against the Fins in the playoffs, and on the frozen field in Buffalo during the AFC championship. If it is a close game ( and we think it will be) Butker, the more experienced and reliable kicker could be the difference. 

Props- now that we have betting apps, props have exploded, Here are some of our favourites

SF receiver Ayouk under 4.5 receptions. He averages 4 receptions per game and KC will be locking him down with their best CB. 

KC or SF (we bet both) turnover on the first drive,  $100 pays $750 - have some fun. 

Speaking of fun,  Nick Bosa (SF) or Felix Anudike-Uzomah (KC) anytime TD- +15,000. Yes you read that right- a defensive lineman sack-scoop-td pays $1,500 on a ten-dollar bet. We took each for a C-Note because we will not just be eating during the Super Bowl, but drinking our new fav Michelob hard seltzers. 

Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco over  67.5 yards running. If you like the under as we do, then the Chiefs will be running the ball.  

Check back later for updates. As we said earlier in the week, the coin-toss in the Vegas desert is trick, the difference in temperature outside the stadium ( and it's been cold and rainy all week) versus inside the stadium, along with no wind, dry air, the person tossing the coin, have all thrown our simulations into uncharted territory. 

Enjoy the super bowl with friends and family. It's a fun day and so long as you haven't cut and cord and lost your Hulu log in (or in this case isn't Paramount Plus airing the game?) you should have a great time. Or maybe walk to the neighborhood bar and watch it there with a sad serving of chicken nuggets. 

Our Super Bowl fare will include our fav NYC Pizza restaurant- Joes! Which now has a  Miami outlet- and they deliver!!  We will post a picture of our pie during the game.  What's your go to Super Bowl food? 

SUPER BOWL TRIVIA  No Goggling just for fun. 

1)  One player was on the super bowl winning team on his birthday which was the age of the super bowl.  For example if a player won super bowl 45 and turned 45 that day. Which player had a birthday to remember? 

2) Four players have over 400 total yards (not passing so no QBs) in their super bowl career. Hint - two come from one team. 

3) Which Super Bowl had what ended up being the most hall of famers play - meaning looking back after a player retired and was elected to the HOF at least 18 !! of them played in what was a Super Super Bowl game. Which super bowl or name the two teams. We think one had 11 and the other had 7. 

4) If the running back scores a TD, he will be the second running back to score two Super Bowl TDs in their first two years in the league.  Who was the first and only back to date to this? 

Thursday, February 08, 2024


SUPER BOWL BETTING TIP: The Swifties cannot find a song equal to Tiny Dancer, so throughout the weekend we will be giving you some Super Bowl betting tips- this one from Matty Meatballs, a professional bettor who lives in Vegas. You can bet the Chiefs on the money line and get +105 or +110 meaning that without points a 100 bet returns 105 to 110. OR you can get Mahomes as the MVP for +130-  so if you like the Chiefs, play the Mahomes MVP and get better value. Case in point, Meatballs was part of a consortium that spread seven figures among a dozen books last year during the NBA finals on Nikola Jokic winning the MVP and not his Denver Nuggets winning the series.   The bets paid off handsomely and generated about 25% more in odds than a bet on Denver. 

As promised, heading into Super Bowl weekend we renew our feud with the Swifties. 

We start with Ms. Dunderhead's new album. 

Someone get this girl an editor! It should be either "The Tortured Poet's Department" if it's one poet, or the "Tortured Poets' Department" if it's a bunch of tortured poets. And if these poets are listening to her insipid swill, we know why they are tortured. 

We promised a song off, and we will start.  Without using the heavy artillery just yet, we submit for you this song, bubble-gummy in nature, which is miles better than anything she squeals, be it in Tokyo where she is this weekend, or in a Super Bowl box where she will be Sunday. 

Tuesday, February 06, 2024


 This is what you say to the arrogant prosecutor who tells you their lab report and scientists have determined that your client is guilty. 

Remind them that their office was one of the first to use the new, exciting, and now shown to be a totally fraudulent "science" of bite mark identification.  Then ask them if they know how many defendants their office convicted on bite mark ID? Then, if you want to be really cruel, ask them if they know the office that sent Neil and Slappy to the Florida Supreme Court? 

Then you can use the crude pejorative, send them this link, and go investigate their science.

The real point is, as one great and now departed criminal defense attorney told us when we were in law school, the only thing you waive (wave) in trial is the American Flag. Remember that it is our job as criminal defense attorneys to question everything- no matter how red in the face your judge gets for wasting their time, and no matter how much the prosecution and even sometimes the judge threatens your client with a trial tax. 

Rumpole tip- when a prosecutor threatens an increased sentence after trial, ask them to put it in writing. They won't. They know it is a violation of their ethical duties, and yet they do it all the time and the outrage from the criminal defense community is far far less than we believe it should be. 

Anyway, read the article and get inspired to fight.  

Bite Mark Analysis is Junk Science. 

Saturday, February 03, 2024


 There is a lot that we can say about former Judge Ralph Person. He served in the REGJB during the 1980s and for a time was the chief administrative judge for the criminal division. He was a judge's judge. We often muttered to ourselves while appearing before him that we were glad we never encountered him at a poker table- you never knew how he was going to rule. He was fair; smart; kind; judicious; experienced- the kind of judge you want in a case. 

All of that should be said about him before noting something that is important, but is not critical to who he was. He was, we believe, the first African American administrative judge of the criminal division in Miami. Our point is that his race did not define him- his abilities did. He passed away this week at age 79 and the obituary (with a picture) is here. 

There is one more thing to say about Judge Person, and because this is an REGJB blog, it unfortunately must be said. His downfall was Shakespearian in nature. 

The Court Broom corruption scandal broke across the Miami legal community in 1992 like a bomb going off. Circuit and County Court judges were arrested and indicted in federal court for a variety of bribery schemes, the largest of which was circuit judges selling lucrative court appointments for kickbacks.  Circuit Judges Gelber, and Sepe went to prison, as did former circuit judge David Goodhart, and County Judge Harvey Shenberg (for selling a CI's identity for tons of cash). Lawyers who paid the judges kickbacks also went to prison. 

Judge Person had nothing to do with all of that. And here's where his story takes an awful turn. 

The feds needed a judge of impeccable character to testify to the jury about the code of judicial ethics and what a judge could and could not do.  The obvious choice was the most respected judge in the REGJB at the time- Judge Ralph Person. 

Unbeknownst to everyone,  Judge Person had borrowed money from a lawyer, and that lawyer still practiced before him. It was not bribery, but it was wrong, and the defense found out, and they -rightfully so -threw a haymaker punch against the government's case. It did not work, all the judges except for Phil Davis, were convicted. Davis has his own downfall story, and currently is in state  prison, but that is a blog post for another day. 

Person resigned. No criminal charges were filed, but the bar went after him like a judge chasing a lawyer for a fundraiser. He resigned from the bench immediately, and then the bar, and we lost one of the best judges to serve in Miami, because like all of us, he had some human frailties. 

We do not know how he spent the next thirty years of his life. We lost touch with him. We hope he found peace in his life, and we mourn his passing as a good man and a great judge undone by a tragedy that would have been rejected as a script for a Hollywood movie. 

Friday, February 02, 2024


 The Florida Bar has issued an opinion on AI, on the heels of their last-much anticipated opinion on the internet released last week ("The internet also known as the world wide web has the potential to help lawyers and clients through the use of such innovations as email. We however urge caution as electronic data will never replace letters, paper filing and lawyers appearing in court...").

You don't have to read the whole thing, and of course if you wear a robe to work, you don't have to read any of it, you have better things for your time. 

But here is our summary- AI is good and useful and if you use it the wrong way we will sanction you. 

FL Bar Ethics Op 24 1 by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd