Sunday, March 31, 2024



Burton Young, a true legend in law, passed away Saturday night at the age of 96. 

Burt Young was a past president of the Florida Bar. Under his leadership the nomination process for Judges in Florida became non-political and non-partisan for many years. 

Burton Young practiced family law well into his 90s and for decades he was the go-to lawyer in a family case and was recognized as the dean of that area of the law. His practiced included trial, appellate and cases before the Florida Supreme Court.  

Burton Young was known as both a gentleman in and out of court, coming from a time when a lawyer's word was his/her bond, and he trained generations of lawyers to practice what he preached. While he was born in Philadelphia, he was a true Miamian and we as a community are much better off for the life he lived here. 

As many of you know, Burton Young was the father of Judge David Young, and our condolences go out to Judge Young and his family including Judge Scott Bernstein.

Here is the obituary with funeral information and information on the endowment at U of M Law School.  

Friday, March 29, 2024


 The sentencing of Sam Bankman-Fried this week was a disgrace. For everyone who thinks our legal system is superior to China's or Russia's, think again. The system digested a young man who is on the autism scale, chewed him up, and sentenced him to a third of his life in a prison where any talent and ability he has will go to waste. 

The lawyers who practice criminal law know how difficult prison is. Explain to us how a sentence of ten years, or 3, 650 days, about 15% of a person's life expectancy, is not a deterrent? 

First of all, the biggest lie/fraud in the criminal justice system is the concept of deterrence: Do people look at sentences and say to their co-conspirators "hey that guy only got ten years so let's keep committing our fraud?"  Of course not. 

If deterrence worked, the murder rate in Florida would be close to zero. So let's dispense with that fraud and move on to punishment. 

People who think a year or five years in prison is a light sentence have never spent a day in prison. They do not know what it is like to lose your privacy, your ability to make decisions for yourself, and this doesn't even begin to address the absolute disgrace of sexual violence against female inmates by guards. Imagine being sick in prison- perhaps your appendix has burst, and you tell a guard you don't feel good and have a stomach ache and they think you're faking. 

But beyond that, in a discussion about punishment for a non-violent offense, there is little to no justification for a sentence above ten years. First, post sentencing, the government takes nearly all the property of the accused. Did you know that the government can and does seek forfeiture AND restitution for the same amount of loss? When they take a bank account or home as a forfeiture, they do NOT have to credit what is taken for restitution. Don't believe us? Fight a post sentencing forfeiture where your client has paid a substantial amount of restitution, and we promise you the federal-drone-AUSA will parrot the same damn thing to you and the court in filings and during argument: "forfeiture is different from restitution" blah blah blah- they double dip. 

And BTW- if you think there is ANYTHING a client can do to protect assets, you are wrong. Florida Homestead protects a home from the feds in a forfeiture? Think again- the 11th Circuit has ruled again and again that the government can take a home otherwise protected by Homestead. 

So now, a year post sentencing, the government has stripped SBF's assets like a vulture picking at the bones of a jackrabbit lying dead in the desert. He will be barred from participating in the financial industry. He will not be able to get credit. He won't be able to get a job at McDonalds. Sitting ten years is more than enough of a punishment. 

SBF is not Bernie Madoff. He did not steal from families, retirees, and widows. He diverted money that people invested in crypto-currency into other accounts that he- and his compatriots who all cooperated  against him- used for improper purposes like personal goods, and political and charitable donations. Much of the diversion of funds was done, and suggested by those SBF trusted. And somehow all of those financial criminals got less than 10 years. 

The judge was worried about future dangerousness. So that means being bankrupt, incarcerated for ten years, and subject upon release to supervised release would not stop SBF from somehow committing more crimes?  We think the reason was specious. Any person has the potential to do good or bad. And what about the ability to mature and reflect upon one's crimes over ten freaking years? If SBF was sentenced when Obama was president and got out today would we all be lamenting the failure of the justice system to punish him? There are hundreds of people who commit financial frauds more sophisticated and devious than what SBF did who have received sentences in the 5-to-10 year range and somehow our financial system manages to survive with them out of prison. 

The Judge's denial of the possibility of any rehabilitation and reflection was breathtakingly cruel. 

What the federal system did to SBF is cruel and unusual and a dark stain on the concept of justice. 

Shame on them all.   We are no better than any country we scoff at. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024


 We have a little historical quiz for you. No Googling! See how you do. 

1) Who said "Immigrants are poisoning the blood of our country?"

A) Donald Trump B) Adolph Hitler C) 

2) Having won an election, who said "There has never been anything like this in our history?" 

A) Donald Trump B) Adolph Hitler C) Thomas Dewey 

3)  Upon assuming power, who said "We will never surrender power. They will have to drag our corpses out of here" ? 

A) Donald Trump B) Adolph Hitler C) Stephen Miller D) Joseph Goebbels 

4)  Having lost an election, who went to court to have the election results nullified? 

A) Donald Trump B) Adolph Hitler C) Both Trump and Hitler D) Harold Stassen 

5) Having lost an election, who said "This feat has never been equaled and I have done this despite the unconstitutional ban placed on my broadcasting election appeals." 

A) Donald Trump B) Adolph Hitler  C) Al Gore 

6) Having been indicted and charged with a crime, who vowed revenge on politicians who "stabbed me in the back" and called them "traitors"? 

A) Donald Trump B) Adolph Hitler C) Joseph McCarthy 

7) Running for office, who promised to "dismantle the multi-party political system that fractured the nation and pitted individual against individual, farmer against farmer and labor against workers?"

A) Donald Trump B) Adolph Hitler C) Karl Marx

8) When briefed on _____'s behavior and after meeting him,  a political power broker was heard to say "What am I to do with that psychopath?" Who was the speaker talking about? 

A) Donald Trump B) Adolph Hitler C) Mao 



NB: Our source for the Hitler comments is the wonderful new book Takeover, Hitler's Rise to Power by Timothy W. Ryback. 

1)  Trump was quoted by saying this in recent political rallies and told that Hitler used the same words. 

2)  On July 31, 1932, Hitler said this about the results of his National Socialist Party winning 230 seats in the 600 member Reichstag. The National Socialists won the largest block of votes, although not a majority that Hitler was hoping for, it allowed him to form a coalition and be offered the Chancellorship. We find it remarkable that Hitler used the "No one has seen anything like this" type of rhetoric  that the former president often includes in his comments about nearly everything.  

3) Joseph Goebbels said this after Hitler was offered the Chancellorship. It is ominous that Trump has his own Goebbels in Miller. 

4) Both Hitler and Trump went to court after they lost an election. In April 1932, before the July election, Hitler lost the Reich presidency to  Hindenburg by 5,941,582 votes.  The Court upheld the election results, ruling that the margin of victory was "so significant that it made no sense for a national recount of the ballots."  Hitler nevertheless declared victory and claimed the election was stolen. Sound familiar? 

5) This was Hitler after the loss in April 1932. His words sound strangely familiar though, don't they? Be honest, many of you thought Trump said this. And that should bother you as much as it does us. 

6) This was Hiter after being arrested in 1919 after the failed Beer Hall Putsch. He also vowed "heads will roll". 

7) Hitler said this. 

8) Kurt Von Schleicher, the German defense minister who was known as the ultimate Berlin Power broker said this after meeting with Hitler to discuss the results of the July 1932 election. 

The point of this little exercise is how closely the words of two evil men mirror each other. We have no idea if Trump chooses his words to mirror Hitler. We doubt he is that smart. But what Trump is doing is using the same playbook that Hitler used. Both men gained power by appealing  to an uneducated and depressed lower middle class for his power, blaming the troubles of their respective countries on immigrants. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024


 The comments section is rife with complaints about Judges (one in particular) demanding that lawyers go to their courtroom first and judges giving a lawyer who shows up at 9:15 or 9:30 for a case set at      9 am a hard time. 

We agree with the commentators who have expressed both dismay and outrage at the judge(s) who act that way. It is petty, tyrannical and wrong.  This is not federal court where one case is set at 9 am. That is a horse of a different color. 

Let us extrapolate. 

It took us well more than two decades of taking most cases that walked through the door and being in the REGJB every day before we could build a reputation that allowed us to charge more and be more discriminating in the cases we accepted. During that time period Mondays brought us calendars with 15 or 20 different courtrooms to be at- albeit this was a time before BOT when there was a thriving DUI criminal defense business along with our felonies and the odd federal case. 

The judges in the REGJB knew us and many of our compatriots who worked the same way. The judges  understood that if were not in their courtroom when the case was called we would be there shortly. The best of them told our clients that they knew us and were sure we would be there shortly. The worst of them berated us in absentia.

If anything, the practice of criminal law has gotten more difficult. There are more lawyers competing for the same clients and the price of representation that a young lawyer can charge is going down. Which mean those young lawyers within the first ten years of their practice have to run a volume business as they seek to build their reputation. We've all be there (except maybe for DOM) and when we say "we" that includes many of judges who ran small practices before assuming the bench. 

There should be a level of understanding that a good lawyer, who is always in court, might be stuck before a judge moving slow, or taking an early plea and that within reason, a lawyer who shows up at 9:10 or 9:20 for a 9 AM case that is not special set should not be berated by the judge. 

We all know the lawyers who are in the REGJB every day, working hard, trying cases and defending their clients. This is about them and not the troublesome lawyer who has a reputation of always being late. 

And speaking of that, there are a coterie of Judges who do not start on time.  And they are part of the calculus that the everyday REGJB lawyer has to deal with. Sometimes lawyers are late because the y are waiting for the judge who set the case at 8:30 to start.  

So this is for them- the good, hardworking, young and busy lawyers who may show up to a courtroom a few minutes late. Most likely they have been in the REGJB since 8 or 8:30, running around, doing their work as best they can. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and not be told by a Judge that they have to come to his/her courtroom first.  Such an attitude exhibits a stunning ignorance of the difficulty of running a small legal criminal defense practice. It's the type of belittling selfishness that the Broward Judiciary circa 1980s'1990's was infamous for.  

Monday, March 25, 2024


 Good Monday morning. How are your brackets? We've never filled out a bracket, but we love watching the tournament. 

There's a lot of big news in Court these days. A former president has two legal issues in the Big Apple today. The scheduling of his criminal trial, and the expiration of the grace period to post a half a billion-dollar bond for lying about his worth when obtaining loans. Remember when ex-presidents made news for flying to Hati to help the rebuilding process after a hurricane like Clinton and GHW Bush did? Those were the days. 

But the big national news is not in NYC. It is here in our humble REGJB when the leaders of county court (Motto "Waiting for that next circuit vacancy") issued their long awaited, much anticipated plan to ease the backlog in the jail division. Up next for the County Court intelligentsia:  Reversing Global Warming In Three Easy Steps. *

Good morning.  As most of you are aware, the Jail Division (Courtroom 6-5) is currently overwhelmed with a large number of cases.  At the request of all parties that work in the jail division, we have devised a plan that we believe will alleviate this backlog.  As such, effective Monday, April 8, 2024, the following plan will take effect:

On Mondays and Tuesdays, Judge Faber will handle the jail division reports from Courtroom 6-7. Calendars will begin at 9:00 a.m. (Zoom ID is 999-2126-3843).  We chose Mondays and Tuesdays because these are the heavy trials days in Courtroom 6-5.  This will allow Judge Correa (Courtroom 6-5) to focus on the trials, without the added responsibility of also having to call the jail report calendars. Any jail reports that need to be set on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday will continue to be heard by Judge Correa in Courtroom 6-5. 

We are confident that this plan will be beneficial to all parties.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information.  

Rumpole says:  So the misdemeanor jail division is "overwhelmed" with a backlog of cases. Hmm... what else can be done? The are assigning new judges, shuffling work load to process the defendants like cattle in the line at the abattoir.  What else could be done? Hmmm, that's a tough one. What else could be done to process misdemeanor defendants WHO ARE IN JAIL ON SOME STUPID MISDEMEANOR....  Wow, this is a tough one. How to handle people in jail on misdemeanors. We are stumped. Maybe some readers smarter than us could suggest something. 

 So in the late 1980s the circuit court instituted a back-up division of judges that tried two separate cases a day- one from 9-12 and a different case from 1-5. This is kind of like that with a back up judge not having to do calendar. 

When Judge Robert Scola was in Circuit Court he thought outside the box. He set almost all his calendar detritus on Fridays (other than emergency motions for bond and release and such) and started his trial at 9 am every day. That system seemed to work, and yet no one has tried to duplicate it. 

 Wait. As DeSantis appointee wannabees, they cannot even acknowledge that global warming exists or risk spending the next thirty years saying "withhold and court costs...next case...." 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024



UNCONSTITUTIONAL was the ruling of an REGJB  judge about the new bond statute.  Whilst we settle some tech issues preventing us from posting the order, take a guess about which judge issued the ruling and cited that noted legal authority Rudyard Kipling. 

Devon Te Fry Pt d Constitutionality Order PDF by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd

Monday, March 18, 2024


 In the summer of 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon faced a criminal trial in a state court in  Florida, on charges that he broke into a poolroom and stole coins from a cigarette machine. He asserted his innocence and requested a lawyer. That request was denied because, at the time, there was no right to a court-appointed lawyer barring certain special circumstances. Gideon cross- examined the state’s witnesses himself, without knowing the complexities of the criminal procedure law. He was basically a lifelong drifter at the age of 51, with an eighth-grade education. He was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison.

Writing from his prison cell in Florida, he sent a handwritten petition to the United States Supreme Court arguing that the Constitution does not allow poor people to be convicted and sent to prison without legal representation. The time was finally right for this argument.

On March 18, 1963, Justice Hugo Black, writing for a unanimous Court, stated: “….reason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us an obvious truth….” and this right “may not be deemed fundamental and essential to fair trials in some countries, but it is in ours.”

It is time for Gideon to be overruled. The words of Justice Black clearly indicate that the court applied "reason and reflection" and not the original text of the constitution. In re-reading the constitution we can find NO MENTION of public defenders, much less regional counsel and court appointed lawyers. If states want criminal defendants to have free counsel that should be left to state legislatures to enact such laws if their citizens want them. And we are sure the public will rally around paying taxes for free lawyers for criminals. Gideon is nothing more than activist judges imposing their will on what they think is good for society and that is an anathema to the right. 

So let's hear all of our DeSantis judges make a speech today against Gideon v. Wainwright and decry the public defender system. Show your true colors. In for a penny in for a pound.  As much as Roe was poorly written, the same analysis can be applied to Gideon- so DeSantis judges, time to stand up and show your true Federalist colors. Don't make any PD or RC3 appointments today. Write an order, and the next seat on the Supreme Court may be yours, as will a prime spot on Fox TV. 

Friday, March 15, 2024


 FACDL entered the MVZ/ SAO/ KFR/ LSMFT affray. 

Do you think ...

1) The SAO has a culture that not just tolerated the underhanded actions of MVZ and his minions, but encouraged and applauded them? 

2) That the State Attorney wants real change or just to sweep this under the rug. 

3) Do you think ALL of the cases that MVZ and his gang prosecuted and obtained convictions on should be reviewed? And if so, by whom? 

4) Who do you think the Dolphins should draft in the first round? We like the center from Oregon Jackson Powers-Johnson (JPJ) but he might be available in the second round. 

FACDL-Miami's Demand for Reform by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd

Wednesday, March 06, 2024



In certain cultures they call this a mea culpa


 A BOMBSHELL order rocked the REGJB Wednesday as Judge Wolfson found that the Dade County State Attorney's Office and ASA's Michael Von Zamft and Stephen Mitchell engaged in what we are calling a perversion of justice, witness tampering, disingenuous arguments to the Court, and general skullduggery that may warrant significant Bar sanctions in a death penalty case. 

What outraged Judge Wolfson- rightfully so- was the attempted coverup as the prosecutors continually argued that the defense was NOT entitled to an evidentiary hearing on the allegations- allegations that were proven well beyond a reasonable doubt. For example Mr. Von Zamft, recorded on a jail call, telling a witness that if another witness did not want to testify as he wanted, he would "arrange" for her to be unavailable and just read her prior testimony. This stuff may well be criminal. 

Word to our robed readers- when will you stop agreeing with prosecutors that defense motions do not need an evidentiary hearing? When will you start wondering what they are hiding? 

Add to the wrongdoing detailed in the order, add to the obstruction of justice as to witnesses testifying additional evidence of prosecutors getting witnesses to meet at the City of Miami Police Department to review their discovery and coordinate their testimony- along with certain "favors" the police provided (use your imagination- it's worse than you can conjure up) and what we have is a bombshell of an order and conduct that shocks the conscience of the blog. And we are not easily shocked  

And after you read it, think about this- If Mssrs. Mitchell and Von Zamft did this in this case- in which they were caught red handed-  what have they done in OTHER CASES in which they got away with their perversion of the criminal justice system? 

Maybe just maybe this will open some judges' minds if not their eyes. 

Bombshell Order by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd

Tuesday, March 05, 2024


 A thought occurred to us worthy of discussion. 

The authors of the Fourteenth Amendment, those holy men whose intent must be devised and divined from the historical clues they left us, wrote Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to make ineligible from holding office anyone who engaged in insurrection against the United States. 

The current group of five of six conservative justices on the Supreme Court [hereinafter Gang of 5 to 6] wrote that article three cannot be applied until Congress enacts laws to explain how section three should be applied. In other words, section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment was meaningless when written, and will continue to be meaningless until Congress enacts additional legislation. The section is not self-executing and cannot be used until Congress does more. 

Is there any other part of the Constitution that was meaningless upon ratification without more from Congress? 

The Gang of 5-6 decide nothing that is not consistent with original intent. Thus, the Gang of 5-6 are saying that those who wrote section 3, and the States that ratified it as an amendment to the Constitution, all agreed that they were enacting a meaningless section without further action. 

Interesting that for the first and only time, the Supreme Court has devised and divined that the framers of a part of the Constitution wrote something that they did not intend to be effective without more. 


Monday, March 04, 2024


 The US Supreme Court (Motto "Wait, there are two political parties???" ) reversed the Colorado Supreme Court today and held that only that bastion of efficiency and decency and political moderation admired by the rest of the world - The US Congress - can remove President Trump from the ballot for being an insurrectionist and trying to overthrow the Presidential election results that were jiggered by Venezuelan Hackers in 2020. 

So much for "States rights" and returning the power to the States. That's all well and good unless your Republican rearend is gored by a Democratic Ox- then it's "well just hoooold on a second there cowboy...the states don't have any idea how to run things. Y'all need Congressional oversight on these matters." 

Here's the opinion and the (not) funny part is how a Trump judge tries to tell everyone that all nine members of the Court agreed, and the three judges with a brain huddled in a corner for comfort replied that the decision was not as unanimous as it might first appear. 

Trump by Anonymous PbHV4H on Scribd

Saturday, March 02, 2024


 If you want an inspiring and uplifting story then click the link and read about Ray Davis, a remarkable young man who is about to get drafted into the NFL. 

Both parents in prison, he missed school to care for his younger siblings.  He never stopped believing in himself and eventually, with a little help from some angels in his life, he's on the verge of being drafted into the NFL.  If it was up to us- based on character- he would be selected number one. 

Even someone as grouchy as we are teared up at the court hearing that is reported in the story. We are not going to spoil it- it's a small part of a remarkable story. 

Sometimes, the good-guys win.  The story is in the Athletic, which is what took over for the NY Times when they disbanded their sports department. We didn't think it would work, but actually the Athletic does a fine job. 

Click on the link and enjoy: Ray Davis.