WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, December 05, 2016

THIS WAS ALL PREDICTED

BREAKING Tuesday, 9 am ish: Ralph, Judge Murphy's super-bailiff thwarts escape!

It was not just a normal calendar before Judge Dennis Murphy on the second floor of the REGJB Tuesday morning. A probation violation caused a defendant not in custody to attempt to flee after the Judge ordered him into custody. 
Eyewitness reports that first out the door was Ralph, the popular bailiff, who tracked and down assisted in apprehending the recalcitrant defendant who, we hear, ran UP the down escalator. Ralph was seen shrewdly covering the down escalator, cutting off an avenue of escape. Brains over brawn. 

All in a days work for a great bailiff. 

Important escape tip: preparation matters. A successful escape involves many moving parts, not the least of which is heading for an exit to get out of the building. All running upstairs gets you, is eventually the roof. 



Richard Rorty, a philosopher and author, died in 2007. 

In 1998 Rorty wrote a book entitled "Achieving Our Country."

At the turn of the century, Rorty was concerned about the marginalization of the American working class, a condition he predicted would not last. Here is an excerpt from his book, which is remarkable in its vision of what the future would bring. 

"Something will crack...
The non-suburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking for a strongman to vote for- someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, over paid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots."

Here is where Rorty really nails it:
"One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion...All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet."

And in 2016, America found its "outlet". 

Indeed. 

See You In Court.  

Sunday, December 04, 2016

NFL WEEK 13

SURVIVOR POOL
Down goes De La O- an ill-timed pick of the Big Easy Saints  sent the respected jurist and rumoured favourite down in week 13. But well played Judge De La O. Well played indeed. 

Luvey and Lew marched on with a Packers win, whilst the annoying Real Fake Former Judge flew with the Arizona Cardinals to a win and survival. On we go.


Friday, December 02, 2016

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A JUDGE - Florida Supreme Court - 3rd DCA - Circuit Court .....


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE .....?

As a result of the retirement of Justice James Perry, who has announced his retirement effective December 30, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court’s JNC interviewed 11 candidates and nominated three to Governor Rick Scott. The judge must reside within the jurisdiction of the 5th DCA.

The three finalists are:

Wendy Berger, a 5th District Court of Appeal judge

C. Alan Lawson, chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach

Daniel J. Gerber, of the Orlando office of the law firm Rumberger, Kirk and Caldwell

All three candidates were heavily promoted by The Federalist Society. Promises from many of those interviewed went something like this: 'I promise to maintain my conservative principles; to not legislate from the bench; to bring to the bench a core set of conservative principles; I admire Justice Canady for his judicial philosophy and for his frequent dissenting opinions; I am an originalist', etc etc etc. All of the finalists were praised by Federalist Society's Florida Co-chair Jason Gonzalez as being "imminently qualified and hav[ing] demonstrated a textualist judicial philosophy similar to that of the late Justice Antonin Scalia".

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A 3RD DCA JUDGE ..... ?

Also in the news, with the retirement of Judge Frank Shepherd from the 3rd DCA, the JNC accepted applications from four sitting judges and seven lawyers who have applied for the open spot on Florida's Third District Court of Appeal.

Those that have applied include:

Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Norma Lindsey, Robert Luck and Bronwyn Miller and Broward Circuit Judge Carlos Rodriguez.

The other applicants are:

• Assistant U.S. attorney Jonathan Colan
• Michael Dono, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, Miami
• Miami Deputy City Attorney John Greco
• Susan Scrivani Lerner, public defender, Miami
• Former Miami-Dade County & Circuit Court Judge Fleur Lobree, now with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office
• William McCaughan, K&L Gates, Miami
• Assistant Miami-Dade County attorney Oren Rosenthal


The Governor also will be naming a new Miami-Dade Circuit Judge before the end of December to replace Judge Stan Blake.  Finalists include: Jason E. Dimitris; Ayana N. Harris; Spencer Jet Multack; Victoria del Pino; Lourdes Simon; and Andrea Ricker Wolfson.

CAPTAIN OUT .....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

THIRD CLIPS GLICK WITHOUT REMORSE

Prosecutors cannot argue lack of remorse of  at sentencing because Judges are specifically prohibited from considering lack of remorse when passing sentence.

Knowing this, the prosecution in Lawton v. State, 3D15-1520 improperly argued the defendant's lack of remorse when seeking the court to impose a severe sentence:

THE STATE: [I]n light of the fact that Mr. Lawton has, still to this day, not expressed any remorse for what he's done or any responsibility for something that he has now been adjudicated guilty by 6 of his peers and in light of the victim's wishes, the State is requesting that your Honor sentence him to a minimum of five years in state prison . . . . 

(We will leave for another day the Dade's Sao's complete abandonment of their role and duty to seek justice and recommend a fair sentence. Victim's by the very nature of the fact they have been victimized are not in a position to request a just sentence. They usually seek vengeance, which is understandable, but not legal nor even biblical. But lest there be any doibt the Dade SAO has completely abandoned their role in seeking justice at sentencing, one need only re-read the words of the ASA who- at the urging of the victim, sought a five year sentence.). 

In Lawton, the 3rd found that Judge Glick did consider that argument and the defendant's lack of remorse in sentencing Lawton. The 3rd vacated the sentence and remanded for a new sentencing procedure before a different judge. Even the best judges have a bad day, and Judge Glick erred.

But what bothers us is that prosecutors continually argue lack of remorse at sentencing when the law is clear and they should know better. The court in Lawton wrote:
It is well established that “[w]hile a sentencing court has wide discretion as to the factors it may consider in imposing a sentence, it is constitutionally impermissible for it to consider the fact that a defendant continues to maintain his innocence and is unwilling to admit guilt.” Ritter v. State, 885 So. 2d 413, 414 (Fla. 1st DCA 2004).

It's apparently "well established" with everyone except the Dade SAO. What concerns us is that the new year brings new judges. And what with afternoon nail and spa appointments, tea and tee times, not to mention the odd origami class before dinner, judges just don't have the time to read case law. And new judges, like veals in a pen, are led through a maze by aggressive and over-confident prosecutors who continually push that "right up until today Judge he continues to show no remorse" argument that must still exist in some State Attorney Handbook under the heading "So Now You've Won a Trial. What's Next?"

So lets all make a new years resolution to keep Lawton and Ritter v. State handy, so that when prosecutors pull out the "no remorse" argument, the defense has a response. Well, at least some you need to make that resolution. We don't, for reasons that should be obvious.

See You In Court.





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

CUSHIONS

We received this email the other day:

"Rumpole. Love the blog. Breaking news. Courtrooms are being fitted with cushions for the bench seats! This is big!! Trump effect?"

These next two weeks are pretty much the last two trial weeks of the year. After that- no one wants to work. 

As we head into the end of the year, we were recently in federal court and walked past the wall on the Akins building listing all the District Court Judges for the SDFLA.

Some judges served a long time. Others only a year or two, their names and memory lost to all but a few in the legal community; and some not known at all. It got us to thinking: which short-term judges at the REGJB are worth remembering? We'll define a short-term judge as someone who served less than a full term. We've run across a few in our time who came- left at 2 pm for a few months or years and then just left. 

Meanwhile Jeff Sessions as attorney general? Buckle up, it's gonna be a rough ride. 

See you in court. 



Saturday, November 26, 2016

HISTORY WILL ABSOLVE ME

Survivor Pool- everyone survives. Lucy Lew cruised with the Giants, while the 3 gentlemen all went with the Bills. The four move on to week 13. 

"History will absolve me" is what fidel castro told the court that sentenced him to fifteen years for a failed coup attempt prior to his successful overthrow of the Cuban government. Pardoned and exiled, castro returned and executed a successful coup against the Batista regime. 

History has not absolved castro. History will condemn him. 

The history of Cuba from 1959 to the present is the history of all communist dictatorships- a failed economy; a people without rights of expression and movement and ownership of private property. 

The philosopher Ayn Rand wrote that there can be no rights without property rights, and history and castro and Cuba have been a microcosm of her proof. 

Our community is populated by Cuban expatriots whose only crimes was the ownership of property, the running of a business, and education. When castro imposed his dictatorship on Cuba, the doctors, lawyers, engineers, farm owners, and merchants were the first to flee torture, imprisonment, theft of their homes and businesses, and murder. Those who could not own the rights to their abilities would not stay in a society founded on altruist-collectivism. 

"From each according to his ability to each according to his need"  cannot succeed when those with ability refuse to serve those with need. 

Cuba today is an economic and ecological disaster. The farms cannot produce because the land hasn't been taken care of. Knowledgeable farmers who had their land confiscated "for the people" left. With farm production falling, there was little to sell and GDP fell. With his country teetering on economic collapse, castro moved Cuba into the Soviet sphere, where the Soviets propped up the Cuban economy for the next forty years until the Soviet Union collapsed. With no sponsor for his communist state, Cuba fell into economic collapse in the 1990's; its people starving and its economy anemic. 

Today Cuba is a county frozen in time. Cars and households and infrastructure remain frozen in 1959. The country cannot produce money to do more than barely feed its citizens. Technology is almost unheard of. There is nothing that Cuba produces that is new or enviable. Even its tobacco farms have fallen into fallow. 

History has spoken. The Cuban revolution and communist dictatorship have failed. Hundreds of thousands of good people had their property stolen. There are no free elections, and in 2016 the country teeters without basic technology on the brink of economic collapse. 

There are not many things that we can accurately predict, but this is a one hundred percent given: in days, weeks, months or even a few more years, Cuba's totalitarian
communism and fidel castro will be consigned to the ash-heap of history. 

Soviet Premiere Kruschev once famously told a group of western diplomats "we will bury you."

Cuba is burying fidel. 
And the world will soon bury cuban totalitarian communism. 
Guaranteed.  


CASTRO MUERTO



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

BREAKING NEWS ......

FIDEL CASTRO IS DEAD AT AGE 90*



Cuban President Raul Castro has announced the death of his brother Fidel Castro on Cuban state media.  The New York Times hits the Internet immediately with a story they have been writing and updating for years: "Mr. Castro brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere, bedeviled 11 American presidents and briefly pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war" that can be read here.


*Now who's going to promote the Adidas tracksuit?!

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Thursday, November 24, 2016

OH THE HUMANITY

No Thanksgiving is complete without the best Thanksgiving promotion ever. Enjoy.