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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

YOUR NEW FEDERAL COURT JUDGE

Your new federal court judge may just come from the following Miami State court judges who have applied and think they have the right stuff for Federal Court (Motto:        " The benefits include: Really big chambers; the guidelines are advisory; no idiot can run against you") 

Antonio Arzola (Former Fred Moreno Clerk)

Mark Blumstein (Not been on bench long enough to find his parking spot)

Betty Butchko (Former ASA)

John Kastrenakis*

Peter Lopez (Well respected judge, often spoken of as Fed Material) 

Migna Sanchez-Llorens (Former Fed PD)

Orlando Prescott (Former ASA, distinguished himself as Administrative Judge in Juvenile Court)

Thomas Rebull

Rudy Ruiz (Making very positive impressions during his short time on the bench)

Rodney Smith (Former ASA, very compelling personal story and journey to becoming a Judge)

John Thornton (Not his first federal rodeo, Fred Moreno connection which is not something to be overlooked)

Daryl Trawick (Former AUSA)


*Judge Kastrenakis sits in West Palm Beach, but he is a former Dade ASA, Former Southern District AUSA, and rumored to be a reader of the blog, so we include him in the list. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

ROY GONZALEZ HAS PASSED AWAY

There's a new Hawaiian shirt in heaven today. 
We received some very sad news that long-time Assistant Public Defender Roy Gonzalez, who had retired, has passed away. 
Below is the obituary that we received from his wife.

Roy was a wonderful man and a great and dedicated attorney. And, as legions of young assistant public defenders learned, he was one of the go-to guys in the office when you needed help on a case. And if he wasn't in court, then he wasn't hard to find- just look for the guy wearing a brightly coloured Hawaiian shirt. 

Roy loved reading our blog.  His reading our blog and participation was a source of pleasure and pride  for us.  

None of these are easy, and these last two- George and Roy, have hit hard because they were good men, and their passing was so unexpected. 

Hang in there folks and make every day count. 


Roy Gonzalez, Jr., went to be with his Lord on October 14, 2017, after a short battle with cancer.  He was born July 10, 1944, to Rogelio (Roy) and Margarita (Casanueva) Gonzalez, in Miami Beach, Florida.  He attended Miami High, graduating Class of '62; the University of Florida (Go Gators), graduating Class of '66; and the charter class of the Florida State School of Law, graduating Class of '69.  He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army like his father before him, serving at Camp Howze near the DMZ in South Korea as a 1st Lieutenant with the 2nd Infantry Division during the Vietnam Era.  He worked in the Florida legislature and practiced criminal defense law in Miami, both in private practice and with the Public Defenders Office of the 11th Judicial Circuit, where he was famous for wearing Hawaiian shirts when not in court. 

He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Robin (Ledee) Gonzalez, who he cherished and loved to spoil.

Luke 10:15 says there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents, and what a party the angels had in 1994 when Roy found Jesus and was born again into the Christian faith. He lovingly served his Lord by becoming a choir member and moderator of the Key Biscayne Community Church from 1995 until 2006, when he moved to Highlands County, where he continued his service as deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Placid and where he also continued to make a joyful noise to the Lord by singing in their choir.

A celebration of life will be at First Presbyterian Church, 118 N. Oak Avenue, Lake Placid, FL,  on Saturday, October 21, 2017.  Visitation with the family will be at 1 p.m. with the service at 2 p.m., with Rev. Raymond Cameron officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Genesis Center Building Fund, P.O. Box 326, Lake Placid, FL, 33862, or Heartlandcatrescue.com in honor of the beloved cats Roy and Robin had adopted through their years together.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

NEW JUDGES

"No Judge writes on a wholly clean slate."
Felix Frankfurter, 1937. 

Judges Ivonne Cuesta and Laura Stuzin were elevated from county court to circuit court this week, replacing the vacancies that occurred with the retirement of Judge Cardonne-Ely, and elevation of Judge Lindsey to the 3rd District Court of PCA Appeals. 


Judges Altfield, Brinkley and Multack, along with ASA Luis Perez-Medina were among those whose names were sent to Tallahassee but were not given a seat when the music stopped. 


Judge Rosa Rodriguez, a former Dade Public Defender, resigned from the Circuit court after 18 1/2 years on the bench, effective Halloween, 2017. Boo!

Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverend than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue.
Francis Bacon, "Essay LVI: Of Judicature", Essays (1625).


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

GEORGE CHOLAKIS FUNERAL DETAILS

There will be a visitation with family on Thursday evening at Van Orsdel Funeral Home at 4600 SW 8th street, Miami, Fl, from 6-9. 

The funeral services will be Friday morning at St. Sophia Church, 2401 SW 3rd Avenue at 10:00 AM.  

No more of these for a while please. This has been very very hard. 

He was a man. Take him all in all. 
I shall not look upon his like again.  Hamlet, Act I, Scene 2.  

Peace. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BIZARRE CONNECTION BETWEEN POLICE SHOOTING AND DEATH OF GEORGE CHOLAKIS

Lots going on. It's either feast or famine in the blogging world.

Judge Rosa Rodriguez has called it quits. Hanging up the black robes, she resigned this week.

Judge Stuart Simons, a very well respected Dade Jurist passed away this week, his death in retirement overshadowed by the untimely death of our friend and colleague George Cholakis.
Our post referencing the election for the spot vacated by Judge Simons in 2008 is here

And then there is this...

Retired Miami-Dade homicide detective John Butchko was with George when he was stricken at the Dolphins game. Det. Butchko, an all around good guy and very good detective in his day, accompanied George from the game to the hospital where George tragically passed away.

On the way home, Det. Butchko was struck by an impaired driver who then fled the scene. It was the same driver who was stopped a few blocks away by the Miami Beach Police department. The driver attempted to flee, struck a  police officer, and then was shot and killed.

Channel Ten has been all over the story, along with video of the shooting here. 



Just an awful and bizarre Sunday, one best put behind us as soon a possible.


Sunday, October 08, 2017

GEORGE CHOLAKIS HAS PASSED AWAY

It is with a very deep and heavy heart that we report that our good friend and colleague George Cholakis has passed away. The details are still unclear, but it appears to have occurred at the Dolphins game on Sunday. And if you knew George, you know that Dolphin home games  and tail-gating with his friends were one of the things he looked forward to all year. 

This may be one of the last pictures of George. Taken at today's game. 
George was a good and dedicated lawyer. The highlight of his career was most likely the work he did as a prosecutor taking down a violent street gang. It was a case he dedicated his heart and soul to, and he often spoke about it, proud of the work he had done to make our community safer. 

George was also dedicated to his wife and his family as well as his church. 

George was the type of lawyer who always had a smile and time to sit down and talk with you. He was a good guy. A good friend. A dedicated lawyer, husband, and member of this community.

He will be greatly missed.  

Friday, October 06, 2017

GOVERNOR ...WHO????

POTUS 45 needs cabinet members. Department of Homeland Security for starters.  
Governor Rick Scott, a Trump fav, needs/wants to get out of Tallahassee. (Can you blame him?)

Which leaves a wide open race for Governor in 2018. 

Enter...steady now....

Katherine Fernandez-Rundle!!! ??

Yes, we have it on good authority that this is more than just water-cooler chatter. 

"Governor Kathy?" Has a ring to it. 

From Occupied America, Fight The Power.