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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

BLACK TUESDAY

Tuesday of this week will forever be known henceforth as "Black Tuesday" judging (pun intended) from the moaning, groaning and shocking movement of judges in and out of the REGJB pending the New Year. 

For example, Judge Richard Hersch was said to be beside himself (and not in a good way) with his pending assignment to Juvenile in the new year. Ditto Judge Pooler. 

Some judges are calling it a massacre. Others could just be heard weeping softly into their cafe-con-leche's Wednesday morning. 
The loss of these judges along with De La O and Rudy Ruiz, along with the loss of Judge Colodny who already went to probate (Probate???) recently, means that the REGJB has suffered and will suffer a substantial talent drain. 

The list is below:
(btw that new judge "vacancy" listed as going to Juvie could well be the best of the bunch. Guaranteed not to screw anything up.)

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. 

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

FIRST TUESDAY IN OCTOBER

Monday was the first Monday in October.
Some grow-up waiting for opening day in baseball. Others spend their childhood  waiting for the autumnal smells and sounds and the cooler weather that signals the start of football season. 
For legal beagles like our fellow federal blogger, it was the first Monday in October that heralded the start of the new Supreme Court season that was circled on his calendar. While friends traded Baseball cards, he read the NLRB opinions of Douglas and Fortas.

This season started, unlike last year, with a full contingent of Supreme Court Justices. You will remember that the court operated for some time with eight justices, because of the "McConnell Law" which states "No justice shall be confirmed if nominated by a democratic president beyond thirty days in office of the new president's first term"- the reason behind the law being that after 30 days in office, it's better to wait four or eight years so the will of the people in a new presidential election can determine who can serve on the court. 

Did you know? That when Chief Justice Fred Vinson  died, President Eisenhower,  made a "recess appointment" of new Chief Justice Earl Warren in September, 1953? Warren served on the court as the term began in October, and then was confirmed by the Senate in January, 1954.

Did you also know that Warren, governor of California, was Dewey's running mate against Truman in 1948?

Did you also know that at the Republican Convention in 1952, Warren was California's favourite son, and was angling for the Vice President's spot on the ticket with Ike, before Nixon- the senator from California outmaneuvered him? Warren never forgave Nixon, and in 1952 privately and presciently called him "a crook and a thief"?   

This year's first day of the new term saw the re-argument of Sessions v. Dimaya, which was argued last year and resulted in a 4-4 decision. The case involves the question of what is a violent felony that requires the deportation of an immigrant? 
Dimaya was convicted of a residential burglary. "Out you go!"  said the Department of Homeland Deportations.
But citing a Scalia opinion in a similar case where the late Justice held that the Armed Career Criminal Act was void for vagueness,  Dimaya challenged the law. 

All eyes were on the new kid on the bench. Justice Gorsuch seemed skeptical of the Government's case. Judge G felt the law, which set up "categories" of crimes, rather than using specific lists,  forced judges to do the work of legislators. 

And we all know that there is no better way to anger the Federalist Society, which oversees all opinions of the Supreme Court, than to say "a judge is legislating"!

From Occupied and bullet-ridden America, Fight the Power!



Sunday, October 01, 2017

GREGG TOUNG HAS PASSED AWAY

Gregg Toung, a very well liked and respected Assistant Public Defender has passed away. Gregg was a training attorney as well as a lawyer who handled some of the most difficult Jimmy Ryce cases.

We didn't know Gregg, but emails and comments have been flooding in talking about his life and passing from cancer at way too early an age. Some of the comments are below, and we will post more:

Gregg was my training atty when I started in the public defenders office. What a decent and caring man. May he Rest In Peace.

I will miss Gregg. He and I tried many Ryce cases against each other, took may depo trips and had tons of laughs. Gregg was a terrific lawyer but an even better person. His word was his bond. 
May his memory be a blessing. My most sincere condolences to his family. 
Audrey Frank-Aponte



Gregg Toung has passed away. Most PD's and ex-PD's in the last 15 to 20 years were trained at some point by Gregg. He was a classy, warm, genuine person and loved a good fight as a lawyer. The entire Miami Public Defender community is heartbroken by this news. He handled the hardest cases (Jimmy Ryce and Death Penalty) yet always maintained his gentlemanly demeanor. I really do not know anyone who has anything bad to say about Gregg. He will be truly missed.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

GRIECO NO SPEAKO

When embattled FORMER Miami-Beach Commissioner, and FORMER ASA, and putative REGJB irregular, Michael Grieco held a press conference and resigned his commission seat, he stationed a police officer in front of him, ostensibly to keep the press away. 

We would say this is Nixonian, except Nixon plotted against the press and other enemies in secret. It's actually a page from the current POTUS playbook, who used security thugs during the campaign to evict protesters from his rallies. 

Having resigned to spend more time on his health, family, and law practice, Grieco exited stage left. 

Of course, one could speculate that a deal with the SAO to wrap up their investigation would have included a requirement that he immediately resign from his office of public trust. 

But that is just speculation. 

For now. 

Politics is a nasty business. A pool full of sharks trying to rip your flesh from your bones- and those are your friends. 

From Occupied America, where deeper scandals pertaining to higher officials than Miami Beach City Commissioners lurk, Fight the Power!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

THE CONSCIENCE OF A CONSERVATIVE

When in due course of human events a woman is faced with career choice that sets her values against her goals...

We are guided by the principle that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to remain silent and do nothing.

What should a talented lawyer/judge do when a person of such low values and intellect who occupies the highest office in the land offers them a career defining job like the US Attorney For the Southern District Of Florida?

Gaary Wills, writing in this month's Vanity Fair as one of a group of authors who are presidential historians, finishes his article on Trump thusly:

"People who have crawled to him are feeling the sickness of shame...More people must resign from office on principle. More people must explain why they refused his offers of government jobs. He degrades women. He degrades races and religions. He degrades us."

What would a person of high moral character, integrity, and intelligence like Judge Ariana Fajardo-Orshan  do as US Attorney? Would she enforce immigration policies that deport Dreamers- many of them young, Hispanic men and women who are good Americans in all but legal name only?  Would she follow the recommendations of Attorney General Sessions and seek maximum incarceration penalties for marijuana cases? Would she subvert the property rights of Americans by enforcing the new and draconian forfeiture laws that Sessions seeks to enforce? Can a conservative, knowing that the Philosopher Ayn Rand persuasively wrote that property rights are the foundation of all rights, seek to deprive citizens of their property based on the suspicious innuendo of the police state?

At the end of WWII, Dwight Eisenhower supported the prosecution of all Nazis to the end that two million Germans were prosecuted and one million were convicted of crimes associated with joining the Nazi party.  Eisenhower knew that National Socialism could not have succeeded without the cooperation of the middle class professionals. The college professors who took over from their jailed Jewish colleagues. The lawyers who prosecuted laws against Jews and the Judges who found the Jews guilty. The shop owners who refused to serve them, the business men who bought the Jewish businesses for pennies on the dollar when Jews were prohibited from owning businesses.
All of them profited from the turn of events of Germany in the 1930's. All of them turned a blind eye to the rantings of the Chancellor of Germany and accepted the professional and business opportunities their mad times dropped in their laps.

Will our next US Attorney lend her imprimatur to the xenophobic  policies of our President who seeks to ban people based on their race and religion? Will she seek fines designed to pay for a wall on the Mexican border?

Will any person of good conscience accept any job- Judge, prosecutor, government bureaucrat from a man who called the white-supremacist protesters in Charlotte "Good people"?

Turning down the offer of a dream job may hurt. But some day, when your daughter or granddaughter asks you "Mom, what did you do when Trump was trying to deport Dreamers, and called global warming a hoax, and demeaned women and gave hope to racists?"

Will you be able to hold your head up high and talk to your children and grandchildren about the higher call? What Senator John McCain reminded us is "Duty, Honor, Country?" The same Senator who as a POW refused to be released from the torture and beatings until all his men were released first. The same Senator our president who didn't serve his country  said wasn't a war hero because he was captured.

Or will you be unable to look at yourself in the mirror because you compromised your morals?

We all like to think that if we were on that bus with Rosa Parks we would have spoken up and said "Not today. Today Ms. Parks sits in the front next to me."

That we would have stood firm on the Freedom Bridge in the face of the dogs and the water cannons. That we would have sat at the lunch counter and demanded they serve our black brothers and sisters with us. That we would have gone to jail with Dr. King and countless others rather than back down to the racist police. That we would have stood outside the arena in Chicago in 1968 during the Democratic National Convention and suffered the beatings of police nightsticks while chanting "The whole world is watching."

Now is the time to make that stand.
No government can exist without the support of the governed.
Evil cannot exist without the silence and compliance of good people.

If you are offered the job of US Attorney Judge Ariana Fajardo-Orshan, don't take it. Don't compromise your ideals and morals.
Take a stand.
Be a hero.

Fight the power.











Monday, September 25, 2017

GRIECO DROPS OUT OF COMMISSIONER'S RACE

Former ASA, REGJB irregular Michael Grieco has formerly ended his re-election bid as a City Of Miami Beach (Motto: "Soon to be underwater and loving it.") Commissioner. 

With confirmed State and possible federal investigations swirling around the beleaguered pol, what do you make of this development? 

There are several different ways to view this. But far be it from us to engage in unwarranted speculation.

In 1972, Senator George McGovern, having locked up the Democratic nomination, was looking for a VP candidate. Nixon, appearing unbeatable, frightened most of the top politicians away. Kennedy said no. So did Senators Humphrey, Muskie, and our fav- Birch Bayh. Bahstahn Mayor Kevin White accepted, but Ken Galbraith kaboshed it, threatening to walk the entire Massachusetts delegation out of the convention if that occurred.  

Finally George M settled on Missouri Senator Thomas Francis Eagleton. Who was a good pick EXCEPT....for his treatments and hospitalizations for chronic depression by psychiatrists- which at the time was akin to being a closet communist/transgender devil worshipping porn lover- politically speaking. Of course today, pretty much every chambers at the REGB has a bottle of Wellbutrin or the like tucked away in it. 

Having named Eagleton, McGovern had to stand by him, until Eagleton withdrew and Sergeant Shriver tried to bring a little Camelot to the campaign. 

Our point being, (and we have gotten a little lost here) is that people withdraw from political races for a whole host of reasons- from infidelity (Gary Hart in 1988 - who BTW was McGovern's campaign manager in 1972), to health (Eagleton), to pending criminal investigation, to just being an obnoxious jerk who tweets x-rated pictures to underage girls(Anthony Weiner who Monday was sentenced to 21 months in prison). 

From Occupied America, fight the power and remember- not only commissioners can resign from public office. Presidents can too. 

Coming Next: The Conscience of a Conservative. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT: STAND AND DELIVER EDITION

Dear Diary: 
Best week ever of greatest presidency ever.

Loving the Rocket Man quip. They loved me at the UN. It was so quiet during my speech, you could hear a pin drop. That's how much they loved it. None of that polite clapping junk. 

But this week is all about the National Anthem. I love being the president who defends the national anthem. Obama never did that. Neither did Bush. Or his brother the other Bush.

I know more about the first amendment than any lawyer alive. It doesn't cover free speech at work. When you're at work, you have to do what your boss says. Or...and this is my favorite...you're fired!

And that's all I was saying in my speech in Atlanta. When Benjamin Franklin was drafting the first amendment, he never meant it to be applied during work. You can say whatever you want when no one is listening. That's what free speech is. And, excuse me but kneeling isn't speech. It's a physical action, so duh! It's not speech and no first amendment. Otherwise, first amendment? Repeal and Replace!!

When our greatest general ever, George Patton was about to invade Japan, he gave a speech that what they were fighting for was for the young boys back home, on freshly cut fields of grass, about to play little league baseball and football and who were standing for the national anthem. That's what the invasion was about. And when some solider didn't agree, Patton SLAPPED HIM!

That's what I am talking about. NFL owners should slap those players who sit during the national anthem. Then fire them. 

What we need is more Patton and less...what ever is not Patton and that means less sitting during the national anthem. 

Memo to whoever is my chief of staff: After repeal and replace we need new law: Everyone must stand during the national anthem and if they sit they lose their health care and face a mandatory...five...no ten years in prison with NO PAROLE.  And then deportation to Mexico after paying a five ...no ten thousand fine to pay for the wall. 

I love this job! And I'm so damn good at it! 

DJT. 











Saturday, September 23, 2017

REPEAL AND REPLACE

Breaking: Check out DOM's blog here that Judge Fajardo-Orshan, known to us as Ariana Fajardo- a former ASA and current Judge, is the new front-runner to be US Attorney in SDFLA. 

ITEM: On September 22, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation order warning the South that he would issue a formal emancipation order for every slave in any state that did not end its rebellion by January 1, 1863. 

September 22, 2017. The White House. 
Kellyann Conway (KAC) and DT- POTUS 45. 

The Oval Office. 
Television:  "Next on Fox and Friends, the shocking proof that Hillary Clinton was not just on a Russian KGB* Agent's Payroll, but she may have had a not too secret affair with a Russian diplomat. Also, why cold winters mean global warming is a hoax. Fox and Friends- fair and balanced. Stay with us..."

DT (to himself) I knew it. On the payroll. And having sex. Gonna tweet this now "Lyin Hillary took cash from KGB. Lets see if bleedin Mika will mention this on Morning Joe?"

KAC (walks into room): Mr. President. Today the emancipation proclamation was issued...

DT: Repeal and Replace. 

KAC: No Mr. President, I don't think you understand..

DT: Did you just say 'No' to me? 

KAC: Yes Mr. President, but you're mistaken...

DT: Who won Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin and California?

KAC: I'm not sure about California, but otherwise you did sir. 

DT: Who had the largest inauguration in the history of the world? 

KAC: You did sir. 

DT: And are you allowed to say 'no' to me? 

KAC: No sir, I'm not. 

DT: Very good. Now I know more about this emancipation thing then all the generals in Iraq, Korea, and West Germany. Here's what I want. Immediately. A statement from Spicer right now. Send him into the damned press room now...

KAC Sean doesn't work here anymore sir. 

DT: Do not interrupt me when I am setting policy. ..
Issue this immediately. 'The President is committed to the policy of repeal and replace all failed Obama administration policies. Today marks the shameful anniversary of the emancipation proclamation. I call on all Republican senators to repeal and replace this failed Obama policy immediately and send americans back to work, with the health care they deserve, in a cool climate.'

DT: Did you get all that? Issue it now!

KAC: But Mr. President...

DT: Kelly...don't say the N word again. You know I don't like it. 

KAC (downcast eyes): Yes Mr. President.  (Starts to walk out)

DT: One more thing. Fox has proof global warming is fake. please get that report for me ASAP.  

KAC:Yes sir. 


*The KGB doesn't exist anymore, but that doesn't stop Fox from speculating about the KGB and Clinton.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

...THE BELL TOLLS FOR THEE

TIME PERIODS TOLLED ...film at 11.

Supreme Court of Florida
No. AOSC17-71

IN RE: EMERGENCY REQUEST TO EXTEND TIME PERIODS UNDER ALL FLORIDA RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY IN THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER

WHEREAS on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, through Friday, September 15, 2017, Hurricane Irma caused the closure of the courts in Miami-Dade County in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit; and
WHEREAS this emergency also may have temporarily impeded the ability of attorneys, litigants, witnesses, jurors, and others in the performance of their duties and obligations with respect to many legal processes throughout the State of Florida; and
WHEREAS it is the intent of this order to equitably relieve parties in all pending cases by extending legal time limits that they otherwise would have been unable to meet due to the emergency; and
WHEREAS it is the intent of this order to suspend the speedy trial procedure during the times stated herein in the manner described in Sullivan v. State, 913 So.
2d 762 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005), and State v. Hernandez, 617 So. 2d 1103 (Fla. 3rd

DCA 1993);

THEREFORE, pursuant to the administrative authority conferred upon me by article V, section 2, of the Florida Constitution and Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.205(a)(2)(B)(iv),
IT IS ORDERED that:

  1. In Miami-Dade County, all time limits prescribed or allowed by rule of procedure, court order, statutes applicable to court proceedings, or otherwise pertaining to court proceedings are extended from the close of business on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, until the close of business on Monday, September 18, 2017.
  2. All time limits involving the speedy trial procedure, in criminal and juvenile court proceedings, are suspended from the close of business on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, until the close of business on Monday, September 18, 2017.
  3. The extension of time periods under this order shall apply only when the last day of those periods falls within the time extended. The suspension of time limits under the speedy trial procedure restores additional days equal to the number stated herein.
  4. This Court recognizes that there may be instances where, because of this emergency, these and other time limits applicable to matters in or outside
Miami-Dade County could not be met even upon application of the periods stated above. If such a claim is made, it shall be resolved by the court in which jurisdiction is vested on a case-by-case basis when a party demonstrates that the lack of compliance with requisite time periods was directly attributable to this emergency and that equitable remedy is required.
DONE AND ORDERED at Tallahassee, Florida, on September 19, 2017.

image
Chief Justice Jorge Labarga

Supreme Court Seal
ATTEST:

image
John A. Tomasino, Clerk of Court

END OF DAYS AND WITHER THE KEYS CASES?

The End Of Days? 

We have a false prophet speaking at the league of nations. 

Item: On Monday a massive earthquake struck Mexico City. In in 1985, on the exact same day, a massive earthquake struck Mexico City. 

Item: In the last two weeks, two Cat 5 hurricanes have struck the United States (Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands being part of the US). 

After he headed the Manhattan Project which successfully developed the atomic bomb, the physicist Robert Oppenheimer quoted the Bhagavad Gita and said "Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds."

A thoughtful quote from a brilliant and thoughtful man. 

The President of the United States, traditionally (but no longer) the leader of the free world, had this quip when addressing the United Nations: He called the leader of North Korea "Rocket Man." An insult he has previously and churlishly hurled on Twitter. 
It may have caused Elton John to smile, but it certainly is clear that POTUS is neither thoughtful nor smart. No Robert Oppenheimer he. 


WHITER THE FLORIDA KEYS CASES?

All defendants who were in custody in Monroe County were moved to other facilities. Mostly in West Palm Beach. 
Query: Are these people in custody being given access to courts? What if they are entitled to a bond reduction? Are Keys Judges sitting? And if so, where? And if so, how does one schedule a case before them? 

We've received a few emails asking these questions, and for once, we don't have any answers. 

From occupied and battered Florida, enjoy the power that has been restored. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

CRIMINAL COURT SCHEDULE - WEEK OF 9/18/17


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

CRIMINAL COURT SCHEDULE FOR WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 .....

Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division, Judge Sayfie, has issued the following information as to what we can expect to take place at the GJB next week:

The cases from our Irma days will be reset as follows: 

1. The approximately 500 in custody arraignments that will be split between Monday 9/18 & Tuesday 9/19.  

2. All AC's will be set Monday 9/19. (we know, this must be a typo)

3. No inmates will be transported for your regular Monday 9/18 trial calendar. If you need an inmate for a speedy case then please let your individual CO know to transport the inmate for Tuesday. Please avoid this if possible because Tuesday's calendars will still be heavy with make-up arraignments.  

4. All trials set 9/11 or on any of the missed days will be set on Wednesday, 9/20 so you can address the trial status/date. Remember that no defendants will have notice. And in many cases the attorneys may not be aware either. These cases are printing so that you can reset them as you wish.  

5. All out of custody arraignments are being reset with time for notice, so likely 2 weeks from today or Monday.  

6. All other cases that were printing for other hearings that did not have future dates already will be printing during the first week of October. This will give you and the attorneys the opportunity to move the date to an earlier date if you wish.
 
Also, a reminder that the courthouse is Closed on Thursday, September 21, for the observance of Rosh Hashanah.
 
CAPTAIN OUT .....
 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

RECOVERY

UPDATE 3: COURTS RE-OPENING MONDAY

FDC OPENS FOR CLIENT VISITATION SATURDAY


UPDATE #2 : STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS CLOSED THROUGH FRIDAY-POSSIBLE MONDAY OPEN.

Date line: Ritz Carlton, Washington DC. 
September 12, 2017. 

POWER: FPL says all east coast power restored by this Sunday. All power in West Miami to be restored by this Friday. The farther east you go, the more power lines are down and the longer it will take. 

COURTS:
SAO SUFFERS DAMAGE AND FLOODING:

Our intrepid state attorney is seeking temporary office space, as her office (part or all- it's not yet clear) is damaged/flooded. 

State courts remained closed on Wednesday AND WILL REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH THIS WEEK. But the REGJB also suffered flooding and damage so we think - highlight THINK state courts will not re-open this week. 

Federal court is also closed through the end of the week. Support personnel, including those who stamp "denied" on most motions, are being asked to report to work on Thursday if they are able.  refuses to confirm or deny if they will be open Wednesday: Their attitude is "you should know". We don't.

Monroe County Courts closed...indefinitely. 

OUR VIEW:
Here is our community's attitude: 
The Storm came. The rain came. The wind came. We all are in this together. We are damaged. We shall rebuild. We are all strong and resilient. 

We're going to use a legal phrase here: BULLSHIT!

Miami survived only by sheer luck (which we had discerned by analyzing weather patterns days before the storm, about which we told you about BEFORE supposedly expert forecasters did. See our last two posts). 

This community would have been destroyed beyond repair within a year if a Cat4+ had hit us directly. 

Our shelters were in disarray. Staff didn't show up, requiring police officers to run shelters, which took them from the streets where they needed to be. 

Our governor was (is, and continues to be) a moron. We watched (from the relative safety of our suite at the Ritz in DC, where we are rather well known) as on Friday night, the governor said during a state-wide televised press conference- and we quote "get out now!
Get out to where? Anyone in Miami on Friday would not have had enough gas to get to the Florida/Georgia border, and many of those who fled Miami, fled to....Naples, Sarasota, and Tampa. Enough said. 

We have heard of individual acts of altruism and that in many neighborhoods neighbors did in fact help their neighbors. But make no mistake, people in many depressed neighborhoods are suffering without food, water and power. It is almost impossible to sleep in 90 degree heat and no breeze, which is the type of weather that follows large storms. 

On an individual basis, police officers, fire rescue, nurses, surgeons, hospital staff and doctors all left their families to serve our community during the storm. For that we should all be thankful. The next time you see a police officer, thank him or her for serving during the run up and after the storm while you were getting supplies and taking care of your family and home. 

But our elected officials were bumbling fools. Moe, Larry, and Curly could have done a better job. The Mayor of Miami, during a press conference when he was taking criticism for the fact that shelters were not opened or were not staffed, felt it important to tell everyone his home was without power. As if that mattered. 

We survived this storm only because it missed us, not because our elected officials did their jobs in a competent matter. 

For the future, those of you who remained behind, consider this- during the next run up, do everything a week early. Board up your house before there are lines at Ace and Home Depot. Drive out of Florida before there are gas lines. Book tickets to fly to Uncle Ernie in Akron, before the flights fill up. 

If this storm has taught us anything, it has reminded us that they are very very powerful and deadly, and that we cannot rely on our officials to make wise decisions and run government in a manner that will assist us in a time of need. 

We are fortunate to have access to private travel and be able to afford a few weeks at a luxury hotel. Not everyone can do that. The key to surviving these storms, is the key to winning cases: prepare, prepare, prepare. 

Stay safe. We wish all of our dear readers a quick recovery with power restored. 

Your Humble srvt,
H. Rumpole, Blogger. 

Friday, September 08, 2017

RUMPOLE AND IRMA

Friends, colleagues, dear readers of our blog. There is nothing funny about the threat to our home town. 
Although we hold hope that this storm will not turn on a dime as predicted and head north, no matter how it goes we will get hit. 
Many of us will suffer. 
This is the time to think clearly. 
Be kind to neighbors and friends and strangers in need. 
Help each other and spread good karma and together we can overcome what none of us can individually. 

After the storm, we will be down for some time, pending internet and power. 
But we will be out in our community, a shovel or a saw in hand, helping those who need help. 

Think clearly. 
Act rationally. 
Don't panic. 
Be safe. 
You can always buy another TV, car, or house. 
Life is precious. 

We are thinking of you, friends. Be safe. 

Your humble blogger who has always known it was a privilege to have readers. 

See You In Court, sooner than you think. 

H. Rumpole, poor country lawyer. 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

IRMA HURRICANE LIST

Update: This is an irreverent post. Please review the preceding post for some sad news about the tragic passing of attorney J.C. Dugue and leave your remembrances there if you wish.  

Courts  remain scheduled (which we pronounce as the King's english dictates, shed/ul/eld )for closure Thursday and Friday(Fed and State, unless you have something scheduled before Judges Martinez or Huck: a little wind and rain never caused them to continue anything). 
August marked the beginning of the employment of new PDs and ASAs. Many of whom are from out of town. This is their first hurricane. Here is our famous storm prep list   ( (c) Justice Building Blog, 2008, all rights reserved) along with some common sense Dos and Don'ts:

DO: go swimming only with a buddy;
DON'T: try and serve subpoenas on Miami Beach Police without a mask, fin and snorkel. To our friends on the Beach: see ya, wouldn't want to be ya

DO: Announce ready for trial today for all cases set for next two weeks.
DON'T:  Take your files home. If the PDs or ASA offices are wacked, you have proof of why you need a continuance. 

DO: Go to Publix at least once and rip a bottle of water out of a kid's hand. Also go to a gas station, wait on line, and then act puzzled at the credit card swipe screen until everyone behind you beeps. These are classic Miami hurricane activities that are a right of passage for new-comers.  
DON'T: Return any gun fire. You may hit an FPL worker hiding in the gas station cafe avoiding work. 

DO: Follow all tips from our Governor, including his directive not to mention "Global Warming" in emails.
DON'T: Evacuate to the Bahamas, or Houston. 

Breaking: POTUS 45 tweets Irma "FAKE NEWS" and blames "Obama/Clinton/Comey/Dems" for path of storm.

Hurricane Supplies: (in order of importance)
1: One Bottle Don Julio 1942 Tequilla
2: Three bottles of any: 2010 Opus One Napa Propriety Blend (in an emergency, the 2008 will do); Lewis Cab 2013, Napa Valley, Sequoia Grove Cabium, 2009, Napa Valley.
3: One gallon of water per person, per day.
5. One bag of organic apples.
6. One box Annie's Organic Granola bars, mixed.
7. One copy of Les Miserables, or The Grapes of Wrath, or 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or either of 11/23/63 or IT by Stephen King, both of which are vastly superior to The Stand.
8. Box of candles and matches.
9. Limes (see 1, above).
10. One week supply toilet paper.
11. Battery powered radio. Gen Y'ers and Millennials take note: you cannot listen to radio on your phone when the internet is out. You must watch a you-tube video on the basic principles of operating a radio. You also cannot stock up on ice cream. Just trust us on this one. And Uber Eats, et.al., will not be available for a few days. So get some dry staples in the house. Google cereal and buy some.*
12. Oranges, grapes, pretzels, chips. 

Above all else, unlike POTUS45, use common sense and stay safe. 

Because we know that long-time and careful readers turn here first for the real, non-fake news they need to survive the storm, practice law, and collect a few fees along the way, we will be on the blog all Friday evening and Saturday until (and IF) the storm knocks us off the internet. As we hinted at yesterday, and the reports are indicating today, Irma is s..l..o..w..l..y moving east by north east and that is good news. 

From occupied America and storm threatened Florida, fight the wind and the rain and the power. 



* This is a true fact. General Foods is experiencing a drastic decrease in cereal consumption by people between 10-20. Apparently market research shows that millennials don't like to spend time on cleaning the bowl after eating cereal. 


J.C.DUGUE HAS PASSED AWAY

Long time Miami lawyer and REGJB regular J.C. Dugue, passed away suddenly on September 5, 2017 of a heart attack. 

Judge Glick wrote this in the comments section:
Just finished a trial with him. A fine lawyer, a true gentleman and always had a smile on his face. RIP.
S. Glick


And we received this wonderful comment as well:
EX Black Jack Dealer said...

This is sad and shocking news. Unfortunately the blog has become an obituary section lately. I first meet JC in early 1994 right after I became an attorney. We both worked at the old HRS ( now Dept of Children & Families) where I first meet him. We remained friends since then. JC has just come over from the SAO in Lee County. He was a good guy and almost always had a good cheerful demeanor who was very funny and almost like the life of the party if you knew him. I just worked a case with him as I brought him into a case with co-defendants. JC was the type of lawyer that was always willing to go the extra mile for his clients and financially speaking took the short end of the stick in terms of being paid for his work on many occasions and did not bitch or complain. He just did his work.

JC loved sports, particularly basketball, and really enjoyed his children. If anyone has any funeral or memorial service info please post it.

To all his friends and family, particularly his children, I send my condolences. Although his life was shorter than it should have been he lived a worthwhile and fulfilling life. RIP my friend.
 
Wednesday, September 06, 2017 2:40:00 PM


We didn't know Mr. Dugue well, but a quick Google of his name showed a dedicated lawyer with some very nice victories under his belt. 

Please post your remembrances here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

SUBPOENA STANDOFF AND A HURRICANE SONG

UPDATE: STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS WILL BE CLOSED THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. 
ALSO UPDATED: THE SUBPOENA HEARING WILL BE WEDNESDAY AT 10:00 AM BEFORE JUDGE BARAKAT.
(We see something in the upper atmosphere of Canada which will move this storm away just far enough to brush us. You heard it here first.) 

More importantly than court's closing is the availability of Starbucks. We will keep you updated on those openings/closings.  

The City Of Miami Beach is not accepting subpoenas, otherwise validly served, for police officers for depositions on their day off. 

The statute below,  is unclear

The lawyer who has the issue (rhymes with Batalano) has a motion scheduled today (Monday) before Judge Barakat. Apparently in this case there are six officers with six different days off requiring the lawyer to set them on six different days, incurring six separate court reporter appearance fees. 
Such are the problems from which Solomonic Judicial wisdom appears. We shall see. 

48.031
 (4)(a) Service of a criminal witness subpoena upon a law enforcement officer or upon any federal, state, or municipal employee called to testify in an official capacity in a criminal case may be made as provided in subsection (1) or by delivery to a designated supervisory or administrative employee at the witness's place of employment if the agency head or highest ranking official at the witness's place of employment has designated such employee to accept such service. However, no such designated employee is required to accept service:
1. For a witness who is no longer employed by the agency at that place of employment;
2. If the witness is not scheduled to work prior to the date the witness is required to appear; or
3. If the appearance date is less than 5 days from the date of service.
The agency head or highest ranking official at the witness's place of employment may determine the days of the week and the hours that service may be made at the witness's place of employment


IRMA:
Before most of the ASAs and a few of our Judges were born, Miami had a long-time radio host named Mike Reineri.  Whenever a hurricane would threaten, Reineri would sing a little song "We don't want no hurricanes coming round here." And it worked all through the seventies and eighties, right up until Hurricane  Andrew. 

So take a moment today, pull your eyes away from Channel Seven's apocalyptic predictions- the stock videos of long lines at Home Depot, the empty shelves at Publix,  the fights at petrol stations, and close your eyes for a moment and sing a little song: "We don't want no hurricanes coming round here." 

And maybe, just maybe, if you watch Fox news and believe in the power of prayer....the President will resign!  

COURTHOUSE SHUTDOWN
Irma will be approaching Cuba on Friday, which we think is a good day to shut down the State and Federal Courts and give employees time to make final preparations. While we don't wish destruction on anyone, the mountains of Cuba could do lots of damage TO the storm, and lessen its impact wherever it makes landfall. 



While initial projections had it turning north and perhaps impacting the Carolinas, it now appears Irma could churn through the Florida Straits, brush Miami and the Keys, and hit the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen with the Gulf's warm waters (which, according to the White House has NOTHING to do with global warming, which is a Chinese fake-news fraud designed to ...never mind, it just gets weirder from here) and slam into Mexico or Texas. 

Nothing about Irma is good. Stand by; prepare; sing the song; read the blog; and hope for the best. 


It's gratifying to see that the City Of Miami Beach has taken our motto to heart and is fighting the (subpoena) power!

Friday, September 01, 2017

WHAT IS RUMPOLE READING?

And where is Rumpole eating? 
First, as we head into the last holiday weekend of the summer, we need to update our long time and careful readers on what the best legal blogger and social commentator in the nation is reading. 

"Dereliction Of Duty" by H.R. McMaster. When our current national security director was just a scholar/solider he undertook a doctoral thesis about the Vietnam war that because a fascinating book. Want to know how we stumbled into defeat in Vietnam? The politicians and the military didn't talk to each other and manipulated facts behind each others backs. 

"Giant of the Senate" by Al Franken because we read everything he writes and once again he doesn't disappoint. 

"The Force" by Don Winslow. A NYPD beach read for this weekend if you just want to tune out and drink some cerveza by the pool. (Tequilla for us). 

Have you read the Richard Stark novels? Crime noir 1960's including some cool Miami scenes. Pick up any of the series and enjoy. 

If you haven't read "Shattered" detailing the loss of HRC and the country to the current POTUS, now is the time to rip through the book this weekend and find out just how we came to be in this unfortunate situation and how Trump won. 
And because of that victory detailed in Shattered, we now have a situation where a  madman controls nuclear weapons in the Korean conflict (and Kim Jong-un is involved as well.)    

Where is Rumpole eating? 
The best new and exciting restaurant in the county is The Grey, in Savannah, Georgia, where the chef turned an abandoned (and segregated) bus station into a southern food wonderland. "Comeback sauce" can't be missed. Pork belly shows up everywhere, and where you least expect it, and the collard greens are smoked. Need we say more? 

Readers know that we often find ourselves in the Big Apple, and when in NYC we now find Rumpole dining (when he can pull himself away from the noddle shops that dot every corner) at Superiority Burger, where nothing on the menu is more than nine bucks (judges take note!), and the "megamouth" is our fav burger of the summer and is vegetarian to boot. In fact everything is vegie at Superiority and most can be made vegan!

Enjoy the last holiday weekend of the summer. Think of your country men and women suffering in Houston and the surrounding areas and donate to your fav charity. They need dry clothes desperately. And when you're done being charitable and altruistic, then remember you live in Occupied America and Fight the Power!


(and remember "boards don't hit back"). 
Hands down the coolest guy of the 1970s....Well, maybe him and Ali. And Noam Chomsky of course. 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Rumpole's Trial Lessons: #12: Always have a good quote memorized. 

A good trial lawyer has a bag of quotes ready to go at a moment's notice. 
For example:
"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere." 
Dr. MLK. 
Today's topic is "Mercy". 

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
Portia's Mercy Speech, The Merchant of Venice. 

We are in the position we are in today- in the area of criminal justice- because of the publicity driven and ill-advised political movement of the 1980's to abolish parole and remove sentencing discretion from judges. 
Shouldn't a 20 year old sentenced to life have the ability to have his sentence reviewed in 10, or 20, or 30 years? Some people can change. Prisoner's need some hope and some incentive to behave and rehabilitate. 

#Bringparoleback

From Occupied America, where the president is next considering pardoning* Ted Bundy and Stalin next, Fight the Power. 


* When asked about his pardon of the sadist Joe Arpaio, the current president referenced the "pardon of Chelsea Manning" by Obama and the unfair prosecution of Arpaio by the Obama administration and that Arpaio was innocent. 
Wrong. Wrong. And constitutionally wrong.
Obama "commuted" the sentence of Manning. She -like Scooter Libby who President Bush gave a commutation to- remains convicted of her crimes. 
The prosecutors who obtained the conviction of Arpaio were in the Justice Department under Jeff "Don't Fire Me" Sessions. 
According to the Supreme Court, a pardon requires the receiver of the pardon to admit guilt.