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, June 26, 2017

BOLO...OR JUST SAY NO

Todays post is about the over-worked, under-appreciated cog in the court system: the bailiff. 

A great bailiff is like a great umpire: s/he is doing their job well when you don't notice them working. Every well-run courtroom needs a competent judge and a great bailiff. A good bailiff shows compassion to the litigant, whispers a well placed tip in a lawyer's ear ("check your fly counselor" is always our favourite, especially when it's up),  and keeps their judge grounded and focused. 

A bad bailiff lets the badge go to their head. They try and close the courtroom although the law doesn't allow it. They try and stop people from texting on their cell phones when they have no authority to do so, and they are rude to people who need their help - like litigants who show up late and are worried they missed their court appearance. 

Which brings us to this @Davidovalle305 tweet:

Not sure what a "GRM" is, but at least they are as well informed as the ASAs. 

So BOLO for a fake bailiff. 
Or the next time one comes up to you and asks you to stop texting, and leave the courtroom, "just say NO." Say: "Rumpole told me to tell you that you have no authority to close a State of Florida Courtroom to any individual on earth. They don't even need to be a US Citizen. They just need to be an earthling." (It's not clear if ET can enter a courtroom without permission.)  Even visiting judges from Broward have the right (as unpleasant as the thought is) to enter a Miami-Dade Courtroom. Which reminds us of the idiot Judge in Broweird who      (we are not making this up) used to order his bailiff to close and lock the door at 9:01 am and issued BWs to everyone who wasn't seated inside the courtroom. This included people running late, stuck in the elevator, or talking to their lawyer outside. 

Anyway, be on the lookout for a fake bailiff. Maybe it's the low pay or long hours that they find attractive.

From Occupied America, where affordable health care appears to just make our president and his republican pals nuts, Fight the Power!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

HANZMAN RULES

We're back. Our short absence can be directly traced to two United States District Court Judges at opposite ends of the country who had no problem making us try two cases back to back. As the saying goes, the difference between the Almighty and a US district court Judge is that the Almighty does not think she is a US district court judge...

Judge Hanzman, a popular subject for the commentators on this blog has issued a ruling that has the FACDL members yapping. We re-print it here for your review and comments.

Judge Hanzman has entered the arena of minimum mandatory sentences. This arena was created by the legislature with the full belief that the 24 year old prosecutor with a year under her belt in court, is more trustworthy, better suited, better able, more experienced and overall a better person to decide the fate of a defendant facing a 15 year minimum mandatory sentence than a wise and experienced judge like Judge Hanzman, who has more than likely tried more cases in his career, than three times the years our young prosecutor has lived on this earth and sipped her Starbucks lattes every morning.

That being said, Judge H reaches into the dark and murky area of the the Restatement of Contracts to come to the decision that HE and not the prosecutor, is best suited to decide the fate of a defendant facing a minimum mandatory sentence.

Judge for yourself.

Order Accepting Plea and Imposing Sentence by Rumpole21 on Scribd


From Occupied America, bully for Judge Hanzman fighting the power!

p.s. Our unscientific survey leads us to believe the last judge in the REGJB to cite the restatement of contracts in a ruling was ...never. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

NEW LAWS IN FLORIDA & JNC STAYS VERY BUSY .......

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

NEW LAWS IN FLORIDA .....

GOVERNOR SCOTT STAYS BUSY SIGNING BILLS INTO LAW .....

SB 118 - CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS:

Any person or entity engaged in the business of publishing through a publicly accessible print or electronic medium or otherwise disseminating arrest booking photographs of persons who have previously been arrested may not solicit or accept a fee or other form of payment to remove the photographs. 
 
To read the new law, go here.
 
SB 494 - COMPENSATION OF VICTIMS OF WRONGFUL INCARCERATION:
 
Revising the circumstances under which a person is disqualified from receiving compensation under the Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Compensation Act; specifying that a wrongfully incarcerated person who commits no more than one felony that is not a violent felony, rather than a felony law violation, which results in revocation of parole or community supervision is eligible for compensation, etc
 
To read the new law, go here
 
SB 312 - EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION
 
The “Eyewitness Identification Reform Act”; requiring state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specified procedures; requiring the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to create educational materials and provide training programs on how to conduct lineups, etc.
 
To read the new law, go here
 
SB 128 - SELF-DEFENSE IMMUNITY
 
This bill amends the statute to require the State, rather than the Defendant, to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant did not use force lawfully.
 
To read the new law, go here
 
SB 1052 - JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE
 
This bill clarifies "justifiable use of force laws" and expands the Castle Doctrine to include any residence a person has a right to be in.
 
To read the new law, go here.
 
SO, YOU WANT TO BE A CIRCUIT/COUNTY COURT JUDGE .......
 
The 11th Circuit JNC has met and voted to send 12 names to Governor Scott to fill vacancies resulting from the elevation of County Court Judges' Judge Victoria del Pino and Jason Dimitris to the Circuit Court.  The Governor has 60 days to choose two names from the list, which includes:
 
Milena Abreu    
Ramiro Christen Areces
Karl S.H. Brown
Christina Marie DiRaimondo
Renatha Francis
Peter Heller
Elijah A. Levitt
Joseph J. Mansfield
Luis Perez-Medina
Gordon Charles Murray, Sr.
Julie Harris Nelson
Steven G. Paulson
 
 
The JNC has also announced two Circuit Court vacancies due to the elevation of Judge Norma Lindsey to the 3rd DCA and the resignation of Circuit Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely.  The deadline to submit your application to the JNC is July 17, 2017.
 
CAPTAIN OUT .......
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

REGJB REGULAR INDICTED

Sam Konell, a REGJB regular has been indicted for health care fraud. 

Article here. 

Sorry for slow blogging. In trial. 
It's hot here in Phoenix...but not for us...just the AUSAs.

From the DOJ press release:


The indictment alleges that from approximately January 2006 through June 2012, Konell accepted kickbacks in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to Greater Miami Behavioral Healthcare Center, Inc. (Greater Miami) to serve as patients so that Greater Miami could bill Medicare for mental health treatment purportedly provided to those beneficiaries. The indictment further alleges that Konell knew that the beneficiaries he referred to Greater Miami did not need, qualify for nor receive such treatment. In addition, the indictment alleges that Konell and co-conspirators took steps to disguise the true nature of the bribes and kickbacks Greater Miami paid to Konell and other patient brokers.


From occupied America, and on a break in a federal court where WE are fighting the power....fight the power!

Friday, June 09, 2017

THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE

The Miami legal community lost two very different lawyers this week. 
Naphtali Wacks was murdered by a reckless driver who rammed his car into the back of Wacks' car as he drove to work. 

We can't help but think that Naphtali woke up like he did any other day, performed his morning ablutions, got into his car, and drove to work, not realizing that his days were numbered. Of course there is the denial of this tragedy. "If he had only lingered over his coffee five minutes longer...If he hadn't made that light on the way to causeway he would have been delayed five minutes and wouldn't have crossed paths with the man who killed him."

But fate had other plans, and Naphtali's life crossed paths literally with a man who had literal regard for human life, and Naphtali lost his life in a senseless tragic accident. 

Friday morning came work that civil super-star lawyer Ervin Gonzalez had committed suicide. Mr. Gonzalez is the second high profile lawyer in Miami to take his own life recently. It seems like only yesterday when Richard Sharpstein made that same, tragic decision. 
It was just a few weeks ago that Attorney Ken White died suddenly of a cardiac event.

Some lived and wanted to die. Some died, wanting to live. 
And life for us plods on. 

All of these men had much to live for. And yet they are gone. Forever. Death brooks no appeals. There is no waiver. The judgment is final and eternal and irreversible. 

We get up every day and yet some of us are living our last day and don't know it. 

What we take for granted has a fragility that we mask behind our daily denial of the inevitable. 

There is no real end to this dark billet-doux. Just the musings of an older, rumpled, exceptional trial lawyer, who on this rainy day, is a bit morose about life and its fragility. 

From Occupied America....Affirm Life.  

Monday, June 05, 2017

NAPHTALI WACKS HAS PASSED AWAY

Naphtali Wacks passed away Saturday from injuries he sustained in a criminal hit-and-run event last week.  He was buried Sunday. 

Born In September, 1959, he was 57 years old.  Naphtali was part of what made our small courthouse and legal community fascinating and unique. He will be missed. 

May his name be a blessing and may he rest in peace.


Sunday, June 04, 2017

THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY

Seventy-five years ago today, Sunday, June 4, 1942, exactly six months from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, American Naval Aviators changed history and saved the world.

The US had broken the Japanese code.  Admiral Nimitz, who at the direction of Roosevelt had taken over from Admiral Husband Kimmel at Pearl, found himself commanding a Pacific fleet with most of it at the bottom of Pearl Harbour. Except for the aircraft carriers, Yorktown, Enterprise, Hornet, Saratoga, and Lexington although On June 4, the Lex had been sunk a month before at the Battle of the Coral Sea. The Yorktown was severely damaged in the same battle, trailing a ten mile oil slick as she limped into Pearl. Needing three months for repair, Nimitz ordered all hands on deck and 1400 welders descended on the Yorktown and had her back out steaming for Midway three days later.

The Japanese sent six carriers to Midway, led by Admiral Yamamoto on his flagship, the largest battleship in the world. Yamamoto wanted to lure the American carriers into a trap, finish them off, and then the entire Pacific and west coast of the United States would be vulnerable to the mighty Japanese Navy.

But Nimitz put all his eggs in the basket of Cmdr. Joe Rochefort, a cranky, brilliant analyst who after working weeks non-stop, was sure he was reading Yamamoto's mail. He knew the order of battle, and so did Nimitz and that gave the Americans an opening.

Nimitz's best fighting Admiral- Bull Halsey was out -sick with shingles- and he was replaced by Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance, who had never commanded carriers in Battle. Spruance sailed with the Hornet and Enterprise and Rear Admiral Jack Fletcher was on the damaged Yorktown. But Nimitz had a plan- he would use the landing strip at Midway as a fourth carrier. Loaded with bombers waiting to attack Yamamoto.

The issue was who could find who first? Nimitz had some advantages, knowing from the Japanese code that Yamamoto had split his force into four task forces, and knowing where the Japanese would be searching, Nimitz got his carriers into place before the Japanese went searching for them. The Japanese planned to lure the carriers AFTER attacking Midway, but Spruance and Fletcher were already in place.

And then it came down to the men in the planes. Wave after wave of American Torpedo bombers found the Japanese carriers, and almost all of them were shot down. A terrible loss of young, brave men. But Nimitz had more planes than Yamamoto was expecting, and the waves of American Torpedo Bomber Aviators took their toll on the Japanese carriers in terms of fighting them off. Men like Cmdr Duffy Waldron and Ensign George Gay are little remembered today, but they flew into battle without fighter escort, desperate to inflict damage on the Japanese carriers. All were shot down and only Ensign Gay survived. But the tide was about to turn.

As Admiral Nagumo scrambled his fighters to fight off wave after wave of American Torpedo bombers - none of whom scored a hit, Nagumo was in a constant dance of landing fighters, refueling them, and also coordinating the arming of his bombers all while trying to get the fighters in the air with the bombers to launch a coordinated strike.

Then Nagumo's luck ran out.

Enter Cmdr. Wade McClusky, and his two squadrons of dive bombers from the Enterprise.  McClusky's bombers were almost out of fuel for the return trip. But he knew the Japanese were nearby. And again luck or fate intervened. McClusky spotted the destroyer Arashi racing for the fleet. It had just spent an hour depth charging the US Submarine Nautilus that had attacked the Japanese Battleship Kirishima. If the Nautilus doesn't attack Kirishima, the Arashi doesn't get delayed, and Cmdr. McClusky doesn't see it returning to the fleet. But all of that happened. And, placing his men and planes at risk of running out of fuel, McClusky follows the Arashi and comes upon four Japanese carriers, all without air cover, their decks full of planes being refueled and re-armed after fighting off waves of fruitless American Torpedo bomber attacks.

As McClusky approached with his squadrons from the Enterprise from the Southwest, one squadron from the repaired led by Cmdr Max Leslie off the Yorktown - the carrier the Japanese were never expecting to be in service after Coral Sea- approached from the Northeast. All three squadrons arrived over the unprotected Japanese carriers at the same time.

In the space of an hour- 10:20 am local time to 11:20 am, one could argue the War in the Pacific was won by brave American Naval Aviators whose names have faded into history.

The Japanese carrier Kaga sustained five direct hits, the carrier Akagi was hit once by a bomb dropped by Lt. Cmdr Best, and it was a fatal blow, landing in the blow deck flight deck among the fuel and ammunition.

Now Cmdr. Max Leslie and his group from the Yorktown arrived and found the Japanese carrier Soryu. Leslie and some of his men didn't have bombs as they dove. A faulty switch dropped them several minutes before battle. But Leslie and some of his other pilots dove on the Soryu anyway, taking anti-aircraft away from other planes that had bombs, and strafing the carrier and setting in on fire.

Now three carriers were ablaze and sinking. The sole functioning Japanese carrier Hiryu launched its planes against the Yorktown, striking it several times.  But the old girl had one last trick up her sleeve. Late in the afternoon, a Yorktown scout plane found the Hiryu, and bomber squadrons from the Enterprise, comprising planes that had been recovered from all US Carriers launched one last time upon the orders of Admiral Spruance.  Spruance was no Halsey, but he had his blood up and he knew he had the Japanese on the ropes. A more cautious admiral may have retreated with three Japanese Carriers sunk, but Spruance went for the kill shot. His planes found the Hiryu, and fought through fighter cover and hit her four or five times and she was done.

As the sun began to set in the Pacific on June 4, 1942, the world had changed because of men like Nimitz and Spruance and Fletcher and the bravery of Aviators like McClusky, Gay, and Duffy Waldron.
Never again would the empire of Japan be on the offensive in the Pacific. Now Japan would fight a defensive battle as Nimitz from the sea and MacArthur from the land tightened the noose around the Empire's neck.

We owe these men- all since passed on either in battle or after a well earned retirement- our freedom. Our country exists today because Nimitz trusted Cmdr. Rochefort; because Spruance and Fletcher trusted their Aviators; because the Captain of a US Sub attacked a Japanese Battleship, and Cmdr. McClusky trusted his gut and followed a ship to the entire Japanese carrier fleet. We are free because Cmdr. Max Leslie attacked and dove on  a carrier into enemy fire without a bomb, drawing fire allowing his men to drop their bombs and sink the Soryu.

One day- June 4, 1942- and a few brave men- changed a war and altered the course of history.

May the good lord continue to bless our country- As General Patton once remarked- "I don't mourn their death, but I thank God that such men lived."

From Occupied America, where the current occupant of the White House has no idea what today means, Fight the Power! Fight it for Nimitz, and Wade McClusky and Max Leslie and all those brave men who died so that we may live.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD TOURETTE SUFFERER

Dear Diary,
What a great amazing covfefe week! 
But for this covfefe relapse of my tourettes covfefe covfefe It would have been perfect. 

Went to Europe and the Middle East and also Israel. 

Met the covfefe Pope. 

Told the president covfefe of Germany that she was covfefe covfefee. 

Gonna fix global covfefe warming. I'm so much smarter than the generals on this covfefe problem. 
It's so covfefe simple. Air Conditioning! Covfefe. 
Start with the antarctic, you know, the north pole area. Roll out some covfefe ginourmous AC units. Plug em in and set them to 40. That will bring down the temp. 

Then to Saudi Arabia. I have to admit it was warmer there than I realized. But build some ACs (make america great covfefe again) in Tennessee and Detroit. Ship em to  Zimbabwe Arabia, and turn them on. End of problem. I'm a covfefe hero.  Withdraw from the Paris accords. Who makes a treaty in Italy anyway covfefe?  All the Italians do is drink that tiny coffee covfefe and make pizza. What do they know about global warming? 

Final piece of the puzzle. Everyone with AC in their house or car opens the door for an hour a day. AC your neighborhood. It's going to be amazing. No one's ever seen an idea like this. 
Memo to self: Invest in room heaters company. It's going to be real cold real soon. 

Back home. Tried to fire the FBI guy, but realized I don't covfefe have one yet. So I'm adding Chris covfefe Christy to the list. Hire em. Fire em. Made a living on TV that way. 

Bestest week ever. Until next week. 

Covfefe. 


Thursday, June 01, 2017

NAPHTALI WACKS CLINGS TO LIFE

Courtesy of ace Herald reporter David Ovalle, comes this tragic story here of local REGJB regular Naphtali Wacks who lies in a hospital, grievously injured on the way to court this week by a Miami-Beach hit and run driver. 

Naphtali always cut a unique figure in the REGJB, with bright orange hair, and a 100 watt smile to match. He is a good guy. 

Lets all pause a minute and meditate and send Naphtali good and healing thoughts.




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

unLUCKy in LOVE

Item: In 1963 sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins and their cousin Joan Marie Johnson decided to seek a professional career as singers in their band Little Miss and the Muffetts which later became The Dixie Cups. They had been singing together since grade school. 

Item 2: Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich wrote the song Chapel of Love, which was originally written for the Ronettes, was recorded in 1963 by The Blossoms, but was never released. 

Item 3: In 1964 opportunity met design and the Dixie Cups recorded and released Chapel of Love which went on to sell over a million records*. 

Item 4: Sometime in late 2009 or early 2010 cupid drew back his bow and fired into the hearts of Kemesia Boota Ward and Patrick James Ward. James popped the question; Kemesia said "Yes" and a wedding was planned at the beautiful and famous Deauville hotel on Miami Beach for July, 2010. 

But the Deauville had seen better days (haven't we all?) and by the wedding day the evil inspectors of the City of Miami Beach had shut down the function rooms of the Deauville and after the couple was joined in wedlock off site, the guests repaired to the Deauville where they were ensconced in "the Napoleon pre-function area", which in Orwellian speak was The Lobby. 

As guests wandered through the weeding in a lobby in bathing suits and flip flops and dripping pool towels, the bride and groom and their families and friends tried to eat, dance, and be merry, although the tables were crammed together, there was no room for the bridal party, and the DJ was told to turn the music down as some raucous guests joined in to celebrate the nuptials (they crashed the wedding).

Kemesia and Patrick's special day was ruined. 

A lawsuit was filed and trial was held in the Circuit Court of the 11th judicial circuit of Dade County before now 3rd DCA judge (but then circuit judge) Norma Lindsey. 

Kemesia and Patrick won a resounding verdict of over $25,000.00 dollars and the hotel appealed and the opinion landed in the lap of one new 3rd DCA judge who has shown he has a little of Federal Magistrate Jonathan Goodman in him: Judge Luck. 

Here is how the opinion starts: 

“Chapel of Love,” the tune made famous by the Dixie Cups, celebrates how a couple’s wedding day should feel like “Spring is here, the sky is blue/Birds all sing as if they knew . . . Bells will ring, the sun will shine, I’ll be his and he’ll be mine.” The Dixie Cups, Chapel of Love (Red Bird Records 1964). 

The birds, however, did not sing and the bells did not ring on Kemesia Boota Ward’s wedding day. The hotel ballroom where she planned to have her wedding reception was closed by the city of Miami Beach, and the hotel moved the reception to its lobby. Ward’s wedding day was “ruined,” a “public spectacle,” “cramped,” and “very uncomfortable,” and caused her to be “embarrassed,” “cry[] uncontrollably,” and have “nightmares..."

The full opinion, in which the verdict is upheld, but in true Republican-conservative-federalist society fashion the amount awarded is reduced based on solid, conservative business precedent, is here for you to peruse. 


Love Hurts by Rumpole21 on Scribd


The moral of the story: UnLUCKy in love, LUCKy at the 3rd DCA

From Occupied Covfefe America, fight the Covfefe!



* If the internet was born before you, and your nanny took you in your stroller to Starbucks,  then most likely you don't know what a record is. A record was a spherical shaped disk made of plastic and vinyl with grooves in the middle upon which songs were recorded. The record had a hole in the center. Now we know you're thinking that records wouldn't fit into an Ipod, but Ipods didn't exist in the 1960's. The record would be placed on a phonograph which spun the record and reproduced the sound with a needle and a small speaker.

COVFEFE

The word of the day is COVFEFE

Google it. (Hint check twitter, POTUS). 

Actually, it's the word of the year. 

Covfefe (cov-feef fee)


We don't usually use the blog for personal reasons, but if any will be in the South Dade Courthouse on Friday morning, we could use some Covfefe. 

From Occupied America, fight the Covfefe!


Friday, May 26, 2017

GOVERNOR SCOTT NAMES NEWEST 3RD DCA JUDGE .....


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

BREAKING NEWS .......

YOUR NEWEST 3rd DCA Judge is:

JUDGE NORMA LINDSEY

Judge Lindsey fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Linda Wells.  Judge Lindsey began her career in private practice in 1993 with the law firm of Hornsby, Sacher.  She worked for a number of law firms from 1993 through 2005.  In 2005 she became a County Court Judge.  She served on the County Court for six years until Governor Scott appointed her to the Circuit Court in December of 2011.  She has served on the Circuit Court for the past five and one half years, having replaced Judge Ivan Fernandez.  She now joins Fernandez on the 3rd DCA.  Lindsey was chosen over five other finalists:

Judge Monica Gordo, Judge Bronwyn C. Miller, Oren Rosenthal, Esq., Judge Daryl E. Trawick, Judge Angelica Zayas

This appointment now opens up another seat on the Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County for Governor Scott.

ON THE GOVERNOR'S DESK .......

Governor Scott has two open seats to fill, one in the Circuit Court, and one in the County Court, with six named finalists for each on his desk.  The decision on these two seats is not expected until sometime in mid July:

CIRCUIT COURT (as mentioned in the post below):
This appointment replaces Judge Robert Luck.

Judge Andrea Ricker Wolfson
Judge Lourdes Simon
Judge Spencer Multack
Judge Ivonne Cuesta
Judge Tanya Brinkley
Ayana Harris

COUNTY COURT:
This appointment replaces Judge Victoria del Pino.

Ramiro Areces
GM Karl S.H. Brown
Julie Harris Nelson
Elijah Levitt
Joseph Mansfield
GM Gordon Murray, Sr.

ON THE JNC'S DESK .....

The Eleventh Circuit JNC has received applications from 25 attorneys to replace Judge Jason Dimitris.  The interview schedule and who will be interviewed has not yet been determined.

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

MOVIN ON UP

Your Circuit Court nominees courtesy of the JNC (motto "We shall nominate no judge, before their time....unless the federalist society tells us to.")


Monday, May 22, 2017

A BIG NOT GUILTY

It was a big case. 
A big, weird case. 
So naturally, it was in Broweird. 

Here's one headline: 

Man who claimed girlfriend accidentally choked during oral sex found not guilty of murder. 



While the defense had moved pretrial to display the ...ah.....hmmm... appendage in question sounds about right- that never occurred.  The court had deferred on the ruling and the defense never re-erected the defense during trial. Perhaps they went soft, or otherwise had second thoughts. Sometimes discretion and remaining securely zipped up is the better part of valor, not to mention a wise trial strategy. 

So for our female readers, having been found not guilty...would you go out on a date with the defendant? 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

DIARY OF AN ARABIAN PRESIDENT

Dear Diary: I'm in Arabia! And life is grand. 
Landed after a long flight. (Memo to self- complain about travel times to air force guys. We can speed this up.)

Everyone on the flight was tense. Special prosecutor stuff. I've about had it with that.  I'm the president. And I was on a TV show. I can fire anyone. This Muller guy better watch his step or he's history. 

Anyway, landed here and they have my picture everywhere! On billboards. Buildings. Just like Atlantic City when I had the casinos. Then I got this medal. Gold. Bigger than the one they gave Obama (I checked). 

I got Jared working on this jewish issue. Seems pretty simple. Nothing money and a few buildings can't cure. Basically I said to the King- King, howz about we sell you some F-B52's- the ones Patton used, and build a Trump tower here and you make nice with the jews? In fact, they love to eat. Open a few bar-be-que joints. Not many pig places here in the middle east. Not sure why. Anyway, I'll negotiate the leases. Ten years, 2% escalator, get that Net Yahoo guy in Israel to lean on the owners and keep the rent down and we'll all make some money. 

I'm also going to the Vatican. Wait until the Pope gets a load of Melania! They tell me he's an old guy. Wife probably died a few years ago. I'll have M wear something low cut. It will be great. 

I've decided to fire Spicer. Can't have a member of the greatest presidential people being made fun of every week on saturday night live. The whole country is talking about it and they have such low ratings. But he's gone and I'm going to fire anyone else they make fun of. That will show them. 

I'm still working on firing Paul Ryan. He rubs me the wrong way. And I'm thinking Clint Eastwood for FBI director. A little Dirty Harry for the country. Then I'll say to Paul Ryan ...go ahead punk, you want health care? Well, bring the bill up for a vote. Are you feeling lucky punk? Well, are ya? 

Off to dinner and then maybe we'll fly to North Korea. Should be near by. I can fix things with that nut-job. No, not the nut-job Comey, the other  nut-job, the guy who's the  head of Japanese.  

DJT.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

FACDL DOESN'T LIKE US (FROWNIE FACE)

UPDATE: A possible BIG case is going on in Broweird

There are in our collective history moments when the man meets the opportunity and history is made. Washington at Valley Forge. Eisenhower on June 5, 1944. President Reagan saying "Tear down this wall."

And Daniel Pearson and Harry Prebish forming FACDL Miami. 

At least that's what FACDL would have you believe. 

Everyone loves the blog when we skewer KFR or POTUS 45 or some drunken Judge in Broward. 

But poke a bit of fun at the legal equivalent of Mother Teresa? Oh no. "The Blog is being mean to us. Wa wa wa." 

We came into being mocking those in the criminal justice system who were self-important frauds. And we shall continue to do so. 

FACDL serves an important function. Too many for us to list here. We support their goals and efforts. But memo to the FACDL board- when you're in your meetings and one of you makes a sarcastic mention that what you're discussing will be on the blog the next day- we get five or six emails that night. 

When you form your endless committees to speak to the court committees and the prosecutor committees about the need for more committees? Don't expect to escape our mocking posts. 

Fight the good fight. Your members are indeed liberty's last champion. When no one else will stand in the way of the government who is crushing some individual, it's a criminal defense lawyer who rises to defend the person and the constitution. 

You give awards and a little well deserved recognition to under-paid PDs who struggle every day to get blow-hard judges trying to impress the Federalist Society with their "tough on crime" rulings. Well done. 

Just remember that one of the amendments you defend is the First. 

And when we give you some publicity - "Facdl - motto: dues dues dues" laugh and shake it off and move on. 

Or in the memorable words of Sgt Hulka in Stripes: "Lighten up Francis."

Now go fight for justice and be the heroes you all are-including your former President Brian Kerlow Kirlew who always reads our posts and has done so since he was a young PD. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

HAROLD FIELDS AND LEE WEISSENBORN HAVE PASSED AWAY

The REGJB community lost two long-time and experienced lawyers in the last week: Harold Fields and Lee Weissenborn. 

Harold Fields was a former Dade Public Defender and a long time fixture around our courthouse, especially in the 1980's and 1990's.  We didn't see much of him lately, but we knew him during a time when he handled a lot of cases and always did so with professionalism, honesty, and decency. He was well respected by all who knew him. 

Lee Weissenborn is more of an enigma to us. We knew Lee as many of our colleagues did, as a hard fighting lawyer who handled a lot of post-conviction cases. And that would be the end of our recollection of him, if it were not for this wonderful article in the Miami Herald detailing his political career as a state representative in the 1960's and a state senator in the 1970's. Lee was a delegate to the famous 1960 Democratic National Convention that nominated JFK. There is a great picture in the Herald article of him with JFK. 

But, as we were shocked to find out, Lee was best known for his crusade to move the State Capital from Tallahassee, which in the 1960's was a backwater southern town filled with southern racism, to Orlando. 

Lee wasn't successful in his attempt, but he did get a lot of institutions in Tallahassee to integrate in response to his criticisms. The political big-wigs were so frightened about Lee's attempt to move the Capital that they appropriated money and built a new State Capital so big that it could never be moved. And then, according to the Herald, the legislators in Tallahassee did this:


Tongue in cheek, a sardonic bronze tribute to Weissenborn for his inadvertent role in motivating the new building was mounted in its lobby and reads:
This plaque is dedicated to Senator Lee Weissenborn, whose valiant effort to move the Capitol to Orlando was the prime motivation for construction of this building.

We knew Lee as an older gentlemen, always with a smile, lugging transcripts around the courthouse, fighting for clients who were convicted and seeking a new trial. Now we learn that in his youth he was a swashbuckling civil rights fighter who wasn't afraid to take on the racist-southern establishment in Tallahassee and who had the admiration of people like JFK. 

Shame on us for not taking the time all those years to sit down and have a cup a coffee with him and find this out. 

These were two good men who spent a good part of their professional lives in our small courthouse fighting for clients,  and they deserve to be remembered. 

From Occupied America, where the president unwittingly (without any wit) compromises intelligence sources in the oval office, Fight The Power!

Coming Tomorrow: Why Brian Kirlew  FACDL hates  doesn't really like us.





Monday, May 15, 2017

FACDL SOIREE RECAP

The Miami chapter of the FACDL met on Saturday night for their annual soiree.*  The Hialeah chapter of the FACDL will be meeting at Pollo Tropical next Saturday for their annual soiree, while the Coral Gables FACDL and Pinecrest FACDL will be meeting at the Four Seasons for their annual soiree in two weeks. 

The Miami FACDL soiree was a great success! Everyone congratulated everyone else on doing a great job. The event was hosted by a retired judge who noted most of the people in the room weren't alive when he joined the FACDL in 1982. He then performed some of his beloved imitations- like George Jessel picking a jury before Judge Ellen Morphonious while Gen X assistant PDS whispered "Who are George Jessel and Judge Morphonious?"

"Jessel worked for Phil Hubbart and Morphonious was the judge who sentenced Mercury Morris" whispered an older PD. 

"But who are Phil Hubbart and Mercury Morris?"

"Bondsmen from the 1970s"

Then the awards were handed out:

The Sy Gaer "I've Tried A Lot Of Cases" award went to the Professor Roy Black who recounted tales of drinking with Ted Kennedy while his clients Magulta and Falcon fixed the jury in federal court. 

The Alex Micalescu Professionalism Award went to that lawyer on Miami Beach who was arrested for stalking his girlfriend by bugging her car and office.

The State PD Pat On The Back award went to a State PD who for a salary of $41.99/week tried a hundred cases to verdict and invented a partial cure for feline leukemia on the weekends. 

The Federal PD Pat On The Back award went to a Federal PD who got Judge Moore to sentence a client to the lower end of the guidelines ....twice! 

And on a serious note, the Justice Kogan award went to REGJB fixture Judge Dennis Murphy who has spent the last 15 years enforcing the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments (as he so eloquently put it) "one motion to suppress at time.

Unfortunately for Judge Murphy, by the time he left the event and got his car, he was informed by text message from President Trump that he was fired. Governor Scott then announced he was committed to appointing judges who respect the constitution, "but not at the cost of having a criminal case dismissed."

And so it goes. 

From Occupied America, where as you read this, next year's State PD Pat On The Back award recipient is finishing raising money for every child in Florida to have a laptop in school while also constructing a hundred "no kill animal shelters" all before heading to court to try another case, Fight The Power!


*Some big-wig from the FACDL didn't  like us calling their event a "soiree"

Saturday, May 13, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT YOU'RE FIRED EDITION 2.0

Dear Diary...simply put,  the best week ever!!!

Here's how the week went down. Last weekend I was in a bit of a bad mood. And nothing makes me feel better than firing some people. So first Manuelo, who's staff at my golf club in New Jersey brought me two scoops of ice cream for my dessert Saturday night. I have given specific instructions that I am to be give two and one half scoops of ice cream with my dessert. I made that very clear from day one. "Manuelo, you're fired!" Then I had the secret service hustle him out. I felt a little better. 

Sunday morning I saw that little so and so Peter Ryan on the news shows. Thinks he's a big shot being speaker of the congress and all. So I called him up I did. "Petey, you're fired. I'm making changes in the senate." 
"Mr. President" he says, "You can't fire me, I was elected."
"Elected" I sneer. Did you see my inauguration crowds? Bigger than yours and Obama's. "You're fired" then I slammed down the phone and called my chief of staff and told him I fired the speaker of the senate and I wanted him out by Monday and Jared in as speaker. My chief told me I couldn't do it and I admit that made me angry. 

So then I wondered what the vice president was up to? Where was he when I was working all weekend? It was time for a change I decided so I called John McCain. "John" I said, "you're out as vice president." Then I slammed down the phone and told Priebus what I did.  Then he told me I couldn't fire the vice president and then my phone rang and the person said SENATOR John McCain was on the other end. The whole world is going crazy, Diary. People don't even know what jobs they have in my administration. I have a lot  of work ahead for me.  

I have to admit that by Monday morning I was in a really foul mood. I needed to make changes. The guy who cleans the golf carts at the club? OUT. The guy who drives me? OUT.  The guy who replaced Manolo? OUT. But it just didn't feel right. I wanted to fire someone big. Ginsberg at the Supreme Court. But she didn't take my call. Bernie Sanders, but his staff said he was in the garden working. 

And then, out of the blue, I remembered that guy from the FBI. Causing all the trouble with the fake Russian investigation. Wouldn't pledge loyalty to me and Barron and Melania. I called in all my important people. Priebus. Ivanka. Her husband whazhisname. The guy who replaced the guy who replaced Manolo. 

"I've got a big announcement. I'm going to make a change at the FBI. I want a new director. The old one is fired."

Diary, everyone got real happy. They patted me on the back. Told me I was being decisive. A real president. Obama never fired the FBI guy. Neither did Bush or Reagan or Lincoln or Washington. Only me. Which makes me the best president ever. The guy who replaced the guy who replaced Manolo brought me THREE scoops of ice cream. I turned to my chief of staff and in my best presidential voice said "Get Chuck Schumer on the phone. Tell him he's FIRED!"

Then I felt so good I went out and shot a 92 on the front nine. And the best part was the guy who replaced the guy who replaced Manolo gave me a 32. 

Bestest week ever Diary, until next week that is. 

DJT. 


Friday, May 12, 2017

PERSON OF THE WEEK MAY 12, 2017

It was a quiet week at the REGJB this week...at least for us. We almost picked FACDL, Miami Chapter who will be having their annual soiree tomorrow night. Lawyers will gather and hold their cheap chardonnay and tell each each other with wine-induced grins, "for all we do...this chardonnay's for you."

But then this email crossed our desk from FACDL:

Chief Judge Soto is commissioning the creation a back-up county court trial division. The hope is for this division to be operational in January 2018. AOC, along with representatives from the SAO, PDO and FACDL-Miami will participate on a committee to work out the details. One of the primary objectives of this division is to alleviate the backlog in our jail divisions so clients can have their trials quicker. The impact on regular divisions should be minimal. More details will be shared as they become available.

So Judge Soto, for working to alleviate the backlog in the misdemeanor jail division- You are our REGJB Person of the week. 

Take a bow. 

From Occupied America, where as startling as it is people are still in jail for Misdemeanors..Misdemeanors!!, fight the power!

Monday, May 08, 2017

YOUR TIME IS UP

Query: 
Having argued at appellate courts at all levels, why doesn't the Third District Court of Appeals have an electronic timer like other courts? 

Battle of the Coral Sea- 75 years ago this week
Last week the Australian Prime Minister visited the United States and met with POTUS 45. There were many comments about the 75th anniversary of the battle of the Coral Sea which occurred this week. The battle concluded on May 8 with the sinking of the US Carrier Lexington. 

The Battle of the Coral Sea was many things. It was the first major naval engagement of carriers. The first major naval engagement where opposing navies didn't actually see each other during the engagement. Coral Sea was fought strictly with carriers launching naval aviators and attack planes. The Battle of the Coral Sea was also the first major naval engagement between the United States and Japan, coming five months after the disaster at Pearl Harbor. 

The Battle of Coral Sea was many things, but it was NOT the turning point of the Pacific campaign in WWII, although many commentators have recently and mistakenly taken to calling it that.

The turning point in the war would come a month later on June 4 at the Battle of Midway, upon which we will expertly expound more at that time. 

The Battle of Coral Sea was for both sides- at best- a draw. The US struck first, sinking the Japanese light carrier Shoho. The next day the Japanese located and 
sunk the older and slow US carrier Lexington. The US then severely damaged the Japanese carrier Shokaku and in return the Japanese damaged the carrier Yorktown. Both sides then retreated, although the Japanese invasion of Port Moresby, which would have threatened Australia, was defeated. 

The long term strategic effects of the battle favored the United States.  Fleet Admiral Yamamoto was spoiling for a large scale naval battle so as to sink the remaining US carriers which escaped damage at Pearl Harbor.   To that end, Yamamoto created an invasion fleet for the US island Midway hoping to draw out what he believed would be the remaining two US carriers- Enterprise and Hornet. But the Yorktown limped back to Pearl and was turned around in three days (with damages that were thought to require a month of repairs). The Yorktown made a surprise and significant appearance at the Battle Of Midway and contributed to the resounding defeat of the Japanese Navy and loss of four carriers. 

Midway was the turning point in the Pacific War and to a small extent the outcome of the battle of the Coral Sea contributed to that outcome by disguising the presence of the Yorktown and also giving the US naval aviators and Navy the confidence that they could defeat a much more experienced and larger Japanese Navy. 

The battle of Midway was when time ran out on the Imperial Japanese Navy, and when their time ran out- like the litigators at the 3rd DCA- they didn't know it either. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power!






Friday, May 05, 2017

PERSON OF THE WEEK MAY 5, 2017

Our first person of the week is ....

Our Public Defender Carlos Martinez!!!

As detailed in ace Herald reporter David Ovalle's article this week, Carlos Martinez was in Tallahassee successfully fighting for a pay raise of 6% for his employees after years of drought. 

This success was to the chagrin of Miami SAO Kathy Fernandez-Rundle, who immediately cut short a vacation to complain that prosecutors, who have for years been paid more than PDs, weren't being given a space at the trough. 

From the article:

But the issue of the pay differential between the two sides has long been a politically sensitive issue in South Florida’s criminal-justice community. Florida prosecutors have traditionally earned more money than their counterparts at the public defender’s office.
Martinez said Monday that bill solely addresses the longstanding wage inequity, which he says averages about $4,000 between attorneys on each side.
“It tries to provide parity in salaries between assistant public defenders and assistant state attorneys,” Martinez said.

For fighting the good fight for his dedicated and under-paid  employees, the honour of being our first person of the week is Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez. 

Honorable Mention: FACDL President Brian Kirlow- nominated by the Captain. 

Second runner up and a favourite of the commentators on the blog this week, for apparently just showing up to work- Judge Hanzman, who is off to a fast start in making a great name for himself, but-to the best of our knowledge- didn't really do anything exceptional this week. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN TALLAHASSEE .....

UPDATE: Coming tomorrow: Our first REGJB Blog Person of the week. And it will surprise you. 

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

SINE DIE, ON FRIDAY ......?????

Yes, those words may or may not get uttered on Friday in Tallahassee.  Normally, the end of the legislative session is deemed official with the calling out of those words.  But, as of today, it looks like the budget will not get passed by both chambers by Friday, (the only constitutional requirement the legislature has), and that means the final day of the Spring 2017 legislative session will extend into the weekend or beyond.

Some good news:

SB 118, ADMINISTRATIVE SEALING OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS has passed both chambers and is headed to the Governor's desk.  The bill,  which can be found here sets up a process whereby certain records are sealed once the opportunity for appeals has expired.  Automatic administrative sealing of records of adults and minors charged with felonies or misdemeanors can occur if a State Attorney declines to file charges, all charges were dismissed before trial, or the person charged was found not guilty. 

The bill also covers entities engaged in the business of publishing arrest booking photographs.  It prohibits them from charging a fee to remove the photos.  It provides a mechanism for the requested removal of booking photos.

SB 312, POLICE LINEUP STANDARDS FOR EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION, has passed both chambers and is headed to the Governor's desk.  The bill, which can be read in its entirety here requires law enforcement agencies to use lineup standards to avoid eyewitness mistakes that could lead to wrongful convictions.  Lineups will be required to be conducted by an administrator who does not know the suspect in order to ensure impartiality.  Also, witnesses should be told that suspects may or may not be in a photo or in person lineup and that they are not required to make an identification.

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A JUDGE ..............

3RD DCA

Governor Scott will be naming a replacement for Judge Linda Wells.  He has until May 30th to decide between:

Judge Monica Gordo
Judge Norma S. Lindsey
Judge Bronwyn C. Miller
Oren Rosenthal, Esq.
Judge Daryl E. Trawick
Judge Angelica Zayas


CIRCUIT COURT

The JNC will interview nine applicants on Friday, May 19, to replace Judge Robert Luck:
1:30pm Joseph Mansfield
1:45pm Raul Cuervo
2:00pm Luis Perez-Medina
2:15pm Ayana Harris
2:30pm Judge Spencer Multack
2:40pm Judge Lourdes Simon
2:50pm Judge Andrea Ricker Wolfson
3:00pm Judge Tanya Brinkley
3:10pm Judge Ivonne Cuesta

COUNTY COURT

The JNC, on the same day, will interview 16 applicants to replace Judge Victoria del Pino:
(Three applicants, Mansfield, Cuervo, and Perez-Medina, are being interviewed for both open seats).

9:30 a.m. Julie Harris Nelson
9:45 a.m. Natalie Rico
10:00 a.m. Peter Heller
10:15 a.m. Renatha Francis
10:30 a.m. Denise Martinez-Scanziani
10:45 a.m. Ramiro Christen Areces
11:15 a.m. General Magistrate Karl S.H. Brown
11:30 a.m. Christina Marie DiRaimondo
11:45 a.m. Vivianne Del Rio
NOON General Magistrate Gordon Charles Murray, Jr.
12:15 p.m. Elijah Levitt
1:00pm Steven Paulson
1:15pm Ariel Rodriguez
1:30pm Joseph Mansfield
1:45pm Raul Cuervo
2:00 pm Luis Perez-Medina

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


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

THE RETIRED (AND TIRED) JUDICIARY


What's wrong with the below picture? 


Proudly invites you to
Passing of the Gavel Judicial Lunch
Honoring Retired Members of the
Federal & State Judiciary
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Judicial Networking begins at 11:30 am
Program & Lunch to follow
Opening Remarks by
Judge Edwin A. Scales, III
Judge Tanya Brinkley
Retired Members of the Federal & State Judiciary

Hon. Stanford Blake
Hon. Jason E. Bloch
Hon. James I. Cohn - Senior Status
Hon. Gill S. Freeman
Hon. Michael A. Genden
Hon. Paul C. Huck - Senior Status
Hon. Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat
Hon. Judith Rubenstein
Hon. Jacqueline Schwartz
Hon. Frank A. Shepherd
Hon. Victoria S. Sigler
Hon. Linda Ann Wells
Hon. Victoria Regina Brennan


History:
Here is our history lesson for today, courtesy of POTUS 45

The Civil war began April 21, 1861 with the confederate firing on Fort Sumter. 

Andrew Jackson, POTUS 7, died in June 1845. 
Thus this tweet from our historian in chief:

President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!


Earlier in the day POTUS 45 gave an interview in which he stated that Jackson was "really angry" about the civil war and if he were president it wouldn't have happened. The Tweet which was several hours after the interview, was apparently in response to the rest of the civilized world laughing at the president

Coming Soon: President Woodrow Wilson and the Vietnam war: "He was really really angry about what he saw coming. He would never have let it happen. No Gulf Of Tonkin incident for Wilson!"

From Occupied America, where intelligence matters, Fight the Power!