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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Sunday, December 21, 2014

NFL WEEK 16 2014.

Perfection.  "The quality or state of being perfect. Freedom from fault or defect." 

Today, Dustin Tischler stands alone at the precipice of perfection. A perfect season. Sixteen picks in the survivor pool, sixteen correct choices. 

Yesterday Plea D went down hard with the Eagles and Mark Sanchez losing to the Redskins. Here's a tip- never place your future in the hands of a Mark Sanchez led team. 

Now it all rests on the shoulders of Tischler, who has picked the Cheaters against the Jets today. 
Will Rex Ryan spoil the dream? Or will Tischler stand with the 1972 Dolphins and Don Larsen
Stay tuned. 

We like the Texans +6  at home against the Ravens .
Steelers -3 at home over Chiefs. 
Panthers -4 at home over Browns and Manzel. 



Saturday, December 20, 2014

KARMA KRAMER

Many years ago we were retained to represent a troubled man; he was a professional in his late twenties and had some issues with his recovery. He had some personal issues which made him vulnerable to manipulation, and in fact he fell into a trap laid by some BSO deputy-thugs, and their snitches. He tried to get out of what he saw unfolding as a drug deal- but it was too late. He drove away, the police made a very bad stop. He refused a request to search his car and was badly beaten.

The case was replete with issues, from entrapment to a bad stop, to an illegal search, to police brutality. There was really no excuse for the broken nose, black eyes, and missing teeth in the booking photo.

But the case was in Broward. It was assigned to a judge who had been a former prosecutor and a former attorney for the police. She was sarcastic, sneering, uninterested in reading the motion we filed, and tossed- like a dirty napkin- the booking photo we entered into evidence- using two fingers and holding the edge of it and flipping it to her clerk like it offended her that we would argue such nonsense. She insisted on holding the hearing on the motion to suppress as the first thing she did on a busy Monday morning calendar, with a courtroom full of police officers and prosecutors. And she made it a very loud point to tell the bailiff to have a jury outside by 9:30. 

In other words- a Miami Lawyer getting the full Broward Monty.

Our client sat at the table muttering over and over again  "I can't believe this is happening....I can't believe what I am seeing."  We had no words to soothe him. He was right. We couldn't believe it was happening, but for the fact we were in Broward, where it happens every day.

A judge came in to speak with our judge during cross examination. Our judge waived us on- "Don't stop. I am listening."
We sat down at counsel table.  She glared at us. "You are listening Judge, just not to my questions" I said. "ohhs and ahhhs" were issued from the gallery and gaggle of police officers who were enjoying the show, watching a judge abuse us and our client.

"Thank you" our client whispered to us "for at least fighting for me."

Of course the motion was denied. And of course the prosecution increased the plea offer to prison for a man who had a job, had a health issue, and would lose everything, including his irreplaceable health insurance.

But that's why the good lord made juries, and the jury saved us.

But yesterday the jury didn't save Judge Cynthia Imperato. She was found guilty by a West Palm Beach jury for a second DUI outside of ten years. When prosecutors all over the state routinely threaten jail to anyone with the temerity to seek a jury trial on a first DUI, Judge Imperato was sentenced to twenty days house arrest.
But she went to trial and was convicted.
How does it feel when the Justice System works?

Karma Kramer.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BRINGING HOME THE BACON

Over on the South Florida Lawyers Blog,  ("Summary judgment is fun and interesting!" ) they are covering Judge Shephard's massive smack down of Judge David Miller in this opening paragraph of the  opinion on a writ of prohibition: 

It has long been said in the courts of this state that “every litigant is entitled to nothing less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge.” State ex rel. Davis v. Parks, 194 So. 613, 615 (Fla. 1939). Regrettably, the trial judge in this case has
abandoned his post as a neutral overseer of the dispute between the parties, compelling us to grant Great American Insurance Company’s Petition for a Writ of

Prohibition.

But we like the concluding coda to the opinion: 


In the words of the sixteenth century statesman and jurist, Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626):
Judges ought to be more learned than witty; more
reverend (sic) than plausible; and more advised than
confident. *** Patience and gravity of hearing is an
essential part of justice; and an overspeaking judge is no
well tuned cymbal.

“Of Judicature,” Francis Bacon Essays, pub. by J. M. Dent & Sons, 1958, Essay

LVI, pp. 162, 163.

Just so we're clear, Sir Frankie B was talking about judges, not bloggers. 

See You In Court. 

btw- any rumor of an alliance between certain judge, prosecutors, raconteurs and North Korea designed to shut down this blog, is merely that: a rank rumor. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

THE WORST OF THE WORST

Hate is protected speech.
We are publishing, with permission of the recipient, the anonymous hate mail sent to her by a coward.
And make no mistake about it, a coward sent this.
We are publicizing it to shame the coward.
Oh, they might enjoy it at first. But as it lingers, and people view it, and think to themselves about the coward who sent it who didn't have the guts to sign their name to their hate mail, it will begin to make them uncomfortable. Maybe they will get upset. At some point they will want us to take it down. But we won't. Others have tried and failed. This post will be an everlasting monument to their abject cowardice.

Enjoy it coward.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

THE BEST OF THE BEST

In the early morning hours of December 16, 1944, under snow heavy skies and zero temperatures, 30 German Divisions attacked Allied armies in the Ardennes Forrest area of Belgium, Luxembourg and France.  The Allies, caught by surprise, the weather having limited the ability of arial surveillance, and overconfidence, fell back under the onslaught, creating a "bulge" in the Western Front. 

The German plan was the smash the Allied armies, re-seize the port of Antwerp, which would have delayed the end of the war by years. Banking on the war weary British and Americans having little appetite for another three or four years of war, Hitler thought he could sue for peace, and then turn his attention and new war machines, like the jet fighter plane, against the Russians on the eastern front. 

A lot hung in the balance as allied troops fell back across a wide swarth of land. But in a few places, the allies refused to yield.  In Belgium, the battle hardened 28 infantry division held the crossings at the River Our and despite being spread perilously thin, held on. This allowed the 101st Airborne Division, which Eisenhower immediately summoned, to be trucked into Bastogne, before it was surrounded. As the 101st marched in, wearing summer pants and shoes- their winter clothes were being sent in other convoys, they met green allied troops fleeing in a panic, many of them screaming that the Germans had them surrounded.  More than one grizzled paratrooper chuckled that meant the 101st had the Germans just where they wanted them. 

What followed in the following days was some of the most miserable, bloody, freezing, fighting of WWII.  The 101st dug into the freezing ground on the outskirts of Bastogne. They were shelled unmercifully. Fighting subzero temperatures at night, German Panzers by day, the 101st held Bastogne. These men, who grew up in the depression; who volunteered for the airborne and survived the toughest training the army could devise; who jumped at night into Normandy and made their division famous, and who jumped into a disaster in Holland during operation Market Garden and again distinguished themselves- these men- simple American boys- cold- far from home- did what made them the greatest generation. They fought for each other. It was unthinkable to run. They all had trench foot- which entitled them to be relieved and removed to a warm tent at the rear- but that meant leaving a buddy behind, so they stayed, and endured the terror of the shelling, and the freezing nights, and fought and held on and won. 

You can find many battles where Americans distinguished themselves. But you would be hard pressed to find another battle, in such horrific conditions, against all odds and superior forces, where a group of men showed just what American Exceptionalism- whatever that may really be- is. 

We really can't do justice to the heroes of the Battle of the Bulge. Read Stephen Ambrose's excellent Band Of Brothers for the best account of the 101st at Bastogne. 

But when you are warm and safe in your bed tonight, remember that almost seventy years ago- the best of the best our nation ever produced, hung on, fought bravely against all odds, and made being and American something to be damned proud of. 


Monday, December 15, 2014

I CAN'T BREATHE

There massive rallies in NYC and DC over the weekend protesting the way the police treat people, and the way the justice system treats police who kill the people they are paid to serve and protect.

In our view we are half way there. When the protests also start looking at the the way the justice system treats defendants, then we will have all of skeletons out in the open. 

One thing is certain- the grand jury process is broken. 
The old saying is that the prosecution can get a ham sandwich indicted. And that is true, unless the ham sandwich has a badge. The last "no true bill" we can remember in Miami that didn't involve a police officer was a case in the mid-to late eighties involving an inner city store owner who electrified the roof of his store because of repeated burglaries. A burglar wandered into the trap and was electrocuted and died and the grand jury refused to indict. 

Grand juries were not supposed to be rubber stamps for prosecutors. But that is the system we now have. And this system is broken and has no credibility when the system is not impartial. More importantly, the system no longer has the faith of the people, and when you think about it, our entire society rests on the proposition that the people have faith in the government. 

MONDAY DECEMBER 22, 2014 IS HANDS UP MIAMI/ I CAN'T BREATHE DAY. 

We invite and ask all attorneys in the federal, civil, and criminal courts to approach the podium with a "hands up" gesture as a show of support for people who are protesting a broken court system. 

See You In Court, Hands-Up. 

In our survivor pool the contestants stand on the brink of a perfect season, with their choices of the Chiefs and the Seahawks winning yesterday.  Can they duplicate the Miami Dolphin's Perfect Season? Stay tuned. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

NFL WEEK 15

It was fun for a while, but the Dolphins' season ends today, in Foxboro, Massachusetts,  in the land of cheaters, ruled by an evil genius.  The Cheaters are -7.5 at home, and fighting for home field advantage, the Pats take care of business and make all Dolphin fans everywhere say "wait until next year…when Jim Harbaugh becomes the coach." 

The Blog fantasy football playoffs enter the semi-finals today, and of course your faithful blogger is in the mix, rolling our opponent last week with a study 162.5 points. And this week, as we have been saying all year to our opponents, " ask not for whom the (Leveon) Bell tolls, Team-Fi-Man, he tolls for thee." 

The game of the week is the Sunday night game, as the Cowpokes travel to Philadelphia, with the winner in, and the loser probably out. It's hard to lay cheesesteaks on a Mark Sanchez led team, and the Cowpokes are destined to lose on a late INT in the first round of the playoffs- it's just their fate- which means we are taking the visitors, +3.5, because you can trust your car to the man who wears the star. Cowboys +3.5 over Eagles.

Week 15 survivor pool- we will post the picks when we have both. 

Coming soon. It dominated the blog last December, and people in polite society are still talking about it- the Best Novels, and new this year- the Best Fiction, 2014.