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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

BRAVE BLOG POST



A brave blog post:
We write this with some trepidation, but not with the same courage that it took our colleague Phil Reizenstein to make a post on his blog about Adrian Peterson and child abuse. Many of you have emailed us and asked us to re-post it. We won't do that. And Phil has not contacted us. But he did post it publicly, and that is enough for us to mention it here. 

It was always baffling as to how his name became linked with this blog, there being zero evidence to support such an allegation. And in the early years, to say he was upset at us is an understatement. He had to respond to at least one bar complaint that he forwarded to us. In recent years we have heard him joke about it. We were in the audience for one such reference. So please, no comments about Rumpole and who you think we are. Just applaud Phil for his brave discussion of some very personal issues. And beyond the Adrian Peterson post, it's a very unique blog for a criminal defense attorney. Much like another blog we know, where the writing is witty, and .....nah...won't go there. 

His blog is here. 

Enjoy the fall weekend. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

IT'S A TOWN FOR LOSERS.....


If you've noticed that we've been posting less frequently, you are correct. 

Blame the feds. They are relentless. And of course the 11th Circuit doesn't give you a whole of time to file a brief. But we are thankful for the work. 

The JAA blog had these very nice words for Circuit Judge Elect Al Milian:

Meet Judge Al Milian - good news out of Miami, as Al easily won a spot on the circuit bench.  Many remember him as a relentless Broward prosecutor, but he’s spent a lot longer since then defending with equal passion and zeal.  On a personal note, we couldn’t be happier.  When asked, Al would gladly co-counsel gratis on cases south of the border when deserving individuals with bright futures were facing incredible odds.  His local gravitas always got the job done, with one young man he helped us with now a successful engineer with the Chrysler Corporation in Detroit.  Al’s simply a great guy, and will make a great judge.  Well done!



We second their thoughts about Al. Al distinguished himself with his work here these past few years, and it occurs to us that now both defense counsel in the murder trial of the Aventura man whose wife died in the bathroom have ascended to the bench. Al Milian will soon be a circuit judge and Bill Matthewman had already been appointed a federal magistrate before the trial began. Matthewman is sitting in West Palm these days. 


They call us south of the border? Why, the nerve of them....

David Ovalle and the Herald have a great article on the railroad cops who arrest poor people in Overtown for crossing the tracks. Talk about living on the wrong side of the tracks....
The Article is here. 

CLE SEMINAR:
Here's the deal with this seminar: it will change your life. It will be a magical experience. People will be talking about this seminar for decades hence.  And if it it is not standing room only, Robert Kuntz may just cash in all his chips and pack a grip and head for the coast, because this is a town for losers and he's pulling out of here to win. So please, please please, register and experience legal nirvana. 





Enjoy your weekend. See You In Court Monday. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NO CHILDREN ALLOWED





This is the sign hanging on a Judge's courtroom on the sixth floor. She's not the only judge with the sign on her door.

It's illegal.

It's wrong.

Children are people too, unless you're Adrian Peterson, asshole football player for the Vikings.

Florida law covers specific instances where a judge may close a courtroom. There are specialized notice requirements involving the media. Hanging a sign on a door is not the legal way to do it.

Banning an entire class of individuals for no good reason will not withstand any legal challenge whatsoever.

THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WE HAVE OPEN COURTS, EVEN FOR CHILDREN.

So let's get this straight. Take a young Rumpole, age 17,first year of college, in a pre-law class, assigned to go to the local courthouse and watch a calendar and do a report. This sign bars young Rumpole, a very mature 17 year old, from observing court and fulfilling a college assignment

We hope judges will remove these signs.  It presents such a bad vision of the courts of Florida. And as we said, it's completely illegal and if they try and bar a person based on age and no other reason, they will lose in court.

So try and follow the law for once (we know how awkward and strange that can be for most of you) and take down the signs.

See you in court, where we might just arrange for a gaggle of kindergarteners to stage a protest if the signs don't come down.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A FAST GERRY KLEIN STORY

A retired member of the judiciary was recently robbed at gun point. Thankfully he was not hurt. David Ovalle has all the details on his twitter. But it reminds us of the time that Gerry Klein was robbed on the Miami Beach Golf Course around 11:30 or so in the morning during the week. 
The Herald dutifully reported the story, and then the Herald being the Herald, called Judge Klein back a few days later (probably soon after retracting the Dewey Beats Truman Headline) and asked him what a sitting county court judge was doing on the golf course during a weekday? 

Klein responded to the effect that he was waiting for someone to ask that question and that "every now and then" he finished court early and on those rare occasions that he wasn't labouring late into the evening on a difficult point of law, he would try and squeeze in a quick round of golf. 

Those of us who knew him had a good laugh at that one. Rare was the day that Fast Gerry Klein hadn't finished his calendar and was out on the links before lunch. 

It was a different time folks. A simpler time. 

We also recall several circuit judges who would routinely cover two Friday calendars one week- theirs and a friend's, only to have the favour returned the following week. So every other week the judges had a nice three day weekend.  That all went along swimmingly until one of the judges began to take advantage of his friend by setting bond hearings on Fridays, taking a bribe to lower the bond, and then telling his pal that the case was on the calendar and he had already heard it and decided to lower the bond. Nothing better than taking a bribe for something your friend unknowingly does for you. That scheme, which pre-dated court-broom, went on for some time until some one dropped a dime to the FDLE. 

Anyway, those were the days. 

See you in court. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

NFL WEEK TWO

UPDATE: WEEK TWO SURVIVOR POOL PICKS BELOW

We bounced back from a morose and reflective Saturday, courtesy of a nice bottle of a 2011 Dehlinger Zin/Petit Sirah blend and some good curry and nan. 

Last week we joined the sad club of "first out" in the survivor pool when we picked da Bears at home over the resurgent Bills. We did score the most points in the Fantasy Football league, so it was a mixed day for us. 

This week Fantasy-wise, it's a battle of the bloggers as we face off against DOM and his ridiculously weak team led by Tony "INT" Romo. 

There are two big games today; games which, even on week two, will give us an insight as to who is real and who is not. 

(UPDATE: WIN) The first is our own hometown Dolphins, coming off a big second half come-back win against the Cheaters at home, going to Buffalo to play the Bills who had a great week one win on the road against the Bears. To be a champion in the NFL, you need to win on the road, and protect your home. The Bills have shown they can win on the road, while the Fins protected their house last week from the evil genius and his cheaters. Which trend will hold this week? It will be a very good game to watch.  Bills are -1 at home. We are not Fin-believers yet, although we should be:   Buffalo 32-Dolphins 27.

(UPDATED:WIN) The second game which will reveal which team is for real is the Falcons at Cincy. The Bengals showed the type of defense that Marin Lewis, their head coach was famous for twenty years ago when he developed "Blitzbugh" for the Steelers as their D-coordinator.  The Bengals are -4 at home, and while we like the Falcons, this could be the year the Bengals bury the Bungles. Plus, the Bengals are 8-0 at home in their last ocho. Cincy 24-Falcons 20. 

(UPDATED: WIN) The Browns at +6 at home against the Saints.  What did we tell you about these Browns? Way underrated, and just like we told you last week to take the Falcons in a shoot-out against the Saints, take these Brownies at home, with a great D, an underrated QB, and six juicy points. 

(UPDATED: LOSS) Lions-Panthers- Over 43. Duh. 

(UPDATED: LOSS) The wheel is off the stagecoach in Big D, as the Cowpokes are exposed for being nothing more than a below mediocre team playing in the greatest stadium in the world. Tony Romo will never win a Super Bowl, and he may not ever get to take his pokes to the playoffs ever again. That ship has sailed. The train is off the tracks. Circle the wagons, pick whatever aphorism you like, and take the Titans at home -1. 

Chief at Broncos- under 52. 



Saturday, September 13, 2014

THE WAR OUTSIDE STILL RAGES

"The war outside still rages, but you say it ain't ours anymore to win."
Bruce Springsteen, No Retreat, No Surrender. 

Before we try a case, when we are in trial, and while waiting for a verdict, No Retreat, No Surrender is our song. We play it on the way to court, and listen to it during breaks, sometimes in the background while reading case law or reviewing notes. 

Trials are war. Clients come to all of us and ask us to be the one remaining person between them and everyone else. Sometimes the opponent on the other side is the U.S. government, merely the most powerful entity on earth. 

But this is not about those wars. We all have our war stories. 

This is about when the war "ain't ours anymore to win."

When does that time come? 
When do you lose the fire in your belly; when  it becomes harder and harder to work till midnight, then get up at a few hours later and get to the office hours before anyone else?

And what do you do when being a warrior is all you've ever known? 

Do you don some robes and call balls and strikes?  With all due respect, from where we sit at counsel table, sitting in court and watching a trial and not being allowed to get up and attack a witness is our definition of hell. It's why we never second chair a case. 

So what do we do when "it ain't ours anymore to win?"

Sy Gaer was carried out on his shield after a lifetime of wars. (Note to new lawyers, go to the second floor of the REGJB, face the elevators, then turn 180 degrees and look up.) 

Most of us just fade away and we prefer to think of General McArthur's last address to the Corp at West Point when we think of colleagues we never see anymore; that they haven't died, but just faded away. 

It's the start of a beautiful weekend and we don't mean to be morose or bring anyone down.  And lest any of you worry or any prosecutors start popping champagne corks, our time has not yet arrived. But there's a bit more gray then there used to be, and a few more lines on the face, and nothing lasts forever. Even Rumpole. 

Enjoy your weekend. 

See you in court. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

JNC NOMINATES TEN FINALISTS TO GOVERNOR SCOTT


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

AND YOUR TWO NEWEST CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES are  .......

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission received 33 applications for the two open Circuit Court seats previously occupied by Judge Darrin Gayles and Judge Beth Bloom. Those two judges were elevated to the Federal District Court.

Of those 33 applicants, the JNC personally interviewed 22, including seven County Court Judges and 15 attorneys.  Last night, they forwarded ten (10) names to Governor Scott for consideration; five of whom are County Court Judges.***  Presumably he will name two of those ten to the open judgeships.

The names sent to the Governor include:

Ayana Harris; Federal APD
Laura Stuzin; Rumberger, Kirk
Jason Bloch; Miami-Dade County Attorney's Office
Judge Jason Dimitris
Judge Rodolfo Ruiz
Judge Charles Johnson
Diana Vizcaino; City of Miami Attorney's Office
Judge Wendell Graham
Judge Lourdes Simon
Lauren Fleischer Louis; Boies, Schiller

While the Governor has 60 days to select our two newest judges, (which would bring the deadline to November 8, 2014), we would not be going out on a limb by predicting that he will likely name the two new Judges before election day, Tuesday, November 4th.

If he selects any of the five County Court Judges, that would give him a two-fer.

***Two other County Court Judges that were interviewed, Judges Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer and Gladys Perez, did not make the final cut.

If you want to provide the Governor with your thoughts on any of the finalists, please contact:

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

(850) 717-9337

or

Peter Antonacci
General Counsel
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

850-717-9310

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