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

Saturday, February 24, 2018

MUSICAL CHAIRS

Where should the prosecution and the defense sit in a courtroom? 
Does it matter?

In a small courtroom on the third floor of the REGJB, it recently came to pass that the prosecution's table and podium was next to the jury box which holds the defendants that are in custody.  The courtroom is one of the smallest in the courthouse. If a realtor was showing it they would call it "charming", "comfy" and "a good starter". 
In reality, the third floor is where the judges with the least seniority are sent to adjudicate the miasma of the REGJB.
One day our intrepid CJ of the criminal courts division covered the calendar. Sensing a possible security issue, she had the prosecution and the PDs switch tables and podiums. No offense to the PDs, but most in-custody defendants would like to take a poke at a prosecutor. 
And then Judge Blumstein returned to court, and exercising judicial wisdom and discretion, finely honed after hours of sitting in his third floor bantam-sized fiefdom, said "switch back" because the judge controls the positioning of the lawyers. See, Commonwealth v. Boyd, 246 Pa. 529 (Pa. 1914) "While in every criminal trial, the accused has a common law right to counsel, and this right may not be abridged by any rule or regulation which would operate to hinder and obstruct free consultation between the accused and his counsel, the refusal of the trial judge, in a murder case to permit the defendant to sit by his counsel, so that the defendant was compelled to occupy a, small enclosed place, about six or eight feet away from the counsel table, was harmless error where no defense on the merits was made..."

Although traditionally, the litigants with the burden of proof sit next to the jury. 
See also, "Does the Placement of the accused undermine the presumption of innocence?"

But the SAO said NO! "We will not move to the back of the bus". Woops, wrong famous civil disobedience statement. The SAO actually said "No, we will not move to the other side of the courtroom." 

And there we sit. So to speak 
For now.....
From Occupied America, sit where you want and fight the power. The SAO did. Good for them!


Thursday, February 22, 2018

MR BOOM BOOM

You can't make this up. 
The President of the United States wants to combat gun violence in schools by.....arming teachers. 

PS 110. East Village. NYC. 2021.
Ms. Postdam's Kindergarten class. 
First Day of School. o

Good morning class. I am Ms. Postdam. Please find your seats. Welcome boys and girls to the President Donald Trump Grade School in New York. As we all know, President Donald Trump was born and raised in New York. In fact, when you look out the window, you can see the President  Donald Trump Firearm and Ammunition store. It's right across the street and next to the President Donald Trump and Vice President Vladimir Putin's chain of  Russian-American Friendship Tea and Vodka Shoppes. 
Class, we have a few rules in Kindergarten. If you need to go poopy or peepee you need to raise you hand and ask  to go to Mr. Potty. 
If you are hungry, then raise your hand and ask for Mr. Snackee. 
And if a bad man comes to the school to kill all of you and your friends with his assault rifle, then you need to tell me right away to get Mr. Boom-Boom. 
Does everyone understand? 
Good!
Now today, we are going to start with finger painting. Then we are going to learn the "Lock Hillary Up and Throw her in Jail Song!"  But before we start singing,  we are going to learn the pledge of allegiance to President and Dear Leader Donald Trump. 
But first we need to learn a safety issue. It's called "duck and cover."
Let's pretend a bad man comes and has an automatic rifle, which of course is his god given right to own and possess. But lets pretend he is having  a bad day and instead of hunting doves with his AR-15 automatic rifle with dum-dum bullets, he decides to show up to school and kill everyone like happened right here in this school  eleven times last year. 
Who knows what to do? Sally?"

Sally: We duck and cover!

Ms. Postdam: That's right Sally. You duck under your desk and cover your head with your hands. Ask your grandparents. In the 1950's they had to learn how to duck and cover because before Vice President Vladimir Putin became Vice President of the United States while also being President of Russia, people in the United States were worried Russia would blow them all up with a thermo-nuclear weapon. And the best way for us to survive a nuclear weapon one hundred times more powerful than the one we dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, is to duck and cover. In fact, it's a known fact that if the Japanese had all learned to duck and cover, they would have won the war. Now we can use those same skills that protected your grandparents from 10,000 degree nuclear heat, to protect us from bullets fired from a high-powered semi-automatic weapon. 

Now, let's  all start our day by saying the pledge of allegiance, which of course is now the law:
"I pledge allegiance to our dear leader President Donald Trump and the United States of America and Russia. And to our dear leaders, who protect our lives, we pledge- unlike former FBI Directors,   everlasting loyalty to our dear leader President Donald Trump. So Help Us God."

Wonderful. Now we are going to learn the "Lock her up" song. 
"Who's responsible for everything bad?
Hillary-LOCK HER UP!
Who's responsible for fake news? 
Hillary-LOCK HER UP!
And who's the one who lied about global warming?
Hillary- LOCK HER UP!
And who's the one who opposed our dear leader and almost wrecked our lives?
Hillary, Hillary, Hillary....LOCK.....HER    UP!

Excellent class. Now if you will all take out your Russian books we will start with lesson one....

From Occupied America, there are people who dream of a place like this. Where teachers are armed, and children are brainwashed.  Fight The Power!


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A CONSTITUTIONAL ORPHAN

A man and his guns. 

In Silvester v. Becerra, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a fourteen page dissent from the court's decision not to grant cert and review California's ten day waiting period to buy a firearm.

"The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this court's constitutional orphan" Thomas fumed.

"We have not heard argument in a Second Amendment case for nearly eight years" the silent Justice whined. "And we have not clarified the standard for assessing Second Amendment claims for almost 10."

Rumpole wonders how many years has it been since the court heard a Third Amendment case (prohibition against the quartering of soldiers in homes) , or an eighteenth amendment case (prohibition against sale and manufacture of liquor)?  Should the length of time between the court hearing issues be in fact an issue raised on cert?

Say this for Justice Marcel Marceau, (judges, click here), the man has timing. Because what the world needs now, are guns, more guns...not just for some, but for everyone...

From Occupied and heavily armed America, Fight the Power without shooting. 


 

Monday, February 19, 2018

MM786 IN THE 212

Happy President's day from NYC!
Yes, your Millennial blogger from Miami took a Prez weekend trip. MM786 in the 212! 

Couple of random thoughts. We often write in legal pleadings that an issue or fact  was "unbeknownst" to a client. But I have yet to see someone write that something was "beknownst" to someone. Why? 

Also, Caregivers are caretakers. But one implies giving- "she gives care to her elderly mother. She's a caregiver." And yet, "He takes care of his father. He's a caretaker." Strange, right? 

Black Panther was the bomb. And the theater in Times SQ, NYC was dope. I felt like such a tourist, which I am. The movie is great. Yes, it's  groundbreaking because it's a super-hero action movie with almost entirely people of color. But that quickly fades, and it's just a good movie. I went with some friends/family who had teenagers and when I asked them the significance of the movie they didn't mention race. When I asked them the difference between the Black Panther and Superman or Batman or Spider-man they focused on the different superpowers. No one said "Black Panther is black". Take away? This new generation really doesn't think about or see race, and that's a good thing. 

I've complained about the lack of a great steakhouse in the 305/786 (and don't give me that Prime nonsense please). Well, NYC is steakhouse-lovers heaven. Sooooo many choices. 

First up, old school- Keen's Steakhouse. Been around since late 1800's. There's a pipe Teddy Roosevelt used on a beam on the dark wood ceiling. A dark paneled room with an old-boy clubhouse feel lined with portraits of be-wigged  long-forgotten men from NYC.  Appetizers are oysters or "Lincoln's Oysters", wedge salad with blue cheese (natch) and then the beef. There's a mutton chop (first time I've seen that), and old school cuts. Porterhouse for two, prime rib, or "New York Sirloin".  Sides are creamed spinach and hash browns. Get the picture? No wagyu beef here, no sir-ree. 

Next day Lunch- Ikinari Steak in the Village. The deal here is that it's a stand-up steak bar. You stand at the bar, order your steak priced by the gram, and then eat. Standing up. And drink, until you cannot stand up. It's fun. And the steak is off the charts good. The steak is wet-aged for 40 days. They recommend you order it rare. It's grilled over an open flame, and served in an iron skillet with sides like rice and veggies, and then to make it a "J-steak" you drizzle "J-sauce" over it. I had the wild-steak set, and sake. Lots of sake. Then they spray you with a clothing spray to clear the grilled steak odor as you stumble out the door. NYC-Japanese cool. 

For dinner your blogger scored a resv at the smokin-hot celeb chef Salt-Bae's new sensation- Nusr-Et Steakhouse. Yes, there's one in Miami, but this is New York baby.   This place is crazy expensive. And most people show up looking for the Salt-Bae show. He dresses in tight white t-shirts, guns bulging, and round sunglasses. He puts on a show with the knife, does a slap of the meat, and then throws salt on it in his signature move. You can see all that on you-tube. I came for the steak. It was decent, not great. And as I said, crazy-expensive. You don't get the Bae show unless you order a particular cut, like the rib-eye. When you do, the steak is presented sizzling. He shows up surrounded by a retinue of lackeys (assistants) and as everyone pulls out their cell phones, he slices the rib eye and throws some salt on it, and wordlessly moves on. At this point, having done it a few thousand times, it seems like a sad show. 
The ribeye was good. The steak at Keen's was better. I suggest skipping the show and saving a few hundred dollars. 

That's it for now from NYC, where the weather is cool, the steak is mostly great, and I haven't even touched on the shopping.  After wandering wide-eyed (and mostly broke) down Fifth Avenue, my nose pressed up to the glass of window displays like some hungry waif looking at diners, I spent a glorious afternoon at The Strand. 18 miles of bookshelves, and it's like I walked a ten-K with a book (books) in my hand. 

MM786 happy in the 212. 😋




Friday, February 16, 2018

MANSFIELD INVESTITURE FRIDAY



The league of prosecutors may be a collection of super-heroes, but they need a good editor. 

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The League of Prosecutors congratulates

the Honorable Joseph Mansfield

as she is sworn in today as County Court Judge.

       

 
      We wish you success as you serve the citizens of Miami-Dade County.
     

 



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It happens to the best of us. We made a typo once. It was post #789. 

Long weekend. Enjoy. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

CODE BROWN

CODE BROWN and a building-wide lockdown was the order of the day today- Thursday- starting around 10:15 AM and lasting for about an hour. As "Code Brown, clear people from the hallways" was repeatedly broadcast over the REGJB loudspeakers, corrections officers and bailiffs hustled people from the hallway into the courtrooms and then locked the doors. 

Several lawyers reported judges being whisked off the bench and going to their chambers, leaving a courtroom of scared and confused citizens in the galley, and lawyers, PDs and ASAs commenting on the judges' absences. We note that leadership occurs when regular people do irregular things at moments of real and possible danger. Did any judge remain in court to calm everyone down? Or did they just huddle in their chambers, peaking out from below their desks? We do not know. 

Of course in the wake of yesterday's tragedy, the Code Brown lockdown was met with fear and nervous silence in many courtrooms. The incessant beeping of the public address system for long periods of time didn't help calm the nerves of the people locked inside the courtroom. 

We live in violent times. 
But we need those guns, right? 
Gotta have those guns. 
Second amendment and the lord and all that. 
Jesus wants us to have guns. So does the NRA and Trump. 

From occupied America, where mentally ill people have easy access to firearms which allows them to murder children in their school, Fight The Power!

IN MEMORIAM

There is no joy in a world and a society  where children are murdered by people shooting them with guns at their school. 

When is enough enough? How many more children need to die? 

Monday, February 12, 2018

COLOMBIA??? WHO KNEW??

Miami lawyer and frequent REGIB habituate Joaquin Perez has been barred from entering Colombia. That's the country, not the University on the upper west side of Manhattan (which is spelled Columbia btw). Perez is now abogado non grata in Colombia and the prisons in which narco-traffickers are being held pending extradition to the United States. 

The Herald in this article says that Miami lawyers are flying to Colombia, and making lots of money getting deals for people who are being held pending extradition to the United States!!!!

Say is ain't so joe. 

We are shocked, shocked to find that there is gambling on these premises. 

Miami lawyers....flying to Colombia...cutting deals....for money??? 

Nah. 

From Occupied America, fight the power!!

BTW- it's 25 degrees today, here in the cold apple. If you can get into one of the WOW suites at the W, we highly recommend it. 
Here's an "only in NY" Times article about a city artist that draws hearts on sidewalks.