Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ode to South Florida Lawyers



Lisp and all.

N.B.: I don't think he likes black folks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby Please Don't Go













N.B.: She's all yours. I was never much for women who carry their belongings in garbage bags.

Closure



Criminal trials are so different, aren't they?

After reading Francisco Alvarado's great coverage of the duel between Mike Tein and ASA Richard Scruggs, and the related posts by my Favorite Bloggers here and here, I can't wait to read what happened today in court.

N.B. Something tells me Queensberry rules are out the door in this one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don't Play Safe, Just Play









NB: I see a progression away from blonds.

It Scares Me to Feel This Way





NB: No nota bene needed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Customer is Always Right



Big Law firms avoid flat fee cases like the plague, while small shop lawyers often live by a flat fee hybrid that is based on stages or pieces of the case. (I write about civil practitioners. Who knows how those wacky criminal folks handle payment of fees.)

Big or small, listen up: according to Hildebrandt's 2009 law department survey, more companies are asking their outside lawyers to ditch the billable hour in favor of flat-fee pricing. More than half the 231 companies surveyed said they have implemented or will implement non-hourly fee arrangements. Another 27 percent said they are considering them.

Advantage, small firms.

The apocalypse is not up on us, although gunner associates may be crapping their pants.

You can argue or pontificate about the wisdom or viability of the flat fee model until you're blue in the face. But its happening, at least for the time being. How long it lasts is anybody's guess. Or the customer's preference.

Heck, change is good and its exciting to try something new. Who knows? You may get the hang of the flat fee.

Anyhoo, enjoy Thanksgiving. We live in a wonderful city, so take advantage. Love those around you notwithstanding their faults. Enjoy some football. And most important, remember those less fortunate, and give something back.

N.B. I love breakfast.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Way We Were























N.B. Babs captures the sense of loss that permeates the Rothstein tragedy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Georgia on My Mind





And they say South Florida is wacky.

Taking the law into your own hands is ok if you are a law-man in the South, but I'm not so sure its ok when you are the District Attorney. I mean, most State Bar Organizations have codes of ethics and such. And I am pretty sure that bum-rushing the judge in chambers when you disagree with his rulings, is likely out of bounds. But, I don't live in Georgia.

Recently, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Marvin S. Arrington Sr. held a career state court prosecutor in contempt for misconduct during trial, and ordered her to pay a $100 fine to the charity of her choice. Smart lawyers would pay it and quietly purge the contempt or exercise their right to appeal the order, professionally and discreetly.

Meet Linda J. Dunikoski.

A month after her offending conduct earned her the contempt order, government lawyer Linda J. was back in Judge Arrington's courtroom on another matter, and Judge Arrington said he asked whether she had complied with the court's order.

"Dunikoski responded by saying that she had been advised by her supervisor, District Attorney Paul Howard, not to comply with said Order," wrote Judge Arrington, in a subsequent order holding DA Howard in contempt.

Arrington ordered Dunikoski taken into custody until she complied with the order, after which Howard "appeared in the secured back hallway outside of my chambers, confronting me as I left the bench and belligerently demanded that I release Ms. Dunikoski immediately and that I should hold him in contempt instead." Howard "walked up to me, within [a] 1/4 inch of my face, and shouted that I was making a mockery of the judiciary."

Twenty minutes later, wrote Arrington, "Mr. Howard barged into my [chambers] and demanded to see me. I asked the deputies to escort him out of my office until the hearing could be held at 2 p.m. on today's date. Frankly, Mr. Howard's behavior and subsequent tirade made me fearful of my safety."

Work it out, fellas.

DA Howard's website is nifty. It has a "most wanted" list, a "featured" criminal, and lots and lots of pictures of The Boss himself. Which reminds me, a Wise Man once said "if you have an elaborate and highly conspicuous "Wall of Me" then you're a di@k." Does the same apply to a website?

N.B. If you ever pulled that barging into chambers stunt in the 11th Circuit, I know at least one judge who would go upside your head with the 4 inch heel of a Christian Louboutin pump and a red lipstick. No, silly. Not David Young. He's on TV court.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Want My Cut



She doesn't deserve all this. She hasn't settled into the comfort of married life, to the Man of her Dreams. Just look at her happy chin during their nuptials, less than 2 years ago.





N.B. Does Scott have unusually small feet, or what?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scott Rothstein to the Rescue!



Successful, effective investigative journalists possess finely honed instincts. They smell a rat before anyone. As he observed, they are not wilfully blind to red flags that should set off alarms, because of a desire to be close to the flame. And unlike hacks, they do not sacrifice journalism and neutrality because of their personal views.

Think Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Ernie Souchak.

I got to thinking about effective investigative journalists after reading this piece by some guy named Buddy Nevins. Here is a picture of Buddy for those who have never heard of or seen him.



For those who don't click the hyperlinks, Buddy's piece is titled "Scott Rothstein to the Rescue." In it, he writes that "superlawyer" Scott Rothstein and his wife Kimmy are "are single-handedly keeping a number of Broward County’s charities in the black with their philanthropy."

Buddy-boy lists the Rothstein's impressive financial contributions to great causes, and then the article gets interesting.

"Scott may be a tad eccentric. The bodyguards are a bit much, since I’ve met with many very rich guys over the years and none of them had them," wrote Nevins. "I lived in an apartment when I was a kid and Meyer “The Brain” Lansky’s brother, Jake ”The Enforcer” Lansky, had an apartment in the same building. I saw both the Lanskys numerous times and they didn’t have bodyguards, or they did (sic) they kept them well hidden." That's cool for sure. And I am impressed, what with your meetings with many very rich guys over the years (that just sounds weird, OK Buddy?) and the Lansky name dropping.

But uh, didn't you clue in? Even a little?

Apparently not.

Buddy concluded: "But who cares about Rothstein’s idiosyncrasies when he is so generous. Broward is a better place because of Scott and Kimberly."



Where is Ernie Souchak when you need him?

Because I cannot fathom how you pass up this opportunity.

N.B. Scottie named his now-seized yacht "Princess Kimberly." That was SO sweet!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Music Wednesday, Part Deux (that's french)



All this talk about Scottie is weighing on me. Although I have to admit, it is getting interesting now that investors are talking about how Scottie and the Firm's General Counsel pitched them to invest, in the Firms's offices. Yup, yup. Makes all those strangely overt repudiations by Scottie's partner Rosencrantz seem even more....implausible?

Alan Sakowitz, a South Florida attorney and real estate developer, told Bloomberg News he was solicited to buy settlements through a broker working for Rothstein.

Sakowitz and his partner met with Rothstein in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office in August. They sat on a lizard-skin couch as Rothstein stood by a bank of television monitors, a revolver strapped to his ankle. On the wall were pictures of Rothstein with politicians including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sweet.

Rothstein told them he was selling investments in sex-discrimination and whistle-blower cases that were settled confidentially.

Sakowitz said he considered investing in three $900,000 settlements. Rothstein would pay the clients $660,000 each immediately with Sakowitz’s money, and he would get the full amounts in three payments at 30, 60 and 90 days, he said.
Sakowitz said he was denied permission to meet the clients, see backup documents or talk to the attorneys who worked on the cases.

“When we left, we thought, this is either an unbelievable opportunity or this is a big scam,” Sakowitz said.

Ya think?

Another investor prospective investor balked at Rothstein's proposal because it seemed suspicious and walked away in August after meeting with Rothstein Rosenfeldt Alder’s general counsel, David Boden, in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. Boden is not licensed to practice law in Florida.

The offer was to pay about 75 percent of the whistle-blowers’ pre-suit settlement of $900,000 up front in exchange for full payment over time. The investor said the offer dealt with one of more than 100 similar settlements.

Look folks, its simple: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Anyhoo, I needed to clear my head and lacking a G5 to ferry me to Morocco , I drove to the Redlands to pick tomatoes. Really. Don't mock me. Try it sometime.

That's where I heard Cadillac Sky. I know, I know: It's Bluegrass. Don't be such a snob. Turn it up. Give it a listen. You never know, you just might like it.

N.B.: I Was Born Lonesome.

When You Have a Fool for a Client



I don't know about you, but for some reason all these pictures of Scottie make me hungry for a bacon double cheese burger.

Anyhoo, remember years ago when University of Miami Law School Professor D. Marvin Jones was arrested and falsely accused of picking up hookers, when the "hooker" was an undercover cop? No, me either. Until now.

That's because D. Marvin, going at it pro se, advised his client to sue the popular Big Law Blog "Above the Law" for 100 billion dollars for a "viciously rascist series of rants." (Okay, okay: he sued for 22 million.) Professor Jones filed the suit on October 27, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and named David Lat, the Blog's managing editor, publisher David Minkin, and the parent company as defendants. (Why doesn't he have a parent company? What would the parent company be named, if he had one?)

So, now this is news all over again.

Above The Law even posted a sort of commemorative montage (that's French), re-posting today what was buried in almost three year old posts. (The blog apparently disabled comments on its montage. In my transactional mind, that strikes me as an ill advised move resembling an admission. But I'm not smart like those Big Law heroes.)

Begging the question: why do this now? Maybe I am not that smart and am too conservative and scared and not a litigator, but where is the wisdom and sound judgment in bringing this up again? Did the Professor bounce this off experienced practicing lawyers, or even his colleagues? And, why did no lawyer in the community want to take this case? Even pro bono?

Perhaps the answers to these questions and others can be found in this great article.

N.B. The case drew Judge Marcia Cooke.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Music Wednesday

I searched all day today for a newsworthy topic about which to post, that had not already been covered. Cause I sure didn't feel like working. I came up with nothing. Nadia Comaneci.

As an aside, that's Nadia below, apparently tapping her inner Cougar. Although, come on...she can do better. The goober licking his lips is totally not worthy. What's up with that lime-green tie and double-breasted blazer? What is he Belgian? French? Is there a difference? Is he like, 5'5"? With thinning hair? I bet his name is "Tim." She's AN OLYMPIC GYMNAST, for crying out loud. Where is the bad boy? A Mexican? An Italian? At least a UPS driver.



You may recall Nadia from her compulsory routine in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal on the uneven parallel bars, that earned her the first perfect 10. Ever awarded to any male or female gymnast. In the Olympics. Ever. Here it is. And in case you don't remember, she earned 6 more perfect 10 scores during those Olympics.


Anyhoo, having found nothing interesting about which to post, and my posts otherwise not being worth a crap, I started to feel worthless, meaningless and talentless.

So I figured I'd just post some music you'd otherwise never hear. The video reminds me of early MTV/John Mellencamp/Jack and Diane, with a touch of Euro trash "look at our great architecture" bullshit. Only this dude is Italian. So there are TWO women he apparently loves. And he ignores them both. And walks in the rain. At night. Which I guess is very cool. Or at least very cold.

But I think the song is great.



N.B.: I'd like to see more of Nadia.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Orleans to Havana, $178 roundtrip on E-Spiri



This is so weird.

I love New Orleans. But I live in Miami. With lots of Cubans.

And now No-La Mayor Ray Nagin wants to bring us all together. For one big party. Which should not be surprising. For you kids who are not as old as him, in the late 1950s, Cuba was the top source of trade for the Port of New Orleans. And then that little thing happened on New Year's.

Anyhoo, Ray is a no-nonsense kind of guy. Recently, Ray took a six-day trip to Cuba's capital to study the island's disaster-response system. Screw politics. Ray is all about the tourism. After all, since Katrina, the number of visitors to his city have fallen from 10 million a year to 8 million, and revenues are down around $300 million, to $4.5 billion. As a result, Nagin has lobbied for U.S. and Cuban authorities to allow special charter flights between New Orleans and Cuba. Kind of like those flights from LaGuardia to Ft. Lauderdale in the early 1980s, I guess.

The Mayor said New Orleans also could be an ideal transit point for European tourists flying to or from Havana. "You spend some time in Havana and then you jump on the plane and an hour and half, two hours later, you're in New Orleans," Nagin said. "You can spend a couple of days on Bourbon Street drinking 'hurricanes.'

Okay.

Yes, its true that like rice and beans, Hurricanes bind us. But I don't see the Amsterdam/Havana/New Orleans trip taking the travel industry by storm. Except for the Dead Heads still wandering aimlessly after Jerry's death, but they don't spend much money and they are REALLY smelly. And annoying.

Mayor Ray delved a bit into politics and governmental function, offering this insightful comment about the Cuban government: "I think they do a much better job than we do on knowing their citizens at a very, very detailed level, block by block," Nagin said.

That was a joke, right?

N.B.: I love Miami, home to the Jewish and (winter time) Italian mobs, at their heyday. Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone. Hanging here, here, and here. Can you imagine?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Don't Drink the Water



Interesting case being prosecuted by the feds down here. Richard P. Cramer, former high-ranking federal agent has pleaded Not Guilty to drug trafficking charges that included accusations that he gave intelligence to Mexican cartel members.

According to the complaint, on a number of occasions Mr. Cramer used his position to search federal databases and a California state database to see if certain unidentified drug trafficking organization members were informants for American law enforcement.

A federal law enforcement officer for 26 years, Mr. Cramer was the head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Nogales, Ariz., a busy drug and illegal immigrant trafficking spot, until 2004. Then he became the agency’s representative in Guadalajara, assigned to help track traffickers there, until he retired in 2007.

The government will have its hands full here, as Mr. Cramer is represented by Hector L. Flores, who has been a player in the federal defense bar for many years. Mr. Flores has a nice quote in today's New York Times, noting that Mr. Cramer is “a good man who has the support of his family and friends,” who “should not be a casualty of the chaos in Mexico.”

NB I've experienced a bit of chaos in Mexico myself. It usually starts with the "Centenario." Devil's water, that stuff.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

For Hal Kant



You figure it out.

Anyhoo, I am fried. It's been an incredibly busy and stressful 10 months. So I am fleeing with my beautiful wife and brood. I am told we are going to try and make another baby. I'm not sure it's necessary we be able to field our own team, and I'll have to work here to be able to support another but, WTF.

I feel grateful for many things, and I will pray hard in the mountains for clean results for the 6 month body scan of my friend's son.

NB: Hal always chomped on an unlit Don Tomas Presidente, when playing in a poker tournament. But that's a story for another day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ann Coulter , Miss September



So much for Big Firm Lawyers being all stuffy and conservative and what not.

This is a great post, although I've got news for Gilbert Gottfried: you're no Don Rickles.

Speaking of satirical critiques, did you ever see this?

Turns out Ann Coulter is a hottie, or at least "epitomizes both the brains and beautify (sic) of the modern conservative woman," said Alyssa Cordova, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute's policy director and de facto calendar spokeswoman. There is something striking about Ann's looks, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Anyhoo, I'm not attracted to Coulter, but I would let Bay Buchanan butter my muffin any day.

According to Cordova (for all you folks in Iowa that is pronounced CORE DOE VA) the women in the calendar are famous for "outspokenness and family values." Ah yes, family values, according to the far right. The conservative institute's namesake, Clare Boothe Luce, may in fact be the architect of the far right's definition of family values. Born the illegitimate child of a dancer, as a child she bounced around a number of schools, was a child understudy on Broadway, toured Europe with her mother and step-father (second marriage for mommy), then married George Tuttle Brokaw, a boy who did nothing except inherit his daddy's clothing fortune. They had a daughter, George hit the botttle , they divorced. So she looked for rich husband number two, and nailed him. Henry Robinson Luce, publisher of Time, Fortune and Life magazines.

Luce was real close to actress Dorothy Hale, who committed suicide, leading Clare to commission Freda Kahlo to paint a portrait of the ill-fated "thespian."

Later, Clare found religion and joined the Catholic church.

Yup, good old conservative values: illegitimate children, multiple divorces, inherited weath, alcoholism, suicide, secret same-sex lovers, and attempting to hide it all behind new-found religion. Wait. That sounds exciting. Maybe I will change parties after all.

Rumour has it that an actor connected to the South Florida legal community will deliver a tour de force portrayal of Ann Coulter in the 2010 release of Fair Game. The film, a big screen adaptation of one of several low points in American history achieved during the Bush years, when Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, shat all over the Constitution, mocked national security and threatened the lives of patriotic public servants who dared disagree with Cheney's cabal, should be interesting. Apparently, Coulter's character will be referred to as "Right Wing Reporter," not Ann Coulter.

N.B. I bet Cheney's daughter is attracted to Ann.

Friday, September 25, 2009

You Want A (small) Piece of Me?





Don't mess with Texas.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel, but did you see this?

Come on. What were they fighting over? He's not in Leavenworth. It's a Camp , for crying out loud. The dude is 59. And formerly worth billions. Now he's brawling in prison? Ok, that's cool. And sure to get chicks. If he ever gets out.

I suppose he needs a creative outlet, to pass the time.

Anyhoo, as a result of proving his manhood, or getting shanked, as the case may be, they may revoke his membership here.

But there are still folks who will want to hang with him, for sure.

I lead such a boring life.

N.B. Doesn't the young woman sandwiched in between Mr. Stanford and his bag boy look so....scared?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Guadalajara Won't Do



Well, I can't blog about my cases. And I have to be careful offering commentary on good lawyers making news.

That leaves alumni news and notes, I suppose.

Ah, the start of the college football season (I know, I know: its 3 games into the season. Unless you are the Florida Gators, in which case it is the first week of the season.)

Anyhoo, the chill of Fall is in the air. Old rivalries are renewed! Opportunitites for Gridiron Glory abound! And Playboy's "Girls of College Football."

The U will not be denied, thanks to Alexandra Ford.



Go Canes.

As my Favorite Judge would say "Those Boys are going to play hard and whoever can sustain their intensity longest, is sure to come out on top."

Funny, she claims to know nothing about sports.

NB: I wonder if Donna Shalala will take a peek.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ex-DEA Chief Tom Raffanello Does a Little Spring Cleaning





Kendall Coffey remains relevant, apparently.

You remember Kendall, right? South Florida Lawyer's wind surfing pal Glenn Garvin sure does.

So as reported by Jay Weaver, when Tom Raffanello, a highly decorated, high ranking career federal law enforcement agent puts his training, skills and ethics to work for Allen Stanford and flaunts a court order to preserve all documents, instead ordering his lieutenants to shred thousands and thousands of pages of documents at the same time the government is raiding and shutting down his boss' enterprise, who does that Bad Boy hire to defend him when he is indicted?

Kendall, of course. Because Kendall knows how to make headlines and work the press. Obviously.

``They were just cleaning out the offices to close down their company,'' said Coffey.



Kendall called the indictment "a serious mistake."

Kendall knows about mistakes. Obviously.

N.B. Hey Tom, when is the last time Kendall Coffey tried a case, and did not plead his client guilty?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mark Foley Opens Sleepover Camp for 15 year old boys!





Well, this is almost as ridiculous.

You remember Marky-Mark, right? No? Foley is the former real estate agent turned Republican senator from sunny Florida who was a huge opponent of child pornography. Huge.

He introduced a bill, coined the "Child Modeling Exploitation Prevention Act of 2002" to outlaw web sites featuring sexually suggestive images of preteen children, saying that “these websites are nothing more than a fix for pedophiles.” (Folks, the guy is not a hypocrite - read carefully: he stands firm on banning images of PRE teen children.)

Turns out Mark had a little secret. He liked 'em young and vulnerable.

Here is a sampling of his internet chat with teenage page boys, from ABC News.

In case you can't access the hyperlink ("MAF54" is the ex senator):

Maf54 (7:46:33 PM): did any girl give you a haand job this weekend
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:38 PM): lol no
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:40 PM): im single right now
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:57 PM): my last gf and i broke up a few weeks agi
Maf54 (7:47:11 PM): are you
Maf54 (7:47:11 PM): good so your getting horny
Xxxxxxxxx (7:47:29 PM): lol...a bit
Maf54 (7:48:00 PM): did you spank it this weekend yourself
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:04 PM): no
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:16 PM): been too tired and too busy
Maf54 (7:48:33 PM): wow...
Maf54 (7:48:34 PM): i am never to busy haha
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:51 PM): haha
Maf54 (7:50:02 PM): or tired..helps me sleep

Foley resigned in 2006 after being exposed for these sex messages to underage males who worked on Capitol Hill as congressional pages.

So what's a fella to do after that debacle?

Republican talk radio, of course!

Inside the Mind of Mark Foley airs later this month, on local radio.

Inside the Mind of Mark Foley.

Who is the rocket scientist responsible for that catchy title?

``So, do you want to know what's inside the mind of Mark Foley?'' an announcer says in the show's promo.

What exactly makes the producers think anyone would want to venture there? Isn't that like - Inside the Kitchen of Hannibal Lecter's Thai Sushi Siam!

N.B. Doesn't the young boy on Foley's right look a little, well, sleepy, after spending time with the former senator?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Big Sugar





Charlie and George are turning heads in DC. Turns out there is some scrutiny regarding George and his firm Gunster Yoakley and its work for the Governor and the State. I guess once you break on the national scene, all those skeletons come out of the closet.

As reported by the Miami Herald:

"For the past 15 years, West Palm Beach-based Gunster Yoakley has represented U.S. Sugar Corp., which for months negotiated with Crist's office to sell much of its land to the state and federal government to clean up polluted runoff in the Everglades. LeMieux said he avoided any involvement in the U.S. Sugar deal while working for Crist or afterward. The state's chief negotiator was Eric Eikenberg, a LeMieux protege who succeeded him as chief of staff.

Two weeks before LeMieux left Crist's office, Gunster Yoakley landed a $500,000 contract representing the state Department of Transportation on two matters. DOT general counsel Alexis Yarbrough, who signed the contract on Dec. 20, 2007, is the wife of Shane Strum, a deputy chief of staff who reported to LeMieux when he worked for Crist. LeMieux said he played no role in his firm's hiring; DOT has said the firm has special expertise in arcane railroad law. The firm did work for DOT before LeMieux returned there.

After leaving Crist's office in December 2007, LeMieux earned about $150,000 over a 13-month period as an adviser to state Republican Party chairman Jim Greer, a lucrative sideline that has led some to label LeMieux a ``political consultant.'' He will not discuss what he did to earn that money, which was paid from the party's federal account to his firm, MTC Strategies (named after his sons Max, Taylor, and Chase)."

You guys are like, SO skeptical!

NB - You have to admit, they sure look happy together.

Fight the Power



Did you see where The Bearded One and his friend laid the hurt on the Department of Justice? Win some, lose some. This win has to feel good.

In a nutshell, the country lawyers from Miami represented a landowner coming up on the end of a 10 year lease to Southern Command.

(Come on people, Southern Command: responsible for U.S. military operations in the Western Hemisphere? For you conspiracy theorists, they do things like supply guns to counter insurgents, or regular insurgents, or the government in power that creates the desire or need for insurgents. They may be the unassuming neighbor who leads a quiet and solitary life, but who travels a lot and asks you to walk their dogs while they are gone. To those of us who are not conspiracy theorists and have faith in the wisdom of our government and its leaders and accept what they tell us at face value, Southern Command is tasked with Building A Brighter Future. (They probably just noted that I linked to the SOUTHCOMM site and are going to monitor my IPO and the IPO of those of you reading this.)

Anyhoo, it seems like the kind of adversary you don't necessarily want to piss off. So much for that.

And this is not the first time The Boys smack down SOUTHCOMM.

Two days before expiration of the 10 years lease, when negotiations to extend the lease did not result in terms favorable to SOUTHCOMM, SOUTHCOMM and its lawyers did what any fair minded party would do in good faith: they filed an action to condemn the property for Military use. Nice.

David O. Vollenweider III, part of the crack legal team at the Justice Department's Land Acquisition Division in Washington, argued no deal had been reached. No signed contract, no meeting of the minds, no deal. You'd think David O.'s position would resonate with Judge K. Michael Moore, right?

Nope.

Dotson and Lodish argued that even though the deal had not closed, negotiations were well-documented and the condemnation action was in bad faith and a violation of well-established contract law. “They wanted to remain, and we believe we had negotiated such an extension,” Dotson said.

GPA’s legal team showed the negotiated price had been approved by government officials.

“We were able to go up the chain,” Dotson said.

David, you just run along now back to Washington and explain to your bosses up the chain at the Department of Justice how you cost Southern Command 22.8 million.

N.B. I'm not really a facial hair kind of guy, but Alvin and this win have me rethinking my position. Heck, there are apparently a bunch of reasons to sport the growth, in addition to making you a bad ass.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No Jews or Dogs Allowed



Ah, Broward County.

Founded by a short angry man who was named after a short angry man and who wanted to send all the coloreds back to Africa, like most cities that have survived after slavery was abolished, Broward has come a long way, right?

Let's take a look-see. There is that statue of the short angry man who embraced the notion of the superiority of white people, smack dab in the middle of the Broward courthouse. And the Honorable Lawrence Korda and his disdain for folks who do not speak English without an accent. And gosh, the Chief hates when the black folk play that rap music on their boom boxes. God Bless the Broward legal system.

But you knew all this. Its why I hear you say that you regard cases in Broward like The Plague.

What you maybe didn't know, is the prevalence of The Broward Way in other walks of life, like the education of children in Broward. The Sun Sentinel reports that "A Broward School District form for parents to sign and return asked for their children's racial background." Is your child a Negro?

You white men living in Broward might want to keep a close watch on your women.

NB: If one more Broward lawyer volunteers during litigation "I DON'T KNOW HOW YA'LL DO IT DOWN THERE IN MIAMI BUT HERE IN BROWARD...." I am going to start carrying a big pouch of Red Man chewing tobaccy everytime I venture into that pocket of the deep south, and offer it to the lawyer as my response to the above statement.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

All Drew Barrymore, All The Time



He rekindled my fixation. Not that I needed much help.

Have you heard? Drew's directorial debut is about to open. She's going to be the next Clint Eastwood. Or Ron Howard. I guarantee it. (Why do I always think of the Widom brothers when I see that commercial?)

Anyhoo, here is a clip.



I hope this movie does real well. It strikes me as the next generation of Breakfast Club/St. Elmo's Fire-type movies. Only smarter and edgier. Because after all, Drew is directing.

Thankfully, she dumped Justin Long, whoever that is. Come on. Justin? Long? What, are you a wanna-be porn star? Or just a pretty boy ? Either way, you're not worthy.



NB: Drew, I'll be in Vegas the week after next. Find me. I'm the guy from Miami.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

With Liberty And Justice For All

Bad Things Happen When Your Government Pays Off Bad People To Offer Bought Testimony.



As Southies everywhere would say, "You think I'm makin' this shit up!?!?"

Then read this.

"A former Secret Service informant who ran an operation called "Get Rich or Die Tryin" reportedly complained to associates of having to manually count $US340,000 in stolen $20 bills when his counting machine broke.

Albert Gonzalez, 28, is accused of masterminding the largest credit-card data thefts in history - where more than 130 million debit and credit card numbers were stolen from supermarket chains and retail outlets.

Court documents show that he lived a lavish lifestyle, drove a BMW and threw $US75,000 birthday parties.

Gonzalez, already in jail for other credit-card fraud offences, was indicted this week, with two unnamed Russian conspirators, over what federal prosecutors say is the largest case of identity theft yet."

I told you we never should have trusted the Russians. Damn liberal Democrats.

Can you imagine? Playing both sides of the fence? At that level? That young man has some balls. Sure, he may come out of the hoosegow in 10 years with a vagina where his anus used to be, but heck he drove a 500 Series BMW before he turned 25. That's something, right?

Law enforcement agents paid him handsomely to carry on, right under their noses. Sad part is, many people were investigated, arrested, charged or convicted, based on his deception. I mean, I'm just an M & A guy but am I missing something, or was he influenced to lie and offer false testimony against people, based on his desire to profit from his venality and greed, and to not be prosecuted?

NB - If anyone wants to throw a $75,000 party for my 45th birthday, please contact me off line. There are deals to be had in Vegas.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This Makes Me Sad

Down in Homestead, holding a folded American flag against her chest and a single white rose over an elegant gray coffin, Velma Torres paid her final farewell Saturday to her 21-year-old son Cpl. Christian A. Guzman Rivera.

``For you my son, every moment of my life you will be in my heart,'' said a weeping Torres.

21.

I cry when I read that. I listen to my two young sons play cars behind me , and I can't fathom the sense of loss.

Guzman died in Afghanistan along with four other U.S. Marines on Aug. 6 after their Humvee drove over a land mine in the western province of Farah, near the border with Iran.

Six Marines, arms behind their backs, slowly and deliberately saluted Guzman's casket. They then turned and faced each other, sidestepped over to the hearse and carried Guzman's coffin, draped with red-white-and-blue flag, into the church.

Inside, the Rev. Carlos Vega had a simple message: Guzman fought on the battlefield so that all Americans can enjoy freedom and justice.

``Christian gave his life for that purpose, he gave his life for that mission,'' Vega said.

Guzman's death, and so many like it, are just sad, really. Politics aside, it is hard to agree with Reverend Vega's conclusion.

My sons will turn 21 before I know it. I hope we pull out of this charade before then. If not, I am fond of the maple leaf and ice hockey, I can learn to dress warm, and that National Anthem is snappy.

God Bless Cpl. Christian A. Guzman Rivera and his family, and so many like them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Woman's Place is in the Home



The 1950s were good times. A woman stayed home, looked pretty for her man, cleaned the house, and had a warm meal ready for her family three times a day. And then our All-American values went to pot as women chased their dreams and fulfilled their ambition.

At least I think that's what Jack Welch, Master of the Universe, said here.

Speaking to Human Resource Management at its annual conference , Welch said women who take time off for family could be passed over for promotions if they are “not there in the clutch.”

“There's no such thing as work-life balance," Welch said. "There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences."

What?

Thanks, Jack, for your pearls of wisdom.

Jack knows about choices. He has chosen to marry three women, and has chosen to leave two of them, the first after they had four children. Men didn't do that back in the good old days, did they?

And Jack knows about consequences. When he left his second wife, it cost him $180 million. He may not leave his third wife.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yale, Harvard and a Crushing Sense of Underachievement



Marc Drier got 20 years, and went down on his knees, groveling. You have to admit, that's a little pathetic from a guy who ran a massive fraud, and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle as a result, including a huge yacht, a beach front house in the Hamptons, and a $207,043.29 Aston Martin DB-9 convertible. I mean, take your lumps like a man, dude.

"All of this left me feeling overwhelmed - by my debt, by a disappointing career, by a failed marriage. And so, incomprehensibly, in 2002 I started stealing,” Dreier said. "I stumbled upon the brazen idea of arranging fictitious loans from hedge funds, ostensibly to my principal client - the real estate developer referenced in the indictment - and diverting the loan proceeds to myself.”

What, is he freaking Robin Hood? He steals from the rich, evil hedge fund and developer types, and gives to... Marc Drier? Is that what he paid his "defense attorney" a million dollars, to come up with ? When will these defendants learn that if they want a real defense and a successful defense attorney , they need to come to Miami and hire that stud across town?

NB: Do Yale and Harvard revoke his degrees?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Like Money



Being a Receiver or Trustee can be Important and Honorable work. Even when its not, it sure is lucrative.

Just ask Irving H. Picard, the trustee charged with liquidating the investment advisory firm of Bernard L. Madoff.

Irv and his team of lawyers, paralegals and non-legal staff are requesting $14.7 million for their first seven month of work.

For seven months of work.

For seven months of work.

I love greed. It knows no boundaries. I refer, of course, to Bernie's Ponzi scheme.

Back to Irv. He is getting some push back.

"Investors who fell prey to Bernard L. Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme are claiming they have been victimized not once, but twice: this time by the trustee charged with overseeing the liquidation of Madoff's investment securities firm.

In a suit filed Wednesday in bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York, three Pennsylvania residents accused Irving H. Picard, who was appointed to the trustee post under the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970 and oversees claims filed by Madoff investors, of favoring the brokerage industry and "enrich[ing]" Wall Street at the expense of innocent investors."

Mr. Picard is a partner at Baker Hosteteler. His lawyer, David J. Sheehan, of Baker Hosteteler, has declined to comment on investor litigation.

You know what I love about having no money? I have no money to lose.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dirty Laundry



The New Times has waded into it, posting this story.

And this picture, posted under the user name "obeyme99." Obey you, indeed.



The story of the Ballman's marital woes seems pedestrian, at this point. I will say, however, that I've been around the block a few times, and even the world, but I am still scratching my head trying to understand this: "Below the image was a list of her interests: 'Role-playing, cuckolding, slaves, ATM piggies, verbal humiliation...'"

ATM piggies? Someone help me here. I feel old.

NB: How freaky is it that Don Henley played "Dirty Laundry" at Clinton's Inaugural Ball? I don't think I remember that. I wonder if the song is one of Monica's favorites?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Oh, this is Rich




So have you heard the one about John Ashcroft getting $52 million to serve as "monitor" to a medical equipment company that received a deferred prosecution agreement (read: "get out of jail free card") from Ashcroft's buddy Christopher Christie, former United States Attorney for New Jersey? Oh, sure. The contract included a flat fee of $750,000 a month for 18 months, plus hourly billing and expenses. Better still, it was a no-bid contract, meaning when the company "accepted" the right to not be prosecuted, it pretty much had to settle on Christie's virtual appointment of Ashcroft as monitor, as part of the deal.

Still able to hold down your lunch, are you? Get this: when the company learned only after accepting the deal, the price of admission Ashcroft was charging to play ball, it protested through its counsel, Fulbright & Jaworski. At which point the US Attorney himself interceded and wrote to the company's counsel in a most paternalistic way " "I am very disappointed that this matter has not been resolved by your client. I am not convinced that this dispute is at the point where it cannot be resolved between your client and the Monitor."

Sunshine has now illuminated this little deal.

Currently, a House subcommittee hearing over the propriety of the no-bid contract is ongoing. The issue is such a black-eye for the justice department , that the Christie/Ashcroft deal caused it to change the process for how monitor contracts are awarded.

But, in the meantime, Ashcroft and his Boys remain pious and have refused to accept responsibility for what appears to many to be a shake-down and does not pass the smell test.

Ashcroft denied that his connection with Christie constituted a conflict of interest or even the appearance of impropriety. "No law that I know of has been violated," Ashcroft said.

You have to admit, this guy gives good depo.

Say what you want about John, but he is a true friend, always rising to defend his buddies, when some latina democrat gal has the audacity to question his authority to make unfettered decisions. At one point during the hearings, Ashcroft told Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif that "this hearing costs more money than any corporate monitorship.""Not a single cent of tax dollars is spent on deferred prosecution agreements," Ashcroft said. He later criticized her for "attacking" Christie, whom he called an accomplished prosecutor, and suggested that Sanchez's concerns about impropriety were so misplaced as to be discriminatory against former public officials.

Ah, the best defense is a good offense.

For his part, Christie apparently learned well at the feet of the Master, and is not going to take any lip from a bunch of politicos.

Christie said during the subcommittee hearing that controversy over the no-bid contract has been exaggerated by Democrats looking to derail his bid as a Republican running for New Jersey governor.

It's a conspiracy!

He's a victim!

And Christie apparently has had enough, taking his marbles and going home. Literally. The National Law Journal reports that Christie, telling lawmakers he had a train to catch, finally walked out of the hearing in frustration after two and a half hours. Democrats tried to get him to stay as television cameras followed him out.

Who the hell does that and gets away with it? Isn't he under subpoena?

"This is not a conflict of interest," Ashcroft said. "There is not an appearance of conflict."

Sympathy, my ass.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What are you, on crack?


Sorry. That's no way to address a Senator.

But in reading that Yale Law Dean Harold Koh was confirmed to be legal advisor to the State Department, I noted that "Koh overcame procedural roadblocks thrown up by Republicans who questioned his commitment to U.S. sovereignty."

I'm not even sure what that means. Like, what: he wanted to cede to Belgium? Or he advocates that we break into groups of "biguns" and "littluns", fighting to establish superiority? Or somehow he has managed to achieve his stature in life, and he's really a double secret agent for Russia? I'm convinced that when Republicans return to their wives and children after hanging for a long weekend in the DR with a pocket full of Viagra, hallucinations eventuate. How else can you justify being an elected official who doesn't wear a white sheet on his head, and claim that Koh "is not committed to US sovereignty?"

You want to know why republicans solidified their continued marginalization by challenging Koh in this despicable manner? Because he opposed going to war in Iraq. Because he opposed US sanctioned torture. Because he wants the US to be the leader on how to conduct international trials for violations of human rights.

Sicko. Commie. Che!

You know, a few of my partners graduated from Yale Law, and on occasion when they have not agreed with my legal analysis, I've wondered if they were not trying to overthrow the United States Government. Heck, maybe the republicans are on to something with this Koh guy.

NB: That flag annoys me.

La Vida Continua



Big Law continues to scramble to find ways to stay afloat, once again turning to the incoming associate class as a source of cost cutting. As the National Law Journal reports today DLA Piper, the largest Firm in the free world, has reduced the size of its first-year associate class entering the firm in January to 85, down from 100 last year. And only half of the 85 will actually work at the firm, while the other half go into public interest jobs and join the firm in the fall of 2010, said Frank Burch, the firm's global chairman. But it doesn't end there. Forget the old Big Law predictable lock-step associate compensation formula. And apparently, Big Law is going to place more emphasis on the dreaded contract/staff attorney, thereby divesting associates further of their worth to The Firm. (Look, I can't stand the annual locust-like influx of gunner associates either, but you have to admit there is something weird about contract attorneys.)

Anyhoo, the resultant uncertainty can't make for a happy summer for these newly minted law grads all bloated with their sense of entitlement and promise of filthy lucre. Rather than sit around fretting, I'd get a job waiting tables some where around here and blow it out, maybe for the last time before reality sets in. After all, the best revenge is living well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Inconceivable



We've all been dumped. Some of us by clients. But few of us have had our fragile egos dinged when clients publicly kicked us to the curb. Hot shot Randall Kessler feels that humiliation. Randall, who we understand from his website is a huge deal in Georgia, which I think is like being a huge deal in Broward, is "often asked to handle cases involving celebrities and athletes." He's got the noggin to prove it.

Anyhoo, Randy - can we call you Randy? - was dumped on Twitter in front of his client's 19,305 followers. Of course, tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have had a client with 19,305 Twitter followers. Unless she owes you $4 for every one of her Twitter followers. And you were banking on Usher picking up the tab.

Randall formerly represented Tameka Foster-Raymond in a divorce proceeding initiated by her soon-to-be ex, R&B singer Usher. Days after Kessler publicly praised his client as a faithful wife and loving mother, Raymond, who goes by @TamekaRaymond on Twitter, was tweeting her buddy, celebrity lawyer @StarJonesEsq in search of a new lawyer. Foster-Raymond's tweet, which was posted publicly, read: "My lawyer = horrible. Need the name/number of a good one in Atlanta."

I love Atlanta. Next time you are in Atlanta, check out Sylvia's. It's incredible.

Randall




Not Randall

The Enigma



While other leading Republicans fall from grace, our Man Charlie remains a devoted family man protecting his constituents.

Its hard to slam Charlie, who today vetoed a bill that would have deregulated rates for some residential property insurance policies. Crist wrote that the so-called ''Consumer Choice'' bill ''actually gives the choice to a select group of property insurance companies.'' It would have let them choose to sell unregulated policies only to customers who pose the lowest risk, Crist advised.

For a guy with his sights clearly set on a presidential run down the road, you'd think he would not want to poke his finger in the eye of Big Insurance. But he did. That gives Charlie some street cred, in my book.

Bad Boy, Bad Boy, What You Gonna Do When They Come For You?



He refers to it as "North of the Border," but many who venture there claim it is the deep, deep south. An old boys network where judges and politicians enforce unspoken codes regarding how justice is dispensed and politics and business run. I don't know about all that, and will leave it to his blog to document the public scandals that plague Broward.

But the latest from over yonder suggests Broward may have a long way to go in cleaning up its act. Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti is facing a state elections inquiry involving a campaign advertisement in what at the moment is a civil probe.

The Herald reports that a roofer in Broward ran an add by hoisting a sign on a car, with a 65-ton crane, near I-95. Apparently, the roofer, who admitted to not filing an in-kind contribution form as required by the Elections Commission, moonlights as a lawyer: "...I don't know of any case when people put signs on their property that they call it an in-kind rent." Alrighty then, Counselor.

And oh yeah: Crane boy, according to the Herald, earns about 60 percent of his business from government contracts.

When contacted today for a comment, Lamberti had his mouth full at a breakfast "event" and could not comment. Presumably, he paid for his own doughnuts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Superman








I got nothing else.

Sexy Lexus, Bernie Madoff, and Amsterdam



This pretty much sums it up for me.

No blog to call my own. No readership. No Sexy Lexus.

And speaking of low hanging fruit, yesterday the court-appointed trustee in charge of liquidating the investment firm of Bernie Madoff filed suit against broker dealer, Cohmad Securities Corp., to recover what he alleged were decades worth of "ill gotten gains" received as a result of the firm's "symbiotic relationship" with Bernie's posse. The trustee asserted that "Cohmad, formed by Madoff's friend and former neighbor, Maurice "Sonny" Cohn, had "little other business or purpose," than to steer customers to Madoff's investment firm." Begging the question, why the hell would you NEED any other business or purpose when you're stealing money with Bernie and living high on the hog?

By the way, were you aware that the Titan of Enforcement, the Protector of the People, the S.E.C. has reached a partial settlement with Madoff? No? Have not seen it posted on the S.E.C.'s website? Hmm. That's surprising.

Anyhoo, details of the settlement released last week reveal that Madoff did not have to admit wrongdoing under the agreement, but he is barred from ever again working in the securities industry. That's just disgusting.

NB - is that SFL holding the lighter over his head , in the front row?