Thursday, May 26, 2011

Governor Scott Busts Out His Red Pen, Or

"You Voted For Him Dumbass, Don't Blame Me."

Scott's Job Creation platform during the campaign?

He eliminated 4,500 state worker jobs.


State workers pay 3% of their salary to fund their retirement.


Tens of millions stripped from the education system, eliminating school construction and teachers.

(He asked for greater cuts for K-12, but failed.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Breaking News: Governor Scott Appoints Michael Hanzman to Circuit Bench

The DBR breaks the news here.

Congratulations to Michael, who will be a terrific Judge.

This appointment allows the Governor to score multiple points. First, the citizens of Miami-Dade County and the members of the local Bar have a new trial judge who will continue to elevate the quality of the Bench. Second, they still have Ace Traffic Attorney Richard Hersch to retain for all of their criminal law issues.

N.B.: We think with a few more years trying, that eventually Ace will be appointed, if he does not wish to run for election, what with his compassionate quotes. Heck, he just looks like a judge, doesn't he?

I Love Clients

I know, I know: you have already seen this video.

But it never gets old.

N.B.: I bet Ace never has these problems with his clients.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Count Down


Apparently, not everyone received a personal invite from Ms. Damian.

So see below.

This is a great cause and a great night and Wynwood is the hippest place, bar none, including the Meat Packing District (of old) or anywhere in Seattle or San Francisco.

The title of the post links to Educate Tomorrow's site.

Buy a ticket.


I invite you to join me in showing your support for Educate Tomorrow at their 8th Annual Wine Tasting & Silent Auction on Thursday, June 2, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Bakehouse Art Complex in the Wynwood District.

Your attendance or sponsorship will help Educate Tomorrow serve disadvantaged young adults transitioning out of the foster care system to further their education.

I would personally appreciate any support you can provide and hope to see you you at the Wine Tasting. Tickets are $75 and available for purchase online at

Thank you,

Melanie Damian
Educate Tomorrow Co-Founder

Wine Workshop with Michael Bittel, Sunset Corners Fine Wine & Spirits, and Abraham Horowitz, BuyLines Tasting Panel, Wine News

Thursday,June 2, 2011
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Bakehouse Art Complex
located at 561 NW 32nd Street, Wynwood District.

Tickets $75 per person | $100 at the door

Purchase Online at

Sponsorships Available: $250 - $10,000

Contact Shawn Joost for more information at 305.374.3751 or

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What a Bunch of Bullshi*t

As Pacenti reports, the Senate placed Kathy Williams nomination on its "consent calendar."

Whatever that means.

Senator Nelson's office offers this wisdom: "Williams’ confirmation is imminent as long as there are no objections."

No shit, Sherlock. Ya' think?

Man, despite her veneer of unflappability, this has to be difficult on Kathy. And it underscores again that politics prevents good people from putting their lives on hold to seek appointment to the Bench or some other important position.

Fortunately for the Southern District, Kathy is tough as nails and has the mettle to wait this out.



Check out this NY Times article on Senate Republicans blocking a vote on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Ciruit. Apparently, all because Liu spoke out against Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court. Such petty partisanship. But, this is the way the "game" is played in Washington.

Senator Jefferson Beauregard (I shit you not) Sessions, III, Republican of Alabama, said we don't need any slant-eyes on our courts, especially in California. Don't you remember Pearl Harbor? That's close to California! It would be an insult to put one of them on the court out there! “This nominee, I believe, represents an extraordinary circumstance. His record reveals that he believes the Constitution is a fluid, evolving document with no fixed meaning.”

Beauregard can hold a grudge. Remember 1986, when Ronnie nominated him to the District Court for the Southern District of Alabama? He didn't make it because FOUR of the assistants working under him when he was the US Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama testified that he made rascist comments to them.

Don't believe me?

One of those lawyers, J. Gerald Hebert, testified that Sessions had referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" because they "forced civil rights down the throats of people."

Thomas Figures, a black Assistant U.S. Attorney, testified that Sessions said he thought the Klan was "OK until I found out they smoked pot." Sessions also called Mr. Figures "boy" and told him to be careful what he said to white folks. In his defense, little Jeffy said that "his remarks were taken out of context or meant in jest." Really, you in-bred, backwater rascist weasel? HAHAHAHA just kidding! That's a joke, Beau! Please don't take it out of context!

This guy would call Jeff Sessions a dipshit. I am not calling Jeff Sessions a dipshit. Nor would I ever call Jeff Session a dipshit. I think that calling Jeff Sessions a dipshit, would be inappropriate.

He's just an angry little man, who has become more sophisticated in plying his anti-American obstructionism and zealot agenda.

Sweet Home Alabama, indeed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Broward Chief Judge Victor Tobin to Practice Foreclosure Law!

At the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson, no less.

Who in their right mind could turn down that gig?

Obviously the Chief will do well and we wish him well. If we may, here are a few tips to insure your instant success upon your return to practice.

Heck, the Chief already has the newest buzz phrases down pat. Check out this quote from the DBR:

“Number one, it’s a firm that has a need. Number two, it’s a good fit for me. It’s an opportunity for me to carry on some of what I’ve done in the courthouse to see that best practices are used. They instituted a best-practices policy, and I’m going to make sure that is followed and make sure we do everything right,” he said

Best practices? Really? The Attorney General did not think so.

Despite his homicidal disdain for our blog we share Rumpole's opinion of BroweirdBroward.

N.B. Chief - trilogies. What is number $ 3?

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Ace" Miami Traffic Attorney Richard Hersch Talks Tough!!

"They Have to Get Through Us , Before They Get to You!"

No, really.

That's what Ace says. (Hey - that's what Richie's pal Rumpole calls him.)

Says so right here.

That's his marketing strategy.

Well, that and his associate LaSonya K. Lacey, who is plastered all over his website.

Except I wonder if his clients have seen this quote from Richie in today's Herald.

Defense lawyer Richard Hersch called Miami-Dade’s new DUI Diversion program a “good thing.”

“The vast majority of first DUIs are people who make stupid mistakes. Turning them into criminals doesn’t make any sense. A good number of them are going to get off because an officer doesn’t show, and evidence falls apart. What happens to those people? They’re not on the radar, and they’re not going to get treatment,” Hersh said.


So maybe the quote on Richard Hersch's website should be changed to read:

"They Have to Get Through Us, Before They Get To You! Unless They Ask Us Nicely! Or Unless I Think You Made a Stupid Mistake! Or Unless I Think You Need to Be a Criminal! Or Unless I Think You Need to be "On the Radar." Or unless I want to help the prosecution because its not fair to them that their evidence is "falling apart." Or Unless I Think You Need Treatment!"

You know, I am not a criminal attorney, so when I hear the term "get off" it conjures certain images. But I have never heard criminal defense lawyers use the phrase "get off on a technicality." Usually they corner me at the bar, pour tequila and invade my space while passionately talking about concepts I remember from law school, like "constitutional guarantees," "burden of proof", and "reasonable doubt."

The JNC might want reconciliation of Mr. Hersch's Oath of Attorney and his desire to be appointed to the bench.

N.B.: Ode to Lacey Underall

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The Daily Business Review reports that there are "two intriguing items on the list: a box of "fetish wear" and a framed copy of the "Lawyer's Creed."

You can read the entire story here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Can Assure You My Intentions Are Strictly Honorable

All this talk about Judge Ungaro's order tossing the Bank Atlantic verdict just affirms what I knew all along: Judge Ungaro is super Hot Judge Ungaro may initially appear to want to attack you on certain issues you raise, depending on who you are, but if you stay focused, don't take the bait and don't get frustrated, she will study the law and if you raise persuasive issues will rule correctly, including reversing herself. And I am a big fan of watching that, beg your pardon.

She is smart, doesn't suffer fools, enjoys a good spat, is sartorially elegant and doesn't hold a grudge.

What more could you want in a woman in a Judge?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kendall Coffey Sinks His Teeth Into Florida Rule of Evidence 90.803(25)a.ii.

I thought I'd followed closely Miami Voice's recall effort of Natacha. But somehow I did not know that Michael "Lou" Pizzi had previously led an unsuccessful Natacha recall effort. ( I just love saying that....NATACHAAAAAAAA...)

The Herald covers the drama here. So like, doesn't it seem a little less like Mikey is co-counsel to Big Ben, and a little more like Mikey hired Ben this time around to make sure things did not go south? Again.

Anyhoo, back to Natacha's depo. According to the Herald, Pizzi and Natacha really got into it. Can't wait for video, live at 5.

Natacha's attorney is non other than Kendall Coffey! You remember him, right?

No? Let me try to refresh your recollection.

He has attempted to stage a comeback by pushing his visibility through various publicity stunts.

First, he served as a CNN commentator on Eliot Spitzer's fall from grace for cheating on his wife and daughters and lying about being a prostitute's trick. Our own Glenn Garvin outed Kendall for his, er, "superior qualifications" for the gig. (One wonders if Garvin would have chimed in were Kendall a republican.)

Kendall's next publicity stunt was real early in the Rothstein Ponzi fraud, before he had any reasonable opportunity to understand the complex facts. Come on you remember! He took his client's word and invited the cameras in and shared his defense theories and gave a tour of the firm! Cool!

And don't forget the book!

Heck, I could go on and on with Ken's self-prooting publicity stunts - but why bother? Just check out his website.

Which brings us back to our evidence lesson for today. According to the Herald, in his depo defense of Natacha, Kendall cites the oft overlooked 90.803(25)a.ii. objection: "Kendall Coffey, Seijas’ attorney, repeatedly objected to Pizzi’s line of questioning, accusing him of a politically motivated “publicity stunt.’’

Wasn't Ben co-counsel with Ken for Gore, in the recount?

N.B.: I wonder how Ben is holding up.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Faustian Tale of David Stern

I knew David when he was nobody, and heck, that seems like almost yesterday.

But now he's all over the news! Heck, he's featured in the Washington Post!

Let's see:

Plush, marble floored offices with glass and fountains? Check.

60 million in personal real estate? Check

Bugatti, Ferrari, Bentley? Check.

Bombshell wife? Check.

Yacht? Check.

Shit out of luck? Looks that way.

The dude has all 50 attorneys general on his ass. Not even Madoff can say that.

Michelle Conlin puts out some great journalism in the Post article.

Here's Dave, in happier days.

N.B.: Note the wristband from the prior evening's all-you-can-drink wet T-shirt contest.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kuehne and Pizzi

You know, you spend a few weeks at the bottom of a scotch bottle, and you miss a lot around here.

Ben and Mike are co-counsel to Miami Voice, the political action committee that is leading the effort to oust Miami-Dade County Commissioner Natacha Seijas?

(Natacha has fought back, asking a circuit judge to block her March 15 recall election, arguing that if the supposedly flawed recall petitions are excluded, not enough valid voter signatures were delivered to the Clerk of Courts to justify a recall election.)

Anyhoo, what a team, Ben and Mikey! Good cop/ bad cop, for sure! Check out the quotes from the Herald article!

The ``court must make every effort to validate the citizens' will,'' asserted Miami Voice, represented by attorney Ben Kuehne. ``Especially in view of the exacting standards for enjoining an election, this court should be confident, as should any responsible elected official, that the people can best be trusted to choose their political and governmental leaders despite the efforts of entrenched politicians to subvert the will of the voters.''

That Ben Kuehne, he's something else isn't he?

Then Mikey announced his presence with authority, stating that Natacha's ``claims are based on absurd technicalities. It is total nonsense.''

Ah, the old "absurd technicalities" defense.

But Mikey is not done. In response to legal positions taken by Natacha's camp, Mike says ``It's despicable they made an allegation they knew they couldn't back up,'' Pizzi said.

Watch the video of Natacha's aborted deposition on the Herald website - Natacha looks like a deer in headlights.


N.B.: Speaking of a numbers game, on this matter do you think Pizzi is billing out for his standard rate of $500 or his reduced rate of $80?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Parsing Hialeah, Mayor Julio Robaina, and Fraud

"The More He Did Borrow, The Bigger the Hole He Got."

That's easy for you to say.

You know, if the speaker was other than Alvin Entin, I'd mock the speaker. Because I got to. But with Alvin, its always possible he's pulling a Columbo. And even if he's not, how can you not love Alvin?

Alvin represented "Felipito", the flashy Hialeah jeweler sentenced in December to 10 years in the federal pen, for running a $40 million dollar ponzi scheme ( I know, I know: only 40 million! Chump change by Miami standards. But, we're talking Hialeah.)

Felipito started soliciting investors in 2006 to invest in his jewelry business, promising returns of 18 to 36 percent a year. He later promised up to 120 percent annual returns.

That doesn't sound too good to be true.

Mayor Julio apparently wanted in, to the tune of a $750,000 investment. And now the IRS is knocking, according to El Herald.

But when asked about the probe, JR declined to detail the loans made to Felipito, saying he "did not want to jeopardize the investigation."

Uh huh.

Julio shared something of his home life, however. According to the Herald, the two-term Hialeah mayor said his wife runs the household, including their personal finances.

``My wife deals with everything that has to do with my home. You ask me what we pay in the city and I can tell you the details. You ask me what we pay water, FPL in my home, I don't know,'' Robaina said. ``I'm not trying to blame her. I'm just saying she's the one who handles these things,'' Robaina said.

Sounds credible.

According to the Herald, "Robaina first said he had no direct business dealings with Perez. Two checks indicate otherwise, El Nuevo Herald has learned.

When Perez was first charged with fraud in June, Robaina told El Nuevo Herald that he did not have a direct business relationship with Perez. He said his wife's companies dealt with him.

Two checks obtained by El Nuevo Herald show Perez paid Robaina $6,00O -- $3,000 per check -- in September 2006. The checks were made out to Robaina. Robaina said the checks were interest payments on a loan that his wife's company made to Perez and that his name appeared erroneously."

Innocent mistake.

Alvin gets the last word.

``It is public that my client received three quarters of a million dollars from Julio Robaina. My client was repaying the loans at 36-percent-a-year interest. It is what it was,'' Entin said.

N.B.: As Yogi Berra said, you can observe a lot by watching.

Judge King Wants to See You, Mark

Remember when marijuana was the smuggler's livelihood? Doesn't that seem nostalgic? Like hearkening back to a simpler time.

31 years is a long time.

31 years ago, Miami's Best Criminal Defense lawyer, pictured below while delivering his closing argument in the Buju Banton trial , was in 4th grade.

31 years ago, Tom Meeks was the King of spring break, according to South Florida Lawyers.

Heck, 31 years ago Steel Hector & Davis not only existed, but was relevant.

One thing has NOT changed in 31 years: Judge King remains on the bench. And that is very bad news for Mark Phillips.

As the Herald reported, Mark was a reputed member of the "Black Tuna" Smuggling Ring and indicted on charges of racketeering, possession and distribution of marijuana in February 1980. After sitting through a month of trial before Judge King, Mark skipped out. Mark was convicted in absentia. Mark spent the next 31 years living pretty well in Chile, Germany, London and New York. Until he was apprehended today in a retirement community in West Palm.

So, guess who represented Mark before Judge King 31 years ago, according to the docket.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You Don't Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight!

So says Florida State Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker.

But, like Greg, why would I attend a gun fight?

In case you have not been to Baker, it is an unincorporated town in Okaloosa County, Florida, 10 miles northwest of the County Seat - Crestview - in the Florida Panhandle. The Baker Block Museum, where according to their link confederate flags are exhibited and sold, is housed in Baker.

Crestview had a population of 22,000 in 2008 , according to the US Census Bureau although whomever created the Wiki site for Crestview claims "82,500 residents live in the immediate area."

Like what, in the woods? In tents or survival pits? In Baker?

In 2007, Crestview Mayor Whitehurst, who had been mayor for nearly 20 years, resigned, leading to the inauguration of David Cadle, who had just retired from directorship of the Big Red Machine, the local high school's band.

When I attended band camp, my nickname was the Big Red Machine.

Speaking of nicknames, Crestview has many common nicknames, the most frequently used is "Hub City". "Hub City" got its name because its at the center of an interstate, two highways, a railroad, and two rivers. Also known as C-view, Crestucky, and The Big Skinny.

My first mate's new nickname is officially The Big Skinny. Because Tres Piernas seems immediately to garner too much attention when the women-folk board my vessel.

Anyhoo, back to Baker, Greg Evers, knives, guns and fights.

Don't underestimate Greg's ability to shape gun laws throughout the state in a way that will make it even easier for cop killers to buy guns.

Greg says, according to the Herald:

The explosion of gun violence hasn't gone unnoticed in the state Capitol, where lawmakers in the pro-gun Florida Legislature say the tragedies underscore the need to loosen the regulation of guns -- rather than restrict them.

``What these cases show is that gun regulation doesn't keep guns away from criminals,'' Sen. Greg Evers said. ``It's time we get more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens so they can protect themselves. You don't bring a knife to a gun fight.''

Ah yes, now I understand Greg, who is sponsoring two controversial gun bills this legislative session. One would restrict physicians from asking patients about the presence of firearms in the home. The other bill would allow holders of concealed weapon permits to wear their guns in the open -- including on college campuses.

Virginia Tech.

Nevertheless, folks in the Florida legislature are currently trying to pass a law to ban high-volume ammunition clips, such as the one used in the recent Tucson shooting rampage.

Not likely to happen, though, because gun-rights advocates like Evers say they oppose regulating the ammunition clips because it wouldn't keep them out of the hands of criminals. And many say the NRA controls which bills will likely pass or fail, because gun control is a thing of the past in the Florida Legislature.

I love that.

And how do the police feel about making sure guns flow like water?

``It's easier for a criminal to buy a gun than a can of beer,'' said Miami-Dade Sgt. John Rivera, president of the Florida Police Benevolent Association.

Ah, John Rivera: now there's a bleeding heart liberal, soft-on-crime guy, if ever there was one.

Speaking of hearts, make sure to watch from 59 second to the 1 minute mark of the video , when Austin proclaims with each shot, "DEAD! DEAD IN THE HEART! DEAD!" Only, he's not shooting deer.

N.B.: Mr. Evers - You're no Jimmy Carter.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What Do Bowman Brown and AC/DC Guitarist Angus Young have in Common?

Other than the school boy rep tie and good hair, probably not much, except that for both, all good things must come to an end.

Yup. The City Club is gone.

And as I thought I heard Bowman say, that really sucks.

As reported by the Herald:

"Yet, those who remained members of the Miami City Club like attorney Bowman Brown were disappointed to hear of the planned closing.

``It's a shame,'' said Brown, chairman of the executive committee at Shutts & Bowen. ``It's so convenient, right across the street from my office. It has some of the best views in town.''

"And sometimes, Angus and I would hang there and then head to the Deuce Bar until the sun came up."

(I added that last part.)

Shutts is for life.

Anyhoo, another piece of Miami passes.

NB - I miss the Deuce Bar - I have not been in far too long.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome, Governor Scott

So yeah, Rick Scott was sworn in as your Governor.

And he had a lot to say.

"It's hard to hide the fact that the wolf is at the door," Scott said.

Three forces -- taxation, regulation and litigation -- are choking Florida businesses, Scott said, his voice hoarse from a weeklong gala celebrating his inauguration: "Together those three form 'the Axis of Unemployment.'"

He's a wordsmith, this guy.

"It requires magical thinking to imagine government creates prosperity," he said.

"Government has no resources of its own. Government can only give to us what was previously taken from us."

He was ousted from the company he founded after the Columbia hospital chain was forced to pay a $1.7 billion settlement with the federal government for Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Because you have to give back what you took, when you get caught, because it was taken away and then given to you but you weren't supposed to have it, but its magical to get it.

"We'll get rid of the agencies...," Scott said.

Alrighty, then.

Nevertheless, even though he promised to shrink government, he promised to create 700,000 new jobs in seven years. That's magic, right there.

Buckle up, folks.

NB you get what you vote for.