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Tuesday, August 22, 2006
JUDGE PANDO AND SARI ADDICOTT. NO ENDORSEMENT.
Judge Pando is challenged by attorney Sari Addicott. Ms. Addicott is not known to us, but that is not a qualification or disqualification for our endorsement. Ms. Addicott was strongly endorsed by the Herald, which cited Justice Lewis’s concurring opinion that because of Pando’s conduct in not disclosing a $25,000.00 loan to her campaign, she should be removed from the bench. The Herald also noted that Ms.Addicott has practiced law for 26 years and has the experience and qualifications to be a Judge.
We did not follow the story surrounding Judge Pando’s loan, but in reviewing the public documents, we agree her conduct merits strong consideration for her opponent.
We did have the occasion to see and appear before Judge Pando when she was in the REGJB. We found her to be a good judge, although we had strong negative opinions about her inability to appear in court on time.
We strongly objected to the possibility that Judge Pando was asked to leave the Justice Building because of complaints from the State Attorneys Office. We cannot imagine any more chilling effect on an independent Judiciary than the ability of some pretentious prosecutor pontificating about a Judge’s ruling being able to get the Judge re-assigned. Therefore, for those reasons alone, our sympathies lie with Judge Pando. Indeed we may even vote for her. But there is considerable strong negative language in the opinion from the Florida Supreme Court about Judge Pando’s conduct during the previous election. Combined with her inability to promptly arrive for court on a regular basis, we feel we are prevented from endorsing her.
MARISA TINKLER MENDEZ, CATHERINE PARKS, MARIO GARICA, Jr.,
Three attorneys vie for an open circuit court seat.
Catherine Parks saw fit to write to us about her qualifications:
I am a candidate for Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge in Group 80. I have over 20 years' experience in the practice of Law, having graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1983. My areas of expertise are primarily in medical malpractice defense, general insurance defense, product liability, mass tort liability, and administrative law. However, I have some experience in other areas as well. I have a great deal of trial experience and some appellate experience.Prior to attending law school, I was a Registered Nurse (RN). I received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I first worked at Duke University Medical Center in the trauma unit and, later, as an instructor of nursing at Jackson Memorial Hospital. I am also a certified guardian ad litem. I ran unsuccessfully for circuit court judge in 2004, having lost in a run-off to the Honorable William Thomas. I received numerous endorsements in that campaign, including those from The Miami Herald, the NorthEast Dade Coalition, the African-American Grassroots Committee, the League of Women Voters, the Women's Political Caucus, the Florida Nurses Association, and many many more. The Herald stated in its October 6, 2004 endorsement as follows: "Her experience in caring for people has given her insights and perspectives that have helped to shape her judicial temperament and keen sense of justice." I have given many lectures and seminars over the years and am the author of a number of articles, including "The Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 1985" (The Florida Bar Journal, Jul/Aug, 1985), "The Neurological Injury Compensation Plan (The Advocate, 1987) and more recently, "Alzheimer's Disease--Risks and Rewards" (The Journal of Long-Term Care, Nov 2004). I am very involved in my community and serve on the Florida Local Advocacy Council, a group whose mission is to provide guidance and assistance to the less fortunate. I am also active with the American Association of University Women and other organizations. I am on the board of directors of Hammock Oaks homeowners assocation.I am currently divorced, and I have 2 wonderful children, Michelle (15 y.o. student at Ransom Everglades) and Dan (19 y.o. student at Yale). Given my qualifications and background, I feel that I am imminently qualified to serve my community as a circuit court judge. I would very much appreciate your support and your vote.
Ms. Parks appears to be an excellent choice for the voters.
The next candidate in this race is Mario Garica, Jr., who as the Herald noted, has been a member of the bar since 1999.
The final candidate is Marisa Tinkler Mendez. Ms. Mendez, a former employee in Mr. Roy Black’s law firm, is a well known practitioner of criminal law defense. While she is our personal choice here, and would hit the ground running as a Judge, we are equally impressed with Ms. Park’s qualifications. We cannot in good conscience endorse either of these fine candidates over the other, but we do think both of them merit endorsement over Mr. Garcia.
THE SCREAM- explained?
On August 22, 2004 The Scream by Edvard Munch was stolen at gunpoint.
We've often had this thought about the painting:
"My case just got re-assigned to Judge_______????!!!!"
See You In Court.