Tuesday, August 08, 2006


AN alert and truly scholarly reader sent in this advisory opinion, circa 1970:

OPINION 70-20August 26, 1970

While an attorney has both the right and duty to oppose election or reelection of a judge believed by him to be unqualified, he should not act in such a way as to lessen public confidence in our legal system.Canons: 2 and 27

CPR: Canon 8 and EC 8-6

Chairman Massey stated the opinion of the committee:

An inquiring attorney asks if he may properly make public statements, using any and all mass media available to him, concerning a judge who is seeking re-election, such statements being to the effect that the judge is unqualified and incompetent and is unable to provide a fair trial, giving examples from the attorney's personal experience.

An attorney has both the right and the duty to oppose election or re-election of a judge believed by him to be unqualified. See present Canon of Professional Ethics and Code of Professional Responsibility Canon 8. The Ethical Consideration 8-6 (CPR) is directly in point.

The committee is concerned, however, with the allusion to using mass media and the citing of personal examples to illustrate the attorney's position relating to the judge.

EC 8-6 cautions that:...While a lawyer as a citizen has a right to criticize such officials publicly, he should be certain of the merit of his complaint, use appropriate language, and avoid petty criticisms, for unrestrained and intemperate statements tend to lessen public confidence in our legal system. Criticisms motivated by reasons other than a desire to improve the legal system are not justified.

"Unrestrained and intemperate statements...." now who does that sound like?


Rumpole said...




This race pits the incumbent Judge McWhorter against the oft maligned, for amending her name at the last minute, Patricia Marino-Pedraza.

Ms. Marino has not done too well on the fund-raising circuit. She has only raised $22,558 and has had to add another $45k to the kitty for a total of $67,558. She needs it, because she has spread her money around to several consulting firms. She has paid Jordan Leonard $5,500; Stanley Shapiro $500; Hipolito Leon $2,500; Miguel Amador $2,000; Ramon Alonso $2,500, for a total of $13,000 so far.

Judge McWhorter, on the other hand, seems to be the master fundraiser, "can you say incumbent judge". She has amassed $99,373 and only kicked in $100 of her own money. She also has only given $750 in consulting fees to one Daisy Castellanos.

But the more important news is this: As our educated readers of the BLOG know, the maximum contribution is $500.

Well, here is the problem:

On April 23, 2005, Gonzalo Dorta gave $500. On June 18, 2005, Dorta gave another $250. McWhorter accepted the second donation.

On April 22, 2005, Burnadette Norris-Weeks gave $500. On July 28, 2005 she gave another $100. McWhorter accepted the second donation.

On May 17, 2005, the law firm of Weiss, Serota gave $500. On March 17, 2006 they contributed another $250. McWhorter accepted the second donation.

Each time she accepted the second donation, she violated the law which clearly states that a campaign may not accept more than $500 from one particular person or organization.

Now her campaign did finally refund the money to each of the three contributors. But she waited until April 5, 2006 to do so. That means she held the illegal contributions for 10 months on Dorta, 9 months on Weeks and three weeks on Weiss, Serota.

Now the really bad news: according to FS 106.08 (7)(a) and (7)(b): a candidate that accepts donations in excess of the maximum $500 allowed by law commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if they accept one donation in excess of the limit (7)(a) and it becomes a Felony of the Third Degree when the candidate accept two or more illegal contributions (7)(b).

So readers, what do you have to say now.......


Rumpole said...

We moved the Captain's post to this new comment section because it is relevant and important.

MTV GUY said...

Fine- so I moved my post because its fun and breaking news:

HOT RUMOR: PD WARREN SCHWARTZ and former Judge ALAN POSTMAN have agreed to appear on MTV's "Pimp Your Crib" as celebrity chefs in a charity cook-off. Warren will bake his famous "Rory Glory" morning muffins and Postman will make his favorite "Liars Pasta" dish. Proceeds to benefit the home for aged Judges defeated in elections.

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Anonymous said...

MTV GUY, that was just funny...


Anonymous said...

I moved one of Rumpole's post because its full of lies, lies I say lies:

Rumpole said...
1:08 about "someone forgot to take his medicine" (and I have no doubt who posted that) I was responding to (your) someone's email, and you are not a Judge and my post was my OPINION which I am allowed to express. Furthermore,by a reading of the post, it is clear that I have no proof (you) take medicine (although I think you should strongly consider seeing a qualified DR) and I was responding to (your) rather outrageous claims. I thought you don't read this blog? Anyway, this discussion involves legals matters weill above your limited ability to understand and properly respond. Stick to your website. I am sure Judge you know who has done something else to make you upset.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 1:31:29 PM

Anonymous said...

Lieberman loses! Peace Now!

Anonymous said...

Somewhere, Terri Schiavo is smiling...

Anonymous said...

brush up on the law inspector turd nugget. is it a strict liability crime? not. it was an accident. and dan marino no longer plays for the dolfins. they suck. j.e.t.s. jets jets jets.

Anonymous said...

i am with 12:31 am on that one

Anonymous said...

12:31 here,
the irony is that i'm voting for marino. 1st off, i am a die hard marino fan. and i've have never forgiven jimmy for the way he treated him. 2nd, judge mc whorter, is irish. we don't need another fuckin mc on the judiciary.

Anonymous said...

big props to kerrum wahid?? for stepping up to bat on that serial rapist case. i remember when he picked that case up A COUPLE of months ago. Now he is in trial. Strong Island!

Brummer sat on that case for 4 years then "conflicted" off. Yo.

Anonymous said...

hey 12:54 I am irish what with the Irish bashing.

I will have this blog shut down

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha. guess what, you're not funny. now go back to ireland you potato eating, little dick wielding mc..

Anonymous said...

Rumpole is this TRUE?

Katherine Rundle beat the system.
You can too.

It's Just That Simple
To some politicians, the rules are for the "little people". They don't apply to them. Incredibly, a recent ruling by the Florida Commission on Ethics actually encourages this behavior (Florida Commission on Ethics press release dated March 15, 2005 in the case of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle).

State Attorney Fernandez Rundle stood accused of accepting airline tickets for herself, her son, and her bodyguard, paid for by a foreign government, then trading in the tickets for cheaper ones and pocketing the money. Even worse, she failed to properly report this "gift" which far exceeded Florida disclosure laws (Ethics complaint based on Public Corruptions Bureau of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Case Number PCIB 02-153 and FDLE Case Number 111820040302143712).

Now you might think his is unethical behavior by Miami-Dade's "Top Cop". Not so, ruled the Commision on Ethics.

Why? Because State Attorney Fernandez Rundle had yet to actually spend the money she pocketed.

By this logic, a politician could accept a million dollars and not have to report this "gift", so long as the money is not spent while he or she is in public office.

That is just not right.

We are your law enforcement officers.
We enforce the law.

Like you, we are sick and tired of politicians who
think they are above the law

PBA web site.

herald watch said...

BIG NEWS TODAY - much like some of the commentators on this blog, the Herald can't spell.

Today they endorse McWhorter (they call her Mcwhorther, repeatedly), and they mention the departed and real nice guy John Balikes (they spell it Falikes.)

No mention is made of the name-change-for-the-campaign-Pedraza issue, and the Herald spends little space on the reason McWhorter has opposition - that she is rude in court.

They say nothing about whether Dandy Patty Dan Marino-Now-Also-Pedraza is a good candidate.

Shirlyon, you can be a little abrupt at times. Hopefully when you get your new six year term you'll lose that edge a bit.

The Herald also says McWhorter was an "outstanding lawyer" in private practice, but gives no examples.


You know you're getting the endorsement when the first sentence mentions one Juan F. D'Arce, Jr. Not to mention that the second paragraph beings "Prosecutors are investigating." And the third paragraph mentions what Miami-Dade Judical Legend Former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald Kogan thinks about the whole thing.

Faber gets what he deserves, a nice discussion of his career, and the endorsement.

CAPTAIN said...


The problem with the ooops defense on the McWhorter campaign contributions is this:

The first violation is the Dorta violation. When she got the second donation on 6/18/05, the crime was completed. Here is her problem: she filed campaign reports on 6/30/05; filed an amended report to that in August 2005; filed another campaign report on 9/30/05; filed another campaign report on December 31, 2005; filed an amended report to that 12/05 report in May of 2006 that did not mention the return of the money; filed another campaign report on 3/31/06. It wasn't until April of 2006 that she returned the money according to her report filed with the Division of Elections on August 4, 2006.

The second violation is the Norris-Weeks violation. When she got the second donation on 7/28/05, the crime was completed. Here is the problem: she filed a campaign report on 9/30/05; filed another campaign report on December 31, 2005; filed an amended report to that 12/05 report in May of 2006 that did not mention the return of the money; filed another campaign report on 3/31/06. It wasn't until April of 2006 that she returned the money according to her report filed with the Division of Elections on August 4, 2006.

The third violation appears just slightly less serious of a problem. It is the Weiss, Serota donation and that crime occurred on March 17, 2006. She did file a campaign report on March 31, 2006 and failed to mention the fact that she had now accepted more than $500 from them. But she apparently realized it in April and returned the money. But when she filed her amended 12/05 return in May of 2006, she failed to mention the alleged return of the money the month before. It wasn't until her recent August 4, 2006 filing of her report with the Division of Elections that she mentions the return of the money.

What do you think now, with that extra information?

And, its Patty by a nose said...

I have appeared in front of McWhorter on 40-50 cases during the last couple of years and one full fledged trial. I have seen Patty Marino doing traffic cases for many years. My impressions are as follows: Both are equally intellectually light; McWhorter has proven to be State-oriented and slow-minded, even arrogant at times. Patty, one would think, will be more defense-oriented. I don't care about the name thing that much, hey, whatever it takes in this ethnically-callenged county; I say, let's give little Patty a chance, she might not be half bad; certainly no legal genius in the making.

CAPTAIN said...

and let me add one more nugget (for 12:31 am):

The McWhorter campaign filed an amended return on August 31, 2005. On the first page of that return both the Judge and her Treasurer sign the document.

In that Amended Return they correct the name of a contributor by changing the contributor's address. They also correct a refund to McWhorter herself for money she laid out, by changing the address that accompanied her name.

They managed to analyze all of her paperwork to catch these two minor address corrections. Yet, they failed to catch the fact that the campaign had, by the August 31, 2005 amended filing, already violated the law on two separate occassions, when they accepted the contributions over the $500 limit from Dorta and Weeks.

turd nugget ... or campaign violation ...???


Anonymous said...

hey Captain, all and all pretty technical stuff, I don't really care. The question is: is she a good Judge? Sure, she's great, if you want someone to mirror the mindless prosecutors. I agree with Patty by a nose (she does have a funny nose, doesn't she?)

Anonymous said...

The fascinating thing is that Dorta is a political whore who sits on the JNC. One would expect him to know better.

Anonymous said...

Patty is cute.

Anonymous said...

12:31 here,
a violation and a turd nugget.

Anonymous said...

what does dorta do except make it clear that you will not be a judge unless he approves?

Anonymous said...

have you seen Parks' big purple signs? They get attention.

Anonymous said...

What are Levy/Lorenzo's candidates doing? No signs, no visibility, no presence whatsoever (except for McWhorter, Faber, and now Rippingill, all of whom have retained other help). Guess the rest are all gonna do a big media blitz at the end (so L/L can get the rest of their money). Like anybody will be watching or even listening to Hispanuic tv or radio.

Anonymous said...

so sad

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they're all hanging out at Versailles waiting for Castro to die. duhhhhh

Anonymous said...

even the 3 you mentioned aren't very visible.

Anonymous said...

They're all losers

Anonymous said...

Don't you think a last minute media blitz by Levy/Lorenzo candidates at this point might be a little "too little too late?" And what have they done with all their money? They probably kept it all. I think think if they are not already being investigated by the proper authorities, then the proper authorities themselves need to be investigated.

Anonymous said...

Rundle will never investigate them b/c THEY represented HER in her last election, cornheads!

Anonymous said...

they also represented brummer. so, there.

Anonymous said...

You people, it's all about Hispanic vs. Anglo in Dade County

Anonymous said...

and levy/lorenzo and/or gutierrez DO NOT MATTER. They say they can deliver the vote, but all the so-called activists say the exact same thing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, like Poole, Tangela, Marjorie, Beverly, McKenzie, Vernon, Sandy, Stephanie, Susan, etc., et.al.