To summarize, Judge Feder came out of retirement and granted Judge Dijols's motion to throw Candidate Mardi Levey (legal term: "chuck-off") off the Broward Ballot for the upcoming run-off election. Dijols finished third by 1 & 3/4 of a vote (It's a Broward thing) to Levey, who used her married name "Cohen" for her professional life, but ran under "Levey" because she didn't want to use the advantage of her Husband's last name. Her husband happens to be a Judge in Broward.
It's like All-In-The Family, and - Feder just called Levy a meathead.
The best part of the hearing was that Levey managed to testify with a straight face on the issue of not wanting to use her husband's name as an advantage in the election. We have several clients who could learn a lot about testifying from her. Levey apparently forgot that she ran for Judge and lost under the name "Cohen" while "Jill Levy" has recently won a judicial election. Of course we believe Levey. Who wouldn't?
Well, Judge Feder for one.
Also not to be missed was the argument by the candidate who finished in first place: Bernie Bober. "Hey, I finished first. These two can't work it out. Let's just call the whole thing off and award me a 650K plus judicial post for the next 6 years. "
Bober wins the coveted Rumpole Chutzpah award. (That's yiddish for "cojones")
Meanwhile the Broward Department of Elections ("Hispanic candidates need not apply") stated that they were going to have trouble complying with the Judge's order. First of all, people in Broward would rather eat sludge than have a Dade Judge tell them what to do. Secondly, apparently the Department decided prior to the election that Dijols would not make a run-off and printed up ballots with Levey and Bober. The Department said it would be nearly impossible "to turn this horse around" (that's the quote on the Broward Blog from an attorney who was present at the hearing).
Feder apparently told The Department Of Elections what he thought of them, AND THE HORSE THEY RODE IN ON. (sometimes we even crack ourselves up.)
Oh to have been a fly on the wall during this hearing!!!!!!
KILLERS CAN APPLY:
Meanwhile just to prove that Broward doesn't have all the fun, we have this gem from Dade Federal Court:
A killer. A thug. A person of such low character that he stands accused of murdering a captain and his wife and two crew members. His name is Guillermo Zarabozo, and while he may be a killer, he's just the type of guy the Miami Dade Police Department is looking to hire.
The Herald reports that 4 days before killing four people, Zarabozo got a letter stating "Congratulations!!! You've passed the basic ability test!!!!" The letter then invited him to take the next step in becoming a police officer.
Yeah, he had ability all right. Nice call Miami-Dade.
As we are often reduced to musing "you just can't make this stuff up."
And you can't.
But don't you sort of hope that the people who want to be a Judge have the character to do what's right and not what's necessary to win?
We have tried to live our life by the simple motto that "character is what you do when no one is looking."
This business of changing names to win judicial elections is demeaning to the judiciary. And it's not like Broward needed any help in bringing down the reputation of their judiciary. The unspoken problem behind all of this is that Judge Dijols did not merit one challenger much less two. It's clear to us that these two opportunists ran against him because of his name and for no other reason. It speaks very little about their character. And everybody is watching.
See you in court.