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Thursday, February 25, 2010

SOME SAY SOTO


New Chief

Some say Judge (Bertilla) Soto supplants Stan (Blake) as Stan slips the surly bonds of the REGJB and slinks, slips, and slides to the Lawson center courthouse where he will sit in Family court.

Rumour has it that Judge Soto will be our next administrative judge.

A few thoughts:

Shouldn't "Family Court" be called "Ex-Family court"?

Judge Soto appears to be a solid choice. She is knowledgeable, pleasant, runs a good courtroom, gives a fair trial to both sides, and appears to be well respected by her colleagues (which quite frankly isn't something we'd brag about.)

Our inside source told us that Judge Soto got the job as Class President, err.... Administrative Judge by promising less home work and more time at recess if her class mates would vote for her. She also promised to put a soda machine in the lunchroom.




7 comments:

Anonymous said...

From north of the border:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/02/25/1500042/misconduct-charges-filed-against.html

Misconduct charges filed against Broward circuit judge

By Paula McMahon
Sun Sentinel

Broward Circuit Judge Dale Cohen has been accused of misconduct in disciplinary charges filed by the state's Judicial Qualifications Commission.

In charges made public Thursday, Cohen is accused of engaging in a pattern of judicial misconduct stemming from an incident where a defense attorney asked him to step down from handling a criminal case in August.

Defense attorney Stephen Melnick had asked Cohen to recuse himself because of Melnick's involvement in a lawsuit that was being filed against the judge's wife, Mardi Anne Levey Cohen, who is running for election to County Court.

Instead of granting the request, which the JQC ruled was legally sufficient, Judge Cohen held a hearing at which he was the chief interrogator and called his wife as a witness.

``Your wife testified in a way that contradicted Mr. Melnick, which put Mr. Melnick in the position of attacking the credibility of your wife in a proceeding before you,'' according to the charges filed by the commission.

Cohen's conduct was an abuse of his judicial power and an abuse of his office for the personal gain of himself and his wife, the agency alleged.

Levey Cohen also comes in for criticism in the eight-page charging document. Attorneys noted that she was caught attempting to ``clandestinely'' photograph Melnick in another courtroom and that Dale Cohen submitted those photographs to the JQC.

Cohen also contradicted himself in his submissions to the investigative panel, the agency said. During an appearance before the agency panel in November, he described Melnick as a ``friend for whom you had no animosity.'' But in a written submission to the agency in January, Cohen criticized Melnick's ethics, the way he dresses for court appearances and his conduct in cases.

Cohen has 20 days to formally respond to the allegations. If found guilty, he could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to removal from the bench.

Calls to Cohen and Levey Cohen for comment were not immediately returned. Melnick declined to comment other than to say he did not file the complaint against Cohen.

Cohen was appointed to the bench in 2006 by then-Gov. Jeb Bush.

Anonymous said...

That was the funniest post I have read yet re the class president and recess comments...

But I agree, Judge Soto is the perfect choice. She is by far the best judge I ever appeared in front of.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

JNC NARROWS LIST .....

On Wednesday, March 10, the JNC will conduct interviews for the open Circuit Court seat of Norman Gerstein. 7 of the 12 that made the cut are currently on the bench in the County Court.

Victoria Brennan
Ofelia Damas-Rodriguez
Marie A. Davidson
Robin Faber
Jose Fernandez
Alan Fine
Robert Galt
Darrin Gayles
Andrew Hague
Browyn Miller
Anita Moss
Deborah White-Labora

Now for those that did not even make the cut:

William Altfield
Kurt Berman
Tanya Brinkley
Melisa Coyle
Marie Davidson
Mario Garcia
Thomas Gorday
Patricia Kopco
Robert Kuntz
Gordon Murray
Margaret Rosenbaum
Angelica Zayas

Garcia is a former candidate for Judge and Kopco and Kuntz are currently running for Judge. Maybe the public will think more of them then the JNC does.

Captain Out ...

Anonymous said...

Captain, look back over the process. The JNC essentially never interviews people who are active electoral candidates for the office the JNC is trying to fill. All the current non-judges who are candidates have applied to the JNC for circuit jobs over the past year -- if not this turn -- and none has gotten an interview.

Candidates have to participate in the JNC process if they want the Herald endorsement, which is as it should be and a good thing because the JNC application is pretty thorough.

Oh and, bet you it's Gayles' turn this time.

Anonymous said...

Fernandez and Faber must be opposed with great zeal. Fernandez is really bad in all respects and is a vindictive man. Faber, not vindictive at all, but is really not smart enough and is really wishy washy. He doesn't have any guts. I don't know much about the rest. But White-Labora is a logical chose.

What about Bloom, Liefman, Francis or Seraphin? All three are good judges, despite their quirks and certainly better than Fernandez and Faber.

Anonymous said...

Why the hell does Bill Altfield keep getting screwed by the JNC? I do not mean to degrade any of the candidates to be interviewed, as many have impressive qualifications, but is there ANYONE in the REGJB who does not think that Altfield has the makings of an excellent jurist? He has done an excellent jobs in one of the toughest positions at the SAO and in the process has earned a well-deserved reputation as a very smart, very skilled litigator who is extremely fair and has unquestionable ethics. And he is a darn good guy to boot.

Anonymous said...

Soto is a great choice.