GOOOOOOOD MORNING MIAMI!!!
Samantha Ruiz-Cohen over Judge Peter Adrien.
This is a no-brainer. Ms. Ruiz-Cohen is eminently qualified. Mr. Adrien is not. If you read the appellate opinions on the cases Adrien has presided over, what emerges is the picture of a vengeful man not learned in the law. He was reversed for a vindictive sentence of some 30 years and he was reversed for not recusing himself from a case where one party was represented by an attorney who sued him in the last election. These actions do not bespeak an independent jurist who merely works to seek justice. In fact, those cases and others show just the opposite. We remember being in court a few years ago and watching the Judge belittle and yell at an attorney who told him that he served a police officer through the liaison unit in the REGJB. Again and again the Judge told the lawyer that was not the procedure for subpoenaing a police officer for a deposition. He was unrepentant when attorneys from both sides interjected and told him otherwise. In many cases we observed in his division we saw not only an ignorance of the law, but an inability to learn. He also had a nasty penchant for taking people -including in one notorious case- witnesses- into custody for de minimis reasons.
Reporting on the upcoming judicial elections the Herald had this to say on Sunday about Adrien: Elected in 2004, Adrien was ranked worst of all candidates in the Dade County Bar poll, with 55 percent describing him as unqualified. He did not return several calls seeking comment.
Judge Flora Seff over Michaelle Gonzalez-Paulson. This one is also easy. Judge Flora Seff brought to the bench as an attorney over twenty years of trying complex and serious cases. Ms. Gonzalez-Paulson is not even a close second in a comparison of experience and dedication to public service that Judge Seff has shown.
Judge Edward Newman over Manny Alvarez. This one is not so easy. Manny Alvarez brings a tremendous amount of experience to his quest to be a Judge. And there are many many Judges against whom we would have endorsed Mr. Alvarez. But not in this race. Quite simply Judge Newman has done a good job and he does not deserve to be replaced.
Monica Gordo and Robert Kuntz.
No endorsement. Or endorsement of both.
How nice is it to see two qualified individuals run for Judge?
Both candidates bring a different type of experience to their quest for the bench. Ms. Gordo brings the kind of trial experience that being an ace prosecutor produces. But Mr. Kuntz brings a varied life experience including a prior career as a journalist that would serve him well on the bench. We wish them both well, and either way Miami-Dade wins.
Well there you have it. Rumpole's much anticipated judicial endorsements.
Disclosures: we received no money or services in kind from any candidate. The cheese at Mr. Kuntz's fundraiser was better than the stale crackers at Judge Seff's. We once won a whole bunch of money when an aging Ed Newman picked up the blitz late in the game against the Saints allowing the Dolphins to score and cover. Soon to be Judge Hirsch offered us his entire motion bank on disk and an autographed Penguin Classics paperback copy of his previously published book with a new afterward from a distant ancestor of President Warren G. Harding if we removed the post about him this weekend, but we have so far proved immune from his enticements.