WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

JUDGE DAVID MILLER VS. ATTORNEY MAURICIO PADILLA



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
DAY THREE QUALIFYING WEEK:

(For any hot breaking tips that you wish to share, please consider emailing us at Captain4Justice@gmail.com . Your personal information will be kept confidential).


BREAKING NEWS .....
Welcome CAROL "JODI" BREECE* to all the fun. County Court Group 10 just grew by one candidate. Attorney Breece joins the race with Incumbent Judge Ana Maria Pando and Challenger Diana Gonzalez. This makes our first three person race and that means a possible primary in August, followed by a runoff in November. Some might think that Pando may not survive the JQC and the Florida Supreme Court this time around. Maybe Breece was thinking, if that were to happen, Gonzalez would win in a walk-over. Well, not anymore.


*Attorney Jodi Breece
has been a member of The Florida Bar for more than 21 years. She is Board Certified in Criminal Trial for the past 13 years.


Let's begin today, hump day, with an analysis of the race between incumbent Judge David Miller versus his potential* opponent attorney Mauricio Padilla. We say potential because Mr. Padilla still needs to slap down $5,687.12 of his hard earned money in order to qualify to run for this seat. Why is that important? We'll tell you in just a moment.

First, David Miller. Born in 1953, he earned his BS from the University of Florida in 1975, and his JD from Nova in 1978. He was in private practice for 22 years, from 1978-2000. We believe he spent his time in the civil arena handling insurance defense matters at the Stephens, Lynn law firm. He did appellate work and trial work. In 2000, he spent his hard earned money and ran for Judge against GJB regulars David Peckins and Arthur "Artie" Spiegel (who just filed to run in County Court against Judge Andrea Wolfson).

In the Primary, 32% of Miami-Dade voters turned out and gave Miller 77,700 votes (44%). Peckins joined him in the run-off with 30%. Spiegel missed out with 26% of the vote.

In the General Election, in November of 2000, (can you say Bush v. Gore), 72% of Miami-Dade voters went to the polls and gave Miller a resounding victory; 245,765 (64%) to Peckins 140,934 (36%). In 2006, Miller was unopposed and reelected to a new six year term.

Miller has been on the bench for more than 11 years and he has made some enemies and also earned the wide support of his colleagues. He had a rough beginning when he was assigned to criminal court. Some of our readers have said that he was happy with the moniker "Maximum Miller" and according to the way Rumpole tells it:

"He took the bench and came to the REGJB bragging that he wanted to be known as "Maximum Miller". What kind of human being tries to build a reputation by sentencing people to as long a jail term as possible? What kind of person violates the constitution he is sworn to uphold by punishing people who exercise their right to a jury trial? Not a very nice one in our opinion. Outside of divine intervention, we will vote for anyone other than Judge Miller. He has earned our enmity."

Then he left the GJB and moved over to Civil. There is where he felt most comfortable and earned a reputation as the hardest working judge on the bench who just happens to also have a brilliant legal mind to boot. Says one of our loyal readers in response to Horace:

"While he may have once been "Maximum," he has grown tremendously during his years on the bench. I've seen him in criminal and civil, and first of all, I echo the Cap's comments about his work ethic. Miller works harder and is more accessible than anyone in the robe. In the criminal arena, I think the Dennis incident -- which was all her, BTW -- was an epiphany for him. He thinks hard about everything he does, insignificant or not, and he's not afraid to stick it to the state when they have it coming, even when there might be political ramifications. In fact, among the robed ones, his nickname changed from "Maximum" to "Mellow."On the civil side, he reads everything, asks great questions, and gives everybody all the time they want to blather on. Nobody is more up on the law. He also rules instead of sitting on things. I have won big and lost big in front of him and I never felt that I got anything less than an absolutely fair and thoughtful decision. Be prepared, punctual and respectful with Miller and you'll get it back in spades."

Now let's talk about what we know so far about attorney and potential challenger Mauricio Padilla.

Mr. Padilla graduated from law school at University of Miami in 2000. He earned his license two years later in May of 2002. His practice concentrates in the areas of matrimonial law, civil litigation and criminal defense.

Now here comes the kicker. Why is the amount of the filing fee important? Because $5,687.12 represents approximately 33% of Mr. Padilla income in 2011. That's right, Mr. Padilla reports earning around $17,000 last year. And, the $5,687.12 also represents more than five times than what Mr. Padilla currently has in the bank. We come to this conclusion because in his Financial Disclosure form, where Padilla is asked to list assets valued at over $1,000, (which includes bank accounts), he lists none. In fact, according to the filing, Mr. Padilla's current net worth is NEGATIVE [$91,752.99].

To be fair to Mr. Padilla, this probably was his first encounter with filing a State Financial Disclosure form and he may have misunderstood what it was asking for in the way of cash assets. We also do not know the man and he may be an attorney who has earned a stellar reputation among his peers over the past nine plus years. We would ask you to post your comments if you know anything about Mr. Padilla.

We have privately emailed Mr. Padilla and asked him several questions about his reasons for running and for choosing Judge Miller as an opponent, as opposed to any of the other 24 incumbents who have no opposition. If he respond, and gives us permission to print what he says, we will print it here.

So now it's back to the exciting news of the day. Who's next? Which incumbent Judges will be spending their summer vacations eating breakfasts in Homestead, Florida City and Goulds, lunches in Little Havana, Allapattah, and Little Haiti, and dinners in Miami Lakes, Carol City and Aventura?

Thank you to our readers for all the positive comments on the coverage and thanks especially to Rumpole for giving me the ability to be top dog for a few days every two years.

CAPTAIN OUT .......

57 comments:

CAPTAIN said...

Some comments on Judge Miller from last night include:

Anonymous said...
I have been in front of David Miller a number of times over the years. He is a hard working judge who will go out of his way working late and sometimes on the weekends. I have not always won in front of him, but I have always thought he was professional..

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 9:46:00 PM

Anonymous said...
I agree with the Captain. Judge Miller has come a long way. I have seen him do some things for young African American males which required the ability to be competely color-blind. This man has judicial temperment, brains, ethics, dedication, and a heart. You can't judge folks as they come out off the block. I will take Niller any day over Glick who is as mean a person as God has ever creted and who tarnishes her dad's legacy.

I certainly hope that Judge Miller is retained.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 8:17:00 PM

CAPTAIN said...

And some feel a bit differently:


Anonymous said...
David Miller: Once an ahole, always an ahole. We will ask everyone to vote against you for sport. Go back to private practice and scream at your wife and not those who go to court.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:43:00 AM

Anonymous said...
The fact that Miller has an opponent is not a surprise. He just made the mistake of going to civil and alerting both the criminal defense bar and all civil attorneys that he needs an aooponent.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 8:11:00 PM

CAPTAIN said...

And:

Anonymous said...
The last time Miller was in criminal he was a changed person. he had grown tremendously as a Judge and would go out of his way to resolve or help a Defendant if he thought the State's offer was too much. The only thing you had to watch out for is if you took a case to trial or PVH and lost-he was a heavy sentencer. He is a good Judge and a decent person.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:12:00 PM

Anonymous said...
Miller seems like an OK guy but, loves to take it personally and when he sentences someone, it always seems personal and the rest is history.

Sorry, but, he needs to go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 8:00:00 PM

Anonymous said...

I have seen Judge Miller take a man into custody and give him 10 days jail because he made noise leaving the courtroom after his case was continued which he was celebrating. He was crying in the box, said he would lose his job and his kid would be taken by dcf. saw him detain and threaten a social worker because she vigorously spoke for a defendant. and saw him treat many others very badly, a total power hungry jerk. HE NEEDS TO GO.

Anonymous said...

whats up with the bondsman story ?

Anonymous said...

Someone may be filing against Mindy Glazer today or tomorrow....... of all the incumbents, she needs it....

Anonymous said...

Miller gave someone that rejected PTI five years in prison for stealing a computer monitory from Walmart and he had a disabled child. Enough said

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that a third candidate will be filing in the Don Cohn Group 40 race...stay tuned

Anonymous said...

I remember the PTI rejector case. Guy had no priors, was working at the Walmart and was directed by his supervisor to take the items and had an autistic child. Miller gave him 5 years even though State recommended 364. Several motions to mitigated were filled and rejected by him. This was on his second run in criminal. Guy should not be on the bench. Period

Anonymous said...

Mr. Padilla filed a rejected DV injuction against one of his clients. 2012-02949-FC-04

Anonymous said...

PTI rejector getting 5 years after the State asks for 364 is something Peter Adrien would do.

That's bad company.

Anonymous said...

I have know Mr. Padilla since my first day of law school and have had the pleasure of his friendship ever since. He is a gifted lawyer and a wonderful human being. Dade County would be lucky to have a man like Mr. Padilla on the bench...and regarding his alleged financial issues..well as soon as I push publish on this message I will call Mr. Padilla to see if he needs a fundraiser or two.
Saam Zangeneh

Anonymous said...

Go Padilla! Go Padilla! Go Padilla!

Anonymous said...

wow people are just waiting to the last minute to jump in like vultures. lol politics in MIAMI very sleazy and interesting. As a regular voter I kind of see all these last minute jump ins a sleazy. why do people do that? please educate me.

Barrister of Ballentrae said...

The Palm Beach Post reports

BOYNTON BEACH -- A Boynton Beach man has been arrested after a dispute with an escort regarding her services, police said.
Michael Thomas Schuster, 21, is facing charges of strong-armed robbery and battery, police said. He was released from the Palm Beach County jail Tuesday night on $1,500 bond, jail records show.
According to an arrest report, officers responded early Monday morning to a disturbance call at Schuster's apartment. A woman said that Schuster hired her as a professional escort and paid her $200 to dance for him in the bedroom.
After the dance concluded, the two argued when Schuster said that he was not satisfied with the performance, the report said.
He allegedly grabbed the woman's purse and removed the $200 he paid her. The report states that Schuster then grabbed the woman's hair and left arm, dragged her out of the apartment and pushed her into the hallway.
The woman went downstairs and yelled up to Schuster's apartment. He threw her purse out of a window, minus the $200, the report said.

The Barrister

Anonymous said...

Judge Miller may be in a heap of trouble even with an unknown, inexperienced hispanic running against him. Remember long sitting judge, Bruce Levy got beat by an hispanic lady who never tried a case, or was in court, In fact she sold Amway products out of her attorneys husbands law office. Her name is Barbara Aceces.

Anonymous ASA said...

Why does anyone donate to the Clerk of Courts race? More importantly why did president of the Detroit Tigers David Dombrowski donate the maximum to Harvey Ruvin?

"American Minority" said...

Judge in Zimmerman case recuses herself.

Anonymous said...

You will not find a harder working, more fair, or more dedicated judge in Dade County than Judge Miller. There can be no motivation, other than a purely self-serving one, that would justify challenging this judge rather than a few other incumbents whose absence would actually have a positive impact.

Anonymous said...

All these contested races and no one wants to run against Valeria Mano Schurr? Is Gordo up yet?

I like Miller and have done well in front of him (not meaning I always won, just that he was decent and listened and read everything) but that has been in civil court, I never encoutnered him in criminal, and some of what's reported here about his actions in criminal court sounds bad.

Don't understand anyone taking on Teretha Lundy Thomas. I don't get to county court much and have never been before her. But when I've met her out and about she seems like a good sort, and the reports on her are good. You want to hope it's not just that she's viewed as a target of opportunity because she's black and her challenger is latino.

I like Don Cohn -- but again, I've barely been before him -- although he handled a DV matter where I represented the petitioner and I thought he was fine. Thing is, that guy is everywhere, including all over Little Havana where he's much loved. He may be hard to beat.

CAPTAIN said...

Kenneth Russell Lester, Jr. is your Judge now in the Zimmerman case.

Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, the Florida judge assigned to the highly publicized case, announced that she had decided to leave because “the cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the circumstances provides a legally sufficient basis for this Court to grant the Motion to Disqualify.”

The case will be taken over by Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr.

The next judge in the rotation, John D. Galluzzo, disqualified himself because of a prior business and personal relationship with defense attorney Mark O’Mara, it was announced

Anonymous said...

Running against Wolfson is a horrible race for Spiegel to get into. As far as sheer politics goes, it's a bad idea. Andrea served at Hialeah branch courthouse where she made solid ties to that community. I heard today she's got Mayor Hernandez from Hialeah behind her in addition to Mayor Regalado and Commissioner Francis Suarez who is a worker and really popular. I think she's also got the County Mayor on her side as well as Norman Braman.

Andrea is married to a Miami Beach Commissioner who is running for state rep and campaigns in fluent Spanish to the point where they consider him an honorary hispanic on Miami Beach. And he raises $$$ at a frenetic pace when challenged and campaigns like an animal. They're gonna have double the $$$ for the Wolfson name - which is already a good name in the County.

She is one of top fund-raisers in county court division and she's been actively campaigning for months. She's everywhere and makes a phenomenal presentation. She is simply more qualified than Spiegel and will get the Herald endorsement.

She's gonna get all the major organizational endorsements.

This is a really political family with deep ties in the community. This makes no sense for Spiegel.

Anonymous said...

No judge seems to want the hot potato case and have to be the one to dismiss it.

Stuck in the 80's said...

What about Snyder and Morphonios? Are they getting opposition? I heard Tobin is safe and word is Donner dumped 250k into her campaign account. Hottest rumor is Murray the K Klein is running for state attorney.
Baxter is making everyone crazy in county court and so far Gelber has no opposition in his run for circuit from county.

Any updates would be appreciated.

Secret Judge said...

I sincerely hope that the story of Judge David Miller giving a guy with no prior record, a sentence of 5 years state prison, after he the defendant rejected PTI is false. The fact that the offense was non-violent in nature compounds the horrible unfairness of this sentence. If true, one wonders how many other lives did this man unnecessarily ruin. If the story is true, he is unfit to continue to serve as Judge. He deserves opposition and I will do everything in my power to end this reprehensible man's career.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to a mutual friend of Padilla who said that he is uncontrollably angry about a partial directed verdict Judge Miller made against Padilla's client in a case last year. Padilla thought the ruling although split, should have gone to him. Padilla is putting his name in the hat for the sole purpose of retaliation against Miller. This has the potential to get quite interesting because a screen shot of Padilla's Facebook page is already circulating in emails and lets just say it's quite colorful.

Anonymous said...

County Court Judge Gladys Perez needs to go ! Someone run against this Republican hack job,!

Anonymous said...

Thank You 4:07 , I mean Judge Miller, and Thank you 7:31, I mean Judge Wolfson. It is always nice when a Judge writes in Anonymously.

DS said...

A Question to our Readers.

If the Police surround your home. Have K-9s and Helicopters to block your escape, then Use SWAT to remove you from the home WITHOUT a Warrant,

ARE YOU ARRESTED?

Miami Beach did that but only called the people removed 'Persons of Interest' as they took them to MDPD HQ for questioning in a Murder.

Can you say Motion to Suppressssss...?.

DS

Below is is part of the Herald Story:

Beach police took in two people Wednesday to be interviewed about a homicide — but not until after the two had barricaded themselves for several hours in a home near 79th Street and Hawthorn Avenue.

The two were described as “persons of interest” in the recent killing of 16-year-old Robert Lakatos, police spokeswoman Detective Vivian Hernandez said.

When police encountered the pair in the area Wednesday, they fled into a home that had three other people inside at the time, Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4 reported.

Police set up a perimeter to prevent their escape. Helicopters and officers with police dogs were brought in to help.

Anonymous said...

Can we say Joe Davis? Lots of $$ but nothin else going on there.

Anonymous said...

The 5 year PTI sentence is true. My friend Dustin Tischler was the ASA involved right before he left the office. Just ask him about it.

Anonymous said...

The posts of the Judge Miller sentencing of the Walmart case lacks several important facts. It wasn't a subject who shoplifted a microwave. It was a subject who had repeatedly been caught on surveillance video heisting truckloads of electronics from the same Walmart. During the incident which was all caught on video, the subject was confronted by a Walmart security guard as he attempted to get away with a truckload of goods. He then made a deliberate attempt to try to run over the security guard, again all caught on video. The maximum sentence was Fifteen years, not a non-violent misdemeanor as was posted above.

Anonymous said...

Maria Ortiz only has 15k??? why?????????

Anonymous said...

Miller is scary period.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Bonnie Rippingille will be filing in group 40 today????

Anonymous said...

Mary Jo Has Gotta Go!!! Queen of the jail division - has she ever had another assignment?

Anonymous said...

How about someone to run against Brennan, Lederman, Slom and Leifman?

Anonymous said...

When is the cut off for filing? Friday? At noon or at end of business????

Anonymous said...

Greer Elaine Wallace--if you are reading this--get out of DeLa O race--you cant win that. Switch to Cardonne Ely ASAP

Anonymous said...

I fnd it hard to believe that any normal lawyer would have a problem with Mary Jo. She has always been kind and courteous to everyone.

Anonymous said...

If Greer Wallace would switch races to oppose Cardonne, I would pledge to raise Wallace thousands of campaign dollars before August, and would make good on my pledge. There is no judge in Dade County more worthy of losing his/her seat than Cardonne.

Anonymous said...

Greer Wallace has left the De
La O race

Anonymous said...

Greer Elaine Wallace -are you running against Giselle Cardonne Ely??????????????? You can raise a lot of money if you do

Anonymous said...

Somebody please---be a hero and file against Cardonne Ely. An entire county will be grateful.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Padilla should focus on successfully running his law practice, where he has clearly failed if he made $17k last year after practicing law for more than 10 years. Seems like he's running for Judge because he is looking for a better paying job. He should go talk to Judge Hanzman about to how to better provide for his family by making a respectable living, instead of running against one of the best judges at 73 W. Flagler.

Anonymous said...

Curious about where all this venom toward Cardonne is coming from. This is largely a criminal law blog, and as long as I can remember Cardonne has been on the civil bench. I have appeared before her many times in civil court and have only found her to be courteous, fair and hard-working. She doesn't strike me as one to be targeted.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:07 AM, really? Curious about where the venom is coming from re Cardonne? How about the trifecta of laziest, meanest and stupidest judge on the bench, who does not deserve to be putting taxpayer money in her bank account every month?
Get real.

Anonymous said...

Greer Wallace, if you read the blog, hope you didn't pay someone for the advice to jump into the Wolfson/Spiegal race. You can't beat Wolfson and you could have had a great circuit seat if you had opposed Gisela Cardonne or Valeria Mano-Schurr.

Anonymous said...

People need to start taking elections seriously by trying to get bad judges off the bench, not good ones. A judicial seat shouldn't be a promotion because you can't make a living, or a power trip to feed your insecurities.

Anonymous said...

Friday, April 20, 2012 8:34:00 PM you sound like an idiot. Why can't it be a pay raise for a good attorney that has not turned into a powerhouse? Why? Because you think judges should be rich old people out of touch with reality. Some of our finest judges got pay raises when they went from attorney to judge, that list would include some of the most well known and well respected members of the bench that have graced our courts. So you know what stop talk for the sake of talking or maybe you are just pissed off because you never had the balls to go after something that you really wanted and that other thought you could not do. Let me tell you for every time a person says a stupid ass comment like yours there are others saying I believe in you and you can do it to a person running. You think you know better than the people who set up the rules that attorneys only need to be practicing 5 years to become a judge. There is no rule that it has to be a pay raise, that you must be rich, that you can't have a negative net worth either. You know why because this is AMERICA and we believe in democracy. This is were the average person with humble beginnings can become something great. So I applaud all those who want a pay raise, believe they can do a better job at being on the bench and have the guts to go for it. Let me tell you judicial campaigns are not for the weak!

Anonymous said...

Greer Wallace against Andrea Wolfson is absolutely a disgrace. Greer is completely playing the race card. She wanted a 3 way race so she can assure herself a run off cause she believes she can ride in come November because of the Obama ticket. If that is what she wanted she should have gone into another race and made it a 3 way like the cohn race or even a circuit court 3 way santovenia/labora race. Judge Wolfson is one of the finest judges I know and I think that Greer has made a terrible decision in going after her. I don't like it at all and many don't. YOu have not fooled anyone. You should have had the balls to go after someone else like Lehr, Slom, Glazer, or such, it makes me think of her as a bottom feeder.

Anonymous said...

10:09 post - Ouch! Name-calling... very impressive. You sound like an angry person with an ax to grind, maybe by opposing an excellent incumbent judge because you didn't like a ruling. Wake up and smell the coffee, that's why we have district courts of appeal.

Anonymous said...

Miller is many things but an excellent judge he is Not.

Anonymous said...

This response was the dumbest response ever!!! First of all isnt everyone always looking for a better paying job! How dumb can u possibly be!! Secondly Mr Padilla isnt like all those other attorneys out there that are just after your mobey and could care less about their clients. Ive had several of miamis top atynys on my case and none of them got anything done for me. Only raped me of my money basically. On the other hand Mr Padilla has done soooooooooooo much for me and could care less about the money. Thats exactly the kind of judges we need out there. Not the ones that are all corrupt and worthless.... Basically like whoever that response!! Gooooooooooooo Padilla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will make sure that I and everyone else i know out there vote for him!!!!

Anonymous said...

Apparently Mr. Miller has little tantrums when a fax machine is not working and it does not matter that on the other side there is another judge. In my humble opinion we are going from worst to UNFORGIVABLY WORSE OFF in crime, people getting off, etc, etc.

I will vote against all incumbents. We need better results.

Jorge F said...

I have known Mauricio P for over 35 years and can tell you that he and his family are of the highest moral fiber I know. He is dedicated, knowledgable, caring an concerned with our community, our justice system and our families. I have been a police officer for over 22 years and grew up alongside him and I would wholeheartedly recommend him and support him for Judge. Mark my words ...... His time is coming! Good luck MP!

Anonymous said...

Did Judge Miller get reelected? I sure hope so.