Tuesday, May 29, 2012





The DBR reports today that Rodolfo Pedraza, husband of County Court Judge Patricia "Marina" (the DBR spelled her name incorrectly) Pedraza, has filed a lawsuit against challenger (and Miami-Dade ASA) Frank Hernandez attempting to get him removed from the ballot this August.

For the Plaintiff: None other than Michael Catalano

For the Defense: JC Planas

The Judge:  Looks like the case was originally assigned to Judge Ellen Leesfield.  There is a Recusal listed on the Docket Sheet and it may have been reassigned to Judge Victoria Platzer.?

The issue: Whether Hernandez filed a complete and accurate financial disclosure form required of all judicial candidates.

According to Catalano:

Hernandez did not include his home mortgage as a liability when he filed the disclosure form.  County records show that there are two mortgages totaling $250,000 on Hernandez's home.

According to Planas:   

Candidate Hernandez and his wife, Jodi, are listed on the warranty deed on the home, and both signed the mortgages. But Hernandez isn't on the mortgage note and therefore didn't have to list the mortgages as liabilities.  Planas called the lawsuit "frivolous" and has filed a Motion to Dismiss set to be heard this Friday.

Pedraza's attorney, Michael Catalano, has also demanded that Hernandez turn over copies of his bank statement on the day he filed the disclosure form.  The challenger did not list any bank accounts on his original form.



Anonymous said...

I'll let Larry Bird spell this one out: F-R-I-V-O-L-O-U-S. Judge Marino, it's bad enough having Cattylano representing you. But have him filing stupid lawsuits hurts you even more.

mikal said...

Just a few reminders of what Memorial Day is all about.


Anonymous said...

Rump, the series isn't over but your basis prediction is shot. Again, you had no reasoning behind it as your basketball knowledge is non-existent (I assume as much as you have never displayed any knowledge of the game, unlike football).

Allen is clearly hurt as noted by his poor free throw shooting. Celtics have NO BENCH. Celtics with 11 points in the 1st and 15 points in the 3rd is pathetic.

As I predicted Miami went deep into their bench while Boston was forced into playing Dooling & Stiemsma in extended minutes. Allen limped in at 30+ minutes and shot 1 of 7.

Boston went 7 games with the 8th seeded 76ers and would have lost to Atlanta if not for injuries to the Hawks.

Having said all of this, Miami is in trouble if they run into San Antonio.

Anonymous said...

Channel 10 just tweeted there a judge at REGJB who has buisness cards printed in chinese and they are somehow associated with the guy who was shot by police who was eating the other guys face.?????!!!

Anonymous said...

catalano is a putz

mocked by all

Anonymous said...

Catalano is a tenacious bastard when it comes to these things, I respect the work he does and would not want him on the other side of a case; but, I can't help but find these lawsuits to be an effort to frustrate the electoral process.

old guy said...

I am so very glad that we get to elect the judges based upon their skills and qualifications -- with the help of attorneys who want to prevent us from being able to vote, no matter how awful the candidates may be.

That, my friends, are why we consider ourselves to be a democratic republic.

Makes you proud, eh??

Rumpole said...

I have extremely limited knowledge of basketball. My knowledge about strategy stopped sometime around the same time Dean Smith's four corners offense was outlawed with the college shot clock.
Put another way- I have as much knowledge about basketball as I do about case law.

But what I do know is people. It's how I win cases. And it's why I am supremely confident that a well coached team will always beat a bunch of whiny prima donnas (the New England cheaters not withstanding.)

Go Celtics!

Anonymous said...

That was a low blow Rump, I like Bill Belichick. I can't believe they let the Giants beat them twice in two Super Bowls. However you are wrong about the Heat it's pretty much going to be a wrap. Like I predict in 7 they'll muster up the strength to wiggle a little before the Coup De Grace.

Anonymous said...

One key element that's going to hurt Boston is Miami's proficient bench rotation. Boston doesn't have the second string and rotation to keep the starters fresh, and their bench isn't that formidable. Case in Point: You saw saw how D.Wade smothered the key man Rondo right. Boston is going home spanked, end of story(.)

Anonymous said...

Should we all just ignore the rules then when it comes to disclosure? One would think when running for Judge you should comply with the rules. Don't they apply to all candidates? Sure looks like the appearance of impropriety to me.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the New England Cheaters (as much as I hate them) prove your point......they aren't many prima donnas on that team and, whether you want to admit it or not, they are well coached.



Anonymous said...

Is there some judge out there courting the powerful Chinese voting bloc here in Miami?

Anonymous said...

You keep saying whiny, but nobody on the heat has ever been a whiner. Really, unfair, and not like you. Give one example.

Anonymous said...

Just to prove Am Min is a complete idiot, the only white guy he likes is Bellichick.

What a tool.

Anonymous said...

Just go to the county elections web site and look what Frank did.

Turns out he left alot more off his financial disclosure forms.

Read the statute guys. It says that failure to properly report a correct net worth is a misdemeanor, not fixable by amendment and subjects the stupid candidate to removal from the ballot and all kinds of other sanctions. If elected, as a result of Ana Pando, Rosa Rodriquez and Y. Colodny, he would get hit with about $45,000.00 in fines from the JQC.

I too wonder if this kind of legal stuff is a good idea but, what would you expect of a 6 year member of the Bar who only voted in one past election and has been in the felony screening unit for years.

Yes, Catalano has balls but, he gets off his ass and works.

This should be interesting.

Mr. Justice Milton HIrsch said...

We should convene a Privy Council at once. By tradition and right I shall serve as the head of such council and report to the Sovereign Joel Brown on the recommendation of the council. The council shall be charged with the "honor and obligation to investigate and adjudicate with finality the charges and accusations made by one spouse of a most honourable elected judge against one said aspirant for this most honourable office." Upon ruling of the Privy Council, the matter will be deemed concluded.

The Right and Most Honourable Chief Justice Milton Hirsch.

Anonymous said...

JC and Catalano could never litigate this before His Royale Highness, the most excellent Milton Hirsch. They simply are not up to the task.

I get a kick out of JC Planas calling an election lawsuit for failure to comply as "frivilous" when he got a guy off the ballot for using his name when he had only a similar name.

What goes around, comes around.

Hey Mike, is this not the second time you filed a suit like this?

Anonymous said...

Hey Mister smart guy at 12:00 pm, you must be JC himself. If Catalano wins, will you apologize for that dumb comment?

Eye On Milt said...

In the course of the last few court days, walking in and out of Mr. Justice Milton Hirsch's courtroom I caught references to the following as he issued his orders and decisions:

Billy Holiday-Lady sings the Blues; Diary of a Mad Housewife; Charlotte's Web; Thomas Paine-The Rights Of Man- and he took trouble to make sure it was the original version he was quoting from; Edmund Burke - Reflections On The Revolution In France; The Bangles- Precious Love; Pluitarch's Lives Of the Noble Greeks and Romans; Aerosmith; Estes Kefauver's 1956 acceptance speech for the Democratic Nomination for Vice President (The convention where he beat Kennedy out on the ballot for VP); The Opening of Chief Prosecutor Dr. Percy Yutar in the Rivonia Trial of Nelson Mandella- mostly for the pejorative use of split infinitives in persuasive speech; Jimmy Hendrix; Bruce Springsteen in The River; Pother Kanta by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay- in which he paused to reflect on whether he was the first person to ever cite Pother Kanta in the entire history of the justice Building and then rather confidently declared that he was most likely the first jurist in American Jurisprudence to cite and then correctly spell for the court reporter the author's name (Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay) and finally Snoopy from what he surmised was a June 1965 strip by Charles M. Shultz.
Quite a performance over the court of a week.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely hysterical. And probably mostly true.

Anonymous said...

This is a mistake for Pedraza. Just makes it seem like she knows she can't win and is grasping at straws. I for one will vote for him/her. What's his/her name again?

Anonymous said...

Can you post the actual pleadings on the suit? I wouild like to read it and decide for myself.

DS said...

Trivia Buffs
Which Judge said :

'Give a Chinaman a Chance"


DS said...

Also, I will to confirm the cop used a Silver Bullet on 'Talbot'

Anonymous said...

We should have more judges like Hirsch. unlike most of the idiots we have wearing the black robes, he gave up a lucrative practice to take the bench. Most of the others have never made a living in private practice, and are judges because they have hyphens in their hisspanic name.and they can not make a living in private practice. their knowledge of the law is lacking. one, a female hisspanic was an AMway saleshole and never set foot in a courtroom. I laugh when I see her "lecturing" on some topic.

Anonymous said...

JC was known in Tally for how often he would say "when I was a prosecutor" - - - like he was ever a real prosecutor. JC please give it up, go back to selling cars in the family business or beome a funeral director like your uncle.

Anonymous said...

JC was known in Tally for how often he would say "when I was a prosecutor" - - - like he was ever a real prosecutor. JC please give it up, go back to selling cars in the family business or beome a funeral director like your uncle.

NBA watcher said...

Boston Miami. It really does not make a difference. Have you seen the way the Spurs are playing. 20 wins in a row including 10-0 in the playoffs. 31-2 in their last 33 games. The way Tony Parker is playing, along with Duncan and Ginobili and the way they move the ball around, nobody, but nobody can beat them in a seven games series.

The Heat beat them in January a couple of weeks into the season. That win means nothing.

While everyone was rooting for a OKC v Heat finals, the Spurs quietly have been walking through the competition.

Anonymous said...

To 9:45 - That was Judge Dominic Koo's campaign slogan.

Anonymous said...

I love when Milt says he gave up a lucrative practice when he couldn't even afford to pay his rent. Be real Milt. You have no idea how to run a business and your personality gets in the way.

CAPTAIN said...



Abbe Rifkin's name has again been sent to Governor Scott's office. This time she is one of six finalists for an open Circuit Court seat in Broward.

Ms. Rifkin is anxiously awaiting word from the Governor on the open County Court seat in Broward which she interviewed for at the beginning of the month. Governor Scott is expected to make his decision on that seat some time next week.

Joining Ms. Rifkin on the Circuit Court short list are:

General Magistate Randi Glick Boven

Asst Atty Gen Rene Harrod

17th Circuit Staff Atty Giuseppina Miranda

Criminal Defense Atty Chris Pole

AUSA Lynn Rosenthal

Three of the six names, Rifkin, Boven, and Pole are on both the County Court and Circuit Court short list.

NOTE: Unlike Miami-Dade County, not one single Broward County Court Judge even applied to the JNC for an interview to move up to Circuit Court.

Anyone care to comment on the theory behind that?????


Anonymous said...

Look at Hirsch's track record. As an attorney, he never won many cases (although he would like people to think he did). At least now he will get a nice pension - didn't he say that once? I guess he is smart, and crafty, too.

Eye on Cat said...

7:46 pm.....Catalano writing about himself in the third person, anonymously. Makes my head hurt.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I haven't read the complaint yet, but judging by your excerpt, someone needs to learn some basic legal definitions. I think Hernandez is right. (And I hope all you attorneys who own your big expensive houses know this)

A note is signed by a person who owes a debt. Sounds like in this case, it's not Hernandez, but his wife.
A note can exist without a mortgage. A lender can sue to get the money due under a note. There is no requirement that a lender make you sign a mortgage.

A mortgage is signed by someone who owns a piece of property. A mortgage is NOT a promise to pay a debt. It is not a liability. It is a granting instrument that says the lender can take the property if the terms of a note are not complied with.

A person has no liability to pay a mortgage. They pay a note. If they don't, the mortgage is used to transfer property back to lender.

Lenders usually require both husband and wife to be on the mortgage even if only one party is on the note and has the liability to pay. It makes it easier in case the note isn't paid. Otherwise they would have to try to take a partial interest in the home, dealing with homestead issues, etc.

Anonymous said...

Yes Catain, I will comment. It is not worth it. The pay difference is miniscule and it puts you in the line of fire for 2014.

Anonymous said...

The suit is spurious. If he did not sign on the note, then he is not indebted to the mortgagee. In essence he has guaranteed payment only to the extent of his interest in the real property securing the loan. He does not owe any money and it is not his obligation to pay.

My advise to the Judge, forget this sideshow. Spend some money and beat up on the guy.

Anonymous said...

The answer to the chinaman question is the great lunatic, Dominick Koo, who seccesfully used it as a campaign slogan running for county court judge.

Eye on Cat said...

7:46 is Catalano, bragging about himself, anonynously, and in the third person. Hurts my head to read his comments.

Fake Tom Thumb said...

Love to have catalano back in the comments!!!

Barrister of Ballentrae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barrister of Ballentrae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barrister of Ballentrae said...

If one spouse of a Marriage has good credit but other not so great credit, the spouse with good credit borrows the money and and the Borrower will sign the note for loan.
BUT BOTH Husband & Wife have to sign Mortgage so bank can take the home/property as collateral if the note is not paid.
If Both H & W dont sign then , the non - signing party can stop the bank on foreclosing on the home/property because the non-signing spouse did not agree that the property is the security for loan

The Barrister

Anonymous said...

Section 697.02, Florida Statutes, states: A mortgage shall be held to be a specific lien on the property therein described, and not a conveyance of the legal title or of the right of possession.

Pursuant to Section 697.02, Florida Statutes,signing the Mortgage, the candidate only agreed to a specific lien on the property.

Sections 673.1031(1)(i) and 673.1041(5), Florida Statutes, provides that the Note is a written undertaking to pay money signed by the person undertaking to pay. The candidate did not sign the Note and, therefore, did not agree to pay.

Anonymous said...

Read the instructions to form 6. It says. Disclose all mortgages over $1,000.00 and Hernandez left out 2 accounts worth more than $1,000.00 and failed to disclose the 2 mortgages. He did not have to disclose the notes bu, the instuctions clearly say to disclose the mortgages.

Does anyone here think you can buy a condo for $250,000.00, (in2006), sign mortgages (but, not the notes) and then claim the condo as an asset without offsetting the mortgages? That's what Frank did. The law demands a correct "net worth." What makes this even worse is that Frank now claims a positive net worth when he is actually in the hole by about $200,000.00. He lists the condo as worth $104,000.00 now but, agreed to liens that are probably double what he paid for it.

Look at the elections web site. As a result of the suit, Frank had to admit 2 other missing assets in an amended report. They hand every candidate a bunch of stuff telling them that they cannot amend away this mess. On top of it, these are crimes. (Remember, Rosa Rodriguez was prosecuted as well as fined $45,000.00 by the JQC.

Is it asking too much for a would be judge to properly calculate his or her net worth?

So, instead you guys insult Mike. He's the lawyer not the client. Remember how we all bitched when MADD went after the lawyers and the defendants?

Anonymous said...

Hernandez is playing it fast and loose. There's something more going here and it'll come out. Who doesn't list a mortgage as a liability on a financial disclosure? Even if you have a doubt, err on the side of disclosure, especially if you're seeking public office. Poor judgment, which is even worse than the actual offense.