Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DCBA JUDICIAL POLL - YOUR BEST & WORST


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

YOUR ANNUAL BEST AND WORST JUDGES LIST IS OUT, AKA THE DCBA JUDICIAL POLL ......

In this year's version, 13,152 members of the DCBA were asked to send in their ballots rating our Circuit and County Court judges, (those up for election), and the judicial candidates as to whether they were: Exceptionally Qualified (EQ), Qualified (Q), or Unqualified.  There were a total of 1,439 ballots returned, although not every judge had that many total votes;(there were many "No Opinion" responses).  The first order of criticism usually comes from those that say, "that is too small a number" to represent any true test of the qualifications of the judges.  Au contraire my friends.  First, pollsters use much smaller samples on a regular basis.  And second, remember that there is a large segment of the membership of the DCBA that has never seen the inside of a State courtroom.  These votes come from those members that regularly appear in court.

And your winners are:

CIRCUIT COURT

Top rated as Exceptionally Qualified:

Judge Stan Blake - 71%
Judge Beth Bloom - 53%
Judge Joel Brown - 50%
Judge Cindy Lederman - 50%

Lowest Percentage of Unqualified votes:

Judge Blake - 1.32%
Judge Dennis Murphy - 3.56%
Judge Bloom - 4.24%
Judge Darrin Gayles - 4.52%

Highest Percentage of Unqualified votes:

Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely - 32%
Judge Maria Espinosa Dennis - 23%
Judge Maria Korvick - 23%
Judge Valerie Manno Schurr - 22%

We have it from a very good source that the 1.32% (13 votes) that voted Judge Stan Blake as Unqualified come from one of two categories: 1. Disgruntled attorneys in family court who did not get awarded their legal fees, and 2. Disgusted attorneys who have viewed the video below and found out that the person/body part appearing at exactly the one minute mark is a stunt double and is none other than our own Judge Blake:*



For those of you Ipad and Iphone users unable to view the video, here is the link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wyx6JDQCslE&oref=http%3A%2F%2Fs.ytimg.com%2Fyt%2Fswfbin%2Fwatch_as3-vfl3J-I2Q.swf&has_verified=1



COUNTY COURT

Top rated as Exceptionally Qualified:

Judge Steve Leifman - 54%
Judge Andrea Wolfson - 52%
Judge Charlie Johnson - 49%
Judge Sam Slom - 47%

Lowest Percentage of Unqualified votes:

Judge Luise Krieger Martin - 5.10%
Judge Leifman - 5.35%
Judge Slom - 5.41%
Judge Johnson - 5.60%
Judge Shelly Kravitz - 5.67%

Highest Percentage of Unqualified votes:

Judge Ana Maria Pando - 60%
Judge Gladys Perez - 21%
Judge Patricia Marino Pedraza - 20%
Judge Maria Ortiz - 18%
Judge Gloria Gonzalez Meyer - 15%

CANDIDATES FOR JUDGE:

CIRCUIT COURT RACES:

Judge David Miller - 86% voted him EQ or Q
Mauricio Padilla - 51% voted him Unqualified

Robert Coppel - 92% voted him EQ or Q
Maria Verde - 36% voted her Unqualified

Alex Labora - 64% voted him EQ or Q
Maria Santovenia - 71% voted her EQ or Q

Victor DeYurre - 40% voted him Unqualified
Teresa Pooler - 81% voted her EQ or Q

COUNTY COURT RACES:

Frank Hernandez - 48% voted him Unqualified
Judge Marino Pedraza - 81% voted her EQ or Q

Diana Gonzalez - 72% voted her EQ or Q
Judge Pando - 60% voted her Unqualified

Michelle Alvarez Barakat - 29% voted her Unqualified
Judge Lobree - 89% voted her EQ or Q

Arthur Spiegel - 42% voted him Unqualified
Geer Elaine Wallace - 29% voted her Unqualified
Judge Wolfson - 92% voted her EQ or Q

Ivonne Cuesta - 82% voted her EQ or Q
Jacci Seskin - 54% voted her Unqualified

Tanya Brinkley - 76% voted her EQ or Q
Enrique Yabor - 50% voted him Unqualified

John Rodriguez - 41% voted him Unqualified
Judge Lundy Thomas - 86% voted her EQ or Q

Lourdes Cambo - 51% voted her Unqualified
Judge Don Cohn - 91% voted him EQ or Q

The entire Dade County Bar Poll Results can be found here:

http://www.dadecountybar.org/media/PDF%20Web%20Files/pollresults2012.pdf


*Judge Blake was quoted in the DBR, on the results and his high numbers: ""I have a sense of humor that I think helps people feel comfortable, both the lawyers and the litigants," he said. "They see that I don't take myself too seriously."

The election is set for Tuesday, August 14, 2012.


CAPTAIN OUT ...........





49 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL. Looks like the civil attorneys are enjoying Pando as much as we did.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Pandomonium

Anonymous said...

This all goes to show that Jacci Seskin is an unmitigated disaster

Anonymous said...

BTDT, you mean enjoying Pando as much as you did when you were in the SAO. Other than her constant lateness, Pando was otherwise a pretty good judge and she was not afraid or any one, be it state, defense or cops.

"American Minority" said...

It's that time:
Filling out my Absentee Ballot, any suggestions for 79-80 David C.Miller or Mauricio Padilla? Alex Jimenez Labora, or Maria de Jesus Santovenia?
Who is Victor H.DeYurre who is Diana Gonazalez? I'm inclined to vote again for Don. S. Cohn. Who knows anything about the property appraiser candidates Pedro J. Garcia and Carlos Lopez-Cantera?

Anonymous said...

Don't want to start a controversy but, is it a coincidence that out of the County Court highest percentage of unqualified judges all of them are hispanic females and out of the Circuit Court highest percentsge of unqualified judges all are, again, hispanic females? By contrast, out of the highest percentage of highly qualified judges, thre is not a single hispanic, male or female. Don't get me wrong, I agree with some of the marks some of the judges received, but when you see such a disparity along gender and ethnic lines, it raises concerns.

Anonymous said...

12:33, I think the disparity you speak of is precisely about race. But not because they are hispanic. But because the highly qualifies ones are white. Being white in Miami-Dade and getting elected to any office is way more difficult than if you are hispanic. So naturally, only the best, brightest and beyond reproach white candidates win their elections. In turn they turn out to be find jurist with the same qualities. At least for the most part that is true. There are a few exceptions. Whereas, if you have a hispanic surname and hail from Cuban decent, Hector Lombada has your back and all you need is a $100K or more to become a judge. What you see as a result is a culture of hispanic judges being elected based upon their ethnicity and not because they were the best candidate in the race. The same could happen in the case of Maria Verde this year. She is clearly not in the same league as her opponent but she has a hispanic surname and the backing of Lombada.

Anonymous said...

12:33: It's because the people filling out the surveys are racists, and you are a racist for noticing.

Every right thinking person in this city knows that judicial elections and selections are decided completely on merit, with no role played by gender or ethnicity. (Except insofar as it is equally well known that Latino (and especially Latina) candidates and judges are the victims of widespread racism and sexism which works to limit their access to the bench, as demonstrated by the very small percentage of Latino or Latina judges serving here.)

It is certainly the case that no Latino candidate has ever pandered for votes based on ethnicity, or selected a judicial race on similar grounds, or that the well-informed electorate has ever selected a lesser qualified candidate over a better qualified candidate on the mere basis of the candidates' last names. Any suggestion that this is not so, or that such ethnicity is actually some sort of an advantage (ha!) is racist.

Finally, anyone suggesting that anything stated here is not so is obviously a racist like you.

Anonymous said...

12:33 - Wait unitl you see the CABA poll and the disparity there. The difference is that the CABA poll is for CABA members only, voting on CABA members. At least the Dade County Bar Association Poll is open to all Miami-Dade County lawyers.

Watch for the results on the judges with the most unqualifieds on the Bar Poll vs. how high they will rank on the CABA Poll. See how low the ratings are for those judges or candidates who are being challenged or are challenging Hispanic candidates or judges, with the exception of Pando, who CABA considers a huge embarassment.

Lastly Captain, I disagree with you that the Dade County Bar Association Poll is a proper sampling. There are huge blocks that coordinate their votes, such as the SAO, the PD and United Automobile Insurance Company. The sampling done by polling organizations is scientifically created and weighted on a number of criteria. A 10% turnout is hardly representative. And actually it is a glamour contest not necessarily based upon ability or competency.

Anonymous said...

12:33 - wow you're a little bigoted and sexist huh? I am the proverbial gringa. As white as they come. And I'm shocked by your stereotyping. I know they weren't on the bar poll this year but think of Judges Soto, Figarola, Simon, and Rosa Rodriguez. No one can ever say they are unqualified. On the other hand, some of the non-hispanic judges, male and female,leave a little to be desired in the qualifications department. I won't name names because that's just not nice, but come on, there are PLENTY of them. Don't be a bigot or a pouty little boy, just judge people on their own individual merits.

Anonymous said...

Jacci Seskin is vindictive, unintelligent, dishonest, and unprofessional. I worked with her. She was essentially fired by the PDO but she refuses to admit that instead telling the campaign trail that she resigned dur to medical issues.
Padilla is unethical as well. I know a few things protected by attorney-client privilege that I unfortunately cannot reveal.
Diana Gonzalez is a nice person but not judicial material. At least not yet. She's not ready. She's a nice person but she needs more life experience and more legal experience. Although Pando is not a good choice either.....

Anonymous said...

1009, there's a lot more to being a judge than fearlessness.

The stories litigants who appeared in front of her can tell are many (it always amused me to hear the county court ASAs talk about her).

Pando was late so often that her bailiff had pre-printed signs. And we're not talking 15 minutes. We're talking 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour, an hour and half, etc. Not only was it incredibly rude and inconvenient for the attorneys who had better things to do that wait for her, but the State lost truckloads of cases because fed-up victims and witnesses left.

And don't even talk to me about her legal acumen. She was the least knowledgeable judge on the bench. Worse, she didn't give a damn what the law said, she did whatever she wanted (which generally meant that she dumped cases so she could spend her afternoons elsewhere, one reason why the PDO never joined the SAO in commplaining about her).

She was "fearless" because she knew she'd keep getting elected regardless of what she did (sad, but true). What a joke.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

BTDT

Are you still a prosecutor. Man it shines thru with every comment u make. People like you struggle to make it big in crime law.

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/18/2900720/miami-dade-court-bailiff-arrested.html

Anonymous said...

Well, 12:33, the DCBA is a very WASPy organization of good ole boys. What would you expect?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with everything BTDT generally says, but he is 100% correct regarding Pando.

Now I have to go shower. Agreeing with this dick makes me feel dirty.

Anonymous said...

See, 12:33?

1:09 was exactly right.

Anonymous said...

American Minority instead of asking on the blog who is who why don't you just look up people's websites. You want advise from ANONYMOUS to vote? Really, come on.

Anonymous said...

Hector Lombada is no one. He really is given too much credit. He is not backing anyone other than Cuesta and Rodriguez. Stop giving him so much credit. Please. He is not the man people think he is. If I did not know Cuesta or Rodriguez myself I would never vote for someone he backed.

Anonymous said...

The reason Pando is still around is because she thinks she is untouchable and because judges and attorneys have covered up her disgusting behavior. It about time she gets removed. She is a disgrace to the bench. She is corrupt and she is far from fair. Being onesided is not being fair. It is the fault of the judges and the attorneys who never reported her for how she has acted over the past 12 years.

Anonymous said...

2:10.....not anymore. I just want to live and work in a safe community.

3:20......LOL. Wish we could disagree without your making it personal; you sound like a person with a sense of humor.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of biased nonsense. Arthur Spiegel was rated as highly qualified and/or qualified by nearly 60% of voters. Why do you only mention the negative side of this?

Anonymous said...

Wow Pando get her ass handed to her. Did not expect that. She must be pissed. My good friend use to be her clerk and she is not a nice person at all. She treats the court room staff like shit. She is very mean and she screams at you when she feels like it. Plus she is so dirty

Anonymous said...

Was going to vote for Cuesta until I found out that she's in bed with United Automobile Insurance Company. Big upcoming fundraiser hosted by AJ "Can't Keep it in My Pants" Barranco and Richard "The Godfather" Parillo, El Jefe del United Auto. Seskin may not be all that, but I'd vote for Bozo the Clown before I'd vote for Parillo's bitch.

BTW, the high unqualified ratings for female hispanic incumbents in county court were orchestrated by United Automobile Insurance Company. With few exceptions, we have an excellent county court bench, which includes some of our best female Hispanic judges, i.e, Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer, Gladys Perez, Lourdes Simon and Patty Pedraza, among others.

Can't say the same for circuit court judges Cardonne and Korvick, both of whom deserved high unqualified scores - not because they're Hispanic or female, but because they're just mean, lazy, and disrespectful judges.

Anonymous said...

so absentee ballots are in, i really don't know what to do, I Feel really conflicted.
I'm incline to vote for Vereen because he is such a great lawyer but I'm concerned about his association with spence jones but to make it worse I don't I really don't like that the PBA endorsed him, I mean my impression of the PBA is horrible, they are so dirty. If he was not associated with those two i would not be so hesitant. I am just not that comfortable with that, the last thing I want is more corruption in miami, we have enough. I am also not incline to vote for any more cubans, sorry I am not racist but its really bad with all the dirt that is already going on. I mean if it was not for Cubans we would not have corruption of the likes of David Rivera, John Rivera, Marco Rubio, Raul Martinez, Ana Pando, etc.
So sorry guys but I'm not voting Cuban either.

"American Minority" said...

5:46 You're right,I did better than that, I meant most of these candidates in person this evening.I met Mr.Coppel, I met Michelle Barakat, I found her to be very integrable and genuine. I met Maria Santovenia I like her moxie but I would like to know about her challenger Alex Labora.I'm just going to research Petricia Pedraza.

Anonymous said...

don't know how to break this to you 7:02, but Spiegel's 60% qualified rating is pretty neagtive.

Anonymous said...

925 i couldnt have said it better myself...those supporters back candidates who will be a disgrace to the bench. jacci may be nutty but i promise you she has my vote over cuesta

Anonymous said...

That's kind of weak. Cuesta has a fundraiser being thrown by trial lawyers next Tuesday. Seskin is unbearable, was a failure as a pd, and a failure as an Asa.

DS said...
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DS said...
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Anonymous said...

Am Min - I've met Barakat also. She's attractive and personable but, trust me, I've seen her lawyering and she ain't got the goods. Fleur Lobree may not be warm and fuzzy, but she's bright, got a terrific background of actual substantive lawyering, and is extremely hard-working. You won't go wrong casting your vote for Lobree in this race.

Anonymous said...

DS - Seriously? Read your post again. Should we really take your word that Cuesta is "incredably smart?"

Anonymous said...

Am Min - Save yourself some time. The Pedraza-Hernandez race is a no-brainer. Pedraza has 6 proven years on the county court bench as a good, hard-working judge. Hernandez says he picked her race because he has "a better name!?!" A noble motive. Truth is, he needs a job and a raise, with a negative $95K net worth.

As for the Miller-Padilla race, another no-brainer. Miller may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Padilla is a train wreck of gargantuan proportions. If he's elected, he's a sure one-termer, a la Peter Adrien, unless the JQC throws him off the bench before his 6 years are up.

DS said...
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"American Minority" said...

Okay appreciate the opinions, what piques me is that Judge Miller is endorsed by the League of Prosecutors, that concerns me but from my understanding he's the better choice from what other Judges have shared. I hope he will be fair and impartial, not a ASA from the Bench. So be it I help he is fair and impartial. I am very careful about my Judicial picks so far so good since I've been voting one of my best vote was Tinkler-Mendez although I'm curious if is hispanic, dosent matter thought I always felt good about that vote. Anyways I will vote for Robert Coppel. I'm not a push over, but Barakat had the audacity to hand me, then kindly ask if I would hand out her flyers, I found that to be a somewhat creative and shrewd, aside from not knowing the extent of her background,I gave my word, so Barakat it is. Everyother Judicial Candidate I've done my homework on and have finished my ballot. Good luck to all.

Anonymous said...

I get the distinct feeling 11:43, that you and some of your buds did whatever you could to give Spiegel a poor rating, because you favor Wolfson, but that it did not work as well as you would have liked.

DS said...
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Anonymous said...

I just want to say I agree with DS. Anyone who says Cuesta is not smart does not know her, and anyone who says Diana Gonzalez is not a good attorney does not know a thing about her either. People says the stuff on this blog that they just pull out of their ass. Not many people can say they have won murder trials and both Cuesta and Gonzalez can say that. They are both hard workers products of the PD's Office who have proven themselves.

I know Cuesta is amazing and smart and she is a great lawyer, kind yet not a push over. Cuesta is no-nonsense, she is creative and ethical, she does her job and does it right.
Diana Gonzalez is a great attorney, she fights hard and smart, she is a very spiritual person but also has a lot of street smarts and is very nice also. She was in Judge Thomas court room forever, you can't survive Will Thomas if you are lazy or stupid. She has tried a ton of cases and has great common sense.


I think that Cuesta and Gonzalez who are picked on because they are perceived as young pretty women. Both have had a ton of life experiences. They are around the same age about 40 years old. They both were A attorneys in the Felony Division of The Public Defender's Office.
Cuesta and Gonzalez are more than qualified to be County Court Judges and both will do a much better job than either of their opponents.

EF

Anonymous said...

AM

You said, "what piques me is that Judge Miller is endorsed by the League of Prosecutors."

I find that commment stunning. Just because prosecutors like a judge, doesn't mean that the judge is unfair or impartial (you think every judge supported by the defense bar is unfair to the State?). Regardless, the LOP primarily is comprised of former prosecutors (even most of the Board Members are former prosecutors). Look them up before you judge them.

BTDT

"American Minority" said...

I understand your point it's when that endorsement is proclaimed on a ballot,it conveys an obvious message. Hopefully he's not the kind of Judge that leans heavily towards the state, such as Cueto did. I also believe that's why Chief Brown rotated that nasty group of Judges. I get from a credible source in Tallahassee that they had a lot of JQC complaints, and allowed ASA's to do as they please. That is unconstitutional.

EF 5:28 I went with my discernment, and picked Gonzalez over Pando, Cuesta over Sesskin. Santoveina over Labora. I think I made the right choice. Labora didnt impress me and gave me the reminisces of Cueto "the El Loco Juez" who hollers, screams, and yells in open court, that kind of person has several problems, and usually needs to submit a urine sample. Didn't Operation Broom prove that in the 80's...

Anonymous said...

AM....don't believe everything you hear.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Sitting here reading Judge Miller's pamphlet. It states "His hard work ethic includes arriving at the courthouse by 6am and allowing hearings as early as 7am". Hmmmm can someone say bolstering...It also states he has been known to give lawyers his vacation days and holidays, if needed to have their cases heard". Who can attest to this??? Doesn't the courthouse open at 8am, how is this possible, someone please enlighten me?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to me to see how life turns on people, there really is a God. Pando is an embarrassment to the judiciary who thinks she is above the law. I really hope she loses. If she wins it's because of money. Sadly money buys elections.

"American Minority" said...

There is a God and he is the Omniscient Chiefest Justice of the Courts. I know...

Anonymous said...

"don't know how to break this to you 7:02, but Spiegel's 60% qualified rating is pretty neagtive."

it seems apparent to me that a bunch of prosecutors, and the Wolfson kiss-ups worked hard to try to make Spiegel look bad and it did not work as well as they wanted it to work.

I hope Spiegel wins. Miami needs good judges.

DS said...
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Anonymous said...

Re: Judge Pando. The DCBA poll was likely a concerted effort to smear Pando. In county civil, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insuance suits make up half of a civil county court's docket. PIP is highly litigious. On one side you have the Plaintiff's lawyers, who say the evil insurance companies are raping the consumer by bribing Tallahassee and denying and delaying legitimate claims and calling everything fraud.

Then you have the insurance companies, who say that all of the claims are fraudulent, the policy holders are crooks who stage accidents, and that the attorneys representing clinics bilk insurers entirely too much for attorney fees.

It is more contentious than any area of law I have ever practiced. People fight over pennies, lawyers nearly get into fist fights in depositions, etc.

I sometimes practiced PIP in front of Pando in Hialeah prior to this whole thing.

Basically, Pando pissed off a few defense lawyers because they felt she was too plaintiff's oriented - she wouldn't allow the insurance companies to deny claims for most of the reasons they wanted to.

An attorney over at one insurance company (who had previously been sanctioned by Judge Pando $1000 for ignoring a court order for 10 months) found the infamous letter, and sent it to all the people chomping at the bit to get rid of her.

Pando had about ten Florida Wellness cases in front of her at the time. She had previously recused herself from many cases because of the relationship she had with the company president, but didn't know the 10 cases were in front of her (you can't recuse yourself from what you do not know.

When the letter on behalf of Florida Wellness was found, one insurance company filed recusals on a couple of Florida Wellness cases, and then GEICO filed about 300 motions to recuse her on every single case they had with her. A few other law firms followed suit. Then Carmel Cafieri got involved (ironic that a consumer advocate would smear a consumer friendly judge, but whatever), and the rest is history. It was about four or five insurance companies working together. I honestly do not think when Pando wrote that letter that she knew that Florida Wellness had any cases in front of her.

That's not to say Pando is guiltless in all of this. Writing that letter was a really, really, stupid decision, and was a violation of the rules - if I was a judge nothing would go on court letterhead that didn't have to do with a case. Furthermore, she was late constantly, but to the lawyers in the courtroom, defense or plaintiff, she was usually very friendly, and as I prefer, she is a very liberal judge. Frankly it was always a pleasure to be before her, and despite comments above, her staff really like her.

So here's the deal. If you look at Pando's opponent's campaign finance report, you will see thousands of dollars from United Automobile Insurance Company, which is widely regarded as one of the insurance companies who is the most aggressive in their claim defense (they deny about 80% of their claims, have been fined by the State, they call their customers theives, etc.), United's CEO, his wife, his sons, his grandma, as well as several insurance defense lawyers who represent other insurers.

While attorneys from both sides of the fence donated to Pando, she was primarily supported by the Plaintiffs' PIP bar and their clients.

So there you have it. Basically, it is a war of Plaintiff's lawyers and health clinics against insurance companies in the Pando/Gonzalez race. While I do not know anything about Gonzalez, a vote for her will further the insurance companies message that judges had better start ruling their way in PIP, otherwise "look what we did to Pando."

Maybe other lawyers would see the situation differently, and I am a Plaintiff's lawyer, so I guess take what I say with a grain of salt.

Anonymous said...

Judge Karen Khalil should be voted for the worst Judge of 2013