Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The Captain broke this, and it is front page stuff:

Two Miami Dade Circuit Court Judges to resign.

Judge Ellen Leesfield and Judge Victoria Platzer have both announced that they will resign their seats around January of 2013.

Both will join former Circuit Court Judge Izzie Reyes at the Reyes Law Firm. Reyes has also confirmed that TV Judge Alex Ferrer will join the firm as well.

Alex will keep his day job on the Judge Alex show. The show tapes for eight weeks a year so he has more than enough time to handle his new gig which will considt of being a private judge at the Reyes Firm where they specialize in mediations and arbitrations, and act as special magistrates and insurance umpires.

In case you have not been keeping count, if you include these two openings with the three current ones, that will mean that Governor Scott will have appointed 21 Judges in his first two years in office in our Circuit alone.

That is a staggering number and one has to look no further than the caseload and resources that Judges are currently facing in 2012and beyond.

An average Circuit Judge in the General Jurisdiction Division is handling over 6,000 cases, the overwhelming majority of which are Foreclosure cases.

Judges are fed up and at the end of their patience level when it comes to their workload. Can you blame them?

What is the answer? We already have 123 Circuit and County Court Judges in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. Will the Legislature provide the money for more Judges in the near-term? Unlikely!


Your favorite law student, who in July was bleary eyed as s/he studied for the bar, and who on Monday was as nervous as a Judge being handed the check for lunch, was either A) ecstatic or 
B) depressed beyond any measure of consolation, as the Bar results for the exam at the end of July were released on Tuesday. To many of you we say: welcome to the party. To those of you who have to buckle it up and try it again in January, we say: Look at South Florida's Guest Blogger: the eighth time was apparently the charm. 

"Never, never, never, never, never surrender."
Winston Churchill. 


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I ain't buying that our judges are over-worked. Most do a decent or better job, but too many are skating.


Anonymous said...

Finally something BTDT says that I agree on. I've been waiting for several years for this day.

Anonymous said...

four years ago today u were better off than today? wtf is wrong with u?


mikal said...

Two more judges gone? I hope the disruption isn't too great.

And this tidbit regarding stand your ground:


Anonymous said...

Rump - why so obsessed with guest blogger?

Anonymous said...

9:05 PM: Exactly! I couldn't agree more.

In memory of September 24, 2008 during George W. Bush's final month as president. In case some people forgot about his involvement in our economic recession.

"How did we reach this point in our economy? Most economist agree that the problems we are witnessing today developed over long period of time." GWB was saying this in September of 2008.


Anonymous said...

Overworked? Take a walk around the courthouses on Friday afternoon. I suspect that there are more judges agreeing to a $5 Nassau than presiding over cases. The reason they are leaving the bench is the same reason that federal judges are leaving the bench: they can make more money. Ex judges make anywhere from $400 to $500 an hour doing mediation and arbitration and most are booked for months. Do the math. Note that they are not going into private law practice. For $5000, parties can settle a case that would otherwise have cost ten times that much in legal fees. As with 99% of other things in life, it all revolves around money. And I say, good for them!

Anonymous said...

I too have a problem with judges complaining about being overworked.

Just roam the halls of our courthouses any Thursday or Friday after 2: 30 pm......hmmmm where'd they all go?

Anonymous said...

Most of these judges will collect a six figure pension, assuming they have the requisite years of service. So if you are a judge and you'll collect 100k pension just for playing golf, why would you work a full time schedule for 140k? They can easily make that up the difference (and more) by doing mediation work and working a couple days a week.

Anonymous said...

How about if a judge in criminal has a free afternoon, they could help hear cases in Civil?

Anonymous said...

yeah, lil jose jose rodriguez is overworked......

Rumpole said...

Com on 9:59. Be serious. None of the judges in the REGJB has any free time.

Vittoria said...

Yeah, I doubt the honorable robed ones have time to make time.

Anonymous said...

Rump, I never thought of you as naive, but you are causing me pause...

Anonymous said...


Judges are not only fed up with their workload, but they are fed up with lawyers. The truth is being a judge used to be fun and gave the holder of the office a great deal of job satisfaction. You know, doing the right thing and serving justice. The side benefits were the respect and admiration of lawyers for their competence and sacrifice. (Not to mention getting a table at Joe's)

That is not the case any more. Lawyers have made being a judge very difficult for those who are capable of doing the job. They are constantly being berated for not being nice or being stupid when it is the lawyers who are stupid and not very nice. Most of you come to court unprepared, don't know the rules and frankly don't care about the rules. I have said it before, it is the tail wagging the dog.

You want to know why they are leaving? It ain't worth it anymore. It is not worth giving up more money for less to be treated the way most lawyers treat judges. Lawyers show no respect for judges and, if the judge does not bend over and kiss the lawyer's ass, he gets dinged on the bar poll, on this blog and in conversation with other lawyers. Who needs that crap?

You all are driving the good ones away in the name of diversity and the desire to control instead of being controlled. You want idiots who are so afraid of you that, rather than rule against someone, give everyone a little something to make them happy.

You all have to get over yourselves. Like the public in general should, stop thinking about yourselves and think about the greater good and how the system is supposed to work. Find good competent people, let them do their jobs, let them be in charge and you do your job, not theirs.

Anonymous said...

7:41, when you announce ready on your trial and then cave like a wimp on trial day or cancel your Arthur hearing or withdraw your motion to suppress after the judge continued everything else, what's the judge supposed to do? Sit on the bench until 5? Many of them are in their offices working on the BS rule 3s you file.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

1:03 PM: I was with you until your comment, "You are driving all the good ones away in the name of diversity." What exactly does that mean? If you're refering to the increase of minority judges over the past several years, that's an asset, not a fault. The few African-American judges we have in Miami-Dade Co. are generally outstanding: Bagley, Prescott, Trawick, Gayles, W. Thomas, T. Thomas, Hendon, Graham and Smith. It's the same for many of our current Hispanic judges: Soto, R. Rodriguez, Figarola, Lopez, Arzola & del Pino.

Anonymous said...

Guest Blogger rocks.

Anonymous said...


1:03 here. I agree that divesity has made the bench better in some ways. Unfortunatley for some of those who create diversity, there are those who have taken the need for diversity and have decided it is better to be diversified than to have competent people run. For every del Pino or Figarola, there is a Pando, a Perez or a Pozo. There are too many that are getting to the bench not on ability, but on ethnicity. That includes an Eig or a Seff.

By the way we disagree on Rodriguez, R. She should have been removed many years ago and but for ethnicity, she would have been.

The current judges are too young, too inexperienced and either too political or too lazy to be where they are. Being a judge was never supposed to be a career, just the end of a career.

Anonymous said...

1:03 P.M.,

Man up!

That was a poorly written diatribe where you were all over the place.

Most of the lawyers are respectful and civil towards the judges. It's strange judges could be "fed up with lawyers" since they sought that job and knew what they were getting into. If a judge does something bad, they deserve the feedback. That is what it is like to live in a free democratic society.

Judges leave for greener pastures. Younger judges + fulfillment of objectives + need for more $= seeking more money.

Has nothing to do with the lawyers.
It's harder to make a living as an attorney so you have younger lawyers seeking the position as a judge as a career as opposed to a postscript to a sucessful career. Most of these retiring judges didn't strike gold when they were lawyers and they are getting their opportunity now that they have addded a good notch to their resume. Some of these judges were nobodys before they took the bench. Many of the recent rash of candidates were not sucessful lawyers.

So, quit your pathetic defending of these judges. Many of them are lucky to be there.

DS said...


Former North Miami Beach Mayor Myron Rosner arrested



Former North Miami Beach Mayor Myron Rosner was arrested Thursday on allegations of campaign finance fraud relating to his failed 2011 reelection bid, prosecutors said.

The case stems from allegations that Rosner did not accurately report advertising bought on bus benches.

In one case, prosecutors said, he bought “personal advertising messages” with money donated to his campaign account. An advertising company also gave him free advertising so the company would avoid “losing” a city bus bench contract, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

Rosner, 52, is charged with a slew of felony and misdemeanor counts, including unlawful compensation for official behavior, grand theft and falsely reporting campaign expenditures.

The case stems from complaints filed with the Florida Elections Commission last year by blogger Stephanie Kienzle, who has filed other complaints against Rosner on separate issues with state and county ethics agencies.

The criminal case was investigated by Miami-Dade police, the ethics commission and prosecutors.

Rosner was unseated in 2011 by political newcomer and citizen activist George Vallejo.


For those of you who do not know:
His wife is Sara Zabel _________________________________

Anonymous said...

I have been in the "system" since 1986 and have rarely seen an overworked Judge. While certain judges are leaving for monetary reasons, it's certainly not for being "overburdened with cases". Sadly the new judges we are getting have no business being judges, they are also there for monetary reason.

Anonymous said...

most judges are on the bench because they cannot make it in private practice,or as proscutors they have no where else to go.the only ones leaving are those who have pensions and it make no sense to keep working. of course there are exceptions like Miller,Emas,Thorton, Blake and a few others.

Anonymous said...

103........I agree that many lawyers are lazy, unprepared, and discourtesous. They file frivolous pleadings, lie to opposing counsel and the court, and violate Bar rules in half the cases they handle.

Some behave this way irrespective of what judges do. However,, the majority of misbehaving lawyers at the way they do because judges allow them to do so. I wish more judges would get more aggressive (and do so fairly) with the lawyers ruining our profession.

You want to see things change? If you're a judge, control your courtroom. Question lawyers about the boilerplate motions they file and the cases they cite. Ask them about their good faith basis to argue that crap they do. Hold their feet to the fire when they ask for that 12th continuance. Crush them when they get nasty in court. This isn't rocket science, do your job and you'll see others do theirs.


Anonymous said...

The problem with the newer judges is that many of them have never been trial lawyers and have absolutely no clue how to handle a jury trial. For every one decent judge, there are five horrible ones. And, by the way, what's the deal with the influx of these timid, clueless women judges, none of whom are really interested in trying cases?

Anonymous said...


1:03 here. Did you even read what I wrote. Talk about a non-sensical diatribe, you just repeated what I wrote. Moron.

Anonymous said...

BTDT - 1:03 here. I agree whole- heartedly with your assessment.

Those who know me will read this and know who I am, but simply put, the disease in the system is not the lawyers. It is the judges.

Lawyers will only do what a judge will let them get away with. It is the failure of the judges to take control that promotes the bad behavior. But most of the judges, those 5 out of six, who are afraid of losing their jobs, or worse yet don't know how to do their jobs, who won't or can't step up to the plate.

Sorry DS, but this is the crap you get with elections and a politicized JNC.

Anonymous said...


There once was a judge who held lawyers feet to the fire. He applied the rules. He understood that there must be a winner and a loser.

He even went so far as, when a lawyer said the rules permitted him to do certain things, to pull out the rule book and tell the lawyer to sit down and find the rule, even though the judge knew no such rule existed. He took no crap from the lawyers who appeared before him and fully controlled his courtroom. He had the lowest numbers in every division in which he sat.

They called him an asshole. Said he was arrogant. They supported his opposition. Instead of supporting him, other judges threw him under the bus and ran for cover. I was one of those who did not stand up for him even though I respected him and his ability. He lost after two terms.

He is not the only one. He was made an example of and since then everyone, including me, has run scared. Tail wagging the dog.

If the ethical and respected lawyers stood up, instead of burying their heads in the sand, judges might stand up. But you are asking for judges, who have the ability and knowledge, to stand up all alone. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. This judge was a perfect example of how I can lose my job.

Anonymous said...

105..............if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

If you're too afraid to do your job (because you're afraid of losing it or otherwise), you shouldn't be a judge. End of story.


PS---plenty of tough judges have done fine........Rothenberg, Echarte, etc.

DS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DS said...

Rothenberg wasnt tough she was abusive. I was one of her PDs and my clients NEVER got a fair deal.

She was a SUPER DC FOR THE STATE ON THE BENCH. She would regularly meet in chambers w/ the DC & ASA w/out the PDs to discuss their cases and performance in court.

She would also meet w/ Kathy Hougue in chambers w/out any PD to discuss cases and the performance of HER State Attys. I saw this , walked in once while She and Kathy were talking cases and was asked to leave.

Once ,I had a client on probation who lived in Broward, who came to Dade to help his wife who was having car problems. Rothenberg wanted the max. Client heard this and fainted. He feel over the railing in the jury box [ he was in custody on the PVH].

Rothenberg said he was faking it for sympathy, but I convinced her to call the Jail Nurse. Nurse agreed he was faking it just looking at the man on the floor, but not even checking his vitals.

Then I told the nurse he had had open heart surgery and was wearing a nitro patch. She opened his shirt and saw the zipper scar down his sternum and called rescue. He was in ICCU for 2 weeks.

Rotherberg let him plea to CTS when he got out of the hospital .

If thats your example of a good Judge -No thank you.A little compassion or atleast common curtesy, please. Mean and Nasty to Lawyers, Clients and their family aint a good Judge.

Bagley and Leban were 100% better.
Dresnick, Brennan and Gayles surpass her also.


Anonymous said...

DS---I disagree about your comments on Rothenberg, but you missed my point entirely. My point is that a judge can and should hold the lawyers' feet to the fire and shouldn't refrain from doing so because they're afraid of not getting re-elected.

The more I think about it, the more 105's comments annoy me. It's nauseating to hear a judge ADMIT that they allow crap to happen in their courtroom for the selfish reason of keeping their jobs. To think that I once thought that these were the folks who protected us. Pitiful.