Thursday, April 24, 2014




On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, voters will go to the polls for the Primary Election of 2014.  Judges in contested elections will be on the ballot that day.  If a Run-Off is needed, that will take place on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

This election cycle, 47 judicial groups are up for election; 38 in the Circuit Court and 9 in the County Court.

The deadline to file your papers and run for office is Friday, May 2, 2014.

Currently, of the 38 Circuit Court Groups, there are four contested elections.  Of the other 34 Groups, all 34 Incumbents have filed to run and NONE have OPPOSTION to date.

In the County Court, all nine Incumbents have filed for re-election and TWO of those Incumbents currently face opposition.



Judge Leon Firtel is retiring.  TWO candidates have filed.  They include:

Thomas Cobitz
*24 years Florida Bar; criminal defense practice

Stephen Millan
*22 years FB; criminal defense practice; ran unsuccessfully in the past for Judge; 2006 lost to Karen Mills Francis in a County Court race; 2008 lost in a run-off to Yvonne Colodny in a three way race for a seat on the Circuit Court; (Pat Kopco was eliminated in the primary)

Renier Diaz de la Portilla
*6 years FB; Miami-Dade School Board 8 years; Florida House Legislator 2 years, 2000-2002; (ran again in 2012 and lost); Mediator; (HAS MOVED TO DIVISION 70 AS OF 4/21/14).


Judge Ronald Dresnick is retiring.  THREE candidates have NOW filed.  They include:

Mary Gomez
*18 years FB; marital & family practice

Albert Milian
*26 years FB; criminal defense practice; ran unsuccessfully for State Attorney in the past.  2000 lost to KF Rundle; 2004 lost to KF Rundle after defeating Leslie Rothenberg in the Republican primary; Gary Rosenberg also lost in the general election as he ran as an IND.

Joseph Perkins (UPDATED)

*Mr. Perkins has been a member of The Florida Bar for 6 years.  He graduated from Drexel with a degree in International Area Studies and while there interned for a US Senator and performed research for a US Representative.  He went to law school at Boston University and while there acted as a student attorney representing indigent clients in immigration proceedings. He currently works for the law firm of Garbett, Stiphany, Allen & Roza, practicing in the area of complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on representing small and large businesses, banks and financial institutions, and governmental entities, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  We reached out to Mr. Perkins back in January, (as you may recall) and asked him why he was running for Judge.  To read his unedited response, please go to the Tuesday, January 21, 2014 Blog Post to read Mr. Perkins open letter to our readers on why he feels he is more than qualified to run for Judge.


Judge Marc "SHU" Schumacher is retiring.  Three candidates have filed.  They include:

Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts
*13 years FB; criminal defense & immigration practice

Mavel Ruiz
*17 years FB; criminal defense practice

Martin Zilber
*25 years FB; Mediator; Councilman in Coconut Grove; Public Health Trust Member; In House Counsel to transportation companies; insurance defense; corporate & real estate


Long time Judge Sandy Karlan has elected to retire.  Two candidates have filed.  They include:

Veronica Diaz (UPDATED)

*Ms. Diaz had previously filed to run in County Court against Incumbent Judge William Altfield.  On 4/17/14 she filed papers to run in this Circuit Court seat.  Four days later, de la Portilla joined her in the race. 

Ms. Diaz has been a member of The Florida Bar for 11 years. Prior to working for the City of Miami City Attorney’s Office, she was in private practice with two law firms where she specialized in commercial and real estate litigation. Ms. Diaz joined the Office of the City Attorney in March 2007. Presently, she practices in the Transactional Division where she handles complex commercial transactions for the City, including construction and development, public-private partnerships and other general business matters. She also serves as counsel to various City boards.  We have twice reached out to Ms. Diaz and asked her several questions about her qualifications.  We told her that her response would be posted, unedited.  We have not had the courtesy of a reply email.

Renier Diaz de la Portilla
*6 years FB; Miami-Dade School Board 8 years; Florida House Legislator 2 years, 2000-2002; (ran again in 2012 and lost); Mediator; (HAS MOVED TO DIVISION 70 AS OF 4/21/14).

*If we have made any errors in the bios, I am sure our fine readers will point them out and correct us.

The following Incumbent Judges have filed and currently have no opposition:

Jerald Bagley
Beatrice Butchko
Marcia Caballero
Jeri Beth Cohen
Yvonne Colodny
Jorge Cueto
Abby Cynamon
Reemberto Diaz
Spencer Eig
Ariana Fajardo
Rosa Figarola
Alan Fine
Stacy Glick
Eric Hendon
Richard Hersch
Jacqueline Hogan Scola
Norma Lindsey
Fleur Lobree
Peter Lopez
Cristina Miranda
Celeste Hardee Muir
Orlando Prescott
Thomas Rebull
Jose Rodriguez
Maria Sampedro-Iglesia
Migna Sanchez-Llorens
Bernard Shapiro
Victoria Sigler
Rodney Smith
Daryl Trawick
Dava Tunis
Diane Ward
Sarah Zabel
Angelica Zayas



William Altfield
*Judge Altfield initially drew opposition from attorney Veronica Diaz when she filed on March 14, 2014.  On April 17th she switched races and she is now running for an open seat on the Circuit Court.

If you drop by Judge Altfield's courtroom right about now, you may catch him humming his best impression of Pharrell's number one hit.


Incumbent Judge Jacqueline Schwartz NOW has TWO opponents.  Attorney Rachel Dooley has filed to run against her.  And now, attorney Frank Bocanegra has also filed to run against her.

*Ms. Dooley has been a member of The Florida Bar for 16 years and handles criminal defense and family matters.

*Mr. Bocanegra has been a member of The Florida Bar for 6 years.  After a career in law enforcement with the MDPD, he became an attorney in 2008.  He quickly closed his law practice, presumably unsuccessfully.  He then became the Town Manager of Miami Lakes.  And, last year he applied to become the Village Manager in North Bay Village.  Now he wants to be your County Court Judge.

Judge Nuria Saenz now has an opponent. On April 21, 2014, attorney Victoria Ferrer filed to run against her. 

Judge Nuria Saenz
*Judge Saenz has been a member of The Florida Bar for almost 17 years.  For at least the past eight (of those 17) years she has been on the bench.  We are checking our records and have been unable to confirm if she took the bench prior to 2006?

Victoria Ferrer
*Ms. Ferrer has been a member of The Florida Bar for 6 years.  She currently works for the Law Firm of Neil Gonzalez.  She handles PIP cases, PI cases, and real estate matters.

The following Incumbent Judges have filed and currently have no opposition:

William Altfield
Donald Cannava
Betty Capote
Jason Dimitris
Carlos Guzman
Spencer Multack
Rodolfo Ruiz II

CAPTAIN OUT .........


Anonymous said...

People need to open up their checkbooks and send Rachel Dooley whatever they can ASAP.

Anonymous said...

somebody is going to run against Tunis

Anonymous said...

Why aren't more people sending money Dooley? She is a good attorney and will make a great judge. Of the three, this is a no brainer.

Anonymous said...

Please, please, please someone... Run against Tunis and Butchko.


Anonymous said...

Who's running against Butchko? She is very beatable. $500 to the person who seriously challenges her.

Anonymous said...

Two betting good propositions for Saturday night Heat/Bobcats game:

(1) over/under on minutes until the Udonis Haslem beatdown of superpunk Josh McRoberts; and

(2) over/under on the number of free throws that refs--who will be calling the game extremely close in a vain effort to prevent #1 from occuring--award to Lebron and Wade.

LasT NIGHT AT REN said...

On a very special Last Night at Ren podcast,
A-Rod stops by to try out the new kitchen and chows down on a nice filet, a lobster tail, some home made angel hair pasta, and tres leches dessert before dancing the rest of the night away with the lovely co-eds of South Kendall.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to run against Scola. She is atrocious.

Anonymous said...

I just love giving my hard earned money so someone else can advance their career...NOT!

Anonymous said...

Dooley is doing very little campaigning. Where are her social media folks?

Anonymous said...

Surprised there are not more candidates as there are a number of weak incumbents in this cycle. With the cost of running in a contested election you need a lot of extra $$$, ala Sanchez-Llorens , to give it a shot. Most not willing to gamble that kind of money.

Anonymous said...

There are two people on that list who need to be disrobed.

Butchko and Tunis.

Both have been rather rude to just about everyone.

So, I say to you, that rogue candidate who has no real money and has not hired all the king makers, run against those to mean spirited women. PLEASE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/04/25/illegal-cockfighting-ring-busted-in-southwest-miami-dade/ two cocks fighting and 200 cubans watching...there must be a joke in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I join the chorus.

Someone, please run against Tunis.

Frederici said...

Why didn't Jackie Schwartz not attend the Hialeah Bar Judicial Reception when she is a judge sitting Hialeah Branch Court?

I gotta hear this excuse...

Anonymous said...

Frederici, ever heard of a double negative? I think they teach that in elementary school

Anonymous said...

it is better be feared then liked

Anonymous said...

If you want to give money to Dooley go to her website. She is campaigning like crazy and is at every event. She needs money!

Anonymous said...

The Tunis opponent will have the overwhelming support of the lawyers who have appeared before her.

Remove pro-state judges said...

Someone please, please, please run against Glick. I'll happily contribute the max.

Anonymous said...

These judges need opposition:

Anonymous said...

I will donate to Rachel Dooley who I do like, but know that she should not be on the bench when she comes clean about why she had to resign the State Attorney's office. Who was that friend you tried to save that night? Misuse of the badge can easily become misuse of the robe. What say you Rachel Dooley?

Anonymous said...

Judge Shapiro needs an opponent as well. Reinier De La Portilllas needs to wise up and run against him. It will be an easy race for Reinier and will rid the courts of a mean as well as weak jurist. Shapiro's days are numbered. Reinier get on this.

Anonymous said...

Fajardo truly sucks! Have any of you seen her? She is running up an down like the court is a sorority. She hardly has any money and has as I hear a disaster of a personal life because of her divorce and child. Rick Scott appointed her and this is not a positive. Her court behavior and legal knowledge lack. Seriously. While some of these are personal, these are the things that help win a race. I know a bunch of folk who want her gone. Seems she has upset many.

Anonymous said...

I hear Zabel has drawn an opponent

Dooleyslaw said...

I seldom read the blog comments but was told about one in particular about "how" I left the SAO. Let me be clear, I was in no way forced to resign, or ever misused a badge. That is absurd and I can not even believe such a comment was made. Whoever this "anonymous" is, I thank you for your support and am sorry you are misinformed about this fact.

Feel free to request my SAO employee file, I would have no objection to that. Every single review I had there was excellent.

During my time at the SAO I had a a friend call and ask me to pick her and her boyfriend up from an accident. I did so on a Sunday afternoon. He was later charged with a traffic crime. I never, repeat, never did anything else. In fact, my statement to the prosecutor handling the case was rather crushing to the guy.

So what say I about the truth:

I left the SAO when I found out my father had resting tremor Parkinson's as well as congestive heart failure and was not given much time to live. He lived in New Orleans and I decided that it was much better to be able to make my own schedule so that I could see him, rather then take an offered promotion and "try" to see him. The SAO also offered me family leave time, but as I was not independently wealthy it was not an option.

Fortunately my Father hung on much longer and I was able to go and see him many times, including the weeks I spent at his side before his death. I have never regretted my decision to leave and I would do it all over again.

Rachel Sue Glorioso Dooley, Esq.

Anonymous said...

Wow.I just read 4/27/14 at 11:00 a.m.'s comment and I am stunned. I worked with Rachel at the SAO and then almost 7 years with her as her law partner and trial partner. What I can tell you is this: Rachel is smart,dedicated, honest and ethical. I can also attest to the fact that her father was dying and Rachel needed to make more money in order to visit him in New Orleans. It is hard to travel to visit your sick father on a regular basis when you are making $36k a year at the SAO. I was also at her father's funeral and know what a difficult time the year preceding his death was in Rachel's life. If you know Rachel, then you know she is a private person and her response to that cruel innuendo was difficult for her to share. How dare such a cowardly person, launch such a shameful grenade and then hide under "anonymous" status. I bet any reader that I could roam the halls of the SAO for 20 minutes and hear 20 different and false rumors. I, at least, would have the restraint and decency not repeat those rumors in a public forum. You, 4/27/14 @ 11 am are a small and weak person and shame on this blog for repeating such swill.

If you know Rachel, you know why she is running for county court. She likes mentoring newer attorneys who have little trial experience. She also has great perspective and knows that being a judge is about being fair. That means treating everyone with respect and dignity. That also means, 4/27/14 @ 11 am, even if she knew your identity, and you ever appeared in front of her she would treat you with you respect and dignity. That is the kind of person she is.

Anonymous said...


Please add my name to my response to 4/27/14 @ 11 am. I my zeal to reply, I left my name off.

Thank you,

Joe Frederick

Anonymous said...

Leave Rachel alone folks. She has a right. Now let's get rid of Rodney SMith. A truly pompous man. Fajjardo too. Where are the brave? Anyone?

BTW I hear Betty Capote is freaking out in North Dade. Seems like a potential seat that can be taken. Along with that Cannavas guy. Who is he anyway? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Really? Judge Diaz?