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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, August 04, 2014

ELECTION CENTRAL 2014


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

WELCOME TO THE MONTH OF AUGUST:  IF THE CALENDAR READS AUGUST, THEN IT'S TIME TO KICK-OFF FOOTBALL SEASON, IT'S ALSO THE PEAK OF HURRICANE SEASON, & MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, IT'S TIME FOR ELECTION CENTRAL .....

On August 26th, 2014, voters go to the polls to decide on eight contested judicial elections.  But, early voting begins next Monday, August 11th and continues through Sunday August 24th.

This past week, the Dade County Bar Association (DCBA) released the results of it's Judicial Poll.  The numbers below indicate: (Exceptionally Qualified/Qualified/Unqualified).

In the past week, the Miami Herald has also printed their recommendations.  Give the Herald credit for going the extra mile.  They begin with an extensive questionnaire and end with in depth interviews of all candidates before their Editorial Board.  The candidates face off in these interviews side by side.

Also, the State of Florida, Division of Elections, lists the campaign account information for all of the candidates.

CIRCUIT COURT

GROUP 16 (Leon Firtel retiring)

Thomas Cobitz v. Stephen Millan

Cobitz 23%/57%/20%

Fundraising: He has raised $21,790 from 103 contributors.  He has also dug deep into his own pocket and borrowed a whopping $500,000 to win the seat.  Tom, seriously, a half a million dollars?!

Millan 18%/59%/23%

Fundraising: He has raised $34,080 from 117 contributors.  He has also added $50,000 of his own money.

Mr. Millan received the HERALD endorsement.

GROUP 26

Judge Rodney Smith v. Christian Carrazana

Smith 47%/45%/7%

Fundraising: He has raised $133,409 from 529 contributors. He has added a measly $100 of his own money, (to open the campaign account).

Carrazana 8%/29%/64%

Fundraising: He has raised $19,450 from 35 contributors.  He has kicked in $7,000 of his own money to the campaign.

Judge Smith received the HERALD endorsement.

GROUP 27 (Ron Dresnick retiring)

Mary Gomez v. Alberto Milian V. Joseph Perkins

Gomez  13%/51%/36%

Fundraising: She has raised $17,551 from 76 contributors.  She has not added any of her own money to the campaign.

Milian  13%/41%/46%

Fundraising: He has raised $160,789 from 186 contributors. He has contributed another $100,000 out of his own pocket.

Candidate Joseph Perkins has dropped out of the race.  He cited "health issues in my family" in a letter to the DBR.

Ms. Gomez received the HERALD endorsement.

GROUP 58 (Marc Schumacher retiring)

Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts v. Martin Zilber

Fonts  17%/61%/22%

Fundraising: He has raised $76,463 from 277 contributors.  He did not loan himself any money.

Zilber  21%/45%/34%

Fundraising: He has raised $156,123 from 462 contributors. He has kicked in $100,000 of his own money.

Mr. Zilber received the HERALD endorsement.

GROUP 67

Judge Fleur Lobree v. Mavel Ruiz

Lobree  47%/46%/7%

Fundraising: She has raised $55,585 from 246 contributors.  She has added $100,000 of her own money to the campaign.

Ruiz  14%/42%/44%

Fundraising: She has raised $28,026 from 127 contributors. She added no money of her own.

Judge Lobree received the HERALD endorsement.

GROUP 70 (Sandy Karlan retiring)

Veronica Diaz v. Renier Diaz de la Portilla

Diaz  13%/34%/54%

Fundraising: She has raised $64,697 from 202 contributors.  She has added $40,000 of her own money to the campaign account.

Diaz DLP  8%/29%/62%

Fundraising: He has raised $70,200 from 126 contributors.  He has added only a $200 contribution of his own money, (to open the campaign account).

Mr. Diaz de la Portilla received the HERALD endorsement.

COUNTY COURT

GROUP 19

Judge Jacqueline Schwartz v. Rachel Dooley v. Frank Bocanegra

Schwartz  16%/45%/39%

Fundraising: She has raised $67,786 from 301 contributors.  She has added a huge contribution of $200,000 of her own money to the campaign account.

Dooley  24%/55%/21%

Fundraising: She has raised $36,233 from 151 contributors. She has added only $1,600 of her own money.

Bocanegra  11%/41%/48%

Fundraising: He has raised $24,962 from 112 contributors.  He has contributed $10,000 into the campaign account from his own pocket.

Judge Schwartz received the HERALD endorsement.

GROUP 36

Judge Nuria Saenz v. Victoria Ferrer

Saenz  29%/52%/19%

Fundraising: She has raised $87,674 from 260 contributors. She has added no money of her own to the campaign.

Ferrer  16%/42%/42%

Fundraising: She has raised $84,749 from 183 contributors. She has added only $2,500 from her wallet to the campaign.

Judge Saenz received the HERALD endorsement.

THE DCBA POLL .....

A word about the poll.  To give any real weight to this poll would be a disservice to the voters of our community.  There were a total of 15,061 attorneys eligible to vote in the poll.  A grand total of 1,211 voters returned their ballots; a figure of just over 8%.  But, in reality, the figures are even more dismal. 

You see, not all 1,211 voters voted for every judge/candidate listed on the poll.  Citing three examples, only 220 attorneys voted on candidate Carrazana; only 185 on candidate Bocanegra; and only a ridiculously low 173 voted on candidate Mary Gomez.  These numbers are typical throughout the poll when looking at those that are not on the bench.

Even the judges currently on the bench had low numbers of attorneys weighing in on their qualifications.  Three more examples: Judge Marcia Caballero garnered votes from only 385 attorneys; Judge Cristina Miranda 373; and Judge Maria Sampedro Iglesias had only 326 attorneys who apparently knew who she was.

So, sadly, the DCBA poll, may be, in a word, worthless.  That is not the fault of the DCBA.  That is clearly the fault of attorneys.  We seem to be so opinionated on these legal blogs.  But when it comes time to weigh in on those that get to wear the black robes, and sit for six years in the judgment of others, we have little to contribute to the poll takers.  In a word, sad.

Therefore, this BLOG post's author will not comment on the results of the DCBA poll; if you really want to read the results, go to the DCBA home page at www.dadecountybar.org and read them yourselves.

CAPTAIN OUT ..........
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is time for Veronica Diaz to withdraw from the race for Judge! She needs to hire a good criminal attorney, anyone interested???
http://www.crespogram.com/index_public_html/THE_INDEPENDENT_AUDITORS_REPORT_ON_ULTRA.html

Anonymous said...

Is there a link to the Herald 's endorsement article? The search function on their website is worthless.

Anonymous said...

Captain, you should also note that many of those who vote, vote in blocks. For example, prosecutors, public defenders and United Automobile Insurance Co. lawyers vote based upon either perceptions from those who have appeared in front of a judge or, as at UAIC, on orders from their boss. In other words don't piss off the PD's or ASA's, and absolutely don't get the owners of UAIC on your ass.

It should also be noted that rumors persist that UAIC ballots are collected by the General Counsel's office and filled out for the attorneys. This would explain Saenz's and Carranza's ratings (although Carranza is truly unqualified to be a judge).

It is about time someone called the Dad County Bar Poll what it is: useless and misleading. It is a beauty contest and not indicative of a judge or candidate's true abilities.

Rumpole said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

Then I guess Rumpole the DCBA poll and the Elections are the same since maybe 15% will show up to vote, hardly anyone shows up but in the end. I guess this is how you feel about the general public as well, trash to be thrown out.

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/22/4249643/the-heraldrecommends.html?sp=/99/513/454/#diazdelaportillaforjudge

Anonymous said...

I have a big problem with the guy named Silber who represented Judge Rosenthal in Broward on her DUI. He sent out a press release to try to spin the situation and out right lied. He said she never refused a urine test and she refused the blood test only because the room was not sanitary. The video has been released and all of that was a lie, Mr. Silber. Did you not see the fucking video before you lied to everyone?

The TV and print media are all over him and her.

Thanks... Mr. Silber, you made us all look like a bunch of dishonest sports agents that would say anything to make their client look good.

The Bar has rules that are clear. We cannot make up shit to make our client look good.

the trialmaster said...

I have never seen such unqualfied candidates for a judgship in my many decades of practice. We are losing some great judges, Schmacher,dresnick,among a very few others. If only the public really was aware how dumb many of those running for judge and most of the sitting judges really are.

Anonymous said...

Actually, 10:21 - that is not quite right, but close. Electing judges is a perversion of the system. Making judges beholden to an electorate influences decisions, and that is precisely what the Founding Fathers did not want. That is why they made a judgeship a lifetime appointment subject to confirmation by a legislative body (the more deliberate Senate, not the House of Representatives.) You also have to remember the Senate was an appointed, not an elective, position in the original writing of the Constitution.

I understand the argument re: politics in the appointment process. But don't forget that more of the public votes in the election of the executive than in any judicial race. Most voters don't know a thing abut the judicial candidates. They vote one of, or a combination of, three things: race, ethnicity and gender. Is this really how we should be selecting our judges?

If the Herald did not use the Bar Poll at all, instead of instances where it serves their purposes, no one would pay attention to it at all. It is so corrupt itself, that it SHOULD be ignored, and elections SHOULD not be the way we pick our judges.

Anonymous said...

Liberals, eager to build their political careers on the moral ground of the civil rights movement, reduced issues to identity politics at every opportunity.

And so now the chickens have come home to roost and voters only vote for those within their in-group. Jurors only identify with those within their in-group. Etc.

It's 2014 -- a liberal paradise.

Anonymous said...

Rump,

Can you settle the debate? Does the robe make you an asshole or do only assholes seek the robe?

Ex Balck Jack Dealer said...

As some have correctly noted the voter turnout for primary elections is low. Anyone who cares about the election has a chance to influence it in a small way by getting out to vote, donating to worthy candidates and by contacting their friends and clients who are likely to vote and recommending a couple of candiates they think should be elected. If everyone did a little then Judges like Lobree could be retained.

Rumpole said...

5:12. Perhaps the best question ever asked on this blog. Take a now sir.

Anonymous said...

So what's your take?

Anonymous said...

5:12 did ask a tremendous question

Anonymous said...

Hey 8/04 at 8:50:

"rumors persist?" Meaning in the paranoid fantasies on the PIP Plaintiffs' lawyers listserve? That would be a neat trick considering the ballots are disseminated electronically with unique user passwords.

PIP plaintiffs are so hysterical over this election ... the plaintiffs' bar has been throwing big-money fundraisers for every PIP county court judge for years. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the $350/hour in fees that 5th-year lawyers are bringing in. Perhaps it's the end of the plaintiffs' bar's hegemony over the county court judiciary? We shall see . . .

Anonymous said...

The CABA and Dade County Bar polls are not an accurate barometer of a candidate's qualifications. Most lawyers don't vote in the bar polls and most don't know the candidates anyway. As the blogger at 8:50am said, the polls are manipulated. For instance, contrary to the poll ratings, Carrazana is qualified. He's been both a trial and appellate for more than 10 years. In fact, he is the only candidate that is an appellate lawyer. Fonts, Dooley, Bocanegra and Mavel Ruiz are also qualified because of their legal experience as trial lawyers. We need people on the bench that know how to read case law and interpret the law and judges who practiced law. If a candidate has not practiced law, then you can say he or she is not qualified. A candidate's qualification should be based on their legal experience. It is that simple.

Anonymous said...

The robe, like every other mantle of power, doesn't change anyone. It simply magnifies the wearer's true personality.

If you ever want to know what a person's really about, put them in a position of power......

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Hey 8/5 at 10:34 or should I call you Mr. Richard Parillo, President of UAIC. NO amount of money raised by plaintiff's attorneys can equal the money, marginally legal fundraising and underhanded tactics of UAIC. It is hardly a fair fight. The public, not the attorneys who represent your victims, will be well served when a real Insurance Commissioner finally does the audit necessary, and puts you out of business, and maybe in prison.

Anonymous said...

Not voting for anyone involved with the absentee ballot queen Sasha Tirador. Bye bye lobree. Hello judge Ruiz.