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

Friday, October 30, 2015

A PEBBLE IN MY SHOE

Under the Headline "Lawyer-Judge Rift to Front in Judicial Race" comes this DBR article about an upcoming election, a lawyer, a judge, and a prior complex construction lawsuit about which we readily admit we know nothing, and do not want to know anything about. Or as we say in criminal court everyday: "Civil law is for &^%##$^&()*^#'s". 

A well-funded family law attorney backed by judicial kingmaker Hector Lombana is challenging first-term Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jason Bloch, who has the backing of some prominent Miami lawyers.
Miami attorney Marcia Del Rey has filed to run against Bloch, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott in November 2014.
Del Rey of the Law Offices of Marcia Del Rey has never run for judge before but has already raised more than twice as much money as Bloch—$108,450 to his $50,548.
...
Lombana of Gamba Lombana & Herrera in Coral Gables has set up a Facebook page titled Defeat Jason Bloch.
"He does not have the character and fitness to be a judge," said Lombana, who has strong ties to unions capable of delivering large bloc of votes.
Bloch and Lombana tangled several years ago when they were opposing counsel on a case. Bloch was an assistant county attorney on a complex construction case, and Lombana was brought in at the end of the case by the plaintiff.
Lombana said Bloch "made misrepresentations of law and fact to an unrepresented party." Lombana claimed Bloch said he was entitled to a lodestar multiplier on attorney fees when county attorneys are not.
"Any lawyer who knowingly makes misrepresentations is incapable of being judge," Lombana said.
In a statement, Block said: "Mr. Lombana previously brought these allegations before the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. The Commission obviously rejected them as meritless. As is the case with all candidates seeking appointment to the bench, the Commission thoroughly vetted and evaluated my qualifications and character, and proceeded to nominate me to the governor, who ultimately appointed me to the circuit court bench."
Lombana insisted he does not have a personal vendetta against Bloch. However, Lombana was so distressed about his experience with Bloch that he urged the Miami-Dade Judicial Nominating Commission not to name Bloch as a finalist for a judicial opening.
"In my 37 years as a lawyer, I have never written a letter such as this, but now duty compels me," he stated in the September 2014 letter. "It is my sincere opinion that Mr. Bloch is unfit to preside as a judge in any matter. It is my considered opinion that Jason Bloch believes that the legal system is a process to be 'gamed' and manipulated. It is my opinion that he has no personal commitment to the integrity of truth and justice."

Targeting?

On his Facebook page announcing Scott's selection of Bloch, Lombana called the choice "an abomination" and added, "2016 is just around the corner."
"He's going around telling people the reason I am helping his opponent is because I lost a case to him when the issue is his character and fitness," Lombana said. "If I was angry at everyone I lost a cast against, I'd have a lot of people I was angry at."
....
Bloch's supporters say they feel he is being targeted by Lombana.
"Judge Bloch was my opposing counsel in a matter he handled for the county prior to being appointed by Governor Scott," Lopez-Castro said. "My personal opinion was he represented the county very well, so it was a gain for the bench but a loss for the county.
"When I heard that Judge Bloch was being targeted before he even took the bench, I offered my support. As a former Cuban American Bar Association president, I have dedicated a good part of my career to protecting the integrity of the judicial election process. I believe I am doing that by supporting a respected incumbent judge."
Josefsberg said he, too, was disturbed by "the circumstances of why someone is running" against Bloch.
"I'm supporting him because many people, including many sitting judges, have said he is a wonderful person and a wonderful judge, and I don't like bullying tactics," he said.

Rumpole notes: As much as we respect Bob Josefsberg, and he is one of the greatest lawyers in this country, we don't think this amounts to "bullying tactics." A lawyer has a right, if not an obligation, to bring concerns about a judge to the forefront of an election, and it takes courage to do so. 

That being said, we take no position on this contretemps, because we don't know the details and we have yet to argue a case before Judge Bloch, as circumstances out of town have kept us quite busy and away from our beloved REGJB. 

Comments will be strictly moderated in that we will not in any way allow any ad hominem attacks. Make your comments thoughtful and intelligent (which unfortunately excludes the judiciary, but so be it).*

See You in Court. 

* We can take cheap shots, you can't. 

32 comments:

Claude Erskine- Browne said...

Judges are not anointed by God. They have no right not to be challenged in an election. After appointment by our sh*T faced Governor , Block, like all judges has to face the electorate, and anyone qualified has a right to run against him. Perhaps the fact that he has no compassion, no knowledge of criminal law nor procedure and treats poor litigants like crap, earned him opposition

Anonymous said...

Bloch is quite intelligent and a nice guy. I think he would make a great civil judge based on my experiences with him. Criminal doesn't seem to be his cup of tea.

As to hector, he's always running his mouth around election time. Based on his years of comments, I can't take anything he says seriously.

Retain Bloch. Put him in civil where he will be an asset.

Anonymous said...

Actually Josefsberg and his crew are bullying... They are trying to keep someone from running for office. Why?

Anonymous said...

Bloch and Lombana should work out their differences over drinks at a happy hour in the Ren (a venue).

Anonymous said...

Marcia Del Rey vs. Jason Bloch in a presidential election en el condado de Miami-Dade.

Name advantage to Del Rey.

Adios Juez Bloch.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recommendation for a lawyer in western Louisiana. Have you actually met him. Can you speak about any of his cases or results.

Please stop. You don't know the best lawyer in every city. This is getting real old

Anonymous said...

Let them duke it out. Bloch is kinda Blah. The fact he was appointed by governor scott gives him 2 1/2 strikes in my book.

Anonymous said...

We should do a fundraiser which puts judical candidates in the ring. That would make a fortune for charities.

Huey Freeman said...

Haven't appeared before Bloch, but have not heard many good things about him. Most seem to believe that he has no people skills, and that could be why he treats the poor souls that appear before him the way he does, as opposed to just being an a$$hole; or the latter could still be true.

Still can't figure out why they send inexperienced/new Judges with no criminal experience to criminal court. Unless it's because that it's mostly the rights of poor minorities who likely can't vote that are being trampled, as opposed to the wealthy, voting eligible pocketbooks in civil.

The Professor said...

First of all, Hector's influence has dwindled over the past 5 years. It used to be, if he was opposed to you, you had no hope before the JNC. That is not the case any longer.

Sensing his stranglehold over the judiciary weakening, he had to do something to vindicate himself against the attacks that have raged against him for the last 15 years. Bloch became an easy target. A lifelong civil servant with support from those who benefited from his friendship while in the County Attorney's Office, he finally parlayed his politics into a seat on the bench. But, that does not translate into campaign contributions, especially when most (note I said most) of the support is from the Anglo establishment firms. (No offense Mr. Lopez-Castro).

Truthfully, Bloch was pretty much of a "dick" when he was with the County Attorney. And Hector is not wrong about the way he abused pro se litigants. He could be pretty abusive to attorneys when he knew he had the upper hand. Those of us who litigated for our fees in court appointed cases will remember.

I have yet to have the high honor and privilege to appear before him, so I must take the word of those who have, or at least the word of those whose opinions I value, as to how he is doing on the bench. With that said, my advise to Bloch is, get some campaign help, raise some money and learn to speak Spanish.

Anonymous said...

"Most of the support is from Anglo establishment firms". WTF does that mean? Sounds a little bigoted to me "Professor".

Anonymous said...

It's "shut up and dance" night at everyone's favorite venue. The song will be played twice an hour all night. Free vodka and peach schnapps shots - called a woo woo - to everyone who line dances in the song.

Rumpole said...

I never judge a new judge during their first year especially if they came from civil. Some idiot judges will tell a new judge to just alwsys follow the prosecution if stuck - and more than one new judge has confided in me they got that advice. What I wait to see is if after they get the hang of it they moderate and began to call balls and strikes fairly. A lot do. Some don't.

Anonymous said...

Had plenty of cases against county attorneys and sufficient experience with Bloch to agree with Hector on this one. Don't want him in civil.

Anonymous said...

I'm his spare time Bloch rescues homeless kittens and reads to under privileged children and volunteers at Camillus house.

Jerk.

Anonymous said...

In his spare time Hector rescues pitbulls reads the Constitution to under privileged tea party members and works for vacation homeless Republicans

Anonymous said...

I've known Jason for years. He's a decent and honorable man. I haven't appeared in front of him, but would be happy to do so. The sanctimonious attacks against him are ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

The question is Did Bloch do what he is accused of doing ........making knowing misrepresentations of law and fact to unrepresented parties while he was under the pay of taxpayers as a lawyer and public employee of our Miami Dade Attorneys office .

Personalities have nothing to do with it

Anonymous said...

So, what about Marcia Del Rey? What are her qualifications other than looking quite fetching on billboards around town?

Anonymous said...

Hang the flags at half mast. Cancel court tomorrow. A day of national mourning and prayer. AL Molinari - the great one - has died. The single greatest under appreciated actor of his generation has died. Freaking ruined Halloween. I'm crushed.

Anonymous said...

Your fav venue will be closed from noon to six today reflecting the staffs sadness at the loss of this great actor and American. The venue will open at six for its planned Halloween festivities. Come as your favorite Republican candidate mask contest will begin promptly at 9.

Anonymous said...

Del Rey successfully represented Molinari in his last paternity action. A brilliant but rarely used defense of nexus actus reas

Anonymous said...

Top ten positions Republican candidates should consider taking to gain attention.

10. End the Dewey decimal system. An out dated democratic socialist concept that treats all books equally.

Real Fake Former Judge said...

9. End handicap parking. They want to be treated equal so let them walk. Or roll. Or whatever.

Anonymous said...

8. Make fans pay for foul Balls at baseball games. Nothing for free in the USA.

Anonymous said...

7. End cover charges at the Ren (a venue) on high-demand nights.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the fact that the DNC has just cancelled the remaining debates so as to not subject their frontrunner to any difficult moments?

Thoughts on the fact that the NYTimes called the week Hillary testified under oath to having misrepresented facts the "best week of her campaign", months after they dedicated front page space to attacking Rubio over a series of parking tickets?

Politics aside, what an embarrassment it must be to be a Democrat. Your party's standard-bearer's only previous political victory in her life was a corrupt purchase of a Senate seat in a state she never had lived in before (which she soon left to run for higher office) based on her husband's name (yay feminism!), and who now has purchased almost all of the super delegates necessary for a nomination before she has even had to face a single primary.

People call Trump a joke and there is a lot to ridicule about him. But Hillary and her fake southern "black" accent, and the Democrat Party... it's the death of American democracy. At least the GOP base is rejecting oligarchy in the way its running another Bush out. The Dems -- they've already scheduled the coronation of another Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Yet no one seems to understand that this is a grudge match of Hector's because Jason kicked his ass in a case before he was a judge. Anyone care that Hector has never appeared before Jason? Anyone want to know whether hector was being unethical in that case? Hector should be disbarred for this.

Anonymous said...

Jason Bloch

"Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. " C.S. Lewis

You either forgot ,or never learned , this basic truth. You were caught "red-handed" with your " hand in the cookie jar" now you are paying the consequences .

Anonymous said...

And what, you want Rubio?! He is an empty suit, a pretty boy without the intellectual heft for the most important job in the world. Remember that our next president will shape the Supreme Court, a far too important decision for a lightweight like Rubio. And is anyone else troubled by the fact that Rubio's mentor was not trickster David Rivera? I may not like Bush, but at least he is up for the job.

earl rogers said...

Republicans have rejected oligarchy? The Republican Party is up for sale to the highest bidder. Eve your hero Trump admits this.

Anonymous said...

I will tell you what is bad.

A power broker lawyer known to plant opponents against judges who have ruled against that lawyer.

A judge who looks over his shoulder when that power broker lawyer walks into the room.

A power broker lawyer who is invited into a high stakes trial at the end of the trial for no purpose other than to intimidate the presiding judge.

A power broker lawyer who makes a living intimidating judges.

Riddle me this: Does this happen? Who is this power broker lawyer?

A power broker lawyer who illegitimately divides the community along the anglo hispanic fault line.

A power broker lawyer more concerned with revenge against a judge than with relative merit of the candidates for the position.

A lawyer who knows nothing about a want-to-be judge candidate but makes sizable contributions to the want-to-be judge candidate solely to befriend the power broker lawyer.