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, November 21, 2016

HOW TO GET ELECTED JUDGE: 101 ......


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

REALLY NORTH OF THE BORDER ......

VOTE FOR ME - MY OPPONENT REPRESENTS MURDERERS, RAPISTS, CHILD MOLESTERS AND OTHER CRIMINALS


Vote for Dana Santino for County Court Judge said the campaign flyer. Her opponent, Greg Lerman, is a criminal defense attorney who has spent his career "representing murderers, rapists, child molesters and other criminals".

Sound somewhat familiar? It happened in Miami-Dade County in 1996, and that campaign tactic worked here too. Yes, Dana Santino defeated her opponent Greg Lerman by just under 15,000 votes in Palm Beach County on November 8th  by a count of 248,765 - 233,949.

Criminal defense attorney and FACDL member Joseph Bell wrote a post on the FACDL Blog concerning the Santino v. Lerman campaign entitled: "Fundamental rights are at stake in Palm Beach County judicial race" that can be found here.

The Santino campaign’s response to the criticism went something like this: "Mr. Lerman is not a public defender and chooses to represent individuals who may have committed heinous crimes." In addition, Santino’s campaign also used social media to attack her opponent, using a Facebook page to criticize Lerman because he "chose to represent [a] serial killer."

Palm Beach County’s Judicial Campaign Practices Commission, a judicial ethics advisory panel, weighed in on Santino’s campaign stating that: "Santino’s statement is inflammatory and ignores that such legal work is based on bedrock constitutional rights". "It implies that representing such persons is dishonorable and antithetical to the public good, when, in fact, the representation of persons accused of crimes — even heinous crimes — is an essential component of our criminal-justice system". The Commission went on to state that "the email is rife with the innuendo that Mr. Lerman would favor even the worst of the worst from the bench (whereas, by implication, Ms. Santino would not),". "The Facebook post suggests the same."

Santino’s campaign consultant, Richard Giorgio, was more blunt, responding to the Commission’s findings by stating that: "Mr. Lerman is desperate. His supporter filed this last minute complaint in an attempt to generate some press for his failing campaign." County Court Judge-Elect Santino also weighed in, stating: "I appreciate the opinion of the commission; however, as the commission itself discloses in their letter, it is just that – their opinion,"; (the commission has no power to force Santino to do anything or to punish her. It’s opinions are purely advisory). The Palm Beach Post covered the story here.

So, the next time you have the pleasure of appearing in County Court before the soon to be Honorable Judge Santino, be forewarned of the value she places in your role as an advocate for the defendant in your case.

BONUS: Who can name the winner and loser of the 1996 Miami-Dade County judicial race where this same practice of calling out your opponent for representing "criminals" took place?

NORTH OF THE BORDER .......

The State Attorney’s Office, AKA The Office of Michael Satz, has no home. As a result of sick prosecutors and staff refusing to remain at the Broward County Courthouse 6th floor offices, the Chief Judge is looking to move the employees to either the County Law Library or across the street into offices at the 110 Tower. No less than 134 SAO employees have signed up to move due to illnesses they have experienced. The Sun Sentinel covers the story here.

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

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Sweet home Alabama"
Play that dead band's song
Turn those speakers up full blast
Play it all night long

Anonymous said...

Samuels v. Emas

Anonymous said...


Jeff Sessions’s ridiculous anti-drug crusade

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/11/21/jeff-sessionss-ridiculous-anti-drug-crusade/?utm_term=.c0f7f5061485&wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

A few days ago, it looked as if the popularity and profitability of marijuana would spare pot reform from the lurching chaos of Donald Trump’s administration. But then Sen. Jeff Sessions — probably the only person on earth who’s nostalgic about Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign — was announced as President-elect Trump’s choice for attorney general.

As my fellow guest blogger Steven Hale wrote on Friday, Sessions’s record and public statements indicate that he’ll be a nightmare for civil liberties. In terms of drug policy, Sessions stands out even in the GOP for his steadfast rejection of scientific evidence.

At a Senate hearing in April, Sessions held forth on the (nonexistent) dangers of legalization. “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington saying marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought to be minimized, that it is in fact a very real danger. You can see the accidents, traffic deaths related to marijuana,” he said. “And you’ll see cocaine and heroin increase more than it would have, I think.”

Anonymous said...


This is ridiculous and I am amazed that, in this day and age, that an attorney like Ms. Santino would stoop to such lows just to win a campaign. Kind of tells you what type of judge she will be. I hope I get the chance to appear before Ms. Santino. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Anonymous said...

I hope she loses. She's not a winner.. she won't make palm beach great again

Anonymous said...

Who is the headline on CNN "how to re-write the constitution"? I understand it's the comedy news network, but really, a guy you don't like wins a fair election and your promoting changing our constitution. Scary times indeed. By the way, trump has a 47% approval rating, higher than bush or Barry ever had

Anonymous said...

It's bewildering that the bar has so many nitpicky rules concerning marketing and campaigning yet an area of law would be used as a negative. Could you imagine, don't vote for my opponent he has represented immigrants? Injured people? Poor people that had to declare bankruptcy etc? The newly elected judge should be precluded from handling any criminal or traffic case.

Such a campaign perfectly represents the reduction of the judiciary to substandard lawyers.

Anonymous said...


Very sad day today as we remember November 22, 1963 and the assassination of President John F Kennedy.

Claude Erskine- Briwne said...

No comments about Nov. 22, 1963?

Anonymous said...

What's the possibility that Santino is assigned to the criminal division? I have a case pending up there and the judge (Weiss) was just elevated to circuit court and her division is currently empty.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully she has been assigned to civil division RL.

Anonymous said...


Are the 2017 judge assignments out yet ?