Thursday, July 03, 2008



Welcome to our 6th in a series of nine weekly reports breaking down the contested judicial elections in Miami-Dade County. In Week One, we focused on the only contested County Court race of Lindsay v. Lesperance. Since then, we have provided you with the Circuit Court races of Cueto v. Velis; Migna v. Manny and Colodny v. Kopco v. Millan and last week, Garcia v. Glick. As we reported on May 2, 2008 on this blog, there are nine contested races here in Miami-Dade County; eight in the Circuit Court and one in the County Court.

Today, it's Group 50, a seat currently held by retiring Judge Stuart Simons. Our goal will be to attempt to provide you with a weekly contest overview and then let you have at it and give us your opinions on why we should or should not vote for a certain candidate.

The candidates for Group 50 are Ricardo "Rick" Corona and Abby Cynamon.


This is a campaign that has had lots of publicity over the course of the past couple of weeks. We do not want to rehash it all, but if you want to read what Rick had to say about all that has been written by the DBR and others, go back and review his front page post on this BLOG of June 22, 2008. I think Rick rightly pointed out that, The Florida Bar had the opportunity to thoroughly review all of the allegations and history of the FDIC charges that his father and brother were tied up in. The Bar gave Mr. corona a license to practice law.

Mr. Corona has been in several different occupations during his lifetime. Banking, supermarket owner, real estate developer are just some of the things he has accomplished in his career. Now he want to be a Circuit Court Judge. He filed in October of 2007 and has only reported raising $1,250 from three contributors and loaned his campaign an additional $16,000. He has a lot of catching up to do if he plans on matching his opponent dollar for dollar. Rick has been a member of The Florida Bar for 11 years.

We have been unable to locate a website for Mr. Corona's campaign.


Ms. Cynamon has also had much written about her on this BLOG. She is a graduate of the UM Law School and has been an Assistant General Counsel for the 11th Judicial Circuit from 1993-2008. She was the President of FAWL from 2006-2007. Abby has been licensed for 18 years in Florida.

Ms. Cynamon is running this campaign and leaving nothing in the bag, so to speak. Her Campaign Treasurer is Hector Lombana. She has stormed the fundraising scene with $51,363 from 259 donors; (and that does not count what she has raised in the past three months as second quarter reports are due to be filed any day now). She also throw in $300,000 of her own money.

She has hired the entire hit list of campaign gurus: Susan Fried, Robert Levy, Armando Gutierrez and ?? have each been paid $11,000 so far. Tangela Sears has been paid an additional $4,500. In fact, Cynamon has spent over $100,00 already on the campaign.

You can read all about Abby on her website at abby4judge.com.

Please do your homework on the two candidates. Help out our readers by giving us your comments, pro and con, on each of the candidates.

The election takes place on Tuesday, August 26, 2008.

CAPTAIN OUT .........


Also, this week, the DCBA posted the results of their annual Bar Poll of the Judicial Candidates. We will not comment on the results of the non-elected candidates, but we do feel that it is important to comment on three TOP FIVE lists of the sitting judges.


1. Judge Emas - 70%
2. Judge Farina - 66%
3. Judge Robert Scola - 64%
4. Judge Reemberto Diaz - 60%
5. Judge Tam Wilson - 58%

UNQUALIFIED (lowest five):

1. Judge Schumacher - 4%
2. Judge Robert Scola - 4%
3. Judge Prescott - 4%
4. Judge Farina - 5%
5. Judge Emas - 5%

UNQUALIFIED (highest five):

1. Judge Esquiroz - 43%
2. Judge Jacqueline Schwartz - 36%
3. Judge Eig 30%
4. Judge Butchko - 30%
5. Judge Donner - 25%

These last five judges need to figure out what it is they are doing that is causing their ratings to be so low. Granted, there were only a small percentage of attorneys voting in this poll, but these numbers still represent the voices of anywhere from 400-900 practicing lawyers in this County. The people of Miami-Dade County deserve better.

As for the other two "top five" lists, those jurists are to be congratulated for being such fine public servants.



Anonymous said...

please note that all of the top qualified judges are male. 4 out of the 5 worst are female. just a coincidence? the trialmaster totally agrees on the top 5. and the worst 5 as well.

Anonymous said...

El Capitan, you slay me with your "bios" of the candidates. What you ommit speaks volumes. But let's go to the positive and allow me to say that Abby Cynamon, who I know professionally and a bit personally, and more so though others who I respect, is an "up from the boostraps" person who has earned everything she has ever achieved with hard work dedication. She may not have litigated as much as her opponent (there is no evidence of that anyway), but she has litigated and has lots of "in the court room" experience. She sure knows the law. Born to non-English speaking parents, placed in foster care at 11, worked as a janitor etc. got herself into Barnard (Columbia) on a scholarship, earned a JD and Masters in Taxation, is raising two kids and worked in private practice before joining the 11th Circuit ... and has a sterling reputation as a lawyer and in community service)....that would interest many voters. But gosh, one of your posters says she's "boring"....I don't think so...but sometimes "justice that is swift and fair" comes from the least colorful of our jurists. Are we voting for someone to hang out with or someone to hear cases in a fair and timely manner? Fake Anonymous

Anonymous said...

1. Judge Esquiroz - 43%
2. Judge Jacqueline Schwartz - 36%

It should be the other way around.

Anyone in the Top 5 IMO is my choice, hard to pick.

-Attorney Rejected By The Princess, proud member since 2008

Anonymous said...

Rump + Captain:

Interestingly, I just found out through the grapevine that this past Monday,Judge J. Scola quietly sentenced Joauqin Decantor to 3 years State Prison followed by 3 years of probation. Decantor faced a Trafficking 25 year min man for possessing more than 14 grams of his girlfriend's hydrocodone in her labeled Walgreens pill bottle. A jury came back with a lesser, possesion, a 3rd degree felony.

The topic was one of much debate on the blog in early April. FYI.

Anonymous said...

The Dade County Bar Poll is crap. It is dominated by large blocks like the Public Defender's Office, The State Attorney's Office, United Automobile Insurance Company and the local chapter of FACDL.

There are 14,000 lawyers in Miami-Dade County and less 10% of them vote in this poll. Give me a break. Even the Herald has questioned its veracity and relegated it to a short blurb.

It has as much value as the CABA Bar Poll.

Anonymous said...

How does Judge Adrien not make the list of most unqualified Judges in the State?????

Anonymous said...

Abby Cynamon is the highest rated exceptionally qualified and qualified non-incumbent judicial candidate on the Dade County Bar Poll. More than 75% of the attorneys responded that Abby is exceptionally qualified or qualified. In contrast, more than 48% of the attorneys on the Dade County Bar Poll responded that Corona is unqualified. Based upon the the results of the Dade County Bar Poll, Abby Cynamon is much more qualified than Corona.

Anonymous said...

Now I know that this poll is a bunch of crap- how can 400 attorney out of 16,000 attorneys in this county (or whatever the accurate number may be) count or matter. Who cares what some 400 attorneys think. I have been in front of many judges and can absolutely say that Judge Butchko's mane does not belong to the list of 5 top unqualified. That right there just tells me that this poll is ridiculous and does not accurately represent any of those judges' abilities.

El Alcalde said...

visit the home of true politics http://politicanorthof36street.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:05 p.m. Judge Adrien has to be the most unqualified judge in the Nation!! I guess he got by the same way he got elected....not enough people knew who he is. I just wish they would hurry up and send him to civil.

Anonymous said...

Abby may have worked hard, has the experience and has a high "DCBA poll number" that does not count for anything, but Corona still has all those other things she does not. I hate to see her cling on that DCBA number that everyone is laughing at- no one cares about it. I think her supporters should talk about her real qualities instead of some cheap rating by some 5% of the bottom feader attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Thursday, July 03, 2008 12:01:00 PM

I totally agree with you and I pray she will be elected.

Anonymous said...

The League of Prosecutors endorsed Abby Cynamon.

Anonymous said...

I am lost. Is there more than one R. Scola? How does one Robert Scola get a 64% rating and then another Robert Scola get a 4% rating? That's like going from best to worst.

Anonymous said...

We who blog here seek the truth:

259 people believe in and donated to Cynamon's judicial campaign while only 3 believe in and donated to Corona. Of his three, one was his father.

Therefore, of the people who are active in our community and not related to a candidate, almost 130 to 1 believe that Abby is the better judicial candidate and would be the better judge. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

neither of these candidates has ever tried a jury trial. Cororna reminds me of a judge Lantz type. He might be interesting to be on the bench.On paper it appears the better choice is abby. the entire process is sad in that we dont have qualfied people with trial experience running. But the good trial lawyers cannot afford to take a drastic pay cut to assume the bench. so, we get bottom feeders and career prosecuters fighting for these postions for the most part. [not kevin, stan, or marc and a few others]

Anonymous said...

Looks like the REAL David Ranck "wussed out" on his aborted SAO blog... His detailed whining is gone, replaced by a low, muffled, whimper. Did the SAO Admins grow a pair and call him on the carpet!?!?


Anonymous said...


Thank you for the bios. However, there are just a few items that you omitted about Abby Cynamon:

When she was 11 or 12, Abby Cynamon was essentially orphaned and was taken in by foster parents to take care of their four small children and to work in their produce store. Abby obtained an academic scholarship to Barnard College (Columbia University). Therefore, she worked hard to be able to get to college.

After graduating from Barnard, she worked as a paralegal in the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. This law firm has more than a thousand attorneys in twelve offices located around the world. The New York office currently has approximately 500 lawyers. Therefore, Abby has the knowledge and experience of working in one of the largest and most prestigious international law firms.

Abby then received a Reid Scholarship to the University of Miami Law School where she received both a JD and a LLM in Taxation. While working on her JD, she also clerked at the law firm of Milledge and Iden. Therefore, Abby also has the knowledge and experience of working in a small local prominent law firm.

While working on her LLM in Taxation, Abby was also the research assistant to Professor Elliott Manning, assisting him while he was writing a book on Corporate Taxation. For those who had Prof. Manning know that Abby Cynamon must be brilliant for Prof. Manning to choose Abby as his research assistant.

In addition to having been the 2006-07 President of FAWL, as you stated, according to her website, Abby Cynamon is also currently on the Board of Directors and the Luncheon’s Vice Chair for the Dade County Bar, on the Board of Directors for the Foster Care Review, was previously the Chair of the Miami Children Hospital’s Family Advisory Counsel, a volunteer lecturer in self-esteem to at-risk second graders in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for Miami Mental Health Association, and volunteers for numerous other civic activities. Therefore, Abby has been very active in helping our community.

According to her League of Prosecutor's bio, Abby has sat through more than 200 jury trials, more than 400 bench trial and attended oral arguments on more than 60 appeals. Therefore, Abby Cynamon definitely has the knowledge and experience to be a terrific judge.

Anonymous said...

wow, fact that adrien didn't make the exceptionally unqualified list should tell us how bad those judges are....

Anonymous said...

I’ve never understood making it hard for people to find you.

Anonymous said...


Why should we care that you were an orphan or that you sat thru 1000's of trials? Have you ever argued in court defending a party to a litigation?


You are a gentleman, please do not lower yourself and engage in worthless banter. \

Anonymous said...

For anyone who didn't actually see a Bar poll ballot,

Adrien was not on it.

Anonymous said...

10:49..........what do you mean she "sat through" a bunch of cases? Do you mean she watched or litigated? Did she make opening statements, direct or cross witnesses, make closing argument, or otherwise address the court or jury?

I've watched countless baseball games, but don't claim to be qualified to coach in MLB(let alone little league). Please explain how sitting through trials qualifies as judge.

PS---if "sitting" through trials is sufficient, than clerks, bailiffs and defendants are as qualified as she is.

PS2---I don't know either candidate. The whole concept that someone who has never tried a case can become a judge makes me ill.


Anonymous said...

Lay off Ranck. He's a decent guy and great trial lawyer who hasn't been in a good place for the last few years courtesy of personal issues that are none of your business. Obviously, they've gotten the better of him (hopefully, only temporarily).

He's sacrificed a lot for this community (as have all of the hard working APDs and ASAs). I hope things work out for him (despite the unnecessary, mean spirited and over the top postings he put up).

As for the people he's attacked, I know many of them. While some can be extremely difficult, most are good people who didn't deserve what they got. There are two sides to every story here. Regardless, few people(and none of those he maligned) deserves to be publicly embarassed. I greatly respect the others for not responding in kind.

Anonymous said...

First of All, Peter Adrien was not on the DCBA poll b/c it was only for Judges that are up for re-election and candidates. Second, does watching court TV make a person qualified to run for Judge? If so, Abby is more than qualified. Judges should have courtroom and trial experience to know how to handle cases and/or calendars. Rick Carona goes to Court and actually knows what goes on there. Abby, try a case or handle a calendar, stop observing and step up to the podium, will ya?

Anonymous said...

you said
According to her League of Prosecutor's bio, Abby has sat through more than 200 jury trials, more than 400 bench trial and attended oral arguments on more than 60 appeals. Therefore, Abby Cynamon definitely has the knowledge and experience to be a terrific judge.

i say
sounds like the wrong answer on an LSAT question-

Anonymous said...

Who is this "Carona" blogsters keep writing about? A car owner? There is a lot more about Corona Lite that is being told around town than his associations with Sunshine State Bank, Willie and Sal...etc. that may or may not come out.
People complain about the courts and then some even suggest that someone with this sort of baggage should be a judge...Corona's rationale would be funny if it didn't say so much about the skewed moral compass of this community....maybe Cynamon should go hang with some creeps to give her more creds with this crowd. Gimme a break....Disgustedly Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Ricardo Corona,

You’re running for judge, we have a right to know:

On June 24th, Jim DeFede on CBS4 asked you:
When did you know that Sunshine State Bank was bought with Drug Money? You had a long pause and did not answer. He said that you knew that he was coming to ask you this question. He did not ambush you. You were the director and executive vice president of Sunshine State Bank. When did you know that you, your father and brother bought Sunshine State Bank with Drug Money?

Isn’t it true that after interviewing you on June 24th on CBS4, Jim DeFede said: "The Federal Government has banned you from any banking or financial institution. Since the Federal Government said that your judgment is unsound for the banking position, why should your judgment be part of the judicial branch?"

You said that your "will not run or wither." This is the third request, please answer the questions:

1. Was article in the Business Review two weeks ago correct when it stated that you are “permanently barred from the banking profession by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after running a bank acquired with drug money?”

2. Are you really permanently barred from the banking profession and was the bank acquired with drug money?

3. Was the Business Review article correct when it stated that you were “the executive vice president and director of the now-defunct Sunshine State Bank, which your family acquired with secret backing from Miami drug dealer Jose Antonio Fernandez?”

4. Why did you remain as the director and executive vice president of Sunshine State Bank after you found out that it was acquired with drug money?

5. What did the drug dealer get in return for backing your family’s purchase of the bank that you were the director and executive vice president of?

6. Was the Business Review article correct when it stated that “according to the FDIC, while you were the executive vice president and director of Sunshine State Bank, 47 percent of Sunshine’s loans were misclassified, and its bad loans represented 581 percent of the bank’s capital reserves?”

7. If 100 percent of a banks capital reserves are bad loans, isn’t a bank bankrupt?

8. While you were the director and executive vice president of Sunshine State Bank, how can 581 percent of the bank’s capital reserves be bad loans?

9. Did you sell these bad loans on the secondary market so the taxpayers had to make good on your bad loans?

10. While you were the director and executive vice president, how could 47 percent of the bank loans be misclassified?

11. Was the movie Cocaine Cowboys correct, was the Sunshine State Bank raided by the Federal Government (DEA and FBI)?

12. Were you the director and executive vice president of Sunshine State Bank when it was raided by the Federal Government?

13. Did anyone go to prison pertaining to the Sunshine State Bank and, if so, who and for what?

Anonymous said...

Being around a long time has a few advantages.

I remember seeing Abby Cynamon driving a POS little white car at the Krome Ave. Detention Center and representing detained immigrants at the INS Court on Biscayne and 79 Street, back in the early 90s. I remember her because she was so pregnant, about ready to give birth, and was still working hard representing her clients in Court.

After reading the above posts, I checked the website you stated for Abby Cynamon, Abby4Judge.com, to check she is the same person. Her website states that she was a solo practioner from 1990 to 1993, and the picture is the same person I remember in Court diligently representing detained immigrant clients when she was so pregnant she could barely walk 16 or 17 years ago.

I know for a fact that Abby Cynamon has substantial Court experience representing detained immigrants when she was so pregnant she could barely walk. I was so impressed with Cynamon in Court, I still remember her.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Abby Cynamon. She has the temperament of a tsetse fly.

Anonymous said...

LOL. I'm sure her experience in immigration court 15 years ago will be a great boon to her as a state court judge. We handle tons of those cases in state court, as you know. And, they're just like real trials. Right.

Anonymous said...

Is Rick Corona banned from ATM machines?

Anonymous said...


you are a very nice lady-why all the negativity?

and why on earth would you run against a popular cuban man?


Anonymous said...

"Abby has sat through more than 200 jury trials, more than 400 bench trial and attended oral arguments on more than 60 appeals."

This kind of statement makes me think Corona is worth looking at. The implication is that Abby was actually representing a party before the court. The truth is that Abby, a law clerk, simply attended some part of a trial at the behest of some judge.

Anonymous said...

Both of these candidates are horrible, as in many other races. It's a damn shame. Miami-Dade had a great bench in the 80's and 90's. Sad to see how it's deteriorated. Putting a glorified clerk on the bench is crazy. Then again, putting a guy associated with the kind of scandal that Corona is associated with is just as concerning.

Regardless, until people stop whining and starting running against the, this is what the County is stuck with.

Anonymous said...

In the late 1980s to 1991, I was President of my family's corporation. The company is in Hialeah, was started by my grandfather and has been active in business in Miami-Dade County for almost 60 years; since 1949. We supplied security equipment, architectural hardware and handicap equipment throughout the world. Many of you may have seen our work. Some of the projects we supplied are the old Federal Courthouse in Downtown Miami; the Monroe County Jail, including the cell doors, cell windows and security equipment; the 100 Man Detention Center in Opa Locka; and assisted in the design of the Metro-West Detention Center and the security system for Miami-International Airport.

During the year to year and a half time period from 1990 to mid-1991, Abby represented the corporation in approximately 10 to 12 commercial litigation cases throughout the State of Florida. She handled our cases diligently and we had good results with the cases. Our corporation was only one of her clients.

In addition, around the same time period, Abby assisted Robert Gardana, Esquire, in a personal injury jury trial. Abby had Court experience in commercial litigation and jury trial experience in personal injury prior to being hired as a staff attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit.

Abby is currently the attorney of record representing the appellee before the Third District and is my co-counsel preparing for a week long, twelve person jury trial. The above posts that state that Abby has no Court experience are factually incorrect.

One of the benefits of coming with Abby to some of the judicial forums has been the sincere pleasure of meeting all of the judicial candidates. Non-lawyer friends asked us lawyers about the judicial candidates and we should be truthfully and throughly informed. I sincerely hope that only nice, respectful and truthful comments are written about all of the judicial candidates.

I hope that you will please consider voting for Abby, and please request your friends and family to vote for Abby, and if not, that is your right. Thank you for reading my post.

Jeff Cynamon
Eminent Domain and Property Rights Attorney

Anonymous said...

only in this town would a short hair away from indicted money launderer even have the balls to run for election for judge.

only worse one i heard was that donald segretti, one of the watergate dirty tricksters, put his name in for judge in orange county. difference was that the public and press went nuts and he withdrew. in miami, as long as you show your fealty to CABA and are Cuban you can win any judgeship

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Unknown said...

This horrible judge cost me MY jobs custody of my daughter picked MY child support to find his first run for county judge horrible person.