Friday, April 30, 2010


Dear readers, those of you who are longtime and careful readers of this blog know the deep and abiding affection with which we hold those dear addled souls who happen to wear black robes in Dade County. "Wait long enough" we are often heard to say "and one of them will do something stupid."

Presented for you consideration, one Judge (Circuit, no less) named WIlliam Johnson. A nice enough man it seems, although we have never had occasion to appear before him, or any judge in juvenile court for that matter.

It seems Judge Johnson had the political connections, know how, and wherewithal to get himself APPOINTED as a Circuit Judge. However, it seems that his talents lie in one direction only.
Judge Johnson becomes, to the best of our knowledge, the only Judge in the history of jurisprudence who has been unable to retire.

Early today we (El Capitan and I) reported on Judge Johnson's 11th hour (apparent) retirement from the Circuit Court. Faced with a challenger who filed on the day before the deadline, Judge Johnson, who is nearing retirement age, made what was probably the correct move for him, by retiring (or trying to retire). Once retired, Judge Johnson saved himself the expense and agita of running a campaign, not to mention that by retiring Johnson would be allowed to return as a retired Judge, and retiring now would also allow him to take advantage of the current lucrative retirement policies that may well change in the future.

Well, how hard can it be to retire? Pretty hard if you wear a robe in Dade.

Apparently it is complicated enough that Judge Johnson was unable to do it.
He is now (maybe) a candidate for re-election, as his "wait, forget what I just said/wrote" letter to the election elves was sent today, and you can peruse it here.

But what if Judge Johnson's "retirement" was enough to knock himself out of the race, and is considered a "resignation" and not a "retirement"? Johnson, could well find himself both out of a job, and out of luck.

We wish Judge Johnson well. Indeed, we may vote for him, so long as he promises to stay in Juvenile and not ask to go to civil court where meeting filing deadlines can sort of sometimes be an important thing to do.

See You Monday, when this whole mess begins to play out. What are the odds there is a lawsuit brewing over this out there?


Anonymous said...

To 5:19 last posting:

It NEVER ceases to amaze me that they hand out bar cards to people who have no reason possessing one much LESS representing others in court.

JUDGE Soto (Respect. Not her first name - or WORSE - her nickname that you SPELLED WRONG) will relinquish her division once the Gov. APPOINTS the new CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE. A county court judge is not taking over the division.

What a prize mind you are.......

Batman said...

Actually Rump, Johnson can withdraw at any time up until the ballots are certified and printed. He can only get his qualfiying fee back for 72 hours. His withdrwal and resignation are effective and Chomat is elected without opposition.

Too bad. Johnson deserved better. He is one of the few who recognized his limitations and stayed where he could be effective. He knew if he went to criminal or civil it would have exposed his shortcomings.

It is really a shame that HT and Lombana could not save him. The problem was the only place Chomat could go was in Milt's race and both HT and Lombana were supporting him. That's politics. But that is what you all want, politicians for judges, not qualified judges. Ain't the elective system grand.

Ahh, but I digress as I sit here waiting for my plane to Vegas to place my bet on the Adrien-What's here name race. Remember in August I told you in April, dont count your chickens too soon. Adrien is a slick pandering a--hole.

Anonymous said...

jUDGE JOHNSON is a noble public servant who has tried to be a good judge during his time...saddly we force our good judgers to be politicians with the gottcha last minute filings..people who have no business, in the twilight of their careeers, trying to get a pension or salary during these difcult times...we can sit back and laugh at Tiger and Palin..watch Charlie's fall from grace...oil spills and unnecessary wars..the world is fickle...but through it all...there are some good people ..who deserve our support...Judge Johnson is not a politician but deserves our support..seemingly all our black judges have opposition...obama's election has eliminated barriers for all african american candidates? Hopefully the electorate will vote based upon merit...but alas the masses the masses and bunch of good people as a good communist once said..

Anonymous said...

Batman, stop making shit up. There is no 72 hour rule. A candidate can only get their filing fee back if they withdraw from the race prior to the end of qualifying. Johnson was 4 minutes late according to the clock in time, but on time according to the fax strip. If you've read his campaign reports you'll know most of the filing fee came out of his pocket. He was trying to get it back.

fake blecher said...

2 week trial = Lots of taxpayer $$$
3 prosecutors = 60+ years of experience
30 minute Not Guilty verdict = PRICELESS

Delancy and De La O win one for the good guys. Go Bulls! Go Canes!
Verdict Video

Anonymous said...

Johnson was a horrible judge with good intentions. He probably let thousands of kids get away with everything but murder; if it was up to him he would have let them walk on that charge too.

The problem was that he knows the law and knew what he was doing - he just did not care. In the process he helped groom countless horrible public defender's as well, as once they got to circuit court, they were not used to the law actually being followed or used to accepting good pleas.

Juvenile is the place where kids are supposed to learn that there are consequences for their actions (without earning a record). Kids knew of Johnson, and laughed at the situation when they went in there. Parents who wanted their child disciplined cringed when their violent child would get off because Johnson felt 5 Defense witnesses vs 4 state witnesses = reasonable doubt. Sometimes the system was their last hope, and Johnson made the system look laughable.

Keeping all this in mind, Johnson felt like he was doing the right thing with the kids that had cases in front of him. I do hope it works out for him.

Scott Saul said...

I am aggressive, critical and unbashly opinionated. If you think I am kissing rear ends I dare you to say it to my face.

I also handle my share of juvenile matters and have appeared before William Johnson many of times. He's a good juvenile judge and his heart is always in the right place. He had to have been targeted because of his financial vulnerability...attributable to his skin color.

Many of the judges are excellent or on their way to progressing towards excellence, however, sometimes it is often amazing how the judiciary, which can dramatically affect so many lives, is established.

Anonymous said...

Your are right. What a “bizarre” situation this is but please let us tell you about JORGE.
He arrived in the U.S. back in Aug. ‘61. He was 16 years old. Enrolled at Miami Jackson Sr. High He had to drop out because of financial reasons. He had to support his family.
JORGE went to work for The Western Union Telegraph Co. as a bicycle messenger. Enrolled to continue his high school education at Lindsay Hopkins. Graduated in 65.
All the time he worked full time and went to school on a full time basis.
He then attended Miami Dade Jr. College where he graduated with an A.A. in Accounting in 67. He worked full time during the day and attended school at night.
He received a scholarship from Biscayne College. Graduated in 69 with a B.A. in Accounting. Again he worked and went to school full time.
Western Union had promoted JORGE several times and since 65 was a Western Union Branch Manager. In 69 he resigned his position and went to work with Price Waterhouse & Co. He entered as a Staff Accountant.
During his senior year at Biscayne College JORGE applied for admission to U.M. Law School. He was given a scholarship and was scheduled to begin his law school education in Sept. 69 but he was called to active duty with the U.S. Army.
He served in the U.S. Army Reserves but his active duty period prevented him from commencing his planned law school education.
In Feb. 70 Jorge finished his active duty Army service and returned to Price Waterhouse & Co but in June he was informed that due to budget cuts his employment was being terminated.
He then went to work as Assist. Accounting Mgr. for Sub.Operations of The Miami Herald where he worked until June 71 when he was hired by the Internal Revenue Service as an Internal Revenue Agent.
In two short years JORGE became an On the Job Instructor for other aspiring Revenue Agents.
In Sept. 70 JORGE began his law school education at U.M.
Attended law school at night while working full time with the I.R.S.
JORGE graduated in Aug.1974 and was admitted to the Fla Bar in Feb.1975.
JORGE had been a full time worker and student for 16 years.
In 75 JORGE received his Certificate as a Fla. Cert. Public Accountant.
Opened his own office and began to practice law. He has been an active member of the Fla. Bar for the last 35 years. He is also a member of the N. Y State Bar and the Wash. D.C. Bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court, the Federal Dist. Courts, 5th and 11th Districts, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th and 11th Circuits, the U.S. Claims Court and the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.
In 92-93 Jorge went into politics. In 93 he ran for County Commissioner but did not win; however he was appointed to the Dade County Board of Zoning Appeals where he served as Vice-Chairman until 94 when he was elected as State Rep.Dist. 114.
In 96 Jorge was re-elected as State Rep.Dist. 114, without opposition and served as Chairman of the Joint Auditing Committee of the Florida Legislature until 98.
In Sept. 98 he lost a close re-election bid.
JORGE continued with his private practice of law until now when he decided that it was the proper time to fulfill his long held ambition and desire to become a Judge.
We are convinced that JORGE’s education, life experiences, work ethics and personal qualifications will make him an excellent Circuit Court Judge and for that reasons we ask you to support him with your vote.

Anonymous said...

Judge Johnson is an excellent judge, and there are thousands of kids out there who got the benefit of his direction while he was on the bench. As well, there are a bunch of kids that he correctly found were beyond rehab or not deserving of multiple chances. He will be hard to replace if he does retire.

Anonymous said...

Batman claims to have inside knowledge ,don't be fooled, he doesn't know s--t

Judge Johnson is a Candidate said...

Johnson is qualified and is a current candidate for Circuit Court Judge. He qualified on April 26, 2010 and paid all the fees etc.

He withdrew at 12:04 P.M. Friday, four minutes past the deadline.

He sent at 3 P.M. a letter stating he wanted to stay as a candidate for Judge: http://doe.dos.state.fl.us/PublicRecordsBER/wfPublicImagesBER.aspx?account=50528

Judge Adrian Fined by the State said...

BTDT and Batman

Judge Adrian ws fined by the division of elections for failure to file campaign report. He has been audited 3 times.

What a mess - if his campaign is anything like his court room, good riddence.

Anonymous said...


I don't think I've ever seen someone post something postiive about Adrien on this site; you don't need to convince us or anyone else here. Regardless, I support Samantha Ruiz Cohen, whom I think will be a fantastic judge. She's smart, fair, has great judgment and knows how to work with people. I can't imagine anyone who knows them both or takes the time to learn about them both voting for him.


shumie Splinter Cell! said...

Deep inside the JTAC (Joint Terrorist Assessment Center) in the Chataqua Mountain range:

Gen: Get to it. I have to be at the White House by noon.

Colonel: We have a briefing on four suspected cells that have been identified in ....

Gen: Just get to the Miami one. That concerns the President the most. My adjunct will get the data on the others later.

Colonel: About two years ago analysts from the NSA began monitoring chatter from a loosely knit group called Shumie. They recruit members by ostensibly promoting a lifestyle centered around the concept that you can work less and earn more if you follow their dictates.

Gen: Who comprises the organization?

Colonel: Unknown exactly at this time sir, but the cell we have penetrated has members from the Black November Palestinian group, the Red October Soviet Group, Sinn Fein from Norther Ireland, and disaffected attorneys from the ABA.

Gen: What do they want to accomplish?

Colonel: Theories within the NSA vary, but we believe this is a splinter cell from a larger communist organization designed to disrupt and destroy the american capitalist system by encouraging people to work less.

Gen: Recommendations that I can take to Washington?

Colonel: At this time we are continuing our efforts to penetrate the cell. We are monitoring the chatter. The first organized meeting is supposed to take place this week on Wednesday. They're calling it Cinco De Shumie, and it appears to a massive work stoppage protest with some involvement with Mexican socialist groups.

Gen: OK Gentlemen. That is all for now. Keep me up to date.

Anonymous said...

The thought process that lawyers elect judges is just narcasistic at best. When will all of you learn that the voters just have no idea who the candidates for judge are and what qualifications they possess. They vote ethnicity, race and religion.

If qualifications counted people like Alan Gold, Michael Chavies, Henry Harnage and many others would never have lost and people like Adrien would never have been elected.

It is politics at its most base level. Judicial candidates don't have the money or the party affiliations to campaign on their merits in a county wide election. Thus we see how ethnicity and gender play a part in how the candidates chose their races and who files against whom.

I don't disagree that side by side Ruiz-Cohen HAS TO BE BETTER than what we have in Adrien. Does that really mean she is qualified to be a circuit judge after not being in the legal profession for nine years? No it does not.

If she attempts to engage Adrien in a qualifications debate she has problems. Being an adjunct professor of political science at FIU is not going to do it. He will argue that he has continuously been engaged in the practice of law and and as a judge.

She has to stick to: see how young and attractive I am and center the greater part of her campaign on Cuban and Hispanic voters. Her real problem is how does she gets the turnout despite the lack of issues to motivate them.

She is a big loser in Crist's decision to run as an independent, thus no Republican primary. The Democratic Senatorial primary will bring out African-Americans in Miami-Dade County. Like it or not, Adrien could win.


to 10:09 am



You stated that "there is no Republican primary" for the Senate race.

There are four (4) candidates running for the US Senate seat in the Republican party.

William Escoffery, William Kogut, Marco Rubio, and Marion Thorpe.

While I will agree that the turnout won't be nearly as high as if Crist had run in that party, there is still going to be a Republican primary.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...


Meek primary will not bring out black voters, District 17 congressional race will. That is Adrien's ace in the hole.



You are right - he was targeted because of his "financial vulnerbility". However, you went on to say that it was "attributable to his skin color".

Judge William Thomas, also up for re-election, and black, raised $83,755. No one filed against him.

Judge Fred Seraphin, also up for re-election, and black, raised ZERO. No one fled against him.

Judge Wendell Graham, also up for re-election, and black, raised ZERO. No one filed against him.

I do not know Judge Johnson and have never appeared in front of him.

Just printing the facts. You get to decipher the reasons as to why Chomat filed against Johnson.

Cap Out ....

Toy Story said...

Whatever happens, hope it turns out for the best for Johnson. As for Adrien, he's going down, no doubt about that.

Anonymous said...


When I said no Republican primary, I mean in the practical not the literal sense. Rubio has been declared to be the prohibitive winner and the rest is nothing more than window dressing. It is hardly motivation for voters to turn out. Rubio is not going to spend a lot of money on this primary. He is saving it for his fight with Crist in November.

I think Batman was right yesterday when he said that the turnout will be less than 10% and may be more African-American than Hispanic. Adrien can win.

Anonymous said...

Maybe judges shoudl be elected by lawyers in their circuit or county just like members of the Florida Bar's Board of Governors.

Anonymous said...

Chomat is running against Johnson because De La O isn't.

fake shumie said...

Drive for show
putt for dough

that's my motto.

rfb said...

Well said FS, well said.

Anonymous said...

Lest everyone forget, the Samantha Ruiz-Cohen race is really Samantha Ruiz-Cohen vs Peter "Camacho" Adrien race.

Jeez, watch him win again.

And what is with Swartz putting his name in the hat and then failing to qualify. I understand it is to set a pick for Ruiz-Cohen, but it still stinks. Then again Swartz was a putz then and he's a putz now.

What if three other Adrien supporters had put in for the seat against Adrien and made it a five person race. This may have forced Ruiz-Cohen to switch races. Then the other Adrien supporters failed to qualify and Adrien wins without an opponent. We'd all be screaming bloody murder.

Anonymous said...


The document doesnt work.

Anonymous said...

Rumpolium- true or false: The salad days of the justice building was when Weiner met Robbins, Goldstein met Mechanic, Mishkin met Golembe, Tunkey met Ross, Mel Kessler was hustling the federal bonds, Gaer met Markus, Morphonios and Snyder and Klein and Persons and Gross and Mastos were granting bonds and setting aisde estreatures at the drop of the hat.


Anonymous said...

1009 you are a moron ruix cohen tried somehing like 50 jury rials including homicides at sao which in my book more than qualifies her to be cc judge. so she took some time off? doesnt mean she aint qualified with all that tl experience

old guy said...

Yes - I too really miss those days when every client told me the name of another lawyer who had promised a lower bond or a reduced charge for a "special fee" for the Judge.

Thanks, but No thanks. I will settle for just handling my cases with a clear conscience. I, for one, do not think that the arguing in front of the crooked and the mean-spirited were the true signs of any 'salad days'.

Anonymous said...

please post the newly published list of fl bar disciplinary actions...we dont see it...

Anonymous said...

Sylvestre Peter Adrien at 7:41 - what you may think of Swartz is irrelevant. Stop seeing conspiracies where they do not exist. You forget Swartz was in there first against you, not Ruiz-Cohen. Your hypothetical lacks factual support to be asked, because you don't have three friends to run interference for you or you would have done it.