Thursday, February 09, 2012


Two Judges both alike in dignity, in fair Miami where we lay our scene...

We received two emails this morning from two judges who asked us to post something, and because Chief Judge Federico Moreno is a gentleman, the email from the Honorable Yvonne Colodny will go first:

Dear Rumpole,

As a result of a recent blog discussion regarding my extended leave my wonderful judicial assistant, Nikki, has been inundated with calls and visitors concerned about my absence.

While I am sincerely grateful for these expressions of concern, they are truly unnecessary.  The reason for my not so mysterious absence is this.........his name is Charlie, weighing in at 6 pounds 14 ounces, born on February 2nd.  I suppose the judicial robes were more forgiving than I ever thought!

I will be on maternity leave until May 2, 2012.  Until then, senior judges will be covering the division.

And, as always, LET'S GO HEAT!

Yvonne Colodny

And now the honorable Chief Judge of the Southern District of Florida, Federico Moreno, who started his judicial career as a humble county court judge back when our courthouse was known simply as The Justice Building:

Rumpole, I must confess that from time to time I read your blog as well as other blogs. However, I have never written to a blog, but I do so now because in the past I have seen how you remember "the old guys" on the bench. You probably missed the obituary on the death of Judge Richard Hickey. I went to his funeral mass  yesterday where his son-in-law David Rothman, as well as his sons Dickie and Joey( Judge Hickey had 8 children)  reminded us of Judge Hickey's service in the Navy. He was part of the Normandy invasion, and served in Italy and the Pacific too during WW II. I have always admired the Greatest Generation , including the President who appointed me, Bush I, and know from your prior reports that you share that admiration. Judge Hickey was an Irish mench on the bench. An honorable, hard working, fair, compassionate and always polite to all at the MJB from the time when he did preliminary hearings until after he was appointed by Governor Askew (another great man) to the Circuit Court in 1978. I know that so much time has passed since Judge Hickey's retirement in 1989, only the older readers of your blog will remember him. But it may be worthwhile to recognize the good guys on the bench, even long after they have left the bench. FAM

Well said by a Judge who obviously exhibits excellent taste in his reading habits, and more importantly, about Judge Hickey who indeed exemplified the Greatest Generation. He went to war to defend liberty and freedom and his nation and then returned to raise a family of eight children and finally dedicate his talents to serving his fellow citizens on the bench. "An Irish Mench" sums it up. Thank you, your honor, for helping us remember. 



Rumpole said...

A few thought: first, yes Judge Pando has been the subject of a channel seven report and it bears watching, and reporting, but after re-reading Judge Moreno's fine email on Judge Hickey, we just didn't think it belonged in the same post. The story isn't going anywhere and we can talk more about it later.

Second- lest you doubt the power of this blog and our readers, a few comments (not even a post) mentions Judge Colodny will be out for a while. We decide not to report that she had a child because that is a personal matter and we have a hard and fast rule about not posting personal information about people. Well, lo and behold, the Judge's JA get's inundated with phone calls about her well being- all because of a few comments. Wow.

Finally- that color of green you see emanating from downtown Miami is Mr. Markus because his chief judge wrote this blog first. Poor DOM will just have to re-read his Miami Times piece to make him feel better.

Anonymous said...

Ana Pando... what have you done this time?????

Secret Judge said...

Judge Hickey was indeed a fine judge and a swell guy. I had the pleasure of appearing before him when he conducted probable cause hearings on the 2nd floor of the MJB in the 70s. RIP Judge Hickey.

Bob Rosenblatt said...

Judges Winton, Tanksley and now Hickey all have passed. It was a great learning experience to appear in front of these judges in the 70s and conduct a 5 minute cross examination of the states witness. Not many cases were dismissed at that stage but the experience was invaluable to young, raw attorneys in the PD's office. Judge Hickey was always a gentleman on and off the bench. Its hard to believe that he passed at age 90. My condolences to his family. He lived a fantastic life and as a member of the "greatest generation" his service to our country will not be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

The public should know that the real reason these attacks began is because certain lawyers who represent the special interests of big insurance companies have been dissatisfied that Judge Pando has followed the law in her courtroom, and has given the little guy a chance. One of the things the story does not do is to investigate the sources and motives of these recusal motions. Each of the attorneys who are attempting to discredit this judge have an axe to grind:

Attorneys from Kingway Amigo Insurance Company were fined by Judge Pando for violating several court orders (by ignoring the court orders for many months), and were also recently dissatisfied with some of her rulings that made the insurance company pay up. These same attorneys filed the recusal motions.

Attorneys from GEICO staff counsel are also trying to recuse Judge Pando in several cases. This is because they are unhappy because they did not like how the Judge made GEICO pay the Plaintiff's attorney fees for wrongfully denying claims. However, she was only following the law - if you wrongfully deny a claim, you have to pay the attorney fees.

Unfortunately these attorneys are smart people, and an attorney with an axe to grind doesn't need very much information to spin it in a way that makes someone look bad, and these individuals have used Carmel as an unwitting pawn in their game. Judge Pando really is a judge for the people. She has won each election by a landslide because the public knows the truth - that she cares about the little guy, not some corporate fatcats. Unfortunately the insurance companies cannot buy this judge the way they buy politicians, so they are seeking to get rid of her in whatever way possible. Most judges are terrified of the big insurance companies for this very reason, but not this judge, and she should be applauded for standing up for the people. It is regrettable that Carmel aired this segment before getting all sides of the story, because I am sure if she had all sides of the story, the story would have cast this judge in a much different light. It is too bad that Carmel took the wrong side in what is relentless class warfare by wealthy insurance companies against a judge who will not allow them to rob the people of this county.

Anonymous said...

Condolences to the Hickies.
Congrats to Yvonne and hubby.
To paraprase EE Cummings, thats life.
All the best to both families.

Anonymous said...

12:30 am.............I'm calling bullshit on your comment. Pando was the worst criminal court judge I ever saw. She didn't know the law, didn't listen to anyone who didn't subscribe to her view of the world or justice system, couldn't get herself to court on time (or even close) and regularly disregarded precedent. It was so bad that the SAO's County Court Chief, Assistant Chiefs and prosecutors built a virtual library of CDs from her hearings and complained regularly about her. They even tracked her hours (she was late so often that her bailiff had pre-made signs saying she'd show up at 9:30, 10:00, 10:30,, etc. Not surprisingly, it was easy to get cases dismissed because so many victims/witnesses refused to stick around).

I have little doubt that she's doing no better in civil court.

Your argument that she wins elections because the public knows the truth is laughable. The public elects plenty of incompetent people (Exhibit A: Blago). Further, as anyone remotely connected with the justice system knows, judicial candidates can't take positions on virtually anything during campaigns or fully expose the truth about sitting underperforming judges (in this case by running the negative ads she's earned) because of Bar rules.


Anonymous said...

I watched the Carmel footage and wonder why it is even a story. There must be more to this. Looks like Ana pissed off some insurance lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Had a two week civil trial before Judge Hickey. He was a gentleman, who treated everyone with respect, yet maintained total control over the courtroom. Remember him fondly.

Anonymous said...

Right. That's why Pando is recusing herself? Because the Big Bad Insurance Company lawyers are to blame? Please. Carmel Caifero's story did not scratch the surface of what goes on in the Haialeah Court House.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised with the story on Judge Pando. She has been disciplined by this state's highest court and yet continues to dishonor the robe. Hopefully, the JQC and the justices are not as gentle as they were the last time and finally put an end to the mockery that Judge Pando has permeated throughout every court she has served.

Mr Justice Milton Hirsch. said...

Rumpole, your sneaky allusion to Shakespeare and the opening to Romeo and Julliet "two house both alike in dignity in fair Verona where we lay our scene..." did not get by me you Rascal.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong Feb 9, 2012 09:30 PM? The gravy train about to end? Breaks my heart.

BTW, I noticed you neglected to defend her sending a letter on official judicial stationary to the Department of Corporations on behalf of Florida Wellness to get their status reinstated. Florida Wellness being a clinic that donates money to her campaign and who regularly appears before her.

Tanksley and Hickey would have never behaved the way she does.

For those who haven't seen it -


Anonymous said...

Agreed that Judges Hickey, Moreno and Colodny don't belong in the same post with Pando.

But, au contraire as to the where thisis going.

The story IS going somewhere.

As they say in the TV Biz, "Stay Tuned."



Tough decision? What are your thoughts on this .....

This is one of the cases where a good person made a bad decision earlier in his career. And now he is paying for that decision, for the rest of his working life.

Did the Supreme Court make the correct decision?

(from today's DBR):

"A bribe-paying attorney in Miami's decades-old Operation Court Broom scandal has been trying to restore his law license, but the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that William Castro permanently lost that privilege.

Castro argued he rehabilitated himself after serving his federal prison term by performing more than 13,300 hours of community service in the past 18 years, serving as a church volunteer, guardian ad litem and foster parent and organizing a continuing legal education series called My Faith in Practice.

While calling the work admirable, the unanimous court said, "No demonstration of rehabilitation would ever suffice to allow Castro's readmission to the legal profession."

Justice Barbara Pariente wrote a sympathetic concurring opinion saying she struggled with the request, which was backed by White & Case partner and former Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero, former Florida Bar president Frank Angones and nearly 200 others. But she concluded Castro's "egregious acts of corruption" could not be overcome.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Roy Gelber admitted taking $77,000 in kickbacks for assigning Castro as a court-appointed defense attorney in 64 cases from 1989 to 1991.

Cap Out .....




1. Judge Pando. Great points made by BTDT. I have not seen her in action at branch court. If she is ruling by the seat of her pants on these PIP cases, then it's time for her to find a new occupation.

And if she is writing letters on behalf of potential clients, maybe she should simply go back to practicing law. What the heck was she thinking, if the allegations are true, and she wrote a letter on her official stationary, to a government agency, to get a corporation reinstated - and one that appears before her regularly in order to get paid money from these PIP suits.

2. Judge Kickey was a find Judge. Always a pleasant experience when I had a case in his courtroom.

3. to 12:30 am, thank you for those comments Judge Pando - or - the campaign manager for her. Great comment "unforutaltely these attorneys are smart people ..." They are also hired to argue their case before a "fair and impartial" Judge and they should be able to expect at least that impartiality extends to even them. They should not expect that the Judge is, behind the scenes, acting as counsel, for their opponent.

What is it that they say: Jeez Louise!!!!!

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

She won't take the bench for TODAY's 11:30 AM hearings until 2:00 PM...

Anonymous said...

So where is your story on Pando? Don't you think the good and the bad should be reported.

Hmm probably the Herald won't pick it up or the other news stations and now the Jutice Building Blog is going to ignore it till it goes away.

Oh well. Ho hum.

Anonymous said...

Jackie switch races.
You will slam Pando

DS said...

Ovalle has a great article in the Herald. Read the Whole article at the link for Dade connections.

The Barrister

South Fla. battle brews in case of fake cop who duped court.

Lebrak Morales Gomez is accused of claiming to be a Miami-Dade detective and securing the release of a man who belonged in jail

When a Miami-Dade detective walked into a Palm Beach courtroom to secure the release of a suspected burglar, lawyers and Circuit Judge John Kastrenakes readily agreed.

The suspect, the detective told a prosecutor and defense attorney, was a confidential informant needed on the streets to provide crucial intelligence on criminals.

But in an embarrassing gaffe, authorities now say the cop seeking the criminal’s release that morning in April 2010 was no law enforcement officer. He was actually Lebrak Morales Gomez, 37, a Miami security guard and registered sex offender who was busted three weeks later in Miami-Dade for posing as a cop.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/09/2634041/south-fla-battle-brews-in-case.html#storylink=cpy

Anonymous said...

I saw the story on Pando and I too wonder what is going on. I really wonder what the rest of the story truly is. There has to be more to this story.

Having some idiot law professor say the letter is unethical when the idiot is reading it during the interview shows that the idiot doesn't know what he is talking about.

If someone put that letter under my puss and expected me to insult a judge on TV I would at least want to think about it and ask some questions.

Why is there always some law professor who probably never stepped foot in a courthouse telling everyone "how it is done?"


The Captain Reports:

And your newest Circuit Court Judge is ?????

One of these six folks will be getting a phone call on Monday or Tuesday from the Governor's Office giving them some really good news:

Miguel de la O
Richard Hersch
Alan Sackrin
Rodney Smith
Deborah White-Labora
Bonnie Riley

If it's de la O or Hersch, that will change the landscape of the upcoming election and cause some jockeying on who is running for an open seat. If it's Smith or White-Labora, it will open up a seat in County Court and provide the JNC with more work.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

We can Hope for the Herald to come through...

Anonymous said...

Why a law professor? Because no practicing lawyer would comment. They are scared of retaliation.

If you think otherwise you are beyond naive.

The Plaintiff's PIP Bar runs the County Court. Period. Insurance Defense lawyers are lucky to get listened to. On a good day.

Tom said...

"Carmel took the wrong side in what is relentless class warfare by wealthy insurance companies."

Pshaw, big media companies and big insurance companies are peas in a pod.