Monday, January 14, 2013




What do these seven men have in common? (Yes, I know they were all Presidents).

Only six times in our nation's history has the constitutionally mandated date for a Presidential Inauguration fallen on a Sunday.  This Sunday, January 20, 2013 will be the seventh time.  President Obama will take the oath of office in a private ceremony on Sunday.  He will follow that up with a public ceremony on Monday, January 21, 2013 at the Capitol.

Trivia Questions 1 and 2: Who was the first President to take the oath of office on January 20th?  And why did our country change the Inauguration date from March 4th to January 20th?  Bonus points if you can manage to answer either question without the use of Google or Bing.


50 years ago you could look around the classroom of any 1LW and what you would find were a lot of white males sitting behind their desks.  Fast forward to 2012 and 57% of our Circuit and County Court Judges (70 of the 122) in Miami-Dade County are female.  The current numbers are:

Circuit Female: 44
Circuit Male: 36
County Female: 26
County Male 16

On Friday, January 11, 2013, Judge Betila Soto became the Chief-Judge Elect.  Current Chief Judge Joel Brown, who took over in 2009 and was in his second two year term announced that he would not seek a third term.  Judge Soto was the only Judge who filed notice that she was running for the job.  Judge Scott Bernstein was considering a challenge, but chose not to run.  Judge Soto becomes the first female Chief Judge in our Circuit and will assume the job on July 1, 2013.

Judge Gerald Wetherington served as CJ from 1981-1991.
Judge Leonard Rivkind served for two terms from 91-95
Judge Joe Farina was our longest serving CJ; elected seven times, he served from 1995-2009.

Trivia Question #3: Who preceded Judge Wetherington as Chief Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit?


Yes, you are correct.  And there is currently one open seat in the County Court.  Group 17 seat-holder Eric Hendon was elevated to the Circuit Court bench when Judge Joe Farina retired and a total of 22 attorneys have applied for the job including:

David Alschuler, Robert A.Coppel, Michelle Ashby Delancy, Norida Diaz, Jason Emilios Dimitris, Shahrzad Emami, Erica L. Gerstin, Julio Gomez, Pamela M. Gordon, Christopher Green, Scott Janowitz, Oscar Levin, Steve Lieberman, Shirlyon J.McWhorter, Jonathan Meltz, Sandra Miller-Batiste, Andrew A. Ostrow, Melba Pearson, Bruce S Reich, Leslie Sharpe, Joshua B. Spector, Julie Harris Terry

Our early favorite would have to be Jason Dimitris.  Who do you think deserves consideration and who does not belong on the list?  Be nice.


Speaking of appointments, Governor Rick Scott has made a total of 24 judicial appointments in Miami-Dade County in his first 24 months in office: (please post your ratings and reviews of our new judges in the comments section - 5 is our highest rating and 1 is our lowest; the DCBA has their rating system and we have ours; please consider judicial demeanor, legal acumen, etc.):

Fleur Lobree (County)
Victoria Brennan
Lisa Walsh
Michael Hanzman
Dawn Denaro
Specer Multack
William Altfield
Thomas Rebull
Rosa Figarola
Ivan Fernandez (3rd DCA)
Donald Cannava
Angelica Zayas
Norma Lindsey
Richard Hersch
Rodolfo Ruiz
Ariana Fajardo
Cristina Miranda
Rodney Smith
Thomas Logue (3rd DCA)
Eric Hendon
Betty Capote
Carlos Guzman
Alan Fine
Fleur Lobree (Circuit);(no, you are not reading double)

That's 13 males and 11 females in case you are keeping count.  The real question is whether they keep count up in Leon County.  Interesting to note that, it was only immediately after this BLOG posted an piece about the fact that there was an absence of blacks getting appointed by the Governor, that Governor Scott chose Rodney Smith (June 12, 2012) and Eric Hendon (December 1, 2012) to open Circuit Court seats.  Coincidence?  See The Captain's post of May 15, 2012.


And finally, the list that you have all been waiting for, courtesy of our friends at FACDL.  Our annual January rotation is taking place this month and there will be new faces on the bench at the Gerstein Justice Building.  Say hello to:

Judge Maria Verde - she takes over for Judge Arzola in Division 5.
Judge Teresa Pooler - she takes over for Judge Bloom in Division 13.
Judge Miguel de la O - he takes over for Judge Walsh in Division 15.
Judge Jeri Beth Cohen - she takes over Drug Court for Judge White-Labora.
Judge Fleur Lobree - she takes over for Judge Firtel in Division 62.

Other changes that you may notice throughout our criminal justice system include:

Judge Lindsey moves from Juvenile to Civil
Judge Maria de Jesus Santovenia moves into Juvenile
Judge Betty Capote has been assigned to Criminal at NDJC
Judge Michele Barakat has been assigned to Criminal at SDJC
Judge Tanya Brinkley has been assigned to Criminal at SDJC
Judge Ivonne Cuesta has been assigned to Criminal at Hialeah
Judge Diana Gonzalez has been assigned to Criminal at GJB
Judge Lawrence King moves from Criminal to Civil at SDJC

Finally, a special congratulations to Judge Deborah White -Labora who leaves her Drug Court assignment after five years.  Judge White-Labora took over Drug Court  from one of the best judges our Circuit has been blessed to ever have, Judge Jeffrey Rosinek.  Rosinek took the Drug Court program to new heights during his tenure and Judge White-Labora did a yeoman's job filing his shoes.  Judge White-Labora moves to Domestic Violence at the Lawson Building.

The Captain welcomes all our new judges to the GJB and to our branch courthouses.  I'm sure Rumpole will have more introductory comments for each of you.

Trivia Question #4 - DADE COUNTY’S MOST REMARKABLE JURIST, name him .....

UPDATE: Congrats to 2:20 pm who provided the correct answer with the name of Judge Vince Giblin.  To read a truly incredible story about one of Dade County's most "infamous" Judge, please see: http://www.browardbar.org/media/pdfs/JudgeGiblinArticle2010.pdf

In my days at college, I had a reputation as a successful skive. But I had nothing on this man. He was a well respected attorney with a brilliant legal mind who at one time represented Public Enemy Number One before serving as a Circuit Court Judge in Miami. While practicing law he was held in Contempt of Court no less than three times and he was acquitted each time. As a Judge he disbarred attorneys for being accused of their affiliation with the communist party. He actually served a term as Judge in a neighboring County earlier in his career despite the objections of the Ku Klux Klan. While on the bench, he was arrested for driving away from the scene of a traffic stop by a Coral Gables motorcycle officer. The Judge was on his way to the courthouse and was late for the bench. Name that Judge. (Judge Silverman is disqualified from answering this one as he is our most noted Historian of the Miami-Dade Historical Society).



GJB regular said...

Rumpole. Who needs the Miami Herald, the Daily Business Review, and the New York Times, when we can read your blog with your informative and entertaining posts by you and your crack staff of contributors.

Thanks for the latest on the comings and goings of the GJB by El Capitan.

Anonymous said...

#1 FDR - second term
#2 20th Amendment specifies this date
#3 Ed Cowart. Before him, Marshall Wiseheart.
#4 Henry Balaban

...yawn ...

Anonymous said...

FDR was the first to be sworn in on January 20th- I think.

Anonymous said...

Brennan = 1.

Rumpole said...

A little over ambitious. Should have been three posts. Not one. Sort of like squeezing 8 pounds of stuff into a 7 pound blog.

Anonymous said...

OMG RUMPOLE take this rambling babling trash heap of a post down. It goes everywhere and no where with requests for trivia and polls and ratings And it's just what your monday morning sleepy readers do not need. For the love of all that is holy remove this mess before it permanently scars your reputation. Please.

Anonymous said...

Game changer. That sound you hear is your readers leaving in droves. Kiss your blog as relevant goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Wow. 4 trvia questions and two polls? Or three? Uh, blake, kennedy, 3, roosevelt, amd who is james earl jones? Or uhh.... A 2 for lady godiva? Huh? Im lost too much stuff.

Fake DS said...

Sheirr837, alou65Hwko ! Alcmo d yeas I2937bsk. Skow, wi sllpac7ah&:@0. ???

Anonymous said...

Sad choice for Chief Judge

Anonymous said...

Best judge? JOA JOE -5. Worst- the dark side of nice. Gets a minus 10. Lets just say his initials are SB.

Anonymous said...

Robert A.Coppel, hands down, is the most derserving. He is experienced and has the perfect temperment.

Anonymous said...

Sad news to report: Corrections Officer Guillermo Olivares died this weekend in a motorcycle accident. He was assigned the the jail division in Courtroom 6-7. He was a professional and will be missed by all who knew him.


2:32 PM

Not Henry Balaban, but good guess.

Yes the 20th amendment specificies that date, but any idea why they decided to move from April to January?

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

The comment left by 8:48AM speaks volumes. Take it to heart, Rump.

BTW- the size of the font is hurting my eyes.

the trialmaster said...

ben willard.

Anonymous said...

Hey Captain Smarty Poopy Pants, you missed one judge and his/her assignment.

Mobster said...

Rumpole. What did you think of the news on Jimmy Hoffa today.

Tony "the butcher" Zerilli, 85 years old, said:

"They say he was in a meat grinder. It's all baloney".

Tony says he is buried in a field in Detroit.

Great quote.


Hey 1:02. We got the list from FACDL. If you know of another move, share it with the readers.

And it's Captain Justice to you. Do not confuse me with Today Show weatherman Al Roker.

Trialmaster. Nice guess, but wrong answer.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

To kill lame ducks.
Vince Giblin.

Anonymous said...

Officer Olivares was an awesome guy. He was so young.

Anonymous said...

Brennan 0.0 She is rude to her staff, rude to attorneys and generally disrespects anyone who comes before her unless your title begins with assistant and ends with state attorney.
Judge Multak, 5.0 good addition to the bench by Scott.



UPDATE: Congrats to 2:20 pm who provided the correct answer with the name of Judge Vince Giblin. To read a truly incredible story about one of Dade County's most "infamous" Judge's, please see:


CAP OUT ....

Anonymous said...

4:10 Monday. Calling the shumie. Long day. Tired.

Anonymous said...

At least berty is not in a division. Now she can focus her time on taking 3rd graders on tours of the court house

Brennan = 1

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to hold judges accountable for their tempermants! Which no one does. The jqc takes all sorts of complaints seriously and judges mistreating attorneys is not looked over. So next time Judge Newman pulls an abuse of power or Judge Serafin, or Judge Brenan Verbally spanks an attorney, I'm gonna file a complaint. I m sick of bully, bitchy asshole judges!

Anonymous said...

Brennan is by far the worse of the group. Negative 1. What an awful mean spirited person.

Anonymous said...

Fleur Lobree (County)
Fleur Lobree (County) 4
Victoria Brennan .5
Lisa Walsh 4
Michael Hanzman 5
Dawn Denaro 5
Specer Multack 4
William Altfield 4
Thomas Rebull 3
Rosa Figarola 3
Ivan Fernandez (3rd DCA) 4
Donald Cannava
Angelica Zayas
Norma Lindsey 4
Richard Hersch
Rodolfo Ruiz 4
Ariana Fajardo 4
Cristina Miranda 4
Rodney Smith
Thomas Logue (3rd DCA) 3

Anonymous said...

If you are or were a prosecutor of any sort, now would be a good time to apply to the bench. I counted at least 11 out of the 24 new appointees but there could be more.

Anonymous said...

Fleur Lobree (County) = 5
Victoria Brennan = 1
Lisa Walsh = 3
Michael Hanzman (Don't know)
Dawn Denaro = 3
Specer Multack = (Don't know)
William Altfield = 4
Thomas Rebull = (Don't know)
Rosa Figarola = 4
Ivan Fernandez (3rd DCA) = 3
Donald Cannava = (Don't know)
Angelica Zayas = 3
Norma Lindsey = 2
Richard Hersch = 4
Rodolfo Ruiz = (Don't know)
Ariana Fajardo = 3
Cristina Miranda = 3
Rodney Smith = 4
Thomas Logue (3rd DCA) = (Don't know)
Eric Hendon = 4
Betty Capote = 4
Carlos Guzman = 4
Alan Fine = )Don't know)
Fleur Lobree (Circuit);(no, you are not reading double) = 5

Anonymous said...

Justice Thomas speaks:

Today, for the fits time in almost 7 years, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke 4 words from the bench. No one knows exactly what he said, because the fact that he opened his mouth made everyone laugh and the court reporter did not get it all. It supposedly was a joke.

Then again since most of what he writes is a joke, why wouldn't what he says be funny too.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, what is this? Family Feud? Is there a Bonus Round? No wonder I hardly ever read this site anymore.

DS said...

Worse Judge ever, Phil Davis

Anonymous said...

Wait what about Elian's Rabbi Spencer Eig

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that President Obama will be honored to be in the presence of Carlos Martinez, our esteemed Public Defender, at the inauguration.

Anonymous said...

7:12 p.m. I will go along with what you say, if you will agree that it is time for stupid, abusive, non-sensical, intemperate and otherwise incompentent lawyers to be sanctioned, too.

If a lawyer does something wrong, lies to a judge, makes ridiculous arguments, is generally disrespectful to the court, fails to recognize it is the judge who is in charge or otherwise makes a mockery of the proceedings, a judge has every right to dress them down.

You are probably one of those little shits who thinks just because you have a law degree you have the entitlement to say or do whatever you please and to treat judges like they work for you. They don't and the sooner you learn that, the more respect you will receive from the court and the better lawyer you will be. In other words, stop whining, act like a professional and get to work.

W. Clermont said...

Congrats to Berdy!

She already is great, and will be awesome!

Anonymous said...

How can 8:19 rank Judge Brennan as a %. She is one of the worst of the "Mean Girls" as the clerks refer to them

Anonymous said...

11:32, nothibg 7:12 said indicates he or she believes lawyers should do or think in anyway you suggest. The comment makes a point on judges with bad temperaments. And the fact is Judge Brennan and Sanchez-Llorens are those kinds of judges. I have seen Brennan treat litigants and defendants like they are scum for simply making a motion or just happen to be charged with an offense. Sanchez-Llorens is equally bad. She is just stupider than Brennan. It is really a shame that these two judges are on the bench.