Thursday, August 28, 2014


Within two years he lost one of the closest presidential elections in history and then went on to get trounced in the race for governor of California. 

No politician could come back from two consecutive crushing defeats.  A lucrative law practice awaited the former vice president who once rescued his career during his famous Checkers speech by bragging that his wife didn't have a fur coat, but a good Republican cloth coat. 

Thus on November 7, 1962, an angry, petulant, and rumored to be drink Richard Milhous Nixon gave an infamous press conference in which he said the following:

I leave you gentleman now. You will now write it; you will interpret it; that's your right. But as I leave you I want you to know.... just think how much you're going to be missing. You don't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference, and I hope that what I have said today will at least make television, radio, the press recognize that they have a right and a responsibility, if they're against a candidate give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who'll report what the candidate says now and then. Thank you, gentlemen, and good day.

It was Nixon's first, but not his last farewell speech.

Nixon would retire from politics only to stage a remarkable comeback as the "New Nixon" won the presidency in 1968, and then again in a landslide in 1972, only to lose it all - his presidency and his public life- two years later.  Nixon showed that while there are third acts in American politics, there are no fourth acts. 

Judge Elect Stephen Milan lost two elections for judge before winning yesterday. 
Conversely, Judge Fleur Lobree lost her second election in a row, despite being considered a good, hard working, and conscientious judge. 

There may not be any fourth acts in American or Miami politics,  but there is more to life and a career than a political job.  

The sun will rise and the sun will set and life goes on. 

There was a poor lawyer who after some modest success lost three close elections in a row. 
And then in 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States. 

See You In Court. 


Anonymous said...

Rumpole … why is it fair -- and no one in the world have any issue with it -- that the United States can fly over a sovereign country like Syria and conduct spy missions and bombings of ISIS and others based upon national security interests ….

but when Israel does so in Gaza or needs to do so in Iran to prevent a stated nuclear holocaust, the world immediately condemns it?

I sold all of equity holdings and am sitting tight in real estate, art and fixed income for now. This global turmoil and growing genocide is making me thirsty … (Seinfeld episode 241)

Anonymous said...

Nixon's The One. And Rumpole is drinking some of Miami Rivers finest.

It's drunk, not drink. It's Milhous not Milhouse. It's Fleur. Not Flor. And it's Millan. You merged Millan with Milian.

But we got the point.

Robert Kuntz said...

True words, Rumpole. Your post spurred some thoughts of my own.

I'm reasonably sure no judicial candidate ever worked harder to get elected than I did in the 2010 race. (Well, maybe Samantha Ruiz Cohen. But I currently hold the trophy for hardest working LOSING candidate.)

I filed in, I think, October 2008, and except for some Sundays or holidays, campaigned more or less every day between then and the election 22 months later. My early opposition for the open seat was from a strong political fellow with lots of election experience. But he decided after not very long that he wasn't going to seek the job, so I actually ran unopposed for a good while. I knew I'd never make it past qualifying day that way, so I didn't let up.

When I did draw another opponent just before qualifying, if possible, I increased my campaign pace. But by early July it was certainly evident to everyone paying any real attention -- and I was paying attention -- that I was not going to win. I soldiered on, because losing is one thing, while quitting is quite another and far more awful thing. I did not slack or slow or divert. And come that Tuesday in August, I made what I thought was a respectable showing (nearly 62,000 of my fellow citizens voted for me), but lost by a substantial margin (50,000 more of them voted for the other candidate).

The immediate days after the election were awfully hard. Although the loss wasn't unexpected, that didn't make it any easier to bear. I had never worked half so hard for anything before and then failed to attain it. Far worse, in my view, I had asked tremendous sacrifices of my family, friends and law colleagues -- sacrifices that seemed, in immediate retrospect, all to have been in vain.

But time did what time does. With time came distance and perspective. I cannot ever say I'm glad I lost, but I came to realize that I was glad I ran, despite the costs and the outcome. In those nearly two years, I learned more than I can catalog about myself, our profession, politics, this amazing place we live. Some of those lessons were unhappy ones, but only a few, and I'm grateful even for those. Best of all, I met literally thousands of people I wouldn't have otherwise met -- to many of whom I owe a debt of deepest gratitude -- and some of those are friends all these years later.

As for me, I won't run again. I am a bit more of realist about the landscape than I was when I set out, but that's not the reason. I've decided I'm headed somewhere else and that all those energies are -- in my life at least -- more beneficially spent elsewhere. I won't run again, but wouldn't trade HAVING run for anything. (Well, alright, maybe a gavel.)

So I guess your post got me thinking about the losers. I know that tonight they are hurt or bitter or angry or sad or all of that. I think they're each entitled to 24 hours of roiling self pity. (Although not a minute more.) I pray they're all taking this week off, doing something they love, spending time with their families, enjoying the sensation of being able to go out without having to be "on."

And, after time has done what it does, I trust they will come to understand that, while they don't have a seat on the bench, they do have something of great value to their credit. It's an understanding, a satisfaction,a kind of peace, that only the Man in the Arena can ever have. That's not a gavel. But it's not nothing, either.

Anonymous said...

Those of us who practice criminal defense wish you would have won Robert Kuntz. Monica Gordo is a prosecutor yesterday, today and forever. I wish she goes to civil and never comes back.

Mavel made a cold calculated decision to pick off the low hanging fruit. Despite being a good judge and great person, Fleur Lobree is a horrible candidate and campaigner. She is socially awkward and lacks a real presence. Mavel on the other hand is likeable and easy going. She plays better with an ignorant electorate. Not to say Mavel won't be a good judge, I believe she will make a fine judge. I just wish Mavel would have taken out a Vicky Brennan or Bronwyn-Miller. I would take Fleur Lobree over half of the idiots in that courthouse. I would take Mavel over half of those idiots too.



By all accounts you have an excellent reputation as a fine attorney. Your opponent in 2010, Monica Gordo, was a career prosecutor.

I posted in the comments section earlier today and referenced the DBR article. I will repost it below.

In 2010, there were four judicial contests.

Samantha Ruiz Cohen beat Peter Adrien 70% - 30%

Monica Gordo beat you. And as you alluded to, she won the day by 64% - 36%

Ed Newman beat Manny Alvarez 52 % - 48%

Michaelle Gonzalez Paulson beat Flora Seff 57% - 43%

You did not come right out and say it, but you certainly dropped the hints in your comments. You feel that, despite all of the campaigning, and all of your qualifications, that you could not beat an opponent with a Hispanic name. Correct ?

In this election, Hispanic candidates lost three of five contested elections head-up against a non-Hispanic name.

So, the stats don't lie. It's not an automatic that those with Hispanic names win across the board.

Here is the post and I would ask you to comment further on your overall thoughts about this issue:



The DBR tackles that issue in their most recent post election article.

And our own Rumpole is quoted as to a tweet he twitted out on twitter that night:

"The Justice Building Blog, which posts on the South Florida legal community, put it this way on Twitter on election night: "Requiem for Judge Fleur Lobree. Her name just doesn't run well in Miami outside of the Haitian community and a few Canadian expats."

Let's look at the facts when considering the "name game" issue. Did having an Hispanic name win the night?

Millan beat Cobitz - Point Hispanic

Smith beat Carrazana - Point Non Hispanic

Millan beat Gomez - Draw

Zilber beat Rodriguez-Fonts - Point Non Hispanic

Ruiz beat Lobree - Point Hispanic

Diaz beat Diaz - Draw

Schwartz beat Bocanegra/Dooley - Point Non Hispanic

Ferrer beat Saenz - Draw


Hispanic - 2
Non Hispanic - 3
Draw - 3

Conclusion: Having an Hispanic name does not guarantee victory; it didn't even guarantee a win in half the races where an Hispanic name challenged a Non Hispanic Name; winning only 2 of 5 contests.

You can read the entire article here:


Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

In 2012
Brinkley beat Yabor
Pooler bear De Yurre
Pedraza beat Hernández
Con beat Cambo

MC Waste Services, Inc said...

no one deserves to lose based on a name, just ask judge peter chico adrien.

Robert Kuntz said...

You read into my comment something that's just not there, Captain.

I got beaten fair and square by a strong coordinated campaign by a candidate who certainly worked hard herself. My opponent had a level of connection and support among folks who do elections for living that I never had and she understandably, reasonably used those resources to her advantage. Add to that the very significant fact that my opponent grew up here, went to high school here and so on. I Like to think I was no carpetbagger (I got here in January 1991), but in Miami, as much as in any town of this size, those lifetime connections make a big difference. Well, I can hardly complain about that, can I?

It was a tough campaign, but I have no cavil with anything that happened in it. I knew it would be an uphill fight for me -- exactly why, as described, I started early and worked as hard as I could.

Now, I do think that voters who don't know candidates in detail (or at all, as is certainly the case with many down-ballot races) have to make a choice based on something, and plenty of folks -- not all of them, but plenty of them -- will make that choice based on their perceived affinity for a candidate. If all you have to base that on is a last name, then that may sway your vote. To deny that this influences elections would be Pollyanna nonsense. It's not the only thing -- in some races, especially for incumbents, it's not the biggest thing. But Captain, it IS a thing.

But here's the REAL thing: I have no problem with THAT either. Of all the ways there are to get judges onto the bench, elections have the advantage of probably doing the best job of helping to create a judiciary that most closely reflects the population that judiciary is going to serve. After 24 years in Miami, and as the only gringo married into a family of about about 150 Cuban-Americans, you will hear NO complaint from me if the judiciary in a town with 65 percent Latino population is, by a majority, Latino. My younger son tells me all the time he'd like to grow up to be a judge. I'd certainly hope his ethnic heritage (1/2 Cuban, 1/4 Irish, 1/4 German) will be, if not an advantage, then no hindrance.

So, if you're looking for sour grapes or, heaven help you, ethnic bias, I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Love him or hate him, Nixon was probably the most fascinating politician in American history. And one of the most well read. If you ever get hit with a trivia question "who was the only US president to personally argue a case before the Supremes?" Remember, Nixon's the one.


Peter Camacho Adrien..

And Don Cohn.

Thank you Robert Kuntz. Your background in journalism when putting pen to paper on this subject has given me a much better understanding of many of the dynamics that go into a successful judicial campaign.

Well said.

Anonymous said...

The Professor says:

Campaigning is over rated. The truth is that judicial candidates in Miami-Dade run in a geographic area larger than 7 states and a population larger than 13 states. Running from place to place to garner 10 or 15 votes makes a candidate feel like they are doing something, but it has little effect. To deny the effect of ethnicity, race and gender on voting patterns is disingenuous. Even nationally all polls show that it has a substantial role in all elections.

Samantha Ruiz-Cohen had nothing else to do with her days. It looked great, but the truth is the DBR and Miami Herald did everything needed for her to beat Peter Adrien. He was a terrible judge and everyone knew it. The coalition of of 2004 (created by the always hypocritical and bottom feeding Bob Levy) with Ada Pozo-Revilla and Will Thomas did not exist that year. Ada had resigned after three years and Will was unchallenged. Adrien had no money, no support and a bad rep. That is why she won.

Mr. Kuntz, you write very well about the real issue. But, I disagree with one substantive point. Judges are elected, but have no constituency. They represent no group, ethnic or otherwise. They represent the law not the people. The idea that the judiciary should somehow represent proportionally the ethnic makeup of a community is optics not functional.

The mediocrity of judicial candidates this cycle is endemic of that problem. Thus I stand by my earlier statements that we need to return to the pre-Bush JNC membership selection and rules, and the application of merit retention, as defined in the 1998 amendment to the state constitution, which will assure that good judges can stand on their records, and newly appointed judges can be confirmed or not by the people.

Juan Gonzalez said...

I am deeply moved by what Mr. Kuntz has shared today. Kipling wrote that, among other things' becoming a "man" required recognizing victory and defeat as imposters. The blog is written and read mostly by those who are in the arena and have to deal with apparent wins and losses daily. Mr. Kuntz teaches again that experiences which appear to be defeats can enrich our lives more than victories. The fact that he can share such wisdom in such a sublime way in order to console others is truly the act of a wise and special person. I wonder if "winners" have gained as much from the experience.


Let me tell you that I am SO IMPRESSED with ROBERT KUNTZ that I wish that the JNC would take note of his evolution as a man and his first class ability to express himself with grace and kindness. He obviously has the compassion and intelligence to be a first class and wonderful JUDGE.

Robert, please give it one more chance. I will support you big time. I promise I can help.

Anonymous said...

The more I read from this professor the bigger the jackass he becomes. If it was ethnic Carranza wouldn't have have blown out by Smith. Other than this idiot professor, who are the people who thought Carranza was a superior candidate to Smith? Geez! stop whining already, the election is over and your candidate has been shown to be seriously wanting. The people of Dade county and the legal community thought your candidate was a joke. You are a bigger more depressing one.




The JNC advertised two open seats last month; Judge Gayles and Judge Bloom.

A total of 33 people filed applications.

In a stunning move, not reminiscent of past JNC's, they have elected to personally interview only 12 candidates.

Remember that they are expected to name no less than 4 and no more than 6 names to each open seat. They could effectively send all 12 of the candidates names' to Gov Scott, but one would expect that number to be closer to 6-8 different names.

The names that made the cut:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

12:30 Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer
12:50 Jason Emilios Dimitris
1:10 Rodolfo A. Ruiz II
1:40 Steven Lieberman
2:00 Gladys Perez
2:20 Wendell Graham

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

12:00 Ayana N. Harris
12:20 Jason Bloch
1:00 Adriana Collado-Hudak
2:00 Julie Feigeles
2:20 Candace R. Duff
2:40 Diana Vizcaino

Below is the original list; you can do the subtraction and figure out who did not make the cut.

Enjoy your three days of vacation!

Ayana N. Harris
Julio Gomez
Isadora Velazquez Rivas
Laura Ann Stuzin
Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer
Jason Bloch
Jason Emilios Dimitris
Steven Lieberman
Rodolfo A. Ruiz II
Adriana Collado-Hudak
Julie Feigeles
Candace R. Duff
Bruce S. Reich
David Alschuler
Charles Kenneth Johnson
Diana Vizcaino
Gladys Perez
Christopher A. Green
Wendell Graham
Lourdes Simon
Carlos L. Fernandez
Val Aubourg
Erik M. Vieira
Veronica A. Diaz
Julie Harris Terry
Gera Ruben Peoples
Mario Quintero Jr.
John William Wylie IV
Lauren Fleischer Louis
Michelle A. Delancy
Aubrey Webb
Flora M. Jackson
Karl St Hope Brown

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

The JNC is interviewing 22 candidates not 12 you missed the 2nd page of the announcement. . The following will also be interviewed Charles Kenneth Johnson, Lourdes Simon, Carlos L. Fernandez, Julio Gomez, Michelle A. Delancy, Julie Harris Terry, Gera Ruben Peoples, John William Wylie IV, Lauren Fleischer Louis and Laura Anne Stuzin.

Anonymous said...

Captain, you are not correct - you apparently have received very truncated information.

Anonymous said...

This seat for circuit court goes to:


She is so talented and a great and experienced trial lawyer. Such a nice person too. Good luck everyone.

Anonymous said...

Your point about a hispanic surname having little value is inaccurate because this election was a primary with no issue/candidate bringing out hispanic voters in large numbers. The general election, however, will change that dynamic. Jackie Schwartz will have difficulties for that reason.

Anonymous said...

Newbie PD here, so I was about to make a crass joke about names before I actually read Mr. Kuntz's post. This man needs to be a regular contributor to the blog.

His language is clear, precise, and emotional without being sentimental. He's an amazing writer.

And he doesnt even need Shakespeare in a footnote.

He also seems to have that rarest of gifts: lived experience. Thank you sir, for taking the time to write.

I've no money, but if he should change his mind and run again, I will stand on the Venice Causeway and twirl a sign over my head.

Anonymous said...

The Professor says:

3:25 pm - Okay, I will not reduce myself to name calling to try and make a point. If you have a candidate who spends almost nothing and a candidate spending over $250K of another persons money, that is a fair indication of what really decided the vote. You disagreeing with my comment that every poll taken by every reputable pollster that ethnicity and race play a part in every election makes you the most enlightened person on the face of the earth. More likely you are the FOX News of this blog.

Sorry, I can't help myself. YOU ARE AN IMBECILE.

Eyeonshumie said...

Nobody called the shumie for the long weekend. So I will get the formalities over with.


1:12 pm. Mr Kuntz was a journalist in his first life and a very good one at that.


Anonymous said...

The "professor" does not seem to undertand that the United Auto ECO spent its money supporting Smith as permitted by the SCOTUS in Citizens United. It did not give the money to Smith as contributions to his campaign to freely spend as he saw fit (as in poll workers, GOTV, consultants or boleteras). The UAIC ECO just exercised its right of gree political speech under the First Amendment just as the "professor" has been exercising his in this blog.

Anonymous said...

Miller beat Padilla
Lundy Thomas beat Rodriguez.

Anonymous said...

I see the bitter professor wasn't able to cite anyone of substance who believed carranza was better suited than Smith. The fact is that a callow and worthless candidate ran against a respected judge because he thought he could bs the voters into voting by ethnicity and got hammered.

Anonymous said...

11:58 pm - Of course I understand the Citizen's United case. Any person with a 4th grade education should. I also understand, Mr. Parillo, that you had every legal right to do what you did to buy a judge. However, that does not mean that in terms of the Code of Judicial Conduct, it should not be considered grounds for disqualification of that judge from every case in which your company is a litigant.

The hope is that the Florida Supreme Court will recognize this and affirm Writs of Prohibition that would be issued against Smith, and thus ultimately defeat the effect of your actions.

As to 8:51 am, who is most probably the same Mr. Parillo, I have nothing to be bitter about, except the undeniable cancer that has been created on the judiciary. I agreed that on legal acumen and ability alone Rodney was the "better" candidate, so there was no need to find any support for an assertion to the contrary. My opposition to Rodney's re-election is that he is "damaged goods" and his actions with you, Mr. Parillo, give the clear appearance of an impropriety, and bias toward your pecuniary benefit. As long as he has nothing to do with cases involving UAIC he will continue to be a fine judge.

As to both posts, a clear reading of my comments would show, you did not really read them, ignored what they said, or most likely are incapable of comprehending them.

Anonymous said...

The professor is that hack x fed public defender who was afraid to try a case. Stick to the classroom - stay out of politics

Anonymous said...

I met Mr. Kuntz at the League of Prosecutors Judicial Forum when he ran against Monica Gordo. I found him to be the most impressive person running for a judicial post that year.

I ended up voting for Monica, as I had known her for years, but to this day, wish I could have voted for both.

Anonymous said...

Kuntz, you are a bit full of yourself if you really think you worked harder than anyone else who may have lost (although you are certainly a great candidate). The writing is great but you are all hacks. Every campaign has a base vote. For Reps/Dems there is always a base that will vote party line no matter what. Same for judicial races, people will pick ethnicity because they can't pick party lines. With 37% going to Carranza it is safe to assume the Hispanic base was in at least the 30% range since he did no actual campaigning and was otherwise unknown.

There is nothing wrong with that, it is that way nationwide. Good to be Irish in MA etc... You can't use a two hispanic race to judge it or a diluted 3 way race. Like races, like years, like candidates is how you figure out natural base voters. That is politics, only the ignorant would claim it would be otherwise. People vote based upon what they know, they know themselves ..... it all flows from there. For those who do not like, move to another country because there is nowhere in the US where this does not hold true. Ask Crist, Broward has such a high Dem base it is almost impossible for a Dem not to carry that county, but he has to work Dade hard to get the Democratic Base and Independents out to carry the county. They will spend a ton in Dade to get it done because without Dade he can not win the State.

Anonymous said...

The Professor says:

3:58 - You could not be more wrong. You know nothing about me. You do not have the foggiest idea who I am or what I know. Nice try though.

Anonymous said...

The clueless professor believes that any commentator who contradicts him must be Mr. Parillo, as if Mr. Parillo didn't have anything better to do than to do him the honor of arguing with him in the comment section of a blog.

The professor keeps ignoring the PIP plaintiff's bar contributing big bucks to judges like Sampedro-iglesias or Manno-Schurr who actually and greatly benefit, through their husband's practices, from their appellate decisions in circuit court. So, to follow the logic of the "professor", he must be either Mr. Iglesias or Mr. Schurr.

Anonymous said...

920...........why is Kuntz (whom I do not know) a "bit full of himself" if he thinks he worked harder than anyone else? Couldn't that be entirely true? (from what I've heard, it seems true).

Regardless, you're basically calling a guy who found satisfaction and lessons years after LOSING a hard fought race an arrogant "hack." Who are you to say that? What makes him a "hack?" You really thing that EVERY candidate is a "hack?"

Doesn't sound like he's got an ego problem to me. In fact, he sounds like a guy I'd want on the bench. Too bad he won't run again.

The really unfortunate part is that too many good and qualified people won't run, in part, because of the judgmental crap spewed by people like you. Try judging people on their merits instead of lumping them all together like some kind of right wing nutcase.


Anonymous said...

The Professor says:

4:43 - Wow, you haven't read a thing I have written, and Parillo really doesn't have anything else to do, except spend his money.

To enlighten you, I have never ignored either Sampedro or Manno-Schurr. I have commented on the fact that their possible bias was known to all when they ran. The problem with what has happened with Rodney is that the public has no idea how much money a single insurance company spent to keep their judge on the bench.

And for the umpteenth time: There is a big difference between an individual giving the max contribution and an insurance company giving $250K to one judge's campaign. One clearly signifies the expectancy of a quid pro quo and the other does not.

I promise you, of all the people, I am not Sampedro or Manno-Schurr. Now I know why Rumpole enjoys everyone's guessing game so much.

I promise only a few, who know me well, could guess who I am. None of the rest of you have a clue as to who I am.

Anonymous said...

8/31 8:56 bothers me - says Kuntz was the most impressive candidate but s/he voted for Gordo anyway because s/he knew her for years.
That's why we have secret ballots. Vote for the most impressive candidate, not your friend. She doesn't need to know you didn't vote for her.