Friday, May 04, 2018




Congratulations to our newest judges who will all take the bench in January of 2019. None of them received opposition as of Noon today:


Carlos Lopez


Betsy Alvarez-Zane

Jacqueline Woodward (and Happy Birthday to Jackie today).



19 Incumbent Circuit Court Judges were reelected without drawing any opposition; (for a list of those judges please see our post from May 3rd ). There are three contested races this year. One candidate, Renee Gordon, returns for a second try after losing in the primary in 2016 to eventual winner Mark Blumstein. Judge David Miller is the only incumbent Judge in Miami-Dade County to draw opposition. Judge Miller is no stranger to contested elections - in 2012, the last time he ran for office, he also drew an opponent. He soundly defeated Mauricio Padilla in that contest with 62% of the vote. Miller first won election to the Circuit Court in 2000, when he defeated two other candidates, Arthur Spiegel and David Peckins (in the runoff). In fact, the only time Miller has not faced opposition was in 2006.


Elisabeth Espinosa
David Miller - INCUMBENT

GROUP 14 (OPEN SEAT - Judge Cindy Lederman retiring)

Vivianne del Rio
Renee Gordon
Louis Martinez

GROUP 25 (OPEN SEAT - Judge Dennis Murphy retiring)

Yery Marrero
Joe Perkins


17 Incumbent County Court Judges were reelected without drawing any opposition; (our May 3rd post also includes the names of these judges). There are five contested races this year. Four of the candidates have past experience running for Judge. In 2016, Milena Abreau just missed out when she lost a close County Court race to Incumbent Judge Fred Seraphin. Abreu lost by only 677 votes out of a total 210,919 ballots cast. Lizzet Martinez lost out in 2016 as well, to Incumbent County Judge Ed Newman. Rosy Aponte lost a Circuit Court race in the primary to eventual winner Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts and Elena Ortega-Tauler lost a Circuit Court race to Incumbent Judge George Sarduy. 

GROUP 2: (Judge Mary Jo Francis retiring):

Rosy Aponte
Kristy Nunez
(Jeffrey Cynamon withdrew from this race at 11:58 AM today).

GROUP 32: (Judge Caryn Canner Schwartz retiring):

Lizzet Martinez
Chris Pracitto

GROUP 33: (Judge Teretha Thomas Lundy retiring):

Olanike Adebayo
Eleane Sosa-Bruzon

GROUP 40: (Judge Don Cohn retiring):

Michael Barket
Elena Ortega-Tauler

GROUP 43: (Judge Joseph Davis, Jr retiring):

Milena Abreu
Mike Mirabal

The primary election takes place on August 28, 2018 with any runoffs to be decided on November 6th. Good luck to all of the candidates.



  1. Awesome, I have about 3k in campaign donations out there and all but D. Miller went unopposed. All right you robed ones, start sending us our money back.

  2. Milena Abreu has been practicing for over 18 years. She has practiced in criminal, civil, family and administrative law. She has tried well over 100 trials and is respected by the defense bar and prosecutors alike. She is one of only 7 women in Miami Dade who are death certified. She has also been a traffic magistrate for 7 years. Frankly I think its a shame she is running for county court rather than Circuit. But no one can argue she is not qualified.

  3. It's the best day of the year....CINCO DE SHUMIE!!! Pop A cold Cerveza Superior on me!! Or five or six of em....

  4. Someone who has practiced in county court and nothing more just walked on to the bench unopposed.


  5. It's a shame that Judge Miller has drawn opposition again. But, IMHO, it's the judges with cojones de acero who make the tough calls and piss people off. In this election, Judge Miller appears to have pissed off Cole Scott & Kissane which is driving this bus, because clearly Espinosa is no match for El Toro, given that her only supports appears to come from defense firms who suckle on Richard Cole's Baptist Hospital teat (he sits on the Board and funnels work to them.) What a shame. Politics - a filthy biz. Hope to see a slaughter in August if the little bird can hold on that long.

  6. Carlos Lopez will make a great judge! It speaks volumes about a candidate's motives when they're willing to take a huge pay cut, rather than use the seat as a pay raise. Lopez is smart, experienced, qualified, and as nice and honorable a man as you'll come across. Congratulations to him!

  7. Of the two county court new judges who walked in unopposed, I know Jackie. She has handled cases in county and circuit court since I first met her when I was an ASA in 97. A few years ago I referred her a difficult felony matter with a licensed professional who had some serious issues and was being given horrible advice. In less than a month she had it straightened out and to this day it was the best work I've had when I referred a case out. Congrats to her.
    I don't know the other new Judge, and her experience seems limited, but then I remember that Murphy had no criminal experience when he walked into the Justice Building and soon became one of the best criminal judges ever.

  8. Woodward thinks quickly, is smart and has practical solutions to county court problems. The knock on her is that she's not a very organized lawyer and will her calendars will be a mess.

    But, she's well-suited intellectually for the job she's won.

  9. Hey, 3:04 jackass, don’t contribute if you can’t afford to. If you’re a hotshot lawyer, 3000 should mean nothing. The judges, many of whom I helped, still have expenses. The REG judges usually have to rely on civil lawyers bc the lawyers in the criminal bar are a bunch of cheapskates and they’re the biggest blowhards.

  10. Jackie Woodard knows how to get stuff done and is really nice person. Congrats!!!!

  11. Miller is a hard working, fair, intelligent judge. We cannot let him be threatened by a puppy tool of Big Insurance and CSK. It is a travesty.

  12. What's the deal with the JQC proceedings against Maria Ortiz? Did people know this was coming? She's made a deal for a fine and reprimand. Let's if it gets approved.

  13. Most of the judges running for office cannot make a nickle in private practice. Lets call it like it is. The Hanzmans are very few and far between.

  14. Now, go get your shine box!

  15. Can you believe that Andrew Boros is 70+ years old? The guy looks amazing. No wonder he moved away from this rat hole Miami.

  16. Police chief must be pretty embarrassed right now. How do you arrest a guy for murder when he’s got an airtight alibi on video? Cops so anxious to make an arrest they lose valuable time in their ‘investigation’ that the real killer is on the loose. And he’s not at kohls....

  17. Albuquerque, New Mexico over Miami, Florida?

    Andrew Boros, are you kidding? Other than red peppers and green peppers, what the heck else is there out there for retirement life? Miami is the best city in the world. You had it all - and you gave it up??

  18. Question of the day: should a judge, especially one with financial means, refund 100% of the donations made to his/her campaign and pay the costs of filing and expenses out of the funds they “loaned” to their campaign accounts if they do not draw opposition? Is that the correct thing to do? Not talking the legal thing here. What is the right thing? Conversely, is it appropriate for an unopposed judge to refund 100% of the “loan” they made to their campaign to themselves and then deduct all costs from the donations made by others? Would such behavior make you think less of that judge? Should we be looking for such actions from the men and women who “judge” people for a living? Interesting issues; discuss amongst yourselves.

  19. Disinformation is alive and well; but why must the supporters of an incumbent Judge spread same in order to help him win election? Richard Cole does not sit on any Boards for Baptist Health. Moreover, while many criminal defense lawyers grew tired of Maximum Miller, many civil defense lawyers have grown tired of having to file Petitions for Certiorari to deal with his overbroad discovery orders.

  20. Dear 1:55, I appreciate your attention to the nuances (and I take you at your word as a matter of courtesy). But "sit," sat" "hospital board" "foundation board" - - makes no difference (not saying I don't appreciate philanthropy, self-serving or not). But try G-O-O-G-L-E, and connect the dots between Cole and his employee's supporters, Wicker Smith, Falk, Waas, United Auto, yada yada Then just follow the money. It's all just a filthy game of politics, and the dirty laundry will come out in the wash. Ruff McGruff is on the trail.

    (P.S. If by "overbroad discovery" you mean allowing the judicial process to lead to the facts by not allowing parties or lawyers to intentionally withhold evidence, then isn't that what judges are supposed to do? Allow the truth to come to light). McGruff out.

  21. Campaigns cost money and that is why friends and supporters have to dig deep to help. Candidates can loan money to the campaign but they are restricted in donation amount to the campaign so max they can give to their own campaign is 1,000. Loan money can't be used until all the donation money is used up.

  22. Dear 1:55 : Cole does not sit on Baptist Boards, but he does coordinate all of their medmal defense assignments and work closely with their risk management dept. And his father was the Chairman of the Board back in the day. He is uber close to all things Baptist Health System.

    Who are you trying to kid?

  23. From a court reporter that has worked with Judge David Miller for several years, it would shock me to think anyone could beat him. He's definitely an asset to the bench and community. I don't even care to read up on his opponent. I know he deserves his place on the bench.

  24. Biggest problem with our civil court system: special set hearing availability. David Miller is the hardest working, most accessible judge in the circuit. He'll show up at 7:00am if he has to in order to get the job done. He embodies what's right about our local judiciary. We all deserve to keep him on the bench until a worthy opponent emerges--that's not happening today.