Tuesday, April 21, 2020




Incumbent Judge Dava Tunis has drawn an opponent.

Candidate Rosy Aponte, who filed and qualified to run against Incumbent Judge Gordon Murray in Group 38 of the County Court has just switched and filed to run against Judge Tunis in Circuit Court Group 75.

Aponte has previously been unsuccessful in seeking a seat on the bench:

- she ran for a County Court seat against Judge Kristy Nunez in 2018, losing that race by 52 % to 48%.

- she ran for a Circuit Court seat against Judge Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts and Carol Breece in 2016. Ms. Aponte failed to make the runoff as she gained only 26% of the vote compared to Rodrgiuez Fonts (34%) and Breece (40%) in the Primary.

Judge Tunis was first appointed by Governor Bush in 2005. She ran unopposed in 2008 and again ran unopposed in 2014. She has never faced an opponent. UNTIL NOW.

Mr. Vereen has now been qualified by the Department of Elections.

Ms. Martinez-Scanziani has also been qualified by the Dept. of Elections.

Ms. Delancey is still without an opponent.

Mr. Spector has not yet qualified to run against Judge Bandin.

He has submitted a NEW check at 11:41 AM today. This check has written at the top left:  


This check appears to be signed by his Campaign Treasurer. So, by all accounts, it appears that Mr. Vereen has resolved any issues with his qualifying check. 

DOES ROD VEREEN HAVE SOME QUALIFYING ISSUES? On it's face he appears to have two problems.  His check may not have been written from a "campaign account".  Also, his check was signed by Mr. Vereen - which according to the Election Rules (see below), he was not permitted to do. (He is not his own campaign treasurer). Story developing .....

Qualifying Fee The qualifying fee must be: • Paid by a properly executed check drawn on the campaign account. (A personal check, cashier’s check, money order, or cash is not acceptable); • Made payable to the Florida Department of State, Florida Secretary of State, or Florida Division of Elections; and • In an amount not less than the fee required. The check must be signed by the campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer. A check signed by a candidate who has not been designated as the treasurer or deputy treasurer is not acceptable.

Shaun Spector has just filed in Group 24 of the County Court against Incumbent Judge Christine Bandin.  Spector has been an attorney for nine years and runs his own law firm in Coral Gables where he primarily practices commercial litigation.  Judge Bandin was appointed to the bench by Gov. Scott in October of 2018. At the time she was a partner with Shutts & Bowen.  She has been an attorney for 13 years.  Ms. Bandin has only raised $12,780 from 45 contributors and loaned her campaign $500.  She does have a net worth of $540,979. 

Denise Martinez-Scanziani has just filed in Group 65 against Incumbent Judge Thomas Rebull.  She has a Net Worth of $1,423,019 and had income last year  of $323,657.  Judge Rebull was first appointed to the bench by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011. He ran unopposed in 2014.  Ms. Martinez-Scanziani first ran in 2008 against Incumbent Circuit Judge Bernard Shapiro losing 59% - 41%.  She next ran in 2016 in retiring Judge Gill Freeman's Group against three opponents. The primary results were no better for her: Mark Blumstein (29%); Luis Perez-Medina (25%); Renee Gordon (24%); and Ms. Martinez-Scanziani (23%).

Roderick D. Vereen has just filed in Group 57 to run against Carmen Cabarga. He has a Net Worth of $2,189,086 and income of $650,000 last year. Vereen is no stranger to campaigns. He ran for Congress in 2010 as a Independent against Fredricka Wilson and lost 86% to 14%. He then ran as a Democrat in 2012 for State Attorney against Katherine Fernandez Rundle, losing 60% - 40%.

BREAKING NEWS #1 .......


Tahya Fuenmayor has decided that she will no longer be a candidate for any judgeship in 2020.

BREATHE - that’s the nine incumbent County Court judges all exhaling a sigh of relief.

Ms Fuenmayor, who had filed in County Court Group 35, and who was on the short end of the move by Governor DeSantis when the Governor appointed Judge Lody Jean to the Circuit Court last Friday, spoke with us earlier today. She was congratulatory towards Judge Jean. But she was disappointed that the Governor chose to steal the opportunity away from the voters of Miami-Dade County to name the Group 35 replacement. Remember, Gov DeSantis could just as easily have chosen Judge Jean on Monday, and then let the voters choose her replacement through an election.

We have it on good authority that there will be some last minute surprises in both County and Circuit Court. That means the nine incumbents in County Court will need to continue to hold their collective breaths for another three days. In Circuit Court, there are still two open seats with only one candidate each:

In Group 37, with Judge Celeste Muir retiring, Michelle Delancy is still unopposed.

In Group 57, with Judge Bernard Shapiro retiring, Carmen Cabarga is also still unopposed.

BREAKING NEWS #2 .......


CARLOS GAMEZ. Judge Gamez has been an attorney for 11 years. He is currently employed as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami. He was first hired out of law school by Perez & Rodriguez. He takes over for Judge Ramiro Areces who was recently elevated to the Circuit Court.

SCOTT JANOWITZ. Judge Janowitz has been an attorney for 14 years. He was an ASA in Broward County for three years. He is now an associate with Geyer, Fuxa, Tyler, PLLC. He fills the vacancy created when Judge Christina DiRaimondo was recently elevated to the Circuit Court.

JEFFREY KOLOKOFF. Judge Kolokoff has been an attorney for 13 years. He was an ASA in Miami-Dade for six years. He is currently an associate with Beighley, Myrick, Udell and Lynne. He replaces Judge Robert Watson who was elevated to the Circuit Court recently.

Two closing points on these three recent appointments.

First, it is even more transpicuous what Governor DeSantis pulled with the Judge Lody Jean appointment (and the one for Judge Zachary James). It took him 57 days (he has a maximum of 60) to name these three new County Court Judges from the date the nominees were placed on his desk. By contrast, he named James after 14 days and Jean after 28 days - the two shortest turnarounds in Miami-Dade County history for Gov DeSantis.

Second, it bears repeating what I wrote about last Friday. The Governor has once again made it crystal clear of his insouciance toward anyone that has the name Assistant Public Defender on their resume. The count is now 62 judges appointed by DeSantis; 43 of them are former ASAs/AUSAs/AAGs and only one was appointed out of the P.D. office: Judge Ayana Harris. This time the Governor had 18 names on his desk for these three open seats, including APDs Kevin Hellman and Gale Lewis. They never had a chance.

We will update these pages regularly with any breaking election news.



Anonymous said...

I love how Rumpole acts like she's breaking news that prosecutors have an inside track to be judges.

Anonymous said...

If they were the most qualified why does the governor need to sit on it for 60 days. Give me a break.

Rumpole said...

9:51 AM I love how you are too stupid to figure out I have not written the post. The captain wrote it.


9:51 AM. I also love how you are too stupid to figure out that that “Breaking News” was that we have three new judges.

CAP OUT.... (The author of the Post)

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you guys, but I have not seen a consistent pattern involving former ASAs vs former PDs. Frankly, the most frustrating thing is that circuit court newbies think that they have to track whatever the ASAs in their divisions say, but even this wears off after a while. Besides, who knows better that all cops lie than former ASAs

Anonymous said...

Rod actually ran as an independent against Congresswoman Wilson. L

the trialmaster said...

Gamez is a joke. The only trial experience he has is sitting second chair to an incomptent assistant city attorney. He got this appointment because his wife is active in the latin attorney community and is with a Holland and Knight for years. Hopefully he will stay in Kangeroo Kourt and not get to Circuit like another unqualified like Areces. A sad state of affairs to have such unqualified people appointed because of their poltical ties.


Really? What’s the difference. Judges don’t need to be intellectual or academic in criminal court at the Justice Building. It doesn’t matter if they get elected and get a pay boost or they only practiced mediocre law for 5 years.

A Judge there is just a GLORIFIED CLERK! 95% of the calendar is setting future dates for hearings or trial. 98% of criminal cases get settled by agreements between prosecutors and defense counsel. Even a jury trial is decided by jurors.

Oh - Sentencing upon guilt? Big deal. Sentencing guidelines. No brain cells used thus far. $170k for being a secretary?

I call BS. Maybe you need some brains if you are in the complex business division like you know who! Otherwise the judiciary is made up of academic lightweights. Thank goodness for the appeals court!

Go back to your social media posts of your self portraits on vacations each week, at every event that hands out free appetizers or a free gala to have lawyers kiss your behinds.

We are on to you !!! EASY JOB. Home at 2pm!

Anonymous said...

Jordan Lewin should put in. Former ASA, and he would be a really good judge.

Anonymous said...

Judge Rebull rapidly forgot something g very important. He became pompous. He is also monotone. If he finds a way to win this will be a lesson in not being pompous and monotone.

Michelle Delaney needs an opponent. Stop the BS of race. She has definitely not earned that seat. Do not let her walk in. Rod Vreen how about it?

Anonymous said...

Bruh. Your post leads me to believe you graduated from Florida Coastal.

Anonymous said...

As I private practioner, I can do what many of these government workers do ( I was a former government worker and being a judge seems sooooo easy) but most of them could never, ever do what I do. It's funny how so many of these government workers and law firm associates jockey for position.

Anonymous said...

Denise Martinez Scanziani? God help us if she wins. She is clueless.

Anonymous said...

Captain, aren't Roderick Vereen's qualifying papers invalid? A candidate may not receive any contributions, make any expenditures, or open a campaign account until the candidate files a DS-DE 9, Appointment of Campaign Treasurer. The form is "filed" when the Department of Elections receives the form. See p. 18 of https://dos.myflorida.com/media/702477/candidate-campaign-treasurer-handbook-2020.pdf. The qualifying fee must be paid from a campaign account. See p. 7 of https://dos.myflorida.com/media/702970/state-qualifying-handbook-2020-20200408.pdf.

The date stamp on Vereen's DS-DE 9 indicates it was received on April 22nd. His check for the qualifying fee was written on April 21st, before he was even permitted to open a campaign account. The check does not indicate whether it was written off of an (impermissibly) opened campaign account, but the sequence is 0099, suggesting that the account has been opened for some time.

For Vereen to qualify, he has to have opened a campaign account on or after April 22 and pay the qualifying fee from that account to the DOE before noon on Friday. He has a lot of driving ahead of him.

Anonymous said...

I like the good old days of Judge Shenberg, Judge Roy Gelber, Judge Sepe and Judge Phil Davis.

Things were so much easier back then !

Anonymous said...

Visit the site. Join the movement. Make the magic happen.

Anonymous said...

And the pedantic award of the day goes to .... Anonymous - Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:38:00 PM.

Anonymous said...

6:54 has it dead on. Rebull will lose and lose miserably. For the past four years or so, he's been the topic of more grumbling from lawyers than any other judge I can think of. Plus, he hasn't been campaigning at all, and now he can't!

Anonymous said...

With the economy going in the tank, you will see even more ham and eggers put in for spots. No fundraisers during these times so it should even the playing field. My bank account is better not having to shell out money weekly for this person or that person at fundraisers. I felt like I was working at John Ruiz' office as I was dropping off checks weekly earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

Judge Bandin is a well-financed, Hispanic woman, with impeccable credentials, and loads of Hispanic contributors. Unbeatable in this town.

Anonymous said...

Gamez is inexperienced and totally unqualified even for County Court. He has been second chair of only a couple of trials. The Assistant County Attorney who was first chair was a fool. One would have to see how they tried the few cases they did to believe how much of much of a novice both were. Even with Gamaz' limited trial experience he was santioned on two differnet occasions by 2 different judges for his behavior. Now, too see this guy wearing a robe is a new low, even by Miami=Dade standards which is a very very low bar. I want to vomit. Baby Arces is probably even worse now that he is in circuit.

the trialmaster said...

Do not forget Lady Ellen Morophonis,Jack Turner, Murray Goodman and of course corrupt Joe Gersten( the father who was indicted in Jacksonville.)Who can forget the "market connection" trials.Best bAG, "Donny" the great baliff of Lady Ellen who was also her nephew. And of course "mousey AKA Howard Gross who was acquainted in a bizarre trial. Best bailbonds man to have if you needed a bond, Joel. Had to sit in a certain seat in the courtroom and if the judge saw him sitting there, she would set a very reasonable bond in trafficking cases over the objections of the State. Those were the good ole days.

Anonymous said...

Is Philip Davis out of prison yet?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Jordan Lewin is the best, agree, wish he would run.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Delancy? Who is she? Why would she be able to walk in to a Circuit seat? Allowing that would truly be racist. Everyone needs an opponent. It is about being qualified. Not about race.

Anonymous said...

Excellent comments on this subject! LOL at remembrances of Roy Gelber, Phil Davis et al., and then of Joe Gersten (the father of fugitive Joe, gone to Australia).
I share the concerns about the lack of experience and knowledge of many of the JJ appointed by Santis, following the Jeb Bush and Rick Scott pattern. I almost wish for the days when an ASA could not get appointed, for love nor money: why Lenny Glick had to run (a rarity in those days), and serve for decades with distinction. The former ASAs don't seem to study the civil rules, yet many of them will not serve in criminal, and need to get some expertise.
I also hope that some of the judges, like the likable Ramiro Areces, read the blog, and make changes accordingly. Sorry to hear Rebull has descended into pomposity, as he was brainy and kind before he ascended the bench.
Really sorry Watson did not stand for election; elevated to County ok, but really needed time to learn the job. Smart to begin with, but had a long way to go to learn how to handle a small claims case. Watch your back with him.