WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.

Monday, August 31, 2020

HERE'S YOUR NEW CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE IN ACTION

 Using runners to solicit cases. Yup, the judiciary was upgraded with this election. 

Will the Florida Bar/JQC act on a lawyer/Judge employing non-lawyer runners to go to accident victims' homes to solicit cases? Or will they sweep it under the rug?

Will Judge Aponte be appointed as a Referee in Bar cases? We think she should. We think she should get EVERY Bar complaint about a lawyer soliciting cases. It is, after all, her specialty. 

For those of you who defend the Judge- please write in. 

For those of you who believe the judiciary was improved with this election - please write in. 

We know our new judge knows this rule- she is, after all a Judge. But for the rest of us, here is the rule in question:

Direct Contact with Prospective Clients - Rule 4-7.18(a) A lawyer may not contact a prospective client in-person, by telephone, telegraph, or facsimile, or through other means of direct contact, unless the prospective client is a family member, current client, or former client. 

Uz Cate Gui Case Felice Tt i Lien by HR on Scribd

 
Judges are held to higher ethical standard, aren't they?
 Rumpole's rules for Life:#2: Be careful what you ask for in life...you may get it.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

THE WEEK THAT WAS

 Let's wrap this week up. 

Kudos to our Clerk Harvey Ruvin who was groovin to an ABA award (The Yegge Award for outstanding contribution to judicial administration which is sort of like the Nobel Peace Prize but for Clerks)  for dragging the Clerk's office into the 21st century with electronic filing (shhhhhsh...we won't tell about misdemeanor criminal paper files if you don't). 

The NBA is back in session thank goodness. We could hardly bear the thought of spoiled millionaires who work for spoiled billionaires not playing a game during this time of crisis. Not that one of them could hold a candle to the 69-70 Knicks. Dollar Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Cazzie Russell and Dick Barnett,  and of course the Captain Willis Reed. Add in Phil Jackson, and Reed coming out in Game Seven of the Championship and scoring the first  four  points against the Lakers and Wilt Chamberlin, after Reed missed Game six with a torn thigh muscle, and you have the makings of an all-time great team. 

But none of the players today can measure up against the greatest basketball player of all time- Earl "The Goat" Manigualt. 

The Florida Supreme Court told Governor Ron No Mask DeSantis to drop dead. They invalidated the appointment of Judge Renatha Francis. Basically The Supremes said "an appointment is an appointment is an appointment". It begins the day it is made and not at some future date when the appointee is eligible. In Judge Francis' case, after a long and extensive search for the most experienced and qualified candidate to be a Justice of The Supreme Court, DeSantis, decided, for no other reason (*cough* cough*) that Judge Francis had the right stuff. Uno problemo: she did not meet the technical qualifications to be a justice, namely a member of the Bar for ten years. But DeSantis decided a way around that technicality by deciding that Judge Francis would not be sworn in until the ten year mark passed this fall. The Supremes said no way Ron and invalidated the appointment. 

This of course places into question the Governor's plan to nominate several promising law students for the 3rd DCA once they graduate, pass the bar, and are sworn in as lawyers. 

If DeSantis is able to re-nominate Judge Francis after she crosses that milestone and is a member of the Bar for ten long years, then wouldn't you want to be a fly on the wall in chambers? Sort adds some tension to the Supreme Court lunch room. There's always Backwoods Crossing for a meal. 

It has been a long strange week in a long and strange year. We dodge a bullet with Hurricane Laura and we still have a Governor who does not believe masks matter.  

Stay Safe. Stay Sound. Stay Sane. 


HONORING ALL VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

 Yesterday NBA players refused to play playoff games because of a shooting of an unarmed black man in Wisconsin by police officers.  That is their right and their protest has meaning. The epidemic of police brutality extends well beyond the publicized shootings and killings this year. 

We would support a boycott of one day of games honoring all those families whose lives have been destroyed by minimum mandatory drug sentences which disproportionally are applied to people of color and people of low economic means. 

But we also (surprisingly) ask this question:

When was the last time a sporting event had a moment of silence, much less canceling an event, when a law enforcement officer was killed in the line of duty?

There are bad people and some of them are law enforcement officers. Their ability to wreck havoc on society is magnified because of the power their job gives them. 

But the vast majority of law enforcement officers are husbands and wives and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters who leave home every day with the unspoken fear that they may be forced to place their life in jeopardy to do their job.  

65 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in 2020. That is more than one a week. We do not recall seeing any headlines, any protests, any cancelations, any moments of silence for any of these officers. And yet their families wake up every day and struggle to get by without their father or mother or son or daughter that for the most part society has forgotten and moved on. 

Protesting police brutality is appropriate and long overdue. So is honoring the vast majority of officers who do their job every day. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

WEAR A MASK

 Update: Let us call today's post potpourri. A few topics are discussed including email chains, the UM campus virus outbreak and a no-mask shaming website:

Wear a Mask

The is mounting evidence that the corona virus is spread via tiny aerosol droplets. The CDC and WHO acknowledge that corona is spread through airborne transmission from larger droplets from coughs or sneezes. Which is why those organizations recommend distancing at six feet. But the fact of the matter is that the virus is spread through aerosol transmission of droplets one micron in diameter. Larger droplets from a cough or sneeze will fall after a person sneezes or coughs. Gravity affects those larger droplets, although six feet is not enough distance as a droplet expelled by a sneeze can travel close to twenty feet. 

Aerosol transmission is much more difficult and deadly. A tiny aerosol can linger in the air several hours. Therefore, when you are out walking or running or biking and you are behind a runner or biker who is infected, even a distance of twenty or thirty feet may not be enough to protect you as you walk or run or bike through the air they expelled. While it is much safer to be outside then inside on  a factor of ten, it is still dangerous to be outside in a crowd or in a crowded area where people are exercising. 

So just wear a mask. It protects you and it protects the people around you. 

There are frequent reports of airborne aerosol transmission in the media. 

Here.

And here. 

Rumpole's mask guidelines:

Car: No Mask

All shopping: Mask

Walking outside: No mask if no one is visible within a two block radius. Otherwise, mask. 

Gym; hair or nail salon: Mask at all times. 

Restaurant: We strongly suggest take out. NEVER eat inside a restaurant. Avoid eating outside unless other tables are more than 20 feet away AND you are UPWIND of the other tables. 

Zoom Meetings and court hearings: Wear a mask if it is in Broward, otherwise no mask needed. 

EMAIL CHAINS

We think four or five emails are enough for one chain. After that it is just too much to keep track of. Rumpole email rule: five is enough. Then start a new chain. 

UM OUTBREAK

There is a virus outbreak at the UM Coral Gables Campus. Many students are sick, but lets make sure we get that football going. Football is life and these days football could be death.

MASK SHAMING 

What do you think about a Miami No Mask shaming website. Put up a site and solicit pictures of people in public not wearing masks? Just a thought.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

 The greatest hero of American movies, is, of course, British. 

Bond. James Bond. 007. 

And the greatest James Bond is Sean Connery, who turned 90 Tuesday, August 25. 

Yes we have issues about judges and elections and Covid and law students who cannot take the Bar. But this is important. 

Happy Birthday Sean Connery. Starting with Dr. No, you were the best (Blog trivia- name the prosecutor(s) we hung the appellation "Dr. No" on). 

And BTW, if you want to watch a great non-007 movie with Sean Connery, you will not find a better one than Finding Forrester. 

Have some cake today. And need we say it? Tonight, before or after dinner, have a martini. Shaken. Not stirred. 





Oh. One more thing. You nasty people who put up comments attacking us and who you think we are (if you only knew) and how bad the blog is and such. Take a look to the right of your screen. Go ahead. You can do it. See that counter? 7 MILLION PAGE VIEWS. 
Here is our advice to you. P' off as the British say. Go watch Fox News. Go Play in traffic. You will never be the writer we are and the lawyer we are and you have never in your small pathetic lives ever created anything like this. 
But, and this is important: 
Have a nice day.  Wear a mask. You haters contributed to those 7 million plus page views.  

Monday, August 24, 2020

SUPERVISED RELEASE

BREAKING: Dolphins announce 13,000 fans will be allowed in the stadium for football games. Marlins expected to follow suit (this sentence is a sarcastic one). Let us examine this scientifically. 

There is a virus with no known cure or preventative vaccine.  The virus is transmitted though respiration (people breathing). The Miami Dolphins are proposing bringing 13,000 people together to watch a game. A game! Well, we will say this- for those of you who have said you would die for football or without football- this is your chance. Tell us where to send the flowers.  Morons. 


Well, not exactly SR- but a supervised practice order for all the new lawyers who were de-barred from taking the Bar. 

The uproar over whether this year's crop of newly minted lawyers will be allowed to work and practice and learn the craft we perform so well has been answered by the Florida Supreme Court (Motto: "We have a heart after all"). 

The Great Oz and company issued an administrative order (below) turning lose the hordes of hungry post grads on to our field of play. 

Props to Attorney Brian Tannebaum who worked gratis in helping the new lawyers (memo to the new lawyers- get used to working for free). 

Couple of practice tips: 

Don't handle cases you are not qualified for, or you could be--hypothetically speaking-- disbarred from say...hmmm.. bankruptcy court if you take a case you are not qualified to handle. 

Do not work for out of state lawyers not licensed in Florida. Do not work for non-lawyers. They are just using your bar card. 

Do not work for firms that use illegal and unethical means of getting clients. You will get sued and your former clients will spill the beans on your unethical conduct which could (and should) result in your disbarment. 

Find a mentor. A more experienced lawyer you can trust. You will encounter ethical issues throughout your career. They never get easier. Run those questions by your friend/mentor. 

Learn to listen more than you speak, especially in dealing with someone who is upset. Most of the time all the other party wants is someone to listen to their complaint. 

Your reputation is all you have. You will spend a lifetime building it and it can all go away in thirty seconds on the record. Let your handshake and your word be your bond, even if in the end it is to your detriment. There is nothing more important than building a reputation that you can be trusted. 

If, somewhere along the line you violate rules one, two and three, then apparently you are qualified to be a Circuit Court Judge in Miami-Dade County. But all that glitters is not gold, and be careful what you ask for in life because you may get it. 

Here is the order for your perusal. 


AOSC20-80 by HR on Scribd

GOOD NEWS MONDAY AND OUR CHOICE FOR A NEW JUDGE TO BE ASSIGNED TO THE COMPLEX LITIGATION DIVISION

 Mondays should be all about good news so lets jump right in to it. 

Two hurricanes in the Gulf will miss Florida and strike near New Orleans this week. LA 2-Fla 0. This is the type of contest you want to lose. True this is bad news for Louisiana, but we do not have as many readers there.

NASA is tracking a Near Earth Object (NEO) that has a .5% chance of striking earth just before election day. The size of the object is six and a half feet long. Who says the good lord does not play politics?

If you are a judge elect and have a pending bar complaint (or two) in which probable cause has been found,  then you are not out of the woods. The JQC will pick up the ball and take it over the goal line. We have two such judge-elects facing this prospect.  We put the odds of one of the two of these two distinguished individuals being suspended or disbarred above the odds of an asteroid striking the earth before election day. 

Speaking of Judge elects, we call upon Judge Soto to let the voters' decision have consequences. New judges will often be "hidden" in juvenile or delinquency courts as they gain experience. This is not to diminish the hard work of the dedicated judges who serve in those positions. 

But the voters of Dade County elected Judge Aponte to a circuit court position without her ever having tried a case. It is said she has never taken a deposition. But the voters have spoken. She was determined to be the better qualified of the two candidates. 

So Judge Soto please assign Judge Aponte to the complex litigation division of civil court. Let her handle the biggest and most complex civil cases around. She worked for a plaintiffs' firm that demonstrably and illegally used runners to solicit clients from accidents scenes you say? So what- is what the voters of Dade said. 

She has never taken a deposition and is unfamiliar with the rules and laws of discovery and complex litigation? Who cares!

 How can we have a judge who never tried a case preside over complex trials? Elections have consequences we say- let the chips fall where they may.

 Do not "hide" this judge in juvenile or dependency court. Our children are much to important to place in her inexperienced and unethical hands. Put her in complex litigation and let the civil lawyers, who did not raise a hand in this contest, deal with her. That's of course if the JCQ doesn't deal with her first. 

Lawyers: wherever Judge Aponte ends up, consider filing a motion to recuse because you client does not feel s/he can get a fair trial from a judge who worked for a disbarred lawyer for a firm that illegally employed runners to go to accident scenes to solicit cases. The ethics stink to high hell. In other words- a community shunning of the "judge" who wants to play in the big leagues. We will be beating this drum until and through January 2021. 

That's what we say. What say you? 

Friday, August 21, 2020

BAR NONE BAR ALL

 A fascinating thing is occurring within the hallowed halls of FACDL.  But to understand the dimensions, you first have to understand the contretemps surrounding it. 

As self-absorbed lawyers, few blog readers know that due to a software snafu the Florida Bar exam was recently canceled. What to do...what to do?  Three thousand or so erstwhile lawyers were denied the opportunity to join the brotherhood and sisterhood of the shark. There is a rumor that the exam will be rescheduled in October, but nothing is for sure yet. 

Enter FACDL and the question of whether new lawyers should even take a Bar exam. And you thought police departments were the only thing millennials want to defund. DEFUND THE BAR! DEFUND THE BAR ...if you chant it long enough, it is catchy. 

What position should FACDL take? Here is the juicy part of the story. However, because FACDL listserv emails require code word secrecy clearance, here is the only part of the myriad of email exchanges we can print:

It is, as we all know, a violation of biblical proportions for us to reprint an FACDL email. (Memo to FCADL: if you don't want your emails on the blog, tell your damn members to stop sending them to us, willya?). 

The substance of the issue is as follows: Be it resolved, FACDL is for or against admitting as CLIs on a continuing basis the law students who covidly cannot take the Bar. Some members voted "ay", others "nay", and some "present". At least one FACDL board member told the peons to pound salt and that if they didn't like the Board's position to run for the board next year (the legal lingo was "we will do what we want. Kindly act accordingly"). 

Some members howled in response that the Board was elected to do what the members wanted, not what the board wanted. Suddenly in this yawn inducing mess we sat up and took notice. Unknowingly, FACDL stumbled upon an age old question of  democracy: whether elected representatives should vote as they think best,  or merely as their constituents want them to vote. 

While FACDL members were busy fighting, we retired inspired  to our library and pulled out Madison's Federalist #10:

Among the numerous advantages proposed by a well constructed union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction... Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens ... that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided not according to the rules of justice and the rights of minor parties but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.

So as the emails fly through the bits and bytes of the digital age, and FACDL members fight over whether their Board votes the will of the members or the best singular judgment of individual board members, take solace you weekend warriors of the listserv that you are debating nothing less than a problem addressed by the Founding Fathers (is that a politically incorrect term? Can we still use "founding fathers" or  will the blog  be defunded and the statute being erected to Rumpole in parking lot 26 that no one uses any more be tumbled like a cheap Saddam Hussein knockoff?).

Defund the Bar? Go for it. Admit law students without scrutiny? Why not? As long as they wear masks on Zoom hearings. We care not. 

But resolving the classic question of representative government; this will keep us up until the early hours of the morning, perusing the emails being sent to us as we search for our next James or Jane Madison. 

PS. We neglected to mention that Attorney Brian Tannebaum is representing the law students here gratis.  As an avowed anti-altruist, that offends us of course. But he means well. There are many Bar applicants who are facing severe financial hardships. One is on the verge of homelessness. Others, having devoted years in school, were counting on jobs that are now as far away as ever.  

POST ELECTION ANALYSIS ........ COVID STYLE


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

SOME POST ELECTION ANALYSIS .......

JUDGE TUNIS

The Blog has rarely received as much negative commentary about one criminal court judge. Peter Adrien comes to mind, but that was for a totally different kind of criticism. No doubt Judge Tunis was not a favorite of many of our readers.

First, Tunis got caught with her pants down. She sat on the County and Circuit Court bench for 20 years and she never once had opposition in an election. She expected the same in 2020. Her opponent, Ms. Aponte, it could also be said, never drew so much commentary compared to any other challenger to an incumbent. That commentary from our readers was certainly ignited by the explosive writings of our Blog's Author, Horace Rumpole.

Aponte filed against Judge Gordon Murray in Group 38 of County Court in September of 2019 and she Qualified for that race. She was in that race through Thursday of Qualifying Week. It was one day before the end of Qualifying when she pulled the switcheroo and jumped into the Circuit Court race against Tunis.

Tunis threw down $150,000 of her own money into her campaign war chest figuring that would scare off any opponents. In fact she did virtually zero campaigning through March of 2020. She had only raised $8,575 when Aponte jumped into the race. Contrary to some comments from yesterday, Tunis did go on to raise a total of $128,000 from 326 contributors for the overall campaign.

Aponte, as I reported earlier, had the least amount of contributors for a winning contested election in the history of Miami-Dade County, ten people gave a total of $6,300 (and two of them were Joe Klock ($750) and his Law Firm Rasco Klock ($500).

Anyone who actually thinks that the 209,895 citizens who cast their vote for Aponte had a clue as to the negative commentary about Tunis - well, you all have been smoking your client’s hydroponic weed.

Aponte lost in 2016 to Oscar "Rodriguez-Fonts"; (Carol Breece was also in that race; Aponte came in third). Aponte lost in 2018 to Kristy "Nunez".

JUDGE REBULL

Another incumbent who drew a last minute challenger. Ms. Martinez-Scanziani also filed on the Thursday of Qualifying Week, one day before the deadline. But, Rebull was prepared for a challenge. He raised more money than we have seen in a contested raise in probably the past two decades. Rebull raised a total of $408,400 and spent over $387,000 as of last week.

Ms. Martinez-Scanziani raised only $55,000 and spent it all. She also was a previous two-time loser having lost to Judge Bernie Shapiro in 2008 and then again in 2016 in a four way race against eventual winner Mark Blumstein, and Luis Perez-Medina, and Renee Gordon; (Martinez came in last).

For those of you who think that the 192,744 voters for Martinez-Scanziani knew anything about the "transcript" or about Rebull and his courtroom demeanor - well you all have been smoking the same weed.

JUDGE MANSFIELD

Joe clearly was not prepared for a campaign. Not sure why as he was an appointed judge facing the voters for the first time. He raised $17,800 while his opponent Miguel Mirabal raised over $68,000. (Does Mirabal’s campaign photo remind you of a 1970's porn star?). (Go here for a look).

A wise commenter pointed out that Anglos have beaten Hispanics in recent judicial contests. But, what they didn’t factor in was the very different kind of campaign we had in 2020. Pre-Covid was the time when every candidate attended a live breakfast in Homestead or Perrine, a lunch in Little Havana or Hialeah and a dinner in Aventura or Miami Gardens, every single day from April until August. Thousands upon thousands of voters had the opportunity to see and hear and speak with the actual candidates. They were much better able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not so with this election - and that my friends made all the difference in the world. Heck, Rosy Aponte, not only didn’t have to attend those breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, she didn’t even attend the Zoom forums following her "colored people" comment to the Black Lawyers (Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association) forum.

NORTH OF THE BORDER

STATE ATTORNEY

A complete shocker in Browierd as heavily favored candidate Sarahnell Murphy, a 24 year veteran of Mike Satz’ office and the candidate Satz endorsed lost in an eight way battle to a black attorney named Harold Fernandez Pryor. Pryor has been an attorney for all of seven years; (he served as an ASA for three of them). In fact Murphy could do no better than third behind Pryor and Joe Kimok (who lost to Pryor by a mere 2,600 votes out of the 206,200 cast).

Expect to see a major shake-up of the policies and procedures in the Broward State Attorney’s Office and they are both welcomed and way overdo.

PUBLIC DEFENDER

No surprise in Broward’s newly elected PD Gordon Weekes, who was Howard Finklestein’s number two for the past decade. What was a shocker is what Finkelstein did the day after the election.

He fired Weekes opponent, Ruby Green. Weekes faced retired judge Tom Lynch and Green; (Ruby came in a respectable second place). Green is 33 years old and had spent her entire eight year career working for Finkelstein and under Weekes. Weekes was the anointed successor to Finkelstein but Tom Lynch, and Green, decided to take their best shots.

Green is the current President of BACDL and she told the Sun Sentinel that she had no doubt she would be terminated after the election. From the Sun Sentinel:

"I was told not to run, I was told I couldn’t do it and I was told I was going to get fired," she wrote. "Nevertheless, I persisted because I know I am the change we seek. I know that there are so many things that happen in this office that are just down right WRONG, and I refused to sit back and let it happen ... This is not going to stop me."

Green received the following email from Finkelstein, on Wednesday at 8:34 AM:

"Thank you for your service. Your services are no longer required. Your termination is immediate."


T-74 days until the real Super Tuesday, November 3, 2020


CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com



Thursday, August 20, 2020

UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU

 Or maybe it's your creepy Uncle Ronny D. In any event there is a job opening and we have a description:

HELP WANTED: Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. Spanish helpful, not required. 

Are you self motivated? A self starter? Do you like to follow the rules? Do you want to work like a radio host from 10-2? Have people laugh at your jokes and stand up when you enter the room and be addressed with honorific titles? You must look good in black, keep good financial records and file yearly financial disclosure forms and be available 46-48 weeks a year for the next six years. Ability to speak in Public a plus, but not required. Competitive pay, health and retirement packages. Downside is much like the classic Shirley Jackson short story The Lottery: every year you or one of your co-workers has to submit to an agonizing process where one or more of you is chosen and stoned to death. Not literally, but career-wise you can go from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel if challenged by a member of certain combination of sex and ethinicity.* Details on the application below:

The Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is currently accepting applications (until Friday 8/21) to fill the vacancy created by Alex Bokor's elevation to the Third District Court of Appeals. If you are a highly qualified attorney that is interested in public service please apply. If you know someone that fits this description, please let them know about the vacancy. There are about a dozen trial court vacancies a year in Miami-Dade, so we constantly need new applicants. We can only nominate folks that apply:

https://www.floridabar.org/news-release/judicial-nominating-commission/11th-circuit-jnc-circuit-court-judge-vacancy/
If you are interested in the process, but not quite ready to submit an application, please feel free to observe the interviews (now on Zoom due to COVID), and reach out to Robert Fernandez (rfernandez@rhflawfirm.com) to be added to the email list for future announcements.

Finally, if you ever have any comments about any applicant (positive or negative), please reach out to any other commissioner to share your thoughts. We value and appreciate any firsthand experiences that folks have had.

Hayden O’Byrne
Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission

In the comments section we mentioned that we feared an even deeper spilt in the racial politics of Miami-Dade and that the best judges we have appeared before run the gamut of ethnicity, race and sex.  We also acknowledged that elections have consequences and that new judges can surprise us all. 

So we thought of this as a good topic: What Judge surprised you the most?  Our nominee is a judge who surprised us not because we expected the worst, but because we did not know him. He came to the REGJB a long time ago from a galaxy far far away (a civil practitioner) and became a legendary great REGJB Judge. We are speaking of the retired Judge Dennis Murphy. One of the best. 

What judge surprised you? 

* Go ahead with your faux outrage that we are playing the type of racial based politics we decry. We are doing no such thing, merely commenting on the race/race.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

A NEW DAY

 A new day has dawned in Miami, and there is not much to celebrate. The election results are disappointing and the judiciary has been diminished. Make no mistake about that. We have no regrets. We spoke truth to power and we shall continue to do so. 

In these troubled and difficult times, it's best to turn our thoughts to history and seek solace in the words of those who have come before us. There is at least one new judge who could not pick the name of Judge Learned Hand out of a line-up if their job depended on it. But elections have consequences. 

Here is Judge Milt Hirsch's Constitutional Calendar for August 18, 2020. Enjoy. 


"[T]his much I think I do know — that a society so riven that the spirit of moderation is gone, no court can save; 
that a society where that spirit flourishes,
no court need save; 
that in a society which evades its responsibility by thrusting 
upon the courts the nurture of that spirit, that spirit in the end will perish."

          -- Learned Hand, in "The Contribution of an Independent Judiciary to Civilization"  (1942). 
Judge Hand died on this day, August 18, 1961

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

VOTE - IT'S ELECTION DAY TODAY .......


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

IT’S ELECTION DAY .......

STATE ATTORNEY & JUDICIAL ELECTIONS 2020

EARLY VOTING COUNTED; VOTE BY MAIL PARTIALLY COUNTED. 
TODAY'S VOTE - 94% COUNTED.
 
JUDGE TUNIS IS IN BIG TROUBLE - SHE IS NOW LOSING 57% - 43%; JUDGE REBULL ALSO BEHIND 51%-49%; JUDGE MANSFIELD LOSING TOO 51% - 49%.



ANYONE NOTICING A CERTAIN PATTERN?

NUMBERS ARE BELOW:

MAJOR UPSET BREWING IN BROWARD STATE ATTORNEY'S RACE:

Harold Fernandez Pryor - 21%
Joe Kimok - 19%
Sarahnell Murphy - 18%
 
STATE ATTORNEY

Fernandez Rundle (I)  - 61%

Melba Pearson            - 39%

 
CIRCUIT COURT CONTESTED RACES

GROUP 55 (OPEN SEAT - Judge Jeri Beth Cohen retiring)

"Nike" Adebayo     - 49%

Joe Perkins             - 51%


GROUP 57 (OPEN SEAT - Judge Bernard Shapiro retiring)

Carmen Cabarga    - 59%

Roderick Vereen   - 41%


GROUP 65

Thomas Rebull (I)     - 49%

D. Martinez-Scanziani    - 51%

 
GROUP 67

Mavel Ruiz (I)     - 55%

Marcia G Hansen  - 45%

 
GROUP 75

Dava Tunis (I)     - 43%

Rosy Aponte        - 57%

 
COUNTY COURT CONTESTED RACES

GROUP 9:

Joseph Mansfield (I)     - 49%

"Mike" Mirabal             - 51%

 
GROUP 24

Christine Bandin (I)     - 77%

Shaun Spector              - 23%

For the past two weeks Early Voting sites have been open throughout the County. Also, many of you have chosen to vote using VOTE-BY-MAIL ballots. Today the polls are open and, if you waited until today, you must go to the precinct you are assigned to and cast your votes there.

Here is what we will be following and reporting on tonight:

There are seven contested judicial elections this year with five contests in Circuit Court and two more in County Court. Three incumbent Circuit Court Judges and two incumbent County Court Judges face opposition. Two other Circuit Court races have open seats due to the retirement of the sitting judge. Finally, our incumbent State Attorney faces a strong test against an experienced opponent. 
Pick your seven winners and list them in the Comments section. Tie-breaker for first place prize - pick your winner for State Attorney.

P.S. Just a friendly reminder that, 11 weeks from today, that's 77 days in dog count, you get to cast your vote for POTUS.

 
CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com


Monday, August 17, 2020

NORTH OF THE BORDER .... THE RACE FOR STATE ATTORNEY


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

NORTH OF THE BORDER ....

DISGUSTING, INFLAMMATORY, DISHONORABLE, CHEAP SHOT, DISRESPECTFUL, RECKLESS,  .....
are just some of the words that come to mind as I write this Blog post.

The race to replace Mike Satz, who has been the elected State Attorney in Broward County for more than 43 years, just got dirty. And the lowest form of dirt, a PAC supporting a candidate named Sarahnell Murphy just went there. You know where there is. We have seen it before. A long time ago we saw it in Miami-Dade County once or twice; (who can name the candidates).

Ms. Murphy you see is a career prosecutor. And if you have ever had the displeasure of dealing with her, you know how she feels about criminal defense attorneys.

So, let me tell you something about one of the eight Democratic party candidates running against Ms. Murphy to replace Mr. Satz.

He has been an attorney in Broward County for 14 years. He began his career as an Assistant Public Defender where he worked for two years. For the past 12 years he has been in private practice primarily as a criminal defense attorney; he also defends matters in front of the Florida Bar. He is married and has two daughters, ages 7 and 3. He has also performed volunteer work with the Broward County Substance Abuse Advisory Board, the Broward County Bar Association’s County-Municipal Affairs Committee, a Florida Bar Grievance Committee, and the Broward County League of Cities, among other organizations. In 2015, he won a seat on the Coconut Creek City Commission where he has served for the past five years and he is currently their Vice-Mayor.

But, according to the mailer* supporting Ms. Murphy, here is what it had to say about her opponent:

"Wife beaters, stalkers, armed robbers and more ..... Josh Rydell has worked for them all - trying to get them reduced sentences or even no jail time. Even perpetrators who prayed on the elderly committing lewd and lascivious acts" ..... "Did you ever think about the victims, Josh?" "Tell Josh Rydell we want a state attorney who cares more about getting justice for the victims of crime than protecting the criminals who break the law."


The opposite side of the Mailer promotes Sarahnell Murphy, A proven leader, for State Attorney.

 

Ms. Murphy has made no attempt to disavow herself from the PAC "Victims Have Rights" or to denounce the content of this disgusting, inflammatory mailer.  Of note, the PAC has only two major contributors: a total of $110,000 was donated by a company named I-Payout which has been tied to Ponzi schemes; and a $10,000 contribution was received, from, the candidate herself, Ms. Murphy.  (See Red Broward's story here).

Ms. Murphy just last week was given the opportunity to denounce the content of the mailer. She did not do so. The Dolphin Democrat conducted a 33 minute interview of the candidate which can be viewed by going here ; go to the 26th minute to hear the question about the mailer and her response.

Sarahnell Murphy - if you do not completely disavow the mailer and denounce its contents then you do not deserve the trust of the citizens of Broward County for you to hold the office of State Attorney - maybe dog catcher - nah not even that. 

Sarahnell Murphy - not disavowing the mailer lets the voters know that you do not have any respect for the 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing "the Assistance of Counsel" for the defense of anyone accused of violating the law.

Sarahnell Murphy - not disavowing the mailer and denouncing its contents lets the voters know that you do not have respect for the history of our State of Florida in establishing the right to a Public Defender. Have you ever heard of Clarence Gideon - clearly you skipped that course in law school. Thank goodness Clarence Gideon did not have to appear opposite you in 1963 and instead, he wrote a five page petition for writ of cert to the highest court in our land, the United States Supreme Court, which ultimately handed down the decision of Gideon v. Wainwright, holding that a criminal defendant who cannot afford to hire a lawyer must be provided one at no cost.

Clearly, Ms. Murphy, you must not be familiar with the name Greg Lerman, a criminal defense attorney practicing in Palm Beach County who ran for County Court Judge against Dana Santino. Ms. Santino pulled the same crap as you just did with your PAC supporting mailer disparaging Rydell.  Here is just a sample of what Santino's campaign was responsible for saying: "The Truth About Gregg Lerman.’ The headline banner of this page proclaimed that, “Attorney Gregg Lerman has made a lot of money trying to free Palm Beach County’s worst criminals. Now he’s running for judge!” Below that, a photograph of Mr. Lerman was surrounded by the words, “CHILD PORNOGRAPHY,” “DRUG TRAFFICKING,” “MURDER[,]” “Identity Theft,” “RAPE,” “Sexual Assault,” “Internet Solicitation of Minors,” and “PEDOPHILES.” [emphasis used in original]."

Santino, unfortunately, was elected to the bench in 2016. Fortunately, the Florida Supreme Court booted her off the bench in 2018 after the JQC recommended she be removed finding Santino unfit for the job and lacking impartiality because of her election bid smear against her opponent Gregg Lerman and his criminal defense practice. (See Sun Sentinel story here and the Florida Supreme Court's opinion removing Santino here where the court concluded: "Simply stated, Santino’s conduct does not evidence a present fitness to hold judicial office. It is “difficult to allow one guilty of such egregious conduct to retain the benefits of those violations and remain in office.” ..... "We refuse to endorse a “win-at-all-costs-and-pay-the-fine-later” strategy, especially in light of our past warnings and stated intolerance for the kinds of campaign violations at issue here.")

The only thing you deserve, Sarahnell Murphy, is a Bar investigation to determine whether this campaign literature disqualifies you from holding the office you seek.

NOTE: This Blog post is not an endorsement of Josh Rydell. There are seven candidates running against Ms. Murphy. They include:

David Cannady
Teresa Fanning-Williams
Joe Kimok
James "Jimmy" Stewart Lewis
Justin McCormack
Harold Pryor
Joshua Rydell

*HT - to the anonymous person who emailed us photos of the mailer.

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com


Saturday, August 15, 2020

REBULL REPRIEVE

 The legal blogosphere has had their say on the Rebull transcript and we have refrained from opining. Now it is our turn. 

Everyone has a bad day. We have had the best judges make grievous mistakes, and we have seen bad judges rise to the occasion and do something great. No one judge or lawyer or person should be fully "judged" on one act. For those judges who sentence defendants, take that last sentence as a hint. No one should be solely judged on a bad moment or day. 

Disclosure: we had a case that resolved very favorably before Judge Rebull. Our experience with him is limited, but we were asked to assist on a very serious matter. We had heard the rumors and the chatter- he was tough on defendants. Our experience was that he was fair in the case we handled. 

The cold transcript is bad for the Judge. Not his finest hour. His treatment of the daughter of the litigant is awful. Having told her to assist, it is as if he trapped her when he asked if she was an attorney. One reads that portion of the transcript and wonders "what was he thinking?"

But much like the Miami Herald's lukewarm endorsement of our State Attorney, we are not willing to write off Judge Rebull. First and foremost he should personally apologize to the woman and her father. 

He will hopefully learn from this episode and become a better Judge. We hope he cares about his profession and the people who appear before him to the extent that he will rededicate himself to be more patient and more compassionate and more empathetic. 

We are going to vote for Judge Rebull. Perhaps it is evidence of our going soft in our older age. The rampaging Rumpole circa 2012 would have never tolerated such behavior, and we certainly admit we would have no patience for this if it had occurred north of the border (Broward). Indeed, the very worst we can say about this incident is that it was "very Broward like"

But unlike many of our robed readers, we have patience and compassion and we endeavor to see the best and not the worst in people. And having seen Judge Rebull at his best, we are not wont to accept him at his worst. 


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

REBULL TRANSCRIPT AND MOTION

 It's become Miami's Muller Report. The transcript of the trial which caused the complaint against the Judge. And because we are who we are, we also have the motion for new trial. 

We report. You decide. 

Coming soon: Trump says Spanish Flu ended WWII. (We are not making this up). 

Next up: Trump says Apollo 11 Astronauts stayed at Trump Tower after landing on the moon. 

05.28.2019 Petithomme R vs M Final by HR on Scribd

Motion for New Trial by HR on Scribd

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

HERALD CALLS OUT JOE PERKINS

 Give him an A for effort. 

The Miami Herald (Give Ovalle a raise!) did not endorse Joe Perkins, erstwhile circuit court candidate. 

Perkins made chicken salad from chicken shit. He made lemonade from lemons. He also prevaricated in an ad/email spinning the non-endorsement. El Herald was not amused. 

Here's how it played out. 

The Herald did not endorse Perkins and said "He would be a judge favored by Attorneys, Prosecutors and Public Defenders..."

Perkins promptly sent an email stating "We are grateful for the recognition of our broad and diverse support."

The Editorial Board, sipping their morning cafe con leche, spit it out, and responded in a separate article thusly:

In truth, our recommendation said: “Perkins, a commercial litigator with Garbett, Allen & Roza who has been practicing law for 13 years, would be a judge favored by attorneys, prosecutors and public defenders. ‘I’ve talked to many attorneys and what they want is a present, thoughtful judge ready to roll up their sleeve and work weekends to be prepared,’ Perkins told the Board, seldom mentioning defendants during his chat.”

And that was our concern — that defendants and others in the court system would come in second in his courtroom.

That is why the Editorial Board ultimately recommended Perkins’ challenger, Olanike “Nike’’ Adebayo for Miami-Dade District Court, Group 55. As she told us: “I am a public servant, not a politician.

File this under the theory that any publicity is good publicity. 

Meanwhile there is NO truth to the rumor that candidate Rosy Aponte immediately put out an ad that said "The Herald did not endorse me and that's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (unlike my cooking at Camillus House for the coloreds...) 

And in other news there is also NO truth to the rumor that Aponte said "Biden should pick that colored senator from California for VP." 

NEXT POST: You asked for it and we got it! The Rebull Transcripts. Almost as good as the Pentagon papers (Robed Wearers born in the 1980s-90s are saying "what's that?" and it pains us.) 

Monday, August 10, 2020

REBULL RIPOSTE

 The comments sections are abuzz with the back and forth over Judge Rebull who is up for election. 

This letter was sent to Judge Soto. A copy was sent to us. We invite both sides to send us their thoughts which we promise to post on the blog without editorial.



August 9, 2019 Letter to Judge Soto 8.9.2019 by HR on Scribd

Sunday, August 09, 2020

RON LOWY HAS PASSED AWAY

 Rick Freedman sent this to FCADL. Very nice words. We knew Ron in passing and as we think about him we recall that he was always optimistic and always had a smile on his face. He was warm and friendly and personable and had a very loyal clientele that, as the obituary below shows, thought very highly of him 

From Rick Freedman:

For those of you that did not know Ron, a nicer person you could not meet.  He was as friendly as the day is long and so kind, generous, and giving of his time.  He was very active with the Miami-Dade Drug Court through the Friends of Drug Court Board. He was also active with the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club that I have been a member of for so long and we honored him as our Citizen of the Year in 2015. He was also a great lawyer.  He wasn't feeling well on Thursday morning and went to the hospital.  He passed away suddenly the same day.

Obituary for Ronald Scott Lowy

LOWY, Ronald Scott, passed away suddenly on August 6, 2020, at the age of 63 in Aventura, Florida.

He was a revered and brilliant lawyer, a caring friend to many and a dedicated community leader devoted to helping the elderly and those with addictions.

In 2008 he married the love of his life, Elissa Cook, who brought him great joy as well as two wonderful teenagers, Bradley and Elizabeth, who loved him as a dedicated father.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, July 21, 1957, to Sam and Edith Birnberg Lowy (later known as Edith Rains), he brought himself to Miami Beach after high school. He put himself through Miami Dade College and University of Miami Law School at night. In the 1980s he taught paralegal courses about the law at Miami-Dade College and helped that program become the first ABA certified paralegal program in Florida. He also was a frequent guest lecturer and instructor at St. Thomas Law School in Miami and at FIU’s North Dade campus Division of Continuing Education.

In the early 1980s he served as an Assistant City Manager of Miami Beach, and was active in the leadership of the Miami Beach Jaycees and other civic groups.

From 1986-89, while practicing law, he was also the host on local talk radio WNWS-790AM weekly programs “You and the Law,” interviewing judges and newsmakers on legal subjects. Over his career, he tried well over 75 jury trials in State and Federal Courts, and over 80 appeals (including to the United States Supreme Court).

He was a frequent panelist for local Bar Association panels on Ethics and Professionalism. He served on the Friends of the Drug Court Board and as a member of the Metro-Dade County Addiction Services Board. He was honored in 2015 by the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis as its Citizen of the Year.

In 2014 he became the Chairman of the Board of the non-profit Plaza Health Network, with its five Skilled Nursing Facilities in Miami Dade County, serving over 650 patients and residents with over 1000 staff members. He loved his work on behalf of the elderly and devoted much time and effort to the 65-year-old company.

He was dearly loved by his family, his clients and his friends – and will be missed by all who had the honor of knowing him!

Services Private. Arrangements by Levitt-Weinstein Blasberg-Rubin-Zilbert (305) 932-2700

SUNDAY MUSSINGS

 There was a good article in the NY Times  recently on why Edmund Burke still matters, The 18th century statesman/conservative philosopher is most prominently known for his oft quoted phrase that all it takes for evil to prosper is for men of good character to remain silent. 

Burke was a realist-philosopher. Beyond concepts, he advocated moral actions and honest governance. 

And he also said this: 

"The law touches us but here and there, and now and then. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt of debase, barbarize or refine us...They give us their whole form and color to our lives. According to their quality, they aid morals, they supply them, or they totally destroy them."

Wise words, especially to our robed readers who often act as if their pronouncement of the law is more important than how they deliver it. Moses they most often are not. 

Another NY Times article Sunday is generating controversy. Columnist Maureen Dowd, (not a favourite) wrote that is has been 36 years since a man chose a woman to run with him on a major presidential ticket. Dowd was writing about Walter Mondale's selection of NY Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro to be his running mate. Twitter exploded with everyone from Hilary Clinton reminding Dowd that she ran with Senator Tim Kane just four years ago. 

But Dowd is right and the criticism wrong. She did not write that it has been 36 years since a man and woman ran together on a major presidential ticket. She wrote that it has been that long since a man chose a woman as a running mate. 

Query: Who should Biden pick? Senator Harris seems the most likely choice. 

Our suggestion: Barack Obama. We need leadership at all levels and we need it now. If you listened to Obama's eulogy of Congressman Lewis recently like we did, then you realized all over again just how gifted he is a a speaker, leader, and person of principles. 

Friday, August 07, 2020

FEDS FOLD

In the poker game between the Feds and  the Corona Virus, the Virus is winning. The Virus kept betting and raising and re-raising and re-re-raising (what the professional players call three and four bets). The Feds folded this week, announcing that there will be no jury trials until 2021. Now, in the Rumpolian Lexicon, there will be a new story when a case gets set for trial and a client asks if we are sure the case will go? "Well let me tell you about this case a few years ago. Judge so&so set one of our cases for trial in the first week of April and issued a scathing order in which other than acts of God, no further continuances would be considered. Then Covid-19 shut the world down and ...." You get the idea. 

 Friday was the day the great Sy Gaer passed away in 2007. If you do not know who he is, we would almost be inclined to ban you from the blog. But instead you can go to the courthouse, and opposite the elevators on ...never mind you cannot do that either. 

 Sy was an REGJB original. One and only and there will never be another. He was as we say in the law "Sui Generis." He was bombastic; he was at times a caricature of a criminal defense attorney, but he was also very very good. And what many people do not know about him is that he had a heart of gold. He was there for lawyers- young and old- who had slipped and fallen- with a new case to help them get back on their feet, and encouragement and a few bucks if needed. 

It's hard to believe it has been thirteen years. The REGJB still does not seem the same without him and for many of us it never will. Here's the thing- a lawyer could have tried a case every week since the day Sy passed on and s/he would still not have tried 10% of the cases Sy tried in his career. 
There isn't a day that goes by that we do not miss him. Rest in peace old friend. You are missed. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

FACDL IS ZOOMING

An email from the great OZ of FACDL brings welcome news to haggard and harried Miami Criminal defense practitioners.  A Covid Vaccine? Better. A slew of new indictments ? Much better. Read on McDuff...


All,

I am pleased to announce we were able to negotiate a discounted group rate for all FACDL-Miami members.  Here is some information on your potential account:

  • $85 flat fee for the remainder of 2020
  • $250 for 2021 to be renewed with membership dues
    • Normal Business account pricing starts at $2,000 annually, an 85% discount
  • Unlimited number of hosted meetings
  • No time limit on your hosted meeting
  • Up to 300 participants allowed in your personally hosted-meetings
  • Your own personal account and log-in, confidential from public view
  • Cloud recording of meetings
  • Text transcription of recorded meetings
  • Dedicated phone support
  • The ability to open multiple zoom courtrooms simultaneously

Here is the link to sign up and pay, https://facdl.wildapricot.org/event-3932756.  You will be prompted to enter your user name and password.  Under “Upcoming Events” on the home-page of your portal, you will see an event entitled “Zoom for FACDL.”  Click on the link, read the information, then click on “Register” on the left-hand-side of the screen.  Follow the prompts, pay the $85, and once we hit our threshold, we will go live.  Based on the interest shown, I do not anticipate it taking too long to get this going.  Once we are up-and-running, those who sign up will receive an email with further instructions, including how to receive a refund if you already have a paid account.




Monday, August 03, 2020

ELECTION 2020 - POLLS ARE OPEN .......



THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

STATE ATTORNEY & JUDICIAL ELECTIONS 2020

Beginning today and for the next 14 days you will have the opportunity to vote for the candidates of your choice as Early Voting is now officially open in Miami-Dade County. Election day takes place on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. *Early voting dates, times, and locations can be found here.

There are seven contested judicial elections this year with five contests in Circuit Court and two more in County Court. Three incumbent Circuit Court Judges face opposition: Judge Thomas Rebull faces off against three time candidate Denise Martinez-Scanziani. Is the third time a charm? Judge Dava Tunis faces her first ever contested election in her 20 years on the bench (five in County and fifteen in Circuit) as she has been challenged by another three time candidate, Rosy Aponte. Is the third time a charm, for her? Judge Mavel Ruiz beat an Incumbent six years ago to win her seat; now the tables are turned as attorney Marcia Hansen tries to unseat Ruiz.

In County Court, two Incumbent Judges face opposition: Judge Joseph Mansfield is challenged by attorney Miguel "Mike" Mirabal. Mirabal lost to Judge Milena Abreu in 2018. Also, Judge Christine Bandin faces off against attorney Shaun Spector. In two other Circuit Court races, Olanike Adebayo faces Joe Perkins. Adebayo lost a County Court race in 2018 to Judge Sosa-Bruzon. Perkins lost a Circuit Court race the same year to Judge Yery Marrero. Finally, Carmen Cabarga squares off against Roderick Vereen.

Looking at the fundraising numbers, in Circuit Court, on the one extreme, incumbent Judge Thomas Rebull has raised $385,731 from 932 contributors as he faces a challenge from attorney Denise Martinez-Scanziani, while, on the extreme opposite end, attorney Rosy Aponte has only raised $3,700 from five contributors as she challenges incumbent Judge Dava Tunis. In County Court, neither candidate in Group 9 seems much interested in raising funds for their campaigns as incumbent Joe Mansfield has only raised $7,200 while his opponent Mike Mirabal has raised only $9,625.

In the race for State Attorney, incumbent Katherine Fernandez Rundle is challenged by ACLU attorney Melba Pearson. Interestingly, KFR has raised $580,650 from 1,281 contributors, (for an average contribution of $453), while Ms. Pearson has only raised $162,779 but from 300 more contributors, (for an average contribution of $103).

STATE ATTORNEY
 Katherine Fernandez Rundle (Incumbent)
- she has a net worth of $3,764,822
 
- she has raised $580,650 from 1,281 contributors and she has loaned her campaign $50,000. To date, she has spent $473,000 on her campaign

 - she is paid $169,554 by the State of Florida

Melba Pearson
- she has a net worth of $182,395
- she has raised $162,779 from 1,581 contributors and loaned her campaign $0. To date, she has spent $152,000 on her campaign
- her primary source of income is from the ACLU of Florida where she is paid $116,769


CIRCUIT COURT CONTESTED RACES


GROUP 55 (OPEN SEAT - Judge Jeri Beth Cohen retiring)

Olanike "Nike" Adebayo
- she has a net worth of $39,981
- she has raised $96,347 from 427 contributors and loaned her campaign $11,604. To date, she has spent $101,000 on her campaign
- she is an attorney with the Office of Criminal Conflicts with a salary of $60,000
- she was a candidate for County Court in 2018. She was defeated by Judge Eleane Sosas-Bruzon 56% to 44%

Joe Perkins
- he has a net worth of $575,000
- he has raised $132,794 from 181 contributors and loaned his campaign approximately $54,000. To date, he has spent $94,000 on his campaign
- he is an attorney with Garbett Allen & Roza with a salary of $165,000
- he was a candidate for Circuit Court in 2018. He lost his race to Judge Yery Marrero 53% to 47%

GROUP 57 (OPEN SEAT - Judge Bernard Shapiro retiring)
Carmen Cabarga
- she has a net worth of $231,000
- she has raised $78,974 from 219 contributors and loaned her campaign $145,000
. To date, she has spent $138,000 on her campaign
- she took out a HELOC in the amount of $100,000 and borrowed another $45,000, all from Iberia Bank
- she is an attorney with the Office of Criminal Conflicts with a salary of $65,000


Roderick Vereen
- he has a net worth of $2,189,086

- he has raised $30,945 from 136 contributors and has loaned his campaign $10,000. To date, he has spent only $7,400 on his campaign
- he owns his own law firm and pays himself a salary of $650,000
- 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%.

GROUP 65
Thomas Rebull (Incumbent)
- he has a net worth of $366,509
- he has raised $385,731 from 932 contributors and loaned his campaign $5,000. To date, he has spent a whopping $299,000 on his campaign

- he is paid $160,688 from the State of Florida
- he was first appointed to the bench by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011. He ran unopposed in 2014.

Denise Martinez-Scanziani
- she has a net worth of $1,423,019
- she has raised $46,721 from 109 contributors and loaned her campaign $20,000. To date, she has spent $40,000 on her campaign

- she is self-employed and had income last year of $323,657.
- she 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 faired no better for her: Mark Blumstein (29%); Luis Perez-Medina (25%); Renee Gordon (24%); and Ms. Martinez-Scanziani (23%).

GROUP 67
Mavel Ruiz (Incumbent)
- she has a net worth of $199,459
- she has raised $174,069 from 437 contributors and loaned her campaign $78,000
. To date, she has spent $171,000 on her campaign

- she has a salary of $160,688 as a Circuit Court Judge
- she was elected in 2014 over Incumbent Judge Fleur Lobree winning by a 54% - 46% margin
- she was one of the judges along with retired Judge Cindy Lederman and Judges Marcia Caballero, Rosa Figarola, and Teresa Pooler that received a written reprimand from the Supreme Court because of a letter they signed that backed Our Kids of Miami-Dade & Monroe, Inc. as it competed with another organization for a Department of Children and Families multi-year contract worth approximately $500 million.

Marcia Giordano Hansen
- she has a net worth of $996,788

- she has raised $54,710 from 210 contributors and loaned her campaign $50,200. To date, she has spent $86,000 on her campaign
- she is an attorney with The Hansen Law Firm with a salary
of $50,000

GROUP 75

Dava Tunis (Incumbent)
- she has a net worth of $3,027,790
- she has raised $113,973 from 297 contributors and loaned her campaign $150,000. To date, she has spent $210,000 on her campaign
- she has a salary of $160,791 as a Circuit Court Judge
- she 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.

Rosy Aponte
- she has a net worth of $315,000
- she has raised $3,700 from 5 contributors and loaned her campaign $74,374. To date, she has spent $36,000 on her campaign
- she is a solo practitioner with R. Aponte & Assoc. where she paid herself $83,000. She is also a partner in the Felicetti Law Firm where she was paid an additional $120,000
- 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.

-In 2014, in a Hearing before Bankruptcy Judge Cristol on November 14, here is what the Judge had to say: (directly from the court transcript)

"THE COURT: Okay. We have a number of matters on the calendar. However, the Court will go first to Court Paper 526, and Court Paper 526 is the debtor's motion for rehearing, and on Page 2 of that motion Ms. Aponte states that the issues presented in the case are beyond her area of expertise.

Now, Ms. Aponte apparently filed a motion to withdraw, but then didn't show up to prosecute it. Some other attorneys came in who had not complied with Section 329 of the Code, and there had been no order authorizing substitution, so the Court did not allow them to appear.

In this case, based on Ms. Aponte's admission in her pleadings that she's not -- she's working within the area of expertise, it appears that Ms. Aponte is in violation of Florida Bar Rule 4-1.1, competence, and, therefore, should not be allowed to continue in this case or any other case in any Bankruptcy Court in the United States. And, therefore, the Court will draw such an order barring her from any further appearance until such time as she can demonstrate competence. And the Court will refer this matter to the Florida Bar."
IN RE: Walter A. Lista. Case No. 13-22662-AJC. Doc. 551. Page 4. (NOTE: There is no indication that Ms. Aponte was ever disciplined by The Florida Bar for this or any other matter).
 
 

COUNTY COURT CONTESTED RACES

GROUP 9:

Joseph Mansfield (Incumbent)
- he has a net worth of $268,909
- he has raised $7,200 from 12 contributors and loaned his campaign $0

- his salary with the State of Florida is $151,822
- he was appointed by Gov. Scott in August of 2017

Miguel "Mike" Mirabal
- he has a net worth of $1,684,634
- he has raised $9,625 from 22 contributors and has loaned his campaign $47,500

- he runs his own law firm, Global Legal, with a salary of $95,750
- he ran for a County Court seat against Judge Milena Abreu in 2018, losing that race by 65% to 35%


GROUP 24

Christine Bandin (Incumbent)
- she has a net worth of $540,979
- she has raised $78,340 from 199 contributors and loaned her campaign $5,500
- she is paid $151,822 by the State of Florida
- she was appointed to the bench by Gov. Scott in October of 2018.

Shaun Spector
- he has a negative net worth of [-205,256] YES THAT IS NEGATIVE
- he has raised $10,354 from 30 contributors and loaned his campaign $6,100
- he has been an attorney for nine years and runs his own law firm in Coral Gables where he primarily practices commercial litigation and pays himself $78,690

 
CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com