BREAKING NEWS: In Circuit Court Group 52, Incumbent Judge Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts now has an opponent. Jason Bloch has filed paperwork today to run in that Group. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS RACE IS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION INCLUDING A FEW NUGGETS YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS READING.
UPDATE: Rumpole Says: The Japanese have a saying: "When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him."
We have a saying here in Miami: "When an Anglo woman married to a Hispanic man decides to run for judge, she brings her newly adopted name to the ballot."
Well done Captain. And we hope Ms. TMTC (hijklmnop-LSMFT) decides to email us and respond to this post. She is invited to do so without any edits (unless she curses at us).
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE, EXCEPT WHEN YOUR NAME IS TERESSA MARIA TYLMAN.
We have been writing for this BLOG (thank you Rumpole) since late 2005. We got into this business to report on the JNC process, newly appointed judges named by our Governor, and judicial elections. If you are an avid reader, then you know that we have, on several occasions, called out judicial candidates for playing the Name Game. In order to enhance their appeal to a certain segment of the voting population, a candidate who went by one name for years and years overnight becomes a totally different person.
Well, in 2022, that honor (but will she eventually be called Her Honor) goes to attorney Teressa Maria Tylman.
THE FLORIDA BAR
According to The Florida Bar, Ms. Tylman was listed as an active member of the Bar under the name Tylman from her admission in September of 2010 until February of 2022. She also used the email address for Bar purposes of firstname.lastname@example.org
On February 23, 2022, according to The Florida Bar, she changed her last name to Cervera and her email address to email@example.com and she became:
Teressa Maria Cervera, The Florida Bar, Admitted: 9/23/10
Miami, FL 33155-3708
So, with the help of an anonymous tipster, we did some checking.
FLORIDA DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS
According to SUNBIZ, Ms. Tylman is currently and since inception has always (for ten years) been incorporated under the name:
Entity Name: TERESSA MARIA TYLMAN, P.A.
Current Principal Place of Business
MIAMI, FL 33155
SIGNATURE: TERESSA TYLMAN PRESIDENT 06/03/2021
MIAMI-DADE PROPERTY APPRAISER
According to the MIAMI-DADE PROPERTY APPRAISER, (we ran her office address used on Sunbiz), she and her husband own a home at that location, under the name, you guessed it, Tylman:
ADDRESS: 2030 SW 60TH AVENUE
TERESSA MARIA TYLMAN
WARRANTY DEED: Signed June 7, 2017
*Adam Cervera is Teressa Tylman’s husband. He is an attorney employed by the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff.
According to LinkedIn, at one time Ms. Tylman was employed by the Law Firm Fein & Meloni, under the name, you guessed it again, Tylman:
Teressa Tylman - Fein & Meloni - LinkedIn
FLORIDA VOTER ID CARD
According to her VOTER Registration card, Ms. Tylman is 37 years old, she is registered as a Republican, and she uses the name, you guessed it, Tylman, on her official voter’s ID card.
FLORIDA DRIVERS LICENSE
According to our investigation, the most recent Florida Drivers License issued to Ms. Tylman was issued on February 12, 2022, under T-xxx-xxx-85-552-0. The name on the license, you guessed it, Teressa Maria Tylman. Only eleven days later, Ms. Tylman was changing her name with The Florida Bar, from Tylman to Cervera.
Let me say very clearly that, Ms. Tylman, is not breaking the law. We last exposed the Name Game charade in 2018, when in Broward County, an attorney names Jason Allen (his middle name) Rosner decided to file paperwork to run for Judge under the name Jason Allen-Rosner. The reasoning for the hyphen was all to in your face clear - Rosner did not want to be listed last on the ballot of the four competitors in his race and by changing his name to Allen-Rosner he went from last to first on the ballot. We have also reported numerous times in Miami-Dade County when a judicial candidate magically gained an Hispanic name, seemingly overnight.
But running for Judge means that one has read and is familiar with the Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon One of the Code discusses INTEGRITY and states that "An ..... honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing high standards of conduct, and shall personally observe those standards so that the integrity ..... of the judiciary may be preserved."
INTEGRITY, for those of you keeping score at home, is defined as: "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles".
WHAT IS THE LAW???
We previously spoke with Jesse Dyer, an attorney in the General Counsel's office with the Division of Elections, Florida Department of State, and here is what he told us about the issue of what name they permit to appear on a ballot:
First, there are no Florida Statutes nor Florida Administrative Codes that directly address this issue.
Second, there is an Advisory Opinion issued by the Division of Elections, authored 36 years ago, AO Number 86-06 that primarily addresses "nicknames" appearing on the ballot.
The AO reads, in pertinent part:
" ..... Under common law principles, not abrogated by Florida law, a name consists of one Christian or given name and one surname, patronymic or family name; therefore, the name printed on the ballot ordinarily should be the Christian or given name and surname"..... "However, it has been determined that any name by which a candidate is known is sufficient on a ballot, and a person is legally permitted to have printed on the ballot the name which the candidate has adopted and under which he or she transacts private and official business, 29 C.J.S. Elections §161."
The Advisory Opinion goes on to state that:
"Election officials, however, may be justified in refusing to print on the ballot a candidate's nickname when it is not shown that the nickname ever was used by the candidate as part of his legal name, and such officials may be equally justified in refusing to print on the ballot a candidate's choice of a name which has not been adopted by him or her and under which the candidate has not transacted private and official business. See C.J.S. Elections §161."
For 37 years, Teressa Maria Tylman held herself out as Tylman. When she married her husband, Adam Cervera in 2014, she continued to use the Tylman name for another eight years. But when she decided to run for Circuit Court Judge against Judge Lody Jean, Tess Tylman magically became Teressa Maria Cervera, overnight.
So, there you have it. Maybe it’s time for a change in the law. Or maybe, just maybe, we should expect just a bit more integrity from some of our judicial candidates.**
**Ms. Tylman aka Cervera is invited to email us with an explanation/understanding as to why she decided to change her name with The Florida Bar in February to Cervera. We will print her emailed response on this Blog (with her permission of course).
***The photo above is of the UPS Store located at 6800 Bird Road. Ms. Tylman aka Cervera has her law office address listed with The Florida Bar, as #444, at that location.