Thursday, August 11, 2022





UPDATED BELOW. One of our loyal readers took photos of several signs around town all showing Blumstein in his Navy uniform. One of those signs is shown below.

Circuit Court Group 34

Judge Mark Blumstein vs. Ariel Rodriguez

Mark Blumstein (I)

Judge Blumstein ran for the Circuit Court bench in 2016 in a four way contest. In the primary he came in first ahead of attorney Luis Perez-Medina. In the general election he defeated Perez-Medina 51% to 49%. This will be his second election campaign.

Judge Blumstein has a Net Worth of $2,877,273.  His salary according to his financial disclosure is $132,384; (this must be a typo as a Circuit Court Judge is paid roughly $165,000). Blumstein also reports an additional $77,300 in rental property income. He has raised $199,571 from a total of 397 contributors. He has loaned his campaign a total of $60,000. He has so far spent a total of $88,111 on his campaign.

Ariel Rodriguez

He has been a Member of The Florida Bar for 23 years. He is employed by DOJ, Office of the US Trustee as a trial attorney in Bankruptcy court.

Attorney Rodriguez has a Net Worth of $1,606,772. He is paid $156,854 by the U.S.D.O.J. He has raised $59,651 from a total of 206 contributors. He has loaned his campaign a total of $17,233. He has spent a total of $56,772 on his campaign to date.

The “big” controversy in this campaign is similar to the one in 2016 when then candidate Blumstein plastered campaign posters all over the County with photographs of him dressed in his Navy uniform; (Blumstein spent 20 years in the Navy as a JAG). According to several of our readers this violates the Department of Defense rules as it could lead a voter to assume that the Navy was endorsing Blumstein.  According to the DOD, the Defense Department directive bans the use of an image in uniform as a “primary graphic representation” on a campaign ad.

In 2022, some of our readers have indicated that Blumstein continues to violate that same DOD directive. We checked the Blumstein For Judge web site and there does not appear to be any photos of Blumstein in a navy uniform (or hat). We also checked his Facebook Blumstein for Judge page and could not find anything. We did locate one video Blumstein is running where he does discuss his past including his service to our country. The video ends with a screen shot of Blumstein wearing his Navy hat. (See the video here).  We also found an announcement for a radio show Blumstein participated in from June 12. The announcement includes a photo of Blumstein, in his Navy hat (and it appears, his uniform).

In contrast, Ariel Rodriguez's extra-curricular activities include his being a high school and college football referee for almost a decade. And a check of his web site ARodriguez4Judge does have a photo of him in his referee uniform. A check with the FHSAA does not find any rules prohibiting the wearing of the referee uniform in a campaign ad.  You can find the web site by going here.

Of particular note, the Miami Herald Editorial Board did endorse the challenger, Ariel Rodriguez.  The Herald pointed out that Blumstein has been reversed no less than 14 times by the appellate court.  As just one example cited, “Blumstein empanelled a six-person jury in a murder case in which both defense and prosecution — which rarely act in concert — filed an emergency writ, insisting that the case required a jury of 12. The appellate court decided they were right, and the ruling was reversed.”

The Editorial Board stated: “ ... our conversations with disinterested legal professionals led us to question the degree to which Blumstein is steeped in the law, or taking the time to educate himself before making rulings. Judges are obligated to do their homework as the law evolves or as legislative decisions change the law. Again, it’s a matter of the quality of his rulings and knowledge of the law. Despite his long experience, we are concerned he’s getting the legal basics wrong.”.

Two recent Bar Polls were released, one from the Miami-Dade Bar (MDB)and the other from the Cuban American Bar (CABA). In the MDB, attorneys were asked which candidate is the Most Qualified. The final result was: Blumstein 50% and Rodriguez 50%. In the CABA Poll, attorneys were asked to rate the Qualifications of each candidate as Exceptionally Qualified, Satisfactory, and Unqualified. Blumstein’s scores were 10%, 36%, and 41%. Rodriguez scored out at 26%, 31%, and 17%.

We would be interested in hearing from our readers as to their experiences appearing before Judge Blumstein and any interaction they may have had with Ariel Rodriguez.



Anonymous said...

Morning Captain4Justice, Blumstein still has a big signs up in wearing his navy hat and a suit that makes it look he is wearing a military uniform. There is a big sign in a gas station on the corner of S.W. 27th Avenue and Bird Road in Coconut Grove. It's been there at least 2 months, maybe more. Never had Blumstein in a case but he sounds like a jerk. I voted for Ariel and I hope he wins.

Anonymous said...

His signs are everywhere with the picture used for the radio show. He knows it’s misleading, he knows it’s a violation of the DOD and he clearly doesn’t care. A judge who doesn’t have a moral or ethical problem with misleading the public to get votes to continue being a bad judge Is not fit to be a judge. He was bad in criminal and he is worse in civil. He has no respect for attorneys times and his motion calendars go on for hours. He will set a special set to start when he believes will be right after his motion calendar, so the notice will be for 10 or 10:30 but youll wait till about 12 for your hearing to start if you were the first special set. All special sets for after the first special set will also be waiting into the afternoon for a morning hearing. A motion to withdraw lasts about 20 minutes. He is soft spoken but still rude and arrogant with sporadic outbursts where he goes on strange rants.
I don’t know Ariel Rodriguez but have heard lots of good things about him and it will be hard for any candidate to be worse than Blumstein. There is a reason that he was the first incumbent to get opposition and it appears his opponent was just first to the party and his opponent is well respected enough to not get another opponent.

Anonymous said...

Cap, You are comparing apples to oranges. The referee uniform picture is a small part of a collage of pictures and is not prominent. In contrast, blumstein has gas stations ads with solely in his uniform. I have never dealt with Mr. Rodriguez but one of my bankruptcy friends tells me that he is a good lawyer and well respected. I’ll take that any day over Blumstein.

Anonymous said...

I tried a foreclosure case in front of Blumstein. Here’s my experience.

The bank admitted to systemic perjury and having ex parte communications with Judge Blumstein during the trial. They gave him affidavits and legal briefs they admitted they didn’t give me. I raised it as evidence of bias. Under Florida Supreme Court law he should have recused himself as
This was irrefutable evidence he could no longer be seen fair or impartial. He ordered the eviction anyway. He never addressed the evidence of perjury or admissions of ex parte communications. Judgment for the bank.

I filed an emergency motion to stop the eviction with the Third DCA saying my clients were being deprived of their property without due process in violation of their 5th amendment rights. A objectively biased judge ignoring perjury is not due process.

The Third DCA ordered the eviction and Judge Blumstein filed a bar complaint against me for filing the motion for stay of eviction. He said I impugned his integrity and lacked candor.

That was over a year ago and the Bar hasn’t taken any action on his complaint or the lawyers committing fraud in foreclosures.

I am voting Ariel Rodriguez. You can’t have judges refusing to uphold the law and misusing the Bar to silence those lawyers exercising their first amendment right to call it out.

That leads to tyranny and loss of individual freedoms.

Anonymous said...

And I’ve seen his picture in his navy hat on signs all over town. There’s one on US1 and Lejuene Road at the gas station.

Anonymous said...

Blumstein was a horrible judge in the criminal section. His calendar calls were an embarrassment, he showed little regard for jurors, how he ran a jury trial was poor, he is hardly intellectual and his judicial temperament was silly. Anybody would be better than him.

Anonymous said...

I've heard many people bash Blumstein, and I've also been in front of him a bunch. I think the people that complain are the ones that show up unprepared or make stupid arguments. At least in my experience, he's always read, listened, and allowed people to make all their points. He has not always ruled my way but I never thought he was unfair or stupid.

Anonymous said...

Civil practitioner here. I appeared before Judge Blumstein earlier this year on a motion to dismiss (our motion, though that doesn't really matter). Judge Blumstein was polite, gave sufficient time for each side to argue, and ruled (correctly) at the conclusion of the hearing. Overall, it was a good experience. I appreciated that the hearing was organized -- Judge Blumstein permitted the movant to argue first, and then heard from the nonmovant. That seems basic, but some judges don't always take command of their hearings in the same way; they'll defer too much to the parties, and it can become a disorganized mess. I also appreciated that he ruled at the conclusion of the hearing; taking matters under advisement, especially on clear-cut or on non-dispositive motions, often leads to needless delay, more expense to the parties, etc. I had a relatively straightforward motion to compel compliance with a subpoena before Judge Rodriguez-Fonts. Although he was very polite, he was less organized during the first hearing (and had to reschedule it because time ran out) and we ended up back before him two times after that -- really all because of lack of taking control of the hearing and not ruling definitively on something straightforward. Anyway, I haven't made up my mind on either of these races, and I generally don't like the idea of challenging incumbents. But these are my observations as a civil practitioner.

Anonymous said...

My only problem with Blumstein is that every calendar took forever. Going into his courtroom on a sounding calendar took an extremely long time compared to other judges in the building because he would take way too much time micro-managing each case. I always went to his courtroom last because it would go until the afternoons regularly. This was all pre-zoom in the REG. Hopefully things are better now.

Anonymous said...

I know Ariel Rodriguez. He is straight forward, very decent, devoted to his family, meticulous about his work, fair, and Ariel has had an excellent career. He is is respected by his peers. He will beat Blumstein and be an excellent judge.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of those posters in uniform in N. Miami.

Anonymous said...

Captain, Blumstein should give you and the voters a written explanation as to why Blumstein is using his US Navy uniform as a political prop in a judicial race.

Anonymous said...

Captain killing it this election year with his multiple stories on the candidates. Rumpole and Captain thank you for the public service you are providing.

Anonymous said...

It is true. This coverage blows away the herald. They should just link to this site and call it a day.

Eye On The Bougie Boys said...

Miami's own Bougie Boys- Hanzy & Coco are at it again. They are all over social media with the rumor that they have the Trump SW affidavit. Meanwhile Hanzy put in an appearance at the Cubs-Reds game in the Field Of Dreams Field in Iowa, while there are Tik Tok videos of Coco canoodling with Emily Ratajkowski at Catch in NYC.

Our Bougie Boys are busy bougie boys

Anonymous said...

Rump- very tough week1 survivor picks. Pretty much down to Chargers over Raiders. What do you suggest?

Anonymous said...

Real Fake Hanzy & Coco rolling with the J..E...T...S Jets Jets Jets
Go gang green baby. All the way to 8-9!!!

Anonymous said...

Rump I think your spy got the wrong Emily with Coco at Catch in NYC. It was the young tennis phenom Emily Raducanu and it was a purely business dinner. He is going to represent her in the US for marketing rights promoting products on TikTok and Instagram and FB. She's a hot property and a cutie but way toooooo young for Coco who is age appropriate in all ways.
She's going to be on the H&C podcast this week. Tune in.

Anonymous said...

Now that Kim K is newly single.....age appropriate for Coco? I think so. He's always gone for the smokin hot dark or raven haired beauties- Latina look even through KK ain't Latina.

Anonymous said...

Great news everyone- we are signed up for the survivor pool. We will be wearing on Sundays our DRIES VAN NOTEN sneakers; a Paneri watch when we swap it out from our Blancpain that we usually wear on the weekends (and our Patek for court days); our Dope Sport pants and a Zazzle black "Bougie" T-shirt. Sometimes we throw a red blazer over that and head out to Sexy Fish for a late night Saturday dinner with the GF.

Anonymous said...

Coco's always been big into Women's tennis. He's at the US open every year. And Wimbledon most years. Of course not during the pandemic

Anonymous said...

have you heard the new jingle? Gonna replace the infamous Migna song-

"Anchors aweigh my friends
Anchors aweigh
If You Vote for Blumstein for Judge
You will help us fight the Russians
Anchors aweigh my friends
anchors away
Blumstein's gonna win this race
he will be handling your case
Anchors aweigh my friends
anchors aweigh
The other candidate it a hump
Blummy is endorsed by Trump
Anchors aweigh my friends
anchors aweigh ..."

There are 11 more stanzas

Anonymous said...

I’m indifferent as to this race, but I comment to separately take issue with one of the Herald Editorial Board’s justification for not endorsing Blumstein. They attacked him for granting a judgment of acquittal after a hung jury, “much to the surprise of the State and defense.” (Loosely quoting). Deferring ruling on a JOA to let the jury try to reach a verdict is standard practice. If the jury finds the defendant not guilty, the case is over and the JOA motion is moot. If the jury does not find the defendant not guilty, the Court can either grant or deny the JOA motion AND BOTH SIDES HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAL. The Herald made no effort to actually assess the propriety of the JOA (and, frankly, couldn’t without sitting at the trial and hearing all the evidence or, apparently, the lack of evidence). If the JOA were improper, the State would have appealed. The Herald failed to investigate and acknowledge whether the decision was appealed and, if so, the result. The jury’s not having been able to reach a verdict lends support that the granting of the JOA was appropriate.

We can only draw one conclusion from this: The Herald hates criminal defendants, and any judge who applies the law in a way that benefits criminal defendants will suffer the Herald’s uninformed wrath.

Captain Justice said...

The Captain Retorts:

I was being tongue in cheek with the referee comment.

Cap Out …

Anonymous said...

As to Blumstein: I didn't vote for him for ONE reason...when he was in criminal court BEFORE the pandemic, the dude called the calendar sloooowly. Nah buddy. Can't do that, I have other courtrooms and I have work back at the office. No reason to take more than 2 minutes on a continuance.

As to ALL judicial candidates: LOL. At the end of the day that your average state judge is JUST a politician trying to hang on for another six years.

Kissimmee Kid said...

I read a comment here that said, "I tried a foreclosure case in front of Blumstein. Here’s my experience. The bank admitted to systemic perjury and having ex parte communications with Judge Blumstein during the trial.".

I'm calling bullshit. Up here in Florida we have folks called "court reporters." They sit in a courtroom and write down, word for word, exactly what is said. If a party to a lawsuit admitted to "systemic perjury," then the court reporter would write it down. If these things were said, they would have been written down in a manner we all could read. Obviously, they were not.

Now I suppose the fellow making this outlandish claim could say, "I didn't have a court reporter." Every lawyer knows that if you are going to have a trial, you need a court reporter. So, I am calling "bullshit." This never happened.

Anonymous said...

I will vote for Blumstein's opponent because he was horrible as a criminal judge. Micro managing everything. Reading an a-form into the record like if that is going to make a difference. To the judges on the bench, treat every attorney in front of you with respect. We remember during election time. You never know who is well connected in this whole political crap show.

Anonymous said...

I take issue with this comment. Having juror hold out on a felony IN MIAMI is not a seldom occurrence. People don’t even understand what beyond a reasonable doubt is or even that they have to get there before deciding hmm I feel sorry for this person. That case was Blumstein’s way of taking the decision to re-try that case from the state and from the community. If you care enough, just google the defendant. It didn’t take her long to commit fraud. A judge should not be a judicial activist. And though no one “may know what happened that day,” the state deserved the right to decide whether to re-try her. Blumstein on his high horse did nothing but take the power from the people and put it in the hands of his Navy-style approach of being a judge. His way or the highway. A disgrace. And you are truly a shame. Vote him out.

Anonymous said...

Check the court file. It’s all true and documented. He couldn’t care less.



U.S. BANK TRUST, N.A., et. al.,

Third DCA CASE No. 3D21-1061
LT No. 14-12284-CA-01

Anonymous said...

And yes. There was a court reporter. I think we have it on video too. Totally happened just like I said.

Anonymous said...

From the Radio Archives

"Hanzy and Coco in the Morning...66 WNBC...if they weren't so bad, they wouldn't be so good."

Hanzy: That Imus and Charles McCord. What a buncha cut ups.
Charles McCord: That's Mr. Imus to you.
Coco: Wow so formal. Why do you guys leave the studio in such a mess?
Charles McCord: I gotta get outta here. Going to take two hours to get home.
Hanzy: Speaking of which, is it cold enough for you Coco?
Coco: Yeah. The high today will be only 22 with a low of 6. Brrrrrrr. Snow accumulations are already 9 inches in Central Park, 8 at Kennedy Airport, 11 at Laguardia. The Weather Service says increasing slow flurries throughout the day with a total accumulation of, brace yourself Hanzy... 14 inches!
Hanzy: 14 inches. Wow. So much I could do with that but for the FCC. Coco, How did you get in?
Coco: Let me finish this first....alternate side of the street parking is suspended for the next two days heading into the weekend, all public schools are closed. Welcome kids to our first snow days of 1982. The City is opening more homeless shelters for those who need a warm place to stay. You know the guy at the corner who I get my coffee from every morning? He had the best hot chocolate today.
Hanzy: Dan the driver called me around 2 am and said he was coming to my place out on the Island to pick me up because by 4 the roads would be closed. So I just drove in here last night and got a room at the St Regis.
Coco: Fancy fancy. What did that run you? Easy a hundred fifty a night.
Hanzy: ha, keep going.
Coco: Coming up today on Hanzy and Coco, we call Al Roaker the weather man and curse him out for the weather. Then Gary the zoo keeper at the Bronx zoo checks in. The polar bears are having a blast we hear. And Hanzy is going sledding in central park.

Jingle: Hanzy and Coco in the morning 66 WNBC.
Hanzy: Before I go sledding Coco I am heading to EEEEEEEE Vincent Luggage on 43rd street and buying some new luggage for that trip to Miami. EEEEEEE Vincent, has the best prices in town. And you know what I am going to be drinking by the pool at the Eden Roc in Miami Coco?
Coco: Pina Coladas?
Hanzy: Hahah, those too. But Snapple. Snapple Coco. Made from the best stuff on earth. I love the peach snapple. And now it's available sugar free. E Vincent Luggage, Miami and Snapple Coco. That's my take for today.

Anonymous said...

Most people would think Bruce Jacobs has more pressing concerns (read: keeping his bar license) than relitigating a case he lost before Blumstein and the 3rd DCA. I guess not. I predict once he loses his ticket Bruce will be a regular on the blog, sitting at home in his pajamas eating Cheetos and bitching about judges he hates just like Jack Thompson and Pepe Herrera.

This observation is from someone who thinks Blumstein doesn't belong on the bench. Vote for Ariel but don't do it because Bruce Jacobs doesn't like Blumstein...after all even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that Herald Editorial Board commenting on this blog. If you were a lawyer, you would understand that the State can appeal the granting of a second JOA motion. There is nothing inherently activist about deferring on a JOA motion to give the jury a chance to render a verdict. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

My most pressing concern is losing a fair and impartial judiciary. I predict once it’s decided that the constitution doesn’t apply to foreclosures it’s not long before it stops applying in your area of law.

Then you’ll be sitting at home eating
Cheetos and bitching that judicial ethics should matter.

What are you fighting for if not to protect constitutional rights?

Rich and powerful people living by a different set of laws is how this all started. At least I fought to stop it. I’m at peace with that choice.

Anonymous said...

Don’t vote against Blumstein just because I said so. Vote against him because he refused to uphold the law, ignored perjury, had ex parte communications with bank counsel during trial, deprived a family of their property without due process, and then filed a bar complaint against the attorney who filed a motion in the appellate court laying it all out.

Ignore judges ignoring the constitution, the law, and the judicial canons and then weaponizing the Bar at your own peril.

First they came for the foreclosure defense lawyers….

Anonymous said...

My most pressing concern is holding Bank of America accountable in Hawaii federal court. Read the complaint here


Anonymous said...

Blumstein’s lawn signs are even more deceiving than the billboards. They have a logo similar to a navy symbol as well. I hope whatever complaint Planas filed gets traction because this guy has to go. Anyone who has any question whether to vote for him should sit in on one of his hours long calendars. The foreclosure stuff posted above is only one of lots of examples from one of the worst to ever sit as a judge in any type of case and throughout the country.

Anonymous said...

Bruce, get off your freaking high horse. Your clients, including the Cuban widow, don't pay their mortgage. You expect judges to give a crap that a bank used a stamp when there were millions of properties going into default at the same time? Judges have mortgages also. Why should your clients get a free house? This was the fundamental point you never seen to grasp.

Anonymous said...

One of the Hawaii Rico class reps is Maria Williams James. She paid her mortgage and had the cancelled checks to prove it. Judge Bailey vacated her judgment because she had proof she paid. Judge Areces left her in foreclosure for a decade when the new servicer brought a second foreclosure using the same false evidence. She was paying Bank of America the whole time.

We won the trial and then Areces recused herself from all my cases after I asked her to confront the fraud. Forgery and perjury are felonies. After she recused herself from all my cases, but before she recused herself from Ms. Williams James’s case, she entered a $200k judgment on a $51,700 mortgage and sold the home.

The law says what the law says. The doctrine of unclean hands is 100+ years old. It’s a fundamental point I will never accept. The constitution, the judicial canons, the bar rules, and felony statutes apply to banks too.

I don’t care if clients get free houses or reduced mortgages. I care if banks can drive this affordable housing crisis with impunity by desecrating the courts and public records with false evidence.

Do you know banks owe millions in unpaid documentary stamp taxes for modified loans that increased the principal balance? That money is earmarked for affordable housing.

But make cracks at me eating Cheetos and ignore how the most powerful special interests have captured our courts.

It’s not just me saying it. Former Justice Peggy Quince and the Sun Sentinel both wrote op-eds about how we are losing our independent fair and impartial judiciary.

That doesn’t bode well for any criminal defense attorney or anyone fighting powerful special interests.

Anonymous said...

I expect some judge to give a crap that the banks violated national foreclosure fraud settlements, systemized forgery, had senior executives commit perjury, ordered evidence destroyed in violation of subpoenas, backdated records, destroyed those backdated records in violation of subpoenas, lied to judges, accused Judge Butchko of misconduct for starting contempt proceedings against the banks and their Akerman lawyer, and then weaponized the Third DCA and the Bar to report the defense lawyer to the Bar and order he pay fees to banks Judge Butchko started criminal contempt against for committing fraud.

At some point this can’t be acceptable. Why do you care so much whether the borrower paid? Isn’t all of criminal law based on the idea that better 10 guilty go free than one innocent be convicted?

Tell it to Maria Williams James who paid her $51,700 mortgage through 2 fraudulent foreclosures and still lost her home.

Anonymous said...

6:58 not Bruce here, but what is the difference with the majority of defendants who are guilty? Who cares if the search was improper, who cares if the id of the defendant was done in a manner that is improper, who cares if the chain of evidence had some irregularities. The defendant is guilty, right? What about the statute of limitations. The defendant is guilty, who cares if they didn’t press charges quick enough, right? Did you know while there is a specific of statute of limitations for contracts and mortgages, the courts have carved out an exception so the banks can seek interest for all amounts for however long they want with no statute of limitations? The judges abide by the law, so the guilty defendants should follow the law too, right?
Let’s not deflect from the actual post and how bad Blumstein is. He was bad in criminal and horrible in ALL civil cases. He needs to go and has no business wearing a robe. If he loves that uniform so much, he should go back to wearing it regularly. Not using it along with his misleading signs which include a fake navy logo to get votes.