Florida Division of Elections

Election time is here.

Filing fees, and the always fun financial disclosures, are due by April 26th.

So far, Brenda Forman has two announced challengers, while Gordon Weekes and Harold Pryor have none:

Broward SOE

Incumbent judges Katy McHugh, Stefanie Moon, and Carol-Lisa Phillips, believed to be Broward’s next Chief Judge, have drawn challenges:

Open seats, assuming Bobby Diaz (10) and Teri-Ann Miller (32) are joining Lou Schiff and Bob Lee in retirement, look like this:

Expect some last minute surprises, dropouts, and some jumping around before the April 26th deadline.

For all circuit judges up in 2024, click here.

For all county judges, click here.


From: John Hager 4/9/24

Subject: (BACDL) Gulkin/Reidy Award


At our meeting today, the following attorneys were nominated for Gulkin and Reidy:

Gulkin Reidy:

Daniel Aaronson

Eric Schwartzreich

Mike Dutko

John Cotrone

Gabe Ermine


Eric Schwartzreich

Stephen Melnick

Andy Coffey


The Brian Reidy “Give Back” Award:

Brian G. Reidy was born in Ireland and adopted at a year old by a NYPD officer and detective, and a pediatric nurse. When his father retired, he moved his family to South Florida and became a bailiff at the Broward County Courthouse. That was when Brian first started wandering the halls of the courthouse and watching lawyers in action. In 1976, while attending Cardinal Gibbons High School, Brian became a “Public Defender for a day.” His father strongest wish was for his son to become an attorney. After Brian graduated law school, his father passed away, right before Brian began his career at the Broward County Courthouse in 1985. Brian spent his entire 35-year career in public service at the Public Defender’s office. He tried over 200 jury trials and trained hundreds of new attorneys in the art and skill of trial advocacy. His Voir Dire examples are still used by Judges and defense attorneys in the tri county area. He was respected by his peers, the judges he appeared before, and his adversaries at the State Attorney’s Office. His presence lit up the room. He was an honest, zealous advocate who fought for every client he ever represented.

This award is given in recognition of a lawyer who represents Brian’s spirit of hard work in the courtroom and his lifetime of “giving back” in service of the community.

In order to be eligible for the award the recipient must have an active bar license in Florida. The recipient can be a public defender or a private attorney that devotes a majority of their practice of law to public interest law.

Brian Reidy


UPDATE 3/26:


Exceptional radio silence on this one still, but we’re provisionally calling the county seat for Michele Ricca


We’re told Chris Wigand has been appointed to the circuit court.

Still awaiting word on county, where the appointee will likely replace the new misdemeanor DV judge Chris Brown in First Appearances …

907.041 WRIT!

John Morrison, Assistant Public Defender, Appellate Division, Miami PDO, has filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Third DCA relating to the procedural and constitutional concerns regarding section 907.041(5)(b): “A person arrested for a dangerous crime may not be granted nonmonetary pretrial release at a first appearance hearing if the court has determined there is probable cause to believe the person has committed the offense.”

It doesn’t specifically address 907.041(5)(d), which has the Broward SAO and judiciary scrambling due to the requirement for the state attorney, or the court on its own motion with a PC arrest for a “dangerous crime” that is a capital felony, a life felony, or a felony of the first degree, to motion for pretrial detention (“shall motion for pretrial detention“).

In Broward, we’re told the PDO has been successful in having judges not order pretrial detention pursuant to 5(d) for a variety of reasons, but Defendants are certainly being held no bond past their First Appearances pursuant to the 2024 changes until being seen by their assigned division judges. Morrison’s filings are therefore believed to be the first volleys at the appellate level attacking the statute on procedural and constitutional grounds that could also potentially be applied to 5(d), meaning the litigation will be closely watched across the State.

Follow along with all the responses and other filings at the Third DCA Clerk’s website

COMING SOONSAO Restructuring – Are the “Dinosaur Divisions” doomed?; CJ ELECTION!

WPLG – 20-year state attorney DTU secretary admits dealing cocaine with boyfriend (2016)



End of jail bail reform may cost Broward taxpayers an extra $16.7 million

NAACP calls on Justice Department to investigate ‘alarming’ BSO jail deaths; ‘Immediate action’ urged

Florida Bar gives Trump’s tainted Broward counsel a pass but bedevils a lawyer on DeSantis’s blacklist