Pictured above is the only statue of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward believed to exist in a public space in Broward County.  It welcomes visitors to the North Wing of the central Broward County Courthouse, where all felony/prison cases are handled. Judges and the state attorney here have supplied the Florida prison system with roughly 7,231 of its current residents, and thousands upon thousands more throughout the years who have since been released or died. Perversely, given the wildly disproportionate rates of incarceration doled out to blacks throughout Florida and the nation, inmates or their family members all must pass the cryptic visage of the county’s namesake, who famously advocated as Florida’s governor for the transportation and permanent banishment of all black United States citizens from their homes and nation, some forty years after the Civil War ended.

(click photos to enlarge)

(Above Napoleon Broward speech text found at the UF Archive Series 4 – Speeches and Writings 1905-1908 and n.d. … )

Just another day in Broward felony courts …

(Who Said That?/Miami Herald: 1972)

There’s no need to rehash here the ongoing national dialogues concerning racism in the criminal justice system, or the display of Confederate statues, symbols, and naming rights. But given the current prominence of the debates, years after these issues were first broached on JAABLOG, isn’t it about time courthouse stakeholders Jack Tuter, Mike Satz, Howard Finkelstein, Scott Israel, and Brenda Forman agree to transport Napoleon Broward’s statue as far away from the courthouse as possible?

We’ll be emailing and calling them next week to see.  Let’s hope they don’t pass the buck to the County Commission … 



All persons who missed a court date, traffic hearing or any other deadline please be read carefully:
1.  If you previously scheduled a hearing using the court’s on line scheduling system, please reschedule your hearing on line. Neither the clerk or the court will reschedule cases that were scheduled on line. All other cases will be rescheduled by the clerk, judicial assistant or case manager.
2. You do not need to call or visit the courthouse to reschedule your hearing or court date. Either the clerk of court or a judicial assistant will send you a new notice for your court date. If you have an attorney, the new notice will only be sent to your attorney. Please be patient the court has been closed for seven business days and it will take time to reschedule your case.
3. If you received a traffic ticket or other fine you may proceed to the clerk’s office to pay the fine. All persons who were scheduled for a traffic court hearing will be notified when the case is reset. Persons may also access the clerk’s website to find further information.
4. If you had a domestic violence restraining order in place it will remain in place until your case is heard by a judge.
5. If you were a respondent in a case where a domestic violence restraining order was served on you, you must continue to abide by the terms of the injunction until a judge has ruled on your case.
6. Foreclosure sales will resume as normal on Monday September 18, 2017.  Any foreclosure sale cancelled due to the hurricane will be reset by the clerk. Please be patient it may take a few weeks to reset these new sale dates. Eviction notices will be extended per the tolling order. 
7. Any person who was charged with a criminal offense and missed a court date, your case will be rescheduled and a new notice sent to you or your attorney. You do not need to call the clerk or judge.
8.  Any person required to register with probation or otherwise comply with a court order that occurred prior to the courts closing on September 6, 2017 will be given seven additional business days to comply with the order.
9. All time limits prescribed or allowed by rule of procedure, court order, statutes applicable to court proceedings, or otherwise pertaining to court proceedings will be extended by a tolling order from the Florida Supreme Court which will be posted on our website once signed by the Chief Justice.
10.  Rest assured anyone who missed a date from the hurricane will have their case reset. You do not need to call the judge or the clerk. Many court services will be backed up when we reopen. Please be patient. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation.


Tom O’Connell lost his fight with bladder cancer today.  He kept fighting right up to the very end, and working too.  A familiar sight around the courthouse and political circles, his intelligence, humor, and unwavering belief in the plight of the underdog was contagious. Tom is survived by his wife Amanda, and a young daughter.

Kevin Kulik summed up the feelings of many: “one of my best friends of all time.”

Funeral information to follow …


The Broward County Courts will remain closed Wednesday except for First Appearance, Shelter and Juvenile Detention Hearings. Future Court Operations will be determined tomorrow and notification will (be) sent out accordingly. Please refer (to) the court’s web page (www.17th.flcourts.org) and emergency hot-line (954-831-7777) for additional information. – From: 17th Circuit Emergency Message …

Boca residents endure the lingering horrors of Irma the day after the storm hit … waiting in line for a  restaurant table on a Monday night, and a limited menu (Madison’s Steak House).



From the Florida Supreme Court Website:

Broward County. The courts will be close(d) starting Thursday through Tuesday. Check the local courts’ website for further details. Updated 9/6/2017, 12:40 p.m. ET


UPDATE – courts closed Thursday, Friday and Monday …


The official announcement should come shortly after 11:30 A.M. today, but sources indicate the courthouse will be closed Thursday and Friday, and potentially Monday, following an impact assessment …


From: Kunsman, Gary
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2017 4:46 AM
To: heckerlawfirm@gmail.com
Subject: GW Kunsman Depo (case cite deleted)

Mr. Hecker;
I have just looked at the toxicology file for the case in which I am to be deposed today only to discover that the matter involves the essentially negative results (only inactive THC metabolite present) of a urine tox analysis. I fail to understand why I am continually deposed on cases of alleged DUI when only a urine specimen is available for analysis as urine results, especially when the only finding is the inactive metabolite of Delta-9 THC is present, only inform us of what an individual has been exposed to over the 3 or 4 days prior to the specimen collection (7 to 10 days prior in reference to the Cannabinoids Delta-9 THC and Delta-9 Carboxy THC) and bears no relationship to what may or may not have been present in the blood at the time of specimen collection and certainly none to the time of any alleged incident prior to the collection. The ASA should be cognizant of these facts since I have testified to this in deposition and in court at least 6 or 7 times since mid-May of this year (the time of Mr. Wagner’s retirement).

I certainly understand the need for and purpose of depositions but when they provide nothing more than information that is already available in recent testimony from the expert witness to be deposed it seems that the time and expense of all parties involved could be put to far more profitable ends; in my case that means being spared the trip from Dania Beach to the Courthouse and being allowed to perform my principle function as a postmortem toxicologist working for the District 17 Medical Examiner.

Please note that I would copy the prosecutor on this case except that, in the normal fashion of the Broward County SAO, they have not contacted me concerning the toxicology results in this matter so I do not know who is the ASA most recently assigned to this matter. I encourage you to forward this email to them if you do know who they are, again, in the interest of saving us all from a needless expenditure of our very valuable time.

Thank You for your attention in this matter and I look forward with hope to notification that my deposition will not be required while anticipating that I will lose the greater part of an afternoon being deposed and trying to catch up on real work (ME casework) this weekend.

G.W. Kunsman, Ph.D., F-ABFT
Chief Toxicologist
District 17 Medical Examiner’s Office
Broward County, FL

Under Florida law, most e-mail messages to or from Broward County employees or officials are public records, available to any person upon request, absent an exemption. Therefore, any e-mail message to or from the County, inclusive of e-mail addresses contained therein, may be subject to public disclosure.

THANKS TO SCOTT HECKER, who adds at 4:13 p.m. in the comments section:

I sent this email here to be posted. Apparently, in misdemeanor DUI we only get the toxicology report and not the whole file.

I wanted to know the concentrations of the drugs, and was told by the ASA, that information was not available and the lab never supplied it to them.

I filed a motion to compel and was sent 23 pages of the toxicology report that was not in the initial discovery request. Even the ASA expressed surprise. And the concentrations were in the report.

I set the deposition of Dr Kunsman, and received this letter from him before the deposition today

He said with metabolites he is NEVER able to testify or render an opinion that the individual was under the influence at the time of driving.

As to Active THC in a toxicology report, He has the same opinion
Without knowing when the individual and went to the bathroom before giving his sample, or whether the person was hydrated or dehydrated , he can render an opinion as to intoxication with just a urine report.

Blood was a different story.

So, If you did not know to ask for a full report, you would not know this additional evidence existed.

PB Post: Bryson murder case reversed 

While judges can put time limits on jury questioning, in Hopkins’ case the strict time limit prevented his attorney from questioning all of the prospective jurors, Judge Carole Taylor wrote for the three-judge appellate panel. Palm Beach County Judge Marni Bry(s)on allowed attorneys only 3.6 minutes to question each potential juror. “The trial court abused its discretion,” Taylor said.

Bobby Diaz Receives Florida’s Highest County Court Judicial Honor



50-year members of The Florida Bar 1967-2017

“Congratulations to The Florida Bar’s 50-year Members — Class of 1967. The members of the Bar celebrate your service to the profession and your communities.”

John Edward Aurelius, Michael Colodny, Victor D. Comras, John Edward Hartman, Robert Stuart Hauser, Jon E. Krupnick, Bruce Martin Lyons, Robert Steven Miller, Barry Gilbert Roderman, Stephen Ross, Michael Joseph Satz, William S. Spencer, Norman D. Tripp, R. Joel Weiss, David Harry Zoberg

UPDATE – Joseph D’Amico in as 17th Circuit General Counsel; Alexandra Rieman out …