The term “social worker” is defined in various ways.

Oxford Languages defines it as “a person whose job is to help people in a particular area who have social disadvantages or personal problems.”

Cambridge Dictionary describes a social worker as “a person who is trained to help people who are at a mental, physical, economic, or social disadvantage.

The ABA defines a judge as:

Judges are like umpires in baseball or referees in football or basketball. Their role is to see that the rules of court procedures are followed by both sides. Like the ump, they call ’em as they see ’em, according to the facts and law—without regard to which side is popular (no home field advantage), without regard to who is “favored,” without regard for what the spectators want, and without regard to whether the judge agrees with the law.

In Florida, can a judge be both judge and “social worker” in either a therapeutic setting like Drug or Mental Health Court, or in an adversarial criminal trial division?

One Broward judge with a reputation for leniency, Gary Farmer, thinks the answer is yes.

Presiding over everything from forcible felonies and sex offenses to simple drug possession and felony driving charges in Broward circuit court criminal trial Division FO, Farmer trumpets judicial social worker status on Threads:

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The above “currently a social worker with a robe & gavel” is linked through the @garynole tag on Instagram:

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Is Gary correct that post-onset Drug War trial court judges are in line with social workers, presumably trying to help defendants, alleged victims, and other litigants? Can defendants and victims even be helped at the same time in an adversarial system? Or is Ron Desantis led Florida the wrong place and wrong time for what would be categorized as activist, sympathetic judges? And while a defense attorney with a drug-sick and possession-charged client may want a social worker/judge on the bench, would he or she also want the same judge on a child victim molestation trial, or any type of vulnerable victim case? And what should the State’s position be in all this?



**UPDATE UPDATE**Sun SentinelBroward prosecutor under fire for faking supervisor’s signature (6/26)


*UPDATE*Miami Herald: Broward prosecutor accused of forging boss’ signature. Now, she could face discipline (6/26)


In response to a JAABLOG request** made at 12:11 PM today, the SAO sent over the following bar complaint authored by Neva Rainford-Smith concerning ASA Chandler Lefevere.

It’s anyone’s guess how the Bar will handle the matter (the SAO suggested diversion as an option in its complaint), but the following is the SAO’s statement concerning their own punishment of Lefevere for Memogate:

(Assistant State Attorney Chandler Lefevere) is suspended without pay for five days effective July 1, she must complete an additional six months of employment probation, and she must complete a Florida Bar ethics course. A notice will be sent to the defense attorneys on all cases she has been assigned to handle and supervisors are reviewing all of those cases.

Is a five day suspension a sufficient punishment? Should it be more, or less? How should the Bar handle the matter? Has justice already been served?


(**Thanks to Headline, June 21 @ 4:21 PM)



*UPDATE* – Email from Jack Tuter confirming blog post breaking news of John Murphy’s retirement:


We’re told John Murphy has submitted his resignation, ending months of speculation he would retire before the end of his term.



*UPDATE*SS: Florida Supreme Court allows judicial candidates to declare political ideology


The Supreme Court today issued an interesting opinion concerning an out-of-county JQC case, Inquiry Concerning a Judge Hon. Casey L. Woolsey, which may impact non-partisan (by law) judicial elections in politically liberal Broward County and elsewhere.

While affirming a public reprimand for Woolsey on other grounds, the Supreme Court found a judicial candidate stating “I am a conservativedoes not violate the judicial canons, meaning calling your opponent a “conservative,” if true, or calling yourself a “liberal” in line with the reasoning of the opinion, could help sway elections here in Democrat dominated Broward.

From the opinion:

COMING SOON – “Hi … I’m the biggest liberal in the whole dang world and I’m running for judge …


Old-timers will remember both former Broward ASA Al Milian, now a circuit judge in Miami, and attorney Mike Catalano. They’ve been locking horns since the 1980’s, to the point a couple of Motions For Recusal filed by Catalano back in 2016 and in 2023 have landed Judge Milian in hot water.

Both motions were granted, but because Milian refuted the allegations made by Catalano in his recusal orders, the JQC is asking the Supreme Court for a public reprimand.

Read all the JQC docket entries here.

Forget it, Jake. It’s Browardtown.


Due to the continuing inclement weather, the 17th Circuit and Broward County Courts will be closed on Thursday, June 13, 2024. First appearance will follow a weekend schedule with Judge Ricca presiding. Shelter hearings will be held via Zoom at 1:30 p.m. with Judge Bristol presiding. Juvenile detentions will be held via Zoom at 11:00 a.m. with Judge Orlando presiding. An update as to operations for the remainder of the week will be made tomorrow. – From: 17th Circuit Emergency Message