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One candidate for the open GM position was interviewed today.  The rest will go Friday, pursuant to the schedule above.

At this time, it’s unknown whether more people applied than the twenty-six listed individuals.  Court Administration HR told us shortly after the application deadline that they wouldn’t be divulging any of the applicants names, and a public records request and phone call to Kathy Pugh earlier today remain unanswered as of the 5:00 PM deadline.

Luckily, the judges heading the six person committee, Mark Speiser, Carlos Rodriguez, and Mike Robinson, aren’t trying to hide any balls.  The names and schedule were handed right over at first request before today’s session began, and they even agreed to open the interviews to the public, citing JNC practice.  Deliberations, of course, are closed.

Let’s hope the committee picks the most qualified applicant, while paying careful attention to the woeful lack of diversity on the Broward bench.  GM positions are a proven pathway to a robe, and no fewer than three of the 17th Circuit’s current six African-American judges owe their rise in part to having worked as a GM (Ken Gillespie, Mike Robinson, and Mary Robinson).  And remember, while this position has a focus on guardianships within the probate realm, probate experience should not be a determinative factor. (See #7, below)

Here are paraphrases of the questions posed by the committee members during today’s interview:

1. What makes you the most qualified?

2. Do you have trial experience?

3. What will you do to ensure a positive image is projected as a representative of both Court Administration and the judiciary?

4. How would you handle quarreling, antagonistic lawyers, who interrupt each other during argument?

5. What concerns you about the unknowns of being a GM?

6.  Have you ever worked with a GM?

7.  Mark Speiser, Chief Administrative Judge, Probate Division: This is a probate position.  Have you ever done any probate?  The position is primarily in the area of guardianships.  It’s not a big deal if you haven’t.  I came over from a career focused almost entirely in criminal, and it’s not hard to learn …