Firtel for Speiser for Porter for Scherer … retired Miami circuit judge Leon Firtel is taking over coverage duties in the circuit criminal division once assigned to Liz Scherer. Firtel was seen observing in Martin Fein’s division last week, and was with Andy Siegel today. We’re told Mark Speiser was too busy covering civil matters as a senior judge to maintain Scherer’s old division for the long haul, but there’s probably more to the story. In any event, the 17th Circuit’s expensive addiction to senior judges, when plenty of full-time, taxpayer funded judges seem to be anywhere but courtrooms in the afternoons (JAABWALK time?), continues unabated, or at least until the JNC fills the seats recently vacated by Scherer and Dale Cohen

Lucky Liz – speaking of Scherer, her luck continues to hold. As has already been widely reported, Liz avoided a very public, humiliating, and forever archived on video trip to the Supreme Court woodshed, instead receiving her public reprimand via this order on July 24th. Her legendary absenteeism, tardiness, and near-daily (when she was in court) petulance were unfortunately not part of any findings, but at least her now confirmed perception of bias for the prosecution are part of the record, as another sad and completely avoidable tragedy in the annals of the Broward judiciary is officially closed.

In the meantime, it’s still anyone’s guess as to whether Liz has landed on her feet vis a vis a second act in a media related position, or whether her increasingly bizarre recent social media posts are merely face-saving in design. The Florida Bar website offers no clues, as her current profile still improperly denotes her as a member of the judiciary with a courthouse address …

Chief Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips? – is current Admin. Judge Circuit Civil Phillips Jack Tuter’s heir apparent? That’s the word on the street.

Tuter is termed out in a little more than a year due to the Dale Ross Rule, so his support for a successor could be as instrumental as Peter Weinstein carrying the day for Tuter himself after Weinstein abdicated.

For her part, when asked earlier today whether she was interested in becoming Broward’s second-ever female Chief Judge, Phillips politely responded that she is indeed considering a run …


We have yet to consider whether and how a public employee’s political campaign to replace her supervisor impacts her
interest in criticizing that supervisor. Although we recognize that
an employee seeking public office has a strong interest in criticizing
the elected official currently holding that position, we believe the
employer’s interest in effective management outweighs the employee’s interest when the employee’s criticisms are likely to frustrate the employer’s mission. Because we conclude that Green’s
criticisms of Finkelstein fit this mold, we conclude that her termination cannot support a claim for retaliation in violation of the First
Amendment. We therefore affirm the judgment of the district



*UPDATE* Dean Nunez-Navarro PR Wire (7/5/23)


Former Broward ASA Tarlika Nunez-Navarro

Former 17th and 9th Circuit circuit court judge Tarlika Nunez-Navarro continues her outstanding career trajectory by becoming St. Thomas Law School’s new Dean.

We’re told Tarlika has accepted the position at her alma mater, and has reportedly resigned her judgeship in Orlando as of Friday. When contacted by text earlier today, Nunez-Navarro declined comment.

The move is a huge opportunity for Tarlika. As head of a private law school, a commensurate paycheck should go along with the job, in addition to tenure. We’re sure she will likely teach, as she has in the Orlando area, but as fundraising is typically a large part of a deanship, her undeniably powerful statewide relationships make her well-suited for the position, and point to an even brighter future.

All of this is still unconfirmed, so look for an official announcement soon.