All posts by Jaaber


July 9th – start date for Marina Garcia-Wood in criminal, replacing Bill Haury.

August 6th Tom Coleman’s start date in criminal, replacing Mike Rothschild, who is departing for the family division.  Andrea Gundersen to criminal rumor is still unconfirmed …

Appointment/No Appointment? – has Rick Scott decided who will be replacing Claudia Robinson on the county bench?  We’ve left a couple of messages with Daniel Nordby in the Governor’s legal department trying to find out, but to no avail.  Phoebee Francois, Tabitha Blackmon, Mark Kushner, Michele Ricca, Hunter Davis, and Claudette Vanni were sent up for consideration on April 5th …

Open to the Public – the Ehrlich/Porter JNC circuit court interviews will take place June 19th in the courthouse, room 1882, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM.

July 6 is the Deadline … for applications to replace Michael Gates on the circuit court …

SS Editorials – the Sentinel’s picks for judge are starting to roll in.  First off, they like Mike Heise over Bobby Diaz.

From the editorial, found here:

Broward County Judge Robert Diaz has served citizens well during his 26 years on the bench, but it’s time for him to take a well-deserved retirement …

The best judges rarely draw election challengers because they’re tough to beat. But this is not the first time Diaz, 65, has drawn an opponent, in part because he finds himself in the middle of controversy from time to time.

The latest kerfuffle stems from his practice of calling females in his courtroom “Miss.” Earlier this year, Assistant State Attorney Adrianna Alcalde complained when Diaz continued to call her “Miss” despite her objections …

He said that if he called everyone “counsel,” every attorney in his courtroom would respond. Diaz said he considers the term respectful, but that he had called both women to say he meant no disrespect by using that appellation.

The “miss” issue has been covered on JAABLOG, so it was a surprise to hear that Diaz had contacted Alcalde, who stated earlier today “I have never received a call from him.  Ever.”

We’ll try to follow-up with Diaz to clarify on both this apparent miscommunication, and the earlier problems he had with Jack Tuter regarding Rafael Olmeda’s in-court identification as a reporter …

Cawthon for county Corey Cawthon gets the nod from the SS over Tanner Demmery and Leonore Greller

SS: Broward wrestles with court reporter shortage

Online criminal scheduling pilot program – go to to schedule hearings with Dennis & Tim Bailey, Andy Siegel, Martin Fein, Ernie Kollra, and Chris Pole …

Allen-Rosner 1, Minsk Donoho 0 – we’re told Minsk Donoho has failed at the trial court level to push Allen-Rosner down the ballot, although there is no order by Mily Rodriguez-Powell yet showing on Odyssey …

Going to North Satellite is not a total waste of time …


Courthouse regulars were made aware this week that the current courthouse cafeteria service providers were preparing to move on, but nobody was ready for today’s total shutdown.  Locked doors and blacked out windows greeted coffee and egg seeking patrons this morning, while workers inside packed things up.

Alphonso Jefferson, Assistant County Administrator, explained earlier today that the walkout caught the county by surprise too.  While it was known the vendor was having issues, Jefferson described the vendor’s actions to “up and leave” as a violation of contract terms, and a “business decision” that the vendor had made.

In the meantime, the county is exploring its options, legal or otherwise.  According to Jefferson, the vendor could honor its contract obligations and reopen, or the county could try to expedite the normal bid process through which a new vendor can be found.  It’s unknown at this time what equipment remains in place, so either way it could be some time before things return to normal for thirsty and hungry courthouse regulars and jurors …

UPDATE – Alphonso Jefferson emailed to clarify the county’s position at this time, stating “Right now, we are exploring our options to determine the next steps.” …



Jill Levy is pushing Larry Meltzer to trial today, despite the fact Meltzer has explained his wife left town this morning to attend to her mother in New Jersey, who is in hospice care due to brain cancer.

Yesterday Levy denied a request for a continuance made by Meltzer, known for trying more DUI cases than almost anyone, and she reportedly ordered him to pull his son from school and be present today with the boy, all in a strange effort to overcome the child care issues created by his wife’s need to go to New Jersey.  This morning Levy told Meltzer that her niece was in the courtroom and available to babysit Meltzer’s four year old son during trial, an offer that was appropriately declined.

This is ongoing.

Yesterday we ordered the audio from Monday’s hearing, and alerted mainstream media.  Chris Pole, in charge of the County Criminal courts, reportedly tried to intervene yesterday, to no avail.  Motions to Disqualify filed by Meltzer were denied …

Developing ….

UPDATE 11:09 A.M.: Levy is still on an extended recess.  The jury panel is waiting patiently in the hallway …

UPDATE 11:14 AM.:  Back on the bench, handling other cases for now …

Young woman identified as Levy’s niece by the JA, also pictured …


Sun Sentinel report HOPEFULLY to follow ….


It appears as if there weren’t any true last minute surprises, although the following information is not final until both the Florida Division of Elections and the Broward Supervisor of Elections update later today:


Grp 9: Corey Cawthon v. Tanner Demmery v. Leonore Greller

Grp. 10: Bobby Diaz v. Mike Heise

Grp. 17: Mike Davis v. Rhoda Sokoloff

Grp. 19: Allison Gilman v. John Phillips v. Jackie Powell

Grp. 25: Bob Lee v. Stephen Lustig


Grp. 8: Alan Schneider v. Ernie Kollra

Grp. 36: Shari Africk-Olefson v. Kristin Padowitz

Grp. 38: Jason Allen-Rosner v. Melissa Donoho v. Stefanie Moon v. Linda Leali

Grp. 39: Susan Alspector v. Camille Coolidge-Shotwell

Grp. 42: Richard Kaplan v. Mike Usan

Grp. 43: Dan Casey v. Karen Berger

Grp. 46: Haccord Curry v. Maria Markhasin-Weekes v. Dale Miller

Congratulations to the following judges on securing new six year sentences unopposed: Olga Levine, Katy McHugh, Lou Schiff, Mindy Brown, Ginger Lerner-Wren, Jill Levy, Jen Hilal, Arlene Backman, Teri-Ann Miller, Carol-Lisa Phillips, Nick Lopane, David Haimes, Ari Porth, Mike Rothschild, Fabienne Fahnestock, Jose Izquierdo, Tim Bailey, Mike Robinson, Marty Fein, Keathan Frink, Yael Gamm, Tom Coleman, Al Ribas, Michele Towbin-Singer, and Marina Garcia-Wood.


COMING SOONLook who’s up in 2020 …