All posts by Jaaber


Rumor has it Nina DiPietro has been appointed to replace Gisele Pollack on the county court bench …

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Nina Weatherly Di Pietro to the Broward County Court.

Di Pietro, 33, of Fort Lauderdale, has practiced with the law offices of David Di Pietro, P.A. since 2013. She previously practiced with the Kreiss Law Firm from 2008-2013, and served as an assistant public defender from 2006-2008. Di Pietro received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her law degree from Nova Southeastern University. She fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Gisele Pollack.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Nina has the experience and knowledge that will make her an honorable judge. I am confident that she will fairly serve Floridians in her new role on the Broward Court bench.

(JAABLOG Post: 12:55 PM;  Press Release: 5:01 PM)

Supreme Court rejects sweetheart JQC deal for Cindy Imperato

SCT enhances proposed JQC punishment for Jacqueline Schwartz


Say goodbye to First Appearances as you know it.  The new bond schedule is out, eliminating many common convenience bonds on non-drug crimes.

This has been brewing since well before the chief judge election, with everyone waiting for Peter Weinstein to make a decision.  BSO, the SAO, and the Public Defender’s Office supported eliminating convenience bonds, and now it appears court administration has mostly agreed with the major stakeholders’ positions.

How will it work?  Many offenders will now have to see a magistrate judge before being given a bond.  It’s unclear at this time whether the extra burden will fall on Jay Hurley, or whether a third daily magistrate session will be added, with another presiding judge to relieve the pressure.  Expect much higher bonds for those with prior records, more pretrial for those without serious backgrounds, and many more bond revocations, since those with an already pending case won’t be able to bond out quickly before facing the music at First Appearances  …

(New Bond Schedule Here – Effective May 18, 2015)


Rumor has it John Contini has denied the SAO’s Motion to Disqualify as legally insufficient (4:34 PM) …

UPDATESS: Contini denies Motion (5:02 PM)

“Public Defender Howard Finkelstein said it was “much ado about nothing.” He found it disingenuous of Satz, saying Satz has had little reaction when Broward judges have been brought up on DUI charges and in other investigations.

“We’ve had some real problems with the Broward judiciary,” Finkelstein said. “This is not even a ripple in the ocean of problems that we’ve had, yet this is the first time we hear from the State Attorney’s Office.”


The SAO filed this Motion To Disqualify against John Contini late this afternoon, on every single pending case in the criminal division he presides over.  It sets the stage for an interesting docket tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM, when Contini comes out and the State asks for a ruling on the first case to be called.  Contini could be ready with an Order, or another judge could fill in so the docket can be heard, pending a decision on the blanket motion.

Lots of wrinkles on this one, so we’ll be back later once we figure out the back story, as well as the different paths the judges can take if it’s decided they want to support Contini, and can legally keep him in his current assignment …


Mccarthy 1Beller-Eric-bellimperato   Barbara McCarthy                   Eric Beller                         Cindy Imperato

Introducing a new JAABLOG feature, designed to introduce readers to judges up for reelection in 2016, and an opportunity for commentators to post thoughts and recommendations.  They’ll be coming at you in groups of three.  Enjoy!

Florida Supreme Court says 70 years is too many under Graham

Laura Watson’s latest bombshell:

Judge Watson’s Notice of Direct Criminal Contempt by The Florida Bar and Judicial Qualifications Commission


Motion to Reject the Report and Recommendations of the JQC Based Upon Perjury, Fraud, Spoliation of Evidence, and Numerous Violations of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, and Other Related Relief