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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 …



  1. 0


    Mr. Laventure is a Homicide Division prosecuting attorney. He has been groomed by Mr. Satz for precisely this type of advancement. He is more experienced in the courtroom on a day to day basis and in trials, evidence, and procedure than anyone on the list. He is used to pressure after trying the most serious cases in the courthouse, and won’t frazzle demeanor wise when things get tough. He is well liked by his colleagues from both sides,and has impressed the judiciary with his integrity and honesty. Mr. Laventure is the best choice for this very important position and his elevation will add much credibility to a vastly dysfunctional and politically corrupted appointment process that has made Broward the butt of jokes throughout Florida over the last few decades.

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    Q 1: What makes me the most qualified?

    A : I know if I get popped for something just tell the truth so I won’t embarrass myself and my family and anyone else I owe an obligation to.

  3. 0


    I see the names of the “interviewers” doesn’t include Chief Weinstein. So who makes the decision? The interviewers or Chief Weinstein?

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    Shulman, Alcalde, Weissman, Rossman, Zaccor, Coleman, Ribas now Laventure; Poor Mike. Elite unit no-one wants to be in LOL.

  5. 0


    They have every reason to pay particularly close attention to the answers given to their question number 3.
    The Broward Judiciary continues to be the brunt of many bad jokes at judicial conferences and elsewhere.
    The Broward Judiciary deserves all the criticism it receives if their past antics serve as any reminder.
    The insecurity exhibited by the judges making these decisions such as that for GM or otherwise should be tempered by an open and fair selection rather than the “Circle the Wagons” and “You owe me one” attitude filled with cronyism and nepotism as has been the case under the so called leadership of Former Chief Judge Ross and now under Weinstein.
    Let’s hope all this changes as Broward Judges retire, resign or are removed by the Florida Supream Court.
    A review of “Ethical Obligations” by Judges of Broward should be stressed and required in future continuing educational courses.
    If they want to truly “Serve” as judges in a County renown for its backward and corrupt policies and practices, this should not present a problem.
    The opening of the process in this case of the selection of GM, under public pressure as I recall, as at first they thought they could keep it a “Star Chamber” and closed selection under Weinstein, is indeed a step in the right direction and should be encouraged strongly in the future.
    This will be accomplished by constant vigilance for Broward Judges will regress if given the opportunity and they prefer doing things using back room policy.
    Keep up the good work shinning light on the shadows of Broward’s Judicial System.

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