JAABCAM

Raag Singhal and David Haimes are among five Broward judges battling it out for five available Federal District Court seats.  The others are Michael Davis, Bill Haury, and Marina Garcia WoodThe SDF blog has the full list of forty-five hopefuls here.

The new Public Defender mid-rise offices are ready for business.  Goodbye to J-Mark and 412, affectionately remembered as the old juvenile building.

ASA Justin McCormack renders aid to a woman who collapsed after climbing the hill connecting the new courthouse to the North Wing.  She was ok after a breather.  This was taken well before the recent installation of guard rails, pictured below.

Attorney Harold Pryor speaks to Bob Norman on behalf of the TJ Reddick Bar Association regarding the Napoleon Bonaparte statue …

Kelly Hancock prepares to toss the ball around to prospective jurors during voir dire on an auto negligence trial.  His client was Michael Greco, of Cardinal Gibbons/Green Bay Packers Super Bowl fame.

Fight the Power!

(click to enlarge photos)

277 thoughts on “JAABCAM”

  1. 9

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    How many of them are friends with Cohen? That’s going to be the deciding factor or how many does Cohen not like I guess is more important. I heard he personally tells the WH the skinny on applicants for positions

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      Little Marco is more important to this than our President, unfortunately.
      If President Trump was making the decision I’m sure Judge Usan and Judge Izquierdo would have put in rather than face the inevitable next summer.
      It’s a shame because both would be a fine addition to the DC.

          1. 15

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            It looks like that fat fucking loser A💩 is blogging again to scare judges into hiring him. DON’T hire him. He can’t help. He’s been a big loser his entire life. All he will do is take your money so he can eat lard and slop with his hippopotamus wife!

            1. 8

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              After Bob Norman blew up the Turd, he knows he’s going down. It’s only a matter of time for the Turd.

                  1. 0

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                    REMEMBER WHAT YOU SAID IN YOUR POST ON OCTOBER 3, 2017
                    IT CAN CHANGE VERY VERY QUICKLY!!!
                    YOU DON’T WANT TO GO THERE,
                    BELIEVE ME!!!

                    “You were a man of respect, you had a code, no kids or wives. Not pornstsache, when people stood up and said enough the little coward went after innocents. “

                    1. 0

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                      Sprinkles and son goes after family members like cowards. they run checks to get names of family and friends…they are playing you. All these years, never a mention of those people. Agreed, we never played that way. Your personal info was in the mediation file or obtained from his friend Taylor.

                    2. 0

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                      YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED IT AND DID NOT
                      NOW BE A MAN
                      OH, I FORGOT
                      YOU HAVE NO BALLS AND YOU LOST
                      YOUR SACK
                      GO FIND IT

                    1. 0

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                      Can someone post the photos of the guests sitting in the pews at ATurd’s wedding or the quest lists?

                    2. 3

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                      I had to get married. The trough is drying up. Barf ! Since Stacy Ross things have been tough. Barf !

                    1. 0

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                      DO YOU HAVE THE ENTIRE GUEST LIST OR PHOTOS OF THE JUDGES WHO ATTENDED?

                    2. 0

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                      That moment the Groom realizes his wife is good looking today but she will ultimately look like her hag of a mother and her creepy tattooed father. Who cares, Grandpa Max is a millionaire who will kick over soon and there will always be strip clubs.

          2. 29

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            Jose is a great judge. Thinking someone will run against him because he has a funny name is foolish. Jose is well liked and has a ton of support.

            Usan is also a great judge. He is not a Scott appointee. He is, however, efficient, polite, great in trial, gives good open pleas and overall just a pleasure to deal with.

            You haters are either crazy or you are trying to drum up business for the so called consultants

            1. 14

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              Jose can kiss it goodbye along with several other slacker Broward judges. Hey, it’s not a job for life like it used to be for some of these suckers. It’s a new day and there’s going to be some new judges.

              1. 15

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                what the fuck is wrong with you?!
                Jose is no slacker and has shown in the Dependency court that he is the right judge for the job.
                He will do what is right and has shown that he isn’t afraid to rule against the Dept. on their stupid “home study denials”

                We need more judges like him – now go back into your hole and don’t come back out.

    2. 1

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      Ok, but Brad Cohen is the guy who went off on Gelin making fun of Bill’s kids .. hmm, I guess that makes him a LOT like trump!

  2. 14

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    All trying to jump ship before the real chit storm comes and they’re facing opposition! Lol
    These Broward judge jokes are so transparent…

  3. 18

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    Singhal’s been trying to exit and head off the inevitable for a while now. Doubt he’ll get it. He’ll have to face the music instead.

  4. 0

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    Who is this Stuart, J.D. guy? Why isn’t his name up there considering he thinks he owns the Broward Courthouse and all the judges?

  5. 2

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    NO MORE PD HIDING OUT AT JMARK AND 412 AND LEAVING AT 11:00 ? WHATS IT COME TO. I HATE THIS NEW PROXIMITY ACCOUNTABILITY !!!

    1. 3

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      The next move is they’ll put worthless supervisors in here. I’ll be submitting my resignation when that happens. They carry no cases and just wander around looking to make trouble for those of us that do. Most wouldn’t know how to try a case.

    1. 16

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      She is up this election cycle with that mug of hers flanking President Trump looking so proud with Carlos

  6. 14

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    That story about Judge Kastrenakes is wonderful. I was once in front of him as he yelled at a female prosecutor and treated her like a 5 year old. All the while saying snide remarks under his breath.

    After hating on the President during the primary to now putting in for a Federal Judgeship?? What a joke. If I were him Id be furiously making phone calls and trying to negate all the true stories of his Judicial temperament.

    1. 0

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      At least he can pass the FBI background check. Imagine what would happen if all State Court clods had to undergo a real background investigation?

          1. 2

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            I heard they’re working on an off Broadway play about Broward’s Dui sister Judges. With creative license they’re all in the Big House together where they invent a toilet water wine recipe that becomes a national craze. Eventually they get a reality show. Crazy.

  7. 22

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    Just when you thought it could not get worse…

    So very happy when Robinson left. But wait, now we have Haury. Didn’t think things could get worse but they did. Plus the return of McCarthy. What a hot mess

    1. 2

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      Tooty same as the last twerp CJ. It’s all about pandering for the next vote. There’s a very good reason Broward has the worst judges in the state. Ask anybody.
      It’ll remain the same until these freeloaders are voted out.

    2. 4

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      This must be a Satzite (or a competitor for the fed?). Everyone else ❤️ Judge Haury. Prepared, gentlemanly, and doesn’t tolerate incompetence. He reminds me of Billy D.

  8. 0

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    “The doctors know what they are doing.”-Kumail

    “No they don’t. They’re just winging it like everyone else.”- Beth

  9. 1

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    Judge John Kastrenakes is the best applicant for District Judge.
    I have had cases with him as a AUSA and Circuit Judge. He’s always been fair with me. He’s bright and he’s the most experienced for the job.

  10. 7

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    uh ok Judge Kastrenakes. 1. everyone knows his temper on the bench and its totally inappropriate and most of the time demeaning. 2. He has openly called the President a moron; unintelligent; a joke etc. its not a secret and it was usually in open court. 3. the most experienced when you have an inappropriate temper and ridiculed the guy who is giving you the job doesn’t mean much. I would also say he def. doesn’t have the most experience. not to mention he’s a huge Dem.

  11. 0

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    Having ham at the carving station in the Judge’s dining room is wasteful. I have been complaining about this for years. It’s never properly prepared (dry) and more than half the brethren never touch the stuff. Is this how court funding should be spent when the rack lamb and roast beef should suffice. I’m sure the full ham is thrown out daily. Entirely wasteful in the day and age of shrinking funding.

    1. 0

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      Who is that one Judge that smears like half a can of mayonnaise on his prime rib? Sacrilege!, even if its an end cut. He must also mix his Chivas Regal with Coca-Cola.

  12. 5

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    Any non-idiot who is in front of him regularly would agree that Judge Haury is an amazing judge and is extremely bright and has a perfect temperament. He would be a phenomenal feddy judge.

    1. 4

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      No you moron, they administer lie detector tests so they don’t end up with addicts as ASAs like has occurred elsewhere. There’s a whole lot to criticize Satz and the SAO for legitimately (like having attorneys with only a few years experience trying homicides because all his experienced ASAs left due to the working conditions there), you don’t need to do so on the few things that Satz does that actually make sense.

      1. 6

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        Like prosecutorial misconduct. Seriously read it 17-688cf10a. It’s under motion for new trial. Slimy slimy. This is who he has training people.

  13. 1

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    I often go to a very well regarded small sized lunch spot. The majority of the orders are take out, but there are a handful of tables available for dining in. The place is very busy, because the food is high quality and fairly priced for large portions. Invariably, parties of two or more, or occasionally another single person, will get in line behind me, and then hold one of the few tables by having a member of their party sit at the table, or in the case of the solo, by placing a personal item on the table. My food comes out first because I was ahead in the line, but then there is nowhere to sit, because the people still waiting for their orders to come out have grabbed all the available spots. I know a lot of Judges read these comments, so I am hoping for advice in how to best resolve this situation without tempers flaring, and without my lunch continuing to get cold while I wait for a table to open up.

    1. 1

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      Hahhahahah. One of the best posts ever. On one hand, you have to be trolling because it’s just so so trivial and stupid that you couldn’t be serious. On the other hand, the language used in drafting it is so so formal and pretentious that you may have been serious! PLEASE clarify!

    2. 4

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      Get elected Judge so you can lunch with lawyers at places like Capital Grill where the checks are always split (wink) (wink)

    3. 2

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      Do what Mike does and make Jeff go with you. Better yet, order takeout and make him pick it up and bring it back to the office.

    1. -1

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      Bailiffs know better than to go to lunch with their Judges because they always get stuck with the check and even though most Bailiffs are retired and are richer than Judges from their former careers nobody likes being taken advantage of so it’s easier to eat with the Clerk and have a pleasant meal without having to hear how the wallet was supposedly left with the robe back in Chambers for the 25th time.

  14. 1

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    Don’t know what all the hoopla is about lunch. Everybody knows if you’re a judge in Broward you don’t come back to the courthouse after lunch anyway. Then you complain about why everybody is calling you a slacker and when the judges are going to get their next pay increase.

    1. 11

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      So why is Judge Charles Greene allowed to stay sitting as a judge in Broward after his infamous statement concerning NHI …

    1. 3

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      This guy is dangerous. No, he wasn’t fired, just suspended for 15 months while taxpayers paid his salary.
      June 2015-Sept. 2016.
      https://southfloridacorruption.com/Police-Articles-15

      He’s been in a lot of trouble since 2003. Good luck to Gary Pappas and Michael Sloan. Like all the other times he’s been sued, this is going to come down to jury selection, and those PBA lawyers seem to be really good at it.

  15. 0

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    Wengert is a liability. Has shot and killed defendants. His dog attacks suspects. Thought they fired him?!? Guess he was rehired. Talk to attorney Barbara Heyer about Wengert. He’s bad news.

  16. 8

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    17-688CF10A is a good read. It’s exactly how Loe operates. And the judges rubber stamp it! It’s appalling. Prosecutorial misconduct. Definitely not harmless error. It’s an embarrassment to the justice system. But until the papers write about it no one sees. Hopefully the 4th will get it right.

    1. 5

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      Like giving a coat of paint to a rusty old banger ! He’s played the same game since he failed in private practice and came crawling back to Satz for a second chance. It’s never been about the rules of the game.

      1. 9

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        defense Bar and PD’s: read through everything. Talk to Teresa Williams. If you know of cases where he’s done the same filing 30 supp disco pleadings mid trial with evidence he claims he didn’t know about, give her he case numbers

  17. 6

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    Hey – run against Mariya Weekes. That is her legal name, but she has been using “Maria” to fool voters. So, she’ll be disqualified if she even wins.

    As anyone knows, you cannot use a different name than your legal name when running. So, a good strategy is to put in against this Mariya person because she will have to be disqualified for the dishonest name switch thing.

      1. 4

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        Ross was one of the biggest morons to ever sit as chief judge in Broward or anywhere else and caused more lasting damage to the integrity of the bench with his sleazy fellow judge thugs in his twentyfive plus years, the remnants of which still give Broward some of the worst judges in the state of Florida. He sucked it for everything he could get.
        Now he just rummages thru dumpsters in Pompano in search of something he’s lost.
        He went down like a rotten ship with no friends and even less respect from his equally as rotten administration and colleagues.

          1. 3

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            Heard they’re lining up to run against any sitting judge in Broward. There’s a few that are going to go down. Count on it. It would be the best thing to see these entitled Bimbos get the boot.
            I for one will not vote for any incumbent judge in Broward.

    1. 7

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      Who cares how the new Public Defender spells her name? Nobody at all, so be quite sorry to the jealousy person posting that.

        1. 6

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          Politics is an angry business and there are still many who aren’t ready for Broward to have its first female elected Public Defender. Expect the worst from them. They are the ones out of step.

          1. 3

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            You guys need to get your facts straight. Gordon Weekes is running for Public Defender. He is a black man. He is not married to nor related in any way to Mariya Weekes. She is a white female running for judge. I only mention their race so the confused conspiracy nuts wont claim they are brother and sister trying to take over the county.

              1. 1

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                How quick these days people are to try to brand some one “racist”.

                If no one else will call you on this we will.

                You are incorrect. A brother and sister “cannot” be of different races, because they share both parents, their racial background would be “identical”.

                Half brothers and sisters however, can be of different races to some extent.

                1. 2

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                  RACISTS

                  Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:
                  April 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm
                  Smelly, dirty, ugly Black Haitians have ruined any place in my native Florida they have settled or work. They should all be deported, the only thing they have ever brought to America is AIDS because Haitian soldiers for Castro in Anglo had sex with monkeys in the 1970s. The Africans here in Europe smell up everywhere they go. REID can’t get a decent job as a journalist so she creates this scumbag blogg.

          2. 6

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            Anybody would be better than the do nothing supervisors we’ve got now. When the do nothings are gone and the clock is ticking we can only hope the new public defender will make the office great again minus the deadweight and self absorbed group of slackers.
            A female public defender is just what we need. As long as she’s prepared to pick up the pieces.

  18. 3

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    It’s not like the judges in Broward haven’t used the name game before now. The judicial junkies will try anything to give them an edge to feed at the public trough. The Broward bench is full of them.
    They’re all going to get opposition when their terms are up. The whimpering hasn’t started yet.

  19. 14

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    What is the deal with Kim Mollica? Is there some reason she cannot take the bench before 10:00 a.m.? This was my second time in this courtroom and on both occasions she did not begin until after 10:00 a.m. Today, at 9:45 there was 15 (yes, I counted them) attorney’s sitting in her courtroom waiting for her. She walked in at 10:00 without any explanation for her tardiness. Why would you campaign for this job, spend your own money to get this job and then within a year start showing up late. Why doesn’t she work a full 8 hour day like everyone else? Who is in charge of County Court and why can’t they make Public Servants work a full day?

    1. 0

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      That is total b******* about judge mollica. She has been notorious for being a super industrious judge . That includes working after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends . Why is some loser trying to make up these stories about judge mollica when she is one of the fairest judges On the bench and extremely respectful to the attorneys and litigants.

      PS, She lost a family member last week so it shows what incredible work ethic she has to come to work in light of this great tragedy.

      1. 10

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        It doesn’t help that she leaves early … and I disagree with your statement. I’ve been in her courtroom several times when she’s been late.

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        Silber is her former campaign treasurer, he will sue this blog to find out who the culprit is, Discovery 101 you know. Someone very close to the Judge would have had to know about the alleged family death.

        1. 6

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          I see on Schwartzrrich’s Facebook page he is now the exclusive attorney for the PBA. Looks like Silver lost the gig.

              1. 5

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                People are rather stupid around here. Like the jealous scoundrels who have scratched X’s in Eric’s face in the elevator advertising. Rise above and never look back. They hate a winner.

    1. 5

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      I went to one of those doctors for a tushy lift and when I woke up my vagina had a tail that wags uncontrollably whenever I drive by Tom Jenkins and smell the vinegar barbecue.

    1. 2

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      We all know how unruly kids can be. As a teacher, I’m not so sure that we shouldn’t be equipped with tasers to help make kids more manageable.

  20. 11

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    Let’s play, “What does Tony Loe have on mike satz?” The fact we all agree it must be something amazing for him not to be fired yet leads me to create a fun contest. I think mentally handicapped love child with a Boston Terrier.

    And… go!

    1. 5

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      Here is a good start, public records request for a memo sent from former Homicide ASA Paul Valcore detailing some disturbing activities pertaining to chief ASAIC Shari Tate sent to Jeff Marcus and the State Attorney Micheal Satz. This memorandum was email for public record and should not be hard to find.

      1. 2

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        Ooo fun bill please get this for us. Also do a PR req. for any and all human resource complaints made about Loe let’s post everything. The SAO is ridiculous. I’ll kick in 50 bucks right now for Teresa 2020 lol

      2. 3

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        Paul left too? Is there anyone left in homicide with more than 6 or 7 years experience as an attorney? Good job Satz running out all your experienced attorneys!

    1. 7

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      Most are unhappy if they have to do anything at all. Most work very little and gripe about how underpaid they are when court scheduling could be better managed by a 5 year old.
      That’s the reason most couldn’t make it in private practice or come from the ranks of equally as lazy government gophers who seek the position for a pay raise.
      Broward judges stick out predominantly for their lack of legal talent so they hold onto the positions like their lives depended on it because the thought of having to really work for a living is found to be too repugnant and requires being productive.
      It’s no secret why they take it so personally when they get run against.
      It’s the easiest job around and they’re paid far more than they’re worth.
      The old song about how much money they could be making in private practice is just so much BS.
      They wouldn’t have sought to be a Broward judge if they were any good at making money and figure they’ll do as little as possible on the public dime for as long as they can.
      There’s a very good reason Broward judges are the laughingstock of the State of Florida.

      1. 7

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        Broward judges have been crying the same squint for years. The fact of the matter is when I come up from Dade, where we actually have some good judges, and I have a case before any number of judges in Broward, the reality of a very different paradigm exists in how judges behave on the bench. The arrogance, stupidity and lack of legal knowledge is downright astounding.
        After experiencing for years the way judges in Broward County handle their dockets and the extreme poor attitudes of jurists there, I’ve gotten to the point that I refer out most of my cases anytime it involves making the trip to Broward.
        It’s not worth my time or patience in dealing with nitwit judges that act like they’re doing you a favor to hear your case.

  21. 11

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    I really agree with your position. These Judges are always angry. They hold the esteemed position and are honored. Yet the Broward Judge is typically angry all the time and saying demeaning things. This is not how a normal person behaves. It sets a bad example. It is indicative of the inner person being flawed and probably in need of counseling.

    1. 17

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      This kind of stupidity and outright lying is why, at least in part, most people don’t take the comments on here seriously. While there are no doubt some judges whose demeanor could improve, the vast majority of judges in Broward are really really polite and friendly most of the time…until their patience has been worn out by the buffoonery of many of the lawyers practicing in front of them. I’m all for calling people out when warranted, but if you’re gonna make these kinds of dangerous and hateful comments, don’t hide via anonymity.

      1. 8

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        I agree. Most are ok. But many are not. It’s not intellectual shortcoming based either. It’s burn out. Plain and simple. Other places have a regular rotation. The 17th refuses. That’s why there’s so many more problems here than elsewhere, and the anger that naturally follows. It’s not always justifiable. Sometimes it is though. And without proper management by Administration, everybody ends up looking bad.

        1. 5

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          Judicial Admin is all about machismo. There are many ex-Judge that either self-destructed or became beaten at the polls that would still be on the bench if they’d been moved when it became apparent they didn’t belong in an assignment. The problem is Admin believes that moving a Judge shows weakness when in reality the refusal to listen when everyone knows the Judge is in the wrong slot or behaving badly creates weakness. Think of how many drew opponents or cracked up and got caught in ethical quandaries when they could have been reassigned to less demanding or suitable divisions.

  22. 3

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    Time for JQC & Fl Bar investigate this slanderous blog?

    Invective on Appeal: Impugning the Integrity of Judges
    by Steven Wisotsky

    Page 41

    In general, the ethical duties of appellate lawyers are no different than those of trial lawyers. Yet, the specialized nature of appellate practice and procedure produces a relatively small number of recurring issues implicating ethical matters.1 Prominent among these is criticism of judges in briefs, motions, and public statements, contrary to the prohibition against impugning the qualifications and integrity of judges. Following a loss at trial, the temptation to disparage the court is at times unresisted. Indeed, Judge John Godbold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit was moved to warn against appealing out of “the nerve ends of disappointment and defiance.”2

    ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.2(a) prohibits a lawyer from making “a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge.” Comment [1] states that “false statements by a lawyer can unfairly undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.”3 This article surveys cases in which attorneys have been warned, charged, or disciplined under Rule 8.2(a) or analogous state or federal rules, as a result of comments criticizing trial or appellate judges both in and out of court.

    Fact or Opinion?
    At the outset, it should be noted that the false statement language of the rule implies the existence of an objective set of standards for determining the truth or falsity of the statement at issue. Many disparaging remarks are not amenable to empirical (dis)proof. Suppose, for example, that appellate counsel were to criticize a bench as arrogant or ignorant.4 Is that charge a triable fact or an expression of opinion? There is no bright-line distinction between them. In most cases, moreover, the classification does not matter; the insult is what counts. Consequently, a lawyer may well be brought under disciplinary scrutiny for harsh or critical statements of opinion about a court’s motives, qualifications, or alleged biases in deciding an appeal.

    This blurring of the fact/opinion boundary was manifest in a case where a prosecutor publicly criticized a criminal law appellate decision in a televised interview. The attorney named the author of the opinion and asserted that “he made up his mind before he wrote the decision, and just reached the conclusion that he wanted to reach.”5 The Missouri Bar filed a disbarment action against him. On review in the state supreme court, he argued that his statements “reflect subjective opinion and not verifiable factual assertions” and could not therefore be “false.”6

    The majority opinion rejected this “artificial dichotomy” and concluded that the statement, in its full context, “at the very least implies that the judge’s conduct exhibited dishonesty and lack of integrity and is sufficiently factual to be susceptible of being proved true or false.”7 A dissenting justice took the opposite view: “There is no ‘assertion of objective fact regarding [the judge’s] judicial integrity.’ There is no implication ‘that the judge’s conduct exhibited dishonesty and lack of integrity.’”8 In addition to parsing the lawyer’s statement as referring to the judge’s reasons rather than his character, the dissenter argued that the criticism simply asserted that the panel opinion was “result oriented. This assertion is frequently made about judicial opinions, and cannot be found to be a statement of fact.”9

    The question whether a statement is not opinion but fact, and hence either true or false, is distinct from the question of the lawyer’s state of mind in saying it. The language of Rule 8.2(a) clearly requires proof of the lawyer’s subjective state of mind, i.e., whether he knew the statement to be false or recklessly disregarded whether it was false. In this regard, Rule 8.2(a) bears an analogy to the law of defamation of public officials. That law requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s defamatory statement was uttered or published with “actual malice,” a term of art for knowing a statement to be false or making it with reckless disregard for its truth.10

    The Reasonable Attorney Standard
    Nevertheless, the majority rule is that the “actual malice” standard of public official defamation does not apply to attorney discipline. In The Florida Bar v. Ray, 797 So. 2d 556, 558 (Fla. 2001), the attorney contended that he had “a subjectively reasonable basis in fact” for making accusations against an administrative law judge hearing immigration cases. But the Florida Supreme Court concluded that “a purely subjective New York Times standard is inappropriate in attorney disciplinary actions.”11 Instead, “the standard to be applied is whether the attorney had an objectively reasonable factual basis for making the statements.”12 The rationale for rejecting the defamation standard is that lawyers “are viewed by the public as having unique insights into the judicial system” and therefore the state has “a compelling interest in preserving public confidence in the judiciary.”13 Applying the objective standard, the court upheld the imposition of a public reprimand.

    Standing Comm. on Discipline v. Yagman, 55 F.3d 1430 (9th Cir. 1995), is important for its constitutional analysis of Rule 8.2(a) and applies to both trial and appellate lawyers. The opinion, written by Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, begins by describing a local federal rule counterpart of Rule 8.2(a) as “overbroad”14 and in need of a narrowing interpretation to avoid First Amendment invalidity. The opinion agrees that “the purely subjective standard applicable in defamation cases is not suited to attorney disciplinary proceedings” and that such cases are to be governed by an objective standard, the “reasonable attorney.”15 But unlike the Florida Supreme Court and most other courts, Yagman insisted on adhering to the distinction between false statements of fact and expressions of opinion. Thus, “statements impugning the integrity of a judge may not be punished unless they are capable of being proved true or false; statements of opinion are protected by the First Amendment unless they imply a false assertion of fact.”16 Further, “the disciplinary body bears the burden of proving falsity.”17

    The court’s closely reasoned opinion concluded that Yagman should not be disciplined for his out-of-court accusation (made to a reporter) that a district judge was anti-Semitic; the court regarded that charge as containing both an assertion of fact, not proven to be false, and an expression of opinion. The court also protected Yagman’s survey-response letter to a judicial almanac publisher calling the judge “the worst judge in the central district” and containing a “string of colorful adjectives,” including “ignorant,” “ill-tempered,” “buffoon,” “substandard human,” and “right-wing fanatic.”18 As “statements of rhetorical hyperbole, incapable of being proved true or false,”19 they were protected by the First Amendment.

    The court then considered an alternative theory of punishment based on interference with the administration of justice, noting that First Amendment protections might have to give way in the face of “a clear and present danger” to the administration of justice, a standard that the court characterized as “demanding.”20 But the court found a lack of immediacy or “imminent . . . threat” to the administration of justice from Yagman’s remarks.21 The court emphasized the fact that Yagman was not commenting on a pending case, whereas the Supreme Court’s decision in Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada, 501 U.S. 1030 (1991), was concerned about the fair-trial impact of lawyers’ comments to the press. On that basis, the Yagman court interpreted Gentile to impose the clear and present danger test where no case was pending, but a lesser “substantial likelihood” test where a case was pending. As applied to a completed appeal, it is not clear which test should apply, although the Florida Supreme Court applied the latter in 5-H Corp. v. Padovano 708 So. 2d 244, 248 (Fla. 1997).

    Other courts are less clinically analytical and less tolerant of tirades. Lawyers who bad-mouth judges, whether to reporters or in their court filings, are at risk of bar discipline. “Lawyers are officers of the courts and, as such, may legitimately be subject to ethical precepts that keep them from engaging in what otherwise would be constitutionally protected speech.”22 A lawyer is not only an advocate for his client but also an officer of the court and must therefore refrain from hostile utterances that might well pass constitutional muster in other circumstances. Accordingly, counsel must refrain from “undignified or discourteous conduct which is degrading to a tribunal.”23 Derogatory remarks by counsel are therefore likely to get a lawyer in trouble, even though the Model Rules deleted the Model Code24 requirement of EC 1-5 that the lawyer be “temperate and dignified.” Cases from many states, including Florida, have put lawyers on notice.

    Things Not to Write or Say
    Motions for rehearing are one especially troublesome area of appellate practice; apparently, the sting of an adverse panel opinion may drive some lawyers to use harsh language. In an instance in which counsel for the appellant characterized the panel’s decision as a “bad lawyer joke” in his motion for rehearing, the court struck an entire section of the motion as offensive; it also admonished counsel that “such impertinent argument is both a disservice to his client and demeaning to the judiciary and the legal profession.”25

    In a similar case in Florida, the losing lawyer was more aggressive in his motion for rehearing, calling opposing counsel’s arguments “ridiculous,” “a joke” and “total b [—] s[—].”26 He also wondered whether it was possible for a Miami lawyer to get “a fair shake up North” and raised innuendos about possible court bias against one of his clients and in favor of opposing counsel.27 The appellate court referred a copy of the motion to The Florida Bar, which instituted disciplinary proceedings against the attorney, although the Bar ultimately dismissed its complaint for want of probable cause. Still, the Florida Supreme Court thought that the district court had acted properly because the attorney’s conduct “showed at the very least a ‘substantial likelihood’ that he had compromised the integrity of the legal profession, engaged in professional misconduct, or violated one or more of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.” Like the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Yagman, the Florida Supreme Court saw Rule 4-3.5(c), proscribing “conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal,” as bearing on the analysis.28

    In an Indiana appeal, the intemperate criticism came in a motion to transfer the case to the state supreme court. The appellant argued to the panel that its opinion “misapplies controlling case law” and “does not even bother to discuss relevant cases that are directly on point.”29 That language alone would not have gotten the attorney into trouble because, as the court noted, there was some factual basis for it. Rather, as the Supreme Court of Indiana concluded, the “offending language” consisted of footnote 2 to his Supreme Court brief stating that the panel opinion was “so factually and legally inaccurate that one is left to wonder whether the Court of Appeals was determined to find for appellee Sports, Inc., and then said whatever was necessary to reach that conclusion.30 The court drew a line between “sound advocacy and defamation. Lawyers are completely free to criticize the decisions of judges. As licensed professionals, they are not free to make recklessly false claims about a judge’s integrity.”31 The court construed footnote 2 of the brief, which had been written by out-of-state co-counsel, as falling into the latter category because it “ascribes bias and favoritism to the judges authoring and concurring in the majority opinion” and “it implies that these judges manufactured a false rationale in an attempt to justify their preconceived desired outcome. These aspersions transgress the wide latitude given appellate argument, and clearly impugn the integrity of a judge in violation of Professional Conduct Rule 8.2(a).”32

    The court held that the First Amendment did not protect these “offending remarks,” and it imposed a 30-day suspension from the practice of law, mitigated on petition for rehearing to a public reprimand. Two justices thought that counsel’s conduct was protected by the First Amendment and therefore not subject to any sanction at all.33 One of them observed that the attorney’s remarks were similar to criticisms that Justice Scalia and other jurists have leveled against one another.34

    The content of appellate briefs may also give offense. For example, where appellate counsel had argued in his brief that the trial court had decided the case “on the basis of conjecture,” the appellate court termed the language an unfounded accusation of judicial misconduct and admonished counsel not to do so in the future.35 Similarly, a government lawyer drew a rebuke for scribbling the word “wrong” beside several findings of the trial court’s order and including that order in an appendix. The court did not impose sanctions but deemed the conduct “indecorous and unprofessional.”36 A Florida appellate court, however, referred appellate counsel to the state bar because he made “unsubstantiated charges of collusion” against the trial judge and argued in his appellate brief that the judge’s ruling was “cockeyed and absurd” and demonstrated a “most startling absence of legal knowledge and irrational decision.”37 The court quoted from the oath of admission to the Bar requiring attorneys to “maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers” and to “abstain from all offensive personality.”38

    Suspension was imposed in a case where the plaintiff’s attorney, on losing his verdict in the appellate court, filed a federal civil rights suit accusing the state appellate judges of having acted “illegally” in reversing the trial court’s judgment. The federal district court dismissed the lawsuit, and the attorney appealed to the Ninth Circuit. In his reply brief, he argued that the state appellate judges, acting under color of law, had become “parties to the theft” of his clients’ property. “Money is King, and some judges feel that they are there to see that it does not lose.”39 The state bar began disciplinary proceedings against the offending lawyer. The attorney, who wrote a letter of apology to the panel, received a brief suspension and a year’s probation. Notably, two justices dissented, one seeing only “forceful advocacy” expressed “inelegantly” while the other thought discipline to be “rather dangerous.”40

    In a comparable case where the attorney was arguably more offensive, although less persistent, her insults caused her to be referred to the state bar for investigation.41 In that case, the attorney had also won a verdict for money damages and lost it on appeal. She attacked the appellate court’s reasoning as “specious” and accused the court of making “some rather outlandish representations which are not supported by the record, the transcript, or by any other matter before the court.”42 Her petition for rehearing further attacked the court for “writing new law to assist the insurance companies of a sleazy nursing home that happened to be represented by an insurance defense firm” and wrote that “it must be embarrassing to take such a pro-rapist, pro-big insurance defense firm position with so appallingly nonexistent legal or logical basis.”43

    The attorney in the above case was apparently provoked by the loss of her jury verdict for both compensatory and punitive damages. When the state supreme court denied the motion for rehearing, it made a point of reinforcing the lower court’s assessment of the conduct of the appellants’ attorney.44 Recognizing the “inherent power [of judges] to discipline an attorney’s behavior,” the court noted that “[a] distinction must be drawn between respectful advocacy and judicial denigration.”45 In addition, the court cited the disciplinary rules governing the conduct of a lawyer: “[A] lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers, and public officials. While it is a lawyer’s duty, when necessary, to challenge the rectitude of official action, it is also a lawyer’s duty to uphold legal process.”46

    The court concluded by ordering the attorneys to show cause why they should not be referred to the state bar for disciplinary investigation and subjected to other sanctions.

    Out-of-court statements have also been sanctioned. An appellate court disbarred an attorney because he wrote an insulting letter to the lower court judge while the case was on appeal. The attorney had sent a letter to a magistrate of the district court accusing him of incompetence and religious and racial bias in a case that was on appeal.47 The court of appeals noted that sending the letter while the case was on appeal constituted an attempt to prejudice the administration of justice in the course of the litigation. In addition, the accusations were repeated on appeal even after the appellate court affirmed the decision of the district court. The attorney’s lack of remorse appeared to be “a factor . . . in deciding the severity of the sanction imposed and in choosing between disbarment or some lesser form of discipline.”48

    Conclusion
    Appellate advocacy should never be ad hominem. For one thing, it is ineffective; it violates the principles of persuasion posited by classical rhetoricians: logos, pathos, and ethos. Wild accusations of corruption, ethnic prejudice, or home-town favoritism violate all three: They are not reasonable, not sympathetic and not indicative of the good character or credibility of the accuser.49 Thus, whatever momentary psychological gratification may be realized by the flailing attorney or client is ultimately self-destructive: “Trial judges as well as appellate judges can make mistakes and misstate the law without being collusive or corrupt. Attorneys should limit their pleadings and briefs to addressing the legal errors. It is unprofessional to make or imply such charges, no matter how clearly wrong the ruling.”50

    Appellate lawyers who resort to invective do their clients no good and put themselves at risk of discipline or other sanctions. Their reputations will also suffer among the very judges they need for relief in future cases. Incivility in appellate practice is not only bad advocacy, it is also bad for career development. Conversely, effective advocacy arises from concentrating fire on the record and arguing professionally and civilly according to the principles of persuasion.

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      Interesting article, but does it correlate?

      Regarding a blog comment specifically, here’s a question.

      a. If a JQC or Bar subpoena is issued for an ip address without any definitive proof presented that the offending comment was written by a Judge or Lawyer, and if the blogger moves to quash it in court, how does the presiding Judge not grant the request to quash, given the highest protections afforded free speech concerning public figures and elected officials? That is to say, without definitive proof that it is in fact a Judge or lawyer making the comment that is or may be in violation of a professional rule, how can the free speech laws not completely preclude release of the ip address?

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        Non-verifiable factual assertion, dumb azz. No name, No game.
        Even judges in Broward are smart enough to figure that one out ! LOL

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            With the track record of Broward judges and the shenanigans exposed by drunk or drugged up same, is it any wonder why they have the reps they deserve ?. And these buffoons think they shouldn’t be criticized for anything from really slack work schedules and no supervision to much worse while sucking at the public trough forall it’s worth ?
            Vote the suckers out of office and watch them really whine.
            The Broward Judiciary is in and of itself the strongest argument for Term Limits for Judges I can think of.

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              The sooner the better. Term limits for judges would clean out a lot of the career trash and give us new and more progressive judges, not to mention end burnout syndrome brought on by dodging cases and scheduling shortfalls.

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                Term limits are DOA. The Tallahasse trash will never do that. Half of them are trying for a soft landing on the bench themselves. Get a grip. These types are all the same. Remember when they said the DROP would never last. DROP isn’t going anywhere either because the losers that make the laws need it the most. Politicians are greedy buggers with their hands out. Don’t ever forget that. Keep them in line with blogs and protests on the street or they will destroy the hard working people that have made this the greatest nation in the history of the world.

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                  President Trump has shown the way for anyone brave enough to follow. Run against all elected officials including so-called judges. Make America Great Again.

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        The IP address itself would tell you nothing.
        Only the internet provider knows who and when the IP address was used.

        A subpoena would also have to be served on them too.
        IE Comcast, AT&T, etc..
        Chances are, under those circumstances, they would fight it.

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        EFF has filed suit in federal court to block threats aimed at LawyerRatingz.com, a website that allows Internet users to write comments and rate attorneys.

        A Florida law firm – the Law Offices of Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A. – claims to have lost business based upon negative ratings and reviews posted on LawyerRatingz.com, which included complaints about Mr. Thomas, his billing rates, and his proposed contingency fees. The firm repeatedly threatened legal action against LawyerRatingz.com unless all comments – positive or negative – were removed from the site. LawyerRatingz.com, represented by EFF, filed suit against Thomas and his firm, asking for a judicial ruling that LawyerRatingz.com is not legally responsible for material posted by third parties as well as an end to the baseless legal threats.

        Update (April 9, 2012): Ratingz, Inc., dismissed its lawsuit and agreed not to pursue legal fees and costs from the Defendant upon receiving a signed agreement from Adrian Philip Thomas to drop his legal threats and all potential claims related to the posting of negative reviews to the LawyerRatingz.com site. No ratings were removed as a part of the settlement.

        https://www.eff.org/cases/ratingz-v-thomas

        EFF Files Suit to Block Threats Aimed at Lawyer Ratings Site
        San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed suit in federal court to block threats aimed at LawyerRatingz.com, a website that allows Internet users to write comments and rate attorneys. A Florida law firm – the Law Offices of Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A. – claims to have lost…

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      It sounds like he or she is saying lawyers and judges are posting slanderous comments about judges.

      “Time for JQC & Fl Bar investigate this slanderous blog?”

      Sounds like he or she is the one with the potential problem.

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        THE JQC & THE FLORIDA BAR ARE USELESS AND A
        TOTAL WASTE TO THE ENTITIES THEY ARE SUPPOSED
        TO REPRESENT

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            No and no. The JQC is an investigative body. It does a good job. But if it doesn’t know where to look it can’t do anything. Blogs come in at the tipster point. More and more that’s where they get their information. That’s why some types of people want to shut down or intimidate blogging. But that’s too darn bad for them.

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              If the JQC does such a good job, why didn’t it insist on criminal charges being brought against Ana Gardiner for perjury and obstruction of justice?

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      Absolutely nada.. those cases involve very specific instances of attorneys calling jurists dishonest etc….. not like righteously busting on them for being late or rude in demeanor etc..

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    Funny moment at the Weston Bar event yesterday, each Judge had a moment to introduce themselves and say what type of Judge they were..

    Judge Michael Davis “I am both a County AND Circuit Judge”

    The rest of the Judges said they were either a County OR Circut Judge.

    Who knew….

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      U.S. Senate Judicial Confirmation Subcommittee:

      Judge Davis tell us about how well you handle adversity.

      I claimed that Help Me Howard made my tummy hurt and I got moved to a non existent Division where I have no trials or a regular docket.

      I also hug a lot to relieve stress. Senator Paul, may I hug you?

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      Laz the Spaz has been sapping that well for years. County Clowns pretending they’re Circuit for a little more change. LOL

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        Need to get that application so when she runs as Marina G. Wood, it can be shown to the voters so the appropriate questions about the use of her long divorced husbands name instead of her maiden or current husbands last name can be asked. This and the photo of her and her husband on stage with Trump may be troublesome to voters.

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    FIRE MUELLER

    STOP STANDING IN THE WAY OF MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

    RUN AGAINST ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS AND SO-CALLED JUDGES

    THE PEOPLE ARE AMERICA NOT THE ELITE

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        THE MORE BROWARD JUDGES ARE RUN AGAINST
        THE BETTER THE CHANCES WE HAVE OF KICKING THE MANY BAD ONES TO THE CURB AND GETTING SOME GOOD ONES TO REPLACE THESE CAREER BLOATED SUCKERS

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              I got to give it to you. The best thing you ever did was bust up THE GANG OF THE CROOKED FOUR ; ROSS-SPRINKLES-GREENE-LYNCH.
              From there they all came came tumbling down like an empty house of cards.
              Ross lost what little was left of his stammering, stuttering marbles, Sprinkles the big bad beastie self destructed in no time, Greene ran with his tail between his legs like the self invented frightened little creep he’s always been, and Lynch buried his head in the sand until he saw his chance to become chief judge, took it and lost that bid along with any of his self respect seeking redemption in the arms of one of the biggest bimbos to ever work in the courthouse.
              What a bunch of overinflated slags milking at the public trough. So much for the old Broward Bacon.

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        Destry the Donkey fled Broward for the panhandle where nobody knows who he is and he can pretend he’s still a judge. Call me Judge …

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    When i first get up and brush my teeth for the day at 7 i usually think of a certain restaurant and although the thought of the lunch food from that place is quite unappealing at that time of morning I invariably end up going to that restaurant for lunch.

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    This is why a lot of restaurants and sausage companies advertise a lot on late night. Plants the seed so the brain craves the place for the next day.

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        With all of the #metoo out there, does anyone believe there was no harassment in the 17th. There has to be stories out there.

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    What really happened in the stairwell when she was a PD?
    Inquiring minds want to know.
    It’s gonna take coming cleant to get my vote.
    Other than that, she’d do a much better job than these county court clowns who like to play hide and seek in the satellites.

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      What happened in the stairwell stays in the stairwell. Did it involve a PD client or was the whole thing invented by a whacko?

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    It was set for Jackie Powell to succeede Judge Holmes but Powell just filed for County Court. Looks like it is 6 more years of the Queen.

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      Is Holmes going to keep her part time gig at the flea market on weekends ? Gag me with a spoon for another six years of that circus act !

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          If she didn’t have a captive courtroom to preach to she’d be listening to her own echo in the toilet bowl ! Lol

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            She must have been starved of attention when she was a little girl. Now if she’s not the center ring of the big top she’s crying the blues.
            There are so many bad jokes occupying the bench in Broward, she’s just numbered as one more.

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    412 was better

    But the problem at the PD’s office is not the new physical space. The problem is Administration. They’re a joke. The laughingstock of former PD’s and those few left with any skills.
    The problem is:
    1-the leadership or lack thereof
    2- the culture at the office. Including that so many good lawyers have been tossed aside during the last 2 years until they left.
    3- the trainers & supervisors. What a laugh…I needed that laugh. 😂😜for proof ask a PD to read an e mail from them. You’ll think the e Mail is from a first year attorney. In some cases that’s the case.
    4- nepotism (See Michaelson)…his position actually is also evidence of the first 3 problems.
    5- favoritism so that some lawyers handle the work of 3 lawyers and some just have a handful of cases.

    Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach. But at the PD’s office those “teachers, trainers, supervisors” certainly can’t teach a damn thing.
    Except how NOT to run an office.

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    Good luck, tomorrow. I can’t wait for the trial. After you raise your right hand and swear to tell the truth, please tell the JQC panel that Jack is ATurd’s right hand man and is in the office next store to ATurd. By the way, how much have you paid Jack so far? You haven’t been good with gift disclosures in the past. That’s part 2…..

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        At least I threw away my career for $1 million dollars worth of tax free suits. I would have never ended my career to give mediations to a fat turd so that he could eat more slop and lard.

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    I saw Ahearn and her at the German American Restaurant off Commerical Blvd. the other day. She was crying her eyes out while Ahearn was putting a 12 foot kielbasa down his mouth.

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    I saw Ahearn and her at the German American Restaurant off Commerical Blvd. the other day. She was crying her eyes out while Ahearn was putting a 12 foot kielbasa down his mouth.

  33. 0

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    I saw German and her at the Ahearn German American Restaurant off Commerical Blvd. the other day. She was crying her eyes out while American was putting a 12 foot German down his mouth.

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      I saw her and Ahearn at the Pho Vietnamese restaurant off Commerical Blvd. the other day. They were crying their eyes out while eating hardcore curry.

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    Fatboy attaches himself like a slug to anyone who will throw some cheap change at him. But you can always know where he’s been by following the snail trail. Slick he’s not. Just fat and trying to snarf some change to keep his gullet filled.
    Seiler is what he is. Gross as they come and looking to stay on easy street. Slugs like the pair of them need each other.

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    Broward could really use some new judges. Judges who aren’t afraid of a little work.
    Encouragement should be given to any candidate who challenges a sitting judge.
    It’s not a job for life, and if you fall for the line so many judges spew about giving back to the public after having received so much, it shouldn’t be that hard to say job well done, now give somebody else a chance. I’m sure they could use a break from their lax schedules.
    Vote out all incumbent judges. We’re bound to improve the judiciary immeasurably by doing so.

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      That position has our full support.

      One term, or maybe two max. Nothing else has worked in Broward. Laughing stock of the state.

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