Blacks need apply – there’s a deepening diversity crisis in the 17th Circuit judiciary.  With Mary Robinson on extended medical leave, and Ian Richards under attack at the polls, Broward is in grave danger of losing badly needed Black representation on the bench.  There are currently six judges that fit the description (out of 90), only three more than when we first wrote about the issue back in 2008.  It’s a disgrace, and current governor Rick Scott has yet to appoint a Black 17th judge, while making at least four blatantly political local appointments thus far.

Still, it’s hard to pin it on the JNC and Scott if qualified minority applicants don’t apply.  Sure, the “why bother, it’s all fixed” argument is understandable, as is the fact talented Black private sector lawyers typically top a judicial salary within a year or two of finishing law school.  But it’s not called public service for nothing, and the community’s need for Black judges couldn’t be more glaring.  The point is qualified minority lawyers need to put in for Ed Merrigan’s county seat, if only to see what kind of claptrap the JNC or Scott come up with to deny the community comes second when it comes to picking judges.  Exposure is a powerful tool, and it may fix the problem going forward, at least to a degree.  And who knows, they may surprise everyone and do the right thing, even if the applicant isn’t married or otherwise related to a judge or political boss.  So spread the word, as this one may be attainable for all the right reasons, for a change …

Relapse is part of Rehab … and everyone knows it, except perhaps Peter Weinstein.  His decision to leave a vulnerable and suffering Gisele Pollack on the criminal bench has backfired big time, following last week’s much talked about second public benching of Broward’s misdemeanor drug court judge.  The details will be emerging shortly, suffice it to say Weinstein’s leadership is once again being called into question. As we told Bob Norman a few months back, allowing Gisele to pass judgment on drug users while battling her own demons is a real credibility buster, and now, unfortunately, if reports of wildly erratic behavior are true, seemingly a recovery killer too. 

Let’s face it.  Weinstein isn’t the first chief judge to cater to the whims of his voting subjects.  He also isn’t the first to promote an image of a strong judiciary at all costs, even if the tactic has proven to almost always make things worse in the end.  But this one seemed like an easy call to make, and a lot of people aren’t happy about the way the whole thing was handled.

But hey, we’re here to help.  A bunch of calls were placed on Friday to the Florida Bar, since substance abuse issues in the workplace are nothing new to a body governing nearly 100,000 stressed out souls.  It turns out there’s an agency called Florida Lawyers Assistance, based right here in Pompano, which was created in response to a Florida Supreme Court mandate to help lawyers and salvage legal careers.  Bar reps put us in touch with Michael Cohen, the Executive Director, who gave us the rundown of options for balancing rehabilitation with protecting the public, such as behavior contracts, random testing, monitoring, and meetings, with the threat of discipline for those that don’t take things seriously.  Interestingly, Cohen also stated the JQC has been in contact in recent months, although he has no insight into what the secretive judge protectors are thinking about.

So stay tuned.  There’s light at the end of the tunnel, as soon as Weinstein and the JQC start treating judges just like everybody else …

JAABLOG Movement Sandy Perlman to vacated civil O’Connor, Cindy Imperato to vacated foreclosure Perlman, Barry Stone to vacated foreclosure Imperato, and either Liz Scherer or Ed Merrigan to vacated criminal Stone.  If Scherer gets Imperato’s old criminal division (FJ), then Merrigan would go to vacated Scherer dependency.  None of this is anywhere near official of course, but we’re told Imperato is moving her office from the North Wing to the old courthouse in May, meaning her desired return to criminal may not be so imminent.  Additionally, there are whispers that some veterans want out of criminal, so there may be more openings soon.  In any event, as of Friday there was still some confusion as to who is getting stuck in dependency.  Since Stacy Ross seemed to get seniority credit for being a county judge, some are wondering if Merrigan will also get special consideration, in addition to his already helming Veteran’s Court, which deals with circuit felony issues.  In the old days Scherer would have had her choice of assignment, particularly after dedicated and lengthy service in the grueling dependency court.  But since politics play a very important role in this judicial administration, we’re told it’s still a wait and see …

Additional FDMC confirmationsJohn Howes, who didn’t return a call before deadline, is a member of the First Degree Murder Club, as is judicial candidate Dennis BaileyWe’re still looking for a working phone number for Tom Gallagher, so in the meantime drop a comment concerning anyone else you think we need to contact …

SS: Merrigan appointed to circuit judgeship

Bob Norman: Streitfeld/Trump coziness could lead to new trial

How terribly strange to be 70 …

Coming Soon – Hangin’ around with Bobby Diaz

Bob Norman on Gisele Pollack

Fred Berman takes over Robinson.
John Fry
back to North, for now …

301 thoughts on “SUNDAY NOTES”

  1. 0


    How can any Judge make a limited spd registry. The Chief Judge in Miami did not authorize a limited registry. It is zero respect for the legal community and has downgraded our profession. Secondly how is it that so some Judges do NOTHING while other work 40 plus hours. I would love to see a Chief Judge restore dignity to the legal community. Judge Porter or Judge Rebollo would be awesome…..

  2. 0


    The JQC will never treat judges like everyone else.How can the JQC allow judges to grant life time RO in family court with children involved. These are fit parents with no criminal record. How can they allow the kidnapping and alienation of children from a fit parent? Isn’t this a form of child abuse which is a crime? Who has heard of life time RO? This is what is going on in the 17th Judicial family court system for years.This is absolutely horrendous to say the least.

  3. 0


    If I had to preside over a sham court I’d lose it too. Weed is going to be legal soon. How stupid that court is. The defendants hate it because everyone smokes. Now the Judge is like them too. What a sick joke.

  4. 0


    Bill please don’t pretend that you care if we lose
    Black judges like Ian Richards or Mary Robinson.
    Then you expect Rick Scott and company to appoint judges what joke.

  5. 0


    I hope Tuter fulfilled his obligations under the Canons and reported this before Bob Norman came calling. That goes for the lawyers as well.

  6. 0


    If Imperato is being moved to Civil permanently, as she should be, when are they going to take that Tundidor case away from her? She obviously has no intentions of ever finalizing it. It’s a disgrace to keep the victim’s family waiting endlessly for closure. Has anyone seen her at Maguire’s lately?

  7. 0


    Hey Bill – if you claim to be an advocate of promoting people based on merit, then why suddenly shift gears and instead say ‘judges should be picked on the basis of their skin color’ ?!

    It sure smacks of “rich-white guilt’ racism & counter to the dream of MLK that people should NOT be judged by the color of their skin

  8. 0


    Come now.

    This is not all Chief Judge Weinstein fault.

    This is hubris. Judge Pollack style.

    To remain locking up drug abusers when loaded is the height of hubris, instead of saying get me out of here until I am cured.

  9. 0


    Are you kidding me? Not again. Some would say it’s just another Broward Judge pushing the envelope to the edge. I’d say the one that belongs in rehab is Peter Weinstein. How Many times does this idiot need to see it to believe this woman has a major problem? And who really pays? This poor woman and the tax payers of this state!
    Hope Weinstein has a good vacation with this on his conscience because he’s the one that should he have really cared would have cared enough to see she got help the first time.
    Broward’s Judiciary has really got problems and you can’t stop the bleeding to an artery, that is Broward Courts, with a sterile adhesive!

  10. 0


    Just how many times does it take to realize Judge Pollock has a problem? How many citizens have to suffer a drugged-out judge listening to their cases. What kind of justice is this?

  11. 0


    This chick looks as though she tied on a big one and decided to carry it over to the next day. Nasty azz video. Once, shame on them, twice same on me.

  12. 0


    The worst that could happen to Broward County is to have come from that moron control freak Ross to now this inept bureaucrat Weinstein. Somethings got to give.

  13. 0


    The answer is to go on a cruise and spend all your time in line for burgers. It’ll all go away and you can put her back in drug court. LOL

  14. 0



  15. 0


    Why are drunk judges sitting in judgment of others when they’ve got a worse problem … and why is the chief judge of this circuit allowing it to continue … There’s something very wrong with this picture.

  16. 0


    This is Tuter’s big chance to prove he’s CJ material. Lucky for him he’s still got like 5 full days while the Field Marshal is on R&R. He’s off to a slow start. At least he learned from Weinstein’s blunders not to open his trap on camera. But maybe he should be using the publicity to get his name out there. There’s a real election on the horizon. It can’t hurt.

  17. 0


    Thank G the County Commission and architects thought ahead and designed a break room into the new courthouse with bunk beds and coffee machines where Judges can sleep it off.

  18. 0


    In my day Judges could handle their liquor. Maybe a little shaking or hand tremors before shoring themselves up at noon with a couple martoonis at lunch, but they never missed work. Today’s functioning alchys are a bunch of lightweights. Whatever happened to tradition.

  19. 0


    What’s with drunk judges on the bench in broward? They aren’t bad enough as it is? This Weinstein lettin hem skate is even worse. I’ll stay in dade where they at least make an effort to act like judges.

  20. 0


    Is the hangover cure kiosk concession for the new building still available or did somebody already grab it?

  21. 0


    Kids get Hurricane Days off from school, defendants get Drunk Judge days off from court.

  22. 0


    Pollack nneds to call it quits and enlist in AA for life. Weinstein just needs to get another job where he does something, anything.

  23. 0


    Don’t let them wear their robes when reporting to probation. It’s too easy to hide a clean urine sample in a secret pocket in those things.

  24. 0


    At least she didn’t strip her clothes off and pass out in the hallway and say some black guy slipped her a mickey.

  25. 0


    how did she get to the courthouse?
    did she drive herself or did she get a ride?
    are there any competent judges in the courthouse?

  26. 0


    Alcoholism can be cured; laziness can’t. I’ll take a drunk one over a lazy bum any day providing they’re on the wagon.

  27. 0


    Wheeee I just got 30 days in jail for testing dirty from a Judge flying high on something heavier I can get my hands on!!!!!

  28. 0


    What we really need is more dummies like Diaz. He’s not only dumb but lazy which makes it easy.

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