Dan Lewis, CEO of Strategic Technologies & Research, has been a strong supporter of Laura Watson not only during her election campaign, but throughout the JQC proceedings.  The message below is by Dan in support of Watson. 

On another note, Dan let slip there are some “surprises” coming up regarding the 2014 election cycle in both Broward and Palm Beach counties.  He isn’t naming names just yet, but states two sitting judges in both circuits will be receiving opposition, not including Lynn Rosenthal.  Lewis is checking with the potential candidates, and hopes to be able to at least unmask the Palm Beach lawyers as early as next week.

In other 2014 news, Jahra McLawrence confirmed this morning that he is running against Rosenthal, and will be filing next week.  In a county where minority judges are typically targeted by Whites, McLawrence is taking a bold step by turning the tables, and he will need your support. 

Also, the deadline to apply for the county court vacancy created by Ed Merrigan’s appointment to the circuit is May 5th.  The JNC will be highly scrutinized in picking replacements for both Merrigan and Joe Murphy, who is set to retire at the end of July.  Rick Scott has yet to appoint a Black person to the bench in Broward, and community leaders have been actively recruiting qualified applicants to put in for both upcoming county slots.  It should be interesting.

Lastly, Mike Satz issued the following statement through PIO Ron Ishoy last week, when asked whether he would permit his qualified minority lawyers to apply for judgeships:

“It’s Mr. Satz’s job to make sure he has the best lawyers on staff to conduct the state’s business.  He does not, however, discourage anyone from seeking a judgeship.”

And without further ado, here’s Dan Lewis on yesterday’s JQC ruling:

There are two intertwined threads of this case.  The first is the alleged violation of FL Bar Rules with its associated facts, and the second is the JQC’s process of arriving at its recommendations.

Alleged Violations

The alleged violations of bar rules involve a legal service contract with clients which provides for 100% client damage recovery, including interest without any set off for attorney’s fees or costs – and provides for the attorney’s ability to collect their fees & costs from court awards or defendant negotiated settlement of attorney’s fees only.  Although all the affected clients received 100% of their claimed damages plus interest, the Bar and JQC have taken the position that these client contracts were unethical.  Judge Watson disputes this and was prevented from admitting evidence of court attorney’s fees awards, or the work that was performed on each client’s case by the JQC panel.  The Bar/JQC’s position was that the client agreements were a form of contingency agreement, which they objectively were not.

The second alleged violation of bar rules involved disclosure to clients.  Here, the JQC suggests that beyond the 100% of damages plus interest the clients were entitled to contractually, they also were entitled to full disclosure of the attorney’s fees and costs not only in their own case, but in all the related cases.  Not only were the clients not entitled to this information contractually or ethically because the clients had had no standing either financially or otherwise in the attorney’s fees or costs, especially after they received full compensation – but, it would have been ethically improper to share information about another client.  The JQC in reaching to find a basis for its predetermined recommendation attempted to make individual but similar cases into a broad class action – which it was not.
The third alleged violation of bar rules involved Judge Watson’s promise to defend a settlement agreement.  The JQC alleged hypothetically that if required to defend the settlement, then Judge Watson would somehow breach a fiduciary relationship with her clients.  Not only has this not happened, but logically the assertion is absurd because, again – the Clients did not claim nor were entitled to more than 100% of their damages plus interest, which is what they received.

Interestingly, none of these three alleged violations were explicit in either the JQC’s notice of investigation, nor in the JQC’s notice of formal charges, and did not become apparent until the JQC’s closing argument at the final hearing.  Had Judge Watson been put on notice that these were the actual charges, she could and would have had a clear defense for each of these alleged violations.

JQC’s Process

Anyone who has followed this case knows that Judge Watson has objected to the JQC’s process, which is more like a “star” chamber then a deliberative process among professionals.  She has objected to the manner in which accused Judges are treated and how they are prevented from mounting a defense, receiving due process, equal treatment, and how the JQC’s alleged misconduct can and in this case did occur without consequence or oversight.

For a particular discussion of these process matters, I would refer you to Judge Watson’s DEC action filed with the Florida Supreme Court prior to the JQC’s published recommendations.  Although a new Florida Supreme Court action, this case was docketed in the JQC case area.  It can be found here, here, and here.

I would encourage every judge and attorney to read this filed case.  

The disciplinary process for attorneys and judges through the BAR and JQC is completely dysfunctional, and horribly flawed.  Its duel speeds of what I call railroad or whitewash must be addressed and stopped.  

It is not an exaggeration to suggest that the Watson case will have a significant impact on the professionals in our judicial system.  How the Supreme Court of Florida acts on the serious issues before it today will determine the character of our future Florida courts.

The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing”.  Judge Watson is standing up for the Judiciary while others duck and hide.  An independent judiciary is our best defense against tyranny.  

Dan Lewis

Coming Soon An Open Letter to Broward’s Judiciary …


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    I am sure Laura will find your legal analysis moving when she gets removed from the Bench and later suspended from the Bar.

    In reading between the lines it appears there were opportunities for Watson to have worked this out by eating some crow but instead she decided to fight everyone and obviously took your “legal advice”.

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    I’m sure Mike will support any ASA regardless of ethnicity so long as they are related to Mr. Scherer, Chief Judge Ross, or Dr. Porth.

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    I like Jahra. Nice guy. Good lawyer. BUT COME ON MAN…SERIOUSLY? Spend your money and time elsewhere. If you really want to become a Judge file in a seat you can at least make a go of it. A serious candidate would recognize that history dictates you have no chance in this particular race.

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    “An independent judiciary is our best defense against tyranny.”

    And the best way to ensure against tyrants on the bench is to run against them every time they are up.

    Thank you to Dan Lewis for saving Broward County.

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    History would also have dictated that Martin Luther King quit like a coward.

    Instead he stood up against all odds and prevailed.

    In the end the only coward was the racist who murdered him and went to prison instead of choosing to live in a world where all persons are treated equally.

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    Democracy is a bitch. You may be appointed for life in that black hole known as the southern district of Florida but in Circuit Court the good people of Broward vote you in….or out.

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  8. 0


    Wawa wawawawa wa wawawa wa………
    Quit the whining and hit the pavement and start kissing century village arse.
    By the by, how the demographics in Broward have changed.

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    Regarding Thanks Dan’s 4:10 p.m. comment: Thanks Dan should take a close look at Anonymous’s 4:57 p.m. further comment in this thread and attempt to truly ruminate upon the message set forth therein. Then Thanks Dan should take a look back at his or her own. I do not know the identity of either comment’s author. I do know that one sounds like he or she has the tenacity and integrity to fight a battle worth fighting, even if doing so might not be cost effective, while the other certainly presents a position which suggests that he or she is just one of the vast majority of Broward County practitioners who, on the whole, are too self-interested, too weak-kneed, and simply lack the general strength of character to go the distance for a client who simply wants the facts of his or her case presented to a jury because he or she has unique knowledge of the facts and circumstances (i.e. the “truth”) of the underlying matter which brought him or her before the court or other governing body in the first place. Bringing the truth out into the light, as Anonymous has stated, is certainly one of the most important functions, if not the most important function, that we, as members of the Bar, are duty-bound to perform. Sorry if it does not always generate the greatest return on capital investment to you as a businessperson, Thanks Dan, but try to remember that you are a professional, not a salesperson.

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    The Rosenthal clan might want to cancel all reservations for the Berkshires this summer.

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    I am sure Lewis will be there to help Watson pay her bills when she is disrobed and disbarred.

    love guys like Lewis who cheer others into a position to lose everything when they themselves lose nothing.

    Everyone has the courage to tell others to fight but if it was their own ass on the line they would have sucked it up, admitted some wrongdoing protected their careers. Even Conway was smart enough to figure that out.

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    I am upset by this Watson ruling, it was expected but that means that anyone that becomes a judge can be charged for something they did that someone believed was wrong. my understanding is that this act was before the election, brought up during the election and she won. I like Judge Watson when I have appeared before her. I think she is very ethical and have had many hearings? What am I missing but a bunch of good ole boys looking to make money from a contract they didn’t have that was airtight. I would not have removed Watson. How many judges have really had a JQC trial. I would like to see the stats.

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    Well its a good thing they can’t take a Judge down for breaking the drug laws when they were lawyers. Otherwise there would only be 6 freaks in the whole county left to lock up the black man.

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    Maybe Lewis should have represented Watson instead of The Bomb Squad. He’s a good writer. Does one need a bar license to work a case in kangaroo court?

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    please let me know where I can pick up my robe, keys to my chambers and my parking transponder.

    ready to roll

    Julio Gonzales

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    This is not me, I still have my old robe, keys and transponder, I can contact HR myself.

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    I feel bad for Julio, especially now. He spent 80k on the campaign and his hoghbpaid consultant Judy Stern failed to make Watson ‘ s bar problems a campaign issue. Stern cost him the race. The Bar PC finding was a month before the election and not a peep from Julio to make this a campaign issues.

    anyone looking to hire Judy stern this election cycle look at how she screwed julio and run the other way from her.

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    I’m sure Julio had a crew of dedicated cafeteria coffee drinkers supporting him. Everyone knows the courthouse dictates election outcomes and he would have become unpopular with courthouse set if he had let Broward voters know about Watson’s bar problems. Heck, she could have still won, and some of those fellows might have had to appear before her asking for a continuance so they could get paid.

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    Dan Lewis was not a “supporter” of Laura Watson, he was her very well paid campaign manager who seems to have a habit of mentioning only those facts that suit him best. Lewis manufactured the “Blue Card”…an illegal election day palm card that is the subject of another Watson complaint. In the end, Dan Lewis simply hurt Laura Watson.

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    Bar problems? Are you kidding. Like it makes a difference. Look at Sara Blumberg’s record of Florida Bar disciplinary proceedings and then ask yourself what the hell she’s doing heading up the traffic magistrate program in Palm Beach County. How in God’s name does someone with her history get that gig?

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    To “puppet master” poster aka Judy Stern

    Whatever happens to Watson in the end of the JQC/Supreme Court has nothing to do with how she held her self out in the election.

    The Order from Judge Crowe on this matter was always in the public domain. The FL Bar findings of probable cause a month before the election were public record as well. If the media and/or Julio or his campaign team failed to get this to the public you cant lay that on Watson or Lewis.

    As for the blue card, to give Lewis his due, it was a stroke of genius for that election. If it was so bad or illegal as many claim, why didn’t the two candidates most screwed by it filed elections complaints. Judy Stern hates Lewis why didn’t she file one?

    No doubt Julio and many of his supporters are blasting Lewis/Watson on this blog because the JQC did what Julio, Judy etc were incapable of doing what the JQC did, beat Judge Watson.

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    To Apples & Oranges (AKA: Dan Lewis)…so using a palm card that identifies judges by their parties in a nonpartisan election, which is a first degree misdemeanor, is YOUR idea of a “stroke of genius”? That sounds about right!

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    Not DL, not even close.

    Oh Rotten, you gotta be Judy Stern, you have been whining for 2 years about the violation of elections laws and specifically the misdemeanor.

    If this is all true, why didn’t Bob Nichols, Julio Gonzalez, Judy Stern or ANY red blooded Republican in Broward County file an election, ethics and/or criminal complaint about this blue card?

    As for a genius move, anything that kept Bob Nichols and Julio Gonzalez off the bench was genius.

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    Just wondering, if the Florida court agrees Watson is unfit, what happens to all the cases she decides between now and the opinion?

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    The same fucking thing that happened to all of judge pollack cases since we knew she was drunk off her ass on the bench….Peter won’t do a fucking thing so as not to offend the 1.3 people who may still support watson.

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    I would think you have to file a motion to recuse now or its waived? Unless you allege you didn’t know about the recommendation for removal?

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    She would have to be in court first before anyone can file a motion. If she’s anything like Judge Gardiner when the coffin lid was being lowered, she’ll be in her pj’s at home until the Supreme Court finishes her off.

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    How long til he kicks ana to the curb like Mary the first wife and marries watson. Watson is a looker especially compared to ana chunky banana

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    The pseudo-powers were pushing for the Rothstein party boy ex-appointed judge who does not have the capacity to be a qualified judge the voters seen through the empty suit, as you can see the good ole boy system was being played for Julio, why didn’t he list his RRA employment on the campaign bio?
    Broward Circuit Judges

    Group 45

    Julio E. Gonzalez, Jr.

    Age: 42

    Family: Married, three children

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in education, Manhattan College, 1992; law degree, Syracuse University, 1995

    Occupation: Private practice since 2009, former county judge, former prosecutor

    Key endorsements: Broward County Police Benevolent Association; Broward 10-13 Club (retired NYC police officers); Broward County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Local 4321

    Laura Marie Watson

    Age: 52

    Family: Divorced, one son

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in English, Stetson University, 1982; law degree, Stetson University, 1984

    Occupation: Private practice sine 1997. Former state prosecutor in Fort Myers and municipal prosecutor for city of Fort Lauderdale.

    Key endorsements: Paul Sallarullo , Arif Shad, Ed Cespedes

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    JULIO has about as much chance being elected back to the bench as PEDRO NO PEDRO. Neither would have ever been elected to the bench to begin with if they hadn’t gotten the pump through the appointment process.
    Both were miserable failures as judges and when voted out whimpered like two little desperita girls that had been chucked to the curb by their dates on a Saturday night after having been run hard and put away wet.
    Judy is all washed up and sucking chicken soup through a straw at this point and A-Turd can’t get off the toilet long enough to quote the 20 cent fee he’d need to take either one of them to the potty train.
    So there you have it. JULIO Rothstein’s pet dog stays with the short shave, PEDRO NO PEDRO just stays lost for good slinging his brand of slop, and JUDY JUDY and A-TURD the REAPER ain’t gonna reap nothing but Swill.
    Good luck punks. There’s a new powerhouse in town and you’re not on the agenda.

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    Polling will show that his “appointed by Scott” platform, which is really all he has, won’t get him elected by a long shot. His third unsuccessful run will only serve to increase his large and growing list of enemies. The only group he will carry is African Americans, and history shows that they don’t all vote as a block. She will have the time to make her case there, since she will lock up every other block in short order, and just about every important endorsement on both sides of the isle and elsewhere.

    Sure, Broward needs more African American judges and good candidates are out there – he’s just not one of them.

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    And you can be sure that Howard F., his silent advisor, knows very well that Frantz (or Jahra, or FJ, whatever he calls himself this time around) can’t win, but he couldn’t find anyone else stupid enough to run.

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    If I was a political consultant, and I’m not, I would tell him to go by FJ McLawrence. Do not appear at any Jewish/White event. Focus on the African American, Caribbean and Hispanic base and he can beat her. On Election Day the white voters will go for McLawrence, Irish obviously, and the Jewish voters for Rosenthal.

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    Don’t cancel court because its time to earn the post. Work a full schedule every day until the election is over. Keep up the good work denying continuances. Show the electorate you aren’t about to change your schedule or how you run a courtroom or slack off work because democracy is in action.

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    Just Saying – based on stats from the last mid-term, that approach will certainly fail, and not by a small margin. That’s why he has no hope whatsoever, way beyond any margin of error or correction for a change in demographics.

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    Remember that he lost to one very week and one week and disorganized opponent. This time around he’s challenging a well organized, well financed campaign that already has early and substantial support.

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    Oh boy it sure seems somebody’s doing everything they can to scare this supposed weak candidate off.


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    Wouldn’t an incumbent be happy to get such a weak opponent?
    By the by, exactly which criminal defense attorneys are backing the Honorable?

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