A Prayer For Former Judge Pollack






Former Judge Gisele Pollack stumbled.

Afflicted with the disease of alcohol abuse, Pollack betrayed the public trust by being drunk on-and-off the bench.

Yet, there remains a big place for her in private life. There is life after being on the bench.

Remember, Pollack is afflicted with the disease of alcohol abuse.  Pollack had been sober for two decades before backsliding in 2013.

Pollack took full responsibility for her actions. The drunken driving and causing an accident.  Drinking before taking the bench.

By admitting she was wrong, Pollack acted like another one-time judge who had a problem with the bottle —  Joyce Julian.

Julian had an embarrassing, partially-naked drunken escapade at a 2001 North Florida judicial conference.  It was all over the media.

She admitted everything and went into recovery.

Still, Julian lost a re-election bid. She went on to thrive in private practice after leaving the bench.  And, I’m told, she quietly helps those with substance abuse.

So Pollack, who resigned Tuesday ahead of certain removal from office, has a future. Although she is no longer a judge supervising substance abusers in Drug Court, she can continue to do the job she has dedicated so much of her life — helping those addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Long before she was elected judge in 2004, Pollack was an assistant public defender and was involved in Drug Court.

As I wrote at the time, Drug Court is the last stop before the Big House. Or the cemetery. If a defendant cleans up and lives right, they get a second chance.

Pollack is getting a second chance.

As a private attorney, Pollack could specialize in representing those with abuse problems. Even if she is suspended from the Bar, Pollack could help businesses and governments cope with tackling abuse among employees.

Pollack has something special. She has helped save hundreds, maybe thousands, in Broward from the ravages of substance abuse.

Those in need listen to her because she has suffered like they do.

Over the past two decades, Pollack has helped addicts from both sides of the bench.

One phase of her work for the community has ended.

I pray Gisele is well enough to begin another phase soon.






25 Responses to “A Prayer For Former Judge Pollack”

  1. Ron Gunzburger says:

    Gisele Pollack is a wonderful, caring person who truly made a positive difference in many people’s lives through her service on the bench. I wish her well — and much success — in the years ahead.

  2. Saint Giselle says:

    I wish her the best of luck. However if you have ever lost a loved one to a drunk driver you may not think she is Mother Teresa. Also if you were a defendant in courtroom while she was under the influence-and there is no doubt she was, you might feel differently. This reminds me of Bill Cosby. Rather than holding him accountable for his actions some people keep praising him for being a trailblazer. Food for thought Buddy?

  3. Saint Giselle says:

    One more thing-why do you need to drag Joyce Julian through this. Is it because she is a woman?

  4. The Bar Is Coming says:

    She’s going to be disbarred. There is no way the Florida Bar is going to put up with her.


    You could be right. She doesn’t have to be a lawyer to make meaningful contributions to society.

  5. Chaz Stegvens says:

    The odds of relapse are staggering.

    According to one survey, less than 5% of those who enter AA are sober a year later, and out of that slim group, less than 5% of those who made it to year one are sober at year five.

    We should expect relapse, that is the nature of the problem. We should not be surprised that Pollack fell off the wagon after 20 years of sobriety.

    Getting sober is the easy part. Living life clean is much more challenging.

  6. Norm Price says:

    Giselle is a very professional person and I am proud to say she is a dear friend who unfortunately had suffered with some tragic family matters which I feel is the reason why Giselle had her breakdown to start drinking again and I hope and pray that she will continue to keep the rehab on a positive note and saint giselle get a life because what your saying is not logical especially backing Joyce Julian being a woman and guess what so is Giselle and to end it Giselle is and always has been a class act

  7. John R. says:

    Though Gisele Pollack no longer belongs on the bench, she remains in our hearts. She helped so many and I wish her wellness on her path from here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Saint Gisele is a fool. People don’t condemn somebody because of a What If.

  9. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    I hope she runs again. I know Judge Pollack personally and I believe in her.

    I believe she is strong enough to overcome her challenges. I realize that her insight – based on her own life experience – is what helps make her uniquely qualified to be the Drug Court judge. She has the insight, compassion and life experience needed to do that job well.

    I would absolutely vote to reinstate her. And hope she can and will run again.


  10. Right on Angelo says:

    If Help Me Howard retires Giselle should run for his seat as her failing were not as bad as his.

  11. Bob Adams says:

    Norm Price, you are right, Gisele is a class act. There aren’t a lot of them around any mire

  12. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Howard was NOT ON THE BENCH at the time of his nonsense.

    Nice try, come again.

  13. Bob Adams says:

    Norm Price, you are right, Gisele is a class act! Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of them around any more. As far as an earlier post is concerned, I’m quite confident that there are many people who got their second chance at life because of Judge Pollack who just might think she is nearly Mother Teresa – or at least a true hero! Godspeed Your Honor! Many lives in Broward County because of your time on the bench!

  14. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    Is there anyone blowhard Angelo doesn’t comment on while being paid by BSO?

  15. Maritza says:

    Driving drunk is not a victimless crime. The majority of people in drug court are non-violent drug offenders. There is a huge difference between the 2. I don’t care if you get wasted at home.

    You are crossing the line when you are a Judge going to work under the influence-it impacts the rights of the defendants. Drunk drivers are a danger to society and have destroyed countless lives. Cursing out your co-workers is not a class act by any standards.

  16. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    The disgrace is that rehab from addiction is 33,000 dollars a month in Broward or palm beach county! How can anyone with addiction or mental problems even have chance under such conditions. I pity n hope for the judge but the lack n expense of services is ruining the lives not only judges but even hardworking first responders like a local lifeguard
    in our neighborhood

  17. Also Attended says:

    @14 Shh. Please be quiet and go inside, the adults are speaking.

  18. Broward Lawyer says:

    @ Comm Castillo

    Most folks like Giselle Pollack, to know her is to love her. Legally, as far as her judgeship goes, it’s over. Even if she were to run in the next Election, 2016, and were to win, she would still be subject to removal by the JQC and the Florida Supreme Court. Because she resigned before the Florida Supreme Court got to rule on her JQC complaint it would be revived as a pending matter. Buddy is right. This phase of her life is over, but she can continue to work for and with those, like her, that need help. All the best to you, Giselle.

  19. Oh really says:

    Another puff piece on Giselle from her
    Friend Buddy. Now these are the folks
    Buddy doesn’t like Supt Runcie, President Obama and Richards. What do these folks
    have in common????


    I have few problems with President Barack Obama.

  20. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    @17. Funny. You are part of the reason Broward is so corrupt.

  21. Also Attended says:

    @20. To be more precise, it’s that you’re an asshole.

  22. Elaine Harmych says:

    As a retired P&P Officer, I respect all of your hard work. You know how hard it is to break the cycle of addiction and I wish you only the best. I know you will be a success in any future endeavors. I’ll be rooting for you and thank you for your service!!

  23. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    @21…No, Angelo, you are.

  24. City Activist robert walsh says:

    Put it all behind you Judge.Look forward , not back. One day at a time “GP”. Keep the “faith” . Run for Public Defender(help me Howard is not running again-get w/ him he likes you.) You can control your own destiny Judge, just stay away from Jack Daniels.(don’t feel bad I was sold out to “Jack Daniels”. So what I survived(and how( huh Bern). Life goes on. Two roads here-stay somber or piss your life away. You only can make that choice(good luck). You can do it….

  25. Wayne Arnold says:

    Former Judge Pollack has encountered personal failings with her drinking problem. But you are right Mr. Nevins she can overcome them as she has in her past with her service to help others with similar problems as she has in the past. I truly hope she is not disbarred as an attorney. What ever happens with this individual and her life will I am sure reflect on the kindness and concern she has showed to others. We have all made mistakes in life and most of us wish we could re-do some of those errors. But the Former Judge can look to her future with hope just as many of us have done over the years.