Broward Judge Matt Destry In Trouble Again






Broward Circuit Judge Matt Destry removed a photo from his Facebook page Timeline on Thursday after a complaint from a campaign opponent.

The photo depicted Destry standing between two lawyers — his re-election opponent Brian Greenwald and Greenwald’s campaign treasurer Matt Glassman.

The three men are smiling broadly.

The caption read, according to Greenwald,.. In the last frame, Judge Destry is pictured with Matt Glassman and Brian Greenwald, both of whom started out in his division as assistant public defenders.”

There are problems:

  • The picture was taken six years ago at a Holiday party.
  • The caption was incorrect, and
  • The photo may violate the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct.

Both lawyers asked Destry today in writing to remove the photo, which for some bizarre reason, was posted on Wednesday.  The judge complied with their request.

Why did Destry decide to post the photo yesterday?  Why did he put the misleading caption?

Greenwald told that the caption was wrong. He did not start out in Destry’s courtroom, but had been an attorney for six years when the photo was taken.  “At that time, I was assigned to Judge Destry’s courtroom as the lead attorney for the PDs office and was handling 1st degree and life felonies,” Greenwald said.

The judge’s posting of the photo also may violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.

This is from a 2008 opinion the Florida Supreme Court’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee: “…endorsements, whether from persons, interest groups, or the media, must not be implied when they do not actually exist.  In re Renke, 933 So. 2d 482 (Fla. 2006).  Viewers of the photos, if used in campaign literature (including any web site), will naturally assume the judge the permission, support, and/or endorsement of others depicted in them.  Thus, while we cannot state that the Code of Judicial Conduct imposes an unequivocal ban on photos of a judge with various functionaries, we do believe that the use of a thorough disclaimer is required lest voters perceive a political alliance that does not actually exist.  It should be clear that any such photos were not taken in connection with the judge’s re-election campaign and do not imply any sort of endorsement of the judge by the persons depicted therein.  The same caveat applies to pictures of the judge with non-officeholders.

Last week, Destry was criticized for allowing campaign photograph to take place in his courtroom despite complaints from defense attorneys and a defendant that they didn’t want their pictures taken. That story is linked here.

In addition to Greenwald, Destry’s opponents in the August primary include Barbara Duffy, Haccord Curry Jr. and Abbe Rifkin.


Destry Facebook

(click to enlarge)

7 Responses to “Broward Judge Matt Destry In Trouble Again”

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    And Judges wonder why people have lost respect for a segment of the Judicial system?

  2. Former ASA says:

    Brian Greenwald is the worst! I am not as familiar with judge Destry but Brian Greenwald was my PD. Horrible person to work with. Unprofessional, rude, arrogant for no reason, and a sore loser. I wish there was a group that was openly against Greenwald and I would join. If he gets elected Judge, I will vomit. Maybe he will pull a gun again and get some bad press soon. He is the worst.

  3. reall? says:

    Is this really a story? A picture? And the title is “Matt Destry In Trouble Again” – You are CLEARLY a Matt Destry hater Buddy Boy

  4. Both terrible says:

    Brian has the worst temperament and demeanor. He never behaved in a nice way towards anyone. I think he would be worse than Destry (and that is aging a lot). Rifkin is the best candidate in this race.

  5. Boycot Destry says:

    Prospective jurors should do what these ones did to the judge who gave the lenient sentence to the Stanford rapist:

    Prospective Jurors Boycott Judge Aaron Persky As 1 Million People Demand His Recall

  6. To Former ASA says:

    Sounds like you got your ass handed to you by Greenwald on more than one occasion. Yet you claim that HE’S the sore loser? He’s a defense attorney, the fact that he pissed you off means that he was good at his job. Stop being such a sore loser.

  7. Owl says:

    To #6:

    You wrote “He’s a defense attorney. The fact that he pissed you off means he’s good at his job.” I’m not quarreling with your feelings or opinions regarding this judicial race. Elections are critical to our system of laws. I do, however, disagree with the one statement you wrote quoted above.

    I think it’s normal to feel that good results in an adversarial system only come from the two sides fighting and never seeing eye to eye. But, in general, I’ve seen far better results come from professional lawyering where the lawyers and the judges separated court from personal attacks. As each year passes, we get farther and farther away from that.

    Sometimes, lawyers don’t even see when the judge protects them by saying how well they did. I suppose having more than ten law schools and over 100,000 lawyers in our State will necessarily lead to a downgrade in the profession. The problem is that the legal profession can’t afford much more of a downgrade.

    Some five years ago, recognizing a downward trend in lawyering, the Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar was modified to include a paragraph mandating professionalism and civility. That paragraph seems to have had little effect in improving the practice of law, at least in South Florida.

    I wish each of the lawyers and judges who truly have a desire to serve, the best of luck in the upcoming elections. Knowing many judges, I can say that I hear their comments vary from “this is the best job in the world” to “I wish I worked in a different County” to “it’s just not worth it.” I hope the winners of each judicial race will all feel that it’s the best job in the world.