Broward: More Than A Dozen Judges Are Related





The brother of one judge announced this month he was running to join his brother on the bench.

At almost the same time, one member of a judicial couple collapsed in court.

It led to an e-mail asking

Why are so many Broward County judges related?

A quick glance at Broward’s judicial directory found more than a dozen judges related to one another:

*Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning and her brother-in-law Circuit Judge Mel Grossman, chief of the probate court.

*Circuit Judge Dale Ross and daughter, Circuit Judge Stacy Ross.

*Circuit Judge Alfred Horowitz and wife, County Judge Giuseppina Miranda.

*Circuit Judge Michael Rothschild and father, Retired Senior Judge Ron Rothschild.

*Circuit Judges Michael Kaplan and Michael Orlando, whose fathers also were judges in Broward.

*Circuit Judge Paul Backman and wife, County Judge Arlene Backman.

*Circuit Judge Arthur Birkin and wife Circuit Judge Barbara McCarthy. 

*Circuit Judge Dale Cohen and wife Circuit Judge Mardi Levey Cohen. 

*Circuit Judge Michael Robinson and wife, County Judge Mary Rudd Robinson, who is reportedly recovering from an aneurism after collapsing in court.

And just last week, Dennis Bailey began a race for circuit court, where his brother Circuit Judge Tim Bailey resides.

There might be more I left out.

It is not nepotism or inheriting the office, because all these judges fought hard to get either elected or appointed by the governor.  Most, if not all, are qualified.

Is Broward unusual?

Probably not.

After all, President George H. W. Bush had two sons that went into politics – George W. and Jeb Bush.

Or the Kennedy family.

Or even County Commissioner Marty Kiar, whose father Monroe Kiar is a former Davie commissioner

Whatever job is being sought, having a relative in the business is usually an advantage. You get contacts that a novice wouldn’t easily obtain.

That’s true for any job.  And it’s true for someone seeking the bench.

If your relative is or was a judge, you’ll have an easier time becoming one.





13 Responses to “Broward: More Than A Dozen Judges Are Related”

  1. Dean says:

    How about Barbara McCarthy? Her husband is a Judge. Her step-son (husband’s son) is a lawyer. He worked for Rothstein. At about the time Crist appointed McCarthy. You know, Rothstein who’s been shooting his mouth in Federal Court about buying judgeships in Broward??


    As I wrote, I probably missed some. Thanks.

  2. Owl says:

    Dale Cohen and wife Mardy Levey Cohen.

  3. Whack-a-mole says:

    And, in a similar vein, don’t overlook Lori and Geoff.

  4. Watson relation says:

    Laura Watson is related to Tim Bailey…both circuit court judges.

  5. count lf chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    As someone who was at Manhattan or formally new York county democratic. Judicial conventions and later lived on Miami beach in Miami Dade co let me say the same thing exists in both places. In fact until the legal profession and public officials in all five Boris of NYC became more representative of. Blacks women n gays it was assumed when an assemblyman lost re election or retired he would get a judgeship. And wives or husbands of politicians in new York and Florida have for 75 years been incredibly over represented in the judiciary, even gov n senator Herbert Lehman of my s brother became the top judge in the state ca 1940/1960.

  6. Lindy Wren says:

    Miette Burnstein and Larry Korda were brother and sister

  7. Lindy Wren says:

    Also Herb and Estella Moriarity. Husband wife. They were called Big Mo and Little Mo.

  8. Real Deal says:

    Not unusual. Most lines of work run in families.

  9. Patti Lynn says:

    The “Family Business?” It has existed forever…attorneys become judges, son, or daughter, follows dad or mom. Same with electricians, police officers, plumbers, congressional representatives, or any other line of work. It is up to the electorate to eliminate those who do not measure up. Kind of silly to blame family commections for a position that is elected. Yes, the appointment may come first, BUT…that doesn’t last forever…unless YOU allow that to happen.

  10. Abolish the BOCC says:

    Yes, Broward is unusual.

  11. related says:

    Dan Futch and Lee Seidman

  12. classmom2 says:

    Judge Arthur Birken is married to Barbara McCarthy and the son worked with Rothstein….

    Also Mietta Burnstein and her hubby is an attorney along with their son…………….She’s a crooked mean Judge who azz needs to be disbarred

  13. oh pleeze says:

    are the Englanders still presiding? (nikki’s sister and brother-in-law)

    just bizness as usual in broward/S FL