Fla Supremes: Judge John Contini To Get Reprimand





Broward Circuit Court Judge John Contini will be publicly reprimanded by the Florida Supreme Court for coaching an assistant public defender how to file a motion without informing prosecutors.



Judge John Contini


Contini had earlier agreed to the punishment, which was recommended by the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

The Supreme Court accepted the JQC recommendation today.

Justices wrote that “we approve the JQC’s Findings and Recommendations of a public reprimand, letter of apology, continued judicial mentoring, completion of a mental health program, and assessment of costs of these proceedings. Accordingly, we hereby command Judge John P. Contini to appear before this Court for the administration of a public reprimand at a time to be set by the Clerk of this Court.”

A private defense attorney until elected in 2014, Contini admitted to advising an assistant public defender on how to file a motion for leniency, but not telling prosecutors. Done at his first day of judicial college in March 2015, Contini called the correspondence a rookie mistake. Such contacts are called ex parte and strictly forbidden.

The decision is here:


12 Responses to “Fla Supremes: Judge John Contini To Get Reprimand”

  1. city activist robert walsh says:

    He is lucky that’s all he is getting. Also all you lawyers that gave money to these elected judges that got in, keep in mind like I told a friend of mine who is in litigation to have the opposing lawyer disqualified because I proved they gave monies to the sitting judge, shows bias. Bingo atty. taken off case. I bought my friend more time. That’s all I’m good for. Oh they call when they need something. Parents called me suckerboy. In times of crisis is when I shine like a new penny. what do I do when I need help, look Robbie, bobby, slobie in th e mirror and say hop to it there sunny boy before u end up on skid-row. although u could drop me off in anywhere USA and I would survive. (big deal)….

  2. WTF says:

    “Completion of a mental health program” was this used in lieu of “anger management”? How awful. Can you imagine how this line could be used against him if he has an opponent down the line. If you don’t like the Judge’s decision you could take issue that he was/is in a mental health program. Anger mgmt is one thing and acceptable in society but “mental health program” sounds awful.

    Feel bad for him.

  3. Dear idiot walsh says:

    What bullshit, lawyers do not get removed from cases for contributing to a campaign for Judge. The rules are clear that a Judge does not even have to recuse or disqualify themselves in a case where an attorney made a donation.

    Come up with new material.

  4. Steven B. Feren says:

    Dear Buddy,
    I haven’t read your column in months (lost the app), but just had a whim to check it out now, since I’ve been up all night. And what is the lead article? Judge John Contini himself. So it seems like a good idea now to get some things off my chest, while I’m still around.
    In no particular order:
    1. The JQC complaint filed against me by “Chaz” Stevens, just weeks before my election, was thrown out by the JQC. So I guess my last mailing was accurate after
    all !!
    2. Mr Stevens is the one who violated a State rule, that prohibits publicizing/releasing the name of any Judge a complaint is filed against until a probable cause determination is made. But Mr. Stevens ran right to you, and you published a copy of it. Which you knew would hurt my campaign.
    And you accused “me” of desperation tactics????
    3. My opponent told the two newspapers two different things. That’s what I sent out, with the specific dates and pages for each newspaper. And all you could come up with was “who knows if the newspapers got the dates right?” That’s not just more of your decades old battle against me, that was a disservice to every resident of Broward.
    4. What a nasty campaign was run against me. Someone at the Urban League told me that my opponent’s worker was telling everyone that I hated Blacks ! I still have copies of the phony “Official Democratic Party Voter Guide, which listed my opponent as the party choice.!!! It is against The Rules Of Judicial Conduct for any candidate for Judge to be listed on a partisan political ballot—-especially a phony one. Ironically, my opponent was a registered Republicannat the time.
    4. Then there were the persistent rumors that I left work frequently to play poker in casinos. Never happened one time, and no one even had the nerve to say they saw me at one. But the smear continued.
    The truth of the matter, which you knew perfectly well from several conversations that we had, was that I was ill. I have had Crohn’s Disease since I was a child. I think you even did a story on it once, when I was hospitalized while I was Mayor of Sunrise, so the doctors could remove part of my intestines, for the second time. Like many others, everything I accomplished in my life was despite this illness. It began to flare up, and I was at the doctors or sick in bed when I was medically absent from the Courthouse.

    Buddy, after writing whatever you could to slam me, how come you never even mentioned the two major mishaps at the Courthouse by your favorite???
    Nothing until the JQC actually went out and filed a complaint on its own.

    And now we have the Supreme Court’s ruling. Another black day for the 17th Circuit. And one you directly contributed to with your biased reporting. Just what I was trying to avoid when I spent $30,000. of my own money at the end.
    I hope you’re happy with yourself.

  5. Ellen says:

    The Florida Bar described former judge Laura Watson as “incapable of being rehabilitated,” and yet she is now ahe mediator for family law cases in Broward County. Someone described by the Florida Bar referee as incapable of being rehabilitated is literally influencing the lives of children??
    More disturbing, Watson is mediating cases for attorneys who wrote affidavits in support of her to the Bar and she and the attorneys are failing to disclose this information to opposing parties and two judges.


    This link contains pages from an affidavit written by family attorney Robert Moraitis in support of Laura Watson in 2014. This information needs to be made public for the sake of children whose parents have no clue about these types of “friends with benefits” that do not benefit children.

  6. Baby says:

    FORMER judge Feren. You lost. Find something to do other than bellyache.

  7. Scowl says:

    Dear Buddy,

    Everyone has the right to an opinion. And, if there are two different opinions, it doesn’t mean one of them is correct.

    I enjoyed reading both the column on Judge Contini and ex-Judge Feren’s remarks above. I also enjoyed your coverage.

    My opinion? Neither one is fit to serve but both believe they are.

    As far as Feren’s rambling above about his work ethic? It was non-existant. His own words on the campaign trail were to the effect of “So what that I leave early on Fridays? I’m just as likely to leave early on a Monday or Tuesday.”

    Like the election protestors blocking the streets now, he ought to go find a job where they appreciate him. Hopefully that job will be in another country.

    Thank you for your election coverage. I appreciate very much that, despite this being a blog, you actually report facts much better than the mainstream media.

  8. Dinosaurs for extiction says:

    Steve you and your campaign consultants, Dave Brown and Barbra Miller blew it. You put in 100k and only spent 30. If you had someone running your campaign who had a clue and you used another few thousand you would have won. You lost because you were cheap and your team was old using tactics that stopped workin years ago….

    What was up with that teddy bear on your mailer, you couldn’t find a bear that had eyes? Creepy.

  9. Broward Parent says:

    Judge Feren,

    Thank you so much for your service to Broward County parents such as myself. Thank you for keeping my daughter safe for the past 2 years. Judge Contini has put my daughter in grave danger and then recused himself after leaving a gaping hole in your good judgement. I will work with the new Judge to fix this error but I wanted to give you my many Thanks for all that you have done.

  10. Broward Parent says:

    And By the way. The last of the cases which Judge Feren heard on my child’s behalf was on a Friday after court hours he stayed late and the case ran way over time. So I don’t even understand this whole nonsense about him leaving early. Many many Thanks again.


    The reputation that former Judge Feren had for leaving early comes from other judges and Feren’s own comments to the Sun-Sentinel.

  11. southflorida corruption.com says:

    The law is the law but still what a load of crap as far as Contini is concerned.

    Read our story at:

    We haven’t updated since the Supreme Courts order this week but it was as we expected.

    With all the real corruption in the Broward court system that obviously include Satz, they go after a judge who seems to really be trying to do the right thing and be a true public servant. The SA office filed the complaint as he just started.

    His integrity is evidenced by his admission of his mistake and willingness to make amends.

    We have never stuck up for a judge before and probably won’t in the future much as most of these clowns won’t deserve it. If they do we will. Look at our website and YouTube channel see the video of Destry. We’re not done with him yet.

    We would like the help of Broward Beat and Red Broward with this:

    We want to get the sheriff’s public corruption unit to look into the Destry matter.

    More specifically the activist he had the meeting with. If they only tried to influence his decision then that’s a felony.

    Our opinion is that Destry resigned not only to try to preserve his pension, but knew that the JQC would certain ask what was said at that meeting.

    This would have put him in a position to either lie, or take the fifth. Don’t think that’s ever happened before. Also says we smell a rat.

  12. Well said says:

    South Florida Corruption makes good points.