Gov. Scott’s Surprise: Raag Singhal Named Judge




For the second time in a week, Gov. Rick Scott has astounded Broward pols with an appointment.

Last week Scott named real estate agent Donna Korn to the School Board, which surprised many Republicans.  This week the governor appointed to the bench Raag Singhal, a criminal defense ace.

A criminal defense attorney!  Wow.

By choosing him, Scott proved again that he is not a creature of the GOP establishment. He is not bound by some doctrinaire Tea Party philosophy.

After all, Scott rejected the Tea Party lawyer who applied for the job.

Singhal, who has repeated applied to the bench, is a Republican.  But he resigned from the Republican Executive Committee last year to support Charlie Crist.

The new judge has a long history handling sensational cases.

When he was an assistant state attorney from 1990-93, he prosecuted Kathy Willets for battery.  Willets was a prostitute who was caught on video having sex with a Fort Lauderdale pol.  She titillated Broward newspaper readers for years.

As a defense attorney, Singhal represented the infamous Aileen Wuornos, who terrorized Central Florida highways for a year and fatally shot six men who had picked her up. She has been the subject of  at least two movies, numerous books and even an opera.

As the president of the Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he went after at least one judge who was alleged to be insensitive towards defendants.  The judge was transferred out of criminal court

A few years ago, Singhal represented former Sheriff Ken Jenne’s secretaries in the wide ranging probe of the sheriff’s conduct.

The bottom line:

Singhal’s appointment disproves the complaint by some that the only way to the bench for qualified criminal defense attorneys is through the ballot box.

Emphasis on the word “qualified.” Singhal is eminently qualified. I believe most doing the complaining are unqualified.

Eight years ago, the association of defense lawyers honored two federal public defenders that represented a man convicted of murdering a Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy. Singhal was asked to make some remarks.

Raag Singhal said, “Lawyers who fight for the truth like they have, really deserve praise.”

Not a bad guy to name judge.

I’m waiting to see what other surprises Scott has in store for Broward.


Wournos With Singhal 

15 Responses to “Gov. Scott’s Surprise: Raag Singhal Named Judge”

  1. Wayne Arnold says:

    Mr. Nevins sounds like the Governor made an excellent choice in naming Raag Singhal to the bench. Governor Scott may be a one termer in the eyes of those who find fault with his policies but this chief executive is independent in thought and action and he is a good fit for our state in these tough economic times.

  2. Broward Politico says:

    Buddy –
    So much for your theory that “Tea Party” guy, Tom Truex, would get it. And let’s not forget your fall back position that Ari Porth was going to get it because of lobbyist deal cut to get Porth from contesting County Commissioner Stacy Ritter. Someone’s giving you losing horse.

    I wrote about Tom Truex applying for the post on June 11. I never said he would be appointed. All I wrote was he applied.

    I also never said Porth was going to get it. Same thing: I wrote he was going to apply.

  3. Come on Buddy says:

    If you are going to write about Singhal then lets be clear where the resistance was to him becoming a Judge, it was not because he was a criminal defense attorney.

    It was because of antics during the closing arguments in the penalty phase of convicted cop killer Jeff Weaver. To help refresh your memory, Jeff Weaver needlessly gunned down Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Bryant Penney in 1996. His theatrics and crying in front of the Jury was, to say the least, unbecoming anyone who wishes to serve in the prominent position of Judge.

    To further disprespect the fallen officer Singhal attempted to have Officer Penny’s body exhumed to try and show some how Penny’s own partner shot him in “friendly fire”.

    I have a feeling Mr. Singhal will have a tough time with the LEO Unions in 14′ and having to judtify his actions to the voters of Broward County.

  4. Mister Courthouse says:

    Raag Singhal is a lawyers lawyer. He is a fine, experienced attorney who has every qualification needed to be a judge.

    Come On Buddy would like every defendant accused of shooting a police officer to be tried in the court of the Red Queen. As the Queen said: “Sentence first – verdict afterwards.’

    FROM BUDDY: Welcome back, Mister Courthouse.

    Mister Courthouse is apparently referring in his second paragraph to The Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.

  5. Kevin Battersby says:

    The governor could not have selected a better appointment . I know the New judge and family . He is an outstanding lawyer , family man and person . My opinion of Rick Scott just changed , way to go

  6. Brick Man says:


    At no time did Mr. Singhal attempt to have Officer Peney’s body exhumed. In fact, he represented Jeffrey Weaver in the penalty phase only, having been court appointed more than three years after the crime. The PBA has perpetrated this lie for years.

    With regard to his closing argument, the Florida Supreme Court voted 7-0 that Mr. Singhal followed the law exactly. It’s too bad that “Come on Buddy” doesn’t care about the truth.

  7. Courthouse observer says:

    I see the moron PBA- backed establishment continues it’s ignorant rants and baseless allegations designed to destroy Raag’s chances for any political gain or judgeship. Despite the comments perpetuated by ‘Come on Buddy”, the
    claim that Raag was responsible for the exhumation of Officer Penny’s body is complete and utter bullshit for two reasons. First, Raag handled the penalty phase of the trial and consequently, would not have argued the guilt or innocence issue. The ‘friendly fire” defense would be asserted by the guilt phase counsel. Secondly, despite the defense, there never was any exhumation, never mind implicating Raag in such a ficticous plot of slander and defamation. PBA
    hotshot Lt. Jeff Marano generated the propaganda in an effort to deceive Law Enforcement groups, without regard for the truth, in the execution of his amateur and illicit campaign and personal vendetta to punish Singhal for doing his job. This is Marano’s legacy.

  8. To tell the truth says:

    Dear “Come on Buddy” @ 3:14 pm:
    You are a LIAR. A total and unadulterated liar. If I were Singhal I would sue you for defamation next week (John Doe first, until I got your name through a subpoeana).
    You have perpetuated the lie that Singhal had the Officer’s body exhumed for too long.
    If you have proof that I am not accurate. Post your authority on this site by tomorrow.
    Lets face it, your not upset because Singhal showed emotion during his closing arguement, rather you don’t like him because his efforts were ultimately vindicated by the appellate court.
    Put up or shut up.
    I await your proof…

  9. yawn says:

    i look forward to Raag having to tell the real people/voters of Broward county how he cried while representing a cop killer.

    He may be a great lawyer, a lawyers lawyer, but when he gets to the condos, its not his fellow lawyer cheerleaders he has to convince, the average non lawyer is not going to say “oh you were doing your duty” while crying over a cop a killer.

  10. POF says:

    To “Yawn”:

    If that’s what you “look forward to” you need to get a life.

  11. Correction says:

    1. If Judge Singhal does a good job on the bench the voters will focus on that and not a case he handled years before he served as a judge. He was an advocate for his client, that’s the job of a lawyer.

    2. Btw Buddy…. Defense attorneys get appointed for judge all the time. Examples: Jay Hurley, Dale Cohen, Julio Gonzalez, Michael Usan, Pedro Dejoles, Michael Robinson. Who do you get your info from? Or do u make this stuff up?

    A number of the wave of judicial candidates last year complained defense attorneys couldn’t get appointed and that is why they were running. I believe the ones doing the complaining were largely unqualified.

    The ones you mentioned are qualified. All were appointed by previous governors for a variety of reasons. None were as visible in the criminal defense field as Raag Singhal.

  12. Broward Politico says:

    @ Buddy

    By unqualified you mean the class of 2010 that ran against 15 incumbents and went zero for 15? You mean Oliver Parker, Frieda Goldstein, Alan Schneider, Jordan Breslaw, Bob Nichols, Alan Bernstein, Heidi Berkowitz, Laura Seidman and the rest of the unqualifieds?
    Let’s see how many crawl from out of the wood work in 2012

  13. Kevin Battersby says:

    looks like come on Buddy has no proof , disgraceful tactics

  14. Millard Fillmore says:

    Kathy Willets created a huge scandal. More than just a prostitute, she was the wife of a BSO deputy who would hide in the closet and film her with her “Johns”. One of them turned out to be a holier than thou Fort Lauderdale Commisioner that was on a crusade to rid Ft. Laud. of adult bookstores and strip clubs. Her book of clients kept people tuned in to the news more than rothsteins.

    FROM BUDDY: And I believe she later went on to be a stripper and an adult film actress.

    The flamboyant Ellis Rubin represented her at one time, using the so-called “nymphomania defense”.

  15. Joey K says:

    The on bad part about Mr. Signhal becoming a judge is he can no longer give me legal advice. Raag was/is the absolute beat of the best. Think of your stereotypical attorney – and he’s the exact opposite. He will thrive in any role he serves – and Justice will always Prevail. I love that guy.