Judge Continues Campaigning Despite Questions About DUI






It would be easy for Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal to hide.

She could stay cloistered in her house until her criminal charge for allegedly driving under the influence of the sleeping medicine Ambien was settled.

Rosenthal could let surrogates speak for her.  A multi-millionaire, she could pay for mail and TV ads to talk for her.

She isn’t doing that. She is out there meeting voters and taking her licks.



Judge Lynn Rosenthal speaking to voters this week


Planting herself at door of the Davie Cooper City Republican Club meeting in a community center this week, Rosenthal thrust her flyer into voters’  hands and answered their questions. Her husband Mitch – presumably her driver since the DUI charge – hovered nearby.

After the two dozen club members were seated, she was first to speak.

Tonight was like almost every campaign stop: The question about the DUI comes up.

“I would speak about it. (But) until the judicial process takes place, I really can’t comment,” Rosenthal told a man asking a question at the Davie Cooper City club.

No one should blame her for staying silent. Only a fool would potentially prejudice her case with the courts and the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which rules on the fitness of judges.

Rosenthal’s major worry is the JQC. If voters elect her in the August primary, Rosenthal faces a hearing and possible penalty from this judicial body.

So she could win and be suspended from office by the JQC at some later date. Or she could just earn a slap on the wrist.

All this is sad because Rosenthal is qualified to continue as a judge.

Growing up in Miami-Dade, she graduated from the University of Florida Law School in 1981 and went to work for several civil law firms.
“It didn’t feel right for me,” she said.

So she got a job with U. S. Justice Department, first handling civil matters like employment discrimination. Then she switched to criminal cases, prosecuting just about every federal crime on the books.

Rosenthal was an assistant U. S. Attorney from 1985-2012.  She was appointed to the bench in July, 2012 by Gov. Rick Scott and since then has been handling criminal and dependency cases.  This is her first campaign.

Other than her legal career, Rosenthal raised three children in South Florida, is a member of the Jewish Federation of Broward County and is a volunteer therapy dog handler.

Some defense attorneys have complained that Rosenthal leans towards the prosecution because of her background. That seems to be the only rap against her and one she addressed in an interview with Browardbeat.com late last year.

She told Browardbeat that she encouraged lawyers to “give me criticism so I can be a better judge.”

I don’t hear the call for criticism from too many judges!

Rosenthal has a simple answer when asked why she continues night-after-night to face the questions about her DUI that she can’t answer.

“It’s my job,” she said.

She is right. Voters like to see candidates, hear them, touch them…and decide for themselves.

Rosenthal understands that.

Apparently her opponent Franz “Jahra” McLawrence doesn’t understand the value of meeting voters. He was the only candidate for circuit court who didn’t show up at the Davie Cooper City Republican Club meeting.



McLawrence did show up later the same night at a political meeting in Lauderhill, according to one of Browardbeat.com’s readers.  Here is the comment the website received:

Kevin Cerino

Submitted on 2014/06/13 at 9:42 am

Both McLawrence and Rosenthal were at the candidate forum last night in Lauderhill.

McLawrence spoke first. His speech was pretty similar to those given by the other judicial candidates. He talked about his experience blah blah blah. The only thing of note that he said was when describing himself he used several adjectives, including the word ‘sober.’

Rosenthal then gave an unremarkable speech blah blah blah. Some jerk in the audience asked if she was was the judge who was recently arrested for a DUI. She admitted that she was indeed the judge who had been arrested. After expressing her displeasure that her opponent was using this issue to his advantage, she stated that her respect of the judicial process precluded her from commenting on her case. Another audience member asked if the incident was from alcohol or pills. She admitted that it was pills.

13 Responses to “Judge Continues Campaigning Despite Questions About DUI”

  1. feren says:

    Thank you judge feren for taking a pay cut to be a broward county judge. Considering you don’t work that jar who knew you taking a pay cut meant working fewer hours as a judge.

    Also why does your campaign manager brown take pictures while the candidates are speaking not only rude but makes one wonder if this is the best use of time these people pay him for. Brown took so many pictures of Dennis Bailey and John Contini some would wonder if you were auditioning for playgirl.

  2. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Meeting judges in person is over-rated. They can’t or won’t say anything significant. The far better way to evaluate them is to first check relevant sources (JAAblog, BB, etc.) and then use search engines to find out more.

  3. Weston voter says:

    Thanks judge feren for letting me know I wouldn’t live on my city without you and you took a pay cut to serve as my circuit court judge. Can you stop by my grandmas house next week and lay hands on my grandma she has shingles

  4. Fed Up with Broward Corruption says:

    I wouldn’t consider Jaablog a relevant source. JAABlog is a gossip page for disgruntled court employees. But I do read it and am shocked at the one point of view comments there.

  5. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Can’t agree with #4. JAAblog gives a very valuable inside perspective. Example here, illustrating the inconsistencies between Feig-Rosenthal’s behavior on the bench and her appalling misbehavior when she’s the one who’s being arrested, aka flagrant and unconscionable hypocrisy:

    Feig-Rosenthal is currently running for reelection, opposed by Jahra Mclawrence. The DUI has thus become an election issue, exacerbating the normal concerns attendant to the arrest of any constitutional officer, particularly a law enforcement demigod.

    The refusal has a lot of people scratching their heads. Feig-Rosenthal is a circuit court judge, held to a higher standard of behavior. She’s supposed to lead by example, and comply with lawful requests by police officers. Additionally, she was assigned to the criminal division at the time of her arrest, and was known as a zero tolerance judge.

  6. Fed Up with Broward Corruption says:

    So, because she is running for reelection she is not permitted to avail herself of her constitutional protections? Higher standard? Where is the outrage over Obama and Holder lying to the American people? Is this just all because she is pro-prosecution? What if this was Howard the Hypocrite? All the same people would be rallying in support behind him. I don’t know her, and I don’t care too, but all this noise is suspicious.

  7. Number 4 says:

    My guessPeter Weinstein

  8. Señor Censor says:

    The sheriff’s vehicle was parked illegally in a fire lane.

  9. Fed Up with Broward Corruption says:

    #7 – wrong…..not a judge or a liar. Just fed up with the double standard.

  10. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @6 – Florida law requires you to take a breath, blood, or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. It’s illegal to refuse the test(s) – and the tests are all based on your consent, since you had to consent to take all these tests in order to even get a driver’s license.

    There are no constitutional protections involved here. This is a situation in which a Circuit Judge is breaking Florida law.

    This multi-millionaire is a hard-ass “zero tolerance” type against regular citizens in her courtroom, but when it’s time for HER to obey the law – well, don’t you know that the law is only for the little people and can be completely ignored by the rich? Rich people can just go ahead and shamelessly continue campaigning for re-election as if nothing happened!!

    Richard Nixon explained it perfectly: “It’s not illegal if the President does it.” Apparently Feig-Rosenthal has revised that to: “It’s not illegal if the rich and powerful do it, and it’s especially not illegal if I do it!!”

  11. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Gotta pass along this little gem from JAAblog:

    Decisions, Decisions … – Palm Beach ASA’s Michael Smith and Richard Clausi have ninety days from May 28th to decide if charges will be filed against Lynn Feig-Rosenthal. Coincidentally, day ninety falls on August 26th, the same day as the election.
    You just can’t make this stuff up …

  12. Fed Up with Broward Corruption says:

    #10, Thank you for that explanation.

  13. Refusals + Lying says:


    After repeatedly saying she “cannot” talk about her pending DUI charge, Broward Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal eventually conceded to the Sun Sentinel’s editorial board Tuesday that she “won’t speak” about it. … The interview was a series of Rosenthal refusals when it came to any aspect of her arrest. She declined to comment on why she initially prevented release of her jail mug shot. … She also declined to specify why voters should re-elect a judge with a pending DUI charge.

    “As much as I’d like to speak about it, there is a judicial process and I cannot speak about it,” Rosenthal said. When pressed, Rosenthal eventually conceded that it wasn’t a matter of not being able to speak about it, but rather she has opted not to. “The law doesn’t preclude me from talking,” she said. “I won’t speak about the case at this time.”

    The election is Aug. 26.


    Browardbeat.com wrote about Rosenthal’s reluctance to talk about the DUI on June 13 (above)…five days before this Sun-Sentinel editorial.