Judge Richards: I’ll Fight Hard For Re-Election




Ian Richards



When he was in Miami-Dade’s Norland High School, Broward County Judge Ian Richards was told he could die at any time.

Suffering from severe asthma, Richards was supposed to take it easy.

His answer?

“I ran track,” Richards says. “When they said I would die, I did it anyway.”

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Jonathan Kasen take heed.

Richards vows he is not going to be a pushover for Kasen or anybody else.

Kasen opened his campaign for county judge against Richards earlier this month.

The challenger has an impressive resume.

He was an assistant Public Defender for five years, winning awards for his almost 100 jury trials. In private practice for the past nine years, he has extensive experience in federal and circuit court.


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Casey Anthony: Infamous Kasen client will be part of campaign



His most notable client: Casey Anthony.

Kasen represented Anthony in the criminal and civil defamation cases early on, getting facetime on CNN.  He is close to Anthony’s lead attorney Jose Baez and they are scheduled to try a case together later this year.

For the past few years, Kasen says other attorneys have approached him about running for office.

“I’ve told him he would make a good county court judge,” says Mike Dutko, one of Broward’s premier criminal defense attorneys and a former cop.

Dutko is one of the courthouse crowd promoting Kasen’s candidacy.

“I’m impressed with Jonathan,” Dutko says. “I’ve talked him up.”

But Richards sees the antipathy among some members of the Broward Bar as revenge for 2008.  That’s when he gained a seat on the bench by knocking off incumbent County Judge Catalina Avalos, who was backed by most of the legal establishment.

“I understand the memories of attorneys are long…They’ve just decided they want to take me out,” Richards says.

Richards is going to make it tough for them.

This one could get more interesting. Two guys in the race leave an opening for a woman.

For instance, Judge Olga Levine was in a race with two men last year and won.

Richards’ re-election battle promises to be one of the hottest judicial races next year.


21 Responses to “Judge Richards: I’ll Fight Hard For Re-Election”

  1. Thank You says:

    Thank you Mr. Dutko and Mr. Kasen for making it acceptable to run against an incumbent Judge as well as one who is a minority.

    Sound like the Kulik gameplan again, didnt Kulik used to work for Dutko?

    Dutko, it is all fun and games until someone runs against an incumbent judge who is minorty that you are friends with. If that Judge gets taken out, stand proud with your choices.

    All hail the retrun of of the Jordan (Jordan) Breslaw’s of the world.

  2. The Broward Bagman says:

    It’s going to be a very long and hot summer in 2014….Ricahrds, what goes around, comes around!

  3. John Fusaro says:

    I do not know Richards but I do know Jonathan. Great guy who I have had many personnel conversations with about life and football.
    I would love to see him as a judge.

  4. Abe Gittlesohn says:

    ALL judges should have to run for reelection to keep them in touch with their bosses the people and keep them humble.

  5. Avalos IsNotPartOf theRevenge says:

    Judge Cohen’s friend Buddy Nieves is desperate to get a better candidate than Casey Anthony’s attorney into the race against Judge Ian Richards. Buddy Nieves also wants to make sure everyone sees a photo of Judge Ian Richards. Does being a negro matter? Why should the friend of Broward property appraiser Lori Parrish and her husband Judge Geoffrey Cohen care who wins this race?

    Could this e-mail be one reason?

    From: Judge Ian Richards
    Date: Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM
    Subject: Re: email
    To: Judge Peter Weinstein

    To: Chief Judge Peter Weinstein

    Most people understand that it is improper to talk to a judge about a pending case which is being handled or might be handled by that judge. The concern here is the potential for lawyers, colleagues, and comrades to become too comfortable. That comfort is what leads to crossing the line between harmless conversation and ex parte communication. Conversations like this erode public confidence in the justice system. I humbly suggest some type of ethic’s training on the bright line rule regarding ex parte communication and judicial impartiality. I suggest that the training be for both judges and staff because of the following two examples:

    Ms. Tanya Greene (name removed by Buddy)

    On Tuesday January 25, 2011 Ms. Tanya Greene, a supervisor in the Domestic Violence civil injunction section of the Broward County Courthouse, called my Judicial Assistant Loraine Talamini in the morning saying she wanted to speak with me. I received the message in the form of a cell phone text when I was on the bench. I also noticed her standing in my courtroom at some point in the morning. My judicial assistant was answering the phone from home because of a family illness and texting me to contact Ms. Greene. It seemed urgent because I received more than one text. All of the runners being supervised by Ms. Greene have my cell phone number in case they need an injunction to be reviewed or signed. After the morning docket ended Ms. Greene came by my office and thanked me for speaking with her. She then handed me a note. I did not read the note and she began to talk about her boyfriend or husband. I stopped the conversation immediately. My instincts told me that she was talking about a case. She then left the office.

    I knew there was a problem but I could not activate the procedure to handle this issue because my Judicial Assistant was not in the office and could not contact all required parties. Subsequently, I walked down to Room 130 and approached the docket clerk for my division. I told her my heart was in my throat because someone who seemed like a domestic violence victim just approached me in my office with this note. I asked her to pull the file and put a conflict notice on the folder. I also asked her to set it for hearing in a week to deal with the ex parte issue, with notice to the State and Defense. Since my docket clerk said the case was set for hearing soon I agreed to deal with the ex parte issue on that date. Sometime after going to the Clerk’s Office, Mr. Harvey Foreman’s assistant contacted me and I informed her of my intention to recuse myself from the case. I recused myself from the case before the upcoming hearing. Later I was informed of the disciplinary action that the Clerk’s Office took regarding Ms. Green.

    Judge Geoffrey Cohen (name removed by Buddy)

    On March 30, 2011 at approximately 8:50am, Judge Geoffrey Cohen’s judicial assistant approached me regarding an urgent matter. According to her, Judge Geoffrey Cohen wished to discuss the issue with me at 9:15 am. I was reluctant to speak with him at that time because my calendar began at 9:00am, but out of respect I agreed. At the start of my calendar, I informed everyone that I would take a brief break at 9:15am so that those who had small children present were ill or who had to leave early would call their cases up before I left for break. At about 9:15am I went to meet Judge Cohen in his chambers. He thanked me for coming and went on to talk about a case (name removed by Buddy) pending on that morning’s calendar call. Judge Cohen explained that he knew the defendant’s father. Judge Cohen said the defendant was very fragile and that I should not take him into custody because that would have an extremely negative effect on his attendance at the local college. The judge said that the defendant was on a positive path. Judge Cohen continued the conversation making it clear that I should not take the young man into custody as I had already ordered prior to that morning. I responded by saying: “Well I have to let the State and Defense know about this.” Judge Cohen said: “I would rather you did not tell anyone about this conversation.”

    Thereafter I left Judge Cohen’s chambers and returned to the bench. I tried to continue my morning docket. However, I paused before calling the next case and stopped the calendar once again. I asked Linda Berman (Assistant State Attorney) and Cheryl Koewing (Assistant Public Defender) to go into the jury room with me. Inside the jury room I informed Ms. Berman and Ms. Koewing about the conversation with Judge Cohen and asked what they wanted me to do. During the conversation I was told that the young man’s family is locally very influential. However, neither the State nor the Defense chose to recuse me. After I returned to the bench, the father of (name removed by Buddy) requested to have his son in a substance rehab program for 5 days instead of going to jail for 5 days. I told the father, with the Defense and State present, that if the defendant agreed to be in a substance rehab program for a reasonable period of time and the court could verify it, then the court would consider not taking him into custody. The father was upset and left the courtroom. The young man surrendered himself and was taken into custody.

    Later that day I called the then Chief Judge Tobin and explained what happened. He suggested that I recuse myself, which I did immediately. I then spoke to another judge regarding the incident to get a perspective from outside of the 17th Judicial Circuit. Recently (Friday June 3, 2011) the defendant’s father once again came to speak with me while both Ms. Berman and Ms. Koewing were present. He sought to assure me that the rumors were not true and he had not and would not file a J.Q.C. complaint against me. I understand I may receive some negative reaction for addressing this issue but my conscious compelled me to bring this to your attention.


    Judge Ian Richards

    17th Judicial Circuit
    201 SE 6th Street
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33301


    The name is N-E-V-I-N-S.

  6. Duke says:

    Well.. based on what I just read.. followed-up by a quick search at the clerk of courts website (who’s your daddy.. that got your traffic tix dismissed but was nowhere to be found on the battery charge)I would have to conclude that Judge Richards is a man of integrity and honesty. Probably more so then the guy who told us that Casey Anthony had nothing to do with the kids murder. But that’s just me.

  7. just one vote says:

    a little history perhaps
    Judge was admitted to FL Bar in 2002
    I understand to run for judge you need 10 years as Bar member (?)
    when he ran they was no photo
    the ‘english’ sounding name deceived some as few voters vet the candidates and ‘just pick one’ or skip the line (do i have this judge mixed up with another than was elected in similar fashion?)
    The judge of course wants to keep his seat – who wouldn’t?
    Daily Business Review used to do a write-up on all judge candidates a few years back so we could at least have their take on the qualifications and experience of judge candidates


    The requirement to be a judge is being a member of the Florida Bar for the previous five years.

  8. No judge is an island, except Ian Richards says:

    Ian Richards ran against incumbent Catalina Avalos in 2008. He did so because of her hispanic name. That to me is not a person of integrity.
    As a judge he has alienated all his brethren, including the African American judges, with his arrogance.
    He is lacking in intelligence and judicial temperament.
    He deserved an opponent and this time the people will know who they are voting for, even if he doesn’t show up at Century village and Kings Point. You can’t hide this time Ian Richards.
    You better start working on your base and get the Haitians and Jamaicans out to vote.

  9. wendy jones says:

    I have heard Kasen is great. Have heard Ian Richards is not the brightest from both PD’s and the SAO’s. I appeared before him once and he was ok. I think it was a fluke he won in the first place. I would like to know if he really used the term “vagina justice” on the record. If so, he does not deserve to be a judge. Buddy, can you find out if this is true?

  10. shannon marvel says:

    I think Kasen is the least of Ian’s problems. He is going to have a female challenger that will be a problem for both of them. Look on the bright side, when Ian loses he can always go to a big firm and double his salary. The perks of being a former judge….

  11. anon says:

    Wow. At least in civil division, they will buy you lunch first.

  12. no kidding says:

    @No Judge – you are correct with the latina opponent. seems the ‘english’ sounding name deceived many, took votes from her and he won as I never saw a photo of Richards during camapign

    @Wendy Jones how could any attorney with 5 years experience be a reputable and respected judge? so of course richards is not

    @shannon – let him get a gig at big law along with all thee other big law attorneys scrambling for clients

  13. Ha Ha Ha says:

    A comment worth quoting from JAABlog:

    “8/9/2013 7:58 PM Veteran Trial Lawyer wrote: I had heard only negative things about Richards. I recently had a somewhat complex civil case in his court. He could not have been more fair, great judicial demeanor, very patient . He was stellar. I have never seen him in action other than this one case. I was very impressed . (and I have no dog in any of these election issues)”

    JAAblog also notes that “[…] the number of Black judges [is] at [an] already pathetically (and institutionally racist) low [level …]”. That situation was explored in detail in the comments to this BrowardBeat article back in May 2013:


  14. experience says:

    As a veteran criminal trial lawyer I am not impressed with Kasen or Richards. This county needs Judges dedicated to the law, and Broward’s citizens, and not to themselves. I am hopeful that a 3rd candidate with these qualities seeks this seat.

  15. Get it right says:

    Bottom line. There are 90 judges in Broward County, 7 Hispanic and 6 Black. That’s 7% Hispanic and 6% Black. No where near enough in either case. Notwithstanding that, Ian Richards should be voted out because of his arrogance, his lack of knowledge of the law and his lack of judicial temprament.

  16. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Roshawn Banks deserves to be elected. Not sure if she wants to run against Richards or not, but she has run before and she would bring both great talent and diversity to the bench.

  17. get it right this time says:

    @Get It Right
    you said it – we ain’t trying to meet quotas on judges

    how about competence and experience?
    he won’t get my vote

  18. Kelly says:

    Buddy, please find out if there is a transcript of the “vagina justice” comment allegedy said by Ian richards. This can’t possibly be true????


    I believe you mean allegedly true.

  19. voter says:

    “”…Roshawn Banks deserves to be elected…..””

    maybe that attitude is the problem.
    and qualifications are what? 15 years since passing bar?

    let her run again if she wants to take time away from her practice and paying clients

  20. Praise them says:

    Whoever runs against Richards have Big guys behind them. We should praise them for our own interest. Richards, being on the bench for almost 6 years, still has not learned: looking the other way and brown nosing the big guys are not bad at all, plus it makes your life a lot easier!

  21. Elaine says:

    When a black man stands up for justice and speak his mind, it is arrogance. If he was white, with a British name it would not have been mentioned that he did not use a picture. There are many candidates that do not use their pics. It is not a requirement so drop that. Your comment is very narrow minded that he ran against Catalina Avalos because she is hispanic. How about running so that he can make a difference like he has. Check his history as a judge. How much of your hard earned tax dollars he has saved the county and treated both black and white fairly.