Update: Complaint Filed Agt Judge Steve Feren For Violating Code of Judicial Conduct





Circuit Judge Steve Feren may have stepped over the line governing judicial candidates when he mailed a slash-and-burn attack filled with misrepresentations about his opponent.

A complaint to the Judicial Qualifications Commission about Feren’s mailed ad was filed late Friday by blogger and activist Timothy “Chaz” Stevens. The JQC is the agency that polices judges and judicial candidates, meting out punishments that can range from a slap on the wrist to removal from office.

Stevens sent his complaint to the JQC shortly after the first version of this Browardbeat.com piece was posted.

Citing this post, Stevens alleged the judge’s attack against opponent John Contini violated the Florida Supreme Court’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

Feren’s ad stated that Contini has a “history of lying and skirting the law, struggles with addiction” and has “right-wing supporters.”

It also states that “Contini has the support of extremists including one of the co-founders of a right-wing organization which has been outspoken against gay activists,” a charge which it offers no proof. This charge is the rankest guilt-by-association allegation I remember in a judicial campaign ad.

The entire piece is misrepresentation of Contini.

Feren’s ad, which smells like desperation, is unique because it is mailed by Feren’s own campaign. Usually attack ads in a judicial campaign are done by a committee, which puts the allegations at arms length from the candidate. Committees are not governed by the Florida Supreme Court’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

But everything in this piece comes directly from Feren and is governed by the Code.

The Code says that a judicial candidate can not “knowingly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent…”

It also states that Feren “shall maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office and act in a manner consistent with the impartiality, integrity, and independence of the judiciary…”

The piece creates the impression that Contini is a liar, skirts the law and struggles with addiction today. That’s a misrepresentation, if not a downright falsehood.

Feren has another statement in his flier. He notes that the Sun-Sentinel recommends Steve Feren.

True, but incomplete.

Here is the paper used words like “undistinguished” and “underwhelming” to describe Feren.  It’s recommendation reads: “It’s Feren by a nose, even if you must hold it while voting.”

I wonder if the paper’s decision would have been different if editors had seen this advertising before their tepid endorsement. After all, the Miami Herald endorsed Contini.

Bottom line: I think Feren’s advertising is a violation of the Code complaint waiting to happen.

If Feren wins and the Judicial Qualifications Commission acts, we could have a judge who is removed from office right after being re-elected.


Below is the back page of the flyer.  Note the disclosure from “Steven B. Feren on the bottom right:

Steve Feren Piece


Feren complain

48 Responses to “Update: Complaint Filed Agt Judge Steve Feren For Violating Code of Judicial Conduct”

  1. just one vote says:

    didn’t want to vote for contini but this may compel me

  2. Shame on Feren! says:

    Feren should be ashamed of himself! The fact that Contini has overcome his addictions should be applauded and viewed as evidence of his compassion for a critical issue that is dealt with in our courtrooms on a daily basis. Twisting that personal experience into a negative is nothing short of perverse. I would never trust Feren to make an unbiased decision in a case involving mental health or addiction issues. So let’s see…no compassion for juveniles…no understanding of addictions and mental health issues…questionable work ethic. And this from a sitting judge…just disgusting!

  3. Sarah says:

    SO, let me get this straight, is this the same former Mayor of Sunrise that was the only person to get his full refund on the TAO condo unit purchase but all others lost their money and are probably still fighting to get it back? Is this the same Former Mayor that also PERSONALLY ENDORSED the TAO condos to help promote sales to the unsuspecting pubic, namely his constituents? He has some real BIG ONES .. Oh, and lets not forget the gambling Judge Feren that was in some poker tourney and won money from playing. Was he “off duty” as a judge at the time or maybe it was an Ambien dream I had.

  4. Retired Lawyer says:

    This ad is egregious. This ad by Judge Feren is outrageous. A JQC complaint needs to be filed against Feren immediately.
    The Supreme Court of Florida may kick him off the bench for this.

  5. Rico Petrocelli says:

    I smell desperation, and Buddy you are right of the endorsement on Feren, underwhelmed.

    Endorsing Feren by a nose, but you have to hold your nose when you vote for him?

    Vote Contini….

    Rico Petrocelli
    Former Councilman
    City of Plantation

  6. Shame of Feren! says:

    Feren should be ashamed of himself!! The fact that John Contini is open about overcoming his addictions is something to be both applauded and viewed as evidence of his ability to understand and empathize with those that will appear before him every day. For Feren to twist something so admirable into a negative is nothing short of perverse. Let’s see…no compassion for juveniles…no empathy for substance abuse or mental health issues…questionable work ethic. All from a sitting judge. How disgusting!

  7. Bowl says:

    In addition to everything you write, it’s interesting that Feren, who misses work to go to the casino, makes an add based on gambling and rolling dice. Looks like an admission to me.

  8. Voting for contini says:

    Showing the true colors in Camp Feren. Your supporters should be proud !

  9. Ha Ha Ha says:

    If Feren wins and the Judicial Qualifications Commission acts, we could have a judge who is removed from office right after being re-elected.

    Oh, please, PLEASE let that be EXACTLY how the future unfolds!!!

    I held my nose & voted for Feren & I urge everyone else to do the same. Immediately following the election the JQC should boot Feren out of office. Let’s have a new election with new candidates – hopefully at least ONE of them will actually be worth electing!

  10. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Correction: if the JQC boots Feren then the Governor probably gets to appoint a replacement. So the JQC should boot Feren out of office during or after mid-November.

  11. Ha Ha Ha says:

    2nd correction: the current Governor’s term ends January 2015 so the JQC should consider Feren’s case carefully and then give him a swift kick in the rear end on February 1st 2015.

  12. Retired NYPD says:

    As for Judge Steve Feren, I’m curious about the following:

    1.) http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2011/04/judge_steven_feren_hires_bogie.php – I’m curious, how come you got your money back when no one else did? Are you special or was it because you were Mayor of Sunrise and voted for the Tao?

    2.) http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2008/12/the_tao_of_sunrise_mayorjudge.php – Tell us about the Tao in Sunrise, Judge Feren?

    3.) http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-04-14/news/fl-feren-tao-reaction-20110414_1_feren-sunrise-mayor-imogene-ferguson – Word has it that you are “cooperating” with the federal investigation. What exactly does that mean, Judge Feren?

    4.) http://www.4dca.org/opinions/Sept%202010/09-08-10/4D10-1987.op.pdf – Tell us why you were kicked out of Juvenile Court, Judge Feren. Was it because some of the kids wanted to exercise their right to trial when they felt they were not guilty?

    5.) https://www.facebook.com/sunsentinel/posts/185137528198918?stream_ref=5 – Tell us why Justice is looking at you? What have you done wrong, Judge Feren?

    6.) http://www.docstoc.com/docs/94060901/Motion-For-Disqualification-Of-Judge-JAABlog – More kids seeking to disqualify you for failing to do your job, Judge Feren?

    7.) http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202610781163/Judge-Feren-Shows-Determination-On-Bench,-In-Poker?slreturn=20140501074409 – If you spent as much time serving us on the bench as you do playing Poker, then you should be re-elected.

    8.) http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/files/34726-32374/fer_11.PDF – It’s a wonder that you last so long in the Juvenile Division. Great job, Judge Feren.

    9.) http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/2014/05/02/contini-v-feren-.aspx – Experience comes in many forms, Judge Feren. While you are lifelong politician, Contini is not.

    10.) https://twitter.com/JAABlog/status/2240449875 – What is this all about, Judge Feren?

    11.) http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/2014/05/21/jury-room-update.aspx – You spend more time in the jury room than you do in your own courtroom, Judge Feren. Why is that?

    Interesting that you don’t have your own Facebook page, Judge Feren. Are you afraid of what you others might say? Inquiring minds want to know Judge Feren. Please tell us.

  13. Anthony Baumann says:

    Informed sources at the United States Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Florida have “dropped” their corruption investigation of you in exchange for a Rule 11 proffer letter providing “substantial assistance” in other cases under investigation.

    Question for “The Honorable Judge Steven Feren” – what exactly does that mean? What did you give up to save yourself?

  14. Bill W's Friend says:

    What I am most saddened by is to see the old school respected members the democratic party who are supporting Feren and rallying to his defense.
    Barbara Miller, Mitch Ceasar, Ilene Lieberman, Ann Zucker, Lori Parrish, is this a mail piece that are you proud to be associated with? We have seen you all at the polls and on social media supporting him. Do you support this?
    It is sad to see so many highly respected leaders in our community support the public berating and shaming of someone who has successfully gone from active addiction into recovery. Shame on all of you if you do not remove your support for Feren immediately.

  15. my vote counted says:

    11,329 early voters as of Thursday Aug 21 per browardsoe.org

    I voted early afternoon in Pompano at Community Center. I also voted for Contini after reading this.

    No one can stoop this low and then be a judge although I was conflicted before reading this. Thank you Buddy for posting this.

  16. Ho Ho Ho says:

    To Ha Ha Ha

    So I suppose you figure that after February 2015 your and Charlie Crist’s friend Scott Rothstein will buy a better judge?


  17. Ha Ha Ha says:



    According to the City’s website (see above link), Contini was personally notified on May 10, 2011 and given 15 days to pay up. He didn’t. The City gave him another 15 days. Still didn’t pay. In fact, Contini didn’t pay up until June 27th.

  18. Frank White says:

    As a Republican supervoter, I was surprised to get this mailer bashing him for having supporters. Whoever did his targeting should be fired.

  19. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Page 2 of the Feren mailer compares these newspaper quotes:

    “John P. Contini says that he battled alcoholism, sought treatment and has been clean and sober for about 15 years.” (7/28/14, Miami Herald)

    “He told us he stopped drinking this year.” (8/14/14, Sun-Sentinel)


    Who’s to say the papers or the flyer got the quotes right?

  20. Ha Ha Ha says:

    From Contini’s Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JohnContini):

    “Is it really too much to ask, requiring welfare recipients to simply pass a drug test in order to get their benefits? Isn’t this a good thing, to guard against waste, and doesn’t it even benefit those in need of welfare…” (11/01/2012)

    “The beauty of being both a criminal defense attorney and a born again believer is that the arena is clearly a mission field, a real ministry.” (9/18/2012)

    “Well, here it is, more big brother, forced health care for everyone –and who’ll pay for it all? YOU!” (6/28/2012, Contini commenting on US Supreme Court’s approval of Obamacare)

    “It’s true, the “stand your ground” law in Florida doesn’t need to be repealed at all — and if folks think that Florida is now too much of a cowboy State and too dangerous now to live in…” (6/12/2012)

    “He would say just about anything at this 11th hour on the eve of the Presidential election, if it meant he might garner a huge new voting block — conveniently distracting the public from all of his economic failures while simultaneously throwing a nice big bone to the liberal elite media…” (5/10/2012, Contini commenting on Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage)

    “This is pandering and absolute bullsh#*, sentencing this politician to 14 years for what little he did (that they all do every frickin day!)…” (12/7/2011, Contini commenting on former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevitch’s prison sentence for corruption related to the solicitation of bribes for political appointments including a vacant U.S. Senate seat)

    “Evidentiary Proof of the Gospel Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” (12/30/2010, Contini arguing that the Bible is provably correct, that lawbreaking happens because of Biblical sin inside of people, and that “The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”)

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is appalling. It makes me shameful to be an attorney and have all of this going on. No wonder the public has a bad perception.

  22. Paul says:

    What was wrong with the ad?Is anything amiss? Don’t think so. Did you give Feren the opportunity to address your concerns? Seems like you lost all your objectivity in this race Buddy. Ashamed of you..

  23. Today says:

    To Paul:

    Buddy doesn’t have to give Feren “the opportunity to address [his] concerns” as you say. BUT, the JQC will. And, once that happens, every time Feren opens his mouth he will dig himself a bigger whole.

    We don’t need him around the courthouse and he knows it. That’s why he rarely shows up for work anyway. Since his taxpayer funded paycheck is direct deposit, he doesn’t even have to show up for payday.

  24. Sam Fields says:

    Above all, The First Amendment protects political speech more than any other type of speech.

    If you doubt this, put two signs on your lawn. The first one promotes a candidate for office and the second promotes bargain prices at Walmart.

    When the city fines you for both, guess which one the courts will view as protected by the First Amendment.

    As long as judges are voted on, and I have no problem with this, there has to be some level of First Amendment protection for judicial candidates even if you think their fliers are misleading or even outrageous.

    Should the JQC discipline Ferren, it will undoubtedly end up in Federal Court (judges appointed for life) where I suspect an opinion that will excoriate electing judges but protect Ferren’s 1stA rights.

    A little surprised and disappointed to see that 1stA aficionado Chaz Stevens filed the complaint.

    The remedy for controversial views by judges is to disqualify them from the case. Gays and atheists might decide they can’t get a fair trial from Contini. Ferren’s voting record in Sunrise might be used to recuse him in a case before him.

    The voters, and not the JQC, need to decide if Ferren has stepped over the free speech line.


    Judicial candidates may or may not be able to say anything under the First Amendment. That doesn’t mean they should say anything.

    Steve Feren’s piece is another step towards cheapening the political discourage. Feren’s piece is another step towards dragging judicial races into the same mud that has existed for partisan races for years. His piece is a mishmash of misrepresentation and unproven charges.

    I also believe the piece smacks of desperation. Only a judge on the ropes and fearful of losing his cozy job would resort to such garbage. Feren admitted in the Sun-Sentinel he takes off early almost any day of the week. He blamed it on not having a case that day, allowing him to go home. That is a downright lie. The court computer will show Feren has numerous cases he could study and get caught up on any day of the week.

    I believe any judicial candidate who resorts to such tactics probably doesn’t belong on the bench. They lack the demeanor to be a judge.

  25. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Buddy, have you already lost all your investigative reporting skills? The newspaper quotes can be verified by anyone in less than a minute by simply using a search engine to find the original articles on the newspaper websites…


    His opponent, attorney John P. Contini, says that he has battled alcoholism, sought treatment and has been clean and sober for about 15 years.


    A criminal defense attorney and former state and federal prosecutor, Contini … worked in the Broward State Attorney’s office before joining the U.S. Department of Justice’s anti-obscenity task force. He has since worked as a criminal defense attorney. In 2001, he wrote a memoir chronicling his problems with addiction. He told us he stopped drinking this year.

    The Feren mailer (page 2) quotes four passages from that 2001 Contini memoir, “Feeling The Heat – An Interrogation of the Soul”. Here’s one from page 47: “‘Tell me, why do you drink more when you’re in trial?’ Dr. Talbott asked me. ‘The pressure to be on, to perform, I guess, I replied’” And quoting from page 61: “I convinced the forensic docs back home to send me treatment, and I only came here to hide from the feds back home. They were targeting me… all that mattered to me was building a mental health defense in case I was indicted.


    No, you’ve lost your reading skills.

    I have no doubt Contini has had a history of drinking and everything else. I wrote: “The piece creates the impression that Contini is a liar, skirts the law and struggles with addiction today. That’s a misrepresentation, if not a downright falsehood.”

    Just because you did things in the past doesn’t mean that today you have “questionable integrity,” as the piece alleges.

    If that was true, a simple look at Feren’s past record as the mayor of Sunrise would disqualify him from any public office.

    I abhor the coarsening of judicial races of which Feren’s piece is the worst recent example. Judges are supposed to hold themselves to a higher standard. I’m not naive. I understand that judicial elections are very political. But for a judge to sign his name to an ad filled with numerous misleading charges, some of them totally unsubstantiated, is a new low.

    The piece says “John Contini: is a Risk We Cannot Afford On The Bench.” At least Contini be on the bench, not relaxing at home or at a poker tournament instead of working like Feren.

    This race is another reason why we should have appointed judges who then face merit retention elections every six years.

  26. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    So, what do you think it’ll take to stop the practice of electing judges?

    The people who make money from the campaigns certainly don’t want change. Evidently the political establishment doesn’t either.

  27. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Buddy, my reading skills are 99th percentile. I was responding to this statement you made @19: Who’s to say the papers or the flyer got the quotes right?

    The flyer did in fact get the newspaper quotes exactly right, and anyone with nothing more than the ability to use a search engine can very easily verify that in less than a minute.

  28. Kevin Hill says:

    Actually, Charlotte, under the Florida Constitution we, the voters could by referendum decide to cede our power to elect judges in this circuit and county. That option is available in all the circuits and counties.

    …. it’s just that to date not a single circuit or county has chosen to do so, and I am not even sure anybody knows the details of how such a referendum would work (i.e. is it put forth by the County Commission? The Court Clerk? Citizen petition?).

  29. Sam Fields says:

    You totally missed the point of my piece.

    It does not even attempt to defend the veracity of his mailing.

    It only focuses on how to remedy scurrilous speech.

    It sounds like you prefer to have a government agency (JQC) regulate speech. I think they should confine themselves to bad conduct and issues related judicial temperament. (e.g. challenging the Public Defender to a fistfight)

    I prefer the free market of ideas and the voters on Election Day to regulate political speech outside the courtroom.

    If only there was a fool proof way to select perfect judges.

    Take note, two of the three Broward judges arrested for DUI were appointed!


    I didn’t miss anything, Sam. I addressed the First Amendment in the first paragraph and then went on to address the problems I have with the ad.

  30. Frayed Knot says:

    Why is it that Alain Jean has his hands in every dirty judicial mail piece this cycle?

    I did not receive this so not sure what the other side looks like, but using someone’s addiction against them is wrong.

    Btw-I voted for Feren weeks ago and wouldn’t change my vote based on what I know of both men. Had Feren had a solid opponent my vote may have been different.

  31. Ha Ha Ha says:

    If Contini told the Miami Herald that he quit drinking 15 years ago, and then told the Sun-Sentinel that he only stopped drinking this year, he can’t be telling the truth to both. Only one of these statements could possibly be the truth; the other one would then clearly be false.

    The Feren flyer explicitly says “Contini wrote a book where he admitted to lying regularly, skirting the law, threatening to beat people up…” – that’s referring to 2001 – and then observes that “He told the Herald and Sun-Sentinel two very different stories” about when he stopped drinking – that’s referring to 2014. That’s more than enough evidence to back up the flyer’s statement that Contini has a “History of lying and skirting the law”.

    I think we’ve already had WAY more than enough problems with Broward County judges and alcohol abuse. Gisele Pollack also claimed to have put her alcohol problems to rest, and we all know how (un)true that was.


    I’m glad you are so sure that the paper’s quoted Contini correctly.

    By the way, no comment on the unproven allegation in the ad that Contini has “extremist supporters” who have “been outspoken against gay activists?”

    And again, one month or 15 years ago doesn’t mean today. Maybe John Contini struggles with sobriety one day at a time. Steve Feren struggles to get to and stay at work by his own admission.

    That’s enough on this subject.

  32. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    As you know, I’m a huge proponent of the First Amendment.

    I didn’t really see this as that … after all, aren’t the Canons there to deal with this … and didn’t Feren agree to them when he signed on the dotted line.

  33. David and Barbara says:

    The ad is the work of scumbag David Brown and that witch Barbara Miller. These two never passed up the chance to throw mud in any elections.

  34. Kevin Hill says:

    Speaking of ads (dumb ones, not nasty ones), did anybody else notice that Julie Shapiro Harris becomes the latest person to send out of those coloring books that Mastermailer prints?

  35. Zig says:

    HAHAHA = Dave Brown (Feren’s campaign manager)

    Sam Fields – stop campaigning for Feren.

    Chaz – Thank you for doing the right thing.

    Buddy – Great piece!!!

  36. Trail says:

    Zig is exactly correct.

    Re: HAHAHA it’s likely tremendous pressure knowing this could be an 0-2 election. That leads to desperation.

  37. just saying on the record says:

    Sure wish Chaz Stevens would consider being the broward Inspector General. He has all the smarts and the tools.
    Those at 1 N University are clueless, like dogs with bark but no bite. they investigate but do NOT enforce.
    Chaz has single-handedly (yes all by himself) brought more unethical and criminal behavior to light, ith charges, than all the SIU’s and enforcers in the past.

    thanls Buddy for giving credit when and where credit is due in your Forum.

  38. Fairness? says:

    The issue is whether the flyer is misleading. It seems misleading if we all have to try to interpret what was meant from reading the content. So this might not be a 1st amendment issue. Lawyers cannot mislead clients in their flyers soliciting new clients-judges likewise can’t mislead voters.

  39. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Kevin, the process you describe is really complicated and onerous, and I doubt any group of elected would do it because they’d be afraid of the lobbyists’ revenge.

    Sam, as I’ve blogged prior, I wouldn’t have the present system of appointing them. Obviously way full of mutual back-scratching.

    The appointers should be from outside Florida, retired and not involved in politics. Supreme Court judges, law school deans, Bar officers come to mind, and I’m sure there are more good people out there willing to get the justice system back on the ethical side.

  40. Anonymous says:

    To Charlotte:

    The positive aspect of electing judges is that you can get a judge like fern off the bench. Imagine a decision is made to appointment a judge and it doesn’t work out, ie. the judge is lazy, we all know the JQC will do nothing, so although the system has faults, it is still a better way to keep everyone on their toes. Besides we live in a democracy and not all candidates for judge act like this judge did.

  41. Hmmmm says:

    There has to be accountability for the number of days a judge works. How many days did he work last week? Is he in his courtrooom now? Or is he out campaigning on the taxpayers’ money?


    There is no way that a judge can be forced to work a certain number of hours.

  42. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Chaz,
    Assuming you are correct about the Canons of Judicial Ethics, then we have a conflict with the First Amendment.

    I choose the First Amendment. You choose the Canons. Like I said, I am disappointed and surprised.

    Dear Charlotte,
    So you have a plan for a non-political committee to pick judges. Who selects those people? POLITICIANS!

    We had a pretty decent system before Bush changed it. The Judicial Nominating Commissions (9 members) were made up of 3 by the Governor, 3 by the Florida Bar and the remaining three by the first six.

    Bush and the Republicans changed that so that he had all nine.

    On the November ballot Proposition 3 will allow the Governor to pick future Supreme Court justices before they even retire. Talk about a political grab of the Judiciary.

    Hopefully you and the rest of Florida will say a resounding NO!

    In the world we live in, whenever there is money or power on the table there will always be politics.

    With all its faults, it is better than the previous/alternative system for allocating money and power. It involved picking up a club and crushing your skull. {See Game of Thrones}

    I am always wary of proposals to make government better by reducing or eliminating citizen involvement.


    Here we go again, accusing those evil Republicans like Jeb Bush of making the Judicial Nominating Commission (The group that recommends to the governor who should be appointed a judge) too political.

    Under Bush’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles, the Broward JNC was under the control of the county’s Democratic machine run by Public Defender Al Schreiber and Democratic boss Mitch Ceasar. Wasn’t that political?

    The current JNC is appointed like this, according to the Florida Constitution:

    (5) Each judicial nominating commission shall be composed of the following:
    a. Three members appointed by the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar from among The Florida Bar members who are actively engaged in the practice of law with offices within the territorial jurisdiction of the affected court, district or circuit;
    b. Three electors who reside in the territorial jurisdiction of the court or circuit appointed by the governor; and
    c. Three electors who reside in the territorial jurisdiction of the court or circuit and who are not members of the bar of Florida, selected and appointed by a majority vote of the other six members of the commission.

    The governor can reject the Bar nominees and ask for new ones.

    The governor always has the ultimate say on who becomes an appointed judge. Nothing has changed in that respect.

  43. Civil Attorney says:

    It seemed obvious to me what we were getting with Feren in 2008. That’s why I voted for Rickard. Maybe everyone should stop playing to politics in judicial races and just vote for the best judicial candidate.

    So, now Rickard is running again against an incumbent. She is tucked away out at the west satellite, out of sight … out of mind. I asked several people from the West what they thought. Almost a unanimous endorsement for Rickard.

    If everyone just follows the newspaper and club endorsements, we get the same results every election, politics and incumbents only please. Let’s keep electing the status quo, so we have more to complain about later.

  44. Sam Fields says:


    In 2000, when I ran for judge, I attended a class for judicial candidates run by a judge out of Dade.

    In an effort to show his “holier than thou” standard, he told us how he never even looked at his campaign reports. He just signed them.

    Smart Ass Sam (that’s me) raised his hand and pointed out that he signed the report attesting to it being “true and accurate”. Sounded like perjury to me.

    They can’t “Judicial Canon” or appoint you into having character and integrity.

    Senator Russell Long of Louisiana used to say something that applies.
    “If you can’t take a man’s money, drink his liquor, screw his wife and vote against him the next morning, then you have no business in the Senate.”

    The same applies to the judiciary.


    Actually, I believe the quote is from California politician Jesse Unruh.

    Regardless, the quote is not applicable to judicial candidates and judges. That’s because you ignore that judges and judicial candidates are suppose to avoid even “the appearance” of impropriety.

    Of course, you can’t legislate honesty and integrity. You can legislative prohibitions against the appearance of dishonesty.

  45. Hmmmm says:

    Buddy, you are wrong.


    Taking months off every year, campaigning during working hours, these appear to be inconsistent with the Canons.


    Regardless of any Canons, I think it is shameful that certain judges work as if they are retired. JAAblog.com has campaigned against this. There is no excuse of taking taxpayers’ money and working half a day.

  46. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Anonymous: The JQC was not what I was suggesting.

    Sam, I didn’t suggest the JNC either. Your experience being a smart ass was appropriate, since the Dade judge was one as well.

    C’mon, you both read what I wrote. That trick of putting words into people’s mouths is getting old, even for Broward.

    Sam, you’re so deep into the “Broward Way” that you apparently can’t imagine another way. Deans of law schools along with ordinary citizens that apply and be vetted by law enforcement (we’re talking about Florida after all) could choose the committee that appoints judges. The same group could be empowered to remove them. If we really want to do it right, we can. But is the will there?

    And no Governor should pick Supreme Court Justices or have the final say on judicial appointments!

    Buddy, good show in setting the record straight on all counts.

  47. Chaz Stevens, Flatulist says:


    I choose my own personal Zero’th Amendment.

    Thou shall fuck with incumbent judges.

  48. Retired Lawyer says:


    You’re a good man. Forget about Sam Fields he is nothing more a self righteous windbag hypocrite. What Fields won’t tell you is, he voted for Feren and Rosenthal, 2 incumbents that shouldn’t be on the bench.