Legal Insiders’ Secret Meeting To Save Broward Judges


Broward’s top consiglieres are in a lather over the election challenges that 15 incumbent judges are facing.

These self-appointed kings of the Broward courthouse are secretly plotting behind closed doors to save the incumbents.

An invitation-only meeting is scheduled this week at the law offices of Ruden McClosky.

The invitation list reads like a Who’s Who of Broward’s legal elite.

The organizer:  H. Collins Forman, a lawyer and an heir to the family real estate fortune of the late powerbroker Hamilton Forman.   

Among those invited are Carlos Llorente, president of the Broward Bar; Eugene Pettis, who gets a lot of School Board work; Skip Campbell, the former state Senator and multi-millionaire personal injury attorney; big bucks lobbyist Mike Moskowitz and lobbyist/real estate lawyer Aleida “Ali Waldman;  Bruce Weihe, law partner of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler; Republican big wig and major downtown Fort Lauderdale property owner Bill Scherer and Democratic fund raiser/ lobbyist Mitchell Berger.

One sign the lawyers mean business  a non-lawyer invited is Judy Stern, Broward’s campaign Queen of Nasty. 

Another sign —  Forman’s family political strategist Jim Kane was invited.

Here are some of the problems these barnacle-covered barristers face:

(1) How do you explain to voters which candidates are incumbents and which are not? 

(2) Do you protect all 15 judges facing challenges, some of who won office years ago through elections?  Or do you campaign for just the qualified judges? And who decides which judges are qualified?

(3) How do you reach voters don’t care who gets elected to the bench?

The only way I see this working is to create and fund an “independent committee to anonymously smear the lawyers challenging judges.

Whoa! If that money is traced back to any of those lawyers they can expect a Bar complaint and a lot of critical coverage in the autumn of their careers.

Lawyers Shielding Bad Judges

These meetings to preserve Broward’s legal status quo are ill-conceived. It looks like the legal establishment trying to shield their judges, both good and bad,  from voters.

Don’t they trust the voters?  Apparently these aging attorneys believe that they know what’s best for the bench.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have long supported merit retention elections, which we now have for the appeals court, for all judges.

But we have elections! The only way currently to change the judiciary is put up a candidate and beat those judges identified as deficient.

That’s what lawyer Bill Gelin’s JAABLOG has supported.

More than anything else, JAABLOG has empowered lawyers to believe they can challenge the courthouse’s hidebound hierarchy.  Lawyers now have an outlet where they can criticize the legal establishment anonymously and without fear.

Rocking The Boat Is Good

JAABLOG has rocked the boat. All that rocking has made the legal establishment sea sick.

Gelin recently has been criticized by Llorente at the Broward Bar, who now says the organization will start its own competing blog.

Attorney Barbara Heyer — she’s the wife of a member of the legal establishment, Judge Marc Gold — has threatened Gelin with a Bar complaint.  She claims that JAABLOG demeans the profession by printing “vile comments”  and nude photos, according to Gelin.

Llorente and Heyer should be ashamed of themselves.  Ever heard of the First Amendment, counselors?

Do I approve the ethnic slurs and personal attacks some post on JAABLOG?  No, but that’s the downside of the First Amendment. It was designed to protect the vilest comments.

I believe Gelin is a Broward legal hero.  He shined the light on what is wrong with the courthouse — arrogance and bullying by some judges.

Some of those very same judges are facing their first re-election challenge this year.  That’s why the legal establishment is angry at Bill Gelin.

That’s why the establishment is scheming to save its pet judges…both good and bad.

13 Responses to “Legal Insiders’ Secret Meeting To Save Broward Judges”

  1. Skolnik, too? says:

    Do they support Skolnik?

    “Broward County Judge Peter Skolnik has been charged with simple battery after striking a woman he was dating during an argument outside his Fort Lauderdale home, police said.”

    “The incident occurred on Aug. 18 when Lauren Kay Levy, 25, of Boca Raton, went to Fort Lauderdale police with her parents and reported that Skolnik, 51, had hit her a couple of hours earlier, police said.”

  2. Dinosaurs says:

    Formans and Judy Stern back together, its like old times.

    A look at the roster and its all old timers. Pathetic old men who lose their grip on power day by day.

    They will accomplish nothing. These people cant agree on Starbucks or Dunkin let alone which candidates are worthy of protecting.

    I wonder how Judy explains helping Oliver Parker, as has been the talk on Jaablog. Barbra Miller is rumored to be with Luzzo and Goldstien. Is she liked or not. David Singer is supposed to like all incumbents except McCarthy. Is Judy going to use Common Sense Coalition to do the dirty work like in Sunrise last year and for Scott Israel?

  3. speaking of acient history says:

    Nice job, could this be the work of Debra Steinstaltz’s campaign manager Barry Harris? Bringing up a 14 year old unproven allegation brought by a disgruntled ex girlfriend against a good Judge.

    Speaking of criminal histories, here is an interesting article about Barry Harris

    While I can understand non judges using Mr. Harris’ services, I always hope and expect that Judges would use a more reputable class of people for their campaigns.

  4. Judy is Evil says:

    Judy Stern is a morally corrupt, evil women. Any candidate that deals with her or associates with her should be black balled.

  5. same OLD song says:

    Was there anyone at that meeting under 50 or 55? It’s the same OLD people playing the same OLD games. Their time has passed or is about to pass. Most of the incumbents being challenged have had opponents long before now. These folks are a day late and a dollar short. Maybe they should have tried to do something months ago instead of waiting until now.

  6. Just me says:

    There’s only one person in the county that has a hard on for Barry Harris, and that’s a former Tamarac candidate with a record of criminal convictions longer than my arm.

  7. Hate mudslingers says:

    @ speaking of acient [sic] history

    Let he, who is without sin, cast the first stone.

    First of all you idiot, invest in a spell/grammar checker so we readers of this fine blog do not have to endure your illiteracy.

    Quoting a smear article by “Bob Norman” will not get you any points around here except maybe from the half-dozen zealots who rabidly hang on his every word as though he were some sort of actual authority instead of the sleazy mudslinger that he is.

    Nor will posting a 14 year old, unsubstantiated SS story that resulted in no consequences other than we have to read your misspelled diatribe.

    Barry Harris is barely old enough to remember what was in the Sun-Sentinel in 1996 and if even if he did remember, he would not do such a thing anyway.

    There is a reason why judges and candidates hire Barry Harris. Apart and aside from the fact that he can SPELL and is a LITERATE person, he is good at what he does.

    Who would you recommend as a “more reputable class of people”? Judy Stern?

    Class is measured in more ways than one….but how would you know?

  8. knowledge says:

    mike moskowitz the do nothing democratic state comiitteeman hahahaha that is going to be one useless meeting.what about luzzo who accepted me marlins tickets from laywers sitting on his bench

  9. knowledge says:

    isnt Jack Seiler Judge Merrigians brother In Law?

  10. U R Onesided says:

    First amendment rights apply to those “legal insiders” too. If they want to support the sitting judges that is their business. And what’s with the ageism? You are no spring chicken yourself.

  11. Just me says:

    Anybody who uses Bob Norman as a “credible” source needs to be placed in a loony bin along with Norman.

    After all, Norman had the audacity to tell the world several weeks ago that the “county needs more people like Patti Lynn.”

    Lynn who went on to steal not one, but two illegal elections at the Tamarac Democratic club is an ethically honest Democrat in Norman’s view.

    Too bad she didn’t even show up for the second steal. Considering the club’s charter is about to be revoked it can safely be said that Lynn destroys everything she touches.

  12. true or false says:

    Barry Harris was charged with and plead out to a felony (withhold)to a crime of dishonesty

    Skolnik was exonerated.

    Both are old news. If this is the best Barry has it’s not much. Barry focus on something you can fix like those rat teeth of yours.

  13. Insiders Told They Can’t Save All Incumbent Judges : says:

    […] lawyers are frantically trying to put together a plan to save the judges from defeat August 24.  Here is my previous post on […]