UPDATE: Judge Merrigan To Suspend Some Campaigning for Army Training; Attorney Will Ask For New Judge In Candidacy Case


Broward County Judge Edward Merrigan Jr. is partly suspending his campaigning.  

Merrigan, a decorated veteran of Iraq, must spend the next two weeks training with the U. S. Army in Miami and Camp Blanding, which is between Gainesville and Jacksonville.

Lt. Col. Merrigan said that he may be able to make some events when he is stationed in Miami, but he can’t count on it.    

So challenger Lloyd Golburgh will be stumping largely by himself through the end of June.

Goldburgh will have to worry whether he will be on the ballot at all.  A law suit was filed on Tuesday asking he be removed from the race for failing to sign his required financial disclosure before the filing period closed.   

The attorney behind the law suit will ask that a new judge from outside Broward be appointed to hear the case.

Kraig Weiss, a Weston lawyer who filed the suit, said he will ask the entire Broward bench be recused.

“I am going to ask to be fair to Lloyd that another judge, maybe a retired judge, be brought in to hear this, Weiss said.

The case landed in the courtroom of Judge John “Jack” Luzzo, who is facing a tough re-election challenge himself.

The suit, filed Tuesday afternoon, asks that Golburgh be taken off the ballot. The suit alleges Golburgh left his financial disclosure form unsigned when he qualified for office.

After Browardbeat.com broke the story here, Golburgh amended the form by signing it.

But the amendment came after the filing period closed.

“You can’t amend a nullity, Weiss said.

The suit also names the notary who attested that Golburgh signed the form, although he didn’t.  It asks for damages from her.

The plaintiff is lawyer William Beamer.

Weiss said he and Beamer decided to file suit after determining “a mistake like this is so important.”  The mistake even more egregious because it was made by a candidate who might have a “future say in peoples’ lives,” he continued.

Weiss said the suit will be expedited.

“We’ve got a little bit of time, but for the benefit of the voters and Lloyd, who probably is putting a bit of money in this race, we need to get it heard as soon as possible, Weiss said.

9 Responses to “UPDATE: Judge Merrigan To Suspend Some Campaigning for Army Training; Attorney Will Ask For New Judge In Candidacy Case”

  1. Please says:

    Aturd Ahern is behind this. This is the same guy who went after Cindi Hutchinson and Earl Rynerson for Seiler as well as spreading rumors about Heidi Berkowitz and Ed Salantrie to keep them from running for Judge in 08. Someone should expose this guy as the Lee Atwater wanna be dirty trickster he is.

  2. Lloyd A Bum says:

    The story says it all. Merrigan is a war hero with extensive experience.

  3. Local Lawyer says:

    That’s what Judge Feder is around for, right?

  4. LAWGHOST says:

    It is a sad state of affairs when legal process is abused in an ill-conceived attempt to thwart democracy by depriving the People of their right to vote for their chosen candidate. A more patrotic forum would be the court of public opinion, where one can express flawed logic with impunity, equating military conformity with independent legal reasoning.

  5. Broward Lawyer says:

    Enough with the lawsuits let the voters decide.
    Buddy I think you need to write about different campaigns. All you write about is Golburgh v Merrigan. There are 19 other races you can write about and do your readers a favor.

  6. Appoint All Judges says:

    It is fine that so many judge seats are being contested. It is fine that so many want to be judges. But when rules apply that do not allow candidates to campaign in ways that truly inform voters about why they should vote for you, then electing judges is not a system that makes any sense. The voters have no clue who is better for them or not. You might be better off selecting them by lottery as an alternative.

    Better than electing judges, and much better than a lottery, is establishing random panels of retired judges. Having them clear the three most highly qualified names for every position, and sending those up to the Governor for appointments. Reappointments of judges should be reviewed by the same panels and a report prepared for the governor recommending yes or no, and the governor decides. Throw in a 25 year limit on service on the bench.

    There should be some selection criteria that includes knowledge of the law, experience trying cases, service to the community, and temperament. You also want a diverse bench in every respect. You want cultural, racial, ethnic, gender and viewpoint or political diversity. A balanced judiciary has a variety of viewpoints not just any one. Guidelines should be put in to achieve that to the extent possible, but that merit above all else is the criteria weighed the heaviest in making these recommendations.

    This is the only logical way to achieve the goal of appointing the best judges representing the diversity of any community. It does not work with these elections, where the very lawyers that will practice before judges feel forced to make campaign contributions and if they don’t there will be retaliation by the judges to those that ignored them as candidates. That is unethical, unjust, and just plain wrong.

  7. LAWGHOST says:

    “Appoint All Judges”…You are so right. Electing judges is dirty. It may be “fun” manipulating the system, digging for frivolous dirt and slinging it, but (as you say) a lottery might be better. The electorate has no clue, other than ethnicity, public image, a name, a face or an a** they like. County and circuit court judges should be chosen by a diverse panel of veteran legal minds, ordinary citizens and the homeless. But unfortunately for blogs like this, haters and the candidates’ mothers, there would be nothing to gossip about. Talk to me, Buddy.

  8. OK says:

    Supreme Court of Florida.
    The Florida Bar
    William D. Beamer

    NO. 91,361
    April 9, 1998

    Disposition: Suspended.
    Fla. 1998.
    The Florida Bar v. Beamer
    717 So.2d 539 (Table)

  9. dxs717 says:

    hey Buddy did you hear the one about the Motion to Dismiss Complaint for Failing to State a Claim against Golburgh being DISMISSED?!! Team Golburgh!!