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Will she or won't she? - the Gardiner trial enters its second and final day Wednesday.  All eyes will be on the accused, to see if she testifies.  In the past, the horse's mouth often put the horse's buttin the critical cross-hairs, so DaveBogenschutz may think twice before putting her on.  If called to testify, it's also possible even hapless Bar prosecutors may figure out a way to effectively cross examine Gardiner on allegations she misled the JQC, as detailed in The Bar's very ownformal complaint.  Still, both super lawyer and client have nerve to spare, so definitely wait and see.

Excellent print and TV coverage of today's lop-sided proceedings are provided courtesy of courthouse favorites TonyaAlanezandBob Norman(Click the highlighted names for their reports)  Absolutely nothing unexpected occurred while we were there, just a classic Bogenschutzmitigation-fest, with the Bar meekly sitting on its hands as superstar witnesses sang St. Ana's praises.  It seemed as if the core issue, THE ALLEGED COVER-UP, was blithely being ignored by all concerned.  Bob Butterworth, in fact, wasn't asked a single question by The Bar in cross-examination.  The pro-Gardiner parade will end up numbering in the double digits, while The Bar, in addition to blinders, put on a grand total of two witnesses.

Chalk it all up to politics as usual, Broward style.  Two very big wild cards are left to be played however, namely David Crow and The Supreme CourtReferee Crow, if you recall, is the very same circuit judge who dealt a potentially serious blow to Laura Watson's judicial future, by forwarding this Final Judgment to The Bar.  And if no nonsense Crow finds Gardiner misled the JQC and violated Bar Rule 4-8.4(c) (A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation), it's hard to imagine the Supreme Court setting precedent which would benefit future judges and lawyers who may find themselves in similar predicaments.

Don't touch that dial ...

What's up with Scheinberg's appeal? - not much. The last entry  by The Supreme Court's docket clerk shows Scheinberg requested oral arguments back on October 2nd, when his reply brief was filed.  There have been no updates since that time.  And remember, the one year suspension he's appealing was not based upon findings of dishonesty or misrepresentation.  Scheinberg, unlike Gardinerwas never accused of violating Rule 4-8.4(c), which is why most pundits believe Gardiner's punishment will be much worse if she's convicted under The Big (c).  We'll post when developments develop with the appeal ...

Speaking of high profile murder cases - Loureiro is convicted of killing a man and Gardiner's judicial career, but Kino Bartholomew isn't convicted of anything.  The Fourth DCA magically turned the convicted killer of Richard Entriken back into the accused killer of the beloved founder of First Step Sober House, via this opinion on October 31st.  However courthouse regulars may feel about the recent development, all would agree Ed Salantrie was spot on back in September, 2008, when he predicted the swift return of State v. Bartholomew.  After reading the opinion it's hard to imagine the SAO prevailing a second time on the same facts, while the gun men who did the actual killing remain at large ...

Not so fast - Laura Watson may have JQC troubles after all.  TV's Bob Normanpicked up the story and ran with it, while the Byrd and Speiser cases seem to clearly indicate JQC jurisdiction.  And just when DaveBogenschutz's schedule was starting to clear ...

Coming Soon - Was Loureiro an isolated incident?





Whether or not Gardiner decides to testify is irrelevant.  We're told in no uncertain terms The Bar can call her as a witness.  She still can be called in rebuttal.  Let's give them the benefit of the doubt, and hope they really try to win this thing by putting her on the stand later today if she doesn't choose to testify on her own ...


We're told Gardiner took the stand earlier, and may still be testifying as we speak.  Called by her defense team ...




VIDEO: Whistleblower Alu says former judge lied on stand

"She lied in her deposition. She lied to the JQC. She lied on the stand," said Sunrise City Commissioner and state prosecutor Sheila Alu.

Get your Tivo's runnin'.

Sheila Alu reportedly gave Bob Norman a very candid interview regarding the funky Gardiner trial earlier this afternoon.  It's set to run at 5:30 PM tonight, or possibly at 6:00 PM, depending on scheduling. 

We'll be sure to link it as soon as it posts ...

Coming Soon -The Trial Transcript, and then The Press Conference!

Bob Norman's Blog - Former judge defines what "social" means

"One problem with Gardiner's claim on the witness stand that she never talked about the trial is that at least two witnesses who testified under oath to the JQC that they personally witnessed the judge and prosecutor talking about the case while partying together at the Timpano Chophouse on Las Olas Boulevard before a verdict was reached. I'll be reporting on that aspect of the case against Gardiner today, so stay tuned."


Here is the Administrative Order (AO) assigning judges, effective January 14th.  It has yet to be posted on the 17th Circuit's website, probably due to the courthouse closure confusion.

How did we do?

*UPDATE* - Now that we've had a little time to review the AO, it turns out JAABLOG was 100% accurate in predicting the swaps.  Reading Wednesday Notes in conjunction with JAABLOG MOVEMENT, it turns out the blog nailed all eighteen reassignments, weeks before they became official. 

Of course the blog is almost always dead on, despite what old friend Dale Ross says.  As you may have heard, old Dale took the stand in defense of Gardiner a couple weeks ago, once again trashing the blog's accuracy while steadfastedly maintaining he's never read it.  Whatever.  Still, it's nice to know the blog and its supporters are correct (as usual), which is why today's AO is forever dedicated to the former Chief Judge.*

* We're also watching the upcoming pick by Rick Scott to replace David Krathen, expected sometime around December 20th.  If it goes to Liz Scherer or John Fry (with Fry's seat subsequently going to Liz), Bill Scherer will also get a JAABLOGDedication, since he complained from the stand during Gardiner's trial that the blog was wrong about Judge Scherer ...



1.) Confused courthouse employees after this morning's evacuation.  Were they supposed to go home?  Could they go Christmas shopping?  Or was everyone due back at work in an hour?; 2.)Peter Weinstein hosted Jesse Panuccio, Rick Scott's outgoing General Counsel (R, with shoulder bag), last Friday in his eighth floor office.  Panuccio and a friend were there to interview JNC finalists hoping to replace David Krathen.  A decision is expected around December 20th.  Panuccio is on to bigger things, recently named executive director of the Department of Economic OpportunityPeter Antonacci, currently the interim State Attorney in Palm Beach, will become the new General Counsel/Judgemaker; 3.) Broward judges won't have Maria Verde to kick around much longer.  Miami's newest circuit judge takes the bench in January, after beating out Robert Coppel in November; 4.)Ron Gunzburger, BSO Legal's new boss; 5.) Laura Watson before the election, and before the Bar's PC finding; 6.) It's Lynn!  Former Assistant U.S. Attorneys typically need reality checks upon assignment to the state circuit criminal division, but hopes are high for Lynn Rosenthal.  She's gotten good reviews in Dependency, both on demeanor and world view, so keep your fingers crossed.  Rosenthal tells us she's extremely punctual, so criminal lawyers may also have another judge they can set their watches by, a la Lisa Porter and Cindy Imperato.

Coming Soon - Six Degrees of Separation: Satz and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters ...

Jaablog Holiday Movies

SS: Rhonda Hollander cleared (11/19)



 This is not a drill ...

Phones started lighting up around 6 pm - Liz Scherer is your new circuit court judge.  She'll be taking over for Lynn Rosenthal in Dependency in January.

Did Bill Scherer's resignation from the JNC have anything to do with Liz's promotion from ASA to judge?  Will the elder Scherer now reapply for the JNC?  And will he apologize for trash talking the blog during Gardiner's trial?

In any event, congratulations to all the applicants!

Coming Soon - circuit judge Stacy Ross?


The Seth Penalver jury is in its sixth day of sequestration.  This may be a record for a criminal case in Broward County.  Lawyers and judge and court staff spent the entire weekend on call, roaming the halls of the courthouse and their offices while deliberations were ongoing.

This morning has been eventful.  The parties were informed that two of the jurors are refusing to deliberate any longer, and that the panel is split "10/2".  The defense team, believing the ratio to be in their favor, asked to dismiss the two complaining jurors and have them replaced with alternates.  The State is not opposing this idea, although they're not agreeing to allow the verdict to be decided by the ten participating jurors alone. 

Tom Lynch has recessed the proceedings for lunch.  At 2:00 pm he will decide whether to substitute jurors, read an Allen charge, or send them out for a breath of fresh air.  Scheduling will not allow us to be present, so hopefully someone from the mainstream media can attend ...

*UPDATE* - SS: Ten original jurors and two alternates will start afresh on Tuesday

vintage everyday blog


Scott Israel's November election immediately set off alarm bells in courthouse circles regarding the highly successful Pretrial Release program.  Powerful bondsmen were early supporters of Israel, and their distaste for the program has been aired everywhere from the courthouse cafe to the County Commission.  Early feedback after the election was positive, namely "not to worry" about Pretrial, but today we're hearing something entirely different. 

Notices have reportedly been sent out notifying Pretrial's top brass that their services will no longer be required after January 8th.  Whether it's a house cleaning to reward Israel supporters with the vacated top level positions, or a clear indication Pretrial as we know it is doomed, remains to be seen.  In any event, if true, it's a shame.  The program has been a tremendous success, largely due to the efforts of the current management team.  To cut them loose after years of dedicated service in the name of politics, or as a prelude to gutting the program in the name of capitalism, results in a major disservice to the citizens of Broward County.

Developing ...

*UPDATE* - a source in the Israel camp reports this is merely a change in personnel, on par with other changes being made in the upper echelons over at BSO.  Sad news for Pretrial's current management, but heartening to hear major changes may not be forthcoming in Pretrial's current practices ...




SS: Israel fires 26, unveils command staff




Hilly Moldof's
big gamble paid off.  Turning down a mistrial and asking for two jurors to be replaced by alternates equals a big win for the defense.  The 10-2 split was in Penalver's favor just as Moldof had predicted, with Moldof also correctly assuming that the two jurors running against the tide for acquittal happened to be a Black female and a Black male, in a case with two Black female victims.  Once they were replaced, it took the new panel just a few more days to spring Penalver from Death Row.  Tom Lynch asked if Penalver could walk out the courtroom a free man, but was told there was still a DOC hold.  Peter Weinstein and Kathy Pugh were amongst the observers when the verdict was read, watching as Moldof and Penalver broke down in tears and hugged.

Just another day at the office ...


David Crow's Report Of Referee

Gardiner's Closing Argument - Some nice Rogow and Satz bashing, but not so much for the blog this time ... 

Florida Bar's Amended Closing Argument - Bar counsel joins Alu in saying Gardiner lied during the trial, specifically concerning her relationship with Tenzer.  Will the Bar take further action, based upon their own conclusions regarding Gardiner's testimony? ...

Gardiner's Memo As To Aggravating And Mitigating Factors

Gardiner's Motion For Retroactive Application Of Suspension

Gardiner's Supplemental Motion For Retroactive Suspension

Florida Bar's Response To Motion For Retroactive Suspension

Gardiner's Response To Florida Bar's Opposition To Retroactive Suspension

SS: Ex-Broward judge's conduct warrants one-year suspension

THERE GO DA JUDGE  & JUDGING ANA - let's talk reputation for real ...

Coming Soon- Broward judges inundated with requests for "Retroactive Sentencing"; BSO Drones!

 They don't feel sorry for her either ...

Meet Wilson Jean ...

        Happy 2013 - "The Year Of Sporadic Blogging"

Oh honey, you're so vicious ...

"A review of the record as a whole, including exhibits, reveals one inescapable
conclusion: an emotionally troubled Judge, beset by family issues, depression,
constant battering of a vicious, and largely false series of allegations from a
courthouse blog made by anonymous "posters", misunderstood - at worst - even
assuming that phone calls and texts were in Judge Wolfe's mind - a question relating to "a social relationship" in the throes of that emotional upset, and while hysterically sobbing by the observations of Judge Backman, and impaired in her thinking by Dr. Michael Brannon; subsequently, as soon as she was asked the question, with specificity, several months later, by the public defender during a Relinquishment deposition, concerning telephone calls and contacts, she candidly, forthrightly and honestly answered the questions about them.
                    -J. David Bogenschutz
        (p. 22-23,
Respondent's Closing Argument)

Coming Soon - Remember all the anonymous lies/posts about Sheila Alu?; JAABLOG Revisited: The Many Faces Of Paul Backman; Is it manifest injustice to be imprisoned by "an emotionally troubled Judge"?; Seth Penalver jurors reunion - with guest of honor Penalver?


David Crowissued this sharply worded Order yesterday, denying Gardiner's request for something called a "Retroactive Application Of Suspension". 

From the Order:

"The Motion is denied. There is no legal authority or factual predicate in the
evidence for this request. There is no legal precedent nor does the Respondent cite
any legal precedent for the proposition that a voluntary sabbatical or leave of
absence while still a member in good standing of the Bar is a suspension or should
retroactively apply to a suspension recommendation. Furthermore, as a matter of
fact, the Respondent's voluntary sabbatical/leave of absence was not a "self
imposed" discipline for the conduct for which I recommended a finding of guilt.
To the contrary, the Respondent maintained throughout the proceedings that THE
FLORIDA BAR lacked jurisdiction to discipline her, that she is not guilty of the
charges, or alternatively should not be disciplined in addition to her relinquishment
of her judicial position as a result of the Judicial Qualifications Commission
inquiry. The Respondent's voluntary sabbatical/leave of absence was for personal
and emotional reasons which, at least in part, were to defend the allegations of
." (emphasis added)



 Knows case law so well, she doesn't have to read it ...

It happened last week.  The worst experience your humble author has ever experienced in a court of law.  After countless brouhahas with Broward badasses like Sheldon Schapiro, Lenny Feiner, Eileen O'Connor, Gardiner, Cheryl Aleman, and the mighty Dale Ross, it took Palm Beach county judge Marni Bryson to leave the worst aftertaste ever over an eleven year career of nearly daily visits to court. 

Yes, it was that bad.  A trial matter before gentleman Frank Castor was snapped up by Bryson, who we'd never encountered before.  The snippets of giggles from some of the knowing lawyers assembled in Castor's courtroom as the case was being reassigned were the first clue it was going to be a bumpy ride.  It was anything but a laughing matter eight hours later.

We won't bore you with the specifics.  The whole mess is now in the extremely capable hands of the PD's appeals team, and the circuit court in its appellate capacity.  We're certain it will all be straightened out.  That being said, anyone familiar with the blog knows we've got a whole new, all-consuming purpose in life, and it's name is MARNI.

The digging started that same evening.  Every Palm Beach lawyer we know found their cell phones ringing.  Reactions ran the gamut from surprise to knowing consolation.  Apparently all lawyers are not created equal in the treatment doled out from the dias.  Newbies and out-of-towners mostly seem to feel the pain, while most defendants seem to benefit from an easygoing sentencing policy, which most likely diffuses pissed off lawyers and stymies many well-founded appeals (but that ain't happening in this case).  One call led to another, and soon we had a list of recommended contacts.

Later in the evening, a trusty Google search was executed.  Instant paydirt!  Gardiner-esque boyfriend rumors in the newspaper here andhere, a controversy over not disclosing a misdemeanor battery "charge", an official sanction for filing 'inaccurate or incomplete' financial disclosure reports, and a related complaint by an election opponent that Brysonmay have improperly funded her campaign  (this issue apparently went nowhere at the time, although we're hearing there may be more on the topic coming soon, so stay tuned ... ).  A virtual bonanza at the click of a mouse!

A trip over to the Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections site was also illuminating.  Bryson spent a whopping $214,522 to win the precious robe, including $162,750 in personal loans.  That's a lot of green for a $134,280 a year job, spent while making $65,000 a year as an Assistant Attorney General, after only nine years as a lawyer.  We haven't found her current financials online, but rest assured we'll get them and post soon.  It'll be interesting to see if she's got another bank roll in reserve to withstand our challenge (or yours) in 2016, if she runs for reelection.

In any event, we hope you'll enjoy our latest obsession, and hope you'll lend a hand.  A lot of people have complained in private, but tell us they're afraid to come forward.  That's nothing to be ashamed of, considering real world professional concerns.  Still, there's nothing stopping you from dropping an anonymous comment, or calling our cell, or utilizing the specially created, 100% confidential email account whoismarnibryson@yahoo.com.  Tell us where to look, and who to call, just in case there's anything out there the public should know about one of their most trusted public officials. 

Confidentiality is guaranteed!

Coming Soon - Fourth DCA Justice Peter Blanc?



 Al with a picture of his Dad, the legendary Emilio Milian ...

Alberto "Al" Milian is running for circuit court judge in Miami.  He recentlyfiled here, to replace Ronald Dresnick

Al is a formidable candidate.  A darling of the police union set, a prominent member of the Cuban-American community, a Bronze Star winning U.S. Army officer, and a former candidate for 11th Circuit State Attorney with loads of leftover name recognition. 

Will anyone dare take him on?

Wait and see ...

Coming Soon - JAABLOG's knows a secret (lots of them, in fact);Norm Kent/Russell Cormican/JAABLOG v. The Florida Bar (yet again); Palm Beach County has how many African-American judges?; The 2014 List: Palm Beach and Broward judges up for reelection; Public Records Fun - the 4th DCA applicants'  applications ...

"That guy gets dumber every day."
Dale Ross, talking about the camera man ...

(Note to Florida Bar - Photo by JAABLOG)

        Here's to you, 15th Circuit!


 ♪♪♪ Old friends ♪♪♪

new found obsession with all things Palm Beach has taken us down a familiar path.  It turns out old friend Howard Finkelstein and 15th Circuit Chief Judge Peter Blanc, currently in consideration for a spot on the Fourth DCA, are one time running buddies from their days at UM Law School.  Who knew?

Anyway, everyone knows Howard has always stood for truth, justice, and having a really good time, so it was only natural to ask him earlier today if Blanc also used to party like a rock star back in the day.  In response Howard flashed his trademark TV smile, simply stating "I don't kiss and tell".

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for clean living, but it does reinvigorate an old JAABLOG debate.  Should people who may have once used illegal drugs be allowed to sit in judgement or prosecute others for the same things they used to do?

It's a tricky issue.  On one hand nobody likes a hypocrite, but on the other judges and prosecutors infused with real life experience (pun intended) and a working knowledge of reality might be better suited to understand and remedy drug offender cases.  Of course, there's always the chance the former offender/authority figure may overcompensate to prove a point, but by and large aren't former users better at working out drug cases than the formerly sheltered or unpopular kids who just don't get it?

Post a comment if you have any insights or feelings on the topic.  The easy answer is obviously to reform the selectively enforced and racist drug laws (think what would happen if police are let loose inside America's college dorms with the same ferocity they patrol the inner cities), but since that ain't happening anytime soon, it's a topic that sorely needs attention ...


Here's the preliminary list of Palm Beach County judges up for reelection.  It's preliminary because some of the more recent appointments may have two year grace periods.  The list was compiled by referencing 2008 candidates, which means some of the judges recently appointed to replace 2008 judges who retired or got promoted may not be up this year.  In any event, all of the following individuals hold seats which were up for grabs six years ago.  We'll confirm any changes at a later date, and will post judicial financial disclosures as they become available. 

Palm Beach lawyers are urged to run against sitting judges.  As Broward veterans will tell you, running against incumbents is the number one check against circuit-wide judicial bad behavior.  You may win or lose, but everyone will respect you. 

In Broward plenty of low hanging fruit got clipped in the past, while incumbents have triumphed in recent elections against underfunded and less experienced challengers.  Whatever happens, it's pretty much guaranteed the entire 15th Circuit will benefit by a much needed intrusion of democracy.  Time consuming hard work and sustained travel, financial expenditures and fundraising, not to mention elevated blood pressures caused by campaigns are something all judges hope to avoid, even if it means adopting a new found civility.  And if you need further enticing, don't forget the pension jackpot  at the end of the judicial rainbow ...

Circuit Court:

Rosemarie Scher, Diana Lewis, Meenu Sasser, Jeffrey Gillen, Thomas Barkdull, Jeffrey Colbath, John Kastrenakes, Glenn Kelley, John Phillips, Lucy Chernow Brown, Joe Marx,
Sandra McSorley
, Karen Miller, Charles Burton.

County Court:

Reginald Corlew, Laura Johnson, Robert Panse, Daliah Weiss, Debra Stephens.

                    MAKE THEM EARN IT!


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Maybe Skip Campbell was right ...

(one of three signs posted in Utility Room 510-M,
 right next door to Ginger Lerner-Wren's old courtroom on the fifth floor)

(Note to Florida Bar - Photo by JAABLOG)