J.D. Rutgers Law School, Camden, NJ, 1996
Dean’s List, Spring 1996M.S.W. University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work, Philadelphia, PA, 1992B.S. (Communications/Journalism) Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 1981
Recipient, Outstanding Graduate in Communications, 1998
Lawyer – General Practice Solo- self employed
Describe your philosophy of the judicial role, the qualities that are most important for the role, and the greatest challenges to the role.
I believe in treating all citizens with respect, and fairness, and dignity when confronted with issues that have to do with the judicial system should I be blessed with the confidence of the voters and citizens of the 9th Judicial Circuit by being elected.
I am committed to uphold the “public’s trust” if elected.
I also believe that a good judge must honor the concept of the independence of the judiciary with respect to the fundamental unshakable constitutional foundation of the separation of powers.
Judicial independence is the concept that the judiciary needs to be kept away from the other branches of government. Judicial Independence is vital and important to the idea of separation of powers.Judicial independence is best summed up by the following; judges do not enjoy the luxury of being able to pick and choose from among the issues brought before them which they will decide during their time on the bench based upon their assignment and in the case of the 9th Judicial Circuit, based upon their rotation during their six year tenure. Judges must rule on all issues that may come before them, whether trivial, popular or unpopular or emotionally charged and must do so with the freedom to decide cases impartially, in accordance with the application of the law and the facts. They should be able to act without any restriction or improper influence thereby upholding the “public’s trust.”
Briefly describe a case or a legal issue on which you worked of which you are particularly proud, or is reflective of your legal ability and work. (limit 150 words)
I am the candidate who has conducted hundreds of hearings throughout the state of Florida, including Orange County, as a Value Adjustment Board attorney Special Magistrate over the last 8 years hearing matters between the citizens of the various counties where I have been appointed and those counties’ property appraisers when the citizens have to have hearings about real property issues on homestead, limited income senior, portability, and greenbelt agriculture just to name a few issues. And I have written several recommendations to those various value adjustment boards for those eventual decisions on those matters. Indeed, that experience has been invaluable for my professional and intellectual growth and development over that time and now has me more than ready to become the next circuit court judge for the group 4 seat via your votes, of course, on or before August 30, 2016! An additional note about that experience is that if the citizen appeals the recommendation, the next procedural step for their appeal is to file suit in circuit court which of course is the seat that I seek in this election.
Respectfully, I am ready for the bench, and respectfully, if you take that experience along with my qualifications, I believe that I will earn your vote on or before August 30, 2016.
What, in your opinion, is the most important U. S. Supreme Court decision? Why? (limit 150 words)
Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), was the landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. The landmark decision helped define the boundary between the constitutionally separate executive and judicial branches of the American form of government and solidified the concept of the separation of powers doctrine.
What do you perceive as the greatest obstacles to justice, if any? Why? (limit 150 words)
When there are instances of the commitment to upholding the “public’s trust” have been eroded or abandoned.