CURRENT NEWS>>>>>>A man charged with first degree murder has been released from Broward County Jail, even though a judge ordered he be held without bond.Eric Alexander Vail had been in the jail since January, charged with the October shooting death of Wadarius Harris 27, of Miami. He was originally arrested on a second degree murder charge, but a grand jury indicted him and a suspected accomplice, Christopher Avery Campbell 29, with first-degree murder in April.>>>>>Another Broward Judge Facing JQC Ethics Charges-The state Judicial Qualifications Commission charged Broward Circuit Judge Ernest Kollra while campaigning that he had received a Democratic group’s endorsement and telling the Sun Sentinel editorial board his party affiliation>>>>>>>Fort Lauderdale Florida-“FBI, Open The Door!” Federal authorities arrested Roger Stone before dawn Friday at his Fort Lauderdale home>>>>>>>>>>>> The JQC, on Thursday December 13, 2018, filed ethics charges against Broward Circuit Judge Dennis Daniel Bailey, alleging he violated five rules of judicial conduct by losing his temper with attorneys in a felony criminal trial in April of 2018>>>>>>>>>>Broward Clerk of Court Files Malicious Prosecution Against Local Blogger-Broward County Clerk of the Court, Brenda Forman earlier this month filed a Petition for Protection Against Domestic Violence, more specifically “Stalking“, against courthouse blogger and attorney, William (Bill) Gelin. Gelin publishes the JAABlog.>>>>>>>>>>>Broward Sex Crime Prosecutor Gets Off-Broward County Assistant State Attorney Stacey Honowitz will not face prosecution for stealing beauty products from an Aventura Publix.--------Did this 30 year Broward prosecutor receive preferential treatment from the Miami-Dade State Attorneys Office?-------AMENDMENT 4 PASSED------- Starting January 09, convicted felons that have completed their sentences, and not convicted of murder or a sex crime, can now register to vote in Florida!------- Former Broward Judge Agrees To Five Year Suspension By Florida Bar-On Thursday October 04, The Florida Supreme Court gave their official approval of the PETITION FOR APPROVAL OF CONDITIONAL GUILTY PLEA FOR CONSENT JUDGMENT-John Contini Disbarred, Effective Immediately-------Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Avoids Meeting with Broward Judges->>>>>>>Why did the chief judge cancel?- “An implied warning for judicial “leakers” to a blog that only wants to make them look bad, and a confirmation that the Chief Justice cancelled his trip to avoid a circus after the announcement appeared on the blog.”>>>>> No more excuses. Now you can Register to Vote Online in Florida. TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA– Register to Vote Online-The Florida Department of State today announced the upcoming launch of RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, the state’s new online voter registration website that offers Florida residents another way to register to vote or update an existing registration that is convenient, secure and easy-to-use.>>>>>>--Read his story here------------>>>>


Howard Finkelstein Judge Lazarus Should Be Removed From Hearing All Future Criminal Matters


Howard Finkelstein Judge Lazarus Should Be Removed From Hearing All Future Criminal Matters

Howard Finkelstein Judge Lazarus Should Be Removed From Hearing All Future Criminal Matters Howard
Howard Finkelstein-Picture Courtesy of Broward Public Defenders Office
Howard Finkelstein Judge Lazarus Should Be Removed From Hearing All Future Criminal Matters Joel_Lazarus
Judge Joel Lazarus-Picture Courtesy of 17th Judicial Circuit Website


Howard Finkelstein: Judge Lazarus Should Be Removed From Hearing All Future Criminal Matters-This is an update of a story we did last week about Broward County Judge Joel T. Lazarus, and the statements he made while presiding  over First Appearance/Bond Court, on Friday, January 19th.

Apparently it got the attention of the Broward County Public Defender, Howard  Finkelstein.

Howard Finkelstein Judge Lazarus Should Be Removed From Hearing All Future Criminal Matters Joel_Lazarus JackTuter
Broward Chief Judge Jack Tuter

In a letter sent to Broward County Chief Judge, Jack Tuter , Broward’s head public defender Howard Finkelstein said: 

I am requesting that you immediately remove Judge Lazarus from hearing not only future first appearance dockets, but all further criminal matters.


In the letter dated January 24, 2018, the head Public Defender lays out his reasons for this request/demand, citing several reasons.

Prior to the morning session, Judge Lazarus appeared on camera and began to review the docket’s probable cause affidavits. Though an assistant state attorney was in the courtroom at the time, there was no defense attorney present. After reading one report, Judge Lazarus remarked, “I’ll double the bond … [the alleged incident] took place in my neighborhood. Closer to my house, the higher the bond. That was always Lazarus’ Rule.”

This is a violation of the first two “Cannons” of “The Florida Code Of Judicial Conduct“. This statement alone could be a reason for the judge to also face disciplinary action from the Florida JQC.

It doesn’t stop there though, the Public Defender then goes on:

Later, Judge Lazarus instigated an ex parte discussion with the assistant state attorney regarding a case on the docket. Judge Lazarus reviewed the underlying facts of the offense as well as his proposed ruling that he would not find probable cause. The Assistant State Attorney responded that he would then be seeking additional time to establish probable cause, to which Judge Lazarus advised that he would grant that request. Sure enough, when the case was called, the hearing proceeded as planned in the improper ex parte discussion. This conduct is clearly improper and erodes the public trust in the criminal justice system.

This clearly is another violation of  “The Florida Code Of Judicial Conduct“.

The Judge is making deals and discussing the case with the assistant State Attorney, without anyone from the Public Defenders Office, or other defense council present.

The judge is not allowed to that.  Any discussion of any case “must” be done with both sides having representation present. In this case, the Public Defender was not present, only the assistant State Attorney.

In conclusion, The Public Defender further states:

In one day, Judge Lazarus made two policy statements (as to bonds and as to sentencing) that would place any reasonable defendant appearing before him in fear of not receiving a fair and impartial hearing. Judge Lazarus only validated these fears by instigating an ex parte discussion and then handling the case as planned. These concerns were broadcast live on the internet, damaging the community’s trust in Judge Lazarus and damaging the overall confidence in the judiciary. Due to his misguided remarks and predetermined positions on the issues facing a criminal court judge, I would ask that Judge Lazarus be removed from hearing all future first appearance and other criminal matters.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

That’s a pretty serious letter. It’s not everyday the Public Defender ask’s the Chief Judge to remove a judge from hearing certain cases.If the Public Defender Howard Finkelstein has his act together, he’ll be having his staff go through that entire days bond court to see if judge Lazarus did anything else improper.

We would like to commend Mr. Finkelstein for his prompt attention to this matter.  We posted the video on a popular courthouse blog frequented by  attorneys that currently work for his office.

We posted the video on January 21, at about 11:00 pm. The letter was sent on January 24.

When we hear what the response is from Chief Judge Jack Tuter, we’ll update the story.

Perhaps one solution to a problem like this if for the chief judge to issue an administrative order stating something like; No attorneys shall enter the courtroom where the judge is, until representation from both the States Attorneys Office, and Public Defenders Office, are present.

If you missed the link above, here’s a link to view and download the actual letter from the Public Defender. CLICK HERE!


Also. here’s the video we posted on January 21, that caused all this. You can also view the entire day’s bond court on our YouTube channel.