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Blog on judges’ performances causes a stir

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Tonya Alanez reports a blog created to constructively look at Broward judges’ performances on the bench is causing quite a stir.

Attorney Bill Gelin and a few other lawyers launched the Justice Advocacy Association of Broward Blog to break what they called courthouse cronyism and nepotism.

One post last Halloween carrying defense attorney Sean Conway’s name called Broward Circuit Judge Cheryl Alemán an ‘evil, unfair witch’ and questioned her mental stability and adherence to law. Got him the subject of an ethics grievance which Conway thinks is a scare tactic initiated by a small group of judges.

And his lawyer, Fred Haddad, says the bar complaint is an attempt to quell free speech.

I certainly have the right to call the president of the United States a moron, or the former governor stupid, or the entire House of Representatives buffoons and that is fully protected,’ Haddad said. ‘I can’t believe that one is going to have a lawyer censured for criticizing a judge. These people were appointed to the bench, not anointed to an office. They’re not cardinals.

But at least one Judge sees the blog as a positive. ‘Very rarely will people say [to a judge] you’re terrible, or you’re this or you’re that,’ said Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson. ‘It gives me a sense of how can I do a better job.’

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