Herbert Stettin has been an appointed Judge, with all the powers of an elected Judge, since 1999. The only election that Stettin has even won was in 1976, as a judge for a four year term. However, he "resigned" to return to a more lucrative private practice before his first term was complete.
Gomez FL Bar Complaint v. Perez
The Florida Bar Inquiry/Complaint Form
PART ONE: (Read instructions on reverse side.) Your Name: Leonardo Gomez Address: 2415 SW 102 Place City: Miami State: Florida Phone: 305-772-3848 Zip Code: 33165 ACAP Reference No. 09-21636 Attorney's: Name: Jorge J. Perez Address: Tew Cardenas LLP 1441 Brickell Ave Fl 15 City: Miami State: Florida Phone: (305)536-1112 Zip Code: 33131 E-Mail: email@example.com
PART TWO: The specific thing or things I am complaining about are:
This bar Complaint is against attorney Jorge J. Perez of the firm Tew Cardenas
LLP in Miami, Bar ID Number: 779334. Mr. Perez is an attorney and a formerly
appointed circuit court Judge who is now also trying to act as a receiver. In a Condominium Development foreclosure case in which I am the Defendant, case #2007-42605-CA-15, Mr. Perez was allegedly appointed as the receiver to protect the real estate property. We would later learn that this would be Mr. Perez’s first every receivership. The case was originally assigned to Judge Mindy Glazier of Division 15 of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court, who then left for labor leave and Senior Judge Herbert Stettin temporary replaced her while on leave. Judge Glazier was then replaced by Judge Jeri B. Cohen who took over Judge Glazier’s Division 15 and relieved Senior Judge Stettin of the foreclosure case #2007-42605-CA-15. The condominium association filed a lawsuit, case #2008-6360-CA-15, against the actions of Mr. Perez who installed a fence on the common areas of the association without any permit from Miami Dade County Building Department or any authorization from the association. Mr. Perez and/or the Plaintiff then moved to reassign the fence case #2008-6360-CA-15, to Senior Judge Stettin by scheduling a hearing in front of the Administrative Judge Stuart Simons, which was granted. Mr. Perez and/or the Plaintiff never moved to reassign the Foreclosure case #2007-42605-CA-15 to Senior Judge Stettin. Mr. Perez and/or the Plaintiff continued to schedule all hearings of the Foreclosure case in front of Senior Judge Herbert Stettin, although Judge Jeri B. Cohen was the Judge assigned to the case. On April 16, 2008, at one of many hearings scheduled by Mr. Perez and/or the Plaintiff before Senior Judge Stettin instead of Judge Cohen, it became evident to Judge
Stettin that he did not have any assignment of the Foreclosure case #2007-42605-CA15 from the Administrative Judge Stuart Simons assigning this case to him. ( pg 15 lns 14-20) The Senior Judge stated that the “only way within the system that I have a right to hear these things” (case) “is when it is assigned to me and normally that requires an order from the division chief and would be Judge Simons,” (pg 15 & 16(19) lns 1-8) Mr. Perez immediately stated that to his “understanding specifically that Judge Cohen assigned the case to you,” (Judge Stettin) (pg 18 lns 4-5). The Senior Judge specifically pointed out to Mr. Perez and/or the Plaintiff that the for Summary Judgment for the Foreclosure case #2007-42605-CA-15 was scheduled for May 7, 2008, ( pg 17(20) lns 7-9) and that in order for him to proceed with that motion the Judge Stettin stated “ You need an order from Judge Simons.” (pg 17(21) lns 5-10) The plaintiff’s attorney on this case is Paul D. Friedman, who has been previously sanctioned by the Florida Bar in the Florida Supreme Court Case Number: SC02-2430, “THE FLORIDA BAR vs. PAUL D. FRIEDMAN”, which resulted in an admission of guilt and of lying by Mr. Friedman. The Bar gave Mr. Friedman a “judgment in which Respondent Friedman agreed to accept a suspension of 90 days, pay restitution to the firm’s clients in the amount of $910,000.00 and pay the Bar’s costs in the amount of $7162.36.” The order was “entered on April 23, 2004. Lower Tribunal Case(s): 200100,358(8B).” Mr. Friedman later at the same April 16, 2008 hearing, asked Senior Judge Stettin for any suggestions on how he could get a hearing before Administrative Judge Simons when the Summary Judgment Motion was a couple of days away. (pg 22(26) lns 8-11) Judge Stettin suggested to Mr. Friedman that he “go down to Judge Cohen, see if she would sign an order referring it to me”(Judge Stettin). Here, clearly Judge Stettin is giving Mr. Friedman instructions to obtain an illegal ex parte order from Judge Cohen assigning the case to himself. (pg 22(26) lns 12-14) Apparently after the April 16, 2008 hearing concluded, Mr. Perez got together with Mr. Friedman and decided that Mr. Perez would be the least likely to be harm by obtaining this illegal ex parte assignment order from Judge Cohen, since Mr. Perez was allegedly acting as a receiver. Mr. Perez, in fact, prepared the assignment order for Judge Jeri B. Cohen and had ex parte communications with Judge Cohen to convince her to assign the case to Judge Stettin. As a consequence of Mr. Perez’s illegal actions, Judge
Cohen signed the assignment order allegedly assigning the complete Foreclosure case to Senior Judge Stettin. This complete assignment of the case was done from Circuit Judge to Circuit Judge without every having assignment order from Judge Simons or scheduling a hearing with the same Administrative Judge. Recently in another hearing on case #2008-6360-CA-15, Senior Judge Stettin would confirm that only a valid assignment order from the Administrative Judge would legally assign a case to him and not one signed by another Circuit Judge, which is exactly what transpired in this case. This action is tantamount to “Judge Shopping,” by Mr. Perez, who is an attorney and a former appointed circuit judge. Mr. Perez, as a former Circuit Judge, should know something about being neutral or having ex parte communications with Judges. The following day, an assignment order signed by Judge Jeri B. Cohen transferring the entire Foreclosure case to Senior Judge Stettin was received in the offices of my counsel from Mr. Perez. (pg 14) Also included in this assignment order was the assignment of the fence case #2008-6360-CA-15 which had been assigned to Senior Judge Stettin in an administrative hearing by the administrative Judge Simmons. (pg 14) Apparently, Mr. Perez had even bungled this illegal ex parte order by forgetting that the fence case #2008-6360-CA-15 had already been properly assigned to Judge Stettin by the Administrative Judge. Currently, there are two assignment orders for case #2008-6360CA-15, one from Judge Simons and one from Judge Cohen. Also bungled by Mr. Perez on the illegal ex-parte order, are the names of the Plaintiff and the Defendant of case #2008-6360-CA-15, which are Galenus vs. Gibraltar and not Leonardo Gomez. During the next hearing on April 25, 2008, Mr. Perez did not admit to having obtained the ex parte assignment order when asked in open court by my counsel. (pg 23(7) lns 17-24) Mr. Perez did not admit that he had written the assignment orders and taken them to Judge Cohen to have her signed or having ex parte communication with Judge Cohen without the presence of my counsel. To this day, there is no assignment order from the Administrative Judge assigning case #2007-42605-CA-15 to Judge Stettin. It was confirmed to us by the Administrative Assistant of Judge Jeri B. Cohen that Jorge Perez took the assignment orders, that he wrote himself, and had ex parte communications with the Judge Jeri. B. Cohen for her to sign the assignment orders. This admission by the Administrative Assistant of Judge Jeri B. Cohen was made in front of three witnesses including my counsel. Senior Judge Stettin would confirmed at the
April 25, 2008 hearing that he had two assigned orders from Judge Cohen and not from the administrative Judge Simons as the Senior Judge had first originally stated was required for the case to proceed, but he proceeded anyways. (pg 23(7) lns 10-12) Obviously, Mr. Perez is politically well connected having been appointed to a Circuit Court Judicial position by a Governor. Also apparent is that Mr. Perez has many friends in the judicial system, so I write this bar complaint with great reserve over future retaliations that may come from Mr. Perez and/or his associates. However, it is my great belief in the magnitude of the illegal actions committed by Mr. Perez that overcomes all my fears and reservations that I may have had. Mr. Perez’s judicial influences are also clearly evident to me by the fact that the Administrative Assistant of Judge Jeri B. Cohen referred to him as “Judge Perez” and not Jorge Perez providing further evidence to me of his judicial influences and prior contact and communications. Mr. Perez has been personally attacking me and misrepresenting the record since the inception of this litigation, which defies the logic of being a court appointed receiver which should be a neutral party. I have no doubt that Mr. Perez will continue to do so in his response to this complaint. Mr. Perez will probably reply to this complaint by stating that it is retaliation for losing Summary Judgment. The fact is that the appeal of the Summary Judgment is still pending in Third District Court of Appeals case # 3D08-1619. Mr. Perez will also probably state that this issue is pending appeal by the 3rd DCA. This is not correct. One of the issues on appeal in case # 3D08-1619 is whether Judge Stettin had Jurisdiction of the case to award a Summary Judgment while not being properly assigned to case. The appeal does relate to the illegal actions of Jorge J. Perez. Mr. Perez will also likely state that a writ of certiorari, case # 3D08-949, on this issue was denied by Third District Court of Appeal and that this justifies his illegal actions. This can be the furthest from the truth since; obviously nothing justifies Mr. Perez’s illegal actions. It could be that the 3rd DCA in case #3D08-949 felt that it did not meet the legal requirement for a writ of certiorari. As one of the requirements for a writ certiorari is that the “(2) resulting in material injury for remainder of trial; (3) that cannot be corrected on postjudgment appeal.” The writ of certiorari was not denied based on its merits. The 3rd DCA in case #3D08-949, did not gave any reason by not providing an authored opinion. Mr. Perez has been vigorously avoiding the taking of his deposition for several months now with various nonsensical motions and delay tactics. Obviously, Mr. Perez
has something to hide. If not why is he so desperately trying to avoid the taking of his testimony? If he did not have anything to hide and he did not commit any illegal acts, then why would he be personally attacking me and avoiding the taking of his deposition? The fact is the Mr. Perez has been comporting himself in the same manner as he did the day after he got the ex parte order from Judge Cohen assigning the case to Judge Stettin in an effort to cover-up and obstruct his illegal actions. Mr. Perez obviously knows better than this type of conduct, after all, he has been an attorney since 1988 and a former appointed circuit Judge. This illegal ex parte communication was not accidental but premeditated, deliberate and calculated. Mr. Perez’s ruthlessness and his adamant “win at all cost” mentality has no boundaries including breaking the law. I have clearly been prejudice and have suffered harm as a result of these actions. Mr. Perez’s conduct is shameful and unbecoming of a member of the Florida Bar and deserving of sanctions.
PART THREE: The witnesses in support of my allegations are: [see attached sheet]. Rodolfo T. Gomez, George M. Evan. Esquire, Administrative assistant of Judge Jeri B. Cohen. I have provided copies of documents and related deposition transcripts. All other transcripts are available upon request.
PART FOUR: Under penalty of perjury, I declare the foregoing facts are true, correct and complete.
_______________________________________________ Signature Date
Published under a Creative Commons License By attribution, non-commercial
|Item 6 Gomez FL Bar Complaint v. Perez.pdf||50.47 KB|