Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

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OUR OPINION: For Broward Circuit, County Court




This is a problematic race in which an unimpressive judge is being challenged by a personable, competent attorney who says that he has overcome personal demons and that they are behind him.

Steven Feren, a former mayor of the city of Sunrise, is the incumbent who currently sits in family court, having been reassigned from juvenile cases. By most accounts of those in the legal community who are familiar with his work, and work ethic, Judge Feren does the minimum needed to get through the day — neither high energy nor enterprising. In his defense, Judge Feren, 63, says that he simply does not have a heavy caseload, and that if a case ends in a settlement, then he has “nothing to do.” That's not a very heartening statement from a judge on the public payroll working in a large, bustling courthouse in urban Broward.

His opponent, attorney John P. Contini, says that he has battled alcoholism, sought treatment and has been clean and sober for about 15 years. His religion is his anchor and something that he shares as his salvation. He says that Judge Feren has called him a “religious bigot.” Mr. Contini says he is nothing of the sort.

Professionally, Mr. Contini, 57, is a well-regarded, hard-working and prolific attorney and, he says, he would try to reduce the number of cases that reach trial by encouraging the combatants to reach resolution first.

Mr. Contini says he would bring respect, civility and humility to the bench and that he would not allow his religious fervor to lead him to proselytize from the bench. We take him at his word. For Broward Circuit Court, Group 27, the Miami Herald recommends JOHN P. CONTINI.

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