Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

The Herald recommends

 

OUR OPINION: For County Courts

Miami-Dade County Court

GROUP 19

Incumbent judges often draw no opposition, and rarely more than one, but Judge Jacqueline Schwartz, 49, faces two challengers for her county court seat. They are Rachel Glorioso Dooley, 46, and Frank Bocanegra, 61.

Of the two challengers, Ms. Dooley has by far the most experience. She has been an attorney for 17 years, including a stint as a Miami-Dade prosecutor. She handles criminal defense and family matters and says she is running because it’s time for a change. She says she has the temperament and diligence to be a judge and to manage the huge caseloads in county court. She apparently is well thought of by colleagues, receiving campaign contributions from more than 50 local lawyers and law firms.

Mr. Bocanegra became an attorney in 2008 after finishing a career in law enforcement with the Miami-Dade Police Department. He retired as a major and briefly served as town manager of Miami Lakes. He says his managerial experience will serve him well in running a court. He currently works as a public defender.

Judge Schwartz has been on the bench ever since she defeated an incumbent in 2002. She says that she closes more cases than any other county court judge because she is diligent about managing the caseload and making sure that cases do not go unattended for prolonged periods. On the basis of her experience, for County Court in Group 19, the Miami Herald recommends JACQUELINE SCHWARTZ.

GROUP 36

Incumbent Nuria Saenz, elected in 2008, is being challenged by Victoria Ferrer, who has been in private practice for a decade.

Judge Saenz, 44, spent seven years at the Coral Gables Courthouse and is currently assigned to the civil division at the North Dade Justice Building where she handles small claims, civil, traffic and misdemeanor cases. Ms. Ferrer, 41, is a senior litigating attorney for the law offices of Gonzalez & Associates specializing in contract disputes, first-party insurance litigation, foreclosure defense and bankruptcy.

Ms. Saenz, who has been in the trenches, cites the biggest challenges in the Miami-Dade court system as a lack of resources and the high volume of cases. She says three qualities qualify her to retain her seat: “experience, the ability to be impartial and a strong work ethic.” She credits herself with moving cases along and avoiding backlogs in her courtroom. She says she had the least number of pending cases during her years at the Gables courthouse.

If elected, Ms. Ferrer said she will “rule consistent with the law and not provide certain parties or special interest groups preferential treatment. I will render my rulings with fairness and impartiality.”

Because of the experience that comes with incumbency, the Miami Herald recommends for Miami-Dade County Court in Group 36, NURIA SAENZ.

Read more Editorials stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Charlie Crist’s running mate, signs a petition in Clearwater to let undocumented immigrants get driver’s licenses.

    Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    The drive for common sense

    OUR OPINION: Grant undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses

  • Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    Filling the bench

    OUR OPINION: The selection of judges a problem in the Florida gubernatorial race

  • Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    Black eye for the region

    OUR OPINION: Venezuela does not deserve support for Security Council seat

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category