Judge Echarte Is Related To Someone. Or Something.

In a bombshell dropped only days before trial, Bob Martinez filed a motion to recuse Judge Echarte in the Miami Megaplan suit, and the Judge granted the motion:

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Pedro Echarte Jr.'s mother is first cousins with attorney Bob Martinez's sister-in-law. The judge signed the recusal order from the high-profile case after Martinez, representing auto dealer Norman Braman, requested he no longer oversee it.

The Braman team's legal move came after a series of court decisions have gone against the millionaire businessman -- and in favor of the city, county and Florida Marlins, who would benefit from the slate of public-works projects Braman is trying to stop.

''I'd say Mr. Braman thought he was going to lose,'' said Marlins attorney Sanford Bohrer -- who represents The Miami Herald and other media in other matters.

Bohrer called Martinez's request ``the weakest motion to disqualify I've ever seen.''

Martinez said the rulings played no part in his request, writing that the judge should remove himself ``because of the court's desire to ensure that no one could question its impartiality in hindsight.''

Martinez, a former U.S. attorney, learned of the relationship Tuesday evening from his brother, and said he confirmed it Wednesday. ''In order to avoid any issues, we thought the prudent thing to do was to file a motion and bring it to the court's attention,'' he said.

Are you kidding me? It pains me to say this, but Bohrer is right -- that motion is a crock. And why did Judge Echarte grant it? My guess here is that Martinez didn't think the motion would be granted, but wanted it in his pocket for appeal. The timing certainly is curious, to say the least.

Did Judge Echarte not want to preside over this trial, because otherwise the prudent thing to do would have been to deny the motion and allow Martinez to take an interlocutory appeal, which would have been denied. Wow. While Echarte goes away on his vacation, the case now goes before poor Judge Jeri Beth Cohen, who is in the midst of a tough reelection campaign.

This is a case of hot potato -- surely Judge Cohen's mother's sister's second niece twice removed is related to someone on the trial team? For her sake I hope so.


  1. Nice write-up. I agree with you, there was no basis to recuse here.

  2. Pearls-For-The-PrincessJune 27, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    What does SFL say? 'Oye-Vay'.
    Great post.

  3. Pearls-for-the-PrincessJune 27, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    BTW, just read the princess' post. I love when she writes 'no where far.' An obvious attempt to try to throw us off that she's not coming to Miami to see SFL. Say hello to the princess for me SFL.

  4. attorney-rejected-by-the-princessJune 27, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    The picture you have posted is who the judge is related to, great choice SFL!

    SFL, how's the long distance relationship working out for you?

  5. Dylan-ranters-for-the-PrincessJune 27, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    "And why did Judge Echarte grant it?"

    -I can't wait to hear the answer.

  6. newbie-who-likes-the-princessJune 27, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Why does everyone assume things about SFL and the princess?

  7. bolero-lovers-for-the-princessJune 27, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    Newbie-boy to blow off steam because it's frowned upon telling irate clients to screw off and punching the boss in the face no matter how much of a jerk wad he maybe.(Although some of us may have crossed the line in alleging there is a 'tape.' of the princess)

    You're still an intern. Wait a few years and you'll know what I mean.

  8. Disqualification: Desperate times call desperate measures.

  9. fake-george-webber-1June 27, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    8:13, agreed!

    9:14, some of us even have affairs during lunch hour. If newbie still doesn't get it he needs to consult a neurologist. Oye Vay!

  10. Dylan-ranters-for-the-Princess-2June 27, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    8:43, there is no long distance relationship. The princess lives in Miami.

    9:31, couldn't agree more.

  11. attorney-rejected-by-the-princess-1June 27, 2008 at 1:21 PM

    8:43, where's your evidence?

  12. defense lawyer-for-the-princess1June 27, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    9:14, what about the other tasteless comments?

  13. defense lawyer-for-the-princess2June 27, 2008 at 2:51 PM

    8:8, this I gotta hear too!

    9:14, how about wanting to chuck the chair out of the window!

    10;49, excellent point. There was a comment posted on one of the previous threads, they heard the princess is a darling beauty. From what I have heard that seems to be the general consensus about this girl, with a personality to match.

  14. whitesnake-lovers-for-the-princessJune 27, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    10:49, Perhaps I need to refrain from calling the princess 'a walking felony' and instead call her a 'walking misdemeanor.'

  15. Pearl-lovers-of-the-PrincessJune 27, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    12:45, wow, I pity some of you guys who enjoy throwing around insults. And you wonder why she doesn't accept any of your comments.

  16. Pearl-lovers-of-the-PrincessJune 27, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    BTW what the 'hail' are you writing to the princess that makes her not accept any of your comments?

  17. Boy, you folks are feisty today. Friday fever I guess. Have a great weekend!

  18. 1:00, I only ask legitimate questions. 'How's Eliot? When are you and SFL going to go public with your affair?'

  19. fake eliot spitzer-1June 27, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    1:00, I was going to question her about the 'tape'.........

    The princess put a block on my email, the only way I can send her a message is through her blogger comment page and even then she refuses to answer my questions. Sheesh!

  20. fake-george-webber2June 27, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    1:46, I'm shocked! It's unacceptable behavior on her part, the nerve of the princess!......in case you didn't know, that was sarcasm.

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