For the 11th Judicial Circuit Court:
Group 3 – Lody Jean
Group 20 – Brenda Guerrero
Group 34- Ariel Rodriguez
Group 52 - Jason Bloch
For Miami-Dade County Court:
Group 5 – Fred Seraphin
Group 19 – Jeffrey Kolokoff
Group 42 – Alicia Garcia Priovolos
Find profiles of all of the judicial candidates who responded to our questionnaire, visit miamitimesonline.com/electionnewshub.
The following are responses from the candidates we are endorsing to a question about guaranteeing fairness in their courtroom.
How will you keep your courtroom bias free?
Lody Jean: Born and raised in Haiti to Lebanese parents, I am keenly aware that fair and equal access to the courts is important, all litigants deserve to be treated with respect, and judges should be culturally sensitive to all who appear before them. I strive every day to provide fair and equal access to the courts while applying to law to the facts.
Brenda Guerrero: I treat every person who appears before me with respect and dignity without regard to race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation or other characteristic. I work to ensure this by attending anti-bias training, panels on bias and diversity topics, and church weekly, for a regular reminder that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Ariel Rodriguez: The key is to be transparent in what I do and surround myself with a good supporting (team). As public servants, judges have to be open to criticism where criticism is deserved.
Jason Bloch: A judge’s courtroom and rulings must be free from bias or discrimination; anything less is unacceptable, and I made that clear to everyone in my courtroom by my words and actions. See, for example, my ruling in the Deandre Charles case, where despite great public scrutiny, I ruled that an African American teenager accused of murdering a rabbi was entitled to a bond due to insufficient evidences. The state later dropped the charges.
Fred Seraphin: I have the experience and have had the necessary training to create a bias-free courtroom.
Jeffrey Kolokoff: I treat everyone with fairness, compassion and empathy. Education is key! I have attended numerous workshops discussing bias reduction and elimination as a judge and will continue to do so.
Alicia Garcia Priovolos: Implicit bias in the courtroom must be worked on continuously. One training or action will not make it go away. In order to keep it out of my courtroom, continued trainings, candid discussions, and routinely checking thought processes and decisions for possible bias is how I will strive to tackle it.