The firm’s practice includes areas of Florida Election Law and compliance with Florida’s Judicial Canons. Attorney Leonard Feuer consults with campaigns and candidates for variety of elective offices. Call Leonard Feuer for a free consultation.
On June 3, 2016, our firm won an unprecedented victory before the Florida Supreme Court in the matter of Gregg Lerman v. Governor Rick Scott.
In Lerman v. Scott, Mr. Feuer represented Gregg Lerman, an accomplished 25-year attorney who qualified for the position of County Court Judge in Group 11 of Palm Beach County. The judgeship at the center of the controversy was vacated when another judge resigned under the Resign to Run statute, codified in Florida Statute § 99.012. The Governor of the State of Florida, Rick Scott, and Florida Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, attempted to fill the county court judicial position through the Governor’s constitutional power of appointment. The Governor’s actions would have meant cancelling an election and nullifying the people’s right to choose its next county court judge.
On May 9, 2016, West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Leonard Feuer filed a petition for a writ of quo warranto, a rarely used type of suit, directly with the Florida Supreme Court. A petition for quo warranto forces a state officer to substantiate its authority to engage in the conduct at issue.
Mr. Feuer argued that the Resign to Run statute was a limitation to the Governor’s power appointment, and a judicial vacancy created by a Resign to Run resignation is an exception. Further, the public’s right to choose who should fill the seat in Group 11 through an election should not be abridged by the Governor’s attempt to fill the same position through an appointment.
After the Florida Supreme Court reviewed arguments from Mr. Feuer, the Governor and the Secretary of State, the high court granted Mr. Feuer’s petition. In other words, Florida’s highest court agreed with attorney Leonard Feuer’s argument, and thus stopped the Governor from making a judicial appointment. The high court recognized that a judicial vacancy created by the Resign to Run statute is an exception to the Governor’s power of appointment. The case limits a Governor’s authority and a recognizes that all political power is inherent in the people.