Appointed in May 2008, Judge Lisa Porter is yet another of the newer judges to draw opposition. Her challenger, Laura Seidman, 44, has spent most of her 15-year career as legal counsel to such entities as North Broward Hospital District and Promise Healthcare. She readily admits that she is not a trial lawyer -- a big drawback for this job.
In contrast, Judge Porter, 47, spent 20 years in court as a prosecutor. After seven years as an assistant state attorney in Citrus and Marion counties, she moved to the Florida attorney general's office in Fort Lauderdale as a statewide prosecutor in 1995. Her specialty was complex fraud and corruption cases.
One such case was a five-year probe into a viatical company, Mutual Benefits Corp., that was a $1 billion Ponzi scheme. Viaticals involve investors buying life insurance policies to give terminally ill sellers cash settlements. MBC promised 26,000 clients safe investments. But the company improperly obtained policies, mismanaged escrowed accounts, pressured doctors to give false life expectancy figures and cheated its customers big-time. One executive went to jail for 20 years. Judge Porter calls it one of her most satisfying cases as a prosecutor.
Judge Porter sees three necessary traits for being a good judge: "First, management skills, being organized. Second, being trustworthy, so that the people in court believe they're getting a fair deal. Third, having analytical skills and basic good judgment." She serves in dependency court, where her job is ``to find solutions for troubled families.'' Judge Porter is a great asset to Broward's court system.
For Broward County Circuit Court Group 47 The Miami Herald recommends JUDGE LISA PORTER.