Skip to main content
Law
Business Observer Friday, Dec. 19, 2003 14 years ago

Judge Chastised for Speaking to Paper (Tampa edition)

Share
The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended Dec. 8 that Broward Circuit Judge Robert Lance Andrews be reprimanded for talking to a news reporter about one of his cases.

Judge Chastised for Speaking to Paper (Tampa edition)

The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended Dec. 8 that Broward Circuit Judge Robert Lance Andrews be reprimanded for talking to a news reporter about one of his cases.

Andrews' comments "were inappropriate and evidenced a bias against the defendant," according to the JQC's investigative panel.

The South Florida judge didn't contest the charges, and the Florida Supreme Court is expected to follow the JQC recommendation.

It is the second time the JQC has reprimanded a judge for speaking to a news reporter, according to the Miami Daily Business Review. In 1989, Collier Circuit Judge Hugh Hayes was disciplined.

According to documents filed with the Supreme Court and the newspaper's reports, Andrews was chastised for comments made to one of its reporters, Julie Kay, in September 2002 about a product liability case involving Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Connie and Rene Carnato have accused the company of selling Parlodel, a drug it allegedly knew caused strokes in lactating women. Novartis denies the claims.

In comments to Kay, Andrews accused Novartis of "trying to bury the plaintiffs in documents," according to the Daily Business Review. The paper also quoted the judge as saying that the drugmaker has "only itself to blame" for the litigation.

The judge had refused four defense requests in eight years to recuse himself. But he removed himself in June after the 4th District Court of Appeal advised him to step aside.

Andrews has not been previously disciplined during his 25-year career on the bench.

Related Stories

Advertisement