RICARDO "RICK" MORALES, III

CHAIR
HON. KERRY!. EVANDER
VICE - CHAIR
MICHAEL L. SCHNEIDER
GENERAL COUNSEL
STATE OF FLORIDA
JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION
I I 10 THOMASVILLE ROAD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32303-6224
(8S0) 488- I S8 I
October 10,2013
Neil Gillespie
8092 SW 115
th
Loop
Ocala, FL 34481
Re: Docket No. 13421, Judge Cook
Dear Mr. Gillespie:
The Commission has completed its review of your complaint in the above
matter and has determined, at its meeting held on Thursday, October 3, 2013,
that the· .concerns you have expressed are not allegations involving a breach of the
Code of Judicial Conduct warranting further action by the Commission.
The purpose of the Commission ~ s to determine the existence of judicial
misconduct and disability as defined by the Constitution and the laws of the State
of Florida. If such misconduct or disability is found, the Commission can
recommend disciplinary action to the Florida Supreme Court. The Commission
has found no basis for further action on your complaint that therefore has been
dismissed.
Sincerely yours,
Michael L. Schneider
~ n e r   l Counsel
MLS(bsk
Fl 323
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STATE OF FLORIDA  
JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION  
1110 THOMASVILLE ROAD  
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32303-6224  
Neil  Gillespie 
8092  SW  115
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STATE OF FLORIDA
HON. oJ. PRESTON SILVERNAIL JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION
CHAIR
I I 10 THOMASVILLE ROAD
BROOKE S. KENNERLY
EXECunVE DIRECTOR TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32303-6224
MICHAEL L. SCHNEIDER (850) 488- I 58 I
GENERAL COUNSEL
September 9,2013
Mr. Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115
th
Loop
Ocala, FL 34481
Dear Mr. Gillespie:
The Commission is in receipt of your letter dated September 5, 2013.
Contrary to your assertions, no one in this office has in any way engaged in
inappropriate conduct.
Although your concerns appear to have been previo.usly addressed, the
matter :will be resubmitted to the Investigative Panel for their determination.
Neither Ms. Kennerly nor myself have a vote on whether the Commission takes
action on any complaint.
Yours truly,
Michael L. Schneider
General Counsel
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JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION  
1110 THOMASVILLE ROAD  
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32303-6224  
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VIA U.P.S. No. 1Z64589FP298545124 September 5, 2013
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
J udicial Qualifications Commission - J QC
1110 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303-6224
RE: “Re: Complaint No. 10395, J udge Cook”, and the August 30, 2013 letter response of
Brooke S. Kennerly, J QC Executive Director, copy enclosed.
Dear Ms. Kennerly and Mr. Schneider:
The letter response of Ms. Kennerly August 30, 2013 shows conduct involving dishonesty,
fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and
conduct to knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable
rules of judicial conduct or other law.
Apparently that is why Ms. Kennerly responded to my complaint against Martha J ean Cook
rather than J QC counsel Mr. Schneider, which conduct would have subjected him as a lawyer to
a bar complaint for violation of Rule 4-8.4(c), (d), and (f).
Ms. Kennerly’s letter is wrongly captioned: “Re: Complaint No. 10395, J udge Cook”. That
complaint number does not match any complaint I know of concerning Martha J ean Cook.
Ms. Kennerly’s letter to me August 30, 2013 states in substance:
We have received your complaint correspondence dated August 21, 2013. A review of
our records indicates the Commission dealt with your complaint and advised, on
November 23, 2010, that your concerns involve legal matters that have remedy solely
through the courts. There is nothing contained in your present correspondence that would
cause the Commission to revisit its earlier disposition of the matter.
Ms. Kennerly’s written statement is false: No one from the J QC “...advised, on November 23,
2010, that your concerns involve legal matters that have remedy solely through the courts...”
The Commission did not provide me a letter or other advice November 23, 2013 “that [my]
concerns involve legal matters that have remedy solely through the courts.” Ms. Kennerly’s
assertion is false. If not, provide a copy of the document Ms. Kennerly referenced.
Ms. Kennerly made this false statement: “There is nothing contained in your present
correspondence that would cause the Commission to revisit its earlier disposition of the matter”.
Specifically I raised a new issue, Martha Cook’s failure to properly respond to my spoken
motions to disqualify her as judge, and Cook’s failure provide a reasonable amount of time to
reduce the motion to writing as required by Rogers v. State, 630 So. 2d 513 (Fla. 1993).
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director September 5, 2013
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
Florida J udicial Qualifications Commission
Page - 2
The J QC and the Supreme Court of Florida upheld Rogers in SC07-198 September 29, 2008, see
Inquiry Concerning a J udge, No. 06-52, RE: Cheryl Aleman, copy enclosed. I am a non-lawyer
and only learned of Rogers and is application to the Cheryl Aleman inquiry last month.
Ms. Kennerly, your decision announced August 30, 2013 that my complaint against Martha J ean
Cook involves legal matters that have remedy solely through the courts is a new decision, not
one previously made by the J QC. Unless you are licensed to practice law in Florida, you may
have engaged in the Unlicensed Practice of Law (UPL), Rule 10-2.1(a). Also, you are not free to
create a false record to dismiss my complaint made August 21, 2013 against Martha J ean Cook.
The J udicial Qualifications Commission of Florida is an independent agency created by the
Florida Constitution solely to investigate alleged misconduct by Florida state judges in a fair and
unbiased manner without favoritism, extortion, improper influence, personal self-enrichment,
self-dealing, concealment, and conflict of interest.
Authority for The J udicial Qualifications Commission is found in the Florida Constitution,
Article V J udiciary, Section 12 Discipline; removal and retirement, and section 43.20 Florida
Statutes, J udicial Qualifications Commission:
43.20(1) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to implement s. 12(b), Art. V of the
State Constitution which provides for a J udicial Qualifications Commission.
Brooke S. Kennerly is the Executive Director of the J udicial Qualifications Commission, and is
by virtue of that position of trust an officer and employee of state government, responsible for
lawfully performing and discharging her duties without bias, favoritism, extortion, improper
influence, personal self enrichment, self-dealing, concealment, conflict of interest, or the
Unlicensed Practice of Law.
Unfortunately Brooke S. Kennerly engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or
misrepresentation as the Executive Director of the J udicial Qualifications Commission.
The J QC’s letter to me August 30, 2013, sent through the U.S. mail, shows Ms. Kennerly used
the mail to carry out a “scheme or artifice to defraud” another, 18 U.S.C. § 1341, of “the
intangible right of honest services.” 18 U.S.C. § 1346.
Ms. Kennerly corruptly and knowingly assisted a judge or judicial officer, Martha J ean Cook, in
conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.
Thus, Brooke S. Kennerly failed to lawfully perform and discharge her duties. Instead, Brooke S.
Kennerly engaged in fraud or impairment of a legitimate government activity.
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director September 5, 2013
Michael Schneider, General Counsel Page - 3
Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission
Ms. Kennerly, I demand you withdrawal your letter of August 30, 2013 and lawfully perform
and discharge your duties. In addition to and in the alternative, I demand you correct your letter
to reflect the actual case number and factual record. I demand you identify the basis of your
opinion, order, decree, mandate, or decision as JQC Executive Director that my complaint
against Martha Jean Cook involves "legal matters that have renledy solely through the courts".
I demand you provide evidence showing you are licensed to practice law in Florida, if you are in
fact licensed.
Under penalty of perjury, I declare that I have examined and understand this complaint and
to the best of my knowledge and belief, the above information is true, correct and complete and
submitted of my own free will.
Telephone: (352) 854-7807
Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net
Enclosures: Letter of Brooke S. Kennerly, August 30, 2013 to Neil J. Gillespie
Order SC07-198 JQC Inquiry of Cheryl Aleman
My complaint letter against Martha Jean Cook August 21, 2013 (letter only)
STATE OF FLORIDA
HON . ..J. PRESTON SILVERNAIL
CHAIR
 QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION
BROOKE S. KENNERLY
I I 10 THOMASVILLE ROAD
EXECLmVE DIRECTOR
TALLAHASSEE. FLORIDA 32303-6224
MICHAEL L. SCHNEIDER (850) 488- I 58 I
GENERAL COUNSEL
August 3D, 2013
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115
th
Loop
Ocala, FL 34481
Re: Complaint No. 10395, Judge Cook
Dear Mr. Gillespie:
We have received your complaint correspondence dated August 21, 2013.
Areview of our records indicates the Commission dealt with your complaint and
advised, on November 23,2010, that your concerns involve legal matters that
have remedy solely through the courts. There is nothing contained in your
present correspondence that would cause the Commission to revisit its earlier
disposition of the matter.
Sincerely yours,
   
Brooke S. Kennerly
Executive Director
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JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION
1110 THOMASVILLE ROAD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32303-6224
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115
th
Loop
Ocala, FL 34481

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VIA U.P.S. No. 1Z64589FP290041183 August 21, 2013
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
J udicial Qualifications Commission - J QC
1110 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303-6224
RE: Complaint against J udge Martha J ean Cook, Hillsborough County, Florida
Dear Ms. Kennerly and Mr. Schneider:
Please find enclosed my signed J QC complaint form and supporting documents in my complaint
against J udge Martha J ean Cook. My complaint shows the existence of judicial misconduct and
disability by J udge Cook as defined by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Florida.
J udge Cook’s misconduct occurred September 28, 2010 in her courtroom during a 11:00 AM
hearing. I appeared pro se for myself. Opposing counsel was Ryan Christopher Rodems.
The record shows I made three spoken motions to disqualify J udge Cook. The record shows that
J udge Cook failed to properly respond and provide a reasonable amount of time to reduce the
motion to writing as required by Rogers v. State, 630 So. 2d 513 (Fla. 1993). My spoken motions
to disqualify J udge Cook were as follows:
Transcript September 28, 2010, page 3:
16 MR. GILLESPIE: Your Honor, this morning I
17 filed a federal lawsuit against you. I have a
18 complaint here if you would like to read it. I
19 move to disqualify you.
20 THE COURT: Your motion to disqualify
22 based on a federal lawsuit is legally insufficient
23 and is denied.
Transcript September 28, 2010, page 4:
1 MR. GILLESPIE: I move to disqualify you
2 on the basis that I have a financial
3 relationship with your husband.
4 THE COURT: All right. Your motion to
5 disqualify me on that basis is denied.
6 MR. GILLESPIE: I move to disqualify
7 you - -
8 THE COURT: Sir - -
9 MR. GILLESPIE: on the basis of an
10 affidavit that you made misrepresentations at
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director August 21, 2013
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
Florida J udicial Qualifications Commission
Page - 2
11 the last hearing about whether or not I was - -
12 THE COURT: Sir, file a written motion.
13 I'm not going to allow you to disrupt these
14 proceedings again. The last proceedings you
15 feigned illness. You left this courtroom - -
16 MR. GILLESPIE: No, I did not feign
17 illness.
Clearly J udge Cook recognized the need for me to “file a written motion” (line 12) but she failed
to provide me a “reasonable opportunity” to write and file the motion.
When a motion to disqualify a judge occurs “mid-trial or mid-hearing,” the trial court must give
counsel a “reasonable opportunity” to write and file the motion. Rogers, 630 So. 2d at 516.
The J QC and the Supreme Court of Florida upheld Rogers in SC07-198 September 29, 2008, see
Inquiry Concerning a J udge, No. 06-52, RE: Cheryl Aleman. A copy of SC07-198 is enclosed.
J udge Cook did not stop the proceedings and provide me a “reasonable opportunity” to write and
file the motion to disqualify. A copy of the transcript of the hearing with errata sheet is enclosed.
J udge Cook’s misconduct was extremely prejudicial to justice. First, I had just informed J udge
Cook that she was a Defendant in Gillespie v. Thirteenth J udicial Circuit, FL, et al, 5:10-cv-503,
U.S. District Court, M.D.Fla, Ocala Div. This was a section 1983 civil rights and ADA disability
lawsuit. I provided J udge Cook a courtesy copy of the Complaint.
Second, instead of providing me a “reasonable opportunity” to write and file the motion to
disqualify, J udge Cook ordered me removed from court by Deputy Christopher E. Brown, then
falsely made a record that I “elected to leave” the hearing. Fortunately Deputy Brown told his
Commander, Major J ames Livingston, that J udge Cook ordered me removed from the hearing.
Major Livingston provided me a letter dated J anuary 12, 2011 with Deputy Brown’s statement,
which is found attached to the errata sheet to the transcript of the hearing September 28, 2010.
Third, the transcript shows two additional hearings continued ex parte without my presence, and
without counsel representing me. The transcript shows Defendants’ Motion for Final Summary
Judgment was heard ex parte, pages 5-16. The transcript shows Defendants’ Motion for Civil
Contempt and Writ of Bodily Attachment was heard ex parte, pages 17-25. Both motions were
granted in favor of Mr. Rodems for the Defendants, Rodems’ law firm and partner Mr. Cook.
Ultimately I made five written motions to disqualify J udge Cook; she denied the five motions.
1. Plaintiffs Motion To Disqualify Circuit J udge Martha J . Cook, J une 14, 2010
Order Denying Motion To Disqualify Circuit Court J udge Martha J . Cook, J une 16, 2010.
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director August 21, 2013
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
Florida J udicial Qualifications Commission
Page - 3
2. Plaintiffs Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, J uly 23, 2010
Order Denying Motion To Disqualify Circuit Court J udge Martha J . Cook, J uly 27, 2010.
3. Emergency Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, November 1, 2010 with
Plaintiffs Notice of Filing Affidavits.
Order Denying Emergency Motion To Disqualify J udge Cook, November 2, 2010.
4. Plaintiff's 4th Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, November 10, 2010.
Order Denying Plaintiffs 4th Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, Nov-15, 2010.
5. Plaintiff's 5th Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha 1. Cook, November 10, 2010.
Order Denying Plaintiff's 5th Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, Nov-15 2010.
On November 18, 2010 I sought removal of trial J udge Cook by writ of prohibition in the
Second District Court of Appeal, case 2D10-5529, see Verified Emergency Petition for Writ of
Prohibition, Motion for Order of Protection. A copy of the 37 page petition is enclosed, without
exhibits. The full petition containing 763 pages with supporting exhibits, including the five
motions to disqualify, and orders denying same, is posted on Scribd at this URL:
http://www.scribd.com/collections/3852902/Second-District-Court-of-Appeal-Florida
J udge Cook recused sua sponte the same day, November 18, 2010, copy enclosed.
J udge Cook’s recusal sua sponte, albeit 52 days late, is conclusive proof that my spoken motions
September 28, 2010 were justified. A judge has a duty to remain on a case assigned to him or her
unless he or she is legally disqualified. State ex rel. Palmer v. Atkinson, 116 Fla. 366, 156 So.
726, 96 AL.R. 539 (1934); Micale v. Polen, 487 So. 2d 1126 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 1986).
Conclusion
The Thirteenth J udicial Circuit in and for the state of Florida is a court created by statute to
administer, apply, and interpret the laws of the state of Florida in a fair and unbiased manner
without favoritism, extortion, improper influence, personal self-enrichment, self-dealing,
concealment, and conflict of interest.
Martha J ean Cook is an elected State Circuit Court J udge for the Thirteenth J udicial Circuit, and
was by virtue of that position of trust an officer and employee of state government, responsible
for lawfully performing and discharging her duties without bias, favoritism, extortion, improper
influence, personal self enrichment, self-dealing, concealment, and conflict of interest.
Brooke S.  Kennerly, Executive Director 
August 21,2013 
Michael  Schneider, General Counsel 
Page - 4 
Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission 
When a motion to disqualify a judge occurs "mid-trial or mid-hearing," the trial court must give 
counsel a "reasonable opportunity" to write and file  the motion.  Rogers, 630 So. 2d at 516. Judge 
Cook failed  September 28, 2010 to provide me a "reasonable opportunity" to write and file  the 
motion. Instead, Cook corruptly entered orders that harmed me, and benefited opposing counsel. 
Judge Cook continued presiding over the case for another 52 days until  she  recused sua sponte 
November  18, 2010, which was the same day I filed  a petition for writ of prohibition to remove 
her from  the case. During those 52 days, Judge Cook engaged in addition breach of the Code of 
Judicial  Conduct, and the Constitution and  laws of the. state of Florida, and the United States. 
Unfortunately Martha Jean Cook failed to lawfully perform and discharge her duties. 
Martha Jean Cook must be removed from  office. 
Under penalty of perjury, I declare that I have examined and understand this complaint and 
to the best of my knowledge and belief, the above information is  true, correct and complete and 
submitted of my own free  will. 
Enclosures: 
JQC complaint form 
Transcript of the September 28, 2010 hearing 
Errata Sheet of Neil J.  Gillespie, Transcript of the September 28, 2010 hearing 
Order SC07-198 JQC  inquiry Cheryl Aleman 
Second District Court of Appeal, case 2DI0-5529,  Verified Emergency Petitionfor Writ of
Prohibition, Motion for Order ofProtection, November 18, 2010.  
Sua Sponte Order to  Recuse Assigned Judge Martha Cook, November 18, 2010.  
Supreme Court of Florida
____________

No. SC07-198
____________


INQUIRY CONCERNING A JUDGE, NO. 06-52,
RE: CHERYL ALEMAN.

[September 29, 2008]

PER CURIAM.
In this case we review the determination by the J udicial Qualifications
Commission (J QC) that Seventeenth J udicial Circuit J udge Cheryl Aleman
violated the Code of J udicial Conduct and its recommendation that J udge Aleman
be publicly reprimanded and charged the costs of investigation and prosecution.
For the reasons discussed below, we approve the J QC’s determination and
recommendation.
I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The charges stem from J udge Aleman’s behavior in response to three
motions to disqualify her made by Assistant Public Defenders Sandra Perlman and
Bruce Raticoff on J anuary 24, 2006, the second day of jury selection in State v.
Braynen, a first-degree murder case.
1
On the morning of J anuary 24, Perlman
sought to disqualify J udge Aleman based on what Perlman perceived to be J udge
Aleman’s aggressive and intimidating questioning of prospective jurors during voir
dire the previous afternoon. Because the motion was oral, Perlman requested a
reasonable amount of time to reduce the motion to writing as required by Rogers v.
State, 630 So. 2d 513 (Fla. 1993).
2
J udge Aleman denied the request for
additional time and immediately denied the motion on its merits.
The second motion to disqualify related to J udge Aleman’s allegedly
preferential treatment of Assistant State Attorney Peter Holden. J udge Aleman had
granted Holden a fifteen-minute delay in the start of the afternoon proceedings
while denying a similar request from Perlman. When Perlman requested “at least
an hour” to reduce this second oral motion to writing, J udge Aleman responded

1. Prior to trial, defense counsel filed two motions to disqualify J udge
Aleman. Perlman first moved to disqualify J udge Aleman because Ms. Perlman
supported J udge Aleman’s opponent in the 2004 election. J udge Aleman denied
the motion, and the Fourth District affirmed this ruling on appeal. See Braynen v.
State, 895 So. 2d 1169 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005). The defense then sought review of
the Fourth District’s decision in this Court and moved to stay the trial proceedings.
J udge Aleman denied the motion to stay and instructed Ms. Perlman to prepare an
order reflecting this ruling. When Ms. Perlman handed the proposed order to
J udge Aleman, J udge Aleman ripped it up and wrote her own. This led to the
second motion to disqualify, which J udge Aleman likewise denied. However,
these first two motions to disqualify were not the basis for the J QC investigation.
2. When a motion to disqualify a judge occurs “mid-trial or mid-hearing,”
the trial court must give counsel a “reasonable opportunity” to write and file the
motion. Rogers, 630 So. 2d at 516.
- 2 -
that the court would be in recess for five minutes. During this time, J udge Aleman
conferred with another jurist, who suggested that defense counsel be given a pad of
paper and a pen to prepare a written motion. When the proceeding resumed at 2:20
p.m., J udge Aleman did just that; she gave Perlman paper and pen and stated that,
if defense counsel subsequently wished to substitute a typed motion, she would
allow it. But rather than giving counsel an hour, J udge Aleman gave the defense
attorneys fifteen minutes to transcribe the motion, stating that the court would
adjourn until 2:35 p.m.
Intending to research and type the motion, Perlman and Raticoff left the
courtroom to return to their office. In their haste, they ran past a number of
prospective jurors who were sitting and standing in the hallway. At 2:42 p.m.,
when the proceeding reconvened, neither assistant public defender was in the
courtroom. J udge Aleman took a recess until defense counsel returned.
By 2:48 p.m., Raticoff had returned, but Perlman had not. At that point,
J udge Aleman mentioned the prospect of holding both public defenders in
contempt:
The Court: The Court’s go[ing] to issue a rule to show cause, and
we’ll hold this in abeyance until conclusion of the trial. The Court
had [given] counsel 15 additional minutes to handwrite a motion,
provided a paper and pen for counsel to do so, and when the Court
returned back neither Defense Counsel was here, and now it’s 2:49
and we’re still missing one of defense counsel.

- 3 -
Again, good grounds for the rule to show cause is failure to
abide by the Court’s order with respect, and we’ll hold that in
abeyance until the concluding of the proceeding.

Mr. Raticoff: J udge, just so the record –

The Court: Directly to both Counsel, Mr. Raticoff and Ms. Perlman.
And we’ll be in recess until Ms. Perlman arrives.

Upon returning to the courtroom at 2:57 p.m., Perlman inquired into the status of
the contempt charge. There was some confusion as to whether J udge Aleman
actually issued the order to show cause. At first, J udge Aleman suggested that she
did not. Upon further inquiry by defense counsel, however, J udge Aleman
indicated that she had, in fact, issued the order.
Raticoff then moved to withdraw from the case, citing the conflict between
defending his client on one hand and defending himself on the other. In addition,
Raticoff expressed his concern that he would not be able to represent Braynen
effectively. J udge Aleman denied the motion, finding no reason to believe that the
defendant had not received effective assistance of counsel. J udge Aleman
eventually denied the second motion to disqualify, finding it legally insufficient.
J udge Aleman’s order to show cause triggered defense counsel’s third
motion to disqualify. Again, Perlman requested a reasonable time to reduce the
motion to writing, and again J udge Aleman granted fifteen minutes. When
Perlman objected, reminding J udge Aleman that fifteen minutes was previously
insufficient, J udge Aleman instead granted twelve minutes. Once again, Perlman
- 4 -
objected, and J udge Aleman eventually gave defense counsel twenty-two minutes
to prepare the written motion.
This time, when the court reconvened, both Public Defenders were
present—but the motion was not. Afraid to violate the court’s order, Perlman had
returned to the courtroom without finishing the motion and requested an additional
five minutes to do so. J udge Aleman expressed her concern for the jurors who had
been sitting in the hallway since 1:30 p.m., but agreed. When presented with this
third motion, J udge Aleman denied it as well.
The next day, when Raticoff asked J udge Aleman to reconsider or vacate her
order to show cause, J udge Aleman declined to hold a hearing on the matter,
stating instead that “I believe everyone is entitled to due process.” Ultimately,
J udge Aleman never issued a written order to show cause, and the issue of
contempt was never acted upon.
Based on these events, an Investigative Panel of the J QC charged J udge
Aleman with violating Canons 1, 2A and 3B(4) of the Code of J udicial Conduct.
A Hearing Panel of the J QC heard testimony from several witnesses, including
Public Defenders Perlman and Raticoff, Assistant State Attorney Holden, and
J udge Aleman. The J QC concluded that:
J udge Aleman’s conduct involving her denial of the motions for
disqualifications [sic] without giving counsel a reasonable time to
prepare the motions in writing and in threatening contempt by
announcing entry of an order to show cause and then refusing to
- 5 -
vacate the order to show cause constituted conduct which was
arrogant, discourteous, and impatient to the lawyers appearing before
her and others appearing in the Braynen case. . . . She acted in a
manner that erodes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality
of the judiciary.

More specifically, the J QC Hearing Panel found that J udge Aleman “did not give
the Public Defender adequate time to prepare [the first] motion in writing before
denying it,” “it was . . . improper to have the lawyers in the case run up and down
in front of the prospective jurors in order to avoid being held in contempt,” “[t]he
order to show cause which was never reduced to writing and which was never
acted upon caused conflicts and further delays,” the time limits imposed by J udge
Aleman were “unreasonable under all of the circumstances,” and “[f]orcing an
attorney to prepare a handwritten motion for disqualification of a judge within 15
minutes or within 22 minutes was improper in the context of this first-degree
murder case in which the death penalty was being sought.”
As a result, the J QC Hearing Panel found by a two-thirds vote that J udge
Aleman was guilty of misconduct and recommended that J udge Aleman be
publicly reprimanded and charged the costs of the investigation.
II. ANALYSIS
J udge Aleman disputes the J QC’s findings, arguing: (a) the J QC’s findings
are not supported by clear and convincing evidence; and (b) rather than requiring
her to pay the costs of the investigation, the J QC should pay her costs because
- 6 -
J udge Aleman was the prevailing party.
3
We conclude that each argument lacks
merit.
A. Clear and Convincing Evidence
First, J udge Aleman argues that there is no clear and convincing evidence to
support the J QC’s conclusion that her conduct was unreasonable or that she
threatened the public defenders with contempt. To the contrary, we find that
sufficient evidence supports the J QC’s conclusion in both respects.
The Florida Constitution vests this Court with the ultimate decision in
determining what constitutes judicial misconduct. Specifically, article V, section
12(c)(1) provides that “[t]he supreme court may accept, reject, or modify in whole
or in part the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the [judicial
qualifications] commission and it may order that the justice or judge be subjected
to appropriate discipline.” In In re Graziano, 696 So. 2d 744, 753 (Fla. 1997), we
described how we review the J QC’s findings of fact:
Before reporting findings of fact to this Court, the J QC must conclude
that they are established by clear and convincing evidence. In re
McAllister, 646 So. 2d 173, 177 (Fla. 1994). This Court must then
review the findings and determine whether they meet this quantum of
proof, a standard which requires more proof than a “preponderance of
the evidence” but the less than “beyond and to the exclusion of a
reasonable doubt.” In re Davey, 645 So. 2d 398, 404 (Fla. 1994). If
the findings meet this intermediate standard, then they are of

3. J udge Aleman also argues that the J QC does not have jurisdiction over
her conduct in Braynen. We disagree. See art. V, § 12(a)(1), Fla. Const.
- 7 -
persuasive force and are given great weight by this Court. See In re
LaMotte, 341 So. 2d 513, 516 (Fla. 1977). This is so because the J QC
is in a position to evaluate the testimony and evidence first-hand. See
In re Crowell, 379 So. 2d 107 (Fla. 1979). However, the ultimate
power and responsibility in making a determination rests with this
Court. Id.

Furthermore, this Court has “relied upon the clear and convincing evidence
standard without distinguishing findings of fact from whether the facts as found
warrant particular discipline.” In re Henson, 913 So. 2d 579, 589 (Fla. 2005)
(citing In re Kinsey, 842 So. 2d 77, 85 (Fla. 2003)).
Based on generally undisputed facts, the J QC concluded that J udge
Aleman’s conduct violated Canons 1, 2A, and 3B(4) of the Code of J udicial
Conduct.
4
J udge Aleman admits, and the Braynen transcript reflects, the facts
upon which the J QC relied in making its decision.
5
Far from patient, dignified, or

4. Canon 1 provides, in pertinent part, that judges “should participate in
establishing, maintaining, and enforcing high standards of conduct, and shall
personally observe those standards so that the integrity and independence of the
judiciary may be preserved.” Canon 2A provides that judges shall “respect and
comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public
confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” Canon 3B(4)
provides that judges shall be “patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors,
witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity,
and shall require similar conduct of lawyers, and of staff, court officials, and others
subject to the judge’s direction and control.”
5. J udge Aleman disputes one aspect of the J QC’s findings: that she
threatened contempt by “announcing entry of an order to show cause and then
refusing to vacate the order to show cause.” J udge Aleman argues that she never
actually entered a written order, but only stated her intention to do so at a later
date, and thus there was no order to vacate. Indeed, the J QC’s findings are
- 8 -
courteous, the J QC concluded that J udge Aleman’s undisputed conduct was
“arrogant, discourteous, and impatient,” as well as “[in]adequate,” “improper,”
“unacceptable,” and “unreasonable.”
We find that clear and convincing evidence supports the J QC’s findings of
fact as well as its conclusion that J udge Aleman violated Canons 1, 2A, and 3B(4).
We agree with the J QC’s conclusion that, with respect to the time limitations,
“forcing an attorney to prepare a handwritten motion for disqualification of a judge
within 15 minutes or within 22 minutes was improper in the context of this first
degree murder case in which the death penalty was being sought.” This is true
particularly in light of our decision in Rogers, which entitles counsel to a
reasonable amount of time to prepare a written motion. By imposing unreasonably
strict time limits, J udge Aleman forced defense counsel to decide between
diligently representing their client and abiding by the court’s order. Such conduct
is improper.

somewhat unclear on this point. In addition to the language quoted above, the
J QC, in a section entitled “The Threat of Contempt,” seemed to espouse J udge
Aleman’s version of the events, stating: “The basis for the order to show cause
which was never reduced to writing, was that the attorneys were late in returning
with the written motion which they had been given 15 minutes to prepare.”
(emphasis provided). The difference, though, is largely semantic. The thrust of
the J QC’s finding was that the specter of contempt loomed over the public
defenders, and this remained true whether J udge Aleman entered a written order or
merely stated an intention to do so.
- 9 -
In addition, J udge Aleman’s use or threat to use her contempt power is even
more unsettling. A judge’s power of contempt must be exercised with care. This
Court has stated that:
[O]ne of the most important and essential powers of a court is the
authority to protect itself against those who disregard its dignity and
authority or disobey its orders. This authority is appropriately
administered through a court’s power to punish by contempt. South
Dade Farms, Inc. v. Peters, 88 So. 2d 891 (Fla. 1956). Nevertheless,
although the power of contempt is an extremely important power for
the judiciary, it is also a very awesome power and is one that should
never be abused.

In re Perry, 641 So. 2d 366, 368 (Fla. 1994). A judge’s abuse of contempt powers
has, on several occasions, resulted in discipline. See id. at 366-68 (reprimanding a
judge for holding six defendants in contempt for driving away from courthouse
with suspended licenses, for which one defendant spent twenty-six days in jail);
see also In re Shea, 759 So. 2d 631, 632 (Fla. 2000) (imposing discipline for,
among other things, entering an order to show cause after a litigant sent a letter to
the Governor complaining of J udge Shea’s handling of a support case); In re
Wright, 694 So. 2d 734, 735 (Fla. 1997) (reprimanding a judge for, among other
things, threatening a prosecutor by stating “if you talk any more[,] it’s an Order
that you don’t open your mouth anymore until I invite you to do so, and if you do
I’m gonna hold you in contempt”); In re Muszynski, 471 So. 2d 1284, 1285 (Fla.
1985) (imposing discipline for demanding a police officer to lower the volume on
his police radio while dining in a restaurant and, when the officer refused, directing
- 10 -
him to appear in court to explain his “contemptuous conduct”); In re Crowell, 379
So. 2d 107, 108 (Fla. 1979) (removing a judge for abusing his contempt powers
which demonstrated a “propensity to summarily adjudicate and incarcerate a
citizen . . . without according to the accused a right to be heard or any opportunity
to defend himself”).
Here, after J udge Aleman announced her intention to issue an order to show
cause, the prospect of defense counsel being held in contempt had a palpable
impact on the proceeding. Perlman sought to disqualify J udge Aleman for the fifth
time, and Raticoff moved to withdraw, citing the conflict between defending his
client and defending himself. Raticoff later testified that the order to show cause
had a “chilling effect” on his representation. The fear of being held in contempt,
Raticoff recalled, limited his ability to zealously represent his client. In sum,
J udge Aleman’s threat of contempt was unnecessary and harmful under the
circumstances.
Accordingly, we approve the J QC’s findings of fact and its conclusion that
J udge Aleman committed misconduct by imposing unreasonable time limits on
counsel and then threatening counsel with contempt.
B. Discipline
Having approved the J QC’s conclusion that J udge Aleman committed
misconduct, the final matter is the appropriate discipline. The J QC recommends
- 11 -
that we issue a public reprimand of J udge Aleman and require her to pay the costs
of the investigation and prosecution. We agree.
J udge Aleman does not challenge the propriety of a public reprimand, and
we find it to be a suitable punishment considering the nature of her conduct. We
have employed a public reprimand to sanction judges for similar misconduct. See
Perry, 641 So. 2d at 366-368 (abuse of contempt powers and, to a lesser extent, the
admonition of army recruiter for wearing his uniform in court); see also In re
Schapiro, 845 So. 2d 170 (Fla. 2003) (intemperate courtroom behavior); In re
Schwartz, 755 So. 2d 110 (Fla. 2000) (rude remarks during oral argument). And,
because the J QC prevailed in the matter of whether J udge Aleman committed
misconduct with respect to her actions in Braynen, we likewise order J udge
Aleman to pay the cost of the J QC’s investigation and prosecution relating to that
charge. See art. V, § 12(c)(2), Fla. Const.
III. CONCLUSION
For the reasons stated, we approve the J QC’s conclusion that J udge Aleman
violated the Code of J udicial Conduct, and we approve the J QC’s recommendation
that J udge Aleman be reprimanded and charged the cost of the investigation and
prosecution relating to her conduct in State v. Braynen. In accordance with the
policy announced in In re Frank, 753 So. 2d 1228, 1242 (Fla. 2000), we hereby
- 12 -
- 13 -
command J udge Cheryl Aleman to appear before this Court for the administration
of a public reprimand at a time to be established by the Clerk of this Court.
It is so ordered.
QUINCE, C.J ., and WELLS, ANSTEAD, PARIENTE, LEWIS, and BELL, J J .,
concur.

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION, AND
IF FILED, DETERMINED.

Original Proceeding – J udicial Qualifications Commission

Lansing C. Scriven of Lansing C. Scriven, P.A., Special Counsel, Tampa, Florida,
Michael Louis Schneider, General Counsel, Tallahassee, Florida, and Marvin E.
Barkin, Special Consulting Counsel, Tampa, Florida,

for J udicial Qualifications Commission , Petitioner

J . David Bogenshutz, of Bogenschutz, Dutko, and Kroll, P.A., Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, and Perry W. Hodges, J r. of Rogers, Morris and Ziegler, LLP, Fort
Lauderdale, Florida,

for Respondent

STATE OF FLORIDA
HON . ..J. PRESTON SILVERNAIL
CHAIR
 QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION
BROOKE S. KENNERLY
I I 10 THOMASVILLE ROAD
EXECLmVE DIRECTOR
TALLAHASSEE. FLORIDA 32303-6224
MICHAEL L. SCHNEIDER (850) 488- I 58 I
GENERAL COUNSEL
August 3D, 2013
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115
th
Loop
Ocala, FL 34481
Re: Complaint No. 10395, Judge Cook
Dear Mr. Gillespie:
We have received your complaint correspondence dated August 21, 2013.
Areview of our records indicates the Commission dealt with your complaint and
advised, on November 23,2010, that your concerns involve legal matters that
have remedy solely through the courts. There is nothing contained in your
present correspondence that would cause the Commission to revisit its earlier
disposition of the matter.
Sincerely yours,
   
Brooke S. Kennerly
Executive Director
,BSK/mbs
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    20:13;     1:. T'
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STATE OF FLORIDA
JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION
1110 THOMASVILLE ROAD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32303-6224
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115
th
Loop
Ocala, FL 34481

:::;448i  $3567
4
JJJ ,·1", J, III J' 11'1 Jj '1" JJ JiJ'" JIll t f 1,11 J'J;' II j IJII iIII fI f II
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___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
Supreme Court ___________________________________
District Court
of Appeal ___________________________________
Circuit Court ___________________________________
County Court ___________________________________
FLORIDA JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION
1110 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303-6224
(850) 488-1581
COMPLAINT FORM
This form is designed to provide the Commission with information required to make an
initial evaluation of your complaint.
PLEASE NOTE: COMPLAINT FORM MUST BE TYPED OR LEGIBLY HAND PRINTED, DATED
AND SIGNED BEFORE IT WILL BE CONSIDERED.
I. Person Making Complaint
Name ___________________________________________________________________________
Mr. (Last) (First) (Middle)
Ms.
Mrs.
Address ___________________________________________________________________________
Telephone Number(s): (Day)_________________________ (Evening)_________________________
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
II. Judge Against Whom Complaint is Made
Name ___________________________________________________________________________
(Last) (First) (Middle)
Address ____________________________________________________________________________
(Note: This form can be typed into here, then printed, or print it out and fill it in by hand.)
Gillespie Neil J
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, FL 34481
352-854-7807
Cook Martha Jean
800 E. Twiggs Street
Tampa, Florida 33601
13th Judicial Circuit
III. Statement of Facts
Please provide in as much detail as possible the information which you have knowledge which you
believe constitutes judicial misconduct or disability. Include names, dates, places, addresses and
telephone numbers which may assist the Commission.
If additional space is required, attach and number pages.
See the accompanying complaint letter, transcript, and documents.
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
IV. Additional Information (if available)
a. If your complaint arises out of a court case, please answer the following questions:
1. What is the name and number of the case?
Case name: ______________________________ Case No. _____________________________
2. What kind of case is it?
civil criminal domestic relations probate
small claims traffic other (specify)
3. What is your relationship to the case?
plaintiff/petitioner defendant/respondent
attorney for _______________________________: ________________________________
witness for ________________________________: ________________________________
other (specify)
b. If you were represented by an attorney in this matter at the time of the judge’s conduct, please
identify the attorney:
Name _____________________________________________________________________________
Address ___________________________________________________________________________
Phone ____________________________________________________________________________
c. List and attach copies of any relevant documents which you believe support your claim that the
judge has engaged in judicial misconduct or has a disability. (Note: Retain a copy for your
records as these documents shall become the property of the Commission and may not be
returned.)
d. Identify, if you can, any other witnesses to the conduct about which you complain:
Name(s): __________________________________
05-CA-7205
Gillespie v Barker Rodems and Cook

pro se plaintiff-counter defendant

See enclosed transcript, errata sheet, Order SC07-198, petition
2D10-5529 2dDCA, Sua Sponte Order to Recuse Assigned Judge Martha Cook
HCSO Deputy Christopher E. Brown
Commander, Major James Livingston
Addresses: HCSO, PO Box 3371
Tampa, Florida
Phone Numbers: (813) 247-8000
IN FILING THIS COMPLAINT, I UNDERSTAND THE COMMISSION'S RULES PROVIDE THAT ALL
PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMISSION, INCLUDING COMPLAINTS FILED WITH THE COMMISSION,
SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL PRIOR TO THE FILING OF FORMAL CHARGES. I FURTHER
UNDERSTAND THAT THIS RULE OF CONFIDENTIALITY ATTACHES AND BECOMES EFFECTIVE UPON
THE FILING OF THIS COMPLAINT AND THAT ANY VIOLATION COULD RESULT IN A CITATION FOR
CONTEMPT BY THE COMMISSION.
V. Under penalty of perjury, I declare that I have examined and understand this complaint form and
to the best of my knowledge and belief, the above information is true, correct and complete and
submitted of my own free will.
August 21, 2013
(Date)
(Note: Only s i   n ~ complaints will be c nsidered.)
Please note that the Commission only has authority to investigate allegations of judicial
misconduct or permanent disability by persons holding state judicial positions. The Commission
has no jurisdiction over and does not consider complaints against Federal Judges, magistrates,
lawyers, police, court personnel, or State Attorneys. The Commission does not act as an
appellate court and cannot review, reverse or modify a legal decision made by a judge 'in the
course of a court proceeding. For example, the Commission does not investigate claims that a
judge wrongfully excluded evidence; imposed an improper sentence, awarded custody to the
wrong party; incorrectly awarded alimony or child support; incorrectly resolved a legal issue or
believed perjured testimony.
Please return this form and direct all future communications to:
Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission
1110 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303-6224
VIA U.P.S. No. 1Z64589FP290041183 August 21, 2013
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
J udicial Qualifications Commission - J QC
1110 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303-6224
RE: Complaint against J udge Martha J ean Cook, Hillsborough County, Florida
Dear Ms. Kennerly and Mr. Schneider:
Please find enclosed my signed J QC complaint form and supporting documents in my complaint
against J udge Martha J ean Cook. My complaint shows the existence of judicial misconduct and
disability by J udge Cook as defined by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Florida.
J udge Cook’s misconduct occurred September 28, 2010 in her courtroom during a 11:00 AM
hearing. I appeared pro se for myself. Opposing counsel was Ryan Christopher Rodems.
The record shows I made three spoken motions to disqualify J udge Cook. The record shows that
J udge Cook failed to properly respond and provide a reasonable amount of time to reduce the
motion to writing as required by Rogers v. State, 630 So. 2d 513 (Fla. 1993). My spoken motions
to disqualify J udge Cook were as follows:
Transcript September 28, 2010, page 3:
16 MR. GILLESPIE: Your Honor, this morning I
17 filed a federal lawsuit against you. I have a
18 complaint here if you would like to read it. I
19 move to disqualify you.
20 THE COURT: Your motion to disqualify
22 based on a federal lawsuit is legally insufficient
23 and is denied.
Transcript September 28, 2010, page 4:
1 MR. GILLESPIE: I move to disqualify you
2 on the basis that I have a financial
3 relationship with your husband.
4 THE COURT: All right. Your motion to
5 disqualify me on that basis is denied.
6 MR. GILLESPIE: I move to disqualify
7 you - -
8 THE COURT: Sir - -
9 MR. GILLESPIE: on the basis of an
10 affidavit that you made misrepresentations at
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director August 21, 2013
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
Florida J udicial Qualifications Commission
Page - 2
11 the last hearing about whether or not I was - -
12 THE COURT: Sir, file a written motion.
13 I'm not going to allow you to disrupt these
14 proceedings again. The last proceedings you
15 feigned illness. You left this courtroom - -
16 MR. GILLESPIE: No, I did not feign
17 illness.
Clearly J udge Cook recognized the need for me to “file a written motion” (line 12) but she failed
to provide me a “reasonable opportunity” to write and file the motion.
When a motion to disqualify a judge occurs “mid-trial or mid-hearing,” the trial court must give
counsel a “reasonable opportunity” to write and file the motion. Rogers, 630 So. 2d at 516.
The J QC and the Supreme Court of Florida upheld Rogers in SC07-198 September 29, 2008, see
Inquiry Concerning a J udge, No. 06-52, RE: Cheryl Aleman. A copy of SC07-198 is enclosed.
J udge Cook did not stop the proceedings and provide me a “reasonable opportunity” to write and
file the motion to disqualify. A copy of the transcript of the hearing with errata sheet is enclosed.
J udge Cook’s misconduct was extremely prejudicial to justice. First, I had just informed J udge
Cook that she was a Defendant in Gillespie v. Thirteenth J udicial Circuit, FL, et al, 5:10-cv-503,
U.S. District Court, M.D.Fla, Ocala Div. This was a section 1983 civil rights and ADA disability
lawsuit. I provided J udge Cook a courtesy copy of the Complaint.
Second, instead of providing me a “reasonable opportunity” to write and file the motion to
disqualify, J udge Cook ordered me removed from court by Deputy Christopher E. Brown, then
falsely made a record that I “elected to leave” the hearing. Fortunately Deputy Brown told his
Commander, Major J ames Livingston, that J udge Cook ordered me removed from the hearing.
Major Livingston provided me a letter dated J anuary 12, 2011 with Deputy Brown’s statement,
which is found attached to the errata sheet to the transcript of the hearing September 28, 2010.
Third, the transcript shows two additional hearings continued ex parte without my presence, and
without counsel representing me. The transcript shows Defendants’ Motion for Final Summary
Judgment was heard ex parte, pages 5-16. The transcript shows Defendants’ Motion for Civil
Contempt and Writ of Bodily Attachment was heard ex parte, pages 17-25. Both motions were
granted in favor of Mr. Rodems for the Defendants, Rodems’ law firm and partner Mr. Cook.
Ultimately I made five written motions to disqualify J udge Cook; she denied the five motions.
1. Plaintiffs Motion To Disqualify Circuit J udge Martha J . Cook, J une 14, 2010
Order Denying Motion To Disqualify Circuit Court J udge Martha J . Cook, J une 16, 2010.
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director August 21, 2013
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
Florida J udicial Qualifications Commission
Page - 3
2. Plaintiffs Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, J uly 23, 2010
Order Denying Motion To Disqualify Circuit Court J udge Martha J . Cook, J uly 27, 2010.
3. Emergency Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, November 1, 2010 with
Plaintiffs Notice of Filing Affidavits.
Order Denying Emergency Motion To Disqualify J udge Cook, November 2, 2010.
4. Plaintiff's 4th Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, November 10, 2010.
Order Denying Plaintiffs 4th Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, Nov-15, 2010.
5. Plaintiff's 5th Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha 1. Cook, November 10, 2010.
Order Denying Plaintiff's 5th Motion To Disqualify J udge Martha J . Cook, Nov-15 2010.
On November 18, 2010 I sought removal of trial J udge Cook by writ of prohibition in the
Second District Court of Appeal, case 2D10-5529, see Verified Emergency Petition for Writ of
Prohibition, Motion for Order of Protection. A copy of the 37 page petition is enclosed, without
exhibits. The full petition containing 763 pages with supporting exhibits, including the five
motions to disqualify, and orders denying same, is posted on Scribd at this URL:
http://www.scribd.com/collections/3852902/Second-District-Court-of-Appeal-Florida
J udge Cook recused sua sponte the same day, November 18, 2010, copy enclosed.
J udge Cook’s recusal sua sponte, albeit 52 days late, is conclusive proof that my spoken motions
September 28, 2010 were justified. A judge has a duty to remain on a case assigned to him or her
unless he or she is legally disqualified. State ex rel. Palmer v. Atkinson, 116 Fla. 366, 156 So.
726, 96 AL.R. 539 (1934); Micale v. Polen, 487 So. 2d 1126 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 1986).
Conclusion
The Thirteenth J udicial Circuit in and for the state of Florida is a court created by statute to
administer, apply, and interpret the laws of the state of Florida in a fair and unbiased manner
without favoritism, extortion, improper influence, personal self-enrichment, self-dealing,
concealment, and conflict of interest.
Martha J ean Cook is an elected State Circuit Court J udge for the Thirteenth J udicial Circuit, and
was by virtue of that position of trust an officer and employee of state government, responsible
for lawfully performing and discharging her duties without bias, favoritism, extortion, improper
influence, personal self enrichment, self-dealing, concealment, and conflict of interest.
Brooke S.  Kennerly, Executive Director 
August 21,2013 
Michael  Schneider, General Counsel 
Page - 4 
Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission 
When a motion to disqualify a judge occurs "mid-trial or mid-hearing," the trial court must give 
counsel a "reasonable opportunity" to write and file  the motion.  Rogers, 630 So. 2d at 516. Judge 
Cook failed  September 28, 2010 to provide me a "reasonable opportunity" to write and file  the 
motion. Instead, Cook corruptly entered orders that harmed me, and benefited opposing counsel. 
Judge Cook continued presiding over the case for another 52 days until  she  recused sua sponte 
November  18, 2010, which was the same day I filed  a petition for writ of prohibition to remove 
her from  the case. During those 52 days, Judge Cook engaged in addition breach of the Code of 
Judicial  Conduct, and the Constitution and  laws of the. state of Florida, and the United States. 
Unfortunately Martha Jean Cook failed to lawfully perform and discharge her duties. 
Martha Jean Cook must be removed from  office. 
Under penalty of perjury, I declare that I have examined and understand this complaint and 
to the best of my knowledge and belief, the above information is  true, correct and complete and 
submitted of my own free  will. 
Enclosures: 
JQC complaint form 
Transcript of the September 28, 2010 hearing 
Errata Sheet of Neil J.  Gillespie, Transcript of the September 28, 2010 hearing 
Order SC07-198 JQC  inquiry Cheryl Aleman 
Second District Court of Appeal, case 2DI0-5529,  Verified Emergency Petitionfor Writ of
Prohibition, Motion for Order ofProtection, November 18, 2010.  
Sua Sponte Order to  Recuse Assigned Judge Martha Cook, November 18, 2010.  
,
;' \.
IN  THE  CIRCUIT  COURT  OF  THE  THIRTEENTH  JUDICIAL  
CIRCUIT  IN  AND  FOR  HILLSBOROUGH  COUNTY,  FLORIDA  
CIVIL  LAW  DIVISION  
CASE  NO.  05-CA-007205  
----------------------------------------x
NEIL J. GILLESPIE,
Plaintiff,
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BARKER, RODEMS & COOK, P.A.
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WILLIAM J. COOK,     ~
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BEFORE: THE HONORABLE MARTHA J. COOK r-
PLACE: Hillsborough County Courthouse
800 East Twiggs Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
DATE: September 28, 2010
TIME: 11:04 a.m. - 11:28 a.m.
REPORTED BY: Robbie E. Darling 
Court Reporter 
DEFENDANTS'  MOTION  FOR  FINAL  SUMMARY  JUDGMENT;  
CORRECTED  TRANSCRIPT  
Pages 1 - 26
DEMPSTER, BERRYHILL &ASSOCIATES
1875 NORTH BELCHER ROAD, SUITE 102
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA 33765
(727) 725-9157
ORIGINAL  
2
APPEARANCES  
RYAN  CHRISTOPHER  RODEMS,  ESQUIRE 
Barker, Rodems & Cook, P.A.
400 North Ashley Drive, Suite 2100
Tampa, Florida 33602
Attorney for Defendants
NEIL GILLESPIE
Pro Se
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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PROCEEDINGS  
THE  COURT:  Good  morning,  folks.  All 
right.  I  believe  we're  here  today  on  a  Motion 
for  Final  Summary  Judgment  -- or,  Motion  for 
Summary  Judgment  filed  by  the  defendant;  is 
that  correct? 
MR.  RODEMS:  Yes,  Your  Honor.  There  is 
two  other  matters  as  well. 
THE  COURT:  Well,  let's  address  the  one 
that  has  been  scheduled  first,  which  is  the 
Motion  for  Summary  Judgment. 
MR.  GILLESPIE:  Your  Honor 
THE  COURT:  Please  be  seated.  Folks,  you 
don't  need  to  stand  to  argue.  Both  of  you. 
Please  be  seated. 
MR.  GILLESPIE:  Your  Honor,  this  morning  I 
filed  a  federal  lawsuit  against  you.  I  have  a 
complaint  here  if  you  would  like  to  read  it.  I 
move  to  disqualify  you. 
THE  COURT:  Your  motion  to  disqualify 
based  on  a  federal  lawsuit  is  legally 
insufficient  and  is  denied. 
Please  continue  with  your  Motion  for 
Summary  Judgment. 
MR.  RODEMS:  Thank  you,  Your  Honor. 
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MR. GILLESPIE: I move to disqualify you
on the basis that I have a financial
relationship with your husband.
THE COURT: All right. Your motion to
disqualify me on that basis is denied.
MR. GILLESPIE: I move to disqualify
you
THE COURT: Sir
MR. GILLESPIE: on the basis of an
affidavit that you made misrepresentations at
the last hearing about whether or not I was --
THE COURT: Sir, file a written motion.
I'm not going to allow you to disrupt these
proceedings again. The last proceedings you
feigned illness. You left this courtroom
MR. GILLESPIE: No, I did not feign
illness.
THE COURT: Sir, if you interrupt me you
will be escorted out.
MR. GILLESPIE: Well, I'm leaving.
THE COURT: This is your last warning,
sir.
MR. GILLESPIE: I'm leaving.
THE COURT: All right, sir. Escort the
gentleman out. He's leaving. All right.
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Continue  with  your  motion,  please.  The  hearing 
will  continue. 
MR.  GILLESPIE:  For  the  record,  I'm 
leaving  because  I  didn't  get  my  ADA 
accommodation. 
THE  COURT:  That's  not  true,  sir.  
MR.  GILLESPIE:  I'm  leaving  the  federal  
lawsuit  on  this  table  for  you. 
THE  COURT:  You  must  go,  sir.  It's  not 
proper  service.  Leave. 
(THEREUPON,  Mr.  Gillespie  exited  the  courtroom) 
THE  COURT:  Go  ahead. 
MR.  RODEMS:  Thank  you,  Your  Honor. 
The  plaintiff  filed  a  two-count  complaint 
against  the  two  defendants;  Barker,  Rodems  and 
Cook  and  Cook.  Count  One  alleged  breech  of 
contract,  Count  Two  alleged  fraud. 
By  orders  dated  November  28th,  2007  and 
July  7th,  2008  the  Court  granted  judgment  in 
favor  of  Cook  on  both  counts  and  for  Defendant 
BRC  on  the  fraud  count.  The  only  count 
remaining  by  plaintiff  against  Defendant  BRC  is 
for  Breech  of  Contract  against  BRC,  and  we're 
moving  for  Summary  Judgment. 
The  following  facts  that  are  in  my  motion 
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are undisputed. I can go through each one of
2 them if you would prefer, Your Honor, on the
3 record or --
4 THE COURT: Make a record.
5 MR. RODEMS: Thank you. The plaintiff
6 hired Defendant BRC to bring claims against
7 Arnscot for violation of the Truth in Lending
8 Act. Under the Truth in Lending Act an
9 individual may be awarded actual damages or
10 statutory damages, and an aggrieved individual
11 may also make a claim for attorney's fees and
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costs.
13 The law is clear that to make a claim for
14 attorney's fees or costs though a party must be
15 represented by counsel, it cannot be pro se.
16 And I have case law for the Court which I'll be
17 happy to submit at the end of the hearing, or
18 if it's your preference to look at it now. But
19 in any event, that was the holding in Hannon,
20 H-A-N-N-O-N, versus Security National Bank, 537
21 Federal 2nd, 327, Ninth Circuit from 1976.
22 Subsequently, Barker, Rodems and Cook
23 filed a lawsuit under TILA in Federal Court on
24
behalf of the plaintiff and two other
25 plaintiffs in that action, who are not parties
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to this case, and requested damages as well as
court-ordered attorney fees.
After discovery it was clear, according to
Attorney Cook, that none of the plaintiffs had
actual damages, so the pursuit was for
statutory damages.
After substantial litigation in which our
law firm, Barker, Rodems and Cook, expended
well over 300 hours the district court
dismissed the TILA claims.
After the dismissal Barker, Rodems and
Cook filed a notice of appeal. While the case
was on appeal the parties began settlement
negotiations. Gillespie was concerned about
claims being made against him, so he urged Cook
to get the cases settled, and not only to get
the case settled but he now wanted an
additional -- to his damages he wanted Mr. Cook
to secure for him a general release or a mutual
release.
Now, under the class representation
contract BRC's duties didn't include seeking a
general release, it only included seeking
damages. But in any event, Mr. Cook took on
that duty. And during the settlement
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negotiations Mr. Gillespie actually directed
Mr. Cook in writing to negotiate a settlement
for him whereby Amscot would pay $1,000 to
Mr. Gillespie and $10,000 for Mr. Gillespie's
and the other plaintiff's claim for
court-awarded attorney's fees.
Now again, if Mr. Gillespie hadn't been
represented by counsel he could have made no
claim for court-awarded attorney's fees.
Eventually Amscot made a settlement offer
which Mr. Gillespie accepted. And under that
settlement agreement Amscot agreed to pay
Mr. Gillespie $2,000. It also agreed to pay
$50,000 to settle Mr. Gillespie's and the other
two plaintiff's claims for court-awarded
attorney's fees and costs. And it also
included a mutual general release of all
claims.
Under the settlement agreement none of the
plaintiffs had to pay any portion of Barker,
Rodems and Cook's attorney's fees and costs.
The plaintiff signed a written settlement
agreement with Amscot, which has been attached
to the affidavit of Mr. Cook and presented to
the Court. And that settlement agreement which
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was signed by Amscot -- I'm sorry, it was
signed by Mr. Gillespie and Barker, Rodems and
Cook and presented to Amscot, which was
presumably signed the copy that the Court
has is not signed by Amscot. But in any event,
that document which Mr. Cook signed on behalf
of Barker, Rodems and Cook and Mr. Gillespie
signed stated, quote, "Amscot shall pay the
firm" -- which was defined as Barker, Rodems
and Cook -- "the sum of $50,000 in satisfaction
of plaintiff's claims for attorney's fees and
costs as more fully described herein against
Amscot as asserted in the action."
Mr. Gillespie signed that. He read it, he
signed it.
When the opportunity came to present
Mr. Gillespie with his money we presented
him Barker, Rodems and Cook presented him
with a closing statement which included the
following statement -- and this was attached by
Mr. Gillespie to his complaint as Exhibit 2.
Quote," In signing this closing statement I
acknowledge that Amscot Corporation separately
paid my attorneys $50,000 to compensate my
attorneys for their claim against Amscot for
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court-awarded fees and costs. I also
acknowledge that I have received a copy of the
fully executed release and settlement agreement
dated October 30, 2001."
Now in Count One, the Breech of Contract
claim against Barker, Rodems and Cook,
Mr. Gillespie contends that even though he
signed the settlement agreement and even though
he signed the closing statement and even though
he agreed with Amscot that Amscot would pay all
of his attorney's fees, that somehow or other
Barker, Rodems and Cook should have split some

portion of the $50,000 paid to settle the claim
for court-awarded attorney's fees with
Mr. Gillespie. And he claims that failure to
split it with him was a breech of contract.
Of course, the rules regulate -- the
Florida Bar prohibits splitting attorney's fees
with a non-lawyer under Rule 4-5.4. And also
under the professional ethics opinion of the
Florida Bar 60-33, which quoted with approval
of Henry S. Drinker (Phonetic) from legal ethics
in which he said, quote, "The only situations
in which a lawyer may properly permit a client
to receive and retain fees paid by others on
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account of his legal services are when such
payments are to reimburse the client in whole
or in part for the client's legal expenses
actually incurred and the specific manner for
which they are paid." In other words, had
Mr. Gillespie paid us $50,000 and then we
received $50,000 we could have reimbursed him.
But, that's not what happened and that's not
what Mr. Gillespie wanted. He wanted a split
of it as if he was an attorney entitled to a
share of it.
THE COURT: Nor did he represent in his
claim that he had paid monies to your firm
or
MR. RODEMS: No, ma'am.
THE COURT: -- is entitled to
reimbursement. That wasn't the basis when I
read the complaint for the breech of contract.
MR. RODEMS: It's not alleged in the
complaint, Your Honor, correct.
THE COURT: All right.
MR. RODEMS: Based on these undisputed
facts there are several basis to grant Summary
Judgment in Defendant Barker, Rodems and Cook's
favor as stated in the motion.
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Because Amscot paid Mr. Gillespie's
attorney's fees and Mr. Gillespie kept his
entire $2,000 there was never any contingency
fee taken. This was a situation where, as the
class representation contract states, quote,
"In rare cases the defendant may pay all or
part of the attorney's fees". And that's what
occurred here. Amscot paid 100 percent of
Mr. Gillespie's and the other two plaintiff's
attorney's fees, which is permitted by TILA and
also the rules regulating the Florida Bar,
4-1.8(f) which authorizes a lawyer to accept
payment of his or her fees for representation
of a client by one other than the client. So,
there was no contingency fee charged to
plaintiff. He kept his entire $2,000.
But Mr. Gillespie, by signing the
settlement agreement, also agreed with Amscot
and with Barker, Rodems and Cook that the fee
for this case would be $50,000 and that would
cover the fees and the costs. So, this was
Mr. Gillespie's choice to make this decision.
Mr. Gillespie's contractual theory would
require Barker, Rodems and Cook to violate the
ethical rules by splitting a fee.
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The Florida law under JRD Management Corp.
versus Dulin, D-U-L-I-N, 883 So. 2nd, 314 says
that, "The law assumes that parties have made
an agreement for a lawful purpose." So, when
we presented with Mr. Gillespie with a class
representation contract we couldn't have done
it for some unlawful purpose, and certainly
never contemplated that we would split an
attorney's fee with him.
The second reason is, the plaintiff agreed
to the amount of attorney's fees and costs.
Now, we started out seeking and when I
see "we", I mean Barker, Rodems and Cook -- we
started out seeking Mr. Gillespie's damages and
his, you know -- and also his claim for
court-awarded attorney's fees. But, as the
case went on it changed and Mr. Gillespie now
wanted us to negotiate a release for him. More
or less that constituted a modification of any
agreement that was in place. So, when
Mr. Gillespie signed the settlement agreement,
which clearly spelled out his agreement with
Arnscot, not ours but his agreement with Arnscot,
that the $50,000 would be paid to our law firm
for attorney's fees and costs he agreed to that
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amount.
Finally, Your Honor, Mr. Gillespie is now
estopped from taking a contrary position. The
Court in Sand Cruise Casinos versus City of
Hollywood, 844 So. 2nd, 681 stated, quite, "In
order to demonstrate the existence of estoppel
the party must establish: One, a
representation as to a material fact that is
contrary to a later asserted position. Two,
reliance upon that representation. And three,
a change in position detrimental to the party
claiming estoppel caused by the representation
or reliance."
Now, when Mr. Gillespie told us this is
what he wanted us to do we relied on that
representation. When he signed the settlement
agreement we relied on that representation.
And when he signed a closing statement we
relied on that representation that he
understood and agreed that he wanted our law
firm to be paid $50,000 for its attorney's fees
and costs by Amscot.
Had he not signed the settlement agreement
or the closing statement we could not have
taken that money. It wouldn't have been
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possible. So, we relied on that
representation. And now Mr. Gillespie comes in
and changes his story in this lawsuit and says
that he wants a percentage of that.
So clearly, Your Honor, under the class
representation contract and under the agreement
that was, you know, was reached between him and
Amscot and Barker, Rodems and Cook as the case
proceeded, Mr. Gillespie wanted his $2,000; he
wanted it then. He didn't want to face any
adverse claims, and he directed that the
settlement be obtained. And once it was
obtained he approved it.
And then almost two years after the fact,
after threatening a bar grievance and a
lawsuit -- and when he didn't get his way went
forward and filed this action. It's been going
on for five years. Three of the four claims
were disposed of by judgment on the pleadings.
The record is undisputed. The facts that have
alleged are undisputed, and my clients are
entitled to judgment in their favor and we ask
that you enter that.
And we have brought with us today, Your
Honor, a proposed Final Summary Judgment as to
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Count One along with the appropriate copies and
postage, pre-paid envelopes. In the event that
the order is not satisfactory and you'd like us
to send over a CD with this version on it so it
can be modified, we can certainly do that.
But, we would ask you to review that and
consider entering that. Thank you.
THE COURT: I've signed the order. I will
have the original document with the clerk and
conform copies and mail it.
Is there anything further that remains in
this case? It's on -- it is many, many volumes
 
and many, many pleadings. So, is there I
think I'm looking at Volume 11. Is there
anything that remains?
MR. RODEMS: Your Honor, there are some
there were counterclaims, but I am going to
talk with my clients today and I assume that
those will be dismissed.
The only thing that would remain after
that would be the various issues relating to
collection on the judgment that has already
been entered, costs and also there may be one
or two motions out there for sanctions.
The other two things that I want to bring
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up today, if I could briefly, Your Honor --
THE COURT: Okay. Excuse me.
MR. RODEMS: The other two things that I
would like to mention, Your Honor is that in
your order that set the hearing for today you
did ask us to be prepared to discuss with you
the previous Motion for Contempt and asked us,
you know, to be prepared to discuss with you
whether Mr. Gillespie had complied with the
fact information sheet. And I did want to
represent to the Court that Mr. Gillespie did
in fact, while he was still represented by
Mr. Bower, comply with the fact information
sheet. So that issue, just so the Court knows,
is resolved.
The other thing is that we, once again,
tried to schedule Mr. Gillespie for a
deposition. And he basically did not attend,
despite your previous order, which denied his
Motion for Protective Order or to Avoid the
Deposition. We do still have the judgment that
we need to collect upon. And obviously at
least until I can get back to the office and
verify with my partners and get something over
to the Court there still are the counterclaims
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pending.
THE COURT: What counterclaims, precisely?
MR. RODEMS: Well, there are two
counterclaims -- I believe two counterclaims
for defamation, libel and slander or maybe just
libel; I can't remember at the moment. But
like I said, Your Honor, I am 100 percent
confident that as soon as I go back a Notice of
Dismissal of those remaining counterclaims will
be submitted this afternoon.
But in any event, we are going to need to
depose Mr. Gillespie. He is obviously not
willing to show up and he's -- so, we filed a
Motion For an Order of Contempt and Writ of
Bodily Attachment. We did not -- we noticed it
for hearing today, but obviously it was the
idea was, you know, the Court was going to take
up the summary judgment and the other issues
first. I don't know if you would like us to
reset this on a separate day or if you wish to
entertain it now.
THE COURT: Well, it's been noticed for
now. You can at least make a record and let me
consider what to do in that matter.
MR. RODEMS: Yes, Your Honor.
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1
THE COURT: This can be mailed, and I
2 believe you can give this back to counsel.
3 There were only two conformed copies, one for
4 Mr. Gillespie -- all right.
5
You can make a record. I did have your
6 motion, it was noticed for today. As you know,
7 this is a Motion for an Order of Contempt and
8 Writ of Bodily Attachment. And let the record
9 reflect that Mr. Gillespie elected to leave
10 even though he was advised that the hearing
11 would continue in his absence. You have
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noticed him for deposition, you indicate,
13 several times?
14
MR. RODEMS: Yes, Your Honor. Prior to
15 the order of July 29th, 2010 we noticed
16 Mr. Gillespie twice for deposition, and both
17 times he failed to appear.
18 The second and this is all reflected in
19 the motion. On the second occasion he did file
20 some sort of motion for protection, but he
21 never made any effort to have it heard or
22 anything.
23 So, when the Court entered the order on
24 July 29th, 2010 denying his Motion for Order of
25 Protection the Court was fairly clear that
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Mr. Gillespie has ignored court orders in the
past and that the Court will not accept these
or any further attempts by the plaintiff to
avoid the defendant's right to discovery in
this case and bring the matter to a close.
So, subsequent to that we served a Notice
of Deposition on August 17th, 2010 scheduling
the deposition on September 3rd. And we
attached a copy of that Notice of Deposition as
Exhibit 1. On September 3rd he wrote a letter
and faxed it to us and said he wasn't going to
be attending for three reasons: First, he says
the Court has not responded to nor provided
accommodations requested under the Americans
with Disability Act.
Second, he said that the Oath of Office of
Judges in this matter are not legally
sufficient, calling into question rulings in
this matter.
And finally he reiterated again his belief
that my representation of the defendants is
quote, "unlawful", closed quote. Even though
the Court expressly denied that motion and
advised him that that matter was res judicata
he once again raised it as a basis.
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SO, he is in disregard of this Court's
authority and this Court's order and we would
ask that he be held in contempt. And we would
ask that the Court consider issuing a Writ of
Bodily Attachment so that someone, either the
Hillsborough County Sheriff or the Marion
County Sheriff where he resides or anyone of
them in between or who comes into contact with
him can bring him into custody for the purpose
of allowing us to get a deposition of him so
that we can finish out the case. And obviously
unless someone physically arrests Mr. Gillespie
and holds him until he purges himself of the
contempt by refusing to sit for deposition the
defendants are never going to be able to get to
the bottom of the issues that are necessary to
bring the case to resolution.
So, we would ask for the Court to find
Mr. Gillespie in contempt and consider issuing
a Writ of Bodily Attachment.
I would represent to the Court that if
Mr. Gillespie is taken into custody I will do
my best to complete the deposition as quickly
as possible. But, I do want to advise the
Court that I am going out of town and will be
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out of the office from Thursday until Tuesday
of next week. So, if it was to happen --
THE COURT: Mr. Gillespie owes the firm,
is this correct, some judgement amount?
MR. RODEMS: Yes, Your Honor. It's
$11,500 plus interest. And that judgment, if
my memory serves me correctly, was entered in
2008 and was affirmed on appeal.
THE COURT: I'm sorry, what did you say
about appeal?
MR. RODEMS: The judgment was entered in
2008 and it was affirmed on appeal.
THE COURT: Affirmed on appeal?
MR. RODEMS: Yes, ma'am. He appealed the
sanctions, and the Second DCA upheld those.
THE COURT: Who awarded the sanctions?
What Judge?
MR. RODEMS: Judge Barton.
THE COURT: Judge Barton imposed
sanctions?
MR. RODEMS: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: So, these sanctions were
imposed for what reason?
MR. RODEMS: 57105 violations in terms of
his pleading various defenses that had no basis
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in law or fact and also prior to discovery
violations. There was a motion based on both
of those, which was granted, and then the Judge
held a hearing on the amount and awarded that
monetary sanction at that point.
THE COURT: So, you have a judgment for
sanctions against Mr. Gillespie. And you have,
as counter plaintiff, a lawsuit against
Mr. Gillespie for defamation?
MR. RODEMS: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Is there anything else besides
the defamation count?
MR. RODEMS: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: And that's one count of
defamation or slander?
MR. RODEMS: It may be two. It may have
been one for one defendant and one for the
other defendant. But, it all emanated from one
letter that Mr. Gillespie wrote to the
president of Arnscot.
THE COURT: Well, it's very clear from the
record that Mr. Gillespie hasn't complied with
this Court's orders, and contempt is an
appropriate sanction. And I do find you're
entitled to an order of contempt.
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Given that you're going out of town it
raises some concern about issuing a Writ of
Bodily Attachment at this time as I wouldn't
want Mr. Gillespie detained indefinitely in
order to comply with the purge provision.
MR. RODEMS: Yes, Your Honor. And I
wouldn't want that either. I mean, certainly
our objective is just to get the deposition
completed.
THE COURT: Why don't I provide
that unless he gives a -- when are you going to
be back?
MR. RODEMS: I will be back in the office,
I believe, next Tuesday, which -- I'm sorry,
the date might.be --
THE COURT: Why don't we provide that he
has 45 days in which to give such a deposition,
otherwise the Court will issue an order to show
cause and consider further appropriate action.
MR. RODEMS: Okay, Your Honor. So, should
I prepare an order finding Mr. Gillespie in
contempt and providing that he has 45 days?
THE COURT: In which to provide the
required deposition or requested deposition or
face future sanctions for noncompliance.
25
1
MR. RODEMS: May I provide an order that
2 it could include being held --
3
THE COURT: Well, I would issue an order
4 to show cause at that point and require his
5 appearance to explain why he didn't show up.
6 And failing that, then of course I would
7 consider other options. But as you know, the
8 courts are very reluctant to have people
9 detained and incarcerated unless it's the
10 absolute last resort.
11
MR. RODEMS: Yes, Your Honor.
12
THE COURT: And that is the way I feel
13 about it. All right, folks. So, if you
14 decide, Mr. Rodems, to resolve the remaining
15 counts you can send a copy of whatever you file
16 with the clerk or fax it to me so that I know
17 the status of the file.
18
MR. RODEMS: Yes, Your Honor. I will do
19
that.
20
THE COURT: Thank you so much.
21
MR. RODEMS: Thank you for your time,
22
Judge.
23
THE COURT: All right. We're done.
24
(THEREUPON, the Hearing ended at 11:28 a.m. )
25
26
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF PINELLAS
I, ROBBIE E. DARLING, Court Reporter, in and
for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, State of
Florida:
DO HEREBY CERTIFY that the foregoing
proceedings were had at the time and place set
forth in the caption thereof; that I was
authorized to and did stenographically report
the said proceedings and that the foregoing
pages, numbered 1 through 26, inclusive, is a
true and correct transcription of said
stenographic report.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my
official signature this 4th day of October,
2010, at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida.
27
as 3:87:1,19:9,12,13,21 almost 15:14 being 7: 15 25:2 10:6,13 11:13 13:15
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05-CA-007205 1:2 

1 1:2020:10 26:12 
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11  16:14 
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60-3310:21 
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7th 5:19 
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8001:12 
84414:5 
88313:2 
ERRATA SHEET OF NEIL J . GILLESPIE, AMENDED
COURT: Circuit Court of the Thirteenth J udicial Circuit
Hillsborough County, Florida, Civil Law Division
CASE NUMBER: 05-CA-7205
STYLE OF CASE: Neil J . Gillespie, Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant, vs.
Barker, Rodems & Cook, P.A., Defendant and Counter-Plaintiff
William J . Cook, Defendant and Counter-Plaintiff
DATE: September 28, 2010
TIME: 11:04 a.m. - 11:28 a.m.
PRESIDING J UDGE: Martha J . Cook, Circuit Court J udge
Hearing 1: Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant’s Oral Motion To Disqualify Trial J udge
Hearing 2: Defendants and Counter-Plaintiffs’ Motion For Final Summary J udgment
Hearing 3: Defendants and Counter-Plaintiffs’ Motion For Civil Contempt and Writ of Bodily
Attachment
REPORTER: Robbie E. Darling
Dempster, Berryhill & Associates
1875 North Belcher Road, Suite 102
Clearwater, Florida 33765
Telephone (727) 725-9157
Page Line Error or Change Reason for Change
Cover Neil J . Gillespie is the To correct error, add
Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant counter-party status
Cover Barker, Rodems & Cook, P.A. and To correct error, see p. 16.
William J . Cook are Defendants and line 7; p. 17, line 25;
Counter-Plaintiffs p. 18, lines 1, 4 and 9
for reference to counterclaims
Cover This hearing began with Plaintiff and Counter-Defendants’ oral motion to
disqualify the presiding trial judge, Martha J . Cook, Circuit Court J udge,
beginning on page 3, line 16.
This hearing was also on Defendants and Counter-Plaintiffs’ Motion for
Contempt and Writ of Bodily Attachment, in addition to “Defendants’ and
Counter-Plaintiffs’ Motion for Final Summary J udgment”. The hearing on
contempt begins on page 17, line 7, also see J udge Cook’s statement on
page 19, lines 5-11.
2 Appearances Ryan Christopher Rodems, attorney for Defendants and Counter-Plaintiffs
2
2 Appearances Neil J . Gillespie, pro se, Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant
2 Appearances Please add the address for Neil J . Gillespie: 8092 SW 115th Loop,
Ocala, Florida, 34481
4 20 Transcript shows punctuation of a “period” where it should show
punctuation of “dashes” to show J udge Cook cut Gillespie off mid-sentence:
20 MR. GI LLESPI E: Wel l , I ' ml eavi ng.
Transcript should show J udge Cook cut Gillespie off mid-sentence:
20 MR. GI LLESPI E: Wel l , I ' ml eavi ng - -
23 Again at line 23 the same inaccuracy is repeated, and should be changed.
23 MR. GI LLESPI E: I ' ml eavi ng - -
On page 5, line 7-8, Gillespie was finally able to speak his complete
sentence:
7 MR. GI LLESPI E: I ' ml eavi ng t he f eder al
8 l awsui t on t hi s t abl e f or you.
5 3-5 Gillespie misspoke in this exchange because he was upset that
J udge Cook ordered him removed from the hearing, and had twice
cut him off in mid-sentence.
3 MR. GI LLESPI E: For t he r ecor d, I ' m
4 l eavi ng because I di dn' t get my ADA
5 accommodat i on.
Gillespie intended to state he did not get his ADA accommodation.
He was leaving because J udge Cook ordered him to leave, and
intended to state the following:
3 MR. GI LLESPI E: For t he r ecor d,
4 I di dn' t get my ADA
5 accommodat i on.
5 11 ( THEREUPON, Mr . Gi l l espi e exi t ed t he cour t r oom)
The above should reflect that Mr. Gillespie was escorted out of the courtroom
and/or courthouse by the bailiff, Deputy Christopher E. Brown, H.C.S.O., per the
letter of Maj. J ames Livingston dated J anuary 12, 2011.
( THEREUPON, Mr . Gi l l espi e was escor t ed out of t he
cour t r oomby t he bai l i f f )
A copy of Maj. Livingston’s letter to Neil Gillespie, with mailing envelope,
accompanies this Errata Sheet, along with a copy of Maj. Livingston’s email of
J anuary 12, 2011 with attached copy of the letter, and Gillespie’s inquiry letter of
November13,2010.ThiscorrespondenceimpeachesafalsestatementbyJudge
MarthaJ. Cookthatappearsonpage19,lines5-11:
5 [THE COURT] You can make a record. I did have your
6 motion, it was noticed for today. As you know,
7 this is a Motion for an Order of Contempt and
8 Writ of Bodily Attachment. And let the record
9 reflect that Mr. Gillespie elected to leave
10 even though he was advised that the hearing
11 would continue in his absence.
17 13 "Mr. Bower" shouldbespelled"Mr.Bauer",thenameofmy
formerattorney,RobertW. BauerofGainesville,Florida.
NOTE:ThistranscriptwaspreviouslycorrectedsometimeafterGillespie'semailandfaxtoJean
MurraydatedOctober16,2010,seeattached.ThetranscriptwasamendedaftertheOctober4,
2010dateshownonpage26,Certificateof ReporterRobbieE.Darling.
Ihavereadthetranscriptof theabovehearingheldSeptember28,2010,andexceptfor
anyerrorsorchangesnotedabove,Iherebysubscribetothetranscriptasanaccuraterecordof
thestatementsmadebyme.IcannotsubscribetostatementsmadeafterIwasorderedremoved
fromthehearing,orknowifJudgeCookorMr.Rodemsinfluencedorattemptedtoinfluencethe
courtreporterinhisdutyasanofficerof thecourt.
"Acourtreporterisanofficerof thecourtforallpurposeswhileactingasareporterina
judicialproceedingordiscoveryproceeding.(12AFla.Jur.2d, §224;2005).Court
reporters,asofficersof thecourt,areamenabletoitsprocessesforfailuretoperform
theirduties.Peacockv. State, 154So.2 856(Fla.Dist.Ct.App. 1stDist. 1963 )."
SignatureofNeilJ. GilleSPie:r'·· A .z. Date:  
STATEOFFLORIDA
COUNTYOFMARION
BEFOREME,theundersignedauthorityauthorizedtotakeoathsandacknowledgmentsinthe
StateofFlorida,personallyappearedNEILJ.GILLESPIE,Isnowntome,orwhoproduced _
who,afterhavingfirstbeendulysworn,deposesandsaysthattheabo;ematterscontainedinthis
ErrataSheeraretrueandcorrecttothebestof hisknowledgeandbelief.
WITNESSmyhandandofficialsealthis 1'"dayof J 2012.

,
;' \.
IN  THE  CIRCUIT  COURT  OF  THE  THIRTEENTH  JUDICIAL  
CIRCUIT  IN  AND  FOR  HILLSBOROUGH  COUNTY,  FLORIDA  
CIVIL  LAW  DIVISION  
CASE  NO.  05-CA-007205  
----------------------------------------x
NEIL J. GILLESPIE,
Plaintiff,
and Di vi-sion::t: G,....:>
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'"11 N
BEFORE: THE HONORABLE MARTHA J. COOK r-
PLACE: Hillsborough County Courthouse
800 East Twiggs Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
DATE: September 28, 2010
TIME: 11:04 a.m. - 11:28 a.m.
REPORTED BY: Robbie E. Darling 
Court Reporter 
DEFENDANTS'  MOTION  FOR  FINAL  SUMMARY  JUDGMENT;  
CORRECTED  TRANSCRIPT  
Pages 1 - 26
DEMPSTER, BERRYHILL &ASSOCIATES
1875 NORTH BELCHER ROAD, SUITE 102
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA 33765
(727) 725-9157
ORIGINAL  

Neil Gillespie
From: "Neil Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net>
To: "J ean Murray" <jmurray@dempstercr.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2010 12:44 PM
Attach: 2010, 09-28-10, transcript, page 5, error, correction needed.pdf
Subject: correction needed on transcript of September 28, 2010
Page 1of 1
11/29/2012
Hi J ean,
I just reviewed the transcript of the hearing September 28, 2010 done by Robbie Darling and
there is a serious error on the top of page five at line 1: (THEREUPON, Mr. Gillespie exited the
courtroom). Clearly this is inaccurate because there was the following exchange later in the
transcript, beginning on page five at line 4:
4. MR. GILLESPIE: For the record, I'm
5 leaving because I didn't get my ADA
6 accommodation.
7 THE COURT: That's not true, sir.
8. MR. GILLESPIE: I'm leaving the federal
9 lawsuit on this table for you.
10 THE COURT: You must go, sir. It's not
11 proper service. Leave. Go ahead.
I believe the information on page five at line 1 should appear after the above exchange ending on
page five at line 11. Also, HCSO Bailiff C.E. Brown removed me from the courtroom at the
order of J udge Cook and escorted me from the building. I believe this information should be
included on the transcript, because J udge Cook is now claiming that I left the hearing
voluntarily. A copy of page 5 is attached. Time is of the essence in this matter. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Neil Gillespie
(352) 854-7807
Fax 
From: Neil J.  Gillespie 
8092 SW 11S
th 
Loop 
Ocala,  FL 34481 
Telephone:  (352) 854-7807 
email:  neilgillespie@mfi.net 
To:  Dempster Berryhill Court Reporters 
Fax: (727) 725-8749  
Date: October 16,2010 
Pages: two (2) including this cover sheet 
Re: transcript error 
Hi Jean, 
I just reviewed the transcript ofthe hearing September 28, 2010 done by Robbie Dariing and 
there is a serious error on the top ofpage five at line 1:  (THEREUPON, Mr. Gillespie exited 
the courtroom). Clearly this is inaccurate because there was the following exchange later in the 
transcript, beginning on page five at line 4: 
4. MR. GILLESPIE: For the record, I'm  
5 leaving because I didn't get my ADA  
6 accommodation.  
7 THE COURT: That's not true, sir.  
8. MR. GILLESPIE: I'm leaving the federal  
9 lawsuit on this table for you.  
10 THE COURT: You must go, sir. It's not  
11  proper service. Leave. Go ahead.  
I believe the information on page five at line 1 should appear after the above exchange ending 
on page five  at line  11. Also, HCSO BailiffC.E. Brown removed me from the courtroom at 
the order ofJudge Cook and escorted me from the building. I believe this information should 
be included on the transcript, because Judge Cook is now claiming that I left the hearing 
voluntarily. A copy ofpage 5 is attached. Time is ofthe essence in this matter. Thank you. 
Sincerely, 
Neil Gillespie 
1
2
3
4
--
5
6
7
8
--- 9
10
11
19
18
16
15
14
17
13
12
20
21
22
23
24
25
in 
and 
and 
5  
(THEREUPON,  Mr.  Gillespie  exited  the  courtroom)  ~ e ~ e v  
THE  COURT:  All  right.  Continue  with  your 
motion,  please.  The  hearing  will  continue. 
~ ~ M R GILLESPIE:  For  the  record,  I'm 
leaving  because  I  didn't  get  my  ADA 
accommodation. 
THE  COURT:  That's  not  true,  sir. 
~ MR.  GILLESPIE:  I'm  leaving  the  federal 
lawsuit  on  this  table  for  you. 
THE  COURT:  You  must  go,  sir.  It's  not 
proper  service.  Leave.  Go  ahead. 
MR.  RODEMS:  Thank  you,  Your  Honor. 
The  plaintiff  filed  a  two-count  complaint 
against  the  two  defendants;  Barker,  Rodems 
Cook  and  Cook.  Count  One  alleged  breech  of 
contract,  Count  Two  alleged  fraud. 
By  orders  dated  November  28th,  2007 
July  7th,  2008  the  Court  granted  judgment 
favor  of  Cook  on  both  counts  and  for  Defendant 
BRC  on  the  fraud  count.  The  only  count 
remaining  by  plaintiff  against  Defendant  BRC  is 
for  Breech  of  Contract  against  BRC,  and  we're 
moving  for  Summary  Judgment. 
The  following  facts  that  are  in  my  motion 
are  undisputed.  I  can  go  through  each  one  of 
Po. Box 3371
Phone (813)247-8000 
www.hcso.tampa.jl.us David Gee,  Sheriff 
Jose Docobo,  ChiefDeputy 
Hillsborough  County  
Tampa,  Florida  33601  
January  12,2011 
Mr. Neil J.  Gillespie 
8092 SW l1S
th
Loop 
Ocala, Florida 34481 
Dear Mr.  Gillespie: 
In response to your letter dated November 13,2010, I made contact with Deputy 
Christopher E.  Brown concerning your request for an explanation regarding why he 
escorted you out of the courthouse on September 28, 2010 after a hearing with Judge 
Martha Cook.  Deputy Brown advised that the Judge ordered you to leave after a 
disruption in the courtroom.  He stated that he followed you to the front door as you 
exited the building without assistance.  Other than the official records maintained by the 
Court,  I am not aware of any other records related to the hearing before Judge Cook. 
As we discussed on the telephone today, you expressed some concern over your 
personal safety while in the courthouse due to  a disability and due to  a potential threat 
from  opposing counsel.  Please let me know the date and time of your next visit to the 
courthouse and we will take action to help ensure a safe and orderly visit.  Please feel  free 
to contact me with any additional questions or concerns. 
Sincerely, 
James P.  Livingston, Major  
Court Operations Division  
016H26509735
Jhrriff
~
$OO.44Q
laauid 6rr
01/13/2011
%:
CO" 5
P.O. Box 3371 • Tampa. Florida 33601
US POSTAGE
Mr. Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115
th
Loop
Ocala, Florida 34481
:;:c ~   8 i +: : : : : : ~ 7 11,11"11,1,1,111,,1,1,, Ill, II" '1'1,11 I ,11111111111,1,/",/"

Neil Gillespie
From: "LIVINGSTON, J AMES P" <jlivings@hcso.tampa.fl.us>
To: <neilgillespie@mfi.net>
Sent: Wednesday, J anuary 12, 2011 10:25 AM
Attach: Ltr to Mr. Neil Gillespie 011211.pdf
Subject: Response Letter
Page 1of 1
1/12/2011
Mr. Gillespie,

Attached is a copy of your letter dated 11/13/2010, along with my response letter dated today. The
original reponse letter will go out today via U.S. Mail.

Thank you,

J ames P. Livingston
Major - Court Operations Division
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Office: 813-242-5061
Fax: 813-242-1834
jlivings@hsco.tampa.fl.us
VIA V.P.S. No.  lZ64589FP290445194 
December 4, 2012 
Larry Murray, President 
Dempster Berryhill Court Reporting 
1875 N. Belcher Road, Suite  102 
Clearwater, FL 33765 
RE:  Transcript of hearings September 28, 2010 before Judge Martha J.  Cook  
Gillespie v. Barker, Rodems & Cook, 05-CA-7205, Hillsborough Co., Florida.  
Dear Mr. Murray, 
Enclosed you will find a copy of my notarized, amended errata sheet for the transcript of 
the hearings September 28, 2010 in the above case before Judge Cook, reported and 
transcribed by Robbie E.  Darling of your firm. 
Kindly file  a copy with the court. Thank you. 
Telephone: (352) 854-7807 
email: neilgillespie@mfi.net 
Enclosure 
Supreme Court of Florida
____________

No. SC07-198
____________


INQUIRY CONCERNING A JUDGE, NO. 06-52,
RE: CHERYL ALEMAN.

[September 29, 2008]

PER CURIAM.
In this case we review the determination by the J udicial Qualifications
Commission (J QC) that Seventeenth J udicial Circuit J udge Cheryl Aleman
violated the Code of J udicial Conduct and its recommendation that J udge Aleman
be publicly reprimanded and charged the costs of investigation and prosecution.
For the reasons discussed below, we approve the J QC’s determination and
recommendation.
I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The charges stem from J udge Aleman’s behavior in response to three
motions to disqualify her made by Assistant Public Defenders Sandra Perlman and
Bruce Raticoff on J anuary 24, 2006, the second day of jury selection in State v.
Braynen, a first-degree murder case.
1
On the morning of J anuary 24, Perlman
sought to disqualify J udge Aleman based on what Perlman perceived to be J udge
Aleman’s aggressive and intimidating questioning of prospective jurors during voir
dire the previous afternoon. Because the motion was oral, Perlman requested a
reasonable amount of time to reduce the motion to writing as required by Rogers v.
State, 630 So. 2d 513 (Fla. 1993).
2
J udge Aleman denied the request for
additional time and immediately denied the motion on its merits.
The second motion to disqualify related to J udge Aleman’s allegedly
preferential treatment of Assistant State Attorney Peter Holden. J udge Aleman had
granted Holden a fifteen-minute delay in the start of the afternoon proceedings
while denying a similar request from Perlman. When Perlman requested “at least
an hour” to reduce this second oral motion to writing, J udge Aleman responded

1. Prior to trial, defense counsel filed two motions to disqualify J udge
Aleman. Perlman first moved to disqualify J udge Aleman because Ms. Perlman
supported J udge Aleman’s opponent in the 2004 election. J udge Aleman denied
the motion, and the Fourth District affirmed this ruling on appeal. See Braynen v.
State, 895 So. 2d 1169 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005). The defense then sought review of
the Fourth District’s decision in this Court and moved to stay the trial proceedings.
J udge Aleman denied the motion to stay and instructed Ms. Perlman to prepare an
order reflecting this ruling. When Ms. Perlman handed the proposed order to
J udge Aleman, J udge Aleman ripped it up and wrote her own. This led to the
second motion to disqualify, which J udge Aleman likewise denied. However,
these first two motions to disqualify were not the basis for the J QC investigation.
2. When a motion to disqualify a judge occurs “mid-trial or mid-hearing,”
the trial court must give counsel a “reasonable opportunity” to write and file the
motion. Rogers, 630 So. 2d at 516.
- 2 -
that the court would be in recess for five minutes. During this time, J udge Aleman
conferred with another jurist, who suggested that defense counsel be given a pad of
paper and a pen to prepare a written motion. When the proceeding resumed at 2:20
p.m., J udge Aleman did just that; she gave Perlman paper and pen and stated that,
if defense counsel subsequently wished to substitute a typed motion, she would
allow it. But rather than giving counsel an hour, J udge Aleman gave the defense
attorneys fifteen minutes to transcribe the motion, stating that the court would
adjourn until 2:35 p.m.
Intending to research and type the motion, Perlman and Raticoff left the
courtroom to return to their office. In their haste, they ran past a number of
prospective jurors who were sitting and standing in the hallway. At 2:42 p.m.,
when the proceeding reconvened, neither assistant public defender was in the
courtroom. J udge Aleman took a recess until defense counsel returned.
By 2:48 p.m., Raticoff had returned, but Perlman had not. At that point,
J udge Aleman mentioned the prospect of holding both public defenders in
contempt:
The Court: The Court’s go[ing] to issue a rule to show cause, and
we’ll hold this in abeyance until conclusion of the trial. The Court
had [given] counsel 15 additional minutes to handwrite a motion,
provided a paper and pen for counsel to do so, and when the Court
returned back neither Defense Counsel was here, and now it’s 2:49
and we’re still missing one of defense counsel.

- 3 -
Again, good grounds for the rule to show cause is failure to
abide by the Court’s order with respect, and we’ll hold that in
abeyance until the concluding of the proceeding.

Mr. Raticoff: J udge, just so the record –

The Court: Directly to both Counsel, Mr. Raticoff and Ms. Perlman.
And we’ll be in recess until Ms. Perlman arrives.

Upon returning to the courtroom at 2:57 p.m., Perlman inquired into the status of
the contempt charge. There was some confusion as to whether J udge Aleman
actually issued the order to show cause. At first, J udge Aleman suggested that she
did not. Upon further inquiry by defense counsel, however, J udge Aleman
indicated that she had, in fact, issued the order.
Raticoff then moved to withdraw from the case, citing the conflict between
defending his client on one hand and defending himself on the other. In addition,
Raticoff expressed his concern that he would not be able to represent Braynen
effectively. J udge Aleman denied the motion, finding no reason to believe that the
defendant had not received effective assistance of counsel. J udge Aleman
eventually denied the second motion to disqualify, finding it legally insufficient.
J udge Aleman’s order to show cause triggered defense counsel’s third
motion to disqualify. Again, Perlman requested a reasonable time to reduce the
motion to writing, and again J udge Aleman granted fifteen minutes. When
Perlman objected, reminding J udge Aleman that fifteen minutes was previously
insufficient, J udge Aleman instead granted twelve minutes. Once again, Perlman
- 4 -
objected, and J udge Aleman eventually gave defense counsel twenty-two minutes
to prepare the written motion.
This time, when the court reconvened, both Public Defenders were
present—but the motion was not. Afraid to violate the court’s order, Perlman had
returned to the courtroom without finishing the motion and requested an additional
five minutes to do so. J udge Aleman expressed her concern for the jurors who had
been sitting in the hallway since 1:30 p.m., but agreed. When presented with this
third motion, J udge Aleman denied it as well.
The next day, when Raticoff asked J udge Aleman to reconsider or vacate her
order to show cause, J udge Aleman declined to hold a hearing on the matter,
stating instead that “I believe everyone is entitled to due process.” Ultimately,
J udge Aleman never issued a written order to show cause, and the issue of
contempt was never acted upon.
Based on these events, an Investigative Panel of the J QC charged J udge
Aleman with violating Canons 1, 2A and 3B(4) of the Code of J udicial Conduct.
A Hearing Panel of the J QC heard testimony from several witnesses, including
Public Defenders Perlman and Raticoff, Assistant State Attorney Holden, and
J udge Aleman. The J QC concluded that:
J udge Aleman’s conduct involving her denial of the motions for
disqualifications [sic] without giving counsel a reasonable time to
prepare the motions in writing and in threatening contempt by
announcing entry of an order to show cause and then refusing to
- 5 -
vacate the order to show cause constituted conduct which was
arrogant, discourteous, and impatient to the lawyers appearing before
her and others appearing in the Braynen case. . . . She acted in a
manner that erodes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality
of the judiciary.

More specifically, the J QC Hearing Panel found that J udge Aleman “did not give
the Public Defender adequate time to prepare [the first] motion in writing before
denying it,” “it was . . . improper to have the lawyers in the case run up and down
in front of the prospective jurors in order to avoid being held in contempt,” “[t]he
order to show cause which was never reduced to writing and which was never
acted upon caused conflicts and further delays,” the time limits imposed by J udge
Aleman were “unreasonable under all of the circumstances,” and “[f]orcing an
attorney to prepare a handwritten motion for disqualification of a judge within 15
minutes or within 22 minutes was improper in the context of this first-degree
murder case in which the death penalty was being sought.”
As a result, the J QC Hearing Panel found by a two-thirds vote that J udge
Aleman was guilty of misconduct and recommended that J udge Aleman be
publicly reprimanded and charged the costs of the investigation.
II. ANALYSIS
J udge Aleman disputes the J QC’s findings, arguing: (a) the J QC’s findings
are not supported by clear and convincing evidence; and (b) rather than requiring
her to pay the costs of the investigation, the J QC should pay her costs because
- 6 -
J udge Aleman was the prevailing party.
3
We conclude that each argument lacks
merit.
A. Clear and Convincing Evidence
First, J udge Aleman argues that there is no clear and convincing evidence to
support the J QC’s conclusion that her conduct was unreasonable or that she
threatened the public defenders with contempt. To the contrary, we find that
sufficient evidence supports the J QC’s conclusion in both respects.
The Florida Constitution vests this Court with the ultimate decision in
determining what constitutes judicial misconduct. Specifically, article V, section
12(c)(1) provides that “[t]he supreme court may accept, reject, or modify in whole
or in part the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the [judicial
qualifications] commission and it may order that the justice or judge be subjected
to appropriate discipline.” In In re Graziano, 696 So. 2d 744, 753 (Fla. 1997), we
described how we review the J QC’s findings of fact:
Before reporting findings of fact to this Court, the J QC must conclude
that they are established by clear and convincing evidence. In re
McAllister, 646 So. 2d 173, 177 (Fla. 1994). This Court must then
review the findings and determine whether they meet this quantum of
proof, a standard which requires more proof than a “preponderance of
the evidence” but the less than “beyond and to the exclusion of a
reasonable doubt.” In re Davey, 645 So. 2d 398, 404 (Fla. 1994). If
the findings meet this intermediate standard, then they are of

3. J udge Aleman also argues that the J QC does not have jurisdiction over
her conduct in Braynen. We disagree. See art. V, § 12(a)(1), Fla. Const.
- 7 -
persuasive force and are given great weight by this Court. See In re
LaMotte, 341 So. 2d 513, 516 (Fla. 1977). This is so because the J QC
is in a position to evaluate the testimony and evidence first-hand. See
In re Crowell, 379 So. 2d 107 (Fla. 1979). However, the ultimate
power and responsibility in making a determination rests with this
Court. Id.

Furthermore, this Court has “relied upon the clear and convincing evidence
standard without distinguishing findings of fact from whether the facts as found
warrant particular discipline.” In re Henson, 913 So. 2d 579, 589 (Fla. 2005)
(citing In re Kinsey, 842 So. 2d 77, 85 (Fla. 2003)).
Based on generally undisputed facts, the J QC concluded that J udge
Aleman’s conduct violated Canons 1, 2A, and 3B(4) of the Code of J udicial
Conduct.
4
J udge Aleman admits, and the Braynen transcript reflects, the facts
upon which the J QC relied in making its decision.
5
Far from patient, dignified, or

4. Canon 1 provides, in pertinent part, that judges “should participate in
establishing, maintaining, and enforcing high standards of conduct, and shall
personally observe those standards so that the integrity and independence of the
judiciary may be preserved.” Canon 2A provides that judges shall “respect and
comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public
confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” Canon 3B(4)
provides that judges shall be “patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors,
witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity,
and shall require similar conduct of lawyers, and of staff, court officials, and others
subject to the judge’s direction and control.”
5. J udge Aleman disputes one aspect of the J QC’s findings: that she
threatened contempt by “announcing entry of an order to show cause and then
refusing to vacate the order to show cause.” J udge Aleman argues that she never
actually entered a written order, but only stated her intention to do so at a later
date, and thus there was no order to vacate. Indeed, the J QC’s findings are
- 8 -
courteous, the J QC concluded that J udge Aleman’s undisputed conduct was
“arrogant, discourteous, and impatient,” as well as “[in]adequate,” “improper,”
“unacceptable,” and “unreasonable.”
We find that clear and convincing evidence supports the J QC’s findings of
fact as well as its conclusion that J udge Aleman violated Canons 1, 2A, and 3B(4).
We agree with the J QC’s conclusion that, with respect to the time limitations,
“forcing an attorney to prepare a handwritten motion for disqualification of a judge
within 15 minutes or within 22 minutes was improper in the context of this first
degree murder case in which the death penalty was being sought.” This is true
particularly in light of our decision in Rogers, which entitles counsel to a
reasonable amount of time to prepare a written motion. By imposing unreasonably
strict time limits, J udge Aleman forced defense counsel to decide between
diligently representing their client and abiding by the court’s order. Such conduct
is improper.

somewhat unclear on this point. In addition to the language quoted above, the
J QC, in a section entitled “The Threat of Contempt,” seemed to espouse J udge
Aleman’s version of the events, stating: “The basis for the order to show cause
which was never reduced to writing, was that the attorneys were late in returning
with the written motion which they had been given 15 minutes to prepare.”
(emphasis provided). The difference, though, is largely semantic. The thrust of
the J QC’s finding was that the specter of contempt loomed over the public
defenders, and this remained true whether J udge Aleman entered a written order or
merely stated an intention to do so.
- 9 -
In addition, J udge Aleman’s use or threat to use her contempt power is even
more unsettling. A judge’s power of contempt must be exercised with care. This
Court has stated that:
[O]ne of the most important and essential powers of a court is the
authority to protect itself against those who disregard its dignity and
authority or disobey its orders. This authority is appropriately
administered through a court’s power to punish by contempt. South
Dade Farms, Inc. v. Peters, 88 So. 2d 891 (Fla. 1956). Nevertheless,
although the power of contempt is an extremely important power for
the judiciary, it is also a very awesome power and is one that should
never be abused.

In re Perry, 641 So. 2d 366, 368 (Fla. 1994). A judge’s abuse of contempt powers
has, on several occasions, resulted in discipline. See id. at 366-68 (reprimanding a
judge for holding six defendants in contempt for driving away from courthouse
with suspended licenses, for which one defendant spent twenty-six days in jail);
see also In re Shea, 759 So. 2d 631, 632 (Fla. 2000) (imposing discipline for,
among other things, entering an order to show cause after a litigant sent a letter to
the Governor complaining of J udge Shea’s handling of a support case); In re
Wright, 694 So. 2d 734, 735 (Fla. 1997) (reprimanding a judge for, among other
things, threatening a prosecutor by stating “if you talk any more[,] it’s an Order
that you don’t open your mouth anymore until I invite you to do so, and if you do
I’m gonna hold you in contempt”); In re Muszynski, 471 So. 2d 1284, 1285 (Fla.
1985) (imposing discipline for demanding a police officer to lower the volume on
his police radio while dining in a restaurant and, when the officer refused, directing
- 10 -
him to appear in court to explain his “contemptuous conduct”); In re Crowell, 379
So. 2d 107, 108 (Fla. 1979) (removing a judge for abusing his contempt powers
which demonstrated a “propensity to summarily adjudicate and incarcerate a
citizen . . . without according to the accused a right to be heard or any opportunity
to defend himself”).
Here, after J udge Aleman announced her intention to issue an order to show
cause, the prospect of defense counsel being held in contempt had a palpable
impact on the proceeding. Perlman sought to disqualify J udge Aleman for the fifth
time, and Raticoff moved to withdraw, citing the conflict between defending his
client and defending himself. Raticoff later testified that the order to show cause
had a “chilling effect” on his representation. The fear of being held in contempt,
Raticoff recalled, limited his ability to zealously represent his client. In sum,
J udge Aleman’s threat of contempt was unnecessary and harmful under the
circumstances.
Accordingly, we approve the J QC’s findings of fact and its conclusion that
J udge Aleman committed misconduct by imposing unreasonable time limits on
counsel and then threatening counsel with contempt.
B. Discipline
Having approved the J QC’s conclusion that J udge Aleman committed
misconduct, the final matter is the appropriate discipline. The J QC recommends
- 11 -
that we issue a public reprimand of J udge Aleman and require her to pay the costs
of the investigation and prosecution. We agree.
J udge Aleman does not challenge the propriety of a public reprimand, and
we find it to be a suitable punishment considering the nature of her conduct. We
have employed a public reprimand to sanction judges for similar misconduct. See
Perry, 641 So. 2d at 366-368 (abuse of contempt powers and, to a lesser extent, the
admonition of army recruiter for wearing his uniform in court); see also In re
Schapiro, 845 So. 2d 170 (Fla. 2003) (intemperate courtroom behavior); In re
Schwartz, 755 So. 2d 110 (Fla. 2000) (rude remarks during oral argument). And,
because the J QC prevailed in the matter of whether J udge Aleman committed
misconduct with respect to her actions in Braynen, we likewise order J udge
Aleman to pay the cost of the J QC’s investigation and prosecution relating to that
charge. See art. V, § 12(c)(2), Fla. Const.
III. CONCLUSION
For the reasons stated, we approve the J QC’s conclusion that J udge Aleman
violated the Code of J udicial Conduct, and we approve the J QC’s recommendation
that J udge Aleman be reprimanded and charged the cost of the investigation and
prosecution relating to her conduct in State v. Braynen. In accordance with the
policy announced in In re Frank, 753 So. 2d 1228, 1242 (Fla. 2000), we hereby
- 12 -
- 13 -
command J udge Cheryl Aleman to appear before this Court for the administration
of a public reprimand at a time to be established by the Clerk of this Court.
It is so ordered.
QUINCE, C.J ., and WELLS, ANSTEAD, PARIENTE, LEWIS, and BELL, J J .,
concur.

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION, AND
IF FILED, DETERMINED.

Original Proceeding – J udicial Qualifications Commission

Lansing C. Scriven of Lansing C. Scriven, P.A., Special Counsel, Tampa, Florida,
Michael Louis Schneider, General Counsel, Tallahassee, Florida, and Marvin E.
Barkin, Special Consulting Counsel, Tampa, Florida,

for J udicial Qualifications Commission , Petitioner

J . David Bogenshutz, of Bogenschutz, Dutko, and Kroll, P.A., Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, and Perry W. Hodges, J r. of Rogers, Morris and Ziegler, LLP, Fort
Lauderdale, Florida,

for Respondent

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT  
IN AND FOR HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA  
CIVIL LAW DIVISION
------------_._----=-==--.:....==-==-=-..:--'--==-=-..:....::.=..:=-=-=--'--------
NEIL J.  GILLESPIE, 
Plaintiff, 
and 
Case No: 
Division: 
05-CA-007205 
G
 
G.:":; i'.
BARKER, RODEMS & COOK, P.A., 
A Florida Corporation, and 
WILLIAM J.  COOK, 
Defendants. 
-----------,----,----,/
SUA SPONTE ORDER TO RECUSE ASSIGNED JUDGE  Ul
Pursuant  to  Rule  of  Judicial  Administration  2.330(i),  it  is  ORDERED  AND 
ADJUDGED  that  the  undersigned  hereby  recuses  herself  from  further  hearing  of this  cause. 
The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED TO RE-ASSIGN the matter to  another division under the 
blind filing system that is presently in effect in this Circuit. 
DONE  AND  ORDERED  in  Chambers  at  Tampa,  Hillsborough  County,  Florida,  on 
November -L..t:.-, 2010. 

.  Martha 1.  Cook     
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE 
Copies Furnished To:  
Neil J.  Gillespie, pro se (Plaintiff)  
8092 SW  115
th 
Loop  
Ocala, FL  34481  
Ryan Christopher Rodems, Esq.  (for Defendants)  
400 North Ashley Drive, Ste.  2100  
Tampa, FL  33602  

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA  
SECOND DISTRICT  
NEIL J.  GILLESPIE 
PlaintifflPetitioner, 
Case No.:  _ 
Lower Court Case No. OS-CA-00720S 
vs. 
BARKER, RODEMS & COOK, PA  
a Florida Corporation; and WILLIAM J.  COOK,  
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE MARTHA J.  COOK,  
DefendantslRespondent. 
---------- --....;1
R E C  f  I  YE 
NOV 18 2010 
CLERK DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL i
SECOND DISTRICT I
VERIFIED EMERGENCY PETITION FOR WRIT OF PROHIBITION 
MOTION FOR ORDER OF PROTECTION 
PlaintifflPetitioner pro se Neil J. Gillespie Petitions the Second District Court of 
Appeal  for an Emergency Writ of Prohibition to remove CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE 
MARTHA J.  COOKas trial court judge, and for an Order ofProtection, and states: 
Petitioner Gillespie Faces Risk To His Life And  Health 
1. Dr.  Karin Huffer is Gillespie's disability advocate and wrote "...Neil Gillespie 
faces risk to his life and health and exhaustion ofthe ability to continue to pursue justice 
with the failure of the ADA Administrative Offices to respond effectively to the request 
for accommodations per Federal and Florida mandates." (October 28, 2010). Dr.  Huffer's 
letter is attached as Exhibit  I, together with a Cu"icu!um Vitae. Circuit Court Judge 
Martha J. Cook is intentionally inflicting severe emotional distress on Gillespie with 
malice aforethought, as set forth in Emergency Motion To Disqualify Judge Martha J. 

Cook, November 1,2010. (Exhibit 7). This must stop immediately. This case ended
September 28,2010 when Final Summary Judgment was rendered, but Judge Cook
reopened the case to continue a personal vendetta against Gillespie. Currently pending
before Judge Cook is a "Verified Motion For An Order To Show Cause Why Plaintiff
Should Not Be Held In Contempt Of Court And Writ Of Bodily Attachment Should Not
Be Issued". Petitioner seeks an Order of Protection to stop the threat of incarceration.
Introduction
2. Petitioner sued his former lawyers Barker, Rodems & Cook, PA for defrauding
him of $6,224.78 in prior representation. Barker, Rodems & Cook, PAis unlawfully
representing itself against a former client on matter that is substantially the same as the
prior representationI. The case is in its 5th year. The case is on its 4th trial judge. There
have been 4 appeals to the DCA. Petitioner was represented by counsel, Robert W. Bauer
of Gainesville, but he dropped the case when it became too difficult. Attorney Seldon J.
Childers subsequently reviewed the case for Petitioner and determined Barker, Rodems &
Cook actually defrauded him of$7,143, not $6,224.78 claimed in the original pro se
complaint. Petitioner filed Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Exhibit 18) but the court
refused to consider even one amended complaint. This case shows that the Thirteenth
Judicial Circuit obstructed justice to help Barker, Rodems & Cook avoid paying
Petitioner $7,143 lawfully owed him. Therefore Petitioner brought a federal Civil Rights
and ADA lawsuit, Gillespie v. Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. Florida, et al., case no.: 5:10-
cv-00503, US District Court, Middle District of Florida, Ocala Division, September 28,
I See Emergency Motion To DisqualifY Defendants' Counsel Ryan Christopher Rodems & Barker, Rodems
& Cook, P.A. submitted July 9, 2010. (Exhibit 19)
Page - 2
2010. Plaintiffs Notice Of Filing Federal Complaint And Service of Process Against
Judge Martha J. Cook is attached as Exhibit 17. (with exhibits on CD).
Court Counsel David A. Rowland - Behind The Scene Control of Judges, ADA
3. Court Counsel David A. Rowland has been preemptively defending the Thirteenth
Judicial Circuit against Petitioner's lawsuit formally announced July 12,2010 in the
notice of claim made under section 768.28(6)(a) Florida Statutes (Exhibit 20) but first
raised in Petitioner's letter to Mr. Rowland of January 4,2010 requesting information
about section 768.28(6)(a) Florida Statutes. (Exhibit 2). Mr. Rowland is controlling the
judges in this case from behind the scene since at least January 4,2010.
4. On July 9, 2010 Mr. Rowland seized control of Petitioner's ADA accommodation
request from Gonzalo B. Casares, the Court's ADA Coordinator, and issued his own
letter denying the request. (Exhibit 3). Likewise there is evidence that Mr. Rowland is
controlling Judge Cook in this case from behind the scene.
5. On July 22,2010 at 12:24 PM Petitioner spoke by phone with Mr. Rowland about
his letter of July 9, 2010 denying Petitioner's ADA request. Petitioner and Mr. Rowland
discussed the notice of claim made under section 768.28(6)(a) Florida Statutes. They also
discussed Mr. Rodems' representation of his firm and Petitioner's emergency motion to
disqualify Rodems pending before Judge Cook. Mr. Rowland expresses surprise when
Petitioner informed him that the motion, filed July 9th, was still pending. Later that day
Judge Cook denied the motion without a hearing. Judge Cook's Order was filed with the
Clerk July 22,2010 at 3.17 PM according to the Clerk's time stamp on the Order.
6. Petitioner believes the timing of events is not circumstantial, and that following the
aforementioned phone call Mr. Rowland instructed Judge Cook to deny Petitioner's
Page - 3
emergency motion to disqualify Rodems pending before her. The Order itself is unlawful,
see Affidavit of Neil J. Gillespie, October 28,2010, Judge Martha J. Cookfalsified an
official court record, and unlawfully denied Gillespie due process on the disqualification of
Ryan Christopher Rodems as counsel, filed November 1, 2010. (Exhibit 8)
Judge Cook's Unlawful Conduct So Extreme Petitioner Can't Retain Counsel
7. Judge Cook's unlawful conduct toward Petitioner is so extreme as to discourage
counsel from representing him. Small firms and sole proprietors do not want to represent
Petitioner before Judge Cook and cite full caseloads as an excuse. But even Tampa's
premiere 'Big Law' firm Holland & Knight would not represent Petitioner for a court-
ordered deposition at its full hourly rate. Judge Cook's departure from the rule oflaw
offends public policy when litigants cannot obtain counsel lest they incur Judge Cook's
wrath. Judge Cook has denied Petitioner the basic requirements ofjustice, fairness and
equality that we should all expect from our courts. Judge Cook's behavior is immoral,
unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous and substantially injurious to Petitioner. Bradford D.
Kimbro, Holland & Knight's Executive Partner of the Tampa Bay Region, declined to
represent Petitioner. Mr. Kimbro wrote "I have not read the letter, which was screened (but
not studied) by my legal assistant... This is to notify you that Holland & Knight LLP will
not represent you..." (Exhibit 4). This is one of many firms who declined representation.
Jurisdiction - Petition For Writ of Prohibition
8. A party may seek review of an order denying a motion for disqualification by
filing a petition for writ of prohibition in the appellate court. See Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v.
Carter, 768 So. 2d 21 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000); Carrow v. The Florida Bar, 848 So. 2d 1283
(Fla. 2d DCA 2003); Castro v. Luce, 650 So. 2d 1067 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995); Aberdeen
Page - 4
Property Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. Bristol Lakes Homeowners Ass'n, Inc., 8 So. 3d 469 (Fla.
4th DCA 2009); J & J Towing, Inc. v. Stokes, 789 So. 2d 1196 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001);
Cardinal v. Wendy's of South Florida, Inc., 529 So. 2d 335 (Fla. 4th DCA
1988); Hayslip v. Douglas, 400 So. 2d 553 (Fla. 4th DCA 1981).
9. Petitioner seeks review of the following motions to disqualify Judge Cook and the
orders denying the motions to disqualify Judge Cook, which were wrongfully denied:
a. Plaintiff's 5th Motion To Disqualify Judge Martha 1. Cook, November 10,2010.
(Exhibit 5). Sets forth Judge Cook is biased against a particular class of parties,
nonlawyer pro se litigants.
b. Order Denying Plaintiff's 5th Motion To Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook,
November 15,2010. Petitioner has not received a copy of this Order from Judge Cook,
see Petitioner's letter to Dale Bohner, Counsel to the Clerk of the Circuit Court,
November 18,2010. (Exhibit 22). Petitioner will supplement this pleading once he
obtains the Order from Judge Cook or the Clerk.
c. Plaintiff's 4th Motion To Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, November 10, 2010.
(Exhibit 6). Sets forth the following:
(i) Gillespie was under special surveillance by Judge Cook's bank, Community
Bank of Manatee and its Chairman and CEO, William H. Sedgeman, Jr., husband
of Judge Cook.
(ii) Judge Cook failed to disclose a conflict with Gillespie September 28,2010.
(iii) Judge Cook's personal and business financial affairs violate the Florida Code
of Judicial Conduct, specifically Judge Cook's insolvency and the FDIC/OFR
Consent Order against Community Bank of Manatee. There is also a question
concerning testimony by Mr. Marcelo Lima before the OFR about Mr. Lima's
former employer, ABN Amro Bank and an action brought against it by DOJ, see
Exhibit 21.
Page - 5
(iv) Judge Cook has a conflict of interest or bias presiding over matters involving
financial institutions and related transactions.
d. Order Denying Plaintiffs 4th Motion To Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook,
November 15,2010. Petitioner has not received a copy of this Order from Judge Cook,
see Petitioner's letter to Dale Bohner, Counsel to the Clerk of the Circuit Court,
November 18, 2010. (Exhibit 22). Petitioner will supplement this pleading once he
obtains the Order from Judge Cook or the Clerk.
e. Emergency Motion To Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, November 1,2010 (Exhibit 7)
with Plaintiffs Notice of Filing Affidavits, November 1,2010 (Exhibit 8) showing:
(i) Judge Cook not acting as judge but as partner with Defendants.
(ii) Judge Cook and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit are defendants in a federal
Civil Rights and ADA lawsuit, Gillespie v. Thirteenth Judicial Circuit et aI., Case No.
5:IO-cv-503-oc-WTH-DAB, US District Court, MD Florida, Ocala Division.
(iii) Judge Cook intentionally inflicting severe emotional distress on Petitioner.
(iv) Judge Cook rendered opinion on the character or credibility of Petitioner in
open court, and a personal conflict has developed.
(v) Judge Cook's misconduct as set forth in the following affidavits: (Exhibit 8)
Affidavit of Neil J. Gillespie, October 28, 2010, Judge Martha J Cook, falsified
record ofGillespie 's panic attack; ADA
Affidavit of Neil J. Gillespie, October 28, 2010, Judge Martha J Cookfalsified an
official court record, and unlawfully denied Gillespie due process on the
disqualification ofRyan Christopher Rodems as counsel
Affidavit of Neil J. Gillespie, October 28,2010, Judge Martha J Cook ordered
Gillespie removedfrom the hearing ofSeptember 28, 2010, and accused Gillespie
in open court offeigning illness; ADA
Page - 6
Affidavit of Neil J. Gillespie, November 1, 2010, Judge Martha J. Cook ordered
Gillespie removedfrom the hearing on Defendants' Final Summary Judgment
Count 1, proceeded without Gillespie, granted SJfor Defendants on TILA fees
previously denied with prejudice and by three different federal courts
Affidavit of Neil J. Gillespie, November 1,2010, Judge Martha J. Cook ordered
Gillespie removedfrom the hearing on Defendants' Motion for an Order of
Contempt and Writ ofBodily Attachment, then falsified the Order stating
Gillespie voluntarily left the hearing and did not return
f. Order Denying Emergency Motion To Disqualify Judge Cook, Nov-02-I O. (Exhibit 9)
g. Plaintiffs Motion To Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, July 23, 2010 (Exhibit 10)
showing:
(i) Judge Cook's violation of Canon 3D(2) Disciplinary Responsibilities.
(ii) Judge Cook's conflict with Petitioner's ADA accommodation request.
(iii) Court uncooperative and disruptive in setting hearings.
(iv) Judge Cook's misconduct at July 12,2010 hearing.
(v) Judge Cook has actual conflict with Petitioner.
h. Order Denying Motion To Disqualify Circuit Court Judge Martha J. Cook, Jul-27-1O (Exhibit 11)
i. Plaintiffs Motion To Disqualify Circuit Judge Martha J. Cook, June 14,2010 (Exhibit 12)
showing:
(i) Judge Cook cooperated with opposing counsel to disrupt the proceedings.
(ii) Controversy between Petitioner and judicial assistant Mary Fish.
(iii) Judge Cook's reported health related absences and involuntary retirement.
(iv) Judge Cook denied access the court file keeping it locked in her office.
(v) Campaign contributions and related misinformation on Judge Cook's website.
(vi) Consanguinity to the third degree with defendant William J. Cook.
Page -7
(vii) Judge Cook and obstruction related to scheduling motions.
(viii) Judge Cook's refusal to cooperate with Petitioner's ADA accommodations.
(ix) Issues related to judge ad litem per section 38.13 Florida Statutes.
(x) Failed to hear motion to reconsider prior rulings by a disqualified judge.
(xi) Failure to hear Petitioner's Motion For Dissolution Of Writ Of Garnishment
contrary to § 77.07(1) Florida Statutes states that "The court shall set down such motion
for an immediate hearing"
j. Order Denying Motion To Disqualify Circuit Court Judge Martha J. Cook, June 16,2010.
(Exhibit 13)
Standard On Disqualification of Trial Judge
10. The basic principles underlying the procedure for disqualification are the same as
those expressed in the Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon 3E(I) provides that a judge has
an affirmative duty to enter an order of disqualification in any proceeding "in which the
judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned." The object of this provision of the
Code is to ensure the right to fair trials and hearings, and to promote confidence in a fair
and independent judiciary by avoiding even the appearance of partiality.
11. The central question in every motion for disqualification is whether the moving
party has cause to believe that he or she will be treated unfairly. While it may be true that
the judge could treat the litigant fairly in spite of the alleged facts, that is immaterial to
the motion. As the supreme court explained "the question of disqualification focuses on
those matters from which a litigant may reasonably question a judge's impartiality rather
than the judge's perception of his ability to act fairly and impartially." Livingston v. State,
441 So. 2d 1083, 1086 (Fla. 1983).
Page - 8
12. The standard in determining legal sufficiency is whether a reasonable person
would fear that he or she could not get a fair trial with the present judge under the
circumstances outlined in the motion. See Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services v. Broward County, 810 So. 2d 1056 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002); Jimenez v. Ratine,
954 So. 2d 706 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007); Jarp v. Jarp, 919 So. 2d 614 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006);
Deakter v. Menendez, 830 So. 2d 124, 49 V.C.C. Rep. Serve 2d 849 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002);
Baez v. Koelemii, 960 So. 2d 918 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007); Winburn v. Earl's Well Drilling
& Pump Service, 939 So. 2d 199 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006).
13. Rule 2.330(d) defines the general grounds for disqualification and identifies
several specific grounds. As previously noted, the legal procedure for disqualification is
intended to serve the same general goals as the Code of Judicial Conduct. A judge is
obligated by the Code of Judicial Conduct to enter an order of disqualification in any of
these circumstances even if a party has not filed a motion for disqualification. It follows
that a motion for disqualification is legally sufficient if it alleges any of these matters
listed in Canon 3E(I).
14. A motion for disqualification can be based on the actions of the trial judge as well
as the statements made by the judge. Improper conduct on the part of the judge may serve
as a ground for disqualification if that conduct could prejudice the rights of a party to the
case. Conflict arising from an association between the trial judge and a litigant may serve
as a ground for disqualification depending on the circumstances of the case. So too, a
personal conflict that develops during the course of a proceeding may support a motion
for disqualification. There are a number of Florida cases involving a trial judge's
comments about a litigant. The appellate courts have generally sustained a request for
Page - 9
disqualification if the trial judge has expressed a general opinion on the character or
credibility of the litigant. A judge who renders an opinion on the character or credibility
ofa litigant should ordinarily be disqualified. See Brown v. St. George Island, Ltd., 561
So. 2d 253 (Fla. 1990); De-Metro v. Barad, 576 So. 2d 1353 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991.
15. Ordinarily the fact that a party has filed a civil lawsuit against the judge is not a
legally sufficient basis for disqualification. May v. South Florida Water Management
Dist., 866 So. 2d 205 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004). But May and similar cases do not apply in the
instant case. In this case Court Counsel David A. Rowland began preemptively defending
the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit against Petitioner's lawsuit formally announced July 12,
2010 in the notice of claim made under section 768.28(6)(a) Florida Statutes, but first
raised in Gillespie's letter to Mr. Rowland of January 4,2010 requesting information
about section 768.28(6)(a) Florida Statutes. (Exhibit 2). Mr. Rowland is controlling the
judges in this case from behind the scene since at least January 4,2010, long before Judge
Cook presided over the case.
16. Successive Motions. A judge may evaluate the facts alleged in a motion for
disqualification if the moving party had previously disqualified another judge. Rodriguez
Diaz v. Abate, 598 So. 2d 197 (Fla. 3d DCA 1992). A second motion by a party is
reviewable under the stricter "legal sufficiency" standard. In Fogan v. Fogan, 706 So. 2d
382 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998), the court reversed an order by a successor judge denying a
motion for disqualification because the record showed that the judge could not be
impartial. In this case the record is clear that Judge Cook can not be impartial. The basic
tenet for disqualification of a judge is that justice must satisfy appearance ofjustice, and
this tenet must be followed even if record is lacking of any actual bias or prejudice on
Page - 10
judge's part, and even though this stringent rule may sometimes bar trial by judges who
have no actual bias and who would do their very best to weigh scales ofjustice equally
between contending parties. Kielbania v. Jasberg 744 So.2d 1027. Florida courts hold that
when trial judge leaves realm of civility and directs base vernacular towards attorney or
litigant in open court, there is sufficient grounds to require disqualification. Olszewska v.
Ferro 590 So.2d 11. Judge Cook accused Petitioner in open court of feigning illness at a
prior hearing. Tampa Fire Rescue treated Petitioner immediately following the prior
hearing and produced a record supporting Petitioner's claim of illness. Judge Cook left
the realm of civility and directed base vernacular toward Petitioner when she made a
gratuitous, unsupported claim of feigning illness. "A judge should be patient, dignified
and courteous to litigants, ... lawyers, and others with whom he deals in his official
capacity...." Fla. Bar Code Jud. Conduct, Canon 3(A)(3) (1991). When a trial judge
leaves the realm of civility and directs base vernacular towards an attorney or litigant in
open court, there are sufficient grounds to require disqualification. See, e.g., Lamendola
v. Grossman,439 So.2d 960 (Fla. 3d DCA 1983); Brown v.Rowe, 96 Fla. 289, 118 So. 9
(1928) (once a basis for disqualification has been established, prohibition is both
appropriate and necessary). It is a fundamental right that every litigant is entitled to
nothing less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge, and it is the duty of a judge to
scrupulously guard this right and refrain from attempting to exercise jurisdiction in any
matter where his qualification to do so is seriously brought in question. Crosby v. State,
97 So.2d 181. Judge not only must be free of evil intent but he must also avoid
appearance of evil. It is party's right to have judge free from any obvious source of
possible unconscious bias. Aetna Life & Cas. Co. v. Thorn, 319 So.2d 82.
Page - 11
New Misconduct By Judge Cook
17. November 15,2010 Judge Cook apparently entered an Order Prohibiting Plaintiff
From Appearing Pro Se. Petitioner says "apparently" because he read this on the Clerk's
online progress docket. Judge Cook has not provided the Order to Petitioner, and since he
resides 100 miles from the court, has not made the 200 mile round-trip to obtain the
Order. See Petitioner's letter to Dale Bohner, Counsel to the Clerk of the Circuit Court,
November 18, 2010. (Exhibit 22). Petitioner will supplement this pleading once he
obtains the Order from Judge Cook or the Clerk.
18. On November 4,2010 Judge Cook entered an Order To Show Cause Why
Plaintiff Should Not Be Prohibited From Appearing Pro Se with Petitioners response due
20 days later. (Exhibit 18). Now Judge Cook has apparently changed her mind, although
Petitioner has not yet submitted a response and the time to do so has not expired.
19. On November 15,2010 the Clerk's online progress docket showed Judge Cook
closed the case, and there was an entry "Do Not Accept Additional Docs". (Exhibit 15).
This would prevent Petitioner from responding to the Order To Show Cause Why
Plaintiff Should Not Be Prohibited From Appearing Pro Se.
20. On November 17,2010 the Clerk's online progress docket showed the case was
reopened. An entry November 16th showed a motion for an order to show cause for writ
of bodily attachment. (Exhibit 16).
21. Judge Cook apparently issued another Final Order November 15, 2010 for
Defendant Barker, Rodems & Cook, P.A. which appears redundant since a Final Order
was issued September 28, 2010. Petitioner says "apparently" because he read this on the
Clerk's online progress docket. Judge Cook has not provided the Order to Petitioner, and
Page - 12
since he resides 100 miles from the court, has not made the 200 mile round-trip to obtain
the Order. See Petitioner's letter to Dale Bohner, Counsel to the Clerk of the Circuit
Court, November 18,2010. (Exhibit 22). Petitioner will supplement this pleading once he
obtains the Order from Judge Cook or the Clerk.
22. Judge Cook's Final Order of September 28,2010 is on appeal, and a Contempt
Order of September 30, 2010. Should Petitioner prevail on appeal, the case would again
go back to the trial court and Judge Cook, again raising the issue of disqualification.
Motion For Order Of Protection
23. Currently there is a "Verified Motion For An Order To Show Cause Why Plaintiff
Should Not Be Held In Contempt Of Court And Writ Of Bodily Attachment Should Not
Be Issued" to incarcerate Gillespie, filed November 12, 2010. Petitioner seeks an Order of
Protection on two grounds. First, final order(s) have been rendered so there is no reason
for a deposition. Second, if the deposition is to occur, it must be done lawfully, and not a
free-for-all for which Barker, Rodems & Cook, P.A. is infamous. An Order of Protection
is needed since the filing of a petition for writ of prohibition does not divest the trial court
ofjurisdiction to proceed in the matter. The action is stayed only if the reviewing court
issues an order to show cause. Letterese v. Brody, 2008 WL 2284819 (Fla. 4th DCA
2008).
Petitioner's Motion For Order of Protection In Circuit Court
24. June 14, 2010 Petitioner made a motion for an order of protection in the trial
court. (Exhibit 24). Judge Cook denied the motion without a hearing.
25. Dr. Karin Huffer has advised Petitioner not to attend a deposition unrepresented
and without ADA accommodation:
Page - 13
"As the litigation has proceeded, Mr. Gillespie is routinely denied participatory
and testimonial access to the court. He is discriminated against in the most brutal
ways possible. He is ridiculed by the opposition, accused of malingering by the
Judge and now, with no accommodations approved or in place, Mr. Gillespie is
threatened with arrest if he does not succumb to a deposition. This is like
threatening to arrest a paraplegic if he does not show up at a deposition leaving his
wheelchair behind. This is precedent setting in my experience. I intend to ask for
DOJ guidance on this matter." (Exhibit 1, page 1, paragraph 2)
26. Petitioner notified Mr. Rodems that Dr. Karin Huffer has advised Petitioner not to
attend a deposition unrepresented and without ADA accommodation in a letter dated
November 8, 2010. (Exhibit 23). Mr. Rodems has refused to answer any questions about
the deposition, even basic questions about the length of time needed, or who will conduct
the deposition. Therefore Petitioner believes that Mr. Rodems plans to use the deposition
as an excuse for vengeance against him. Petitioner offered to be deposed in Ocala at the
office of his family lawyer Robert Stermer. Petitioner offered to have a telephonic
deposition. Petitioner even offered, in lieu of a writ of bodily attachment, to voluntarily
appear at the appropriate law enforcement office. (Exhibit 23). Petitioner wrote: "In any
event I don't see the need for a writ of bodily attachment. If it comes to that point I would
voluntarily appear at the appropriate law enforcement office and submit to a deposition
under duress. At least then I would have some protection from your stunts, like throwing
coffee on a deponent, or your wont of making false affidavits that you were threatened."
Infamous Reputation of Petitioner's Former Lawyers
Page - 14
27. Petitioner's former lawyers have an infamous reputation for stunts, unprofessional
conduct, and worse. In July 2010 Mr. Rodems' law partner Chris A. Barker was either
removed or resigned as Vice Chair of the 13th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission
(JNC) over conflict with Mr. Rodems ongoing applications for judge. Messrs. Rodems
and Barker were working both ends of the JNC while more qualified applicants for judge
were passed over, to the detriment of the citizens of Florida. In another case, Mr. Rodems
was present at a mediation when his former law partner threw a 20 ounce cup of hot
coffee on opposing counsel during a fit of rage.
Physical Attack on Arnold Levine, Attorney and Senior Citizen
28. Mr. Rodems and his law partners are bullies with law degrees. While Petitioner
was a client of the predecessor Alpert firm, Messrs. Alpert and Rodems attended a
mediation where Alpert physically assaulted opposing counsel Arnold Levine. A Tampa
Police Department report dated June 5, 2000, case number 00-42020, alleges Mr. Alpert
committed battery, Florida Statutes §784.03, upon attorney Arnold Levine by throwing
hot coffee on him. At the time Mr. Levine was a 68 year-old senior citizen. The report
states: "The victim and defendant are both attorneys and were representing their clients in
a mediation hearing. The victim alleges that the defendant began yelling, and
intentionally threw the contents of a 20 oz. cup of hot coffee which struck him in the
chest staining his shirt. A request for prosecution was issued for battery." Mr. Rodems is
listed as a witness on the police report and failed to inform Petitioner that Mr. Alpert
attacked attorney Arnold Levine. A copy of the Tampa Police Department report is
attached as Exhibit 25.
Page - 15
29. Mr. Levine previously sued Alpert, Barker & Rodems, PA, a $5 million dollar
claim for defamation, Buccaneers Limited Partnership v. Alpert, Barker & Rodems, PA,
US District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, case 99-2354-CIV-T-23C.
30. The coffee-throwing incident made news headlines and brought disgrace upon the
legal profession. After the incident Mr. Levine filed another lawsuit against the bullies at
the Alpert firm, Levine v. Alpert, Case No. 00-CA-004187, Hillsborough Circuit Civil
Court. What happened next is Mr. Rodems' modus operandi, accuse your opponent of
criminal wrongdoing. In this case the Alpert firm accused Mr. Levine of criminal
extortion for making a settlement demand. This is what Sue Carlton of St. Petersburg
Times reported June 10, 2000 in story titled "Bucs accused of extortion". (Exhibit 26)
"... the meeting exploded almost as soon as it began, leaving a trail
of allegations, recriminations and criminal complaints."
"The latest: On Friday the lawyer for the fans announced in court
that he had asked police to investigate "threats and/or extortion"
by the Sucs' lawyer at Saturday's meeting. He said the fans were
threatened with losing their seats if they did not agree to a
settlement that day."
"Tampa police detectives are reviewing the extortion complaint,
which names Levine, Sucs general manager Rich McKay and
Edward and Bryan Glazer."
"The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office is deciding whether Alpert
should be charged with battery, a misdemeanor, in the coffee
incident. Levine also filed a civil suit seeking damages."
The Florida Bar CLE, Basic Federal Practice 2007
31. Petitioner's former attorney Robert Bauer planned to use information about the
battery on Mr. Levine in defense of the libel counterclaim in the instant case. Mr. Bauer
attended a CLE in Tampa (Basic Federal Practice 2007) where US District Judge James
D. Whittemore repudiated the infamous coffee-throwing incident. Mr. Bauer instructed
Page - 16
Petitioner to obtain information from the Florida Bar about this act of violence by
Rodems' partner against another lawyer. The Florida Bar was helpful and provided a
surplus CD gratis. The Bar authorized Petitioner to have the CD transcribed. (Exhibit 27).
Judge Whittemore discussed the erosion of professionalism and cited examples. On page
23, beginning at line 6, he said the following. This is the full paragraph for context.
6 If you think that's the only example of
7 wayward lawyer conduct during depositions just get
8 on the internet and search around. It's just
9 hilarious some of the things that go on. There
10 have been fist fights in Tampa. There has been
11 coffee thrown across the table by one lawyer
12 against another in a Federal deposition room in the
13 Federal courthouse. There have been lawyers
14 clipping their nails during depositions. That kind
15 of conduct is reprehensible.
The WrestleReunion Lawsuit
32. A recent example of Mr. Rodems boorish and unprofessional behavior occurred
when he served as plaintiffs counsel in WrestleReunion, LLC v. Live Nation, Television
Holdings, Inc., United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Case No. 8:07-cv-
2093-T-27, trial August 31-September 10,2009. Mr. Rodems lost the jury trial and then
wrote a letter attacking the credibility of defense witness Eric Bischoff. A copy of the
online letter is attached as Exhibit 28 and may also be found online at:
http://www.declarationofindependents.netldoi/pages/corrente91 O.html Petitioner learned
about this lawsuit from an application Mr. Rodems made to the 13th Circuit Judicial
Nominating Commission for a vacant judicial position.
33. Mr. Rodems' letter shows he lacks judicial temperament and calls into question
his mental well-being. After the jury spoke and the case was over Mr. Rodems wrote the
following: "It is odd that Eric Bischoff, whose well-documented incompetence caused the
Page - 17
demise ofWCW, should have any comment on the outcome of the WrestleReunion, LLC
lawsuit. The expert report Bischoff submitted in this case bordered on illiteracy, and
Bischoff was not even called to testify by Clear Channel/Live Nation because Bischoff
perjured himself in a deposition in late-July 2009 before running out and refusing to
answer any more questions regarding his serious problems with alcohol and sexual
deviancy at the Gold Club while the head ofWCW." Mr. Rodems also wrote, "To even
sit in the room and question him was one of the most distasteful things I've ever had to do
in 17 years of practicing law. In fact, we understand that Bischoffwas afraid to even
come to Tampa and testify because he would have to answer questions under oath for a
third time about his embarrassing past." Mr. Rodems continued his attack on the witness,
writing, "The sad state of professional wrestling today is directly attributable to this snake
oil salesman, whose previous career highlights include selling meat out of the back of a
truck, before he filed bankruptcy and had his car repossessed. Today, after running WCW
into the ground, Bischoff peddles schlock like "Girls Gone Wild" and reality shows
featuring B-listers."
Mr. Rodems Strategic Maneuver To Intentionally Disrupt The Tribunal
34. Mr. Rodems pulled a stunt against Petitioner March 6, 2006 that intentionally
disrupted the tribunal. Petitioner initially had a good working relationship with Judge
Nielsen and judicial assistant Myra Gomez. Petitioner attended the first hearing
telephonically September 26,2005 and prevailed on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and
Strike. The Court found Petitioner established a complaint for fraud and breach of
contract against Mr. Rodems' firm and law partner. This meant Mr. Rodems should be
disqualified. Partners engaged in the practice of law are each responsible for the fraud or
Page - 18
negligence of another partner when the later acts within the scope of the ordinary business
of an attorney. Smyrna Developers, Inc. v. Bomstein, 177 So.2d 16. Therefore Gillespie
submitted Plaintiff s Motion to Disqualify Counsel.
35. Mr. Rodems then intentionally disrupted the tribunal with a strategic maneuver to
gain an unfair advantage in the litigation. Mr. Rodems telephoned Petitioner at home
March 3, 2006 about scheduling the motion to disqualify him and an argument ensued
where Mr. Rodems harassed Petitioner. A recording
2
memorialize the call. Mr. Rodems
also threatened to reveal Petitioner's confidential client information learned from prior
representation, in particular that Petitioner used a $2,000 car buyers rebate to pay for
"dental work". Mr. Rodems suggested that he would link a subsequent "repossession" of
the vehicle to the $2,000 manufactures rebate used to pay for Petitioner's "dental work"
as some kind of theft. In fact Petitioner's minivan was not repossessed, but voluntarily
turned in after Gillespie lost part-time work following the 911 terror attack and could no
longer make the payment. Mr. Rodems also knew about Petitioner's disability from prior
representation and used this information to Petitioner's disadvantage to provoke his Post-
traumatic Stress Disorder in the argument.
36. On March 6,2006 Rodems made a sworn affidavit under the penalty of perjury
falsely placing the name of the trial judge in the affidavit and therefore into the
controversy. Rodems submitted Defendants' Verified Request For Bailiff And For
Sanctions (Exhibit 29) that falsely placed the name of the Judge Nielsen into an "exact
2 Phone calls to Gillespie's honle office business telephone extension are lawfully recorded for quality
assurance purposes pursuant to the business use exemption of Florida Statutes chapter 934, specifically
section 934.02(4)(a)(l) and the holding of Royal Health Care Servs., Inc. v. Jefferson-Pilot Life Ins. Co.,
924 F.2d 215 (11th eire 1991). Mr. Rodems also provided written authorization to record calls with him.
Page - 19
quote" attributed to Petitioner 3 about a violent physical attack in Judge Nielsen's
chambers. After Rodems' perjury Judge Nielsen did not manage the case lawfully,
favored Defendants in rulings, and responded to Petitioner sarcastically from the bench.
37. Mr. Kirby Rainsberger, Legal Advisor to the Tampa Police Department, reviewed
the matter and established by letter February 22, 2010 that Mr. Rodems was not right and
not accurate in representing to the Court as an "exact quote" language that clearly was not
an exact quote. (Exhibit 30). Petitioner responded that Florida case law supports a finding
of perjury against Mr. Rodems but Mr. Rainsberger did not agree and he did not pursue
the matter further. (Exhibit 31).
38. This is from the transcript of March 3, 2006 phone call from Mr. Rodems to
Petitioner Gillespie, beginning on page 6. (Exhibit 32)
2 MR. RODEMS: -- based on the objectivity
3 argument. I like that.
4 MR. GILLESPIE: Now, you call here and just
5 marched into a tirade of insults.
6 MR. RODEMS: No, actually I haven't insulted
7 you at all. I've never said anything about you. I
8 just said that you don't really know the law
9 because you don't know how to practice law. And
10 that's not insulting, that's just actually the
11 facts.
3 The portion of Gillespie's "exact quote" in dispute is "like I did before" which refers to a September 25,
2005 telephonic hearing where he prevailed. It is a self-proving metaphor. Instead Rodems swore in an
affidavit that Gillespie said "in Judge Nielsen's chambers" which is false. Rodems could have used
Gillespie's exact quote but he did not. Rodems added the name of Judge Nielsen with malice aforethought
and did so in a sworn statement under the penalty of perjury.
Page - 20
12 I mean, your motion to dismiss our
13 counterclaim demonstrates a fundamental lack of
14 understanding. I mean, how do you plead the
15 Economic Loss Rule to a defamation claim? I mean,
16 that makes no sense.
17 MR. GILLESPIE: First of all, your defamation
18 claim has -- doesn't lie at all.
19 MR. RODEMS: -- the Eighth Amendment or
20 something. I mean, it just -- it really has no
21 basis. It's kind of silly. I mean, it's
22 embarrassing. It's -- it just has no basis at all.
23 MR. GILLESPIE: Actually, you're wrong there.
24 MR. RODEMS: Oh, the Economic Loss Rule
25 applies to a defamation claim?
Transcript, March 3, 2006, page 7
1 MR. GILLESPIE: First of all, your claim
2 doesn't even lie.
3 MR. RODEMS: And the Economic Loss Rule deals
4 with tort and contract claims. And when -- and
5 when the tort arises out of a contract claim
6 that's -- what you sent to Arnscot had nothing to do
7 with the other -- that was a action that you
8 created against yourself. I mean, it was kind of
9 bizarre that you would even send that letter, but
10 you did, so now you will have to pay for that.
Page - 21
11 MR. GILLESPIE: Oh, really?
12 MR. RODEMS: Yeah.
13 MR. GILLESPIE: I'm shaking in my boots.
14 MR. RODEMS: Neil, I mean, I don't understand,
15 you know, what your plans are. You know, instead
16 of just litigating the claims you had to go out
17 there and basically accuse us of doing something
18 wrong on something like that. It's kind of weird,
19 you know. But in any event, I mean, obviously
20 MR. GILLESPIE: What is weird is you guys
21 lying about the legal fees. Not only is that
22 weird, that's unprofessional. And you will be
23 called to account for that.
24 MR. RODEMS: Didn't you at one time purchase a
25 car so that you could get the cash rebate to get
Transcript, March 3, 2006, page 8
1 some dental work done? We're going to get to the
2 discovery, anyhow, so just tell me, did that really
3 happen?
4 MR. GILLESPIE: What?
5 MR. RODEMS: Did you purchase a car so that
6 you could get the cash rebate to get some dental
7 work done?
8 MR. GILLESPIE: Listen, this is why you need
9 to be disqualified.
Page - 22
10 MR. RODEMS: No, I mean, that's because I
11 know that? Because I know that to be a fact?
12 MR. GILLESPIE: You know it to be a fact from
13 your previous representation of me.
14 MR. RODEMS: Well, you know, see that's
15 MR. GILLESPIE: If it is -- if it's a fact,
16 anyway.
17 MR. RODEMS: You need to study the rules and
18 regulations of the Florida Bar because when you
19 make --
20 MR. GILLESPIE: I think, I think I bought a
21 car so I would have something to drive. I don't
22 know why you buy cars, but that's why I bought it.
23 MR. RODEMS: Well
24 MR. GILLESPIE: If it had some other benefits,
25 that's different.
Transcript, March 3, 2006, page 9
1 MR. RODEMS: I understand that
2 repossessed shortly after you
3 MR. GILLESPIE: No, it wasn't
4 MR. RODEMS: Okay. Well, then
car was
bought it so
repossessed.
you can
5 probably drive that down to the hearing then on the
6 28th.
7 MR. GILLESPIE: No, it was voluntarily turned
8 in because after 911 attack the job that I was in
Page - 23
9 dried up. Okay. So listen you little, whatever,
10 you raise anything you want, I will see you on the
11 25th and I will slam you against the wall like I
12 did before.
13 MR. RODEMS: Are you threatening me?
14 MR. GILLESPIE: Are you threatening me?
15 MR. RODEMS: No, you just said you would
16 did you mean that physically or did you mean that
17 metaphorically?
18 MR. GILLESPIE: Metaphorically.
19 MR. RODEMS: Okay. Well, I just want to be
20 clear because I understand that in talking with you
21 it's very important to be precise because you don't
22 really have a good command of the language that,
23 you know, lawyers speak. But it did sound to me
24 like you were physically threatening me.
25 MR. GILLESPIE: No, no, it wasn't a physical
Transcript, March 3,2006, page 10
1 threat. And by the way, as far as your little
2 nonsense with this saying that you have been a
3 victim of some kind of -- oh, it's so ridiculous I
4 can't even think of the word now. You think
5 that -- I'll see you on the 25th. And I will slam
6 you legally, metaphorically against the wall like I
7 did before.
Page - 24
8 MR. RODEMS: Okay. We will see that, Neil.
9 MR. GILLESPIE: Okay.
10 MR. RODEMS: Okay. Bye-bye.
NOTE: The word Petitioner could not recall at page 10 line 4 was "extortion". Rodems
accused Petitioner of criminal extortion for participating in the Bar's ACAP program in
2003. Mr. Rodems accused Petitioner of felony extortion in his Answer, Affirmative
Defenses and Counterclaim, filed January 19, 2006. Paragraphs 57 and 67 of Rodems'
counterclaim relate to my effort with ACAP in 2003 to settle this matter without
litigation. In December 2005 Petitioner began recording calls to make accurate notes of
medical information needed for the care of his 76 year-old mother. Petitioner's disability
makes this necessary. It worked well and Petitioner began recording all calls on his home
office business extension. Other extensions in our home are not recorded. When Rodems
called March 3, 2006 Petitioner answered on the extension in the kitchen. Then Petitioner
switched to his home office extension next to his computer. That accounts for a partial
recording. Petitioner forgot to switch on the recorder until Rodems started insulting
Petitioner's speech. Later Petitioner upgraded to a DynaMetric Call Saver system that
records automatically. In either case the home office business telephone extension
intercepts the call prior to recording making it lawful under Florida law. Mr. Rodems also
provided written permission to record calls with him, filed with the clerk. (Exhibit 5).
39. Mr. Rodems perjury or falsehood in his March 6, 2006 sworn affidavit shows he
cannot be relied upon to tell the truth while representing himself, his partners, or his firm.
Mr. Rodems' affidavit about an "exact quote" was proved false, as well as the entire
premise of his affidavit when compared to the transcript of the telephone call. Florida
Page - 25
case law prohibits lawyers from presenting false testimony or evidence. Kneale v.
Williams, 30 So. 2d 284 (Fla. 1947), holds that perpetration of a fraud is outside the
scope of the professional duty of an attorney and no privilege attaches to communication
between an attorney and a client with respect to transactions constituting the making of a
false claim or the perpetration ofa fraud. Dodd v. The Florida Bar, 118 S02d 17 (Fla.
1960), reminds us that "the courts are ... dependent on members of the bar to ... present
the true facts of each cause ... to enable the judge or the jury to [decide the facts] to which
the law may be applied. When an attorney ... allows false testimony .. . [the attorney] ...
makes it impossible for the scales [ofjustice] to balance." See The Fla. Bar v. Agar, 394
So.2d 405 (Fla. 1981), and The Fla. Bar v. Simons, 391 So. 2d 684 (Fla. 1980).
More Defamatory Letters From Ryan Christopher Rodems
40. Mr. Rodems has repeated defamatory statements about Petitioner many times
since March 6, 2006. Petitioner learned on February 24, 2010 that Mr. Rodems repeated
his perjury in a letter
4
dated December 28, 2009 to Pedro F. Bajo, Chair of the 13th
Circuit JNC, and attached a copy of his verified pleading to the letter as "Exhibit 4". This
is what Mr. Rodems wrote on page 2: "[Mr. Gillespie] Threatened to "slam" me "against
the wall;" as a result, I requested that a bailiff be present at all hearings. (Exhibit "4"). As
a precaution, I also scheduled Mr. Gillespie's deposition in a building requiring visitors to
pass through a metal detector;" Clearly Mr. Rodems is referring to an actual assault, not a
metaphor. Mr. Rodems' letter is part ofthe JNC file that was sent to Rob Wheeler,
General Counsel to the Executive Office of the Governor.
4 The letter is three pages of outright falsehoods or false-light statements.
Page - 26
41.  In a letter to The Florida Bar dated August 13,2010 Mr.  Rodems defamed 
Petitioner again with a  13  page diatribe of old and new falsehoods or false-light 
statements. Rodems wrote the letter in support of Petitioner's former lawyer Robert Bauer 
who is facing a bar complaint. For example paragraph "z" on page 7: 
"Thereafter, Mr.  Gillespie apparently submitted a hearsay report from a purported 
expert ex parte to Judge Barton. Despite Defendants' objections to the ex parte
communication, Mr.  Gillespie has never filed the ex parte hearsay report or served 
a copy on Defendants." 
The "hearsay report from a purported expert" is Gillespie's ADA Assessment and Report 
prepared by Dr.  Karin Huffer and provided to Mr.  Casares, ADA Coordinator for the  13th 
Circuit, with a copy to Judge Barton. The report is to be kept under ADA Administrative 
confidential management except for use by the ADA Administrator revealing functional 
impairments and needed accommodations communicated to the Trier of Fact to 
implement administration of accommodations. This information is not to become part of 
the adversarial process. 
Mr.  Rodems'  Personal Conflict In This Litigation 
42.  Mr.  Rodems'  unprofessional conduct goes to his conflict in this matter.  During 
this lawsuit Mr.  Rodems made the following statements on the record that showed his 
conflict, and thus his unlawful representation: 
Mr.  Rodems, transcript, July 3, 2007, page 5:  
13  We filed a motion to dismiss or strike -- and I  
14  say "we," I'm Chris Rodems.  I represent Barker,  
Page - 27 
15  Rodems & Cook and William J.  Cook. 
Throughout his representation Mr.  Rodems made similar statements that showed a 
confusion or commingling of the duties of counsel and client. A number of times 
Mr.  Rodems clearly crossed the line between advocate and client: 
Mr.  Rodems, transcript, October 30, 2007, page 31:  
23  We are being shaken down by Mr.  Gillespie.  
24 That's what's happening here.  
Mr.  Rodems, transcript, October 30, 2007, page 45:  
20 But, you know, we believe that if you will  
21  carefully consider this matter, you will see that,  
22 you know, Mr.  Gillespie is basically trying to shake  
23  us down.  
Because Mr.  Rodems was defending against allegations of fraud and breach of contract, 
and believed "We are being shaken down by Mr.  Gillespie", Rodems independent 
professional judgment was materially limited by the lawyer's own interest. 
43.  Bar Rule 4-1.7(b) prohibits representation where a lawyer's independent 
professional judgment may be nlaterially limited by the lawyer's own interest.  Attorney 
violated rules prohibiting representation where a lawyer's independent professional 
judgment may be materially limited by the lawyer's own interest. The Florida Bar v 
Vining,  721  So.2d 1164. 
44.  Petitioner has shown Mr.  Rodems has a conflict of interest in personally deposing 
him.  An Order of Protection is needed, if not to disqualify Mr.  Rodems outright, at least 
to set guidelines for the deposition. 
Page - 28 
45. Petitioner reiterates that Mr. Rodems is unlawfully representing his firm and law
partner as set forth in Emergency Motion To Disqualify Defendants' Counsel Ryan
Christopher Rodems & Barker, Rodems & Cook, P.A. (Exhibit 19).
Trespass Warning Issued Against Mr. Rodems
46. February 12,2010 Mr. Rodems filed Defendants' Request For Inspection and
threatened to enter Petitioner's residence. Petitioner filed Plaintiffs Motion For An Order
Of Protection February 18,2010. On March 22,2010 I filed a trespass warning against
Mr. Rodems, stating in part:
NOTICE IS GIVEN to Ryan Christopher Rodems and Barker, Rodems &
Cook, PA. that you, your law partners, employees and/or agents are not
permitted to enter plaintiffs home at 8092 SW 115th Loop, Ocala, Florida
34481, Marion County, for any reason whatsoever. If you do so you will
be considered trespassing in violation of sections 81 0.08 and 81 0.12
Florida Statutes.
Petitioner also notified the Marion County Sheriff, and the security company for his
retirement community that Mr. Rodems is to be arrested for trespass if he makes good on
his threat. Mr. Rodems is a nlember of the National Rifle Association and has firearms.
He was trained in killing by the military. Rodems and his law partner attacked Arnold
Levine, a lawyer and senior citizen. Mr. Rodems terrorizes litigants and lawyers in
litigation, as shown in this pleading.
Request For Accommodation Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
47. Petitioner requests accommodation under the ADA and ADAAA. Dr. Karin
Huffer wrote in part:
Page - 29
"As the litigation has proceeded, Mr. Gillespie is routinely denied participatory
and testimonial access to the court. He is discriminated against in the most brutal
ways possible. He is ridiculed by the opposition, accused of malingering by the
Judge and now, with no accommodations approved or in place, Mr. Gillespie is
threatened with arrest ifhe does not succumb to a deposition. This is like
threatening to arrest a paraplegic ifhe does not show up at a deposition leaving his
wheelchair behind. This is precedent setting in my experience. I intend to ask for
DOJ guidance on this matter." (October 28, 2010, page 1, ~   (Exhibit 1)
Accompanying this Petition is Petitioner's ADA accommodation request (ADA Request)
and ADA Assessment and Report by Dr. Huffer (ADA Report), and other documents
provided February 19,2010 to Mr. Gonzalo B. Casares, ADA Coordinator for the 13th
Judicial Circuit. The ADA Request and ADA Report are to be kept under ADA
Administrative confidential management except for use by the ADA Administrator
revealing functional impairments and needed accommodations communicated to the Trier
of Fact to implement administration of accommodations. This information is NOT to
become part of the adversarial process. Revealing any part of this report may result in a
violation ofHIPAA and ADAAA Federal Law.
48. Petitioner submitted a new ADA form to the ADA Coordinator for the Second
District Court of Appeal, Marshal Jacinda Suhre (Exhibit 34)
In Conclusion
49. Judge Cook wrote in Order To Show Cause Why Plaintiff Should Not Be
Prohibited From Appearing Pro Se: "The pro se litigant is held to the same standard of
competency as an attorney. (footnote See Kohn v. City ojMiami Beach, 611 So.2d
Page - 30
538,539-40 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993). And he must adhere to the rules of court and of civil
procedure as would any member of the Bar. (footnote See Carr v. Grace, 321 So. 2d 618
(Fla. 3d DCA 1975), cert. denied, 348 So. 2d 945 (Fla. 1977). There is no reason to hold
the pro se litigant to a lesser standard of decency."
50. On the issue of "competency" a nonlawyer pro se litigant is not held to the same
standard as an attorney, the United States Supreme Court held in Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 520 (1971) that pro se pleadings should be held to "less stringent standards" than
those drafted by attorneys. Tannenbaum v. U.S., 148 F.3d 1262, C.A.11 (Fla.), 1998
holds that pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by
attorneys and will, therefore, be liberally construed. Also see: Trawinski v. United
Technologies, 313 F.3d 1295, C.A.11 (Ala.), 2002; Albra v. Advan, Inc., 490 F.3d 826,
C.A.11 (Fla.), 2007. Johnson v. Board of County Comm'rs, 868 F.Supp. 1226 (D. Colo.
1994) noted pro se litigants are granted greater latitude in hearings and trials.
51. As for holding nonlawyer pro se litigants to the "standards of decency" practiced
by attorneys, Judge Cook begs the question by presenting fallacy in which the proposition
to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in the premise. Lawyers often behave
badly, as noted by The Honorable Claudia Rickert Isom, Circuit Court Judge, 13th
Judicial Circuit in Professionalism and Litigation Ethics, 28 STETSON L. REV. 323.
Judge Isom begins with the naive realization that some lawyers behave badly in court. "I
soon learned that attorneys who were entirely pleasant and sociable creatures when I was
counted among their numbers, assumed a much different role when advocating for
litigants." Judge Isom also concedes the relationships between judges and lawyers. She
uses the example of "Harvey M." a pseudonym for a lawyer she has known a long time.
Page - 31
"Harvey challenged me to establish my judicial prerogative and assist him in achieving
goals not of his own making" Judge Isom also pointed out the role of the trial judge:
"Apparently, some attorneys feel that "cutting up" is a large part of what their clients
expect them to do. When this litigious attitude begins to restrict the trial court's ability to
effectively bring cases to resolution, the judge must get involved to assist the process."
Judge Isom provided an example of the uneven responses to lawyers acting badly:
"Recently, the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges conducted an educational
seminar designed to guide circuit judges in appropriately responding to unprofessional
and unethical behavior. Various scenarios were presented on video, after which the
judges voted on what they felt would be the appropriate court response. A surprising
number ofjudges voted to impose sanctions or report unethical behavior to the Florida
Bar Grievance Section. However, the most common response was to do nothing or to
privately counsel the offending attorney." Judge Isom also noted the reason: Judges are
elected officials and fear retribution from lawyers. "Perhaps the perceived backlash of
cracking down on unprofessional behavior is unrealistic for Florida's circuit judges who
are elected officials. However, that perception shapes the judicial response, even when
responding theoretically at a seminar." Judge Isom also noted how Florida's appellate
process is compromised: "The Joint Committee of the Trial Lawyers Section of the
Florida Bar and the Conferences of Circuit and County COlrrt Judges' 1998 Handbook on
Discovery Practice admonishes trial judges to fully appreciate their broad powers to end
discovery abuses and the 1998 Handbook reassuringly states that the appellate courts will
sustain the trial court's authority if it is exercised in a procedurally correct manner." In
other words, if a judge sanctions a litigant for discovery matters, the appellate court will
Page - 32
"sustain the trail court's authority" and the appeal becomes a forgone conclusion. Judge
Isom wrote how she coddled Harvey rather than sanction him. Is this disparate treatment
fair to other litigants, both opposing and in other cases? "Harvey quickly established his
reputation, not as a fellow member of my legal community, but as a problematic litigator
whose behavior had to be controlled and modified by court order for the legal process to
smoothly progress... Cases involving Harvey were, by necessity, intensely case managed."
Judge Isom wrote that Harvey's misconduct made her a better judge: "In Harvey's case,
extreme tools - reporting Harvey to the Florida Bar, striking responses, striking
witnesses, imposing financial sanctions, and conducting contempt hearings - were never
implicated. What did happen was that Harvey trained me to be a better judge by showing
me how, in a nonconfrontational manner, I could effectively case manage Harvey and
similar counsel without having to take off the gloves." In Petitioner's lawsuit where Judge
Isom presided she did not afford him the consideration given to Harvey. Judge Isom
paved the way for Judge Barton to award $11,550 in sanctions against him.
52. An even stronger rebuke is provided by attorney David W. Marston, former US
Attorney and Harvard Law School grad who compares the practice of law to the Mafia in
his book "Malice Aforethought, How Lawyers Use Our Secret Rules To Get Rich, Get
Sex, Get Even...And Get Away With It", an expose of the American legal profession.
"They all have undergone the same tough initiation, and once admitted to membership, all
have sworn the same oath. They live by their own rules and have fiercely resisted efforts
by outsiders to penetrate their clan. The have a code of silence that makes the Mafia's
dreaded omerta seem gossipy. And while the organization rigidly limits the operations of
its members to their assigned turf, their criminal activities within these areas are
Page - 33
surprisingly varied." (Page 22, paragraphs 4 & 5). "The organization enforces its own
discipline, and outsiders can piece together only the most fragmentary picture of the
process. But while hard statistics about crime and misconduct by its members remain
elusive, there has unquestionably been a sharp escalation in recent years" (Page 23,
paragraph 2). "In every state, the organization has tentacles that reach into the legislature,
as well as intimate knowledge of the local criminal justice system. Laws that might
threaten operations are vigorously opposed, and when members are convicted of crimes,
punishments are often lenient." (Page 23, paragraph 4). "It's not the Mafia. Not the
Medellin drug cartel ... The merrlbers are all lawyers. And the organization is the
American legal profession." (Pages 23-24).
WHEREFORE, Petitioner pro se demands a Writ of Prohibition to remove Circuit
Court Judge Martha J. Cook as trial judge in this case, close the file, and end the
proceedings. Petitioner moves for an Order of Protection against a writ of bodily
attachment sought by Ryan Christopher Rodems and Barker, Rodems & Cook, P.A.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED November 18,2010.
--------,
Page - 34
VERIFICATION  
I, Neil J.  Gillespie, under penalty of perjury, swear that the facts alleged in herein 
are true and accurate, and I swear that the documents attached hereto are true and correct 
copIes. 
DATED this  18th day ofNovember, 2010 
STATE OF FLORIDA 
COUNTY OF MARION 
Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me this18th day of November 2010, by 
Neil J.  Gillespie, who personally known to me or presented identification. 
CECILIA
'1' Convnission DO 781620 
Notary Public, State of Florida \t. ExpiresJooe6,2012
"FJr...      
Certificate of Service 
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing was mailed November 18, 
2010 to Ryan Christopher Rodems, Barker, Rodems & Cook, PA, 400 North Ashley 
Drive, Suite 2100, Tampa, Florida 33602. 
Page - 35 
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Petitioner's Appendix of Exhibits
Exhibit Letter of Dr. Karin Huffer, October 28, 2010
Exhibit Letter to Court Counsel David A. Rowland, January 4, 2010
Exhibit Letter of Court Counsel David A. Rowland denying ADA, July 9, 2010
Exhibit Letter of Holland & Knight, declining representation, November 4, 2010
Exhibit Plaintiffs 5th Motion Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, November 10, 2010
Exhibit Plaintiffs 4th Motion Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, November 10, 2010
Exhibit Plaintiffs Emergency Motion Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, November 1, 2010
Exhibit Notice of Filing Affidavits ofNeil J. Gillespie, November 1, 2010
Exhibit Order Denying Emergency Motion Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, November 2, 2010
Exhibit Motion to Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, July 23, 2010
Exhibit Order Denying Motion to Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, July 27, 2010
Exhibit Motion to Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, June 14, 2010
Exhibit Order Denying Motion to Disqualify Judge Martha J. Cook, June 16, 2010
Exhibit Order To Show Cause Why Plaintiff Should Not Appear Pro Se, November 4,2010
Exhibit Clerk's progress docket, November 15, 2010
Exhibit Clerk's progress docket, November 17,2010
Exhibit Plaintiffs Notice of Filing Federal Complaint Against Judge Cook, November 1, 2010
Exhibit Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint, May 5, 2010
Exhibit Emergency Motion Disqualify Defendants Counsel Ryan Rodems, BRC, July 9, 2010
Exhibit Notice of Filing Claim, section 768.28 Florida Statutes, July 12, 2010
Exhibit Letter to John Alcorn, OFR, November 18, 2010
Exhibit 22
Exhibit 23
Exhibit 24
Exhibit 25
Exhibit 26
Exhibit 27
Exhibit 28
Exhibit 29
Exhibit 30
Exhibit 31
Exhibit 32
Exhibit 33
Exhibit 34
Letter to Dale Bohner, Counsel to Clerk of Circuit Court, November 18, 2010
Letter to Ryan C. Rodems, court-ordered deposition, November 8, 2010
Plaintiffs Motion For Order of Protection, June 14, 2010
Tampa Police Department report, coffee-throwing incident
St. Pete Tinles story, Alpert accuses Bucs of extortion
Letter from The Florida Bar authorizing transcript of CLE
Diatribe of Ryan C Rodems criticizing witness in federal lawsuit
Defendants' Verified Request for Bailiff And For Sanctions
Letter from Tampa Police Department Counsel K. Rainesberger
Petitioners letter to Tampa Police Department Counsel K. Rainesberger
Transcript, phone calls March 3, 2006
Notice of Filing, Permission by Ryan C. Rodems To Record Phone Calls
ADA Request to 2DCA