Former Webmaster for Judge Peter Skolnik Tells of Camera-Ducking Lawyers With Ulterior Motives

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Do lawyers get favors from supporting a victorious judge's campaign?
The man who has clashed with Broward Judge Peter B. Skolnik over an unpaid web design bill is now alleging that some of the judge's most devoted volunteers are local attorneys who are betting the judge rules in their favor after he wins election.

That webmaster, Steven Smith, says that when he appeared with a camera at a Skolnik campaign event earlier this summer, attorneys Nicole Malick and Douglas Harrison had reason to steer clear of the picture frame.
"The reason Malick and Harrison didn't want their photos taken while wearing Skolnik T-shirts is because then that would have precluded them from trying cases in front of the judge," says Smith, who claims Malick told him that in such an instance Skolnik would have to recuse himself.

Based on a conversation Smith had with "someone in the legal profession" (who he wouldn't name), he believes that Malick and Harrison were particularly mindful of getting the judge's future support on their motions for recovering fees and costs from an opposing party following a favorable ruling.

Malick recalls wearing a campaign T-shirt at an event but denied having any desire to conceal that fact. "If that was the case, I would not have worn the shirt in public supporting the campaign," she says.

Further, she points to the fact that any campaign contributions she's made to Skolnik's campaign are public and that she corresponded with the judge using an email that address that contained her full name. "Certainly, no attorney who is communicating with a judge would use their first and last name if they had anything to hide," she says.

Harrison did not immediately return calls seeking comment in response to Smith's allegations.

Malick did confirm that she sent the email to Skolnik that has been posted online by Smith, in which she relays Smith's demand for payment for the website.

That email is time-stamped 12:52 a.m. on the morning of June 24. Malick claims that she wasn't involved in the finances of the Skolnik campaign and that, "The only reason I notified the judge is that I'm a single woman alone with a man in a parking lot at night" and that she was eager to get away.

Smith says he'll soon be posting new documents that support his claim that the judge cheated him out of payment for website design. They'll probably appear on this page.


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