Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Judge Abby Cynamon, a Circuit Court Judge in the Civil Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit. She has spent more than a decade on the bench.
AALM: How did you transition from attorney to judge? What advice do you have for attorneys considering the switch?
Cynamon: After graduating from Barnard College with a bachelor’s degree and University of Miami School of Law with a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in taxation, I was an assistant general counsel for the 11th Judicial Circuit, researching the law to help judges render rulings and decisions that followed the law. Rather than advocating for one side, I approached each case neutrally, with the goal of finding and following the law. As a judge, I use this same approach. My advice to attorneys who are considering transitioning to the bench is: remember the difference between advocating and being committed to properly following and applying the law.
AALM: Describe your courtroom style.
Cynamon: I strive to be prepared for each hearing, relying on attorneys to submit written materials that I read in advance. I often ask attorneys questions during their presentations. To be fair to both sides, I hear only matters noticed for hearing. Everyone has the chance to be heard and to make their record. I strive to rule quickly.
AALM: What’s your advice for attorneys trying cases before you?
Cynamon: Be punctual, prepared and courteous to opposing counsel. Obtain hearings and rulings on all pretrial motions. Confer with opposing counsel before trial on jury instructions, statement of the case and deposition designations, so that you can utilize the jurors’ time efficiently.
AALM: What do you love about your job?
Cynamon: I have served in the civil, family and juvenile divisions. I have loved serving in each and look forward to continuing to serve. No matter whether it is a decision on who wins a civil case, which parent has more time with a child, or whether a juvenile ends up in a commitment program, I never forget that I am there to serve the public and that my decisions directly impact the lives of people who live and work in our community.
AALM: What’s the biggest difference between practicing law and being a judge?
Cynamon: Lawyers advocate for their client’s legal position. Judges must approach each case neutrally and be committed to properly following and applying the law. Lawyers want their client to be treated fairly. Judges are committed to ensuring that both sides have a fair hearing, a chance to make their arguments and to make their record.
AALM: What future changes are you looking forward to?
Cynamon: I am looking forward to working in the new Miami-Dade County Courthouse when it opens!
AALM: Who is your legal hero and how do you try to emulate them in your day-to-day life?
Cynamon: My hero is a family court judge who served in Manhattan in the 1970s. I don’t remember her name, but I remember her effect on my life. When we met, I was nine years old, my parents were going through a vitriolic divorce and I was brought to court. After listening to the lawyers argue, the judge took time to speak to the person whose life would be most impacted by her decision: me. I emulate her every day by considering the impact my decisions will have on the parties before me.
AALM: Tell us something about yourself.
Cynamon: I spent my teens in foster care. Receiving a full scholarship to Barnard College changed my life, enabling me to overcome early challenges and have a fulfilling and successful life and career!
Oh you have no idea how happy I am to read this article interview with Justice Abby Cynamon.
I am a pro se litigant who had a case before starting in 2019. My first impression of the Honorable Justice Cynamon was (is) that I would stand a fair chance with her after the fact we’re presented to her of this foreclosure case originated in 2007 by the famous Mill house signer and Robo filing DISBARRED.
ATTORNEY DAVID STERN.
(1) For me personally, because it is so so difficult to find an Ethical attorney ( not self serving) in Miami Dade County that will honestly advocate for their client especially if that client is of African Descent) This third case that originally came before the Honorable Cynamon in 2019 was filed after not hearing from the bank of BEW York Mellon for five years after the Bank had voluntarily dismissed the case( still have not been compensated for my attorney fees even though file in court). I went to see Attorney Jared Kullman (who. It turned out buy’s foreclosure homes) for his assistance in retrieving my title. Kullman looked up my case and stated the following: (“You have been under the raider, the bank left hand does not know what the right had is doing and why is the City of Miami not listed on the two previous cases?”) Homeowners, and why should the city be listed sir? Kullman because there is a judgment against you. Homeowner, I am not aware of that sir etc etc) After nit hearing from the Bank or their attorney I was served with this third case and of course The City of Miami is now Listed on the third filings. The other attorney I went to stated in his retainer that if he wins the case( which he has another foreclosure case before the same judge He wants to give me a mortgage for (20) years at 8%
this was what interest rate was at 3.5%(the attorneys has it listed as FREE HOUSE in his contract. Had I sent a copy to judge Cynamon ( as I did the present Justice) Justice Cynamon certainly would not tolerate such behavior by both attorneys ( by the way the Florida Bar did nothing after I reported it to them.
Justice Cynamon did not give the bank attorney their requested “Final Summary Judgment, when she found out I was not properly served by the other side.
The Honorable Justice also gave me the time (30) thirty days necessary to properly answer the bank and for me to amend by counter claim with the assistance of an attorney. I filed my answer before the thirty days and mailed with certificate of mailing to two out of the three offices of the banks attorney and one copy to the bank in New York.
The attorneys fir the bank did not respond for almost two months. I tried filing a motion for default but the courts were closed due to the Pandemic. The attorney for the bank sent me an email after almost two months asking for a continuance claiming that none of their two offices received my answer and my amended Counter Claims. I never heard from them after my refusal to agree to their requests for extension of time. In my continued search for an ethical attorney not affiliated with the banks law firm or the banks whose foreclosure homes they buy from the bank or asking for mortgages for 20 years. I was given a retired attorney number to get advice as to what I can do next as a pro se litigant because I have not received any communication from the bank attorneys since the last email requesting that I agree to them filing a continuance, which I had Rejected
The retired attorney asked me if I was aware that the firm on January 5 th there is a hearing set before the court for Final Summary Judgment. When I checked the docket this firm had filed for continuance with no certificate of service to me. They had Motion additional hearings including objection to my Counter claims, which of course was granted by the new judge. When this was brought to the courts attention, four motions were filed and scheduled back in May to address the objections to the continuance, the granting of the negative ruling on my counter claims and of course their request for final summary Judgment. To date none of theses scheduled hearings have been held.
No discovery have been sent out, on the 31 of October I am being asked to choose a date to go to trial to address the bank attorneys request again for Summary Final Judgment.
Homeowner requested sanctions for the Numerous reported unilaterally setting of hearings with no proof of service to the homeowners.
To date no sanctions have been granted, none of the four set hearings have been heard , discovery yet I am being asked to go to trial.
This I know would not be allowed in Justice Cynamon court .
I totally lost out when she was transferred to Family court, but the children will be blessed and the children are our future.
I honestly wish every judge would read this
and not allowed 🚫 large law firms and attorneys to rule their their court rooms because of donations that pro se litigant can’t afford to do.
Like judge Cynamon answered to your questions
What is the biggest difference between practicing law and being a judge?
As the Honorable Justice Cynamon stated in her answer “Lawyers advocate for their client’s legal position. Judges MUST approach wash case NEUTRALLY and be COMMITTED to PROPERLY following and applying the law. Layers want their client to be treated fairly. Judges are committed to ensuring that both sides have a fair hearing, a chance to make their arguments and to make their record.
I am not being given that opportunity at all!!!
I am sorry about the long response but in order for me to comment fairly on Justice honesty in administering the law, and how happy I was when my case was given to her, I had to give you examples of how her RESPECT for the law is not always administered the same way.
Thank you for interviewing the Honorable Justice Cynamon. She really do her best to honor Justice regardless of Pro Se litigant vs. attorney who wants preferential treatments.