Kaysia Earley, Broward County Judge Candidate, Group 26 – Sun Sentinel

Campaign website: www.kaysiaearley.com

List in reverse chronological order each college, university, and law school and indicate for each the years of attendance, class rank, and cumulative grade point average.

St. Thomas University College of Law, 57/226 (Top 70%) 08/2011–12/2013 Juris Doctorate

Howard University, No Class Ranking 01/2001–05/2004 Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

Morgan State University, No Class Ranking 08/2000–12/2000 Not Applicable (Transfer)


List in reverse chronological order your work history over the past 15 years.

Earley Law Firm, 8201 Peters Road, Suite 1000, Plantation, FL 33324. Founding Lawyer/Owner, 06/2016 to present

United States Patent and Trademark Office (US Department of Commerce), 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (Telework), Patent Specialist 03/2009–Present

Law Office of the Public Defender, Broward County, 201 SE 6 Street, Room 3872, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, Assistant Public Defender, 01/2015–03/2016

McDermott, Will & Emery, LLP, 500 North Capitol St. NW, Washington, DC, 20001, Paralegal 03/2006–03/2009

As a lawyer, judge or both, describe the types of cases you have typically handled.

As a lawyer, I currently represent civil and criminal clients, including indigent defendants, in court. I handle a variety of cases including assault and battery, impaired driving, drug trafficking, possession of firearms by convicted felons, robbery, attempted murder, fraud social assistance, etc. My current position involves researching case law and drafting motions. There are strict local and procedural rules governing important aspects of my practice such as the timing of filings, reciprocal discovery, and subpoenas. Although I am a private attorney, following a financial investigation, I represent indigent defendants at all critical stages of their criminal proceedings, including but not limited to initial appearance, arraignment , modification of a plea, trial, motion hearings and sentencing.

As an assistant public defender, I gained significant and significant experience in litigation and trials. A significant number of people I represented also had mental health issues, which required working with doctors, social workers, prosecutors and the court to help them get the treatment and placement they desperately needed.

During fourteen months as an Assistant Public Defender, I effectively managed a caseload of 180-220 clients, through all phases of the court process and tried 56 jury and non-jury trials. I also practiced in the Juvenile Division, where I developed a deep understanding of the practice of juvenile law.

If you are a lawyer, how many cases have you tried in the last five years? Of these cases, how many were tried before juries and how many were tried before a judge?

Over the past five years, I have tried over 50 jury and non-jury trials, ranging from first degree felonies to misdemeanors. 18 non-jury trials (bench) and 32 jury trials.

Have you been party to any lawsuit, including bankruptcy or foreclosure? If yes, provide details, including case style, jurisdiction and nature of decision.

1. Coral Lago HOA c. Kaysia Earley (CACE21-021780) Basketball Hoop Injunction (pending)

Have you been charged with or found guilty of a crime or misdemeanor, including convictions withheld? If yes, list the charges, dates of conviction and terms of sentence.

1. Charge: Criminal Embezzlement (November 2003). Accused dismissed after completion of diversion program. a. Sentence Length: Diversion Program – 15 consecutive weekends of incarceration. Obligation to show up on Friday evening and leave on Monday morning; 200 hours of community service; restitution; Trial period of 3 years.

Have you ever been disciplined by the Florida Supreme Court on a recommendation from the Florida Bar, or have you ever been investigated by the Judicial Qualifications Commission? If yes, provide details. No.

List current and past memberships in civic, fraternal, legal, or social organizations.

1. Florida Bar Association

2. Mentoring the women of tomorrow

3. Broward County Bar Association

4. National Association of Black Lawyers

5. Lawyers of Distinction

6. American Institute of Criminal Lawyers

7. Domestic Litigators

If you are or have been an officer or director or engaged in the management of a commercial enterprise other than a law firm, state its name and business activity, your duties and whether you intend to resign at the time of the election.

1. Earley Residential Investments, LLC: real estate investment company. I am currently the manager of the company. Oversee annual tax returns and annual reports. I intend to resign during the election.


Why are you running for this office?

I have unique experience on both sides of the criminal justice system. As a 2022 judicial nominee for whom being formerly incarcerated is not a disqualifier, I think that brings me closer to Broward County voters. I went from incarceration, to owning a successful law firm, to running for judge, a true story of redemption, hope and community. I plan to apply my years of experience in jury trials, pro bono community service, and litigation skills from the bench. I also wish to inspire all those who seek meaning in the face of life’s challenges and adversities. “I’m not running from my past, I’m running from it.”

If you chose to run for judicial office against an incumbent, state why you chose to do so.

My opponent has repeatedly failed to demonstrate the qualities associated with the proper judicial character required to serve the public. (See references below). On several occasions, she disrespected both lawyers and defendants in her courtroom, despite how she felt about the case, the arguments, the witnesses, or the lawyers. My opponent’s behavior on the bench calls into question her ability to be considerate of people with whom she usually disagrees and her ability to respect people who are playing their part in a litigation process, a key quality to be an impartial judge.

In addition to my legal, community service background (Broward County Mentor of the Year by Women of Tomorrow), I possess the disposition and seriousness required to oversee contentious legal proceedings without being overbearing and disrespectful.

Why should voters elect you over your opponent?

In addition to my legal background (over 100 jury and non-jury trials to verdict) and community service, I possess the disposition and seriousness required to oversee contentious legal proceedings without being overbearing and disrespectful.

In your life experience, what best qualifies you to serve as a judge?

I certainly credit my prior incarceration and experience previously represented by an assistant public defender as the motivating factor for diligently representing indigent clients. My first-hand experience with the justice system both as an inmate and a defense attorney makes me best placed to serve the community from the bench with patience and respect. With the broad discretion as a county court judge to decide if and what type of sentence is necessary to punish and deter crime, I will ensure that the potential sentence reasonably protects the public interest and is not unduly harsh, including taking into account all the different types of community service. options available.

What are the top three challenges facing the justice system in Broward County, Florida, or the United States?

1. Broward County lacks diversity on the bench. Of the current 90 sitting judges, there are only 12 elected judges, 6 women and 6 men. Lawyers serve our society as zealous defenders of the rights and freedoms of people regardless of race, color, creed or religion. The legal profession cannot preserve this enormous responsibility and privilege without reflecting the many faces of our society. America is a veritable melting pot; therefore, the legal system must lead the way. This can only be done when diverse groups of people incorporate their unique cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds into the equation. Diversity resonates throughout the law and should also be reflected in the justice system. Diversity on the bench is important, both because a diversity of perspectives will produce stronger case law and because it will strengthen the legitimacy of our justice system in the eyes of an increasingly diverse public.

2. Lack of judicial temper: The bench is no place for cruel or callous people, regardless of their other qualities and abilities. In order to preserve the integrity of the judiciary and to ensure that the public has confidence in its judges, it is imperative that the sitting judge have the appropriate temperament and respect for all who enter the courtroom.

3. Jury Selection Process: In my litigation experience, I have tried over 100 trials. The jury selection process is a long and arduous process for potential jurors. A more streamlined approach to filtering out potential disqualifiers can allow for a more efficient selection process.

About Jessica J. Bass

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