A Miami condominium association and its president have asked the Third District Court of Appeal to remove Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas from five lawsuits disputing maintenance issues with its master association and developer after the judge affectionately placed his hands on opposing counsel Mary Barzee Flores’ hands in a bench-side conversation.

Barzee Flores, who served on the Miami-Dade Circuit bench from 2003 to 2011, asked to approach the bench toward the end of a Jan. 17 status conference for a private conversation with Thomas about an unrelated matter. The pair chatted for a few minutes and were laughing and smiling, according to the petitions.

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