Bachelor of Arts, University of Florida
Juris Doctorate, University of Florida
League of Women Voters
The Florida Bar
Orange County Bar Association
Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers
Describe your philosophy of the judicial role, the qualities that are most important for the role, and the greatest challenges to the role.
I believe the court system is like a release valve on the pressure cooker of society. We go to Court to have our disputes heard and resolved according to the laws that apply to all of us equally. Criminal Court is a civilized alternative to vigilante justice. Civil Court is a venue to finally conclude disputes in a civil manner in accordance with the law after a fair hearing. Of course every judge should have intelligence, legal knowledge, efficiency and a good work ethic. A judge also needs to have patience, an even temperament and most importantly the ability to listen. This is especially true in County Court where the parties usually have little or no experience with Court proceedings. Win or lose, a citizen should feel they have been heard. They must feel they have been treated fairly. It is the Judge’s job to ensure that happens.
The challenge to the role is a lack of sufficient time to to let everyone be heard to their satisfaction due to crowded dockets.
Briefly describe a case or a legal issue on which you worked of which you are particularly proud, or is reflective of your legal ability and work. (limit 150 words)
I represented a young man in juvenile who was new to a school and was clearly being bullied. He had been challenged to a fight and did his best to avoid his harassers, but he armed himself with a small knife just in case. Upon walking home he was followed and eventually cornered and jumped by several young men. While being held on the ground he reached for his knife and stated flailing it to get the attackers off him and one of his attackers was slashed across his face. The bullied victim got charged with aggravated battery, a felony, while the bullies who jumped him were treated as victims by the State even though the depositions made it clear that the young man with the cut face was the aggressor. During the trial it was obvious to everyone except the prosecutor that this was a clear case of self defense and the Judge found my client not guilty. I am proud to have shone a light on school bullying and to have saved this young man from a felony which would have affected his future.
What, in your opinion, is the most important U. S. Supreme Court decision? Why? (limit 150 words)
Marbury v. Madison which first recognized the power of judicial review of acts of Congress to declare them void if they are inconsistent with the Constitution. This check on Congress is extremely stabilizing and keeps the elected majority from ignoring the rights of the minority. The power of the Supreme Court as an equal branch of government derives from this case.
What do you perceive as the greatest obstacles to justice, if any? Why? (limit 150 words)
The greatest obstacle to justice is a closed mind and refusal to listen.