I am running for Circuit Judge of Orange and Osceola counties because I want to use my nearly 25 years of experience as a lawyer and a mediator to improve our community in a meaningful way. As an attorney and mediator and as a community volunteer, I am sometimes able to help a small number of people. Being a circuit judge, however, is a full-time service position with the potential to help others on a larger scale. Every day, in the criminal courts, circuit judges keep our community safe while protecting the constitutional rights of defendants and victims. Juvenile judges have opportunities to help children learn from mistakes and redirect them toward a more positive path. Family law judges help families put discord and division behind them so that they can productively move forward with their lives. Finally, civil law judges significantly aid the community in numerous ways from promptly resolving business disputes to allowing those injured by the negligence of others to seek necessary redress.
During the recent investiture of the most recently appointed Circuit Judge, the Chief Judge and other speakers emphasized the importance of humility in a judge. I could not agree more. While I am confident in my own knowledge and abilities, my years of experience have taught me that I am not always right and I am fully comfortable listening to and learning from others. Circuit judges are charged with following the law. They do not make it. As a Circuit Judge I will apply the law fairly and impartially. I promise to listen carefully to the arguments of lawyers and make every effort to ensure that all of my decisions are consistent with the law and applicable rules of procedure and evidence. Plaintiffs, defendants, and lawyers will be treated equally and with civility and respect.
I look forward to the challenge of working in different divisions as a circuit judge. While the majority of my legal experience has been on the civil side, I established a working knowledge of the rules of criminal procedure from four years working as General Counsel in the office of Robert Wesley, the Ninth Circuit Public Defender. I observed numerous criminal proceedings, organized and attended trainings on a multitude of criminal law topics, helped to train and develop the skills of interns and new criminal defense lawyers, and worked on criminal law related projects such as the increased use of juvenile civil citations advocated by the Public Defender and the League of Women Voters.
Much of my litigation work as an attorney has been in federal court where deadlines are rarely extended and cases are almost never continued. As a sole practitioner, without partners or associates to cover for or assist me, I developed the organizational skills necessary to work efficiently and to always be prepared. While I understand that sometimes delays are unavoidable, I promise that, as a judge, I will remain organized and work the necessary hours to effectively manage my docket while being prepared for each and every hearing, trial, and other proceeding.
I look forward to the opportunity to serve and respectfully ask for your vote on or before August 18, 2020.