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15th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission Notice of Direction to Convene for Second Vacancy

Tuesday, July 16, 2019   (0 Comments)
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15TH CIRCUIT JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSION
NOTICE OF DIRECTION TO CONVENE FOR SECOND VACANCY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2019
CONTACT: Gregor J. Schwinghammer, Jr., Esq.
Fifteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission
TELEPHONE: (561) 650-0595

               On July 6, 2019, our legal community and our bench lost one of our finest people, the Honorable Meenu Sasser. Judge Sasser served as a role model for countless lawyers in the community, as attested to by the testimony of countless applicants to the JNC. A common question to applicants during interviews is, “which judge would you model yourself after if appointed to the bench?” A remarkable number of applicants responded that Judge Sasser was their model judge because of her diligence, courtesy, preparation, and her knowledge of the law. Judge Sasser is irreplaceable. To lose Judge Sasser at such a young age is devastating.

It is always difficult to replace any judge who leaves the bench, regardless of the reason, but it is a sad and tragic endeavor to replace someone taken from us too soon. Nevertheless, the Florida constitution requires the governor to convene the JNC when a vacancy occurs to ensure that Palm Beach County has its full complement of judges. Accordingly, on July 15, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis directed the JNC to provide a list of nominees to fill the vacancy created by the loss of Judge Sasser. Accordingly, with heavy hearts, the JNC must solicit applications to fill the void. 

The JNC has already begun the process of filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jeffrey Colbath, and has has received 34 applications to date. Because the JNC is now required to provide names for two vacancies, the JNC announces that it will accept applications delivered by Monday, July 22, 2019, no later than 10:30 a.m. at the offices of Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, P.A., 777 S. Flagler Drive, Suite 500 East, West Palm Beach, Florida. (Please note this is a different address then indicated in the earlier announcement; the JNC needs them delivered to Gunster Yoakley because of the abbreviated schedule.)

Those who have already submitted applications do not need to submit another application. The JNC will consider all applications for both vacancies, and will send one list of nominees to Tallahassee.

Interviews for both vacancies on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

Qualifications of Applicants:
Applicants must be able to fulfill the Constitutional qualifications before assuming the office of Circuit Court Judge, which require the person to be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar for the preceding five years, a resident of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit and a registered voter in the State of Florida.

Instructions for Submission:
1)  The current Judicial Application form must be used and can be downloaded in Word version from The Florida Bar’s website. Applicants should ensure they are using the correct and current form.

2) The completed application must be typed and bound. The application must include a photograph.

3)  In addition to the original application, applicants must provide the following: (i) three (3) copies of the completed application, (ii) one redacted copy of the application excluding all exempt information under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes or other applicable public records law; and (iii) an electronic copy of the application on seven (7) individual flash drives in PDF format with the applicant’s name on the exterior of the flash drives. The pdf of the application (including the application form and any exhibits) must be a single file not to exceed 8 Mb. No other attachments or files are to be included on the flash drives. All printed copies should be two-sided.

 

4)  Applications. The deadline for submission of the completed application is Monday July 22 at 10:30 a.m.Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. The completed application, copies and flash drives must be delivered to reception at Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, P.A., 777 S. Flagler Drive, Suite 500 East, West Palm Beach Florida 33401. Please ensure the Application is complete, including all required responses (including references, case style and contact information regarding recent cases, and class standing and degree information regarding education), and all required attachments (writing sample, financial disclosure, photograph). Incomplete applications may not be considered.  

5)  Interviews. Any interviews that the JNC chooses to conduct will take place August 1, 2019, starting around 10 a.m. and continuing into the evening. 

Additional Information:
Applicants should check with the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s website [www.palmbeachbar.org] for information as to date and time of any interview. Any interviews will be done in person; no telephonic interviews will be scheduled.

All JNC proceedings are open to the public, except for deliberations. Applications are not confidential. If an applicant is nominated, all materials attached to the original application will be submitted to the Governor.

A list of members of the Fifteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is available from The Florida Bar’s website at www.floridabar.org. 

Members of the bench, the Bar and the public are urged to contact the members of the Commission concerning applicants for judicial positions.

If you have any questions, please call Mr. Schwinghammer at (561) 650-0595, or email at gschwinghammer@gunster.com.

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