As president of The Florida Bar, it is my pleasure to highlight the recent accomplishments of our sitting judges who have achieved leadership positions. Judges are often the unsung heroes of our Bar. They work in relative obscurity not only performing the functions of their job, but in administrative leadership positions, which require additional responsibility and work. They volunteer as educators for other judges, students, and lawyers; work on volunteer committees in the Bar and for the Florida Supreme Court; and work with community stakeholders to address many of the issues and problems facing Florida's citizens. All of these additional functions increase their workload and responsibility, for no additional pay. Seeking positions of leadership is a great path to developing management skills, bettering professional reputation, and increasing proficiency in the practice of law and performance on the bench.
As a committed supporter of inclusion and diversity in the practice of law, I applaud the accomplishments of some of Florida's great women leaders in the judiciary. I would like to focus upon our extraordinary women judges who currently serve as chief judges in Florida.
In July, Chief Judge Krista Marx was sworn in as chief judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit. She is only the second woman to hold this position. While taking on her new duties as chief judge, she also has accepted the role of chair of the Judicial Qualifications Commission. In her dual leadership roles, Chief Judge Marx presides over one of the largest circuit courts in Florida, while also presiding over all investigations of complaints against sitting judges for Florida.
Judge Marx has distinguished herself throughout her career as a judicial educator, a member of several key task forces on substance abuse, mental illness, and citizen safety, and a member of several Florida Bar committees. She has further distinguished herself as a judge. She was invited to serve as an associate judge on the Fourth District Court of Appeal and was nominated for appointment to the Fourth DCA.
Chief Judge Bertila Soto is currently serving as the first woman and first Hispanic chief judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit, the largest circuit in Florida and the fourth largest trial court in the nation. Judge Soto has been central to the success of the Conferences of Circuit and County Judges addressing members of the legislature on the judicial branch. She has educated all branches on the...