Two New Circuit Judges Sworn In

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In two seperate ceremonies last week, the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit officially welcomed the Honorable Keathan B. Frink and the Honorable Martin S. Fein as they were sworn in to serve on the Circuit court bench. Both were appointed on November 14, 2016 by Governor Rick Scott. 

Judge Frink, sworn in by Circuit Judge Michael A. Robinson, received his law degree from University of Florida and most recently worked as a private practice attorney. His previous legal experience includes serving as an assistant public defender and as Assistant Regional Counsel for the Fourth District Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel. Judge Frink is assigned to the Seventeenth Circuit's Family division.

Judge Fein, sworn in by Chief Judge Peter M. Weinstein, received his law degree from Stetson University and served as an assistant state attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. He has been a solo practicioner since 1998. Judge Fein is currently assigned to the Circuit Criminal division. 

The Seventeenth Circuit congratulates and welcomes our new judges!

Last Updated (Thursday, 29 December 2016 16:43)


Judge Schiff Book Recognized in Harvard Law Review

Baseball and the Law: Cases and Materials, a book authored by Judge Louis Schiff, recently received recognition in the Harvard Law Review. 

Follow this link to read the review: 


Congratulations Judge Schiff! 

Last Updated (Monday, 05 December 2016 11:17)


Administrative Order Extending Time Periods Due to Hurricane Matthew Court Closure

Last Updated (Thursday, 13 October 2016 10:21)


Court Closure Details

The Broward County Court System will be closed starting at noon today, Wednesday, October 5, and will remain closed on Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7. The dependency shelter hearings, delinquency detention, domestic violence and first appearance divisions will remain open today, October 5, until the dockets are finished. All court services will be suspended on October 6 and 7.

Pending any unforeseen circumstances, the 17th Circuit will re-open on Saturday, October 8, for first appearance, and delinquency detention and dependency shelter hearings. All other court services will resume business as usual on Monday, October 10, again, pending any unforeseen circumstances.

This circuit will be applying to the Florida Supreme Court for an extension of deadlines.

This announcement will be updated, as needed. 

Last Updated (Wednesday, 05 October 2016 11:30)


New County Judge Jennifer W. Hilal Sworn In


Jennifer W. Hilal was sworn in today as Broward's newest County Court judge. She was appointed in early September by Governor Rick Scott. Prior to her appointment, Judge Hilal worked as a prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. She received her bachelor's degree from University of Central Florida and her law degree from Nova Southeastern University. 

Congratulations Judge Hilal! 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 04 October 2016 13:33)


Judges Learn the Latest in Civics Education


Judges from the 17th Circuit participated in a lunch-time civics education training class on Wednesday, September 21, 2016. “Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Adult Civics Education,” presented by Annette Boyd Pitts of the Florida Law Related Education Association, focuses on activities and resources to increase public awareness of how the government and courts work. Specific topics covered in the class were the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Courts and the Judicial Branch, and Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission. 


Spring/Summer '16 Circuit Court Newsletter


Judge Lee Receives Prestigious Award from Chief Justice Labarga



Contact: Craig Waters, Director of Public Information

Florida Supreme Court

Chief Justice Labarga Presents Award for Excellence to Broward Judge

PONTE VEDRA BEACH – Broward County Judge Robert Lee is an excellent trial judge who is extremely active in helping other judges excel, Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga said Tuesday as he presented Judge Lee with the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence.

In nearly two decades on the bench, Judge Lee has built an inspiring record of activities and accomplishments, Chief Justice Labarga said, praising Judge Lee for his exceptional commitment to the judicial branch as well as his energy and his creativity.

Judge Lee mentors new judges, compiles comprehensive resource materials to help judges handling small claims and civil traffic infraction cases, and created innovative programs to hold jury-duty scofflaws accountable and to correct teen traffic misconduct. He also frequently writes articles for publication in legal journals, teaches at universities and, of course, handles his caseload.

The chief justice presented the award during the annual education program for Florida’s 322 county judges. A second award will be presented to a circuit judge next month at the annual education program for circuit judges. A selection committee of two county judges and two circuit judges, appointed by their respective judicial conferences, recommended both award recipients from nominations made by judges.

Gary Cowart, a retired judge, wrote in support of the nomination of Judge Lee: “He is always trying to make things better, not only for his colleagues, but the legal system and the public as well.” Judge Lee currently serves as chair of the Civil Division of the Broward County Court. He was appointed a county judge in 1997 by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles. Judge Lee has served in the criminal and civil divisions, as well as on temporary assignment to the circuit.

While some of Judge Lee’s accomplishments might be characterized as “behind the scenes,” he has first-hand experience of being called upon to perform his duty in the white-hot glare of national scrutiny: In 2000, he was the chair of the three-member Broward County Canvassing Board and presided over the historic recount in Broward in the disputed presidential election.

As a judge, he has published more than a dozen articles in various legal publications. He has presided over more than 335 jury trials and has more than 500 published legal decisions. He has also taught at Florida International University and Barry University. In 2011, the Broward County Bar Association honored Judge Lee with its Stephen R. Booher Memorial Award.

Before becoming a judge, he worked in private practice, primarily involving commercial litigation. However, he received the Individual Attorney Support Award from Legal Aid of Broward County for pro bono work involving mental health issues. He was active in the community, working with the Broward Education Foundation, Broward United Against Discrimination, the Broward Human Rights Initiative and the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association.

Judge Lee earned his law degree in 1985 at the University of Florida, where he served as a senior editor on the Law Review and was awarded a teaching fellowship. He has a master’s degree in History Humanities from California State University at Dominguez Hills and a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University.

Chief Justice Labarga created the Chief Justice Awards for Judicial Excellence in 2015; this is the second year awards have been presented.


Last Updated (Wednesday, 13 July 2016 10:04)


Notice of Applications to be Record Newspaper

Last Updated (Friday, 08 July 2016 09:03)

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