Last Friday, the Central Broward County Courthouse hosted nearly 100 high school students from schools across the county as part of the Informed Voters Project, a national initiative developed to educate the public about the constitutional role of the judicial branch and to protect the courts from outside influence. The half-day event was devised by staff with the Broward County Public Schools System, and involved attorneys from the public and private sector, and judges volunteering their time to lead group sessions in different courtrooms. There was Judicial Jeopardy, Judicial Bingo, and Judicial Q&A sessions to engage the children and help them learn more about the judiciary. Kicking off the morning was a presentation about the Informed Voters Project and a greeting from the Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Robert Runcie.

Thank you to all the judges and attorneys who volunteered! (Not all pictured here.)

The Broward County Bar Association hosted Noche Latina at their headquarters this weekend, with over 150 people in attendance to celebrate Broward’s Hispanic legal community. Partnering with the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association and the Broward County Latin Entrepreneurs, the event honored members of the legal community including the several Hispanic Judges on the Seventeenth Circuit bench. 


It’s another success story as Court Bailiff Roger DeHart completed his second U.S. coastline walk, this time in California, to help raise awareness of human trafficking. Dubbed “No More Miles,” Roger’s walk began at the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and ended at the University of California, San Diego. Members of a production company followed his every step, as his quest to raise awareness of the ever-growing problem of human trafficking is being captured for a documentary.

The West Coast walk took about 40 days, with Roger walking an average of 15 miles a day. He had many supporters and fellow travelers meet up with him along the journey.

Roger started his non-profit charity, First S.T.O.P (Saving Teens and Others from Predators) to help bring more awareness to the world-wide problem of human trafficking, and planning and executing the hundreds of miles “No More Miles” walks is how he’s doing it. Last year, he walked from the steps of the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale to the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., logging over 1,000 miles for the cause.

The 30th annual Red Mass of the Broward County-based St. Thomas More Society of South Florida was held Sept. 26 at St. Anthony Church in Fort Lauderdale. Justice Barbara Lagoa, of the Florida Supreme Court, joined fellow judges from the Seventeenth Circuit and other members of the legal community for the affair, which included mass and a dinner reception. At the reception, Judge Edward Merrigan who is a Brigadier General, U.S. Army Reserve, was presented with the Society’s annual Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy Award.

Congratulations Judge Merrigan!

photos courtesy Tom Tracy

Catholic judges, lawyers and other legal professionals take part in the 30th annual Red Mass of the Broward County-based St. Thomas More Society of South Florida, Sept. 26 at St. Anthony Church in Fort Lauderdale.

Circuit Judge Tarlika Navarro hosted students visiting from McArthur High School last week in her courtroom. They had a panel of exceptional guest speakers sharing their journeys into the legal field as minorities, stressing the importance of education, inclusion, diversity, acceptance and kindness towards others.

The Seventeenth Circuit was presented with the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award at the Florida Chapter Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (FLAFCC) annual conference in Orlando on September 25, 2019. Given by the Florida Supreme Court Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court, the honor specifically recognizes our circuit’s shared mediation calendar and our expanded self help center.
Congratulations to our mediation and arbitration division and our unified case management division!


The Broward County Bar Association’s Mentoring and Professionalism Committees hosted a welcome ceremony for all new members of the Florida Bar, holding a “mass” swearing-in ceremony for new attorneys who passed the July 2019 bar exam. The late afternoon event saw many judges and attorneys in attendance, participating in the inaugural “Welcome to the Broward Bar” ceremony.