FORT PIERCE — St. Lucie County Clerk Joe Smith recently received the Access to Justice award by Florida Rural Legal Services for his dedication to ensuring equal access to the courts for all citizens. Smith received the honor at the Port St. Lucie Bar Association's Law Day luncheon. Donald Isaac, the agency's executive director, presented the award with Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente and Florida Circuit 19 Chief Judge Elizabeth Metzger.
'It's vital for any community to provide its citizens with equal, fair, and convenient access to the judicial system to resolve their disputes,' Smith said. 'That's why it was important for our office to launch the Self-Service Center, which now provides 55 free and low cost court packets to citizens.'
The Self-Service Center's court packets include instructions and all required legal forms to help citizens represent themselves in civil and family court.
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[VERO BEACH - Daniel Duffy (right) sits next to attorney Jordi Zaragoza as the jury is given instructions during his first-degree murder trial.]
left, are Elizabeth Metzger, Florida Circuit 19 Chief Judge; Barbara Pariente, Florida Supreme Court Justice; Donald Isaac, Florida Rural Legal Services' Executive Director; and Joe Smith, St. Lucie County Clerk of the Circuit Court.
June 20th, 2017
BOCA RATON - Circuit Judge Christopher N. Patterson will among three honored at the Justice Teaching Awards on June 22, presented by Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis during the Judicial Luncheon at The Florida Bar’s Annual Convention in Boca Raton.
The awards honor a teacher, a volunteer and a judge for their dedication in teaching Florida students about their government and the courts.
The Hon. Christopher N. Patterson is the Justice Teaching Judge of the Year.
Since he became a member of The Florida Bar in 1985, he has volunteered his time to civics education. First as an attorney, Judge Patterson was an active volunteer instrumental in the Bay County Teen Court and in helping create the Washington County Teen Court.
As a judge, he has volunteered his time to train attorneys in the Justice Teaching program and has presided as a courtroom judge and assisted with mock trials.
“Students see Judge Patterson’s love and passion for the legal profession and the court system, not only in court but in life,” said Jeff Doran on behalf of The Florida Bar in a press release Monday. “His influences continue from youth to adults, and he encourages everyone he comes in contact with to pursue their goals without limitation.”
Most recently Judge Patterson was assigned to Roulhac Middle School and is active with the youth there.
“To address a high rate of juvenile arrests in the middle school ages, he is redirecting youth by instilling in them values and encouraging them to be on the right side of the law,” Doran said. “A natural with the kids, he has a hands-on approach that helps one child become a family and family become a community.”
Also scheduled to be honored at the event are Teacher of the Year, Jasmine Oxley of Viera and Volunteer of the Year, Bruce A. Blitman of Pembroke Pines.
“I commend these leaders on their commitment and service to helping the next generation of Floridians make informed decisions about our society’s future,” said Justice Lewis. “Their stories exemplify how professional attorneys and judges, through Justice Teaching, are having a profound positive influence on the youth and citizens of our state.”
Justice Teaching is a statewide effort by judges and lawyers to engage students in the workings of the justice system. Justice Lewis founded Justice Teaching in 2006, with the ultimate goal to pair a legal professional with every elementary, middle and high school in Florida. Today, the organization has more than 4,000 volunteer lawyers and judges, delivering interactive civics lessons in Florida schools.
ST. LUCIE CLERK EMPLOYEES DONATE $800 TO M.I.S.S. OF THE TREASURE COAST
ST. LUCIE CLERK EMPLOYEES DONATE $800 TO BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS
Deputy Clerks at the St. Lucie County Clerk’s office recently donated $800 to Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County.
As part of the Clerk’s office ongoing charitable giving initiatives, the Clerk’s office partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs to support their Star Wars themed Mets game on Saturday, May 6. A portion of the donation purchased 75 tickets for children to attend the game. The donation also supported the non-profit’s programs that promise kids a great future by keeping them safe and off the streets.
Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County promotes youth development, working with young people from disadvantaged economic, social and family circumstances. The nonprofit’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those most in need to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Other charities benefiting from the Clerk’s charitable giving this year include M.I.S.S. of the Treasure Coast, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity. The funds are raised through employee activities.
M. Jordi Zaragoza, P.A.
St. Lucie Criminal Defense Attorney
In our years of practice of criminal defense, the goal has always been to deliver the most effective results for each and every one of our esteemed clients. That core principle is backed by a true commitment to treating clients with the attention and respect they so rightfully deserve.
The St. Lucie County Clerk’s office donated $800 to M.I.S.S. of the Treasure Coast. As part of the Clerk’s office ongoing charitable giving initiatives, more than 30 Deputy Clerks and their loved ones also volunteered at M.I.S.S. The volunteers painted M.I.S.S.’s Sammy’s Landing location, which consists of two apartment dwellings and a clubhouse, on a Saturday morning.
“I’m proud to lead a team of caring and knowledgeable professionals that consistently invest their time, money and heart into local charities,” Clerk Smith said as he and his team presented the donation. “M.I.S.S. is instrumental in providing housing and support services to women in our community.”
M.I.S.S. provides housing and support services to low-income single female heads of household. M.I.S.S.’s mission is to meet the needs of disadvantaged families by empowering single mothers to gain self-sufficiency.
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