The Florida Bar


January 20, 2011
Dorohn A. Frazier;,
The Florida Bar
(850) 561-5764

The Honorable Susan G. Sexton, of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, in Tampa, will receive the 2011 Distinguished Judicial Service Award. The award, which honors outstanding and sustained service to the public especially as it relates to support of pro bono legal services, will be presented by Chief Justice Charles T. Canady at a Jan. 27 ceremony at the Florida Supreme Court.

In 1986, Judge Sexton became the first woman elected to the circuit court bench in Hillsborough County. While currently assigned to the Criminal Justice Division, Post Conviction Relief, over the past 20 years, Judge Sexton has worked in virtually every division in the circuit. A majority of her service, however, was in the probate, guardianship and mental health division.

Judge Sexton helped to begin the Elder Task Force, which involved the community in devising ways for senior citizens to have full access to the court system. The result was the creation of an Elder Justice Center to provide links to various services as well as a mechanism for ongoing monitoring of guardianship cases. The program has been a model for similar programs around the United States and received the Justice Achievement Award from The National Association for Court Management and the Governor’s Peace at Home Award in 2002. In 1999, the Department of Elder Affairs honored Judge Sexton for her dedicated service to Florida’s elder population.

Judge Sexton launched a program for guardian advocacy. Through guardian advocacy, parents can continue to assist their developmentally disabled children once they turn 18. Judge Sexton drafted legislation with the goal of assisting these parents. Then-Gov. Charlie Crist signed this bill into law in 2008.

Judge Sexton has served as a member and past president of the Ferguson White American Inn of Court. She is a former member of the Supreme Court Commission on Fairness and currently is a member of the Probate Rules Committee and the Executive Council of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar.

A founding board member of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Judge Sexton served on the board of directors from 1987 through 2000.

This year's awards ceremony, which also honors individual, circuit, young lawyer, law firm and voluntary bar pro bono efforts, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 27, at 3:30 p.m. at the Florida Supreme Court. The program will be broadcast taped-delayed at a later date. Check local cable listings for details and on the Internet at .


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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."

[Revised: 01-20-2011]