The Florida Bar


January 17, 2012
Dorohn A. Frazier,
The Florida Bar
(850) 561-5764

The Honorable James M. Barton II, of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, in Tampa, will receive the 2012 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. 26 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.

Judge Barton is a circuit judge in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. He has contributed more than 1,000 hours to pro bono efforts since joining the bench in 1991. Judge Barton served as chair of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee from 1993 – 2010. He is also past chair and a current member of The Florida Bar's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services.

In 2010, Judge Barton helped to launch the ONE campaign, to recruit new pro bono attorneys and support local pro bono projects. Judge Barton assisted in securing office space in the Hillsborough County Courthouse for Bay Area Legal Services. He also implemented the Pro Se Forms Assistance Project, which provides help to pro se litigants.

Judge Barton graduated from Tulane University in 1971 and from Vanderbilt University College of Law in 1974. He began his legal career in 1974 as a law clerk at the Florida First District Court of Appeal. He served from 1981 to1985 as assistant attorney general, Department of Legal Affairs, Tallahassee; and from 1985 to 1990 as assistant state attorney, Hillsborough County. He also formerly served as a county and administrative judge.

Judge Barton is past president of the J. Clifford Cheatwood Inn of Court and past chair of the Supreme Court Pro Bono Committee. He chairs the Supreme Court Civil Jury Instruction Committee and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Judicial Automated Data System Committee, Security Committee and Jury Management Committee. He is an active member of the Brandon 86 Rotary Club.

Judge Barton is the recipient of numerous awards, including: Jimmy Kynes Pro Bono Award 1993; James M. "Red" McEwen Memorial Award 1991 to 1992; 1995 and 2010 Robert W. Patton Outstanding Jurist Award; and the 1996 William Reece Smith Jr. Award for Public Service from Stetson College of Law.

This year's awards ceremony, which also honors individual, circuit, law firm, young lawyer and voluntary bar pro bono efforts, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26, at 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida at the Supreme Court of Florida and will be webcast live from The program will be rebroadcast taped-delayed on the Florida Channel at a later date. Check local cable listings for details.

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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: 07-08-2012]