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January 12, 2023
CONTACT: Jennifer Krell Davis, [email protected]
The Florida Bar

The Hon. Ronald Ficarrotta

The Hon. Ronald Ficarrotta

The Hon. Ronald Ficarrotta, Chief Judge on the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Tampa, is the recipient of the 2023 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 Carlos G. Muñiz in a Jan. 26 ceremony streamed live by the Supreme Court of Florida.

Chief Judge Ficarrotta is a champion of pro bono work and those who provide it, and as the 13th Judicial Circuit’s chief judge, has long helmed the circuit-wide tradition of pro bono service and community work.

Chief Judge Ficarrotta has long supported and championed for the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) of Bay Area Legal Services, providing staff with rent-free office space inside the courthouse, where they may provide legal clinics and connect volunteer attorneys with underserved individuals who need legal representation.

Under Chief Judge Ficarrotta’s leadership, 13th Judicial Circuit pro bono accomplishments include assisting hundreds of pro se litigants each year through the VLP’s Family Forms Clinic (FFC) and connecting thousands of pro bono cases with volunteer attorneys.

His support of the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Annual 5K Pro Bono River Run and Judicial Food Fest has resulted in thousands of pro bono hours being pledged and performed.

Chief Judge Ficarrotta’s leadership has served as an example for the VLP’s panel of over 1,000 volunteer attorneys. He also advocates for pro bono service among his peers, encouraging his judicial colleagues to support pro bono efforts by attorneys and ensuring that the 13th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is active.

Note: Support of pro bono legal services by members of the bench is an activity that relates to improvement of the administration of justice. Accordingly, a judge may engage in activities intended to encourage attorneys to perform pro bono services, including, but not limited to participating in events to recognize attorneys who do pro bono work, establishing general procedural or scheduling accommodations for pro bono attorneys as feasible, and acting in an advisory capacity to pro bono programs.

This year’s awards ceremony, which also honors Individual, Circuit, Voluntary Bar, Law Firm, Young Lawyers Division and Distinguished Federal Judicial Service, pro bono efforts, takes place at the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 3:30 p.m. Watch it live on FacebookWFSU: Gavel to Gavel and the Florida Channel.

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