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August 15, 2017
Court honors Judges Kelly and Ramsberger

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga presented an award for excellence to Miami-Dade Judge Carroll J. Kelly and Sixth Circuit Judge Peter R. Ramsberger

Judge Kelly was appointed to the Miami-Dade bench in 1999. She serves as the administrative judge in the Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Division. She is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.

“Her ability to truly care for and about the people we come in contact with each day adds to her extensive list of training, knowledge, and attributes and sets her apart from many others,” according to the nomination letter for Judge Kelly. “Her knowledge, leadership insight, dedication, and empathy have significantly improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of families.”

Judge Kelly has written grants to bring thousands of dollars into the community for domestic violence projects, helped coordinate and train attorneys to participate in a pro bono program that represents children in families unsettled by domestic violence, and created education programs and resources to help domestic violence litigants better understand the cycle of violence.

In 2014, under the auspices of the Florida Institute on Interpersonal Violence, she co-created a two-phase regional training for Florida judges, with the goal of enhancing statewide consistency and uniformity in the handling of domestic violence cases. She is a faculty member of the Florida Judicial College, co-created the Florida Institute on Interpersonal Violence, and is chair of Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, among many other professional and civic activities.

“Her experience and qualifications are only perhaps outmatched by her judicial courage and integrity, as well as her character,” according to a letter in support of her nomination from County Judge Gina Beovides. “Judge Kelly is a source of pride for Miami-Dade County judges and possesses all the tangible and intangible qualities that personify judicial excellence.”

Judge Ramsberger was elected to the Pinellas County bench in 1990 and appointed to his position in the Sixth Circuit in 1997. He has created, prepared, revised, and presented more judicial education programs than any other judge in Florida — he’s taught at least 100 judicial education programs. His nomination and letters of support highlighted his humor, humility, inclusiveness, and an overall exceptionally warm judicial demeanor. Judge Ramsberger is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Florida State University College of Law.

“Judge Ramsberger personifies judicial excellence, strength of character, integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, sound judgment, professional ethics, intellectual courage, compassion, and decisiveness,” wrote Miami-Dade County Judge Kelly. “He also possesses the unusual trait of humbleness.”

He teaches at Florida judicial education forums and has co-created two intensive programs, successive versions of the Florida Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. He has taught these two programs in 10 regional locations. The Florida Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence has served more than 200 judges.

“Judge Ramsberger has taught generations of judges not only the nuts and bolts of family law, but also why it is sometimes necessary for family judges to go above and beyond the call of duty when a family is in crisis and needs help,” wrote 12th Judicial Circuit Judge Donna Padar Berlin, in a letter in support of his nomination. “Thanks to Judge Ramsberger, ‘Famstock’ (as the family law track is affectionately known at the Florida Judicial College) is the only track with a heart.”

He taught nine programs in different circuits around the state during fiscal 2014-16, with more than 170 judges attending. The effort saved taxpayers an estimated $375,000.

[Revised: 01-15-2018]