Chief Judge Sjostrom named Hoeveler Judicial Professionalism Award winner
The Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism and the Standing Committee on Professionalism named Second Circuit Chief Judge Jonathan Sjostrom the 2021 William M. Hoeveler Judicial Professionalism Award winner.
The award recognizes an active judge who best exemplifies strength of character, service, and competence as a jurist, lawyer, and public servant.
Since 2002, Chief Judge Sjostrom has been a member of the judiciary. He earned his law degree from Florida State University College of Law with honors and was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1989. He began his legal career with Steel Hector & Davis, one of Florida’s oldest law firms, in Miami and Tallahassee, predominately in the areas of business, civil rights, public utilities, and government procurement litigation.
He was unanimously elected chief judge in July of 2015. This year, he was re-elected as chief judge for a fourth two-year term. Currently, Chief Judge Sjostrom sits as the lone circuit judge in Franklin County, presiding over everything from family law, to civil law, dependency court, probate, and first-degree murder cases. He has served in every judicial division in the Second Judicial Circuit.
“Chief Judge Sjostrom continuously demonstrates the ideals of professionalism outside his role as a jurist by serving on the Leon County Children’s Services Council,” according to the Center for Professionalism. “He helps guide the committee in the following three areas of focus: success in school and life, healthy children and families, and stable and nurturing families and communities. He also served twice as chair of the Judicial Administration Committee, that consists of the 20-trial court chief judges, and the officers of the conference. He also served as the immediate past chair for a two-year term of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges.”
In recognition of his professionalism and service to the community, Chief Judge Sjostrom received the Whole Child Leon “Warrior for Children” award in September 2020. In 2016, the Tallahassee Chapter of the American Board of Trial Attorneys awarded Sjostrom the Trial Judge of the Year Award. He was also a lead instructor/coordinator of the Chief Judge and Trial Court Administrator Education Program in 2017 and 2019. This course prepares new chief judges and trial court administrators to assume their future roles and responsibilities. He also routinely serves as a mentor judge to newly appointed or elected judges.
“Chief Judge Sjostrom is the epitome of professionalism and public service,” according the Center for Professionalism. “He is committed to the ideals of professionalism in his courtroom and models best practices of civility, competence, and strength of character to anyone who steps in it. It is notable that Judge Sjostrom was nominated by fellow judges. He is the embodiment of professionalism in the judiciary.”