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Goerner becomes first African-American woman elected to the Seminole bench

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Judge Goerner takes the oath of office

Judge Donna Goerner takes the oath of office from retired Justice James E.C. Perry.

The recent investiture ceremony for Circuit Judge Donna Goerner marked the first time an African-American woman was elected as a circuit judge in the 18th Circuit.

Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince spoke at the January 22  ceremony at the Lake Mary High School auditorium. Seminole County’s first African American appointed circuit judge, retired Justice James E.C. Perry, administered the oath of office.

“I am humbled and honored by the encouragement and support of so many,” Goerner said. “I am especially grateful for every voter who decided that I was the best candidate for this position. I have always been and will remain committed to upholding the laws and the Constitution of the United States.”

Due to the pandemic, safety protocols, including masks, social distancing, and increased sanitation measures were in place.

Judge Goerner earned her B.A. in business administration at the University of Florida and received her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1995.

“I look forward to continuing to serve the community that has been my home since graduating from law school,” said Judge Goerner. “I love this community and the people in it.”

Administrative Judge Jessica Recksiedler said she is delighted to see more diversity within the judicial branch.

“We welcome Judge Goerner to the 18th Judicial Circuit family,” said Judge Recksiedler. “She has a keen legal mind and brings a unique perspective to the bench. Her experience in both the private and public sectors, as a prosecutor and defense attorney, will serve our community well.”

News in Photos