Justices of the Florida Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Florida
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Tallahassee Florida

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Justice Joseph Arthur Boyd, Jr.

(Dade)  [served 18 years]
Served January 7, 1969 –January 6, 1987 as Justice
Served July 1, 1984 – June 30, 1986 as Chief Justice  [elected at age 52]
b. Jackson County, Georgia, November 16, 1916     d. October 26, 2007, Tallahassee, Florida
County Judge:  No.          Circuit Judge:  No.           Court of Appeal Judge:  No.   

Joe Boyd started his law training at Mercer University.  In 1939, he moved to Florida, served in the Marines during World War II, and then graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1948.  He practiced law for 20 years in Hialeah.  He served as president of the Hialeah-Miami Springs Chamber of Commerce in 1956, was elected to the Dade County Commission and served as its chairman in 1963, and was elected vice-mayor in 1967.  Boyd was also an active member of many civic organizations throughout his life.

In 1968, Boyd decided to run for the Florida Supreme Court, won the Democratic primary and then the general election.  Never having been a judge and finding himself out of his element in rural Tallahassee led to Boyd expressing discomfort in dealing with his new job.  He became involved in a scandal involving personal communications with an attorney on one side of a case before the court.  Coupled with ethical lapses among several other justices serving at the same time, Boyd was reprimanded and considered for impeachment in the Florida Senate.  He submitted to a psychiatric exam as part of his defense.  In the end, he was exonerated and served another term on the court, though he was passed over for the office of chief justice until the final two years of his term.  He practiced law in Tallahassee with his son’s law firm in his retirement.

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