Justice Barbara J. Pariente
Justice Pariente’s legal and judicial career has spanned over 43 years. She has been a Justice since 1997 and served as Chief Justice from 2004 through 2006. She has been a Floridian since 1973, having been born in New York City in 1948 and attended public schools in New York and New Jersey. She graduated with highest honors from Boston University. She then attended George Washington University Law School, where she graduated fifth in her class in 1973, earning highest honors and membership in the Order of the Coif. She moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1973 for a two year judicial clerkship with United States District Court Judge Norman C. Roettger, Jr., of the Southern District of Florida.
After her judicial clerkship, Justice Pariente settled in West Palm Beach, where she joined the law firm of Cone, Wagner and Nugent in 1975 and became a partner in 1977. In 1983, she formed the law firm of Pariente & Silber, P.A. In both firms, she specialized in civil trial litigation. She earned certification by the Florida Bar as a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer as well as nationally by The National Board of Trial Advocacy. She was awarded an AV rating, the highest available, by Martindale-Hubbell. During her eighteen years in private practice, Justice Pariente served on the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, the Florida Bar Civil Rules Committee, and the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission. She was instrumental in organizing Palm Beach County's first Bench-Bar Conference. She was a founding member and master of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the American Inns of Court, and was very active in the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, serving on its Board of Directors for many years.
In September 1993, Justice Pariente was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, where she served until her appointment as the seventy-seventh Justice of the Florida Supreme Court on December 10, 1997. During her time on the Supreme Court, she has worked to improve methods for handling cases involving families and children in the courts. Since 2010, she has served as the Chief-Justice’s designee to the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.
Justice Pariente co-chairs the National Association of Women Judges’ Judicial Independence Committee which works on issues relating to the independence of the judiciary, particularly as they affect women and minority judges. It oversees the Informed Voters - Fair Judges Project (IVP). IVP is a non-partisan voter education project designed to educate voters about the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary and has appeared in numerous forums on that subject.
Justice Pariente chaired the Supreme Court's Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Courts, which works collaboratively to improve methods for handling cases involving children and families so that the interests and need of the child are paramount from 2010 to 2016. She regulary meets with family court judges and staffs throughout Florida's judicial circuits, promotes judicial education on the unified family court and advocates for improved case management, case coordination, and non-adversarial methods of resolving these disputes.
Justice Pariente has also actively supported programs that promote successful alternatives to incarceration such as Florida's drug courts. For over a decade, she served as the liaison to the Supreme Court's Task Force on Treatment-Based Drug Courts and she helped to organize the first statewide conference on drug courts.
Based on her longstanding commitment to children, Justice Pariente has served as a mentor to students through Take Stock in Children, a program for helping economically disadvantaged students earn a college scholarship. She is proud that one mentee, whom she began mentoring in ninth grade, has since graduated from college and law school.
Justice Pariente was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame in 2008. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the American College of Trial Lawyers' Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Award recognizing a judge for exemplary judicial independence in the performance of his or her duties, the George Washington University's Distinguished Alumni Award, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers' Jurist of the Year Award, the Florida Association of School Social Workers' Lifetime Achievement Award, the Palm Beach County League of Women Voters Good
Government Award, the William M. Hoeveler Judicial Professionalism Award, the Visionary Award of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, the Jewish Museum of Florida's Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award, the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Distinguished Judicial Service Award, the Florida Association of Women Lawyers' Award in recognition of lifelong dedication to the success of women lawyers in the legal profession, the American Bar Association's Law Day Speech Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Palm Beach County Jewish Federation and the Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society Civil Litigation Pro Bono Award. In 2012, she received the "Gracias Award" by the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association.
Justice Pariente's past publications include a contribution to the American Bar Association’s Judicial Independence Essay Series, entitled “What’s Politics Have to Do with It!: Reinvigorating Our Defense of State Courts”; the University of Florida Levin College of Law’s Florida Law Review which she co-authored, entitled “A New Era for Judicial Retention Elections: The Rise of and Defense Against Unfair Political Attacks”. Volume 68, Number 6 (November 2016); a contribution to Voir Dire, a publication of the American Board of Trial Advocates, entitled “Preserving a Fair and Impartial Judiciary – the Cornerstone of Our Democracy. Volume 22, Issue 1 (Spring 2015); Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender entitled “A Symposium with Women Chiefs” at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Volume 13, No. 2 (April 2007); a contribution to Women Trial Lawyers: How They Succeed in Practice and in the Courtroom (Prentice-Hall 1987); and a contribution to the Saint Thomas Law Review Symposium Issue: “Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Clinical Legal Education and Legal Skills Training” St. Thomas Law.Review (Spring 2005). In addition, she authored an article in the Florida Bar Journal entitled "A Profession for the New Millennium: Restoring Public Trust and Confidence in Our System of Justice." 74 Fla. B.J. 50 (January 2000) and co-authored an article in the Florida Bar Journal entitled "Teaching Them a Lesson," 77 Fla. B.J. 6 (June 2003) about girls in the Juvenile Justice system.
Justice Pariente is married to the Honorable Frederick A. Hazouri, who retired in January 2013 as a judge of the Fourth District Court of Appeal and now serves as a mediator. Together, they have three married children and ten grandchildren, all of whom live in Florida. In 2003, Justice Pariente shared with the public her successful treatment for breast cancer, in hopes of promoting greater awareness of this disease that strikes one in eight American women.