Justice Hal P. Dekle

Former Justice Hal Dekle was the 61st Justice on the Supreme Court. He served from 1971 to 1975.

He was a fourth-generation Floridian.  He went to local schools in Marianna and attended Stetson University College of Law, graduating in 1940.  He had just started a law practice in Tallahassee when he was called up for service in the United States Army in World War II.  Dekle was commissioned a lieutenant in the quartermaster corps and finished his military service with a captain’s rank. 

When he returned to civilian life, he started a law practice in Miami and participated extensively in civic and community-service organizations.  He began his judicial career with an appointment in 1956 to the Dade County Civil Court of Record. 

In 1960, Dekle was appointed to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, in Miami, and in 1968, when three seats on the Florida Supreme Court opened, he ran for one of those positions, and won. 

In 1974, he became involved in a scandal related to having received a draft opinion on a case written by one of the opposing lawyers in that case.  Impeachment proceedings were started against him in 1975.  Rather than go through the turmoil of an impeachment hearing, Dekle resigned from the court and took up the private practice of law for the remainder of his life.

Justice Dekle served from January 5, 1971 to April 30, 1975. He was born in Marianna, Florida, November 21, 1917, and died May 23, 2005, in Brandon, Florida.

 

Former Justices

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