Justice James Bryan Whitfield
Former Justice James Whitfield was the 33rd Justice on the Florida Supreme Court and served from 1904-1943.
His family moved to Leon County in 1863. He graduated from the West Florida Seminary, the University of Virginia, and passed his bar exam in Florida in 1886. He returned to Tallahassee to serve as secretary to Governor Edward Perry.
In 1889, Whitfield was appointed clerk of the Florida Supreme Court where he served until 1897. Following a scandal involving the incumbent state treasurer, Governor William Jennings appointed him to that post.
In 1903, the governor appointed him state attorney general. Finally, in 1904, the governor appointed him to the Florida Supreme Court.
For many years, Justice Whitfield had the distinction of having been the longest serving justice in Florida Supreme Court history. Though now the second-longest serving justice, a number of his published opinions were accepted as authoritative in Florida and other states, including Montgomery v. State, from 1908, in which it was found unlawful to exclude prospective jurors from trials because they were black.
Succeeding generations of Whitfields have produced still more public servants. Justice Whitfield's Grandfather, James Bryan Whitfield, served in the North Carolina Senate. His father, Richard A. Whitfield, became a Leon County judge after moving to Tallahassee during the Civil War. Justice Whitfield's brother, Talbot Whitfield, served with distinction for many years as the Clerk of the Supreme Court.
And to this day the tradition of service has not ended. Justice Whitfield's grandnephew is Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, former President of Florida State University and former President of the American Bar Association.
Quick facts about Justice Whitfield:
- Served February 15, 1904 – January 4, 1943 as Justice,
- Served January 10, 1905 – June 12, 1905; January 6, 1909 – January 1913 and January 8, 1935 – January 1937 as Chief Justice [appointed at age 43]
- Second longest-serving justice
- Served as Supreme Court Clerk from 1889-1897
- Born: November 8, 1860 - Wayne County, North Carolina
- August 21, 1948, Tallahassee, Florida
- County Judge: No.
- Circuit Judge: No.
- Justice James E.C. Perry
- Justice Kenneth B. Bell
- Justice Raoul G. Cantero
- Justice Peggy A. Quince
- Justice R. Fred Lewis
- Justice Barbara J. Pariente
- Justice Harry Lee Anstead
- Justice Charles Talley Wells
- Justice Major B. Harding
- Justice Gerald Kogan
- Justice Stephen H. Grimes
- Justice Rosemary Barkett
- Justice Leander J. Shaw, Jr.
- Justice Raymond Ehrlich
- Justice Parker Lee McDonald
- Justice James E. Alderman
- Justice Frederick Brennan Karl
- Justice Joseph Woodrow Hatchett
- Justice Alan C. Sundberg
- Justice Arthur J. England, Jr.
- Justice Ben. F. Overton
- Justice Hal P. Dekle
- Justice David Lucius McCain
- Justice Joseph Arthur Boyd, Jr.
- Justice James Calhoun Adkins, Jr.
- Justice Vassar Benjamin Carlton
- Justice Wade Lee Hopping
- Justice Richard William Ervin
- Justice Millard Fillmore Caldwell
- Justice Stephen C. O'Connell
- Justice Benjamin Campbell Thornal
- Justice Edward Harris Drew
- Justice John Elie Mathews
- Justice Bonnie Kaslo Roberts
- Justice Tolbert Frank Hobson
- Justice Paul Dryden Barns
- Justice Harold Leon "Tom" Sebring
- Justice Alto Lee Adams
- Justice Elwyn Thomas
- Justice Roy Harrison Chapman
- Justice Fred Henry Davis
- Justice Rivers Henderson Buford
- Justice Louie Willard Strum
- Justice Armstead Brown
- Justice William Glenn Terrell
- Justice Thomas Franklin West
- Justice Jefferson Beale Browne
- Justice William Hull Ellis
- Justice Charles Breckenridge Parkhill
- Justice James Bryan Whitfield
- Justice William Adams Hocker
- Justice Evelyn Croom Maxwell
- Justice Robert Spratt Cockrell
- Justice Thomas M. Shackleford
- Justice Francis Beauregard Carter
- Justice Benjamin Sullivan Liddon
- Justice Milton Harvey Mabry
- Justice Robert Fenwick Taylor
- Justice Henry Laurens Mitchell
- Justice Geoge Pettus Raney
- Justice George Gray Mcwhorter
- Justice Robert Bruce Van Valkenburgh
- Justice Franklin D. Fraser
- Justice James Diament Westcott, Jr.
- Justice Ossian Bingley Hart
- Justice Edwin M. Randall
- Justice Samuel James Douglas
- Justice James Mcnair Baker
- Justice Augustus Emmet Maxwell
- Justice David Shelby Walker
- Justice William Augustus Forward
- Justice Bird Murphy Pearson
- Justice Charles H. Dupont
- Justice Benjamin D. Wright
- Justice Albert Gallatin Semmes
- Justice Leslie Atchinson Thompson
- Justice Walker Anderson
- Justice Joseph Bradford Lancaster
- Justice George W. Macrae
- Justice George Sydney Hawkins
- Justice Thomas Baltzell
- Justice Thomas Douglas