PBCBA BAR BULLETINS JUNE 2020 BULLETIN - Page 20

JUDICIAL PROFILE CORNER Judge M LAURA J. STARR Judge Surber was born and raised in Farmingville, New York. Upon graduation from high school in New York she received an academic scholarship to Boston University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History. During college, Judge Surber tutored children at the local community center. After completing college, Judge Surber followed her family who had relocated to South Florida. It was her father, a big influence in her life, that suggested she take the LSATs and attend law school. Judge Surber took his advice and was immediately accepted into Nova Southeastern School of Law, which was close to her parents’ home. She loved Nova because it was the first small school she had ever attended. At Nova, Judge Surber excelled and became President of the Public Interest Law Society. It was through a clinic offered by Nova that she gained experience working with the Attorney General’s office in its Children’s Legal Rights section handling dependency and termination of parental rights. Upon graduation from Nova in 1997, Judge Surber worked briefly in the private sector handling landlordtenant, credit card, and debt collection cases before turning her attention to public service. Due to the clinic she took at Nova, Judge Surber knew she wanted to work at the Attorney General’s office but they were not hiring new lawyers at the time. Even so, she applied for an open law clerk position with the Criminal Appeals Division in West Palm Beach. It was then that she met one of her mentor’s, Cele Terenzio, who instead offered her a position as a junior lawyer. For the next twenty years, Judge Surber fulfilled numerous roles, working in Criminal Appeals, she was given the opportunity to work on Jimmy Ryce Appeals, Capital Appeals, was a mentor to young lawyers, and was eventually promoted to the position of Senior Attorney. Judge Surber has been to the Supreme Court of Florida on twenty cases – 8 death penalty cases and 12 criminal appeals. The most notable of her cases is work she performed on the Stand Your Ground Defense. However, Judge Surber’s favorite appeals involve jury related issues. When Judge Surber was hired at the Attorney General’s office, Judge Bonavita mentored her. Judge her to continue to ap to the bench. In one Judge Surber was ass division vacated by has transferred to th The qualities that Jud other judges that she include being respe listening to everyon organized, staying c patience. Judge Surber’s favorit is connection to the new people, and m Judge Surber’s colle have rendered sage everything, you may l “you will need patienc Judge Surber has res for the last 18 years attorney husband w studying for the bar e daughters who are 13 On behalf of the Committee and Palm Association, we welc Surber to the Bench her dedicated servic contribution to the loc at large in the 15th Ju Laura J. Starr is a Brodie, Starr & Margo in Boca Raton and La on the Alternative Di Judicial Relations Com Beach County Bar A her family reside in L sits on the Planning & Commission Advisor concentrates in the a Civil/Business Litig Real Estate transact Construction disputes Insurance disputes, most other arbitratio litigates in Federal, Courts. PBCBA BAR BULL