Most Outstanding Jurist Award Given to the Most Outstanding Jurist
By: Lindsay L. Tygart, 4th Judicial Circuit YLD Board of Governors Representative
This year, The Florida Bar YLD Board of Governors was proud to present the Most Outstanding Jurist Award to The Honorable Gary P. Flower out of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Jacksonville, Florida. Having known Judge Flower since I was an intern working at the Office of the Public Defender in Jacksonville, before I started law school, I felt especially privileged to present him with this honor. As a jurist, Judge Flower has a reputation for making sound decisions and every litigant who appears before him feels like they received an impartial hearing conducted with appropriate temperament and received a prompt ruling. Judge Flower has an unblemished record of integrity as a lawyer and Judge. Because of his promotion of professionalism and ethics in the Jacksonville community, Judge Flower founded the Florida Family Law Inns of Court, a Chapter of the American Inns of Court. Judge Flower is still an active participant in the Inn, serving as a mentor and an example to the associate barrister members. Judge Flower is a shining example of respect and civility for all lawyers, especially young lawyers.
Judge Flower is a fixture at Bar related activities. Whether it is a monthly Bar Association luncheon, an Inns of Court meeting in the evening, or a Judicial Luncheon, lawyers in Jacksonville can always count on seeing Judge Flower there. However, Judge Flower has a special place in his heart for young lawyers. From being a professor at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville to serving as a speaker or presenter for one of the programs run by the Young Lawyers Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association, Judge Flower never says “no”. I have had the privilege of serving on the Young Lawyers Board of Governors for the Jacksonville Bar Association for the past seven (7) years and I can personally attest to Judge Flower’s dedication and willingness to assist young lawyers – whether it is being called at the last minute to serve on a Judicial Panel, being in attendance at a YLS networking event, or being asked to swear the new Board into office – we can always count on Judge Flower.
I have no doubt that there were many outstanding nominees for the Most Outstanding Jurist Award this year, but no one is more deserving than Judge Flower. He is a true servant of the people, a respected mentor and a dear friend. His record of service to the community and the Bar is remarkable and he is always there for young lawyers to give advice or to listen to a concern and offer assistance. For those of us who are fortunate enough to know him and are lucky enough to practice here in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, we are so proud of our Most Outstanding Jurist Award recipient, Judge Flower!