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RadioActive—Backlogged: Changing the Miami-Dade County Family Court System

By Michael Matthiesen posted Jan 15, 2014 at 07:29 PM

Sunday @6PM, As a court of first and last resort -- the family court system in Miami-Dade County is over burdened. When the United States has a 34% divorce rate -- funding and time becomes an issue for the courts when handeling topics like domestic violence, timesharing, and child support. Former Chief Judge Joel H. Brown for the 11th Circuit Court will speak on-air about the problems the family court system faces, and what can be done to solve them.



Joel H. Brown was elected by his colleagues as Chief Judge of the 11thCircuit in February, 2009.  He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1971 and practiced as a civil trial attorney for 19 years prior to being appointed to the County Court in 1990 by former Governor Bob Martinez.  Subsequently, he served as Associate Administrative Judge of the County Court, Criminal Traffic Division, and then served as Administrative Judge of the County Court, Criminal Division.  In 1994, Governor Lawton Chiles appointed him to the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida where he served in various divisions with increasing levels of responsibility, ultimately being named Administrative Judge of the Family Division from 2001 to 2009.

During his tenure as Administrative Judge of the Family Division, Brown was responsible for the creation of the Family Division’s “Odyssey” program, which is the first to go paperless.  In County Criminal Court, he instituted the first paperless program, known as “Spirit.”  In addition, to “Odyssey” and “Spirit” Brown led the movement to establish a “mobile court” that enable members of the community to maintain access to the courts while the branch courthouse was closed temporarily for renovations.

Awards include:  Who’s Who in American Law (3rdEdition);  Dade County Bar Association – Award of Excellence, 2013;  South Florida Shomrim Society – Person of the Year Award – 2012;  Miami Beach High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame, Inductee – 2012;  The Miami Jewish Legal Society; The Rodef Sholom Award (Pursuer of Peace) – 2012;  Cuban American Bar Association – Paver Award- 2012; Spanish American League Against Discrimination; Diversity in the Judiciary Award-2011;  Sabadell United Bank Sabadell’s Community Service Award – 2011; The First Family American Inns of Court, Judicial Leadership Award – 2008.

Joel Brown is a native Floridian.  He was born, grew up and spent his formative years in Miami Beach.  He attended the University of Florida, majoring in accounting and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and is a graduate of the University of Florida  School of Law with a Juris Doctorate degree.  Joel Brown is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and received the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell of AV.  He is admitted to practice in Florida, Colorado, United State District Court for the Southern District, United States Court of Appeals for the 11thJudicial Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.

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