Judge John Dean Moxley To Be Honored With Space Coast Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award

By  //  August 30, 2017

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longest serving Judge in the 18th Circuit

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Judge John Dean Moxley graced the courtrooms of Brevard County for more than 40 years, prosecuting or presiding in over 700 trials during his distinguished career – a legacy of which few can compare. He has proudly served the legal community as a prosecutor, judge and teacher.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In every community there are great men and women who have, by their strength of will and character, become ingrained in the consciousness of our society. They are doers who have made a stand and a commitment for the common good. They are labeled as public servants, but they are truly our natural leaders whose legacies are the milestones of our progress.

Starting now, and throughout the next 30 days, Space Coast Daily is honored to highlight the 2017 Space Coast Public Service Awards honorees, starting with the Lifetime Achievement category.

Below, we present Judge John Dean Moxley, who graced the courtrooms of Brevard County for more than 40 years, prosecuting or presiding in over 700 trials during his distinguished career – a legacy of which few can compare. He has proudly served the legal community as a prosecutor, judge and teacher.

The second annual Space Coast Public Service Awards & Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held Saturday, September 23, inside the Maxwell C. King Center For the Performing Arts. Seating is now available so don’t delay in making your reservations.

Call 321-242-2219 or log on to KingCenter.com for tickets.

The Central Florida American Board of Trial Advocates in November 2012 recognized Judge Dean Moxley, right, as trial judge of the year in Central Florida for his outstanding service and dedication to the preserving the right of civil trial by jury for the citizens of the state of Florida. Judge Moxley is being congratulated by Judge John Antoon, left, who won the award the previous year. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

Judge John Dean Moxley Served Brevard County With Distinction For More Than 40 Years

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – John Dean Moxley was born in Coral Gables, Florida on April 2, 1944 as his father John Dean Moxley, Sr. was stationed there during World War II as a member of the United States Army Air Force.

Judge Moxley’s family was a service family and his father retired as a Lt. Col. in 1955 at Mitchell Air Force Base, New York. He graduated from Clearwater High School in 1962.

Judge Moxley then attended Duke University from 1962 to 1966 for undergraduate studies. He received a degree in Business Administration and was in Air Force ROTC. Upon graduation, he received the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate. Judge Moxley then attended the Duke University School of Law and received a Law degree in 1969.

After passing the Florida bar examination, he was commissioned a captain in the Judge Advocates and served from February 1970 to February 1974 at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

While there, he met Linda who was a registered nurse in the Air Force. They married on May 14, 1971 and have two sons: Chad born June 13, 1972 and Shawn born October 18, 1976.

2017 Space Coast Public Service Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony Set Sept. 23Related Story:
2017 Space Coast Public Service Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony Set Sept. 23

Judge Moxley’s duties at Holloman Air Force Base were to advise the Procurement office and review contracts it entered into, trying courts-martial and administrative proceedings, and giving legal advice to service members requesting it.

After leaving the service in July 1974, he became an Assistant State Attorney for the 18th Circuit. He served until November 1984 when he became a Circuit Judge for an open position that resulted in him being unopposed in the election.

At the State Attorney’s office he became Chief Trial Attorney assisting the other assistants in both trial strategy and trial skills.

Judge Moxley conducted continuing education with the assistants by housing forensic experts speak on their expertise and having the assistants witness significant events such as an autopsy by the Local Medical Examiner. He was active in the courtroom prosecuting first degree murders in both Seminole and Brevard counties and handling special trial assignments.

Clerk of Court Ray Winstead, left, presents the minutes during Judge Dean Moxley, center, and Judge John Antoon’s investiture ceremony on Jan 7, 1985. Elected Circuit Judge in January 1985, Judge Moxley served until January 2015 and became the longest serving Circuit Judge in the 18th Circuit. He served in the probate, guardianship, criminal, civil and family divisions. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

Elected Circuit Judge in January 1985, he served until January 2015 and became the longest serving Circuit Judge in the 18th Circuit. He served in the probate, guardianship, criminal, civil and family divisions.

For 17 years he also administered the Circuit Court Appellate Division, and as part of that duty, he presided over all cases involving extraordinary writs. He handled complex civil cases. One was a securities fraud case involving 592 plaintiffs that took 7 years to conclude.

Another was a case involving the Space Shuttle that resulted in a two month jury trial.

He was elected Chief Judge of the Circuit twice and served from 1995 to 1999.

Part of his duties was to plan for the demobilization of the Rockledge Courthouse and most of the Melbourne Courthouse, and the population of the Viera Courthouse. He conducted summits of the judges to plan that change as well as the layout of the courtrooms and different parts of the facility, working closely with the general contractor.

His extracurricular activities involved the Florida Bar, the Vassar B. Carlton American Inn of Court and the Brevard County Bar Association.

Active in the Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, he became chairman of the sentencing committee 1985 to 1986 at the time the new sentencing guidelines were promulgated. He was elected to the Executive Council of the Criminal Law Section and then elected Chairman of the Criminal Law Section of the Florida Bar from 1991 to 1992.

While on the Executive Council and as Chairman, he became active in teaching trial advocacy to lawyers. On April 7, 1991 the National Institute for Trial Advocacy awarded Judge Moxley a Diploma for Teaching Trial Advocacy Skills at Harvard Law School.

Judge John Dean Moxley, left, during one of many adoptions he presided over during his distinguished career. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

For 15 years at the Prosecutor Public Defender training at University of Florida Law School he taught new prosecutors and public defenders the skills of trial advocacy. For the Trial Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar, he taught experienced civil lawyers trial advocacy for seven years at the University of Florida Law School.

Judge Moxley was also active in the Vassar B. Carlton American Inn of Court. He has been a member for 23 years, and for several years, was on the Executive Board. He became president of the Inn and served 2002 through 2003.

In 2017 he received the Vassar B. Carlton American Inn of Court Mission Award in appreciation for his service as a legal professional.

For his service as a member of the Brevard County judiciary he was presented an award recognizing his dedication to the mission of the Vassar B. Carlton American Inn of Court to promote professionalism, ethics, civility and legal excellence among the members of the legal community.

Judge Moxley has always been on teams for the Inn and has been the captain of several of them.

He was active in the Brevard County Bar Association and received the President’s Award in appreciation of his outstanding service in public and media relations.

On October 12, 2016 after a year of preparation with all participants, he presented for the association a Night with the Super Judges at Eastern Florida State College with regard to problems he had written and which were performed by the members of the Bar Association.

Judges Antoon, Evander, Torpy and Jacobus then provided insight on how the judges think and rule in real life situations.

Judge John Dean Moxley addresses his fellow judges after being invested as Circuit Judge for the 18th Circuit in 1985. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

The Central Florida American Board of Trial Advocates in November 2012 recognized Judge Moxley as trial judge of the year in Central Florida for his outstanding service and dedication to the preserving the right of civil trial by jury for the citizens of the state of Florida.

From February 1970 to date, Judge Moxley has either tried or presided in 700 jury trials.

Since January 2015, Judge Moxley served as a volunteer judge for one year, and is now as an active senior handling in Brevard and Seminole counties civil, probate, guardianship, dependency and criminal cases in both circuit and county court.

Seating for the 2017 Space Coast Public Service Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, is now available so don’t delay in making your reservations. Call 321-242-2219 or log on to KingCenter.com for tickets.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey, center, had the honor of attending the retirement ceremony in 2015 for the Honorable Judge Jack Griesbaum, left, and the Honorable Judge Dean Moxley. Since then, Judge Moxley has served as a volunteer judge for one year, and now as an active senior handling in Brevard and Seminole counties civil, probate, guardianship, dependency and criminal cases in both circuit and county court. (BCSO image)

In additional to his professional contributions to Brevard County and its residents, Judge Dean Moxley, far left, has coached youth soccer for the past 25 years.

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