SPACE COAST DAILY Q&A: Meet Judge David Dugan of the Eighteenth Circuit Court

By  //  February 26, 2018

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Florida's Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, composed of Brevard and Seminole counties

THE HONORABLE DAVID DUGAN has been a Circuit Judge since 1998. Judge Dugan was re-elected in 2004 and 2010 without opposition.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an effort to familiarize the public with our elected Brevard County judges, Space Coast Daily sat down with Judge David Dugan of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, composed of Brevard and Seminole counties to learn more about the background, interests and experience of these vital people in our community.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Judge Dugan, thank you for sitting down with Space Coast Daily. What type of cases do you preside over?
JUDGE DUGAN: I’m a circuit judge, assigned to the felony criminal division. I work at the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Justice Center.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Please describe where you grew up, your high school, college and any post-graduate education.
JUDGE DUGAN: I was born in Missouri and followed my family to Georgia and then Florida. I have lived in Florida since 1969. I graduated from Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach, Fl.; The University of Florida (Go Gators!); and from Stetson University College of Law.

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SPACE COAST DAILY: Please describe some of the obstacles you faced in your early life or career.
JUDGE DUGAN: I lived on my own since late high school, and worked full time to support myself during high school, college and law school.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Please describe some of the things you like best about living and working in Brevard County.
JUDGE DUGAN: Brevard’s schools and facilities are first rate. We have beaches, parks, and a hometown feel. Brevard County has all of the nature and casual way of life of a small town, with all of the amenities of a big city.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What led you to want to become a judge?
JUDGE DUGAN: I have always loved the law. In my mind, being a judge is the ultimate opportunity to ensure justice and fairness in all matters.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Who or what most inspires you?
JUDGE DUGAN: My biggest inspiration is my lovely wife Lorena. She keeps me grounded, cared for, and shares my love for our community. We both enjoy giving back to Brevard as we volunteer at our church, with the USO, Space Coast Honor Flight, AMI, Spring Praise Fest, The Summit of Seven Youth Leadership program and other community activities.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What other professions did you consider and what other work experiences have you had?
JUDGE DUGAN: Upon graduating from law school I joined the Army and served for 3 years in Germany. I am very proud to have served and have continued to support our troops the best I can. My wife and I regularly volunteer with the USO and with the Space Coast Honor Flight Program.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Without naming names, what have been your top three most memorable experiences on the bench?
JUDGE DUGAN: Each day is unique and memorable. It is critical that all parties have their individual day in court.

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SPACE COAST DAILY: What are the most challenging aspects of your job and what are the strengths and weaknesses of our local judicial system?
JUDGE DUGAN: Each judge handles a large number of cases each day. With the support and resources in place we are able to give each case the time and attention it needs. That said, if I could improve one thing about the court system, I would like to see more public and privately funded treatment programs. Many participants need either substance abuse treatment or mental health treatment, or both. Sadly, there are not enough affordable programs and resources available.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What message do you have for our Space Coast Daily readers
JUDGE DUGAN: Our courtrooms and proceedings are open to the public. Please come and observe.

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