Community Interest

HIGH SPRINGS – Former High Springs attorney and Circuit Court Judge David A. Glant, announced his early retirement from the bench on Thursday, June 13, 2013, at the age of 63. Glant, who has been dealing with cancer the past few years, said he felt he was physically unable to meet his own high expectations.

In 1989, Glant set up his law practice in High Springs. He lived in Ft. White for four years and then moved to High Springs in 1994, where he remained in private practice until he was elected to the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida in 2002.

The Eighth Judicial Circuit consists of 13 judges and serves Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties.

Being a judge has been Glant’s aspiration since law school. During his third year at the University of Florida, he clerked for the Honorable Judge John A.H. Murphree. “I traveled with him to the six counties he covered. It really gave me a fire to want to do that job,” Glant said.

“I was practicing law in High Springs when the state legislature created a brand new seat in this district,” he said. “I ran for it against a couple of other opponents and won the 2002 election.” Glant, who still lives in High Springs, was eventually also appointed Administrative Judge – Criminal Division in 2009.

“An administrative judge handles administrative matters for the division,” said Glant. “When there is new case law to be disseminated, we share it with the other judges. We’re there to help determine how the criminal division is run, but we are not ‘over’ the other judges,” he said. “We’re there to help the other judges. We are a very collegial body that helps each other all the time.”

Glant explained that some judges get appointed and some get elected. Because Glant is retiring before the end of his term, the governor will appoint someone to his seat. The 8th District Judicial Nominating Committee, made up of citizens, attorneys and people from other professions, will come together to create a blended panel. “They ultimately send up to six names to the governor for him to choose from and the governor makes the final appointment,” said Glant.

“I have had two satisfying careers and I did the best I could in both instances. I don’t feel I need to accomplish anything else. This job is very demanding physically and mentally,” he said.

“It has been a tremendous career. I practiced law 23 to 24 years and have been a judge for 10 ½ years. It’s been a great experience and I feel I helped a lot of people along the way. It [retirement] was a painful decision because I love the job, but it was the right decision,” he said. “That’s what judges do…they make hard decisions.”

Stacy A. Scott, Public Defender for the 8th Judicial District, commented that Judge Glant “was a very experienced judge. He respected the rule of law. He was a tough sentencer for criminal defendants, but was consistently tough,” she said.

As an example of how tough he could be, Scott said she had heard that Alachua County jail inmates nicknamed him, “Father Time.”

“I didn’t always agree with the sentences that he gave out, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He treated everyone fairly. He didn’t play favorites. He applied his way of judging people the same way no matter who the defendant was,” she explained.

“Clients knew what to expect from him because he would tell them up front, ‘You’re getting probation. But if you violate your probation in any way, you will go to jail.’ And that is what he would do.”

“He evenly dealt out his sentences according to his moral beliefs and the law,” she said. “I felt lucky to have spent time with him outside of the court and you couldn’t meet a nicer person. I like him personally and respected him as a judge,” she said.

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