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- 2012 - September - 5th -

Workspace: Duval County Judge Gary Flower

by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer

Long before Duval County Judge Gary Flower was digging through case law as a law student at Stetson University College of Law, he was digging up artifacts at Revolutionary and Civil War sites along the East Coast.

His passion for the law and history combine in his chambers at the new Duval County Courthouse.

“My father was one of the early artifact hunters in the 1950s. As soon as I was old enough to follow him around, I was out in the field,” said Flower.

His collection of relics and metal detectors has grown over the years, and much of what he has found is on display in his chambers.

“I’ve never sold anything. I’ve given it to museums. Everything we’ve found in the LaVilla area has been donated to the LaVilla Museum,” said Flower.

By his last count, Flower claims to have about 450 artillery shells in his collection.

“It’s just fascinating to go to these places where these major battles happened and experience the history,” said Flower.

Pictures on the wall of his office depict those battles and he also collects scenes of the battlefields he has visited.

Flower was appointed to the bench in January 2000 by former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Before the appointment, Flower was appointed by the chief judge as a magistrate and child support hearing officer.

Soon after passing The Florida Bar examination, Flower was hired in 1987 by then-State Attorney Ed Austin as an assistant state attorney.

During his tenure at the State Attorney’s Office, Flower was assigned to the Special Prosecution Division, the Repeat Offender Court and completed his service as a division chief in Civil Forfeiture.

He also is the past chair of education for the Conference of County Court Judges, co-department head for the Advanced Colleges of Judicial Studies and serves on the video faculty of the Florida Judicial College. He was recognized for his service to the conference in 2009 with its highest honor, the Harvey Ford Award.

jwilhelm@baileypub.com

@photojoe71

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