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The Bar Bulletin
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Aug. 4, 202204:10 AM EST

On the Bench: Duval County Judge Jonathan David Sacks

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The former assistant state attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit joined the bench in January.

Who inspired you to become a lawyer?

My father inspired me to become an attorney.

Although my parents worked in the public school system for more than 30 years, and that was the reason I initially became a teacher, my dad influenced me to head to law school. 

He always thought I had the tenacity to be a good attorney and his encouragement gave me the confidence to give it a shot. I am grateful he gave me the extra push.

Who inspires you?

Without a doubt my kids. My daughter, Rebekah, and my son Benjamin, inspire me to not lose my sense of humor.  After a tough day, coming home to hear their jokes or funny stories keeps me grounded and helps to put things in perspective.  

How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice on the bench?

I graduated from the University of Richmond, Virginia, with a degree in speech and communications and a certificate to teach in elementary school. 

That allowed me to work in Miami as a kindergarten teacher and this experience has already guided me in my practice on the bench.

Having a classroom of 36 students helped me learn a bit of patience and the importance of teamwork.  

I learned quickly how critical it is to work together with the support staff and administration of the school.

 Similarly, as a judge, working together with the clerks, bailiffs, judicial administration, court reporters and many others is what makes the system work efficiently and they all do an amazing job.   

What community service have you pursued and why?

I grew up playing soccer and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play in college.  

After graduation, I wanted to give back to the community and one of the ways has been through coaching soccer.

I have coached for approximately 20 years at the youth level and currently coach a team at Jacksonville JFC. I truly enjoy watching the players develop and teaching them some of the same team concepts that I found to be valuable.      

Do you currently serve on the JBA in any committee? 

The Hispanic & Latino Interest, Judicial Relations and Mentoring committees.

What is your favorite book?

“Mila 18,” which I read in elementary school, has always been my favorite.

 The book was written by Leon Uris and tells the incredible story of the Jewish resistance against the Nazis in Warsaw during World War II.  

Do you have any special talents?

A phrase that is heard often in my house is “I just cooked the best meatballs ever!”

I love to cook and although my kids sometimes disagree with the results, spending time in the kitchen is something I really enjoy. I also make some good chili.

If you weren’t a judge what do you think you’d be?

I think I would be a school principal.

Before going to law school, I was a teacher in Miami for three years. For the same reason I enjoy coaching soccer, I have always enjoyed trying to help mold the next generation and working as a principal is another way of giving back to the community.

Have you traveled anywhere exotic?

I traveled to Prague, Czech Republic, for a semester in law school. I am not sure if it can be categorized as “exotic,” but it was incredible.

The Charles Bridge which crosses the Vltava River has amazing views of Prague including the Prague Castle. The experience was something I will never forget.    

If you could meet someone from history, who would it be and why?

I have always been fascinated with the life of John Adams.

 I think it would be amazing to sit down and have a conversation with him about his defending the British soldiers who were arrested after the “Boston Massacre.”  

The environment in Boston must have been very hostile toward the British soldiers, but Adams believed that everyone was entitled to a defense and he was willing to suffer the fallout. This would be one of many topics I would want to talk about with him.

What’s your favorite food?

Pasta, pasta and more pasta with some slow-cooked meatballs. There is really nothing better than that in my opinion and if I have the time, I love making a pasta sauce from scratch.

What is your favorite holiday?

Passover commemorates the Israelites’ departure from ancient Egypt. During Passover, family members get together to have a Seder where we retell the story of the exodus from Egypt.

One reason Passover has always been special to me is because it brings the Jewish community together.

Jonathan David Sacks was an assistant state attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond in Virginia, a master’s in criminology from Florida State University and his J.D. from FSU College of Law. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2002.

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