On the Bench.... James Daniel

Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge James Daniel was a partner at Coker, Schickel, Sorenson and Daniel from 2000 to 2008. He was elected without opposition in 2008 and re-elected without opposition in 2014.
By: 
Sep. 6, 2018

Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer? I can’t say it was one thing or one person. I got to know a number of attorneys that were alumni of my college fraternity. They were incredibly supportive and I thought their jobs made an impact in their community. What they did mattered.  

Who inspires you now? Former Jacksonville Sheriff and former Edward Waters College President Nat Glover. I cannot think of a more decent person who has done so much to try and bridge divides in our community. He overcame racial discrimination to become an incredible public servant for the people of Jacksonville.

How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice on the bench? History involves looking at primary and secondary sources to draw conclusions about what happened in the past. It’s no different than a trial where the jury or judge is asked to factually determine what happened based on evidence.   

What community service have you pursued and why? I have participated in service events through membership in various organizations and our family has a history of supporting the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.  

Do you have any leadership roles within the community? I am currently president of the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court.  

What is your favorite book? “Let the Great World Spin” by Colum McCann.

What is your favorite movie?
“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” 

Do you have any special talents? If talent is defined as running a half-marathon in 2½ hours or occasionally breaking 90 on the golf course, then I have that.  

If you weren’t a judge what do you think you’d be? A high school teacher and soccer coach.

Have you traveled anywhere exotic? No. Having a child with out-of-state tuition currently prevents that. 

If you could meet someone from history, who would it be and why? Thurgood Marshall. I would love to discuss his trial strategy and experiences defending clients in the Jim Crow era and arguing cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

What’s your favorite food? Turkey.