Circuit Court Judge Harvey Jay III was ceremonially sworn in Thursday at the Duval County Courthouse during his investiture.
Jay was appointed to the Fourth Circuit Bench by Gov. Rick Scott in October 2011 to fill a seat vacated by Judge Frederick Tygart, who retired in May of this year.
Jay followed Judge Scott Mitchell as the second judge to hold his investiture at the new Duval County Courthouse. Normally, judges are officially sworn in during small ceremonies and begin their duties before their investiture. The ceremony allows friends and family to celebrate the achievement.
“It’s a thrill to see a lifelong friend fulfill a lifelong dream. It’s a thrill to see Harvey Jay join this bench,” said Brad Johnson, an attorney who has known Jay since junior high school.
Jay was appointed by Scott in 2011, but as an attorney with a private practice, he had to make sure his practice was in order before taking the bench. Jay left private practice in July.
“This is a tough day for our law firm. It was a real tough day on July 1 when Harvey left. It is a great day for the citizens of the Fourth Judicial Circuit,” said Charles Shad, a former partner with Jay at Saalfield, Shad, Jay, Stokes, Inclan & Stoudemire.
Jay was admitted to The Florida Bar in April 1988 after graduating from the University of Florida College of Law. He would spend the majority of his 22-year
litigation career as a partner with Saalfield Shad.
Though he was not present at the ceremony, Scott spoke highly of Jay when he announced the appointment.
“With 22 years of litigation experience, Jay has gained the insight and skills that will make him a fair and impartial judge. He has long displayed the highest levels of integrity and professionalism, and I am confident he will exercise sound judgment and adhere to a philosophy of judicial restraint,” said Scott.
Jay said he appreciated the kind words from friends and colleagues, and thanked the speakers when he was asked to take the bench at the end of the ceremony.
“I want to thank the governor of the State of Florida for having confidence in me, for having made this appointment, and I’m so thankful he saw fit to do so,” said Jay.