Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer?
I have always liked to tackle problems and try to figure out creative solutions. To me a lawyer is, at heart, a problem-solver.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by people who are willing to stand up for what is right – even when it’s not easy or popular. Courage is something we need a lot more of in today’s world.
How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice on the bench?
I received my undergraduate degree in communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. A good lawyer must also be a good communicator, so I feel like my undergraduate degree helps me every day.
What community service have you pursued and why?
I was raised in a family that believed deeply in the importance of giving back. I served as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer for a year between college and law school.
Since becoming a lawyer I have served on numerous nonprofit boards and have volunteered for many different organizations.
My family still serves meals together at the Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless and I had the privilege of serving as that organization’s CEO for four years. It was a life-changing experience.
What is your favorite book?
I love to read and I feel like whatever book I am in the midst of is my favorite. I just finished “The Rose Code” by Kate Quinn. It was terrific.
Do you have any special talents?
I am really, really good at spoiling my grandson, Clark, and my golden retriever, Charlie.
If you weren’t a judge what do you think you’d be?
I would own a great bar in downtown Jacksonville.
Have you traveled anywhere exotic?
While not “exotic,” my family and I love visiting our national parks. They are a treasure.
If you could meet someone from history, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet one of the suffragettes, like Susan B. Anthony. Those women were fearless!
What’s your favorite food?
It’s hard to beat Alaskan king crab.
What’s your favorite holiday?
Hands down, it’s Thanksgiving. Good food, great wine and no presents. Best holiday ever.