Judge Haworth honored as ‘legal veteran leader’

Senior Judge Lee E. Haworth was honored on November 8, 2021, for his service to country and community at the Broward County Bar Association’s inaugural Florida Patriot Award ceremony. The award was given to a handful of Florida judges and one attorney, considered by their colleagues as “legal veteran leaders” in a virtual ceremony.

Senior Judge Lee E. Haworth

Judge Haworth joined the bench in 1989, but two years later his reserve unit was activated for Operation Desert Storm. At the time, he was a lieutenant colonel and commander of the 199th Judge Advocate General Detachment in St. Petersburg, Florida. The unit was an international law team, primarily charged with educating troops on provisions of the Geneva Conventions as they relate to targets, treatment of prisoners and civilians, and the wounded. The Department of the Army augmented his team with Kuwaiti volunteers and ordered the unit to investigate war crimes reportedly being perpetrated by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Republican Guard when they invaded and occupied Kuwait City.

Upon completion of the mission in Kuwait, Lt. Col. Haworth returned to the Pentagon where he authored the official war crimes report for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. He retired from the Army in 1994 with over 20 years of service.

Judge Haworth retired as a circuit judge in 2015 and continues to serve as a senior judge for civil and criminal cases, with a specialty in termination of parental rights cases. He is a member of the Supreme Court Steering Committee on Children and Families in the Courts and is a member of the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Statewide Advisory Group.

During his more than two decades on the bench, Judge Haworth presided in every division and served as chief judge between 2007-2011. He has done much to help unrepresented litigants, especially in family and civil divisions, and created the 2005 video series Family Law in a Nutshell and implemented the state’s first Homestead Conciliation Program to force mediation in foreclosure suits. The mandatory mediation then became the prototype adopted by the Florida Supreme Court to be used throughout the state. Between 2007-2008 he was involved in foster care reform; in 2014 he developed the Guardian ad Litem Program in family law cases. In between all his other roles and duties, he also finds time to host a public access show called Law and Sarasota.

Congratulations, Judge Haworth!


These legal veteran leaders were also recognized for their service to county and community on November 8:

  • Judge Gary L. Bergosh, 1st Judicial Circuit
  • Judge Mose Floyd, 4th Judicial Circuit
  • Judge Steve D. Berlin, 6th Judicial Circuit
  • Judge Jerry L. Brewer, 9th Judicial Circuit
  • Judge Daryl E. Trawick, 11th Judicial Circuit
  • Matthew F. Hall, Esq., 13th Judicial Circuit
  • Judge Luis Delgado, Jr., 15th Judicial Circuit
  • Judge Edward H. Merrigan, 17th Judicial Circuit
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