James Lawrence King

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James Lawrence King
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Assumed office
December 20, 1992
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
In office
1984–1991
Preceded byJoe Oscar Eaton
Succeeded byNorman Charles Roettger Jr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
In office
October 19, 1970 – December 20, 1992
Appointed byRichard Nixon
Preceded bySeat established by 84 Stat. 294
Succeeded byJoan A. Lenard
Personal details
Born
James Lawrence King

(1927-12-20) December 20, 1927 (age 90)
Miami, Florida
EducationUniversity of Florida (B.A.E.)
Fredric G. Levin College of Law (LL.B.)

James Lawrence King (born December 20, 1927) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and one of the longest serving federal judges in the United States.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Born in Miami, Florida, King received a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree from the University of Florida in 1949 and a Bachelor of Laws from the Fredric G. Levin College of Law at the University of Florida in 1953. There, he was a member of the law review and Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.[2] King served in the United States Air Force from 1953 to 1955 and was in a private law practice in Miami from 1953 until 1964 when he became a member of the Florida Board of Regents. From 1964 until 1970, he was a circuit judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.[2] During his service as a circuit judge, King sat by designation with the Florida Supreme Court in 1965 and with the Florida Third District Court of Appeal from 1966 to 1967.[3]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On October 7, 1970, King was nominated by President Richard Nixon to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida established by 84 Stat. 294. King was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 13, 1970, and received his commission on October 19, 1970. He served as Chief Judge from 1984 to 1991, assuming senior status on December 20, 1992.[2]

Notable rulings[edit]

In 1981, King overruled the State of Florida in determining that treasure hunter Mel Fisher was the rightful owner of treasure salvaged from the 1715 wreck of a Spanish galleon, in the Cobb Coin case.[citation needed] In 1999 he ruled that relatives of the Brothers to the Rescue pilots shot down by the Cuban Air Force could sue Cuba for wrongful death.[citation needed] He also dismissed challenges to Florida's felony disenfranchisement law and Florida's prohibition against homosexual adoption.[citation needed] King was ultimately affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit in both cases.[citation needed]

Honor[edit]

On April 30, 1996, the United States Congress renamed the United States Courthouse in Miami the James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "James Lawrence King". The Florida Bar. Archived from the original on 2012-02-22.
  2. ^ a b c James Lawrence King at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ James Lawrence King biography at The Florida Bar

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 84 Stat. 294
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
1970–1992
Succeeded by
Joan A. Lenard
Preceded by
Joe Oscar Eaton
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
1984–1991
Succeeded by
Norman Charles Roettger Jr.