Published March 2008
by Adam Myron
If you would like to know, I have a secret to share with you about one of our Circuit Court’s newer judges. It turns out that Judge David French, who just celebrated his first anniversary on the bench, is a budding movie star. That’s right, a movie star. In fact, if you go to www.theshootdown.com, you can get a sneak peek at Judge French flying his personal Skymaster airplane as a stunt pilot in “The Shoot Down.” That film is a documentary that recreates and tells the story of the Brothers to the Rescue, two South Florida pilots who, before being shot down by Fidel Castro (a fact denied by Castro) rescued Cuban immigrants on their way to America. Although Judge French does not have any actual face time in the film, we all have to start somewhere right?
When Judge French isn’t flying his Skymaster, he’s also serving to faithfully fulfill his duties as a Circuit Court Judge – a service he truly relishes. When asked about his role in the Judiciary, Judge French declared that he is “firmly committed to the idea that being a Circuit Judge is one of the highest offices you can hold in this State” and that “the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit is one of the best, if not the best, Circuits.” It is this desire to maintain the high level of our judiciary that prompted Judge French to run for the bench. As the Judge says, “good judges come from good trial lawyers,” and Judge French’s background as a trial lawyer has prepared him for the bench.
After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Florida State University and his Juris Doctor degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1975, Judge French pursued his dream of being a trial lawyer by litigating with the Wicker Smith law firm in Miami. A year later, he and another attorney opened Wicker Smith’s Fort Lauderdale office, and the Judge remained with the firm until 1982, when he and a partner opened their own practice, David & French, P.A. Then in 2000, the Judge went on to open a solo practice by opening David E. French, P.A., where he primarily focused on Plaintiff’s litigation. There he remained until being elected to the bench in 2007. Recognizing the “tremendous responsibility” that the voters faithfully placed in him, Judge French works to “do what’s right” in his courtroom and ensure that every litigant not only feels welcome, but knows that they will receive a fair shake. Furthermore, Judge French is a strong advocate of the jury system. Noting that juries are the “backbone of the judicial system,” Judge French urges that “we have to protect it as a check and balance against arbitrary and capricious bureaucrats and judges, as well as a system that allows people to focus on being the determinate of the mores of our community.”
Outside of the law, Judge French has other passions. In addition to logging over 2,000 hours in his Skymaster, Judge French has great admiration and respect for horse-breeding. In fact, although the Judge has not competitively bred horses for some time, he can proudly claim to have raised Muscles Yankee, an award-winning competitive trottter horse. Judge French is also a family man. His wife, Christie, is a local chiropractor, and both she and the Judge are the proud parents of their one son, James, who is a freelance photographer for ABC, CBS, and other national affiliates.
Whether on the ground or in the air, Judge French brings his commitment to excellence and personal growth to everything he does, and it is on the bench that he hopes to maintain that commitment for many years to come.
Adam M. Myron, Esq. is an associate with the law firm of Richman Greer, P.A., where he practices in the areas of commercial litigation and the resolution of business disputes.