After 32 dedicated years on the bench, Judge Alice Blackwell will retire on June 30, 2023.
Judge Blackwell grew up in a small town in South Carolina. From an early age, her parents instilled in her the value of service. She got even got an up-close look at the importance of service through the discussions she’d have with her uncle. As a judge himself, he inspired Judge Blackwell to pursue a career in the field of law.
With this inspiration in mind, Judge Blackwell earned her juris doctor from the University of South Carolina in 1980. Her law career began in private practice, where she practiced civil law with three firms before deciding she was ready to try for the bench. With the elevation of Judge George Diamantis to the Fifth District Court of Appeal, the Ninth Circuit bench held a vacant seat. It was in 1991, that former Governor Lawton Chiles would fill this vacancy by appointing Judge Blackwell.
Over the years she served in the criminal, civil, domestic relations, and probate divisions – and as both an Associate Administrative Jjudge and an Administrative Judge. But Judge Blackwell’s dedication to the judicial branch was not limited to her work on the bench. Over her 32 years of service, she devoted time to projects aimed at improving the work of the judiciary. Early in her career, she was part of the Judicial Management Council Committee on District Appeal Performance and Accountability, as well as the Supreme Court Commission on Trial Court Performance and Accountability where she served as Chair. As time went on, she committed her time to other important causes, such as the Supreme Court Judicial Branch Governance Study Group, the Orange County Domestic Violence Commission, and New Judges’ College.
Judge Blackwell has led a distinguished career, but she is known for more than just what she has accomplished on the bench. She has been both a friend and mentor to many over her three decades of service and her presence in our circuit will be dearly missed. But, we wish to send her off into her next chapter of life with the fondest of farewells.
Please join us in celebrating the career of Judge Blackwell at her retirement party on June 2, 2023 at 4:00 PM in the Orange County Courthouse Jury Assembly Room. Refreshments to follow.