A Long Jump to the Bench

Conversation with Judge Heather O'Brien, collegiate track & field champion and proud Osceola County resident.

As we all know, living in Central Florida, you are exposed to a diverse group of people who all live in a unique environment. Judge Heather O’Brien knows this firsthand. “We have a lot of different people in the United States that have so much to offer and that’s what makes us great; Osceola County is a wonderful example of that,” she says proudly.

In this episode of Open Ninth, Chief Judge Lauten speaks with Osceola County Judge Heather O’Brien about what it takes to be a successful judge and what makes Osceola County so special. Judge O’Brien, appointed by former governor Charlie Crist at the age of thirty-three, is one of the youngest judges to ever take the bench. She attributes her success as a judge to the rigorous work ethic she developed as a young athlete. Judge O’Brien, a Colorado native, was a national track & field champion and became the NCAA’s 1999 Female Athlete of the Year. O’Brien explains that becoming a judge, just like being an athlete, takes a lot of self-discipline, efficiency, humility, and teamwork – the essential qualities that help judges keep up with the fast-paced workload while resolving cases justly.

Sit back, relax, and take a listen as Chief Judge Lauten and Judge O’Brien converse about the great qualities of Central Florida and Judge O’Brien’s track to success as an Osceola County Judge.

In this episode

Frederick J. Lauten

Podcast Moderator

Judge Lauten is currently the Chief Judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. He has served as a Judge since 1993.

Heather K. O'Brien

Osceola County Judge

Judge O'Brien has served as an Osceola County Judge since 2010. She currently serves in the Misdemeanor Division in Osceola County.

Open Ninth
Episode 32

Conversations Beyond the Courtroom.
Run time 24:21