Judge's Gavel Court

Florida Judge Withdraws Request To Avoid Testifying

Judge's Gavel Court
Judge’s Gavel. TFP File Photo

An appeals court judge Tuesday withdrew a request for the Florida Supreme Court to shield him from testifying in a disciplinary case against a Hillsborough County circuit judge.

Jared Smith, a judge on the 6th District Court of Appeal, filed a motion Friday asking the Supreme Court to block a deposition sought by attorneys for Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Nancy Jacobs.

The state Judicial Qualifications Commission is pursuing a disciplinary case against Jacobs, who in a 2022 election defeated Smith, who was then a Hillsborough County circuit judge.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis subsequently appointed Smith to the appeals court.

An investigative panel of the commission in September alleged that Jacobs made “inappropriate and disparaging” remarks about Smith during the election and improperly injected partisan politics into the campaign.

But Jacobs has also accused Smith of acting improperly during the campaign and subpoenaed the appeals-court judge for a deposition.

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In a notice filed Tuesday dropping the motion to block the deposition, lawyers for Smith cited a final hearing scheduled March 27 in Jacobs’ case at the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

The notice said that because resolving the motion to prevent the deposition “risks interfering with the JQC (Judicial Qualifications Commission) proceedings … Judge Smith hereby withdraws the motion and will coordinate a time and place” for a deposition.

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