BOCA RATON - 14th Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher N. Patterson will among three honored at the Justice Teaching Awards on June 22, presented by Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis during the Judicial Luncheon at The Florida Bar’s Annual Convention in Boca Raton.
The awards honor a teacher, a volunteer and a judge for their dedication in teaching Florida students about their government and the courts.
The Hon. Christopher N. Patterson is the Justice Teaching Judge of the Year.
Since he became a member of The Florida Bar in 1985, he has volunteered his time to civics education. First as an attorney, Judge Patterson was an active volunteer instrumental in the Bay County Teen Court and in helping create the Washington County Teen Court.
As a judge, he has volunteered his time to train attorneys in the Justice Teaching program and has presided as a courtroom judge and assisted with mock trials.
"Students see Judge Patterson’s love and passion for the legal profession and the court system, not only in court but in life," said Jeff Doran on behalf of The Florida Bar in a press release Monday. "His influences continue from youth to adults, and he encourages everyone he comes in contact with to pursue their goals without limitation."
Most recently Judge Patterson was assigned to Roulhac Middle School and is active with the youth there.
"To address a high rate of juvenile arrests in the middle school ages, he is redirecting youth by instilling in them values and encouraging them to be on the right side of the law," Doran said. "A natural with the kids, he has a hands-on approach that helps one child become a family and family become a community."
Also scheduled to be honored at the event are Teacher of the Year, Jasmine Oxley of Viera and Volunteer of the Year, Bruce A. Blitman of Pembroke Pines.
“I commend these leaders on their commitment and service to helping the next generation of Floridians make informed decisions about our society’s future,” said Justice Lewis. “Their stories exemplify how professional attorneys and judges, through Justice Teaching, are having a profound positive influence on the youth and citizens of our state.”
Justice Teaching is a statewide effort by judges and lawyers to engage students in the workings of the justice system. Justice Lewis founded Justice Teaching in 2006, with the ultimate goal to pair a legal professional with every elementary, middle and high school in Florida. Today, the organization has more than 4,000 volunteer lawyers and judges, delivering interactive civics lessons in Florida schools.
The Law Related Education Committee of The Florida Bar supports Justice Teaching and assists in the awards nominations process.