Hon. John L. Woodard III See Rating Details

County Court
Seminole County
18th Circuit
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General Rating Criteria

* Temperament (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Scholarship (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Industriousness (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
* Ability to Handle Complex Litigation (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Punctuality (1=Chronically Late,10=Always on Time)
* General Ability to Handle Pre-Trial Matters (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
* General Ability as a Trial Judge (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
Flexibility In Scheduling (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)


Criminal Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Plea Discussions (1=Not at all Involved, 10=Very Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Pretrial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Trial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Sentencing Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)


Civil Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation (1=Not at all Evenhanded,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Involvement in Settlement Discussions (1=Not at all Involved,10=Very Involved)
General Inclination (1=Pro-defendant, 10=Pro-plaintiff)
Comments




What others have said about Hon. John L. Woodard III


Comments


Other

Comment #: FL3395
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I was recently disabled as the result of injuries suffered in a hit-and-run collision. My disabilities, particularly aphasia (speech difficulties), make it very difficult to represent myself in court. The court’s ADA Coordinator was not able to provide the assistance that I requested.

On October 14, 2013, I submitted my request for a jury trial in my case to the court via hand delivery. Judge Woodard waited until the day before the hearing to deny my claim, without stating the reason for denying me a jury trial, and without notifying me in a timely fashion.

My request for a jury trial was clearly in compliance with Rule 1.430.

I presented my argument, going line by line through the Amended Complaint, clarifying when necessary, and presenting numerous documents and other evidence. Judge Woodard never looked at the Complaint, nor the documents and other evidence. During my entire testimony, Judge Woodard sat back in his chair, with his feet up and his eyes closed, as if he were napping.

That one act by Judge Woodard alone -- not even considering the judge’s other questionable actions during the hearing -- is shameful, unprofessional, disrespectful, and violates the Code of Judicial Conduct.

In his judgment, Judge Woodard claimed that I did not present any evidence to support my argument. Judge Woodard completely ignored the tremendous amount of evidence and testimony that I presented that supports my claim.

Furthermore, Judge Woodard chastised me for waiting three years to file my claim against the defendant. I have only one thing to say to Judge Sleepyhead about that: “Excuse me for being injured by a hit-and-run driver and in a coma that resulted in permanent disabilities. I have had a few other things to take care of that more important than a small claims case."

Given that I have met every court requirement and deadline without any assistance, despite being so disabled that doctors recommend 24-hour care, Judge Woodard’s disrespectful attitude, discrimination, and behavior towards me because of my disabilities is shameful. More importantly, Judge Woodard’s comments and actions constitute discrimination against a person with disabilities, and violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.

After the hearing, the bailiff told Judge Woodard that he was going to walk me to the elevator and hold the doors, since my disabilities make it difficult for me to open the courtroom doors while carrying all of the case materials. At the elevator, the bailiff said, “That was outrageous.” I replied, “You saw what I did. The judge completely ignored the evidence.” When I questioned the bailiff about several specific evidence matters, the bailiff replied, “I cannot comment. All I can say is that was outrageous.”

Under Canon 3E(1), a judge is disqualified whenever the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, regardless of whether any of the specific rules in Section 3E(1) apply.Judge Woodard’s aforementioned behavior constituted discrimination, bias, and prejudice, and reasonably questions his impartiality.

The United States Constitution gives every citizen the right to a fair and just hearing. That includes being heard, despite one’s disability making speech difficult.

I strongly believe that Judge Woodard’s blatantly negative attitude against me, and his eventual judgment, were in retaliation for my complaint against Judge Collins with the JQC. Based on my experiences with the court and its staff, many of which were witnessed by attorneys with whom I have a professional relationship, I do not believe that I can receive a fair and just trial within Seminole County without a jury.