Broward Circuit Judge Alfred “Fred” Horowitz.

Photo: Melanie Bell

Applications are being sought to replace Broward Circuit Judge Alfred Horowitz, who is leaving the bench effective Dec. 31 after 22 years.

The outgoing judge, who has served for years in family court, was appointed a county court judge by then-Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1995 and was elevated to the circuit bench by then-Gov. Jeb Bush in 2000. Horowitz’s term was set to expire in January 2021.

“It’s just been an incredible run, and I can’t think of a better way to have served the community,” Horowitz said Monday in a telephone interview. “I met wonderful people, worked with wonderful people, terrific lawyers in the community, and hopefully I’ve had some positive effect on a lot of people.”

Raised in Fort Pierce, Horowitz was literally at home with attorneys. His father practiced criminal law, and his uncle ran a general law practice after serving as a prosecutor. He joined his uncle’s practice after getting a law degree from Samford University and went on to get a master’s degree in taxation.

Horowitz was a name partner with Horowitz & Rolnick from 1986 to 1995 and spent over two years as city attorney in Port St. Lucie. He was a solo practitioner for three years and previously worked on foreign tax work at a Miami firm and tax work and transactions at a Fort Lauderdale firm.

Horowitz’s wife is Broward County Court Judge Giuseppina Miranda. He ran unsuccessfully for chief circuit judge twice, most recently last year, losing to Circuit Judge Jack Tuter.

As a result of his resignation, the Broward Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is seeking applications by 3 p.m. Dec. 21.

Applications are available on the Florida Bar website at www.floridabar.org. They should be submitted in care of JNC chair William G. McCormick at GrayRobinson, 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. Suite 1000, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.

Interviews are planned Jan. 11 at the Broward County Bar Association office at 1051 SE Third Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.

In a 2013 interview, Horowitz said he never wavered in his thinking that he would become an attorney. He attributed good judging to varied life experiences. He placed value on punctuality, preparation and respect and bemoaned a loss of civility in the courtroom.

“In my court it starts at the top,” he said. “How I conduct myself I think sets the tone. I am very mindful of the idea that for many people being in front of me may be their only exposure to the court system beyond what they see on TV. And I want them to have a positive experience with the judicial system, notwithstanding that the result may not be what they hope for, but the process doesn’t have to be a distasteful process.”

The judge said he has “some professional challenges I want to explore” but declined to elaborate.