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Ian J. Richards (born May, 1975) is a former county court judge in the Florida's 17th Judicial Circuit.[1] Richards was the first African-American judge to be elected countywide in Broward County, Florida.[2] He presided over "State of Florida v. John Reasee", in which Richards jumped over his bench to protect a witness who was being attacked by the man against whom she had testified.[3]

Ian J. Richards
Richards Headshot Robe.jpg
Former County Court Judge of Florida's 17th Judicial Circuit
In office
January, 2009 – January, 2015
Personal details
Ian J. Richards

(1975-05-31) May 31, 1975 (age 44)
Derbyshire, England
NationalityUnited States
ResidenceHollywood, Florida, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Miami, School of Law
Professionattorney, judge


Early life and careerEdit

Richards, the son of a mechanic and registered nurse, grew up in South Florida. He attended Shadowlawn Elementary School in the heart of Liberty City,[4] and later graduated from Miami Norland Senior High School. Richards earned his Bachelor of Accounting degree, in 1999, from Florida International University. In 2002, Richards received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law. Richards was a member of the UM Law School’s Honor Council.

Richards was defeated in a bid for re-election in 2014,[5] despite his re-election effort being endorsed by major local newspapers.[6]

Richards is married with three children.

Career achievementsEdit

  • 2002 to 2004 – Assistant State Attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit
  • 2004 to 2008 – private attorney in South Florida
  • 2009 to 2014 – elected County Judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit

Richards is a member of the Broward Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association


  1. ^ 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Website.
  2. ^ "Courthouse Surprise", Broward Palm Beach New Times(.com) (September 18, 2008).
  3. ^ "Judge Leaps to Protect Woman in Court", Miami Herald (March 25, 2009); "Judge Vaults Bench to Subdue Courtroom Attacker", Daily Business Review (March 26, 2009); "Hero judge rugby tackles defendant who attacked domestic violence victim in court", Daily Mail UK (March 25, 2009); "Fla. Judge Vaults Bench, Helps Subdue Suspect, Makes TMZ", ABA Journal (March 25, 2009); Chad Johnson, "Chad Johnson Judge Also a Tough Guy", Miami Herald (August 23, 2012); "Judge Jumps Over Bench In Courtroom Melee", CBS News (retrieved August 27, 2013); "Judge helps restrain abuser after attack on victim in court", 7News (retrieved August 27, 2013); video available here.
  4. ^ "Tough Liberty City Helped Judge Choose Law", Daily Business Review (May 19, 2014).
  5. ^ Rafael Olmeda, "Claudia Robinson victor in Broward County Judge race", Sun Sentinel (November 14, 2014).
  6. ^ "The Herald recommends Ian Richards", Miami Herald (August 4, 2014); "Re-elect Ian Richards, Ellen Feld to County Court", Sun-sentinel (August 13, 2014).

External linksEdit