District: County Judge
Very pleasant, runs her docket well.
Good candidate for circuit.
Doing good job.
Another up and coming bright star.
Awesome person and judge; knows the law.
Knowledge of the rules of evidence is lacking.
Worst county judge we've had in a long time. Should consider going back to private practice.
An absolute pleasure to be in front of.
Is doing a very credible job.
Bright, even-handed and conscientious.
Doesn't know the Rules of Evidence. Not motivated to learn the law.
Her experience shows. She'll make a good circuit judge someday.
Needs experience. She's trying to learn an unfamiliar field right now (criminal work).
Bright future. Experience shows each day.
Always pleasant and professional; she is showing potential to be a great jurist.
Haven't seen her a lot. Very familiar with her work as family law attorney. She will be good if they allow her to do some family.
Much too defense-oriented, too light with sentencing.
By ERIC PERA
In her first-ever ranking, County Judge Susan Barber Flood finished in the top five among 10 county judges in The Ledger's survey of lawyers.
'You have to have a thick skin to be in this job,' she said. 'You understand that one attorney who might be upset with you can skew the whole thing (the survey).'
Flood, 44, is the daughter of former County Judge Jesse Barber, now deceased.
Lawyers responding to the survey posted mostly positive comments about Flood, calling her polite, prepared and a candidate to move up to circuit court.
'Another up-and-coming bright star,' one said.
'Awesome person and judge; knows the law,' said another.
Several comments pointed to Flood's experience as a magistrate before being appointed to the bench in August 2008 by Gov. Charlie Crist.
'Her experience shows,' one lawyer said. 'She'll make a good circuit judge some day.'
Flood ranked fourth out of 10 county judges, with an overall score of 7.52. Her highest score, 7.93, was in the category of professional conduct. She scored lowest in legal ability, with a 7.23.
'Worst county judge we've had in a long time,' one lawyer said.
'Doesn't know the rules of evidence, not motivated to learn the law,' another said.
Flood said she was generally happy with her standing, given her short time on the bench and her lack of experience in criminal law, both while a lawyer in private practice and as a magistrate.
She is assigned to the criminal division.
'I'm not sure it's a criticism,' she said of the negative responses. 'It's a fact. I came to the criminal bench only eight months ago. ... I knew there would be a learning curve.'
Flood graduated from the University of Florida in 1987 with bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice. In 1990, she graduated from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and went into private practice in Lakeland and Lake Wales, her place of birth. She was appointed a general magistrate in 2004.
She is up for election this year.