Judge Lott to step down from bench in May

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.

Circuit Judge Martha Ann Lott on Wednesday announced her retirement from the bench, effective May 31.

Over a 22-year span, Lott, 60, has served as circuit judge, Alachua County Court judge and chief judge. She is the most senior judge in the 8th Judicial Circuit, according to a news release announcing her retirement.

Lott began her legal career in 1981 with the Public Defender's Office. She then went into private practice as a sole practitioner. She was elected as judge in county court, then in circuit court. She now presides over the Alachua County felony division, the felony forensic court, half of the drug court docket and the Jimmy Ryce docket involving sex offenders.

Lott has been involved in local and state efforts to improve the justice system where it involves persons with mental illness. Her interest in cases involving psychological issues stems from her degree in psychology and her work in institutions prior to attending law school.

Lott says she looks forward to a writing career postponed since college, to riding her horse competitively in dressage and to spending time with her family.

"I appreciate the opportunity to have made public service through the justice system my primary career. Serving the public with so many great people over the years has been very rewarding," she said in the release.

"Being a judge has perhaps been the most important phase of my professional career. We are lucky to live in this society of opportunity and self-determination, each free to create our own playbook and follow individual dreams," she said.

"At 60, I still have dreams to follow. Time will tell whether I can make them come true."

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