Judge Traynor Moves to St. Johns County Criminal Court

St Augustine Criminal Judge

Circuit Court Judge J. Michael Traynor

Judge Michael Traynor was elected as a St. Johns County judge in 2000.  He has been assigned to several different positions as a judge in St. Johns County FL. He has presided over Florida juvenile delinquency cases and Florida family law cases. In the past few years, he has been in the civil division handling many St. Johns County foreclosure cases.  The St. Johns County Florida mortgage foreclosure calendar is a very busy court calendar.  Judge Traynor has recently been reassigned to another court division in St. Johns County.  As a circuit court judge, he will now be presiding over felony criminal cases.  The St. Augustine Record reported:

“With the addition of Judge Howard Maltz to the county’s contingent of 7th Judicial Circuit judges, Traynor is stepping out of the civil division and into the felony division.  The civil division is loaded with never-ending paperwork — mostly foreclosure cases. But the criminal division can be an emotional drain…. With Maltz being a new judge and with him having a wealth of experience on the civil side, it seemed to be the best place for him to begin his career as a judge.”

“Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, appointed Howard Maltz to replace Judge Wendy Berger.  Judge Berger is was appointed last year to the Florida 5th District Court of Appeals.  She replaced the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David A. Monaco (The St. Augustine Record, ‘Judge Berger appointed to 5th District Court of Appeal’).  He will not be taking over Berger’s criminal cases.  Instead, Judge Michael Traynor will be handling Judge Berger’s felony cases.” Read Jacksonville Lawyer as St. Johns County Circuit Court Judge for more information.   With Judge Berger leaving St. Johns County criminal court, “that left the criminal division for either Traynor, Judge John Alexander or Judge Clyde Wolfe.  Traynor has served in that department before and appeared to be the logical choice.” (The St. Augustine Record, Judge Traynor ready for return to criminal court).  Judge Traynor presided over the criminal bench from 2004 to 2005.

Wendy Berger left St. Johns County circuit court last summer.  Since then,  “various senior (retired) judges and others from around the circuit have filled in during felony hearings. Starting in February, Traynor will be the regular judge in courtroom 264.  Both Traynor and Alexander agree that finally getting a regular judge in the criminal division will help everyone who works in or goes through the system.”

Traynor believes that the sentencing phase of the criminal cases will be the most difficult change.   “Traynor said the late Judge Richard Watson, for whom the county courthouse complex is named, always said sentencing was the hardest part of a judge’s job.  He’s done it before and is even certified to hear death penalty cases. But it’s still going to be somewhat of an adjustment after years in civil court.”  I am sure that Judge Traynor will not have a problem in criminal court.  He is very intelligent and respected by Jacksonville criminal attorneys and St. Johns County lawyers.  He has decades of experience in many legal fields, including Florida criminal law.   This will be a good change to the felony criminal bench for prosecutors and Jacksonville criminal lawyers alike.

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