"Everyone is entitled to equal justice under the law, and they are entitled to it in a timely fashion."
- Gregory T. Wallace
Important! Gregory is a write-in candidate. To vote for Gregory, you must write-in "Gregory T. Wallace" on the blank line on your ballot under "County Court Judge Group 1" and bubble the corresponding bubble.
Gregory grew up in Palm Bay, Florida, approximately one and a half hours from Sanford. His passion for justice and helping people was inspired at a young age by his family. His father and grandfather are both veterans of the armed forces and his mother and stepfather are both (now retired) police officers.
Gregory knew the value of hard work at a young age. He worked several jobs while attending high school and earned several scholarships to attend college. After graduating high school, he moved to Gainesville, Florida to attend the University of Florida. He worked part time through most of college and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 2009. He then took a year off from school to do smallpox research at Shands Hospital in Gainesville where he co-authored three papers. He then attended the Florida State University College of Law and graduated with honors in 2013 and subsequently went on to be admitted to the Florida Bar.
He then worked at the State Attorney’s Office for the 9th Judicial Circuit, which serves Orange and Osceola counties. He worked specifically in the Osceola office for a little over three years where he handled cases ranging from petit theft to felony drug offenses and domestic violence. He handled hundreds if not thousands of cases during that time and tried several dozen. Gregory found it very rewarding to help people and to work on behalf of the community. While he thoroughly enjoyed his time as a prosecutor, he had to make the tough financial decision to seek private sector employment to pay down his student loans.
For the last three and a half years Gregory has worked for a regional healthcare company as an IT Manager. He primarily deals with issues related to technology contracting, licensing, and his department’s multi-million-dollar budget. He also manages a team of five people and oversees the creation, revision, and implementation of numerous financial and technical processes. He has also received two departmental awards in recognition of extraordinary performance.
Gregory’s unique educational background and work experience enable him to operate in an open minded, fair, and consistent manner. Gregory’s management of a team of five individuals also reenforced the people skills needed to manage and have empathy toward parties, attorneys, witnesses, and the docket of a courtroom. In addition, his technical background is more important now than ever. In the short term, tools like Zoom are needed to facilitate court proceedings while the courthouse is closed or has limited capacity. In the long term, digital evidence is becoming more prevalent in both criminal and civil cases. An understanding of digital evidence is crucial to making just and legally correct decisions.
Voters should also know that Gregory genuinely just likes helping other people. Whether that’s fighting for justice in a courtroom or providing technical service to medical staff caring for patients, the common theme across his personal and professional experience is helping others.
In short, he has the compassion, honesty, integrity, and intellect to serve the community as your next County Court Judge.
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My broad and diverse background gives me a unique ability to see things from numerous perspectives. I have worked with engineers, scientists, victims of crime, the homeless, people with mental illness, lawyers, students, business executives, and more. It is an understatement to say these groups think differently from one another and have different motivations and life experiences. However, having worked with all of them, I have adapted to relate to each of these groups of people. Further, these experiences have taught me the ability to grow and foster relationships with people of any background. This is critical since members of our community from all walks of life will appear before a judge in county court.
My technical background and experiences have also prepared me to address new and emerging challenges facing courts. Evidence and legal issues related to computers and other technology are already upon us and it is important for courts and rulings to keep up with these evolving issues and technologies. With a deep understanding of technology, I am prepared to face these new issues head on and reach just and proper decisions.
My temperament will be levelheaded and composed of compassion, honesty, integrity, and intelligence. Compassion is crucial because everyone involved with the court system (parties, lawyers, witnesses, staff, etc.) are still human beings and should be afforded the dignity and respect all people deserve. It is also important to remember cases aren’t just docket numbers or pieces of paper. Cases will have far reaching impacts on people’s lives. I will always have compassion for everyone I encounter. Honesty is important because there is no room within the legal system for dishonesty. Just decisions must be reached based on truthful facts and related law and I will always be honest. Integrity is needed because a judge must always do the right thing, even when no one is looking. This includes things like always being fair and impartial. I will never be influenced by personal feelings or personal opinions. Finally, intelligence is needed to apply analytical thinking to complex fact patterns and to arrive at just and legal decisions. I will always weigh every case with the care and consideration it deserves.
It is the duty of the judge to uphold the law regardless of any personal views or preferences. As such, a judge should interpret the laws as they are written. A judge should not “legislate from the bench”. However, the law is at times ambiguous. If a law is subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, it is the duty of the court to resolve the ambiguity. I would apply any rules of construction explicitly defined by the law. For example, Florida Statute 775.021 explicitly states several rules of construction that should be used by a judge. I would also look at the plain meanings of words within a law, any definitions proscribed by the legislature in that law, applicable case law, and how the relevant law fits within the entire legislation, for proper context. All decisions I render would be in accord with the facts of the case and the applicable law.
During my time with the State Attorney’s Office I prosecuted hundreds if not thousands of cases. Part of that tenure was spent prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and one particularly memorable ‘win’ comes to mind. I had a defendant who was already in prison for charges related to my victim. The defendant, however, was able to obtain a cell phone in prison and was using it to continue harassing the victim. The case came in as a misdemeanor and after some internal collaboration it seemed I would only be able to charge the defendant with a relatively minor crime. Unsatisfied with colleagues’ thoughts, I did some additional legal research. I located an additional statute that made it a felony to engage in the conduct the defendant was engaging in and I was able to file a felony charge. Additionally, I was able to disseminate what I had learned to the office, so future defendants could be appropriately charged for their continued harassment and revictimization of victims.
Personal preferences and feelings have no place in judicial decisions but will inevitably come to mind as they are part of being human; judges simply are not robots, nor should they be. The key to being fair is not to try and pretend these thoughts do not exist, but to be aware of these thoughts and consciously acknowledging they have no relevance to the legal matter at hand.
To set my personal preferences and feelings aside, I would jot them down in my personal notes as they arose, for later consideration during personal (non-judicial) time. I would then proceed with my judicial duties considering only the facts and law applicable to the case at hand. I would come back to my personal notes when I have completed working in the evening and have personal time to reflect on my own thoughts and preferences. I would never allow my personal preferences or feelings to have any impact or bias on my rulings or other official duties.