MCBA membership meeting featured Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner

Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner was the featured speaker at the Manatee County Bar Association’s virtual membership meeting on Wednesday, August 26. More than 50 participants logged on to watch her presentation.

Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner
Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner

Judge Bonner, having majored in history, is keen on her family’s genealogy. She has traced her family’s roots back to the Revolutionary War and is an 8th generation Floridian.

If you’ve ever visited Cracker Country at the Florida State Fairgrounds you may have toured the original 1885 home of Albert and Martha Carlton, Judge Bonner’s great-great grandparents. The family donated the Wauchula house to the state fair, where it was restored and decorated in the standard style of homes from that period.

Another fun fact: Judge Bonner is a distant cousin to former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton!

In court business, Judge Bonner said Manatee and Sarasota counties are on track to begin jury trials on misdemeanor and low-level felony cases. She encouraged everyone to check the court’s website for updates and changes to court operations.

“Trials will begin slowly,” Judge Bonner said. Health screening, mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE), and social distancing will still be in effect. Once the court is able to proceed to Phase 3, with loosened distancing and PPE requirements, then our scheduling of trials will be as it normally is, with the more serious and in-custody cases getting priority.

The court’s Zoom licenses are through June 2021 and Judge Bonner said she expects that the court will continue to use the video platform at least until then. Using Zoom beyond June 2021 will depend upon available funding.

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