As the battle for the office of Circuit Court Judge of Palm Beach County for Group 30 continues to heat up, another name has been added to the names of Samantha Schossberg Feuer, Jamie Goodman and Maxine Cheesman. Recently, Peggy Rowe-Linn, the fourth of nine children born to a U.S. Navy officer and a proud native Floridian, has thrown her hat into the crowded ring.
Rowe-Linn is basing her campaign on the core values of competence, compassion and creative problem-solving, with a special focus on the burgeoning caseloads that the circuit judges must carry to see that justice is served in Palm Beach County. During a break in her busy law practice, she took a few moments to lay out her qualifications for the difficult job that she is in the running for.
1) What is your educational background?
"I attended St. Ann's School and Cardinal Newman High School. After high school, I put myself through what was then known as Palm Beach Junior College and is now Palm Beach State College and graduated with an Associate in Arts degree in one year, with highest honors, and Phi Theta Kappa, all without any financial assistance by working at various law firms. I then received my Bachelor's degree at Florida State University."
2) What is your legal experience?
"After graduation I continued to work as a legal secretary and paralegal first in Tallahassee and then in Oklahoma where my husband, Steven, was stationed in the U.S. Air Force.
When my husband's tour of duty was completed in 1980, we returned to West Palm Beach, Florida, where I attended Nova Southeastern University School of Law as a Leo Goodwin Fellow, an honorarium. In addition to her course work and her fellowship, I commuted a 100 miles a day, worked and graduated early. I was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1984, a few months after graduation.
My first employment as an attorney was for a general practitioner where I worked on matrimonial litigation, civil cases and drafted contracts. I formed a partnership with the Honorable Michael E. Gersten, Circuit Judge (now deceased), where I continued to work in marital law and assisted in probate matters until her partner became a circuit judge. Since then, I have continued her practice as a solo practitioner.
I have also lectured throughout my career at various Palm Beach County Bar Association CLE seminars in the area of marital and family law, adoption and domestic violence. In addition, I have been a guest presenter to The Financial Planning Association of The Gold Coast speaking on "Picking Up The Pieces After Divorce."
I am admitted to practice in all state courts in Florida and am also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. I became a Florida Supreme Court Certified Appellate Mediator in 2013 as well as a State of Florida trained Parenting Coordinator. I have been a member of the American Bar Association and Family Law Section since 1987 having served on the Family Law Committee and the Special Needs of Children and Adoption Committees for more than ten years nationally. I also served locally on the Special Needs of Children Committee for Palm Beach County, and served for four years on the Palm Beach County Bar's Family Law Committee. I have been a member of the Trial Lawyers of America n/k/a the American Association for Justice since 1987, and a member of the Florida Association of Women in Law since 1989."
3) What is your primary area of practice?
"I dedicated in the early years of my practice to representing abused and neglected children, acting as a guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem. I have been recognized by The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc., and The Palm Beach County Bar Association for my pro bono effort in Juvenile Law. I have represented both children and parents in juvenile dependency court.
I have also served as an intermediary/attorney for private placement adoptions. My husband, Steve, and I have privately fostered several children in their own homes for over fifteen (15) years. I was the first attorney to graduate from the Supreme Court Approved Guardian ad Litem Training Program when it was in its infancy in 1985. I have been a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator since 1996. In 1999, I became Board Certified in Marital and Family Law and remains board certified continuously to the present time.
While I continue to devote approximately seventy-five percent (75%) of my practice to marital and family law, I currently handle probate matters, including drafting of wills, civil litigation and drafting of complex prenuptial agreements. I have also had a well-established appellate practice throughout her career."
4) Do you have any previous public service experience?
"I am an active community leader and have sought involvement in activities in which her children were engaged. I served as an Adult Leader of Girl Scouts from 1987 to 1999, and have been a lifetime member since 1999. Likewise, I served as an Adult Leader of Boy Scouts of America from 1994 to 1999. I was a member of the Committee of Catholic Scouting, Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida, from 1997 to 2002, where I was awarded the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton award for her contributions to religious scouting. I have also designed scouting patches and have written booklets for the various levels of religious scouting. In addition, I am also a member of the Guild of Catholic Lawyers of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida and have been since 1988. In September of 2013, I was awarded the Monsignor Jeremiah P. O'Mahoney Award presented by The Guild of Catholic Lawyers of the Diocese of Palm Beach, in recognition of years of dedication to the law and the faith. For my contributions spanning over twenty years to children's athletics, especially swimming, I received the Sports Appreciation Award presented by Rosarian Academy. Cardinal Newman High School has awarded me the Alumni of the Year Award for my lifetime of civic involvement to Palm Beach County, Florida. I am also a champion of adult literacy for the DePoores P.L.A.C.E., Inc., to which I have donated countless books, volunteered my time and secured other volunteer teachers.
I currently serve as the historian of Magnificat, a ministry to women in Palm Beach County. I also serve on the leadership team of Women of Grace and have served as a facilitator for the Women of Grace Program this past year. I have served the church as a lector nearly my entire adult life. I continue to donate annually countless hours a year to the pro bono effort in Palm Beach County, Florida.
I also sit on the Board of Directors of a western community non-profit, Angel of Hope and also volunteer my time to two other non-profits and have for the past ten years."
Peggy is a veteran lawyer who has long championed the causes of the abused and neglected children, the orphaned and those who are divorcing. She has an heritage of public service and commitment to Palm Beach County and personally shows intelligence, wit, caring, commitment and compassion which are important traits of any public servant.
She also seems genuinely excited to announce her candidacy and to be a part of the opportunity for Palm Beach County citizens to gain an exceptional servant who is the right fit for this county.
"I am inspired by those who have served the poor in Palm Beach County without seeking recognition and the lessons I have learned from the homeless," Rowe-Linn added.
Peggy and her husband, Steven, reside in West Palm Beach where they have raised their four children. They have two grandchildren.
The primary election will be held on August 26, 2014, and the general election on November 4, 2014.
The Elections Examiner will strive to bring you the latest campaign information from all sides of the political spectrum. Be sure to subscribe to this column, and stay abreast of issues involving you, the voters of this great country. If you have an election related issue you'd like to see explored, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about local getaways, HOAs, motorsports, and restaurants.