FORMER JUDGE JAMES H. WALDEN
Years of Service
From 1951 to 1955, while maintaining his private practice, he served as the city of Dania's attorney and as general counsel to the Dania Bank. He was eventually elected to the bank's board of directors.
In 1955, then-Gov. Leroy Collins appointed Judge Walden to the 15th Judicial Circuit Court, which at that time included Palm Beach and Broward counties. He continued to preside over the 17th Judicial Circuit when it was created for Broward County as chief judge.
Described as a stern but fair judge, he was returned repeatedly by the voters to the bench without opposition. A decade later, he was among the first judges appointed by then-Gov. Haydon Burns to the newly created Fourth District Court of Appeal, which covered a 10-county area that stretched to Seminole County.
He served as chief judge. But after 10 years on the appeals court, faced with having to put five children through college on a judge's salary, Judge Walden retired and resumed his private practice.
During this time, he spent a year as the city attorney for Fort Lauderdale. But in 1982, he returned to the bench. For the next 8 years, he served a second stint on the appeals court, attempting a second but even then not-so-complete retirement in 1990. He continued to serve as a retired judge on temporary duty until 1993.