By Dawn Krebs
MARTIN COUNTY -- On June 14, Martin County resident Alan Forst became the newest judge to join the Fourth District Court of Appeal.
The event was marked with a special judicial investiture at the Martin County Courthouse that included a number of representatives of the bar associations and fellow judges.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal covers Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties. This is the first time a Martin County resident was named a judge for the district since 1988.
"I knew one the judges was going to be leaving the court at the beginning of this year," Judge Forst said. "I went through a few interviews, with the final one being with Governor Rick Scott."
His first full-time job out of college was at the Commission on Civil Rights, and then he went on to become the special assistant to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the United Stated Department of Justice.
He continued with his career path in Washington, D.C. before moving to Stuart in 1998 to work for Crary Buchanan and his law firm and be closer to his family.
"I've had the opportunity to work with a great group of people," he said. "And as a result of moving to Martin County, I've made some friends for life."
Though he took over the official duties of a judge three months ago, the ceremony gave his wife, three children and colleagues the opportunity to recognize his achievement.
"I do not take lightly the responsibility of being a state appellate judge," he said. "I have such respect for people who have made the law their career."
He also acknowledged the many people that came out to see him start his new career path.
"I cannot come close to expressing how deeply I appreciate seeing my family, colleagues, neighbors and friends today, and how truly humbled I am," Judge Forst said.