Judge Perez's Investiture

Judge Perez's Investiture

In a packed courtroom on February 25th, 2022, friends, fellow judges, family, and community leaders gathered to finally celebrate the Investiture of Circuit Judge Gilberto Perez.

“The State of Florida is fortunate to have someone as impartial caring and honest as Judge Perez,” said long-time friend, Margie Amador Robinson.

Judge Perez assumed office in October 2020. However, his Investiture plans were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The benefit of having an investiture a year and a half after my appointment is that I can stand here and confidentially tell you how much I love what I am doing,” said Circuit Judge Gil Perez.

Judge Perez was a family law magistrate for five years before his appointment to the bench. As a magistrate, he presided over family law, Baker Act, and Marchman Act proceedings. Fitting that he now serves as one of two United Family Court Judges in Lee County.

“It takes a very special person. All those cases are tough,” said Chief Judge McHugh. “It’s a hard docket and he is perfectly situation for it with his background, his temperament and his personality and he has just done an extraordinary job.”

Chief Judge McHugh addressing the audiance.

Judge Perez started his legal career at the Miami-Dade Legal Aid Society representing low-income clients in family court. He later joined the Children’s Legal Services Division of the Office of the Florida Attorney General in Fort Lauderdale, representing the State in juvenile dependency proceedings, and eventually becoming Bureau Chief. In 2002, Judge Perez moved to Southwest Florida to serve as an Assistant State Attorney, ultimately prosecuting sex crimes and crimes against children. He later returned to the area of family law, practicing both with Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt and at his own firm in Fort Myers.

“We are so lucky here in the 20th Circuit,” said Kati Smith Calvo, who worked with Judge Perez when he was an attorney. “The members of our bench and of our bar are all accomplished and intelligent people but Judge Perez is ridiculously smart and he surpasses all the standards in any endeavor. He doesn’t just do a good job, he excels.”

Judge Gilberto Perez is a first-generation American born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents who immigrated to the United States in 1967.

“He is the epitome of the American dream,” said Judge Perez’s niece, Ericka Sanchez.

Judge Perez completed his undergraduate studies at Florida International University, majoring in Psychology. He later graduated cum laude from Notre Dame Law School in Indiana before returning to Florida to begin his legal career.

“I can promise you that each time I put on this black robe and take the bench… I do so without forgetting the oath to apply the law as it is written fairly and consistently, while not forgetting where I came from,” said Judge Perez.

Judge Perez speaking at his investiture.