Keith Merritt is a well-respected and upstanding member of the 10th Circuit community. He is running for judge and is asking his community for their support of his candidacy. Keith’s deep familiarity with the region, leadership experience, and legal expertise would make him an excellent judge: one whom citizens can trust to make the right decisions on their behalf.
Merritt learned the value of community service from his father, who served as an Episcopal priest in Lakeland for more than forty years. Demonstrating his love of defending his community, Merritt served 6 years in the Navy aboard nuclear submarines. He returned from his service with honors from his commanding officers, who recognized his courage, his intelligence, and his leadership skills.
Merritt has lived in the Lakeland area for most of his life. Merritt’s family moved to Lakeland in 1975, and he graduated from Lakeland High School in 1980. He knows the area like only a local could, which informs his decision making every day. He served as Lakeland City Commissioner for four years, giving him advanced insight into the issues the community faces. Merritt is ready to combine his leadership experience with his legal expertise to serve as a Circuit Court judge.
He earned his law degree from the University of Florida. While many judges have backgrounds primarily in criminal law, Merritt’s extensive experience in civil law would bring a fresh and needed perspective to the court. During his long, 19-year legal history, he defended underserved and at-risk groups, including citizens at risk for bankruptcy and foreclosure. He also fought for the rights of children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected as a Guardian ad Litem Program Attorney. His expertise in civil law and in defending those most in need will be tremendous assets to the 10th Circuit. Merritt brings a needed breadth and depth of civil experience to a bench with more sufficient criminal experience to protect the citizens of the 10th Circuit.
To be effective, a judge must have service in his heart. He must know the community, understand its needs, and be ready to defend its values. Most of all, a judge must have a deep knowledge of the law and experience with a wide range of legal issues.
Keith Merritt possesses these traits. He is an experienced lawyer with a long history of defending people in need. Keith is a true representative of our community and will make a fair and honorable judge.
Keith Merritt is a proud US Veteran. In six years of active duty as a Nuclear Electrician, he earned his Dolphins aboard two (2) submarines, became a Navy Scuba Diver and received commendations from the Commander of Submarines in the Pacific and the Commanding Officer of the USS Bremerton.
The proven leadership skills he learned in the Navy has been the foundation of his career and the heart of his service to his community.
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