Greco takes another turn on the bench

By Colleen Jenkins and Abbie VanSickle, Times Staff Writer
Published February 13, 2008

Former Hillsborough Circuit Judge Dick Greco Jr., who left the bench in 2001 to enter private practice, is back at the Tampa Courthouse as a senior judge.

Greco, son of the former Tampa mayor with the same name, resigned abruptly from office with about five years left on his term. He had served since 1990.

"My motivation is financial," he said then as his reason for leaving to join the law firm then known as Morgan, Colling & Gilbert.

Grecoworked there as a personal injury lawyer until this spring, then he ventured into solo practice. He retired at year's end and decided he'd like to do some judging again, he said Friday.

He won't be seeking another appointment, however.

"I'm not interested in a full-time position," he said.

An honor deserved

Carlton Fields shareholder Sylvia Hardaway Walbolt has received the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, the highest public honor awarded by the Florida Supreme Court to a private attorney.

At a ceremony Jan. 31, Chief Justice Fred Lewis said Walbolt has "created an indelible culture of pro bono service in her firm" with a "special emphasis on cases with systemic impact," according to the Florida Bar News.

Walbolt, who has spent 44 years with the firm's Tampa office, is credited with persuading it to become a charter member of the ABA Pro Bono Challenge, which fosters corporate counsel pro bono work.

She also helped fight for, and won, an extended deadline for DNA testing for prisoners who said they were wrongly convicted.

Danelle Dykes Barksdale picked up the Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award for the 13th judicial circuit.

An adoption lawyer with the Law Offices of Jeanne T. Tate in Tampa, Barksdale has donated more than 100 hours representing low-income residents in adoption matters and more than 100 hours on legal aid.

Bench opening

Another local judicial nominating commission is gearing up to pick a new judge.

With state law mandating the retirement of 2nd District Court of Appeal Judge E.J. Salcines when he turns 70 in July, the commission is seeking qualified candidates.

Applications must be delivered by March 10 to the committee chairman, Tampa lawyer Hardy L. Roberts III.

Got a tip? For cops news, contact Abbie VanSickle at vansickle@sptimes.com or 813 226-3373. For courts news, contact Colleen Jenkins at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.