New Court Administrator Chosen (Tampa edition)
By Hali White
Legal Affairs Editor
Sixth Circuit Chief Deputy Courts Administrator Gay Lynne Inskeep will replace Court Administrator Bill Lockhart when he retires Dec. 31. Inskeep's appointment was announced Nov. 12 by Chief Judge David Demers.
As administrator, Inskeep, 41, a lawyer, will head a non-judicial staff of 160 and oversee courthouse facilities at seven locations in Pasco and Pinellas counties. More than 50 people applied for the position that Lockhart has held since it was created in 1983, and a selection committee interviewed 13 candidates. The search committee - comprised of the circuit's administrative judges and two former chief judges who are still on the bench - selected three finalists for a second round of interviews before choosing Inskeep. The selection committee's choice was affirmed by a vote of all county and circuit judges.
Inskeep has been a Sixth Circuit employee since 1987, and in 1999, she became chief deputy, responsible for courts programs and programs staff. In that position, she helped develop and implement the circuit's prototype Unified Family Court, a widely praised program that has since been implemented in several other circuits around the state. Unified Family Court tries to keep all court cases involving a family, creating non-conflicting rulings and making it easier for the families to bring their cases to closure. Inskeep also oversees the circuit's probate and civil divisions in both counties and serves as liaison to various agencies, including the court clerks, local bar associations, Juvenile Welfare Board and victim advocacy groups.
In her new position, Inskeep will oversee implementation of the requirements of Revision 7, which shifts primary funding of the courts to the state. Until now, a majority of the funding was provided by the counties.
"My hope is that when our doors open on July 1, 2004 (the date Revision 7 will become fully implemented), no litigant or citizen will notice that we've had a funding shift, and that it will be business as usual, so that our citizens continue to access the courts without undue delay and will continue to receive the high quality of services that our dedicated staff of professionals has always provided," she says.