Women’s History Month  – Joan A. Lenard

Women’s History Month – Joan A. Lenard

Women’s History Month 

Joan A. Lenard

UDC Alum: Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

A lawyer and judge,  Joan A. Lenard serves on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

Judge Lenard was born in 1952 in Amityville, NY. She received her Associate of Arts degree from Rockland Community College in 1972, her Bachelor of Arts from Roger Williams College in 1973, and her J.D. from Antioch School of Law in 1976, a predecessor institution of the University of the District of Columbia’s law school.

Lenard served as the Assistant State Attorney in the State Attorney’s Office of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, Dade County from 1976-1982.  She then became Chief Assistant State’s Attorney of the Consumer Fraud Division from 1978 to 1980. In 1980, Lenard was Chief Prosecutor for the Consumer and Economic Crime Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida until 1982. In 1982, Lenard was Associate Judge of the Dade County Court until 1993 when she was appointed Circuit Court Judge in the Family Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida.

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Bob Graham, Lenard was nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida by President Bill Clinton on September 29, 1995 to a seat vacated by James L. King.  She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 22, 1995 on a Senate vote and received commission on December 26, 1995.

Judge Lenard was the presiding judge in the case of six Miami-area men who were accused of trying to destroy the Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago. On November 20, 2009, Judge Lenard sentenced the ringleader of the terror plot, Narseal Batiste to thirteen and a half years in federal prison. Batistie’s co-conspirators received sentences between five and eight years.

Lenard was the presiding judge in the third trial of the Liberty City Seven, after the first two trials ended in mistrials. She also has presided over the Moisés Maionica case, the civil trial of Juan López Grijalba, a Honduran Army colonel, who was found responsible for killings and kidnappings in Honduras during the 1980s and was ordered to pay $47 million to several torture victims and surviving relatives.

Judge Lenard presided over the case of The Cuban Five, also known as the Miami Five (Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González),  five Cuban intelligence officers who were arrested in September 1998 and later convicted in Miami of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign government, and other illegal activities in the United States.

Her judicial committees include Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Committee for the Appointment of Federal Public Defenders for the State of Florida; Southern District of Florida Planning Committee for the New Courthouse, Miami, Florida; Juror Utilization Committee United States District Court Southern District of Florida; as well as the Comprehensive Master Plan Committee for the Courts of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida; Sub-Committee on Technology; and the Florida Supreme Court Gender Bias Implementation Commission.

To learn more about Judge Joan A. Lenard, see the link below: https://ballotpedia.org/Joan_Lenard