“My name is Jenny Higginbotham Barrett and I am running for Nassau County Court Judge, Group 1 for 2020. I am 43 years old and was I born and raised in Callahan, FL. I am a sixth generation Nassau County resident, currently living on the same property as my grandmother and my daddy.
Eight years ago—my life and name changed because I married Scott Barrett, a Jacksonville native. He is also 43 years old and is an insurance adjuster who is very busy during hurricane season inspecting property damage and reporting damage to multiple insurance companies.
We have two children. Max is in first grade and Isabella is in kindergarten at Callahan Elementary School – the same school both my daddy and I attended. We have a dog, Sammy, who is 11, and 3 cats—Onyx, Topaz, and Mama Cat.
I attended public school in Callahan – Callahan Elementary, Intermediate, and Middle and graduated from West Nassau High School in 1994. While in high school, I excelled as an athlete and lettered four years in basketball and softball. I was a Scholar Athlete and All County Softball player with a State Championship. I was the 1994 West Nassau Homecoming Queen and the 1991 Miss North East Florida Fair Queen.
Although I loved playing sports, I reluctantly retired my softball glove to focus on my education. In 1994, I started my journey at the University of North Florida where I majored in English with a Minor in Criminal Justice. While at UNF, I was active in the Pre-Law program and I was a founding member of UNF’s Mock Trial Team.
In 1998, I graduated magna cum laude from UNF, and left to attend Florida State University Law School. While in law school, I was involved in student activities and broadened my legal education by studying abroad at Oxford University, United Kingdom, for a semester. In Oxford, I studied the English Legal System as well as Restitution under the English Professors.
After graduating from law school in May 2001, I started working for the Public Defender of the Second Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee. During my second week as an Assistant Public Defender, I tried my first DUI case. This would be the first of thousands of cases I handled over the next 2½ years as a public defender. I cut my teeth as a young lawyer defending people who could not afford to pay for counsel. This was not the glamorous “attorney” life that I saw on television; rather, it was long hours researching the law, visiting jail, and counseling my clients regarding options under the law.
In 2004, I moved back to Callahan and worked for a small attorney’s office in Jacksonville handling worker’s compensation, family law, and employment law cases in state and federal court.
For the past 15 years, I have worked for Fidelity in multiple attorney roles involving title insurance contracts, disputes, torts, and mortgage fraud. I specialize in fraud and defalcation, and most recently, wire fraud. On a daily basis, I work with our Privacy Counsel, Compliance and Regulatory Counsel and our IT Security Operations team to assist in the legal investigation of wire fraud. I have worked on a case where we traced the money overseas to Hong Kong and on to Dubai, where the money finally disappeared. I have become proficient in eDiscovery which has changed the way cases are litigated.
Handling cases in over 40 states during my tenure at Fidelity, I have been exposed to many different jurisdictions where I was responsible to learn the law and procedures and manage litigation, attorneys, negotiate settlements and be deposed as a witness for the company or a customer.
This has enhanced my skills as well in dealing with different kinds of professionals and experts. Through these cases, I have also become a more effective listener – listening to the facts but also learning to appreciate and empathize with the speaker so that we could resolve the dispute within the confines of the law and jurisdiction. Sometimes disputes cannot be resolved without using the judicial system. I have learned that long drawn out processes create bigger problems and the ability to push a case forward to trial is best for all parties rather than engaging in lengthy expensive discovery and motion practices. For the past 15 years, I have worked closely with federal and local law enforcement in an effort to provide them with all the evidence necessary to prosecute crimes.
I have been a member of Callahan First Baptist Church my entire life. My church family is very important to me.
I am passionate about all sports. Since I have two children, my passion to play has morphed into coaching. I have served as an assistant coach for Little League and head coach for Upwards Basketball. If I am not attending a church, school, or sporting function with my family, you can find me at the pool, beach, or watching Braves Baseball.
My knowledge and experience as a daughter, wife, mother, attorney, property owner and resident of Nassau County qualifies me to be the right choice for Nassau County Judge.”
Paid for by Jenny Higginbotham Barrett, Nonpartisan Candidate, for Nassau County Judge, Group 1