|Joseph W. DuRocher
Joseph W. DuRocher was born in 1938 and grew up in California and Florida, graduating from Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, FL in 1956. He attended Villanova University on an academic scholarship, earning a B.S. in Economics in 1960. He was commissioned in the U.S.Navy in 1961 and designated as a Naval Aviator. Until his Honorable Discharge in April 1965 he flew helicopters off aircraft carriers stationed in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas.
The University of Florida College of Law awarded Mr. DuRocher the Juris Doctor degree in 1967. In the same year he was admitted to practice and founded the firm of Panico and DuRocher in Orlando. In January 1970 the Orange County Bar Association named him director of its’ Legal Aid Society. Governor Askew appointed him Judge of the Juvenile Court of Orange County in October 1971. He left this judicial post in September 1976 to establish the firm of DuRocher and Walsh engaging in the private practice of criminal, juvenile and family law.
In 1980, Mr. DuRocher was elected Public Defender of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, comprised of Orange and Osceola Counties, FL. He was elected to four additional terms, retiring in January 2001. During these twenty years the Office of the Public Defender grew to employ over eighty attorneys, process over thirty thousand cases a year and manage an annual budget of over seven million dollars. In 2000 the Orange County Bar Association presented him its’ criminal law award as Footsoldier of the Constitution. The American Bar Association presented him its’ 2001 Charles Dorsey Award in recognition of “his exemplary legal career and his devotion to serving the poor and underprivileged”. Since retirement Mr. DuRocher has taught as an adjunct professor at both the University of Central Florida and the Barry University School of Law. In July 2003 the Orange County Bar Association called him to act as Interim Executive Director. He held this post until December 2003. The Barry Univ. School of Law presented him their Allies for Justice Award for 2005.
Mr. DuRocher studies, writes and teaches in the fields of criminal law, human rights and ecology. He is an active member of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, Amnesty International and of other professional and social justice organizations. Since 1961 he has been married to Dr. Rosemary DuRocher and is the father of grown children: Beth, John and Michael, and grandfather of Kalinda and Kenai. He and Rosemary have companion Standard Poodles: Blazer and Boxer.
Mr. DuRocher can be reached at PDJWD@aol.com