Judge Vance E. Salter

Judge Salter was born in Pasadena, California.  As an “Army brat,” he moved throughout the country every few years.  He attended high school in Northern Virginia while his father was stationed at the Pentagon.  Judge Salter married a classmate from that high school, Mary Moulis Salter, after graduating from Brown University and enlisting in the Army.  He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and attained the rank of Captain, USAR, before completing his military service.  The Salters have four children, three of whom are attorneys in Denver, Atlanta and Philadelphia, and eight grandchildren.

After his military service, Judge Salter attended law school at the University of Virginia, graduating in 1976.  He started as an associate with the Miami firm of Steel Hector & Davis, becoming a partner there in 1981.  From 1987-2000, Judge Salter was a commercial litigation partner with the firm of Coll Davidson Carter Smith Salter & Barkett, and he joined the Miami office of international law firm Hunton & Williams in 2000.  Judge Salter was appointed to the Court by Governor Charlie Crist in June, 2007, winning retention elections in 2008 and 2014. 

While in private practice, Judge Salter worked on a wide variety of cases for the benefit of those otherwise unable to obtain an attorney, including mental health guardianships, post-conviction work for an inmate on Alabama’s death row, an interstate child custody dispute, and domestic violence cases.  He received the top “pro bono publico” awards from the Florida Supreme Court (the Chief Justice’s Tobias Simon award) and the American Bar Association for that work.  Judge Salter was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the St. Thomas University School of Law and knighthood in the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II for his charitable service. 

Judge Salter’s community service while in private practice also included service as a Board member and officer of Legal Services of Greater Miami (1988 – 2007) and Catholic Legal Services (1998 – 2007).  From 1993 through 2019, Judge Salter was a Board member of the Miami Learning Experience School, a not for profit school for children and young adults with developmental disabilities attended by the Salters’ youngest son.

While in private practice, Judge Salter appeared before this Court as a practitioner in numerous appellate matters, and before other state and federal courts of appeals as well.  He is a 40-year member of the Dade County Bar Association and was recognized as a top practitioner in Best Lawyers in America and the Florida Trend “Superlawyers."

Judge Salter has served the Florida Courts as a member of the Appellate Courts Technology Committee, member and chair of the District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability Commission, co-chair of The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, and a member of other judicial workgroups appointed by the Chief Justice from time to time.