Stephen Henry "Steve" Grimes (born November 17, 1927) is an American lawyer and jurist. He served as a justice of the Florida Supreme Court from 1987 to 1996, including as Chief Justice from 1994 until 1996.
Early life and education
Grimes was born in Peoria, Illinois, the son of Henry H. and June K. Grimes. He received his Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida in 1950 and his LL.B. from the University of Florida Law School in 1954 with honors. At UF Grimes was president of Alpha Tau Omega. He was a member of Florida Blue Key, Phi Delta Phi legal honor society and the Order of the Coif and served as editor-in-chief of the Florida Law Review.
Grimes served in the U.S. Navy from 1951-1953 before moving to Bartow, Florida and joining the law firm of Holland & Knight. He became the head of the firm's litigation department. Grimes served as president of the Tenth Judicial Circuit Bar Association in 1966 and became a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1971.
Grimes was appointed to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal in October 1973, serving as chief judge from 1978-1980. Grimes was the chair of the Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges from 1978–80 and was also a member of the Florida Supreme Court Appellate Structure Commission, the Florida Supreme Court Article V Review Commission, the Florida Council on Criminal Justice, and the Florida Bar Tort Litigation Review Commission. In addition Grimes has served as vice-chair of the Florida Appellate Rules Committee, and the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases, serving as chair for two years. Grimes was also a member of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission from 1983–86 and was its vice-chair for two years. He chaired the Judicial Council of Florida from 1989-1994.
Florida Governor Bob Martinez appointed Grimes to the Florida Supreme Court on January 30, 1987. He became Chair of the Article V Task Force in 1994, and served as a faculty member of the Florida Judicial College. Grimes was selected by the court as Chief Justice on April 21, 1994, serving until May 31, 1996, when he left the court due to mandatory retirement provisions in the Florida Constitution After leaving the court he returned to Holland & Knight.
Outside the law
Grimes served as president of the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce in 1964. He has also served on the boards of the Polk Public Museum, the Bartow Memorial Hospital, the Bartow Public Library, and the Polk County Law Library. Grimes has also been the president of the Bartow Rotary Club, and he was the district governor of Rotary International from 1960–1961; he is a member of the Rotary Club of Tallahassee. Grimes served on the board of trustees for Polk Community College for three years and was chair in 1970.
Grimes was an active member of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Bartow for over 30 years, and was vice counsel of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida from 1971-1973.
Grimes married Faye Fulghum of Lakeland in 1951; they have four daughters (Gay, Mary June, Sue, and Sheri) and nine grandchildren.
Grimes has taught as an adjunct instructor of criminal justice at Florida Southern College. In 1980 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Stetson University.