The Florida Bar


July 24, 2012
Susannah Lyle;,
The Florida Bar

This year The Florida Bar is helping to answer voters' questions about judges and judicial elections and merit retention in several ways. The Bar has available:
"The Guide for Florida Voters: Questions and Answers about Florida Judges, Judicial Elections and Merit Retention" has answers to questions such as:
The guide also has a separate section with frequently asked questions about merit retention plus an overview of The Florida Bar's The Vote's in Your Court education program to make information about merit retention more accessible to voters.

The six-page guide was a joint project of The Florida Bar's Constitutional Judiciary Committee and Judicial Administration and Evaluation Committee with input from the Bar's Citizens Forum advisory group.

The guide is available in both English and Spanish. Printed copies in Spanish are sponsored by the Cuban American Bar Association. An online version is available for download in both Spanish and English. Copies may be requested by sending an email to

The Vote's in Your Court web page includes a video with the history of merit selection and retention, news programs and articles and biographies of the Supreme Court justices and district Court of Appeal judges who will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Voters can learn more about the circuit and county court candidates who will be on the Aug. 14 primary ballot through The Florida Bar Judicial Candidate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Statement program. Since early July, statements from 91 candidates in 76 judicial contests have been available online at

In September, the Bar will publish results of a merit retention poll of its in-state members regarding the 15 appellate judges and three Supreme Court justices who will be on the General Election ballot Nov. 6.

Every other year since 1978, The Florida Bar has polled its members seeking to find whether attorneys who know the most about District Court of Appeal and Supreme Court jurists believe they should continue in their jobs.

Ballots will be mailed in August to all lawyers residing and practicing in Florida and will ask respondents whether the incumbent justices and appeals court judges should be retained or not. The ballot will ask attorneys to consider eight attributes in making their decisions: quality and clarity of judicial opinions; knowledge of the law; integrity; judicial temperament; impartiality; freedom from bias/prejudice; demeanor; and courtesy.

Biographies and photos of the Supreme Court justices and DCA judges and additional information is available online at

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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."

[Revised: 07-24-2012]