The Florida Bar
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The Vote’s in YOUR COURT - Judicial Merit Retention

The Vote's in Your Court - Judicial merit retention. Know the Facts

Important dates
  • Oct. 6: Last day to register to vote for General Election
  • Nov. 4: General Election (Merit Retention/Trial Court Run-offs)
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2014 Guide for Florida Voters
Guia 2014 Para Los Votantes

The Guide for Florida Voters: Questions and Answers about Florida Judges, Judicial Elections and Merit Retention has answers to questions such as:
  • What is the difference between a county and circuit court judge and an appellate judge?
  • Why is it important to vote in judicial elections and merit retention elections?
  • What exactly does a judge do?


Guide for Florida Voters 2014 merit retention ballot
Voter Resources






Merit Retention Election/2014
Florida law requires Florida Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges to be placed on the ballot in nonpartisan elections every six years so voters can determine whether the judges or justices should remain on their courts for another six-year term. These are called "merit retention" elections. This year, 22 of the state's 61 appeals court judges will be on the ballot; there are no Supreme Court justices on the ballot.

The Florida Bar has produced pamphlets for each district court with biographies provided by the judges who will be on the ballot. A limited number of printed copies are available to community groups on request: dmaffei@flabar.org


First DCA Biographies
The court covers Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties. It has 15 judges. Five judges face merit retention votes in 2014.


Judge Robert T. Benton II

Judge
Robert T. Benton II
Judge Joseph Lewis Jr.

Judge
Joseph Lewis Jr.
Judge Scott Makar

Judge
Scott Makar
Judge Timothy Osterhaus

Judge
Timothy Osterhaus
Judge L. Clayton Roberts

Judge
L. Clayton Roberts

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Second DCA Biographies
The court covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties with 14 judges. Three judges face merit retention votes in 2014.


Judge Chris Altenbernd

Judge Chris Altenbernd
Judge Morris Silberman

Judge Morris Silberman
Judge Daniel Sleet

Judge Daniel Sleet

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Third DCA Biographies
The Third District Court of Appeal is comprised of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties and is served by 10 judges. Three of those judges face merit retention votes in 2014.



Judge Barbara Logoa

Judge Barbara Lagoa
Judge Thomas W. Logue

Judge Thomas W. Logue
Judge Vince E. Salter

Judge Vince E. Salter

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Fourth DCA Biographies
The Fourth District Court of Appeal is comprised of Broward, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties. Twelve judges serve the court, with four of those facing merit retention votes in 2014.



Judge Alan O Forst

Judge Alan O. Forst
Judge Mark Wayne Klingensmith

Judge Mark W. Klingensmith
Judge W. Matthew Stevenson

Judge W. Matthew Stevenson
Judge Martha Warner

Judge Martha C. Warner
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Fifth DCA Biographies
The Fifth District Court of Appeal includes the counties of Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter and Volusia. The court is served by 10 judges, with the Legislature adding an additional position beginning July 1, 2014. Seven of the court's judges face merit retention votes in 2014.


Judge Wendy W. Berger

Judge Wendy W. Berger
Judge Kerry I. Evande

Judge Kerry I. Evander
Judge C. Alan Lawson

Judge C. Alan Lawson
Judge Richard Orfinger

Judge Richard B. Orfinger



Judge William D. Palmer

Judge William D. Palmer
Judge Thomas D. Sawaya

Judge Thomas D. Sawaya
Judge F. Rand Willis

Judge F. Rand Wallis

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[Revised: 09-08-2014]