The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org

The Vote’s in YOUR COURT - Judicial Merit Retention


The Vote's in Your Court


On This Page

Merit retention poll and media coverage
Voter Guide
Videos
Voter Resources
Judicial Biographies
Court Decisions

Important Election Dates for 2016
  • Aug. 1: Voter registration deadline for Primary Election
  • Aug. 30: Primary Election
  • Oct. 11: Voter registration deadline for General Election
  • Nov. 8: General Election
  • Need to know where to vote? Contact your local Supervisors of Elections office.





Back to Top
Florida Bar merit retention poll

The statewide merit retention judicial poll for Florida Supreme Court justices and District Courts of Appeal judges is conducted every two years by The Florida Bar. In-state members are asked to rate judges and justices who are up for retention and of whom they have direct knowledge. The merit retention poll is supervised by the Judicial Administration & Evaluation Committee of The Florida Bar.

2016 merit retention poll results

The 2016 merit retention poll was mailed to in-state Florida Bar members on Aug. 15. Results are now available:

Poll results PDF document opens in new window

Florida Bar news release


Media coverage

Lawyers rate jurists facing retention vote (Florida Bar News, Sept. 13)

Poll: Bar members like current judges (The Ledger, Sept. 13)

Poll: Bar members like current judges (News4Jax, Sept. 13)




Guide for Florida VotersVoter Guide
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. In 2016, three Supreme Court justices and 28 of the state's 62 appeals court judges will be on the ballot.
The 2016 Guide 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: Q and A about Judges, Judicial Elections and Merit Retention PDF document opens in new window

Guia para los votantes en español PDF document opens in new window


Back to Top
Videos
Consumer Videos
Videos: Merit Selection and Retention


Back to Top
Voter Resources

Back to Top
Judicial Biographies
The Florida Bar has produced a Merit Retention brochure with biographical information provided by the judges and justices who will be on the ballot. A limited number of printed copies are available to community groups on request. Contact mhohmeister@floridabar.org.

Florida Supreme Court
First District Court of Appeal
Second District Court of Appeal
Third District Court of Appeal
Fourth District Court of Appeal
Fifth District Court of Appeal



Supreme Court
The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court in Florida. Supreme Court justices decide death penalty appeals and appeals from decisions of the appellate courts; resolve conflicts among appellate courts; and oversee the administration of Florida’s court system.

The Florida Supreme Court has seven justices; three face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies
Supreme Court


Charles T. Canady

Jorge Labarga

Ricky L. Polston
Back to Top



First District Court of Appeal
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.

The First DCA has 14 judges; six face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.
First DCA Building


Ross Bilbrey

Susan Kelsey

Lori S. Rowe

Kent Wetherell

Bo Winokur

Jim Wolf
Back to Top



Second District Court of Appeal
The court covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.

The Second DCA has 15 judges; 10 face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.
2nd DCA Building


John Badalamenti

Marva L. Crenshaw

Patricia J. Kelly

Nelly N. Khouzam

Matt Lucas

Robert Morris

Stevan Travis Northcutt

Samuel Salario, Jr.

Craig C. Villanti

Douglas Alan Wallace
Back to Top



Third District Court of Appeal
The court covers Dade and Monroe counties. It has 10 judges; two face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.
3nd DCA Building

Edwin A. Scales

Linda Ann Wells
Back to Top



Fourth District Court of Appeal
The court covers Broward, Indian River, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties. It has 12 judges; six face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.
4th DCA Building

Cory J. Ciklin

Dorian K. Damoorgian

Jonathan D. Gerber

Robert M. Gross

Spencer D. Levine

Melanie G. May

Back to Top



Fifth District Court of Appeal
The court covers Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter and Volusia counties.

It has 11 judges; four face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.

5th DCA Building

Jay Cohen

James A. Edwards

Brian Lambert

Vincent G. Torpy, Jr.

Back to Top
Florida Supreme Court and Appellate Courts decisions
Learn more about the opinions handed down by the Florida Supreme Court and the state's five appellate courts:
Back to Top

[Revised: 09-26-2016]