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The Vote’s in YOUR COURT - Judicial Merit Retention


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Judicial Biographies
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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


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Videos

Consumer Videos
Videos: Merit selection and Retention


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Voter Resources


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Judicial Biographies
The Florida Bar will produce pamphlets for each district court and the Supreme Court, 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

Florida Supreme Court biographies

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.


Charles T. Canady

Jorge Labarga

Ricky L. Polston
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First District Court of Appeal 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 14 judges; six face merit retention votes in 2016.



Ross Bilbrey

Susan Kelsey

Lori S. Rowe

Kent Wetherell

Bo Winokur

Jim Wolf
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Second District Court of Appeal biographies

The court covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. It has 15 judges; 10 face merit retention votes in 2016.



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
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Third District Court of Appeal biographies

The court covers Dade and Monroe counties. It has 10 judges; two face merit retention votes in 2016.


Edwin A. Scales

Linda Ann Wells
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Fourth District Court of Appeal biographies

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.


Cory J. Ciklin

Dorian K. Damoorgian

Jonathan D. Gerber

Robert M. Gross

Spencer D. Levine

Melanie G. May

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Fifth District Court of Appeal biographies

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.



Jay Cohen

James A. Edwards

Brian Lambert

Vincent G. Torpy, Jr.

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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:
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[Revised: 05-25-2016]