The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org

The Vote’s in YOUR COURT - First DCA Biographies

First District Court of Appeal
The Vote's in Your Court - Judicial merit retention. Know the Facts
Judge Robert T. Benton II

Judge Benton was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 1994 and served as chief judge from 2010-2013. Before that he served as a Hearing Officer with the Florida Division of Administration Hearings for 17 years.



  • Judge Benton served as a law clerk to Justice Joseph W. Hatchett of the Florida Supreme Court from 1975 to 1977.
  • He also was an Assistant Public Defender, Twelfth Judicial Circuit of Florida, from 1974 to 1975 and was an Interim Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Law from 1972-1973.
  • Judge Benton received his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 1971 and his J.D. with Honors from the University of Florida in 1970. He received his B.A. in 1967 from The Johns Hopkins University.

Visit the court website for Judge Robert Benton II's full biography. External Link





Judge Joseph Lewis Jr.

Chief Judge Joseph Lewis Jr. was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 2001 and began serving as chief judge in 2013. Before coming to the bench, Judge Lewis worked for several governmental agencies, including 19 years with the Office of the Attorney General.





  • From 1995 to 2000, he served as bureau chief of the Employment Litigation/Civil Litigation Section in the Office of the Attorney General and from 1981-1995 he served as senior attorney of the General Civil Litigation Section in the Attorney General's office.
  • Earlier in his career, Judge Lewis was an assistant public defender in the 2nd Judicial Circuit and before that a judicial researcher at the Florida Industrial Relations Commission.
  • Judge Lewis received his J.D. from Florida State University College of Law in 1977 and His B.S. from the University of Montana in 1974.

Visit the court website for Judge' Lewis' full biography. External Link




Judge Scott Makar

Judge Makar was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 2012. Before that, he served as solicitor general for the state of Florida from 2007 to 2012, under Attorneys General Bill McCollum and Pam Bondi.









  • From 2001 to 2007, he was the chief of the Appellate Division, Office of General Counsel, for the city of Jacksonville.
  • He was with Holland & Knight in Tampa, Jacksonville in Tallahassee from 1986 to 1987 and again from 1989 to 2001.
  • In 1988-1989, he served as judicial clerk to Judge Thomas A. Clark, U.S. court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, in Atlanta.
  • Judge Makar received his Ph.D. (economics) from the University of Florida in 1993, and his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law in 1987. He received an M.B.A. (finance) as well as an M.A. (economics) from the University of Florida in 1982. His B.S. (mathematics & economics) came from Mercer University in 1980.

Visit the court website for Judge Makar's complete biography. External Link






Judge Timothy Osterhaus


Judge Timothy Osterhaus was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 2013. Before that, he served as Solicitor General of Florida and Deputy Solicitor General.




  • Before working for the Office of Attorney General, Osterhaus was counsel in the Florida Department of Education and worked in private practice in Washington, D.C. He served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Ryskamp in West Palm Beach.

  • Judge Osterhaus is a charter member of the First District Appellate American Inn of Court (since 2008). He has served on both the Appellate Court Rules and Education Committees of The Florida Bar and has been a member of the Tallahassee Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society since 2005.
  • Judge Osterhaus received his bachelor’s degree from King College in Tennessee in 1993 and his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1997.

Visit the court website for Judge Osterhaus' complete biography. External Link





Judge L. Clayton Roberts


Judge L. Clayton Roberts was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 2007. Before that, he held a variety of posts with the state. He was deputy attorney general from 2006 to 2007 and executive deputy attorney general from 2003 to 2006.








  • At the Department of State, Judge Roberts was general counsel from 2002 to 2003 and director of the Florida Division of Elections from 1999 to 2002.
  • He was council attorney for the Public Responsibility Council, Florida House of Representatives, from 1998 to 1999, and staff director, Committee on Election Reform, in the Florida House, from 1997 to 1998.
  • Judge Roberts received his B.S. with concentration in Military History, from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, and his J.D. from Florida State University, College of Law, in 1991.

Visit the court website for Judge Clayton's full biography. External Link

Back to Top



[Revised: 06-17-2014]