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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 Simone Marstiller

Judge Simone MarstillerJudge Marstiller was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 2010. Her varied legal career, which began in 1996, has been exclusively in service to the State of Florida.

  • Judge Marstiller served as Senior Appellate Attorney and Chief Appellate Counsel for AHCA, involved in issues relating to the licenses of health care practitioners, rule challenges and Medicaid provider contracts and reimbursements.
  • She served as Assistant General Counsel to the Governor of Florida in 2001, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor in 2003, General Counsel for the Department of Management Services (DMS), State Chief Information Officer in 2004, Secretary of the Department Business and Professional Regulation in 2005 and appointed Associative Deputy Attorney General for the State of Florida in 2007.
  • She served as Executive Director for the Florida Elections Commission before appointed to the appellate court in 2010, where she oversaw the investigation and prosecution of complaints filed with the commission and was the chief administrative officer for the agency.

Visit the court website for Judge Simone Marstiller’s full biography. External Link





Judge Stephanie W. Ray

Judge Stephanie W. RayJudge Ray was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal on June 27, 2011 by Governor Rick Scott.

  • Judge Ray previously held offices and positions as Chair of the State of Florida Public Employees Relations Commission, Chair of the Second Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, Associate/Assistant Dean, Florida State University College of Law, and Attorney, Ausley & McMullen, P.A., Tallahassee.
  • She is involved in various professional and civic activities, including The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism, The Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, and Leadership Florida Class XXIX.
  • Judge Ray is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Outstanding Jurist Award and The Florida Bar Labor & Employment Law Section Volunteer of the Year Award.

Visit the court website for Judge Stephanie W. Ray’s full biography. External Link




Judge R.V. Swanson

Judge R.V. SwansonJudge Swanson served in the United States Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corp for over 20 years, retiring as Navy Captain in 1995.

  • He was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal by Governor Rick Scott in June 2011.
  • While on active duty, Judge Swanson was involved in numerous assignments, including in ships of the Atlantic Fleet.
  • Upon retirement, Judge Swanson served as Assistant State Attorney, First Judicial Circuit.
  • He has received various military awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and Overseas Service National Defense Medal.
  • Judge Swanson is involved in numerous religious and civic associations, including the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Northwest Florida, Pensacola, Florida.

Visit the court website for Judge R.V. Swanson’s full biography. External Link






Judge Bradford Lee Thomas


Judge Bradford Lee ThomasJudge Thomas was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 2005 and currently still serving.

  • Judge Thomas has been published in two legal publications, the Cumberland Law Review and the Florida Bar Journal.
  • He has been involved in associations, including the Florida Bar, First District Appellate American Inn of Court, and William Stafford Tallahassee Inn of Court.
  • He has held many positions including Public Safety Policy Coordinator, Executive Office of the Governor, Assistant State Attorney, Second Judicial Circuit, State of Florida, and Assistant General Counsel, Florida Parole Commission
  • Judge Thomas is from Jacksonville, FL, and is married to Susan Ann Cox with which he has one child.

Visit the court website for Judge Bradford Lee Thomas’s full biography. External Link



[Revised: 07-16-2012]