The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org
Fifth District Court of Appeal
The Vote's in Your Court - Judicial merit retention. Know the Facts





Judge Jay Cohen

Judge Jay P. Cohen began serving in the Fifth DCA in 2008, after almost 18 years as a county and circuit judge. In the Ninth Judicial Circuit and in Orange County, he served in virtually every division of the court system and was administrative judge of the appellate, civil and criminal divisions. Previously, he worked in private practice, and he began his legal career as an assistant state attorney. Before taking the bench, Judge Cohen was a member and vice chair of a Florida Bar Grievance Committee, chair of Fee Arbitration Panels, mediator with Citizens Dispute Settlement and active participant in the Orange County Bar Association Pro-Bono program. In 1990, Judge Cohen received the Award of Excellence from the Orange County Bar Association for outstanding community service. He earned his J.D.at the University of Florida College of Law and a B.A. at the University of Florida.

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

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Judge James A. Edwards

Judge James A. Edwards began serving in the Fifth DCA in 2014. While in private practice for 35 years, he represented clients in state and federal courts throughout Florida and the Caribbean in litigation and appeals. He also served as a neutral mediator for state and federal cases. His appellate practice included cases before all five district courts of appeal in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits. He is a fellow of The Florida Bar Foundation and a member of The Florida Bar’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. In 2013, judge Edwards received the William Trickel, Jr. Award, presented by Orange County Bar Association to recognize outstanding professionalism and leadership. He earned his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law and his B.A. from Auburn University.


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

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Judge Brian Lambert
Judge Brian D. Lambert began serving in the Fifth DCA in 2014. Before that, he was a circuit court judge in the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Marion County, from 2000 to 2014. In nearly 20 years in private practice, he represented insurance companies, the Marion County School Board and the Ocala Housing Authority, among others. He has served on Florida Bar and Supreme Court committees, including The Florida Bar’s Grievance Committee for the Fifth Judicial Circuit. He is a certified mentor for new judges appointed or elected in the Fifth Circuit. He was a Division 1 tennis player in college and still coaches and officiated youth sports. He earned his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law and a B.S. from Eastern Michigan University.

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

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Judge Vincent G. Torpy, Jr.

Judge Vincent G. Torpy, Jr. began serving in the Fifth DCA in 2003, and he was the chief judge from 2012 to 2014. He developed an interest in the law during his senior year in high school, while working as a janitor at the courthouse in Carmel, New York. He had a brief career as a police office before returning to school to earn his undergraduate degree and then attending law school. He was in private practice for more than 15 years before he was appointed to a judgeship in the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit in 1999. He served for three years in the criminal and civil/family divisions and also served as the administrative judge of the family division. Judge Torpy is president of the Vassar Carlton Inns of Court. He earned his J.D. from Florida State University and his B.A. from the University of Central Florida.

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

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[Revised: 06-14-2016]