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The Vote’s in YOUR COURT - Third DCA Biographies

Third District Court of Appeal
The Vote's in Your Court - Judicial merit retention. Know the Facts



Judge Angel A. Cortiñas

Judge Angel A. CortinasServing as a Florida Bar member since 1989, Judge Angel A. Cortiñas also served on the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions in Business Cases, and was a member of the Florida Bar Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services.
  • Judge Angel A. Cortiñas graduated Cum Laude from Harvard Law School with his J.D. in 1987. He also has an A.B. in Latin American Studies and Political Science from Brown University.
  • He has received many awards and honors including Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service given by Attorney General John Ashcroft, 2001; National Crime Victims Award given by Attorney General Janet Reno, 2000; President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency Award for Successful Prosecution of Interstate Moving Company Cases, 2004.
  • Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, he studied at University of Cordoba in Spain and Pontificia Universidade Catolica in Brazil.
    Visit the court website for Judge Angel A. Cortiñas’s full biography. External Link


    Judge Kevin Emas

    Judge Kevin EmasJudge Kevin Emas was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to the Miami-Dade County Court in 1996, then by Governor Jeb Bush to the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit, and finally Governor Charlie Crist appointed him to the Third District Court of Appeal.
    • Judge Emas received his J.D. (cum laude) from the University Of Miami School of Law in 1982, where he served as an editor of the University of Miami Law Review.
    • As a member of the trial court bench for 14 years, Judge Emas served in the Domestic Violence, Criminal, Civil and Family Divisions.
    • Since 1998, Judge Emas has been a faculty member of the Florida Judicial College, teaching newly-elected and newly-appointed judges prior to their taking the bench. He has taught at numerous statewide conferences for Circuit and County Court Judges, and has served as a Faculty Chair for Florida’s College of Advanced Judicial Studies.
      Visit the court website for Judge Kevin Emas’s full biography. External Link


      Judge Ivan F. Fernandez

      Judge Ivan F. FernandezGovernor Rick Scott appointed Judge Ivan F. Fernandez to the Third District Court of Appeal. He took office on September 1, 2011.
      • He is a graduate of the University of Miami, School of Law. Judge Fernandez was admitted to the Florida Bar on June 24, 1993 and to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on January 19, 1996.
      • Judge Fernandez has served the public for 36 years. Prior to taking the bench, he served as a prosecutor, as a civil trial lawyer, as a police officer, having retired from the City of Miami Police Department as a police major, and as a Military Police Investigator in the United States Army.
      • He is a member of the Dade County Bar Association and the Cuban American Bar Association.
        Visit the court website for Judge Ivan F. Fernandez’s full biography. External Link


        Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg

        Judge Leslie B. RothenbergAppointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Third District Court of Appeal, Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg continues to serve with distinction as an appellate court judge.
        • Judge Rothenberg began her legal career in 1986 as a prosecutor in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office prosecuting drunk drivers as a member of the federally funded DUI Task Force.
        • In 1992 Judge Rothenberg was elected to the Circuit Court Bench serving for eleven years in the criminal, civil, and the appellate divisions, and distinguishing herself as a very hands-on, trial active judge.
        • She currently sits on the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and was recently appointed by the governor to sit on the Capital Crimes Commission.
        • Judge Rothenberg’s community service is as broad and extensive as she has served on the Board of Directors for the Manhood Development Council, the Board of Directors for Kristi House, and with Women and Children First.
          Visit the court website for Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg’s full biography. External Link


          Judge Richard J. Suarez

          Judge Richard J. SuarezIn 2002, Judge Suarez was appointed to serve as a County Court Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit by Governor Jeb Bush. In 2004, Governor Bush appointed Judge Suarez to serve as a Judge on the Third District Court of Appeal.
          • Judge Suarez was awarded his JD degree, cum laude, from the University Of Miami School Of Law where he was a member of the Moot Court Board and on the Dean’s List.
          • His civic activities have included Board of Directors for The Ronald McDonald House of South Florida, WLRN Public Television Station and the Florida Humanities Council.
          • Judge Richard J. Suarez Professional Associations and Admissions include the Dade County Defense Bar Association; American Bar Association; Cuban American Bar Association; and the Florida Bar Standing Committee.
          • He has been admitted to practice by the United States Federal Court for the Southern District of Florida, the United States Federal Court for the Middle District of Florida, and by the United States Court of Appeals.
            Visit the court website for Judge Richard J. Suarez’s full biography. External Link
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            [Revised: 05-31-2012]