Bar Board of Governors member Edwin Scales III has been appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the Third District Court of Appeal. Scales becomes the first person from the 16th Circuit to be appointed to the Third DCA, which also includes the 11th Circuit (Miami-Dade County).
Scott announced the appointment, to replace resigning Judge Angel Cortinas, on October 18.
“Ed has demonstrated a strong command of the law through his decades of legal experience and public service. I am confident he will be a superior judge and will serve Florida’s families with honesty, integrity, and true devotion to the rule of law,” Scott said.
Scales, who has applied for the Third DCA six times and been a finalist recommended to the governor three times, said he’s looking forward to the new challenge.
“The opinions rendered by Florida’s intermediate appellate courts not only adjudicate the parties’ dispute, but also provide clear guidance to Florida’s trial judges as well as practitioners and their clients. I’ve always wanted to be a part of this integral, dynamic process,” Scales said.
He added, “I will miss advocating for clients, what I’ve done for 22 years. And, from a Board of Governors perspective, I will miss advocating for lawyers, what I’ve tried to do for the past eight years. I’ll also miss the terrific folks with whom I’ve served and the fantastic staff of the Bar.”
Scales has served on the Board of Governors since 2005, winning a fifth term earlier this year, and has served as chair of the Legislation Committee and served on the Executive Committee from 2010-13. He said he plans to give up the seat soon because of his new post, and a special election will be held to replace him. He previously served on the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors.
Scales has run his own law firm since 2000, which handles mediation, appellate matters, commercial litigation, government relations, administrative, and land use practice. He has been of counsel at GrayRobinson since 2003. He is general counsel for the Florida Citrus Commission, vice chair of the Florida Ethics Commission, and is a trustee and former chair of Florida Keys Community College.
Among a host of civil and personal activities, Scales served four years on the Key West City Commission, served from 2001-5 on the Federal Judicial Nominating Committee, and since 1999 hosted a weekly music and talk radio show on WWUS 104.1 FM.
He is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he was student body president, and got his law degree from UF in 1991.
“I’m humbled and flattered to be the first from Monroe County in the court’s 57-year history,” he said. “From a practical perspective, it probably makes sense to have on the court judges from both of the two circuits, which constitute the district. My colleagues in the Keys were really supportive, amazingly enthusiastic, and genuinely happy for me.”