The Florida Bar

Merit Retention Poll

Every two years, the Florida Bar’s Constitutional Judiciary Committee oversees a statewide merit retention poll that asks in-state Florida Bar members to rate judges and justices who are up for retention votes and of whom they have direct knowledge. The poll results may be useful to Florida voters.

2020 Florida Bar Merit Retention Poll Results

The poll was sent in August by mail and by email to Florida Bar members in good standing. Election Services Co. asked members to rate judges and justices up for retention votes and of whom they have direct knowledge.

Download Merit Retention Poll Results

Retention Poll Summary

Total Ballots Distributed: 78,405
Total Ballots Returns by Mail: 2,518
Total Ballots Returned by Internet: 1,108
Percentage of Ballots Returned: 4.62%

Results by Percentage

Florida Supreme Court

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain
Carlos G. Muñiz 63% 37% 76% 24% 71% 29%

First District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain
Joseph Lewis, Jr. 84% 16% 84% 16% 84% 16%
Scott Makar 80% 20% 80% 20% 80% 20%
Rachel Nordby 68% 32% 73% 27% 71% 29%
Tim Osterhaus 74% 26% 77% 23% 76% 24%
Clay Roberts 80% 20% 80% 20% 80% 20%
Adam S. Tanenbaum 69% 31% 78% 22% 74% 26%

Second District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain
Drew Atkinson 69% 31% 80% 20% 76% 24%
Morris Silberman 92% 8% 88% 12% 90% 10%
Daniel H. Sleet 86% 14% 83% 17% 85% 15%
Andrea Teves Smith 80% 20% 84% 16% 82% 18%

Third District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain
Monica Gordo 79% 22% 78% 22% 78% 22%
Eric William Hendon 81% 19% 80% 20% 80% 20%
Fleur Jeannine Lobree 81% 19% 77% 23% 79% 21%
Thomas Logue 87% 13% 83% 17% 85% 15%
Bronwyn Catherine Miller 86% 14% 79% 21% 83% 17%

Fourth District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain
Alan O. Forst 76% 24% 79% 21% 78% 22%
Mark W. Klingensmith 78% 22% 81% 19% 79% 21%
Martha C. Warner 91% 9% 86% 14% 89% 11%

Fifth District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain
Kerry I. Evander 86% 14% 85% 15% 86% 14%
Jamie Grosshans* 66% 34% 76% 24% 72% 28%
John M. Harris 81% 19% 81% 19% 81% 19%
Richard B. Orfinger 87% 13% 86% 14% 86% 14%
Meredith Sasso 66% 34% 77% 23% 73% 27%
F. Rand Wallis 82% 18% 81% 19% 81% 19%

Results by Numbers

Florida Supreme Court

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Total Responses
Carlos G. Muñiz 243 141 554 179 797 320 1,117

First District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Total Responses
Joseph Lewis, Jr. 254 48 304 59 558 107 665
Scott Makar 313 76 319 78 632 154 786
Rachel Nordby 161 75 263 97 424 172 596
Tim Osterhaus 208 72 282 85 490 157 647
Clay Roberts 267 65 292 72 559 137 696
Adam S. Tanenbaum 149 66 277 80 426 146 572

Second District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Total Responses
Morris Silberman 492 44 325 46 817 90 907
Daniel H. Sleet 344 55 282 59 626 114 740
Andrea Teves Smith 218 54 299 58 517 112 629

Third District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Total Responses
Eric William Hendon 298 70 304 77 602 147 749
Fleur Jeannine Lobree 268 63 266 79 534 142 676
Thomas Logue 340 51 313 65 653 116 769
Bronwyn Catherine Miller 426 71 314 83 740 154 894

Fourth District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Total Responses
Alan O. Forst 280 87 303 82 583 169 752
Mark W. Klingensmith 315 90 318 74 633 164 797
Martha C. Warner 515 51 324 52 839 103 942

Fifth District Court of Appeal

HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE GRAND TOTAL
Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Retain Not Retain Total Responses
Kerry I. Evander 300 48 311 53 611 101 712
Jamie Grosshans* 160 82 242 78 402 160 562
John M. Harris 218 51 261 62 479 113 592
Richard B. Orfinger 334 48 389 65 723 113 836
Meredith Sasso 172 87 289 84 461 171 632
F. Rand Wallis 217 47 266 64 483 111 594
The election results and any additional information in connection therewith provided by ESC hereunder or in any report delivered by ESC in connection therewith are provided solely for the benefit of the Board of Directors or equivalent governing body of your organization in connection with the services provided hereunder or any other services rendered in connection therewith and shall not otherwise be reproduced for any other purpose, made public or provided to the membership of your organization (other than to report such actual election results) or any other person or entity without the express prior written consent of ESC.

*Justice Grosshans will appear on the ballot as a judge for the 5th District Court of Appeal, but she has been appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to serve on the Florida Supreme Court and will not be in a merit retention election as a justice until the general election in 2022.

Merit Retention Poll Rating Considerations

Instructions included with the poll sent to Bar members offer attributes that should be carefully considered in rating each incumbent. They include:

  • QUALITY AND CLARITY OF JUDICIAL OPINIONS. Are opinions written with clarity? Are they logical? Do they dispose of the issues addressed? Can they be readily used to advise clients?
  • KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW. Familiarity with and working knowledge of the rules of procedure and the statutory and case law of the state of Florida, as well as possession of adequate foundation in legal methods and principles.
  • INTEGRITY. Intellectual and moral honesty; absolute reliability; sincerity.
  • JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT. The capacity to exercise the qualities of patience, tolerance and forbearance that will ensure self-control while searching for truth in the presence of distractions.
  • IMPARTIALITY. The ability to conduct official duties without regard to personal knowledge or personal feeling toward counsel or litigants.
  • FREEDOM FROM BIAS/PREJUDICE. Having no mental leaning or inclination for or against people by reason of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, creed or geographic origin, or for or against an expressed ideology.
  • DEMEANOR. Conduct that reflects an appreciation of the great prestige of judicial office.
  • COURTESY. Showing an attitude of respect for people.