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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 Ross Bilbrey

Ross L. Bilbrey began serving in the First DCA in 2015. Previously, he was a judge in the First Judicial Circuit and before that a Santa Rosa county court judge. Judge Bilbrey has handled all types of cases that come before county and circuit judges. He was recognized by FavorHouse domestic violence center for his work in reducing domestic violence in Santa Rosa County. Judge Bilbrey was in private practice in Pensacola from October 2003 until March 2006. From May 2000 to October 2003, he was a legal assistance attorney for the Judge Advocate General Corps at the Naval Legal Service Office Central at NAS Pensacola. He was named Civilian of the Year for his work in mobilizing reservists to active duty following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Judge Bilbrey received his B.A. from the University of Florida and his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law.


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





Judge Susan Kelsey

Judge Susan L. Kelsey began serving in the First DCA in April 2015. She practiced solo in Kelsey Appellate Law Firm, P.A., from 2007 until her appointment. From 2005 to 2007, she practiced with the Tallahassee office of the Litigation Group of Anchors, Smith, Grimsley, now known as Keefe, Anchors & Gordon, which is based in Fort Walton Beach. She joined Holland & Knight LLP directly after law school in 1988 and engaged in appellate practice there until 2005. Judge Kelsey received her J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law, where she was editor in chief of the Florida Law Review and taught legal research and writing. She received her undergraduate degree from Freed-Hardeman College (now University), a private Christian school in Henderson, Tenn.

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




Judge Lori S. Rowe

Judge Lori S. Rowe began serving in the First DCA in 2009. Previously, she was deputy chief of staff in the Executive Office of the Governor (2007-2009), executive deputy attorney general, Office of the Attorney General (2005-2006), assistant deputy attorney general (2004-2005), director of multistate litigation, Office of the Attorney General (2003-2004), in private practice with Gray, Harris & Robinson in Tallahassee (2000-2003), and assistant attorney general, Antitrust Section, Office of the Attorney General (1997-2000). She received her B.A. in Classical Languages from Vanderbilt University, an M.B.A from Florida State University and her J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law. She is active in The Federalist Society, Tallahassee Lawyers Chapter; Tallahassee Women Lawyers; and the First District Appellate American Inn of Court, and is Board Certified in antitrust and trade regulation. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Florida State University College of Business.

Visit the court website for Judge Rowe's complete biography. External Link






Judge Kent Wetherell


Judge T. Kent Wetherell, II began serving in the First DCA in 2009. Previously, he was an administrative law judge in the Division of Administrative Hearings (2002-2009), deputy solicitor general with the Office of the Attorney General (1999-2002) and in private practice with Hopping, Green, Sams & Smith, Tallahassee (1995-1999). He earned his B.S. in accounting at Florida State University and his J.D. at the Florida State University College of Law. His professional activities include current involvement with the Appellate Court Technology Committee, eFACTS Change Advisory Board, First District Court of Appeal Appellate Inn of Court, and the Appellate Court Rules Committee, of which he is chair. In 2013-15, he was on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary.

Visit the court website for Judge Wetherell's complete biography. External Link





Judge Bo Winokur


Judge Thomas D. “Bo” Winokur began serving in the First DCA in 2015. Judge Winokur, of Tallahassee, had served as assistant general counsel for the Executive Office of the Governor since 2011. He previously served as assistant attorney general for the Florida Office of Attorney General, practicing in criminal appeals and capital litigation. Judge Winokur began his career in private practice, but later served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1992 to 1995. He is active in The Federalist Society, Tallahassee Lawyers Chapter. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and law degrees from the University of Florida College of Law. Judge Winokur filled a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Nikki Clark.

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




Judge Jim Wolf

Judge James R. Wolf began serving in the First DCA in 1990. In a long legal career, he has been a member and two-time chair of the Judicial Qualifications Commission; chair of the District Court of Appeal Budget Commission; and member and former president of the District Court Conference. He was in private practice (1980-83) and also has been Code Enforcement Board attorney, West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach; city attorney, Jupiter Inlet Colony; assistant city attorney, West Palm Beach; and assistant state attorney, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. He is a charter member and first president of the First District Appellate American Inn of Court and is a senior member and past president of the William Stafford Tallahassee American Inn of Court. He earned an A.B. degree from Rutgers University, a J.D. from the University of Miami and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia.

Visit the court website for Judge Wolf's full biography. External Link
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[Revised: 05-20-2016]