News & Featured Stories

Lake County Court Judge Brian Welke Appointed to Circuit Bench

On April 23, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Brian Welke to the Fifth Circuit Court. Welke, 54, of Wisconsin, has served as a Judge of Lake County since 2016. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his law degree from the University of Tulsa. Prior to joining the bench, […]

Polk County Court Judge Sharon Franklin Appointed to Circuit Bench

On April 23, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Sharon Franklin to the Tenth Circuit Court. Franklin, 57, of Maine, has served as a Polk County Judge since 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree from Troy State University and her law degree from Barry University College of Law. Prior to joining the bench, […]

Ask Judge Smith: Look at court proceeding as a two-sided pancake

Read Judge Smith’s recent Ask Judge Smith column Look at court proceeding as a two-sided pancake. Judge Layne Smith is a Leon County Court Judge who often speaks and writes about civics, the law, and the administration of justice. Source: Tallahassee Democrat

The sound of silence: Judges stay mum on politics

Read Judge Smith’s recent Ask Judge Smith column The sound of silence: Judges stay mum on politics. Judge Layne Smith is a Leon County Court Judge who often speaks and writes about civics, the law, and the administration of justice. Source: Tallahassee Democrat

Duval County Court Judge Appointed to Fourth Judicial Circuit Court

On April 5, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Meredith Charbula to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court. Charbula is currently a judge on the Duval County Court, having served since 2017. Prior to joining the bench, she served as the Director for Legal Divisions in the State Attorney’s Office for the 4th Judicial […]

Jessica Costello appointed to Hillsborough County Court

On March 29, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Jessica Costello to the Hillsborough County Court. “Ms. Costello’s work as a prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Office leaves no doubt that she is ready and qualified for this judgeship,” said Governor DeSantis. “She knows the issues of Hillsborough County well and that will […]

Editorial: Special courts get well-deserved funds

The recent decision by the Florida Department of Children and Families to continue funding for the specialty courts is a testament to the efficacy of the overall program and, particularly, the persistent work of Judge Erika Quartermaine. Read the full article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune. Source: Sarasota Herald Tribune

Miami-Dade County Judge Michelle Barakat appointed to Eleventh Circuit Court

On March 27, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Michelle Alvarez Barakat to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court. Bakarat, 47, originally from Miami Beach, is a Cuban-American judge serving on the Miami-Dade County Court since 2013. She received her bachelor’s degree and her law degree from the University of Miami. Barakat fills the […]