News & Featured Stories

County Court Judge Jennifer J. Frydrychowicz appointed to First Judicial Circuit

On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Jennifer J. Frydrychowicz to the First Judicial Circuit. Frydrychowicz, of Pensacola, has been an Escambia County Judge since 2014. She previously served as an Assistant State Attorney in the First Circuit. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her […]

Jacqueline Steele appointed to Manatee County Court

On June 10, 2020, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Jacqueline Steele to the Manatee County Court. Steele, of Bradenton, is an attorney at McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver & Stern, P.A. She previously served as an assistant public defender in the 13th Judicial Circuit. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and her […]

Chief Justice extends date to resume jury trials and amends other pandemic jury procedures

On Monday, June 8, Chief Justice Canady extended the suspension of jury trials through July 17 and amended other pandemic jury procedures in a new memorandum and two amended orders. Memorandum: Phase 2 – Resumption of In-Person Proceedings In re: Comprehensive COVID-19 Emergency Measures for the Florida State Courts, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC20-23, Amendment […]

Leon County Court Judge Layne Smith appointed to Second Judicial Circuit

On June 5, 2020, Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed Judge Layne Smith to Florida’s Second Circuit Court as another long time judge gets ready to retire. Judge Smith was raised in the capital city and has been a Leon County judge since 2015. He previously served as the General Counsel for the Department of Lottery […]

Ask Judge Smith: Affirmative defenses and a bozo contract no-no

Read Judge Smith’s recent Ask Judge Smith column Affirmative defenses and a bozo contract no-no. 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

Senior County Court Judge Phyllis Kotey honored by Bar Committee

Florida International University College of Law Professor Phyllis Kotey and the Nova Southeastern University College of Law’s Legal Research & Writing Student Outreach Program have been honored by the Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism. Kotey, a former Alachua County judge who still occasionally serves as a senior judge, has organized several student-led programs since joining […]

Jennifer Swenson appointed to Polk County Court

On May 15, 2020, Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Swenson was appointed to the Polk County bench, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of County Judge John Kirkland. Swenson, 33, received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and her law degree in 2012 from Duke University School of Law. She was admitted to the Florida […]

Chief Justice Canady Releases ‘Best Practices’ Guidelines

Florida’s Chief Justice Charles Canady distributed the “Best Practices” guidelines on May 11, 2020, that were developed by the Workgroup on the Continuity of Court Operations and Proceedings During and After COVID-19. Source: