Bruce R. Anderson
Circuit Judge Bruce Anderson was elected in August, 2016 and took the bench in January, 2017. He was reelected in 2022. His first Judicial assignment was in a Duval County Felony Criminal Division. He is currently assigned to a Duval County Civil Division. Judge Anderson moved to Jacksonville Beach when he was 2 years old. He graduated from Duncan U. Fletcher High School, received his undergraduate degrees from Jacksonville University (cum laude, 1984), and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida College of Law (1988).
Judge Anderson began his legal career serving as an Assistant State Attorney in Jacksonville under State Attorney Ed Austin. He practiced law in Jacksonville for approximately 28 years and was a partner in the Terrell Hogan Yegelwel law firm before starting his service as a Circuit Judge. While practicing law, his peers accorded him the highest (AV-Preeminent) Martindale Hubbell rating for competence and ethics. As an attorney, Judge Anderson achieved Board Certification in Civil Trial Law from the Florida Bar. Board Certification evaluates attorneys’ special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in various areas of the law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Less than 5% of Florida’s attorneys have earned board certification status from the Florida Bar.
During his term, Judge Anderson has served on the Education Committee for the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges, and was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court Standard Jury Instruction (Civil) Committee for a three-year term commencing January 1, 2022. In 2021 Judge Anderson joined The Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section Advanced Trial Advocacy Course faculty. Judge Anderson joined the Florida Judicial College faculty in 2023.
After being selected by the Florida Supreme Court’s Covid-19 Workgroup to participate in the Remote Civil Jury Trial Pilot Project in May 2020, Judge Anderson led the Fourth Judicial Circuit’s Workgroup that developed protocols and procedures to successfully conduct two fully remote civil jury trials to binding verdicts utilizing the Zoom videoconferencing platform and submitted a written report detailing its findings and recommendations to the Chief Justice.
After the National Center for State Courts (“NCSC”) awarded the Fourth Circuit a $10,000.00 grant in early 2021 to participate in their Proof-of-Concept Pilot Project on remote jury selection, Judge Anderson continued to lead the Fourth Circuit’s Remote Project Workgroup to develop a scalable hybrid civil jury trial process consisting of a remote jury selection and an in-person jury trial compliant with the Fourth Judicial Circuit’s Covid-19 restrictions. Judge Anderson and the Remote Project Workgroup developed a scalable hybrid remote model resulting in the Fourth Circuit successfully conducting two hybrid remote civil jury trials to binding verdicts in April and May 2021 with jury selection conducted remotely via Zoom videoconferencing and the in-person trials successfully completed in the Duval County Courthouse in compliance with the Fourth Judicial Circuit’s Covid-19 restrictions in place during that time (i.e. social distancing, plexiglass, facemasks). In March and June 2022 Judge Anderson and the Remote Project Workgroup successfully completed two hybrid remote civil jury trials to binding verdicts.
In June 2021, the Jacksonville Bar Association presented Judge Anderson with its Professionalism Award. The American Board of Trial Advocates Jacksonville Chapter presented its 2020 Jurist of the Year Award to Judge Anderson.
Senior Judge - Roberto Arias
County Judge Arias has served on the bench since 1995. Judge Arias received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida International University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Ohio State University. He has served as an Assistant Public Defender for the Fourth Judicial Circuit and has been in private practice, where his practice covered criminal and civil cases. He has diverse interests in his community which includes the Hispanic American Business Association, Mentor- Justina Rd. Elementary, Hubbard House, and Lutheran Social Services.
Senior Judge - Charles W. Arnold, Jr.
Senior Judge Arnold has served on the bench since 1997. He was assigned to the Criminal Division in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. Judge Arnold received his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Florida. He served as General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville, FL; as an Assistant State Attorney; and over 30 years in private practice. He served in the Chester Bedell Inn of Court and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Judge Kevin Blazs was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to Florida's 4th Judicial Circuit Court in June 2011 and is currently assigned to the Criminal Division, having previously served in Civil and Criminal Divisions. Appointed by Governor Jeb Bush, he served on the Duval County Court from 2006 - 2011. Before taking the bench, he practiced law as a partner with the civil litigation firm of Gobelman, Love, Gavin, Blazs and Wasilenko in Jacksonville, served as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the United States Army Reserve, taught private international law as a professor at universities throughout the People's Republic of China, and prosecuted crime in Duval County under State Attorney Ed Austin as an Assistant State Attorney and Division Chief. Throughout law school and until being admitted to the Florida Bar, Judge Blazs worked as a legislative aide with the Michigan State Senate, 30th District, on the staff of Senator Alan Cropsey.
In 2019, he received the Doctor of Juridicial Science degree (Judicial Studies) from Duke University School of Law, having studied under Professor Jack Knight (Dissertation Supervisor) and Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. Judge Blazs holds a Master of Laws (International Business Law) from the University of London and a Juris Doctor (Law) from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. He also obtained a graduate Certificate of Advanced Studies degree (Discrimination, Health and Human Rights) from the Université de Genève Faculté de Médecine and has completed further post-graduate legal study at Duke, Northwestern, Oxford, and Harvard. Also having received a Master of Studies degree (Jewish- Christian Relations) and undergraduate Certificate (Religious Studies) from the University of Cambridge, he holds a Master of Arts (Christian Apologetics) and Bachelor of Science (Political Science) from Liberty University. While serving in the military, Judge Blazs also obtained a Diploma (Armor Officer Advanced Course) from the United States Army Armor School along with a Diploma (Judge Advocate Officer Advanced Course) and Certificate (Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course) from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, received after attending the United States Air Force Academy (International Affairs).
Circuit Judge Mark Borello was born in Florida in 1962. He graduated from The Florida State University College of Law in 1987, and began working for the State Attorney’s Office under Ed Austin that same year.
In 2012, Judge Borello was elected to take the seat of retiring Circuit Judge Charles Arnold. His first Judicial assignment was in Clay County, handling Family, Civil and Probate Cases.
Judge Borello is currently assigned to the Felony Criminal Division in Duval County. He is married and has four children.
Senior Judge - Tyrie William Boyer
Judge Tyrie W. Boyer was appointed to the Circuit Bench in January, 2012. He presently serves in the Civil Division, having previously served in the Family Law and Felony Divisions. Before he was elevated to the Circuit Bench, Judge Boyer served as a County Judge from January 2, 2001. By his peers, he was elected Administrative Judge of the Duval County Court.
Prior to taking on the responsibilities of the judiciary, he was one of the State’s first Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyers. He was certified in 1983, and recertified every five years thereafter through the present. He was also certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and was recognized in multiple Who’s Who publications as well as being recognized in several publications as one of Florida’s leading attorneys.
As an attorney, Judge Boyer had an “AV” rating in Martindale Hubbell and vast civil and criminal experience as a trial lawyer. He is the past chairman of two major Florida Bar committees -- the Florida Bar Committee on Professional Ethics and the Florida Bar Civil Procedure Rules Committee. Additionally, he serves as an adjunct professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law where he has taught Florida Practice and Procedure, Trial Practice, as well as Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has consistently received the highest ranking from his students.
Judge Boyer received his Bachelor of Science and his Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Florida (where he also served as Student Body President following his service as Chief Justice of the Student Traffic Court). He began practicing law in 1976.
Since becoming a judge, he has been a frequent lecturer and a member of the faculty for the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges and the Florida Conference of County Judges. In that capacity, the subject of his lectures have been regarding both civil and criminal matters.
Judge Boyer was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and is married with three children.
Senior Judge - Hugh A. Carithers
Judge Carithers is a native of Jacksonville, and a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University in 1969. After serving on active duty with the U. S. Navy, including Viet Nam service, he received his law degree from the University of Florida in 1974.
Judge Carithers practiced law in Jacksonville for 18-1/2 years before assuming the bench in January, 1993. He has since served in all divisions of the Circuit Court , and as Administrative Judge of the Family Law Division. He has also sat as an associate judge on the First District Court of Appeals.
Judge Carithers further served on the executive Committee of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges, and as Chair of its Civil Section. He is a member of the Florida Court Education Council and the faculty of the College of Advanced Judicial Studies. He also serves on the Florida Family Law Rules Committee, and the Sexual Assault Advisory Council.
Senior Judge - Karen K. Cole
Circuit Judge Karen K. Cole is a past president of the Jacksonville Bar Association. While in private practice, her peers accorded her the highest (AV) Martindale-Hubbell rating for her competence and ethics. Judge Cole has served as president of two chapters of the American Inns of Court, a national organization dedicated to promoting professionalism, ethical conduct, and skilled advocacy on the part of trial lawyers.
Since becoming a circuit judge in 1994, Judge Cole has presided over felony (criminal), juvenile dependency, family, and civil divisions. She regularly teaches at statewide judicial education conferences and, by appointment of the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, chaired the statewide Family Court Steering Committee. The Committee’s recommendations played a key role in making Florida’s family courts more accessible and user-friendly, including for litigants unable to afford attorneys. Judge Cole established a pioneering, court-based surrogate parent program that trained volunteer advocates to help children who had been abused or neglected, and who also had learning disabilities, obtain needed educational services. She has organized numerous reading/dyslexia seminars and mental health seminars, each one free and each one attended by hundreds of residents. In October of 2014, Judge Cole led a delegation of 15 community leaders from diverse fields to Miami/Dade County to learn about successful court and law enforcement initiatives that reduced the numbers of mentally ill in the area’s jails; provided those individuals mental health, housing, and other services; reduced crime and officer injuries; and saved significant taxpayer funds. Since its return, the Jacksonville delegation has played a key role in efforts to improve the delivery of mental health services in Duval County.
Judge Cole’s service on the bench and as a community volunteer have been recognized by statewide awards that include: (a) the 2014 Outstanding Jurist of the Year, from the Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar; (b) the 2012 Fran Peacock Coker Flabota Community Service Award; and (c) the 2012 Justice Teaching Jurist of the Year. She has been honored locally through awards that include: (a) the 2010 Public Official of the Year Award from Children’s Home Society; (b) the 2005 Jacksonville University Community Woman of the Year; (c) the 2004 Lawyer of the Year Award, given by The Financial News and Daily Record each year to a lawyer or judge; and (d) the 2001 EVE Award in Employment from The Florida Times-Union.
Judge Cole is a graduate of the University of Florida (J.D., 1981) and Jacksonville University (B.A., 1978).
Senior Judge - Mallory D. Cooper
In January 2006, Governor Bush appointed Judge Mallory Cooper to the Circuit Court bench. Judge Cooper had been a County Court Judge in Duval County, Fourth Judicial Circuit, since 1996. As a County Court Judge, she had presided over criminal, civil, small claims and traffic court cases. In addition, she completed a two year special assignment to the Circuit Court Dependency Division and Juvenile Drug Court. She is currently presiding over a Criminal Division.
Judge Cooper serves on the Courthouse Planning Committee and the Jacksonville Bar Association Children's Needs Committee. She is a member of the Florida Bar, The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau, the Jacksonville Bar Association, The American Bar Association, the American Judges Association, The Conference of County Court Judges and Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity.
Judge Cooper served as an Assistant State Attorney after her graduation from the Florida State University College of Law in 1986 until she was elected to her current position. For a number of years she served as the Juvenile Division Chief at the State Attorney's Office, and worked for two years in the Special Assault Unit. While there she won the Mayor's Victim Assistance Advisory Council's Victims Rights Award. She is presently working with the Kessler Mentoring Foundation to set up a Court-School mentoring partnership with the La Villa Middle School in downtown Jacksonville.
Angela M. Cox
In November of 2014, Governor Rick Scott appointed Judge Cox to the Circuit Court bench. She will be serving in the criminal division. Prior to her appointment, she served as a County Court Judge for 9 years after being appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in 2005. As a County Court Judge, she presided over criminal, civil, small claims, and traffic court cases.
Before becoming a judge, she served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. During her tenure in the State Attorney’s Office, she was a part of the Homicide Team, Special Assault Division, and the Repeat Offender Court. She completed her Prosecutorial career as a Division Chief in County Court.
Judge Cox serves on faculty of the Florida Judicial College which is tasked with educating and training all of Florida’s newly elected and appointed Judges. She has also served on the faculty of the Prosecutor/Public Defender Training Program at the University of Florida College of Law. Judge Cox attended Tennessee State University where she received her B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1995. She received her J.D. Degree from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1998. She is a member of the Florida Bar, the Jacksonville Bar, and the D. W. Perkins Bar Associations. Judge Cox serves her community by being a mentor, as a commited volunteer in her local church, as a volunteer for the Justice Teaching Initiative in Duval County Public and Private Schools and as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Senior Judge - Pauline Drake
Judge Pauline M. Drake was appointed to the county bench in 1998, by the late Governor Lawton Chiles to fill the unexpired term of Judge June Blackburn. Judge Drake is a county court judge who hears cases involving civil, criminal, small claims and traffic court cases involving injuries. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Tuskegee University in 1974, a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Alabama in 1978 and a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Florida in 1984. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1986. Previous experience includes Assistant State Attorney, Regional Legal Advisor for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and private practice. She was also a certified Federal, Circuit, Family and County Court Mediator.
Judge Drake has always been involved with the County Court Conference of Judges.She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Education Committee. She chairs the Professionalism Committee and has actively been involved with professionalism in the Florida Bar and Jacksonville Bar Association. She actively participates in Justice Teaching in the public school system and volunteers with various civil organizations.
Judge Kelly Eckley-Moulder was appointed to the Duval County Court bench in April of 2016. She graduated from Florida State University in 1998 with degrees in Criminology and Psychology and received her law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 2001. She began her career in Miami, Florida as an Assistant State Attorney from 2001-2005 and then practiced civil litigation from 2005-2007. In 2007, she was hired by the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution where she rose to the position of North Florida Bureau Chief before taking the bench in 2016.
In addition to her duties as a County Court Judge, Judge Eckley-Moulder began presiding over Mental Health Court 2017, helped create the Mental Health Offender Program in 2021, and serves on the Board of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Judge Eckley-Moulder is married and has three step-children, a grandson and two fur babies.
Steven M. Fahlgren
Steven M. Fahlgren is a Circuit Judge currently assigned to the Family Law Division of the Fourth Circuit Court in Duval County, Florida. He was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott on January 28, 2015. He took office on February 25, 2015 to replace the Honorable E. McRae Mathis. At the time of his appointment to the Bench, Judge Fahlgren was the Town Attorney for the Town of Hilliard and had a private practice.
After serving active duty with the U.S. Army including service in South Korea, Judge Fahlgren graduated from the University of Florida in 1991 and from the University of Florida College of Law with Honors in 1994. In 2014, he served as the Board President of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. While in private practice, Martindale-Hubbell, a long respected lawyer rating service, accorded him its highest rating for competence and ethics since 2002. Judge Fahlgren was also certified as a Circuit Civil Mediator and as an Appellate Mediator.
Judge Fahlgren is a member of the Florida Bar, the Jacksonville Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association, and co-chair of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee. Judge Fahlgren serves his community by, among other things, being a mentor to young men and speaking to groups of young people about the importance of faith, education and not getting involved in drugs. In 2017, the Jacksonville chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates recognized Judge Fahlgren with the Civility Award for his efforts to elevate the standards of honor, integrity and courtesy. He is married with three children and serves in Nassau County.
Gary P. Flower
Judge Flower was appointed to the Bench by Governor Jeb Bush in January of 2000. Prior to his appointment, Judge Flower was appointed by the Chief Judge as a Magistrate/Child Support Hearing Officer. Judge Flower's legal career began when he was hired by then State Attorney Ed Austin as an Assistant State Attorney in 1987. During his tenure at the State Attorney's Office, Judge Flower was assigned to the Special Prosecution Division, the Repeat Offender Court, and completed his service as a Division Chief in Civil Forfeiture. Prior to his appointment as a magistrate, Judge Flower was a partner in a medium sized firm where he practiced both civil and criminal law. While in private practice, Judge Flower received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell.
Judge Flower is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, where he has served as Program Director Chair and as a member of both the Adult and Youth Selection Committees. Judge Flower is also a Graduate of Leadership Florida, where he has served as a Member and is the County Chair of the State-Wide Selection Committee.
Judge Flower is the past Chair of Education for the Conference of County Court Judges, Co-Department Head for the Advanced Colleges of Judicial Studies, and serves on the Video Faculty of the Florida Judicial College. Judge Flower serves his community in part by memberships on the Jacksonville Historical Society Board, the Police Athletic League Board, the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, as Assistant Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 277, and as a regular speaker at numerous schools, civil organizations and clubs.
John I. Guy
Judge Guy was appointed to the Circuit Court bench in December 2015. He currently serves as the Administrative Judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit Family Law Division. He is a member and past President of the Florida Family Law American Inn of Court, and a member of The Chester Bedell American Inn of Court. Judge Guy is a co-chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association’s Judicial Relations Committee, and a member of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee. Judge Guy serves as faculty for the Florida Judicial College, the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges and the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies. He is also the Fourth Judicial Circuit Mentor Coordinator for new Judges. Judge Guy is also designated as the Hague Convention Judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit.
In June 2023, Judge Guy was awarded the Jacksonville Bar Association’s President’s Award. Judge Guy serves his community by speaking and volunteering at local schools and his church. He is also a mentor with the Take Stock in Children program and was honored as the 2021 Take Stock in Children Mentor of the Year. Judge Guy taught a Trial Practice course as an adjunct professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law from 2002 to 2019. Judge Guy has also served as a faculty member for the National District Attorneys Association from 2002 to 2010.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Guy was an Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit for more than 22 years. Judge Guy served as a prosecutor since graduating from the University of Florida College of Law in 1992. He attended Alfred I. duPont Middle School and Samuel W. Wolfson High School in Jacksonville. Judge Guy then graduated from the University of Florida with High Honors. He is married and has three children.
Senior Judge - Ronald P. Higbee
Judge Higbee received a Bachelor's of Science in Criminology cum laude in 1975 from Florida State University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Florida with honors in 1978. He was a member of the United States Navy serving in the Judge Advocate General's Corps both on active duty and in the Reserves attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander before separation from the Reserves. He was an Assistant State Attorney in Jacksonville from 1984 until 1986 and served in the private sector from 1986 until 1988. He was an Assistant Public Defender from 1988 until 2002 where he served in the felony, special defense and homicide divisions. In addition, he was a supervisor for three years of all the county court attorneys for the Public Defender's Office. He was appointed by Governor Bush to fill a new county court division and became a judge on January 2, 2002. In June of 2002 he was appointed to the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee for the Florida Bar.
Michael A Kalil
Judge Michael Kalil was born and raised in Jacksonville. Judge Kalil attended Wolfson High School, graduating as a member of the National Honor Society in 2001. Upon graduation, he attended the University of North Florida, majoring in philosophy. While at UNF, Judge Kalil served as the Chief Justice of the Student Government. While in college, Judge Kalil chaired a statewide judicial council among all Florida public universities, which then led to his participation in College Leadership Florida (Class VI), a Leadership Florida program. Judge Kalil also participated in the pre-law and mock trial programs while at the University of North Florida.
Upon graduation from UNF in 2005, Judge Kalil attended Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. While attending Stetson Law, Judge Kalil focused on Stetson’s Trial Advocacy program. He also served as the Student Bar Association class representative and was awarded the Stetson College of Law Certificate in Leadership Development. Upon graduation in December 2008, Judge Kalil was awarded the William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award for over 200 pro bono service hours. While in law school, he gained invaluable experience as a certified legal intern at the Office of the Public Defender.
Upon graduation, he joined the Duval County Office of the Public Defender as an Assistant Public Defender in 2009. While serving the citizens of Duval County, Judge Kalil tried 29 trials and practiced various areas of criminal law, including juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony cases.
In 2011 Judge Kalil joined the Law Offices of John Kalil, P.A. located on the southside of Jacksonville. Judge Kalil has continued his career as a civil trial lawyer and has focused his legal practice on representing clients involved in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.
In 2017, Judge Kalil was appointed by Mayor Lenny Curry and confirmed by the Jacksonville City Council to the Civil Service Board, a quasi-judicial review board, and elected to vice-chairman of the Board in 2018, serving on the Board until April 2020. He is an active member of the Jacksonville Bar Association, the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, and Leadership Florida.
Judge Michael Kalil was elected to the Circuit Court bench in 2020 and sworn in on January 5, 2021.
Judge Michelle Kalil was elected to the Duval County Bench in November of 2012. She is a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, having graduated from Wolfson High School. She received her bachelor's and juris doctorate degrees from the University of Florida. Judge Kalil began her legal career serving as an assistant public defender for Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit Court. While at the Public Defender's Office, she represented clients in every aspect of criminal law and eventually served as a division chief. During her years as a division chief, Judge Kalil supervised and mentored other attorneys. During her legal career, Judge Kalil has effectively and successfully defended numerous individuals and participated in more than 50 jury trials. Judge Kalil has been active as a leader in the Jacksonville community. She used to volunteer with the Duval County Teen Court Program as well as with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. She remains very involved with many activities at her son’s school.
Mark H. Mahon
Circuit Judge Mark Mahon is a native of Jacksonville and a third generation attorney. He graduated from Florida State University in 1978 with a degree in business and from Florida State University law school in 1981. Mahon worked as an Assistant State Attorney from 1981-1984 when he joined the private practice of law with his father Lacy Mahon, Jr. He subsequently practiced law with his father and they were joined in private practice by Russell Healey in approximately 1987. While in private practice, Mahon was named to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and served as chair for two years. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000. In 2007, Mahon left the private practice of law and the legislature after being appointed Circuit Court Judge by Governor Charlie Crist. Judge Mahon served as Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2023.
Scott F. Mitchell
Judge Mitchell graduated from St. Lawrence University (upstate New York) in 1979, before obtaining his law degree from Florida State University College of Law in 1982. After graduation, he prosecuted in the 4th Judicial Circuit under State Attorney Ed Austin until 1986, when he entered private practice with the law firm of Coxe & Schemer.
From 1995 - 2010, he was in partnership with current Circuit Court Judge Don H. Lester.
Judge Mitchell was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the County Court Bench for a term beginning in March, 2012. He was re-elected without opposition for his current term, which began January 1, 2015.
Senior Judge - Donald R. Moran, Jr.
Donald R. Moran, Jr. served as Chief Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida for 22 years retiring in January 2015. He was the longest serving Chief Judge in Florida history. He was appointed to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in 1983, having served as a Duval County Court Judge from 1977 to 1983 and as an Assistant State Attorney from 1973 to 1977. Judge Moran served as an adult drug court judge since the inception of the Adult Drug Court in October of 1994. He founded the Juvenile Drug Court and was its presiding judge from February of 1997 until January of 1999. He was a Founding member of the Supreme Court’s Trial Court Budget Commission. On July 1, 2000, he served as the President of the Conference of Circuit Judges for the State of Florida. He received the Michael E. Hanrahan award in October 2002 for outstanding service in the field of Alcohol and other Drug Abuse awareness and prevention. He served as chair of the Supreme Court’s Florida Drug Courts Steering Committee, and served as President for the National Metropolitan Courts receiving the Justice Tom C. Clark Award for outstanding service in September 2003. In 2003, he was named Jurist of the Year for the Florida Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2007-2008, he received the Mental Health America Community Leadership Award.
Judge Moran is married and has four (4) children. He has a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Florida Law School and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky.
Judge Rhonda Peoples-Waters began her judicial career on January 5, 2021 and presides over a Duval County Court in Jacksonville, FL. She has tried over 75 non-jury and jury trials in her career. She was the lead trial counsel in more than half of those cases. She has been licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Florida since 1999, after graduating from the University of Florida School of Law where she studied under an academic scholarship. Rhonda began her career at the Public Defender’s Office in Jacksonville, FL. Rhonda has handled thousands of cases covering misdemeanors and felonies. Rhonda finished her career at the Public Defender’s Office after seven years and after serving as the Division Chief of each Repeat Offender Divisions in Duval County.
In 2007, Rhonda joined private practice with a small firm practicing Criminal Law and Personal Injury Law. With the experience of public service practice and private practice, in 2008 Rhonda opened Rhonda Peoples-Waters P.A. Her firm specialized in civil and criminal litigation. Rhonda’s practice experience is very diverse and wide-ranging.
As a small business owner for over 12 years, Rhonda learned valuable lessons beyond the practice of law such as time and employee management, successful customer service, and professional skills to deal with all types of people and circumstances. In addition, Rhonda has served as a legal analyst for News4Jax and other local stations for several years. Her legal advice and opinions are valued and trusted throughout the community. Rhonda’s service to the community is well-demonstrated through her leadership roles as a City of Jacksonville Ethic Commissioner, Past President of Daniel Webster Perkins Bar Association, NAACP-Jacksonville Branch Board Member, Past PTA President, Past President of the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Board of Directors, and Chair of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee.
Rhonda submitted application to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission for appointment to the judicial bench 16 times, from 2009 to 2020. Rhonda also ran for county judge unsuccessfully in 2012. After 17 NOs, Rhonda’s YES came on August 18, 2020, when she became the first-elected black female judge in an area covering over a million people. She received the most votes of any candidate of the ballot.
Rhonda’s perseverance and outstanding qualifications will undoubtedly make her election to the bench an asset to this community. This history-making election will open more doors towards judicial diversity.
Rhonda is a proud graduate of Fisk University. Rhonda is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a faithful member of her church. Rhonda is also the proud mother of one daughter.
Tatiana R. Salvador
Tatiana Radi Salvador was appointed to the Circuit Court by Governor Rick Scott on November 30, 2012, and took office on January 8, 2013. Judge Salvador has been serving as a Circuit Court Judge on the felony criminal bench since that time.
Judge Salvador began the practice of law in 1994 serving as an Assistant State Attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit, prosecuting all types of crimes from misdemeanors to murders in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. Thereafter in 2001, she entered the private practice of law with the law firm of Rogers Towers, P.A., one of Jacksonville’s oldest and largest law firms. Her legal practice primarily focused on civil litigation of all types – commercial, banking, probate, estate and family law. In 2004, she became a shareholder in the firm, and remained at the law firm until she was elevated to the bench in 2013.
In addition to her legal and judicial practice, Judge Salvador has been involved in numerous community organizations and in various leadership capacities, including: Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, board member; City of Jacksonville Ethics Commission, Vice Chair; Leadership Jacksonville, board member and graduate of the Class of 2004; Hispanic Bar Association, founding member and past president; OneJax, Inc., board member and past president; and Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Women’s Board member.
Judge Salvador was born in Providence, Rhode Island and moved to Jacksonville, Florida when she was 7 years old. Judge Salvador spent her childhood in Jacksonville and graduated from The Bolles School in 1986. She attended Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1990. During her college term, she studied abroad in Brussels, Belgium and focused her studies on world affairs. She then attended law school at the University of Florida, College of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 1993. She met her husband, Julio C. Salvador, Esquire, while in law school. They reside in Jacksonville and have three children.
Judge Sharrit was elected to the Circuit Court bench in 2014. He has served in both Clay and Duval Counties; and has presided over civil, felony, family, juvenile dependency and probate cases. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida (cum laude, 1988) and juris doctorate degree from Stetson University College of Law (cum laude, 1991). He completed internships with the State Attorney’s Office in Tampa and the US Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville. Prior to the bench, he practiced law for 22 years, attained an AV peer rating, and was a partner with the Terrell – Hogan Law Firm. He was Board Certified in Civil Trial law by the Florida Bar in 2010 and was inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2013. He serves on the Florida Supreme Court’s Civil Jury Instructions Committee. He has previously served on the Florida Bar Rules of Evidence Committee and Rules of Judicial Administration Committee. He has served as a visiting associate judge on the First District Court of Appeal. Judge Sharrit and his wife, Lisa grew up in Jacksonville, have three children, and are active members of Mandarin Presbyterian Church.
Senior Judge - Brent D. Shore
Judge Shore graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville and received his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida in 1969. He received his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Florida, College of Law, in 1971.
After graduating from law school, Judge Shore accepted a position as an attorney with the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. After one year, he left that position to accept a position as an Assistant State Attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit under State Attorney Ed Austin. Judge Shore served as an Assistant State Attorney for five years, the last four of which he served as a Felony Division Chief prosecuting serious felony cases. In 1978, Judge Shore left the State Attorney's Office to enter private practice, where he remained for eighteen years. In his private practice, Judge Shore represented clients in criminal, civil and family law cases. Judge Shore began his service as a County Court Judge in January, 1997.
Judge Shore is currently serving as the Administrative Judge for the County Court.
Senior Judge - Frederick B. Tygart
Judge Tygart has served on the bench since 1987 and was the Administrative Judge for the Civil Division in which he heard civil cases for the Fourth Judicial Circuit. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and obtained a Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida. Judge Tygart has been involved in his community over two decades in various capacities, including serving with distinction in the Florida House of Representatives (1978-1982) and the Florida Commission on Ethics.
Waddell A. Wallace, III
Judge Wallace was appointed to the Circuit Court by Governor Jeb Bush in December 1999. He is a native of Jacksonville and a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School. He obtained a B.A. with High Distinction from the University of Virginia in 1975 and a J.D. with High Honors from the University of Florida School of Law in 1978. While in law school, he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.
Judge Wallace practiced law with the firm now known as Smith Hulsey & Busey for over 21 years, concentrating in the area of commercial and business litigation. He is a past President of the Jacksonville Bar Association and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.
As Circuit Judge, Judge Wallace has previously served in a criminal felony division, family law division, and a juvenile division hearing both delinquency and dependency cases. He currently presides over civil cases. He is an adjunct professor at Florida Coastal School of Law and regularly teaches a class on Florida Constitutional Law. Judge Wallace recognized as Judge of the Year for 2006 by the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In April 2006 the Victims Advisory Council of the City of Jacksonville presented Judge Wallace with the Frank Carrington Champion for Victims Award. He was named the Judicial Advocate of the Year in 2005 by the Guardian ad Litem Program for the Fourth Judicial Circuit. Judge Wallace also received the Pro Bono Service Award by the Supreme Court of Florida for the Fourth Judicial Circuit in May 1986. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges. He is a Master and past President of the Florida Family Law Inn of Court, President of the Chester Bedell Inn of Court, and has served as a board member of the Florida Crime Laboratory Council and the Sexual Assault Advisory Council for the City of Jacksonville. He has served as a deacon, elder and trustee, and Clerk of the Session at Riverside Presbyterian Church and is chair of the Judicial Business Committee of the Presbytery of St. Augustine. Judge Wallace has been active as president, board member and coach in youth baseball and basketball leagues and is a member of the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville.
Judge Wilensky was born in Jacksonville. The Wilensky family moved to Jacksonville approximately 115 years ago. They lived and worked within several blocks of the location of the new Duval County Courthouse.
Judge Wilensky is a Circuit Court Judge presiding over Family Law Division FM-D in Duval County, Florida. In Clay County he presided over the Dependency Division, Circuit Civil Division, Family Law Division, Domestic Violence and appeals from County Court.
As an attorney he concentrated his practice in Family Law and Mediation, and served as a Special Magistrate. He mediated approximately 1000 family law cases and was approved by the Supreme Court as a Primary Trainer for Family Mediation Certification. He was given the highest peer rating ( A.V.) by Martindale-Hubbell for competence and ethics. Judge Wilensky is the past President of the Florida Family Law American Inn of Court in Jacksonville and is a Master in the Inn. He has been a lecturer at Family Law CLE seminars and workshops, locally and at the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Florida conference and at Florida Coastal School of Law.
He was the recipient of the 1999 Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, presented to only one Florida lawyer each year by the Florida Supreme Court. The award recognizes extraordinary contributions by a Florida lawyer in making legal services available to persons who otherwise could not afford them. In over 30 years only two attorneys in the Fourth Circuit have received this award.
Judge Wilensky was the law clerk to Justice James C. Adkins on the Florida Supreme Court. He then worked for the firm of Lewis, Paul, Isaac and Castillo before opening his own practice. He has served as a Guardian Ad Litem. He is the recipient of the Guardian Ad Litem 2009 Judicial Advocate Award and the 2010 Guardian Ad Litem Community Advocate Award. For several years he served on the Board of Directors of Florida Legal Services, Inc., a statewide agency advocating for the poor, the most vulnerable, and hardest to reach people, to have equal access to justice under the law.
He has been involved with numerous other community organizations. He was the recipient of the 2002 Successful Role Model Award presented by El-Beth-El Devine Holiness Church, and past recipient of the Fourth Circuit Family Court Pro Bono Award.
Senior Judge - Michael R. Weatherby
Judge Weatherby has served on the Circuit Bench of the 4th Circuit since election in January, 1989. He was the Administrative Judge for the Criminal Division and has served previously in the Civil and Family Divisions. Prior to taking office, Judge Weatherby served 12 years as an Assistant State Attorney and 5 years in private practice.
Judge Weatherby received his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate Degrees from the University of Florida. A retired Lieutenant Colonel, Military Police, of the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Weatherby is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.