Florida Bar Association members weigh in on judicial retention in poll

Posted at 3:01 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 15:01:42-04

(WTXL) — Lawyers who are members of the Florida Bar Association participated in a poll on the topic of if current Florida judges who are up for retention vote this year should be retained.

The Florida Bar Association released the results of its judicial merit retention poll Sept. 21 ahead of the Nov. 8, 2022 general election.

Justices and judges that receive majority yes votes during the general election will return to their nonpartisan role in the court system for a six-year term.

The Florida Bar Association poll includes results for five Florida Supreme Court justices and 28 appeal court judges spanning five districts in the state.

In August, a total of 79,669 ballots were sent to in-state bar association members who were in good standing.

The bar association notes 5,738 lawyers responded to the voluntary non-scientific poll and only responses by lawyers saying they had considerable or limited knowledge of the judges are included in the poll results.

According to the bar association, poll participants were asked to consider quality and clarity of judicial opinions, knowledge of the law, integrity, judicial temperament, impartiality, freedom from bias and or prejudice, demeanor and courtesy.

The following are some of the results from the Florida Bar Association's judicial retention poll:

Supreme Court

JusticeRetainNot retainTotal number of votes
Charles T. Canady73%27%3,713
John D. Couriel63%37%2,709
Jamie Grosshans59%41%2,691
Jorge Labarga85%15%3,759
Ricky Polston74%26%3,307

First District Court of Appeal

JudgeRetainNot retainTotal number of votes
Ross L. Bilbrey68%32%1,095
Susan L. Kelsey69%31%1,037
Robert E. Long, Jr.63%37%1,091
Lori S. Rowe71%29%1,175
Thomas “Bo” Winokur63%37%1,120

NOTE: The first district court of appeal includes Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.

Click here for poll results from across the state.