99. Gov. Rick Scott appoints James Edwards of Altamonte Springs to Daytona appeals court

Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 / Headline Surfer®
5th DCA Judge Richard Orfinger of Ormond Beach / Headline Surfer®James A. Edwards of Altamonte Springs tabbed by Gov. Scott for 5th DCA judgeship / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® / Despite two appointments in 2014 by the governor to the appeals court in Daytona Beach, Richard B. Orfinger of Ormond Beach, shown here at left, remains the only judge from Volusia County on the 5th District Court of Appeal. Shown in the inset is Jamers A. Edwards of Altamonte Springs, the second of two judges appointed to the 5th DCA in 2014.
 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott in November appointed private attorney James A. Edwards of Altamonte Springs to a seat on the 5th District Court of Appeal, filling a position that was created by the Florida Legislature earlier this year.

Gov. Scott said of the newest appointee to the appeals court on Nov. 14, “Throughout his career, Edwards has demonstrated an understanding and respect for the rule of law. I am certain he will preside with integrity and distinction on the Fifth District Court of Appeal.”

Gov. Scott said of the newest appointee to the appeals court on Nov. 14, “Throughout his career, Edwards has demonstrated an understanding and respect for the rule of law. I am certain he will preside with integrity and distinction on the Fifth District Court of Appeal.”

Edwards 60, has been a shareholder with Zimmerman, Kiser, Sutcliffe, PA, since 2011. He began his legal career as an attorney with Rumberger, Kirk and Caldwell, PA in 1979.

Over the course of his 35-year career, Edwards has engaged in a state-wide civil trial and appellate practice. Edwards served as chair of the Orange County Bar Association Professionalism Committee from 2010-2012. In 2006, he received the Florida Bar's "Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award."

Edwards received his bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and his law degree from the University of Florida.

Edwards is the second judge appointed to the 5th DCA in 2014. On May 19, the governor filled a vacancy on the 5th DCA created by the retirement of Judge Jacqueline Griffin with the appointment of Brian D. Lambert to her former seat on the bench.

Before his appointment, Lambert served as a Marion County judge on the 5th Circuit Court. He was appointed to this court by then-Gov. Jeb Bush in February 2000.

Lambert received his B.S. degree from Eastern Michigan University and his J.D. degree from the University of Florida. He was admitted to the bar in 1981.

Currently, only one judge on the 5th DCA is from Volusia County: Richard B. Orfinger, of Ormond Beach, formerly of the 7th judicial circuit, who was elevated to the 5th DCA in 2000. He served as the 5th DCA's chief judge, 2011-2013.

The 5th District Court of Appeal, located in Daytona Beach, hears cases covering the 5th, 7th, 9th and 18th circuit courts.

5th District Court of Appeal locator / Headline Surfer®FAST FACTS: 5th DCA territory

The 5th District Court of Appeal sits in Daytona Beach and rules on appeals from the following circuits:
5th (based in Tavares, serving Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion & Sumter counties);
7th (based in Daytona Beach, serving Volusia, Flagler, Putnam & St. Johns counties);
9th (based in Orlando, serving Orange and Osceola counties);
18th (based in Sanford, serving Seminole and Brevard counties).
 
Prominent cases with issues decided by the 5th DCA: George Zimmerman pre-trial motion to have judge step aside, Casey Anthony appeal of VOP incarceration, Dale Earnhardt autopsy photo sealing.

Did You Know?

5DCA courthouse in Daytona Beach, Fla. / Headline SurferThere was a political dispute in the Legislature as to whether to locate the new court headquarters in Orlando or Daytona Beach, but Volusia County's Legislative delegation won the fight. This was due to the strong influence of House Speaker Hyatt Brown, Sen. Edgar Dunn and Majority Leader Sam Bell.
Given the controversy surrounding the creation of the F5th District Court of Appeal, then Gov. Graham sought an advisory opinion from the Florida Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of the new district. Three of the seven supreme court justices declined to join in the majority's opinion that the new court was constitutional or otherwise to render an opinion on the issue.
Four of the justices, however, rendered the advisory opinion, supra., advising  Graham that "the omission of one recommended judicial circuit from the new appellate district is not a prohibited modification of the court's recommendation; however, the addition of one or more judicial circuits not included in the court's certification would be a prohibited modification."
Ground for a new courthouse was broken on July 24, 1981. The new courthouse was constructed for $5.3 million and the court left the Army Reserve building and moved into its new quarters on Oct. 19, 1982. The building is located at 300 South Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida. It was significantly enlarged in 2000-2001.

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.