In this part 2 of the Complete Guide to DOAH we learn more about the DOAH ALJs.
Who are the Current Florida Administrative Law Judges (DOAH ALJs)?
5 Administrative Law Districts
Admin Law District – DOAH ALJs
Environmental Law District – DOAH ALJs
North District – DOAH ALJs
Middle District – DOAH ALJs
South District – DOAH ALJs
The ALJs are chosen by the Chief Judge and Director of DOAH for their strong academic credentials; hand-on trial experience, preferably in administrative law; excellent writing skills; and a good, moderate judicial temperament. Whilst ALJs are expected to have a minimum of fiver (5) years legal experience, the average ALJ has been a member of the Florida Bar for more than twenty-five (25) years.
There are 5 Administrative Law Districts. Each ALJ is assigned to a District depending on their field of legal expertise and the area that they live in.
There are 2 Admin Law DOAH Judges and the remaining 30 ALJs work in either the: Environmental Law District, North District, Middle District or South District.
Judge Cohen is the Chief Judge and Director of DOAH. He is known for being professional and approachable.
He was born in Orlando and graduated from Brandeis University in 1979 with a degree in American studies. He later received his Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) from Florida State University College of Law in 1981. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1982.
During the next 21 years, he worked for law practices, such as McFarlain, et al. (1980-1983); Haben, et al. (1983-1993); Pennington, et al. (1993-1997); and Robert S. Cohen, P.A. (1997-2003) concentrating in commercial, administrative, civil litigation. In 2003, he was appointed as the Director and Chief Judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH).
• Tallahassee Bar Association (President, 1997-1998; Board of Directors 1995-2002)
• Legal Aid Foundation (President, 2001-2002; Treasurer, 2000-2001; Board of Directors, 1999-Present)
• Residential Community Mitigation Program Advisory Committee, Department of Community Affairs (2000-2001)
• Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Steering Committee (2000-2003)
• Property Tax Administration Task Force, Florida Department of Revenue (2002-2003)
• National Association of Administrative Law Judges; Second Judicial Circuit Bench/Bar Committee (2003-Present)
• President’s Pro Bono Service Award, Second Judicial Circuit (2004)
• Florida Government Bar Association; William H. Stafford Inn of Court (Master, 2004-Present)
• National President of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ) (2009-2010)
• Lifetime Professionalism Award as nominated by Dean LeBoeuf and awarded by Tallahassee Bar Association (December 6, 2016)
• Treasurer of the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary
• Currently serves as Vice Chair-Elect of the National Conference of the Administrative Law Judiciary
He received the Lifetime Professional Award on December 6, 2016 from the Tallahassee Bar Association. The award is given to any TBA judge, law professor or lawyer who has demonstrated at least 25 years of professionalism and dedication to the legal profession and community.
TBA President Dick Collins said, “Bob is a deserving recipient of this award. His personal and legal professionalism in service to TBA, to Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee and many other organizations should be“Bob is a deserving recipient of this award. His personal and legal professionalism in service to TBA, to Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee and many other organizations should be an example to us all.” an example to us all.”
“Our ALJs are extremely independent in their decision-making, yet they guard the due process rights of all who appear before us.” – Robert S Cohen, on authority and decision-making amongst DOAH ALJs in acting in fairness and impartiality.
“If the parties don’t request additional time for discovery or delay the hearing dates to accommodate their busy schedules, there is no reason why almost any case cannot proceed through the process in less than 90-120 days. Compare this with the circuit court where 180 days to trial is a rarity and occurs only where the parties treat the case as expedited and allow no continuances.” – Robert S Cohen, on DOAH ALJs process.
“I like the fact individuals, if they were able to put together a case, can come and represent themselves and have a shot at winning. That doesn’t happen in state or federal court.” – Robert S Cohen, on what he enjoys most about being one of the DOAH ALJs.
“In the coming year as president, I intend to focus on membership and education,” Judge Cohen said. “Maintaining a stable and growing membership is important to the long-term viability of the organization and will allow us to continue to provide high-quality, comprehensive educational opportunities to ALJs through our affiliations with the National Judicial College and its high-quality faculty around the country.” – Robert S Cohen, at award ceremony for NAALJ National President.
For DOAH or DOAH ALJs queries, please contact Chief Judge Robert S. Cohen, 850-488-9675, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judge Nelson is the Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge.
Some may describe her as a lover of accuracy and clarity – she most enjoys administrative and appellate practice as well as having extensive experience in health and government legal field. She has not only argued before the Supreme Court of Florida, but also the Supreme Court of the United States.
Judge Nelson was born in 1958. She received a B.A. in English with Honors from Carson-Newman College (1980) and her Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) degree from Florida State University (1983). She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983.
During the next 23 years, she worked for Law Practices and Regulatory Departments such as James E. Alderman and Joseph A. Boyd, Jr., Florida Supreme Court (1983-1986); Department of Professional Regulation (1986-1993); Department of Business and Professional Regulation (1993-1999); Holtzman, Krinzman, Equels and Furia (1999-2001); and Holtzman Equels, P.A. (2001-2006).
In 2006, she began working as one of the DOAH ALJs before finally being awarded the position of Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge in 2016, which is an Admin role in DOAH.
• Serving on a variety of committees and task forces related to the APA
• Pat Dore Administrative Conference (Chair 1998, 2004, 2012)
• Practice Before DOAH (Chair or Co-Chair 2004, 2005, 2013)
• Serves on the Steering Committee of Florida Administrative Practice Manual (2011 – present)
• Recipient of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ) Challenge Grant Award for Florida (2014)
“My cursory review of the APA reveals that the language the Fourth DCA claims is missing has not left the building, but simply moved to the room next door… Because the reach of Chapter 120 and those cases interpreting the Act are great, we can only hope that the Court will see fit to re-address the issue in the near future and clarify its decision.” – In Administrative Law Section Newsletter of October 2004, Judge Nelson questions the meaning and clarity of the recent changes to Chapter 120.
“What seemed to be missing from both the questions from the Court and the answers by counsel for all parties was a view of where declaratory statements fit within the overall framework of the APA…” – In Administrative Law Section Newsletter of September 1999, Judge Nelson ponders on the 1996 Amendments to the Administrative Law Procedure Act in her article, “Pickwick Papers Revisited: The Supreme Court Ponders the Role of Declaratory Statements.”
For further information on Declaratory Statements please see the 2013 Florida Bar article: The Importance and Proper Use of Administrative Declaratory Statements – https://www.floridabar.org/news/tfb-journal/?durl=%2FDIVCOM%2FJN%2Fjnjournal01.nsf%2FArticles%2F9A0270E69C013B2285257B1E0079EF4B
Judge Canter is a Senior Environmental Law Judge.
Judge Bram Canter was born in 1951. He received a B.A. with high honors, University of South Florida (1974), Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) from University of Florida (1977), LL.M. with highest honors, and graduated from George Washington University (1981).
In 1978 he was admitted to the Florida Bar and gained experience thereafter with the Director, Water Law Center, University of Florida College of Law (1977-1979), Assistant General Counsel, Department of Environmental Regulation (1981-1984), Associate, Gunster, Yoakley, Criser & Stewart, in W. Palm Beach (1984-1986); Haben and Culpepper, in Tallahassee (1986-1993); and Solo Practice (1997-2005); He was also a share-holder in the Pennington Law Firm in Tallahassee (1993-1996).
In 2005 he began working as one of the DOAH ALJs.
• Member, Environmental Law and Administrative Law Sections
• CLE lecturer in water law and environmental law
• Florida Water Law 1980, Florida Water Atlas (Co-Author)
• Practice Pointers for Administrative Hearings, Florida Bar Journal (February 2008)
• Practice Pointers for Administrative Hearings – Examination of Witnesses, Florida Bar Journal (July 2010)
• Practice Pointers for Administrative Hearings – Use of Exhibits, Florida Bar Journal (July 2012)
• Numerous conference presentations on administrative law, environmental law, and water law
“DOAH has a really fantastic group of ALJs and staff, and the comradery, the stimulating discussions, and the support are great… It’s a great place to work and very satisfying.” – Bram Canter discussing what he most enjoys about being one of the DOAH ALJs.
“Focusing on persuasion… At the beginning of the hearing, I know the opposing legal positions. For example, one side might be saying the environment will be harmed by a proposed development, and the other side says it won’t be harmed. I’m waiting to see who persuades me with their evidence. Later, I’m writing an order about what persuaded me.” – Bram Canter on giving important advice to young, new lawyers.
“I’d rather be remembered as fair than smart. That’s how important I believe it is.” – Bram Canter on how he would like to be remembered as an ALJ.
Quotes are taken from “ALJ Q&A” by Richard J. Shoop, December 2017 edition of the Administrative Law Section
Judge Alexander, the longest-tenured administrative law judge, works in the Environmental section and also covers cases from the Middle District of DOAH. He is known for being a fair judge.
“He’s like any judge,” Charles Lee said, director of advocacy for Audubon of Florida, “Their job is to analyze the facts and come up with conclusions of law.”
He was born in 1941. He received his Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) from the University of Florida. He was admitted to Florida Bar in 1965 and has experienced working as both an attorney and a hearing examiner at the Public Service Commission.
He started working as one of the DOAH ALJs in 1980.
Judge Cleavinger is a hearing officer for Environmental law cases.
She was born in 1955 and received a B.S. cum laude, Indiana State University (1978) and high honors at Florida State University (1981) for her J.D.
In 1981 she was admitted to the Florida Bar. She has professional experience working as a partner at Hilton and Cleavinger, in Panama City (1981-1985); and a partner, Fitzpatrick and Barron, in Panama City (1985-1988).
She began working as one of the DOAH ALJs in 1987.
• Assistant General Counsel, Office of State Comptroller (1970-1971)
• County Judge and Acting Circuit Judge, Madison County (1971-1977)
• Assistant State Attorney, Seminole County (1977-1978)
• General Counsel, Florida Department of Commerce (1978-1987)
• General Counsel, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (1987)
Judge Ffolkes is an Environmental Law Hearing Officer.
She was born in 1962 and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami (1985), and her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from the University of Miami School of Law (1989).
She worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection from 1989 until 1995, when she moved to the Florida Department of Transportation (1995-1997). In 1998, she returned to the DEP, where she worked from 1998-2007. She also worked at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (1998-2007), the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, (August 2010-August 2013), and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection from March 2007-September 2017.
She was appointed to serve as one of the DOAH ALJs in 2017.
• Author, chapter on Rule Adoption and Review in the Florida Administrative Practice Manual
• Columnist for the Government Lawyer Section Newsletter (“The Voice”).
Judge Varn is an Environmental Law Hearing Officer.
She was born 1969 and received her Bachelors of Arts in English with honors from the University of Puget Sound (1992). She received her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) with honors from the Florida State University College of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar (1995).
She has experience working with McConnaughhay, Roland defending clients in worker’s compensation litigation and appeals. She worked under First DCA Judge Anne Cawthon Booth before teaching Spanish for Lawyers and legal writing at her alma mater and privately representing workers’ compensation appeals. In 2002, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Varn to the Public Employees Relations Commission as one of the three semi-judicial commissioners who address state career service complaints, labor disputes, collective bargaining rights, and whistle blower appeals.
She was appointed as one of the DOAH Administrative Law Judges in 2011.
• Farmworker outreach
• Public school mentoring
• Spanish language interpreter for federal courts
Judge Resavage is assigned to the Environmental and Specialization Districts, where he handles NICA (Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation) and exceptional education cases.
Judge Resavage was born in 1969. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Economics from Florida State University (1991); then studied law at Florida State University’s College of Law. After graduating, he was admitted to the Alabama Bar (1998) and the Mississippi Bar (1999) before returning to Florida in 2000. He worked for the firm Alford, Clausen, & McDonald, LLC, then became an associate of Brooks, LeBoeuf, Benneft, Foster & Gwartney, P.A. in 2006. In private practice, his civil litigation included defending pharmaceutical, trucking, nursing home, hospital, and asbestos-related clients, criminal defense at both of the federal and state levels, medical negligence and personal injury victims, licensure cases for the Department of Education, and involuntary commitment cases.
He was employed by DOAH in 2012.
He is a member of the Florida Bar Association’s Health Law section, National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary, and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Judge Early is a Senior North District DOAH ALJ.
Judge Early was born in 1956. He received his Bachelors of Art from Florida State University (1978) and his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Florida State University College of Law (1981).
The first decade of his career was spent with the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation as Assistant General Counsel. In 1992, he joined Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson. In 2001, he joined Messer, Caparello and Self, P.A. While working with their firm, he also served as Special Counsel to the Department of Health and the Department of Financial Services. He is highly regarded by his colleagues in law and holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, indicating that his peers rate him as practicing law to the highest standards of ethics and excellence.
He began working at DOAH as an Administrative Law Judge in 2011 and became the Senior Judge for the Northern District in 2016. He has been key in deciding several recent cases concerning pari-mutuel wagering establishments, including questions surrounding a small racetrack in Hamilton County, and an issue of attorneys’ fees at the conclusion of a case regarding cardrooms and “designated player” gambling.
Judge Chisenhall is a North District DOAH Hearing Officer.
Judge Chisenhall was born in 1971 in Mobile, Alabama. He earned a finance degree and M.B.A. from University of West Florida (1992 and 1994, respectively). He graduated from Florida State University College of Law (1999) and was admitted to the Florida Bar.
He was a staff attorney and law clerk for the First District Court of Appeal (2000-2002). He was Chief Appellate Counsel for the Agency for Health Care Administration (2002-2007). He worked for the Department of Legal Affairs’ Administrative Law Section as Assistant Attorney General (2007-2008); then moved to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to serve as Chief Appellate Counsel (2008).
He was appointed to DOAH as an Administrative Law Judge in 2015.
• Administrative Law Section of the Florida Bar Association (Chair Elect)
• Administrative Law Ad Hoc Bylaws Committee
• Administrative Law Budget Committee
• Administrative Law Executive Council (Chair Elect)
• Administrative Law Long Range Planning Committee (Chair)
• Administrative Law Technology Committee
“The very most important thing is that if you want to get ahead, you have to devote time for networking. Even if you do great work, if people don’t know about you, you won’t get promotions or things like that… A close second to that would be that you don’t stop learning after law school. You still need to keep abreast of case law and other things that affect your practice area…” – Garett Chisenhall on advice for young lawyers.
For more GW Chisenhall Content, please go to “What One Can (and Can’t) Do with an Unfavorable Recommended Order?” found in the December 2011 Administrative Law Section Newsletter.
Judge Green is a North District DOAH Hearing Officer.
Judge Green was born in 1976 in Wisconsin. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science from University of Wisconsin Parkside (1999). She received her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from University of Florida Levin College of Law (2003) and was admitted to the Bar in 2004.
Once out of law school, she worked with the Department of Health (2006), when she moved to Orlando to work with Wicker, Smith, O’Hara, McCoy, and Ford. She returned to Tallahassee and the Department of Health, where she served as Assistant General Counsel (2009). In that time, she also taught undergraduate courses at Florida A&M University in labor relations and collective bargaining. She became Attorney Supervisor for the Department of Health’s Prosecution Services Unit (2013). She was then assigned to the Northern District of Florida as one of the DOAH ALJs (2016).
• The Tallahassee Barrister’s Bar Association
• Legal Services of North Florida
• Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
“I would say being able to problem solve. You see the facts, but you see them from a different perspective than the parties do. It’s like sporting events. You know there is going to be a winner and a loser at some point. The ALJ is like the neutral referee who objectively evaluates the case.” – Yolanda Green on the topic of what she enjoys most about being one of the DOAH ALJs.
“If you trust your instincts, you can’t go wrong.” – Yolanda Green giving advice to new young lawyers.
“I want to be remembered as proactive, effective, and fair. … [Though] they may not have received the desired outcome, at least the parties know that they had their day in court. I think that is probably the most important part of our job.” – Yolanda Green on how she would most like to be remembered as a DOAH ALJ.
Judge McKibben is a North District DOAH Hearing Officer.
Judge McKibben attended Brevard Community College (1978); and earned a Bachelor of Art degree at Florida State University (1980); he then earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) at Florida State University (1984). He was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1984. He worked at Ronald A. Mowrey, P.A. (1984), the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (1985-1986), Dempsey and Goldsmith, P.A. (1987-90), Haben and Culpepper, P.A. (1990-94), Holland and Knight, LLP (1994-1998), and R. Bruce McKibben, P.A. (1998-2006).
He began his employment at DOAH in 2006.
• Affiliation with Florida Health Care Association and American Health Lawyers Association
• Special Counsel to Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys
• The Florida Bar CLE courses (Speaker)
• Tallahassee Bar Association
• Administrative Law and Health Law Sections, The Florida Bar
• Recipient of Ann Bowden Award— Child Advocate of the Year
Judge Peterson is a North District DOAH Hearing Officer.
He was born in 1953. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida State University (1977), and he attended Stetson University College of Law (1984). Judge Peterson was admitted to the Bar in 1985. He started working at Peterson & Carr PA (1995).
He started working as one of the DOAH ALJs in 2009.
• Advocate for the Florida Commission on Ethics, Office of the Attorney General (1999-2009)
• General Counsel, Florida Department of Health (1996-1999)
• Senior Attorney, Agency for Health Care Administration (1993-1996)
• Associate, Peterson-Myers law firm in Lakeland, Florida (1987-1993)
• Law Clerk to United States District Judge George C. Carr, Middle District of Florida (1985-1987)
• Research Editor, Stetson Law Review (1984)
• Book Award – Evidence, Stetson University College of Law (1983)
Judge Stevenson is a North District DOAH Hearing Officer.
He earned a Bachelor degree from Florida State University (1983), Juris Doctorate (J.D.) with honors, University of Florida (1987). He was admitted to the Bar in 1987 and employed at DOAH in 1997. His experience includes Partner, Holland and Knight, in Tallahassee (1995-1997) and Associate, Holland and Knight, in Tallahassee (1987-1994).
• Volunteer, Grace Mission, Tallahassee, Florida
• Volunteer, Meals on Wheels, Tallahassee, Florida
• Board Member, Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Sciences (1994-2000)
• American Jurisprudence Book Award–Administrative Law
Judge Van Wyk is a North District Hearing Officer for DOAH.
She was born in 1967. She received a Bachelor degree in English/Political Science from Birmingham-Southern College (1988). She received her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) at the Florida State University College of Law (1994). She became a member of the Florida Bar in 1994. Judge Van Wyk worked at Florida Department of Community Affairs as an Assistant General Counsel (1994-1997). Her experience includes Attorney at Bryant, Miller, and Olive, PA.
She started working as a DOAH ALJ in 2012.
• Past Board Member and active member of Tallahassee Women Lawyers
• Florida Bar Foundation Fellow
• Florida Bar Foundation Board of Directors (2014-present)
• Greater Florida Woman´s Club, Capital City Chapter (2016-2017)
• Leon County Literacy Volunteers Tutor 1996-2000; Board President (1998-2000)
• Volunteer Judge for “Classical Conversations” Middle School Mock Trial Competition (2016, 2017)
• Frequent Volunteer Judge for FSU Law School Mock Trial Competitions and Active Mentor to FSU Law Students
• Author at the Administrative Law Section Newsletter
o “Closing the Justice Gap: Qualified Representatives?” (March 2017)
o “A Different Perspective” (June 2013)
“It is difficult to say whether “family and friends” representation has been effective for the litigant. How do we quantify “effectiveness”? Do we count how often they prevail on their petitions? If so, against what benchmark do we measure? How do we know whether the individual would have fared better if left to his or her own devices? What we want to know is whether the petitioner would have participated in the process at all, without the family member or friend acting as advocate. If not, then the family member and/or friend created some access to the process.”
“The QR (Qualified Representative) option is infrequently utilized, and is imperfect. There are some abuses, and there is probably a need to tweak some of the rules and clarify the standards of conduct applicable to QRs. However, from this side of the bench, it appears the QR option allows access to the administrative process by some litigants who would otherwise stumble through the process on their own, with the attendant delays and frustration for all parties, or, worse yet, forego their one opportunity to change the status quo.”
See the article, “Closing the Justice Gap” in March 2017 edition of the Administrative Law Section Newletter for more information.
Judge Watkins is a North District DOAH Hearing Officer.
Judge Watkins was born 1956. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Government from Florida State University (1979) and a Master’s degree Public Administration from Florida State University (1980). After acquiring his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the Florida State University College of Law, he was admitted to the Bar in 1984. He spent 26 years in private practice, in the administrative and health care law field.
He joined as one of the DOAH ALJs in 2010 where he continues to work primarily on Health Care cases, which include Certificate of Need, Medical Malpractice and Rule Challenges.
• Administrative Law Section, The Florida Bar (Chair 2001-2002, Member 1990-present)
• Florida Bar Journal Section Editor
• Health Law Section, The Florida Bar (1990-present)
• National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (2010 to present)
• Board Certification: State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice, Charter Member
• Dave frequently serves as a moot court judge in high school and law school competitions. He served as the community representative of the FSU Animal Care and Use Committee (1990-2010). Himself an Eagle Scout, Dave has served in leadership roles at both the pack and troop level.
Judge Johnston is a Senior Middle District DOAH Judge.
He received a degree from Boston College (1974) and he attained his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) with honors, from the Florida State University College of Law (1977). Judge Johnston was in private practice with the law firm of Ervin, Varn, Jacobs, Odom, and Kitchen (1977-1983). He is designated by the Chief Judge as qualified to be assigned Department of Health cases. Before that, he served as the Senior ALJ for DOAH’s Environmental and Land Use Section, where he served (2000). As a Senior Middle District Judge, he has been assigned a widely varied docket of cases, including several temporary special assignments. These assignments have included the former alcoholic beverage license emergency suspension docket, Baker Act cases (review of involuntary commitments for mental illness), and Settlement Hearing Officer for the former Settlement Assistance Program.
He has been employed with by DOAH since 1984 and has held other positions such as a DOAH hearing officer and administrative law judge. He has served as the Senior ALJ for DOAH’s Middle district since 2012.
• Administrative Law Section, The Florida Bar
• National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary
• Local Grievance Committee of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit Court
• Second Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee
• Speaker/Discussion Panelist in continuing education seminars and conferences
Judge Newton is a Middle District DOAH Hearing Officer.
Judge Newton was born in 1957. He received a Bachelor of Art degree from Florida State University (1974) and his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in 1977. He then spent 25 years in private practice before joining the Office of the Attorney as a Senior Assistant Attorney General and working in litigation. He joined DOAH in 2009.
• Tallahassee Animal Shelter Control Board (1979-1982).
• Tallahassee/Leon County Consolidation Commission (1990-1991)
• People for Better Government, (campaign to adopt consolidation charter) (Co-Chair, 1991-1992)
• Executive Council, Administrative Law Section, The Florida Bar (1993-1997)
• City of Tallahassee Police Chief Selection Committee (1993 & 2007)
• Battered Women’s Clemency Project, Statewide Advisory Committee (1994–1996)
• County Charter County Commission (2000)
• NAACP (Life Member, Co-Chair, 2002)
• Freedom Fund & Awards Banquet (Co-Chair, 1996)
• Martin Luther King Day Celebration Committee Florida First Amendment Foundation Member (2002-2009)
• Kate Sullivan School Advisory Council (2003-2006)
Judge Parrish is a Middle District DOAH Hearing Officer.
Joyous received her Bachelor of Art degree in English from Furman University (1975) and her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Florida State University (1977). She was admitted to the Bar in 1978. She has been employed as a DOAH Hearing Officer since March of 1987. Judge Parrish was an Assistant Attorney General assigned to represent the Florida Real Estate Commission (1985-1987). Before she went to work for the Attorney General’s Office, she was in private practice in Brevard County primarily in administrative and governmental law. She worked as an associate at law firms such as Potter, McClelland, Griffith, Jones and Marks, P.A., in Titusville (1981-1985); Stromire, Westman, Lintz, Baugh, McKinley, Antoon and Pearce, P.A., in Cocoa (1980-1981); and Crofton, Holland, Starling, Harris and Severs, P.A., in Titusville (1978-80).
• Administrative Law Section, The Florida Bar
Judge Bogan is a Middle District DOAH Administrative Law Judge.
Judge Bogan graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business. He earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Georgia’s College of Law. There he was a member of the National Champion Runner-up as a prosecutor for the law school’s Honor Court. He worked in a private law practice in Georgia where he served as assistant school board attorney in Savannah and special assistant to the Georgia attorney general. While working there he represented individuals, the State of Georgia, and the Savannah-Chatham County School Board. He is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He joined the Florida Attorney General’s Office defending state agencies in complex matters in circuit court. Judge Bogan spent two years as advocate for the Florida Commission on Ethics from within the AG’s Office, and the last three years as associate general counsel/director of labor relations at Florida A&M University. At the university he handled a variety of compliance issues, matters before DOAH, and served as chief hearing officer.
He joined DOAH in 2011.
• General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section, The Florida Bar, Chairman
• Civil Rules of Procedure Committee, The Florida Bar
• Continuing Legal Education Committee, The Florida Bar
• Council of Sections, The Florida Bar
• President’s Special Task Force on Attorney Advertising, The Florida Bar
• President’s Special Task Force on the Study of Paralegals in the Profession, The Florida Bar
Judge Culpepper is a Middle District Law Judge.
Born in 1966, Judge Culpepper earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Florida (1988). He received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from University of Florida’s Fredric G Levin College of Law (1991). Through the United States Air Force, he served as Judge Advocate General in the states of Delaware and Texas. He also has experience in private practice settings as he worked with law firms such as Akerman Senterfitt as Senior Attorney (1997-2006) and Sachs, Sax, & Caplan (2006-2010). He started working at the Florida Department of Financial Services as a Senior Attorney (2010). Later, he worked as a Senior Attorney at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (2011).
He began his career as one of the DOAH ALJs in 2015.
• Leon Foundation
• Boy Scouts of America (Assistant Scout Master)
• Florida Forum on Faith and Values
• Florida Blue Key Leadership Honorary Society
• Tallahassee Camellia Society
• Member of St. Peters Anglican Church
• Eagle Scout
“To be admissible, section 120.569(2)(g) directs that evidence must meet two criteria; it must be: 1) relevant, and 2) reliable. The provisions of the Florida Evidence Code may be used to help determine the reliability of documents or testimony that is introduced into the record.” – J Culpepper on what evidence is admissable. For more information please see The Administrative Law Section Newsletter of March 2018.
Hetal Desai serves as a Middle District ALJ.
A Tallahassee native, Judge Desai graduated with Honors from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She worked as a regulatory economist before deciding to attend the University of Florida’s College of Law. While there, she was on the Journal of Law and Public Policy and served in the Florida House of Representatives Intern Program in the Speaker’s Office and Rules Committee. She graduated with honors, earning her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree. She then served as law clerk for the Honorable James R. Wolf with the First District Court of Appeal. She later practiced commercial and employment litigation in Miami and New York before returning to Tallahassee. Judge Desai served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Tallahassee for almost nine years handling employment, ethics, public records, and land use litigation and issues. Before joining DOAH in 2017, Judge Desai was practicing labor and employment, ethics, and educational law. She has built an extensive career history working at The Florida District Court of Appeal (1995-1997, 2002-2004); Gilbride, Heller, and Brown (1997-1999); Smith Mullin (1999-2001); Labbate Balkan, LLC (2001-2002); City Attorney’s Office of Tallahassee (2005-2013); and Sniffen & Spellman (2013-2017).
• Ethics Advisory Committee
• Urban Design Committee
• Leon County Tallahassee Planning Commission
• Board of Adjustment and Appeals
• Environmental Variance Board
• Cascade Park
• Civil Rights Sidewalk Project
• Labor and Employment Law Section, Florida Bar
• City, County and Local Government Law Section, Florida Bar
• Tallahassee Women Lawyers
• Leadership Florida, Class XXXIV
• Leadership Tallahassee, Class XX
• Knight Creative Community Institute (KCCI)
• Member of the Hindu Temple of Greater Tallahassee
• Tallahassee Indian Association
Elizabeth McArthur is a Middle District DOAH ALJ in the Division of Administrative Hearings.
She earned a dual Bachelor of Arts in Business and English, magna cum laude, at Florida State University (1978). She attended the Florida State University College of Law and earned her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) with highest honors (1982). She began her career at Holland & Knight (1982-1985) and later worked at Aurell, Radey, Hinkle & Thomas (1985-1986); Katz, Kutter, Alderman, Bryant & Yon (1997); and Radey, Thomas, Yon & Clark (2003-2010).
Judge McArthur joined DOAH in 2010.
• Administrative Law Section of the Florida Bar (Secretary 2006-2007, Chair Elect 2007-2008, Chair 2008-2009)
• Administrative Law Section, Executive Council (1997-2013)
• Steering Committee Member, Florida Administrative Practice, 9th Ed. (2011) 10th Ed. (2015) and 11th Ed. (2017)
• Administrative Law Section Newsletter, (1997- present)
• Administrative Law and Health Law Sections, The Florida Bar
• Original Uniform Rules of Procedure Drafting Committee (1996-1997)
• Uniform Rules of Procedure Review Committee (2010-2013)
• Steering Committee for Pat Dore Conferences (2010, 2012)
• Created the Administrative Law Section’s first pro bono committee for administrative lawyer representation of persons with disabilities
• Volunteer at United Way of the Big Bend, Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Leon County Humane Society, and Girl Scouts
• Board-Certified in State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice (2009-present)
• Class rank 1 out of 178 in law school graduating class (1982)
• Selected to give speech at the main induction ceremony at the Florida Supreme Court (1982); basis for selection was highest combined score achieved on The Florida Bar Exam Order of the Coif
Judge Quimby-Pennock is a Middle District DOAH Judge.
Judge Quimby-Pennock graduated from Queens College in North Carolina with a degree in history. She received her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) at the Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia. Though she primarily has worked for the state of Florida, with stints at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (and its predecessors DPR and DBR) and Health, Office of the Public Counsel, the Office of the Attorney General, the Florida Elections Commission, and, most recently, the Office of Financial Regulation.
She began serving as one of the DOAH ALJs in 2011.
• Florida Bar Government Bar Association (Former President)
• Tallahassee Women Lawyers
• Teen Court
• SFGAP, Board Certified
Scott Boyd is a Senior South District DOAH Judge.
In addition to receiving his undergraduate, master’s, and law degrees from Florida State University, where he achieved top honors, Judge Boyd also received a master’s of science degree in strategic intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College. He served in the United States Air Force on both active and reserved duty. He retired from the service with the rank of colonel. For more than 25 years, including the last eight as director, Boyd has been with the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee and has been responsible for the review and comment on over 5,000 rules promulgated by state agencies.
He was employed by DOAH in 2011.
• Certification Committee for State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice, The Florida Bar (Chairman)
• Pat Dore Administrative Law Conference (Chairman)
Judge Creasy is a South District DOAH Judge.
Judge Creasy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes College (1985). She was awarded her Juris Doctorate (J.D.), with honors, from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in Memphis, TN (1989). Judge Creasy joined the Bar in Louisiana in 1989 and later Florida in 1991. She specializes in Labor and Employment law.
She joined DOAH in 2013.
• Hillsborough County (Chairperson 1996-1997)
• Louisiana State Bar Association
• Labor and Employment Law Section, The Florida Bar
• Florida Association of Women Lawyers
Robert Kilbride is a South District DOAH Judge.
Born in 1958, he graduated from Stetson University (1965) with his Bachelor of Arts degree in business and marketing and again in with his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) (1983). He was admitted to the bar in 1983. He worked as the Assistant City Attorney and City Prosecutor of Vero beach. Judge Kilbride also worked in private practice in Vero Beach. He served as a County Judge and Acting Circuit Judge for Indian River County.
He joined DOAH in 2015.
• Board certified in Labor and Employment Law (2010-present)
• Federal Bar, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
• National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ); Publication Committee. NAALJ local Florida affiliate, President (2017)
• Executive Council of the Florida Bar, Labor and Employment Law Section
• Liaison to the Administrative Law Section, Florida Bar Member of the Administrative Law section
• Volunteer Judge for Leon County Teen Court and The Arts Council of Martin County
• Active member of Element 3 Church Tallahassee, Florida
• Former board member for American Red Cross of Martin County and The Arts Council of Martin County
• Volunteer of the Year Award, Labor and Employment Law Section (2015-2016)
• Chair of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Grievance Committee 19A (2015)
Judge McKinney is a South District DOAH Judge.
Born in Germany, Judge McKinney received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Howard University and her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from the University of Florida’s College of Law. She has worked as the chief attorney for the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. She also worked as the attorney for the Florida Public Service Commission and as a hearing officer for the Department of Labor & Employment Security, as well as a Senior Assistant Attorney General.
She joined to become one of the DOAH ALJs in 2007.
• National Bar Association Judicial Council Executive Board (Historian 2015-to present),
• Recording Secretary (2012-2013)
• National Association of Women Judges (2002-present, New Member Co-Chair 2016-2017)
• National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (2012-2014, President Elect 2012-2013, Treasurer 2013, President 2013-2014)
• Florida Association of Administrative Law Adjudicators (Secretary 2009-2013)
• Florida Association for Women Lawyers (President 2005-2006)
• Tallahassee Women Lawyers (President 2001-2003)
• Mediator Qualifications & Discipline Review Board (formerly known as Mediator Qualifications Board) (1997-present)
• Oasis Center for Women & Girls (Founding & Alliance Member)
• Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
• Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (2011-2013)
• Leadership Tallahassee Class XVI
• Communications National Bar Association Judicial Council (Chair, Recording Secretary, Historian)
• National Association of Women Judges
• Florida Association for Women Lawyers (President, 2005-2006)
• Tallahassee Barristers Outstanding Community Liaison Award (2017)
• National Bar Association Judicial Council’s Raymond Pace Alexander Award (2015)
• National Bar Association Judicial Council Chair’s Award (2014)
• Tallahassee Democrat, 25 Women You Need to Know (2012)
• National Bar Association Presidential Award (2012)
• Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Diversity Award (2010)
• Tallahassee Barristers Association’s President’s Award (2009)
• Tallahassee Bar Association’s Richard W. Ervin Equal Justice Award (2008)
• Legal Elite (2007)
• Martindale Hubbell AV Rated Attorney
Judge Meale is a South District DOAH Judge.
Judge Meale graduated Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude (1973), and again with his Juris Doctorate (J.D.), with honors (1982). He earned his L.L.M. from the University of Florida (1982). He was admitted to the Bar in 1976. He started his career in private practice working as an associate at firms including Kilpatrick, Cody, Rogers, McClatchey and Regenstein, in Atlanta (1976-1977) and Pitts, Eubanks, Ross and Rumberger, P.A., in Orlando (1977-1978). He worked as a partner at Smith, Mackinnon and Mathews, in Orlando (1978-1982), and at Baker and Hostetler, in Orlando (1982-1987).
One of the longstanding members of the Division of Administrative Hearings, he became one of the DOAH ALJs in 1987.
• Authored final order analyzing appellate case law concerning standing rule challenges and outlining the courts’ sometimes inconsistent application of the standing test.
Judge Schwartz is a South District DOAH Judge.
Born in 1965, Judge Schwartz earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University (1987). He earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from Cumberland School of Law of Samford University (1990). With 23 years in private practice, he most recently worked as a Partner with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A. (2005-2013).
He then joined DOAH in 2013.
• U.S. Supreme Court
• U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
• U.S. Court of Federal Claims; U.S. District Courts, Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida
• Leon County Teen Court Volunteer Judge
• Florida State University Law School Volunteer Judge (Moot Court and Trial)
• Florida High School Mock Trial Volunteer Judge
• Florida State University Law School Mentor
• AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
• Recognized as Florida Super Lawyer, Labor & Employment (2009-2013)
Judge Sellers is a South District DOAH Judge.
Judge Sellers graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in biology and a master’s degree in science education. After serving as a high school science teacher in Fernandina Beach and Plant City, Sellers attended the Florida State University College of Law and graduated with high honors. Since 1988, she has worked in the private sector as a partner at Steel, Hector & Davis; Moyle Flanigan; and, most recently, at Broad & Cassel. She specializes in environmental and land use matters, rulemaking and regulatory permitting, and cases involving numerous agencies such as AHCA, DBPR, FHFC, FDOT, and DOS.
She started working as one of the DOAH ALJs in 2011.
• Administrative Law Section, The Florida Bar (Chair)
• SFGAP Certification Committee
• Executive Council of the Environmental and Land Use Section
• SFGAP certified
• AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell
• Adjunct professor at the UF’s Levin College of Law teaching Florida administrative law
Judge Van Laningham is a South District DOAH Judge.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida (1985), Judge Van Laningham earned his J.D. from Florida State University, with highest honors, (1988). He was admitted to the Bar in 1988. He started his career as a judicial clerk under the Honorable Albert J. Henderson of the U.S. Circuit Court Judge, Eleventh Circuit (1988-1989). He moved on to private practice in 1989 and worked for Steel, Hector and Davis, LLP (1989-2000).
He joined DOAH in 2000.
• Administrative Law and Government Lawyer Sections, The Florida Bar
• The Florida Bar Code and Rules of Evidence Committee (2005-present)
• Editorial Board of The Florida Bar Journal and The Florida Bar News
When Florida health officials asked that Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham be removed from a case involving a medical marijuana license, as they had suspected he had prejudged the case… Van Laningham refused, stating, “To summarize, and repeat for emphasis, each case pending before DOAH has one, and only one, presiding judge at a time,” he wrote in a notice to the parties. “The undersigned is the presiding judge in this matter, notwithstanding the motion to disqualify, and will remain the presiding judge in this matter unless a successor judge is assigned in the ordinary course of the proceeding pursuant to regular, legally authorized procedures, which do not include the filing of appeals (by any name or in any form) with the chief judge (or any other judge) of DOAH who is not the presiding judge.” – http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/10/12/state-tries-remove-judge-medical-marijuana-dispute/758676001/
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