Former Judge Jay P. Cohen

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Candidate Background

Judicial experience


Retired or Appointed Elsewhere


Expected Retirement

2023 - present

Judge, 6th District Court of Appeal. Transferred from the 5th District Court of Appeal.

2008 - 2022

Judge, 5th District Court of Appeal. Appointed by Governor Charlie Crist. He won the retention vote in 2010 (63.36%), 2016 (67.95%), and 2022 (64.7%).

1993 - 2008

Circuit Judge, 9th Judicial Circuit Court. Appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles.* He was involved in setting up the website for the 9th Circuit.

1990 - 1993

County Judge, Orange County. Appointed by Governor Bob Martinez.* He helped start a successful volunteer-based mediation program in the county, which reduced the court's caseload.

* Appointed instead of running for election because of a vacancy between election cycles.

legal experience

Before he became a judge, Cohen had about 11 years of experience as an attorney. In that time, he argued 100 jury trials, 200 non-jury trials, and 2 cases for administrative bodies (government agencies) to completion. For the first 3 years, he was a Prosecutor. He then shifted to private practice, where he specialized in criminal defense, juvenile dependency, domestic relations, commercial matters, and personal injury.

Before that, he clerked for a total of nearly 2 years for an attorney and Student Legal Services at the University of Florida. In this time, he spent 1 year on the Board of Supervisors Appellate Advocacy Program at the University of Florida. He interned for 9 months at the Office of the State Attorney.

political experience

other relevant tidbits

This judge is a member of the Federalist Society.

This judge is a textualist, who uses an interpretation of the Constitution that is advocated by the Federalist Society.

He has taught in the Justice Teaching program, where legal professionals educate K-12 students about our justice system.

additional Resources

Note: Some sources, like the Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today, and Tampa Bay Times, have a limited number of free articles.

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