Before becoming a judge, Justice Polston had about 14 years of experience as an attorney. In that time, he argued 3 non-jury trials and 1 arbitration to completion. He practiced for 10 years at a law firm before opening his own practice. He specialized in civil litigation. He has represented government agencies in tax litigation and constitutional law. He has worked in insurance law, defending insurance companies and individuals suing insurance companies. He has also worked in real estate law and employment law (employee and employer). His practice included both the federal and state legal systems.
Before that, he interned for the Florida Senate Commerce Committee (1986). While in law school, he also taught accounting at FSU, Tallahassee Community College, and a federal prison. He has returned to teaching during his career. Since 2003, he has been working as an adjunct professor at FSU College of Law.
From 1977 to 1986, he worked as a certified public accountant.
He gained attention when he chose to represent the State in 2001 when the Florida National Organization for Women opposed the “Choose Life” license plate. The lawsuit was over free speech and the separation of church and state. Opponents of the plate believed it was a "state-sanctioned political statement against abortion". Supporters said the plate promoted adoption. The law suit was eventually dismissed.
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.
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* Appointed instead of running for election because of a vacancy between election cycles.