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Governor DeSantis Makes Multiple Judicial Appointments

This month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced multiple judicial appointments across the state, including two judicial appointments to the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court, one to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court, one to the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court, three to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, one to the Orange County Court, one to the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court, and one to the Sarasota County Court.




The new Florida judges come from Pembroke Pines, West Palm Beach, Lake Mary, Orlando, Kissimmee, Kindred, and Sarasota.

Here are the appointments by Governor DeSantis to each court:

Catalina Avalos, of Pembroke Pines, to serve as Judge on the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court
Avalos has served as a County Court Judge for Broward County since 2022. Previously, she was a Director at Tripp Scott P.A. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and her juris doctor from Nova Southeastern University. Avalos fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Cohen.

Kevin Tynan, of Pembroke Pines, to serve as Judge on the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court
Tynan has been a Partner of Richardson & Tynan PLC since 2001. Previously, he was an Associate for Entin, Margules & Della Fera P.A. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Barry University and his juris doctor from Nova Southeastern University. Tynan fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Scherer.

James Sherman, of West Palm Beach, to serve as Judge on the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court
Sherman has served as a County Court Judge for Palm Beach County since 2022. Previously, he was a Senior Attorney at the South Florida Water Management District. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his juris doctor from the University of Miami. Sherman fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Laura Johnson.

Mark Herr, of Lake Mary, to serve as Judge on the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court
Herr has served as a County Court Judge for Seminole County since 2001. Previously, he was the Solo Practitioner at the Law Offices of Mark E. Herr. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stetson University and his juris doctor from Mercer University. Herr fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Donna McIntosh.

Hal Epperson, of Kindred, to serve as Judge on the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court
Epperson has served as a County Court Judge for Osceola County since 2007. Previously, he served as an Assistant State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. He earned both his bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from Stetson University. Epperson fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Brownlee.

Brian Sandor, of Orlando, to serve as Judge on the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court
Sandor has served as a County Court Judge for Orange County since 2021. Previously, he was an Attorney at Morgan & Morgan P.A. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and his juris doctor from Michigan State University. Sandor fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Nunez-Navarro.

Christine Arendas, of Kissimmee, to serve as Judge on the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court
Arendas has served as a County Court Judge for Osceola County since 2019. Previously, she was a Solo Practitioner at Adoption, Surrogacy and Family Law Firm, P.A. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and her juris doctor from Barry University. Arendas fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Blackwell.

Cherish Adams, of Orlando, to serve as Judge on the Orange County Court
Adams has served as an Assistant State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit since 2022. Previously, she was an Assistant State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Elmira College and her juris doctor from George Washington University. Adams fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Gibson.

Ryan Felix, of Sarasota, to serve as Judge on the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court
Felix has served as a County Court Judge for Sarasota County since May of this year. Previously, he served as an Assistant State Attorney for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his juris doctor from the University of Cincinnati. Felix fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roberts.

Kennedy Legler, of Sarasota, to serve as Judge on the Sarasota County Court
Legler has served as an Assistant State Attorney for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit since 2011. He earned both his bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from Stetson University. Legler fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Galen.

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