Specie will take over the position from Judge Lewis Killian Jr. upon his retirement July 24.
“It has been a privilege to have Karen as a colleague and we are all proud of her appointment to the bench,” said Andrew Smulian, chairman and CEO of Akerman Senterfitt, in a news release.
“Her selection to serve in a judicial capacity is well deserved and is an acknowledgement of her professional acumen and vast and diverse experience in bankruptcy-related matters,” he said.
Specie is based in Akerman Senterfitt’s Jacksonville office.
Before her appointment, Specie served as a Chapter 7 panel trustee for the Northern District, which extends from Pensacola to Gainesville.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of South Florida and a Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law.
The Northern District is one of three districts in the state and includes the major areas of Gainesville, Tallahassee, Pensacola and Panama City.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court statistics show that for the 12 months through March, 4,230 bankruptcy filings were made in the Northern District. Of those, 317 were business filings and 3,913 were nonbusiness.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has named Karen Specie, of counsel to the Akerman Senterfitt firm’s bankruptcy and reorganization practice, to become the U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of Florida.