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Jax Daily Record Friday, Aug. 4, 201708:32 AM EST

18 candidates apply to be Duval County judge

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Judicial Nominating Commission sets interviews Aug. 11.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The 4th Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission received 18 applications for the vacant seat on the Duval County Court created in June when former County Judge Eric Roberson was appointed to circuit court.

The nominating committee will convene at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 11 at the Duval County Courthouse to interview the candidates.

The group will submit to Gov. Rick Scott a list of three to six candidates, from which Scott may choose Duval County’s next judge or direct the committee to submit additional candidates.

The applicants are:

• Janet Abel: 4th Judicial Circuit Office of Regional Conflict, circuit director and civil regional counsel; University of Kentucky, 1998; University of Dayton School of Law, 2001; admitted to The Florida Bar in 2001.

• Michael Bateh: 4th Judicial Circuit assistant public defender and Capital Crimes Unit division chief; University of North Florida, 1994; Florida Coastal School of Law, 1999; admitted to The Florida Bar in 2001.

• Melina Buncome: 4th Judicial Circuit assistant public defender, division chief; University of the Virgin Islands, 1987; Nova Southeastern University (J.D.), 1993; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1994.

• Meredith Charbula: 4th Judicial Circuit assistant state attorney; Tarleton State University, 1979; Florida State University College of Law, 1987; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1987.

• Ronald Davis II: Attorney at La’Rae H. Hendrix PA. University of Maine at Presque Isle, 1993; University of Miami School of Law, 1996; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1997.

• Shelley Eckels: State Farm Automobile Insurance Co. claims litigation counsel. University of Florida, 1989; Stetson University College of Law, 1994; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1994.

• Michael Fackler: Shareholder, Milam, Nicandree, Gillam & Renner. Northwestern University, 1993; University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2002; admitted to The Florida Bar in 2002.

• Crystal Freed: President of The Freed Firm. Florida Atlantic University, 1999; Georgetown University Law Center, 2003; admitted to The Florida Bar in 2003.

• Frank Mackoul II: 4th Judicial Circuit assistant public defender. University of Florida, 1993; University of Florida Levin College of Law, 1998; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1998.

• Jennifer Mansfield: Partner, Holland & Knight. Northwestern University, 1991; University of Miami School of Law, 1999; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1999.

• Barry Newman: Partner, Spohrer & Dodd. University of South Carolina, 1984; Florida Coastal School of Law, 1999; admitted to The Florida Bar in 2000.

• Rhonda Peoples-Waters: President, Rhonda Peoples-Waters PA. Fisk University, 1996; University of Florida Levin College of Law, 1999; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1999.

• Erin Perry: 4th Judicial Circuit assistant state attorney and division chief. University of Florida, 2004; University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2007; admitted to The Florida Bar in 2007.

• Otto Rafuse: Law Office of Otto Rafuse LLC. University of Florida, 1995; University of Florida Levin College of Law, 1998; admitted to The Florida Bar in 2000.

• David Thompson: Associate, Peter F. Nunes and Associates and in-house counsel for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. University of North Florida, 2005; Florida Coastal School of Law, 2008; admitted to The Florida Bar in 2009.

• Stanley Weston: Partner, Moseley Pritchard Parrish Knight & Jones. Florida State University, 1982; University of Virginia Law School, 1985; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1986.

• Leatrice Williams Walton: 4th Judicial Circuit magistrate, child support hearing officer. Edward Waters College, 1975; Howard University School of Law, 1981; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1986.

• Ben Wooded: 4th Judicial Circuit, senior judicial staff attorney. University of Florida, 1986; University of Florida Levin College of Law, 1997; admitted to The Florida Bar in 1997.

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