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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Apr. 25, 201905:20 AM EST

The Marbut Report: Fresh faces wanted to apply for judge

4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission seeking applicants to fill spot to be vacated by Meredith Charbula.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The deadline to apply for an upcoming vacancy on the Duval County Court is Monday and the 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is particularly interested in interviewing candidates who have not previously submitted their names for judicial vacancies.

“This casts no aspersion on the people who have applied. Our mandate is to recruit highly qualified people and we want to make sure all members of the Bar are aware of the process,” said commission Chair Patrick Kilbane at a public meeting Tuesday at the Duval County Courthouse.

Patrick Kilbane

After Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Duval County Judge Meredith Charbula to the circuit court April 5, he instructed the commission to convene to evaluate and interview candidates to replace Charbula on the county bench.

The qualifications are laid out in Article V, Section 8 of the state constitution.

Candidates for judge in Duval County must be a resident of the county, registered to vote and a member of The Florida Bar for at least the preceding five years.

After the application deadline, each candidate will be vetted by a member of the commission, including reviewing the written application and contacting the personal and professional references submitted.

The Florida Bar will provide a grievance report on each candidate and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conduct a background check on each, Kilbane said.

All applicants will be interviewed by the nine-member commission May 8 in the chief judge’s chambers at the courthouse.

After the interviews are complete, the commission will deliberate and then submit to DeSantis six candidates for the vacancy.

This is the first time the commission has convened since DeSantis was sworn into office.

Based on his discussions with the new governor’s staff, Kilbane said DeSantis is looking for judicial candidates who believe in the constitutional separation of powers and who have a “mature judicial philosophy.”

Applications may be downloaded at by clicking on the Members section on the homepage and then Appointments/Applications, JNC Applications & Judicial Vacancies.

Completed applications must be submitted via email no later than 5 p.m. Monday to [email protected].

Rutherford meets federalists May 6

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford will speak to the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federalist Society at noon May 6 in the Multipurpose Room at the Main Library Downtown.

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford

Topics include border and national security and the state of the Congress.

A former Jacksonville sheriff, Rutherford is a Republican and represents the 4th Congressional District. He is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

The Federalist Society exists to promote the exchange of ideas, not to promote particular policies, appointments or politicians.

It does not adopt political stances, advocate for political outcomes or lobby for legislation. It does not sponsor or endorse nominees or candidates.

The meeting is open to members and the public. Tickets are $15 at the door with lunch provided.

Christian Legal Society delivers Easter baskets

Jacksonville Chapter of the Christian Legal Society President Joe Scones and Senior Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper were among the volunteers who helped fill more than 80 Easter baskets that were delivered to clients at City Rescue Mission, patients at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and guests at Ronald McDonald House.

The annual project was created 15 years ago by the late Scott Schildberg, a past president of the Christian Legal Society.

JWLA looking at building your brand

Melanie Griffin

The Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association will present a CLE presentation at its May luncheon with Melanie Griffin, an attorney with Dean Mead in Tampa and a past president of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division.

Griffin’s topics will be how attorneys may analyze their professional brands, creating the best client experience and how to build a sustainable balance between work and personal life.

The program begins at noon May 9 at The River Club. Guests are welcome. Visit to register.

John Baker

John Baker joins Burr & Forman

Burr & Forman added counsel John Baker to the firm’s Jacksonville office.

Baker has a general litigation practice with a focus on commercial litigation, mass and toxic torts, products liability and cases involving catastrophic injuries.

“John’s addition to the Jacksonville office reflects the continued growth of our litigation, torts and products liability practices across Florida,” said Gregory Lunny, Burr & Forman Jacksonville office managing partner, in a news release.

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