James Nealis was appointed Duval County judge Oct. 18 by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
A resident of North Jacksonville, he was an assistant state attorney in the 7th Judicial Circuit since 2015 and the drug unit prosecutor for St. Johns County.
Nealis received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, his J.D. from Regent Law School in 2008 and a master’s of studies in environmental law in 2009 from Vermont Law School.
He was admitted to The Florida Bar in October 2009.
In his application, Nealis said that as an assistant state attorney, some of his fondest career memories arose from his time in county court.
“These forums are the places where people from all areas of our city come to resolve their disputes. There is no court in Jacksonville that will have a greater impact on our community,” Nealis wrote.
The vacancy was created when Duval County Judge Jonathan Sacks was elevated to the 4th Circuit bench in April.