Gov. DeSantis announces 20 judicial appointments – Florida Politics

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed 20 judges to five circuit courts and 10 county courts across the state Friday, marking the Governor’s 150th judicial appointment since taking office.

The appointments are as follows:

DeSantis tapped London Kite to serve as Judge on the 4th Judicial Circuit Court. Kite has served on the Duval County Court since 2020. She previously served for 17 years as an Assistant State Attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit.

Kite holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and a law degree from the University of Florida. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Karen Cole.

DeSantis appointed Eric Netcher to serve as a Judge on the 9th Judicial Circuit Court. Netcher has served as a shareholder at Walker, Revels, Greninger, & Netcher, PLLC since 2020. He previously served as a Judicial Law Clerk for U.S. District Court Judge David A. Faber from 2013 until 2014.

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Netcher earned a bachelor’s and law degree from the University of Florida. He fills one of the nine new judicial vacancies created by the Legislature.

DeSantis appointed Michael Snure as a Judge on the 9th Judicial Circuit Court. Snure is the owner of Michael J. Snure, P.A.. He also served as an Associate and Partner at Kirkconnel, Lindsey, Snure, & Ponall, P.A. for 30 years.

Snure earned a bachelor’s degree from Lambuth College and his law degree from the University of Arkansas. He fills one of the new judicial vacancies on the 9th Judicial Circuit Court created by the Florida Legislature.

DeSantis tapped Ariana Fajardo Orshan to serve as Judge on the 11th Judicial Circuit Court. Ariana Fajardo-Orshan most recently served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 2018 until 2021. She previously served on the 11th Judicial Circuit Court between 2012 and 2018.

Ariana Fajardo-Orshan earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and her law degree from Nova Southeastern University. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Rosa C. Figarola.

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DeSantis appointed Diana Vizcaino to serve as Judge on the 11th Judicial Circuit Court. Vizcaino has served on the Miami-Dade County Court since. 2015. She previously served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami from 2008 until 2015.

Vizcaino earned her bachelor’s and law degree from St. Thomas University. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Martin Zilber.

DeSantis appointed Bradley Harper to serve as Judge on the 15th Judicial Circuit Court. Harper has served on the Palm Beach County Court since 2017. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and a law degree from the University of Florida.

Harper fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Krista Marx.

DeSantis appointed William Orth to serve as Judge on the 18th Judicial Circuit Court. Orth has served as a family and criminal law litigator for the last 20 years. He previously served between 1998 and 2000 as an Assistant State Attorney for the 18th Judicial Circuit.

Orth earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and his law degree from Case Western Reserve. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Marlene Alva.

DeSantis appointed Charles Helm to serve as Judge on the Citrus County Court. Helm has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Ocala since March 2021. He previously served as an Assistant State Attorney for the 5th Judicial Circuit from 2015 until 2021.

Before law school, Helm served as a police officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from Liberty University.

Helm fills the new judicial vacancy on the Citrus County Court created by the Florida Legislature.

DeSantis appointed Leslie Schultz-Kin to serve as Judge on the Hillsborough County Court.

Schultz-Kin has served as Chief Assistant Attorney General and Bureau Chief in the Tampa Civil Litigation Bureau of the Florida Office of the Attorney General since 2020.

She previously served as counsel to Akerman, LLP for seven years and as an Associate and Shareholder at Carlton Fields, P.A. for seven years. She is also a Guardian ad Litem.

Schultz-Kin received holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, amaster’s degree from the University of South Florida and a law degree from Stetson University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joelle Ann Ober.

DeSantis appointed Jeffrey Rich to serve as Judge on the Hillsborough County Court.

Rich has served as a Sole Practitioner since 2008. He previously served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit.

Rich holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Florida Coastal. He fills one of the new vacancies on the Hillsborough County Court created by the Florida Legislature.

DeSantis appointed Joseph Tompkins to serve as Judge on the Hillsborough County Court

Tompkins has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida since 2018. He previously served as a Senior Law Clerk on the 2nd District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida.

Tompkins earned his bachelor’s and law degrees at Ave Maria University. He fills one of the new vacancies on the Hillsborough County Court created by the Florida Legislature.

DeSantis appointed Michael Hooi to serve as Judge on the Hillsborough County Court.

Hooi has served as an Associate Attorney at Stichter, Riedel, Blain, & Postler, P.A. since 2009. He previously served as a Law Clerk and Staff Attorney to Judge Charles R. Wilson from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hooi earned his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and his law degree from the University of Florida. He fills one of the new vacancies on the Hillsborough County Court created by the Florida Legislature.

DeSantis appointed Erik Leontiev to serve as Judge on the Lee County Court.

Leontiev has served as an Assistant State Attorney in the 20th Judicial Circuit since 2007.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and his law degree from the University of Miami.

Leontiev fills the new vacancy on the Lee County Court created by the Florida Legislature.

DeSantis appointed Laura Gonzalez to serve as Judge on the Miami-Dade County Court.

Gonzalez has served as Of Counsel to Kobre & Kim, LLP since 2020. She previously served as an Associate at Kobre & Kim, LLP from 2016 until 2020 and an Associate at Holland & Knight, LLP from 2011 until 2016.

Gonzalez holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from Columbia University.

She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Miguel Mirabal.

DeSantis appointed James “Jimmy” Morgan to serve as Judge on the Monroe County Court.

Morgan has served as the Chief of Staff for Spottswood Hotels in Key West since 2020. He was also an Assistant Public Defender in the 16th Judicial Circuit since 2018.

Morgan previously served on active duty as a prosecutor in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2010 until 2018 and is in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of Miami. Morgan fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Ruth Becker.

DeSantis appointed Brian Sandor to serve as Judge on the Orange County Court.

Sandor has served as a trial lawyer for The Morgan Firm, P.A. since 2020. He previously served as an Assistant State Attorney in the 5th Judicial Circuit from 2011 until 2015.

Sandor earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and his law degree from Michigan State University. He fills a new vacancy on the Orange County Court created by the Florida Legislature.

DeSantis appointed April Bristow to serve as Judge on the Palm Beach County Court.

Bristow has served as General Counsel to the 15th Judicial Circuit since 2019. She previously served as a Career Attorney for Judge Dorian Damoorgian in the 4th District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida.

Bristow holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from Stetson University.

She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Sandra Bosso-Pardo.

DeSantis appointed Austin Anderson to serve as Judge on the Pasco County Court.

Anderson has served as an Assistant State Attorney for the 6th Judicial Circuit since 2018. He previously served as the Supervising Attorney for the Pasco County Offices of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel from 2007 until 2018.

Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a law degree from the University of Florida.

Anderson fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William G. Sestak.

DeSantis appointed Brandon Rafool to serve as Judge on the Polk County Court.

Rafool has served as the Managing Partner of The Rafool Firm since 2002 and has been a litigator since 1992. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from Stetson University.

Rafool fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Lori Winstead.

DeSantis appointed Lauren Blocker to serve as Judge on the St. Johns County Court.

Blocker has served as Corporate Counsel to Fidelity Information Services since 2018. She previously served as a Judicial Law Clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol Mirando, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia D. Barksdale and U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard.

Blocker received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her law degree from Florida Coastal. She fills the new judicial vacancy on St. Johns County Court created by the Florida Legislature.