Joel H. Brown was elected by his colleagues as Chief Judge in February, 2009 and served in that capacity until reentering private practice in April of 2013. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1971 and practiced as a civil trial attorney for 19 years prior to being appointed to the County Court in 1990 by former Governor Bob Martinez. Subsequently, he served as Associate Administrative Judge of the County Court, Criminal Traffic Division, and then served as Administrative Judge of the County Court, Criminal Division. In 1994, Governor Lawton Chiles appointed him to the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida where he served in various divisions with increasing levels of responsibility, ultimately being named Administrative Judge of the Family Division from 2001 to 2009 and Chair of the Chief Judges Judicial Administration Committee from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2012.
During his tenure as Administrative Judge of the Family Division, Brown was responsible for the creation of the "Odyssey" program, which is the first circuit division's effort to go paperless. In county criminal court, he instituted the first paperless program, known as "Spirit." In addition to "Odyssey" and "Spirit," Brown led the movement to establish a "mobile court" that enabled members of the community to maintain access to the courts while the branch courthouse was closed temporarily for renovations.
Joel H. Brown, former Chief Judge, is a native Floridian. He was born, grew up and spent his formative years in Miami Beach. He attended the University of Florida, majored in accounting and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida School of Law. He was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve from 1969 to 1975.
Brown is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and was Peer-Review Rated AV, the highest rating, by Martindale-Hubbell. He is admitted to practice in Florida, Colorado, the United States District Court for the Southern District, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Brown has been selected to the exclusive 2015 Florida Super Lawyers List recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys in the state.
In 2014 & 2015, he was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® Best Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey in which over 79,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, casting 6.7 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.
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