JAMES A. EDWARDS
Judge James A. Edwards was appointed to the court by Governor Rick Scott in 2014 to fill a new position created by the Florida Legislature. Judge Edwards, a native of Orlando, is married and has two sons. While in private practice, he represented clients in state and federal courts throughout Florida and the Caribbean in litigation and appeals. He also served as a neutral mediator for state and federal cases. His appellate practice included cases before all five district courts of appeal in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits.
During his 35 years of private practice, he litigated cases ranging from straight forward automobile accidents to complex commercial matters to highly technical products liability claims. He has been Board Certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer since 1989. He provided pro bono representation in a variety of cases, and served as a court appointed guardian ad litem representing abused or neglected children.
As an attorney, he received the 2013 William Trickel, Jr. Award, an honor presented annually by the Orange County Bar Association to recognize outstanding professionalism and leadership. Orlando Magazine recognized him repeatedly as a "Best Lawyer" in the field of products liability, and he has been included in Super Lawyers – Florida, Florida’s Best Lawyers and the Best Lawyers of America.
Judge Edwards frequently writes and speaks about appellate advocacy, professionalism and civility, expert witnesses, the impact of the internet on trial practice, and mediation focused topics. While in private practice, he was a member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He is an active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Orange County Bar Association's Professionalism and Appellate Practice Committees. Judge Edwards served for six years on the Florida Bar's Standing Committee on Professionalism. He currently serves on the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and is a Fellow of the Florida Bar Foundation.
Judge Edwards graduated with high honors from Auburn University where he majored in psychology and received minors in economics and French. While attending the University of Florida College of Law, he was a member of the Moot Court Team and served as an Appellate Advocacy instructor. He graduated from law school with high honors and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Judge Edwards is admitted to practice in Florida and the United States Virgin Islands.