Berger makes first cut – from 27 applicants

The Florida Bar reported to Historic City News that St. Augustine Judge Wendy W. Berger has been selected from a field of 27 applicants to be one of thirteen who will be considered to fill the vacancy on The First District Court of Appeals that was created by the resignation of Judge Edward T. Barfield.

The First District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission met yesterday afternoon via teleconference to decide which of the 27 applicants were best qualified for the vacant seat.

Berger successfully made the first cut.

Circuit Judge Wendy W. Berger was appointed to the circuit court bench in April 2005 to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Circuit Judge Robert K. Mathis.

She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University.

Before becoming a judge, she was assistant general counsel for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and an assistant state attorney.

Past judicial assignments include the civil and probate divisions. Judge Berger currently hears criminal cases and presides over the St. Johns County Adult Drug Court at the Richard O. Watson Judicial Center in St. Augustine.

Other judicial candidates, in addition to Berger, to be interviewed include Kevin A. Blazs, Gerald B. Curington, James H. Daniel, James C. Hankinson, Michael Jay Hauversburk, Scott D. Makar, Simone Marstiller, Miguel A. Olivella, Jr., Charles A. Stampelos, Jessica Enciso Varn, Karen D. Walker and Waddell A. Wallace III.

Interviews of applicants will be conducted on November 30, 2009, at the First District Court of Appeal beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Interviews are open to the public; however, the Chair asks that visitors come and go during transitions between interviews as a courtesy to the applicants.

Interested persons may contact the Chair for the interview schedule.

The Bar conveyed to Historic City News that “The Commission thanked the many outstanding applicants who offered to serve the citizens of Florida in this very important capacity.”

The Commission welcomes comments from the public regarding the applicants’ qualifications and fitness for judicial office. Comments may be submitted in writing to George T. Levesque, 420 The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL, 32399-1300, or electronically to, or may be directed to individual Commissioners.

The members of the First District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission include: Fred D. Franklin, Jr., Marcia Parker Tjoflat and Steven K. Yablonski of Jacksonville; and Peter Antonacci, Vice chair, Patricia Ann Conners, Agustin G. Corbella, Katherine E. Giddings, Michael J. Glazer, and George T. Levesque, Chair, all of Tallahassee.