All circuit judges are unopposed

According to records obtained from Florida’a Division of Elections, Historic City News has learned that all sitting St Johns County circuit judges are unopposed for re-election to their respective group seats.

It is common for incumbent judges to go unchallenged; often because the likely opponents are the attorneys who must plead their cases before them. Whether out of respect, or fear of reprisal, attorneys “wait their turn” if they are interested in a seat on the bench.

Forty-two judges serve residents of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, including 27 circuit and 15 county court judges.

Group – 7th Judicial Circuit Judge

2 Patti A. Christensen, (WRI) *Incumbent
Circuit Judge Patti A. Christensen was a St. Johns County Court judge for 10 years before her appointment to the circuit bench in 2010. Before becoming a judge, she was in private practice in St. Augustine for 18 years. She earned an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and her juris doctor from the University of Florida. She currently hears civil and criminal cases at the Putnam County Courthouse in Palatka.

9 Terence R. Perkins, (NOP) *Incumbent
Circuit Judge Terence R. Perkins was appointed to the bench in 2010. Before becoming a judge, he was in private practice for more than 30 years. Judge Perkins earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida. He currently hears civil cases at the Volusia County Courthouse in Deland.

12 C. McFerrin Smith, III, (NOP) *Incumbent
Circuit Judge C. McFerrin Smith, III was appointed as a Volusia County Court judge in 1978 and was appointed to the circuit bench in 1981. Before becoming a judge, he was a judicial aide for the Florida Supreme Court, executive director of the Florida Law Revision Council, a faculty member at Stetson University’s College of Law and an assistant state attorney. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of the South and a juris doctor from the University of Florida. Over the years, Judge Smith has heard traffic, civil, criminal and family cases and served as Chief Judge. He currently presides over probate and guardianship at the Volusia County Courthouse in Deland and the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell.

15 J. Michael Traynor, (NOP) *Incumbent
Circuit Judge J. Michael Traynor was elected to the bench in 2000. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Florida and was a practicing attorney for more than 20 years before becoming a judge. His past judicial assignments include criminal, civil, dependency, juvenile delinquency, family and probate. Judge Traynor currently presides over civil and probate cases at the Richard O. Watson Judicial Center in St. Augustine.

16 Leah R. Case, (NOP) *Incumbent
Circuit Judge Leah R. Case was appointed to the bench in 2010. Before her appointment, Judge Case was an assistant state attorney for the Office of the State Attorney, Seventh Judicial Circuit. She earned both her undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from the University of Florida. She currently hears juvenile dependency cases at the Volusia County Courthouse Annex in Daytona Beach.

19 Wendy W. Berger, (NOP) *Incumbent
Circuit Judge Wendy W. Berger was appointed to the bench in 2005. Before becoming a judge, she was assistant general counsel for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and an assistant state attorney. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University. 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.

21 William A Parsons, (NOP) *Incumbent
Circuit Judge William A. Parsons was appointed to the bench in 1998. Prior to becoming a judge, he was a civil trial attorney for about 25 years. Judge Parsons has an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a juris doctor from the Florida State University. During his time on the bench, he’s presided over criminal, civil, family, dependency, juvenile delinquency and probate cases. Judge Parsons is Chief Judge of the circuit and currently hears civil cases at the Volusia County Courthouse Annex at City Island in Daytona Beach.

27 Clyde E. Wolfe, (NOP) *Incumbent
Circuit Judge Clyde E. Wolfe was elected to the bench in 2006. Before becoming a judge, he was a general magistrate and child support enforcement-hearing officer for the Seventh Judicial Circuit. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a juris doctor from Stetson University. Judge Wolfe currently hears family court cases at the Richard O. Watson Judicial Center. He also presides over the St. Johns County Juvenile Drug Court.

The Judicial Nominating Commissions of the Florida Bar are aware of potential candidates. When a judge announces their decision to retire, a nonpartisan nine-member commission of lawyers and non-lawyers set out to locate, recruit, investigate, and evaluate applicants for the judicial office. These Commissions then submit three to six names of the most highly qualified applicants to the Governor, who must make a final selection from the list.

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