THOMAS D. SAWAYA
BIRTHPLACE: Ocala, FL
DEGREES: B.A., University of South Florida, 1974; J.D., Stetson University College of
Law, 1977 (graduated fourth in his class).
LEGAL OFFICES & POSITIONS: Maintained a general law practice in Ocala from 1978
to 1986; worked part-time as an Assistant State Attorney in 1985-1986. Elected as a
Marion County Judge in 1986, and elected Circuit Judge in 1990. Served on the Circuit Court in
the Fifth Judicial Circuit for ten years, including four years as Presiding Judge
of the appellate division of that circuit. Appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in
February 2000. Elected Chief Judge, Fifth District Court of Appeal, July
1, 2003 - June 30, 2005. Elected president of the Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges, December 2004 to December 2005. Served on the following committees: Select Committee on Justice Teaching, 2006 - present; Florida Courts Technology Commission, 2003 - present; Appellate Court Technology Committee, 2000 - 2006 (Chair from 2002 - 2006); Appellate Education Planning Committee, 2003 - 2004; DCA Conference Bylaw Committee, 2004 - 2005; Fifth DCA Technology Committee, 2000 - present; Fifth DCA Budget Committee, 2003 - present.
BAR OFFICES & ACTIVITIES: Founding member and past President of the D.R. Smith
Inn of Court in Ocala; member of the faculty of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges and
College of Advanced Judicial Studies, including teaching courses to the judiciary. Written
and published extensively in such legal publications as the Florida Bar Journal, the ABA
Journal, the University of Florida Law Review, Litigation, and For the Defense.
CIVIC ACTIVITIES: Vice-President of the Marion District of the North Florida
Regional Council of Boy Scouts of America; Board of Directors for West Central Florida
Driver Improvement School.
HONORS & AWARDS: Awarded the Erskine Mayo Ross Award from the American Bar
Association Journal for a published article entitled, Willie Loman Joins the Bar: Death of
a Profession (October 1990). Other awards include the 1993 Distinguished Service Award from
the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency for "outstanding service in the judicial field"
and the 1997 Distinguished Graduate Award from the Department of Elementary Schools
of the National Catholic Educational Association for exemplifying "the highest qualities of
a Catholic education" and rendering "distinguished service to the Catholic Church and the
United States of America."
Florida Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions (West Group 2003). This book
contains 27 chapters dealing with the substantive law relating to personal injury and
wrongful death litigation in Florida. This work is revised and a new publication
Attorney's Right to Compensation When Prematurely Discharged Without Cause,
63 Fla. B.J. 23 (1998);
Coverage Under the CGL: A Gordian Knot of Interpretation, 30 For the Def. 19
Coverage Under the New Commercial Policies: Loosening the Gordian Knot of
Interpretation, 30 For the Def. 22 (June 1988);
Denying Coverage Under Liability Insurance Policies in Florida: The Claims
Administration Statute, 64 Fla. B.J. 25 (1990);
From the Bench: Hypnotic Testimony (Admissibility of Hypnotically Enhanced or
Retrieved Testimony in Criminal Proceedings), 15 Litig. 3 (1989);
The Accident Report Privilege after Brackin: A Step in the Right Direction, 55 Fla.
B.J. 23 (1986);
The Work Product Privilege in a Nutshell, 67 Fla. B.J. 32 (1993);
Use of Criminal Convictions in Civil Proceedings: Statutory Collateral Estoppel
Under Florida and Federal Law, 62 Fla. B.J. 17 (1988);
- Use of Criminal Convictions in Subsequent Civil Proceedings: Statutory Collateral
Estoppel Under Florida and Federal Law and the International Act Exclusion
Clause, 40 Fla. L. Rev. 479 (1988);
- Willie Loman Joins the Bar: Death of a Profession, 76 A.B.A.
J. 88 (1990).