Judge James A. Edwards
Judge James A. Edwards was appointed to the court in 2014. He is past-Chair, as of July 2019, of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and was recognized in 2017 as Jurist of the Year by the Central Florida Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. During his 35 years in private practice, he represented clients in state and federal courts throughout Florida and the Caribbean in litigation and appeals in cases involving products liability, pharmaceuticals, legal malpractice, complex commercial issues, railroads, banking, bail bonds, trucking, auto accidents, and insurance. Judge Edwards is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist (Inactive). 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.
As an attorney, he received the 2013 William Trickel, Jr. Award, which is 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. Before becoming a judge, he provided pro bono representation in a variety of cases, and served as a court appointed guardian ad litem representing abused or neglected children. Judge Edwards frequently writes and speaks about professionalism and civility, expert witnesses, the impact of the internet on trial practice, and mediation focused topics. He is an active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Orange County Bar Association. Judge Edwards served for six years on the Florida Bar's Standing Committee on Professionalism and is currently on the Florida Bar's Continuing Legal Education Committee. He has been rated AV by Martindale Hubble continuously since 1990.
Judge Edwards graduated with high honors from Auburn University, where he majored in psychology and received minors in economics and French. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Law 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.