Florida Solicitor General

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The Solicitor General of Florida or Florida Solicitor General is the top appellate (appeals) solicitor (lawyer) for the U.S. State of Florida. It is an appointed position in the Office of the Florida Attorney General and the individual serves at the pleasure of the Attorney General. Many of the cases handled by the Solicitor are argued in the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Florida. However some cases within the Solicitor's responsibilities are under the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and the state appellate courts. The Solicitor represents the Florida Attorney General before the Florida Supreme Court and other appellate courts, as needed. He also decides whether the State of Florida has an interest in all cases filed in the Florida Supreme Court and if the state should file or join an amicus brief.[1]

History[edit]

The position was created in July, 1999 at the request of Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth and was first filled by Tom Warner.[2] It is a similar position to Solicitors in many states and is modeled after the United States Solicitor General.[1] By 2003, twenty-nine states had Solicitors General, although only eight had them fifteen years earlier.[3] The Solicitor does not always argue constitutional law. Most states' attorneys general offices have had separate divisions with chiefs specializing in state and federal appellate works. Organizing the department with a separate solicitor general is a model that states are using in attempt to promote the professionalism and quality of the work. This strategy generally gives the attorney general more of specialist who may be somewhat of a legal scholar on staff. Also, the solicitor is typically someone who was not involved in the attorney general's campaign and is thus someone who is more likely to offer a different perspective than other lawyers who are entrenched in the department.[3]

Teaching[edit]

The Florida Solicitor General holds the Richard W. Ervin Eminent Scholar Chair, named to honor former Attorney General and Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Ervin. The individual holding the chair teaches advanced courses at the Florida State University’s College of Law.[4] As such, Florida State University pays half of the Solicitor’s salary, $165,000 as of 2010.[5]

An Externship program was established to allow a small number of law students the opportunity to work directly with the Solicitor on active cases and receive up to six hours of course credit while gaining practical experience in appellate procedures and constitutional law.[6]

List of Solicitors[edit]

The following is a table of Florida State Solicitors.

Years Florida Solicitor General Florida Attorney General
1999–2002 Tom Warner Bob Butterworth
2003–2006 Chris Kise Charlie Crist
2007–2010 Scott Makar Bill McCollum
2011–2012 Pam Bondi
2012–2013 Timothy Osterhaus
2013– Allen Winsor

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b “Role of Solicitor General” My Florida Legal website, Office of the Attorney General
  2. ^ Warner, Tom: "The Greatest Job for a Lawyer in Florida" Farlex Free Library, Office of the Florida Solicitor General
  3. ^ a b Mauro, Tony (2003-08-18). "Stating Their Case". Law.com. ALM Properties, Inc. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  4. ^ “Externship Program” My Florida Legal website, Office of the Attorney General
  5. ^ Palka, Mary Kelli:"Attorney's new post combines 2 passions: Teaching and state law" Florida Times-Union, February 23, 2007
  6. ^ “Richard W. Ervin Eminent Scholar Chair” My Florida Legal website, Office of the Attorney General