RKC's Linda Bond Edwards To Lead Subcommittee Addressing Lack of Diversity for JNCs
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – August 18, 2014 - Linda Bond Edwards, a partner in the Tallahassee office of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, has been appointed Chairman of the Florida Bar’s Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee (JNP) subcommittee that will study and make recommendations for implementing the recommendations from the Florida Bar President’s Special Task Force to Study Enhancement of Diversity in the Judiciary and on the Judicial Nominating Commission.
Former Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis appointed an 11-member Task Force in February 2014 to determine why diverse candidates were not applying for Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) appointments and for judgeships. Florida’s 26 JNCs interview judicial applicants and make recommendations to the governor for appointment. Under state law, the governor directly appoints five members to each JNC and selects four members from slates nominated by the Bar. In recent years reports show diversity among the applicants and appointments have declined.
Bond Edwards was a member of the Task Force, which was comprised of several distinguished attorneys, including lawyers who have served as legal counsel to previous governors; members of JNCs; leaders of voluntary bar associations; a former Florida Attorney General; former judges; and holders of other public offices.
Many of the recommendations from the Task Force fall within the purview of the JNP. Following the release of the Task Force’s report in May and the Bar’s annual convention in June, chair person of the JNP appointed to lead the Subcommittee that is charged with creating recommendations to address the following key issues disclosed in the report: educating the public and the legal community, changing negative perception of the selection process, and enhancing outreach efforts for the JNCs. The Subcommittee will present suggestions for the JNP to consider and later present to The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors during the Winter Meeting in January 2015.
Edwards devotes her litigation practice to the representation of employers in the private and public sectors in matters involving employment and labor issues. As a county and circuit mediator certified by the Florida Supreme Court, she also assists parties in resolving their disputes through use of the mediation process. Edwards also arbitrates employment and commercial disputes privately and through the American Arbitration Association. As a former corporate director of human resources, she brings pragmatic and real world experiences arising from the employer-employee relationship to her legal practice. Edwards served on the Second Judicial Circuit Judicial Nomination Commission from 2010-2014.
Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell provides litigation and counseling services in a wide range of civil practice areas including product liability, commercial litigation, construction, intellectual property litigation, environmental, labor and employment law, insurance coverage, professional liability and administrative law. Offices are located in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Tallahassee and Birmingham, Alabama. For more information, please visit www.rumberger.com.