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Kyle Cohen appointed as 20th Judicial Circuit Court Judge

He replaces retiring Judge Keith Cary.

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Estero prosecutor Kyle Cohen as a 20th Judicial Circuit Court Judge.

Cohen previously served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida where he’s worked since 2008.

Kyle Cohen. Image via LinkedIn

“I am incredibly honored and proud to be appointed to the 20th judicial circuit,” Cohen wrote on his LinkedIn page. “I have so many to thank and so much to say, but I am currently stunned and at a loss for words. Thank you to the JNC. Thank you to the Governor’s office. Thank you to my colleagues at the U.S. Attorney’s office. Thank you to my wonderful family. I am so excited to have the opportunity to continue my public service from the bench.”

He’s filling a circuit court seat opened by the retirement of Circuit Court Judge Keith Cary, who is based out of Lee County.

Cary announced his departure in letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Jan. 20.

“It has been a true privilege to serve the community and citizens of the 20th Judicial Circuit,” he wrote. “As I look forward to my retirement, I will always look back with much gratitude for the opportunities bestowed upon me and the experiences gained throughout my legal career, and the wonderful people I have met.”

Cary served 31 years on the bench, first as a Lee County Judge and later in the circuit court seat.

Cohen currently serves in the Civil Division for the office. There, he is responsible for all aspects of federal civil litigation for defensive and affirmative cases affecting the interests of the U.S. within a six-county radius.

Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit includes Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

Cohen has worked on a range of issues in federal court including tort, bankruptcy, employment discrimination, Administrative Procedures Act, Bivens, civil rights, contractual disputes, medical malpractice, summons enforcement, immigration, Touhy, eminent domain, FIRREA, qui tam, and False Claims Act litigation.

He previously served as an associate at the now-shuttered Howrey LLP global law firm, where he was part of the Global Litigation, Commercial Trial, and Insurance Recovery practice groups.

Cohen earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida before getting his J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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