Gov. DeSantis appoints three judges to circuit courts, one to Pinellas County Court

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom
The new Circuit Court judges will sit on the 6th and 11th Circuits.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made four judicial appointments Thursday, tapping three circuit-level judges and one to the Pinellas County Court.

Two of those appointments, Steve Berlin and Julie Sercus, fill vacancies on the 6th Circuit Court while Thomas Rebull takes a new role on the 11th Circuit Court. The Governor also appointed Joseph Lawhorne to the Pinellas County Court.

Berlin is currently a Judge for Pinellas County Court and previously served as a Lieutenant Colonel for the United States Army JAG Corps. He received his bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy and his law degree from the University of Florida.

The St. Petersburg resident fills the vacancy created after Judge Thomas Minkoff resigned.

Sercus, who replaces Judge Peter Ramsberger following his resignation, has been an assistant statewide prosecutor with the Office of the Attorney General since 2013. The Gulfport resident received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and her law degree from Widener University.

Rebull has been a Judge for the 11th Circuit since 2011, but he will fill a vacancy created there after DeSantis elevated Judge Alexander Bokor to the 3rd District Court of Appeal in July.

Rebull, of Miami, previously was a partner at Broad and Cassel and has been a member of the Cuban American Bar Association. He received his bachelor’s degree from Boston University and his law degree from the American University.

Lawhorne has been an Assistant State Attorney for the 6th Circuit since 2015. Lawhorne replaces Judge Joshua Riba, whom the Governor elevated to the 6th Circuit Court the same day Bokor received his new appointment.

Lawhorne, of Safety Harbor, received his bachelor’s degree and his law degree from the University of Mississippi.

In August, DeSantis made his 100th judicial appointment.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.



    October 1, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    You fail to mention that Tom Rebull was rejected by voters in the August election. He lost his seat on the bench because the public didn’t think he was worthy of being re-elected. Nonetheless, DeSantis appointed him to the bench again, ignoring the will of the electorate.

    The politics are disgusting and your article is very misleading because he isn’t taking “a new role.” Rather, he was rejected by the electorate, which DeSantis just chose to ignore, forcing a judge on Dade County citizens, who clearly was rejected.

    You owe your readers an apology for misleading them, and DeSantis owes Dade County an apology for disrespecting the wishes of its citizens. Apparently, we really are living in a third world country where the will of the electorate no longer matters.

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 2, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Yoah Desantis are you going to be tested! Are you and Gaetz and Scott in on this distraction! If trump dies it is real! If is a “miracle “ and trump survives this ain’t notin but bs! Vote Democrat up and down ballot!

  • Ossie S. Salter

    October 5, 2020 at 12:27 am

    Shame on Governor DeSantis for not following the will of the voters here in Miami Dade County. We voted Thomas J. Rebull OUT, we don’t trust his judgment, he is extremely temperamental specially when it comes to FORECLOSURES. God help us all. I’m sure the banks and the big law firms must be jumping of joy. What a sad day for democracy. If Judge Rebull has any decency left he would not accept this imposition on the voters. We do not want him, plain and simple. Shame on DeSantis.

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