Ben F. Overton, Esquire

Senior Justice (Retired)
Supreme Court of Florida
(1926 - 2012)
Gainesville, FL 32601

Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx

Justice Overton passed away on December 29, 2012

Justice Ben F. Overton was the first Florida Supreme Court Justice to be selected under the merit selection process (effective January 1, 1973), which was designed to remove politics from Florida's judicial system and improve the quality of the state's courts. He was appointed by Governor Reubin Askew in 1974 and was the senior member of the Supreme Court, prior to his retirement in 1999. He has been a judicial officer of this state for more than thirty-four years and a Justice of the Supreme Court for more than twenty-four years. He served as Chief Justice from 1976 to 1978 and, while Chief Justice, was a member of the Executive Committee of the Conference of Chief Justices and was chair of the conference's Special Committee on Cameras in the Courtroom and Judicial Education. The standards adopted by those committees have now been implemented in most states. Before his selection as a Justice, he served for nearly ten years as a circuit judge, both in the civil and criminal divisions of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida, and was the chief judge of that circuit for three and one-half years. In 1973, he was chair of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges. Justice Overton has been involved in a number of governmental, legal, educational, bar, historical, and professional activities.


„« Incoming Chair, Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association „« Fellow, American Bar Foundation. „« Awarded the Tradition of Excellence Award in 1995 by the General Practice Section of The Florida Bar. „« Honored in Fall 1995 edition of Florida Lawyer magazine in an article entitled, "Justice Overton: A Supreme Influence on Florida Law & History." „« As a member of the American Bar Association, Justice Overton has been involved in drafting standards for various areas of law, all of which have been approved by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. They include: Chair, Subcommittee on Judicial Discipline; Chair, Task Force on Mental Standards for Compentency to Stand Trial; Chair, Appellate Judges Conference Special Committee on Time Standards for Appellate Courts; Chair, Task Force to Review Criminal Justice Standards on Trial and Discovery; Member, ABA Joint Committee on Professional Sanctions; and many others. „« Received the Guardian of the Constitution Award in 1992, for programs that were developed while he was Chair of the United States Constitution Bicentennial Commission of Florida. „« Awarded The Florida Bar Medal of Honor.


J.D., The University of Florida College of Law
LL.M. in Jurisprudence, University of Virginia
Vice Chair, Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association
The National Judicial College, Faculty Member (1968-77) and Member of Board of Directors (1976-87)
Adjunct professor, Stetson University College (1971-74) of Law and the Florida State University
College of Law (1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998)
Former Chair, The Florida Bar, Continuing Legal Education Committee
Former Chair, Florida Court Education Council
Former Chair, United States Constitution Bicentennial Commission of Florida
Former Chair, Judicial Council of Florida
Former Chair, Florida Technology Commission
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