Lawyers Can Run for Judicial Seats Far From Home

            Residency requirements for candidates can differ from office to office.  In 2001, the Florida Supreme Court in Miller v. Mendez construed the judicial residency requirement contained in Art. V, section 8 of the Florida Constitution to mean that a candidate for judge can reside outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court where they are seeking office.  The only residency requirement is that the successful candidate for judge reside in the court’s jurisdiction at the time of taking office.  Despite the court’s decision in Miller, the candidate qualifying oath for judge contained in Fla. Stat. 105.031 continues to require  candidates to swear that they are a voter in the circuit where they are seeking office.  The legislature never modified the oath after the Miller decision. 

            The ability of  lawyers to run for  judicial seats far from home is illustrated in this article at the

Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

About Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

Tom Shults is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. He has represented clients in election and sunshine law issues, complex business and commercial disputes and probate and trust suits. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983 and has maintained an active trial practice in state and federal courts for over 35 years. Mr. Shults successfully represented the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections et al. v. Browning et al. , where the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Sarasota County’s charter election law amendments. Mr. Shults has served on the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar and is the past Chairman of the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Award of the Sarasota County Bar Association for his work with the Sarasota Mental Health Community Centers. In 2013 he was nominated for circuit court judge by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Mr. Shults has served on the faculty of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Program for Practicing Lawyers at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. Mr. Shults grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School (1973), Florida State University (B.S. 1977) and Washburn University School of Law (J.D. cum laude 1982). He is veteran of the United States Army.
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