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Joel H. Brown was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1971. He practiced law as a civil trial attorney for 19 years and then, in 1990, was appointed by former Governor Bob Martinez to the County Court. Following his appointment, Brown served as Associate Administrative Judge of the County Court, Criminal Traffic Division, and then served as Administrative Judge of the County Court, Criminal Division. He was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles in 1994 to the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida. In that capacity, he served in several different division, including Administrative Judge of the Family Division (2001-2009) and the Chair of the Chief Judges Judicial Administration Committee (2011-2012). In 2009, Attorney Brown was elected by his colleagues as Chief Judge, he served in this role until reentering private practice in 2013.

During his role as Administrative Judge of the Family Division, Brown spearheaded the “Odyssey” program, an effort to go paperless in the first circuit division. He expanded the program to county criminal court and instituted the “Spirit” program, their first paperless program. In addition to both of these programs, he also led a movement to establish a “mobile court”, providing court access to community members while the branch courthouse was temporarily closed for renovations.

Some of Brown’s additional accomplishments include:

  • Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer
  • Peer-Review Rated AV, the highest Martindale-Hubbell rating
  • Admitted to practice law in Florida, Colorado, the United States District Court for the Southern District, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

As a native Floridian, Brown was born, raised, and spent his formative years in Miami Beach, FL. He majored in accounting and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He continued his education and graduated with his Juris Doctorate degree from the University Of Florida School Of Law. From 1969-1975, Brown served his country as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves.

AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies.

Court Programs

  • Court Relocation Committee,1999
  • Family Data Reporting Committee, Chairperson, Implemented Civil System Management Report and Post Judgment Report, February, 1997
  • Court Oriented Rehabilitative and Education Program, Implemented the first court operated DUI School in Dade County Child Restraint Offender Program, Organized the first court sponsored program to assist drivers to obtain approved infant car seats
  • Operation Drive Legal Program - Implemented the first court operated program to assist defendants with suspended driver's licenses to obtain valid licenses.

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, Florida Bar
  • Certified Mediator, Florida Supreme Court

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1971
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1971
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1981
  • Supreme Court of Colorado, 1986
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1976


  • University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida
    • J.D. - 1970
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
    • B.S.B.A. - 1967

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Florida Bar, Member
  • Miami Dade Justice Association
  • Colorado Bar, Member
  • American Bar Association, Past Member
  • Dade County Trial Lawyers Association, Past Member
  • Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Past Member
  • American Arbitration Association, Past Member
  • Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, Past Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Past Member
  • Florida Bar, Criminal Law Ethics Committee, Past Member
  • Florida Bar, Member, Grievance Committee I, 11th Judicial Circuit, 1985 - 1988
  • Coconut Grove Bar Association, Member, Board of Directors, 1984
  • Florida Bar, Chairperson, Grievance Committee I, 1986 - 1988
  • Florida Bar, Past Member, Ethics Committee
  • Lakeridge Townhome Association, Member, Board of Directors, 1988 - 1990
  • Community Oriented Rehabilitation and Education Program, DUI School,, Dade County, Chairperson, Board of Directors, 1992 - 1994
  • Dade Traffic Oversight Committee, Chairperson, 1992 - 1994
  • Supreme Court Select Committee on the Study of D.U.I. Programs, Member, 1993
  • Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Member, Education Committee, Circuit and County Courts, 1991 - 1994
  • Unified Family Court Advisory Board, Chairperson, 2001 - 2002
  • Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program Advisory Board, Chairperson , 2000 - Present
  • Florida Bar, Family Court Rules Committee, Past member
  • Optical Imaging Executive Committee , Co-Chairperson, Past Member
  • Florida Conference of County Court Judges, Education Committee, Legislative Committee, and Traffic Court Rules Committee, Past Member
  • Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Circuit and County Courts, Education Committee Education, Past Member
  • College of Advanced Judicial Studies, Faculty Member, Past Member
  • Dade Traffic Oversight Committee, Chairperson, Past Member
  • Community Oriented Rehabilitation and Education Program DUI School - Dade County, Past Member
  • College of Advance Judicial Studies, No Fault Law, Faculty Member, 1993
  • Dade County Bar Association YLS, Super Lawyers Mock Trial, Presiding Judge, 2011
  • Dade County Bar Association YLS, Super Lawyers Mock Trial, Presiding Judge, 2010
  • Judge, University of Miami Moot Court, 1998
  • Elected Chief Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, 2009 - March 31, 2013

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