New Chief Judge for Second District Court of Appeals

The Honorable Edward C. LaRose has been elected Chief Judge of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals.  The Second District hears appeals from most of the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties.

Judge LaRose has been a supporter of collaborative practice as a private, more humane way to go through divorce and other family law matters.  He has attended Family Law Inns of Court meetings as well as meetings of the Collaborative Law Section of the Hillsborough County Bar Association and has always been happy to discuss collaborative law.

In discussions with Judge LaRose, I have learned that he believes most families should try to resolve issues related to divorce outside of court, and that they should only resort to a judge imposed decision as a last resort.

Below is an announcement from the Second District Court of Appeals:

Edward C. LaRose Named Chief Judge

LAKELAND, Fla.—Judge Edward C. LaRose has been unanimously elected chief judge of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal by his colleagues. He will serve a two-year term that begins July 1, 2017, succeeding the current chief judge, Craig C. Villanti. The court is headquartered in Lakeland and has a branch in Tampa.

“I am humbled and honored by the confidence my judicial colleagues have shown by selecting me as the next chief judge of the Second District. We are a very collegial court. I look forward to working with my colleagues, staff, and the entire court family in continuing a tradition of providing effective and efficient disposition of cases
brought to us. Our goal is to properly administer the law and justice for the citizens within our 14-county district.” – Chief judge-elect LaRose.

Judge LaRose will become the district’s thirty-second chief judge since the court became operational on July 1, 1957. As chief judge, he will be responsible for all administrative matters in the court.

Judge LaRose received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in 1977 from Boston College. He received his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Cornell Law School in 1980.

Before Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to the court in 2005, Judge LaRose practiced extensively in the areas of commercial litigation, antitrust, and employment law. He serves as an adjunct professor of law at Stetson University College of Law.

Judge LaRose was born in Putnam, Connecticut, in 1955. He is married and has three children. Additional information about his professional and public service activities can be found on the court’s website at

If you, like Judge LaRose, feel most divorces should be resolved privately and respectfully between the spouses rather than through the Court system, make sure that you educate yourself about the collaborative option.

Adam B. Cordover is one of the most experienced collaborative attorneys in Tampa Bay.  He trains other attorneys, as well as mental health professionals and financial professionals, how to offer collaborative services.