On behalf of the Government Lawyer Section of the Florida Bar, it is our pleasure to congratulate Chief Judge Robert S. Cohen on being the recipient of the 2019 Claude Pepper Award. The Award is presented each year to an individual who has exemplified the highest ideals of dedication, professionalism, and ethics in service to the public.
Bob Cohen graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in American studies and received his J.D. from Florida State University College of Law where he wrote for the Law Review. After 21 years of practice in the private sector concentrating in administrative, civil and commercial litigation, he was appointed in 2003 by the Florida Governor and Cabinet as the Director and Chief Judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings, a central panel of 65 judges which handles most administrative disputes involving Florida government agencies, as well as workers’ compensation appeals and child support enforcement.
Judge Cohen is a member of the Florida Bar and is board certified in State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice. He is a member of the Administrative Law, Workers’ Compensation, Government Lawyer, and Health Law Sections of the Bar, and is a past recipient of the President’s Pro Bono Award for the Second Judicial Circuit. He is a member of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary, having served as its secretary and president, the National Conference of Administrative Law Judiciary, where he currently serves as its secretary, and the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, where he currently serves as treasurer. Bob is the ABA Judicial Division’s liaison to the Commission on Disability Rights. He is a past president of the Tallahassee Bar Association and the Tallahassee Legal Aid Foundation (two terms), an alumnus member of the William H. Stafford Inn of Court, is a member of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers Association, Florida Association of Women Lawyers, and Second Judicial Circuit Professionalism Panel.
Bob frequently lectures to judges, lawyers, and students on administrative law and practice, is a speaker in the biennial Pat Dore Administrative Law Conference, the oldest and largest administrative law educational conference in Florida, and has written on numerous administrative and health care law topics. He is active and has led several civic and religious organizations, has chaired the Leadership Giving component of the Florida State Employees Charitable Campaign, and is well-known for his inability to say no when asked to volunteer his time to a charitable organization.
The 2019 Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award will be presented to Judge Cohen by outgoing Bar president Michelle Suskauer at the Florida Bar's Annual Convention at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.