Florida Mediator Mike Orfinger to Be Unopposed in Election for Circuit Judge

The Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group principal will be sworn in as a judge for Florida's Seventh Circuit at the beginning of 2015.

Florida Mediator Michael S. Orfinger UWWM Principal and Judge-Elect Michael S. Orfinger

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 9, 2014) -- Upchurch Watson White & Max is pleased to announce that mediator Mike Orfinger, a principal with the firm, will become a judge for Florida's Seventh Judicial Circuit in January 2015. His opponent for the seat, State Rep. Dave Hood, recently was appointed to replace another judge, leaving Mr. Orfinger unopposed in the upcoming election.

Mr. Orfinger will replace retiring Judge R. Michael Hutcheson on the Seventh Circuit. Mike Orfinger's father, the late Melvin Orfinger, was one of the original judges on the Fifth District Court of Appeal, and Mike's brother, Richard Orfinger, is a sitting judge on the same court their father helped to establish.

Larry Watson -- a principal of Upchurch Watson White & Max who had recruited Mike Orfinger to work at Carlton Fields in 1989 -- noted, "Within a short time after hiring Mike out of law school to join our litigation team, it became apparent his real destiny was on the bench, not before it. Mike is an astute legal scholar, writes exquisitely, and possesses a sharp analytical mind. Couple those skills with his kind and generous spirit and strong sense of fair play, and he represents an excellent addition to our judiciary. "

Mr. Orfinger intends to continue his mediation work until he takes the bench next year. “I have loved every minute of my work as a mediator and arbitrator,” he said. "But serving as a judge has been my long-term goal, and I am grateful for the many role models in my life who have guided me to this point."

As The Daytona Beach News-Journal recently reported, Mr. Hood, the representative for Florida House District 25, was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to replace Circuit Judge David Beck and will take office in October.

The turn of events was met with congratulations from Mr. Orfinger's fellow mediators and other supporters. "Of all the people I know, I believe that you are by temperament and intellect the best suited to be a judge," Howard Marsee, mediation counsel with Upchurch Watson White & Max, told Mr. Orfinger.

A nationally leading mediation specialty firm, Upchurch Watson White & Max is known for facilitating reasonable agreements to resolve complex issues. From eight offices in Florida and Alabama, Supreme Court certified attorney mediators with wide-ranging specialties serve as court-appointed and privately employed mediators, arbitrators and third-party neutral case managers, implementing innovative methods of alternative dispute resolution across the country. On the Web:

P R E S S   R E L E A S E
Upchurch Watson White & Max
125 S. Palmetto Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Catherine Klasne (

For Immediate Release


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