Judge Paul Hawkes (Ret.)

Of Counsel


Former Chief Judge of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal

Former member of the Florida House of Representatives and former special counsel to the Speaker

Member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission from 1997-1998

Former advisor to Governor Jeb Bush


Paul Hawkes is a former chief judge of the First District Court of Appeal, Florida’s largest intermediate appellate court.  Appointed to the court in 2003 by Governor Jeb Bush, Paul was twice retained by the citizens in the 31 counties of North Florida. In 2007, Paul became the youngest judge elected by his peers to serve as chief judge.

Since his retirement in January 2012, Paul has maintained a broad litigation practice. He regularly handles litigation matters in trial and appellate courts, including constitutional challenges and regulatory challenges.

Paul was elected to the Florida House of Representatives after serving as an Assistant State Attorney. In his two terms as a state legislator, Paul represented Districts 26 and 43 serving Citrus, Marion, and Hernando Counties. In 1996, when the Republicans won the Majority in the Florida House for the first time since 1874, Paul served as Special Counsel to the first Republican Speaker in 122 years. Paul was instrumental in drafting new Rules for the Florida House, made referral recommendations on all legislation filed in the House, and oversaw special projects. In 2001, Paul had the opportunity to return to the Florida House as Chief of Policy for Speaker Tom Feeney. In this capacity, Paul advised Speaker Feeney on all policy issues arising in the Florida House.

Paul received a House Speaker’s appointment to the 1997-1998 Florida Constitution Revision Commission serving as the Chair of the ‘Bonding and Investments’ Committee.

In 2000, Governor Bush hired Paul as deputy director in his Office of Policy and Budget. Governor Bush also appointed Paul to serve as his “efficiency czar,” responsible for identifying efficiencies and outsourcing opportunities requiring Paul to work closely with each of the Governor’s agencies.





United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit


Florida State University College of Law, J.D., with Honors, 1985

University of South Florida
B.S., suma cum laude, 1983

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