Personal injury attorney Michael Stewart is seeking to remove the incumbent Circuit Judge John Beamer from the Orange-Osceola bench, which is in Group 14.
Stewart 37 year old Stewart fresh out of his University of Florida law school when he joined the major civil defense company Wicker Smith to represent corporations when they are sued for medical negligence as well as negligent security, and even the death of a victim. Stewart said he was able to serve as an assistant public defense attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit for four years, before resigning in the year the year 2016 to become Counselor to GEICO which is where he represents individuals as well as entities against personal injury lawsuits.
“My primary job in life is being a father to my son who is 6 years old,” Stewart said.
Beamer, who is 39, was appointed a judge by Governor. Ron DeSantis in 2020 after serving as an in-house counsel with Farmers Insurance, where he dealt with a number of civil litigation matters throughout Florida. Prior to this Ron DeSantis, the Barry University law school graduate stated that he was employed by three firms in the civil sector, including one that handled multi-jurisdictional litigious issues involving medical device makers and the alleged products’ failures.
Beamer and is the husband of the Circuit judge Denise Kim Beamer, handles department of domestic relations.
“Being an father and spouse has made me aware of how crucial this particular area of law has to the community in which we live,” he said.
Both have experience in civil litigation Stewart stated that his work in criminal defense sets his work distinct from Beamer and so does Beamer’s participation with the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group whose chairman was a key player in forming that U.S. Supreme Court majority which ruled against the constitutional right to abort.
The Federalist Society believes the role of judges is to “say what the law says rather than what it ought to become,” and in interpreting the Constitution according to the original intent. President DeSantis is known to havetended to favour judiciary candidates who have ties with The Federalist Society in makingappointments to the bench.
“I consider that in the case of our Constitution it’s a set of principles. It’s a wide, expansive wording, and intended to possibly be able to adapt to the current circumstances present today, 50 years ago, 100 years ago or even more than 200 years later,” Stewart said.
Beamer stated that the Federalist Society membership doesn’t define his character, and he describes him as an “free thinking person.”
“I’ve always thought about alternative views,” he said. “… This the consideration of different viewpoints is something we need to strive for in our judgments, particularly when it comes to judges and not having our minds shut to a single way to think.”
Judge said that his character along with his knowledge as well as “commitment to justice” makes him an ideal candidate for the job.
“Especially during these legal cases involving family law, emotional peaks and individuals sometimes aren’t in control,” Beamer said. “I consider that there is a need for judges in courtrooms that is competent in controlling the courtroom, control expectations of the people in front of them and, more crucially give them the dignity and respect is due to them before you.”
The most serious thing that could befall judge is “losing their tempers” at those who walk to court, Stewart said.
“The courts need to maintain their balance and treat all with respect and doesn’t want to keep the spotlight paid to the court,” he said.
Beamer told me he keeps an chess timer running inside his courtroom in order to ensure that he does not suddenly interrupt lawyers and give attorneys enough time to present their argument.
“One of the values my parents taught me at a young childhood is that no people on the globe that are unique from the other” he stated. “Every person on the sidewalk whom you interact with is entitled to respect, which is what I provide to people who step to courtrooms.”
Early voter registration for early voting in Orange and Osceola begins August. 8 and closes on Aug. 21. The primary will be held on Aug. 23.