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Biography

Retired Circuit Court Judge Emmett Lamar Battles is a fourth generation Floridian. He was born in Jacksonville and grew up in St. Petersburg where he graduated from Lakewood High School in 1969. In 1973, he received his B.A. Degree from Florida Southern College in Lakeland and, as a Distinguished Military Graduate, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant (Infantry) in the United States Army. While serving as an Aide de Camp to a General Officer at Fort Sheridan, Illinois in 1977, Judge Battles was selected to attend the University of Florida College of Law under the Army’s Funded Legal Education Program. He received his Juris Doctor Degree (Cum Laude) in 1980. Upon graduation from law school, he served in a variety of military assignments as a Judge Advocate General’s Corp Officer. Those assignments included: Assistant Professor of Law at the Army Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia; Litigation Attorney in the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Army in the Pentagon; Officer in Charge of the Legal Center, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia; and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 24th Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. His last military assignment was in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, United States Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. Judge Battles retired as a Colonel from active duty in 1995 after more than 22 years on active duty. His military education includes the Judge Advocate General’s School Graduate Course (LLM Equivalent-Commandant’s List); Armed Forces Staff College; Combined Army and Services Staff School; the Judge Advocate General’s Basic Course and the Infantry Officer Basic Course. Judge Battles received numerous awards and decorations for his service, including the prestigious Legion of Merit.

Upon his retirement from active duty, Judge Battles served as an Assistant General Counsel with the Florida Department of Transportation, District Seven, in Tampa. In 2001, he was appointed a Circuit Court Judge by Governor Jeb Bush, taking the bench on January 2, 2002 and serving until his retirement on December 31, 2022. His judicial service included presiding for 8 ½ years in the General Civil Division, 3 years in the Felony Division, 7 years in the Felony Trial Division and 2 ½ years in the Juvenile Delinquency Division.

Judge Battles is the recipient of the Hillsborough County Bar Association Robert Patton Outstanding Jurist Award, the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency, Chapter 1, Distinguished Service Award (Judicial) and the Florida Department of Transportation, District Seven, Ben G. Watts Award for Ethical Leadership and Integrity. He was also honored to serve as Chairman of the Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism and on numerous Bar Committees, including the Florida Bar President’s Vision 2016 Commission, the Eminent Domain Committee, the Florida Supreme Court Capital Post Conviction Proceedings Subcommittee and the Florida Bar Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.

For over ten years, Judge Battles served as an Adjunct Professor at Stetson College of Law, teaching trial advocacy. He is married to Vivian Arenas-Battles. Judge Battles joined the firm of Zinober, Diana and Monteverde, P.A. on January 3, 2023 and focuses his practice solely in the areas of mediation and arbitration.

 

Education

  • The Army Judge Advocate General’s Graduate Course, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • LLM Equivalent (Commandant’s List) – 1985
  • University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida
    • Juris Doctor (with Honors) – 1980
  • Florida Southern College
    • Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) – 1973
    • Major: History/Political Science

Languages

  • English

Past Positions

  • Florida 13th Judicial Circuit Court Judge, 2002 to 2022
  • Florida Department of Transportation, District Seven, Assistant General Counsel, 1995 to 2001
  • United States Army, 1973 to 1995

Professional Associations

  • The Florida Bar, Member, 1980 to Present
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association, Member, 1995 to Present
  • Military Officers Association of America, 1995 to Present
  • American Legion, 1995 to Present

Current Position

  • Mediator/Arbitrator

Practice Areas

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Special Master
  • Expert Witness

Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of Florida
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Services
  • United States Army Court of Military Review

Honors

  • Hillsborough County Bar Association Robert Patton Outstanding Jurist Award
  • The Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency, Chapter 1, Distinguished Service Award (Judicial)
  • The Florida Department of Transportation, District Seven, Ben G. Watts Award for Ethical Leadership and Integrity.
AttorneyEmmett Lamar Battles
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