Welcome Robert Dietz!
On June 2, 2014, Governor Rick Scott appointed two new Judges of Compensation Claims. They are Robert Dietz and Iliana Forte. We welcome them to the Office and look forward to the next four years of their service. This week, I will introduce the Section to Judge Dietz and next week this blog will feature Judge Forte. Not sure why, but I tend to do things in alphabetical order.
Judge Dietz will take the bench on July 8, 2014 and be assigned to the Sebastian/Melbourne District. He replaces Judge Donna Remsnyder upon her retirement. Judge Remsnyder will be greatly missed and Judge Dietz has big shoes to fill in Sebastian/Melbourne.
Prior to his appointment, Judge Dietz was a mediator. In the course of his practice he mediated in excess of 1,300 workers' compensation cases since becoming a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator in 1995.
He has represented both sides in workers' compensation cases over the last thirty years and has been Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Workers' Compensation Law in 1992. Since August 2013, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at Barry Law School in Orlando teaching workers' compensation.
While in private practice, Judge Dietz served as National Chair of the ABA Tort & Insurance Practice Section's Workers' Compensation and Employer Liability Committee, President of the Florida Defense Lawyers' Association (the only workers' compensation practitioner ever elected), and President of the Professional Mediation Institute. He was inducted as a Fellow of the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers in 2008, and has served on the national board of directors of the Association of Attorney-Mediators (the first Floridian ever elected) and chaired the Orange County Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Committee. He is a frequent contributor to professional and industry publications and speaker at continuing education programs.
Judge Dietz has served as a guardian ad litem for over 25 years representing over 100 children. He was The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award recipient for the 9th Judicial Circuit presented January 28, 2010, in ceremonies at the Florida Supreme Court. He has also received the 2009 Judge J.C. "Jake" Stone Distinguished Service Award presented by the Orange County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, the 5th Annual Semper Fidelis Award at the 27th Annual Dick Batchelor Run for the Children in 2007 and the Judge Thomas S.Kirk Legal Aid Society Guardian ad Litem of the Year Award in 1996.
Judge Dietz's community service has included being a member since 1984 of Civitan International, a community service organization that focuses on the developmentally challenged and diseases of the brain. He was a 2013 recipient of the organization's international honor key. From 2010 - 2014, Dietz served on the Community Leadership Council of the Howard Phillips Center, part of the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children's Foundation.
Congratulations Judge Dietz and welcome to the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims!