Judge Profile

Jeri Beth Cohen

Judicial Experience:

  • Circuit Court Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit-Miami-Dade Circuit Court, 2008 to Present
  • Juvenile Dependency Division and Unified Family Court Division, 2003 to 2005
  • General Jurisdiction Division, 2006
  • Circuit Court Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, General Jurisdiction Division, 1997 to 2002
  • Circuit Court Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Juvenile Dependency Division, 1994 to 1996
  • Associate Administrative Judge, Criminal Division for the County

Other Professional Experience:

  • Co-Chair, Kristi House, Inc., 1997 to 1998
  • Assistant State Attorney, Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, 1988 to 1989
  • Associate Attorney, Tew Jordan, 1986 to 1988
  • Trial Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Securities Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C, 1985 to 1986
  • Law Clerk, Superior Court Judge A. Franklin Burgess, Washington, D.C.

Biographical Data:

  • Geneva Switzerland, Institute for Advanced International Studies,Post- ACADEMIC/PROFESSIONAL HONORS: 2008 Community Affairs Judicial Award, Jewish Federation 2008 Day Of The Child Appreciation Award 2007 The South Florida Council Child & Adolescent Psychiatry for Outstanding Contributions to the Mental Health Needs of the Children & Families of Dade County, Florida 2007 Phoenix Award, American Association of University Women 2003 Eleventh Judicial Circuit Certificate of Appreciation, "Building a World Safe for Children" 2003 Honorable Mention for Service to the Community, United Way 2003 The Kartika Award, Victims Rights Week Award 2003 Friend of the Field Award, Florida Association for the Treatment of Opiod Dependence 2003 Honoree, Women Who Make a Difference, Junior League of Miami 2002 Most Valuable Protector Award for Child Advocacy, Voices for Children 2001 Gladstone Award for Child Advocacy 2001 Pioneer Award, In the Company of Women 2000 Miami Law Women, Distinguished Service, Contribution through Judicial Process Award for the Welfare of Women & Children 1998 Adjudicatory Award, National Commission Against Drunk Driving for the Miami-Dade County Recidivism Project 1998 Chair's Award for Excellence for the Miami-Dade Recidivism Project, Conference of Florida Circuit Judges 1996 Distinction Award, Mothers' Against Drunk Driving 1996 Judicial Leadership Award of Excellence, Miami Dade Women's Association 1995 Award of Honor, Mothers' Against Drunk Driving 1995 Distinguished Leadership Award, County Court Conference 1994 Award of Honor, Mothers' Against Drunk Driving 1993 Meritorious Service Award, AMIT Women 1993 Women Worth Knowing Award, City of Miami Beach 1992 Honor Roll, American Civil Liberties Union 1992 Exemplary Service Award, League of Women Voters 1991 & 93 Finalist, Up & Corners Award 1991 Humanitarian Award, Northeast Dade Involved Democrats 1990 Humanitarian Award, Florida Abortion Rights Action League. COMMITTEES AND COMMUNITY SERVICE: Community Based Care Alliance 2006-present Chair, Community Based Care Alliance, Legislative Committee 2006-present Member, A Girls' Place Planning Committee, University of Miami Miller School Medicine 2005-present Honorary Board Member, The Sundari Foundation, Inc. 2004-present Member, International Board of Overseers, The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies 2001-2001 Member, Behavioral Health Services integration Workgroup 2000-2002 Board Member, The Education Fund, Serving the Miami-Dade Public Schools 1999-2001 Governor's Task Force, Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse 1999 Educational Chair and Conference Co-Chair, Florida Supreme Court Gender Bias Study Implementation Commission 1994-98 Member, Criminal Jury Instruction Committee for the State of Florida 1994-98 Member, Florida DUI Review Board 1998-present Faculty, Florida Advanced Judicial College 1998-2000 Advisory Board, University of Miami Center for Treatment and Research on Adolescent Drug Abuse 1999 Advisory Planning Committee, National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Juvenile Drug Court Conference, Commission on the Status of Women. INVITED LECTURER OR PANEL MEMBER: National Institute on Drug Abuse Expert Panel on Drug Courts; National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada; The Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies; National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; American Methadone Association; Florida Association of Drug Court Professionals; National Association of Drug Court Professionals; American Society of Addiction Medicine; Consultant for the Department of Justice and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment on Family Drug Courts and Dual-Diagnosis; Presenter, Conference on Law and Psychiatry, Padua, Italy. PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT: 1989 Founder, Women's Emergency Network 1994 Initiated The Miami-Dade County Recidivism Project in DUI Court, Eleventh Judicial Circuit 1999 Instituted Dependency Drug Court Project, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Juvenile Court; National Demonstration Site for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. PUBLICATIONS: Dakof, GA, Cohen, J.B., & Duarte, E. Liddle, M.S. (under review). Increasing family reunification for substance abusing mother and their children: Comparing two drug court interventions.
    Areas of Practice or professional experience before becoming a Judge:
    Civil litigation: Insurance defense and securities law; prosecutor with Dade State Attorneys office.


  • J.D., Magna Cum Laude, Georgetown Law Center, 1985
  • MA, Magna Cum Laude, Harvard University, 1979
  • BA, Magna Cum Laude, Boston University, 1978
  • Arabic Studies Program, Durham University, Durham England, 1975

Admission to the Bar:

  • Florida State Bar


  • Child Abuse and Neglect Katz, Sheinberg, Claussen, Baker and Cohen, Screening Young Children in Dependency Drug Court, Child Law Practice, Vol. 25 No. I, March 2006
  • Haack, Alemi, Nemes and Cohen, Experience with Family Drug Courts in Three Cities, Substance Abuse, Vol. 25(4), 2005
  • Dice, Claussen, Katz and Cohen, Parenting in Dependency Drug Court, Juvenile and Family Court Journal, Vol. 55, No. 3, Summer 2004
  • Oetjen, Cohen, Tribble and Suthahar, Development of the Miami-Dude County Dependency Drug Court, Technical Assistance Brief, Permanency Planning for Children Department, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, December 2003
  • Final Workgroup Report on Children's Mental Health and Substance Abuse, prepared for the Governor's Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, January 2001

Professional Civic Activities/Honors/Awards:

  • Member, Florida Supreme Court, 2007
  • Chair, Advisory Committee, 2007 - Present
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges, 1992 - Present
  • Member, Dade County Bar Association, 1998 - Present
  • Advisory Board, National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 1999 - 2001
  • Member, Florida Bar Special Committee on Gender Equality, 1994 - 1999
  • Member, Florida Bar Special Committee on Gender Equality, 1995 - 1996
  • Member, Phoenix 2000, 1991 - 1992

Part Rule:


    Would you take an active role in coordinating discovery and other matters at a case management conference noticed pursuant to Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.200(a)? Yes. Any case where an attorney requests it.


    a. When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call Chambers to seek an immediate ruling?At the discretion of the attorney. I will take the call if I'm available. b. Do you consider the filing of a motion for a protective order with regard to a deposition as an automatic stay of the subject deposition, thus relieving the attorney or the witness from the obligation to attend? If No, what additional steps do you require for the deposition to be stayed? No. Hearing, even in an emergency basis. c. Does your opinion on this depend upon whether the deposition was "short-noticed", i.e., noticed within an unreasonably short period of time before the deposition? Yes d. Do you allow emergency hearings for motions for protective orders where the time between the motion and the deposition is not sufficient for a non emergency hearing? Yes

  • Disposition of Motions Without Hearing

    Are there any motions on which you would rule without the necessity of a hearing? Default, default final judgment, motions to withdraw, agreed or in opposed motions, motion for continuance of trial.


    Do you have any procedures or preferences regarding any subject, including motion practice, with which you expect attorneys to comply? ( E.g. submission of Orders with Motion; Motions must be filed within 5 days prior to setting hearing, expectation that courtesy copies of motions be submitted by email, etc.): Paperless. Do not schedule with our office. Division 15 has an open motion calendar as long as the opposing party is noticed.


    Is there anything else that you want attorneys or litigants to know before they appear before you? If Yes, please so describe: No. (Just follow everything indicated above!!)

  • Motion Practice: All Hearings

    a. Do you prefer to receive memoranda in support of motions? Yes, do you prefer to receive them before or at the hearing? Yes If before, how long before? 10 days, with all case law, deposition testimony or pleadings that the court rules to review - please see attached. If you receive a memorandum, do you expect to receive an opposing memorandum? If the opposing side wishes to do so. b. Do you prefer copies of significant cases? Yes If so, do you prefer they be highlighted? Up to the attorney. c. How soon after the hearing should the order be submitted?Within 10 days or as specified by the court. d. Do you expect the attorney submitting the proposed order to advise you in the cover letter if the opposing attorney agrees that the proposal reflects the ruling? Yes If there is disagreement, do you expect a counter-proposed order from the other attorney? Only if I request one or the opposing counsel wishes to submit.

  • Motion Practice: Motion Calendars

    a. Days /times:Tues. & Weds. at 9:00 a.m. Open Calendars b. Length of Motion Calendar Hearings: 5 minute hearings c. Under what circumstances, can cases be added to a filled motion calendar? Open Calendar d. What special procedures should be followed, if any? e. Do you allow hearings by conference call? Yes 1. Under what circumstances? Attorneys or defendants out of the county or by permission. 2. What procedure should be followed for telephone hearings? Advise our office. 3. If you advise the parties that you will have a hearing by phone, or announce a ruling by phone, do you allow any attorney to appear in person in your chambers for the hearing? Yes 4. If any or all parties appear by phone, do you allow a court reporter to be present in your chambers or courtroom?Yes 5. If any or all parties appear by phone, do you allow a court reporter to be present in one of the party's offices? Yes f. What is the name and telephone number of the motion calendar clerk for your division? g. If a motion calendar hearing is cancelled,reset or resolved by counsel, should counsel advise your office? Only in special sets. h. Should courtesy copies of pleadings and motions be forwarded to Chambers? No i. What motions do you consider inappropriate for Motion Calendar? Motions that will take longer than 5-10 minutes.


    a. Which motions are routinely heard only at specially set hearings? Summary judgments,lengthy Motions to Dismiss, any motion that requires the taking of evidence. b. What is the procedure for allowing matters to be specially set? Call and schedule with JA. c. Do you have a back up calendar for special appointment hearings to be set on short notice, i.e., if you have a cancellation? Yes, then please explain the applicable procedures: d. If counsel seek to re-set a specially set hearing, is court notice and approval necessary? Yes


    a. Do you review post trial motions to decide whether a hearing will be allowed? Yes b. If a case is settled, what procedure should be followed to advise your office? Call if the case is on the trial calendar so we can remove it. Otherwise, send in a stipulated settlement and a dismissal. c. When do you schedule motions to approve a minor settlement? Regular motion calendar or special set if necessary.


    a.What is your daily/weekly trial schedule? Mon. - Fri. (first three weeks of the month) Mon. 9-6, Tues. 10:30-6, Wed. 10:30-6, Thurs. 9-6, Fri. 9-6. b.Do you entertain motions in limine prior to trial? Yes. But prefer lengthy motions be specially set. c. How long prior to trial must motions in limine be filed?Unless they are specially set, there is no need to file then. d. When do you want counsel to submit jury instructions and verdict forms? The second day of trial. e. Is it helpful to have jury instructions submitted in electronic form? If yes, what form and/or software program do you prefer? Yes f. Do you allow individual exhibit books for jurors? Yes g. What facilities do you have available in your courtroom or in the courthouse for use by attorneys at trial? Check all that apply: XXX a.X-ray viewer Yes b Elmo c.Television Yes d.VCR e.DVD player f. Other h. What reasons in your view would justify granting a continuance? Vacation, older case set in another division, discovery not completed, illness, witnesses unavailable, mediations or settlement ongoing. i. What is your policy on granting a continuance? Liberal, if both sides agree. And, what is your policy for either rolling the case over or removing it from the trial docket? I prefer to roll unless the attorney's request the case be taken off Does the case need to be re-noticed or does it depend on the reason for the continuance? Yes, if not rolled. j. When a case on the trial calendar is not reached because of the court's schedule, what is your practice and procedure for rolling the case over? I roll it over to the top of the next trial setting. k. Do you generally try the oldest case first? Yes l. Do you specially set cases for trial? Yes, If Yes, based on what criteria? Length of trial, witness availability, age of party, out of town witnesses. m.Jury Selection: 1. Describe the extent of the involvement by the Court as well as any special procedures you use: I do much of the initial questioning myself. I tend to be very active in jury selection. 2. Are time limitations imposed on the parties? If Yes, how long?: No. But don't repeat what I've covered please. 3.Describe any special procedures that you observe for the exercise of challenges? I would prefer that attorneys not backstrike after he/she has tendered 4. Are there any practices you have observed recurrently by attorney during voir dire of which you disapprove? No n. Opening statement/closing argument 1.What rules do you apply when attorneys seek to use demonstrative aids during opening or closing argument? Demonstrative aids are fine, but they do not go into the jury room. 2.While recognizing that each case is unique, do you impose time constraints for: a. Opening? No b. Closing? No. I let the attorneys tell me what they need. It's rarely abused. 3.If the type of case affects the amount of time allowed, please indicate the time routinely allowed for opening/closing in each of the following: I take each case individually. I don't set artificial time constraints. o. In non-jury cases, do you routinely impose time limits on opening or closing arguments? If Yes, what are the limits? No p. Do you have any preferences or protocols regarding bench trials that you would like attorneys to know about? If Yes, what are they? No q.Are there any standing orders, notices, or forms regarding scheduling, discovery, trial, or other matters that you regularly use or about which you would like to advise the members of the bar? If Yes, could you please provide a copy with your response to this questionnaire? Yes .


  • Xenia Cotarelo, Judicial Assistant