by Nancy Kinnally
MAITLAND, Fla. — Senior Judge Emerson R. Thompson Jr. took office July 1 as president of The Florida Bar Foundation, a statewide charitable organization whose mission is to provide greater access to justice.
Thompson has been on the Foundation board since 1995 and previously served from 1991 to 1993. He has chaired or been active on numerous Foundation committees, including the executive, investment, Medal of Honor Award, finance and audit, legal assistance for the poor/law student assistance, and improvements in the administration of justice committees.
Prior to his retirement in 2008, Thompson served as a county, circuit and appellate judge. He was appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in 1993 and served as chief judge from 2000 to 2003. Before his appointment to the appellate bench, he was a trial judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit and was elected chief judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit by his colleagues, serving in that capacity from 1989 to 1991. In 1994, he was one of three finalists whose name was submitted to Gov. Lawton Chiles for appointment to the Florida Supreme Court.
Thompson received his law degree from the Florida State University College of Law and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He is a founder and former president of The First Central Florida American Inns of Court. He is an active lecturer and former adjunct professor at Valencia College in Orlando and an alumnus and former faculty member of the National Judicial College.
Thompson is a Fellow of The Florida Bar Foundation and a member of its Bronze Society for lifetime giving.