In commemoration of his retirement, Fourth District Court of Appeal Judge Mark E. Polen will hear his final oral arguments in the Broward County Courthouse.
Polen, who has been on the appellate court since 1989 and on the bench since 1979, is resigning effective April 30.
Fourth District judges normally conduct hearings in their own courthouse in West Palm Beach, but at least once a year hold sessions in Broward County.
"His last oral argument is going to be in Broward because he started in Broward as a trial judge," said Glen Rubin, marshal for the Fourth District and its media spokesman.
In his letter of resignation, Polen told Governor Rick Scott, "I believe Florida has the finest judiciary in the country and I know you will continue your efforts to assure the continuation of a strong independent judiciary."
Polen was an advocate for stronger judicial independence. He filed a dissenting opinion in Roman Pino v. Bank of New York Mellon, where he favored allowing trial courts to hold mortgage banks accountable for robo-signing fraud that helped send a homeowner lawsuit to the Florida Supreme Court, where it was ultimately disposed of last week in favor of the bank.
Polen, 67, was retained by voters four times, most recently in 2008. His term was set to expire Jan. 5, 2015. He would not have been eligible for a new term under the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70.
Louis M. Silber, chairman of the Fourth District Judicial Nominating Commission, said a call for applicants to replace Polen would not be made until after Scott appoints someone to replace Fourth District Judge Fred Hazouri, who also is retiring this year.
Polen graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1969 and began his legal career the same year in private practice. From 1988-1996, he was also an adjunct professor at the Nova Southeastern University.
On March 5, Polen will be presiding judge on a panel with Judges Dorian Damoorgian and Spencer Levine hearing four cases.
The session will be followed by a reception in Polen’s honor to be hosted by the Broward County Bar Association.
"Judge Polen has served the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit as a trial judge and then the Fourth DCA as an appellate judge with distinction for many years," said Deborah Fitzgerald, the association’s president and a partner at Walton Lantaff Schroeder & Carson in Fort Lauderdale.