James D. Whittemore

James D. Whittemore

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James D. Whittemore

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James David Whittemore (born 1952) is an American judge presently serving in the Tampa division of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He was previously a Florida state trial court judge, a federal public defender, and an attorney in private practice who won a criminal case before the U.S. Supreme Court. As a federal judge, Whittemore presided over a number of high profile cases, including a lawsuit against Major League Baseball to challenge its draft procedure, and the Terri Schiavo case, after the United States Congress had specifically given the Middle District of Florida jurisdiction to hear the seven year-long fight over whether the brain-damaged Schiavo should be taken off life support.

Background and early legal career

Whittemore was born in Walterboro, South Carolina. He graduated with honors from the University of Florida in 1974 with a B.S. in business administration, and then received his law degree from Stetson University Law School in 1977. He briefly worked at Bauer, Morlan & Wells, a small law firm in St. Petersburg, Florida, before becoming one of the original four federal public defenders in the Middle District of Florida in 1978. Whittemore returned to private practice in Tampa three years later as an associate at Whittemore & Seybold, and then at Whittemore & Campbell from 1982 until 1987. In 1985, Whittemore successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Wainwright v. Greenfield, 474 U.S. 284 (1986), that...
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