Judge Gerald B. Cope, Jr., was appointed by Governor Bob Martinez to the Third District Court of Appeal effective December 19, 1988. He was retained in office by merit retention elections in 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008.
Judge Cope served as Chief Judge from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2007. He is a member of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar, The Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, and various professional associations. He is a past president of the Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges and past chair of the Appellate Court Rules Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a former member of the American Law Institute, the Council of Chief Judges, and the American Inns of Court.
Judge Cope received his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1968 and J.D. degree from Florida State University College of Law in 1977, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Florida State University Law Review. He received an LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1992.
Judge Cope has published Discretionary Review of the Decisions of Intermediate Appellate Courts: A Comparison of Florida's System with Those of the Other States and the Federal System, 45 Florida Law Review 21 (1993); A Quick Look at Florida's New Right of Privacy, 55 Florida Bar Journal 12 (1981); To Be Let Alone: Florida's Proposed Right of Privacy, 6 Florida State University Law Review 671 (1978); Note, Toward a Right of Privacy as a Matter of State Constitutional Law, 5 Florida State University Law Review 631 (1977).
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Cope practiced law with Arky, Freed, Stearns, Watson & Greer, P.A. (1978-86) and Greer, Homer, Cope & Bonner, P.A. (1986-88).
Judge Cope held administrative positions in the Florida Division of Youth Services (1969-72) and the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (1974-75).
Judge Cope was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina in 1946. In 1951, his family moved to Melbourne, Florida. He is married to Carol Soret Cope, an attorney and author. They have one daughter.
On October 31, 2010, Judge Cope retired from the Court and entered private practice with the Akerman Senterfitt law firm.