Judge David M. Gersten was born in Miami Beach, Florida. He attended the University of Florida where he earned his B.A. in 1973 and his J.D. in 1975. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1975, the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida in 1976, and the Colorado Bar in 1989. Judge Gersten worked in private practice from 1975 until he was elected to the Miami-Dade County Court in 1980. In 1982, he was elected as a Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida and was subsequently re-elected in 1988. In 1989, he was appointed as an Appellate Judge to the Third District Court of Appeal, and the voters retained him in 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008.
On July 1, 2007, Judge David M. Gersten became the chief judge of the Third District Court of Appeal. The judges of the Court unanimously elected him to this position. Judge Gersten served a two-year term from July 1, 2007 until June 30, 2009.
Judge Gersten has served the community in various legal organizations and civic programs. His activities have included memberships with the Florida Bar’s Judicial Administration Selection and Tenure Committee, and the Government Lawyers Section; the Florida Association of Women Lawyers; the American Trial Lawyers Association; and B’Nai B’rith Bench and Bar Division. He has also served as the Supreme Court’s appellate member of the Florida Court Education Council; and The Third District Court of Appeal’s member of the Committee on District Court of Appeal Performance & Accountability and the Committee of the Judicial Management Council. He has served in diverse positions with the Temple Beth Sholom School Board, the Bicentennial Constitution Committee, and the Boy Scouts of America.
Judge Gersten has received numerous honors and awards including: Third District Court of Appeal Historical Society Outstanding Service Award; St. Thomas University School of Law Outstanding Jurist Award; Boy Scouts of America’s District Award of Merit and Silver Beaver Award; the Benjamin Franklin Society’s Library Award; and South Florida Magazine’s Best Judge Award. He was admitted to the Florida Blue Key Honor Society, University of Florida.
“Professor” Gersten has served as Associate Dean on the Appellate Section of the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, (1994-99), and as faculty, (1994-present), in the areas of Alimony and UCCJA, Enforcement of Non-US Judgments, Domestic Violence, Collegiality and Decision Making, Bio-Ethics, Florida Constitutional Law, Criminal Issues, and Civil Law Trends. He serves as faculty for the National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada, (1997-present), where he is also a member of the National Judicial College faculty council, and as an Adjunct Professor at St. Thomas University School of Law, (1994-present) and faculty advisor for the St. Thomas University School of Law Mock Trial Team (2008-present).
In addition to teaching, Judge Gersten has published articles and lectured nationally on various legal topics. Some of his most recent lectures include: “Ethics: The Directors’ Cut,” Kansas Bar (2009); “Domestic Violence,” Judiciary, West Virginia (2008); “Ethics and Professionalism,” Third District Court of Appeal Annual Seminar (2008); “From the Second Amendment to the Death Penalty: Notable Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, 2007-2008 Term,” National Judicial College Webcast (2008); “Brief Writing & Oral Argument,” Florida Commission on Capital Cases (2007), “Navigating the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Patent Process,” and “Ethics,” ASENT, Neuroethics Symposium (2007); “Law: Evolution, Revolution, Institution,” The Jewish Law Museum (2007); “Judicial Wellness,” Supreme Court of Ohio (2006); “Domestic Violence and Child Custody,” NCJFCJ, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2006); “Lawyers Gone Wild,” St Thomas University School of Law (2006); “Magistrates on Fire,” West Virginia (2006); “Crawford,” West Virginia (2006); and “Vicarious Trauma & Stress for Judges (2005); State Bar of Nevada.
Judge Gersten and his wife Sherri have four children and a basset hound.