Judges Survey 

Angela Cowden

Angela Cowden
Angela Cowden

District: Circuit Judge

2010 Overall Legal Ability Communication Ability Written Decisions Professional Conduct
7.90 7.54 7.98 7.52 8.56

Comments
Likeable.

Judge Cowden is beyond reproach. Searching in her effort to do equity she is a brilliant jurist and writes comprehensive and thorough opinions. She needs to control her courtroom and lawyers but does a good job.

Immature; lacks character to serve in this capacity.

Very good judge with great potential.

One of the most polite judges in Polk County.

Needs more life experiences. Should not lecture. Sometimes forgets she is not a prosecutor, but a judge. Don't help!

Very professional; respectful to all sides; runs a tight ship.

Judge Cowden works hard. She will be an outstanding jurist for years to come.

No question she was always a prosecutor!

Getting better.

Judge Cowden is very active in the local Bar Association and helping with Teen Court. Judge Cowden makes everyone feel welcome and is eager to help get the ball rolling or make it run smoother.

On a personal level, she's a very nice gentle woman. As a judge, it's very hard for her to relate to defendants because she just doesn't have a lot of "life experience."

Sharp legal acumen. One of the best circuit judges in Polk County.

Very gracious and professional. I may not always agree with her, but she treats everyone professionally.

Very fair and courteous to all parties.

Excellent judge.

Can be very professional but appears agenda-driven.

Judicial perfection. A class act and highly intelligent.

Tries very hard.

Wish all were this outstanding.

A fantastic judge. Fair to parties and attorneys. Friendly, thorough, above average legal ability.

Excellent temperament - considerate, respectful, but business like. However, seems one dimensional.

Naive in many ways.

Very polite and articulate. Will train up well when she learns that each case has two sides.

Makes good faith attempt at fairness.

Bright and authoritative. Not afraid to rule.

Very pleasant to lawyer and litigants alike but needs to be better educated about the law.

Has matured.

Excellent demeanor.

Efficient.

Too prosecution minded. Works in legal legal activities.

No nonsense, all business when necessary and caring when she needs to be.

Tough but fair. Very pleasant.


Article
By Bill Rufty
The Ledger

Circuit Judge Angela Cowden was tied for eighth place among 28 circuit judges on The Ledger's survey of lawyers, though she only joined the upper bench in 2008.

Her overall ranking of 7.9, the same as Judge J. Michael Hunter.

In 2008 as a county judge, she ranked fourth out of the 10 on the county bench, and she was rated 7.72.

Cowden's highest individual rating in the 2010 survey was 8.56 for professional conduct and activities.

A majority of the 33 comments made by lawyers evaluating her were in this vein: "Judge Cowden is very active in the local Bar Association and helping with Teen Court," one lawyer in the survey wrote. "(She) makes everyone feel welcome and is eager to help get the ball rolling or make it run smoother."

There were only a few negative comments.

"She's a very nice, gentle woman. As a judge, it's very hard for her to relate to defendants because she just doesn't have a lot of 'life experience,'" said one lawyer.

At 43, with 9 1/2 years as a prosecutor, five years as a county judge and 22 months on the circuit bench, Cowden said she finds it difficult to understand where the lack of "life experience" is coming from.

"I listen to both sides fairly, and I do make firm decision but must decide on the rule of law," she said.

Cowden received a chemistry degree from Florida Southern College and worked as a chemist before going to Stetson University College of Law.

She is up for election this year.

She is single and lives in Lakeland.

District: County Judge

2008 Overall Legal Ability Communication Ability Written Decisions Professional Conduct
7.72 7.47 7.78 7.37 8.27

Comments
Angela Cowden

A great candidate for circuit judge.

Excellent judge.

Exceptionally above average.

Genuinely cares about the people of Polk County more than any other judge; possibly the smartest judge in the

circuit; always polite and fair.

Hard worker.

Has a lot to learn.

Intelligent; can be temperamental and brusque to the point of rudeness.

Kind, patient, decisive, fair, respectful.

Has a beanie baby collection and still lives at home.

Queen of professionalism.

State oriented.

Top knotch.

Very condescending!

Very nice.

Works hard; young and eager to learn.


Article
By RACHEL PLEASANT CHAMBLISS

THE LEDGER

Angela Cowden ranked fourth out of 10 in The Ledger's latest county judges poll.

Cowden's overall rating from lawyers was 7.72, up from 7.12 in the 2006 survey. She rated highest in professional conduct with a 8.27 and lowest in written decisions with a 7.37.

Among the lawyers' comments were:

"Exceptionally above average."

"Friendly, affable; puts clients at ease; good at explaining system to clients."

"Genuinely cares about the people of Polk County more than any other judge; possibly the smartest judge in the circuit; always polite and fair."

"Intelligent; can be temperamental and brusque to the point of rudeness."

"Very condescending."

Rather than concentrating on her favorable ranking, Cowden said there's always room for improvement.

Cowden said she is constantly trying to improve and tries to "take the time to listen to both sides and be very careful about making a just and fair decision."

Cowden has served on the county bench for 4 1/2 years. She was a prosecutor for 9 1/2 years.

She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Florida Southern College, as well as her master's in business.

Prior to joining the law profession, she was a chemist.

She received her law degree from Stetson University and was appointed to the bench by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003. Her current term expires in 2012.

Cowden grew up in and currently lives in Lakeland. She is single.



 
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