Dennis Bailey, formerly a Circuit Judge, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Fort Lauderdale (2015 – 2021), has presided over divisions in Civil Trial Courts, Family Courts, and Criminal Courts. He is now serving as the Head of Merlin Law Group’s Trial Division.
After law school, he worked fourteen years as a criminal trial lawyer, including nine as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County, prosecuting and defending every crime from misdemeanors to murder, including defending multiple clients facing the death penalty (never lost a client). He worked another fourteen years in general civil trial practice, both as plaintiff and defense counsel, on behalf of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to representing the homeless in Federal Civil Rights litigation, trying cases in state and federal courts up and down Florida from Key West to Pensacola.
He has tried over 200 jury trials and just as many bench trials. He has also handled both criminal and civil appeals.
He taught law at both Nova Southeastern University and the University of Miami and taught law and evidence at Broward College Police Academy. He has also instructed other judges as faculty with Florida Judicial College. He was formerly President of the North Broward Bar Association and is currently on the Weston Bar Association Board of Directors. He is a member of the Autism Society of Broward County (he has two sons on the autism spectrum) and is a Past Chair of the Exceptional Student Learning Support Advisory Council of Broward County School Board.
He is a native son of Broward County, went to college in the Midwest, lived and worked in the Great Northwest for a time, and loves to travel. His passions unrelated to law include his three sons, creative writing, and his church where he is very service-orientated as a Sunday lector, usher, catechist for teenagers, member of parish Men’s Club, member/officer of Knights of Columbus (4th Degree) and writer/actor in Drama Ministry.