Robert Cowles
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Robert Cowles

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Robert Cowles started his career in the insurance industry with Travelers Insurance Co. Then went to Emory Law School and became a trial attorney in Atlanta, GA in 1969. He has been certified as a Circuit Court Mediator in Florida since 1991 and was active in getting the mediation program started in North Florida. He has mediated over 2,500 cases.  He has also handled arbitrations for the American Arbitration Association since 1992 and has been an Arbitrator in over 350 cases including commercial cases, Lemon Law, breach of contract, business disputes, employment, construction, actuarial malpractice, fraud, maritime, and hospital/insurance disputes.

Mr. Cowles was recently an Arbitrator (Chair) in homeowners’ cases (130+ homes) against a builder and subcontractors for alleged defective construction of homes which were arbitrated from 2014 to 2017.  He has arbitrated construction and nursing home cases, independent of AAA. Robert has also been an Arbitrator in twenty (20) maritime/Jones Act cases in Miami, FL, involving cruise ship workers. He is currently involved in a $10,000,000 case involving a large hospital corporation and its insurer for under reimbursements.

Robert has also mediated all types of cases including Commercial Litigation, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation, and Product Liability. He has also been an Expert Witness in approximately 30 cases. Robert is also appointed as a Special Master/Magistrate in the Fourth Judicial Circuit.


  • Emory University Law School, J.D., 1969
  • University of North Carolina, B.S., 1964

Judicial Experience

  • Circuit Court Judge, 4th Judicial Circuit, Florida

Mediation Education

  • Dispute Management, Inc., Orlando, Florida – Circuit Civil Certification (40-hour course), December 1990
  • Harvard Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, “Mediation.” (40-hour course), June 1992
  • Jacksonville Bar Association Foreclosure Mediation Certification Course, 2010
  • Jacksonville Bar Association, Co-Chair, ADR Section, Presented Annual Mediation Seminar for Jax Bar Association, 2018

Arbitration Education & Training

  • AAA Commercial Arbitrator II Training, Atlanta, April 2001
  • AAA Commercial Arbitrator Training, Orlando, February 1999
  • AAA Commercial Arbitrators Training, San Antonio, Texas, March 2006
  • AAA  –  Healthcare Payor Provider Judicial Orientation, Webinar, May 2011
  • ”Take the Unknown Out of Healthcare Disputes:  Potential Guidance from Healthcare Experts,” Miami, FL, March 2012
  • ICDR (AAA) International Symposia (in connection with being appointed one of 15 arbitrators for Jones Act/Seamen’s injury cases) – Miami, Florida, September 2014
  • Arbitrator Performance and Demeanor”, AAA Ace Course, May 6, 2019
  • “Case Finances – What Arbitrators Need to Know,”  and Cybers Security:  A Shared Responsibility (AAA), 2021
  • Annual required ACE courses of the American Arbitration

Admitted to Practice

  • Florida Bar, 1969
  • Georgia Bar, 1969

Professional or Trade Affiliations

  • Jacksonville Bar – Chairman, Litigation Section, 1982-1984
  • Jacksonville Board of Governors, 1981-1982
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Jacksonville Bar – Chairman, Committee on Relations With Other Professionals, 1985-1986
  • Co-Chair of JBA’s ADR Section in 2017-2018 and involved in presenting its annual CME seminar for mediators


  • Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, 1987-2013
  • One of 7 Committee Members – Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyers, Board Member -1997-2000/Chair – 1998-1999
  • Certified Mediator, Florida State Courts, 1991

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rated – Martindale-Hubbell (Highest Rating)