John Upchurch

Mr. Upchurch was elected as the youngest Circuit Judge in Florida history in 1976, serving as Chief Judge of the 7th Judicial Circuit beginning in 1979. He received the "Most Outstanding Jurist" award from The Florida Bar in 1981. He was appointed by the Supreme Court of Florida as a charter member of the Supreme Court Committee on Mediation and Arbitration in 1989 and to the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the Center for Public Resources in 1993. In 2005, he was selected for membership in the Academy of Court Appointed Masters, the only national organization for special masters. He was inducted by The International Who's Who of Commercial Mediation in 2012.

Following his service on the bench, Mr. Upchurch served as president and managing partner of Cobb Cole & Bell of Daytona Beach, before founding the mediation firm Upchurch Watson White & Max in 1996.


  • J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • The National Judicial College, Basic and Advanced Programs
  • Harvard University Law School, Negotiations Program
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator
  • Certified U.S. District Court Mediator, Middle District of Florida
  • Certified Appellate Mediator, Supreme Court of Florida
  • Certified E-Discovery Specialist, Association of E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)


  • Founding Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators
  • Diplomate, Florida Association of Professional Mediators
  • Distinguished Fellow, International Academy of Mediators
  • CPR / Georgetown Commission on Ethics and Standards of Practice in ADR
  • Fellow, Academy of Court Appointed Masters
  • Contributing Author, "Product Liability Disputes: Mediating Legal Disputes" (Little, Brown, 1996). (Winner of the CPR Book Prize, given annually to the best book published in the field of dispute resolution.)
  • Contributing Author, "Alternative Dispute Resolution" The Florida Healthcare Professional's Medico-Legal Guide, (D.C. Press, 2003)
  • Author, "Preparation for and Presentation during Alternative Dispute Resolution" Alternative Dispute Resolution, The Litigator's Handbook (ABA Section of Litigation, 2000.)
  • Presentations (partial listing): ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, The Florida Bar, Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers, Defense Research Institute.

Areas Of Expertise

Special Designation

  • N/A

Areas Of Certification


, AL


1 Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton
2 Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla
3 Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor
4 Clay, Duval and Nassau
5 Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter
6 Pasco and Pinellas
7 Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia
8 Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union
9 Orange and Osceola
10 Hardee, Highlands, and Polk
11 Dade
12 DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota
13 Hillsborough
14 Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington
15 Palm Beach
16 Monroe
17 Broward
18 Brevard and Seminole
19 Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie
20 Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee