JUDGE EDWARD H. MERRIGAN, JR.
Judge Edward H. Merrigan, Jr., was born in Washington, D.C., on July 24, 1962 to Dr. Edward H. Merrigan and Bernadette W. Merrigan. He moved to Ft. Lauderdale in 1976, graduating from Cardinal Gibbons High School in 1980. He attended Lenoir-Rhyne College where he was a member of both the varsity football and baseball teams and graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1984. He graduated from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, in 1988. He then attended and graduated from Emory University School of Law with an LLM in 1989. In 2014, he received a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is a member of the Florida and Georgia Bars and has been admitted to the United States District Courts in the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida. He is also admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the United States Tax Court and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Judge Merrigan began his legal career in Ft. Lauderdale as a clerk for English, McCaughan & O’Brian. He then worked for Houston & Shahady, P.A. as an associate attorney, focusing on commercial litigation. He was then hired as a Corporate Vice President for Barnett Banks of Florida, focusing on commercial litigation, collections and bankruptcy matters. He then went to work with McCauneyhhay, Duffy, Coonrod, Pope & Weaver, working on insurance defense and commercial litigation matters. Judge Merrigan then worked at Rinaman and Associates, before moving to Hiday & Ricke as the manager of the firms Ft. Lauderdale office. He was appointed to the County Court Bench in 2009 by Governor Charlie Christ, and served as a County Court Criminal Judge until his appointment to the Circuit Bench by Governor Rick Scott in April of 2014.
As an officer in the U. S. Army Reserve, Judge Merrigan has had numerous command and staff positions as a Civil Affairs Officer. He began his career as a Judge Advocate, serving as a Prosecutor, Defense Counsel and Legal Assistance Officer. He transferred to the Civil Affairs Branch and has served as a Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Battalion Commander and Brigade Commander. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Advanced Joint Professional Military Education and the U.S. Army War College. In 2004, he deployed to Iraq as the Executive Officer of the 478th Civil Affairs Battalion. For his performance in Iraq he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He is currently a Colonel and has served Security Assistance Officer at Southern Command in Miami, Florida. Judge Merrigan is currently the Brigade Commander of the 308th Civil Affairs Brigade,
located in Chicago, Ill.
Judge Merrigan is married to Tamara Rimes Merrigan and they reside in Ft. Lauderdale with daughters Ann and Amelia.
Peter Caspari grew up in the City of New York. He enlisted in the military during the Viet Nam era serving in various duty assignments. Upon completion of his military career and honorable discharge, he relocated to South Florida.
Caspari has served with the Department of Defense, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) Agency. He was appointed to the position of Director of Employer Outreach for the State of Florida, a volunteer position he has held for the past 9 years. He is a participant in the Department of Defense Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program that assists returning OEF/OIF troops providing them with job opportunities through the Department of Defense “Heroes to Hired” (H2H) initiative.
As a community advocate Caspari has been actively involved in the support of our military service members, veterans and wounded warriors in many local and regional initiatives.
Most recently, Caspari was appointed Chairman of the US ARMY Citizens Grassroots Advisory Council of Broward County. In partnership with local community leaders and Centers of Influence (COIs), the Council supports Army Values through the promotion of Army initiatives, outreach programs and opportunities. In addition, the Board engages with local Army Recruiting Company leaders by assisting and enhancing productive recruiting efforts. In addition, Caspari was nominated by United Way of Broward and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Legal Aid Services of Broward and Coast to Coast Legal Aid. He has also been instrumental in the formation of the Military Affairs Committee of the Aventura Marketing Council.
Caspari’s passion as a community advocate with an eagerness to help and assist our service members, Wounded Heroes and Veterans with reintegration to the private sector is continually evolving. Recently, Caspari was selected as “Volunteer of the Year” by the US Army Miami Recruiting Command.
Caspari believes in the philosophy that as a community, the best way we can serve to support our military is through local citizen, grass-roots advocacy initiatives.