Elected Member

The Hon. Nelly N. Khouzam

Tampa, FL
Florida Second District Court of Appeal
University of Florida
University of Florida College of Law

Judge Nelly N. Khouzam received her B.A. degree in history from the University of Florida in 1979. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida College of Law, with honors, in December 1981.

Following law school, Judge Khouzam served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jack R. Schoonover of the Second District Court of Appeal. After completion of her clerkship, she entered private practice where she became a shareholder at Fowler, White, Gillen, Boggs, Villareal and Banker, P.A., and later a shareholder at Silberman and Khouzam, P.A. While in private practice, she received an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating given to attorneys. Prior to joining the Second District Court of Appeal, she served for fourteen years as a circuit court judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of Pinellas and Pasco counties.

Judge Khouzam was appointed to the Second District Court of Appeal and began serving as a member of the court on August 1, 2008. She was elected Chief Judge by her colleagues and served as Chief Judge from July 2019 through June 2021, leading the court with distinction during the turbulent times of the pandemic.

A frequent author and lecturer, Judge Khouzam has written articles for The Florida Bar Journal, Nova Law Review, Litigation Magazine, and the Trial Advocate Quarterly. She is a frequent lecturer at judicial conferences and is a faculty member of the Florida Judicial College and the Florida Appellate Judicial College. She has also taught at the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies. She is a past chair of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges.

Judge Khouzam has received numerous awards, including: the ABOTA “Florida Jurist of the Year Award” (2002); the William Castagna Award for Judicial Excellence for displaying the highest standards of judicial excellence in knowledge of the law, ethics, civility, professionalism, and demeanor (2006); and the John U. Bird Distinguished Jurist Award presented by the Clearwater Bar Association in recognition of extraordinary service as a Trial and Appellate Judge (2008).

She has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) since 1993, and is past president of the Barney Masterson Inn of Court. She was nominated Great Woman of the Year for 2008 by the American Biographical Institute. In 2013 she was appointed to the University of Florida Law Center Association Inc. Board of Trustees. On April 24, 2014, the University of Florida Law Alumni Council presented her with the Judicial Appreciation Award in recognition of outstanding service to the legal profession, the State of Florida and the University of Florida School of Law.

Judge Nelly Khouzam was tapped into the Florida Blue Key Honor Fraternity as a member of the Spring 2015 Honorary Tapping class. Her selection into this leadership honorary society was in recognition of outstanding ability, leadership and service to the University of Florida and to the State of Florida. In July 2020, Judge Khouzam became the first Judge in Florida to be sworn in as President of the Florida American Board of Trial Advocates (FLABOTA).

She is also a member of the Executive and Finance Committees of the Chief Judges of the States Court of Appeal ( CCJSCA), and in 2022 was Chair of its Annual Conference Committee.


The Hon. Nelly N. Khouzam Image
Areas of Expertise
Appellate Practice & Procedure (Litigation)