Jamie Kelly Jun. 24, 2016, 7:10pm


TALLAHASSEE – Those who have worked with Amit Agarwal, who was appointed earlier this month to be Florida’s new solicitor general, have high praise for him as an attorney and as a person.

Agarwal, who was most recently the deputy chief of the appellate division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, was praised for his dedication and skill by U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer.

“While an assistant United States attorney, Amit Agarwal stood out amongst his peers because of his professionalism, dedication, unparalleled legal research and writing skills, and community activism,” Ferrer told the Florida Record.

Earlier this month, Agarwal was honored by the Department of Justice for his work on United States v. Davis, a court case that revolved around access to location data from cellular providers. In 2014 a three-judge panel from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that the Secure Communications Act, which allows law enforcement officers to get data from telecommunications companies with a court order, but doesn’t require a warrant, was unconstitutional. Agarwal convinced the 11th Circuit to hear the case en banc and the government prevailed in a 9-2 decision that will allow police and prosecutors in Alabama, Florida and Georgia to continue to use the SCA to request records.

Before working as an assistant U.S. attorney, Agarwal clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and worked in the Office of Legal Counsel for the DOJ. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Duke University and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2004.

He also served as a law clerk for two U.S. appeals court judges, one in Washington, D.C. and one in Philadelphia.

Agarwal’s intelligence, creativity and personality made him a favored colleague, Ferrer said.

“He was an outstanding colleague and mentor, who had the innate ability to bring fresh perspective and innovative approaches to complex legal issues,” he said. “Notwithstanding his considerable talents, Amit is unquestionably humble, kind and compassionate.”

As Solicitor General, Agarwal will be Florida’s primary appellate lawyer, and will represent the state at the state and federal appellate level, as well as in front of the Supreme Court. In a news release announcing his hiring, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi praised Agarwal’s qualifications.

“I am pleased to appoint Amit Agarwal State Solicitor General and look forward to working with him to defend Florida’s constitution, its statutes and our citizens,” Bondi said.

As part of his role as solicitor general, Agarwal will serve as the Richard W. Ervin Eminent Scholar Chair and a visiting professor of law at the Florida State University College of Law.

Ferrer said that although Agarwal leaving to take a new position is a blow to his colleagues, it’s also a big benefit to the people of Florida.

“The loss felt by Amit Agarwal’s departure from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is profound,” he said, “but we are proud knowing that such an incredible person will continue to have an indelible impact as Florida’s solicitor general.”

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