After a two year clerkship with the Honorable Gary M. Farmer of the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida, Judge Fabienne E. Fahnestock spent 17 years working as a complex commercial litigator and appellate attorney, tackling business and employment cases, health care disputes, and probate and appellate issues. She has represented parties in commercial, and corporate disputes, including class actions, in federal and state courts. On March 9, 2017, Judge Fabienne E. Fahnestock took on a new role, one of public service, after she was appointed as a circuit judge in the Seventeenth Circuit Court, serving Broward County, Florida.
Judge Fahnestock grew up in Broward County. After graduating from Piper High School, she attended the University of Miami and obtained her bachelor’s degree in English. Judge Fahnestock earned her law degree from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1998. Judge Fahnestock was subsequently admitted to the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. While in private practice, Judge Fahnestock also earned her Master’s in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University in 2001.
Judge Fahnestock had the privilege to clerk for the Honorable Gary M. Farmer of the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida. There, she worked on a variety of appeals, including criminal and family cases. Judge Fahnestock was responsible for critically analyzing the parties’ legal arguments and relevant case law, and making recommendations to the appellate panel for each case. At the end of her clerkship, Judge Fahnestock joined Ruden McClosky, and in 2002, Judge Fahnestock joined Gunster.
Over the course of her career, Judge Fahnestock has been recognized for her outstanding legal achievements. To name just a few, she has been honored with an AV Preeminent ranking by Martindale-Hubbell, and selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 and 2014 in the field of Trusts & Estates Litigation. She has also been listed among the “100 Outstanding Women of Broward County” and recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer, as well as a “Top Lawyer” and “Up & Comer” by South Florida Legal Guide.
But Judge Fahnestock’s accomplishments were not solely related to her legal skills. As a resident of Broward County for over 30 years, Judge Fahnestock felt compelled to invest her passion and dedication in our community with a focus on families and children. Her commitment is evidenced by her work with the Children’s Cancer Caring Center, the Jack and Jill Children’s Center, and the Early Learning Coalition. Judge Fahnestock also devoted her time mentoring young men and women at her firm, as well as in the community through the Annual Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic and as the co-chair for Leadership Broward’s Women Leading Broward.
Judge Fahnestock is assigned to the Unified Family Court Division, and presides over a family law docket that consists of divorces, adoptions, paternity actions, child support and domestic violence. Since taking the bench, Judge Fahnestock has earned a reputation for being hardworking, professional, and passionate. These attributes, along with her extensive litigation experience, make Judge Fahnestock a vital asset to Broward County’s judiciary.
Judge Fahnestock has been married to her husband, Kyle, for over 15 years, and they have two beautiful children together.