Judge Hodges was appointed as a United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida in 1971 after thirteen years of private practice with a law firm in Tampa. He received his B.S. and J.D. degrees, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, from the University of Florida. He was Chief Judge of the District 1982-1989, and served as Chairman of the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions in the Fifth Circuit, and later the Eleventh Circuit, from 1977 to 2005; President, District Judges Association of the Eleventh Circuit, 1981-1982; President, Tampa Chapter, American Inns of Court, 1987-1989; Circuit Council, Eleventh Circuit, 1981-1986; Judicial Conference Committee on the Operation of the Jury System, 1982-1987; Subcommittee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the Federal Judicial Center, 1982-1987; Bench Book Committee of the Federal Judicial Center, Chairman, 1987-1993; Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules, 1987-1993, Chairman, 1990-1993; Member Judicial Conference Ad Hoc Committee on Habeas Corpus Reform (Chaired by Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.); Member, District Judges Advisory Group, United States Sentencing Commission, 1996; Member, Judicial Conference of the United States, District Judge Representative of the Eleventh Circuit, 1993-1999; Chairman, District Judge Representatives to the Judicial Conference, 1997; Member, Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference, 1994-1999, Chairman, 1996-1999; Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee of the Judicial Conference to study relations with the Federal Judicial Center, 1997-1998; Chairman, United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, 2000 - 2007.