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Circuit Judge, Group 21

Circuit Judge | Group 21

Private attorney Amanda Colón and assistant state attorney Phil Matthey are vying for an empty spot on the bench left by retiring Circuit Judge Stanley Mills. Because there are only two candidates, the Aug. 26 election will decide the winner. Judicial races are nonpartisan.


Amanda Colón, 38


Private attorney

Phil Matthey, 37


Assistant state attorney

Experience Colón earned her law degree from the University of Florida and has worked as a prosecutor and an assistant attorney general. She is a Florida Supreme Court-certified family law mediator and has worked in private practice for nearly eight years, specializing in marital and family law. Matthey got a degree in criminal justice from the University of Florida and spent three years working as an Orange County sheriff's deputy before attending Stetson University College of Law. He then got a job as a prosecutor for Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe. He also practiced privately for a year in Jacksonville.
Involvement President of the West Pasco Bar Association, chairwoman of the Grievance Committee for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, vice chairwoman for Pace Center for Girls Inc. Pasco, and provides pro bono legal work as a guardian ad litem for family cases in Pasco County. Teen court, justice teaching program, Ducks Unlimited committee member, Barney Masterson Inn of Court board member and founding member of committee to establish a local alumni association for the Stetson University College of Law.
What makes you the best candidate? I have the longest length of legal experience, the greatest variety of legal experience and the highest level of specialization in this race. I have a tireless work ethic and the temperament needed to be an excellent circuit court judge. I have practiced in a broad range of areas. I have the right balance of courtroom and trial experience and possess the right demeanor required of judges. I have a reputation for good time management skills and always being prepared. As a trial attorney, I have spent my entire legal career in the courtroom.
Can you describe your community service? While I was running a business, raising a family and practicing law I still found time to devote to my community. Volunteer work includes: school speaker, Habitat for Humanity, chairwoman of the Law Week 5K, Queen Chasco nominee (service award, 2013 and 2014). I teach fifth-graders about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I buy pocket versions of the Constitution and give students to keep. I also work with the sheriff's "Prom Promise" program. I believe it is important to give back to our community.
How has your legal experience prepared you for the circuit judge position? I have had the benefit of a very broad, varied career where I constantly sought out new experiences and learning opportunities. I would have a familiarity with the area of law I was assigned. I have been through the board certification process, which only 6 percent of attorneys have attained. I voluntarily submitted to this rigorous year of intense study and evaluation to better myself, raise my level of practice and to continue to hone my craft for my clients. As a true "trial attorney," I have spent my entire legal career in the trenches of the courtroom. I have taken over 75 cases to trial, over 60 of which were jury trials. I have tried numerous high-profile cases, including murder, sexual battery and drug trafficking. This experience has provided me with a firm grasp on the rules of evidence, trial and court procedure. This type of knowledge can't be taught in a classroom and I believe is necessary for a judge to possess.
Personal Colón is married with three daughters. Matthey is married.


About the job : Circuit judges hear felony cases, probate and family law issues as well as civil disputes involving damages of more than $15,000. They serve six-year terms and are paid $142,178 a year.

Circuit Judge, Group 21 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 4:46pm]
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