The Florida Bar

News Releases


March 15, 2021
CONTACT: Lydia S. Zbrzeznj, Chair; [email protected]
Tenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission
TELEPHONE: 863-656-6672

The Tenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission has been asked to provide Gov. Ron DeSantis with nominees for the vacancy on the Tenth Judicial Circuit, Circuit Court created by the resignation of Judge Steven L. Selph.

The commission requests that interested candidates submit an application for consideration. Applicants must meet the qualifications for circuit court judges described in Article V, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution.

Applicants must submit two (2) copies of their application by 5 pm on Friday, March 26, as follows:

(1): The original unredacted application shall be emailed in .pdf format to: [email protected].

(2): A redacted .pdf of the application shall be emailed to [email protected] Personal information not subject to public disclosure—such as the social security number—shall be redacted as permitted by Section 119.071 of the Florida Statutes.

Untimely applications will not be considered. The filename for .pdf applications should be as follows “21.03.26 FIRSTNAME LASTNAME Circuit Application (redacted /unredacted).”

Applications may be downloaded from the Office of the Governor at

NOTE TO APPLICANTS: To assist the JNC in its review of applications, all questions must be fully and completely answered. Applications must include current contact information, including e-mail addresses, for judges, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and references to facilitate the background investigation that will be conducted by the members of the commission.


Lydia S. Zbrzeznj (Chair)

Southern Atlantic Law Group, PLLC

99 Sixth Street SW

Winter Haven, FL 33880

Tel.: 863-656-6672

Email: [email protected]

Krista Mahalak (Vice-Chair)

Peterson & Myers, P.A.

242 West Central Avenue

Winter Haven, FL 33880

Tel.: 863-294-3360

Email: [email protected]

Patrice F. Behnstedt

Office of the Public Defender

Polk County Courthouse 3rd Floor

P.O. Box 9000

Bartow, FL 33831-9000

Tel.: 863-534-4200

Email: [email protected]

Benjamin W. Hardin, Jr.

Hardin & Ball, P.A.

P.O. Box 3604

Lakeland, FL 33802-3604

Tel.: 863-688-5200

Email: [email protected]

Frederick J. Murphy, Jr.

Boswell & Dunlap, LLP

245 S. Central Avenue

Bartow, FL 33830

Tel.: 863-533-7117

Email: [email protected]

Edward Blake Paul Peterson & Myers, P.A

P.O. Box 24628

Lakeland, FL 33802-4628

Tel.: 863-683-6511

Email: [email protected]

Robert S. Swaine

Swaine & Harris, P.A.

425 S. Commerce Avenue

Sebring, FL 33870

Tel.: 863-385-1549

Email: [email protected]

Richard E. Straughn

Straughn & Turner, P.A.

255 Magnolia Avenue SW

Winter Haven, FL 33880

Tel: 863-293-1184

Email: [email protected]

Nicholas T. Zbrzeznj

Southern Atlantic Law Group, PLLC

99 Sixth Street SW

Winter Haven, FL 33880

Tel.: 863-656-6672

Email: [email protected]

About The Florida Bar

Founded in 1949, The Florida Bar serves the legal profession for the protection and benefit of both the public and all Florida lawyers. As one of the nation’s largest mandatory bars, The Florida Bar fosters and upholds a high standard of integrity and competence within Florida’s legal profession as an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court. To learn more, visit


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