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Governor appoints five to the bench

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Florida flag mapGov. Ron DeSantis announces five judicial appointments December 2, one to the Ninth Circuit, one to the 17th Circuit, and three to the Hillsborough County court.

 Michael Deen of Winter Park to serve as judge on the Ninth Circuit court

Judge Deen has served on the Orange County bench since his appointment in March 2021. He previously served as an assistant state attorney in the Ninth Circuit for nine years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Samford University and his law degree from Barry University. Judge Deen fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Donald A. Myers, Jr.

 Natasha DePrimo of Davie to serve as judge on the 17th Circuit court

 Judge DePrimo has served on the Broward County bench since her appointment in 2018. She previously served as a senior attorney for the Florida Department of Transportation for nine years and as an assistant state attorney for three years. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and her law degree from the University of Florida. Judge DePrimo fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Tarlika Nunez-Navarro.

James Giardina of Tampa to serve as judge on the Hillsborough County court

Giardina has served as the owner and lead attorney at The Consumer Rights Law Group since 2008. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Giardina fills one of the new vacancies created by the Florida Legislature.

Susan Lopez of Tampa to serve as judge on the Hillsborough County court

Lopez has served as an assistant state attorney in the 13th Circuit since 2005. She received her bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and her law degree from Suffolk University. Lopez fills one of the new vacancies created by the Florida Legislature.

Matthew Smith of Tampa to serve as judge on the Hillsborough County court

Smith has served as an assistant statewide prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution since January 2021. He previously served as chief assistant state attorney in the 13th Judicial Circuit, where he served for 15 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy and his law degree from Florida State University. Smith fills one of the new vacancies created by the Florida Legislature.