Devin Collier, a prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office, has been chosen by Gov. Ron DeSantis to become the 14th Judicial Circuit’s next judge.
DeSantis Tuesday afternoon announced that Collier will fill the opening created by the retirement of Circuit Judge John Fishel, II.
“I’m grateful and humbled, and I appreciate the confidence the Governor and his staff and our community has placed in me,” Collier said. “It was an absolute surprise. I come from very simple beginnings and never had I imagined that I would be in a position to be a Circuit Judge.”
Collier credited State Attorney Larry Basford, for mentoring him and helping him achieve his goals over the years.
“There’s no question in my mind that I would not be where I am but for Larry Basford,” he said. “He has, without equivocation, supported me from the time I was a young lawyer. I don’t know what he saw in me, but he saw something.
“He became my mentor, he pushed, he was tough at times, but always fair,” Collier continued. “And I owe a lot to Larry Basford.”
For Basford, who supported Collier’s efforts, it is rewarding to see a skilled and valued prosecutor who is community minded achieve higher goals.
“I know Devin to be a humble, compassionate man who is wise beyond his years,” Basford said. “The breadth of his experience in different areas of the law along with his work ethic will enable him to be an excellent judge.”
It’s also the second time in three months one of his top prosecutors has been appointed to a Circuit Judgeship, meaning there is room for other prosecutors to step into those roles.
In November, Brandon Young, the Chief Assistant State Attorney for Holmes County, was chosen by DeSantis to fill a Circuit judgeship created by the Legislature.
“We’re going to miss Devin just like we do Brandon,” Basford said. “I think the appointments of two of our top prosecutors to judgeships speaks to the character and integrity of the people we have at the State Attorney’s Office”
Collier will take office Feb. 1, handling Circuit felonies in Gulf County. The 14th Judicial Circuit includes Bay, Gulf, Holmes, Washington, Calhoun and Jackson counties.
Collier was one of six local attorneys whose names were submitted to the governor for consideration in November. The others were Brian Hill, Shalla Jefcoat, Peter Overstreet, Jacqueline Smith, and Grant Spitzer.
Collier most recently rejoined the State Attorney’s Office in July as a felony prosecutor in the Major Crimes Division. He also served on the SAO’s Critical Incident Review Team made up of senior prosecutors and investigators to review major cases. Additionally, he also worked at the SAO from 2013-18 as a felony prosecutor and Division Chief in the Panama City office.
His past employment includes working with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, handling several counseling and litigation matters; offering legal counsel to the Bureau of Land Management relevant to its relocation to the West and representing the Department in the resulting Congressional inquiry; and working on the Employment and Labor Law Unit’s COVID-19 response team.
Other experience included working with the law firm of Barron and Redding, P.A., opening his own private law firm, and the Public Defender’s Office in the 2nd Judicial Circuit as an Appellate Counsel.
Collier earned his Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, at the Florida A&M University College of Law, where he achieved the following: 2010 and 2011 Outstanding Law Review Staff Editor; National Employment Law Association Fellow; Dean’s Top Performer Scholarship Award; and Teaching Assistant for Civil Procedure I and II.
For additional information, contact Mike Cazalas at email@example.com or 850-381-7454.