Gov. DeSantis appoints new Circuit Court, Hillsborough County judges

court judge gavel
DeSantis made judicial appointments to the Tenth Circuit Court and the Hillsborough County Court.

Gov. Ron DeSantis kicked off Memorial Day weekend late Friday with two judicial appointments.

DeSantis appointed Lakeland-based Judge Lori Winstead to serve on the Tenth Circuit Court and Tampa Judge Joseph Logan Murphy to serve on the Hillsborough County Court.

Judge Winstead has been a judge on the Polk County Court since 2019. Prior to her service on the bench, she was an assistant state attorney in the Tenth Circuit for more than ten years.

Judge Winstead received her Associates’ degree from Polk State College, her Bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College, and her law degree from Barry School of Law.

Judge Winstead beat out five other candidates for the position. The nominating commission nominated Victoria J. Avalon, Judge Kevin M. Kohl, Brandon J. Rafool, Brenda Ramirez, John C. Waters, and Judge Lori A. Winstead.

Judge Winstead fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Steven Selph.

Murphy has been a shareholder at Hill Ward Henderson since 2019 after he began practicing with the firm in 2012. Murphy served as a law clerk for the Honorable James D. Whittemore on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Murphy was previously elected chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) for the 2019–2020 term. Among his responsibilities as chair, Murphy committed to focus on priorities including mental health and wellness in the legal profession, law school debt and finance, innovation, and the future of the practice of law.

Murphy received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Murphy fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Artemeus McNeil.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown covers state government for Previously, Haley covered the West Virginia Legislature and anchored weekend newscasts for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va. Haley is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. You can reach her at [email protected]


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