Read this week's JP Election Brief:
Primary match-ups across the nation

Debra Steinberg Nelson

From Judgepedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Debra Steinberg Nelson
Current Court Information:
Florida Eighteenth Circuit Court
Title:   Judge
Position:   Group 10
Appointed by:   Jeb Bush
Active:   1999-2019
Past post:   Attorney, Debra Steinberg Nelson, P.A.
Past term:   1992-1999
Personal History
Hometown:   Miami Beach, FL
Undergraduate:   University of South Florida, 1975
Law School:   South Texas College of Law, 1979
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  Eighteenth Circuit Court
State:  Florida
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  Yes
Primary date:  August 14, 2012
Election vote:  ApprovedA

Debra Steinberg Nelson is a Seminole County judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in Florida. She was appointed by former Governor Jeb Bush in May of 1999 (effective in June). Her current term expires in January of 2019.[1][2][3]


Nelson received her B.A. degree (Psychology) from the University of South Florida in 1975 and her J.D. degree from the South Texas College of Law in 1979.[1][4]


Nelson began her career in 1980 at the Broward County State Attorney's Office. She served as the Chief Prosecutor of that office prior to leaving it in July of 1983 for the state Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She served there as staff counsel until March of 1986, when she joined the law firm of Borroughs, Grimm, Bennett & Griffin, P.A. She became a partner of the firm in 1988 and became head of the litigation department the following year. In August of 1992, she started her own practice, Debra Steinberg Nelson, P.A. She worked in that capacity until she became a Circuit Court judge in June of 1999. She was also an arbitrator for the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida from 1992 to 1999.[1]

2012 election

Nelson was unopposed and automatically re-elected following the primary election on August 14, 2012.[5]

See also: Florida judicial elections, 2012

Notable cases

George Zimmerman murder trial

August 2012
Judge Nelson was assigned to the trial of George Zimmerman in August of 2012, after Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr. was removed at the request of the defense. Zimmerman was charged with shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, in a case that gained national attention.[6]

On July 11, 2013, Nelson allowed the jury to consider a verdict of manslaughter or, second-degree murder, but not third-degree murder.[7] Two days later, the jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter.[8]

See also

External links


FloridaFlorida Supreme CourtFlorida District Courts of AppealFlorida Circuit CourtFlorida County CourtUnited States District Court for the Middle District of FloridaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of FloridaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of FloridaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh CircuitFlorida countiesFlorida judicial newsFlorida judicial electionsJudicial selection in FloridaFloridaTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg