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La Gaceta Endorses Wendy DePaul for Judge

From As We Heard It, by: Patrick Manteiga July 10, 2020

In the Group 39 Circuit Judge race, incumbent Judge Scott Stephens is being challenged by Wendy DePaul.
The reason Judge Stephens has a challenger is last year he made it known he would leave the bench to pursue other opportunities. He then changed his mind to say he may be leaving the bench. Later, he said he was staying because other opportunities were no longer options. He told us he enjoys the job and would likely keep on until 65, but he told others during his campaign he might stay on another two years out of the six-year term before retiring.
Judge Stephens is smart, experienced and runs his court well, although he seems to have some critics among lawyers. He has also contributed much more than sitting in the court over his 19 years on the bench. He wrote a manual for judges on family law and helped bring technology to the courts. He conducts himself in a professional manner, which might come from his 23 years of on and off teaching at Stetson, USF and University of Tampa.
Being a judge is a public service, it’s not a job. If you’re not passionate about it, you should leave. It’s not where you suffer another year or two to pad your retirement account. It’s not to be used as something to do for those fearing retirement. To us, it’s clear Judge Stephens doesn’t have the passion and is already focused on retirement and finding something that excites him more.
Wendy DePaul is passionate about wanting to serve and has the credentials to make a good judge. She has 22 years of legal experience. She owns her own firm Cohen and DePaul, P.A. since 2004. Her experience spans family law, foreclosure defense, collection, bankruptcy, corporate, criminal defense and civil law.
Equal access to the justice system is important to her. That’s why she joined the Board of Directors of Bay Area Legal Services in 2013 and has volunteered since 2011. Her list of community service is long and a lot of her focus is on helping our four-legged friends.
DePaul has been the nicest candidate we’ve been around this season. She has a great judicial temperament, she’s smart, ethical, hardworking and she won our vote.
La Gaceta proudly endorses Wendy DePaul for Circuit Court Judge Group 39.

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