My family moved to Tampa in 1968 when I was only 4 years old and I have called Hillsborough County my home for the past 48 years. I am the son of immigrant parents who came to this country from Israel in 1960 with two suitcases and $500. My mom and dad struggled, completed their education, made many sacrifices, and thrived by making very good choices. Growing up in a home with parents who were spectacular role models, has molded me into the person I have become today. I attended public schools during the elementary years and ultimately graduated high school from Tampa Prep. I played soccer in college and graduated from Rollins College in 1986 with a Bachelors degree in Economics. I then graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1992 with a law degree and have been practicing law since the fall of that year.
I have practiced law for the past 25 years. I began my legal career as an assistant state attorney with the 18th judicial circuit. I spent more than 5 years prosecuting criminals, consequently I received a long term service award for my dedication to protecting the citizens of Florida. Mothers against drunk driving also acknowledged my aggressive prosecution of DUI cases by giving me the award of excellence in DUI prosecution for 1993, 1994,and 1995.
When I left the state attorney’s office I naturally returned to the Bay area to be closer to my family and friends. I opened my own law practice and have focused on criminal defense for the past 20 years. As a criminal defense attorney, I have protected my client’s Constitutional rights. I have also represented clients in personal injury cases. I am a member of numerous professional organizations.
I have lectured 32 times at continuing legal education seminars. In addition to my criminal defense practice, I have written an estimated 300 appeals and have had between 120 to 140 rulings published in the Southern 3rd, Southern 2nd, and Florida Law Weekly publications. In 2015, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers recognized me as the gladiator of the year.
I have tried an estimated 150 jury trials and have participated in an estimated 3000 evidentiary hearings over my 25 year legal career.
I am married with two (2) children. My wife’s name is Betsy Goode Isaak. She is a professional cellist having performed nationally, as well as with many of the regional orchestra’s and other concerts in the Tampa Bay area. Betsy and I were friends for 8 1/2 years before we began dating. We dated for an additional 1 1/2 years before we married. We will celebrate our 7th anniversary this fall. We have two (2) children. My daughter’s name is Sophia and she is 4 years old. My son’s name is Jackson and he is 2. My wife is a longtime member of Idlewild Baptist church going back to her teen years and we attend services there as a family. My wife and I support the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. We are season subscribers for the Broadway series and have been inner circle donors. My wife is also a member of the Junior League of Tampa. We both are devoting our time and effort to the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation.
My parents are still living and have been married for more than 60 years. My father is a retired math professor from USF and my mom is a retired attorney. My mom was the first female attorney to be hired in the very prestigious downtown Tampa firm of Holland and Knight. I am the youngest of 2 siblings and my older brother died tragically last year. Growing up, my family belonged to Congregation Kol-Ami.
I have decided to run for Judge because I believe the timing to be right. I am 52 years old with 25 years of legal experience behind me, I have the necessary life and work experience to deal with the many complex and difficult issues that Judges face everyday. I have a sucessful legal career for a number of reasons. I am always prepared! I am smart, and I always gave 100% of myself towards dedication and commitment to protecting my clients. I promise that if I am fortunate to receive your support, I will continue to serve the citizens of Hillsborough County with the same dedication and commitment. I have always wanted to be a judge since beginning my law school career. Now more than ever, I believe that I am qualified to take on the challenges that accompany the role of a Judge. I thank you in advance for your consideration of my candidacy and hope I have earned your support.
Warmest Regards and God Bless!