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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Oct. 10, 201704:50 PM EST

Judge appointee: 'I wanted to be three things: a cop, a soldier and a lawyer'

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Meredith Charbula appointed to Duval County Court by Gov. Scott.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed Meredith Charbula to the Duval County Court.

She fills the vacancy created when Judge Eric Roberson was named to the 4th Judicial Circuit Court.

Charbula, 59, is director of the Legal Division for the Office of the State Attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit.

Born in Port Lavaca, Texas, Charbula described herself in her application to the Judicial Nominating Commission as “a child of hard-working, blue-collar parents” and stated “as a child, I wanted to be three things: a cop, a soldier and a lawyer.”

She received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Tarleton State University near Fort Worth in 1979 on a full scholarship from the U.S. Army.

In her senior year in college, Charbula graduated from the Army Parachute Course (Airborne) in Fort Benning, Georgia, one of a dozen women in the class of 500 graduates.

She served as a military police officer, stationed in the U.S. and Europe, until 1984 when she enrolled in the Florida State University College of Law. Charbula graduated in 1987, fifth in a class of 171, and was admitted to The Florida Bar.

After 14 months as an assistant state attorney in Gadsen County, Florida, Charbula returned to active duty as an Army Judge Advocate. During nine years as an Army lawyer, she was stationed in the U.S., Bosnia and Croatia. In 1994, she earned her Master of Laws at the Judge Advocate General’s School.

After leaving active duty, she went to Tallahassee and in 1997 and became deputy general counsel at Florida State University. In 2000, she left FSU to begin practice as chief assistant statewide prosecutor, then staff attorney in the First District Court of Appeal.

In 2003, Charbula became assistant attorney general in the Capital Appeals Division, where she remained until 2013.

After about six months in private practice in Jacksonville, she joined the 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office in January 2014, where she serves as director of the Legal Division.

In that capacity, Charbula managed the Public Records Division, Baker Act/Forfeiture Division, the legal adviser to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Post-conviction/Appellate Division.

On Sept. 29 she advised the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee at its first meeting on the requirements that must be met to conform to Florida’s open government laws.

The date for Charbula’s investiture to county court is to be determined.

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