About Craig

Craig DeThomasis has been a resident of Alachua County since 1976 and has been practicing law in this jurisdiction for over 34 years. During that time he has litigated cases throughout the Eighth Judicial Circuit (which includes the counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union) in the criminal, traffic, civil, juvenile, dependency, domestic relations, and family courts. 

In addition to providing legal representation to numerous citizens appearing before the Judges of Alachua County, Craig has served as an Adjunct Lecturer and Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law for 28 years. He is responsible for training law students in the skills necessary to provide effective representation with a significant focus on the necessary ethics and professionalism required of lawyers.

Education

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Associate of Arts, 1978

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1980

Juris Doctor, 1983

Legal Work Experience

 

Alachua County Probation Office As a law student, Craig worked in the Alachua County Court Probation Office,  monitoring compliance with court orders, preparing pre-sentence investigations, communicating with service providers to the Courts, and appearing in the County Court. He assisted the sole probation officer for the Alachua County court system.   

Law Clerk Craig clerked in several local law firms gaining insight and developing mentor relationships that taught him respect and appreciation for the law and the important roles of advocates and the judiciary.

Certified Legal Intern During his last year in law school, Craig became a Certified Intern and Senior Intern at the Office of the Public Defender, and represented individuals in county court under the supervision of veteran defense attorneys, including litigation in jury trials.

Office of the Public Defender, Eighth Judicial Circuit Upon graduation, Craig became an Assistant Public Defender initially assigned to the Alachua County courts. In his nearly four years of service, he handled misdemeanor, traffic, juvenile, felony, and capital cases.

Private Practice Craig entered private practice in 1987 and developed a law firm, DeThomasis and Buchanan, P.A., with a strong reputation for excellence in advocacy.  Craig has handled cases in the criminal, traffic, civil, family, juvenile, dependency, domestic relations, and family courts. 

In private practice, Craig has continued to provide representation to indigent citizens as part of his commitment to this community. Craig is proud to have represented the interests of persons of all walks of life including students, teachers, law enforcement personnel, lawyers, medical professionals, judges, mechanics, sales persons, restaurant workers, clergy, and anyone and everyone in need of an advocate for justice.

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The DeThomasis Family | Craig, Molly, Sarah (with Maisy) and Anna

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CRAIG DETHOMASIS HAS THE NECESSARY LEGAL EXPERIENCE TO BE AN ALACHUA COUNTY COURT JUDGE

Legal Teaching Experience

Since Fall semester 1990, Craig DeThomasis has held a position as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Florida College of Law teaching law students a practical skills training course in trial practice. As of Fall semester 1999, Craig has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law handling the lecture component of the Trial Practice course offered at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law. 

The class taught by Craig prepares law students to earn their Certification from the Florida Supreme Court which enables them to prosecute cases for the Office of the State Attorney and defend cases at the Office of the Public Defender throughout the State of Florida. 

In addition to teaching this class, Craig has also served in the role of Trial Team coach where he has trained numerous law students to compete in Trial competitions throughout the country against other prestigious law schools.

Craig has also taught at the annual Florida State Attorney/Public Defender Training Program, a unique training program that brings prosecutors and defense attorneys with 1-3 years experience together for an intensive one-week joint training program that not only provides advance skills training but at its core emphasizes the need for the highest levels of integrity, ethics and professionalism. 

CRAIG DETHOMASIS HAS A PROVEN RECORD OF COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

Professional Associations, Awards and Recognition

The Florida Bar has approved two separate, independent, and objective rating services for Attorneys throughout Florida - Martindale-Hubbel and Avvo. Craig has earned the highest of ratings from each organization. From Martindale-Hubbel, Craig has been recognized with a Preeminent rating which signifies the highest award possible in both legal ability and professional ethics. His rating of 10.0 with Avvo is also the highest possible rating awarded and Craig was one of the first attorneys in Alachua County to be so recognized. 

  • Former President (2007-2008) J.C. Adkins American Inn of Court This organization, comprised of judges, lawyers, and law students, is dedicated to the advancement of the profession and instilling the highest level of professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. In addition to serving as President of this prestigious, invitation-only organization, Craig also served on the Board of Directors (2006-2009), as a Group Program Chair and Master, and now serves in the capacity of Emeritus member.

  • Chairman of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee Craig was appointed and served two terms for a total of six years carrying out the important function of addressing complaints regarding attorney conduct generated by members of the public, the judiciary, and other Bar members. Recommendations for discipline, ultimately forwarded to the Florida Supreme Court, are determined and the committee proceeds in a similar fact-finding mission as a grand jury. Since the Florida Bar is self-policing, this critical function to protect the public from unethical conduct is central to the proper administration of justice in our state.

  • Two time recipient of the Florida Bar’s Meritorious Public Service Award (1997, 2006)

  • President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Eighth Judicial Circuit Chapter (1996)

  • Board of Directors member: Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (1996 ) A statewide organization dedicated to promoting excellence and integrity in the practice of criminal law.

  • Member Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association

  • Member of Criminal Law Section of the Florida Bar An organization of greater than 2,400 defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and law professors united by their shared goal of providing a fair, just, and efficient criminal justice system for everyone.

  • Member of the Bench/Bar Committee for the Eighth Judicial Circuit (1996-1999) A committee comprised of lawyers and judges of the Eighth Judicial Circuit that serve at the request of the Chief Judge to address issues of professionalism regarding members of the Bar and the Bench.

    CRAIG DETHOMASIS IS RECOGNIZED FOR HIS ETHICS AND PROFESSIONALISM

    Community Involvement

    Craig has been actively involved in various community organizations and has served in leadership roles.

    • Board of Directors for the Children’s Home Society Mid-Florida Division (1994-2000) This organization is dedicated to providing solutions to the most important issues facing the children of our State who are most vulnerable. As a board member, Craig was involved in making policy decisions and providing oversight to a significant budget necessary to provide needed services within our community.

    • Leadership Gainesville Class XXII (1995) A program sponsored by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce designed to develop the skills necessary for leaders to excel within this community. The program involves in-depth seminars examining all phases of life in this community and provides its members necessary skills training to enhance leadership methods and self awareness.

    • Charter member of the Board of Directors for “Bikers on Parade for the U.S.A.”(2006-2009) As an avid motorcyclist who is deeply committed to our local community needs, especially for Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States, Craig was honored to join a small group of highly committed individuals that created this organization and carried out the task of raising tens of thousands of dollars that remained in this community shared by the Red Cross and various Veterans organizations.

    • Member of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Indigent Services Committee When Craig was not providing representation to the indigent population in Alachua County, he served on this Committee, appointed by the Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, that reviewed applications for attorneys seeking to provide such services, set standards for representation, monitored appointment of counsel for needy clients, and formulated policy to insure effective representation in our courts for some of the most vulnerable citizens.

    • Member of Alachua County Drug Task Force As a member of this committee, appointed by the Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, Craig was responsible for oversight of programs and budgeting for substance abuse related problems that need to be addressed by the Courts.

    CRAIG HAS CONSISTENTLY EXHIBITED A COMMITMENT TO IMPROVING OUR COMMUNITY

    Personal

    Craig has been married to Molly (formerly Arnette) DeThomasis for over 33 years. Molly is a lifetime resident of Alachua County and the majority of her family members still reside here. Molly has been employed at the University of Florida, the Office of the Public Defender, and at one of Gainesville’s most respected law firms. She has been actively involved in the Children’s Home Society Auxiliary and served in many volunteer capacities within various schools in this county, including the operation of a food bank at Eastside High School. Together, Molly and Craig have two daughters, Sarah and Anna. 

    Sarah is a graduate of Eastside High School (Class of 2005) and earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Masters Degrees with honors at University of Florida. Anna is a graduate of Buchholz High School (Class of 2010) and earned her Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Florida State University. Aside from the football rivalry around Thanksgiving time each year, Sarah and Anna enjoy a close sibling relationship and share a “sisterhood” as members of the Kappa Delta sorority. 

    The newest member of the family is Maisy, an Australian Shepherd/Poodle mixed breed dog with her own social media account.