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James S. Moody III, Attorney General Brother, Appointed As Circuit Judge By Governor

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his appointment of Hillsborough County Judge James Moody III, brother of Attorney General Ashley Moody, to serve as a judge on the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court. The selection came among six other judicial appointments Thursday.

Moody has served as a judge on the Hillsborough County Court since 2020. He will fill the vacancy created in December with the death of Judge Carl C. Hinson.

Even before Moody was appointed as a Hillsborough County judge, the judicial branch of government was familiar to him. With his initial appointment in 2020, he became the fourth Moody to serve as a judge.

Moody’s grandfather, the late James S. Moody Sr., was a legislator and later a circuit judge. His father, James S. Moody Jr., is a federal judge in Tampa. And his sister served for 10 years as a circuit judge before she was elected Florida’s attorney general in 2018.

James Moody III is a Plant City native and earned bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Florida. Before he became a lawyer, he worked in finance.

He started his legal career as a personal injury lawyer for the firm of Gibbons Neuman and continued with the firm of Jayson, Farthing, Skafidas & Wright.

During his investiture in November, which had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, James Moody III thanked his family and professional mentors for his appointment.

“We’re a very close-knit family, even as adults. I think that’s important for all of us in who we are today,” He said at his investiture. “In my mind, there’s pressure to fill the shoes of three great judges who came before me.”

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report.

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