Photo of Julianne M. Holt, Public Defender, 13th Judicial Circuit

Julianne M. Holt, Public Defender, 13th Judicial Circuit

December 13, 2021

A lifelong resident of Tampa, Julianne M. Holt has continuously served as the Public Defender for the 13th Judicial Circuit since she was first elected to office in January 1993. Prior to being elected, she represented citizens as a Special Court Appointed Public Defender from 1987-1992. Ms. Holt’s legal career began shortly after graduating from law school when she opened her private law practice in 1981. In addition to her duties as the Public Defender, Ms. Holt also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida.

Ms. Holt graduated from law school with honors, summa cum laude from the South Texas College of Law, where she was listed in the Who’s Who of American College Students. She also graduated from the University of South Florida, Hillsborough Community College, and attended Hillsborough County Public Schools, graduating from Leto High School.

As the Public Defender, Ms. Holt manages the largest criminal defense firm in Hillsborough county. Her office employs over 200 staff members. The Office of the Public defender has approximately 120 attorneys in addition to legal assistants, investigators, social workers, clerks, and support staff. Ms. Holt personally focuses her practice in the area of homicide cases including those involving the death penalty.

Each year her office is appointed to represent over 40,000 cases in Hillsborough County.

Ms. Holt carries out her statutory duties as the protector of the presumption of innocence and has worked with many state and national organizations to ensure the rights of all citizens are protected. She has personally participated with numerous committees, councils, and boards focused on issues within the Criminal Justice System. Her awards are far too numerous to list but include being inducted into the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018, receiving the Hillsborough County Lifetime Leadership award in 2007, being named the Hillsborough County Hispanic Woman of the Year in 2002, and receiving the Chief Justice’s Outstanding Law Firm Commendation in 1998.