Photo of Julianne M. Holt, Public Defender, Thirteenth Judicial Court

Julianne M. Holt, Public Defender, Thirteenth Judicial Court

July 12, 2021

Julianne Holt is a graduate of Leto High School, Hillsborough Community College, and the University of South Florida. She graduated summa cum laude from South Texas College of Law in 1980 and returned to Tampa to begin practicing law. In 1987, she became a special court-appointed public defender and served in that capacity for 5 years. In 1993, she was elected to the office of Public Defender of the 13th Judicial Circuit and has served this community in that capacity for the past 28 years. In addition, Ms. Holt’s commitment to education includes serving as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida since 1997.
Ms. Holt participates on many committees and councils which are focused on issues pertaining to the criminal justice system, as well as improving the quality of life for the youths of our community. She is past President of the Florida Public Defender Association; a current member of the Board of Directors of DUI Counterattack; current Chair of the Leadership Council of Safe and Sound Hillsborough which maintains a public health approach to education and reducing violence in our community; Foundation Board Member of the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay, and is Chair of the Public Safety Coordinating Council for Hillsborough County, just to name a few.
Ms. Holt has received multiple awards throughout her career. Under the leadership of Ms. Holt the Public Defender’s Office has received multiple, statewide “Davis Productivity” Awards which honors individuals and work units for innovative efforts that measurably increase performance and productivity in the delivery of state services and products. Her alma mater, South Texas College of Law recognized her dedication to public service with the “Public Service Award” in 2013. She received the 2014 Employer of the Year Award from the Mayor’s Alliance for Persons with Disabilities for her work with Pepin Academies. She was also recognized in 2014 by the Florida Association of Women Lawyers with a “Leader in the Law” Award. Most recently in 2018, she was named Woman of the Year by the Zonta Club of Tampa and was inducted into the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018. Also in 2018, Ms. Holt was recognized by the United States Middle District of Florida’s Historical, Education, and Public Outreach Committee as a “Hidden Figure: Firsts in Tampa Bay” as the first elected female Public Defender for Hillsborough County and The Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers’ Achievement Award. In 2019, Ms. Holt was the recipient of the Juvenile Justice Board Circuit 13’s Public Service Award followed by Tiger Bay Club’s Tampa Lifetime Achievement Award and the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, 2nd District Court of Appeal’s Champion of Professionalism Award in 2020.