Newlon Law and Mediation Office

Newlon Law and Mediation Office Law and mediation office handling family law litigation and mediation, estate planning, probate, and trust administration.

Newlon Law Office, P.A. Law and mediation office handling family law litigation and mediation, estate planning, probate, and trust administration.

Newlon Law and Mediation Office's cover photo

Newlon Law and Mediation Office's cover photo

Newlon Law and Mediation Office's cover photo

[09/15/17]   FB jumped the gun a little, but we'll keep people posted.

Newlon Law and Mediation Office's cover photo

[08/26/14]   DONE!!!

Thanks to everyone for all the support over the last year! I really do appreciate it.


Jon Newlon for Judge, Sixth Circuit (Florida), Group 43 | Home Page

Today's the day. If you haven't gotten out already, PLEASE make sure you find the time to vote.

Thanks for all of the support! Jon is a 2014 candidate for Judge in Florida's Sixth Judicial Circuit, which contains Pasco and Pinellas Counties.

Jon Newlon for Youtube CC

Please keep an eye out for our campaign commercial, which is airing on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and Bay News 9 until the night before the election.

While there have been 90,000 votes cast through mail and early voting, we expect turnout to approach 200,000. There are a lot of ballots still outstanding, and we need every vote we can get. Please support us with your vote and your word-of-mouth support!

Judicial campaign commercial

[07/29/14]   Sorry for using "for your consideration" twice in the post. I apparently have Christopher Guest movies on the brain.

To their credit, the Tampa Bay Times did not publish any glaring factual inaccuracies in their recommendation piece. I appreciate that, and, even if I disagree with them, I appreciate that the editorial board has its own opinion of my race and my qualifications. Every member of the public is entitled to his or her own thoughts about a candidate, and I respect that.

Nevertheless, I do have concerns about the way that my background was characterized. As a rule, I have not gone out and sought sympathetic political gain by telling stories about the traumatic events that my family has suffered. A number of you who read my posts know me and my story, but a number of you don’t, so I offer this for your consideration.

I got married 8 days after my high school graduation in 1991. Within about 2 years, my wife and I had 2 daughters. By the time I finished law school in 1998, we had 4 and were pregnant with number 5. I worked incredibly hard in school, waiting tables nearly full-time to support my family. I served as Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Law Review, and I graduated with honors. Because of my hard work and successes, I got a job with a well-respected law firm in Tampa, where I worked in corporate and real estate transactions.

In the early 2000s, my wife – who was a middle school teacher – began to show some signs of mental illness. Within a few years, and after we had 7 children, she was diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder, and, ultimately, bipolar disorder. Approximately 10 years ago, she began to develop a dependence on psychiatric medications, which impacted her ability to work regularly and to care for the children independently.

In 2006, the illness reached a critical mass. We separated and, sadly, divorced in 2007. Over the course of several months after our separation, her medication dependency morphed into full-blown addiction to illicit drugs. She moved out of Florida and left me to raise our 7 children on my own (5 daughters aged 15, 14, 12, 10, and 9; 2 sons aged 6 and 3, the younger of whom suffers from cerebral palsy).

During that time, I was stretched incredibly thin. I worked as much as I could, and I spent an enormous amount of time handling issues with the kids. Frankly, it was overwhelming; I’m not ashamed to say there were days I just sat and cried, wondering how I would be able to make it through.

Without physical, emotional, or financial support from my ex-wife, I had to establish priorities, which resulted in some debts not being repaid in a timely manner. While I regret that this was necessary, I believe that the way I prioritized my family’s needs was actually an exercise in good judgment.

For almost 8 years now, I have had sole responsibility for and custody of those 7 children. My oldest was valedictorian of her high school class, is now 22, and starts law school herself in a few weeks. My #2 has an AA and a work ethic that people would kill for. Daughter 3 was also valedictorian of her high school class, with the second-highest GPA in all of Pasco County, and she leaves for UF in 2 weeks. Number 4 graduates in 2015, is currently first in her class, is a 3-sport letterman, and works 2 jobs. Daughter 5 is a 15-year old junior who skipped a grade, a 2-sport letterman, and a straight-A student. My next 2 sons are in middle and elementary school, and I have no reason to believe they will enjoy any less success than their sisters.

Let me be perfectly candid: For a period of time, the journey was not a lot of fun.

That said, I look at my life from a different perspective than do the editors of the Tampa Bay Times. Unfortunately, the brief interview that was afforded to me by the Times didn’t really give an opportunity to discuss much of anything. What they characterize as a “mess,” I see as a challenge – adversity that was encountered and overcome. What they see as a negative component of my background, I see as a positive growth experience, one that improves my ability to serve as a judge. Obviously, I sincerely hope that you share my viewpoint.

When you wind up in court, do you really think it is a disadvantage for the person judging you to have lived through adversity? Or do you instead think that – just maybe – there’s an ear on the bench that will listen to you without a sense of superiority, without a sense that he has never felt the way you’re feeling? I have that ear, and I hope that means something to you.

For your consideration, these are my "messes". If having them keeps me from being a judge, I don't want to be a judge.

Martin Dyckman: Rick Scott threatens the independence of Florida’s judiciary - SaintPetersBlog

I came across this opinion piece on Peter Schorsch's SaintPetersBlog.

This article actually lays out very well the problem with judicial appointments and the trend of having those appointments become more and more political in nature, which hasn't been limited to Rick Scott's tenure as governor.

It's incredibly important that the voters choose the people who will serve as their trial judges, as the makeup of the bench should reflect the wishes of the community.

Understandably, there will be unforeseen circumstances that result in judicial vacancies, and there needs to be a way to fill those voids. In my race, however, we know GOING IN that my opponent will be replaced by gubernatorial appointment. Do we - as voters - want to elect someone who will ABSOLUTELY be replaced by a political appointment?

I can tell you that I don't want that. If you agree, please vote for JON NEWLON either by your mail ballot or at the polls on August 26!!! Rick Scott needs to hear from Sandra Day O’Connor. Not that he’d listen. The retired justice, who must surely regret what has happened to the U.S. Supreme Court since she left, is devoting her time now to fighting for the independence of the judiciary. She has become a prominent and oft-spoken criti…

SAMPLE BALLOTS! | Jon Newlon for Judge, Sixth Circuit (Florida), Group 35

Some of you may have already received your absentee ballots. If you haven't, they will be coming in your mail over the next week.

Because ballots vary from county to county, we have printed and highlighted the Pasco and Pinellas sample ballots, which will help you find my race.

Historically, a lot of voters simply skip the judicial races - I implore you not to do that this time around. Those non-votes could be the difference in a campaign like this.

Please review the attached link to the sample ballots, and please take the time to find my race and send back a vote for JON NEWLON.

Thanks everyone for your support! Vote Jon Newlon for Judge, Sixth Circuit, Group 35.

Letters to the editor: Candidate response

And so resumes my Monday morning ritual of griping about the Tampa Tribune...

As everyone knows, I posted a pretty extensive response last week regarding the Tribune's endorsement piece. While I didn't expect the endorsement, I did expect accuracy in the statement of facts, especially facts that impact voters' opinions.

Candidates were invited to provide a rebuttal for publication. I was informed that the rebuttal was limited to 150 words, so I squeezed as much info as possible into a very tight space. That rebuttal was published today, and it specifically excludes my statement that people interested in additional information could view the campaign's page.

I'm a little surprised that the Tribune would edit a candidate rebuttal, but I guess I shouldn't be, as it doesn't appear there are any real standards being followed. In reviewing another rebuttal from a candidate (also in the Sixth Circuit), I saw that the response was actually over 300 words, which is TWICE the limit I was provided.

Again, to be perfectly clear, I understand that I'm not going to get every endorsement, but I expect a news source - even in an opinion piece - to report the facts accurately. I also expect them to apply rebuttal rules consistently, and I do not expect them to edit rebuttals, especially when their word limits make it impossible to deliver all of the information that was missing from (or inaccurate in) the original editorial.

PLEASE NOTE: There's also a typo in the publication that was NOT in the response I sent to the editor. At the very least, they could run spell-check before sending stuff to press. Candidate response

Early Voting Locations

As you likely know, there are a lot of precincts between Pasco and Pinellas Counties - 410 to be exact.

We know there's no way to cover all of the voting locations, but we're looking for any volunteers who can spend a couple of hours at a precinct with a campaign sign to catch voters on their way into the polls on August 26. If anyone can help, feel free to respond here or on the website or directly to us at [email protected].

Additionally, Early Voting is very popular in Pasco County, and there are 8 locations that accept voters during the Early Voting period. If anyone has some additional time to kill, please let us know. The locations for this are listed on the attached website.

Thanks for everything! Early Voting Locations

Candidates and Races - Candidate Tracking system - Florida Division of Elections - Department of...


We continue the effort to inform voters about the value of electing judges. At a candidate forum this week, one of our hosts laid out the fact that, in 2014, 96%of incumbent judges have been re-elected WITHOUT OPPOSITION.

To put this into historical context in the Sixth Circuit, you should know that over the last 18 years, incumbent judges have been re-elected without a challenger 93% of the time.

That’s a staggering figure, and it means is that once a judge gets into office, they are there for the long haul.

I have chosen to run against a sitting judge for a couple of reasons:

First, I think that voters deserve choices, and I think that I’m a good option.

Second, and more importantly, my opponent (if elected) is absolutely required to step down in 2016. If that happens, the governor – whoever that winds up being – picks the replacement. While there is lip service given to the idea that the appointee would have to get re-elected at some later point, the statistics actually reveal that almost no one would even challenge that person.

I don’t think it’s right for the governor to pick your judge. I believe that privilege belongs to the voters.

As an analogy, consider this: You’re going to build a new house. You pick your builder, who has good experience and recommendations. Before you sign a contract, the builder tells you that he will only build one-third of your house; after that, someone else will take over and finish construction. But – here’s the hitch – YOU don’t get to pick the person who takes over, someone else picks for you. Maybe that person is a good builder, but maybe that person just happens to be friends with the person who picks. Either way, it’s YOUR house, but YOU don’t control it. That seems ridiculous to me, and I hope it seems ridiculous to you.

Please get out there and vote on August 26!

(If you want to check my stats yourself, you can find the data here.) The Florida Department of State's Candidate Tracking System tracks candidates throughout the elections process presenting candidate status, campaign finance activity, personal photos and contact information. This information is updated regularly as candidates file and update their information., The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather

To be clear, I know that I am running against an incumbent, and I know that I should not expect public endorsements of my candidacy.

What I do expect, however, is that information sources like the Tampa Tribune will paint an accurate picture of my background and of the issues that I have raised in this race. Unfortunately, that did not happen in an editorial published today.

The paper, in its opening statement, indicates that temperament and legal acumen are the essential requirements of a judicial candidate. With respect to those points, the Tribune said of me, "Jon Newlon, 41, practices family law…" There is no mention of my 15+ years of trial and transactional legal experience and no mention of the current substantial probate, trust litigation, and civil litigation work that I communicated to them. Undeniably, these things speak to my legal acumen.

With respect to judicial temperament, the editors failed to mention my demeanor in any way. They failed to note that I have 9 children, ranging in age from 22 years to 21 months, which clearly bears on my patience, compassion, and temperament. They failed to note that I waited tables full-time on my way to being editor-in-chief of the Florida Law Review and an UF law school honor grad, all while I had 4 young daughters.

More important than what they left out about me is how they characterized the race. The language of the opinion may give the impression that there is some chance my opponent will not have to retire during the term; this is utterly false. He must step down in November, 2016, which is less than 2 years into the 6-year term.

The paper also states that my opponent cannot serve as a senior judge unless he is re-elected. This is also incorrect - he can voluntarily step down at the end of this term and preserve his ability to serve as a senior judge. In that capacity, he could continue his experience as long as he sees fit.

Finally, the opinion indicates nonchalantly that if my opponent is elected and retires, the governor will appoint a replacement. This is true, and it does, in fact, happen on occasion. Nevertheless, the paper downplays the importance of this issue. It inserts party politics into selection of a non-partisan office. The Tribune and other papers throughout the State of Florida have regularly criticized the political nature of the appointment process, and it is disingenuous to now say that those criticisms are not relevant.

In short, I think the editorial board of the Tampa Tribune could have been more accurate in its description of me and of the race. I am not suggesting that increased detail would have changed the endorsement, but I believe it would have given the readers a clearer picture of the landscape. Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune, and The Tampa Times bringing you local news, weather and information from Tampa, St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay area and Florida.

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