Former Judge W. Matthew Stevenson


Florida State University, B.A., Criminology, 1975; Florida State University College of Law, J.D., 1978.

Legal Offices & Positions:

Judge Stevenson was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal in 1994 by Governor Lawton Chiles.  He was the first African-American judge appointed to the court and served as Chief Judge from July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2007.  Judge Stevenson also served as a Circuit Judge in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit having been appointed by Governor Bob Martinez in 1989.  Prior to his judicial appointments, Judge Stevenson worked in private practice as a circuit court mediator with Mediation, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale and served as an Administrative Hearing Officer with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings in Tallahassee.  Judge Stevenson also served for five years as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG).  Early in his career, Judge Stevenson worked briefly as an Assistant Public Defender in West Palm Beach prior to serving as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Joseph W. Hatchett in Tallahassee on both the Supreme Court of Florida and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth (now the Eleventh) Circuit.

Judicial & Bar Activities:

Some of Judge Stevenson’s judicial and bar activities (past and present) include:  Member of the Florida Bar since 1978; Palm Beach County Bar Association; The F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association; The Craig S. Barnard American Inns of Court, member emeritus; National Bar Association, Florida Chapter; The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; Florida Bar Juvenile Court Rules Committee; Palm Beach County Bar Association's Committee for the Needs of Children; Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Task Force; Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges; Florida Conference of Appellate Court Judges; Faculty Member, University of Florida Trial Training Program for Prosecutors & Public Defenders; Supreme Court Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules; Executive Board - National Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal; and Speaker and presenter at various Bar and CLE programs.

Other Civic Activities:

(past and present) Board of Trustees, Palm Beach Atlantic College; Advisory Board Member for Pre-Law Magnet Program, Palm Beach Lakes Community High School; Board Member, The Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County; Certified high school varsity football referee, Florida High School Activities Association (FHSAA).

(past and present) Board of Trustees, Palm Beach Atlantic University; various community and fraternal youth Mentorship programs and activities; certified sports official for high school varsity football and amateur Olympic-style youth boxing.