John Stemberger is an AV Rated Orlando attorney who has been a conservative policy advocate for over 30 years. As a native Floridian, he attended Florida State University where he studied political science and philosophy before obtaining a Juris Doctorate of Law at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. In 1987, he founded the Institute for Conservative Studies (ICS), as a permanent student led think-tank at Florida State University.
After legislative internships in both the Florida House and Senate, Stemberger worked with attorney Ken Connor in Tallahassee for several years and then served as the lobbyist for Florida Right to Life with Connor in 1989. Stemberger has a unique understanding of law, government, and the media from his extensive political background having served as an advisor to state, federal, and presidential campaigns. In 1992, he was appointed as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Florida during the final campaign of former President George H. W. Bush.
Stemberger has been quoted in news and media sources hundreds of times as an expert on law, policy, culture and politics including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, The Economist and National Public Radio. His legal, political and non-profit advocacy work has appeared on ABC News Nightline, Fox News, C-SPAN, MSNBC, and Court TV. Starting in 2001, Florida Governor Jeb Bush twice appointed Stemberger to the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida, where he served for eight years screening and recommending new judge candidates in Central Florida.
A sought after speaker around the country, John Stemberger is also a member of the Council for National Policy and in a feature article on his work, the Miami Herald called him, “One of the most interesting and influential people you’ve never heard of.” In 2009, Orlando Magazine named him one of the top 50 most powerful people in Central Florida.
In addition to the private practice of law, in 2004 Stemberger became the President of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC). Since starting the FFPC he served as Chairman of the campaign to amend Florida’s Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman which was adopted by 61.9% of Florida voters in 2008. He also launched the “Florida Judicial Accountability Project” by filing a federal lawsuit against the Florida Bar and Judicial Qualifications Commission to strike down Florida’s gag order which prohibits judges candidates from announcing their views on issues during their campaigns and created a statewide judicial voter guide. He has also launched Strong Marriages Florida, a statewide coalition campaign, to reduce the divorce rate and strengthen marriages across Florida.
In 2009, Stemberger’s law firm received international media attention for representing Rifqa Bary, the Muslim teenager from Columbus, Ohio, who fled to Orlando, Florida after she was threatened to be killed by her father for not renouncing her faith after her conversion from Islam to Christianity was discovered.
Most recently, as an Eagle Scout and former Scoutmaster, John was one of the primary founders and now the Chairman of the Board for Trail Life USA, a Christian scouting movement for boys which started in 2014 and now has around 30,000 members in 700 troops chartered in 48 states. Most importantly, he has been married to his wife Olivia for twenty years and they have four children Joseph, Benjamin, Hannah and Rachel.
Juris Doctorate of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University; Birmingham, Alabama
Honors and Activities First Place, National Moot Court Competition of Duke University; The Rabbi Seymour Seigel Memorial Competition on Legal Ethics Finalist, Robert Donworth Appellate Argument Competition Finalist, Gordon Saad Moot Court Competition Order of the Barrister Who’s Who Among American Law Students Member, Mock Trial Advocacy Board Member, Henry Upson Sims Moot Court Board President, Christian Legal Society Chairman, Cordell Hull Speakers Forum, Student Bar Association
Bachelor of Science, Political Science/Philosophy, Florida State University; Tallahassee, Florida
Honors and Activities First Speaker Award, Southeastern CEDA Debate Circuit, FSU Forensics Team Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges Gold Key Leadership Scholarship award President, FSU College Republicans Founder and President, FSU Institute for Conservative Studies State Supervisor of Elections Scholarship
Associate of Arts, Public Administration, Daytona Beach Community College
Honors and Activities State President, Florida Junior Colleges Student Government Association (FJCSGA) Student Body President, Daytona Beach Community College Congressman Claude Pepper State Leadership Award University of Florida Blue Key Leadership Award Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges Outstanding Young Men of America; U.S. Jaycees Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Fraternity Rotary Club International, Area Scholarship
Architectural Drafting Certification, Daytona Beach Community College, 1982
United States Air Force JROTC, Completed three year program, Florida 42nd Squadron Daytona Beach, 1980
Civil Trial Lawyer/ Owner, Law Offices of John Stemberger, P.A., Orlando, Florida, 1997-Present
Civil Trial Lawyer, Heindl & Stemberger, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, 1997
Civil Trial Lawyer, Billings, Cunningham, Morgan & Boatwright, Orlando, Florida, 1994-1997
Commercial Litigation Attorney, Pennington & Haben, P.A., Tallahassee, Florida, 1993-1994
Political Director, Republican Party of Florida, 1992-1993
Executive Political Assistant, Kenneth L. Connor, Principal, Connor & Associates, P.A. 1990-1992
Judicial Externship, Judge James Hard, Jefferson County Criminal Court, Alabama, 1990
Law Clerk, Kenneth L. Connor and Associates, P.A., Tallahassee, Florida, 1989-1991
Lobbyist, Florida Right to Life, 1988
Legislative Internship, Representative David Troxler, Florida House of Representatives, 1987
Legislative Internship, Senate Republican Office, Senator Richard Langley, Minority Leader, 1986
State President, Florida Junior Colleges Student Government Association. 1994-1995
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AV Rated by Martindale Hubble, 2004 Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 2002 Member, Judicial Nominating Commission, Ninth Judicial Circuit, 2001 to 2009 Chairman, Judicial Nominating Commission, Ninth Judicial Circuit, 2002 to 2003 Barrister Member, First Central Florida Inns of Court, Orlando Chapter Admitted, United States Supreme Court Admitted, United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal Admitted, United States Federal Court- Middle District of Florida Admitted, Florida Bar Member, Christian Legal Society Member, Federalists Society Member, Orange County Bar Association Member, Volusia County Bar Association Allied Lawyer, Alliance Defending Freedom
Marsh v. Valyou, 940 So. 2d 1125 (Fla. 2006)
Konikov v. Orange County, No. 04-10481, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 10176, June 3, 2005.
Jacobs et al., v. The Seminole County Canvassing Board, et al., 773 So. 2d 517 (Fla. 2000)
Taylor v. Martin County Canvassing Board, 773 So. 2d 517 (Fla. 2000)
Yeung v. Saylor, ___ So.2d ___ (Fla. App. 2 Dist. 1998)
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. v. ISsom, 681 So.2d 1170 (Fla. App. 5 Dist. 1996)
Ferrari N.. AM. v. Coral Gables, 661 So.2d 1278 (Fla. App. 1 Dist. 1995)
CIVIC / COMMUNITY
President and General Counsel, Florida Family Policy Council, Inc, 2004 to Present Orange County Legal Aid, Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem, 1985 to 2010 Chairman of the Board, WIN Family Services, Baltimore, MD, 2000 to Present Chairman of the Board, Trail Life USA, Belton, South Carolina, 2013 to Present Member, Metro Life Church, 1985 to Present Precinct Committeeman, Leon County Republican Executive Committee, 1991-1993 Boy Scouts of America, Halifax District, Central Florida Council Eagle Scout Advancement Review Board, 1995 Eagle Scout Award, 1980 Vigil Honor Member, Order of the Arrow, 1981 Assistant Scoutmaster, 1981-1984 United Way Representative, BSA, 1984 Member, Seven Step Society-Sibling Support Group- Straight, Inc. Drug Rehabilitation Program, St. Petersburg 1984-85 Member, Chemical People, Daytona Beach Community Drug Abuse Task Force, 1983 American Red Cross, Campus Blood Drive Coordinator, 1982-84 Easter Seals Society, Gala Auction Staff, 1983-85 Halifax Urban Ministries, Food Collection, 1983-85
Born: September 12, 1962, Daytona Beach, FL Married: October 15, 1994 to Evelyne Olivia Weadon of Dothan, Alabama Children: Joseph; Benjamin, Hannah, and Rachel Interests: Exercise, Theology, Cooking and Art