JOSEPH P. GEORGE, JR., is the Criminal Conflict & Civil Regional Counsel for the Third District Court of Appeal Region for Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.  In 2007 he was appointed as one of five (5) inaugural regional counsels by Governor Charlie Crist and confirmed by the Florida Senate.  He leads a team of 50 attorneys and 20 support staff in 4 offices from Miami to Key West.  The offices of regional counsel were created to represent persons entitled to court-appointed counsel under Federal or State Constitutional law, in a fiscally responsible manner.  The office of regional counsel is the first court-appointed counsel in civil law cases including child dependency, termination of parental rights and involuntary civil commitments for alleged incapacity, mental illness, drug abuse, contagious diseases, etc., and as secondary court-appointed (conflict) counsel in criminal cases where the Public Defender has filed a conflict of interest, including Death Penalty cases.  In 2009, he was named a Legal Elite Government Attorney by Florida Trend Magazine.  He was formerly in private practice in Miami, Florida, from 1998 to 2007 focusing on the management and litigation of involuntary civil commitments, guardianships, trusts, mental health and substance abuse law cases in the probate court.  From 1991 to 1998 he served as Probate and Guardianship Court Monitor, Probate and Guardianship General Master, Baker Act Special Master and Staff Counsel for the 16th Judicial Circuit, Monroe County.  In 1991, he authored the book, “Guardianship in Monroe County, Investing in the Fabric of Society.”  Mr. George was an inaugural member of the Miami-Dade County Mayoral Task Force on Finding Alternatives to Jailing the Mentally Ill.  Before joining the Office of Regional Counsel he was one of the nine (9) court designated attorneys serving Miami-Dade County representing individuals subject to the Baker Act (the “Florida Mental Health Law”) and the Marchman Act (the “Hal S. Marchman Alcohol & Other Drug Services Act of 1993”).  In recognition of service in these areas of law he was elected Vice-Chair of the Florida Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation, which was created by the Florida Legislature to oversee the state’s publicly funded substance abuse and mental health systems (from 2003 to 2007).  He is past Chair of the Government Lawyer Section of the Florida Bar.  He served on the Supreme Court Commission on Fairness Guardianship Subcommittee.  He is currently a member of the Attorney General’s Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, and the Department of Children & Families Statewide Legal Services Subcommittee of the Task Force on Child Protection and Fostering Success.  He is a past member of the Legislative Advocacy Committee of the statewide Health & Human Services Board of the Florida Department of Children & Families.  He is a past member of the Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar and current member of the Guardianship Committee thereof.  He is a member of the Dade County Bar, the South Miami-Kendall Bar and Cuban American Bar Associations.  He received his B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and J.D. from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University.  He is admitted to practice in Florida State and Federal courts, the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, in Washington, D.C. and in the Supreme Court of the United States of America.