The Power of Perseverance
Judge Rhonda Peoples-Waters
Judge Rhonda Peoples-Waters was the first black female elected to the bench in the 4th Judicial Circuit. She took office in January 2021 and presides over a Duval County Court in Jacksonville, Florida. She has tried over 75 non-jury and jury trials in her career. She was the lead trial counsel in more than half of those cases. She has been licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Florida since 1999, after graduating from the University of Florida School of Law where she studied under an academic scholarship. Rhonda began her career at the Public Defender’s Office in Jacksonville, Florida. Rhonda has handled thousands of cases covering misdemeanors and felonies. Rhonda finished her career at the Public Defender’s Office after seven years and after serving as the Division Chief of each Repeat Offender Divisions in Duval County.
In 2007, Rhonda joined private practice with a small firm practicing Criminal Law and Personal Injury Law. With the experience of public service practice and private practice, in 2008 Rhonda opened Rhonda Peoples-Waters P.A. Her firm specialized in civil and criminal litigation. Rhonda’s practice experience is very diverse and wide-ranging.
As a small business owner for over 12 years, Rhonda learned valuable lessons beyond the practice of law such as time and employee management, successful customer service, and professional skills to deal with all types of people and circumstances. In addition, Rhonda has served as a legal analyst for News4Jax and other local stations for several years. Her legal advice and opinions are valued and trusted throughout the community. Rhonda’s service to the community is well-demonstrated through her leadership roles as a City of Jacksonville Ethic Commissioner, Past President of Daniel Webster Perkins Bar Association, NAACP-Jacksonville Branch Board Member, Past PTA President, Past President of the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Board of Directors, and Chair of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee.
Rhonda submitted application to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission for appointment to the judicial bench 16 times, from 2009 to 2020. Rhonda also ran for county judge unsuccessfully in 2012. After 17 NOs, Rhonda’s YES came on August 18, 2020, when she became the first-elected black female judge in an area covering over a million people. She received the most votes of any candidate of the ballot.
Rhonda’s perseverance and outstanding qualifications will undoubtedly make her election to the bench an asset to this community. This history-making election will open more doors towards judicial diversity.
Rhonda is a proud graduate of Fisk University. Rhonda is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and First Baptist Church of Oakland. Rhonda is the proud mother of Jasmine Waters, who attends Florida A&M University.
Catrine Fredrikson is the owner and president of EZY Marketing – celebrating 20 years in business during 2021. She is passionate about creating clear and consistent brand awareness for her clients and enjoys utilizing the ever-changing digital landscape to promote products and services. When working with newly established companies she guides them through the process of picking the right domain name, creating a website, setting up social media, creating a logo and developing a strong branding board. EZY Marketing offers website design and hosting, as well as ongoing social media creation and website updates.
As a speaker at conferences and webinars, Catrine has given more than 200 workshops covering email marketing, Google listings, social media and digital promotions.
Catrine grew up in Sweden and started out as a mechanical engineer before going back to school for her marketing degree. She loves traveling and has visited 47 countries and 49 US states (missing only Alaska). She spends most of her free time volunteering with Rotary and its Youth Exchange program. During current times with the Covid pandemic, genealogy is her new hobby, she has traced ancestors back to the 1400-hundredts.
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