My passion for government and public service lead me to serve in the Florida House of Representatives for eight years. I now advise other public servants and candidates for office in connection with their campaigns, and consult with private companies and local governments seeking to address issues through public referendums and other ballot measures. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Election Law at St. Thomas University.
Lawyers, Guns & Money by Warren Zevon
My Favorite Book:
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
My Dream Ride:
1980 AMC/Jeep Grand Wagoneer – Forest Green with wood trim
Quality freshly ground and brewed American coffee
Mid to late afternoon
Why do you love politics and government so much?
The Founding Fathers had two options for our government when they created this great country: Politics or Dictatorship. Politics is what keeps us free. It combines popular culture, our desire to be free and our need to prosper financially all in one. As bad as politics can sometimes be, without it we lose our freedom.
J.C. has been practicing law in Miami for eighteen years. Graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science in 1993, he worked for several local and state elected officials before enrolling at the St. Thomas University School of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate in 1998 and immediately passing the Florida Bar.
Originally an Assistant State Attorney, J.C. was motivated by the rising problem with juvenile crime in the late 1990’s and ran for a seat in the Florida Legislature, to which he was elected in 2002. As a member of the Florida House, J.C. was Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for 4 years and later chaired the Criminal Justice Committee in the Florida House.
Among his legislative accomplishments were Juvenile Justice reform where he sponsored a re-write of all juvenile court statutes and created a unique family identification number for families in the juvenile delinquency, dependency and domestic violence courts. During his time in office, J.C. became involved with the Florida chapter of the Republican National Lawyers Association and assisted in the legal Representation of some of his colleagues in the House.
Term limited in 2010, J.C. has now applied his experience into a full time election law and governmental practice. In 2013, J.C. became the first Florida election lawyer to successfully both remove a measure from the ballot and have a similar ballot measure upheld by the Court, all in the same election cycle. In addition to representing candidates and groups placing items on the ballot, J.C. also represents local governments, assisting them with their electoral issues. Always wanting to give back, J.C. now teaches at the St. Thomas University School of Law as an Adjunct Professor teaching both Election Law and State and Local Government Law.
He is married to Viviana Planas, a bridal shop owner and together they have two young children Luciana Isabel and Elias Martin. J.C. has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, the Miami-Dade Children’s Trust and the National Fragile X Foundation.
St. Thomas University School of Law, J.D., 1998
Florida State University, B.S. 1993
- Florida Bar
- U.S. District Court
- Southern District of Florida
- Florida House of Representatives 2002 – 2010
- Former Member Kiwanis Club of Little Havana
- Former Board Member of the Miami-Dade Children’s Trust
- Former Board Member of the National Fragile X Foundation
- Republican National Lawyers Association