Since she began practicing law in 2003, Maria Pavlidis has dedicated her legal career to the zealous representation of people charged with criminal offenses. Ms. Pavlidis has represented thousands of people accused of a variety of offenses – from misdemeanors, traffic and juvenile offenses to felonies punishable by life, including homicides. During her career, Ms. Pavlidis gained a reputation for trying some of the most challenging and high profile cases in the Tampa Bay area. Ms. Pavlidis is known for fighting for her clients and is sought after for her knowledge and skill in trying serious cases. To that end, she has tried over 100 cases. Ms. Pavlidis is an aggressive defender, but her practice is instilled with a sense of compassion. Ms. Pavlidis is admitted in all Florida State Courts and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. She is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law, one of the highest recognitions a lawyer in Florida can receive. Only seven percent of attorneys in Florida are board certified.
Ms. Pavlidis earned her Bachelor of Science degree, Magna Cum Laude, with Honors Program distinction from the University of Tampa. While at the University of Tampa, she was President of the Criminology Society. Ms. Pavlidis received her Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law. While in law school, she was the Research Editor for the Journal of Law and Public Policy. Additionally, she was a Teaching Assistant for Legal Research and Writing and Appellate Advocacy.
Ms. Pavlidis honed her advocacy and trial skills as an Assistant Public Defender in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. While employed as an Assistant Public Defender, she worked in the Major Crimes Bureau, a specialized division of the office reserved for the most experienced and skilled attorneys. It was in the Major Crimes Bureau that Ms. Pavlidis gained valuable experience handling complex cases. Her caseload was comprised entirely of homicides, vehicular and traffic homicides, all levels of sex crimes, including capital sexual battery, and child abuse cases. Ms. Pavlidis was never an attorney to shy away from an uphill battle. During her tenure in Major Crimes, Ms. Pavlidis conducted examinations and depositions of expert witnesses in many different fields, including DNA analysis, serology, pathology, neuropsychology, psychology, medical examination, brain injury, toxicology, accident reconstruction, fingerprint analysis and firearms and ballistics. As a Public Defender, Ms. Pavlidis was fortunate enough to attend statewide seminars for criminal defense attorneys on trial advocacy and death penalty litigation. Ms. Pavlidis found and retained expert witnesses for the defense in many areas of study. She is also well-versed in the study of mental illness and substance abuse.
Ms. Pavlidis was chosen by her peers and supervisors at the Public Defender’s Office with the honor of the Attorney of the Year Award in 2009 and 2011. She has given several seminars to other attorneys on trial techniques, motion writing and opening statements and closing arguments.
For the last couple of years, Ms. Pavlidis has expanded her practice into different areas of the law including civil litigation and real estate law. She has gained valuable experience in civil trial litigation and is using that experience to assist clients in various legal matters.
Maria speaks fluent Greek and volunteers as an Attorney Ad Litem for Crossroads for Florida Kids.