A native Floridian, Bob Dillinger was elected as Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida in 1997. He is well known as an advocate of the disenfranchised, mentally ill, and homeless in his community, and is active in programs that provide encouragement, food, and clothing to disadvantaged children.
Mr. Dillinger is a graduate of Columbia University and received his Juris Doctorate from Stetson College of Law. He subsequently became an Assistant Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. During his initial service as an Assistant Public Defender, he was a member of the Capital Crimes Defense team and was instrumental in publishing the first comprehensive death penalty training manual for Florida defense attorneys. After several years as an Assistant Public Defender, Mr. Dillinger left government service to open his own practice where he specialized in criminal defense and civil jury work.
In his role as Public Defender, Mr. Dillinger serves in an ex-officio capacity on the Juvenile Welfare Board. In addition, he is part of several civic and professional organizations, including The Florida Bar Criminal Law Section Executive Council, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Board of Directors, the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Leadership Group, and the Pinellas and Pasco Safety Councils. He is also an adjunct professor at Stetson College of Law.
Since 1982, Mr. Dillinger has received numerous awards for his service to the community, including the Nelson Poynter Award from the St. Petersburg Times, the Fred G. Minnis Sr. Bar Association Diversity Award, the Stetson University Ben C. Willard award for humanitarian achievements, the William Reese Smith, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation Heroes Among Us Award, the Jane Schaeffer Outstanding Homeless Advocate Award, and the Bank of America Local Hero Award.