Judge James M. Colaw

Judge Colaw

Judge James M. Colaw

The Code of Judicial Conduct governing behavior by judges forbids the judges of the Eighth Judicial Circuit to discuss pending cases with the public. Please do not call the Court expecting to speak with a Judge about any case. If you have a comment to make, please mail it to the Clerk’s Office in the appropriate county. Please keep in mind that the Court is only allowed to consider arguments made in court and documents filed by actual parties to the case. They cannot ethically read or consider any other opinions or arguments about the case, and they cannot give legal advice. Thank you.

Current Assignment

Circuit Judge – September 2013 – Present

Alachua: Criminal Division III (L-R)

Bradford: Circuit Criminal

Circuit-wide: Post Conviction Relief Cases

Previous Assignments

2016-2020: Alachua County Circuit Criminal Division II (F-K); Baker County Circuit Criminal Division; Circuit-wide: Extraordinary and Unusual Case Compensation

2014-2016: Family Law Division; Domestic Violence/Injunction Court; Adoptions

2013-2014: Family Law Division; Pro Se Family Court & Simplified Dissolutions

Judicial Assistant

Wendy Thurow


Alachua County Criminal Justice Center
220 South Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 548-3784 (phone)

Bradford County Courthouse
945 North Temple Avenue
Starke, FL 32091
(904) 966-6203 (phone), (904) 368-3904 (fax)

The best way to reach the Judicial Assistant is to first e-mail thuroww@circuit8.org

Proposed Orders for Judge James M. Colaw

  • Proposed Orders shall be emailed to thuroww@circuit8.org in Word format.  Please do not send Proposed Orders, Motions, or supporting documentation by United States Mail.
  • All orders shall include a certificate of service at the bottom of the order.  Please indicate the name of the party who is to receive the order, as well as that party’s e-mail/e-service address OR mailing address, if a hard copy is required.
  • Proposed Orders are not accepted via e-filing. Motions should continue to be e-filed with the Clerk’s Office.


Juris Doctor: University of Florida College of Law
Masters of Business Administration: University of Florida
Bachelor: Carnegie Mellon University

Professional Certification in Human Trafficking & Prevention, Florida State University
Professional Certification in Trauma & Resilience – LEVEL 2, Florida State University
Professional Certification in Trauma & Resilience, Florida State University
2006 – Present: National Board Certified in Criminal Trial
2006 – Present: Florida Board Certified in Criminal Trial


Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Criminal Justice Committee of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges
Florida Bar Criminal Law Certification Committee
Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism
National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA), Board of Directors
Faculty, Supreme Court Standing Committee on Fairness & Diversity, Sentencing Bias
Faculty, Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges, Death Penalty
Adjunct Faculty University of Florida Levin College of Law, Trial Practice
Faculty, Florida Institute on Interpersonal Violence (FIIV), Domestic Violence Training for Judges
Faculty, Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges, Phase I Judicial College – Mock Trial
Faculty, Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges, Phase II Judicial College – Criminal Fundamentals
Alachua County Courthouse Security Committee: 2021 – present.

Cases Disposed

Year Alachua County Felony Division II Baker County Felony
2016 523 310
2017 556 251
2018 509 395
2019 417 312
2020 377 280

Average Days to Disposition

Year Alachua County Felony Division II Baker County Felony
2016 140 138
2017 120 83
2018 99 82
2019 91 88
2020 106 103

Only includes cases heard through disposition by the judge. Does not include cases disposed prior to arraignment/written plea, cases disposed by transfer, cases disposed by nolle prosequi/dropped, or cases omitted from the data set as unrepresentative for miscellaneous reasons unrelated to the judge (e.g., clerical error). Days to disposition counts from the date of arraignment or written plea.