In case there was any doubt that this guy gets his jollies kicking registered citizens from their homes, just watch the video. By the way, did you know he was publicly reprimanded by the Florida Bar Association? He's barely holding on to his license now.
Linda Gaustad, Ryan Will tout experience in 7th circuit judge race
By Frank Fernandez
Posted Oct 6, 2018 at 2:38 PM
Updated Oct 6, 2018 at 2:38 PM
Both Linda Gaustad and Ryan Will are trumpeting their experience as they head toward a face-off in for an open circuit judge seat.
Will, 38, who lives in Daytona Beach with his wife and children, is a homicide prosecutor with the 7th Circuit State Attorney’s Office, who is emphasizing his many jury trials in criminal court, including some high-profile prosecutions like that of Luis Toledo, who killed his wife and her two children.
“I’ve tried about 70 jury trials in the last 10 years. She’s had four or five,” Will said. “There’s a tremendous difference in our courtroom experience. I know what it takes to be a judge. I’ve worked with good judges. I’ve known good judges. I’ve known them as friends. I’ve known them as mentors. I’ve known them as judges on my cases.”
Gaustad, 56, of Deltona, counters that Will has spent most of his legal life in criminal court while she has a vast amount of varied experience in family law, real property, trusts, wills, estate, business and criminal law. A private attorney with an office in Orange City, she said most of the cases she works on are resolved before trial because litigants want to avoid the expense of a trial or they are a type of case, such as probate, that rarely go to trial.
“I have a very broad range of experience,” Gaustad said. “It’s very diversified experience.”
Will, who grew up in Ormond Beach and graduated from Seabreeze High School, is the son of retired Circuit Judge Joseph G. Will and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2006.
Gaustad spent her early childhood years in Illinois before moving to Central Florida when she was 9. She started living on her own at the age 15 but is now married with children and grandchildren. She received a high school diploma from what was then Orlando Technical and has lived in Volusia County since 1989. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2000.
All registered voters in the circuit covering Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties can vote in the Nov. 6 general election for the seat, which comes with a six-year term earning $160,688 per year. The seat is open due to the retirement of J. Michael Traynor, who presides over civil cases at the judicial center in St. Augustine.
In the August primary, Will won all four of the circuit’s counties. Will received 34,044 votes in Volusia County where Gaustad finished third with 31,265 votes behind Sebrina Slack’s 33,245 votes. In Flagler County, Will received 7,698 votes while Gaustad finished second with 6,775 and attorney Slack came in last with 6,368. Slack finished third overall and was eliminated from the race.
Both Will and Gaustad said they have the temperament to become a judge and that they would be patient and respectful of the litigants and attorneys coming before them.
They also say they are both involved in the community. Gaustad said she purchased Christmas gifts for children in foster care and school supplies for students. She likes to help seniors avoid scams and won’t charge them for the consultation.
Will also said that he did some civil work for nearly a year for companies in the oil and gas industry in Alabama. He said he also did some probate and real estate work on the side.
Gaustad said just because he did some probate or real estate work doesn’t make him an attorney in that area.
“You can change something minor in your car but does that make you a mechanic?” she said.
One of Will’s activities outside the courtroom is helping communities build parks in locations that use state law to keep sexual predators from moving into the neighborhood. Will led the effort to build the first one in his own neighborhood
Will is far ahead in contributions with $69,560 to Gaustad’s $23,684. He also has many more individual contributors than she does.
Of Will’s money, $26,000 is his own money or loans to himself. Of Gaustad’s money, $21,435 is her own with $14,100 of that in loans to herself and the rest in-kind contributions to herself.
Gaustad said that voters need to make a fully informed decision.
“I think it’s important that people realize that I’ve never been reprimanded by the Florida Supreme Court,” Gaustad said.
Will was reprimanded in August 2014 by the state Supreme Court after the Florida Bar found probable cause that Will had demeaned and ridiculed a defendant named Jerry Crew by repeatedly calling him a crackhead while prosecuting him during a 2012 murder trial. Probable cause was also found that Will had erred in other ways, including demeaning the defense attorney and his theories of defense. Will entered a conditional guilty plea.
In an interview this week, Will described it as a learning experience.
“It wasn’t a proud moment in my career,” Will said. “It’s something that taught me a lot about myself and taught me a lot about the courtroom. I think it probably made me a little bit more humble, a little bit more focused in my approach, taught me how to be a better lawyer, and I think has given me a little bit better experience seeing the perspective of the judge, knowing where the line is and drawing that line.”