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Meet Barbara

I am a native Floridian who has practiced law for thirty years. From November 2016 until qualification in April 2024, I was blessed to serve the people of the Fifth Circuit as a General Magistrate. From November 2016-February 2020, I served in Marion and Sumter Counties hearing and deciding dependency and family cases. From March 2020 - April 2024, I heard family and mental health cases in Marion County. I heard and decided hundreds of cases each month, applying the law to the facts of each case. 

For about ten years, I served as a Judicial Hearing Officer hearing and deciding child support cases in the Fifth Circuit.  I also have experience in the criminal justice system where I tried over 45 jury trials. I started my legal career in a civil litigation firm handling cases ranging from labor law disputes to complex litigation. 

I am a member of the Florida Bar, Marion County Bar Association, Florida Bar Family Law Section General Magistrate Committee, and the Fifth Circuit Professionalism Committee. I am a past member of the D.R. Smith Inns of Court.

I graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and the Florida State University. 

I have been married for over 25 years and have three children: One works as a data analyst, one in the financial sector, and one who recently graduated from the United States Naval Academy and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. We are a proud Blue Star family!

I have been involved in youth activities for about twenty years. From teaching Sunday school to coaching, I love working with children. I also am a lector for church and volunteer in a number of church ministries.

I believe in maintaining excellence on the bench. I have been on the faculty of the Florida Judicial College for several years, teaching a variety of topics. In 2023, I received the Florida Judicial College Judge Mark I. Shames Faculty Leadership Award.

I have taught the following courses at Florida Judicial College:
Effective Case Management
Handling Self-Represented Litigants
Sovereign Citizens
Drafting Orders
Best Practices
Courtroom & Personal Safety
Disqualification & Recusal

In addition to teaching at the Florida Judicial college, I have presented several Continuing Legal Education (CLEs) programs to attorneys:

  • Lunch and Learn: Modifications: Like Poltergeist…They’re Back (with the Honorable Sarah Jones, Lake County Judge).
  • Lunch and Learn: Contempt, with the Honorable Keith Schenck, Citrus County General Magistrate.
  • Zoom 2.0, presented April – September 2020 throughout Fifth Circuit; Techniques for Judges, Magistrates and attorneys using Zoom for hearings.
  • Dependency Court and the Guardian Ad Litem Program. Presented to Guardian Ad Litem Volunteers, April 2018
  • Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Dependency Court. Presented to Rotary Club of The Villages (2017)
  • Criminal Law and Child Support: Alaska to Florida: Interesting stories from Alaska and Florida Courts, Presented to Lions Club (2015).
  • Top 10 Questions About Child Support: An overview of child support law and guideline calculations. Presented to Certified Family Mediators for Continuing Mediation Education (CME) credits in Inverness, Florida (2013).
  • Case Law Update: An overview of changes in the law related to all areas of Family Law.  Presented to Certified Family Mediators for Continuing Mediation Education (CME) credits in Inverness, Florida (2013).
  • The New IWO: Changes to Income Withholding for Child Support.: An overview of the federal changes to the Income Withholding Order. Presented to Florida Court Personnel statewide meeting in Tampa, Florida (2013).
  • Continuing Judicial Education: Child Support 101 (2.0 CJE credit hours approved). Training provided to Judges of the Fifth Circuit in 2011 2012. 
  • Continuing Legal Education: Child Support From Initial Pleading to Final Order and Beyond.  Presented in Ocala, Florida (2011). 
  • Top 10 Questions Regarding Child Support:  Presented to the Citrus FLAG meeting on May 13, 2011 in Inverness, Florida 


Committee to Elect Barbara Kissner Kwatkosky
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