Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, Amy Carter obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors and a focus on Law and Society, from Michigan State University in 2003. After graduation, and marrying her high school sweetheart Jeremy, Amy relocated to Orlando where she began her career and commitment to public service by working for Healthy Families Orange as a family support worker. Following her time at Healthy Families Orange, Amy joined Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare (now Aspire Health Partners) and for five years was a case manager on the Mental Health Pre-trial Release Program.
The experience of working with people who suffer from mental illness involved in the criminal justice system, played an impactful role in Amy’s decision to pursue becoming an attorney. She enrolled in the part-time evening program at Florida A&M University College of Law and continued working full time until she received her juris doctorate, magna cum laude, in 2008. While in law school, Amy was the Articles Editor of the Law Review and authored the article “Fixing Florida’s Mental Health Courts: Addressing the Needs of the Mentally Ill by Moving Away from Criminalization to Investing in Community Mental Health” that was published in the Wayne State University Journal of Law and Society. Amy was also selected as a Florida Bar Foundation Summer Fellow during her second year of law school and worked for Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, assisting attorneys providing civil legal services to the disadvantaged in the areas of family law and landlord tenant law.
It was from these experiences of working with others in need that propelled Amy to go to work as an assistant public defender in Orange County. In that position, Amy gained extensive and invaluable courtroom experience and advanced her skills as a trial lawyer. Advocating for those charged with a crime, and unable to afford representation, allowed Amy to continue her commitment to serving the underprivileged and helping those in the community who are most in need. As a public defender, Amy managed a high volume caseload and handled cases in the juvenile, misdemeanor and felony divisions. Amy was also assigned to a division that was specifically tasked with handling hearings and litigation related to mental health issues as a result of her previous experience in the mental health field.
In 2012 Amy joined the Firm of C. Todd Smith Law, P.A. and for the next three years practiced plaintiff’s premise liability and personal injury while also continuing the practice of criminal defense. Amy was recruited to join the law firm of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer in 2015, where she focuses her practice in the area of nursing home negligence.
A recognized community and professional leader, Amy is an alumni of the Florida Bar Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy and since 2010 has been a member of the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, serving as President in 2014-2015. Amy also served on the statewide board of directors of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Amy is the Co-Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee, serves on the Orange County Teen Court Advisory Board, and was appointed to serve on a Ninth Circuit Florida Bar Grievance Committee. She has also been a member of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers since 2009. Amy is regularly sought after to participate in peer legal education seminars for lawyers and is on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Bench Bar program.
Celebrating their 15th anniversary this August, Amy and Jeremy are the proud parents of Allison (6) and Jeremy Jr. (2). Coming from a large family within a tight knit community, family is and has always been an important part of Amy’s life, In addition to the love and support of her parents, who have been married for almost 40 years, Amy feels very fortunate to have had the support and encouragement of her great grandparents, grandparents and a host of aunts and uncles throughout her life. By example, they instilled in her a strong work ethic and the importance of listening to and respecting those whose experiences and perspectives may differ from her own. These qualities along with a commitment to service, integrity and fairness are what Amy believes are essential to being a great judge and are necessary to maintain public confidence in our judicial system.