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Michael James VanDerZee

Michael James VanDerZee

also known as Power of Attorney, Military attorney

About me


Mr. VanDerZee attended DePauw University in Greencastle , Indiana , earning a B.A. in 1993. Following DePauw, he graduated with honors from Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg , Florida in 1996. While at Stetson, Mr. VanDerZee was a National Finalist with Stetson’s #1 nationally ranked Trial Team, earning the International Trial Lawyers Advocacy Award, Excellence in Advocacy Award, and Stetson’s Coaches Choice Advocacy Award.


After graduating from Stetson, Mr. VanDerZee joined the State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, covering Orange and Osceola Counties . For the next five years, he was the lead prosecutor in over 100 jury trials, including three years as a lead felony prosecutor. During his time as a prosecutor, he was awarded the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Prosecutor of the Year Award in 1997 for his work in prosecuting DUI offenses and providing alcohol education to college groups.


Following the attacks of 9/11, Mr. VanDerZee, along with his wife Teresa,  joined the United States Air Force JAG Corps, earning his commission in December 2001. Following officer training, he was assigned to Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage , Alaska . During his tour, he was the Officer in Charge of Legal Assistance and Operations Law, Military Justice, Administrative Law, and the Base Tax Office, as well as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. For his contributions, he was awarded the Wing Staff Company Grade Officer Award in 2003.


His next assignment relocated his family to Randolph AFB in San Antonio , Texas ; where he was appointed as a Circuit Trial Counsel. He was the lead prosecutor representing the Air Force in over 100 high-profile courts-martial throughout the United States . Capt VanDerZee was a sought-after instructor and speaker throughout the circuit on issues of trial advocacy and evidence techniques. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.


With a desire to return home, Mr. VanDerZee left active duty and joined the Reserves,  and came back to Central Florida with his wife and two boys. He established the VanDerZee Law Group and is the Managing Partner.   He is licensed to practice in all Florida State Courts, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. He is a member of the Florida Bar Association, Judge Advocates Association, American Bar Association, and former member of the National District Attorney’s Association, Orange County and Osceola County Bar Associations, and Orange County Republican Executive Committee.


Mr. VanDerZee is also an Ordained Minister,  as he wanted to do something more to help his fellow soldiers and Military families in dealing with prolonged seperation and death of friends and loved ones who fight for our country.  Seeing such devastation and cruelty can understandably make someone question their faith and Michael wanted to be able to step into a spiritual role to assist others as well.


Languages spoken: English, American Sign Language

Photos and videos

1287706 1258591457

Practice areas


  1. Military Law: 40%
    13 years, 410 cases
  2. Family: 30%
    11 years, 300 cases
  3. Criminal Defense: 25%
    18 years, 230 cases
  4. Residential: 5%
    10 years, 300 cases



Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Michael S. Waddington

    I endorse Michael. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community.


    Michael Waddington Military Law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • John Audley Grant III

    I proudly and strongly endorse this lawyer. I have known Jay for over 15 years and he is one of the sharpest legal minds in the country. In law school he was a champion trial advocate at Stetson Law School, the top trial school in the country. He is a former prosecutor and has served our country in the military. He knows his stuff and I consider him a man of impeccable integrity and high honor.


    John Grant Estate Planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Florida Military
4805 W. Laurel St Suite 210
Tampa, FL, 33607-4524

The VanDerZee Law Group, LLC

1643 Williamsburg Square
Lakeland, FL, 33803

The VanDerZee Law Group
Orlando, FL



FLMember in Good Standing199609/08/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Meritorious Service MedalUnited States Air Force2006
National Defense Service MedalUnited States Air Force2003
Procecutor of the year 9th Judicial circuitMADD1997
American College of Trial Advocacy AwardNational Trial Lawyers1996
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerThe VanDerZee Law Group2008 - Present
Ordained MinisterUCL2005 - 2010
Air Force Judge Advocate (JAG)Air Force2001 - 2009
Felony ProsecutorAssistant State Attorney1996 - 2000
Association namePosition nameDuration
Florida Army National GuardJAG2009 - Present
Judge Advocates Associationmember2002 - Present
United States Federal Court Norther DistrictAttorney2001 - Present
Ordained MinisterN/AN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
3rd Party adoptions can be the answerN/A
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
The CommanderBreathalyzer accuracyN/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Stetson University College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1996
DePauw UniversityPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1993
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Circuit Trial CounselField sobriety testing2004