Retired Chief Circuit Court Judge F. “Dennis” Alvarez was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, the son of cigar workers with Spanish and Italian roots. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1974 upon graduating from South Texas College of Law. In 1980 Mr. Alvarez was elected as a Hillsborough County Court Judge. In 1984, he was elected to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court bench. He served as Chief Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit from 1988 to 2001 when after 21 years of service he retired and started a new career.
Mr. Alvarez has limited his practice to Alternate Dispute Resolution. He is a Certified Mediator in Federal and Florida Courts and a Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator. Mr. Alvarez has also served as a panel member of AAA and a Certified Neutral Umpire of the Windstorm Conference since 2002. He has also served as a Special Magistrate/Special Master in various civil matters. Since 2001, he has Mediated, served as a Arbitrator or as a Neutral (Umpire) in over 5,000 cases.
He served on many commissions through appointments by the Florida Supreme Court and is a previous chairman of the prestigious Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges. He is a member of the U. S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, the U. S. Supreme Court, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association. He is also the proud recipient of many community service awards including the George Edgecomb Bar Association Humanitarian Award, the Robert J. Patton Outstanding Jurist Award, the Hispanic Man of the Year Award, and the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers’ Outstanding Jurist in the State of Florida Award for his Dedication to the Preservation of Individual Rights and Access to the Courts, University of South Florida Distinguished Alumnus Award, District VI, Juvenile Justice Hall of Fame. Mr. Alvarez was voted a “Tampa Bay’s Top Lawyer specializing in arbitration/mediation by Tampa Bay Magazine 2023-2024.
During his thirteen year  tenure as Chief Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, oversaw numerous improvements to the state’s third largest circuit. Along with his support staff establishment of programs include:
over 150 years of legal experience