Honorable Donald "Don" F. Castor

Judge Don Castor

Judge Castor served as the first Executive Director of Bay Area Legal Services in 1967. He later became a Hillsborough County Court judge, where he sat on the bench for 20 years. Castor is remembered as an innovative judge, the first to utilize community service as opposed to jail time. 

Judge Castor’s commitment to community service spread to the Spring of Tampa Bay and the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay, having served on their respective boards. He is remembered for his genuine interest in the lives of others and for his friendly and warm demeanor. Notably, he is the father of Kathy Castor, a U.S. Representative. 

His legacy lives on through the Judge Don Castor Community Law Center at Bay Area Legal Services, which provides free business law services to eligible nonprofits and small businesses. 

Each year during Bay Area Legal’s Champions for Justice Donor Appreciation Event, we recognize an individual who has demonstrated a high-level lifetime commitment to legal aid. This person is known as the Judge Don Castor Award recipient.

Deputy Director of Bay Area Legal, Joan Boles, was quoted as saying, “Judge Don Castor had a strong passion and commitment to the civil legal needs of the poor. He retired as a judge, but he has always remained very active in our organization and very committed to our mission.” 

Give in Memory of Judge Castor