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Javier was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Kansas City as a very young child, where he grew up. After earning his GED at the Clearfield Job Corps Center, he returned to Kansas City and joined the Marine Corps. When Javier finished his enlistment in the Marines, he returned to Kansas City and worked at the Union Pacific Railroad. Javier quickly started to miss being in uniform, so he joined the Kansas Army National Guard.

In November 2006, Javier’s unit was activated and deployed to Iraq. While deployed, his good friend (and fellow Marine) Sgt. Jessie Davila was killed by a roadside bomb. Jessie’s sacrifice inspired Javier to pursue his childhood dream of becoming an attorney who could help others through the law.

While attending Park University, Javier found his calling to advocate for his fellow veterans. His own bad experience with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), along with the difficulties faced by his fellow Veterans, left him very dissatisfied and frustrated. He decided to learn how to advocate for Veterans and help them obtain the disability benefits they were entitled to receive.

After graduating from Park University, Javier went to law school at Stetson University College of Law. While in law school, Javier continued to hone his Veterans advocacy skills by interning at the VA Office of Regional Counsel in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program in Washington DC. He also participated in the Veterans Appellate Rights Clinic and spearheaded the creation of the Veterans Law Institute at Stetson.

Shortly after graduating from law school, Javier served as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert N. Davis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Javier’s experience working as a law clerk was very professionally beneficial because he was able to observe the different litigation styles of the attorneys who practiced before the Court and implemented their best practices in his advocacy. His duties also required him to learn and apply Veterans Law to specific cases before the Court, a skill which continues to help him as an advocate.

Once Javier completed his clerkship, he returned to Florida — armed with his improved knowledge of Veterans Law — and worked exclusively as a Veterans Disability Attorney. While helping Veterans with their disability appeals, he noticed that many of them were also dealing with Elder Law and Estate Planning issues. Most of these issues were related to their disabilities and long-term medical care. Javier wanted to provide his Veteran clients with a more holistic representation (such as helping them draft advance directives, wills, and trusts), so he went back to law school and obtained his Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Elder Law.

Since starting his law firm in 2015, Javier has successfully represented hundreds of clients seeking disability benefits from the VA and recovered millions of dollars of benefits for his clients. He has handled over 100 cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In addition to his work with Veterans, Javier regularly handles probate administrations for his clients and personal injury matters ranging from car accidents to nursing home and assisted living facility negligence cases.

In his free time, Javier enjoys traveling, golfing, watching documentaries, volunteering, and spending time with family and pets. He likes meeting new people and helping others, whether in his community or legal practice. Javier looks forward to the opportunity to serve as your attorney and advocate.

Practice Area(s)

  • Veterans Disability
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Personal Injury

Education

  • Park University (B.A., 2009)
  • Stetson University College of Law (J.D., 2012)
  • Stetson University College of Law (LL.M., 2014)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Accredited Attorney Representative

Associations & Memberships

  • Disabled American Veterans (Lifetime Member)
  • Marine Corps League (Lifetime Member)
  • American Legion (Lifetime Member)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association
  • National Organization of Veterans Advocates (NOVA)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
  • Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA)
  • Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA)
  • Veterans and Military Law Committee of the Missouri Bar

Volunteer Service & Charitable Causes

  • The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program – Volunteer Attorney
  • Military Matters Program – Volunteer Attorney
  • Sgt. Jessie Davila Memorial Veterans Scholarship - Founder
  • Dr. Ron Brecke Veterans Scholarship - Founder
  • Elder Law Section, Florida Bar Association – Veterans Benefits Committee Chair
  • Wounded Warrior Abilities Ranch – Board Member
  • Bay Pines Foundation, Inc. – Board Member
  • Argentine Betterment Corporation – Board Member
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association – Board Member
  • Honor Flight of West Central Florida
  • T.A.P.S. Good Grief Camp Mentor
  • Stand Down for Homeless Veterans - Bay Pines VAMC

Javier Centonzio AVVO 10.0 Rating badge Javier Centonzio SuperLawyers Rising Stars badge
St Petersburg Bar Association Rated by Super Lawyers Avvo Rating is Superb for Top Attorney Elder Law NAELA member Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys The Florida Bar 1950