JUDGE MARGARET O. STEINBECK earned her B.S. Ed.,summa cum laude, from the University of Georgia in 1978, where she was a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Army ROTC program. She was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Regular Army, and entered active duty in the Army Adjutant General's Corps. While on active duty, Judge Steinbeck attended law school on an Army merit scholarship and received her Juris Doctor in 1984 from the University of Virginia School of Law. She later was awarded a Masters of Law degree, with honors, from the Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) School, now The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS), in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Judge Steinbeck served on active duty as a JAG officer from 1984 through 1990. Her military career included assignments as a criminal prosecutor in Germany, and as an environmental litigation attorney in Washington, D.C. After leaving active duty, Judge Steinbeck continued her military service in the Army Reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel after assignments to the Army's Litigation Division, TJAGLCS, and the 174th Legal Support Organization.
Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Steinbeck had experience in private practice as a civil litigation attorney with Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C. and Cheffy, Passidomo & Steinbeck in Naples, Florida. In 1995, Judge Steinbeck was appointed an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, where she served until the Governor appointed her to the Circuit bench, 20th Judicial Circuit, State of Florida, in 1998.
Judge Steinbeck has presided in every Division of the Circuit Court and is currently assigned to the Felony Division in Lee County, Florida. Judge Steinbeck has been a member of the Florida Trial Court Budget Commission since 2007, and has served as Chair of the Commission since 2017. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges (FCCJ). In 2006, she was elected by her judicial colleagues and served as Chair of the FCCJ for the 2007-2008 term.
Judge Steinbeck is a co-author of Lexis Publishing Company's Florida Evidence Code Trial Book. She is a member of the faculty of the Florida Judicial College and the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, where she teaches trial skills and evidence.
Judge Steinbeck is married to Mark A. Steinbeck, who is a Senior Judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit. The Steinbecks have four adult children and eight grandchildren.