Gov. Rick Scott Archives - Page 4 of 61 - Florida Politics

11 apply for Florida Supreme Court

As of the Friday deadline, 11 people had applied to become the next justice of the Florida Supreme Court. 

The last application received was from Circuit Judge Michael Joseph Rudisill of the 18th Judicial Circuit for Brevard and Seminole counties.

There, Rudisill replaced James E.C. Perry, now the justice whose December retirement is creating the Supreme Court vacancy.

Besides Rudisill, here are the other applicants that will now be considered by the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission:

— Judge Wendy W. Berger of the 5th District Court of Appeal.

— Circuit Judge Alice L. Blackwell of Orange County.

— Assistant U.S. attorney Roberta J. Bodnar of the Middle District of Florida.

— Orlando civil-trial defense attorney Dan Gerber.

 Sylvia Grunor, a Central Florida trial lawyer.

— State Attorney Brad King of the 5th Judicial Circuit.

— Chief Judge C. Alan Lawson of the 5th District Court of Appeal.

— Republican state Rep. Larry Metz of Yalaha.

— Circuit Judge Michelle T. Morley of Sumter County.

— Circuit Judge Patricia Strowbridge of Osceola County.

The commission will discuss the applicants in a conference call Monday at 9 a.m.

Its members are then scheduled to interview finalists Nov. 28 and submit six recommendations to Gov. Rick Scott by Dec. 13.

Scott then will name Perry’s replacement, his first chance to pick a state Supreme Court justice.

The commission advising him includes attorney Jesse Panuccio, Scott’s former head of the Department of Economic Opportunity; Fred Karlinsky, a lawyer and insurance lobbyist with close ties to the governor; and Daniel Nordby, the former general counsel to the Florida House of Representatives.

Because Perry represented the state’s 5th appellate district, applicants must have been from that area, which includes Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties.

Florida Supreme Court

Larry Metz applies for Florida Supreme Court opening

Republican state Rep. Larry Metz of Yalaha, who face term limits after his current stint in the House, wants to be the next Florida Supreme Court justice.

Metz
Metz

Metz filed Friday morning, the deadline day for applying, said Jason Unger, chair of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.

The opening was created by the retirement of Justice James E.C. Perry, who’s leaving the bench at the end of the year. The commission is scheduled to discuss the applicants in a conference call next Monday at 9 a.m.

Metz, a lawyer in private practice, was first elected in 2010 and re-elected without opposition to a final term this week.

He was just promoted to chair the new Public Integrity & Ethics committee under Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran. He previously chaired the Justice Appropriations subcommittee.

“Larry Metz has great judicial temperament and a brilliant legal mind,” Corcoran said in a text message. “He also understands judicial restraint and originalism and how important those concepts are to protecting our Constitution and our way of life.” (“Originalism” refers to judicial interpretation of constitutions and laws according to the intent of their drafters.)

The 61-year-old Metz, admitted to the Florida bar in 1983, could not immediately be reached for comment. The former Marine has been one of the House’s stalwart conservative members.

In September, he argued before the court in favor of a new evidence law he sponsored, one that toughens the state’s expert witness standard. The switch would align Florida’s courts with the federal courts, which follow a stricter test of allowing certain scientific expert testimony, known as the Daubert standard.

Metz also has backed measures that would stop Florida cities and counties from shielding undocumented immigrants (the “sanctuary cities” bill), and call for a “convention of states” to consider congressional term limits.

The other applicants are State Attorney Brad King of the 5th Judicial Circuit, Circuit Judge Alice L. Blackwell of Orange County, Judge Wendy W. Berger of the 5th District Court of Appeal, Circuit Judge Michelle T. Morley of Sumter County, assistant U.S. attorney Roberta J. Bodnar, Circuit Judge Patricia Strowbridge of Osceola County, Orlando civil-trial defense attorney Dan Gerber, and Chief Judge C. Alan Lawson of the 5th District Court of Appeal

Later Friday, the nominating commission also received the application of Sylvia Grunor, a longtime Central Florida trial lawyer. That makes 10 candidates now in the running.

Gov. Rick Scott will name Perry’s replacement, his first chance to pick a state Supreme Court justice. The nominating commission is scheduled to interview finalists Nov. 28 and submit six recommendations to Scott by Dec. 13.

Because Perry represented that appellate district, applicants must be from that area: Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties.

Brad King files for Supreme Court opening

State Attorney Brad King of the 5th Judicial Circuit has applied for the upcoming vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court.

King
King

King’s application was received Thursday, according to Tallahassee attorney Jason Unger, chair of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.

King — the Republican elected chief prosecutor for Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties in Central Florida — is the eighth applicant to replace Justice James E.C. Perry, who’s retiring at the end of the year.

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Friday. Gov. Rick Scott will name Perry’s replacement, his first chance to pick a state Supreme Court justice.

The nominating commission is scheduled to interview finalists Nov. 28 and submit six recommendations to Scott by Dec. 13.

King, 59, is a career prosecutor, first elected to the office in 1988. He was re-elected without opposition this year. King received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida, working briefly as a Marion County Sheriff’s deputy.

The other applicants are Circuit Judge Alice L. Blackwell of Orange County, Judge Wendy W. Berger of the 5th District Court of Appeal, Circuit Judge Michelle T. Morley of Sumter County, assistant U.S. attorney Roberta J. Bodnar, Circuit Judge Patricia Strowbridge of Osceola County, Orlando civil-trial defense attorney Dan Gerber, and Chief Judge C. Alan Lawson of the 5th District Court of Appeal.

Because Perry represented that appellate district, applicants must be from that area: Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties.

Alice Blackwell applies for state Supreme Court seat

Circuit Judge Alice L. Blackwell of Orange County, originally a Lawton Chiles appointee, is the latest applicant for a seat on the Florida Supreme Court.

Blackwell
Blackwell

That brings to seven the number of those who have filed to replace Justice James E.C. Perry. He is retiring at the end of the year.

The deadline to apply to the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission is 5 p.m. Friday, according to its chair, Tallahassee attorney Jason Unger.

Because Perry represented that appellate district, applicants must be from that area: Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties.

Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, will name Perry’s replacement, making it his first opportunity to pick a state Supreme Court justice. Now, Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston the only reliable conservative votes on the seven-member court.

Then-Gov. Chiles, a Democrat, first appointed her to the bench in 1991, according to her Ballotpedia profile.

In 1997, she was the first woman in the 9th Judicial Circuit, covering Orange and Osceola counties, to be named administrative judge of the civil division. She now handles complex civil litigation.

Blackwell received her undergraduate degree from Furman University and a law degree from the University of South Carolina, according to her official bio.

The other applicants are:

Wendy W. Berger, appointed by Gov. Scott to the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach in late 2012. She was originally appointed to the circuit bench by Jeb Bush.

— Circuit Judge Michelle T. Morley, who sits in Sumter County. She was elected to the 5th Judicial Circuit bench in 2006 and re-elected in 2012.

Roberta J. Bodnar, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Middle District of Florida.

— Circuit Judge Patricia Strowbridge, who sits on the family-law bench at the Osceola County Courthouse. Scott appointed her last year.

— Orlando civil-trial defense attorney Dan Gerber, a partner with the law firm of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell. His complex-litigation practice focuses on “toxic tort, class actions, commercial, product liability, and governmental affairs,” according to his official bio.

— C. Alan Lawson, chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal. When he applied for a high-court opening in 2009, Lawson was backed by “religious conservatives and the National Rifle Association,” according to the Tampa Tribune.

The nominating commission is scheduled to interview finalists Nov. 28 and submit six recommended replacements to Scott by Dec. 13.

 

 

Six applications now in for state Supreme Court vacancy

Appellate judge Wendy W. Berger and Circuit Judge Michelle T. Morley are the latest applicants for a seat on the Florida Supreme Court.

That brings to six the number of those who have filed to replace Justice James E.C. Perry, who is retiring at the end of the year.

The latest applications were confirmed by Jason Unger, chair of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.

Berger, a Jacksonville native, was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach in late 2012.

Morley, who sits in Sumter County, was elected to the 5th Judicial Circuit bench in 2006 and re-elected in 2012.

Scott, a Republican, will name Perry’s replacement, making it his first opportunity to pick a state Supreme Court justice.

The seven-member state Supreme Court often splits 5-2 on matters of public policy, with Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston the only reliable conservative votes.

At first blush, Berger has conservative bona fides.

She received her undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University, then served as an assistant state attorney in Northeast Florida’s 7th Judicial Circuit from 1993-2000, according to her official bio.

Berger later was assistant general counsel to then-Gov. Jeb Bush, until he appointed her a circuit judge in 2005.

She and her husband, Larry, live in St. Augustine with their two children.

Morley, a Bronx native, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tampa and her law degree from the Stetson University College of Law, according to her Ballotpedia profile. She practiced family law before becoming a judge.

Her interest in becoming a judge was sparked by her experience as a guardian ad litem, according to a 2006 St. Petersburg Times profile. Guardians represent the interests of children in court proceedings, especially in divorce and juvenile dependency matters.

She represented “a little girl whose parents were killed in a car crash,” the Times story said.

“This was the first time I didn’t really take a side,” Morley told the paper. “I was advocating for this child, and that is when the light bulb went on.”

She said she “prides herself as a good listener who can absorb both sides of a case: ‘I get much more gratification out of being in the middle and doing the right thing and not just what I’m being paid or asked to do.’ “

They join four others in the running to replace Perry:

Roberta J. Bodnar, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Middle District of Florida.

— Circuit Judge Patricia Strowbridge, who sits on the family-law bench at the Osceola County Courthouse. She was appointed a judge by Gov. Rick Scott last year.

— Orlando civil-trial defense attorney Dan Gerber, a partner with the law firm of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell. His complex-litigation practice focuses on “toxic tort, class actions, commercial, product liability, and governmental affairs,” according to his official bio.

— C. Alan Lawson, chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal. When he applied for a high-court opening in 2009, Lawson was backed by “religious conservatives and the National Rifle Association,” according to the Tampa Tribune.

The nominating commission is scheduled to interview finalists Nov. 28 and submit six recommended replacements to Scott by Dec. 13.

Federal prosecutor applies for state Supreme Court

A federal prosecutor has become the fourth applicant for a seat on the Florida Supreme Court.

Roberta J. Bodnar, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Middle District of Florida, filed on Tuesday, according to Jason Unger, chair of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.

Bodnar, who works in Ocala, was admitted to the Florida bar in 1993, the same year she graduated from the University of Florida’s law school.

The Middle District stretches from Fort Myers north through Jacksonville. A. Lee Bentley, III is the current U.S. Attorney for the district.

She has worked a number of prosecutions related to online child pornography.

Bodnar was lead government counsel on a electronic-privacy case that reached the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A panel split 2-1, upholding law enforcement’s search of a mobile phone for pornographic images of children.

Bodnar joins three others for the seat being vacated at the end of the year by retiring Justice James E.C. Perry:

— Circuit Judge Patricia Strowbridge, who sits on the family-law bench at the Osceola County Courthouse. She was appointed a judge by Gov. Rick Scott last year.

— Orlando civil-trial defense attorney Dan Gerber, a partner with the law firm of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell. His complex-litigation practice focuses on “toxic tort, class actions, commercial, product liability, and governmental affairs,” according to his official bio.

— C. Alan Lawson, chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal. When he applied for a high-court opening in 2009, Lawson was backed by “religious conservatives and the National Rifle Association,” according to the Tampa Tribune.

Scott, a Republican, will name Perry’s replacement, making it his first opportunity to pick a state Supreme Court justice.

The seven-member state Supreme Court often splits 5-2 on matters of public policy, with Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston the only reliable conservative votes.

Patricia Strowbridge latest applicant for Supreme Court

Patricia Strowbridge, appointed a trial-court judge by Gov. Rick Scott just last year, has become the third applicant for the upcoming vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court.

Her application was received over the weekend, said Jason Unger, chair of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, on Monday morning.

Strowbridge
Strowbridge

Strowbridge, with a long background in adoption and family law, was named last March to the 9th Judicial Circuit. She sits on the family law bench in the Osceola County Courthouse, according to her official webpage.

The 55-year-old joins Orlando civil-trial defense attorney Dan Gerber and 5th District appellate chief judge C. Alan Lawson as the initial applicants for the seat now held by Justice James E.C. Perry.

Republican Scott will name Perry’s replacement, making it his first opportunity to pick a state Supreme Court justice.

Perry, 72, had announced his retirement effective Dec. 30. He joined the court in March 2009, having been appointed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. Perry and Peggy A. Quince are currently the only black members of the seven-justice court.

Before Scott appointed her to the state judiciary, Strowbridge had been legal services director for A Chosen Child, Inc. since 2014 and was its executive director from 1999-2014, according to a governor’s office press release.

She had previously lost an election for circuit judge to Diana Tennis in 2014.

Strowbridge, a mother of five, was married to Bob Wattles, another 9th Circuit judge, who died of cancer in 2010.

They adopted their oldest daughter as a 12-year-old out of the child-protection system, according to an interview she gave the Orlando Political Observer in 2014.

“I have discernment that allows me to recognize when someone has a frustration boil over that simply requires someone to ‘hear’ them, versus someone that engages in power dynamics that are dangerous to others around them,” she told the website. “Many times, emotions can be diffused simply by respectfully listening to what the person is trying to say.”

Strowbridge also had been the owner of the Adoption, Surrogacy and Family Law Firm, P.A. since 1989, it said. She served on the board of directors of the Florida Adoption Council since 2002.

She has an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Georgetown University.

“Patricia has demonstrated true dedication during her more than two decades of working with Florida families,” Scott said in a statement upon her appointment. “I know she will use her experience to continue serving families honorably.”

The nominating commission is scheduled to interview finalists Nov. 28 and submit six recommended replacements to Scott by Dec. 13.

Second application in for Fla. Supreme Court opening

And then there were two.

Gerber
Gerber

Orlando civil-trial defense attorney Dan Gerber has become the second applicant for an upcoming opening on the Florida Supreme Court.

Jason Unger, chair of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, confirmed the name Monday morning.

The 51-year-old Gerber joins conservative appellate judge C. Alan Lawson as the only applicants so far for the seat now held by Justice James E.C. Perry.

Lawson is chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach. Gerber’s brother, Jonathan D. Gerber, sits on the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach.

Perry, 72, had announced his retirement effective Dec. 30. He joined the court in March 2009, having been appointed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. Perry and Peggy A. Quince are currently the only black members of the seven-justice court.

Both Lawson and Gerber made the short list that year, losing out to Perry for the appointment.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott will name Perry’s replacement, making it his first opportunity to pick a state Supreme Court justice.

Gerber is a partner with the law firm of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell. The National Law Journal named him a “Top 40 under 40” attorney in 2002.

His complex-litigation practice focuses on “toxic tort, class actions, commercial, product liability, and governmental affairs,” according to his official bio.

“In his toxic tort and mass tort practice, Dan represents manufacturers of chemical products in claims alleging injury from chemical exposure,” it says. “Included among his clients are national manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, pesticides, and industrial chemicals as well as pest control companies.”

A profile on the firm’s website explained that Gerber, who once considered “studying biology in a rainforest,” has “the ability to understand the science behind the case.”

“I like to say that I understand (it) well enough to explain it to judges and jurors without boring them or losing them,” Gerber said in the article.

He also was selected by then-Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum “to serve as one of two private attorneys on the State of Florida Legal Advisory Panel in response to the BP oil spill,” the bio says.

Gerber, a baseball fan who’s married with three sons, received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida.

The nominating commission is scheduled to interview finalists on Nov. 28 and submit six recommended replacements to Scott by Dec. 13.

Rick Scott orders flags at half-staff for North Florida deputy

Gov. Rick Scott ordered flags at half-staff on Saturday in honor of Taylor County sheriff’s deputy Michael Scott Williams.

Williams (Taylor Co. S.O.)
Williams (Taylor Co. S.O.)

The order came in a memo to Taylor County Administrator Dustin Hinkle and county Sheriff L.E. “Bummy” Williams.

The governor “direct(ed) the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff” at the Taylor County Courthouse and Sheriff’s Office in Perry, and City Hall in Steinhatchee.

The flags will remain at half-staff from sunrise to sunset this Saturday.

Williams, 46, was killed early Halloween morning “when he rear-ended a logging truck near an intersection … about five miles south of Perry,” according to WCTV6 Tallahassee.

The deputy, who’d been with the department since May 2015, was in his patrol car on the way to work, the station reported.

Rick Scott orders flags at half-staff for Miami officer

Gov. Rick Scott ordered flags at half-staff on Friday in honor of Miami Police Officer Jorge Sanchez.

The order came in a memo to Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, and Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes.

The governor “direct(ed) the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at the City of Miami Police Department, Miami City Hall, and the County Courthouse in Miami-Dade County, from sunrise to sunset.”

Sanchez, a motorcycle officer, was killed Tuesday in a multi-vehicle crash at the intersection of Southwest 8th Street and 137th Avenue, according to Miami’s NBC6.

Sanchez, 53, was a 21-year veteran of the force.

He first served as a patrol officer, then moved to criminal investigations, the station reported. For the last seven years, he was part of the traffic enforcement unit as a motorcycle officer.

Sanchez is survived by three children, his fiancée, and mother. His son, Eric, also is a City of Miami police officer, according to the station.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons