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Gov. DeSantis appoints two more judges, notching 100 in first term

The judges will serve in Lake and Pinellas counties.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced two judicial appointments Wednesday evening, raising his judicial appointment tally to 100.

The first-term Governor tapped Emily Curington to the Lake County Court and Brett Szematowicz to the Pinellas County Court.

Currington, who is from Fruitland Park, has served as the Assistant State Attorney for the 5th Circuit since 2002. She also works as an adjunct professor at Lake Sumter State College.

Currington earned a bachelor’s degree from Agnes Scott College and a law degree from T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. She will fill the vacancy created when Judge Cary Rada was elevated to the 5th Circuit Court.

Szematowicz, who is from St. Petersburg, is DeSantis’ 100th appointee. Since 2013, he has been a founding partner of Greater Tampa Law P.L. He also served as an Assistant State Attorney for the 6th Circuit.

Szematowicz earned a bachelor’s degree from the American University and a law degree from South Texas College of Law. He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Myriam Irizarry.

Of the 100 appointments, 46 have been women, according to the Governor’s office, and 13 have been Black. The average age of an appointee is 44 years old.

In May, DeSantis tapped Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Renetha Francis, a Jamaican-born immigrant, and Kobre & Kim lawyer John Couriel to the Florida Supreme Court.

A lawsuit sponsored by Democratic Rep. Geraldine Thompson, however, threatens to derail Francis’s nomination.

The lawsuit claims the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission “exceeded the limits of its authority” by including Francis on a list of nominees. The lawsuit says she fails to meet the minimum requirement of 10 years as a member of the Florida Bar. Francis will not reach the mandated 10 years until Sept. 14.

Pending the lawsuit’s outcome, Francis, who took up law as a second career after operating a bar and trucking company, would be the first Caribbean-American to serve the court.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

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