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11 apply for Florida Supreme Court

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at [email protected]

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