5 Things To Know About Florida’s First Caribbean Born Supreme Court Judge

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Judge Renatha Francis is the first Caribbean born judge on the Florida Supreme Court.
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News Americas, MIAMI, Florida, Fri. May 29, 2020: Florida Governor Ron De Santis on Tuesday made history by naming the first Caribbean national to sit on the state supreme court in the state. Here are 5 things you should know about this judge.

1: She is Palm Beach County Judge Renatha Francis who was born in Jamaica and previously served as a Miami-Dade County judge.

2: She was born in Kingston, Jamaica and grew up in Portmore and attended the St Hugh’s High School. Before moving to Florida in 2004, she operated two businesses in Jamaica – a bar and a trucking company.

3: Judge Francis, 43, is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and a law degree from Florida Coastal Law School in 2010. She was admitted to The Florida Bar in September that year, which adds another aspect to her appointment. Under Florida law, appellate court judges must have been licensed to practice law for at least 10 years, so Francis can’t be immediately sworn in to her new post until September when she’ll be constitutionally qualified.

4: She began her career as a staff attorney and law clerk in the state 1st District Court of Appeals. Francis also worked in private practice with Shutts & Bowen in Miami when she was appointed in 2017 to the Miami-Dade County Court by former Gov. Rick Scott. A year later, DeSantis elevated Francis to the 15th Circuit Court in Palm Beach County.

5: She is the mother of two, the youngest being a month-old boy. “I am truly the epitome of the American Dream,” Francis said at a press conference at the Miami-Dade Public Library, where Governor DeSantis announced her appointment to the Supreme Court.

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