By: WCTV Eyewitness News
January 9, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed Florida Third District Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Lagoa to the state's Supreme Court.
Lagoa, who will replace retiring Justice R. Fred Lewis, is the first Hispanic woman in history to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.
In a press release sent Wednesday, Governor DeSantis said, "Justice Lagoa’s proven commitment to upholding the rule of law, unparalleled legal career and vast experience on the appellate bench distinguish her among the most qualified individuals to serve on our state's highest court. It is my pleasure and my privilege to appoint Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court with full confidence she will serve our state with the utmost integrity."
Lagoa's appointment is effective immediately.
Below is additional information from Gov. DeSantis' office on Justice Lagoa's background:
Justice Lagoa is a Cuban-American from Hialeah, Florida, where her parents instilled in her an appreciation of the freedoms enjoyed in the United States. Justice Lagoa is the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.
First appointed to the Third District Court of Appeals by Governor Jeb Bush in 2006, Justice Lagoa was the first Cuban American woman to serve on the Third District Court of Appeals. As an appellate court judge, she has more experience than any of the other nominees put forward by the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.
Justice Lagoa graduated from Florida International University with honors in 1989 and from Columbia University School of Law in 1992, where she served as an editor to the prestigious Columbia Law Review. Justice Lagoa worked at numerous prominent law firms in Miami, including Greenberg Traurig and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Justice Lagoa has received numerous awards, including the “Outstanding Women of Color” award from the Black Law Student Association and the Caribbean Law Student Association at St. Thomas Law School. The award was presented for her outstanding contributions as a sitting judge on the Third DCA.
In 2003, Barbara joined the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in Miami as an Assistant United States Attorney, where she worked until her appointment to the bench in 2006. Over her 12 years on the appellate bench, Justice Lagoa has heard more than 11,000 cases and issued more than 470 written opinions.