Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, of Wellington, chosen for second term


Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, a former Palm Beach County assistant public defender, prosecutor and judge, soon will add another historic mark to his resume.

Labarga, the first Cuban-American chief justice, has been chosen by his six colleagues on the court to serve a second, two-year term, court officials said Friday.

When he begins his new term in July, he’ll be the first chief justice to to serve back-to-back stints since Charles H. DuPont in 1865.

“It is a privilege to serve the people of Florida,” Labarga said. “My second term will continue the work started during the first,” citing his push to expand citizen access to the courts and foster better communication across the court system.

Labarga underwent surgery last year to remove a cancerous kidney. But doctors found the cancer had not spread and Labarga quickly returned to his duties.

The justice lives in Wellington and commutes weekly to Tallahassee.

He served as a cirsuit court judge and then on the 4th District Court of Appeal before being appointed to the Supreme Court in 2009 by then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist.


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