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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Three picked to nominate S. Court justices



Katherine W. Ezell, Martin L. Garcia and Kathleen Shanahan, former chief of staff to Jeb Bush, were named today to the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, giving them a voice in the extraordinary decisions facing Gov. Charlie Crist with four justices to step down by March.

Details below.

Kathy W. Ezell, 61, of Coral Gables , is an attorney and partner with Podhurst Orseck P.A. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from Stetson University .  She previously served on the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit and was elected chair of the commission in 2000.  She is active in Florida Bar activities including: the Cuban American Bar Association; the Florida Association of Women Lawyers; and the American Trial Lawyers Association.  Ezell has also been active in her community as a member of the Girls Advocacy Project and the Foster Care Review Board.  She succeeds Diana Santa Maria and is appointed for a term beginning July 1, 2008 , and ending June 30, 2012 .

“Kathy has a passion for nominating individuals of the highest quality and integrity,” said Governor Crist.  “As a trial lawyer for over 25 years she has observed and interacted with the judiciary at every level.  Her experience will serve the Commission and the people of Florida well.”

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Martin L. Garcia, 52, of Tampa , is an attorney with Hill Ward & Henderson P.A. and founder of Pinehill Capital Partners Inc.  He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of South Florida and is a graduate of the Wake Forest University College of Law.  He has served on the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar, is a member of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, and has served as president of the Tampa Bay and Florida Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  Garcia is a recipient of the Michael Fogarty Pro Bono Service “In The Trenches” Award and the Florida Bar Association’s President’s Award of Merit.  He succeeds Basil Bain, and is appointed for a term beginning July 1, 2008 , and ending June 30, 2012 .

“Martin’s experience running a successful business, combined with his years in private practice give him a balanced perspective on Florida ’s civil justice system,” said Governor Crist.  “His strong character and reputation for professionalism in the legal community give me great confidence that he will nominate well-qualified individuals of the highest integrity for appointment to the Supreme Court.”

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Kathleen M. Shanahan, 49, of Tampa , is chief executive officer of WRScompass.  She received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry in 1981 from the University of California San Diego and a master’s degree in business administration from New York University in 1999.  Shanahan served as Chief of Staff to Governor Jeb Bush from 2001 until 2003.  She succeeds Tina Matte, and is appointed for a term beginning July 1, 2008 , and ending June 30, 2012.

“Kathleen has shown a strong commitment to public service through her involvement with the Board of Education and work in the public sector,” said Governor Crist.  “She understands the value of separation of powers between the three branches of government and respects the role the judiciary plays in the lives of all Floridians.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:24am]


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