Fla. Justice leaving Court

John O'Brien Apr. 14, 2008, 1:17pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - After nearly six years on the bench, Florida's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice has decided to step down.

Raoul Cantero III, the son of Cuban parents who had escaped the Communist regime by fleeing to Spain, said Friday that he and his family must return to Miami. His resignation is effective Sept. 6.

"During these six years, despite the new friends we have made, my wife, three children and I have missed our hometown," Cantero said. "It is time I put my family's needs first.

My children miss their grandparents, their aunts and uncles, and their cousins. For various reasons, including the ages of my children and recent illnesses, we have decided that now is the right time to return."

Republican Gov. Charlie Crist will now make his first appointment to the Court. Former Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Cantero in 2002.

Cantero said he will be "forever grateful" to Bush, as well as the other justices, the Court's staff, the attorneys who argued in front of him and the people of Florida.

Cantero, 47, received his bachelor's degree from Florida State University and his law degree from Harvard. Before his appointment, he worked for the Miami firm Adorno & Yoss' appellate division.

"I will now return to the practice of law: Crafting briefs and making arguments," Cantero said. "I look forward to the new challenges ahead."

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