Fla. one step closer to two new justices

John O'Brien Aug. 14, 2008, 1:00pm

Florida's Supreme Court building

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist can choose the next two state Supreme Court justices from a field of eight that was chosen Thursday.

The state's Supreme Court Nominating Commission narrowed a field of 50 as it gave its recommendations to replace retiring justices Raoul Cantero and Kenneth Bell. Seven of the eight are lower court judges.

Bell's replacement must come from a district in northern Florida. Three candidates apply:

-Ricky Polston, 52, First District Court of Appeals;

-Peter Webster, 59, First District Court of Appeals; and

-Waddell Wallace, 55, Fourth Judicial Circuit.

The other five nominees are:

-Kevin Emas, 50, 11th Judicial Circuit;

-Jorge Labarga, 55, 15th Judicial Circuit;

-Vincent Torpy, 52, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals;

-Charles Canady, 54, Second District Court of Appeals; and

-Edward Guedes, 44, Miami attorney.

Canady is also a former Congressman. Bell's resignation is effective Oct. 1, while Cantero's is Sept. 6.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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