TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) -- Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles T. Wells has notified Gov. Charlie Crist that he will retire from the high court at the close of business March 3.
Wells, 69, has been on the court since being appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles in June 1994 and was the 49th chief justice from July 2000 until June 2002 -- a period that saw the 2000 presidential election case between Republican nominee George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore.
"It has been my great privilege to serve the people of our state since June 1994 as a justice on the Florida Supreme Court," Wells said. "The work has been challenging as well as fascinating. I have reviewed and found reason to have great respect for the diligent work of the judges of Florida's courts and their support staff. I am grateful for all that these Judges have done to support me in my work and for their friendship."
Following the 2000 presidential election cases, Wells helped create
the statewide and local Florida court emergency management plans. The
plans, which are still in use today, have become a model for state
courts around the nation.
Wells was born in Orlando in 1939 and earned both his B.S. and J.D.
from the University of Florida. He practiced law in Orlando and worked
for one year with the U.S. Department of Justice in 1969. He has three
children and six grandchildren with his wife, Linda.