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Florida Court Launches First Podcast

Florida Supreme Court

The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Orlando is launching a podcast to help connect Florida courts to the community. "Open Ninth" is the first one put on by Florida state courts.

For its premiere episode, Chief Judge Frederick Lauten of the Ninth Circuit, sits down with Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga.

On the podcast, he talks about his journey from Havana to his nomination at the Florida Supreme Court by Former Governor Charlie Crist.

"He waited until the last possible day that he could appoint me, according to the statue, the rules," Labarga says. "And so I get the call Thursday, Jan. 1. Monday I was sitting on the Florida Supreme Court."

The justice says his father–who was involved in the Cuban Revolution–helped motivate him to succeed when his family moved to South Florida.

“He said something I found to be very profound," Labarga says. "He said American people are really good people by nature. They’re fair-minded people. And if you’re willing to work hard and you’re honest, they’ll give you every opportunity.

"So I always tell people ... I know I work very hard, and I like to think I’m honest. And here I am, his prophecy came true.”

Labarga is the first Cuban-American chief justice and the only chief justice reelected for a second term since 1865.

The podcast is available on iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo and at ninthcircuit.org.