Amid calls from the community for more Blacks to serve on the judicial bench, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed Judge Renatha S. Francis to the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial District.
Francis’ promotion follows an initial appointment by Scott to the Miami-Dade County Court back in August 2017. Prior to the appointment, she worked as an attorney, specializing in representing insurance providers in personal injury protection litigation.
She joins Judge Tanya Brinkley and Judge Teretha Lundy to make up the only three Black women of 123 judges currently serving Miami-Dade County, according to the Caribbean Bar Association.
Francis is only the second Black female judge appointed to the Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County. She follows after retired Judge Melvia Green, who was the first Black female judge to be appointed in 1989.
Francis is a native of Jamaica, where she attended the Bridgeport Primary School, St. Hugh’s High School for Girls and the University of the West Indies.
The Caribbean Bar Association says it will remain “hopeful that future jurists continue to be well-qualified, impartial and representative of the community they serve.”
“Judge Francis’ long-awaited promotion holds special importance for the Caribbean Bar Association and the wider Caribbean community, who are currently celebrating June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month,” a statement from the Caribbean Bar Association said. “We are immensely proud of her achievements to date and look forward to her continued service to the South Florida community, which many Caribbean nationals call home.”