University of Miami alumni appointed to 11th Judicial Circuit Court

Dean Anthony E. Varona, Ramiro Areces, Gov. Ron DeSantos, and Ayana Harris.

By Catharine Skipp

Dean Anthony E. Varona, Ramiro Areces, Gov. Ron DeSantos, and Ayana Harris.

University of Miami alumni appointed to 11th Judicial Circuit Court

By Catharine Skipp
University of Miami alumni were among a number of new judges named by Gov. Ron DeSantis at a news conference Monday on the Coral Gables campus.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced a spate of judicial appointments at a press conference today at the Kislak Center at the University of Miami.

“Today, I am excited to make seven judicial appointments – three to the 11th Circuit Court of Florida and four to the Miami-Dade County Court,” said DeSantis. “It is imperative that judges understand the importance of their work on the bench, which does not include legislating from the bench. I’m confident that each of these appointees understand the proper role of the courts and will faithfully uphold the rule of law.”

DeSantis named University of Miami School of Law alumnus and Miami-Dade County Court Judge Ramiro Christen Areces, to sit on the Miami-Dade Circuit bench.

Former Governor Rick Scott named Areces to the Miami-Dade County Court in the domestic violence division in May 2018. Before ascending the bench, Areces was a solo practitioner, and previously practiced with Jorden Burt, LLP.

The 36-year-old jurist thanked the governor for the appointment, saying, “I look forward to continuing to serve the community. I am glad that it was [announced] here at UM Law, where I had the opportunity to go to school.”

Areces was one of three county judges elevated to the open circuit seats; DeSantis also named fellow 'Cane, Ayana Harris, to the Miami-Dade County Court. The assistant federal public defender for the Southern District has served in her post since 2008, before which she was a Miami-Dade public defender.

Miami-Dade County Judges Christina DiRaimondo and Robert Watson were also named to the circuit bench.

In addition to Harris, Miami attorney Elizabeth Espinosa, ROIG partner Julie Harris Nelson, and Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Miesha Darrough were named to the Miami-Dade County Court.

DeSantis credited South Florida as a pool of great legal talent, citing his successful appointments of two Miami judges to the Florida Supreme Court justices, who went on to the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia. It was the governor’s second visit to UM to announce judicial appointments and he hazarded a guess that he may be back to UM in the future to announce a Florida Supreme Court Judge from Miami-Dade County.

“One of the most important things we do as a university is to produce great thinkers, researchers, public servants, and community leaders. Today, another Miami Law graduate moves up the judicial ladder to honor that commitment to excellence,” Anthony E. Varona, dean of the School of Law and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law, told the gathering of faculty, students, and media.