Lewis receives gavel as new Florida chief justice

Published July 1, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - R. Fred Lewis, known as the "education justice," was sworn in Friday as the Florida Supreme Court's 52nd chief justice, a job that rotates among the seven members every two years.

Outgoing Chief Justice Barbara Pariente, who will remain on the bench, passed the gavel to Lewis.

Lewis has made it a practice to visit schools three or four times every month since taking office Jan. 1, 1999. He announced plans to join with the Florida Bar in creating an education program on the courts for Florida schools.

Lewis also announced some other goals, including sensitivity and diversity training for court personnel statewide and the establishment of a task force on judicial evaluations.