When the Third District Court of Appeal was created by the Florida legislature in 1957, the bench was comprised solely of Chief Judge Charles A. Carroll, Judge Mallory H. Horton and Judge Tillman Pearson.  This photograph of the Court’s first three judges was taken on July 1, 1957, which was the first day the Court convened.  From 1957 through 1960, Court was held in a room at the University of Miami School of Law.  This photograph of Judge Tillman Pearson, Chief Judge Mallory H. Horton, and Charles A. Carroll was taken on July 1, 1959. From 1960 to 1976, arguments before the Third District Court of Appeal took place at a downtown Miami state office building located at 1350 N.W. 12th Avenue.  This photograph was taken in that building on July 1, 1965.  During this period, the number of judges on the court increased from three to five.
Beginning in 1976, the Court heard arguments at its present location at 2001 S.W. 117th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33175.  This photograph was taken there on January 4, 1977. This photograph of the Court was taken on March 3, 1981.  It includes Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., who was the first African-American to serve on the Court.  He served from 1980 until 1993 when President Clinton nominated him to the federal bench.  It also includes Judge Natalie Baskin, the Court’s first female judge.  She served from 1980 until she passed away in 1996. This photograph of the Court was taken on May 11, 1990.  It includes Judge Mario P. Goderich, who was not only the first Latin-American to serve on the Court, but also the first to sit on any court of appeal in the United States.  Judge Goderich, who served from 1990-2005, was born in Cuba.
The Court’s first all-female oral argument panel presided on February 16, 2005.  This historic panel was comprised of Judges Linda A. Wells, Melvia B. Green, and Leslie B. Rothenberg.  Judge Green was the Court’s first African-American female judge.  She served on the Court from 1994 until 2008. The Court’s first all-Hispanic oral argument panel presided on October 3, 2005 and was comprised of Judges Richard J. Suarez, Juan Ramirez, Jr., and Angel A. Cortiñas. Judge Barbara Lagoa became the Court’s first Hispanic female judge when she was appointed in June 2006.