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Third District Court of Appeal Judge Linda Ann Wells, who served as the court's first female chief judge, will retire March 31.

Wells was appointed to the appellate court by then-Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003 after serving as counsel to the Florida Department of Children & Families. She began her legal career in private practice at Fine Jacobson Schwartz Nash Block & England, later moving to Holland & Knight and Russo, Wells & Associates.

The judge is both a Gator and a Seminole, earning her bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in 1969 and her law degree from Florida State University in 1977.

Wells is the second judge on the court to reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 this year. Third DCA Judge Frank Shepherd, also a 2003 Bush appointee, retired Jan. 3. Six nominees for his seat were sent to Gov. Rick Scott in December.

Scott has not yet directed the Third DCA Judicial Nominating Commission to start seeking applicants for Wells' seat, JNC chair Raquel Rodriguez said Wednesday.

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