MANATEE -- Circuit Judge Diana Moreland is going to Tallahassee.
Moreland, 53, will be there to meet with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, possibly making her one interview away from her dream job. She is one of four finalists in contention for two available seats in the Second District Court of Appeals.
"Now I'm just anxious," Moreland said as she busied herself preparing for her interview with the governor. "I keep reading cases, trying to make sure I familiarize myself with everything that has come out of the Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court."
Not knowing what area of the law she will be questioned on, Moreland wants to be ready.
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"I try to digest everything I can get," she added.
Moreland was one of 11 judges nominated by the Second District Court of Appeals Judicial Nominating Commission in October to vie for two available seats on the Second District Court of Appeals. The eleven were interviewed by the office of the governor's general counsel and four were chosen as finalists.
Twenty candidates were chosen from 33 application for the initial interview process.
"It's a very interesting process," Moreland said. "But the topics are mixed that they can ask you about."
This is Moreland's second attempt at a DCA appointment. In 2012, she applied and rose to the top three candidates meeting with Scott.
At 6 p.m. Monday, she will get her second chance to sit down with the governor.
"Gov. Scott, the last time I was up, asked so many questions," she said. "He was very invested in the process."
After more than 20 years in private practice, following a stint at the public defender's office, Moreland has served on the circuit court bench since 2005.
Judicial life involves earning the respect of the citizens you serve, Moreland has previously said, while working at career goals. If appointed, it would be her ultimate goal.
It is unsure how quick Scott will make a decision and his office could choose to do additional vetting after the interviews, she said.
"The first time I was shocked about how many people they actually call," she said. "So, nothing surprises me this time."
Based in Lakeland, the Second District Court of Appeals in Lakeland serves more than 3.8 million residents in Pasco, Pinellas, Hardee, Highlands, Polk, DeSoto, Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Charlotte, Glades, Collier, Hendry and Lee counties.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.