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Citizens names retiring Justice Polston new general counsel

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Ricky Polston

Ricky Polston

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s board March 29 unanimously approved the appointment of retiring Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston to become Citizens’ new General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.

“When the stars align, best stay out of the way,” Chair Carlos Beruff said in a statement, “Justice Polston’s accounting, insurance litigation and judiciary experience make him uniquely qualified to lead Citizens legal team as general counsel. We are lucky to have him.”

Appointed to the court in 2008, Polston served as chief justice from 2012 to 2014. During his 15-year tenure, he rendered hundreds of decisions during a period of dramatic change in the Florida real estate, banking and insurance markets. Polston will begin his new duties April 3.

“Justice Polston brings an incredible level of integrity, legal acumen, and insurance expertise to Citizens as we address the challenges and opportunities facing our company and the industry as a whole,” said Tim Cerio, Citizens president/CEO and executive director. “He is a tremendous addition to our leadership team and I’m looking forward to working with him as we move forward.”

A graduate of Chipola College and Florida State University, Polston worked as a certified public accountant before going back to earn his law degree in 1986 from the Florida State University College of Law. He spent the next 14 years in private practice, specializing in commercial litigation before being appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 2001.

In addition to his judicial duties, Polston has been an adjunct professor at the FSU College of Law since 2003, teaching various courses including Insurance Law, Florida Constitutional Law and Florida Alternative Dispute Resolution.

“I’m grateful to the board for their confidence and support,” Polston said. “After a fulfilling career in the Florida judiciary, I’m excited to join CEO Tim Cerio and the strong leadership team at Citizens for this new chapter of my professional life. Citizens is critical to bringing stability to Florida’s insurance market and I can’t wait to get started.”

In 2002, the Florida Legislature created Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a not-for-profit alternative insurer, whose public purpose is to provide insurance to, and serve the needs of, property owners who cannot find coverage in the private insurance market.

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