Sylvia Grunor stood out among the second round of candidates interviewed Monday for a vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court by naming as her judicial role model the man she would replace — Justice James E.C. Perry, a member of the court’s liberal wing.

Dan Gerber, a civil-trial defense attorney with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell in Orlando, praised Justice Charles Canady, a member of the court’s conservative minority, as “among the most brilliant attorneys and supreme court justices in the country.”

Brad King, state’s attorney for the 5th Judicial Circuit in Central Florida, praised the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In fact, he said, he’d read Scalia’s book, “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts.”

“As I read it, clearly that’s the way I think things through,” King said of Scalia’s “originalist” approach to judging.

Still, to Grunor, a trial lawyer and partner with Orlando firm Palmer, Weiss, Grunor & Barclay, “Justice Perry had, to me, a good sense of himself.” He is, she said, “a family-first, law and order guy.”

But she also insisted: “I’m looking to interpret the law as it’s written.”

The Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission began interviewing the 11 applicants to replace retiring Perry, who departs the bench Dec. 30.

The nominating panel will forward six names by Dec. 13 to Gov. Rick Scott, who will then name Perry’s replacement.

Scott has said that he wants a justice to follows judicial restraint and is humble.

None within the second round of interviewees has served on the bench before. Grunor said that would “add rather than detract” from her contributions to the high court.

“Being a trial lawyer, you get an idea of what goes on in the courtroom,” she said.

She would approach the work “not with an agenda,” but to apply her

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