White & Case
Raoul G. Cantero

T: + 1 305 995 5290
F: + 1 305 358 5744/5766
Practice Experience
Former Justice Raoul G. Cantero is a partner in the Firm's Commercial Litigation Practice. Mr. Cantero leads the Miami Litigation Practice, in addition to focusing on cross-border disputes relating to Latin America. Since 1995, he has been Board-certified by the Florida Bar in appellate practice. He is also a certified arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. Mr. Cantero's representative clients include QBE Insurance Co., Odebrecht USA, Wells Fargo Bank, The Florida Senate, Honeywell International, Philip Morris USA, Mastec, Inc., Florida Power & Light Co. and the Village of Palmetto Bay.

Appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 2002 by then-Governor Jeb Bush, Mr. Cantero was the first justice of Hispanic descent and one of the youngest ever to sit on the Court. In his six years as a justice, he heard hundreds of appeals and authored well over 100 majority, concurring and dissenting opinions, by definition involving precedent-setting and evolving areas of law. For example, Mr. Cantero authored the Court's opinion invalidating the gaming compact executed by Governor Charlie Crist with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and its unanimous opinion holding that the waiver of the Florida homestead exemption in an unsecured agreement is unenforceable. Mr. Cantero was also the sole dissenter in a decision of the Court holding that under the Federal Arbitration Act, a party may avoid arbitration by arguing that the contract in which the arbitration clause is contained is illegal — a decision the United States Supreme Court later reversed, thus adopting Mr. Cantero's position.

Mr. Cantero chaired the Florida Supreme Court's Commission on Professionalism for six years. He also has been an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law.

Before his appointment, Mr. Cantero was in private practice for 14 years in South Florida, specializing in civil and criminal appeals, during which he handled more than 300 appeals and more than 150 oral arguments in all five District Courts of Appeal of Florida, the Florida Supreme Court and several US Courts of Appeals. He also chaired the City of Coral Gables Planning and Zoning Board for four years. After graduating from law school, he served for one year as law clerk to United States District Judge Edward B. Davis in Miami, Florida. He was also a Fulbright Scholar.

In 2007, Mr. Cantero was honored by the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA) with the creation of an endowment in his name. The Justice Raoul G. Cantero, III Diversity Enhancement Scholarship at Florida State University was created to financially assist those who share in CABA's mission to promote equality of its members and increase diversity in the judiciary and in the legal community.

In addition to his litigation responsibilities, Mr. Cantero serves as the Chair of the Firm's Global Diversity Committee.

Representative Appeals as counsel
North Carillon, LLC v. CRC 603, LLC, et al., 135 So. 3d 274 (Fla. 2014)
Florida Power & Light Co. v. Hayes, 122 So. 3d 408 (Fla. 2013)
Odebrecht Construction, Inc. v. Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation, 715 F 3d 1268 (11th Cir. 2013)
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy v. Graham, 113 So. 3d 742 (Fla. 2013)
Scott v. Williams, 107 So. 3d 379 (Fla. 2013)
Chalfonte v. QBE Ins. Co., 94 So.3d 541 (Fla. 2012)
In re Legis. Reapportionment, 89 So.3d 872 (Fla. 2012)
Florida Gaming Centers v. DBPR, 71 So. 3d 226 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011)
Austin Building Co. v. Rago, Ltd., 63 So.3d 31 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011)
General Star Indemn. v. Atlantic Hosp., 57 So.3d 238 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011)
Buckley Towers. v. QBE Ins. Co., 2010 WL 3551609 (11th Cir. 2010)
Penzer v. Transportation Ins. Co., 29 So. 3d 1000 (Fla. 2010)
Honeywell Intern., Inc. v. Guilder, 23 So. 3d 867 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009)
Nack Holding LLC v. Kalb, 13 So. 3d 92 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009)
MCI Express v. Ford Motor Co., 832 So. 2d 795 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002)
Tejada v. In re Forfeiture, 820 So. 2d 385 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002)
Coca-Cola v. Hagan, 813 So. 2d 167 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002)
Weber v. Bonilla-Mathe, 807 So. 2d 170 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002)
Verizon Florida, Inc. v. Jacobs, 810 So. 2d 906 (Fla. 2002)
Hagan v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 804 So. 2d 1234 (Fla. 2001)
Stensby v. Effjohn OY AB, 806 So. 2d 542 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001)
Sachs v. Innovative Healthcare, 799 So. 2d 355 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001)
Rigal v. Levine, Busch, 796 So. 2d 637 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001)
Ocean Bank v. Save Import, 797 So. 2d 609 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001)
Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Cons. Serv. v. Miami-Dade County, 790 So. 2d 555 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001)
Infinity Radio Inc. v. Whitby, 780 So. 2d 248 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001)
USG&G v. Ziegler, 771 So. 2d 1284 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000)
GTC, Inc. v. Garcia, 791 So. 2d 452 (Fla. 2000)
Sunshine Bottling v. Tropicana, 757 So. 2d 1231 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000)
Otero v. The Midland Life., 753 So. 2d 579 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999)
USF&G v. Romay, 744 So. 2d 467 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999)
American Reliance v. Kiet Invs., 703 So. 2d 1190 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997)
Garcia v. Reyes, 698 So. 2d 257 (Fla. 1997)
Elkins v. Syken, 672 So. 2d 517 (Fla. 1996)
Acosta v. Richter, 671 So. 2d 149 (Fla. 1996)
Kinney System, Inc. v. Continental Ins. Co., 674 So. 2d 86 (Fla. 1996)

Representative Opinions as justice - Majority
Old Port Cove Holdings v Old Port Cove Condominiums, 986 So.2d 1279 (Fla. 2008)
Florida House of Rep. v. Crist, 999 So. 2d 601 (Fla. 2008)
Chames v. DeMayo,972 So. 2d 850 (Fla. 2007)
Garcia v. Federal Ins. Co, 969 So. 2d 288 (Fla. 2007)
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Roach, 945 So. 2d 1160 (Fla. 2006)
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Nichols, 923 So. 2d 1067 (Fla. 2006)
Taurus Holdings, Inc. v. USF&G, 913 So. 2d 528 (Fla. 2005)
Rotemi Realty, Inc. v. Act Realty Co., 911 So. 2d 1181 (Fla. 2005)
Boca Burger, Inc. v. Forum, 912 So. 2d 561 (Fla. 2005)
Lashkajani v. Lashkajani, 911 So. 2d 1154 (Fla. 2005)
Cowan Liebowitz & Latman, P.C. v. Kaplan, 902 So. 2d 755 (Fla. 2005)
W. Fla. Elec. Coop. Ass'n v. Jacobs, 887 So. 2d 1200 (Fla. 2004)
Aramark Uniform & Career Apparel v. Easton, 894 So. 2d 20 (Fla. 2004)
St. Joe Corp. v. McIver, 875 So. 2d 375 (Fla. 2004)
Nehme v. Smithkline Beecham Clinical Labs., Inc., 863 So. 2d 201 (Fla. 2003)

Representative Opinions - Concurring
Betts v. Fastfunding The Company, Inc., 950 So. 2d 379 (Fla. 2006)
Gulfstream Park Racing Ass'n v. Tampa Bay Downs, Inc., 948 So. 2d 599 (Fla. 2006)
Am. Home Assur. Co. v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., 908 So. 2d 459 (Fla. 2005)
Indem. Ins. Co. of N. Am. v. Am. Aviation, Inc., 891 So. 2d 532 (Fla. 2004)
Knowles v. Beverly Enterprises-Florida, Inc., 898 So. 2d 1 (Fla. 2004)

Representative Opinions as justice – Concurring in Part and Dissenting in Part
Florida Department of Corrections v. Abril, 969 So. 2d 201 (Fla. 2007)
McKenzie Check Advance of Fla., L.L.C. v. Betts, 928 So. 2d 1204 (Fla. 2006)
Am. Home Assur. Co. v. Plaza Materials Corp., 908 So. 2d 360 (Fla. 2005)
Sullivan v. Sapp, 866 So. 2d 28 (Fla. 2004)

Representative Opinions as justice– Dissenting
Sanders v. City of Orlando, 33 Fla. L. Weekly S707 (Sept. 25, 2008)
Massey v. David, 979 So. 2d 931 (Fla. 2008)
Marsh v. Valyou, 977 So. 2d 543 (Fla. 2007)
Willis v. Gami Golden Glades, LLC, 967 So. 2d 846 (Fla. 2007)
American Wall Systems, Inc. v. Madison Intern. Group, Inc., 944 So. 2d 172 (Fla. 2006)
Ryan v. Lobo de Gonzalez, 921 So. 2d 572 (Fla. 2005)
Jones v. Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass'n, 908 So. 2d 435 (Fla. 2005)
Cardegna v. Buckeye Check Cashing, Inc.,894 So. 2d 860 (Fla. 2005), reversed, 126 S. Ct. 1204 (2006)
Berges v. Infinity Ins. Co., 896 So. 2d 665 (Fla. 2004)

Bars and Courts
US District Court for the Northern District of Florida, 2014
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2010
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2009
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1997
Board Certified in Appellate Practice, 1995
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1993
US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1992
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1991
US Supreme Court, 1989
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 1989
US District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, 1988
Florida Supreme Court, 1986
Florida State Bar, 1986

JD, Harvard University, cum laude, 1985
BA, Florida State University, summa cum laude, Phi Betta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Fred L. Stanley Award for Excellence in English, Marion L. Hay Award for Academic Excellence, 1982

Professional Associations and Memberships
Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section (Vice-Chair, 2008–09; Chair, 2010–11)
Dade County Bar Association
Cuban American Bar Association
American Arbitration Association
Miami International Arbitration Society (Board of Directors)
Member, Diversity Law Institute
Member, The Trial Law Institute

Awards and Recognition
2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree, Daily Business Review
Order of Certus
, Litigation Counsel of America
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyer, Winner, Appellate Law, 2012
Chambers USA—Band 1 Florida Appellate Litigation, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 
Benchmark Litigation, Eleventh Circuit Litigation Star (Florida Appellate), 2013
Benchmark Litigation, Local Commercial Litigation Star, 2012, 2013
Florida Legal Elite (Appellate Practice), Florida Trend, 2011, 2012
Board-Certified by the Florida Bar in Appellate Practice since 1995 
The Best Lawyers in America, 2011–2013
Inducted into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, 2010
Hispanic Business Magazine top hundred Most Influential Hispanics, 2003, 2008
Primum Regnum Dei Award (Archdiocese of Miami), 2008
Federalist Society of Florida Judiciary Award, 2008
Florida Bar William Hoeveler Professionalism Award, 2008
Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section James Adkins Award, 2008
Nova Southeastern Law School Honorary Degree, 2006
Dade County Bar Association Legal Ethics Award, 2005
Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences Graduate of Distinction Award, 2002
Fulbright Scholarship, 1987

"Three Simple Ways to Improve your Briefs," Florida Bar Journal, February 2011
"What I Learned from My Fiction Writing Professor, Part II," The Record, Winter 2011
"What I Learned from My Fiction Writing Professor, Part I," The Record, Fall 2010
"The Carrot and Stick Approach to Professionalism," The Professional, Summer 2008
"Certifying Questions to the Florida Supreme Court — What's So Important?", Florida Bar Journal (originally published in The Record, a journal of the Florida Bar's Appellate Practice Section), May 2002
"Changes to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure," Florida Bar Journal, December 1997
"Discovery from Medical Experts: How Much is Too Much?", 16 Trial Advocate Quarterly 1, Winter 1997
"Nonfinal Review of Insurance Coverage Issues: Wading Through the Quagmire", Florida Bar Journal, October 1995

Speaking Engagements
"Florida's adoption of the UNCITRAL model rules," International Law Section of the Florida Bar, June 25, 2010
"Discretionary Jurisdiction in the Florida Supreme Court," Appellate Practice Section Telephone Seminar, May 18, 2010
"Effective Advocacy in State Supreme Courts," Heritage Foundation, April 21, 2010
"Fundamentals of Briefing and Oral Argument," Cuban American Bar Ass'n, June 17, 2009
"Diversity and Access to Justice:  Perspectives from the Bench and Bar," Hispanic National Bar Association, March 7, 2009
"Opinion Writing," Florida Court Law Clerks, by video conference to 34 locations, June 24, 2008
"Practicing before the Florida Supreme Court," Florida Bar Government Lawyers Section, Tallahassee, FL, June 12, 2008
"The Importance of Judicial Independence," World Justice Project Rule of Law Conference, Miami, FL, May 13, 2008
"The Obligations of Young lawyers and the Importance of Leadership Roles," Palm Beach County Bar Association Leadership Seminar, West Palm Beach, FL, April 25, 2008
"Preparing for Oral Argument," Justice Teaching Institute, Tallahassee, FL, April 21, 2008
"Opinion Writing," New Appellate Judges College, Orlando, FL, March 3, 2008
"Elections vs. Merit Retention," Federalist Society's State Supreme Courts Luncheon, Washington, DC, November 16, 2007
"Florida Supreme Court Jurisdiction," Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, Tallahassee, FL, May 18, 2007
"Judicial Independence," Highland County Law Day, Sebring, FL, April 30, 2007
"Arbitration from the Judicial Perspective," International Center for Dispute Resolution / AAA, Arbitration in America Seminar, Coral Gables, FL, February 23, 2007
"The Schiavo Case and Judicial Restraint," Coral Gables Rotary Club, Coral Gables, FL, July 6, 2006
"Principles of Appellate Practice," Florida State University School of Law Moot Court Team Banquet, Tallahassee, FL, April 19, 2006
"Operation and Jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme Court," Florida Supreme Court Interns, Tallahassee, FL, October 5, 2005
Florida State University Commencement Ceremony, Tallahassee, FL, April 30, 2005
"Judicial Review, Accountability, Decision-Making," Judicial Institute of Business Leaders, Tallahassee, FL, January 13, 2005
Florida State University College of Law Commencement Ceremony, Tallahassee, FL, December 13, 2003
"Discretionary Jurisdiction in Florida Supreme Court," Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Miami, FL, November 14, 2003
"The Lawyer as Story Teller," Florida Bar Convention Seminar on Writing, Orlando, FL, June 26, 2003
Salute to Education Ceremony, Miami, FL, May 29, 2003
Miami-Dade Community College South Campus Commencement Ceremony, Miami, FL, May 3, 2003
"Florida Supreme Court's Jurisdiction Over Certified Questions of Great Public Importance," Florida Bar Local Government Lawyers Section, Orlando, FL, February 24, 2003


United States