Barbara Lagoa was born in Miami, Florida in 1967. She received her B.A. cum laude in 1989 from Florida International University where she majored in English and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Judge Lagoa received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University in 1992, where she served as an Associate Editor of the Columbia Law Review. Judge Lagoa is fluent in English and Spanish.
The first Cuban American woman to serve on the Court, Judge Lagoa was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in June, 2006 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Levy. While a practicing lawyer, she was admitted to practice by the Florida Bar, the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She was also a member of many local, state, and national professional groups including the Dade County and American Bar Associations.
Prior to joining the bench, Judge Lagoa practiced in both the civil and criminal arenas. Her civil practice focused on general and complex commercial litigation, particularly the areas of employment discrimination, business torts, securities litigation, construction litigation, and insurance coverage disputes. In 2003, she joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida as an Assistant United States Attorney, where she worked in the Civil, Major Crimes and Appellate Sections. As an Assistant United States Attorney, she tried numerous criminal jury trials, including drug conspiracies and Hobbs Act violations. She also handled a significant number of appeals.
Judge Lagoa’s civic and community activities include service on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greater Miami and Dade County, the Film Society of Miami, Kristi House, and the FIU Alumni Association. She was also a member of the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. She is currently a member of the Eugene P. Spellman and William Hoeveler Chapter of the American Inns of Court, the Junior League of Miami, and Fairchild Tropical Gardens.
Judge Lagoa is married to Paul C. Huck, Jr., an attorney. They have three children.