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Judge Belvin Perry, presided over Casey Anthony trial, joins private firm

Judge Belvin Perry, who presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial, has decided to join the same private law firm as former Florida Gov. -- and current gubernatorial candidate -- Charlie Crist.
By Gabrielle Levy Follow @gabbilevy Contact the Author   |   Sept. 2, 2014 at 4:46 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The central Florida judge who became famous for presiding over the Casey Anthony trial has retired an joined a private firm.

Chief Judge Belvin Perry stepped down from the Orange-Osceola bench Tuesday and hours later announced he had joined the Morgan & Morgan law firm to fulfill a dream of working as personal injury attorney.

When he announced his retirement in July, Perry initially said he looked forward to golf and rest. But Tuesday, he called himself a "workaholic."

"I have a golden opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do, and that's practice personal injury law," Perry said. "I've always wanted to be that giant that looked out for the little guy, the little guy who happened to be injured who was going, tilting at a gigantic windmill, and wanted to be the voice for the little person."

Perry, 64, presided over the 2011 trial of the young mother accused of murdering her toddler. He says Morgan & Morgan's representation of Zenaida Gonzalez, who is suing Anthony for defamation, won't be a problem.

"Casey Anthony, as far as I'm concerned, is a closed book for me. Period," he said.

Before serving 25 years as a judge, Perry spent several years as a prosecutor.

Firm founder John Morgan called Perry's decision to join his firm "one of the greatest compliments that our law firm has ever had."

"He has seen all the law firms of this town appear before him and other judges and so we're just honored that he chose us to continue his legal career," Morgan said.

Perry won't be the only famous face at Morgan & Morgan. Former Gov. -- and gubernatorial candidate -- Charlie Crist is also part of the firm.

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