Wife, Sue; daughter, Carol Lahey; and twin sons, Andrew and Allan.
Pets: Australian shepherds, Bessie and Rosie; spotted donkeys, Jennie, Flo, Hillary and Honey Bunny.
Education: Undergraduate (journalism) and law, University of Florida.
Admitted to the Bar: November 1967
Employed by: Bedell, Dittmar, DeVault, Pillans & Coxe, P.A.
Field of practice: Business and commercial litigation, legal malpractice defense.
Professional organizations: The Florida Bar (president 1995-96). The Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar (president 1988-89). American Bar Association (house of delegates 1994-2000). International Society of Barristers, American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers and Chester Bedell Inn of Court, founding master.
Community involvement: Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, board member and past president
How did you get involved?
Early in my career I volunteered, along with several friends, to screen clients on Thursday evenings at the Legal Aid Office at Avenue B. Later, Circuit Judge Major Harding called and asked me to serve on the board. I served as president when we acquired the old chamber building on Hogan Street, where Legal Aid was located for many years before moving to its current location on Adams Street.
How can someone else get involved?
Volunteer at Legal Aid to take cases in areas outside your normal practice area. You will benefit from learning a new area of the law, and along the way you will assist someone who needs, and will really appreciate, your help.
What have you learned/achieved through the experience?
Representing someone who could not afford your services to challenge a landlord, a business or an employer who has wronged them will provide great satisfaction to you and make you feel like the lawyers we fantasized about in law school.
What was the last book you read or are reading?
"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand and "Devil in the Grove" by Gilbert King about Thurgood Marshall. Having argued before him, it was a real pleasure to read about him as a lawyer.