James D’Andrea was sworn in as president and Curry Pajcic recognized as the chapter’s Trial Lawyer of the Year.
The American Board of Trial Advocates Jacksonville Chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary Friday.
More than 130 members and guests gathered at Timuquana Country Club for dinner, awards and installation of officers.
Part of a national organization comprised in equal numbers of plaintiffs’ and defense trial attorneys, there are 100 members in the Jacksonville chapter.
Milton, Leach, Whitman, D’Andrea & Eslinger partner James D’Andrea was sworn in as president by Circuit Judge Tyrie Boyer.
D’Andrea is a board-certified civil trial lawyer who specializes in transportation defense and risk management in railroad, maritime, crew transport and trucking industries.
D’Andrea accepted the gavel from Curry Pajcic of Pajcic & Pajcic, who was recognized as the chapter’s Trial Lawyer of the Year.
Also installed by Boyer were President-elect Corrine Hodak, Treasurer Kristen Van der Linde, Secretary David Dunlap and Brian Currie, historian.
The Jurist of the Year award was presented to Circuit Judge Peter Dearing, who is retiring in January after serving on the bench since he was appointed in 1988.
Robert Cole, national ABOTA board member for Jacksonville and past president of the chapter, received the Joseph P. Milton Civility Award and David Dunlap received the President’s Award.
Membership in ABOTA is by invitation and six attorneys were inducted into the Jacksonville chapter: Fraz Ahmed with Coker Law; Alexis Clay with Peter F. Nunes & Associates-State Farm; Milam Howard Nicandri Gillam & Renner partner Braxton Gillam; Marshall Dennehy Warner Coleman Goggin managing partner James Hanratty; Boyd & Jenerette partner Kristie Schrader and Mitchel Woodlief with Woodlief & Rush.
D’Andrea said the chapter will “pick up where it left off in 2018,” promoting the preservation of the constitutional right to a civil jury trial, defending an independent judiciary and cultivating civility and professionalism in the legal profession.
“That’s what’s most important to us,” he said.