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Jax Daily Record Monday, Sep. 30, 201905:20 AM EST

Bar and bench support Jacksonville Area Legal Aid

Pro bono service recognized at annual awards ceremony.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Above Photo: The 2019 Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Kathy Para Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award recipients, from left, Thomas Ross, Daniel Nunn, Robert Ellis, Angela Michelle Viltro, Richard Stockton, James Poindexter, Logan McEwen, Anne Marie Gennusa, Tad Delegal III and Brandon Beardsley. Not pictured: Jeffrey Haynie.

September was a busy month for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, with the annual Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Awards on Sept. 18 and the Sept. 13 opening night performance of Theatre Jacksonville’s production of “Twelve Angry Men” benefiting JALA, the largest civil legal aid provider in Northeast Florida.

From left, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid CEO and President Jim Kowalski, attorneys James Poindexter and Tad Delegal and JALA Pro Bono Director Missy Davenport at the premiere of “Twelve Angry Men” at Theatre Jacksonville.

Retired 4th Circuit Judge Hugh Carithers received the Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Award.

Carithers, who was administrative judge of the Family Division, also was chair of the circuit’s Pro Bono Committee.

“Because of Judge Carithers’ efforts, more low-income residents of our community have had their voices heard in court and had advocates by their sides,” said Kathy Para, the former JALA pro bono director who served at legal aid during Carithers’ term on the bench before she retired.

In addition, 11 attorneys were recognized for pro bono service, each receiving the Kathy Para Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award.

Retired 4th Circuit Judge Hugh Carithers, left, accepted Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s 2019 Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Award from Circuit Judge Jack Schemer.

Many of this year’s recipients were volunteer attorneys at JALA’s Eviction Self Defense Clinic, counseling people who had disputes with their landlords, said JALA Pro Bono Director Missy Davenport.

The Delegal & Poindexter law firm is the sponsor for Theatre Jacksonville’s production of “Twelve Angry Men,” on stage at Theatre Jacksonville in San Marco through Sunday.

The firm donated the box office receipts from the opening night performance – more than $2,000 – to Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

“We invited the community to help support JALA,” said partner James Poindexter, a member of Theatre Jacksonville’s board of directors.

Visit to learn more about civil legal aid services available in Clay, Duval and St. Johns counties.

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