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Jax Daily Record Monday, Mar. 21, 202204:50 AM EST

Gerald B. Tjoflat Courtroom dedicated in Jacksonville

The designation recognizes the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals senior judge’s 52-year career on the federal bench.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Senior Circuit Judge for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Gerald Bard Tjoflat will be permanently remembered at the federal courthouse in Jacksonville.

In a ceremony March 8, the appellate courtroom at the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse was named in Tjoflat’s honor to recognize his nearly 52 years of service on the federal bench.

After he was drafted into service in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, Tjoflat, 92, graduated from Duke University Law School, where he is an honorary life member of the Duke Law School Board of Visitors.

After graduation, Tjoflat and his late wife, Sarah, moved to Jacksonville in 1957. After 10 years in private practice, he was appointed by former Gov. Claude Kirk to an unexpired term on the bench in the 4th Judicial Circuit.

In 1970, Congress created a new federal judgeship in Jacksonville. President Richard Nixon nominated Tjoflat to the seat.

President Gerald Ford appointed Tjoflat to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1975, on which he served until 1981 when he was reassigned to the newly created 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tjoflat was chief judge of the 11th Circuit from 1989 to 1996.

During his time as a district judge, Tjoflat presided over notable cases, including Mims v. Duval County School Board, the landmark 1971 civil rights case that resulted in desegregation of public schools in Jacksonville.

From 1973 to 1987, Tjoflat was a member and later chair of the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on the Administration of the Probation System, testifying to Congress several times about issues of crime and punishment. He also was a member from 1975 to 1987 of the Advisory Correction Council of the United States that oversaw the federal prison system.

While chief judge of the 11th Circuit, Tjoflat guided the court through its turmoil after the assassination of 11th Circuit Judge Robert Vance in December 1989 and subsequent mailing of pipe bombs to three locations in the Southeast, including the 11th Circuit clerk’s office in Atlanta.

Tjoflat also was actively involved in the approval and construction of Jacksonville’s federal courthouse at 300 N. Hogan St. Downtown.

After the naming ceremony, Tjoflat, along with 11th Circuit Judges Barbara Lagoa and Andrew Brasher, heard the first oral arguments held in the Gerald B. Tjoflat Courtroom.

Photo provided by U.S. District Court/Edward Fernandez

From left, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Pryor Jr.; Senior 11th Circuit Judge Susan Black; Senior 11th Circuit Judge Gerald Tjoflat; U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Chief Judge Timothy Corrigan; and 11th Circuit Judge Andrew Brasher outside the newly named Gerald B. Tjoflat Courtroom.

Boyd & Jenerette adds partner

Boyd & Jenerette added attorney Karin Oko as a partner in the law firm’s Jacksonville office.

Karin Oko

Her practice focuses on civil litigation with emphasis on the defense of cases involving first-party property claims.

Oko has more than 17 years of experience in trial advocacy and commercial and general civil litigation representing clients in federal and state courts.


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