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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jan. 2, 202005:10 AM EST

The Marbut Report: Cecile Evans Rider comes home to Rogers Towers

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Rider is the granddaughter and namesake of Cecil Bailey, whose name was once on the door of the law firm.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Attorney Cecile Evans Rider said when she returned in November to the Rogers Towers law firm, it brought back memories and it “felt like coming home.”

Rider is the granddaughter and namesake of Cecil Bailey, who was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1927.

In 1941, 36 years after Toomer & Reynolds, predecessor to Rogers Towers, was established, Bailey joined and the name on the door changed to Rogers Towers and Bailey.

Rider, who grew up in Melbourne, said she remembers visiting her grandfather at the law firm long before she enrolled in Stetson University College of Law, Cecil Bailey’s alma mater.

“When we came to Jacksonville, it was like going to the big city. We’d go to where my grandfather worked at the Gulf Life Building, and I ran up and down the halls at his office,” Rider said.

Cecil Bailey was president of the Jacksonville Bar Association in 1943-44. He had an office at the firm until his death in 1992.

“That was when named partners got to stay as long as they wanted to,” Rider said.

None of Cecil Bailey’s children became lawyers and Rider said she’s the only grandchild who went to law school.

“I was maybe his last hope,” she said.

After graduating from law school and being admitted to The Florida Bar in 1981, she joined the firm, then Rogers Towers Bailey Jones & Gay.

Rider left the firm in 2004 to begin five years as general counsel of her family’s real estate business in Brevard County.

Then, after a period of what Rider calls “semiretirement,” she reached out to Rogers Towers to rejoin the firm, and was welcomed back in November.

Her daughter, Bailey Rider, is enrolled at Florida State University College of Law and is treasurer of FSU’s Trial Team.

Cecile Rider said Cecil Bailey’s great-granddaughter probably won’t practice real estate law like her mother when she’s admitted to the Bar, after working while in law school at the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s office and for 4th Circuit Judge Tatiana Salvador.

“She wants to be a trial lawyer, but she ran the halls at Rogers Towers when she was a little girl just like I did,” Rider said.

Bar foundation pays off loan early

The Florida Bar Foundation in December paid off its $6 million loan from The Florida Bar 22 months early.

The loan, approved by the Bar’s board of governors in 2014, was to help the foundation continue its mission of providing greater access to justice at a time when foundation reserves had been depleted after years of historically low and stagnant interest on trust account revenue.

The terms of the loan required the foundation to use $2 million of the loan to fund the startup of the Florida Justice Technology Center and other technology projects, resulting in the development of several statewide websites and technology products including FloridaNameChange.org, Turning18.org, FloridaLawHelp.org and FLARE (Florida Legal Assistance at Reduced Expenses).

The $4 million dollar balance was used to support existing grant programs.

With the final payment of all principal and interest due on the loan, the foundation effectively reduced its multiyear obligations/total assets ratio from 12.8% to 2%.

The Florida Bar Foundation is a nonprofit with the mission to provide greater access to justice. 

Through grants, it funds local and state civil legal aid organizations and projects to improve the administration of justice and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the legal aid delivery system.

The foundation also invests in training, technology, technical assistance, assessment and capacity-building for legal aid and works to develop and expand pro bono initiatives.

Visit TheFloridaBarFoundation.org for more information.

Visit Jacksonville names Krechowski as treasurer

Jimerson Birr partner Patrick Krechowski was appointed treasurer of the Visit Jacksonville board of directors. He has been on the board since September.

Visit Jacksonville is the convention and visitors bureau for Jacksonville and the Beaches.

Krechowski joined Jimerson Birr in 2018. He has more than 20 years of experience in governmental, environmental, land use, real estate, appeals and title insurance law and is board certified in city, county and local government law by The Florida Bar.

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