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Jax Daily Record Thursday, May 30, 201905:10 AM EST

The Marbut Report: Heavener leaving State Attorney’s Office

He’s joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tennessee.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Chief Assistant State Attorney Mac Heavener is returning to federal practice and will join the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Tennessee. His last day with the State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville will be July 5.

Heavener was an assistant state attorney from 2000 until 2007 before joining the Jacksonville Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. 

He returned to the State Attorney’s Office in January 2017, joining then newly elected State Attorney Melissa Nelson’s administration.

Heavener’s accomplishments include revamping the office’s grand jury processes and officer-involved shooting protocols, improving discovery disclosure standards and overseeing the creation of the Targeted Prosecution and Human Rights divisions.

“Mac has been a great chief assistant, excellent trial prosecutor, devoted teacher and loyal friend,” Nelson said in a news release. 

Chief Assistant L.E. Hutton will assume Heavener’s responsibilities.

The ribbon-cutting for the new Crime Gun Intelligence Center in Jacksonville.

Crime Gun Intelligence Center opens in Jacksonville

With help from Sheriff Mike Williams, Mayor Lenny Curry and State Attorney Melissa Nelson, Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Deputy Director Regina Lombardo cuts the ribbon to open Jacksonville’s new Crime Gun Intelligence Center.

It’s part of a national network designed to collect and analyze evidence, such as shell casings, in an effort to identify suspects who use guns in the commission of violent crimes and to disrupt criminal activity.

Renovation of space at the State Attorney’s Office in the Ed Austin Building Downtown began in September after City Council approved a $1 million budget for the program.

JBA YSL election underway online

The ballot for the Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section 2019-20 board of governors is online at through Wednesday.

Attorneys eligible are members of the Jacksonville Bar Association and either 35 years or younger as of July 1 or admitted to practice law for fewer than five years.

There are three seats to be decided, with two members seeking reelection:

• Seat 1, incumbent Dave Chauncey is unopposed.

• Seat 2, incumbent Megan Moon is unopposed.

• Seat 3 is an open seat for a two-year term with candidates Valeen Arena, Chuck Griffith, Kayla Haines and Shannon Schott.

Visit for biographies and information about the candidates.

In addition to the online ballot, paper ballots will be available at the YLS annual meeting from 5:15-5:45 p.m. June 6 at the University of North Florida Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Downtown at 112 W. Adams St.

Election results will be announced at the meeting and the new officers, including 2019-20 YLS President Alessandro Apolito, will be installed.

Judicial reception at TIAA Bank Field

The Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association’s annual judicial reception, “Celebrating Civility,” is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the U.S. Assure Club West at TIAA Bank Field.

The association’s largest event of the year, more than 500 judges, judicial assistants and attorneys are expected to attend to promote civility in and out of the courtroom and interact in a casual atmosphere with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Tickets are $50 per person in advance. Visit to register.

Sam Friedman

Friedman joins Jimerson Birr

Sam Friedman is the new associate attorney at Jimerson Birr.

A 2017 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, Friedman is a former assistant state attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit, where he prosecuted felonies such as armed robbery and drug possession.

His practice at Jimerson Birr focuses on business litigation, representing clients engaged in construction and real estate development.


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