The Jacksonville chapter of ABOTA is Chapter of the Year, Ingrid Suarez Osborn recognized by HUD.
From left, American Board of Trial Advocates Jacksonville 2021 President David Dunlap; Wayne Hogan; Joshua Whitman; R. Scott Costantino; ABOTA Jacksonville 2020 President Corinne Hodak; FLABOTA Immediate Past President Judge Nelly Khouzam; ABOTA Jacksonville President-elect Brian Currie; and Thomas Edwards.
Despite the restriction on person-to-person contact because of the pandemic, 2020 was an active year for the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
ABOTA’s national board awarded the 2020 Chapter of the Year Award in the 100 or more members category to the group of plaintiffs’ and defense civil attorneys for its community involvement.
“It was the first year we passed the 100-member mark. I am so happy for our chapter,” said Corrine Hodak, 2020 ABOTA Jacksonville president.
Hodak said the chapter started the year with a Trial Academy before the restrictions went into effect in March.
In partnership with the Chester Bedell Inn of Court, chapter members who are experienced trial lawyers, joined by local judges, presented a three-day instructional program for attorneys with five or fewer years of experience arguing cases in court.
“I think the lawyers learned as much as the students learned and they established mentoring relationships,” Hodak said.
The chapter also continued its tradition of supporting civics education in public schools.
The annual “law school” programs for middle school teachers and students were presented on video, as was the annual literacy program for elementary school students.
For the youngest students, the chapter provided a video presentation and copies of the book “Gracie for President” to 130 classrooms, Hodak said.
The American Bar Association selected Jacksonville to be one of just a few cities that would display the ABA’s 19th Amendment traveling exhibit, part of the annual national Law Day celebration.
When COVID-19 closed the Duval County Courthouse, where the exhibit was installed, chapter members wrote a script and produced a video tour that was made available to Duval County Public Schools.
“We had 80% of our membership participate in some program or in some way. We came together for the good of the community,” Hodak said.
Ingrid Suarez Osborn is named HUD’s top counsel
Jacksonville attorney Ingrid Suarez Osborn is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of General Counsel’s 22nd annual Leigh Curry Award, the highest national award in OGC.
Honorees are recognized for sustained excellence in the provision of legal services and exemplifying standards of excellence and integrity.
“It was a nice surprise,” Osborn said.
Chief counsel in the Jacksonville Field Office, Osborn joined HUD in 2002.
She has closed nearly 650 multifamily and health care real estate transactions.
Osborn presented at the HUD Closing School in Washington, D.C., and served on the Closing School Planning Committee.
Locally, Osborn served as a volunteer judge in the 4th Judicial Circuit’s Teen Court program, a pre-arrest diversion program for at-risk youth.
Required disclaimer: “The views reflected in this article do not necessarily represent HUD’s positions, strategies or opinions.”