by The Jacksonville Bar Assocation President Courtney Grimm
As the fall season began, so did the excitement of The JBA schedule of fall events.
We began with the swearing in of over 70 new law school graduates to the Florida Bar. The Bar hosted two swearing-in ceremonies at the Duval County Courthouse with Chief Judge Donald Moran presiding. The proceedings served as a reminder of the general principles by which we are to abide in our practice of law as we listened to the new attorneys recite their oath of admission.
We were then honored to have at our September luncheon the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Justice Charles Canady. Justice Canady emphasized the benefits of pro bono service and the crucial need for pro bono work in our community and informed us of the significant caseloads facing our courts. Our September luncheon also served as the kickoff for “Celebrate Pro Bono Month” within the Fourth Judicial Circuit. Our pro bono committee, along with JALA, initiated the “Take a Case Board” where members were asked to volunteer to take just one of the noted cases.
The month of October brought about renewed excitement for the new Duval County Courthouse as the Board began planning the design and furnishing of the new attorney conference center to be located on the 2nd floor. The Center will be located near the Courthouse Café and law library and will have a special “work” area as well as a “gathering” area. We hope to provide a secure card entrance, Wi-Fi access, a business/copy center and perhaps a television streaming headline news.
At our October luncheon we also hosted the “Florida/Georgia Dueling Deans” along with the presiding judges and team participants in the Hulsey-Kimbrell Moot Court Competition. Congratulations to Georgia’s moot court team for its win and many thanks to Florida Law School’s Dean Jerry and Georgia Law School’s former Dean Shipley for their participation and remarks. Fun was had by all at this legal rivalry prior to Saturday’s face- off at EverBank Field.
As we head into November, the Association’s ProBono Committee will be hosting the Nov. 4 “Ask-A-Lawyer” event at Gateway Shopping Center. If you have an hour or two that you could spare to answer questions for members of our community, please contact Kathy Para at 356-8371, ext. 363.
Our November monthly luncheon will host Florida Bar President Mayanne Downs on Nov. 17. She will be joined by many of the past Florida Bar presidents from Jacksonville. Additionally, we will be spreading some holiday cheer as we kickoff our holiday project where our members will provide holiday gifts to more than 400 seniors in our community. Don’t miss out on this special luncheon.
November will wrap up with JALA’s Equal Justice Award Ceremony on Nov. 30, where individuals are honored for their pro bono contributions and the Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Award is presented to recognize an individual or organization that has promoted the cause of equal justice for low-income persons in our area. Sandy D’Alemberte, professor of law, president emeritus, Florida State University, will be presenting the keynote address and your own The Jacksonville Bar Association has been named the recipient of this year’s Equal Justice Award. Thanks to all of our members for your dedication to our community and pro bono service that has enabled us to receive this honor. We hope you will attend and accept with us this special award.
As 2010 too quickly comes to a close, don’t forget to come celebrate the holidays with our Fourth Judicial Circuit judiciary and your fellow members at the “Bench & Bar” party Dec. 9.