The Marbut Report: Local leader back from fact-finding mission

“It made me appreciate what we’re doing,” said Michelle Barnett.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 5:10 a.m. July 23, 2018
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
Michael Freed surrounded on the steps of the Duval County Courthouse by his family and supporters.
Michael Freed surrounded on the steps of the Duval County Courthouse by his family and supporters.
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Alexander DeGance Barnett partner Michelle Bedoya Barnett represented the Jacksonville Bar Association board of governors at The Florida Bar’s Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference July 13-14 at the Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa in Jensen Beach.

“It’s good to exchange ideas with other Bar associations. It made me appreciate what we’re doing,” said Barnett, a JBA board member, after spending two days with voluntary Bar association representatives from throughout the state.

Barnett also said the JBA is recognized by its peers for its ability to engage all age groups of the legal community and its close relationships with local voluntary Bar associations, such as the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association, D.W. Perkins Bar Association and the Asian American and Hispanic Bar groups.

Barnett said she brought back inspiration to change the JBA’s membership meetings.

“I’d like to see us get CLE credit for our monthly Bar luncheons like some of the other associations,” she said.

Freed to Run 2.0 is Dec. 2-7

Teams are signing on for the Dec. 2-7 Freed to Run 2.0, Gunster shareholder Michael Freed’s second series of daily marathons from the state Supreme Court in Tallahassee to the Duval County Courthouse, a distance of 157 miles.

Law firm teams registered to date are from Akerman; Abel Bean Law; Fisher, Tousey, Leas & Ball; Jimerson & Cobb; Marks Gray; and Shutts & Bowen. 

Teams of runners from the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid board of directors; JALA staff; Community First Credit Union; Women’s Giving Alliance; and F3 Jacksonville also will run alongside Freed.

Each team will run a single 26.2-mile marathon in a point-to-point relay, with most runners covering just 2 or 3 miles each. Elite Parking is donating transportation for the relay teams and will drop off and pick up runners at designated points each day.

There’s also a 5K run Dec. 7 from the Jacksonville Farmers Market on Beaver Street to the Duval County Courthouse where participants will cross the finish line with Freed.

Last year, the inaugural trek with stops at courthouses in Jefferson, Madison, Baker, Suwannee, and Columbia counties gained the attention of Baptist Health, which has pledged to match all funds raised for the North Florida Medical Legal Partnership at 125 percent.

With a five-year fundraising goal of $1 million, and the $1.25 million match by Baptist Health, JALA expects to create a $2.25 million endowment for the NFMLP. With a fundraising goal of $180,000 also to be matched, Freed to Run 2.0 is expected to generate more than $400,000 for the endowment.

For more information about Freed to Run 2.0, to register or support a team, or to become a sponsor, visit

Recording prohibited in courthouse

As a means to preserve dignity and decorum, fair administration of justice and the safety and security of employees and visitors, the general public is now prohibited from using electronic devices to record in the Clay County and Duval County courthouses without specific written permission from the chief judge.

Administrative orders signed June 22 by 4th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Mark Mahon cite the need to protect the identity of sensitive witnesses such as undercover police officers, protected witnesses who are required to appear in court, jurors and potential jurors as well as security features that are in place throughout the building.

Violating the order and failing to comply immediately with a request to cease recording will result in the offender being escorted out of the building and prohibited from returning until they are no longer in possession of any electronic recording devices.

Attorneys, employees and jurors are exempt from the prohibition.

Hall Booth Smith expanding space

The Hall Booth Smith law firm applied for a permit to build-out a larger space for its Jacksonville office at 200 W. Forsyth St.

With design by Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Duckworth Construction Co. is the contractor for the $131,611.70 project.

The firm, based in Atlanta, opened its Jacksonville office in June 2017 to expand its medical malpractice and commercial litigation practices.



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