January 20, 2024

The Chester Bedell Inn continues to partner with Angelwood for the annual service project.  


January 21, 2023

The Chester Bedell Inn once again partnered with Angelwood for the annual service project.  Volunteers helped beautify Angelwood's Grassey Group Home with painting, pressure washing, and yard clean up.  

Here is the article "The Bencher" published in its July/August 2023 edition:

2020 - 2021

One of the saddest negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our Inn was that we had to miss our day of service at our adopted non-profit, Angelwood, for the first time in more than a decade. This annual day of service, typically in January, provides our Inn’s participants with a day of satisfying physical labor for the benefit of Angelwood’s severely disabled adult women who live in Angelwood’s residences. It also is a day of good fun, camaraderie, working together, and getting to know each other and our families on a more personal level, and it provides us with more informal mentoring opportunities. For obvious reasons, we could not go into Angelwood’s homes or their recreational center this year. There surely will be plenty for us to do next year when we can hopefully resume this event. Not fully deterred, our Inn still found a way for our members to virtually work together for the benefit of Angelwood’s residents. This year, Master Susan Erdelyi and Emeritus Member Judge Cooper coordinated meal delivery by the members to Angelwood’s homes. Volunteers were requested, and more volunteers stepped up than were needed. The volunteers were divided into small groups of three to four members with a designated lead. The groups were arranged to include Masters, Barristers and Associates to provide opportunities for mentorship. The groups arranged for dinner delivery to a designated home in coordination with that home. Restrictions prevented us from delivering anything homemade, but we still made the best of it and delivered delicious meals to the Angelwood residents.


2019 - 2020

In addition to our annual day of service at Angelwood, during our October 11, 2019 meet­ing, we requested donations to pur­chase candy for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s “JALAween” for which local jud­ges dressed up and hosted trick-or-treating and games for dis­advan­taged children at JALA’s offices. We raised enough money to donate all the candy required for the event and several Inn members participated in the fun appetizer celebration which followed.  In addition, the Associate/Pupilage Outreach Committee collected toys from members and donated them to the Ronald McDonald house. 


2018 - 2019

Our Inn once again volunteered at our adopted nonprofit, Angelwood, which runs local group homes for severely disabled adult women.  This year, we moved from Angelwood’s activities center, at which we had worked for several years, to one of their group homes to perform much needed maintenance.


2017 - 2018

This year marked our eighth annual day of service at Angelwood. This year, we worked on Angelwood’s activity center. Our volunteers cleaned the large warehouse, painted walls, polished brass bells, threw out a dumpster’s worth of trash (again), did yard work, and allowed at least one teenager to have fun with an old computer and sledgehammer. Once again, it was dirty, physically exhausting, and immensely satisfying work that our members could enjoy with each other and their families.

This year, our Inn also participated in the Holland & Knight 9/11 Day of Service benefitting Daniel. While the event would take place closer to the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, hurricane Irma had other ideas. Despite the rescheduling and remaining Irma clean‐up, our Inn members had excellent participation. An article on this fantastic event was submitted to the Bencher and was published in its January/February issue. The article with further description of the day’s activities is attached. Our Inn also made a Special Project submission to the American Inns of Court describing the activities of the day.

In addition, under the leadership of Judge Barksdale and Barrister/Executive Committee Member, Ariel Cook, our Inn continued its work on a professional and educational video project for civil pro se litigants in Federal Court. This video is patterned after the very successful instructional video, Bankruptcy Basics, produced by the Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, and used by several other District Courts. The video will be approximately fifteen minutes long and will be available in the clerk’s office and online. Our goal is to assist pro se litigants with making informed decisions and complying with court rules and procedures when pursuing or defending a civil action in federal court.


2016 - 2017

The high point of our outreach activities was our seventh annual day of service at Angelwood. As described on its website, "Angelwood assists families in caring for the special needs of their loved ones through a variety of programs suited to each person's individual goals. Founded in 1993, we have grown from one group home for three children with developmental disabilities to serving over 300 area families through our programs. Angelwood provides quality services such as residential group homes, respite care, behavior services, summer day camp, adult day training, supported employment and transportation. All of our programs are designed with the unique individuals in mind and provide a continuum of care across the lifespan."

Also, during the 2016 - 2017 year, under the leadership of Judge Barksdale and Barrister Ariel Cook, our Inn received $10,000 to create a video, "Federal Court 101" for use and viewing by litigants proceeding without lawyers in federal court. This Inn year was spent obtaining the funding, choosing actors and actresses from Inn membership and the community, and writing the script. It is hoped this video will be used throughout the nation to enhance access to justice and the federal court experience.


2012 - 2013

For this year’s outreach activity, we gathered our members and their families for a day of painting and yard work at a group home run by a local charity, Angelwood.  The service day was an overwhelming success, so much so, that we plan to continue this outreach into the future. Working side-by-side with fellow Inn members and their families toward a common, community-enhancing goal served several Inn goals: fostering collegiality and improving the public perception of lawyers.


2011 - 2012

An important emphasis for this year was public outreach.  Our second program of the year was on public outreach, and presented at that program was “Community Outreach and the Inns of Court Movement,” a presentation that was based on a program presented at the Eleventh Circuit Leadership Summit of the Inns.  The program described outreach, why education of the public is vital to our system of justice, areas where lawyers can participate in community outreach, and why all lawyers should engage in some form of community outreach.  The program described ways that our pupilage groups and members could help educate the general public and special groups on the legal branch of the government as well as professionalism and civility.  As a highlight of outreach, one of our pupilage groups presented a one-half hour public outreach program on a local television station.  In the program, members of the pupilage group took various amendments to the U. S. Constitution, and explained and discussed them.  This was a very successful element of our emphasis on public outreach.