November 9, 2023 - For the Defense - A Spotlight on Veterans Issues
Group Three, led by Group Chair the Honorable Mark Borello and Program Chair Kim Israel, presented this program in recognition of Veteran's Day. The program featured speakers including Judge Mose Floyd, who discussed the Veterans Treatment Court, which provides a collaborative, non-adversarial treatment strategy for veteran defendants in the criminal justice system; Judy Clausen, Director of the University of Florida Levin College of Law Veterans and Service Members Clinic, who discussed legal issues affecting service members; and attorney Jacalyn Crecelius, Director of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid's Veteran Services Unit, who discussed discharge upgrades, family law issues affecting service members, and dealing with security clearances. The program also included a special cake cutting ceremony.
October 12, 2023 - Professionalism and Ethics
Group Two, led by Group Chair the Honorable Katie Dearing and Program Chair Cyrus Zomorodian, was in charge of this program that provided an interactive presentation on current professionalism and Florida ethics issues confronting practicing attorneys today. Instruction was based upon legal opinions, professionalism guidelines, ethics rules and comments, and commentary from practicing attorneys and professionals. The program began with an interactive trivia game during which ethics and professionalism questions were presented, along with multiple choice answers. After the trivia game, a panel of three presenters of diverse backgrounds shared their perspective and legal analysis on a series of questions focused on professionalism and ethics topics.
September 14, 2023 - Icebreaker Meeting
This meeting assisted group members in getting to know one another by working collaboratively on a worthy project. Each team assembled a bicycle that was then donated to the Sanctuary on 8th Street in Jacksonville. The Sanctuary on 8th Street is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for children and families in need through education, social services, recreation and the arts. Each child receiving a bicycle also received a new helmet.
April 12, 2023 - Annual Meeting - Fireside Chat
The Inn was honored to have Congressman John Rutherford as the guest for the evening. Congressman Rutherford participated in a "fireside chat" addressing legislative bipartisanship, civility, and navigating the House of Representatives. He addressed budgetary preparations and gave insight into whether legislators could consult with experts and/or lawyers when drafting bills that are beyond their area of expertise and how lawmakers address concerns of their constituents when certain bills are called up for vote. The fireside chat was facilitated by Group 7 Chair Judge Michael Sharrit.
March 9, 2023 - Perspectives on Pro Bono: Narrowing the Justice Gap
Group Six, led by Group Chair the Honorable Waddell Wallace and Program Chair Laura Jacqmein, facilitated this program. The presentation featured guest speaker George F. Knox, Jr., who served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Bar Foundation and as City Attorney for the City of Miami. Mr. Knox continues his work as a respected community leader, educator, and peacemaker. Mr. Knox's remarks were followed by a panel discussion highlighting reflections by members of the local bench and bar on the value of pro bono work and various opportunities for service.
January 12, 2023 - Policing the Police and Watching the Watchdog
Group Four, led by Group Chair the Honorable Gary Wilkinson and Program Chair Kelly Karase, were in charge of the program. The speaker was the Honorable Robert Phillip Storch, Inspector General for the Department of Defense. The program ended with an open Q&A.
November 16, 2022 - Legal Trivia: Evidence Edition
Group Three, led by Group Chair the Honorable John Guy and Program Chair Katelyn Johnston, presented a trivia game full of evidence minutia with a prize being awarded to the most knowledgeable group.
October 19, 2022 - Technology Today, Tomorrow and in the Future
Group Two, led by Group Chair the Honorable Katie Dearing and Program Chair Tonya Patterson-Barge, presented a program about technology and how it impacts the legal profession. The meeting began with a futuristic cocktail hour. Members were able to participate in an immersive virtual reality courtroom experience and have their photographs taken for use during the facial recognition portion of the program. The founders of Just Legal VR, Inc. discussed the practical uses for the virtual reality headset in a legal practice, and how virtual reality is being used in cases today. The next segment of the program was a presentation by Associate Member, Adam Duso, on legal ethics and technology. The program ended with a panel discussion regarding how technology is being used in the courtrooms.
September 20, 2022 - Icebreaker - Member Bingo and the Marshmallow Challenge
The icebreaker meeting consisted of two parts. First, there was an interactive Bingo game where Inn members were encouraged to converse and discover interesting facts about one another. However, this edition of Bingo was played with a twist - the returning members held the cards and the new members were the source of the information. The second part of the meeting was conducted within the individual Inn Groups with all seven Groups competing against each other. The teams were challenged to build a tower made from 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, a yard of string, a yard of tape, and a single marshmallow in 18 minutes.
April 21, 2022 - Inside Operation Varsity Blues
This was the final meeting of the year and the annual banquet. It featured Wallstreet Journalists Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz who co-authored the book, "Unacceptable, Privilege, Deceit & The Making of the College Admissions Scandal," otherwise known by the FBI code name, Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. Ms. Korn and Ms. Levitz have observed the judicial process of all 57 federal indictments.
March 10, 2022 - Fraud Cases
Group Six, led by Group Chair Judge Jay Brown and Program Chair Bradley Bodiford, presented the March program. The program included a panel of attorneys who have spent a significant part of their careers handling fraud cases, either in civil or criminal court. There was a special focus on how a civil practitioner can first identify signs of fraudulent dealing in their cases, and how to handle the same in any context. The panelists included John MacDonald, Partner at Akerman in the Bankruptcy Division; Laura Boeckman, Assistant General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville; and Hank Coxe, Partner at the Bedell Firm.
February 22, 2022 - Ben Crump
This Joint Inns of Court meeting featured Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney, as the main speaker. Mr. Crump has represented the families of prominent civil rights victims, including Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Daunte Wright, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake. He has represented plaintiffs injured by the Flint water crisis, and the plaintiffs behind the 2019 Johnson & Johnson baby powder litigation. Mr. Crump is the founder of the firm Ben Crump Law in Tallahassee. He was listed in Time Magazine's 2021 edition of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, he is an NAACP Thurgood Marshall Award Winner, and he was named to Florida Trend's Florida 500, a list of Florida's most influential business leaders.
January 13, 2022 - Trial Technology in the Tik Tok Era
This was a joint meeting with the ABOTA-Jax Chapter. Group Four, led by Group Chair Scott Costantino and Program Chair Chelsea Harris, presented a program on trial technology in the Tik Tok era. They began with a demonstration of trial technology. This was followed by a panel discussion with four experienced trial attorneys who discussed the benefits of trial technology, juror evidence retention, and a discussion of "dos and don'ts" of trial technology. Then, a panel of experienced members of the judiciary discussed effective and admissible ways to use technology in trial.
November 18, 2021 - Enneagram Personality Test
Group Three, led by Group Chair Hon. Steven Whittington and Program Chair Adam Edgecombe, hosted attorney Jennifer Gibbs from Dallas, Texas, who spoke about the Enneagram personality test and how lawyers can use it to improve their daily practice of law, regardless of their practice areas. Participants used the Enneagram personality test to problem solve hypothetical scenarios that Inn members might face in their daily practices.
October 14, 2021 - DNA
Group Two, led by Group Chair Patrick Coll and Program Chair Catherine Licandro, presented a program about learning how at home DNA tests are solving cold cases. The speaker was the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Forensic Director Leigh Clark. Ms. Clark gave a presentation on the FDLE's Genetic Genealogy Program, its use in the investigation and prosecution of cold cases across Florida, and the interplay between solving crime and protecting privacy. The presentation was followed by a Q & A moderated by Group Two.
September 9, 2021 - Icebreaker Meeting
Group One presented the icebreaker meeting which consisted of an interactive Bingo game where Inn members were encouraged to interact with each other to discover interesting facts about one another.
April 8, 2021 - The Need for Second Chances
In March 2020, Georgetown University Law Center Professor Shon Hopwood was scheduled to present to our Inn in person. For obvious reasons, that presentation was put on hold. Our Inn, however, had the good fortune of having Professor Hopwood as our keynote speaker at our Inn’s annual meeting on April 8, 2021, presenting The Need for Second Chances. Local prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the First District Court of Appeal Inn were also invited to join The Chester Bedell Inn for Professor Hopwood’s presentation. Group 7, led by Group Chair Judge London Kite and Program Chair Todd Wright, was in charge of the program.
March 11, 2021 - Pleas, Contracts, and Sentencing
Our March 11, 2021, program was particularly creative, educational, historical, and informative. The program took the Inn members out of the office—virtually—and created a competitive scavenger hunt based around the notorious 1976 Jacksonville kidnapping of Sheri Jaffa by Jack Taylor McWilliams. The program also included a lively panel discussion highlighting the importance of plea negotiations, contract law, and sentencing proceedings moderated by Betsy White.
February 12, 2021 - Legal Insights from the United Kingdom and Ireland
Group 5, led by Group Chair Kim Israel and Program Chair Matthew Lufrano, was in charge of this program. The program featured a lively panel discussion with barristers, moderated by Patrick Joyce, and addressed topics including critical stages of trial practice, the impact of legal specialization, legal education, and the status of trials today. This was a joint meeting with the 1st DCA Appellate Inn of Court and the St. Augustine Inn of Court. The panelists included Bibi Badejo of London, Zoe Gibbon of London, Alice Meredith of London, Martin Ouwehand of London, and Christine Minnock and Sharon Martin of Limerick, Ireland.
January 21, 2021 - Judge Richard Gergel
This was a joint virtual meeting with ABOTA Jacksonville. Judge Gergel, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina, gave a presentation about his book Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session moderated by Judge Howard.
November 12, 2020 - A Conversation with Howard Baskin
Group 3, led by Group Chair Mike Duncan and Program Chair Aleksas Barauskas, was in charge of the program. Howard Baskin was the virtual guest speaker for the meeting, presenting, "How Lack of Professionalism and Poor Strategy Fueled the Collapse of The Tiger King." Mr. Baskin described Mr. Exotic as an uncontrollable client and witness when he was represented, and his own worst enemy when he represented himself. It was a fascinating and detailed account of legal events, with a focus on how lack of professionalism was a significant factor in Exotic’s downfall. In preparation for the virtual meeting, members were encouraged to watch an episode or two of the "Tiger King." To further enhance the experience, members were provided with the recipe for Tiger Tail Cocktail.
October 8, 2020 - 100th Anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment
Group 2 celebrated the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment through an award winning reenactment of the trial of Susan B. Anthony.
September 10, 2020 - 35th Anniversary of the Inn
This meeting consisted of a breakout group icebreaker and discussion of virtual trials. This was followed by a panel discussion of prestigious founding members and former presidents and members of the Chester Bedell Inn of Court in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the Inn.
March 19, 2020 - Professor Shon Hopwood
Group 6, led by Group Chair the Honorable Waddell Wallace and Program Chair Aleksas Barauskas, was in charge of the program. The program featured Professor Shon Hopwood, a convicted bank robber who robbed five banks, and spent eleven years in prison, during which time he immersed himself in the law as a jailhouse lawyer, preparing successful petitions for writs of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. After his release from prison, Professor Hopwood went to law school and is now a law professor at Georgetown.
February 20, 2020 - Judge Lawson
The keynote speaker of this meeting was the Honorable Alan Lawson, Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.
January 9, 2020 - Criminal Podcast
On January 9, 2020, the Inn heard from Lauren Spohrer, co-creator and producer of the award-winning podcast "Criminal," one of the most popular podcasts in the world. The program focused on how the podcast started, and (in a podcast or a trial) what makes a compelling story, how to captivate an audience, and how to distill complex legal concepts in a persuasive and entertaining way.
November 14, 2019 - Psychology of Decision Making
Group 3, led by Group Chair Neils Murphy and Program Chair Lara Mattina, was in charge of the program on the Psychology of Decision Making. The program included a panel discussion featuring different perspectives and positions on the psychology of decision making including views from a sitting Circuit Court Judge, a seasoned trial attorney, a psychologist and jury consultant, and a litigator with extensive arbitration experience.
October 17, 2019 - Bankruptcy Law
Group 2, led by Group Chair Judge Salvador and Program Chair Reid Hart, was in charge of the program. The program honored and celebrated the late Judge Paul Glenn, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Middle District of Florida, and educated Inn members on bankruptcy law and its many implications in other areas of law. Attorney Jason Burgess presented a bankruptcy program for non-bankruptcy practitioners and featured some of Judge Glenn's most memorable cases.
September 12, 2019 - Icebreaker Meeting
Group 1 planned an audience participation icebreaker activity to help the Inn welcome and get to know new members.
April 11, 2019 - Simon Tam & The Slants
On April 11, 2019, the Inn welcomed Simon Tam, leader of an Asian-American band named “The Slants.” As the band gained fame, Tam sought trademark protection for the band’s name (an attempt to reclaim a common slur against Asians). Repeatedly denied by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Tam litigated for more than seven years, before being vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision which decided that the Disparagement Clause of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. Tam presented his story with humor and passion as he conveyed the impact of bias and discrimination against Asian-Americans and the difficulties faced by litigants.
March 28, 2019 - Cross Talk
This program was prepared by local lawyers and centered on problems of cross-generational communication in the law office. Inn members were introduced to the terminology and (supposed) characteristics of generational cohorts: the Silent Generation (born before 1946); the Baby Boomers (1946-1964); Generation X (1965-1980); the Millennials (1981-1996); and Gen Z (born after 1996). A panel of associates, barristers and masters discussed how clear legal communication can be enhanced across generational lines. Group Durden, led by Group Chair, Rodney Brown and Program Chair Michael Lockamy, was in charge of the evening's program.
February 26, 2019 - Women, Sports and the Law
This was a joint meeting featuring two keynote speakers: Donna Orender, CEO of Generation W, Inc. and Nancy Hogshead-Makar, J.D., CEO of Champion Women.
2018 - 2019
The September 13, 2018 led by Group Shaw presented an audience participation icebreaker activity to help the Inn welcome and get to know new members.
The October 11, 2018 meeting was led by Group Chair Cheryl Worman and Program Chair Xavier Saunders. The theme of the program was pro bono work, and the speaker was retired Judge Richard Graham from Volusia County. Judge Graham was the lawyer featured in "Beneath A Ruthless Sun," the new book from Pulitzer Prize winning author Gilbert King. Judge Graham talked about his experience in the Jesse Daniels case featured in that book.
The November 8, 2018 meeting was led by Group Hulsey's Group Chair Geddes Anderson and Program Chair Jeremy Paul. The program featured the use of artificial intelligence in the legal research field and showcased the ROSS software, which is a legal research technology that harnesses artificial intelligence.
Our keynote presentation for the joint meeting held on January 10, 2019, was provided by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Gilbert King. His most recent book, Beneath the Ruthless Sun, tells the story of a mentally impaired teenager, Jesse Daniels, falsely accused by the sheriff and his minions (but not the victim) of raping the wife of a citrus baron in 1957, and his mother’s struggle for justice for more than 14 years. Just nineteen years old and following a sham hearing with an assigned defense attorney hand‐picked by the sheriff, Jesse Daniels was incarcerated indefinitely in the criminal ward of Florida’s most notorious mental hospital. He endured years of hardship and extreme cruelty due to conspiracy and corruption involving law enforcement, lawyers and judges. Finally, when novice attorney, Richard Graham (the guest presenter at our October meeting), agreed to take his case on a pro bono basis, Mr. Daniels was released back into the care of his mother. Mr. King also discussed another book, Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall,the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, for which Mr. King was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2013. A New York Times bestseller, the book addresses race, civil rights, and the death penalty and centers on the alleged 1949 rape of a Lake County white woman by four black men, called the “Groveland Boys.”
2017 - 2018
On September 14, 2017, Group Fowler presented a program entitled, "Test Your Inn IQ." They provided clues about various Inn members that others had to guess. This was a great way to learn about other members of the Inn.
The October 12, 2017 meeting was presented by Group Ehrlich and led by Group Leader Braxton Gillam and Program Chair Dan Bean. The group first presented a tribute to the late Justice Raymond Ehrlich, a "Mentoring Moment," and a student-led toast. The guest speaker was Cleta Mitchell, a partner and political law attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner. Ms. Mitchell gave a thought‐provoking presentation on federal election laws and the IRS Tea Party scandal.
The November 9, 2017 program gave us an amusing and humbling education in Bitcoin. The program started with a game based on the Price‐is‐Right where “contestants” had to guess how much a cup of coffee in 2011, a California attorney hour in 2016, and 5 kilos of cocaine in 2013 cost at the time in Bitcoin. Prizes for the winning contestants included chocolate “bitcoins.” The table topics had members discuss the cost of a pizza in 2010 in Bitcoin. Following dinner, Professor Shawn Bayern of the Florida State University College of Law explained bitcoin—a sort‐of “Bitcoin 101”—and our member presenters discussed, “Bitcoin: What is it? How is it regarded? Why do we care?” The meeting also featured a "Moment in History" about the late Eddie Booth by the Honorable Charles Arnold.
In January of 2018, upon learning United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer would be part of the University of North Florida’s Presidential Lecture Series and discuss his book, "The Court and The World, American Law and the New Global Realities," our tireless Cory Hodak and Master Crystal Broughan orchestrated the entire January meeting around the event. This program was put together so well and the effort so extraordinary that it easily won our Inn’s award for best program. Before the fireside chat, members gathered in a “book club” style format to discuss the book. Group Breyer selected Jacksonville Area Legal Aid to receive the winning charitable contribution, and all members of Group Breyer were treated to a free cocktail at the annual meeting. Each attendee received a free copy of the book.
The February 22, 2018 program was presented by our mystery legal luminary group led by Group Chair Rodney Brown and Program Chair Lindsay Swiger. After evaluating many worthy candidates, the group selected Louise Rebecca Pinnell. In 1989, Ms. Pinnell became the first woman admitted to the Florida Bar and she practiced railroad law in Jacksonville until the 1950s. Prior to the “reveal” and short presentation on Ms. Pinnell’s life and work, factual hints at the mystery person were rotated on a power point during cocktails and a short biography was placed in an envelope on all tables. After dinner, Special Agent John Wood took us on an adventure into the deep web and dark web, how they work, why the dark web exists, and all of the “products” available. The pupilage group then discussed legal issues and cases involving the deep/dark web.
At the March 8, 2018 meeting, the keynote speaker was Dr. John S. Baker, a visiting professor at Georgetown Law School. Dr. Baker previously taught extensively with Justice Scalia and now presents constitutional law lectures with Justice Alito.
Our guest speaker for the April 12, 2018 Annual Banquet was the very charming and witty Vivian Robinson QC from London. We received him with a traditional British evening and fare, Bobbies and oxtail soup! After dinner Barrister Robinson treated us to an amusing presentation, “London’s Inns of Court and The Wit of the Wig.” He also presented a kind invitation from the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple to all members of our Inn to visit when in London.
2016 - 2017
On September 15, 2016, Group 1 (Bedell) presented a program featuring an interactive challenge - "Test Your Inn IQ" - designed to encourage all members of the Inn to get to know and interact with one another.
At the October 13, 2016 meeting, the Inn honored the late Earl Johnson as the legal luminary. Jason Teal, Deputy General Counsel to the City of Jacksonville, led a discussion covering the most pressing legal issues surrounding past and current elections. During the program, groups answered various election-related questions in a "Family Feud" style competition.
At the November 10, 2016 meeting, the late Honorable Howell Melton, Jr. was honored by the Honorable Susan Black as the legal luminary. Judge Norton moderated the evening's program on Jury Selection, including a law update by Judge Lester, and a demonstration by Group Melton with realtime rulings from the "bench" by Judge Arias. The program concluded with a judicial panel providing their view from the bench and fielding questions from the audience.
At the January 12, 2017 meeting, the late Honorable William Durden was honored by the Honorable Mallory Cooper and Collins Cooper as the legal luminary. The program was on Malpractice: Avoiding Mayhem in Your Practice. Two experts in the field of defending and preventing legal malpractice, John A. DeVault and Rutledge Liles, discussed when legal malpractice cases arise, how to avoid malpractice cases, and the increasing trend of cyber liability and protecting clients against hackers.
On February 15, 2017, the Inn hosted a very successful joint meeting attended by more than 300 guests and members of the seven regional Inns: the Robert M. Foster American Inn of Court, the Florida Family Law American Inn of Court, the E. Robert Williams American Inn of Court, the Gerald T. Bennett American Inn of Court, the James C. Adkins Jr. American Inn of Court, and the First District Appellate American Inn of Court. In keeping with our Inn’s tradition, Florida Supreme Court's former Chief Justice Major B. Harding honored our legal luminary, Florida Supreme Court's former Chief Justice Leander Shaw and his family, who were also present. We were extraordinarily honored to present as the keynote speaker the Honorable Carl E. Stewart, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the President of the American Inns of Court. Attendees gave him a "10 out of 10!" As a result of our successful joint meeting, our Inn was recognized for the second time in the same year in the May/June 2017 edition of The Bencher.
At the March 9, 2017 meeting, the late Honorable Robert Beckham was honored by George E. "Buddy" Schulz, Jr. as the legal luminary. The program involved an interactive discussion about the evolving field of Online Dispute Resolution.
The April 13, 2017 Annual Banquet featured keynote speaker Zachary Fardon, immediate past United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Fardon gave a powerful and passionate presentation concerning his open letter of resignation to President Trump which quickly went viral on-line. He also shared his thoughts on some of the key reasons behind the Chicago Crime rate, and what needed to be done to cause real change in Chicago.
2015 - 2016
On September 10, 2015, Group 1 (Graessle) presented a program featuring the Hon. Donald Middlebrooks of the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, speaking on "The Independence of The American Lawyer."
On October 8, 2015, Group 2 (Austin) featured a panel discussion regarding the press and high-profile cases. The meeting also included a brief Moment in History presentation honoring the late Honorable Ed Austin.
On November 12, 2015, Group 3 (Frost) presented a program on "Evidentiary and Ethical Issues Related to Social Media." The meeting also included a brief Moment in History presentation honoring the late Lou Frost.
On January 14, 2016, Group 4 (Matthews) presented a program on “Perception of Attorneys in the Media.” The meeting also included a brief Moment in History presentation honoring the late Jack Matthews.
The Joint Meeting was held on February 18, 2016, and Carl Schwait was the speaker.
On March 10, 2016, Group 6 (Gooding) presented a program on “Balancing National Security with the Public’s Rights.” This program examined how the government determines whether national security interests prevail over the public’s right to access information regarding the operation of the government. The presentation discussed the law that governs disclosure and presented hypotheticals asking the audience which interest they thought prevailed pertaining to the release of (1) photographs of the treatment of detainees and (2) a report detailing CIA interrogation techniques. The presentation then discussed how the government actually handled each issue and explored why the decision was made in order to explain the law applicable to the government’s actions. In addition, the program explored government emails maintained on a private server and whether or not that changes how that information is handled/classified. In keeping with the 2015-2016 theme of the Inn (media), this presentation discussed how the government interacts with the media to inform the public of its operations while balancing national security concerns. The meeting also included a brief Moment in History presentation honoring the late Marion Gooding, Sr.
On April 28, 2016, the Inn was honored to have James P. Cooney, III as the guest and speaker. This meeting also featured a tribute to the late Honorable Charles R. Scott, United States District Judge.
2014 - 2015
The Joint Meeting was held on February 24, 2015. The Annual Banquet was held on April 9, 2015, and the speaker was Morris Dees with the Southern Poverty Law Center.
2012 - 2013
We began September with a new member orientation and, for all members, overviews of the history and the purpose of the American Inns of Court, of our mentor and outreach programs, and of our schedule for the year. Our October program featured Tom Spahn, Esquire, the nation’s foremost presenter on legal ethics and professionalism. This dynamic and interactive program used hypotheticals to explore ethical situations that may arise when interacting with the judiciary, from the duty to disclose unfavorable facts, case law, and unethical client behavior, to the appropriate level of social interaction with judges. Our November program featured the Honorable Charlie Cofer, a State County Judge, who discussed the fascinating history of the courthouses in Duval County, Florida. Our January program featured James A. Kowalski, new Executive Director of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA). Mr. Kowalski led a discussion about the need for pro bono work by attorneys and the societal and personal benefits to be gained by such service. Our March program featured a distinguished panel of Inn members: Buddy Schulz, John DeVault, Julie Hackenberry, James Burke, and the Honorable Timothy Corrigan. Michael Dewberry moderated the panel. He presented the panel with several hypothetical civil and criminal scenarios in which litigators encountered clients, witnesses, and others who lied or stretched the truth. The presentation prompted lively discussion and debate from the panel and audience. Our Annual Banquet in April featured His Honour Judge Jeremy Nigel Donne RD QC, Circuit Judge to the South Eastern Circuit for England and Wales based at Harrow Crown Court, and a Master in the Middle Temple Inn. Judge Donne spoke about the organization, civility, and professionalism of English Inns of Court. The presentation, which included a speech and PowerPoint, focused on the mentoring process for new barristers and solicitors. The presentation also focused on the maintenance of civility and professionalism in the English justice system. Other topics included the history of the English justice system and the evolving roles of barristers and solicitors.
2011 - 2012
Our first program was an orientation for our new members as well as a presentation to refresh all of our members of the history, the purpose, and the mission of the American Inns of Court and our Inn. We began with quotes from Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s Foreword to The American Inns of Court, Reclaiming a Noble Profession. We reviewed the English Inns, the mission and Professional Creed of the American Inns, the purposes of the local Inns, the history of our Inn, and the reasons for the American Inns of Court. Our second program was 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. During the year we had programs on practical legal skills with an emphasis on ethics, civility, and professionalism. The program on Avoiding Legalese was instructive and entertaining, and included a slide presentation and a panel of Judges. We held our final meeting and Annual Banquet at a time when all of the Judges of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals were in town. Judge Susan H. Black was taking Senior Status on that Court and a portrait ceremony was planned, and the Circuit Judges were meeting in Jacksonville. Our Annual Banquet was held the evening of the portrait ceremony, and all of the Circuit Judges attended. We arranged for members of our Inn to host each Circuit Judge, bring them to the dinner, accompany them at the dinner, and take them to their hotel. That evening we honored Judge Black, and recognized her contributions and accomplishments for the American Inns of Court, and for the Judiciary.
2009 - 2010
The Annual Banquet was held on March 11, 2010, and the speaker was the Honorable Lisa Godbey Wood, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Georgia.
2008 - 2009
The Annual Banquet was held on April 2, 2009, and the speaker was the Honorable Peggy A. Quince, Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.
2005 - 2006
Group 2 presented a program entitled, "Can You Do Or Say That In Court?" They presented three vignettes relating to appropriate and ethical courtroom behavior and argument.
2004 - 2005
The Annual Banquet was held on March 31, 2005.
2003 - 2004
On September 11, 2003, Group One provided a tour of the new federal courthouse. The tour consisted of stops at the U.S. Marshals Service, the Clerk's Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office, a judge's chambers, and a courtroom. The evening concluded with cocktails and dinner at Sterlings. Other programs during this Inn year consisted of the Do's and Don'ts of Closing Arguments; Professionalism, Ethics, and Sanctions; a program discussing the respective rights of terrorists and military combatants in the federal system versus the military tribunal system; and a public outreach program. The annual banquet was held on March 25, 2004.