We share the National American Inn of Court vision for a  "legal profession and judiciary dedicated to professionalism, ethics, civility and excellence" in word and deed.



News and Noteworthy

Our Inn's History (video)


Judge William Terrell Hodges

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On Nov. 5, 2018, more than 120 lawyers, fellow federal and state judges, and friends, the Herbert G. Goldburg-Ronald K. Cacciatore Criminal Law American Inn of Court recognized Senior United States District Judge Wm.  Terrell Hodges with its "Lifetime Achievement Award."  Judge  Hodges has served the Middle District of Florida for more almost 48 years.  He was  appointed by Richard Nixon in 1971 and confirmed the same year.  Judge Hodges was  37 years old at the time of his appointment and was one of the youngest district court judges in the country. Prior to taking the bench Judge Hodges was in private practice in Tampa beginning in 1958.  Judge Hodges' private practice and his time on the bench as district judge are the stuff of legends in the Middle District.  Accordingly the evening was full of merriment and reflection as the room of friends honored the work and the man.  Judge Hodges had litigated and presided over many long and highly publicized trials before he was transferred in 1992 to the Jacksonville Division of the Middle District. Judge Hodges commented on "the collegial bar" of Tampa  and stated, "I hope you have all enjoyed as much as I have in calling yourself a lawyer," he said in getting his award.  It was a great evening for all.


The Inn is Serving Our Community --

One Plate at a Time at Trinity Cafe


Our Inn of Court members gathered at Trinity Cafe to greet and serve the community.  Trinity Cafe does not charge for its food.  It simply serves those in need without question or condition.  It is open 365 days a year to any person who is hungry.  Simply put, all are welcome at Trinity Cafe and those who enter are treated with "kindness, compassion, dignity, and respect."  Many of our Inn members regularly volunteer at Trinity Cafe as a way of giving back to the community.  The photo above features members from the pupilage group who chose community service their group's presentation.  The Inn is committed to service and making a difference -- we appreciate the example this pupilage group and other members set and for "humanity in action."  



Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich

The Inn was pleased and proud to recognize Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich with a Lifetime Achievement Award on January 11, 2018.   Moving remarks regarding this true "trailblazer" in the legal community of Tampa Bay, Florida, were given by longtime friend and colleague, Judge Susan C. Bucklew (pictured below).


Judge Kovachevich was born in 1936 in Canton, Illinois.  She graduated from St. Paul's Catholic High School in 1953, St. Petersburg Jr. College with an AA in 1956 and the Univ. of Miami in 1958. She returned to St. Petersburg, attending Stetson University College of Law, the only woman in her class.  She graduated in 1961, second in her class.  She was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1961 and began her legal career as an aide to the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation.  During the next 11 years, she practiced law primarily as a sole practitioner.  In 1973, she was elected the first Circuit Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.  In 1982, she became the second female district judge in the Middle District of Florida after being nominated by President Jimmy Carter and thereafter, the District's first female Chief Judge in 1996. 

Judge Kovachevich has been the driving force behind a number of programs and organizations that have greatly benefited lawyers and enhanced the Bar.   For example, in 1989, she started the Stetson Univ. College of Law School Internship Program.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, of Stetson Law students have had the opportunity to participate in that program where they spend a semester interning with a federal judge. She was also involved in the Open World Program where judges from other countries came to Tampa to learn about our legal system.   She has done this and many other things all while handling a large criminal and civil caseload for over 35 years.  We were honored and inspired by Judge Kovachevich's comments upon receiving the award and it was a lovely evening for all in attendance. 


In recognition of their distinguished public service, The Goldburg-Cacciatore Inn of Court honored State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Public Defender Julianne Holt and Public Defender Bob Dillinger.  It was a memorable night at the Inn of Court as we honored these three devoted public servants who have 71 combined years of public service.  Thank you to the honorees for their service and to all who attended for making the night so special.  

(View the program here)


The Honorees with the Inn of Court Exec. Committee.  Mr. Sinacore (Immed. Past President), Ms. Laura Vaughan (Inn Chancellor), Hon. Bernie McCabe, Hon. Julianne Holt, Hon. Bob Dillinger, Hon Judge Samantha Ward (Inn President), Mr. Simon Gaugush (Inn Treasurer), and Ms. Jo Ann Palchak (Inn Clerk).

The Jack Edmund Award for Civility and Excellence

Each year the Inn presents the Herbert G. Goldburg and Ronald K. Cacciatore Criminal Law American Inn of Court's Jack Edmund Award for Civility and Excellence in the Practice of Criminal Law. The award recognizes a prominent member of the Bar who exemplifies the many qualities of the late Jack Edmund and is the most prestigious award given by the Inn.
This year the Inn proudly recognized two magistrate judges for their long-time service to the legal profession and community.  Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo and Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun III were presented the Jack Edmund award at the Inn's kick off meeting on September 18, 2017.  
ABOVE:  Magistrate Judge Mark. A. Pizzo, Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli and Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun III at the Inn of Court event.

About the Recipients: 

Judge McCoun graduated from Stetson College of Law, Gulfport, Florida in 1977.  He worked for three years as an Assistant State Attorney in the Sixth Circuit of Florida (1977-1980).  He then entered private practice as a trial lawyer doing both criminal and civil matters between 1980 & 1994. He was appointed to the position of the U.S. Magistrate Judge on February 1, 1994, and reappointed on February 1, 2002. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Stetson University College of Law.  During the evening, Judge Anthony E. Porcelli, who presented the award to Judge McCoun, reflected upon the judge's many years of service and spoke of the profound impact he had made on his own walk with the law.  Judge Porcelli spoke warmly of Judge McCoun's  legal acumen and service to the Bench and Bar. The presentation to Judge McCoun also included surprise congratulatory salutations by video -- a special treat for all. 

Judge Porcelli also presented the award to Judge Pizzo and spoke of the significant influence that Judge Pizzo has had on his life both as a lawyer and by the example he sets as a judge.  Judge Pizzo is a Tampa native and was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge in May 1995 and reappointed in May 2003.  He received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana (1974 and 1977) and served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Tampa Division from 1978 until 1994.  From 1994 until his appointment to the bench in 1995, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney. Judge Pizzo's many honors include receiving the Federal Bar Association's George C. Carr Memorial Award in 1995 for excellence in federal practice and distinguished service to the Federal Bar.   Attendees saw that the apple didn't fall far from the tree when Judge Pizzo's son, Gregory Pizzo, a practicing lawyer, stepped to the podium to share warm and eloquent comments concerning his father's long career in the law.  It was the perfect note for such a prestigious award and a very special night for all of those in attendance.   

About the Award:   Jack Thomas Edmund was a legendary criminal defense lawyer from Bartow who was tragically killed in a car accident on the evening of March 7, 2002 while on his way home from a federal trial in Tampa. He was 77.He practiced criminal law for over 46 years and tried hundreds of Federal and State cases throughout Florida, including over 100 capital cases.  


Our 2016-2017 Inn Community Service project involved Inn members serving food at Trinity Cafe.

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Each year a pupilage group organizes a community service project. This provides our Inn with an opportunity to come together as a group to help be a part of our community in need.  This year's project took us to The Trinity Cafe, whose mission is to "restore a sense of dignity to the homeless and hungry while serving a nutritious meal."  We applaud this pupilage group's choice of community service project!  Our Inn members are inspired by this effort and we continue to challenge ourselves to carry the spirit of generosity and compassion for the less fortunate in our hearts always.  For more details:

Our Inn was the winner of the 2016-2017 Inn year "Justice Games" --  we were "Untouchable" this year.  

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The Justice Games is an opportunity for all of the Inns of Courts in the Greater Tampa Bay area to get together for a night of legal trivia.  This year the theme was "a night at the movies."  Our Inn brought home the Justice Games Cup making us "untouchable" until next year.  Great fun was had by all, a red carpet worthy event.  We will see you next year to defend our title and bragging rights.

Goldburg-Cacciatore Inn of Court Reminders


  • Meetings begin with a social half hour (cash bar) at 5:30 p.m. 
  • The dinner and CLE presentation start at 6 p.m.
  • The meetings conclude no later than 8 p.m.


Meetings are normally held at The University Club which is located on the 38th Floor of the Verizon Building, One Tampa City Center (across from City Hall).  


The University Club charges the Inn for each meal served. Reminders are sent to the e-mail on file for each member before each meeting.  This e-mail contains an embedded link inviting the member to confirm attendance, meal choice and whether the member is bringing a guest.  


Per our bylaws, attendance at meetings is compulsory unless a member receives approval for the absence prior to the meeting.  To be excused from a meeting, please send an email to the Inn President by no later than 5 p.m. the Wednesday before the meeting. 


Inn members are welcomed to bring guests to the meetings with prior approval of the Inn President. There is a $35 fee for guests.  The Inn does not allow members to send guests in their place.

Goldburg-Cacciatore Inn of Court Resources