The Honorable Wm. Terrell Hodges – A Legend on the Bench for Forty-Five Years

By: Jessica Fernandez, University of Florida Levin College of Law Student

Precisely forty-five years after attending his confirmation hearing before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Senior United States District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges was honored at the University of Florida’s prestigious F-Club Room at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, December 10, 2016. With honor, distinction, and Gator pride, more than 100 attendees, including federal and state judges, former law clerks, attorneys, members of the Federal Bar Association, court staff and law students, celebrated Judge Hodges – a jurist who is truly a legend on the bench.

Judge Hodges’ experience and stature in the federal court system was recognized during the reception by Eleventh Circuit Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat; United States District Judge Mark Walker; several of Judge Hodges’ former law clerks, including Assistant United States Attorney Nathalina Hudson, United States Magistrate Judge Daniel Irick, and Assistant City Attorney Stephanie Marchman; University of Florida Levin College of Law Dean Laura Rosenbury; and Dr. Brian K. Marchman of the University of Florida. Robert Griscti, President of the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, presented a plaque to Judge Hodges from the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association; Judge Hodges took senior status in Jacksonville in 1999 and then moved to north central Florida to preside in the Ocala Division of the Middle District of Florida. James Felman, former President of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, addressed the Judge on behalf of the Tampa legal community; Judge Hodges first sat on the District bench in the Tampa Division and served from 1982-1989 as Chief Judge of the Middle District.

Judge Hodges responded to all with humor and heartfelt appreciation, recognizing his long friendships with Judge Tjoflat and other colleagues and his love for the judicial profession he remains so actively engaged in.

The program concluded with a congratulatory letter from the United States Supreme Court signed by Chief Justice John Roberts, recognizing Judge Hodges for his service as a District judge, his contributions to the national federal judiciary, including three decades to the Judicial Conference of the United States, and for Judge Hodges’ “sustained commitment to the cause of justice.”

As Judge Hodges promised on the day of his appointment, he has “held [his] position with dedication and objectivity.” He is not only to be admired, but honored, as he was on this December evening.

The “Holiday Reception to Celebrate Senior United States District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges’ Forty-Fifth Anniversary on the Federal Bench” was hosted by the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the University of Florida Levin College of Law. The Chapter sincerely thanks all those, including the national Federal Bar Association and the Jacksonville and Tampa Chapters, who helped sponsor and participate in the reception.


Congratulatory letter to Senior District Judge Hodges from Chief Justice John Roberts


Eleventh Circuit Judge Tjoflat and Judge Hodges exchanging a good story


Former law clerk Stephanie Marchman and Judge Hodges share a laugh


Donna and Jeff Dollinger enjoy the reception with the Judge

Julian Pinilla, photographer for the University of Florida Levin College of Law’s Office of Communications, is credited for all photographs included in this article.


View the Program
Recruitment Meeting with University of Florida Levin College of Law Students

On September 27, 2016, the North Central Florida Chapter provided lunch for current and prospective student members at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Alumna and North Central Florida Chapter Treasurer Peg O’Connor addressed the students. O’Connor focused on the many opportunities the local chapter presents to students to network with practicing attorneys and judges, and the invaluable perspective these individuals have to offer.

With more than 18,312 members nationwide in all disciplines of the law, O’Connor emphasized the network student can start building today. Students at the meeting also had an opportunity to meet their four school representatives and ask questions. The Chapter welcomes its ten (and counting) new student members, and is looking forward to another wonderful academic year with the students of UF Law in the Chapter's many exciting upcoming events.
Spring Judicial Reception

On April 7, 2016, the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association hosted a Spring Judicial Reception for the federal bench of the Northern District of Florida, Gainesville Division and the Middle District of Florida, Ocala Division. The Northern District of Florida - Gainesville Division bench was represented by U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones and U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge Karen K. Specie. The Middle District of Florida – Ocala Division bench was represented by U.S. Senior District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges and U.S. Magistrate Judge Philip R. Lammens. The event was held at The Wooly conference center in downtown Gainesville, with more than 100 attendees, including FBA Chapter members and Dean Laura Ann Rosenbury, faculty and students of the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.

Peg O’Connor was presented with a plaque by Robert Griscti, President of the North Central Florida Chapter, in recognition of her distinguished service as Chapter President from 2014 to 2015. Ms. O’Connor currently serves as the Chapter’s Treasurer. Attendees applauded Ms. O’Connor for her historic and ongoing service to the Chapter.

This judicial reception is the latest in a series of similar events hosted by the Chapter since its formation in 1999. A primary purpose of the Chapter is to facilitate communication between the federal bench and bar. That goal was again accomplished in this informal reception setting. We look forward to similar functions in the future.

Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres were well received. The Chapter thanks the law firms of Dean, Mead, Egerton, Bloodworth, Capouano & Bozarth, P.A.; Dell Graham, P.A.; Salter Feiber, P.A.; Scruggs & Carmichael, P.A.; Gray Robinson, P.A.; The Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit; and Turner O'Connor & Kozlowski, P.L., for helping sponsor this event.


Reception attendees mingle and enjoy the complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres


Peg O’Connor presented with a plaque by Robert Griscti, President of the North Central Florida Chapter, in recognition of her distinguished service as Chapter President from 2014 to 2015

Photos taken by Elliott Welker
Is Justice Blind? Recognizing Bias in the Legal Profession and Beyond: A Leadership Roundtable
By Kate Artman

Lawyers, individually and as a profession, make an impact in the lives of people across all racial and socioeconomic lines. Within the profession, law student populations have become increasingly diverse - but the makeup of practicing lawyers and judges continues to be remarkably homogenous. To account for this discrepancy, experts have recently turned their focus to implicit bias.

Implicit bias: two words that shape our understanding of the world around us without us even knowing it. In layman's terms, implicit bias is what drives our gut feelings: it helps us make quick decisions under pressure, creating assumptions about people in situations where we have incomplete facts and need to move quickly. But it also plays a role in everyday interactions with other people, affecting every aspect of our professional and personal lives. On March 11, 2016, judges, lawyers, law professors, and law students came together to learn about implicit bias, how to recognize it, and to discuss ways to overcome it in the legal profession.

Following on the heels of the 2014 Leadership Roundtable "Women, The Law, and Leaning Into Leadership" and the 2015 Leadership Roundtable "Redefining Success in the Legal Profession," the focus of the 2016 Leadership Roundtable turned inward to implicit bias and how it affects everyday decisions by lawyers and judges. Stephanie Marchman, Chair of the Roundtable Planning Committee, worked closely with a number of local bar associations, including the Clara Gehan Association for Women Lawyers, Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association, Josiah T. Walls Bar Association, and North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, as well as the University of Florida Levin College of Law and the University of Florida Bob Graham Center for Public Service, to organize and host this event. The program would not have been possible without the efforts and resources of these organizational sponsors and the Federal Bar Association Activity Chapter Grant and the Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Association Diversity Leadership Grant. In addition, a number of local law firms generously contributed to the program this year, including Avera and Smith; Dean Mead; Fine, Farkash and Parlapiano; The Miller Elder Law Firm; and Salter Feiber. These contributions allowed nearly 40 law students to attend the luncheon and program at no cost.

To set the stage for the 2016 Roundtable, American Bar Association President Paulette Brown, who is also Partner and co-chair of the firmwide Diversity & Inclusion Committee at Locke Lord LLP, spoke at the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association Luncheon on implicit bias in the legal profession. As part of her presentation, President Brown showed participants a short video featuring several federal and state judges recognizing and coming to terms with their own implicit biases, and simple tools they have implemented to address their biases. Implicit bias is like an emotional reaction – instead, be humble, slow down your decision making process, and be internally motivated to be fair and square. Lawyers love their gut instincts, but the evidence proves that their guts aren’t nearly as good as they think.

Following President Brown, the 2016 Roundtable began with an implicit bias introduction and workshop under the direction of Professor Jason Nance, Associate Professor of Law and Associate Director for Education Law and Policy at the Center on Children and Families at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Professor Nance defined implicit bias as the "unconscious association or preference that is so established as to operate without conscious thought." Beginning with the premise that all humans are implicitly biased, but that implicit bias can be recognized and corrected, Professor Nance conducted an abbreviated version of the Harvard University implicit association test with all of the Roundtable participants to demonstrate the strength of individuals' automatic association between objects and people. People classify other humans automatically along any number of categories, including race, gender, age, disability, and nationality. This unconscious categorization triggers attitudes and stereotypes about those people that affects all interactions with them, although implicit bias manifests itself the most when people are at their most vulnerable, such as when they are hungry, tired, or under stress.

Professor Sarah Redfield, tenured professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and nationally published author, spoke on how implicit bias directly affects lawyers. The legal profession is one of the least diverse professions (topped only by veterinarians), largely due to our natural preference for our self-identified groups. This manifestation of implicit bias explains the lack of diversity in the legal profession for people of color and women: even while law schools are turning out more diverse graduates, lawyers who are established in their profession have an innate preference for people they identify as similar to themselves. Thus, the diversification of lawyers in positions of power (equity partners, law school administrators, judges) is much slower than at entry-level positions. To fight implicit bias, Professor Redfield advised participants to be intentional in their decision making, to not make assumptions, to engage in meaningful contact with others that do not fall within their self-identified group, and finally, to intervene when others are acting on implicit bias. She also encouraged everyone to take the implicit association test.

Following the implicit bias workshop, groups of experienced lawyers, new lawyers, judges, law students and other legal professionals broke out to discuss their personal experiences with implicit bias and suggestions for de-biasing their decision making. At the end of the discussion, table moderators reported back to the larger group on their small group's discussion.

Several major themes emerged as a result of the small group discussions. Although many attorneys and lawyers had been unfamiliar with the term "implicit bias" prior to the workshop, Roundtable Moderator Ray Brady pointed out that every person present had experienced the assumptions that others make about members of the legal profession, but posited the theory that individuals who are frequently the victims of much more aggressive implicit bias - such as people of color or individuals with physical disabilities - are the most likely to have already started recognizing implicit bias and addressing it in their own interactions with others.

To remedy implicit bias, most small groups agreed that it is important to slow down and make conscious, deliberate decisions. Roundtable Moderator Julie Waldman suggested that if decisions made while angry, tired or while feeling threatened are the most susceptible to implicit bias, then the most elegant solution is to simply slow down and make mindful, intentional decisions. While slowing down may not be always possible - especially for members of the judiciary with steadily growing dockets - a conscious effort to recognize those stressors can go a long way in de-biasing decisions.

Other table discussions focused on ways to address implicit bias as a group. Roundtable Moderator Julie Naim urged lawyers and judges to educate others about implicit bias at two critical times: active intervention when lawyers see others acting on their implicit biases, and also through formal education in law schools and CLEs. By educating others about implicit bias, lawyers and judges can impose accountability standards for the profession and actively engage in positive messaging.

Implicit bias is a universal human condition - it affects our decisions about others, as well as how others interact with us. It is a condition that cannot be cured, but it can be treated. The 2016 Leadership Roundtable demonstrated that the very first step is to recognize implicit bias when it occurs both in our own personal interactions and in others. With vigilance toward implicit bias and its effects on our decision making, our choices can be made on sound reasoning and ensure justice for all.


Paulette Brown, President, American Bar Association


Federal practitioner Emily Snider reporting for her roundtable of judges, lawyers, students and Levin College of Law administrators

Photos taken by Kate Artman
Brown Bag Lunch with U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge Karen K. Specie

A "Brown Bag Lunch with United States Chief Bankruptcy Judge Karen K. Specie" was hosted by the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association at the United States Courthouse in Gainesville, Florida on March 4, 2016. Robert Griscti, Chapter President, moderated the informative discussion with Chief Judge Specie.

Practitioners from the bench and bar of the Gainesville Division, Northern District of Florida, as well as representatives of the University of Florida Levin College of Law and the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association attended the lunch. Chief Judge Specie educated the audience with advice and anecdotes from her nearly four (4) years of experience as a United States Chief Bankruptcy Judge, thirty years of private practice and longstanding service as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College Of Law, where she has taught two (2) three-credit courses: “Creditors’ Remedies and Bankruptcy” and “Secured Transactions”. Chief Judge Specie discussed the challenges of presiding over the geographically spread out Northern District, which has four (4) Divisions, two (2) time zones and only one (1) bankruptcy judge. She has nearly 3,000 cases pending as of February 2016.

Chief Judge Specie was a founding member of the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association. In March of 2011, Judge Specie was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. Before taking the bench, Judge Specie served two terms on the Florida Bar’s YLD Board of Governors and one term on the Trial Lawyers' Executive Council. She is an active member of the Florida Bar Business Law Section, Bankruptcy/UCC Committee and Judicial Liaison Committee.

For information regarding upcoming Chapter events please visit our webpage (http://www.fedbar.org/Chapters/North-Central-Florida-Chapter/North-Central-Florida-Chapter.aspx) and Facebook page.


U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge Karen K. Specie interviewed by Robert Griscti, President of the North Central Florida Chapter.
Federal Judicial Clerkship Panel

A "Federal Judicial Clerkship Panel" was hosted by the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association at the University of Florida Levin College of Law on February 23, 2016. UF Law student Joshua Jacobson, a student representative to the FBA Chapter’s Board of Directors, moderated the discussion about federal judicial clerkships. Marie Moyle, also a UF Law student and FBA Chapter representative, helped coordinate this successful event.

The Panel included U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Clifton, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary Jones, Northern District of Florida, Gainesville Division; U.S. Magistrate Judge Philip Lammens, Middle District of Florida, Ocala Division; Michael Dupée, judicial law clerk to Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice Paul, Northern District of Florida, Gainesville Division; and Erin Sales, judicial law clerk to Magistrate Judge Jones. Approximately eighty students attended the Panel discussion, as well as representatives of the North Central Florida Chapter and the University of Florida College of Law.

The panelists were informative and insightful, responding to questions from the moderator and audience and explaining their respective experiences with federal judicial clerkships in both the federal appellate and trial courts. A lunch for students followed, provided by the FBA; subs disappeared in quick order.

An audio recording of the Federal Judicial Clerkship Panel program is available by contacting Elliott Welker, assistant to Chapter President Robert Griscti, at EWelker@deanmead.com.


Joshua Jacobson, second year law student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, moderated the well-attended Judicial Clerkship Panel.





Photos taken by Julian David Pinilla, Photographer, Communications Office of the Fredric G. Levin College of Law.
Brown Bag Lunch with Senior United States District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges

A "Brown Bag Lunch with Senior United States District Judge William Terrell Hodges" was hosted by the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association at the Golden-Collum Memorial Federal Building & United States Courthouse in Ocala, Florida on February 17, 2016. Robert Griscti, Chapter President, moderated the informal and informative discussion with Senior Judge Hodges. David Wilson, FBA Chapter Board member, assisted in coordinating the event.

Thirty practitioners from the bench and bar of the Ocala Division, Middle District of Florida and the Gainesville Division, Northern District of Florida, attended the lunch, as well as representatives of the Fifth and Eighth Judicial Circuits of Florida and the University of Florida College of Law. Senior Judge Hodges educated and entertained the audience with advice and anecdotes from his forty-five (45) years of experience as a United States District Judge. He has served with distinction on many committees and assignments in the federal judicial system, including Chair of the District Judges Representatives of Judicial Conference of the United States; Chair of the Judicial Conference’s Executive Committee; Co-Chair of the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the District Judges Association of the Fifth Circuit and Chair of the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the Eleventh Circuit; Chair of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation; and currently, Chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Court Management. Among many recognitions, Judge Hodges has received The William M. Hoeveler Judicial Professionalism Award of The Florida Bar and the American Judicature Society's Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award. Senior Judge Hodges continues to manage a full trial docket in the Ocala Division.

An audio recording of Senior Judge Hodges’ presentation is available by contacting Elliott Welker, assistant to Robert Griscti, FBA Chapter President, at EWelker@deanmead.com.


Senior United States District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges interviewed by Robert Griscti, President of the North Central Florida Chapter

"Meet the Dean" at University of Florida Levin College of Law

On August 20, 2015, the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association held a “Meet the Dean” event in honor of the newly appointed dean of University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, Laura Rosenbury. The event was held downtown at the Wooly, with more than 100 attendees, including FBA members, members of the local judiciary, and law students. Mark Vincent, the President of the FBA, visited from Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the event.

Dean Rosenbury, who became acting dean on July 1, 2015, is the first permanent female dean of Levin College of Law. Previously, Dean Rosenbury taught at Washington University Law School from 2002 to 2010 and served as vice dean from 2010 to 2012. From 2013 to 2014, she was the John S. Lehmann Research Professor at Washington University Law School.

At the event, Dean Rosenbury discussed her future goals for Levin College of Law. She focused on increasing student employment and emphasized her commitment to helping graduating law students secure their first year jobs. After her introduction, Dean Rosenbury mingled with attendees for informal conversation and introductions to members of the FBA.


Laura Rosenbury, Dean of the University of Florida College of Law, interviewed by Robert Griscti, President of the North Central Florida Chapter
Redefining Success in the Legal Profession: A Leadership Roundtable

Happiness and success are concepts that are much desired, but difficult to define. Historically, success might have been defined by money and prestige, but with diversification of the legal profession comes new perspectives of what it means to be a “happy” lawyer: modern themes include achieving work-life balance, helping others, and professional autonomy. On April 10, 2015, judges, lawyers, and law students came together to discuss how concrete changes in promoting happiness could give a new definition to what success means within the legal profession, as well as promote diversity.



The event followed on the heels of the 2014 Leadership Roundtable “Women, The Law, and Leaning into Leadership,” which addressed the female leadership gap in the legal profession. From the success of the 2014 Leadership Roundtable came the goal of the 2015 event: concrete suggestions for improving happiness and diversity in the legal profession. Stephanie Marchman, Chair of the Roundtable Planning Committee, worked closely with a number of local bar associations, including the Clara Gehan Association for Women Lawyers, Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association, Josiah T. Walls Bar Association, and North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, as well as the University of Florida Levin College of Law, to organize and host this event. The program would not have been possible without the efforts and resources of these sponsors and the Federal Bar Association Activity Chapter Grant and the Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Association Diversity Leadership Grant.

The 2015 Roundtable opened with a presentation by Lawrence Krieger, clinical professor and director of clinical externship programs at the Florida State University College of Law, on the results of his study that correlated responses from 7,800 lawyers in four diverse states to determine what makes lawyers happy. Professor Krieger’s presentation began with a separation of objective success factors - including affluence, prestige, and status - from subjective factors, like human needs, internal motivation, intrinsic values, and supportive supervision. The study’s results show that the greatest indicators of happiness in lawyers are directly linked to specific subjective, internal needs, including autonomy, relatedness, competence, internal motivation, autonomy support, and intrinsic values. The happiest lawyers are those who can make their own choices, who feel well-connected with others, feel competent in their tasks, and have support from their supervisors – thus explaining why many public service lawyers report greater happiness and professional fulfillment than their higher-paying, private sector counterparts.

Following Professor Krieger’s presentation, distinguished lawyer leaders, including Sara Alpert, Mac McCarty, Martha Peters, Stacey Steinberg, Gloria Walker and Mary K. Wimsett, participated in a panel discussion on professional and personal fulfillment and what it means to be a “happy lawyer.” Following the first panel, the speakers joined small discussion groups – each a combined mix of experienced lawyers, new lawyers, law students and other legal professionals – to address what changes could be made in the workplace and among the local bar associations to promote a happier and more diverse legal profession. At the end of the discussion, table moderators reported back to the larger group on their small group’s discussion. Then, a second panel of judiciary members, including the Honorable Monica J. Brasington, Gary R. Jones, Philip R. Lammens, Sheree H. Lancaster, Mary S. Scriven, and Mark E. Walker, took up the topic of diversity in the legal profession and how each of their career paths indicate a change in the definition of “success.” 



Several major themes emerged as a result of the panel and table discussions. Chief among them was the importance and value of mentorships. Roundtable panelist Gloria Walker encouraged young attorneys to actively seek relationships with more experienced lawyers, and then later “pay it forward” and act as mentors themselves for newer attorneys. Indeed, the vast majority of the Roundtable attendees’ concrete, specific suggestions for change related to mentoring, including the creation of a program to mentor and provide scholarships to at-risk minority high school students, the provision of free or reduced price memberships to local bar associations for young and government lawyers, and the development of a diversity mentoring event for minority law students, local lawyers, and judges.

Attorney wellness was another topic of focus during the panel and table discussions. During the judicial panelist discussion, Judge Scriven urged lawyers to take care of themselves and their physical health, to commit to jobs they love and wealth will follow. She also advised the women lawyers in the room to invest in a good pair of flats to promote their happiness, as well as encouraged lawyers to never say yes right away when someone asks them to commit to something (unless it’s the President, of course, then they should say yes!). 

Judges and attorneys present at the event were also interested in balancing a demanding career with their family commitments. In fact, many of the participants suggested that family friendly workplace and bar association policies were critical to happiness and diversity. They suggested hosting family-friendly bar meetings and socials, limiting work demands during family times, allowing attorneys more flexibility by working remotely, creating more generous maternity and paternity leave policies, and developing child-friendly spaces in offices and courthouses.



Finally, the panelists and small groups discussed happiness for minorities and diverse communities within the legal profession. Women and people of color are entering the legal profession at higher rates than ever before, yet too few seem to stay. To this end, participants emphasized the importance of giving young minority lawyers client control on legal matters, thus increasing their professional autonomy, and to continue work on bridging the female leadership gap in the legal profession by appointing more women to leadership positions in law firms.

However individualized the definitions of happiness and success might be, the 2015 Leadership Roundtable discussion demonstrated that most lawyers are not that different. As a group, we want to feel like our decisions matter, that our opinions have been heard, and that we have support from those closest to us – an experience created and shared during the Roundtable itself. 
North Central Florida Chapter Holds Annual Meeting and Reception

On September 18, 2014, the North Central Florida Chapter of the FBA held its annual meeting and reception in the Advocacy Center of the University of Florida College of Law. Outgoing president Ron Kozlowski brought the membership up to date on the chapter’s achievements over the past year, including winning two honors from FBA’s national headquarters: a Chapter Community Outreach Grant from FBA’s national headquarters and a Presidential Excellence Award.

The grant was given for a writing competition open to all UF law students based on the approaching 50th anniversary of New York Times v. Sullivan, asking students to discuss the shift in judicial and legislative attitudes toward a free press and the possible consequent danger to civil rights.

The chapter earned the Presidential Excellence Award based in large part on its roundtable event entitled “Women, the Law, and Leaning into Leadership”, based on the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Nine federal judges and nine prominent attorneys from around the state descended on Gainesville to discuss leadership issues facing women in the legal profession. After a short panel discussion, moderators led each table in a focused conversation on the ideas and questions raised by the panelists.

Ron then presented a Chapter Service Award to Stephanie Marchman, a past president and membership chair. Stephanie has spent many years on the board working hard to put on excellent events, increase membership, and pitch in wherever needed. Her energy and institutional memory have been crucial to the chapter’s success.

After Judge Mickle swore in the new board members, incoming president Peg O’Connor gave the audience a peek at the events planned for the upcoming year, including a breakfast and symposium with Professor Erwin Chemerinsky; brown bag lunches with federal judges; a second leadership roundtable; and other exciting happenings.

Peg had the honor of presenting a Federal Service Award to her former co-clerk Midori Lowry, recognizing Dori’s sixteen years of dedicated service to Judge Mickle as his career clerk. Dori was with the judge on his first day on the bench in August of 1998, and she stayed with him until his last day in September of 2014.

As the highlight of the evening, Northern District United States Attorney Pam Marsh sent AUSA Corey Smith from Tallahassee to present Judge Mickle with a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder, commending the judge for his “passion for the rule of law and . . . fidelity to those whom the law protects and empowers.”

This year promises to be a busy and fulfilling one for the chapter. Stay tuned for more!
Women, The Law, And Leaning Into Leadership

On April 11, 2014, the Federal Bar Association North Central Florida Chapter, the Clara Gehan Association for Women Lawyers, Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association, Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Josiah T. Walls Bar Association, and the University of Florida Levin College of Law worked together to host a leadership roundtable discussion on the female leadership gap in the legal profession.

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Looking Ahead to 2014

The North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association is hard at work over the holidays on 2014 event planning, on the heels of receiving the national organization’s Chapter Activity Presidential Citation for programming. Chapter President Ron Kozlowski and Membership Chair Stephanie Marchman accepted the award on behalf of the Chapter at the FBA annual meeting and convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.



Ron Kozlowski (second from left) and Stephanie Marchman receive the 2013 FBA Chapter Activity Presidential Citation – one of just three awarded by the National Federal Bar Association.

The annual meeting also featured one of the best CLE programs of the year, including sessions on a range of topics beneficial to both federal and state practitioners. They included presentations on the Daubert standard, gun laws, re-entry courts for recently released offenders, and women in the law.

“The programs on women in the law, dealing with issues of equality in the legal profession, particularly the female leadership gap, were eye opening for me. The data presented was especially alarming – while women have made up about half the law school classes for 20 years, they only account for 15% of equity law partners and 25% of judges today,” Marchman said of the event. “In response, our local Chapter is planning to explore this gap and potential solutions with local judges, lawyers, and law students through panel and roundtable discussions in the spring.”

The first major federal bar event of 2014 in Florida will be in Orlando and coincide with the Florida Bar Association mid-year meetings on January 24. The national board of the FBA will be holding its meeting in Orlando with an attendant CLE and receptions. The North Central Florida Chapter will participate and sponsor the event in conjunction with other chapters throughout the state. University of Florida law professor Sharon Rush is scheduled to present on Acceptable Judicial Bias at the CLE, which also will include other prominent national figures and federal judges. Contact the Orlando FBA chapter for more information and registration instructions.

Local members also plan to journey to Washington, D.C. again in April to participate in the national Capitol Hill Day. A cadre of FBA members will fan out across the legislative offices to lobby on issues of interest to the federal bar. Last year the FBA was instrumental in prodding Congress to confirm new federal judges. All FBA members are invited to join the effort if possible.

To learn more about both national and local federal bar initiatives, visit Fedbar.org or the North Central Florida Chapter Facebook page. Better yet, join the FBA to supplement your 8-Bar membership! Take advantage of all the FBA programs, and keep a lookout for upcoming events, including CLEs and judicial luncheons.

2013 Annual Meeting

On September 16, 2013, the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association successfully hosted their annual meeting and a reception honoring the newest members of the federal bench. The reception was held at the historic Hippodrome Theatre in downtown Gainesville. Taking part in the festivities were over 100 attendees, including distinguished federal and state court judges, local practitioners, and students from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

The reception celebrated the region’s newly appointed federal judges. UF Law’s Dean Robert Jerry kicked off the event by thanking the FBA for its efforts to engage the law school in federal practice. Next, President-Elect, Ron Kozlowski, announced the honorees which included: Mark E. Walker, United States District Judge, Northern District of Florida; Karen K. Specie, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge, Northern District of Florida; Gary R. Jones, United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Florida, Gainesville Division; and Philip R. Lammens, United States Magistrate Judge, Middle District of Florida, Ocala Division. The region is truly fortunate to have such accomplished and well-respected individuals serving on the bench.

District Court Judge Mark E. Walker is a double Gator, receiving both his undergraduate and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Judge Walker’s judicial experience includes clerking for Judge Emmett Ripley Cox of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Justice Stephen H. Grimes of the Florida Supreme Court, and Judge Robert Lewis Hinkle of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. After clerking, Judge Walker spent several years as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida's Second Judicial Circuit and worked in private practice for a decade. In 2009, Judge Walker took the bench as a Florida Circuit Judge in Tallahassee before being appointed to the Federal bench by President Obama in 2012. Furthermore, it is no small accomplishment that in today’s political climate Judge Walkers’s nomination was confirmed by a unanimous 94-0 vote of approval from the United States Senate.

Judge Karen K. Specie earned her Juris Doctor at Florida State University and subsequently entered private practice in both New York and Tampa. After moving to Gainesville, Judge Specie represented business and individual debtors and served as a Chapter 7 panel trustee for the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Court for five years. In addition to re-entering private practice in 2011, she has served as an adjunct professor at UF Law for the past four years teaching courses in bankruptcy law and secured transactions. Judge Specie plans to continue teaching a bankruptcy seminar each spring at UF Law during her tenure in the Bankruptcy Court.

Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones graduated with his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami and earned his LL.M in International Law from New York University. Judge Jones has practiced commercial litigation in Florida for eighteen years. He achieved partner status in a large firm and was a named partner in a small commercial litigation firm in Miami before taking the bench as a Magistrate Judge in the Middle District in 2000. Further, he was the first Magistrate Judge to be appointed to the Financial Disclosure Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. After ten years of serving as a Magistrate Judge in the Middle District, Judge Jones was appointed as a Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of Florida.

Magistrate Judge Philip R. Lammens is a double Gator, earning both an undergraduate degree and a Juris Doctor at the University of Florida. Judge Lammens' prior experience includes clerking for Judge William Terrell Hodges in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida and Judge Joel F. Dubina in the Eleventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Before his appointment, Judge Lammens worked in the Torts Branch of the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, was an Assistant General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Middle District of Florida.

The reception was a great opportunity for the local legal community to mix and mingle while getting better acquainted with the newly appointed judges outside of the courtroom. Many young members of the legal community from the UF Law school also took advantage of this opportunity by introducing themselves to members of the Federal Bar and other distinguished members of the legal community.

Judge Lammens remarked, “The FBA event was a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with lawyers and local judges from our North Florida community.” The meeting also allowed some of the newly appointed judges to meet each other for the first time while connecting with old friends. Judge Lammens said, “It was also a great opportunity for me to meet U.S. District Judge Walker and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Specie. I hadn't met them prior to the event and I was delighted to have some time to speak with both of them. And, of course, it is always nice to have a chance to talk with U.S. Magistrate Judge Jones, who I have known for several years.” Judge Jones commented that he “would like to thank the Board of the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association for hosting the event” and stated, “The turnout and support from the members of the Gainesville and Ocala legal communities was really outstanding.”

Throughout the reception, many of the honored judges spoke about goals they have set for themselves during their tenure and expressed a deep commitment to the community. Judge Walker paid homage to the Gainesville bar stating that “I work in all four divisions” of the Northern District “and I find the highest quality of advocacy in Gainesville making it a pleasure to work there.” Judge Jones expressed a similar affinity to the Gainesville community stating, “The strong support by local Federal practitioners for an event like this demonstrates that the greater Gainesville legal community has a vibrant and very able-bodied group of lawyers engaged in federal practice.” Judge Walker also expressed his dedication to the region by vowing to conduct himself “in the tradition of Judge Paul and Judge Mickle” and recognized that he has “big shoes to fill.” Judge Lammens expressed that he was particularly glad to see practitioners from Ocala and further discussed that he hopes that “. . . more local lawyers will handle the federal cases pending in the Ocala Division.” All of the Judges expressed gratitude to the FBA for hosting this event.

To close out the evening, the FBA held its Annual Meeting to elect its officers and general board members. The FBA thanks everyone for their attendance at the annual meeting and reception, and welcomes the region’s newly appointed federal judges.

"A Toast to Judge Hodges" Federal Bar Association Reception

Senior Judge William Terrell Hodges was recognized for his 40 years (and counting) service as a United States District Judge at "A Toast to Judge Hodges" reception at the Thomas Center in Gainesville, Florida on November 2, 2012. The event was presented by the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

Judge Hodges was roasted and toasted by his colleague, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat, as well as by friends and former law clerks from Gainesville and statewide. Judges Tjoflat and Hodges reminisced about their judicial careers and friendship together, telling the audience with humor about a variety of topics, from their contacts with Supreme Court Justices to their role in the administration of the federal courts.

Appointed by President Richard Nixon to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in 1971, Judge Hodges served as Chief Judge of the Middle District from 1982 to 1989 and now resides in Gainesville, Florida and sits as Senior District Judge in the Ocala Division of the Middle District of Florida.

A few of Judge Hodges' many accomplishments and recognitions were mentioned at the reception by Stephanie Marchman, his former law clerk and prior President of the North Central Florida Chapter:

  • Chair of the District Judges Representatives of the Judicial Conference of the United States and Chair of the Judicial Conference’s Executive Committee
  • Chair of the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the Eleventh Circuit
  • Chair of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
  • 2002 recipient of the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award
The North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association includes the Gainesville Division of the Northern District of Florida, as well as the Ocala Division of the Middle District of Florida. Federal judges from both Districts attended the reception, as well as lawyers from throughout Florida, representatives of federal and state bar associations, and administrators, faculty and students from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, which is Judge Hodges' beloved alma mater.

Sponsors for the event were the national Federal Bar Association; from Jacksonville, Bedell, Dittmar, DeVault, Pillans & Coxe, P.A.; Sheppard, White & Kachergus, P.A.; Smith Hulsey & Busey; Akerman Senterfitt; and the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association; from Tampa, Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing, P.A. and the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association; from Clearwater, Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP; from Orlando, Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell; from Tallahassee, Holland & Knight LLP; and from Gainesville, the University of Florida Levin College of Law; the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association; Avera & Smith, LLP; N. Albert Bacharach, Jr., P.A.; Scruggs & Carmichael, P.A.; Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit; Larry Turner, Peg O’Connor and Ron Kozlowski; Dell Graham; Law Firm of Robert Griscti, P.A.; Donnelly & Gross, P.A.; Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano; Law Offices of Rush & Glassman; and James H. Sullivan III.

The North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association thanks everyone for their attendance at the reception and recognition of Judge Hodges on the anniversary of his forty years of service on the federal bench.
Local Federal Bar Association Starting Off Strong with “A View From the Bench” Seminar
by Peg O’Connor

The North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association is gearing up for another productive and interesting year, beginning with a half-day seminar in October packed full of CLE credits.  “A View From the Bench” will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2009 from 1-5pm at the federal courthouse in Gainesville.  The first session will be presented by Steven Brannock, a board-certified appellate attorney at Brannock & Humphries (formerly with Holland & Knight) who teaches Appellate Practice and Procedure courses at Stetson University College of Law.  Mr. Brannock will share tips and tricks on basic appellate practice for new (or infrequent) appellate practitioners.  Then, there will be updates on recent developments in both the Northern District and the Eleventh Circuit presented by our own Chief Judge Stephan P. Mickle and the Northern District Clerk’s Office.

Finally, we will hear from three distinguished judges:  Eleventh Circuit Judge Charles R. Wilson; Senior United States District Judge William H. Stafford; and United States Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones.  Together, they will discuss best practices in writing and oral argument at both the trial and appellate level.

All this education makes you hungry, you say?  Not to worry.  The seminar closes with a reception including wine and hors d’oeuvres in the jury assembly room of the federal courthouse.  During the reception, FBA will conduct its annual meeting at which officers and board members will be elected.  (Board and other leadership positions are available; if you are interested, see contact information below.)

So don’t delay—sign up today and spend an afternoon with the FBA and a number of wonderful presenters.  Fill out the registration form in this newsletter and return it with your payment (early birds get a discount), or e-mail Elizabeth Waratuke at waratukeea@cityofgainesville.org with any questions you have.
Federal Bar Association Hits the Ground Running
by Peg O’Connor

Our chapter of the Federal Bar Association (FBA) held its first board meeting on Sept. 29, 2008, voted on a number of issues, and planned some enjoyable educational and social opportunities for both the FBA membership and the legal community at large. 

In keeping with its goal of becoming a streamlined, efficient organization, the FBA voted to:
 
1.     institute a local membership fee of $25 to support chapter activities;
2.     change the chapter’s name from “Gainesville Area Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Inc.” to “North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Inc.” to more accurately reflect the demographics of the membership; and
3.     eliminate the chapter’s Young Lawyers Division, instead having two non-voting law student members of the board to be selected by the Law School Division.
 
The FBA has also planned an exciting series of brown bag lunches at the federal courthouses in Gainesville and Ocala.  These lunches will feature small-group discussions with judges, members of the clerks’ offices, probation officers, and United States marshals, to name a few.  Each lunch meeting will be geared toward a particular aspect of federal law or practice and provide useful information to practitioners.  These lunches will also be eligible for CLE credit, so keep an eye out in this newsletter for dates and locations. 

As in the past, the FBA will host an annual dinner, most likely in the late spring or early summer.  More details will follow as they develop.

The law school is playing an active role in the FBA this year.  Harlan McGuire and Alexis Cooper, the two law students on the board, are taking the lead in hosting a federal practice roundtable on October 29th to teach law students the basic structure of the federal court system and give them a primer in interesting areas of federal law such as First Amendment jurisprudence and criminal law.  Additionally, a law clerk roundtable will be held in March of 2009. Former and current law clerks will be invited to speak with law students about the role of law clerks and the application process. 

Finally, in keeping with the chapter’s name change to reflect increased participation by Ocala attorneys, meetings will be held alternately in Gainesville and Ocala, not only sharing the travel burden, but also allowing Gainesville attorneys to become more acquainted with the Ocala membership.

We’re looking forward to a productive year and invite you to join us.  For more information on membership and its benefits, contact President Stephanie Marchman at 334-5011 or marchmansm@cityofgainesville.org or Membership Director Liz McKillop at 372-1109 or lizmckillop@gmail.com.

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