Federal Bar Association Jacksonville Chapter Celebrates 50th Anniversary | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record
The Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association celebrated its 50th anniversary Sept. 14 by honoring its founder, Senior U.S. District Judge Harvey Schlesinger.
The chapter was established in 1972, when Schlesinger was assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Florida in Jacksonville.
Its members are government lawyers, lawyers in private federal practice in small and large firms, lawyers in federal corporations and agencies, and members of the federal judiciary.
Schlesinger served as president four times in the organization’s five-decade history: 1972-73, 1973-74, 1978-79, and 1981-82.
“No one was volunteering and we wanted to keep that going,” Schlesinger said.
The association has spearheaded change in the way cases are handled in federal courts, not just in Jacksonville but across the country, such as witness lists, discovery rules, and attorney compensation. , did he declare.
US Magistrate Judge Patricia Barksdale, Chapter President in 2011-2012, recalled the evolution of the Chapter.
The section’s annual Spirit of Giving Luncheon, which annually recognizes lawyers and judges for pro bono and community service each December, was established in 2008, starting a tradition that continues today.
“It’s our annual unsuccessful attempt to get a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to visit Jacksonville,” Barksdale said.
Monthly meetings were moved from the ballrooms of downtown hotels to the main public library and then to the Bryan Simpson United States Courthouse when it opened.
“The chapter has given us hundreds of hours of CLE and hundreds of friendships,” Barksdale said.
Susanne Weisman, legal assistant to Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan, said she joined the organization in 1999 and its board in 2010.
“It’s been one of the most rewarding professional volunteer experiences I’ve had. Justice Schlesinger instilled the values of collegiality and professionalism. I’m a better advocate and a better person for this,” Weisman said.
Weisman was chapter president in 2014-15.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli of the Tampa Division of the Florida Intermediate District served as Schlesinger’s clerk from 1998 to 2000.
“This bar is by far one of the most collegial in the country because of the leadership started with Judge Schlesinger,” Porcelli said.
Laura Renstrom, Jacksonville Chapter 2022-23 president, announced that the chapter’s annual recognition meeting will now be known as The Hon. Harvey E. Schlesinger Spirit of Giving Luncheon, in effect with the 16th edition scheduled for noon Dec. 8 at the River Club.
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