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FAMU College of Law to Host Meeting of African-American Judges

ORLANDO, Fla.

Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law will host 50 of Florida’s most distinguished jurists when members of the Latimer-Hawkins Judicial Council of the National Bar Association meet September 18-20, 2008, for their 2008 Judicial Retreat.

Featuring workshops for their members, lectures for law students, and a community forum for area youth, the event marks the third gathering of African-American judges and judicial officers from around the state.
“The tradition of the retreat represents an ideal opportunity for us to fellowship with one another, renew our personal strengths, connect with FAMU law students and faculty, and to recommit ourselves to confronting the unique challenges of serving as Black jurists in the state of Florida,” said Judge Hubert L. Grimes, president of the Latimer-Hawkins Judicial Council, Florida Chapter, National Bar Association, and a circuit court judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Volusia County.
With “Advancing the Cause of Justice” as its theme, the retreat will be highlighted by a tribute to the Honorable Peggy A. Quince, who was recently named Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, a first for an African-American woman. Justice Quince also was elected by her colleagues nationwide as Chair of the National Bar Association Judicial Council and she was named to the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. Justice Quince will be recognized during the luncheon, scheduled for noon on Friday, September 19.

“Law schools are rarely afforded an opportunity to interact with such a large group of legal scholars and experts,” said LeRoy Pernell, dean of the FAMU College of Law. “We are grateful for the insight the judges will share with our students, faculty and administration during their visit.”

Other highlights of the event include:
Thursday, September 18 8 a.m. – noon: Judicial Matchmaking Session – Based on their experience and expertise, judges are assigned to visit 10 law school classes to address hundreds of law students.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m.: Opening Plenary Session – Beginning with a processional of the judges in their robes, the session in the College of Law’s Ceremonial Moot Courtroom will include a presentation by FAMU College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell on the challenges confronting the law school; a presentation by Justice Quince on the challenges confronting the Judiciary; a panel discussion of those challenges featuring the Honorable Belvin Perry, Jr, chief judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, the Honorable James E.C. Perry, circuit court judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit in Seminole County and FAMU Law Professors Rhoda Cato and Edward Parson; followed by a re-dedication and oath of re-commitment ceremony.

Friday, September 19 noon - 2 p.m.: Honors and Recognition Luncheon – In addition to a multimedia presentation offering reflections of Justice Quince’s career, the luncheon will include a candle-lighting ceremony to pay tribute to judicial council members who passed away since the last retreat in 2003. Those deceased members include the Honorable Wilkie D. Ferguson, the Honorable Henry Latimer, and the Honorable Isaac Anderson.

Saturday, September 20 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Annual Youth Summit – Judges will visit Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 412 East Kennedy Blvd., in Eatonville, to hold roundtable discussions with more than 200 area youth.

The FAMU College of Law was founded in 1949 on the main campus in Tallahassee. After graduating 57 lawyers, the law school was closed by the state of Florida in 1968. The Florida Legislature voted to reopen the law school in 2000 and Orlando was selected as the location. The reestablished FAMU College of Law opened its doors in 2002 and is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility at 201 Beggs Avenue in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.


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