July 4, 2022

Jacksonville civil legal rights legal professional, Bill Sheppard, dead at 80

“He wasn’t a ‘lawyer.’ He was a gentleman who was prepared to give every little thing he had to the people today and brings about he cherished.”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville civil legal rights lawyer William ‘Bill’ Sheppard died at 80-years-previous on Saturday afternoon after an prolonged health issues. 

Sheppard still left a mark on both equally Jacksonville and Florida as a full during his time as a giant in the legal group. 

“He wasn’t a “lawyer.” He was a male who was inclined to give all the things he had to the persons and leads to he loved. He never ever gave a damn about substance matters or a person’s social status. Those people fake trappings had been of no price to him,” his spouse and legal associate, Betsy White, wrote on Fb. 

With law companion Henry Lee Adams Jr., Sheppard, Fletcher, Hand & Adams. turned the initial racially built-in law organization in Florida. Adams went on to become the initial Black judge on the 4th Judicial Circuit and the initial Black federal judge in the Center District of Florida, as claimed by The Tributary.

Sheppard is also the reason exact same-intercourse relationship is legal in Florida. His lawsuit direct to the legalization of gay marriage in the state. Jim Brenner and Chuck Jones, two guys who had been married in Canada but who’s union was not regarded in Florida, arrived to Sheppard and White with hopes of hard the condition. The pair was hoping to file a federal lawsuit against the condition of Florida to undo the voter-authorized ban on identical-intercourse relationship, as documented by the Information Support of Florida.  The fit lead to U.S. District Decide Robert Hinkle ruling that Florida’s homosexual-marriage ban was unconstitutional. 

Sheppard litigated statewide jail and jail situations on inmates behalf, primary to important advancements to treatment for those in custody, as recorded in his bio on his law firm’s website.  

The civil rights attorney’s lawsuits direct to the development of a a lot less crowded county jail as well as the federal takeover of condition prisons, The Tributary claimed. 

“The Constitution was his Bible and the search for justice was his life’s mission,” White wrote of her spouse.

Before his time as a intense attorney, Sheppard served as a Initially Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Korea. He then graduated from the College of Florida College of Law. 

Sheppard been given a very long listing of  honors throughout his time practising legislation, including the Henry Lee Adams Jr. Variety Trailblazer Award from the Jacksonville Bar Association Variety Committee, which was named following his previous law husband or wife. He was also awarded the Robert J. Beckham Equivalent Justice Award from Jacksonville Location Legal Assist, among many far more. Sheppard was acknowledged by Most effective Lawyers in The us five periods in excess of the several years. 

Sheppard is survived by his wife, kids and grandchildren. 

White wrote in her tribute to her husband, “In advance of Invoice died, I promised him I would be powerful and considerate. That is a promise I intend to maintain. It is the least I can do for the guy I really like extra than all the stars in the sky.”

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