Jacksonville civil legal rights attorney, Bill Sheppard, lifeless at 80

“He wasn’t a “attorney.” He was a man who was eager to give every little thing he experienced to the individuals and results in he loved.”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville civil legal rights legal professional William ‘Bill’ Sheppard died at 80-yrs-aged on Saturday afternoon following an prolonged health issues. 

Sheppard remaining a mark on both of those Jacksonville and Florida as a complete through his time as a large in the lawful group. 

“He wasn’t a “law firm.” He was a male who was willing to give almost everything he had to the individuals and will cause he liked. He by no means gave a damn about substance items or a person’s social position. Individuals untrue trappings had been of no price to him,” his spouse and legal companion, Betsy White, wrote on Fb. 

With legislation husband or wife Henry Lee Adams Jr., Sheppard, Fletcher, Hand & Adams. became the 1st racially built-in regulation organization in Florida. Adams went on to become the initial Black decide on the 4th Judicial Circuit and the initially Black federal decide in the Center District of Florida, as documented by The Tributary. 

Sheppard is also the rationale exact-intercourse marriage is legal in Florida. His lawsuit guide to the legalization of gay relationship in the state. Jim Brenner and Chuck Jones, two adult men who were being married in Canada but who’s union was not acknowledged in Florida, arrived to Sheppard and White with hopes of challenging the state. The couple was hoping to file a federal lawsuit from the point out of Florida to undo the voter-approved ban on same-sexual intercourse relationship, as claimed by the News Support of Florida.  The accommodate lead to U.S. District Choose Robert Hinkle ruling that Florida’s gay-relationship ban was unconstitutional. 

Sheppard litigated statewide jail and prison circumstances on inmates behalf, leading to key enhancements to care for these in custody, as recorded in his bio on his regulation firm’s internet site.  

The civil legal rights attorney’s lawsuits direct to the building of a fewer crowded county jail as very well as the federal takeover of condition prisons, The Tributary reported. 

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

Before his time as a fierce attorney, Sheppard served as a Initial Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Korea. He then graduated from the College of Florida University of Legislation. 

Sheppard received a prolonged list of  honors all through his time working towards legislation, including the Henry Lee Adams Jr. Variety Trailblazer Award from the Jacksonville Bar Affiliation Variety Committee, which was named immediately after his previous law lover. He was also awarded the Robert J. Beckham Equivalent Justice Award from Jacksonville Area Legal Support, amongst lots of additional. Sheppard was acknowledged by Greatest Lawyers in The us 5 situations over the many years. 

Sheppard is survived by his spouse, little ones and grandchildren. 

White wrote in her tribute to her spouse, “Right before Bill died, I promised him I would be powerful and thoughtful. That is a promise I intend to keep. It is the the very least I can do for the male I enjoy more than all the stars in the sky.”

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