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

“He was not a ‘lawyer.’ He was a man who was keen to give everything…

“He was not a ‘lawyer.’ He was a man who was keen to give everything he experienced to the individuals and brings about he liked.”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville civil rights attorney William ‘Bill’ Sheppard died at 80-decades-outdated on Saturday afternoon soon after an extended sickness. 

Sheppard still left a mark on equally Jacksonville and Florida as a total all through his time as a big in the authorized local community. 

“He wasn’t a “attorney.” He was a male who was willing to give almost everything he experienced to the folks and causes he loved. He never gave a damn about content items or a person’s social standing. These false trappings have been of no price to him,” his wife and legal associate, Betsy White, wrote on Facebook. 

With law husband or wife Henry Lee Adams Jr., Sheppard, Fletcher, Hand & Adams. turned the initially racially built-in law organization in Florida. Adams went on to turn out to be the first Black decide on the 4th Judicial Circuit and the very first Black federal choose in the Middle District of Florida, as noted by The Tributary.

Sheppard is also the purpose similar-intercourse marriage is authorized in Florida. His lawsuit lead to the legalization of gay relationship in the point out. Jim Brenner and Chuck Jones, two adult men who have been married in Canada but who’s union was not regarded in Florida, arrived to Sheppard and White with hopes of demanding the condition. The pair was hoping to file a federal lawsuit against the condition of Florida to undo the voter-authorized ban on very same-sexual intercourse marriage, as described by the News Company of Florida.  The fit guide to U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruling that Florida’s homosexual-relationship ban was unconstitutional. 

Sheppard litigated statewide jail and prison ailments on inmates behalf, main to important enhancements to treatment for individuals in custody, as recorded in his bio on his regulation firm’s website.  

The civil legal rights attorney’s lawsuits guide to the design of a significantly less crowded county jail as nicely as the federal takeover of point out prisons, The Tributary reported. 

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

Ahead of his time as a intense attorney, Sheppard served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Korea. He then graduated from the College of Florida University of Regulation. 

Sheppard received a extended list of  honors in the course of his time practising legislation, together with the Henry Lee Adams Jr. Diversity Trailblazer Award from the Jacksonville Bar Affiliation Variety Committee, which was named just after his previous legislation husband or wife. He was also awarded the Robert J. Beckham Equivalent Justice Award from Jacksonville Region Lawful Support, amongst quite a few far more. Sheppard was recognized by Greatest Attorneys in The united states five occasions more than the several years. 

Sheppard is survived by his spouse, children and grandchildren. 

White wrote in her tribute to her partner, “Right before Invoice died, I promised him I would be solid and considerate. That is a guarantee I intend to keep. It is the least I can do for the male I adore extra than all the stars in the sky.”

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