Jacksonville civil rights lawyer, Invoice Sheppard, useless at 80

“He was not a ‘lawyer.’ He was a person who was willing to give anything he experienced to the folks and triggers he liked.”

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

Sheppard still left a mark on each Jacksonville and Florida as a whole during his time as a big in the authorized community. 

“He was not a “lawyer.” He was a guy who was eager to give all the things he experienced to the persons and results in he beloved. He never ever gave a damn about material issues or a person’s social standing. Individuals false trappings ended up of no value to him,” his spouse and legal associate, Betsy White, wrote on Facebook. 

With law lover Henry Lee Adams Jr., Sheppard, Fletcher, Hand & Adams. grew to become the very first racially built-in legislation company in Florida. Adams went on to grow to be the initial Black choose on the 4th Judicial Circuit and the first Black federal judge in the Middle District of Florida, as claimed by The Tributary.

Sheppard is also the reason identical-intercourse marriage is authorized in Florida. His lawsuit direct to the legalization of gay marriage in the condition. Jim Brenner and Chuck Jones, two gentlemen who had been married in Canada but who’s union was not regarded in Florida, came to Sheppard and White with hopes of tough the condition. The couple was hoping to file a federal lawsuit in opposition to the point out of Florida to undo the voter-permitted ban on same-intercourse marriage, as noted by the Information Provider of Florida.  The accommodate direct 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, top to main enhancements to care for individuals in custody, as recorded in his bio on his legislation firm’s site.  

The civil rights attorney’s lawsuits direct to the design of a considerably less crowded county jail as effectively as the federal takeover of condition prisons, The Tributary documented. 

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

In advance of his time as a fierce lawyer, Sheppard served as a Initially Lieutenant in the U.S. Military in Korea. He then graduated from the University of Florida Higher education of Legislation. 

Sheppard been given a extensive checklist of  honors all through his time practicing legislation, such as the Henry Lee Adams Jr. Diversity Trailblazer Award from the Jacksonville Bar Association Range Committee, which was named just after his previous law husband or wife. He was also awarded the Robert J. Beckham Equivalent Justice Award from Jacksonville Place Lawful Support, amongst quite a few extra. Sheppard was regarded by Very best Legal professionals in America 5 occasions over the yrs. 

Sheppard is survived by his wife, young children and grandchildren. 

White wrote in her tribute to her husband, “Prior to Monthly bill died, I promised him I would be solid and considerate. That is a promise I intend to preserve. It is the minimum I can do for the man I enjoy more than all the stars in the sky.”

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