FBA Luncheon at the Hyatt – Judges Jordan and Salter
Our first FBA luncheon of the season, and our first at the Hyatt Regency was a smashing success. We were privileged to welcome Judge Jordan from the US Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, and Judge Salter from the Florida Third District Court of Appeal. The topic of their presentation was pro bono participation, which coincided with the upcoming pro bono recognition week. Judges Jordan and Salter both spoke passionately about the topic, stressing the importance of pro bono work and the benefit it has on the community and for the lawyers who are handling the cases.
Both judges touted, respectively, the revamped Southern District of Florida and Miami-Dade County websites which now make it quite easy for an attorney to register to be an attorney on a pro bono case, and select a matter. In a moment of levity, Judge Jordan indicated that this may be the only time where an attorney is permitted to forum shop, as one can pick and choose which case they want, which means the attorney can choose which judge they will be assigned to and which county the case will be held. Judge Salter stressed the need for pro bono assistance in the state system, particularly in the family division, where approximately 85% of litigants are pro se. Judge Jordan explained the predominant type of cases available in the federal system, and also explained the process of doing pro bono appellate work. He noted that while oral argument is not guaranteed, there was a high likelihood of oral argument because a judge had already flagged the case as one needing an attorney.
Both Judges Jordan and Salter graciously answered questions from the audience. Judge Graham, one of the audience members, also passionately chimed in in support of the cause as well. One of the big takeaways was, that in addition to the contribution an attorney can make in agreeing to take on a pro bono case, the experience an attorney can get in the courtroom is invaluable.
Thank you Judges Jordan and Salter!