“He was not a ‘lawyer.’ He was a gentleman who was eager to give every thing he had to the individuals and brings about he beloved.”

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

Sheppard remaining a mark on the two Jacksonville and Florida as a total throughout his time as a huge in the legal local community. 

“He was not a “lawyer.” He was a man who was keen to give all the things he experienced to the persons and triggers he beloved. He never ever gave a damn about material points or a person’s social position. Those people untrue trappings had been of no value to him,” his wife and authorized partner, Betsy White, wrote on Fb. 

With law partner Henry Lee Adams Jr., Sheppard, Fletcher, Hand & Adams. turned the very first racially integrated regulation agency in Florida. Adams went on to develop into the very first Black judge 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 purpose same-sexual intercourse relationship is legal in Florida. His lawsuit lead to the legalization of homosexual relationship in the point out. Jim Brenner and Chuck Jones, two guys who were being married in Canada but who’s union was not identified in Florida, came to Sheppard and White with hopes of hard the condition. The few was hoping to file a federal lawsuit versus the state of Florida to undo the voter-authorised ban on very same-sex relationship, as documented by the Information Service of Florida.  The go well with direct to U.S. District Choose Robert Hinkle ruling that Florida’s homosexual-marriage ban was unconstitutional. 

Sheppard litigated statewide jail and jail ailments on inmates behalf, top to key advancements to treatment for individuals in custody, as recorded in his bio on his legislation firm’s site.  

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

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

Right before his time as a fierce lawyer, Sheppard served as a To start with Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Korea. He then graduated from the College of Florida University of Law. 

Sheppard been given a very long list of  honors all through his time working towards legislation, including the Henry Lee Adams Jr. Range Trailblazer Award from the Jacksonville Bar Affiliation Variety Committee, which was named soon after his former law companion. He was also awarded the Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Award from Jacksonville Area Lawful Support, amongst lots of a lot more. Sheppard was acknowledged by Most effective Attorneys in The us 5 periods over the yrs. 

Sheppard is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren. 

White wrote in her tribute to her partner, “Ahead of Monthly bill died, I promised him I would be solid and considerate. That is a assure I intend to preserve. It is the least I can do for the person I love much more than all the stars in the sky.”

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