April 1, 2006 Regular News Lewis to lead Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis has been unanimously named by his colleagues on the Florida Supreme Court as chief justice-elect. He will become the state’s 52nd chief justice since statehood in a ceremony tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 30.His term will begin July 1 and at that time he is expected to outline his vision to lead the court. Until he assumes the responsibilities of the position, he has announced that he will continue to work to advance the priorities of current Chief Justice Barbara Pariente.“Justice Lewis has distinguished himself as the ‘education justice,’” said Chief Justice Pariente. “He is well known throughout the state as a frequent guest teacher in schools where he is passionate in his efforts to help children grow in their understanding of the law.”A native of Beckley, West Virginia, Lewis hails from an area rich in coal-mining tradition. He still keeps a jar of raw coal on his desk to remind him of his beginnings, along with New River Coal Company scrip and his grandfather’s carbide light.In his youth, Lewis became a star athlete, winning a basketball scholarship to Florida Southern College in Lakeland, where he distinguished himself in studies, athletics, and leadership. He was elected president of the sophomore, junior, and senior classes, and received the highest honor in 1969 by being selected as the Honor Walk Student, which is awarded annually to the outstanding senior student for scholastic and service achievements.Lewis, 58, went on to graduate from the University of Miami School of Law with honors. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he entered private practice in Miami, specializing in civil trial and appellate litigation. While in Miami, he also was very actively involved in issues facing children and the physically challenged.He left the practice of law upon becoming a justice of the Supreme Court effective January 1, 1999, after being appointed to that post by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles the month before.Since his appointment, Lewis has worked closely with the Florida Law Related Education Association in sponsoring the court’s annual Justice Teaching Institute, which brings 25 teachers from around Florida to the court each spring to receive specialized training in teaching about the law.Lewis routinely travels around Florida to teach in classes from elementary schools to the university level and has been instrumental in developing law-related education programs that involve other judges, lawyers, and bar organizations.Throughout his career, Lewis has worked to help persons with disabilities. While in private practice, he counseled families with children who have impairments and provided free legal services to cancer patients seeking proper treatment for multiple conditions.In the early 1990s, Lewis took on the pro bono case of Denise Montes, who would have died if she did not receive a medical treatment within 60 days that her insurance company had refused to reimburse. Despite damage to his home and office by Hurricane Andrew during this period, Lewis worked out of another attorney’s office and quickly persuaded the federal court to rule in favor of Montes, saving her life.“Satisfaction in the law,” said Lewis, “comes not from position or monetary reward but from the good, the right, and the justice that the law represents in resolving human problems.”In 2002, the University of Central Florida honored Lewis by creating the Justice R. Fred Lewis Award, awarded annually to the individual who has demonstrated the highest level of social responsibility. Justice Lewis received the inaugural award for his service to the youth of Florida. He also received the 2005 Great American, Law in Education Award, and the 2006 Guardian of The Constitution Award. Lewis to lead Supreme Court
The East Central Trojans defeated The Batesville Bulldogs 21-7 at St. Leon on Homecoming Night for EC.EC vs Batesville Football Short Box (9-19)The Trojans improve to 2-3 on the season while The Bulldogs suffer their first loss of the season and drop to 4-1.Courtesy of Trojans Director of Football Operations Stewart Durham.