Martin Levin Advocacy Center courtroom
The University of Florida’s Levin College of Law’s Criminal Justice Center will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright with a symposium, “The Right to Counsel, 50 Years Later: From Gideon v. Wainwright to The Public Defender v. State of Florida.” The program, which honors and celebrates UF Law Professor Emeritus Fletcher Baldwin’s 50 years of teaching at UF Law, will provide an historical overview of the Gideon case and a look at the right to counsel for indigent defendants, both past and present.
The 1 p.m. keynote presentation will be from Bruce Jacob, dean emeritus and professor of law at Stetson University. Jacob argued on behalf of the state of Florida in Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963. A Q&A session will follow. Other speakers will include Paul Rashking, supervisory assistant federal public defender for the Southern District of Florida, and Carlos Martinez, public defender for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida.
In 1963, the case Gideon v. Wainwright led to the acknowledgement of the right to counsel and the establishment of the Florida Public Defender System. In Gideon, the court held that “lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries.” The court acknowledged the inability of the poor to afford representation as a denial of the fundamental and essential right to a fair trial. Prior to 1963 there was no recognized constitutional right to counsel for those who could not afford it. The Public Defender Office exists to assure that the poor, or indigent, have access to justice and the right to a fair trial.
This event is approved for 3 CLE general credits.
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