Friends and colleagues of late former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Arthur England shared memories of him at the Court today. England was best known for creating a funding system providing legal services to the poor.
In the early '80s England created a system that used interest generated by clients’ money that lawyers deposited in banks to fund legal services for low-income Floridians. The model has since been copied in every other state.
England’s fellow former Justice Joseph Hatchett remembers England presiding over a series of high-profile cases.
“He also brought a record and a reputation for excellent character and integrity, characteristics so dearly needed at that time in the court’s history," Hatchett said.
Hatchett recalled the court wading through challenges including reinstituting the death penalty and beginning the merit selection system for judges. England also pushed for a constitutional amendment greatly limiting the high court’s jurisdiction so that circuit courts had the final say in most matters. England was also remembered for putting cameras in the courtroom for the first time to open the judicial process to the public.