I want to thank many people who assisted me in the writing of this book. First, I want to thank judges George C. Young and William Terrell Hodges for their support of this project and for sharing their time and memories with me. I also want to thank the History, Education, and Public Outreach Sub-Committee of the Middle District of Florida Historical Committee, whose membership is composed of judges and practicing attorneys. The publication of a history of the district is only one of the many initiatives that the committee has undertaken since its inception. The committee organized the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, which has the mission to enhance historical awareness, to engage in community outreach, and to facilitate a greater understanding of the courts and the constitutional and judicial processes within which the federal courts operate. The society is currently engaged in teacher education programs, community outreach, and the construction of historical exhibits in Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, and Ocala courthouses.
I want to thank U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Karen S. Jennemann and U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger, cochairs of the History, Education and Public Outreach Sub-Committee when this project was first undertaken, as well as their successors, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Catherine Peek McEwen and U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli. I also want to thank Chief Judge Anne Conway and the many other judges, attorneys, and staff who served on the history committee: U.S. District Judges Susan C. Bucklew, John Antoon, Howell Melton, Virginia M. Hernandez Covington, Marcia Morales Howard, William J. Castagna, William Terrell Hodges; and U.S. Magistrate Judges Elizabeth Jenkins and Douglas Frazier. Working closely with me and with the history committee were skilled federal practitioners, Michael V. Elsberry and Richard S. Dellinger, who frequently advised me on any number of issues.
(p.viii) I want to thank the dedicated and kind staff who assisted me in my research at courthouses in Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa. In Orlando, Judge Karen Jennemann and her secretary, Cindy Courtney, were always eager to assist me, cheerfully answering questions, kindly providing me work space, and opening doors that by necessity are closely guarded. Sheryl L. Loesch, clerk of the U.S. Middle District of Florida, and her staff were extremely helpful. Her staff assisted my research visits to courthouses. In Orlando, Elizabeth Warren was always available to assist me in various ways. In Tampa, Alycia H. Marshall arranged my interviews with U.S. District Judges James S. Moody Jr., Steven Douglas Merryday, William J. Castagna, Susan C. Bucklew, and Elizabeth Kovachevich, and with U.S. Magistrate Judges Elizabeth Jenkins, Thomas Wilson, and Mark Pizzo. During an active week in Jacksonville in summer 2010, U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger cordially hosted me. Sandy Wallen in the clerk’s office set up interviews with Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Gerald Bard Tjo-flat and Susan Black, U.S. District Judges Howell W. Melton and Henry Lee Adams, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Klindt, and Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Funk.
I also want to thank other judges and lawyers who offered important information and insights on any number of subjects relevant to this book: Judges E. J. Salcines, Susan Roberts, and Mary Catherine Green; lawyers Dan Warren, Don M. Stichter, Arnold D. Levine, Richard A. Hirsch, Robert H. Mackenzie, Walter Manley, Kent Lilly, Steven Senn, William Ellsworth, Don Wilson, Terrance Smiljanich, Robert J. Trogolo, Dorothy Trogolo, Howardine Garrett, Austin Maslanik, David Henderson, Robert Norgard, Andrea Norgard, Peter Mayer, Charles Mayer, Charles Carlton, Geraldyne Carlton, Michael Wood, Richard Nail, Dale Jacobs, Robert Puterbaugh, Mac Midyette, Sam Crosby, John DeVault, Buddy Schulz, Leonard Gilbert, William J. Sheppard, J. Tom Smoot, Kristina Szurkus, Andy Combs, and Joe Tessitore.
I want to thank professional archivists at numerous research facilities that assisted me, including Jim McSweeney, Robert G. Richards, and Guy Hall at the National Archives Records Center in Morrow, Georgia. I also want to thank Bruce Ragsdale and his staff at the history section of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington D.C., especially Jake Kobrick, Matt Sarago, and Deena Smith. Also I want to thank Jim Cusick, Carl Van Ness, and Florence Turcotte at the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida. Thanks also go to Paul Ortiz and his staff at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Center for making numerous oral histories (p.ix) available to me before they were completely processed. I also want to thank Middle District archivist Katie Marra, who saved me many trips to Orlando by cheerfully forwarding illustrations and other materials to me in the final stages of this project.
Writing is a lonely, solitary affair, yet every writer owes a debt of gratitude to friends and colleagues who read and offer comment on drafts. I want to thank the learned panel of lawyers who read and commented on this work, thus assisting this nonlawyer greatly: Hon. James S. Moody Jr., Phillip Buhler, Richard Dellinger, Tom Elligett, Michael V. Elsberry, George B. Howell III, Marilyn Moran, and Thomas Michael Woods. Martin Dyckman and Canter Brown also read the entire manuscript and offered many helpful suggestions. They are in no way responsible for any of the mistakes in this book.
Two of my main concerns when I undertook this project were whether I would be granted access to judges and, more important, that I would be writing about judges and other court personnel who were still alive. The first concern was easily swept away within the first few months after I began the work. The second concern, I must confess, is still with me. I can only hope that the accounts and incidents that occur in these pages are not only accurate but fair. That was my goal throughout. But, of course, that is for others to judge. (p.x)