Bestowed only upon courageous community leaders, Tom Edwards was unanimously elected to receive the Al J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented for lifetime achievements in protecting consumer rights and the justice system. The award states:
“A career of leadership; A career of example setting; A career of devotion; A career of courage.”
The Al Cone Lifetime Achievement Award is named for the founding President of the Florida Justice Association (F/K/A Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers) who dedicated nearly 50 years of his life to protecting civil justice and the rights of everyday working people. Al J. Cone had a profound impact on the state of Florida and on future attorneys in the civil justice arena. Cone also founded FLAG which is currently known as the Florida Justice PAC – a political action committee focused on protecting the rights of working people and consumers. Edwards served as past president of the Florida Justice Association and Chaired the statewide Florida Justice PAC, serving as a leader of both for the last two decades.
Tom Edwards was selected for the Al J. Cone Award based upon a lifetime of work meeting the ideals of the award. Throughout his career he worked to better the justice system, our community and state. His leadership includes past presidency of the FJA, Jacksonville Bar Association, and Jacksonville ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates). Recently he has served in numerous leadership roles including: The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Management Council (advises the Supreme Court on management of the Judicial System), The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice (works to improve access to civil justice in Florida for low and moderate income people), Florida Supreme Court Civil Jury Instructions, Florida Supreme Court Business Jury Instructions, Chaired the 4th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee (handles attorney ethics complaints), National Board for ABOTA, National Board for the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Board of the Area Legal Aid organization, and the Executive Committee for the Florida Bar Trial Lawyer’s Section. Edwards has published numerous legal book chapters and peer reviewed publications and lectures all over the country on a variety of topics. He likewise serves in leadership roles in community organizations.
Edwards’ continuing impact on his community is landmarked with this prestigious award. The award will be presented in the Fall of this year at the Founder’s Day Banquet of the Florida Justice Association.