Bedell Firm Attorney John Woodlee, director, was featured as a “Leader in the Law” by the Jacksonville Daily Record. John served as the president of the board of directors for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid in 2019. JALA is Northeast Florida’s nonprofit law firm that provides civil legal assistance for people who otherwise could not afford representation.
Read an excerpt from John’s feature below, or click here to read John’s full Q&A from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Q: How did you decide your practice area? And why have you chosen that?
I love writing, and I love the process of brainstorming, culling, and refining arguments. Commercial litigation, and especially appellate litigation, are a natural fit.
Q: If I could change anything in the legal system, I would …
The most important thing we can do to change the legal system is to expand access to legal services by supporting legal aid organizations and providing pro bono services.
Q: What has been the biggest change in your practice area since you passed the Bar?
The seeds of this development were planted before I took the Bar, but courts have continued to flesh out the implications of Florida’s abolition of joint and several liability in negligence cases, including the obsolescence, in many contexts, of contribution claims and setoff defenses.
Q: What community service have you pursued and why that?
In addition to serving as court-appointed counsel in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida and the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, I serve as president of the board of directors of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. It’s incredibly gratifying to play a role in ensuring the delivery of legal services for those in need, even if my contribution to that mission as president of the board is modest compared to the hard work done by JALA’s staff and pro bono attorneys. I’m also a member of the board of directors of Jacksonville Community Coalition, Inc., a nonprofit that serves people living at Kings Ridge Apartments, which is located in a historically underserved area.