Judson Clifford Cheatwood

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Judson Clifford Cheatwood

Material Information

Title:
Judson Clifford Cheatwood diligent, fair-minded, wise, and good natured arbiter (1925-2007)
Creator:
Buck, Morison
Place of Publication:
[Tampa, Fla
Publisher:
Morison Buck
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (8 p.) : ill. ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Judges -- Biography -- Florida -- Hillsborough County ( lcsh )

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General Note:
Title from caption.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
B28-00053 ( USFLDC DOI )
b28.53 ( USFLDC Handle )
NEW

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Book

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1 J U D S O N C L I F F O R D C H E A T W O O D : D I L I G E N T F A I R M I N D E D W I S E A N D G O O D N A T U R E D A R B I T E R ( 1925 2007) H e w as c our t e ous at al l t i m e s and t o a l l pe opl e and he had t he r ar e and w i nni ng f ac ul t y of al w ay s be i ng i nt e r e s t e d i n w hat e v e r a m an had t o s ay a f ac ul t y w h i c h he pos s e s s e d s i m pl y be c au s e not hi ng w as t r i v i al t o hi m w hi c h any m an or w om an or c hi l d had at he ar t T ha t m i ght s ound l i ke i t c a m e f r om a n e ul ogy f or J udge C l i f f C he a t w ood. B ut i t i s r a t he r a s l i c e of a n e xt e nde d t r i but e t o a m a n na m e d A ns on B ur l i nga m e ( 1820 1870 ) a U S A m ba s s a dor t o C hi na a nd f or m e r m e m be r of C ongr e s s i n t he m i d ni ne t e e nt h c e nt ur y. T he pr a i s e s c a m e f r om s om e one be t t e r know n t o c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a ns M a r k T w a i n. C l i f f w a s t he f i r s t bor n c hi l d o f J uds on a nd A nni e C he a t w ood. H e a r r i ve d on J une 17, 1925 a t R om e G e or g i a w he r e hi s pa r e nt s r e s i de d. T he f a m i l y w a s not una c c us t om e d t o m ovi ng a bout f r om t i m e t o t i m e a s t he he a d of t he hous e hol d w a s a l ongt i m e S e a boa r d c onduc t or C l i f f s onl y s i bl i ng w a s s i s t e r S ue ( M r s E r l e ) R a l l s B ot h c hi l dr e n gr e w up i n B i r m i ngha m A l a ba m a a nd M r s R a l l s s t i l l r e s i de s t he r e C l i f f w a s c hr i s t e ne d J uds on C l i f f or d C he a t w ood, s om e w ha t of a j a w br e a ke r f o r a youngs t e r a nd he ha s a l w a ys be e n c a l l e d C l i f f A f t e r s e r vi ng i n t he U S M e r c ha nt M a r i ne dur i ng W W I I he de c i de d a t s om e poi nt t ha t he w a nt e d t o m a ke a c a r e e r i n l a w B e f o r e he c oul d e nt e r a l a w s c hool he ne e de d unde r gr a dua t e c ol l e ge c r e di t s a nd by uns t i nt i ng e f f o r t he m e t t hos e r e qui r e m e nt s a t t he U ni ve r s i t y o f A l a ba m a a nd U ni ve r s i t y of G e or gi a r e s pe c t i ve l y.

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2 C l i f f e nr ol l e d i n S t e t s on U ni ve r s i t y C ol l e ge of L a w t he n i n D e l a nd F l o r i da a nd e a r ne d hi s l a w de gr e e i n 1951. N ot e : T he l a w s c hool c om pl e x r e l oc a t e d t o G ul f po r t i n 1954, a nd l a t e r e s t a bl i s he d t he S t e t s on T a m pa L a w C e nt e r on t he s i t e of t he f o r m e r T a m pa P ol i c e C our t a t 1620 N T a m pa S t r e e t T he l a t t e r now of f e r s a ni ght c l a s s l a w pr ogr a m a t 1700 N T a m pa S t r e e t I n t he pos t w a r e r a C he a t w ood a nd ot he r s ( l i ke t hi s s c r i ve ne r ) w i t h m i l i t a r y s e r vi c e c oul d e nt e r l a w s c hool s i n F l or i da w i t h but 60 s e m e s t e r hour s ( 2 ye a r s ) of c ol l e ge c r e di t r e qui r e d. T he G I bi l l w a s a bi g boos t f or a n e x s e r vi c e m a n or w om a n. A f t e r l a w s c hool s t i l l unm a r r i e d a nd w i t h no de pe nde nt s C l i f f t ook a j ob i n P e ns a c ol a a s a n i ns ur a nc e a dj us t e r F ol l ow i ng t ha t a s s i gnm e nt he be c a m e hous e c ouns e l f or a s t e e l f a br i c a t i ng c om pa ny i n B i r m i ngha m A l a ba m a B ut a s i t ha s be e n s a i d o f t e n be f or e he ha d be e n i n F l or i da l ong e nough t o ge t s om e s a nd i n hi s s hoe s a nd he c l e a r l y ye a r ne d t o s e t t l e i n t he S uns hi ne S t a t e I t w a s not m e r e c oi nc i de nc e t ha t b r ought C l i f f a nd hi s ow n f a m i l y t o C l e a r w a t e r B e a c h s om e t i m e dur i ng t he m i d f i f t i e s a t t he s a m e m om e nt S om e m i ght c a l l i t l uc k or f a t e ; but t h i s s c r i be pr e f e r s t o t hi nk of i t a s de s t i ny. D e a ne a l ove l y you ng w om a n w i t h gr e a t c ha r m a nd w a r m t h o f pe r s ona l i t y w a s s t a yi ng w i t h he r m ot he r f r om G r e e ns bor o, G e or gi a a t a hot e l on C l e a r w a t e r B e a c h. A s t hi ngs de ve l ope d, C l i f f a nd s om e o f hi s f a m i l y m e m be r s w e r e s t a yi ng a t t he s a m e hot e l W hi l e s i t t i ng a r ound t he ho t e l s s w i m m i ng pool one a f t e r noon, t he y di s c ove r e d t ha t bot h w e r e t he n l i vi ng i n T a m pa C l i f f obvi ous l y a t t r a c t e d t o D e a ne a t f i r s t s i ght bo l dl y a s ke d he r i f he m i ght c a l l he r a bout a da t e L a t e r a f t e r t he y m a r r i e d, he e nj oye d a l a ugh a bout he r be i ng a pi c kup on t he be a c h. A nd s o t he y w e r e w e d i n T a m pa i n 19 57, a nd f or m or e t ha n a ha l f c e nt ur y ha d a w onde r f ul l y c om f or t a bl e a nd l ovi ng l i f e t oge t he r C l i f f w a s s ur vi ve d by hi s w i f e D e a ne a nd da ught e r s C l a udi a A nn F r a nk a nd S us a n M a r i e T he df or d; a nd gr a ndc hi l d r e n, L oui s R obe r t B obby F r a nk I I I a nd C l a ude ne V i r gi ni a F r a nk, J a m e s J uds on T he df or d a nd M e r i a l A l e xa ndr a T he df o r d, a l l o f T a m pa I n a ddi t i on t o hi s undyi ng de vot i on t o t hi s f a m i l y, C l i f f w a s a m a n of de e p r e l i gi ous f a i t h; a l ongt i m e m e m be r S unda y S c hool t e a c he r de a c on a nd t r us t e e of F i r s t B a pt i s t C hur c h of T e m p l e T e r r a c e w he r e gr i e vi ng f a m i l y a nd f r i e nds a s s e m bl e d f or h i s f une r a l s e r vi c e s on J a nua r y 23, 2007. G oi ng ba c k i n t i m e a nd r e f l e c t i ng upon hi s m e m or a bl e c a r e e r w e know t ha t C l i f f s pr o f e s s i ona l r oot s w e r e f i r s t pl a nt e d i n T a m pa w he n he be c a m e a s s oc i a t e d w i t h t he s m a l l l a w f i r m o f K i c kl i t e r & S i dw e l l a bout t he m i d 1950s P a ul K i c kl i t e r w a s f or m a ny ye a r s t he s ol e J uve ni l e C our t j udge i n T a m p a H i s o f f i c e w a s i n t he H i ns on bui l di ng on t he nor t he a s t c or ne r of F r a nkl i n S t r e e t a t M a di s on i n dow nt ow n T a m pa K i c kl i t e r ul t i m a t e l y t e a m e d up w i t h B e n S i dw e l l ( l a t e r a C i r c ui t J udge pr e s i di ng ove r P r oba t e & G ua r d i a ns hi p m a t t e r s be gi nni ng a bout 1 975) a nd t he y e s t a bl i s he d a n of f i c e i n

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3 T a m pa s W e s t e r n U ni on B ui l di ng L a t e r on, K i c kl i t e r be c a m e a S t a t e S e na t or a nd w i t hdr e w f r om a ny c onne c t i on w i t h S i dw e l l & C h e a t w ood l a w f i r m H G uy S m i t h, a f i ne l a w ye r w ho now he a ds up a f l our i s hi ng l a w f i r m i n L a ke l a nd, w a s r e c r ui t e d by t he f i r m l a s t na m e d i n t he l a t e 1960s H i s he a r t f e l t f e e l i ngs a bout hi s a s s oc i a t i on w i t h C l i f f C he a t w ood f ol l ow : A f t e r pr ac t i c i ng l aw f or t w o y e ar s i n T am pa, I w a s i nv i t e d t o j oi n t he f i r m of Si dw e l l & C he at w ood and di d s o i n 1969 I be c am e a par t ne r i n t he l aw f i r m appr ox i m at e l y t w o y e ar s l at e r and t he f i r m w as t he r e af t e r k now n as Si dw e l l C he at w ood & Sm i t h, P A C l i f f w as a m e nt or t o m e of t he f i r s t or de r O v e r t h e 40 y e ar s t hat I hav e be e n i n t he pr ac t i c e of l aw I hav e had s e v e r al par t ne r s and as s oc i at e s but I hav e ne v e r had one qui t e as m e m or abl e as C l i f f C he at w ood. W he n I t hi nk of C l i f f C he at w ood I t hi nk of i nt e gr i t y i nt e l l i ge nc e gr ac i ous at al l t i m e s c ar i ng, hum bl e r e s our c e f ul l ov e d t he pr ac t i c e of l aw and s e r v i ng as an out s t andi ng C i r c ui t C our t J udge and a l ov i ng and de di c at e d hus band and f at he r T r ul y C l i f f C he at w ood w as one of t he f i ne s t m e n I hav e e v e r k now n. I am s ur e t hat s i nc e I had pr ac t i c e d l aw f or s uc h a s hor t pe r i od of t i m e be f or e j oi ni ng C l i f f I t e s t e d hi m t o t he e x t r e m e i n al l of t h e abov e qual i t i e s t hat I k now C l i f f pos s e s s e d. H ow e v e r he ne v e r s how e d any i r r i t at i on, i m pat i e nc e or unge nt l e m anl y be hav i or i n he l pi ng m e t o l e ar n t he pr ac t i c e of l aw I do r e c al l one s i t uat i on w he n a c l i e nt s i gni f i c ant l y ol de r t han m e at t he t i m e be c a m e de m andi ng and s om e w hat t hr e at e ni ng t o m e and I f r ank l y di d not k now how t o handl e t he s i t uat i on I r e m ai ne d qui e t f or a f e w m i nut e s gat he r e d m y t hought s and t he n i m m e di at e l y c he c k e d t o s e e i f C l i f f w as i n t he of f i c e T hank f ul l y he w as i n t he of f i c e s o I e x c us e d m y s e l f and r e c r ui t e d C l i f f t o c om e t o m y of f i c e and he l p m e de al w i t h t h e s i t uat i on. O f c our s e C l i f f c am e t o m y r e s c ue and i m m e di at e l y w as abl e t o s at i s f y t he de m ands of t he c l i e nt and r e s c ue m e f r om w hat w as a v e r y pai nf ul s i t uat i on. I t r u l y e nj oy e d m y f our y e ar s w i t h C l i f f C he at w ood i n t he pr ac t i c e of l aw and e nj oy e d a f r i e nds hi p w i t h hi m t hat l as t e d unt i l hi s r e c e nt de at h. M y r e s pe c t and appr e c i at i on f or C l i f f s c ont r i but i on t o m y l i f e w i l l be r e m e m be r e d f or e v e r J ohn G i l be r t of T a m pa d i s t i ngui s he d r e t i r e d C i r c ui t J udge a nd one of C l i f f s c l os e s t f r i e nds pr ovi de d t he s e t hought s r e ga r di ng J udge C l i f f C he a t w ood : I di d no t k now C l i f f w e l l unt i l our appoi nt m e nt t o t he be nc h i n 1977 C l i f f w as a qui e t m an, de v ot e d t o hi s f am i l y and hi s c hur c h but s e l dom t al k e d about h i m s e l f I d i d l e ar n t hat he gr e w up i n B i r m i ngham A l abam a ; h ad one s i s t e r and t hat hi s f at he r w as a l oc om ot i v e e ngi ne e r w hos e r out e w a s be t w e e n B i r m i ngham and A t l ant a. D ur i ng W W I I he s e r v e d i n t he m e r c hant m ar i ne t r av e l i ng be t w e e n U SA and E ngl and, s aw ot he r s hi ps i n c onv oy s unk by t he U boat s

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4 I n one of hi s c as e s w hi l e pr e s i di ng as C i r c ui t J udge he gr ant e d a s um m ar y j udgm e nt i n f av or of t he de f e ns e P l ai nt i f f appe al e d. T he 2 n d D i s t r i c t C our t r e v e r s e d at t r i al T he j ur y aw ar de d a m one y j udgm e nt t o pl ai nt i f f w h e r e upon on appe al by de f e ndant t he j udgm e nt w as r e v e r s e d. C l i f f s ai d: t he y ( D i s t r i c t C our t ) f i nal l y go t i t r i ght C l i f f s hobby w as pl ay i ng gol f O n m any oc c as i on s w e pl ay e d at hi s hom e c our s e i n T e m pl e T e r r ac e H e w as not a l ong bal l h i t t e r b ut he w as f ai r l y good ar ound t he gr e e ns H e and I w e r e l uc k y t o pl ay f or t w o day s a t A ugus t a N at i onal A l t hough he had pl ay e d at St A ndr e w s and ot he r c our s e s i n Sc ot l and, he t o l d ot he r s t hat pl ay i ng i n A ugus t a w a s t he hi ghl i ght of hi s gol f i ng c ar e e r O ne of t he b r i ght e s t l i ght s i n w ha t m i ght be c a l l e d T a m pa s l e ga l f i r m a m e nt i s A D a l l a s A l br i t t on. H e o f f e r s t he f ol l ow i ng c om m e nt s a bout C l i f f C he a t w ood: C l i f f C he at w ood and B e n S i dw e l l w e r e par t ne r s w ho pr ac t i c e d i n t he bui l di ng at 220 M adi s on St r e e t F i r s t F e de r al Sav i ngs & L oan on a f l oor be l ow A l br i t t on, Se s s um s I k now B e n and C l i f f w e l l T he y w e r e bot h e x c e l l e nt l aw y e r s v e r y c ar e f ul i n t he i r pr ac t i c e B ot h had am bi t i ons t o be c i r c ui t j udge s and bot h ac hi e v e d t he i r am bi t i on J udge C he at w ood be c am e one of t he m os t popul ar j udge s H e w as k i ndl y c oul d s pe ak i n a dr aw l k i ndl y poi nt i ng out t o c ouns e l w he r e hi s c as e w as de f i c i e nt H e l i k e d l aw y e r s and he l i k e d t he l aw and I t hi nk he w as w e l l s ui t e d t o be a j udge be c aus e he e nj oy e d t he s ubs t anc e of t he l aw w hat a c as e he l d, or w hat a s t at ut e w as t r y i ng t o do H e w as unf ai l i ngl y pol i t e and k i nd t o t hos e w ho appe ar e d be f or e hi m A s y ou k now he w as i n G e ne r al C i v i l w he r e a s B e n w as i n pr obat e and m an y l aw y e r s ne v e r w e nt t o P r obat e A t t i m e s I t hough t he w as e nt i r e l y t oo pol i t e w i t h opp os i ng c ouns e l but w hat do I k now H e l ov e d gol f R obe r t W W a l kl e y w ho pr a c t i c e s l a w i n T a m pa a s W a l kl e y & W a l kl e y, t he f i r m na m e i ni t i a t e d w i t h hi s br ot he r t he l a t e B r uc e W a l kl e y, t e l l s of a c a s e i n w hi c h he r e pr e s e nt e d a w om a n w ho t ook a s pi l l a t a m a l l S he w a s t ot a l l y una bl e t o a r t i c ul a t e w ha t ha d c a us e d he r t o f a l l e xc e pt s he di d t hi nk i t w a s a s oda. D e f e ns e m ot i on f o r s um m a r y j udgm e nt w a s he a r d by J udge C he a t w ood dur i ng t he l a s t w e e k be f or e hi s r e t i r e m e nt H e l i s t e ne d t o t he a r gum e nt s i nc l udi ng p l a i nt i f f s i f t he r e i s a ny pos s i bl e i s s ue a r gum e nt a nd s a i d: M r W al k l e y I m go i ng t o do y ou a f av or and gr ant de f e ndant s m ot i on. I n e a r l y f a l l 1977, C l i f f r e a c he d w ha t he l i ke l y c o ns i de r e d t he z e ni t h of hi s l e ga l c a r e e r w he n G ov. R e ube n A s ke w a ppoi nt e d hi m C i r c ui t J udge f o r t he 13 t h J udi c i a l C i r c ui t a nd he s e r ve d unt i l hi s r e t i r e m e nt i n 1991. A l ong t he w a y t he Y oung L a w ye r s D i vi s i on of T he F l o r i da B a r s e l e c t e d hi m a s t he O u t s t a ndi ng C i r c ui t J udge i n t he S t a t e o f F l or i da I n 1983, he w a s c hos e n by hi s f e l l ow j ud ge s i n t he C i r c ui t t o be C hi e f J udge a nd he s e r ve d w i t h di s t i nc t i on f or a f ul l 2 ye a r t e r m I n 1984 t he H i l l s bor ough C ount y B a r A s s oc i a t i o n c onduc t e d a j udi c i a l pol l a nd J udge C he a t w ood r e c e i ve d t he hi ghe s t r a t i ng of t he 33 j udge s i n t he c i r c ui t G e o r ge D uke s a r e t i r e d T a m pa l a w ye r of f i ne r e put e w ho i s s t i l l vi gor ous a t t he a ge of 97 r e po r t s t ha t M or r i s E W hi t e s e ni or a t t or ne y

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5 w i t h F ow l e r W hi t e w i t h w hom D uke s w a s a s e ni or a s s oc i a t e ha d i ns i s t e d t ha t D uke s go w i t h W hi t e t o t he i ns t a l l a t i on o f J udge C he a t w ood, s t a t i ng: H e w as a w or t hy l aw y e r w ho w oul d de v e l op i nt o a good j udge M r W hi t e s f or e c a s t w a s e nt i r e l y c or r e c t J udge C he a t w ood ne ve r ha d oppos i t i on w he n hi s na m e w a s on t he ba l l ot i n t he i nt e r i m be f or e hi s r e t i r e m e nt A f t e r hi s a ppoi nt m e nt t o C i r c ui t C our t hi s i n i t i a l a s s i gnm e nt w a s t o t he F e l ony D i vi s i on w he r e he pr e s i de d ove r a num be r of c a pi t a l c a s e s a l l hi ghl y publ i c i z e d L a t e r he w a s s hi f t e d t o t he G e ne r a l C i vi l D i vi s i on I n t h e l a t t e r pos t he he a r d t he c a s e ge ne r a l l y be l i e ve d t o be t he bi gge s t s c a nda l i n T a m pa s hi s t or y: H ow g r e e d a nd c or r upt i on ki l l e d t he M e t r opol i t a n B a nk of T a m pa J udge C he a t w ood s i gne d t he o r de r w hi c h r e voke d t he ba nk s c ha r t e r a nd l e d t o m ul t i p l e c r i m i na l c onvi c t i ons o f f r a ud. F ol l ow i ng hi s de a t h on J a nua r y 18, 2007 i n T a m pa a be a ut i f u l e ul ogy f or C l i f f w a s pr e s e nt e d by hi s gr e a t f r i e nd a nd ne i ghbo r G l e nn W a dde l l T hos e not p r e s e nt a t hi s s e r vi c e s c a n r e a d i t he r e : I t has be e n a pl e as ur e f or m e t o hav e k now n t hi s g ood m an f or m or e t han 40 y e ar s and t o hav e be e n hi s ne i ghbor i n T e m pl e T e r r ac e C l i f f l ov e d t he c om pani ons hi p of hi s f am i l y hi s f r i e nds and f e l l ow l aw y e r s and j udge s C l i f f us e d t o hav e a c l i e nt w ho w oul d s e nd hi m a bunc h o f s t one c r abs onc e i n a w hi l e ( al w ay s i n s e as on of c our s e ) and he w oul d i nv i t e s om e f r i e nds ov e r t o t he hous e s pr e ad ne w s pape r on a pi c ni c t abl e and s e r v e t hos e s t one c r abs T hat w as s om e k i nd of g o od! C l i f f w as v e r y c l os e t o hi s m ot he r i n l aw M e M e T ow ns e nd and w he ne v e r he c oul d t a l k he r i nt o i t s he w oul d f r y hi m up s om e oy s t e r s I c oul d s m e l l t he m f r y i ng and w oul d us ual l y w ande r ov e r t o t he C he at w ood s f or s om e of t hos e w onde r f ul oy s t e r s T he y al w ay s f e d m e C l i f f got t o w he r e he e nj oy e d gol f as m uc h or m or e t han f i s hi n g and he us e d t o r e al l y e nj oy a go l f w e e k e nd w i t h s om e f r i e nds at pl ac e s l i k e H ow e y i n t he H i l l s I t w as of t e n s ai d t hat C l i f f di dn t hi t f ar but i t w as r i ght dow n t he m i ddl e M y t e e s hot s l ook e d l i k e t he y w e r e hi t t hr ough t he c al f of m y l e f t l e g. C l i f f got a bi g l aug h out of t hat and I got a t r i p t o t he E R O ne of hi s m os t m e m or abl e e x pe r i e nc e s w a s a gol f t r i p t o Sc ot l and w i t h a gr oup of l aw y e r s W hi l e i n Sc ot l and, he pl ay e d t he f am ous O l d C our s e at St A ndr e w s C l i f f l ov e d Sc ot l and t he m us i c t he f ood and t he pe opl e C l i f f w as al s o pr oud of t he f ac t t hat he w as abl e t o pl ay a r ound of G ol f on t he A ugus t a N at i onal G ol f C our s e w he r e t he M as t e r s i s pl ay e d. H e and D e ane had a c hanc e t o go t o a R os e B ow l gam e i n P as ade na, C A and t he y bot h e nj oy e d t hat t r i p, t he gam e and t he par ade I n 40 y e ar s t i m e a pe r s on l e ar ns a l ot about hi s f r i e nds T hat w as m y e x pe r i e nc e w i t h C l i f f C he at w ood w ho w as a t r ue f r i e nd t o m e I t i s s ai d t hat a pe r s on i s qui t e f or t unat e i f i n t he c our s e of hi s l i f e he has one t r ue f r i e nd. C l i f f w as t hat t o m e he w as m y be s t f r i e nd. H e had t o hav e be e n be c aus e I bor r ow e d m os t of hi s t ool s w hi c h I c oul dn t us e M y daught e r L aur i e t he t ool r unne r had t o go t o C l i f f s t o bor r ow t he m and hal f t he t i m e he w ound up dow n he r e doi ng i t hi m s e l f T hat w ay he c oul d t ak e hi s t ool s bac k hom e O ne t i m e he t ol d L aur i e t o go bac k dow n t h e r e and t e l l m e t o U s e e l bow gr e as e

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6 on i t ( t o r e m ov e s om e r us t ) L aur i e had ne v e r he ar d of e l bow gr e as e be c aus e I d ne v e r us e d i t C l i f f got a bi t l augh out of t hat J udge C he at w ood pos s e s s e d qual i t i e s w hi c h ar e r a r e t oday H e w as k i nd, c om pas s i onat e s l ow t o ange r and had a bui l t i n s e ns e of f ai r ne s s and good ol d c o m m on s e ns e H i s hone s t y and i nt e gr i t y w e r e uni m pe ac habl e T he s e c har ac t e r qual i t i e s m ade hi m an out s t andi ng j udge and an out s t andi ng pe r s on. C l i f f w as pr oud t o be a s out he r ne r B or n i n G e or gi a, and r ai s e d i n B i r m i ngham he w as a t r ue s out he r n ge nt l e m a n. I n f ac t j us t t he ot he r day a f r i e nd and f or m e r ne i ghbor D i ana P i t m an c har ac t e r i z e d hi m i n t hos e v e r y w or ds M y w i f e K ay has f or a l ong t i m e de s c r i be d C l i f f C he at w ood as a pr i nc e am ong m e n. H e w as A bout 30 y e ar s ago, a f or m e r l aw par t ne r of m i ne c am e i nt o m y of f i c e c l os e d t he door and t ol d m e t hat he had be e n as k e d by t he go v e r nor s of f i c e f or c om m e nt s on t he pot e nt i al appoi nt m e nt of C l i f f C he at w ood t o t he C i r c ui t C our t H e w e nt on t o s ay t hat he had ne v e r he ar d any t hi ng r e m ot e l y ne gat i v e a bout C l i f f H e k ne w t hat C l i f f and I w e r e f r i e nds and ne i ghbor s and I t ol d hi m t ha t t he r e w as not hi ng ne gat i v e about t hi s m an. C l i f f C he at w ood w as appoi nt e d t o t he C i r c ui t C our t of t he T h i r t e e nt h J udi c i al C i r c ui t by G ov e r nor R ube n A s k e w i n 1977, and s e r v e d w i t h di s t i nc t i on and w i t hout oppos i t i on i n t hat pos i t i on unt i l hi s r e t i r e m e nt i n 1991 A f t e r r e t i r i ng, J udge C he at w ood c ont i nue d t o s e r v e as a s ubs t i t ut e j udge and as a m e di at or as l o ng as hi s he al t h pe r m i t t e d. J udge C he at w ood qui c k l y be c am e t he f av or i t e of t he t r i al l aw y e r s ar ound he r e e s pe c i al l y t he y oung l aw y e r s t o w hom he w as k now n not j us t f or hi s i n t e l l e c t and l e gal k now l e dge but al s o f or hi s pat i e nc e w onde r f ul j ud i c i al de m e anor good hum or and de s i r e t o he l p t he m l e ar n. A m ong t he honor s he c h e r i s he d t he m os t be i ng nam e d by T he Y oung L aw y e r s s e c t i on of t he F l or i da B ar as t he o ut s t andi ng c i r c ui t j udge s t at e w i de C l i f f s appr oac h t o t he l aw w as a l ot l i k e hi s appr o ac h t o l i f e ; k e e p i t s i m pl e H e had a s i m pl e s t r ai ght f or w ar d appr oac h t o e v e r y t hi ng i f y ou don t c om pl i c at e i t and pe opl e c an unde r s t and i t i t m i ght j us t t ur n out t o be r i ght I c annot e v e r r e m e m be r J udge C he at w ood be i ng ov e r t ur ne d by an appe l l at e c our t and he w as as k e d t o handl e s om e huge c om pl i c at e d c as e s C l i f f w as honor e d by hi s f e l l ow j udge s w ho e l e c t e d hi m c hi e f j udge of t hi s c i r c ui t and t o s how y ou how t he l aw y e r s f e l t i n a ne w s pape r pol l w he r e l aw y e r s w e r e as k e d t o r at e j udge s ( anony m ous l y o f c our s e ) C l i f f C he at w ood f i ni s he d f i r s t am ong 33 j udge s D e ane de s c r i be s C l i f f as a s i m pl e m an w ho l ov e d t he L or d, l ov e d hi s f am i l y l ov e d t he l aw and e nj oy e d t he c om pany of hi s m any f r i e nds C l i f f w as a hum bl e m an w ho w oul d s c ol d m e f or m e nt i oni ng t hat he w as honor e d f or any t hi ng. I m i s s e d out on t he pl e as ur e of appe ar i ng be f or e J udge C he at w ood be c aus e r i ght af t e r hi s appoi nt m e nt w e agr e e d i t w oul d be be s t t o av oi d any hi nd of i m pr opr i e t y B e s i de s he t ol d m e y ou pr obabl y c oul dn t ge t i t r i ght any w ay

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7 L as t y e ar t he m e m be r s of t he W i l l i am G l e nn T e r r e l l I nn of C our t r e nam e d t hat c hapt e r t he J C l i f f or d C he at w ood I nn of C our t T hat w as an honor of w hi c h he w as m os t pr oud. A f t e r al l J us t i c e T e r r e l l w as one of t he F l o r i da Supr e m e C our t s m os t r e v e r e d c hi e f j us t i c e s C l i f f w as a f oundi ng m e m be r and a pas t pr e s i de nt of t he c hapt e r w hi c h now be ar s hi s nam e T he I nns of C our t i s a pr e s t i gi ous nat i onw i de or gani z at i on of j udge s and l aw y e r s D ur i ng t he l as t f e w y e ar s phy s i c al pr obl e m s br oug ht a hal t t o m any of t he ac t i v i t i e s t hi s m an l ov e d. H e w as hom e bound f or s e v e r al y e ar s and i n m or e pai n t han m os t of y ou k now C l i f f ac c e pt e d t hi s f at e w i t h gr ac e a good at t i t ude and a w onde r f ul s pi r i t O ne of t he t hi ngs C l i f f m i s s e d m os t w as not be i ng abl e t o r om p w i t h hi s gr andk i ds al l of w hom he ador e d. I hav e t o s ay a w or d ab out D e ane C he at w ood, w hom K ay and I de s c r i be as t he w or l d s be s t c ar e gi v e r She t ook c ar e of C l i f f and ne v e r c om pl ai ne d or s ai d one ne gat i v e w or d about i t F or hi s par t C l i f f r e m ai ne d pos i t i v e and ne v e r be c am e bi t t e r W he n K ay and I he ar d of C l i f f s de at h, i t br ought t o our m i nds t he w or ds of t he A pos t l e P aul i n 2 T i m ot hy 4: 7 8: I hav e f ought a good f i g ht I hav e f i ni s he d m y c our s e I hav e k e pt t he f ai t h: he nc e f or t h t he r e i s l ai d up f or m e a c r ow n of r i ght e ous ne s s w hi c h t he L or d, t he r i ght e ous j udge s hal l gi v e m e at t hat day K ay and I ar e honor e d t o c ount our s e l v e s as f r i e nd s of C l i f f and D e ane C he at w ood. W e ar e goi ng t o m i s s hi m s o m uc h. T he r e w i l l be a v oi d i n our l i v e s W e w e r e bl e s s e d by k now i ng hi m and he e nr i c he d al l o ur l i v e s A l i ght he a r t e d i nt e r l ude pr ovi de d by S t e ve S t ua r t out s t a ndi ng T a m pa l a w ye r of S t ua r t & S t r i c kl a nd a s m a l l but p r e s t i t i gi ous f i r m : I f m y m e m or y i s ac c ur at e I r e c al l t hat J udge C he at w ood w as C hi e f J udge w he n a pr ac t i c e m anual appl i c abl e t o H i l l s bor ough C ou nt y w as adopt e d. K i nd of an i nf or m al gui de f or l aw y e r s w ho appe ar e d i n t he 13 t h C i r c ui t t he m anual c ont ai ne d s ugge s t i ons f or c onduc t at he ar i ngs c onduc t am ong at t or ne y and dr e s s appr opr i at e f or he ar i ngs be f or e t he j udge s I w as r oam i ng ar ound t he f i r s t f l oor of t he ol d c ou r t hous e on St P at r i c k s D ay m or ni ng w ai t i ng f or a he ar i ng w he n I s pi e d m y op pone nt J ac k R y an dr i nk i ng c of f e e i n t he c of f e e s hop. W e had a he ar i ng s c he dul e d be f or e J udge C he at w ood t hat m or ni ng. H e w as dr e s s e d i n a br i ght gr e e n s ui t e w i t h a gi ant s h am r oc k pi nne d t o hi s l ape l H e l ook e d l i k e a l ar ge l e pr e c haun w i t h a c our t f i l e A gr e at o ppor t uni t y f or a j ok e oc c ur r e d t o m e I k ne w t hat J udge C he at w ood had a w r y s e ns e of hum or s o I s pe d up t o hi s c ham be r s and as k e d t o s p e ak t o hi m be f or e t he he a r i ng. I t ol d hi m about R y an s out f i t and s ugge s t e d w e pl ay a pr ank on hi m C he at w ood r e adi l y agr e e d. A t t he he ar i ng t i m e R y an and I w al k e d i nt o t he j ud ge s c ham be r s and s at dow n. I m e nt i one d t he m at t e r w e w e r e goi ng t o a r gue but t he n s ai d, Y our honor l ook at M r

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8 R y an. I t hi nk w e hav e a de f i ni t e v i ol a t i on of t he 13 t h C i r c ui t dr e s s c ode I t hough t I w oul d br i ng t hi s m at t e r t o y our at t e nt i on W i t hout m i s s i ng a be at C he at w ood l ook e d R y an o v e r and s ai d, M r R y a n, w hat i n t he w or l d ar e y ou w e ar i ng? A r e n t y ou aw ar e o f t he dr e s s c ode i n f or c e i n t hi s c our t hous e ? W hat do y ou hav e t o s ay f or y our s e l f ? St am m e r i ng, R y an s ai d B ut J udge i t s St P at r i c k s D ay I m a f ul l bl oode d I r i s hm an and I v e dr e s s e d up l i k e t hi s s i nc e I w as f i v e y e ar s ol d! I don t c ar e I m f i ndi ng y ou i n c ont e m pt of c ou r t f or f l agr ant l y v i ol at i ng t he dr e s s c ode I m pr obabl y goi ng t o hav e t o put y ou i n j ai l R y an w as abs ol ut e l y s hoc k e d and t he n C he at w ood be gan l aughi ng and s a i d, J ac k don t w or r y w e r e j us t pl ay i ng a j ok e on y ou. A l l of us c huc k l e d and J ac k v i s i bi l y r e l i e v e d, s ank bac k i n hi s c hai r A nd I t h i nk t he l e pr e c haun w on t h a t he ar i ng. A F T E R W O R D : I t i s c e r t ai n t hat C l i f f C he at w ood has l ong s i nc e r e c e i v e d hi s r e w ar d. W e k now e ac h and e v e r y one of us t hat t o hi s e ar s s ur e l y hav e c om e t hos e bl e s s e d w or d s w hi c h he w as bor n t o he ar : W e l l done C l i f f C he at w ood, w e l l done t hou good and f ai t hf ul s e r v ant M or i s on B uc k D C I : 2 0 0 7 0 8 0 7 1 0 2 6


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APA

Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

MLA

Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

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