Foundation program to honor memory of Alan Bookman
'Alan brought to the table a certain level of leadership and spirit that rest of us don’t have, but wish that we did'
Friends of former Florida Bar President Alan Bookman have launched a Florida Bar Foundation program that will perpetuate his memory by honoring lawyers who exemplify his service.
“Alan brought to the table a certain level of leadership and spirit that rest of us don’t have, but wish that we did,” said Jacksonville attorney and former Florida Bar President Hank Coxe.
Coxe, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz, and Ft. Lauderdale’s Jesse Diner, all former Bar presidents, announced the tribute at a March 25 Board of Governors meeting.
A New Orleans native and veteran attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon in Pensacola, Bookman died December 24, 2021, at the age of 74. He served as Florida Bar president in 2005.
Tribute organizers recently established the Alan B. Bookman Memorial Fund in coordination with The Florida Bar Foundation, Coxe said. The fund has already collected $60,000, Coxe said.
“The purpose of the fund would be to annually recognize a lawyer in the State of Florida — however young, however old, however in the middle that lawyer may be — who manifests the talents, the skills, and the commitment that Alan had in every aspect of this profession,” Coxe said.
Friends are planning a tribute to Bookman at the President’s Dinner at the Annual Convention in Orlando in June, Coxe said.
Then, beginning in the next Bar year, board members will be asked to nominate an outstanding lawyer from across the state whose service and dedication best reflects Bookman’s legacy, Coxe said.
The winner will get the privilege of selecting where to donate the annual proceeds of the Bookman Memorial Fund, Coxe said.
“That would be that person’s prerogative and appreciation for that person meeting…Alan Bookman’s standards,” Coxe said.
President Michael Tanner said he was looking forward to a Bookman tribute at the convention this spring.
“As the host of this dinner at that upcoming Annual Convention, I welcome you and your group to join us for dinner, and make the tribute to Alan, or whatever it is you want to say,” Tanner said.
President-elect Gary Lesser said he was eager to do his part and has already contributed to the fund.
“Alan has given so much to the legal profession,” Lesser said. “And I think it’s great that the Foundation has taken this on. I am certainly supportive.”