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May, McCoun inducted into Stetson Law Hall of Fame

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Stetson University College of Law recently inducted Paul Marshall May and Thomas Bullitt McCoun III into into its Hall of Fame.

For the past 17 years, Stetson Law has honored distinguished luminaries in the legal and academic arenas at its annual Hall of Fame event. Previous inductees include Charles A. Dana, William R. Eleazer, and Dolly Hand.

Paul May

Paul May

Paul May

May was a 1980 graduate of Stetson Law. His love of his alma mater led him to spearhead efforts to take the Stetson Law Alumni Association from a practically non-functioning group to a robust organization. Dean Bruce Jacob called him the “father” of today’s Stetson Law Alumni Association and attributed its long-term success to May’s work and commitment. He was president of the Alumni Association from 1986 to 1988 and created the Half Century Club for members who hit the 50-year mark.

May practiced commercial litigation, including banking, real estate, and construction in South Florida with the firm of May, Meacham and Davell. He was an active member of the Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar and was a driving force behind The Florida Bar’s Law Week in 1982. He was a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the ABA, and Alpha Phi Sigma, a national criminal justice honor society.

May passed away on April 2, 1999, following a battle with cancer. Stetson Law created the Paul M. May Meritorious Service Award – designed to be bestowed on alumni who showed continuous support to Stetson Law through contributions of time and gifts – in his honor.

Thomas B. McCoun III

Thomas McCoun

Thomas McCoun

McCoun was a 1974 graduate of Stetson Law who began his legal career as an assistant state attorney in the Sixth Circuit.

He spent years in private practice as a trial lawyer doing both criminal and civil matters, where his “no challenge is too tough” attitude made him a perfect fit for the work, according to the university. He developed a reputation for excellence in advocacy and as a result, was appointed to represent death row inmates.

McCoun would go on to accept a position as a U.S. magistrate judge in United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in February 1994.

“His sense of duty and service extended beyond the courtroom. He strongly believed in the importance of giving back and did so through service as an adjunct professor and mentoring Stetson students in the Federal Judicial Externship,” according the law school. “He also taught Sunday school for both youth and adults at First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg.”

McCoun finished three full terms on the bench and was still on active recall status to serve as needed when he died on August 27, 2019, after living 13 years with cancer. A special resolution written by his judicial colleagues noted, “much too soon, a tightly knit family lost a loving husband, father, brother and grandfather, and the citizens of the Middle District of Florida lost an eminently fair and able magistrate judge who served his community for 25 years with unwavering dedication to the fair administration of justice.”

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