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Slye wins Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award

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Slye wins Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award

The Government Lawyer Section has awarded this year’s Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award to John S. Slye, deputy general counsel with the Department of Children and Families.

John S. Slye Slye was nominated by John J. Copelan, Jr., the 1992 Claude Pepper Award recipient, and Bob Butterworth, founding chair of the Government Lawyer Section. The award will be presented June 25 during The Florida Bar Annual Convention at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

Slye has chosen public service as the capstone of his legal career, according to the section. After graduating from Duke University in 1959 and Stetson University College of Law in 1964, he quickly distinguished himself in both the legal community and the health sector by becoming president of legal and public affairs and corporate secretary for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., where he practiced for over 20 years. He then joined the law firm of Foley and Lardner in Jacksonville where he practiced health and employee benefit law. However, in 1991 he decided to enter public service as a government lawyer by accepting appointment as the general counsel for the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. Since then he continued to serve the children and citizens of this state in positions with the DCF, including his current position.

“[I]t has been said that there is no higher calling for lawyers than public service,” Copelan and Butterworth wrote in their nomination letter. “For some that is a slogan; for John that is a way of life.”

The Claude Pepper Award is presented to a government lawyer, typically with many years of service, whose character and accomplishments exemplify the highest ideals of government service. Recipients are well-rounded lawyers, whose importance to their agency or employer is irrefutable. The award is named in honor of the late Claude Pepper, a Florida attorney, U.S. senator, and congressman.

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