Justice James E.C. Perry of the Florida Supreme Court will be the featured speaker at the 2013 commencement ceremony for the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 11. The ceremony for more than 150 graduates and their families will be at the Chapin Theater at the Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, Orlando.
Perry has served on the Florida Supreme Court since 2009. In 2000, he became the first African-American to serve as a circuit judge for Florida's Eighteenth Judicial Circuit. He served as Chief Judge of the Circuit from July 2003 – July 2005.
Perry earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Columbia Law School in 1972. Before his appointment to the trial bench, he was in private practice for 21 years and most recently was senior partner in the law firm of Perry & Hicks, P.A., where he specialized in civil and business law.
Perry has been actively involved in several community activities, many focusing on improving the lives of Florida’s children. As founder and president of the Jackie Robinson Sports Association, Perry built a baseball league serving 650 at-risk boys and girls – the nation’s largest. Off the field, association volunteers served as mentors and provided free tutoring to children. Perry also served as captain of the Heart of Florida United Way Campaign, and his firm served as general counsel for the Florida Chapter Branches of the NAACP. Perry has been a member of the Carter CME Tabernacle Church of Orlando for more than 30 years.
“Justice Perry’s lifelong dedication to helping young Floridians is an inspiration to us all,” said Leticia M. Diaz, dean of the Barry Law School. “Barry School of Law emphasizes compassion in the pursuit of justice, and Justice Perry embodies the spirit we want our graduates to carry with them as they enter professional life.”