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Business Observer Friday, Jan. 16, 2004 14 years ago

Doing Good

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Longtime St. Petersburg real estate lawyer Homer Duvall III was honored by the Community Law Program for his pro bono work on behalf of an elderly woman who would have lost her home if not for his help.

Doing Good

Longtime St. Petersburg real estate lawyer Homer Duvall III was honored by the Community Law Program for his pro bono work on behalf of an elderly woman who would have lost her home if not for his help.

In presenting the award at the Dec. 9 St. Petersburg Bar Association meeting, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell said Duvall - chair of the Florida Bar's Real Property Professionalism Committee - was a dedicated professional who serves on numerous committees, yet he still finds time to help those in need.

The elderly woman "was deprived, among other things, of truth in lending," said Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell. "Then her son got involved and euchred her out of the property so that had to be set aside."

In 2003, Pinellas lawyers gave 2,584 hours of their time to help indigent people through the Community Law Program. Duvall, an attorney with Holland & Knight LLP, gave the most hours. He worked 249.3 hours to save the woman's home.

Duvall is recognized as "an expert in the real estate field, having been an author and a lecturer specializing in Florida real estate problems, islands, riparian rights, swamp and overflow," Farnell said, joking that the only item missing from the lawyer's resume "was unrecorded hog leases."

Also at the meeting, guest speaker Florida Bar President Miles McGrane cited the need for more lawyers to volunteer on behalf of Florida's needy children. McGrane says statistics show there are fewer than 20 full-time legal aid and legal services attorneys dedicated to addressing the legal needs of Florida's children. That's only one legal aid attorney for every 31,000 poor children.

McGrane urged lawyers to do more on behalf of those children, either through local organizations or the state bar. More information on McGrane's "For the Children" campaign is at flabar.org.

- Janet Leiser

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