BLS Pro Bono Hero: Jay Brown
Jay Brown is the Deputy Chair, Bankruptcy and Reorganization Practice Group at Akerman, LLP in Jacksonville, where he represents secured and unsecured creditors, committees, trustees, and debtors in bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and business law matters.
Our former Chair of the Business Law Section is a true believer in the importance of Rule 4-6.1 of The Florida Bar, and in his own professional commitment to providing legal services for the poor. In 2019, Jay fulfilled his pledge to our Section by providing over 30 hours of pro bono work, which involved participating in monthly legal clinics organized by Jacksonville Area Legal Aid where he assists pro se parties and provides full legal representation to a few clients. Since the COVID 19 pandemic hit this year, Jay has continued to volunteer his services gratis through the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid by virtual and telephonic consults with pro se parties. Jay also advocates through leadership and other volunteer roles for all Florida attorneys to provide pro bono service and supports the Florida Bar Foundation in carrying out its missions.
Among the many pro bono clients that Jay has helped throughout his career, was legal representation to a Jacksonville woman in a case he will never forget. To sum it up, a 24-year-old woman was shot by her husband during a brutal domestic violence dispute. Although her husband went to jail and the woman survived the shooting, she became paralyzed from the waist down. The woman became unable to work and provide for herself and her minor son. Her bills started to quickly pile up and her landlord pursued eviction and collection on a lease balance. Working with victim advocates in the 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s office, Jay and his partner, Katie Fackler, negotiated settlements and releases with the landlord and other creditors and assisted the client in getting a new apartment. Thanks to Jay’s dedication and measured counsel, her creditors stopped constantly harassing her. Better yet, she was able to get into a new place as she progressed on her road to recovery.
Thank you, Jay for making a significant difference in the legal community.