As one of the founders of Florida's first integrated law firm, William J. "Bill" Sheppard has been highly regarded as a prominent criminal defense and civil rights attorney during his tenure practicing law. Throughout his career, he has argued cases at every level of the judicial system for protections and defenses against civil rights violations for countless individuals. He has successfully supported the causes of racial equality, while also successfully vindicating the rights of others.
As a veteran of the Korean Conflict, Mr. Sheppard has spent many years fighting for the rights of this country's veterans. Although returning veterans are entitled by law in Florida to preference in hiring, retention and promotion by state and local governments, these statutory requirements are often overlooked or disregarded. On August 19, 2013, Mr. Sheppard argued Brennan v. City of Miami, before the Third District Court of Appeal. The issue before the Court was whether the City could require an already hired employee to re-prove his veteran status to his employer prior to obtaining the benefits of the law's promotion preference. Once again, Mr. Sheppard engaged the appellate court in a lively discussion. A video of Mr. Sheppard's argument has been posted below. A decision from the Third District is pending.
In addition to representing our clients in their individual cases, one of the most gratifying experiences to the members of this firm is to prevail on a constitutional issue which benefits thousands of criminally accused defendants. Over twenty -one years ago, we were honored to have successfully argued Doggett vs. United States, 505 U.S. 647 (1992) before the United States Supreme Court. Doggetthas become the bedrock case when courts are determining whether a person's Sixth Amendment right to speedy arrest has been violated, and has been cited in thousands of decisions on this issue.
William J. Sheppard invited to speak on veteran's rights at Federal Bar Association annual meeting