In celebration of Black History Month, The Jacksonville Bar Association lunch meeting Tuesday featured a viewing of the documentary "Conversations on Catfish, Courtrooms, and Change: The Life and Times of Henry Lee Adams, Jr." The film detailed the creation of what is believed to be the first integrated law firm in Florida - Sheppard, Fletcher, Hand & Adams. It has been entered in the Amelia Island Film Festival Thursday-Sunday. Pictured from left, William Sheppard, Jack Hand, Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Lyman Fletcher and Circuit Judge Hugh Carithers, who was a partner in the firm. Adams was the first African-American judge in the Fourth Circuit, the first African-American U.S. District judge in the Middle District of Florida, appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, and the first African-American Senior U.S. District judge in the state.
Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. wasn't sure he would be in a position to make a difference in the world while growing up on Jacksonville's Eastside, but a law career filled with historic firsts has changed his mind. His life has been illustrated in the film "Conversations on Catfish, Courtrooms, and Change: The Life and Times of Henry Lee Adams, Jr.," which was shown during The Jacksonville Bar Association meeting Tuesday as a part of its Diversity Week 2012 program.