September 20, 2019
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Eglin AFB, Fla. (April 18, 2019) – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Governor’s Initiative on Lawyers Assisting Warriors (GI LAW), an initiative to leverage the talent of Florida’s leading law firms to provide pro bono services to military members.
Joined by Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director Danny Burgess, Enterprise Florida President and CEO Jamal Sowell, U.S Coast Guard Chief of Legal Assistance Chris Dunne and several of the state’s most prominent legal professionals, Governor DeSantis unveiled the new program as well as its leadership.
To spearhead the initiative, the Governor announced Chuck Faircloth, General Counsel of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, will serve as Executive Director. Steering Committee members include: Major General James O. Eifert, Adjutant General of the Florida National Guard, Danny Burgess, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs’, Bruce Grant, Vice President of Military and Defense Programs at Enterprise Florida, partners from Greenberg Traurig, partners from Holland & Knight, partners from Shutts & Bowen and partners from the Gunster law firm.
“I’m proud to be able to lead this remarkable effort to provide our active duty service members free legal services from some of the best law firms in our state,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This is a big win for our service members and our military here in Florida and I commend all those involved for their commitment to our military.”
“I am honored to have been named as one of the steering committee members for Gov. DeSantis’ new initiative to provide service members pro bono legal services,” said Major General James Eifert. “This program is simply one example of the Governor’s commitment to military issues, and I am confident that it will provide an invaluable service to our Florida servicemembers.”
Through GI LAW, our state’s men and women in uniform will receive free legal counsel in a variety of civil manners, including actions in local courts. Participating attorneys will dedicate time and expertise to ensure prompt and fair resolution of the legal matters of our service men and women. The Governor also announced GI LAW has secured the commitment of four of Florida’s top law firms: Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, Shutts & Bowen and Gunster.
The application process will be housed on a soon-to-be live webpage through Enterprise Florida’s website. Military members looking for local legal counsel will contact a JAG officer in their area, who will then work to fill out the application. The leadership of GI LAW will then work with participating firms to coordinate legal services on their behalf.