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Joseph W. Hatchett
Joseph W. Hatchett
Partner 
Co-Chair, Appellate Practice
106 East College Avenue
12th Floor
Tallahassee, FL 32301
 
Tel:
850.224.9634
Fax:
850.222.0103
 
 

Joseph W. Hatchett serves as co-chair of Akerman's Appellate Practice and co-chair of the firm's Diversity Committee. Immediately prior to joining Akerman in 1999, he served as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Florida, Georgia, and Alabama). Prior to congressional creation of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, President Jimmy Carter appointed Joseph to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama).

Joseph became the first African-American elected to the highest court of a state since Reconstruction when Governor Reuben Askew appointed him to the Florida Supreme Court in 1975. He continued to serve on that court after a successful statewide election in 1976. After a career as a civil rights lawyer in Florida, he served as Chief Assistant United States Attorney and Conscientious Objector Hearing Officer for the Department of Justice and as a full time United States Magistrate Judge, all in the Middle District of Florida.

Joseph served as the Chief Judge of the federal three judge court that drew the Florida legislative reapportionment plans in 1980 and in 1990. After leaving the bench in 1999, he led the litigation team in both the state and federal litigation related to the legislative reapportionment of 2000. In 2005, because of his experience in Florida, the federal three judge court of Georgia appointed him to aid the court in drawing the redistricting plans for the Georgia House and Senate.

In 2005, the National Bar Association inducted Joseph into its Hall of Fame in recognition of more than 40 years of dedication to the cause of justice and equality before the Courts of the United States of America, and on behalf of the African-American community. The American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession awarded him the Spirit of Excellence Award, which is presented annually to exceptional lawyers who have made significant contributions to the promotion of racial and ethnic diversity within the legal profession.
 
Awards & Recognition
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The Best Lawyers in America 2009-2015, Listed in Florida for Appellate Law
 
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Super Lawyers Magazine 2006-2014, Listed in Florida for Business Litigation, Appellate, and Alternative Dispute Resolution
 
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Florida Trend's Legal Elite 2010, Listed for Appellate Practice
 
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ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, Spirit of Excellence Award, 2007
 
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Inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame, 2005
 
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Anti-Defamation League, Jurisprudence Award, 2003
 
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Leadership Florida, Leroy Collins "Lifetime Achievement Award", 2001
 
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The Florida Bar Foundation, Medal of Honor, 2000
 
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Howard University, Honorary LL.D., 1998
 
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Florida A&M University, Honorary LL.D., 1996
 
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Stetson Law School, Honorary LL.D., 1980
 
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Florida Memorial College, Honorary LL.D., 1978
 
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National Bar Association, 1977
 
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Howard University, Post Graduate Achievement Award, 1977
 
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Broward County National Bar Association, "Most Outstanding Citizen" Award, 1976
 
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Edward Waters College, Community Service Award, 1976
 
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Florida A&M University, Bicentennial Award, 1976
 
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Bethune Cookman, Medallion for Human Relations, 1975
 
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Tampa Urban League, An Accolade for Juristic Distinction, 1975
 
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Florida Jax Club, "Man of the Year" Award, 1974
 
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Who's Who in America
 
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Notable Americans
 
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Who's Who Among Black Americans
 
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Notable Black Americans
 
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Who's Who in American Law
 
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Who's Who in the South and Southwest
 
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The American Bench
 
Published Works & Lectures
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1 George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal, 1, Author, "Is Reaching Unitary Status Enough?", Spring, 1990
 
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XI Florida Endowment for the Humanities Florida Forum 1 & 2, Speaker, "An Effective Judiciary," Spring/Summer 1988
 
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The Florida Bar, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Speaker, "Extraordinary Writs in Federal Courts," September 1987
 
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Florida State University College of Law, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Speaker, "Decision Making in the Eleventh Circuit," 1985
 
Professional Memberships & Activities
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Judicial Nominating Commission, Florida Northern District, Member
 
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International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Board of Directors
 
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The Florida Bar, Member
 
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American Bar Association, Member
 
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American Judicature Society, Member
 
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Federal Magistrate Judges Committee, Member, 1984
 
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Jacksonville Bar Association, Member
 
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D.W. Perkins Bar Association, Member
 
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Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules, Member
 
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National Bar Association, Member
 
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National Council of Federal Magistrates, Member
 
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United Negro College Fund, Volusia County, Co-Chairman, 1962
 
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Jacksonville Naval Reserve Training Corps, Committee Selection, Member, 1971
 
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Jacksonville Opportunities Industrialization Center, Board of Directors, 1972-1975
 
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Veterans of Foreign Wars
 
Related Professional Experience
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United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 1981-1999; Chief United States Circuit Judge, 1996-1999
 
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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, United States Circuit Judge, 1979-1981
 
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Supreme Court of Florida, Justice, 1975-1979
 
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United States Marine Corps Reserve, Lieutenant Colonel, 1973-1978; Retired, 1988
 
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Middle District of Florida, United States Magistrate, 1971-1975
 
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Middle District of Florida, First Assistant United States Attorney, 1968-1971
 
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Conscientious Objectors, Department of Justice, Special Hearing Officer, 1967-1968
 
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Middle District of Florida, Assistant United States Attorney, 1966-1968
 
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Daytona Beach Urban Renewal Department, Consultant, 1963-1966
 
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Masons of Florida, General Counsel, 1963-1966
 
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City Attorney, Daytona Beach, Special Assistant, 1963-1966
 
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NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Cooperating Attorney, 1960-1966
 
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United States Army, 1st Lieutenant, 1954-1956
 
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United States Marine Corps Reserve, J.A.G. Corps, Retired
 
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United States Marine Corps Reserve, Judge Advocate Division, Military Judge, Retired
 

Associated News, Events and Publications
News


Joseph W. Hatchett

Practice
Litigation
Education
LL.B., Howard University School of Law, 1959; with honors
B.A., Florida A & M University, 1954; Political Science
Bar Admissions
Florida
 
 
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