During his 16 years at Akerman LLP, Jim Foster was someone colleagues and friends often turned to for advice.
“He was very much a mentor to younger lawyers and even to more experienced lawyers,” said Charles Brumback, managing partner of the Orlando office.
“Having practiced for 40 years, he had a wealth of experience, and his background was such that if you asked Jim a question he had probably done it, and if he hadn’t done it, he knew somebody who had. So people were very quick to seek him out and ask for his advice on a variety of topics, legal and otherwise.”
When Foster passed away March 16 at the age of 65, the firm decided to honor him with a $10,000 memorial gift to The Florida Bar Foundation designated for its Children’s Legal Services Grant Program, which funds projects to protect the legal rights of foster children and children with special-education, mental-health and medical needs. The Foundation established the program in the early 1990s to create and energize a statewide network of children’s legal services providers.
“In our view, this was an opportunity to make something good happen out of a very, very sad situation. We found an excellent, if not the perfect recipient for this contribution,” Brumback said. “The program’s goals and accomplishments are directly in line with Akerman’s mission to make a difference in the community, particularly in the areas of education and youth development. And it’s a fitting tribute to Jim, given his passion for the law and for helping others.”
A graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, Foster joined Akerman in 1997 as a partner in the Orlando office. He was a member of the firm’s Litigation and Bankruptcy & Reorganization practice groups and served as lead counsel for several Fortune 500 companies across the United States in matters involving a wide range of complex business disputes.
“Our clients and the firm benefited not only from Jim’s superb acumen, but also from his uncompromising integrity, warmth and generosity of spirit,” Brumback said. “He was a good friend to many of us, and this contribution is an expression of Jim’s lasting legacy to our firm and the communities we serve.”
Foundation President John Patterson expressed his appreciation for Akerman’s support of Children’s Legal Services. In addition to the firm’s gift, a number of Foster’s coworkers and friends made their own memorial contributions to the Foundation.
“We are grateful that they chose to honor their colleague in this way,” Patterson said. “Their gift will benefit many children in need of the kind of help only a lawyer can provide.”