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In Memoriam: Eurich Z. Griffin

Former Carlton Fields shareholder, Eurich Z. Griffin, died late last month at the age of 82. He was an indelible part of our firm’s history. The Tampa Bay Times said it this way: “When he was 31, Eurich Z. Griffin became the first Black lawyer to join a white firm in Florida.” That was Carlton Fields in 1970. For many years, Eurich was the only Black lawyer in a major firm south of Washington, D.C., from the East Coast all the way to Texas.

Eurich was a litigator, and in 1982, when I joined the firm, he was the head of one of the Tampa office trial groups. He was a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Law School, and was an accomplished trial lawyer. I had the pleasure of working with him on many cases and I learned a lot from him.

Eurich left the firm in 1994 to, as he put it, “represent real people with real problems.” He spent most of his post-Carlton Fields career at Stewart, Joyner, Jordan-Holmes & Holmes, where he worked with two other prominent Black lawyers in Tampa: Del Stewart, who was the first Black assistant public defender in Hillsborough County and the first Black lawyer to serve on the board of directors of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, and Arthenia Joyner, who was the first Black female lawyer to practice law in Hillsborough County and Tampa’s first Black female Florida state representative and state senator.

-- Nancy J. Faggianelli, Chief Diversity Officer

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