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Letter of Support for the Nomination of Henry Floyd, Jr. to the D.C. Court of Appeals (January 16, 2024)

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Ms. Tracy Nutall
Executive Director

Re: Support for the Nomination of Henry Floyd, Jr. to the D.C. Court of Appeals

Dear Ms. Nutall:

Washington Council of Lawyers is very pleased to submit this letter in support of Mr. Henry Floyd, Jr. for appointment to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Washington Council of Lawyers strongly endorses his candidacy.

Washington Council of Lawyers is the public interest bar association of the District of Columbia. Our large and diverse membership includes many hundreds of lawyers, legal professionals, law students, and others committed to advancing issues important to the public interest legal community. We base our endorsements on a candidate’s demonstrated commitment to pro bono and public interest law issues, and the candidate’s personal experience in promoting equal access to justice.

Mr. Floyd’s life and legal career have, from the very start, been grounded in pursuing equity and judicial fairness. Born and raised in southern Mississippi, with few resources, Mr. Floyd worked many jobs in high school and college to assist with family finances and understands what it takes to persevere and overcome hardships. From an early age, Mr. Floyd saw the law as a means of fixing injustices he saw in his home state. While in law school, he routinely volunteered to speak with local high school students about becoming involved in their communities and local government and considering legal careers. He interned at the Washtenaw County, Michigan, Public Defender’s Office in law school in order to help provide legal representation to underserved clients. During his legal career, Mr. Floyd has volunteered extensively with local and national organizations to provide resources to individuals in underserved communities.

Mr. Floyd spent most of his legal career as a civil trial attorney specializing in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and medical malpractice, with a particular focus on representing injured and disadvantaged persons in D.C. and Maryland. Recognizing the need for competent legal counsel for minority and small businesses, Mr. Floyd also co-founded a compliance and client management company centered on representing small businesses, nonprofits, and college and professional athletes. He also served as the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at a non-partisan government relations firm providing legal services to minority businesses and organizations on contracts, nonprofit governance, and compliance issues. All of these roles involved providing legal counsel to underrepresented communities.

Mr. Floyd has also devoted substantial time to volunteer work. During the pandemic, he volunteered (and continues to volunteer) with Food and Friends, packaging and delivering weekly meals to individuals unable to leave their homes due to terminal illnesses and compromised immune systems. For the past few years, he has sponsored and coordinated volunteer teams that serve holiday meals to residents in Ward 7, distribute meals for Bread for the City, and provide school supplies during the annual Ward 7 CommUNITY Day.  He has also served as a volunteer at various elementary, middle, and high schools to educate young people on topics including the US Constitution, jury service, and education and career paths.

As the Washington Council of Lawyers Board of Directors Vice President and active member, Mr. Floyd collaborates with organizational partners to distribute information on pro bono opportunities, actively encourages lawyers to engage in pro bono work, and has testified before the D.C. Council on issues including access to justice and financial support for local legal services organizations. Please note, however, that Mr. Floyd did not participate in our decision to submit this recommendation.

Mr. Floyd has also testified before the D.C. Council on behalf of the Washington Bar Association (WBA) on important matters, including the restoration of voting rights. He submitted written testimony before the D.C. Council in support of Bill 23-0324, the “Restore the Vote Amendment Act of 2019,” which restores voting rights to individuals with felony convictions in the District. The legislation passed (as the “Restore the Vote Amendment Act of 2020,” D.C. Law 23-277), becoming effective on April 27, 2021. While WBA President, he raised funds to award scholarships to minority students attending D.C. law schools. As a Member of the D.C. Superior Court’s Advisory Merit Selection Panel, he has strongly advocated for diversity in our judiciary. And as a current Commissioner on the D.C. Commission on Human Rights, he actively participates in tribunals and adjudicates private sector discrimination complaints alleging violations of the D.C. Human Rights Act. In addition to hearing these cases, he works with the other Commissioners to educate the D.C. community about options for relief if they encounter discrimination.

As a member of the American Bar Association’s Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund, Mr. Floyd helped select recipients of ABA scholarships to ensure minority students who are underrepresented in the legal profession can attend law school.  And, as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Floyd provides guidance on networking and employment opportunities, stressing the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity and giving back to our communities.

In sum, Mr. Floyd has devoted thousands of hours to work that advances the cause of justice, serves the disadvantaged, and/or preserves the rule of law. Washington Council of Lawyers strongly believes Henry Floyd would be a great appellate judge, and therefore we enthusiastically endorse his application for appointment to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Respectfully submitted,

Deborah Cuevas Hill
Washington Council of Lawyers

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