Florida Bar Pro Bono Award Recipient Posted January 13, 2016 by Tallahassee Bar Association



James Cook

2nd Judicial Circuit (Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties)

At his law office in Tallahassee, James V. Cook works almost exclusively in federal civil rights law, with cases including police misconduct, sexual misconduct in prisons and the like.

In his pro bono work with dependency cases and troubled teenagers, however, Cook’s legal help is sought by guardians ad litem, the state’s Department of Children and Families, Florida State University’s Public Interest Law Center, attorneys for other parties in cases, judges in court and even the families of children in need.

Cook has volunteered to handle many difficult cases. In one, a child was in a psychiatric facility far from his mother. The separation threatened the mother’s parental rights, but Cook helped reunite the mother, the boy and his siblings. Another challenging case involved an abused youngster who faced drug-related delinquency charges. Dealing with the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Juvenile Justice, Guardian ad Litem and even the Indian Child Welfare Act, Cook arranged for a custody agreement including the mother and an aunt and uncle. The child’s delinquency problems are being resolved.