Jerri BlairCountry: United States
BiographyMs. Blair, a graduate of the University of Florida, School of Law, practiced for almost thirty years in state and federal trial and appellate courts. She was involved in many high profile cases involving different areas of the law from murder/death penalty to high stakes commercial and family law cases. She was very active in seeking to improve the legal system’s treatment of children’s relationships with those who make up their family and in redefining the concept of family to include those outside of the traditional biological parent/child relationship. Her best known cases involved Gregory K, a child the media dubbed as a boy divorcing his parents, and T.W., a case involving a teenager seeking an abortion without obtaining parental consent. Both cases involved serious constitutional issues as well as compelling life-changing factual situations.
Ms. Blair has appeared on many television and radio news shows including 20/20, Dateline, A Turning Point, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Discovery, PBS News, and many others. She has also been a guest as an expert on numerous television and radio talk shows. One of Ms. Blair’s cases was voted Court TV’s all-time most popular trial for many years and was one of the first cases ever to be telecast live on CNN. The case was also the subject of two television movies, one of which, “A Place to Be,” featured Rhea Perlman as Ms. Blair. Ms. Blair’s cases and her experiences as a trial attorney have been the subject of numerous published articles including articles in NewsWeek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, newspapers all over the world, and in numerous books and treatises.
Ms. Blair is or has been a member of the Florida Bar, the United States Supreme Court Bar, and the federal bars for the Eleventh Circuit and the Florida Middle District. She served as a member of the Florida Supreme Court Gender Bias Commission, the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Children, the Florida Bar Board of Governors, Young Lawyers Division, the Florida Appellate Rules Committee, Florida Bar Foundation committees, the American Trial Lawyers Association, The American Bar, and the American Bar Foundation.
Ms. Blair’s first novel, Justice for the Black Knight was self-published in July, 2014. Kirkus described the book as: “…a must-read story of relationships, prejudices and bravery, and a vivid paean for justice.” Clarion called the book: “…a twentieth century law and order fable…”, and Red City Review wrote: “…it quite astutely tackles the topic of racism, combining the best of legal thrillers like The Firm with the exploratory contemplative tone of subtle but powerful works of literature like Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.” The novel won the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for best legal thriller and was a finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award for best African American literature. Ms. Blair has also published an article on emerging children’s rights in the ABA Journal and short stories in local publications and on line.