Fla. Circuit Court Judge Greer, who presided over Terri Schiavo case, to speak March 19 as part of IJPM lecture series
Fla. Circuit Court Judge Greer, who presided over Terri Schiavo case, to speak March 19 as part of IJPM lecture series March 12, 2008Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
George W. Greer, a judge serving on the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Pinellas-Pasco County in Clearwater, Fla., will speak on Wednesday, March 19, at Syracuse University as part of the Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics and the Media‘s (IJPM) semester-long lecture series “Law, Politics and the Media.” His lecture, “Trials of the Century,” will take place from 2:30-4 p.m. in Room 204 of the SU College of Law. It is open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots.
Greer received national attention when he presided over the long-running Terri Schindler Schiavo case. Schiavo suffered extensive brain damage in 1990 and was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state. In 1998, her husband petitioned the court to remove her feeding tube, which her parents opposed, arguing she was conscious. The court determined that Schiavo would not wish to continue life-prolonging measures. The controversy continued for seven years and included involvement by politicians and advocacy groups. Before the court’s decision to remove the tube on March 18, 2005, the U.S. and Florida governments passed laws that sought, unsuccessfully, to prevent its removal. The case had extensive national and international media coverage.
Greer holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and a juris doctor from the University of Florida’s College of Law. In 1992, he was elected to his present position of probate judge and re-elected in 1998 and 2004. Since taking office, he has served in the juvenile, probate and guardian, criminal law and family law divisions. In March 2006, Greer was awarded the N. Neal Pike Prize by Boston University School of Law, and he was recently named Jurist of the Year by the Southeastern Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates. The Clearwater Bar Association created the George W. Greer Judicial Independence Award, first presented at the association’s Law Day Luncheon in April 2005.
Greer’s appearance is jointly sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Courts and Media at the National Judicial College and the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada. The center’s Rollan Melton Judges in J-School program sponsors visits by judges to schools of journalism to promote better relations between the bench and the press. The late Melton was a noted Nevada journalist keenly interested in the relationship between the courts and the media.
The American judicial system today operates in a complex environment of legal principle, political pressure and media coverage. The goal of the “Law, Politics and the Media” lecture series is to provide an introduction to the court system and its environment as a single, integrated subject of study. Throughout the spring semester, sitting judges, practicing lawyers and working journalists will be featured speakers.
The lecture series is part of an interdisciplinary course on law, politics and the media that is cross-listed between the College of Law and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. The course is taught by SU professors Keith Bybee (IJPM director), Lisa Dolak (IJPM associate director) and Mark Obbie (IJPM associate director), and funded through support from the John Ben Snow Foundation and the Carnegie Corp. of New York.
Launched in September 2006, IJPM is an academic institute devoted to the interdisciplinary study of issues at the intersection of law, politics and the media. A collaborative effort of the College of Law, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Newhouse School, the institute sponsors lectures, conferences and symposia designed to foster discussion and debate among legal scholars, sitting judges and working journalists.
For more information on the “Law, Politics and the Media” lecture series and IJPM, visit http://jpm.syr.edu.