Florida Trial Evidence


Don Beverly

Hal P. Dekle

F. Lee Bailey and I were trying a case in Tampa for an Olympic class shot putter whose career was destroyed when the bench press bar broke while loaded with over four hundred pounds of weight. Recently retired Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Hal Dekle, a brilliant student of the law and long time friend since his days as a circuit judge in Miami, read about the trial while visiting in Tampa and stopped by the court room to say hello. We had dinner a few nights later and he asked if I had an interest in co-authoring the original edition of Florida Trial Evidence as a fun venture the two of us could do together. I was flattered and naturally accepted the challenge. The book and successive editions, plus student editions, were published by McGraw-Hill and to our surprise and delight, sold thousands of copies and until computers took over the task, was relied on by lawyers and judges throughout Florida as the handbook of trial evidence. My friend, Justice Dekle, has since passed on, leaving an enviable legacy, this fraction of which I was honored to share.    

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