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Congratulations Richard Sicking on fifty years of practice

In March of this year, I used this blog to recognize Barry Keyfetz upon his induction as a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. That post included a discussion of 1963, the year that Barry was admitted to The Florida Bar, and mentioned that Richard Sicking was admitted the same year. I was proud last month to see them both mentioned in the Bar News, recognized for having achieved fifty years of membership.

Today, I focus on Richard, and his fifty years of practice. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1963 after graduating from the University of Miami School of Law (with highest honors). In the 2012 U.S. Census, two and one half million people were reported in Miami-Dade County.

Richard has spent a career in Florida workers’ compensation. He has practiced workers’compensation and was an instruction in the subject at the University of Miami School of Law back when Jimmy Carter was President. Richard Chaired the Florida Trial Lawyers Workers’ Compensation Section in 1972 and the Special Disability Trust Fund Committee 1971 through 1975. He served as special counsel to the Florida House of Representatives in 1983 and served on the 1989 Governor’s Task Force on Workers’ Compensation.

Richard’s service includes the Executive Council of the Workers’ Compensation Section of The Florida Bar and as a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. He is Board Certified, and has been since that was possible in 1988. In short, he has been involved, engaged and part of Florida workers’ compensation for the last fifty years.

I noted in that March posting that much happened in 1963. President Kennedy was assassinated, Martin Luther King delivered “I have a dream,” Alcatraz closed, and New Hampshire launched the first United States lottery. Legally, the Supreme Court rendered Gideon v. Wainwright. The civil rights movement was in the news. James Meredith becomes the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi. The touch-tone phone was introduced, the prototype of the Learjet first flew, and the United States Postal Service introduced a radical new process called the Zip Code. Pop-culture included the marketing of a new device called the lava lamp.

Much has changed over the last fifty years. Regardless of perspective, a very long time to practice law. For the last 25 years of it, Richard has authored or contributed to all of the moot court problems considered and argued by the Earle E. Zehmer Competition participants at the annual workers’ compensation conference in Orlando. Over the course of his career, that conference has moved from south Florida, to the Dutch Inn in Orlando, to the Peabody, and then to the Marriott.

Richard’s fifty year career has seen a variety of statutory amendments in workers’compensation. He has practiced through “bad faith,” “wage loss,” “scheduled wage loss,” “major contributing cause” and so much more. Say what you will about workers’ compensation in Florida, but you cannot say it has been less than intellectually challenging. Richard has consistently been one who takes a genuine intellectual interest in the law, its scope and its practice.

Congratulations Richard on fifty years of practice. A tremendous achievement. See you in Orlando for the 26th annual Earle Zehmer competition!

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