Remembering Chad Cronon

ChadCrononby Attorney taleph H. Davis
Tonight, I am a loss for words and truly heartbroken upon learning of the death of my legal colleague and one of my constitutional mentors, local Orlando attorney C. Chad Cronon.
I met Chad professionally some years back, shortly after I was admitted into the Florida Bar, at one of the criminal court's many morning hearings.

We who also include the practice of criminal law within our professional practice areas routinely call this the morning criminal law "cattle call" because all of the attorneys "line up" to wait for your cases to be called, similar to "cattle" in a cattle ranch environment.

Yes, it is "cynical" professionally to call it that; but with much humor, that is what we call this process at times. At any rate, that day as I

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watched Chad articulate and argue, with uncanny ease, constitutional principles set forth with the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments, along with the related case law from memory, again with uncanny ease, was an important moment in my growth and development as a growing and relatively new admitted attorney. I had to meet this guy. I had to get to know this guy.

I was admitted on January 23, 2001. Chad was admitted on April 13, 2000. So he had not been practicing too much longer than I had. However, he knew those constitutional amendments and the related case law when he opened up his mouth to advocate for his clients to the bench.
So shortly after my matters were heard that day, I later saw him in the court house. And I walked up and introduced myself. Oddly enough, after my initial introduction, he responded "I know you. I've seen you in court" much to my surprise.

I told him that I was impressed with the ease of his articulation on these constitutional principles having to do personal liberties for the accused in criminal matters and I wanted to stay in touch and call on him for help if needed. He responded "no problem" and we became friends and in some of my toughest criminal cases and trials, he was a legal and strategic go-to resource that was limitless.

Soon thereafter, Chad would be a Lecturer in Legal Studies at the University of Central Florida and would invite me to be one of the participants each spring in the Moot Court competition for his students and students throughout the state of Florida. I was truly honored to participate, plus, as Chad would remind me "Joe you also will get a boatload of CLE's (Continuing Legal Education credits) that I am sure you will need." I participated without hesitation and was honored to participate.

As time would go on, Chad and I would have highly spirited yet friendly and respectful intellectual and legal battles on constitutional issues, sometimes, on the internet, here on Facebook, as attorneys will do. Sometimes we would agree. Sometimes we would disagree. But the one thing I would make a point to do when we would engage each other "in the public soapbox forum", would give acknowledgement that, whether we would agree, or disagree, that Chad was one of the important legal minds who helped my growth and development as an attorney who practices, among other areas, criminal law. And C. Chad Cronon was one who also continued to fuel the fire of my unshakable love, respect, and matriculating understanding of the United States Constitution and the Amendments.

Within the past hour or so, I have just learned of his passing.
And, I wanted to acknowledge my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, and those within the legal community in the greater metropolitan Orlando, Orange and Osceola communities of the tremendous loss this evening.

Rest in peace my brother, and thank you for your help.

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