Tally-to-Jax marathon series to fund medical legal partnership


Members of the Jacksonville Bar Association (JBA) representing Big Law, alternative dispute resolution and solo/small firms are entering into an epic battle to see who can garner the most support for Freed to Run 6.0, which is expected to fully fund an endowment for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership (NFMLP) this month. 

In this three-way showdown, teams called Too Big to Fail (Big Law), Neutrals Never Quit (JBA alternative dispute resolution practitioners committee) and Too Small to Fall (solo and small-firm committee) will use sheer will and persuasion to determine who can: 

  • sign up the most JBA members, 
  • run the most aggregate miles, and 
  • raise the most money for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership. 

Each group will field a relay team to run in the last of the six Freed to Run marathons, which will be run on Nov. 19. Freed to Run will provide buses to transport runners from the Duval County Courthouse to the start at the Baker County Courthouse in Macclenny, and to pick up and drop off relay participants along the route.  

The Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership provides civil legal aid to pediatric patients and their families to help the children overcome barriers to their wellness, including landlord-tenant, health coverage, family law and other issues.  

Gunster shareholder Asghar Syed, captain of Too Big to Fail, said he thinks Big Law is going to crush it.

“As we all know, ‘Size matters,’” Syed said. “And we’re out to prove it yet again. But in the end, this is all for the kids, so whether we win or lose, the kids win.”

Robert Travieso of The Travieso Law Firm, captain of Too Small to Fall, agreed.
“We are having a lot of fun with the rivalry, but only to draw attention to this very important issue,” Travieso said. “Children who are already dealing with health issues shouldn’t have to worry about things like being denied insurance coverage or substandard housing conditions that are making their health matters worse. By permanently funding the NFMLP, we are ensuring they’ll have a lawyer in their corner.” 
Jennifer Grippa of Miles Mediation and Arbitration, co-captain of Neutrals Never Quit along with Penny Schmidt of Jax Mediation Center, said she’s happy to be part of a truly “healthy” competition. 

“Of course, I never take sides, so it’s nice that all of our teams are in total agreement here,” Grippa said. “We all have the same goal in our sights, which is to put the NFMLP endowment over the top.” 

All donations go to endow the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership and are matched at 125% by Baptist Health up to $1.25 million. With the match, the six-year fundraising total is expected to reach the goal of $2.25 million to fully fund the endowment by the end of the year. 

To register with or support one of the teams, go to: 

  • Too Big to Fail: www.jaxlegalaid.org/toobig 
  • Too Small to Fall: www.jaxlegalaid.org/toosmall 
  • Neutrals Never Quit: www.jaxlegalaid.org/neutral

For more information, contact:  

Too Big to Fail — Asghar Syed: asyed@gunster.com  

Too Small to Fall — Robert Travieso: robert@traviesolawfirm.com  

Neutrals Never Quit — Jennifer Grippa: jgrippa@milesmediation.com