James H. Kynes was one of the founding partners of Kynes, Markman & Felman, P.A. When Jim passed away in December 1993, he was only 40 years old. For years, he fought the illness that took his life with strength, courage and even humor.
Despite his young age, Jim left a full lifetime of accomplishments, too many to list. He was a scholar athlete — the starting center for the University of Florida football team in 1972-1974. Jim’s toughness and heart were reflected by the fact that he played offensive line even though he was only 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighed just 210 lbs.
After graduating from the University of Florida Law School, Jim served as a federal judicial law clerk for U.S District Judge George C. Carr. He was Judge Carr’s first law clerk. He entered private practice after his clerkship in 1980, and concentrated on criminal defense.
Jim was the first chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. He served on the Executive Committee of the Trial Lawyers Section and the White Collar Crime Committee of the American Bar Association. Jim was appointed by Governor Chiles to serve on the Florida Sentencing Guidelines Commission. Jim was also a civic leader and was the founding president of the annual Outback Bowl.
Second only to Jim’s love for family was his love for the practice of law. He practiced with integrity, humility and skill. He was highly respected in the legal community and beyond. The Hillsborough County Bar Association has named its annual award to a superior criminal trial lawyer “The James H. Kynes in the Trenches Award.”