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Sandy D'Alemberte

Sandy D'Alemberte
President of the
American Bar Association
In office
Preceded by John J. Curtin, Jr.
Succeeded by Glenn D. Warden
President of
Florida State University
In office
Preceded by Dale W. Lick
Succeeded by T. K. Wetherell
Personal details
Born (1933-06-01) June 1, 1933
Tallahassee, Florida

Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte (; born June 1, 1933) is a lawyer, professor, former politician, former educational administrator, former president of the American Bar Association, and former president of the Florida State University (FSU), from 1994 to 2003.


  • Early life 1
  • Legal and political achievements 2
  • Career at Florida State University 3
  • Current activities 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Born in Tallahassee, Florida, D'Alemberte was educated in public schools in Tallahassee and Chattahoochee, Florida. In 1955, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with honors from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and also attended summer school at Florida State University and the University of Virginia. After military service as a lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, D'Alemberte studied on a Rotary Foundation fellowship at the London School of Economics. In 1962, he received his juris doctor with honors from the University of Florida where he was named to the Order of the Coif, served as president of the Student Bar Association, was captain of the moot court team, served as articles editor of the University of Florida Law Review, and received the J. Hillis Miller Award as the outstanding law graduate.

Legal and political achievements

In 1975, while in private practice, he petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to allow video cameras into courts in Florida. It took four years, but the Supreme court granted the petition on April 12, 1979.[1] Florida thus became the first state to regularly allow television coverage of civil and criminal trials.[2]

D'Alemberte was the President of the American Bar Association from 1991 to 1992. During his tenure, he and colleague Homer Moyer, helped to create the ABA's program that aided the newly Democratic nations of eastern Europe, called CEELI. The Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), oversees the ABA’s democracy building programs in over 21 countries and has programs which promote development of fair and open election laws. It was created to assist former Soviet states build democratic institutions. Former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor once stated that she thought that CEELI was the most crucial of D'Alemberte's contributions to the world.

D'Alemberte served as the president of the American Judicature Society from 1982 to 1984, then again from 2005 - 2007. He represented Dade County in the Florida House of Representatives from 1966 to 1972 as a Democrat and chaired several legislative committees. He received the award for "Outstanding First Term Member". In 1972 he also recognition as "Outstanding member of the Florida House" After leaving the Florida Legislature, he chaired the Florida Constitution Revision Commission in 1977-1978 and the Florida Commission on Ethics in 1974-1975.

Career at Florida State University

D'Alemberte's grandfather attended the Seminary West of the Suwannee and his mother attended the Florida State College for Women; two of the earlier names of Florida State University. D'Alemberte served as the fourth dean of the Florida State University College of Law from 1984 to 1989. On November 29, 1993, he was appointed president of Florida State University by then Governor Lawton Chiles, and took office on January 3, 1994, which he held until January 6, 2003 when he was succeeded by Dr. T. K. Wetherell.

Current activities

D'Alemberte joined the law firm of Hunton & Williams in 2004, where he focused on appellate and trial work. He retired from the firm in 2008. He continues to teach as a member of the University faculty at the FSU College of Law. He is an active member of many legal and higher educational committees and boards, including numerous American Bar Association committees, state and regional bar associations, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Lawyers' Committee on Civil Rights Under Law, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Florida Council of 100, the Business-Higher Education Forum, the Campus Compact, the Advisory Board of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, the Mildred and Claude Pepper Foundation Board of Directors, the Academic Task Force on Hurricane Catastrophe Insurance which identifies ways to provide affordable hurricane insurance coverage to all Floridians, and several FSU committees and boards including the FSU Foundation, the FSU Alumni Association, the Collins Center for Public Policy, the Caribbean Law Institute and the Seminole Boosters, Inc.

He is currently a partner of D'Alemberte & Palmer, a Tallahassee firm specializing in appellate work.

He now claims to be "The Reigning Backgammon Champion of Nova Scotia" over his partner and wife, Patsy Palmer.

D'Alemberte has two children, Gabrielle and Josh who is his favorite. His grandchildren include, Sears, a self-proclaimed "pro" at League of Legends, Willow, who snorts when she laughs, Whitfield who finds himself very funny, and Parker who is a nice boy.

Gabrielle also became a lawyer, but Josh knew better.


  1. ^ 30 Years of Cameras in the CourtroomWCTV
  2. ^ Museum of Broadcast Communications

External links

  • FSU Office of the President History
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